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The Short List


By Jess Harvell | Posted 8/16/2006

WEDNESDAY: Indie band-turned-experimental prog group Aloha brings its twists, turns, noodles, jazz inflections, moody ballads, and expansive rock songs to the Ottobar along with the strutting new wave and klanging guitars of Rahim, Baltimore’s two-headed surf-grind beast Ecstatic Sunshine, and local pop-rock crew Avec. Charm City Space pulls together hardcore bands from around the world, or at least North America, with Vancouver’s Go It Alone, California’s Ceremony, and Washington’s Scare and Inspirit. Corrupted Youth screams out some good old-fashioned punk rock for the corrupted kids at the Sidebar with the Fuct, Once We Were Girls, and Us Vs. Them.

THURSDAY: U.S.-by-way-of-England deep-house legend Charles Webster throws down a banging mix of wiggy acid lines, booming bass, trippy neo-soul, broken beats, and gleaming techno at Mosaic. Indie rockers Gary B and the Notions peddle their tuneful, slanted pop at the Talking Head with Statues Never Sleep, Among Wolves, and Say Hi to Your Mom.

FRIDAY: An die Musik hosts the only East Coast appearance of a special collaboration between jazz musicians from South Africa and the U.S., as drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo and saxophonist Zim Ngqawana from across the water join Chicago saxophonist Ernest Dawkins for a night of percussive, melodic improvisation that melds the rich history of jazz with a deep grounding in traditional South African rhythms and song. Taut and crunchy, Cloak/Dagger melds the downhill slalom of Hot Snakes to the chewy distortion of metal at Charm City Space with the melodic hardcore of Spanish Bombs, the twists and turns of the Johns, and punkers Paper Dragons. Tribal thumpity-thump plus screeching and howling voices plus blazing thrash riffs equals Fight Amputation at the Talking Head with Arcadius, Crypt of Raix, and A Warm Gun. The Supreme Imperial throws a hip-hop party featuring all sorts of MCs both known and unknown including Unsung, Witness, Extortion Labs, Shodekeh and E the Poet Emcee, JC and Dlake, and the Beat Shaman. Philadelphia’s Dave Smolen presents a work for feedback, processed snare drum, bent circuits, and modified electronics at Sound Pillow at 957 Argonne Drive.

SATURDAY: With its tub-thumping beats and blazing horn section, They Shoot Horses Don’t They sounds like it spent its childhood in the world’s most punk-rock circus, entertaining the lions and acrobats with jagged indie-rock songs. It’s joined tonight at Wham City by hairy cyborg laptop tribe Wzt Hearts, Materials playing its last show ever, and the always incomprehensible Human Host. Typographically astute postpunk band Double Dagger tears up Charm City Space with the genre-eliding rock attack of Hunchback, which sadly doesn’t feature any actual hunchbacks. Michael Formanek, Bob Wagner, and Samuel Burt team up at the Red Room at Normals Books and Records.

SUNDAY: Sometimes you just need to see an audience member get fed to a giant inflatable killer worm, and so there is Gwar at Sonar. And for something completely different across town, unless it too has a giant inflatable worm, the B-more-based Kevin Robinson Jazz Ensemble mixes up trad jazz with the new thang at the New Haven Lounge.

MONDAY: Charm City Space goes deep and heavy with the crushing doom soundscapes of Giant, the large-mammal-swallowing doom rock of Tarpit MD, and the experimental Tides. The five Pennsylvania noise boys in An Albatross spazz out with the grinding guitars and sci-fi laser zaps and Devo keyboards at the Ottobar with Gil Manteras Party Dream and Forests. Bloodshot Bill calls all rockabilly girls and retro greasers to the Sidebar for a night of cuffed pants and pompadours with Pessimist Parade and the Revelevens.

TUESDAY: Mixing whiskey-soaked country longing into their indie-rock beer, the Forecast twangs at the Ottobar with Koufax, the Finals, and Driving East.

WEDNESDAY: Don’t bother trying to remember what their one near-miss hit was, but just know that long-lost pop-punks the Smoking Popes are at the Ottobar with Criteria and Channels. Local rock band Baby Aspirin can’t get the top off the safety-proof bottle with Channing Cope and the Quiet at the Talking Head.

IN THE WINGS: Guitar god, sex symbol, and all around good human being Neil Michael Hagerty brings his Howling Hex to the Talking Head Sept. 13 with Kayo Dot. (For more info call [410] 962 5588 or visit A reunited A Tribe Called Quest comes to Rams Head Live Sept. 20 on something called the 2K Sports Bounce Tour. (For more info call [410] 244-1131 or visit

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Human Architecture (7/29/2009)
The protagonist isn't the only one obsessed with capturing life in two dimensions in Asterios Polyp

The Unseen (11/5/2008)
Catherine Pancake and Jai Brooks Capture a Slice of Black Baltimore Lesbian Life in Jay Dreams

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