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The Short List

By Michael Byrne | Posted 5/21/2008

WEDNESDAY: Pontiak, the latest Baltimore Thrill Jockey acquisition, stirs up a stoned rock haze at Washington's Black Cat with Suns of Guns.


THURSDAY: Quirk poppers Islands come to the Black Cat with Magic and Street Carnage. Rams Head Tavern brings in Aussie classic rock outfit Little River Band. Swamp bluesman Tab Benoit plays the 8X10 with Seth Walker. KRS-One teaches to the taught--but we're glad he's still around--at Sonar with Salim and the Music Lovers, Unreal, and Knotsworth. Augustana brings enough wuss rock to strip the testicles from half the Mid-Atlantic male population to Washington's 9:30 Club. Seldom seen Baltimore psych-punk outfit the Convocation pokes up its head at the Talking Head with Pygmylush, Gunna Vahm, and Turboslut. The White Barons brings their punk 'n' roll 'n' burlesque to the Sidebar with the Go-Devils and the Living Wrecks.

FRIDAY: The Cowsills, the "real-life inspiration behind the hit television series, The Partridge Family," dishes out the flashbacks at Rams Head Tavern. Northern State, which made white girl unironic (sorta) college rap cool for a minute a ways back, hits the Ottobar with American Princes and Odd Girl Out. College country duo Drag the River plays Fletchers with Tim Barry (aka the dude from Avail), Clint Maul, and the Mishaps. Oxter brings the funk to Joe Squared with DJ Dubble8 and Your Daddy's Trio. Local reggae homage Jah Works plays the 8X10 with Can't Hang and Twenty for Seven. An die Musik brings back its Creative Differences series with contemporary jazz outfit the Marcin Wasilewski Trio. At Sonar, the Maryland Deathfest kicks off its first day of daily marathons--bring earplugs and a couple sets of spares. Methinks being a Godspeed descendant doesn't give a pass for a name like Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and Tra-la-la Band, but, oh well, we'll take our orchestral gloom with a healthy dash of pretense if we have to; it's joined at the Black Cat by Vic Chesnutt. Pretty enough emo-folk quartet the Apathy Eulogy plays Rams Head Live with the Dangerous Summer, the Great Escape, Oh, the Story!, and Stupid Hero. Up at New Haven Lounge, Greg Hatza shows off his jazz organ chops for the start of a two-night run.

SATURDAY: Annapolis songwriter Jordan Page sings his protest songs for the hometown crowd at Rams Head Tavern with an early 1 p.m. show. Danielia Cotton, a rock 'n' roller with some mean soul vocals, belts it out like it's her last night on Earth for the evening spot at Rams Head Tavern with the Alternate Routes. Haven't heard much from the once kinda ubiquitous funk-hop duo Beatnuts in a while, so check up on 'em at the Ottobar with Yak Ballz, Cubbie Bear Snapz, and For the People Entertainment The Heroine Sheiks snarl at us to "be a man" at the Nerve Center; Dactyl, Perestroika, and Prideswallower all take their own shots at pissing off the neighbors. Bukkake Party Tonight is a hardcore band, not an announcement, and it'll trash your ears at the Sidebar with the Pfisters, Blinding Eye Dog, and Paper Tongue. Metro Gallery gets its vibe tested tonight with a garage- and punk-centric lineup of Thee Lexington Arrows, Press Black, the Cheapshots, and the Nervous Habits. Pop suckerpunch the Niki Barr Band plays the 8X10 with the Cheaters and the Vespertine Movement. Adam Caine and Nick Lyons improvise on guitar and sax, respectively, while Jenny Graf Bibulah works on electronics at the Red Room at Normals Books. The Maryland Deathfest keeps on for its second day at Sonar--yes, you should be concerned about that ringing in your ears. Seattle's Two Loons for Tea brings its wide-eyed dream pop to Baltimore Chop.

SUNDAY: Future Islands brings their quite awesome synth punk to the Ottobar with Teenage Soul. Basshound sniffs out some hippie-techno at the 8X10 with Woo-Yellow Dubmarine. Sensitive boyman-with-a-guitar Eric Hutchinson plays Towson's Recher Theatre with Justin Nozuka and Marie Digby. And it's day three of Maryland Deathfest at Sonar--how are you holding up?

MONDAY: Things go mad thump tonight in the Talking Head with Unruly Records prodigy Say Wut dropping his oddball, fun as all hell club along with Spank Rock DJ XXXchange and Tax Lo's Cullen Stalin and Simon Phoenix.

TUESDAY: Sidebar finds its (relatively) pretty side with the instrumental catharsis of Moscow Telephone, the melodic if grubby lo-fi punk of the Traumas, Dropsonic, and the Have Mercys. Yeah, Duran Duran tonight at Columbia's Merriweather Post Pavilion is already on your radar, but just reminding. I'm gonna have to declare some kind of injustice at Be Your Own Pet getting billed below She Wants Revenge tonight at Rams Head Live. The Starlings bring their dusty Cascadian country to Baltimore Chop.

WEDNESDAY: We're getting excited something fierce for Ponytail's Ice Cream Spiritual, an all-out-crazy fever dream of rock instrumentals pierced and threaded through with squeals, so you really ought to come get a glimpse of it tonight at the Talking Head; the Carrots, Lizz King, and the Methamphetamines round out the bill. Sidebar hosts the Red Vines, a highly recommended local folk-pop outfit, Bellman Barker, Ryan Little, and Among Wolves.

IN THE WINGS: One of indie's favorite debates, Rilo Kiley comes to Rams Head Live June 7 with Thao With the Get Down Stay Down and Benji Hughes. (For more information visit or call [410] 244-1131.) The giddy good fun of Swede pop fiend Love Is All comes to the Ottobar June 10. (For more information visit or call [410] 662-0069.)

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