Sign up for our newsletters   

Baltimore City Paper home.
Print Email

The Short List

Brightblack Morning Light

By Michael Byrne | Posted 11/12/2008

WEDNESDAY: Semi Precious Weapons hit the Ottobar with the Drama Club and People. Hinder, representing just about everything wrong with rock 'n' roll, stunts your musical growth at Rams Head Live with Trapt, Rev Theory, and Niki Barr Band. The Homosexuals, art-punkers of yore, perform at the Talking Head with the Octagon. London DJ-about-town and overseas Baltimore club apostle Sinden makes the Tax Lo kids sweat at Sonar with Nadastrom, club DJ Dave Nada's side collaboration with Washington's Matt Nordstrom, and the club godfather himself, Scottie B.

THURSDAY: M83, a self-consciously stylish indietronic project that the Short List finds rather vacant (think Air minus even the air), makes Washington's Black Cat all billowy with School of Seven Bells. The mighty Calexico, as American as indie-rock and gunfight westerns, hits Washington's 9:30 Club with The Acorn. Ska third-wavers the Toasters, heading into their 28th year, skank through the Ottobar with Flatfoot 56, the Rootworkers, S1ngleton, and the Ambitions. Blue-eyed soulman Marc Broussard is at Rams Head Live with the Gabe Dixon Band and Josh Hoge. Punk foursome Report Suspicious Activity, which includes ex-Jawbox-er J. Robbins, keeps an eye on you at the Talking Head with the Mishaps, the Alameda, and Dead Goats. The Mad Decent tour hits Sonar with a nicely mixed lineup including Diplo, of M.I.A. production and all around party-starting fame, the Caribbean-hued murk-punk of Abe Vigoda, Telepathe (imagine Gang Gang Dance with differing degrees of "dance"), Boy 8-Bit, and Blaqstarr.

FRIDAY: Baltimore indie-rock patriarchs the Oranges Band have a new album coming out, and tonight the band provides an early taste at the Ottobar with Gary B and the Notions, the Deleted Scenes, and Dead Mechanical. Mr. Greengenes, described on the Rams Head Live web site as the "penultimate party band," attempts to live up to that boast. The wholly unfuckwithable trio of vibe alchemists Brightblack Morning Light, Fursaxa, and Zomes make music for your very deepest of ears at the Talking Head. Dub Is a Weapon brings its, you know, to the 8X10 with Can't Hang and Late Night Breakfast. Famed Maryland jazz bassist Joe Byrd performs one of his last concerts, before retiring later this year, with guitarist Howard Alden at An die Musik. Plague-catchy indie-pop foursome Boxcar Collision is at Joe Squared with the always-charming Abby Mott.

SATURDAY: The Jamie Baum Septet, comprised of an unlikely array of horns, winds, drums, and bass, brings its flute-led jazz compositions to An die Musik. Avant-garde vocal artist Thomas Buckner performs at the Red Room at Normals Books and Records with saxophonist/chamber composer Earl Howard. Some Pennsylvania folk songwriters--Bob Carlton, Little Girl, Big Spoon, and American Folklore--stop by the Golden West. Grand Buffet, a pair of goofy (read: don't take themselves too seriously), sometimes poignant indieground rappers from Pittsburgh, perform at the Ottobar with Jones, Height, and AK Slaughter. Local psych-rock outfit Bad Liquor Pond headlines the Talking Head with Moscow Telephone and Heroin UK. Nat and Alex Wolff, apparently from some sort of children's television show, lead the creepily named "Fully Clothed Tour" through Rams Head Live with Savannah Outen for an afternoon show; Anthony Hamilton shows off his gold-plated voice for the grown folks later in the evening. ZO2, "from the hit TV show Z Rock," fucks with your perceptions of reality at Sonar with Evick, advertised as Brett Michaels' backing band. New York indie-punk foursome Me You Us Them blusters through the Sidebar with Appomattox and T-Shirt! T-Shirt! The glitched, defiantly pretty abstract electronic project Twine finds itself in various states of raveling at the Windup Space. New York's Necking, a sharp bit of punk deconstruction, is at the Hexagon with post-everything drum circle Teeth Mountain, Whales and Cops, Hume, and Twins.

SUNDAY: An approximation of the band Yes is at Rams Head Live with Steve Howe, Chris Squire, and Alan White performing.

MONDAY: Terry, Tobias, and Dakini--wholly unGoogleable but advertised as "folk-acoustic-rock"--are at Joe Squared. And, yeah, the beginning of the week is just this slow for live music; getting to be that time of year.

TUESDAY: Queens of the Stone Age spawn Eagles of Death Metal land at the 9:30 Club with the Duke Spirit.

WEDNESDAY: Grails bring their mutant, doomsaying post-rock to the Ottobar with the Silver Apples, basically the band that originated electronic pop music, and the Lexie Mountain Boys. Detroit party-rock band Electric Six plugs in and turns up at the Black Cat with Local H and Fall on Your Sword. Prefab pop-punk product Cobra Starship alights at the Sonar main room with Hit the Lights and Forever the Sickest Kids, as well as Sing It Loud; in the club room, Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello puts his project the Nightwatchman on guard with Boots Riley, of arch-political rap duo the Coup, and Ryan Harvey.

IN THE WINGS: The Baltimore Round Robin Tour, which features way more awesome bands than can be listed here (Dan Deacon, Nautical Almanac, Beach House, Lexie Mountain Boys, Future Islands, to name but a few), has its "homecoming" shows at Sonar Dec. 18 and 19. (For more information, visit or call [410] 783-7888.) And for more show previews, reviews, and any other music info fit to print online, please visit City Paper's music blog Noise at

Related stories

The Short List archives

More from Michael Byrne

In a Lonely Place (8/4/2010)
Montreal's Arcade Fire shows its American roots on new album

The Short List (8/4/2010)

Soft Core (7/28/2010)
A defense of a different live music experience

Comments powered by Disqus
CP on Facebook
CP on Twitter