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The Short List


By Michael Byrne | Posted 2/4/2009

WEDNESDAY: The Visitations, an Elephant Six collective quirk-pop outfit descended from the band Fablefactory, stops off at the Golden West with Old Tender Heart and Lands and People. Much fawned over blues-rock duo the Black Keys play Rams Head Live with Patrick Sweany. The Dreadful Yawns--a Cleveland outfit that makes endearingly dusty, bounce-along pop--opens wide at the Talking Head with We Read Minds.

THURSDAY: Cult favorite Lucero brings its Southern-fried alterna-country to the Ottobar with Down Goes Frazier. The many angel voices of Larkin Grimm make the Talking Head a very blissy place to be; avant/improv supergroup Crazy Dreams Band and WZT Hearts descendent Vows open.

FRIDAY: The Baltimore String Felons, an amorphous ensemble of local fiddlers, guitarists, and anything else strung, brings its folk interpretations to Metro Gallery with Starling Electric, Tommy McGee, and TGBRS. The Love Peace Project--and megapostive Afro-beat/hip-hop fusion outfit--spreads the good vibes at the Hexagon with Jefferson Forklift and Coaching the Ghost. Knotty, metal genre mash Dillinger Escape Plan performs at the Ottobar with Dub Trio, a bizarre and very worthwhile metal-dub smear, and Knife the Glitter. In what sounds like an absolutely horrifying show, on at least a couple of levels, Rams Head Live presents "Sounds of Seattle," with self-explanatory tribute bands Ten, Badmotorfinger, and Nevermind. DJs Adam Gonzo and Marc Brown's monthly dance party Served hosts New York bit-hop producer GDFX and Philly DJ Flufftronix at the Windup Space. Washington-based pop-punk outfit Playground Etiquette plays its record release party at Sonar with Cubbiebear, Play Pause Repeat, and the Escape Artist. The very worthy prog-metal outfit Dysrhythmia rattles the Talking Head with Tombs, the Wayward, Isthmus, and Rosetta. Pasadena, a band whose horrorshow of a MySpace page crashed our browser, brings its presumed Sublime-influenced alternacore to the 8X10 with Bojibian and Sonic Bloom. Sex Robots, a hooky megapop-punk band out of St. Louis, plays the Sidebar with Dead Mechanical, Active Sac, Head Home, and No Revolution. Baltimore jazz percussionist Warren Wolfe heads up a six-piece band at An die Musik for two evening shows.

SATURDAY: Charm City Art Space remains an oasis of brutality with a long list of unfettered audio aggression, including grinder Drugs of Faith, "powerviolence" outfit Chainsaw to the Face, Johnstomper aka Ben Is the Bastard, HelloKittyMotherFuckers, Repulsing Terror, and Pumpkin Patchwork. A healthy portion of Baltimore's improvisors gather at the Red Room at Normals Books and Records for a night of one-off duos, including John Berndt/Rose Burt, Samuel Burt/John Dierker, Carson Garhardt/Peter Blasser, and Ami Dang/Tom Boram. Japanther--an underground favorite-cum-legend that makes wicked catchy punk a la the Ramones cut up with samples--gets the hipster kettle boiling at the Ottobar with Ninjasonik and Totally Michael. It's pretty common knowledge by now that Dark Side of the Moon has some curious synch properties with The Wizard of Oz, and Pink Floyd cover outfit the Machine does the album live tonight with a big-screen projection of the movie at Rams Head Live. Swedish throwback psych-rock outfit Dead Man gets heads swirling at the Talking Head with Heroin UK, Radio Moscow, and the Flying Eyes. The Sidebar hosts a massive day of Clash worship that starts off in the afternoon with a brunch and screenings of various Clash and Clash-related video ephemera and a night of tributes from National Razor, International Jet Set, Thee Lexington Arrows, the Mandroids, and several others. The Makanda Project, a Boston ensemble formed to cover the late composer Makanda Ken McIntyre, is joined by local sax man Carl Grubbs at An die Musik.

SUNDAY: A whole bunch of metal/rock variants gather at the Ottobar for an early 4:30 p.m. show, including Octaves, Age Sixteen, Maddison, the Kindness of Strangers, Pianos Becomes the Teeth, Alramed, Oedipus, Blast the Stereo, This Message, and Death of a Thane. The jazz-funk trio of Julian Coryell, Karma Auger, and Nick Sample plays An die Musik. Broadcast Live, a political rap-rock outfit in the Rage Against the Machine vein, performs at the Windup Space with Son of Nun, Ryan Harvey, Rebel Inc., and Gray.

MONDAY: Shat--a comedic metal outfit out of New Jersey whose songs include "Vagetarian," "Any Cunt You Can Fuck I Can Fuck Better," and the classic "Eating a Girl Out Is the Most Brilliant Thing"--heads up the Ottobar's Metal Monday along with Ruin and Copstabber. German hardcore/punk outfit Doping the Void stops off at the Sidebar with Rebel Inc.

TUESDAY: A local cadre of electronic- and dance-leaning musicians takes over the Windup Space with A/V artist Mark Brown, dance-rock duo Thrust Lab, American, and Human Host, a wildly unpredictable band-cum-performance-art project. The White Tie Affair, a Chicago outfit that makes honed-for-radio, danceable electronic rock, suits up at the Ottobar with Rookie of the Year, Way Too Serious, and Count Your Blessings.

WEDNESDAY: Local guy-and-guitar singer/songwriter Matt Pless heads up a night at the Ottobar with the Chemical Electric and Flipside of Overdrive. The Duc D'Angelos Quartet--a very cool, hip-hop influenced electro-acoustic improvisation ensemble--brings its downtempo groove to Joe Squared.

IN THE WINGS: Giddy indie-pop duo Matt and Kim come to the Ottobar Feb. 26 with Hollywood Holt and Sick Weapons. (For more information visit or call [410] 662-0069.) Thrash metal brutalizer Pulling Teeth comes to the Talking Head Feb. 25 with Magrudergrind, Amen Ra, Zoroaster, and Pala. (For more information visit or call [410] 207-8011.)

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