Better late than never: Lo Moda @ the Ottobar (2008.07.25)

Lo Moda at the Ottobar.

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MP3: Lo Moda – Les Jardins (De L’bouli) from Gospel Store Front

Before even knowing Peter Quinn was affiliated with Lo Moda, I recognized him sitting next to me on the wooden benches that lined the Ottobar. He sat with a mysterious look in his eye, slowly sipping on a glass of red wine while Hex Message performed on stage.

I was only somewhat moved by the performances of either Hex or Ecstatic Sunshine — a local favorite that, I’m sad to say, barely excited the crowd. The sound never caught you off guard or surprised you…at least the way I ambient/ electronic music should, triggering the deepest of emotions and shaping the imagination. So, when Lo Moda stepped on stage, the previous bands had prepared me for something much different than what was coming ahead. Read the rest…

Jay Reatard, Vincent Black Shadow, Ratsize @ Sonar

Ratsize @ Sonar, BaltimoreAlexa’s Take:

On a Sunday, I was curious to see what crowd would show for this rainy summer night of punk-ish madness. Sonar introduced Ratsize, leading the show with a loud, messy performance, including a cover of the Adolescents’ “No Way”. Lead vox Pat Martin put on a pretty good show, ramming into the crowd and spitting beer on himself, but the band lost momentum when they paused between songs. Right when you got a steady beat, hyped up and ready for more, the song would end and they’d take a minute to recall next-up on the set list. Maybe it was just Pat getting some Oxygen after choking himself with the mic cord.

Next up was Vincent Black Shadow, and I’m not sure if it was the gangly long-haired bassist rocking out across from me, or the loogie that hit me around the third song, but something about this act was disgustingly exhilarating.

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Ponytail – Ice Cream Spiritual (We Are Free)

Welcome our newest contributor, Alexa Williams. She cuts her teeth for us with a review of Baltimore staple Ponytail’s newest LP Ice Cream Spiritual, a definite contender for highlight of 2008. Have at it!

And stay tuned tomorrow, as our Whartscape mini-terviews continue with Dustin from Ponytail in the spotlight!

Take everything- alternative, independent, scream-o, metal, electronic, and mash it into one nasty Science Project of chaotic, yet completely accepted sound. Some may call it “new-wave”, some “post-punk, experimental, underground math-rock”, but whatever the label, unclassifiable sounds are overflowing the headphones of today’s listeners.

Measured against big names Animal Collective and Deerhoof, Baltimore’s own Ponytail emerges from the smoke after three years with the eight-track long Ice Cream Spiritual. Kamehameha, their first album released in 2005, never got weird enough for me. Its sound was too safe, too easy to handle.

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