WEDNESDAY: The Ottobar hosts a night of death-grind with From a Second Story Window, Cattle Decapitation, Misery Index, and Job for a Cowboy.
THURSDAY: Ever since Kraftwerk, people have been trying to party like robots, but instead of a bunch of showroom dummies, the Rah Bras are more like that break-dancing robot that caught on fire. Their bass goes boom, their drum kit gets turned into a jungle gym, and everything rocks in a suitably devolved manner. Oh, and hopefully they'll treat us to their very special version of Ginuwine's "Pony." The Bras are joined by Genghis Tron, Vytear/Black Unicorn, and Google Eyes as the Are We Not Men?! party invades the Talking Head for one night only. Plus tonight Sonar brings indie rock from Action Action, the Matches, Portugal, Classic Crime, and Rediscover. And B-more saxophonist Carl Grubbs plays a special one-off concert with his students at An die Musik.
FRIDAY: When the Congolese dance band Konono No. 1 played in America last year, its equipment was damaged in transit. It's this equipment that gives Konono its buzzing, electronic edge, feeding its thumb pianos, percussion, and chanted vocals into homemade distortion pedals and amplifiers, ringing everything with a nimbus of crackling reverb and noise. Even without its signature gimmick, Konono put on one hell of a show. Hopefully tonight when the group plays Washington's Black Cat with Chopteeth both equipment and show will be top flight. Also tonight, there's garage surf cowpunk at the Sidebar from the Garnet Hearts and Cowboy Amnesia. A hardcore reunion takes place at the Ottobar when local legends Gut Instinct play a special one-off show with Next Step Up, Just Cause, Stout, and Harsh Truth. At Sonar, Ryan Adams peddles alt-country with Neal Casal. At the Talking Head, Nil, Outreach, Industry Theory, and Sub*Phonic bring the heavy rock.
SATURDAY: In a recent issue of The Fader, Diplo had the balls to class himself as part of the "fourth wave" of Brazilian baile funk despite being as American as apple pie. Tonight at Sonar, the Hollertronix mixmaster is joined by two of baile's actual fourth wave. Bonde Do Role mixes up the booty beats of baile with Alice in Chains riffs and rock 'tude. And CSS, "cansei de ser sexy" or "tired of being sexy" in Portuguese, is straight-up dance-rock, with a chick named Lovefoxxx on vocals. Probably not as dirty as a true baile, but as good as Charm City's gonna get. And there's indie-pop tonight at the Ottobar with Rasputina, the Bowmans, and Thrushes. The Sidebar hosts the glam rock of the Deviltones and the Hershers. All the pop-punk and pop-hardcore you can eat at Charm City Space with Sick Sick Birds, Greasegun, Commando, and Mission Statement.
SUNDAY: Why do we love the New Flesh? Because it sounds like every AmRep band getting into a fistfight in a bathtub? Because it screeches and squeals like the breaks on an out-of-control subway car? Because it throbs like a wincing temple? Tonight, the Flesh is joined by Terset and Red Wizard at the Talking Head. The Charm City Space presents both kinds of hardcore, the heavy and the fast, with Taea, Van Damage, Die Young, Triac, Hostile Takeover, and Nutritional Approach.
MONDAY: The woman formerly known as Merill Nisker started out making acoustic folk, but made her name as Peaches, the pottiest of electroclash's femme potty mouths. We admit we're a sucker for any song called "Fuck the Pain Away," but really what we loved the most was the big, fuck-off beats. Peaches is joined at Towson's Recher Theatre by the Eagles of Death Metal, side project of Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age, and we'll freely admit we'll follow him anywhere he goes.
TUESDAY: Daniel Smith has quickly become an indie-rock darling for his work as Danielson, following a decade-long stint as leader for art rockers Danielson Famile. Ships is another hunk of dense 21st-century indie-prog along the lines of the Fiery Furnaces, so be prepared to, like, think and rock at the same time. Smith and band is joined tonight at the Ottobar by Page France, Plans Plans, and Cascade in Blue.
WEDNESDAY: Check out the first installment of the It's Baltimore, Baby! hip-hop showcase at Sonar featuring B. Fly, Ogun, Skarr Akbar, and Real 2 Real. Wham City fires up the fizzing electronics with Butt Stomach, Lazer Mountain, and Google Eyes.
IN THE WINGS: So we just happened to be trawling the Billboard web site today, and what did we notice but a giant mention of the first ever American edition of the Virgin Festival coming right here to Baltimore Sept. 23 at Pimlico. It's headlined by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and also features the Who, the Killers, the Flaming Lips, the Raconteurs, Scissor Sisters, Gnarls Barkley, Keane, Thievery Corporation, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, the New Pornographers, Wolfmother, the Drive-By Truckers, Kasabian, and Brazilian Girls. That's gonna be one helluva happy buncha Entertainment Weekly readers. (For more info visit www.virginfestival.com.)
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