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The Short List

Justin Townes Earle

By Michael Byrne | Posted 4/9/2008

WEDNESDAY: Virginian grindsmith From the Depths, "killing and breaking shit since 2006," surfaces at the Charm City Space with Army of Kashyyyk and Cassettes on Fire. Steve Earle's guitar-slinging kid Justin Townes Earle does right by the family at the Baltimore Chop. Cheese Whiz country megastars Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood do it up at 1st Mariner Arena. Bedrock presents another wholly un-Googleable lineup with Mike Madness, Special Needs, Just Chad, MC Wes, and MC EMB--presume it to be drum 'n' bass something-or-other.

THURSDAY: If a techno artist ever were to fit in at the 8X10, good g-d, is it Bassnectar, a PR-savvy all-things-in-one electronic project just this side of STS9 but still plenty in Burning Man territory; similarly formless--and getting less interesting by the day--electronics technician Eliot Lipp opens. Glen Burnie hardcore outfit Counting the Days celebrates its new album at the Charm City Space with Hit the Switch and Werewolves. What could you expect from a band called the Up Set besides pure pop corn syrup at the Sidebar with Your Imaginary Friend, Prabir and the Substitures, and Snowmen. Cute novelty turned unfortunate dance-punk staple/hanger-on VHS or Beta comes to the Ottobar with Tigercity and Mir and the Moon. Cultish Canadian indie-rockers the Weakerthans play Towson's Recher Theatre with doomsaying folk-rock outfit AA Bondy. Hype flame to hype smolder--damn you, Vampire Weekend--Yeasayer once again skips its Baltimore roots for a show at Washington's Black Cat with Ponytail, also pwning its hometown. For shame.

FRIDAY: Genuflect brings its commentary-riddled rap-metal--which really sounds so much like Rage that someone should be typing up a lawsuit--to Sonar with Anubis, When Gotham Falls, Common Threat, and Silence the Myth. Cape Fear, N.C.'s Sourvein inflicts maximum sludge-metal damage on the Talking Head with Unorthodox, Against Nature, and Ol Scratch. A big "hell yeah" for tonight's free show at UMBC's commons with the racket punk of Thank You and Double Dagger. We were in fact able to Google tonight's headliner at Bedrock, YDOUASK, but alas couldn't find anything on it beyond a picture with a number of mustaches in it and "Jam Band/ Classic Rock / Psychedelic," so, you know, make of that what you will; Baltimore Station Band and Dr. Rock also play. It's a fact, the afterparty's almost always better than the main attraction: You could go see Hot Chip at the 9:30 Club for an awkward big-rock-venue-trying-to-be-a-dance-party, or come later to the Black Cat's backroom for a Hot Chip DJ set after the already excellent pain duo of Pig Destroyer and Misery Index do unspeakable things to the main room. Given that Hot Chip's latest, Made in the Dark, is two nominal steps above ass, the choice is easy.

SATURDAY: Delay-happy psych-punk outfit Heroin U.K. gets buzzy at the Depot with the frequently excellent who-the-hell-knows of Human Host. Deadneks--a "sick bunch of hicks"--brings its sloppy-drunk psychobilly freakout to the Sidebar with Danny Kaye, Sab Grey, Chris Presley Band, and Sean K Preston. Charmingly understated blues-folk songstress Elisa Nicolas plays at Read Street Books and Coffee. Local snowboard-punk outfit Paperback Tragedy headlines Rams Head Live with Foretold, Stealing Grace, Snort Monkey, and Kill Meow. It's another drum 'n' bassy night at Sonar with Therapy Sessions hosting Limewax, Mason, Headhunterz Inc., NSL, Knowledge, Retail and Schlitz, and Dan Amitai. Not shitting you: 13-year-old sax prodigy David Hawk leads his quartet at the New Haven Lounge.

SUNDAY: Presumably touring behind his pair of Colin Meloy Sings [blank]! albums, indie scourge Colin Meloy spares Baltimore for a stop at the 9:30 Club; the always charming folkstress Laura Gibson opens, which could still make it worth the trip. The Depot gets disco with DJ Ari G. The Original Superstars of Jazz Fusion--that would be Roy Ayers, Wayne Henderson, Miki Howard, Lonnie Liston Smith, and Tom Browne--do unspeakable things to jazz music at Annapolis' Rams Head Tavern. Original skankers Toots and the Maytals play Rams Head Live with Baltimore's Players Band.

MONDAY: Vancouver indie objects of affection the New Pornographers peddle their pop smut at the 9:30 Club with the always fine sad-bastard folk of Okkervil River.

TUESDAY: Bears on the Run--which are, yep, those kind of bears--bring their furry folk to Baltimore Chop. J-popper Mitsumassyu brings a little bit of Tokyo to the Sidebar with Geist and local VGM outfit Entertainment System. No Redeeming Social Value professes its love for all things hardcore and all things beer at the Ottobar with Hell to Pay, Olde York, Back to Back, and Chapter of Decay.

WEDNESDAY: The hippie punks of Dead Meadow play the Black Cat with Ancient Sky. The lovely smoke-voiced Lizz King brings her beats and banjo to the Talking Head with Trouble Vs. Glue and the Degenerettes. It's "Local Celebrity Hip-Hop" at Sonar with Oowop City, Dubbs Lane, Lyrical King Fish, Dlo, Half Pint, One, J Reed, Trace Blam, Digga S, and Network.

IN THE WINGS: Local indie-hop crew Soul Cannon releases its newest record at the Ottobar with J-Roddy Walston and the Business and Grand Buffet April 25. (For more information visit www.theottobar.com or call [410] 662-0069.)

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