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The Short List

The Walkmen

By Jess Harvell | Posted 3/7/2007

WEDNESDAY: A trumpeter and player of the perpetually underrated flugelhorn, Spain by way of England's Dave Defries pays tribute to the pioneering work of South African pianist Chris McGregor at An die Musik in a duo with pianist Jesus Hernandez. And New York breakbeat scientist DB totes his bag of drum 'n' bass dubplates and jungle stormers to Sonar.

THURSDAY: Hey, that Daughters show at the Ottobar is actually tonight, not Wednesday as originally reported, if you want to scream along with the these grind-peddlin' not-really-girls, plus more dangerous, pointy rock from Chinese Stars and Plaguewielder. Just in time for the weather to turn cold again, Beach House--Baltimore's prince and princess of drowsy electronic indie-pop--floats its autumnal beats and gossamer guitars through the G-Spot with Paper Cuts and Noble Lake. And across town at another art space, feathery, intimate indie rock is also the name of the game when the cozy dimensions of the Current Gallery host string-driven local folk-rock band Small Sur, the quiet kids of Massachusetts' Tigersaw, and New York "post-cabaret punk chamber ensemble" Barbez. And Blondsai! knows the secret to a raw, satisfying rock 'n' roll show is to keep it tight and sweet at the Sidebar with the Hall Monitors, the Butchers, and Lazlo Lee and the Motherless Children.

FRIDAY: Following the demise of the Jonathan Fire Eater, New York's the Walkmen have carved out a rich melodrama-rock niche for all the gloomy, well-dressed glam kids, pounding out their cabaret beats at the Ottobar with the Broken West and Ferraby Lionheart. We're always gonna be suckers for any mention of classical guitar mentalist Andrés Segovia, and since Charm City Space describes the local loud kids in the Wayward as "Gnostic Segovia-core," we'll be there along with Birds and Buildings and Crypt of Raix. And take it from those who grew up there: Shiny, happy garage rock and psychedelic pop isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Filthadelphia, but the City of Brotherly Love's the Swims paddle into the Sidebar for another monthly Reaction party for rods and mockers.

SATURDAY: B-more's loud and swirly and we're-not-gonna-use-the-word-shoegaze-to-describe-'em noise-poppers Thrushes celebrate the release of their new CD Sun Come Undone at the Ottobar with Palomar, the Squaaks, and Avec. Baltimore punk gems the Sick Sick Birds get real ill at Charm City Space with fellow noisy underground poppers For Science, Paper Dragons, and So and So. Midwest oddballs Jason Kahn and John Mueller make some spare, improvised electro-acoustic noises and whatnot at, you guessed it, the Red Room at Normals Books and Records with avant-trumpeter Forbes Graham freaking his mouthpiece to open things up. Another legendary free player getting to grips with the jazz songbook as AARP age approaches, pianist Dave Burrell leads a special trio for two sets at An die Musik with the powerhouse rhythm section of bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Guillermo Brown in what's sure to be this month's don't-miss jazz show.

SUNDAY: The Ottobar flies the bars and raises the horns when it salutes the towering Black Sabbath and Black Flag with a dual tribute night featuring Triac, the Malevoiy, Liars Academy, Lovers and Killers, Dactyl, Pulling Teeth, the Expotentials, Ruiner, Boyfriends and Girlfriends, Betty Sue Aside, Trephine, and Tarpit. And the Low Budgets, the very live punk band featuring at least one Dead Milkman, yuks it up for the wee ones at Charm City Space with Supreme Commander, the Cult Classics, Trash Camp, and the Skanarchists.

MONDAY: Season of the Microphone Mondays at the New Turntable Club brings Baltimore the stylings of the Upper Marlboro rap duo with the very brave name of the Weak and local lyricists Puregame. And speaking of hip-hop, the pressing question put to honky femme MC trio Northern State is whether or not they'll bust out a hearty "hallelujah hollaback" at Washington's Black Cat with Bitch and the Exciting Conclusion. (The Short List promises that's the only (White) Rapper Show-related joke we'll make this year.)

TUESDAY: What's sadder, Professor X of X-Clan tragically dying a few years back or Public Enemy's Flava Flav still being alive enough to give us Flavor of Love? These questions and many more will probably not actually be answered when whatever's left of these militant golden age hip-hoppers comes to Rams Head Live. And the unhinged and urbane anti-countrypolitians in flaming sextet Slim Cessnas Auto Club divine the rock 'n' roll word at the Ottobar with Thrillsville, These United States, and Mason Dixon Disaster.

WEDNESDAY: If all of the Mars Volta's bilingual ambient smoke breaks and patience-testing album-length rock-jazz fusions make you nostalgic for the simpler emo days of At the Drive-In, well, there's always Sparta along with Mewithoutyou at Sonar. And the most recent project from Blur/Gorillaz mastermind Damon Albarn, the Good, the Bad, and the Queen--with Fela Kuti's drummer Tony Allen manning the skins, Clash bassist Paul Simonon handling the low end, and a refugee from the Verve on guitar--brings its downbeat, atmospheric rock to Washington's 9:30 Club.

IN THE WINGS: And speaking of Andrés Segovia, the Fucking Champs really just want you to enjoy all of metal's hammer-ons, pull-offs, double-bass thunder, snappy leather vests, Mom's basement virtuosos, airbrushed skulls, clove cigarettes, and twin melodic leads as much as they do when they shred the Ottobar June 6 with Birds of Avalon and Red Fang. (For more information call [410] 662-0069 or visit

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