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The Arts

Whartscape 2008 Performance Listings

Lexie Mountain Boys

Posted 7/16/2008

Whartscape 2008

Individual tickets $12, four-day festival pass $40, Saturday and Sunday night free with any individual ticket or pass, $5 without ticket or pass at the door.

If the third edition of Whartscape is losing something in going "legit"--real clubs and legal venues--at least we won't have to worry about turning into heatstroked empty bags of skin in a poorly ventilated warehouse space. And, how could the festival keep itself fully underground now? What started as an absurd counterfestival to the city-sanctioned Artscape has damn near eclipsed its raison d'être--and, for that matter, many corporate festivals across the country--while holding to community-mindedness and an honest DIY ethos. Four days and nights, four venues, nearly 90 performers, and no bullshit--Whartscape is a formidable testament to what Wham City is capable of in Baltimore and beyond. The lineup that follows is pretty much unfuckwithable.

Thursday is, more or less, the night for the freaks. Nautical Alamanc is one of our favorite spectacles in Baltimore. We'd tell you what to expect, but, hell, it's different every time--some kind of noise, anyway. Leprechaun Catering is a supergroup of weird Baltimore electronics tamers Tom Boram and Jason Willett, delivering improv in napalm form. Teeth Mountain, quickly becoming an unsung local institution, makes heavily polyrhythmic zone pieces.

Friday is for soft clapping--folkies, mainly. If a show earlier this summer is any indication, Arbouretum is so on this summer, its set of heavy hypno-folk should be a deep enough trip you won't know what happened until the next day. Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez has an album coming up on Washington's Carpark label of Latin-flecked out-folk that promises good things from his set tonight.

Saturday is so massive, we're not even going to try to peg a theme to it. Baltimore indie standard-bearer Celebration gets top billing at Sonar tonight; the pretty pictures and two-piece rock of Video Hippos leads you into that home stretch. Don't cut out for dinner during Human Host's set of situationist who-knows-what multiheaded punk performance art. During the day, Thank You makes its first local appearance in some time, and you'd be wise not to miss it. The all-girl a cappella Lexie Mountain Boys is always a grand, absurd time.

Sunday is just as beyond categorization. Black Dice, one of the first acts to bring dance rhythm and bright colors to noise, headlines with possibly one of the finest shows you'll see all weekend. Ponytail mixes intricate, damaged surf rock with pre-lingual animal noises, but that doesn't even come close to predicting its frenetic live show. Rust Belt goof rap outfit Grand Buffet is, kinda unfortunately, one of the only things rap you'll see at Whartscape save for, possibly, Trey Told 'Em, a side project of Girl Talk's Gregg Gillis, who loves him some rap. Of course, Dan Deacon today is a given--no plug needed. Hard to say what to expect from Cex (City Paper contributor Rjyan Kidwell) tonight, but it'll be worth seeing what he's cooking up these days. And the secret surprise guest? It's not so secret anymore--a supergroup between Spank Rock, Dan Deacon, and Girl Talk. The mind boggles. (Michael Byrne).

Thursday night, July 17

Charles Theatre, 1711 N. Charles St., 5:30 p.m.-midnight

6 p.m. Missoula Oblongata, experimental theatre

7 p.m. Ric Royer, ghost stories

7:30 p.m. Ben Hersey, comedy

8 p.m. Blue Leader, electronic

8:20 p.m. Teeth Mountain, dance

9 p.m. Leprechaun Catering, experimental

9:20 p.m. "Adventures in Illegal Art" with Mark Hosler of Negativland, experimental

9:20 p.m. Ultimate Reality. If you didn't catch it, Dan Deacon actually snuck an album out over the winter, under the guise of Ultimate Reality, an A/V collabo with Wham City compatriot Jimmy Joe Roche. The video's simply awesome--extended collage-works of Arnold Schwarzenegger's filmography, heavy on psychedelic filters and mirror effects. And Deacon's music, not terribly dissimilar to the cartoon electronic tribalism we're used to, is aided by a pair of live drummers and synced perfectly to the visual trip. (MB)

10:55 p.m. Nautical Almanac, experimental, improv

11:20 p.m. Matmos. With the release of this past spring's fantastic Supreme Balloon, Matmos turned very accessible, very quickly. No more cow vagina/cigarette burns/etc.-based conceptual musique concrète. Nope, this Matmos is about bright, colorful nonsampled zone music (based on an impressive array of vintage synths, including a circa-Close Encounters of the Third Kind ARP, if that's your bag). Stare deeply, smile, and feel love. (MB)


Friday night, July 18

2640 Space, 2640 St. Paul St., 5 p.m.-11 p.m.

6 p.m. A Murmered Tale, experimental theater

6:45 p.m. Eager Ager, experimental theater

7:05 p.m. Andy Abelow, pop-folk

7:25 p.m. Matteah Baim, folk

7:55 p.m. Santa Dads, experimental

8:15 p.m. Wheatie Mattiasich, lyrical

8:35 p.m. Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez, folk

8:55 p.m. Arbouretum, folk

9:25 p.m. Golden Age

9:55 p.m. Jana Hunter, indie, folk

10:25 p.m. Beach House. Languid, melodic pop music for somnambulistic cloud-riding carriage rides and elaborate underwater ballroom dancing, Beach House has a hypnotic hold on just about every ear it softly brushes. Come for a lullaby, come for a love song, come for a Baltimore treasure. (MB)


Saturday day, July 19

Outside 131 W. North Ave., noon-10 p.m.

12:40 p.m. King Cloud, psychedelic folk/rock

1 p.m. Smarts, punk

1:20 p.m. Benny Stoofy, psychedelic

1:40 p.m. Air Waves, tropical

2 p.m. Ed Schrader, comedy

2:20 p.m. Facts

2:40 p.m. Dufus, folk-rock

3:10 p.m. Food for Animals, hip-hop

3:30 p.m. WZT Hearts, experimental

4 p.m. Creepers, rock

4:30 p.m. Lexie Mountain Boys, a cappella

5 p.m. Ecstatic Sunshine, experimental, improv

5:30 p.m. Bird Names, experimental

6 p.m. Eyeball Skeleton, pop

6:30 p.m. DDMMYYYY, rock

7 p.m. Mae Shi, Deathset. If we wanted two Whartscape bands to face off onstage it might just be the Deathset, armed with shrieked, two-minute anthems, and Los Angeles' Mae Shi, armed with two-minute, shrieked anthems (noisier, sure). The Mae Shi's a bit heavier on the brain--more dynamic, songs that fuck with structure--but the Deathset's got the acrobatics. See what happens. (MB)

8 p.m. Killer Whales, rock

8:30 p.m. Thank You, punk

9 p.m. Oxes. Was Oxes the most silly-fun spectacle to spill out of the Baltimore Rowdy Crew, or just the most media adored? Does anybody even remember Oxes, with guitarists Nat Fowler and Marc Miller wirelessly weeding around while drummer Chris Freeland pounded away and, occasionally, offered koanlike observational asides? Was Oxes' instrumental rock/not rock its raison d'être, or was the band a mere vehicle for DIY absurdist theater? Oh well, making its first appearance in three years, it's Oxes: graceful like a swan, ferocious. (Bret McCabe)


Saturday night, July 19

Sonar, 407 E. Saratoga St. 10 p.m.- 2 a.m.

11 p.m. Human Host, punk, electronic

11:25 p.m. Blood Baby, rock, experimental

11:55 p.m. Nuclear Power Pants, experimental

12:15 a.m. Video Hippos, rock, visual

12:45 a.m. Celebration, indie-rock 


Sunday day, July 20

Outside 131 W. North Ave, noon-10 p.m.

12:30 p.m. Moss of Aura, healing, easy listening

1 p.m. Jones

1:20 p.m. Witch Hat, black metal

1:40 p.m. Hearts of Darknesses, alternative

2 p.m. Teenage Souls, punk

2:20 p.m. Thrust Lab, electronic

2:40 p.m. Ear Pwr, electronic, experimental

3 p.m. Kyle + MM + Narwals, electronic, experimental

3:40 p.m. White Williams, electronic, pop

4 p.m. Adventure, electronic

4:30 p.m. Club Lyfestile, dance

4:55 p.m. Future Islands, new wave, indie, pop

5:25 p.m. Height, hip-hop

5:55 p.m. Dan Deacon, electronic

6:40 p.m. Trey Told 'Em (Gregg Gillis and Hearts of Darknesses), experimental

7 p.m. Grand Buffet, hip-hop

7:30 p.m. Double Dagger, punk

8 p.m. Parts and Labor, punk, experimental

8:30 p.m. Ponytail, rock, experimental

9 p.m. Black Dice, electronic, experimental


Sunday night, July 20

Annex Theater, 10 p.m.-2 a.m.

11 p.m. Shams, techno

11:20 p.m. Smart Growth, rock, experimental

11:40 p.m. Ninjasonik, club, rock

midnight Mark Brown, experimental

12:20 a.m. Teengirl Fantasy, house

12:40 a.m. Egyptrixx and Alias, techno, pop

1 a.m. Wet Hair

1:20 a.m. Sewn Leather

1:40 a.m. DJ Dog Dick

2 a.m. Secret Surprise Guest, comedy

dawn Cex, electronic, experimental

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