Bruce Willen-bass, vocals
Photo credit: Greg Szeto
Air Waves’ set here
Video Hippos’ set here
Bruce Willen-bass, vocals
Photo credit: Greg Szeto
Air Waves’ set here
Video Hippos’ set here
What a great vibe and great show this past Saturday Friday (thanks for noticing that, Jeff) at Floristree. I walked in to a fully-ramped Videohippos set that had more than motivated the healthy-sized audience with some stellar, dance-ready hooks and decently complementary neon-colored projections. The most noticeable thing was how few familiar faces I noticed scanning the throbbing throngs and bobbing heads. The first show that felt like a summer show for me, and there were all kinds of fresh, young faces complete with the energy that accompanies such a blissful clean slate.
Double Dagger furthered their legend, delivering as intense and tight a set as I think I’ve seen from them, at least in recent memory. The biggest change was probably how happy and refreshed they seemed to be, It was also one of their most well-paced and constructed sets, opening with the building tumult of “Neon Gray” revving the anticipiation from the crowd like a finely tuned racecar, then ripping through a set list culled almost entirely (and appropriately) from the release in celebration, More. ”No Allies” is as ferocious as ever, and is easily coming to rival long-time favorite “Luxury Condos for the Poor” for the most vigorous fan reaction. The juxtaposition of the sublime intro in the follow-up song (“Vivre Sans Temp Mort”) worked, resonating remarkably well as a showcase of new emotions that Double Dagger can effectively pluck live. More highlights included the obvious encore of “Luxury Condos” and a spectacular performance of More’s addictive lead single “The Lie / The Truth,” complete with high-energy cameo and backup vox from Sam Herring of Future Islands. Despite a plethora of technical speedbumps, notably the loss of Bruce’s backup vocal mic, the set lost almost no momentum and raged right on til morning.
Check out the live audio here, and Double Dagger photos after the jump (Nolen-heavy given my poor vantage point, no slight intended Bruce & Denny).
MP3: Matmos – Orban from Supreme Balloon (2008)
MP3: Dan Higgs – Untitled 1 from Plays The Mirror Of The Apocalypse (2005)
One of our city’s finest record stores (run by two of its nicest guys) is in abit of a financial rough patch. To this, you probably respond: “Who isn’t?!”
But consider that the True Vine is one of a quickly vanishing breed: the highly-curated brick and mortar record store. Jason Willett and Stewart Mostofsky run a timeless institution in a refreshingly old-school manner. Walking through their doors feels like walking into a knowledgeable friend’s house, and that’s a rare thing these days (especially in retail). For better or worse, Spin Magazine recognized True Vine as one of its top 15 indie record stores in America.
Help them pay off some of the lingering bills so they can get back to the business of finding and providing lovingly hand-picked music to your ears, worry-free. They’ve gathered what has already been declared an unfuckwithable bill of veritable local superstars: Matmos, CEX, Dan Higgs, Jana Hunter, Coo Coo Rockin Time, Bill Mace, Golden Birthday and Jefrey Brown.
More goodies from our vaults:
The benefit show kicks off at tonight at 9PM sharp, Floristree in the H&H Building. Tickets are $10, and True Vine will also be selling hand-picked and burned mix CD-Rs for $7 (which are great) and apparel for prices unknown. Buy it all, and show Jason & Stew your love for the True Vine by making sure it weathers this financial shit-storm.
Welcome newest contributor, audio-visual wizard Guy Werner! Guy will be providing us with video and audio from shows around town. His first volley: clips from the Thank You/Mi Ami show at Floristree a few weeks ago. Check after the jump for videos from Katherine Fahey’s The Birdwatcher’s Companion opening at the Metro Gallery, Jenn and Andy of Wye Oak and Caleb Stine.
However, I dragged my feet somewhat deliberately. What’s the point of a 2008 summation if you don’t have at least a little critical distance between current time, and the past year? One doesn’t write a book report until the book is actually finished. A conclusion about a hypothesis can’t be reached until the experiment is actually completed. You don’t say, “Wow, baby…that was some good sex,” until the deal is sealed–unless you’re an ego-tripping moron with a teenager’s maturity level.
January 29, 2008 was my emergence from the world of sub-par print music journalism into the realm of much more serious online music writing. I don’t take credit for the upgrade; that goes solely to Greg Szeto, the music editor at my former publication, and the founder and managing editor of Aural States. I know good coat tails when I seem them, and I was really excited to jump into this venture with Greg.
The results have been unthinkable, really. Much of the work I’ve felt the best about, and been the most proud of in the past several years has been for Aural States.
For me, 2008 has been a year of amazing music–recorded, live, and starting recently, making it again. To be accurate this journey’s proper beginnings are in the fall of 2007, but isn’t it weird how events usually arise from prior events in sequential order? Event chains, I think they are called. I have been into music all my life, but 2008 is unique in the fact that I actually, in some small way, took a spot in a broader network of music, and culture-of-music people. I began blogging, and people were actually reading what I wrote.
This status of blogger doesn’t feel quite like it fits yet. Around Baltimore, indie/hipsters types (definitely loaded words, which are commonly mistaken for being synonymous with “music types”) don such close-fitting clothes. Perhaps, feeling as though this is a role I need to grow into is a healthier stance, than having skin-tight clothing restricting, and inhibiting movement (read: critical movement, and development).
Also, clothes being the signifiers that they are designate people into one group. I personally don’t fit into one single group musically, and probably not socially, either. From my understanding (and I think it’s an accurate understanding) the same goes for Aural States. To be clear, this does not mean AS has to be everything musically to fulfill our eclectic mission statement, but we simply need to be who we are, and only who we are.
And who are we? Music geeks: pure, unabashed, genuine music geeks.
My (Highly Subjective) Most Memorable Live Performances of 2008 (in no order, and it’s more than 10)
Read the rest…
Photo 1: Edan Wilber
Photos 2,3: Frank Hamilton
I think I caught the words “Mai Tai” in the middle of “7 Souls”? It doesn’t matter, really; Ponytail have done away with words. Turns out they weren’t as important as we had thought. Singer Molly Siegel yelps and lunges across the stage amidst reports that she might have been sick, but if she performs every night the way that she has on the two occasions I’ve caught the band live — well, I’d be exhausted after one song. Ms. Siegel acts as a focal point for the sounds the other three band members produce, inserting punctuation marks into the musical phrases (instead of the music punctuating the lyrics) with wordless shouts and animalistic yips. The music is a fantastic burst of energy, exciting, flawlessly performed, even occasionally catchy.
Easily the most striking thing about the new Abe Vigoda album is its production, which is downright poppy relative to tour-mates No Age. Spindly guitars with bizarre effects take up odd angles against each other and tumble from the speakers like Omar Rodriguez-Lopez’s used to do when he played in a rock band. Vocals are occasionally intelligible in the mix, performed with a discernible charisma, sometimes chanted, with a dedication to pitch and harmony that recall Eric Gaffney. They’ve also clearly taken a textural shade from another Pride of Baltimore, Animal Collective, minus their obvious influence of that fucking catbird that sits outside my Parkton window every morning and insists upon squaking until I wake.
You can also download or stream Abe Vigoda’s set from this same night, right here.
July 9, 2008
Source: Peluso CEMC6/ck4(card)>PS-2>AD-20>NJB3
Taper: Jeff Mewbourn (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Another new contributor! Welcome Zack Turowski! His first piece is a double-header review of Times New Viking @ RnR Hotel in DC and No Age @ Floristree here in good ol’ Bmore. You can also download live audio of No Age’s set.
First photo: TNV, the rest: No Age
The Baltimore/DC area has had the good fortune in the last two weeks to host the shining stars of the lo-fi resurgence that’s hit the streets in the last year or so — No Age, who appeared with fellow Pitchfork heroes Abe Vigoda and the High Places, as well as Matador’s hippest recent find, Times New Viking, joined by Titus Andronicus and True Womanhood. While I enjoyed the openers at both shows, they don’t have the same profile as No Age and Times New Viking, although Abe Vigoda might be on the way, Titus Andronicus and True Womanhood are only just getting started, and The High Places’ pop tendencies don’t really fit the sound of the scene. But how do the two headliners stack up against each other, and what do they have in common with the recently reunited (with one notorious exception) set of bands whose style this lo-fi revolution is so reminiscent of? Read the rest…