Archive for February, 2009

Mos Def @ Rams Head tonight (2/25) $35

Posted in Upcoming Shows with tags , , , , on February 25, 2009 by dillonator

fordprefect

Rapper/actor (wow, that’s a misleading label) Mos Def is playing at Rams Head tonight…and guess who gets to go for free?

Give up?

Yeah it’s me..though I’ll be stuck at a table pretending to be working the whole time.

Now, I’m a big fan of Mighty Mos and all, but if it weren’t for my internship at the venue, I wouldn’t spring the $35 for the ticket.  I just don’t really go for shows that expensive unless it’s a band that I love…and I only like Mos Def.  And I don’t even like like him.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been a fan since I first heard Black on Both Sides, his 1999 solo debut…and then I found out that he was half of Black Star (with Talib Kweli), which pushed him over the edge for me.  I’m just unemployed is all.

Mos Def has collaborated with the best in the industry, including The Roots, J5, Kanye West, Tribe Called Quest, and pretty much anyone else interesting.

Check out his track “Oh No” with Pharoahe Monch and Nate Dogg. And then sit down.

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Matt & Kim @ the Ottobar Thurs 2/24 $10

Posted in Upcoming Shows with tags , , , on February 24, 2009 by dillonator

mattandkim

Brooklyn’s pop-punk cutie-pie first couple Matt & Kim are coming back to Baltimore!

They’ll be headlining the Ottobar this Thursday, only $10, and gosh, I just can’t wait!

The creatively named duo are sure to win over audiences with their combination of cartoonishly simple hooks and even-more-cartoonishly upbeat attitude.  While their albums contain no eye-opening truths or epiphanal musical breakthroughs, there are enough catchy tunes to keep any but the most jaded fan happy…just not for more than one or two listens.  Their lack of depth is their greatest weakness, just as it is their greatest strength.

That being said, they’re sure to put on another great live show.  You don’t need phenomenal lyrics to keep an audience moving; nay, ass-shaking is only hindered by thought-making.

Opening are locals Sick Weapons and hip-as-hell hipster hip-hopper Hollywood Holt, whose remix of M&K’s “It’s a Fact” might be the only reason I gave them a chance in the first place.

While I can’t 100% vouch for their albums on the whole, their live shows are a different story altogether.  If you aren’t soaked in at least one bodily fluid by the end of the night, I’ll buy you a beer.  If you’re soaked in more than one, well, I’ll buy you a beer anyway, because…well…sweat’s fine, but…my bad.

Give ’em a listen, see what you think, and then come find me on Thursday.  I’ll be the sweaty guy doing the headbang equivalent to the soul-clap.

[The editors would like to apologize for the excessive alliteration three paragraphs ago, and assure readers that it will not happen again.]

Devlin’s Newest Mix

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 24, 2009 by dillonator

devlin

Ok, so I admit it, I’m a little behind the times on this one…like, almost three weeks behind the times.  Think of me as a musical safety net more than your spotter at the music gym; I’m not there to catch you this instant, but I will, eventually…after a few harrowing seconds.

Anyway.  Local DJ, producer, and sometime party-promoter Devlin (of Spank Rock and Devlin & Darko’s Baltimore Bass Connection) recently put out a new mix for openbicycle.com on his blog.  It’s eclectic as all hell, which is to be expected.

Just check out the playlist below, and then download the thing even belower.  My favorite cuts are the Raul Seixas opener (I’m as into Brazilian psychedelia as I feel comfortable admitting) and the glammer-than-thou T. Rex track near the end…wow.  He also shouts out Baltimore-bred freak-rockers Animal Collective, which is respect.

Raul Sexias – Mosca no Sopa
Niel Diamond – Delerious Love
Willie Hutch – Tell me Why Has our Love Turned Cold
Animal Collective – My Girls
Noze – Love Affair
Gary Bartz – Funked up
West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band – Ritual #1
INTERLUDE 1 of tomany
Whole Lotta Love – C.C.S.
Whole Lotta Love – Dennis Coffey
La Gringa Inga – Ingles En Un 2×3
Selda – Ince Ince (Devlin_Edit)
Selda(w/kardslar) – Nem Kaldi (Devlin Remix)
Super Eagles – Love is a Real thing
duction – intro
T.Rex – Cosmic Dancer
The Rah Band – Messages From The Stars
Ariel Goodman Weston – clean underwear
The Outcasts – Loving You Sometimes

(tracklist courtesy of Devlin. sic all over the place)

Give it a shot.  Neil Diamond is good for the soul.

Celebration Concert Review

Posted in Concert Reviews with tags , , , , on February 21, 2009 by dillonator

I really need to remember to bring my camera to concerts.

I like to take pictures of concerts; they usually turn out poorly, but I like to look through old concert photos just to remember the shows in general.  And that’s all well and good…

But there are times, like last night’s show at the Wind Up Space, where I feel like posting a photo would make a huge difference to the overall post.  The silhouette of Celebration singer Katrina Ford, tambourine held aloft, crackling fireplace projected onto the wall behind her, was more memorable than any of her lyrics.  I suppose I’ll browse Flickr

I first discovered Celebration last year by mistake.  I went to see Dragons of Zynth, who I suspected would be cool live (I suspected wrong), and wound up drinking beers in a parked car for half the set.  For some reason, despite not enjoying either the Dragons or opening act Lexie Mountain Boys, I decided to check out the headliner, just in case.

I fully expected another band who put more effort into costumes than melody, but was pleasantly surprised by the catchy, atmospheric sounds coming from the Baltimore three-piece; hearing they were playing again last night, I felt like I had to see how they’ve progressed.

Their first two albums were produced by TV on the Radio‘s Dave Sitek, and their new material has the same sorts of sounds: vaguely tribal rhythms (they’ve collaborated with latin-afrobeat giants Antibalas) backing Ford’s wail.  She is often compared to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ Karen O, which may be well-earned, and may be how they lured in collaborator Nick Zinner.

That being said, Celebration continues to defy classification, with an hour-long set of songs that evoke the soundtrack of Hell, or maybe an escape from Hell…or maybe that’s just the fireplace talking.

Art Beats + Lyrics @ the Hippodrome Friday 2/20 $0 free!

Posted in Upcoming Shows with tags , , , on February 20, 2009 by dillonator

jd-abl

Just to be clear, I don’t know much about this event.

Apparently, it’s a celebration of urban art, which usually means graffiti, spoken word, and breakdancing.  However, it seems like the Jack Daniels-sponsored AB+L fest is focused more on painting, sculpture, and photography.

Not that I have a problem with DJs etc., but its good to see something called “urban” and not be the same weak stereotypes; this multimedia exhibition seems to expand hip-hop, rather than confining it.  While there will be the usual collection of MCs, DJs, graffiti artists, and slam poets, this could be an interesting event for lovers of more traditional media as well.

It’s free, which is awesome, and did I see somewhere that there are free drinks, too?  Wow, this really IS breaking from the mainstream!

Lee “Scratch” Perry Concert Review

Posted in Concert Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on February 18, 2009 by dillonator

leescratchperry2

I had the pleasure of seeing Lee “Scratch” Perry perform at Sonar last night, and the legend did not disappoint.

For those of you in need of a history lesson, Perry was an influential and prolific figure in early ska and reggae, first working as a producer for Coxsone Dodd, then going out on his own with The Black Ark.  During his years as a producer, he was responsible for signing and producing tracks for such artists as Max Romeo, The Heptones, and even three Bob Marley records.  His production innovations became much of the basis for ‘dub’ reggae, and he is rightfully considered the Godfather of the genre.

Opening for Perry was H.R., frontman for Bad Brains.  H.R. is apparently currently living in Baltimore, which is likely why his Human Rights Band doesn’t have any other dates scheduled.

H.R. is infamous for onstage antics, and while I’d expected him to have mellowed out some over the years, I expected a little bit more energy.  The band played music very similar to Bad Brains, mostly hard punk with the occasional reggae bridge, and two or three straight reggae songs.  The music was good, but I was not blown away.

Finally, around 11pm, Perry’s band started playing.  They played for about six minutes before septuagenarian Scratch ambled onstage, covered in shiny buttons and rings, and wearing a hat with lit incense sticks poking out of it.

I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, not being extremely familiar with his solo work; I went to the show based on his production work.  However, this turned out to be a non-issue, as most of the songs pretty much sounded the same, with his (extremely tight) backing band keeping up a thick rhythm, while Perry dropped unintelligible lyrics into the mic.  That’s not to say that his lyrics didn’t make sense (although they did not), but rather, it was a mash of reverb-soaked patois and non-words.

The essence of the show was the production, unsurprisingly, and it excelled.  The swirling rhythms kept the crowd moving, and his echoing vocals united the vibe.  Though I didn’t know any of the songs, the simple melodies made it easy to keep up.

He played for almost two hours, including his three-song encore, and unfortunately, he kept his trademark gibberish to a minimum.  I was hoping for some irrelevant babble, but all he gave me was a brief diatribe about vegetarianism.  I guess senility works backwards with crazies?

I Got the Internship!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on February 18, 2009 by dillonator

Last Friday, I took an early-morning trip downtown to Rams Head Live where I was interviewed for a glamorous position as unpaid intern, along with 20-some other 20-somethings (well, actually they were mostly 19-21 I think, but I liked the wording so much…!).

Although observant headline-readers already know the punchline, I received the following email this morning:

This is Jami Medley from Rams Head live and I am contacting you to extend and invitation to become part of our team! Below I have detailed your responsibilities if you chose to accept.

1. University based show promotion:  flyering, postering, campus and local radio and newspaper liaison responsibilities, email collection, etc.
2. In-Venue Show Promotion at Rams Head Live, by schedule.  This will also consist of operating Rams Head Live booths at other shows.
3. Blogging and social networking:  Using online networks for promotion, finding music communities, bulletins, groups, etc.
4. Street Teaming: consists of flyering for events at various locations

5. Attend Friday morning marketing meetings at Rams Head Live to brainstorm and delegate tasks

We will hold our first marketing meeting this Friday (2/20) at 9:00am. Check out our calendar and bring ideas for any and all upcoming shows. Please contact me if you have any scheduling conflicts. If you have any additional questions please do not hesitate to call. The number for the office is [number removed] and my cell phone number is [number removed]. From here we will contact you on a case by case basis to organize promotional material pick-ups, street team events, and shows we would like to send you to.  Blogging and Networking is something you may start as soon as you like. Please send me a brief email with an activity report detailing what you do bi-weekly.  For every event you attend, such as flyering, booths, in-venue promotion and other venue promotion, we will put you on the guest list, plus one, for any show you would like to attend at Rams Head Live or Pier Six Pavilion(when we open up for the summer).

Hope to see you soon!

Jami Medley

Marketing Director

Rams Head Live

Needless to say, I’m pretty excited about the opportunity to work my ass off for free.

Needless to say, I am not at all excited about having to be downtown at 9am every Friday, especially because Thursday nights I host my trivia show, at which I drink for free.  Free beers go down faster, and free beers cause the worst hangovers.

As I mentioned in my post last week, the interviewers were particularly interested in my thoughts on blogs and social networking; I have a feeling they’ll be utilizing me mostly as a social networking expert, which is not something I’m super-cool with, but it could definitely be an interesting experience.

The email was addressed to me and two other people, so presumably there were three interns accepted into the program.  Here’s hoping they’re cool.