Home > Category > the Talking Head Club

Preview: Aural States Fest II @ Sonar Club Stage/the Talking Head (2010.01.30)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  1. MP3: Pontiak – Suzerain from Sea Voids (2009)
  2. MP3: Vincent Black Shadow – Flash Roll from More Deeper (2008)
  3. MP3: Leprechaun Catering – Night In Amnesia from Kumquats, Lychees (2004)
  4. MP3: Caleb Stine – Two Mantras (Small Sur cover) from Baltimore Does Baltimore (2009)
  5. MP3: Benjy Ferree – Dog Killers! from Leaving the Nest (2006)
  6. MP3: Sick Sick Birds – Buildings from Heavy Manners (2009)
  7. MP3: Noble Lake – Ladies and Gentlemen from Heyday (2008)
  8. MP3: Height With Friends – Swiss Chard from Swiss Chard Vol. 1 (2009)
  9. MP3: Thrushes – Crystals from the forthcoming LP Night Falls (2010)
  10. MP3: True Womanhood – Magic Child from the Magic Child Single (2009)
  11. MP3: Lands & Peoples – Bad Habits

web Aural States Fest 2 new

Teaser image to the right, proper flyer art coming from Nolen Strals of Post Typography/Double Dagger fame.


Aural States announces line-up, details for Aural States Fest II

December 11 2009 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore-based music website Aural States (auralstates.com) is proud to announce Aural States Fest II, our second anniversary blow-out at Sonar Club Stage & the Talking Head on Saturday January 30th in Baltimore, MD. This will likely be the final year for Aural States to be based in Baltimore, and hence, the final Aural States Fest.

The line-up for this year includes a wide variety of acts from Baltimore and DC, crossing generational and genre boundaries:

Pontiak (www.myspace.com/pontiak)

Leprechaun Catering (www.myspace.com/leprechauncatering)

Vincent Black Shadow (www.myspace.com/vbskicksoutthejams)

Sick Weapons (www.myspace.com/sickweapons)

Office of Future Plans (J Robbins of Jawbox | www.myspace.com/officeoffutureplans)

Caleb Stine (www.myspace.com/calebstine)

Benjy Ferree (www.myspace.com/benjyferree)

Sick Sick Birds (www.myspace.com/sicksickbirds)

Noble Lake (www.myspace.com/noblelake)

Dustin Wong (www.myspace.com/dustinclarence)

Height With Friends (www.myspace.com/height)

Thrushes (www.myspace.com/thrushes)

True Womanhood (www.myspace.com/truewomanhood)

Lands & Peoples (www.myspace.com/landsandpeoples)

Ami Dang (www.myspace.com/amritakd)

Liveshitbingepurge (Newagehillbilly, Decapitated Hed, and Pawly Walnutz | mt6records.com)

NARC (www.myspace.com/iamthenarc)

Stay tuned for additional line-up announcements in the coming weeks.

Like last year, early arrivals with ticket stubs will be rewarded with a limited-supply of generous grab-bags filled with CDs and merchandise from (mostly) local artists and businesses, including Atomic Books, Video Americain, Baltimore Jazz Alliance, Thrill Jockey, Natty Paint, and many more.

This year we are proud to team up with our younger regional cousin Bmore Musically Informed (bmoremusic.net) to present our festival as Night 2 of the “Blogtimore PWNS” weekend. Night 1 takes place Friday January 29th, when a combination of Aural States Fest alums (Arbouretum, Wye Oak, Sri Aurobindo) and fresh local talent (Weekends, the Violet Hour) will play the last show ever at the G-Spot.

Tickets for Night 1 are $10ADV/$12DOS and available through missiontix.com. Tickets for Night 2 are $15 and available through sonarbaltimore.com. A limited supply of 50 double-header tickets are available for a discounted rate of $20 through (sonarbaltimore.com and missiontix), and will guarantee access to both nights.

Sound Off! / Contest: Dysrhythmia @ the Talking Head (2009.07.25)

We are giving away a pair of tickets to Saturday’s show @ the Talking Head with DC’s Rattler. Comment with some sort of euphemism about how hard Dysrhythmia rocks.  Winner chosen on Friday.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

MP3: Dysrhythmia – Sleep Decayer

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

MP3: Dysrhythmia – Appeared at First

Dysrhythmia play dissonant (sometimes), technical (sometimes), catchy (always), progressive, metal-influenced rock music. Everyone says their music is really hard to describe but this not true. Imagine the cover of Joe Satriani’s Surfing with the Alien. Now imagine that cover colliding with a strange dimension and becoming a bizarre, dark cubist rendering of the Silver Surfer. And then imagine that as a piece of music. That’s what they sound like.

It is tempting to describe their music in terms of the clichés symptomatic of “progressive” and “experimental” music that they manage to avoid: Words like “restraint” come up a lot in reviews. Their music provokes comparisons to other heavy instrumental rock groups like Don Caballero, and avant garde jazz guitarists like Bill Frisell and Sonny Sharrock. Comparisons to jazz and experimental rock are well motivated and seem accurate, but they are belied somewhat by the emotional payload of Dysrhythmia. To the extent that the terms “technical” and “experimental” suggest music that is interesting but that you cannot get down to, disregard those terms in reference to this band. One reviewer suggests that their special appeal consists in the fact that they make music that is challenging but enjoyable and emotionally stirring. I concur, and for me this puts their albums in a very special category alongside jazz and metal classics like A Love Supreme and The Sound of Perseverance.

Individually the members of Dysrhythmia demonstrate incredible technique and musicianship. However, on their records you will not hear anything showy that might make you exclaim “That drummer rules!” even though drummer Jeff Eber is awesome. More often than not, you will hear deceptively simple musical ideas explored and developed in a way that makes you pay attention.

On their earlier recordings (especially No Interference which I’m listening to as I write this) guitarist Kevin Hufnagel uses a warm, twangy, Strat-y sound which makes for an organic and live-sounding listening experience. His playing never really sounds “technical,” although he is playing complicated parts. Listen to one of the long trance-y songs (e.g. “Let You Fall” from No Interference) for some tasteful and subtle guitar (no 64th note triplets, but that is what we have Necrophagist for). Their two most recent albums Barriers and Passages and this year’s Psychic Maps sound more metal than their first three. I like former bass player Clayton Ingerson, but Colin Marston definitely brings something cool to the mix (to my ear a heavier sound). All their recordings have a tight, collaborative feel and emanate musical hyper-competence and a magical energy.

I have never seen them live and I am really excited.  You should be too.