Photos: MySpace Secret Shows Presents The Kills @ the Ottobar

The Tokyo Police Club was the last Myspace secret show I attended. That was back in April, and at the old Davis Street location of the Talking Head Club. This time around the Myspace street team kept a much lower profile, and the logos were minimal at the Ottobar.

The Tokyo Police Club show was lackluster on many fronts, and definitely lacking any sexiness. This was not the case for The Kills, as vocalist Alison Mosshart definitely got hot and heavy over top Jamie Hince’s guitar and drum machine double team. At one point she sat atop a speaker, grinding in mock lap-dance mode. And it is always nice to read sexy description, but why do that when you can look at sexy pictures?

All photos: Josh Sisk

The Kills @ the Ottobar

Read the rest…

Interview: Girl Talk (w/ Gregg Gillis)

girl talk

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: Girl Talk – Bounce That from Night Ripper (2006)

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: Girl Talk – Let Me See You from Don’t Feed the Animals (2008)

This fella probably needs little to no introduction.  Girl Talk has undoubtedly exploded.  Look no further than the utterly and completely sold-out shows lining his tour trek, including his stops at 9:30 Club this Friday Oct 10 and Sonar this Saturday Oct 11.  So let’s just get right to it.

Aural States- Talk a bit about how you actually put together the mash-up. You don’t use Ableton, correct?

Gregg Gillis- I use Audio Mulch. Basically Audio Mulch is a program that you can do a variety of things in. It is primarily used for sound processing, running things through it and putting effects on it, or manipulating pre-existing source material. But I use it in a way that utilizes the looping functions on it. I use a lot of loop players, and kind of work around having hundreds of loops in front of me. I then isolate the actual pieces of music that you hear as much as possible.

Typically, during a set there will be two to ten loops playing at any particular time. The actual combination of material is usually pre-thought out. It’s not like I’m improvising on the spot. But the transition from segment to segment is often times not as thought-out. So basically it is a whole bunch of loops in front of me, a variety of material, usually a bit more than I want to play, so I have a bit of freedom to jump around. I put together sound collages in real time basically. The software, I have always just basically used it to bring in ideas. When I record an album, that’s how I edit myself. But live it’s all triggering the loops and samples on the fly.

AS- You did a video during Whartscape, where you threaten Youtube fan video makers with legal action. This must be a joke? Read the rest…

Sound Off!: Baby Venom

Check out Baby Venom along with the Vivian Girls (already shouted-out) October 1 @ the Ottobar.

We here at Aural States receive a surprising amount of music to review, or at least I find it surprising given that our blog hasn’t existed for more than a year, and our original goal was to possibly get into some shows for free. And, as has been stated before, a surprising amount of that music is decent, but most of that music comes through online promotions companies. Sometimes we are given music directly from an acquaintance, or someone that somehow knows about our involvement with Aural States.

These encounters make me cringe, because I usually have a pre-existing relationship with the person, and I don’t have the nerve to honestly tell them what I think if the material is poor. I generally try to avoid these situations. So when my friend Dave (Coldspring Lane food service unite!) gave me a CD-R of his band’s EP, I was bracing for the worst. But I should have known better. Baby Venom has a solid pedigree. Needless to say, I was surprised (there is that word again) by the inventiveness of the group. Read the rest…

Why ad hoc street team fliering is not always a good idea…

…or so I was told when I decided to do some impromptu promo leg work for the More or Less birthday party with Ben Parris last night.

It was truly an amazing night. DJ Kel, of More or Less, opened up the night with a solid set, but Ben was the center of attention. The Once.Twice:Sound founder was dropping tracks I’d never heard of before, I don’t know where they came from, but damn those sampled saxophone stabs brought the house down.

Trouble was all the ladies moving and grooving had an affiliation, so to speak. So, a new friend (a recent transplant from Detroit, who was blown away that an entity like the Hexagon could legally exist in a city–that kind of stuff doesn’t fly in Detroit apparently), and I decided to press the fresh and get some people (women) to come up from the area around The Depot, and Club Charles.

We grabbed a handful of really well designed handbills done by More or Less founder Patrick Brander; beautiful graphic design work that would look good simply tacked to a hall as a type of low-budget art. We set off toward The Depot. Read the rest…

High Zero Festival 2008: M. C. Schmidt Interview

Matmos should be familiar to Aural States readers (we did an in-depth interview with the duo back in February), so it was a pleasure to sit back down with Martin Schmidt of Matmos and discuss his involvement in the now-underway High Zero Festival, among other topics.

This interview became much less of a dialogue, and more of Martin recounting his past. Which is all just as well; it’s still very interesting.

Matmos has become something like ” your friendly neighborhood glitch-ish group” around Baltimore. Make sure to say hello to Martin at the new True Vine. Read the rest…

The Bug – London Zoo (Ninja Tune)

Enjoy this vinyl-rip off AFX’s Smojphace EP, a remix of the Bug & Daddy Freddy’s “Run the place red.”

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 Bug & Daddy Freddy – Run the place red (AFX mix)

At a recent party, when the DJ dropped a bass-heavy Baltimore Club track, a man turned to me and proclaimed, “I want my epitaph to read: Boom-Boom-Boom-Boom!”

Well said.

Bass is powerful, you feel it hit in the sternum, feel that air being pushed. Bass, the word itself, is such a great example of onomatopoeia; it reads like it sounds. I think of a recent King Lear production were Edmund delivers his bastard monologue accompanied by a bass player–apt given the heavy alliteration on the “B” sound and the pun on base/bass. “Why brand they us/ With bass!” would read the play if it had been written by another, more current, Londoner, Kevin Martin aka The Bug. His new album features a multitude of ragga-tinged guest vocalists, and of course centers around bowl shaking bass.
Read the rest…

My Heart Still Beats in 4/4: Virgin Festival Dance Tent & Blank Artists Review

Electronic Dance Music was not the first music I fell in love with. My first aural affair began at an early age with the music I was playing on the piano and cello–classical (my favorite composer was Bach). As I grew older my taste diversified, though I still maintained a love of art music. However, I just wasn’t as into punk as all my friends were. In fact, I just wasn’t into the whole live band experience.

A bunch of factors led me to EDM, mainly the fact that it could still be heard on WHFS at the time. My taste matured from the near-rock of Prodigy, to drum and bass, and finally to that purity of sound of techno (mainly the Detroit, acid, and minimal kind). I began frequenting parties, club nights, “raves,” anything with beats coming out of a sound system. I began DJing with kids at school, then organizing our own nights in high school and college (though they where never heavily attended).

Techno was one of the passions of my life. I read, and re-read Techno Rebels: Renegades of Electric Funk. I spent way to much money on vinyl, and mixed instead of doing work. But slowly, I lost interest in that music.

My tastes became more inline with that of the indie trends. This is most likely due to the death of the EDM scene around these parts, and the astounding emergence and quality of Baltimore’s indie scene. The new indie electronic acts, though technically electronic, didn’t fit into the old paradigm. Dan Deacon is electronic, and he does make dance music, but not in the same way that Jeff Mills does.

The end of an era came for me when I packed away my second turntable, because I wasn’t using it, and it was taking up space. I sold much of my vinyl on ebay.

However, the electronic music I have experienced live over the past few weeks has re-invigorated my interest in the music that was once the sole pursuit of my life. Read the rest…

Virgin Fest 2008 Review: Saturday

I was not expecting too much from the Saturday line-up, and this proved to be true. Indeed, I was not expecting too much from Virgin Festival at all, aside from a few select acts.

It would also be the first large-scale music festival since my early-to-mid teens years spent at HFStivals. Oh, how I was enamored by what I saw then, and how annoyed by most of what I saw now. Was it a function of maturation, or have things really gone that down hill since I was 14?

It would also be the first “mainstream” show I had attended in some years. I anticipated the crowd being radically different than what I was used to seeing–not really a value judgment, just an objective assumption. I also realized how much I have changed since freshman year of high school, both in regards to musical taste, and also life outlook.

Just for shit-and-giggles I dressed Saturday to blend in with the crowd. Not that I’m super fashionable in the first place, but I thought it would be nostalgic fun to don the old high school lacrosse practice singlet (get the pun? You would if you went to my high school). It turns out this was the goddamn uniform for the large portion of guys in attendance (if they were wearing shirts at all). It made me feel really old when kids asked me what year I graduated, I answered, and they looked at me like I’m old. Then they asked me to buy them beer. In all fairness I remember being 16 and thinking early twenties was old, too. Read the rest…

Small Sur Record Release Party @ 2640 Space

I had high hopes and expectations for this show. So high, in fact, that I skipped out on my first ever chance to see Underworld in Baltimore. I was a huge fan back when the Everything, Everything live album/dvd came out, and I was a huge fan of Trainspotting in high school. Who can forget that last monologue by Renton done over the opening chords of “Born Slippy Nuxx”? But that monologue is all about choice, and Saturday night I chose the rustic world of Bob and Small Sur over the nighttime beats of Underworld. I chose happiness and bliss.

Another huge factor in my decision to forgo Underworld was the fact that I love the 2640 space. I have never been to a poor show there. It is intimate, a place to see familiar faces and enjoy great music. This was the exact opposite of Virgin Fest, a scene resembling a Hieronymus Bosch painting, and unfortunately more often than not, with fitting music, too

It would also have been hypocritical of me not to show up. Ever since Aural States received We Live in Houses Made of Wood, we have been extolling the virtues of folky-americana-pysch-rock (not a catchy title, but I don’t know what else to call it) a la Small Sur. The band’s new album is nothing short of amazing, and I have been telling everyone who cares to listen (and some who really didn’t want to listen) how great this album is. Read the rest…

Virgin Fest 2008 Preview: Richie Hawtin

Richie Hawtin- a name that looms large in the world of techno, but one that many outside of the scene may find unfamiliar. To be clear, we are talking about techno here, not house, not trance, not generic electronic dance music. And more specifically we are talking about pummeling Detroit techno, and then, as Hawtin’s style progresses, heady minimal techno.

To make this a little more familiar to the uninitiated, techno grew out of the failing economy and racially divided Detroit in the mid Eighties. People like Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, and Derrick May played a huge role in the transition from electro to techno. Hawtin, then known by the seriously unfortunate moniker “Richie Rich,” was one of the first white kids on the scene. Not even a native of Detroit, but English by birth, and an immigrant to Windsor, Canada, Hawtin was met with some resistance from the Detroit establishment. This reluctant passing of the torch from the old Detroit guard to the new kids became known as the “Second Wave of Detroit.” All this is chronicled in much greater detail in the book Techno Rebels: The Renegades of Electronic Funk, by Dan Sicko. If you have even the slightest interest on the development, and evolution of a scene from local sound to international movement, than read this book Read the rest…

< Newer Posts
Older Posts >