DJ Blaqstarr at Sonar

UPDATE 5/6/2008: Blaqstarr did not end up playing this TaxLo, but thanks to Cullen Stalin for the heads up on the rescheduled date this Friday 5/9.

Baltimore based DJ Blaqstarr will be headlining an upcoming TaxLo at Sonar on February 29th. Tickets are only $8. Surely, this will be an event likely to happen once every four years, at most. (See what I did there…).

What’s it going to be like?

A lot like this:

“Shake it to the Ground” by DJ Blaqstarr, f/t Rye Rye (a 14 y/o Baltimore rapper).


I can’t find anything remotely interesting going on this weekend. I guess I’m resigning myself to sitting on my couch and watching the ACC basketball tournament. I might be okay with that.

But did I miss something? Is there anything going on this weekend? Post suggestions here so I can go get drunk and embarrass myself among perfect strangers (after my alma mater UNC takes it all).

I’ve been looking around, and here’s a list of things that I can’t get exited about:

Reaction at Sidebar on Friday night
. Come on, it’s drizzling outside.

Buying a Wham City-Box-o-crap at Atomic Books… even if it is heralded by the Whitney Museum.

Watching the intentionally shocking and emotionally deadening Funny Games at the Charles. (By the way, did anyone else hate No Country for Old Men?)

Getting help with preparing my taxes at Enoch Pratt on Saturday.

Yep… I guess it’s basketball for me.

This is why I’m not much of a journalist

I drink too much.

I’m confessing here, under the expand button. I had fully planned on doing a show review of the Cadence Weapon/Born Ruffians show… but it didn’t happen like that.
I got real drunk at the Ottobar Wednesday night during the show (if you need proof, just check out the quality of the picture).

There were very few people in the Ottobar, probably less than 100. The poor attendance was pretty bothersome to me and after a couple+ beers, one thought permeated my mind: “I’ll show Cadence that Baltimore appreciates him!”.

I noticed Rollie Pemberton (Cadence Weapon) had been drinking Pilsner Urquill and it was almost empty during his set. So, I went up to the bar like “THREE Natty Bohs… Please!” I should mention that I’m not a total cheap ass, I’m just really poor. I take the extra Boh, after distributing the other two between my boyfriend and my stomach, and go put it next to Rollie’s pilsner on stage. Anyway, he finishes his beer, finishes his set, and grabs the Natty Boh and walks off stage.

(My boyfriend is like “What are you doing???” the whole time).

And I see him take a sip of it (Yes!!) and then he looks all grossed out (NO!) and walks back out on stage, grabs the mic and says “Listen, I grabbed someone else’s beer by accident, sorry”. And he sort of carefully and gently sets it back down in the exact spot he picked it up from, like it never happened.

This is all very obvious to the other 60 people in the Ottobar because I’m not very sneaky about the whole thing – in fact I’m pretty awkward. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking (I wasn’t.) So, I stand around for a while and eventually we left half way during Born Ruffian’s set because it wasn’t very good. It was about 12:30 and I was sleepy. I went home, sent a bunch of weird messages to people that I barely know on Facebook, ate two tacos and went to bed.

I’m a force to be reckoned with..

Your metal spring in Baltimore

Okay, okay.

I’ll be upfront – I know next to nothing about Metal. My boyfriend likes a bit of metal, so I can only recall names of CDs I see on our collective shelf. I can tell you what I like, but not really why. My credentials are next to none: I’ve seen Mastodon a handful of times. That’s it.

Anyway, from what little I know, early May is going to be pretty big for Metal lovers in Baltimore.

Meshuggah (Sweden) , Ministry (Chicago, Illinois) , Hemlock
April 26th
Rams Head Live

Baroness (Savannah, Georgia), Converge (one of my personal favorites –A.S.), Genghis Tron, and The Red Chord
May 1st

Pelican (Chicago/LA), Circa Survive, Thrice
May 6th
Rams Head Live

(videos and such after the jump)

Meshuggah – New Millenium Cynide Christ (the boyfriend’s fav. Meshuggah song)

The whole song, with a youtube fanboy video can be seen/heard here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZvPM9D4hws />
Ministry – Jesus Built My HotRod

Baroness – Wanderlust

Pelican’s Last.fm website with lots of streaming MP3s (no videos)

This is what happened in 2003 when Converge played the Ottobar:

Born Ruffians + Cadence Weapon

This Wednesday at the Ottobar: Canadians Born Ruffians and Cadence Weapon as well as one of Bmore’s sweetest, most keyboard-heavy indie-poppers Karmella’s Game.

To get you excited for the show, here are a couple tracks off each artist’s upcoming album (both to be released tomorrow). Check them out after the jump.

Poster from Monozine.


Foxes Mate for Life – Born Ruffians
from Red Yellow Blue

In search of the Youth Crew – Cadence Weapon
from Afterparty Babies


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

Show Review: Beach House at the G-Spot

Maybe I’m somewhat old-fashioned in my approach to the internet, or that I really like the payoff of delayed satisfaction, but this is true: I don’t listen to music before it is released on a record. I am perpetually behind-the-times. Maybe, I am not someone who should be writing for a music blog because I really like the thrill of going to the CD store and picking up new releases on a Tuesday. I like evaluating an album as a whole, and my somewhat neurotic personality prevents me from doing that if I imprint a couple songs on my memory before listening to all of them, in the sequence that the artist intended.
Read the rest…

Beach House record release show

Dream-pop band Beach House, the child of Baltimore’s own Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand, will be preforming at the G-Spot on the 28th in support of their second album, Devotion (due out the 26th on Carpark Records).

A a quite pretty video for “Master of None” follows.

Read the rest…

Leaving a big hole in my heart.

I know that this post is somewhat out of place, but I can’t help but comment on it.

More than I actually listen to music throughout my day, I listen to the local NPR station, WYPR. Supposedly that acronym should stand for Your Public Radio. Yesterday, I turned on the radio at work in the morning, and at 12, waited for the always illuminating Marc Steiner Show to come on. It didn’t. I assumed I must have been accidentally picking up DC’s WAMU (88.5). I wasn’t.

Photo credit: Steve Ruark, Special to the Sun

In something reminiscent of the Colts leaving Baltimore in the middle of the night, WYPR had decided to fire Marc Steiner, a founder of the station, without warning. A half-assed excuse of “ratings” was given as the reason for his termination.

In Baltimore, the name Marc Steiner is synonymous with Public Radio. By hemorrhaging this connection, WYPR has effectively stunted or stopped the growth of public knowledge of Baltimore City politics and news. They have also broken my heart. Where else can I turn for in depth, accessible, coverage of candidates’ positions before election day? Where else can I listen to well moderated and well planned discussions of things I didn’t even know I was interested in before I turned on the radio? These things, and many more that I’m not cognizant enough to list right now, were the reasons I became a member of WYPR. The destruction of these things will be the reason I reconsider staying a member of WYPR in the future.

For more information, please visit Marc Steiner’s blog.

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.