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The Short List

The Fucking Champs

By Bret McCabe | Posted 4/13/2005

WEDNESDAY: Local indie-rock outfit Nicola Six isn’t just a character in Martin Amis’ London Fields at the Ottobar with Headwounds and Sylvan Screen. Providence, R.I.’s the Body hammers the Talking Head with Moonshine, Hotel, and the Plague Wielder. Detroit’s Gore Gore Girls are all grown up at the Mojo Room with the Expotentials. Everclear plays its grunge-lite at Rams Head Live. Sparta—the other heavy-rock outfit that splintered out of At the Drive-In—breaks the broken at Towson’s Recher Theatre. Country-soul outfit Mofro prays for rain at the Funk Box. The Kills (see Music, page 31) hate the way you love at Washington’s Black Cat with Scout Niblett and the Routineers.

THURSDAY: Local indie-pop trio Daggerhearts knows those girls are easy at the Talking Head with Left Hand of God and the Nail Turbo. Arkansas’ grind/doom behemoth Rwake walks before it crawls at the Sidebar Tavern with Weedeater and Trephine.

FRIDAY: The Michael Formanek Quartet—bassist Formanek, trumpeter Baikida Carroll, drummer Tom Rainey, and monster alto man Tim Berne—hits the Creative Alliance at the Patterson. Human Conduct presents the Organ Donors, Wax and Wane, the New Flesh, Yukon, Human Host, the Clancy 6, Mr. Moccasin, and Wail Sounds at the Talking Head. Middle River heavy outfit Bled Across Miles lumbers into the Royal with Arcacia, Lilu Dallas, This Year Passed, and Makeyourstand. Melt Banana scorches the Ottobar with An Albatross, and the Convocation (see Q&A, page 14). Pennsylvania hardcore outfit Strength for a Reason calls for unity at the Sidebar with Dead and Buried, Scheduled Beating, Nothing Fucking Special, and Stop Drop and Roll. Lee Ann Womack (see Music, page 32) has more where that came from at Rams Head Live. Taut old-school hardcore outfit Paint It Black burns the hive at the Charm City Space with Ruiner, Violent Minds, the Arsons, and Downside Risk. Soulstress Julie Dexter catches a vibe at Fletcher’s with J Soul and Deborah Bond. Pianist Cyrus Chestnut plays a solo concert at Laurel’s Montpelier Cultural Arts Center.

SATURDAY: Get thee to a drinkery: Thee Lexington Arrows (featuring City Paper contributing illustrator Alex Fine) get real at Frazier’s with Secret Crush Society and Assrockers. The David Gross Trio—reeds player Gross, plus Mike Bullock and Tucker Dulin—hits the Red Room at Normals Books and Records with Bird Show (the solo venture of Town and Country’s Ben Vida), Greg Davis and Keith Fullerton Whitman, and Trockeneis (vocalist Audrey Chen, bowed-metalists Andrew Hayleck and Dan Breen, percussionist Paul Neidhardt, and dry icer Catherine Pancake). Gothy new-wave duo Sonodara descends on the Mojo Room. Right in the middle of its East Coast tour, Dave Heumann brings his psych-folk Arbouretum to the Supreme Imperial with Human Host and Passiou. Against Me spits liberal politics and snotty country punk all over the Ottobar with Smoke or Fire, the Twats, and Tenwatch. Junglist LTJ Bukem brings his logical progressions to Sonar with MC Conrad. Fools and Horses take their stand and hold her hand at the Funk Box with Woodswork and Table Top Poets. The Baltimore Composers Forum presents a night of new music at An die Musik, featuring Vivian Adelberg Rudow’s Dawn’s Journey, in memory of Dawn Culbertson. The Peabody Camerata and Preparatory Violin Choir perform Ruth Lomon’s Songs From a Requiem, the 2005 Peabody Camerata Student Composer Series winning work, and Olivier Messiaen’s Couleurs de la Cité Céleste at Peabody’s Griswold Hall. Indie-folkie Jason Anderson brings his balancing act to the Charm City Space with the Divorce and Rhythmandfall. The Todd Marcus Trio holds down Copra. The 30-member strong Baltimore Mandolin Orchestra thrills the Creative Alliance at the Patterson. Maroon 5 drives slow on a Sunday morning at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia.

SUNDAY: Jazz guitarist Jerry Gordon plays at the Great Blacks in Wax Museum. Off Transmission hits the Talking Head with Haram and local punk outfit Dactyl. Ancestry is in progress for Belgian urban-soul outfit Zap Mama at Rams Head Live with Fertile Ground. Adult-pop songstress Vonda Shepard promises gray days at the Funk Box. Folk-pop sophisticate Jonatha Brooke sleeps with the lights on at Annapolis’ Rams Head Tavern. Prince Paul and Dan the Automator make Handsome Boy Modeling School perform for white people at the 9:30 Club with K-os.

MONDAY: Rock collage singer/songwriter Ed Harcourt lets love not weigh him down at Rams Head Live. Magrudergrind thrashes the Charm City Space with Terminal Youth, Shitdogs of War, and Punk System Destroy. Drop down get your eagle on, Nelly, at Washington’s Constitution Hall.

TUESDAY: The Shipping News docks at the Ottobar with Mr. Moccasin. Polyglot rock pixie Nikka Costa pushes and pulls people into Fletcher’s. Gogol Bordello is just plain East European-weird at the Funk Box with the bossa nova-tinted Mosquitos. The Kevin Robinson Ensemble heats up Club 347. Saul Williams has a list of demands written on the palm of his hands, he balls his fist, you’re gonna know where he stands at the 9:30 Club.

WEDNESDAY: Heavy the World weighs on the Talking Head with Durden, Telekinesis for Cats, and Yimwu and the Dirty Eyelens. The ragged but right Woggles turn the hex on the Mojo Room with the Illustrious Potentates and the Taildraggers. DJ Hype hits Sonar with MC Daddy Earl. Fucking Champs? Fucking-A. At the fucking Black Cat. One of my many guilty little secrets: Jimmy Eat World makes great pop at Washington’s Bender Arena.

IN THE WINGS: Somewhere, a 29-year-old college graduate with a liberal arts degree is sitting in a cubicle reading this and feeling 19 again: Built to Spill plays Baltimore for the first time ever at Sonar May 17. (For more information, call [410] 327-8333 or visit Monsters From the Surf play a CD-release show at the Sidebar April 30 with the Traildraggers. (For more info, call [410] 659-4130 or visit Phantom Planet makes a killing at Fletcher’s April 28. (For more information, call [410] 558-1889 or visit The Red Room hosts a night of solos April 30 featuring saxophonist Rose Hammer, electronics manipulator Caleb Johnston, metalsmith Andy Hayleck, percussionist Shawn Flynn, and electronics man and City Paper contributor Ian Nagoski. (For more information, visit

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