Home

Live Review: Modest Mouse, Mimicking Birds, Japanese Motors @ Rams Head Live (2009.03.12)

modest-mouse-1Photo credit: Courtney Campbell

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: Mimicking Birds – Home and somewhere else

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: Japanese Motors – Bummin’ Out

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: Modest Mouse – Doin’ the Cockroach (Live)

Odds are if you were at Rams Head on Thursday you were there for Modest Mouse (Wiki), who are admittedly one of the best bands of our time.  In fact, I was recently debating with a friend whether “Float On” might not be the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” of indie rock–the song that really introduced the genre into the popular consciousness. 

But knowing that frontman Isaac Brock previously worked as a talent scout for Sub Pop records and was actually the driving force behind their signing Iron & Wine and The Shins (surprisingly that honor dosen’t belong to Zach Braff) had me wondering what kind of bands the mighty Mouse would tour with.  Mimicking Birds and Japanese Motors were both complete unknowns to me prior to this tour, so I went in with an open mind and not much else.

Read the rest…

Photos / Live Review: Morrissey @ the Warner Theatre (2009.03.14)

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: The Smiths – This Charming Man

With recent shows cancelled due to illness, I was relieved that Morrissey’s show at Warner Theatre actually took place!   Two years ago I saw him at Rams Head (on Halloween night in fact), and was so pleased with his set list!   Therefore, I was anticipating this show for months.  

As Morrissey took the stage to “This Charming Man,” the mood was electrifying.  Fans rushed the stage with hands desperately reached out to touch his as Morrissey greeted his fans gratefully.   I was star struck, I must admit.  Throughout the night, however, my energy slowly declined.  I was pleased with the beginning of the set, but as the night progressed, I became slightly bored.  

Morrissey’s performance was top notch.  His stage production was beautiful and sound quality was excellent, but I left a bit disappointed with the lack of  classics that I heard.  It was clear that Morrissey was supporting his new album, Years of Refusal, but it would have still been nice to enjoy some old-time favorites as well.  The worst part of the night for me came when Morrissey spouted out, “There’s always someone with a big nose who knows” just prior to breaking into song.  I became very excited anticipating “Cemetery Gates,: but that is not what I heard.  

I was bummed!  

After only one encore consisting of one song, I was shocked to find that the show was over.  It was surprisingly short and I’m sure some would blame that on his recent “illness;” however, I guess I should be grateful for the opportunity to see him again.  My love of Morrissey stems from The Smiths and that is where my devotion lies, I suppose.  Anyway, if you were at the show you may have a different opinion but regardless, I’m sure we can agree that Morrissey is nothing short of perfect.  

img_0351-01-31-14 Read the rest…

Live Review: Apollonian Hijinks Make Light of Mozart’s Requiem at the BSO (2009.03.05)

jun-markl

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: Mozart – Requiem Mass in D Minor, III. Sequentia: Dies Irae

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: Mozart – Requiem Mass in D Minor, V. Sanctus: Benedictus

Guest conducting this night: Jun Märkl, winging our way from the faraway Leipzig Radio Symphony and the Orchestre de Lyon. He led us on an unexpected journey from Neoclassical Greek pastoral to the hearty Dominus et Deus German Classicism of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem.

Our appetizer: the plotless ballet Apollo – a gem of calm, ordered balance – from the tone-filled brain of Ruskie exile: Igor Stravinsky. (Apropos of the occasion, I’m writing this dispatch from West Hollywood – WeHo – where Stravinsky made his home).

Whereas last week I berated the duration of Chicago’s Stravinsky-focused performance, I delighted as the BSO lingered over Apollo. Read the rest…

One Track Mind: David Byrne & Dirty Projectors – “Knotty Pine”

byrne-longstreth-dark_was_the_night

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: David Byrne & Dirty Projectors – Knotty Pine

Time-honored new wave icon David Byrne (Talking Heads) joins forces with contemporary experimentalist Dave Longstreth, also known as Dirty Projectors, to release the recording “Knotty Pine” for The Red Hot Organization’s Dark Was The Night.

Read the rest…

City gov’t tries to get hip, encourage arts, manages to strangle DIY while trying.

middle-finger-of-the-apocalypse

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: The Clash – I Fought the Law

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: Operation Ivy – Here We Go Again

Baltimore City looks to be pursuing further action on the Live Entertainment License legislation.

The main perk is that officially recognized venues will no longer be required to stay in designated entertainment zones; on paper this should stimulate and encourage this sector.

But there are a number of corollaries to that main thrust which may actually threaten many of our beloved and established DIY spaces.  These stipulaions range from the douchebaggery of new annual fees, ambiguous investigations on the “moral character” of involved parties, and all sorts of logistical bureaucracy (plans for cleaning, parking, safety etc) to the bizarre, such as designations of non-participatory dancing.

This is all rather shocking and dumbfounding until you realize that the amount of communication between the legislators and the venue owners and operators who run affected businesses has been slim to none.

But it’s officially crunch time, and two organizational meetings for any community members interested in voicing their concerns on the bill have been scheduled in Station North this coming Monday, Mar 16.

Meeting #1 is at the Metro Gallery, 4PM.

Meeting #2 is at the Hexagon, 7PM.

Video: A week worth rounding up.

Enough interesting stuff came up this week on video that it merits a post.  Check it out (bandwidth warning!). Read the rest…

Photos / Live Review: Beach House, Vetiver, Sian Alice Group @ Sonar (2009.03.11)

Sian Alice Group traveled a long way to be a part of this bill, and they certainly stepped up to the plate. An energetic, if at times monotonous, showing that often called to mind the bluesy garage churn of the Kills and Sons and Daughters. Their twist is a bit more adventuresome forays into atmospherics and nuanced repetition and painstakingly measured progression and growth that would be the envy of any aspirators to post-rock.

Vetiver was hotly anticipated, almost as much as headliners Beach House. Seemed everyone was yearning for a taste of their take on folk. Their sound was a vital and invitingly warm one, gentle giants of guitar lines floating airily around the room made the relatively small club stage feel like it opened into a big grassy field. This is the stuff of sunny days and ear-to-ear, Cheshire-size grins.

There was little question when Beach House took the stage that they were the act of the night. It seems they’ve managed to find their comfort zone just outside of the hazy dreams of their repertoire, finding an area of the slightest bit more lucidity to exponential effect. Their live show is progressing nicely from escapist and enshrouding to immediate and captivating.

Sian Alice Group

_MG_1217
Read the rest…

Sound Off!: Extra Golden

they look really cold

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: Extra Golden – Anyango

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: Extra Golden – Thank You Very Quickly

Extra Golden is a band who probably needs some introduction.  Formed by Ian Eagleson and Otieno Jagwasi while Eagleson was studying Benga music in Kenya for his doctoral thesis (a solid choice; there’s a void of information about Benga music on the internet).  Eagleson had formerly played in the Oberlin OH rock band Golden, and Jagwasi (who has since passed away from liver failure) was formerly a member of Orchestra Extra Solar Africa–hence the name Extra Golden.  After recruiting former bandmates Onyango Wuod Omari and Alex Minoff, the group set to recording debut album Ok-Oyot System.

I’ll admit that when I first read their biography, I expected this band would be the most egregious exploitation of “passport rock” yet, and there are certainly those who would say this band consists of two privileged white boys who traveled to Africa and brought back some local flavor.  Before condemning them outright, it’s important to note that Jagwasi and Omari were both successful musicians when Eagleson met them, so it’s not like he plucked some amateurs who would’ve been farming otherwise.  Furthermore, I hadn’t investigated Benga music prior to hearing Extra Golden, maybe never would have, so at the very least, before even hearing one note of music, I’ve learned something valuable from the band.

Thankfully, Extra Golden’s records don’t become the kind of comparative study common to “world music” (itself a vapid term), usually only interesting to ethnomusicologists.   Read the rest…

Contest: Morrissey’s Years of Refusal Giveaway

morrissey-years-of-refusal

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: The Smiths – Hand in glove 

Two days left to enter to win a 12″ vinyl copy of Morrissey’s latest effort, Years of Refusal.  Don’t forget: Moz plays the Warner Theatre this Saturday in DC.  Sold out, so hit up craigslist and try your luck.

Video: Arbouretum – Down by the Fall Line

Locals Arbouretum release their first music video off the excellent Song of the Pearl. Too bad the release is on Pitchfork and they seem to enjoy passive-aggressive attempts at snarking and skewering our hometown heroes’ latest efforts.

Check out our takes on their past 2 efforts, Song of the Pearl and Kale, as well as our interview with Dave.

< Newer Posts
Older Posts >