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The Short List

Light Pollution

By Michael Byrne | Posted 4/28/2010

WEDNESDAY: Murder by Death--think feathery hair and whiny emo--tell us more at the Ottobar with Ha Ha Tonka and Linfinity. The Harder Than Baltimore Tour rolls through Sonar with an all-star cast of local rap, including former rivals Bossman and Mullyman, Skar Akbar, Comp, and Nik Stylz.

THURSDAY: AZ, an East Coast old-schooler somewhere between gangsta and KRS-One on the rap spectrum, takes the mic at Sonar. Latter-day Fat Wreck Chords punk band Cobra Skulls play the Golden West with Broadway Calls. The punk circus of Gogol Bordello probably gets some kind of naked at Rams Head Live with DeVotchKa and Jesse Malin and St. Marks Social. Herb Robertson, Dave Kaczorowski, and Adrian Valosin hold something called "Improvisers for the Abolition of Wayne Newton" at the Windup Space. The 8X10 is hosting a "charity show"--according to the venue's calendar--for City Council candidate Adam Van Bavel and, charity being defined as "generous actions or donations to aid the poor, ill, or helpless," it would seem the candidate is on some rough times. The Short List wishes him the best, and thinks it's very kind of Can't Hang and A Cool Stick to support him in his hour of need; the Cheaters open. Local punk standards the Revelevens return to the Sidebar with Creepin Cadavers, Post Freedom, Decayed Future, and the Dream Grenades. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra kicks off a several night run of Russian compositions and more at the Meyerhoff.

FRIDAY: The Soft Pink Truth--Matmos' Drew Daniel making delicious freak-techno for punk ears--owes it to the girls at the Hexagon with Janitor, Aktion Empress, and Other Colors. DJ James Nasty and the Moustache Crew start the party at the Ottobar. The alt-metal-dude dudes of Bleeding Through spit and howl at Sonar with Born of Osiris, Sleeping Giant, Oceano, Stray From the Path, and Legend. Quickly rising indie-rock outfit Young Sir Jim hits the Metro Gallery. Transatlantic jazz four-piece Conference Call performs at An die Musik. Nashville newgrass band Infamous Stringdusters stomps some floorboards at the 8X10. NYC singer/songwriter Matt Pless takes a load off at Joe Squared with Rusty American, the Ex-Replicas, and Tim Kaye. Salamander Wool, a local fellow making inward-looking folkie scree and guitarscapes, celebrates an album release at Tarantula Hill with Needle Gun, Weyes Bluhd, and Ami Dang with Jenny Graf and Nate Bell. Hot performance art mess Dazzlestorm returns to the stage at the Windup Space with Hypertrash, Mondo Boss, and DJ Vektr. The synth-wave romantics of Future Islands make a lover out of you at Floristree with Double Dagger.

SATURDAY: Sparta--ne At the Drive-In, basically--plays Sonar. Great Architect, a supreme free-jazz meltdown from North Carolina, burns a hole through the Hexagon with Microkingdom and Furverts. Two of Baltimore's finer exponents of barroom rock, the Expotentials and Lazlo Lee and the Motherless Children, play the Metro Gallery with Beard. A band called Who's Bad covers Michael Jackson at Rams Head Live. Classical cello luminary Zuill Bailey celebrates an album release at An die Musik. "Don't Think of a Crystal Escalator," a massive evening of improv collaboration between a sort of Washington, D.C./Baltimore musical-weirdo who's-who, takes over the Red Room at Normals Books and Records. A sampling: Seth Dellinger, Britton Powell, Dave Vosh, Adam Hopkins, Martin Schmidt, Samuel Burt, and more. My Morning Jacket brings its grand-scale Americana to Columbia's Merriweather Post Pavilion with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Outsider/punk folkies Toby Foster and Bean put a spell on Charm City Art Space with Witches and Pink Houses.

SUNDAY: Light Pollution--a new signing to Carpark Records making grand, orchestral pop soundscapes--glows a little brighter at the Ottobar with Birthmarks. The mighty Clipse shows Sonar how rap's done with Ninjasonik, For the People Entertainment, XV, and Greenspan. Bullet for My Valentine makes alt-metal for the young at Rams Head Live with Chiodos and Airbourne.

MONDAY: NYC alt-rock band Me Talk Pretty plays the Ottobar with Sky Solo, Stockcar Syndrome, and Slow Learners. Ninjasonik DJ/producer Teen Wolf guests at Cullen Stalin and Scottie B's weekly No Rule party at the Metro Gallery. Angels and Airwaves, a band packing dudes from Blink-182 and the Offspring--and a bonus 30 Seconds to Mars guy--does something at Rams Head Live with Say Anything. Reflection Eternal, the hip-hop superduo of Talib Kweli and Hi Tek, lets it flow at Washington's Black Cat.

TUESDAY: Taylor Hawkins, an erstwhile Foo Fighter and Alanis Morissette band member, brings his Coattail Riders to Sonar. Yukon--an unsung local band making music at some fine collision of art-rock, jazz, and gloom--plays the Hexagon with Conformists. Everything you either love or hate about quirk, Sia, breaks out the crayons at Washington's 9:30 Club with Girl in a Coma. Landis Expandis and DJ Napspace man the decks at Joe Squared for their weekly Dig! party. The Bepstein Show, a goof-pop band/performance-art piece with punk roots, takes on the Charm City Art Space with 8-bit lovefest Entertainment System, Evan Wade and the Stonehenge Kids, and Horny Nuns.

WEDNESDAY: Blackguard brings its Renn Faire take on heavy metal to Sonar with Swashbuckle, Nightfire, and Internal Fear. Baltimore out-jazz ensemble Quartet Offensive performs at Joe Squared. Baltimore String Felons, the local punk jug band go-to, dusts up the Sidebar with a cast of local punk-in-spirit oddballs including Bow-Legged Gorilla, Crop Circles, Jesse Williams and the Boozehounds, and Misses Ellen Sunday and Her Fantastic Cats.

IN THE WINGS: The Psychedelic Furs continue waging their comeback at Rams Head Live on June 1 with She Wants Revenge. (For more information visit or call [410] 244-1131.) Perennial doomsayer Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and Tra-La-La Band come to the Ottobar May 18 with the Water. (For more information visit or call [410] 662-0069.)

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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

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