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Show Review: Justice at Sonar, Baltimore MD, take two…

Baltimore tried its hardest to become Ibiza or Miami with last night’s Justice show. Walking into the show mid-set for DJ Mehdi (pictured right), we saw a densely-packed main room with arms flailing high above heads in the flicker of stage lights and strobes, bass-heavy beats pounding you into the ground. I had to double-check the date to make sure I wasn’t at a Buzz event in now-defunct DC nightclub Nation circa 2000. Mehdi established what would be the theme of excellence for the night: flow.
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Show Review: Aural Justice for Bmore at Sonar

It was about a year or two ago when French electronic duo Justice was making it’s first US tour. Philly was the closest they were coming to Baltimore, and The Rapture was the opener for that night to boot. I never made it to that show, and I’ve since been wondering what I missed that night.
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Justice will be at Sonar one week from today (Sunday, March 9th). Tickets are still available – probably because they are quite expensive at $30 each.

It’s just my educated guess, but in an effort to get people excited for their impending US tour – Justice dropped a new video for DVNO today (see it after the jump, along with tour details).

What does DVNO stand for? According to member Xavier de Rosnay : In every suburb of the world, in every city, there’s always a nightclub called El Divino (…) Clubs where you have to wear like a white shirt to get in.

How right he is…. The closest Divino nightclub to Baltimore is in Bethesda.

Upcoming tour dates:

Mon 03/03/08 Austin, TX Stubb’s Bar-B-Q
Tue 03/04/08 Dallas, TX Palladium Ballroom
Thu 03/06/08 Orlando, FL Club Firestone
Sun 03/09/08 Baltimore, MD Sonar
Mon 03/10/08 Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory
Tue 03/11/08 New York, NY Madison Square Garden Arena
Wed 03/12/08 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
Sat 03/15/08 Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club
Sun 03/16/08 Montreal, QC CEPSUM At University Of Montreal
Mon 03/17/08 Toronto, ON Sound Academy
Wed 03/19/08 Royal Oak, MI Royal Oak Music Theatre
Thu 03/20/08 Chicago, IL Riviera Theatre
Sat 03/22/08 Denver, CO Ogden Theatre
Mon 03/24/08 Seattle, WA Showbox SoDo
Tue 03/25/08 Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom
Wed 03/26/08 Portland, OR Roseland Theater
Thu 03/27/08 San Francisco, CA Concourse Exhibition Center

Scheduling your March

Cadence Weapon, Born Ruffians

Justice, DJ Mehdi, Fancy

Van Halen

(details after the jump)

Cadence Weapon/Born Ruffians

March 5th, Ottobar

In a bit of a head-scratcher, two Canadian groups with little more in common than release dates and nationality will be coming to the Ottobar on March 5th. Tickets, available through missiontix, are $8 (adv), $10 (day).

Cadence Weapon, hip hop artist from Edmonton, Alberta, will finally follow up his 2005 release Breaking Kayfabe with the much anticipated Afterparty Babies (Epitaph) due out on March 4th.

I saw a bit of the Cadence Weapon show at the Pitchfork Media Music Festival in July of 2007 – he put together a tight little performance, showcasing his vocals over minimal beats. To get a good example of the show I saw, give a listen to “Sharks” (stream over myspace). While hip hop doesn’t always translate in an outdoor venue, I’m looking forward to checking him out in the coziness of the Ottobar.

Born Ruffians, Photo credit: Timothy Saccenti

Born Ruffians, on the other hand, are somewhat precocious indie rockers from Toronto. They will be promoting their new LP Red, Yellow, Blue (Warp; also due out March 4th) this tour. Take a listen to their single “Foxes Mate for Life” here (stream; source: The Fader).

Justice, DJ Mehdi, Fancy
Sonar, March 9th
Tickets (ticketmaster): $30 (adv)


Paying $30 to go see something called the “Myspace Music Tour” feels dirty on a couple different levels. Unfortunately, I still would really love to go see this show, excessive cost and all.

Justice will be touring in support of their recent album [cross symbol] (Vice 2007). Being house artists from Paris, France begs comparison to Daft Punk. However, that feels a little trite to me. So I’ll say this: Justice are a little less robot, and a whole lot more dirt. Their music demands dancing. You can sample some of their original tracks, as well as remixes of other artists on their myspace page.

As an aside, these guys are pretty prodigious when it comes to remixes. They can claim the following artists (among many) as receiving their revisions: Britney Spears, Fat Boy Slim, Daft Punk, N*E*R*D, DFA 1979, Justin Timberlake, Klaxons…

What of the other two bands? DJ Mehdi, as another French house act, will certainly warm the crowd up for Justice. Fancy can be described in 5 words: French butt rock… starring women!

On the other hand, if that doesn’t sound good (or expensive enough) for you – you can alway pop across town that night to 1st Mariner Arena to catch Van Halen. Tickets absurdly run $49.50 – $125.