Home > Category > Preview

Preview: Lizz King @ the Windup Space (2010.01.08)

WEB tilltheydoFLYER

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: Lizz King – Mr. Fella
  2. MP3: Lizz King – Till They Do

Lizz King is a joy to behold; her opening performance for Daniel Johnston back in 2008 was an astounding moment that still sticks with me today. So, it is with equal joy that I announce local label Ehse Records is finally releasing her debut full-length All Songs Go To Heaven. It is a smoky, almost labyrinthine charmer of an album that channels the spirit of Lizz’s live presence better than I could have imagined. Nearly every track crackles with that raw and naked, imperfect sound that she plys so well. You can almost feel her fingers trailing on her ukulele strings; you can almost see her body alternating between desperate sexual thrusting and slow, hypnotic swaying.

Lizz is easily one of the most complex and compelling acts to rise from within the Wham City ranks. An endlessly imaginative enigma, she operates by stitching together disparate elements of the heart-achingly open country-bluegrass tradition (likely acquired from time spent in rural Maryland and West Virginia), the effervescent, fuzzed-out electronic experimentalism made infamous by her Wham City cohorts, heavy-hitting aspects of soul, and even bumping beats of club music.

You would be wise to head over to the Windup Space this Friday Jan 8th for the official record release show, featuring support from Holy Sheet, Videohippos, and Bethany Dinsick. This also doubles as a send-off show for Lizz’s US tour. For those unfamiliar with Ehse (who released the excellent Harrius and Sejayno records last year), their MP3 downloads operate on the “name-your-price” business model. Real, physical medium (vinyl and CD) costs real, set prices though. All can be had through their website, or at the True Vine.

Check out two sides of Lizz right here, right now: the precious “Till They Do” and the heavy “Mr. Fella.”

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!: The Harlan Twins come down from the mountains

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 Harlan Twins – White Light from The Harlan Twins (2009)

Over the past two years, The Harlan Twins have gained a reputation among everyone from the hipster set to the aging folk-rock cognoscenti as the best band in Pittsburgh, resulting in scenes like the overflow, sell-out crowd at the unveiling of their self-released debut discharlans this past summer.

Covering ground from Allmans-esque jams to subdued high-lonesome folk and beyond, the band casts an eye to a century’s worth of Americana influences without letting it contain their creativity or enthusiasm. Be no more surprised to see a banjo or mandolin appear than to be immersed in swirling loops or pummeled by a bone-crushing deconstruction of an ’80s goth classic. James Hart lays down some of the finest guitar leads you’ll see anywhere while he and Carrie Battle trade off tailor-made Appalachian-tinged vocals. Their allegiances here won, it’s time for the Twins to get on the radar of roots-rock enthusiasts everywhere.

The Harlan Twins perform at Golden West Cafe in Baltimore on Fri December 4 and at Cafe Nola in Frederick on Sat December 5.

Preview: Marduk and Nachtmystium @ Sonar Club Stage (2009.11.23)


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: Nachtmystium – Cold Tormentor (I’ve Become) from Nachtmystium (2003)

To me, “black metal” means a style of music pioneered by Norwegian bands like Darkthrone and Mayhem in the early 1990s. The (again, for me) defining elements of the genre are densely layered trebly guitars, often low-fidelity production, high screechy vocals, lyrics about darkness, despair, and evil (as opposed to dismemberment, gore and violence), and riffs that are more melodic than one finds in other extreme forms of metal like death metal. In recent years, American bands have produced some of the best music in this subgenre. Chicago’s Nachtmystium (opening for Marduk on Monday on the Club Stage at Sonar), are among my favorites of this new crop.

Marduk represents the more fast and brutal end of the black metal spectrum: no synthesizers, intense drumming, and overall a sound that is more aggressive and less ambient. They wear scary makeup and sing about evil. I have never seen them live, but they have a sound similar to 1349 who I saw play with Carcass last year; they stole the show from the other opening acts. Marduk is real black metal, a must-see especially if you missed Satyricon in September.


However, the main draw for me is Nachtmystium. Using the basic elements of black metal as a point of departure, bands like Krallice, Wolves in the Throne Room, Leviathan, and Nachtmystium, have each contributed something unique.  The result is not so much one new trend or direction but a set of cool possibilities, ranging from classic-rock-tinged black metal (Nachtmystium) to experimental noise black metal (Canada’s Wold), to ambient, new age-y black metal (Wolves in the Throne Room). All of these bands maintain the darkness and depth of the Norwegian sound, drawing on the bleakest musical style in the world and producing something new and vital.

Nachtmystium’s Assassins: Black Meddle, Pt. 1 uses more sounds from seventies rock and roll than their previous albums, but the basic skeleton is still black metal. My favorite (and one of my favorite black metal records ever) is still 2006’s Instinct: Decay. Listen to “Eternal Ground” from this album to get psyched up for Nachtmystium. Instinct and parts of Assassins both have an urgency and an energy that I think is very rare in the black metal that I have heard, and downright remarkable in any music that is this dark. I am not personally energized and sustained by darkness and despair (confronted and challenged maybe) in music, and those moods are somewhat intrinsic to this style. Nachtmystium’s mixture of the energizing elements with their dark and brutal side is a rare accomplishment.

Album Reviews: Jody Redhage & Fire in July – Ancient Star | Nadia Sirota – First Things First (New Amsterdam)


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: Jody Redhage & Fire in July – This November
  2. MP3: Jody Redhage & Fire in July – The Botticellian Trees

Ancient Star is the debut album for cellist, composer and vocalist Jody Redhage and her chock full of brass and percussion ensemble: Fire in July. If you’d like to try before you buy, Fire in July plays An Die Musik on Thursday, November 19 at 8pm (more info and tickets). In the meantime, here’s my take on this jazz-fueled riot of mod poet motets:

Read the rest…

Boogaloo Times Preview: Numero Group’s Eccentric Soul Revue @ 9:30 Club (2009.11.10)

eccentric soul flyer

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.

01. MP3: Syl Johnson – Different Strokes
02. MP3: Syl Johnson – Come On Sock It To Me (streaming only)

It’s not unusual for friends and acquaintances to ask us how a person should start “getting into” soul music. The general situation looks to be something like this: Soul, though it hasn’t suffered any loss in sheer memorability, has become a somewhat obscure taste among young people of our day. Most everyone still appreciates a hard-hitting 4×4 soul anthem–their dad’s old Otis Redding tapes, James Brown’s cathartic screech–the problem is that few have actually bothered to delve into music made by equally meritable, yet less popular artists of modern and classic eras alike. So how exactly do you go about entering the world of soul?

Obviously, getting caught up in the genre is just as simple as it is for any other type of music–recommendations, criticism, radio, the internet, and ideally: shows. That’s why we cheerfully advise you to attend Numero Group’s Eccentric Soul Revue when it winds its way down to the 9:30 Club tomorrow, Tues Nov 10th (one of only five tour dates). The Vinyl District is also giving away free tickets and swag.

Read the rest…

Sound Off!: Sick Sick Birds


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.

01. MP3: Sick Sick Birds – Your Machine
02. MP3: Sick Sick Birds – Hearts & Their Minds

Sick Sick Birds open for Thrushes tonight at the Metro Gallery.

You might have noticed that tweens have a bastardized derivation of a once sacred screed from an Exploited album title: “Pop punk’s not dead.”

Read the rest…

Preview: Aural States presents So Percussion, Microkingdom, Gestures, Adam Holofcener + Jeff Zeiders, the True Vine Trio (Jason Willett, MC Schmidt, Owen Gardner)

Tonight will be an inspired night for music in Baltimore. Of course, that statement is a little biased since I’m putting it on.

Here’s some decidedly non-biased material suggesting you attend:

Banging on Cans: And anything and everything else in So Percussion’s strange, not-just-percussion universe” (Baltimore City Paper)

Roll Over, Beethoven: By Reimagining Format, Alt-Classical Musicians Are Going Mainstream” (Washington Post)

Do You Hear That?” (Maryland Morning on WYPR 88.1FM)

Splice Today

and here’s what others are saying about So Percussion and their recent premiere of Imaginary City in Brooklyn:

Drummers Map an Imaginary City” (New York Times)

Yes In My Backyard: An Exclusive First Listen To So Percussion’s BAM Next Wave Piece Imaginary City” (Village Voice Music Blog)

Top Live Show: So Percussion @ BAM Harvey Theater” (Time Out New York)

So Percussion – playing ‘Imaginary City’ @ BAM” (BrooklynVegan)

Here’s some video we shot with Polygon Tree Productions of So performing Steve Reich’s Drumming Part 1:

So Percussion Perform Steven Reich’s Drumming Part 1 from Polygon Tree Productions on Vimeo.

It also bears mentioning that the line-up has expanded since our initial announcement to include two more sets. One features the premiere of a piece by local composers Adam Holofcener and Jeff Zeiders. The other is a True Vine power trio of sorts featuring Jason Willett (Leprechaun Catering, Pleasant Livers, Half Japanese), Martin Schmidt (Matmos), and Owen Gardner (Black Vatican, Janitor, ex-Teeth Mountain). Some more, press-release-y details on them after the jump.

Read the rest…

Down the Vine Vol. 7 – Fair Brothers’ collection, new CDRs & upcoming events


The True Vine
3544 Hickory Ave.
Baltimore, MD

Telephone: 410 235 4500

open hours:
Tues. to Sat. 12 – 9
Sun. & Mon. 12 – 6

this is jason speaking.  there’s alot to say & not much time to type it but i’ll give it a shot.

today is wed. oct. 21st 2009 & at some point today jad fair’s brother david will arrive from coldwater, michigan to the true vine with a truck crammed full of vinyl for us to sell. jad called me last week to tell me that he & david have decided to sell both their entire large record collections to this shop. both collections have been in storage for a long time & some of these records were from their first record purchasing days in the 70′s.

if you know some history about half japanese then you could imagine as much as i could that there would be some very interesting music in these boxes. about 20 years ago when i had a record shop in frederick, md, david dropped off a pile of amazing records on my desk for me to borrow.  everything in that stack was amazing & that was the first time i heard jandek. half of those records were jandek lps. the amount of records between the two of them is easily in the thousands & david’s drop off today will be part 1 of two drop offs. the next will be in about 3 months from now.

Read the rest…

Interview: Office of Future Plans & the Jawbox Reunion (w/ J Robbins)


Photo credit: Greg Szeto

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: Report Suspicious Activity – The Night of 1000 Lies from Report Suspicious Activity (2005)

Office of Future Plans plays Oct 27th at the Sidebar with The Bomb, and a Halloween show on Oct 30th at Rock and Roll Hotel with Caverns and Imperial China.

On an anonymous street, nestled tightly amidst random warehouse facades in the neighborhood known as Better Waverly (funnily enough, south of Waverly proper), sits the Magpie Cage. From the outside, it appears to be no more than a steel-gated, two-car-width garage. But when you walk through the doors, it’s like entering a different world. A veritable oasis for anyone music-oriented, lined with warm wood tones, and contrasts of deep red while absolutely bursting with vintage and high-tech recording gear that strikes any artist like Pavlov’s Bell. Unlike many studios, this one is remarkably free of clutter, and blessed streamlined interior design (perhaps a bit of insight into the mind of its proprietor).

This is the studio of one J Robbins, one of the bonafide icons of local music, earning his stripes as final bassist in DC hardcore band Government Issue, vocalist and guitarist in post-hardcore follow-up Jawbox, and more recently with duties in Report Suspicious Activity, Channels, and Burning Airlines. He also happens to be one of the most earnest, hard-working, and genuine people you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting.

I got the chance to gab with J in the studio before a day of mixing locals …soihadto…, who counts the infamous Duff from Ace of Cakes among its members. Our conversation veered all over: from the forging fires of his new project Office of Future Plans, to the driving forces behind the bizarre Jawbox reunion set on Jimmy Fallon, and tons more in Robbins’ very busy life.

Read the rest…

< Newer Posts
Older Posts >