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The Short List

Swell Season

By Michael Byrne | Posted 7/28/2010

WEDNESDAY: Horse Feathers, a Portland, Ore. ensemble making chamber-flavored folk music to sublime effect, charms the pants off the Metro Gallery with Soon Clyde, Dan Isaacson, and Kelly Smith. La Roux, a big-deal band making not-so-big-deal synth-pop, plays Rams Head Live.

THURSDAY: Rogue Wave, like the classic-rock of current indie music, is nothing like rogue at the Ottobar with Gamble House and the Dialogue. In what sounds like a mainline of pure unrefined Japanafetish nerd fun, the Life Up! party brings cosplay, gaming, and music from DJ Black {Op} to Sonar. Velnias makes the woodsy kind of pretty/brutal death metal at the Hexagon with Altar of Plagues. The Hackensaw Boys bring their bluegrass bombast to Rams Head Live with Hoots and Hellmouth and the Herd of Main Street. Ghastly City Sleep, a now New York-based band sprung from the millennial Virginia screamo royalty of Pg. 99 and City of Caterpillar, plays Charm City Art Space with the Summer Pledge, Souvenir's Young America, and Sensible Nectar. The Slowest Runner in All the World makes "instrumental post-baroque" music at the Windup Space with the Ascent of Everest and Petal Blight.

FRIDAY: In what's getting to be the norm, the Ottobar goes all-party for Friday night with a Madonna vs. Britney vs. GaGa dance party downstairs and the Moustache party upstairs with Tron, the Specialist, James Nasty, and the Moustache Crew bringing beats for the feets. Dustin Wong does revelatory and gorgeous things with a guitar and looping station at the Hexagon with the Water, the Expanding Man, and Jonathan Badger. The Summer Slaughter Tour, a broad celebration of all things heavy, takes over Sonar with the Red Chord, Decapitated, the Faceless, Carnifex, and plenty more. Jazz powerhouse Ideal Bread does right by the late Steve Lacy at An die Musik. The local thrash terror of A Warm Gun strips the paint at the Sidebar with Betty Sue Aside, Trasher, Razormaze, and Extermination Angel. Nashville country-rock guy Jason Aldean tips his hat at Columbia's Merriweather Post Pavilion with David Nail. Swarm of the Lotus inflicts maximum sludgecore pain on Charm City Art Space with Pala, Questioner, the Deserts of Maine, and Passage Between. Arbouretum brings its doomful folk churn to the Windup Space with We Used to Be Family and the Matrimonials.

SATURDAY: J. Roddy Walston and the Business, Baltimore's answer to the Hold Steady, celebrate the release of their long-awaited sophomore release at the Ottobar with Tommy Tucker and the Supernaturals and Beard. Philly rapper Beanie Sigel takes charge at Sonar with Meek Millz, Bossman, and DJ Rome. Trans-European folk duo the Swell Season plays Rams Head Live with Richard Buckner. Talking Heads tribute the Psycho Killers play the 8X10 with the Preservation. DISARM(A)geddon makes anarcho-punk at the Sidebar with the Mandroids, A Truth, and Station. Paramore, kinda the shining light of mall-punk music, heads up the Honda Civic Tour at Merriweather Post Pavilion with Tegan and Sara, New Found Glory, and Kadawatha. Washington art-rock-qua-postrock band Bellflur spreads out at the Windup Space with Goodbye New Plans and Shortwave Society.

SUNDAY: Lead-heavy rock outfit Black Cobra shakes the foundation at the Ottobar with Howl, Struck by Lightning, the Osedax, and Harlequin Ichthyosis. Jana Hunter's wonderful new-ish band Lower Dens--think gorgeous atmospheric and lo-fi pop music--celebrate the release of their debut record at the Metro Gallery with Inoculist and Lands and Peoples. Chicagoan Ernest Dawkins takes his New Horizons omni-jazz trio to An die Musik. Not sure what exactly to expect, but I'd put some money on the Sunday Night Gun Show with Brad Gunson and his Orchestra's big-band antics being worth a trip--at Joe Squared. New Riders of the Purple Sage, the psych/roots-rock dinosaurs, perform at the 8X10 with Chris Velan.

MONDAY: Cullen Stalin and Scottie B's weekly No Rule party rages on at the Metro Gallery. The Dead Weather, Jack White's much-amplified take on his old White Stripes, shimmy and shake at Rams Head Live with Harlem.

TUESDAY: Secret Secret Dino Club, a one-man power-pop band that might involve rapping, has some fun at the Ottobar with Thieves and Villains and This Condition. The Scream It Like You Mean It Tour takes over Rams Head Live with a great many youth making emocore-etc. crud (lineup at Landis Expandis and DJ Napspace make breakdance and funk good times at Joe Squared for their Dig party. Noise by Numbers, a newish punk outfit from Screeching Weasel guy Danny Vapid, plays the Sidebar with Dead Mechanical, Aspiga, New Creases, and Lotus Fucker. Lilith Fair comes back into the world after a decade or so of dormancy--aside from being a pejorative genre term--with Sarah McLachlan, Indigo Girls, Cat Power, and much, much more; it's at Merriweather. The Out of Your Head Collective brings another brand new improv lineup to the Windup Space.

WEDNESDAY: Son of a Bad Man, a Florida major-label rock band primed for alt-superstardom, probably sells some photo-posters at the Ottobar. Quartet Offensive brings weird jazz music to the pizza at Joe Squared.

IN THE WINGS: The everything-and-the-sink insanity of Rock the Bells comes to Merriweather Aug. 29 with Snoop Dogg, A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan, Rakim, KRS-One, Lauryn Hill, Slick Rick, and so very much more. (For more information visit or call [410] 715-5550.) The coolest new punk band out of New Jersey, the Screaming Females, come to the Golden West Aug. 15. (For more information visit or call [410] 889-8891).

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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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