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The Short List

Okkervil River

By Jess Harvell | Posted 10/11/2006

WEDNESDAY: The Floristree Space presents a night of folk and anti-folk with Jeffrey Lewis, Seth Faergolzia, and Chriss Sutherland. And the Sidebar presents a night of rock--no anti-rock, as far as we can tell--with the Fallen One, Elektromat, and Static of the Gods.

THURSDAY: With just two men, a whole mess of amplification, a guitar, and a drum kit, Mouthus makes the kind of all-enveloping heavy racket that can make your old ass rethink the concept of earplugs at this Talking Head show, where it is joined by DJ Dog Dick and Wzt Hearts. We especially like the "is it ironic or not?" hard-rock moves. Going on so long with the same shtick that it can’t possibly be ironic, the bald, industrial Teutons of fun in KMFDM continue to hate everything in sight and rerelease the same album every year so in the same shouty drum machine idiom they’ll probably be battering Sonar with, backup provided by Combichrist and Caustic. Displaced but not battered down, New Orleans’ Dirty Dozen Brass Band has been blowing its horns for over 30 years and is joined at the 8X10 by the Boogie Hustlers.

FRIDAY: King of the new indie-dance remix, Canada’s MSTRKRFT brings its beards and beats to Sonar’s Taxlo with backup from the Eurocrunk and en Francais sex rhymes of TTC and Brazil’s baile-punk ambassador Edu K for an international booty music coalition so Baltimore’s rock kids can shake it in their too-tight jeans. Seriously, how do you dance in those things? And bet you can’t possibly guess what the featured instrument is in Michigan jazz trio Organissimo at the New Haven Lounge, which begins a two-night stint that runs through Saturday.

SATURDAY: Two Norwegians on the always reliable Rune Grammofon label, MoHa! smelts its electronics into raging oceans of hardcore improvised noise and calm eddies of drone at the Red Room at Normals Books and Records with Skiff++ and db. DMX has never been the most calm and collected of rappers, but the antics he’s been getting up to lately--dissing Jay-Z for wearing mandals, claiming his love child was the product of rape . . . his rape, that is--make prime ODB look positively normal. Who knows what bizarre shit he’ll spout with Southpaw and Cartel at Sonar? North Carolina’s longest-running comedy white trash combo Southern Culture on the Skids serves up deep-fried pastiche at the 8X10 with the Malamondos. The travelling Big Art Show comes to the Ottobar featuring local artists and music from the Mishaps, Squaaks, Jason Dove, Man in Gray, and Mossyrock.

SUNDAY: Fifteen years after "Mistadobalina," Ice Cube’s cousin Del tha Funkee Homosapien is still surfing the outer spaceways of indie-rap at Sonar with A-Plus, Mike Relm, and Psalm One. Brooklyn’s finest shoeglazed doo-wop band, TV on the Radio, kicks out the dreamy jams at Washington’s 9:30 Club with the cupboard-dwelling twee orchestral pop of Grizzly Bear.

MONDAY: Okkervil River’s barroom breakup tunes and Will Sheff’s black-hearted lyrics breathe a little life into the corpse of alt-country at the Ottobar with Elvis Perkins and Chester Stacey.

TUESDAY: Betcha Cyndi Lauper doesn’t change the lyrics to "women just wanna have fun" at Rams Head Live, but hey, she’s entitled. And at the 9:30 Club another veteran femme rocker and her backing band, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, loves rock ‘n’ roll with the Eagles of Death Metal.

WEDNESDAY: What’s left to say about once-and-future Pixie and longtime solo artiste Frank Black other than that he looks exactly the same as he did more than a decade ago, that his solo music has mellowed a bit in recent years, and that he’s at Sonar with Reid Paley. Annapolis indie rock band Renton Cannon comes to the Sidebar with Count Your Blessings and Magick Bullet Theory.

IN THE WINGS: Beware the raw wrath of smooth operator and full-stepper Big Daddy Kane as he warms it up and sets it off and bugs out and still dreams of a world where Ethiopians can eat at Red Lobster for free at Sonar Nov. 18 while we see how many song title puns we can cram into one sentence. That’s eight. We almost made a "Go See the Doctor" reference until we remembered that was Kool Moe Dee. (For more info call [410] 327-8333 or visit

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Keeping Up (12/2/2009)
Nearly 20 years after his death, Arthur Russell finally gets the biography he deserves

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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