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Detroit Rock City

Detroit Rock City

Music: Protomartyr creates musical world view with urban stories set to post-punk throb and garage-rock rush By Bret McCabe 4/16/2014
Bass of Doom

Bass of Doom

Music: Metallica’s Robert Trujillo talks about Jaco Pastorius By Josh Sisk 4/16/2014
Bangers And Thrash

Bangers And Thrash

Music: What’s up with heavy music By Josh Sisk 4/16/2014
The Short List

The Short List

The Short List: Protomartyr, Cowabunga Pizza Time, Loop, Rich Homie Quan, and more. By Al Shipley 4/16/2014
Reckless Hope

Reckless Hope

Music: Caleb Stine’s new album stares into the void, offers solutions By Brandon Soderberg 4/9/2014
His Own Lane

His Own Lane

Music: Local hero Los leaves Bad Boy Records (again), but that’s a good thing By Brandon Soderberg 4/9/2014

Cover Photo

Whose Responible?

Whose Responible? home

Listening Party
Mobtown Moon

Mobtown Moon

Listening Party: Many of Baltimore’s most accomplished musicians collaborated on an adventurous, challenging, thrilling reinvention of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. By Evan Serpick 4/17/2013
Zs Score: The Complete Sextet Works 2002-2007

Zs Score: The Complete Sextet Works 2002-2007

Listening Party: Zs Score: The Complete Sextet Works 2002-2007 Northern Spy Improvisation has been the cornerstone of contemporary underground music for a decade now, maybe two, the exploratory/winging-it impulse that launched a kabillion CD-Rs and warehouse-space sets By Lee Gardner 11/21/2012
Letitia VanSant

Letitia VanSant

Listening Party: A clever woman with a lot to say. By Baynard Woods 7/11/2012
Wordsmith: <em>King Noah</em>

Wordsmith: King Noah

Listening Party: ONCE UPON A TIME, rappers like Baltimore MC Wordsmith—labeled indie, conscious, or backpacker—dotted the mainstream hip-hop landscape like conscientious objectors, avoiding the violence, and self-hate By Evan Serpick 6/20/2012
Gary B and the Notions

Gary B and the Notions

Listening Party: How Do We Explode By Bret McCabe 6/13/2012
Multicult: <em>Spaces Tangled</em>

Multicult: Spaces Tangled

Listening Party: Three wicked-smart musicians By Michael Byrne 6/6/2012
Moss Icon

Moss Icon

Listening Party: Consider yourself lucky this discography has been reissued By Michael Byrne 5/30/2012
Lafayette Gilchrist and the New Volcanoes <em>It Came From Baltimore: Live at the Windup Space </em>

Lafayette Gilchrist and the New Volcanoes It Came From Baltimore: Live at the Windup Space

Listening Party: Lafayette Gilchrist and the New Volcanoes release a booty-shaking live album By Baynard Woods 5/23/2012
Friend Collector: <em>Friend Collector</em>

Friend Collector: Friend Collector

Listening Party: It might help to warm up just a bit before listening to this album. Nothing major—whap your knuckles against some cement, just enough to see a little red in there, or maybe have a shot of something terrible and cheap. By Michael Byrne 5/2/2012
Baklavaa: <em>Hairmoans</em>

Baklavaa: Hairmoans

Listening Party: Kinda funky opening to perfect math-y, metalcore-y assaults like breaking bottles against a brick wall. By Michael Byrne 4/25/2012
Steve Lehman Trio <em>Dialect Fluorescent</em>

Steve Lehman Trio Dialect Fluorescent

Listening Party: A classic trio record, straight up. By Lee Gardner 4/11/2012
Black to Comm: <em>Earth</em>

Black to Comm: Earth

Listening Party: A mix of electroacoustic ambient sound and warbling androgynous vocals By Michael Byrne 3/14/2012
The Unthanks: <em>Songs of Robert Wyatt and Antony and the Johnsons</em>

The Unthanks: Songs of Robert Wyatt and Antony and the Johnsons

Listening Party: Sisters Rachel and Becky make a modest career in singing/messing with traditional folk songs By Lee Gardner 3/7/2012
Matthew Bourne: <em>Montauk Variations</em>

Matthew Bourne: Montauk Variations

Listening Party: “Senectitude,” a word rare enough that an internet search is as likely to suggest crossword puzzle forums as it is actual definitions, translates roughly to old age. But more than old age as a state of being, over By Michael Byrne 2/15/2012
Salamander Wool: <em>Solar Solipsis</em>

Salamander Wool: Solar Solipsis

Listening Party: A couple of years ago, Carson Garhart, aka Salamander Wool, advanced the outer marker of how loose and alien folk or folk-like music could be and still resonate. By Michael Byrne 2/8/2012
The Caretaker: <em>Patience (After Sebald)</em>

The Caretaker: Patience (After Sebald)

Listening Party: Ambient musician Leyland Kirby sources from music from recorded sounds dawn, and then cuts up/loops/splices it into ghostly fog By Michael Byrne 2/1/2012
Machinefabriek: <em>Veldwerk</em>

Machinefabriek: Veldwerk

Listening Party: Behold the power of a thin electronic whine and some random stuff clattering around in a particularly echo-y room. By Michael Byrne 1/11/2012
Pianos Become the Teeth: <em>The Lack Long After</em>

Pianos Become the Teeth: The Lack Long After

Listening Party: Screaming primordial emotional frequency. By Michael Byrne 1/4/2012
The Necks: <em>Mindset</em>

The Necks: Mindset

Listening Party: Sit back, close your eyes, and enjoy the puzzle By Michael Byrne 12/28/2011
Music From Saharan Cellphones

Music From Saharan Cellphones

Listening Party: like nothing you’ve ever heard lately. Promise. By Michael Byrne 12/21/2011
Balaclavas: <em>Snake People</em>

Balaclavas: Snake People

Listening Party: You hear a lot about things that are goth or gothic, especially gothy By Michael Byrne 12/7/2011
Atlas Sound: <em>Parallax</em>

Atlas Sound: Parallax

Listening Party: Bradford Cox knows what he’s doing, Parallax remains resolutely indie in sonics, introverted in orientation. By Lee Gardner 11/30/2011
Various Artists: <em>Drive: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack</em>

Various Artists: Drive: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Listening Party: Various artists Drive: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Lakeshore Lasting not terribly long at the local theaters, the movie Drive, by most reports a slick and smart art-house-meets-Hollywood action winner, has already come and gone from Balti By Michael Byrne 11/23/2011
Ben Frost and Daníel Bjarnason: <em>Sólaris</em>

Ben Frost and Daníel Bjarnason: Sólaris

Listening Party: The field of music in which something as potentially corny or cliché as a sample of wolves howling could be dropped unironically is limited to pretty much Ben Frost’s 2009 freak crossover LP By Michael Byrne 11/2/2011
Secret Secrets: <em>Chiromagica</em>

Secret Secrets: Chiromagica

opening the third eye wide with psych-rock. By Lee Gardner 10/26/2011
The Field: <em>Looping State Of Mind</em>

The Field: Looping State Of Mind

Listening Party: If a record ever seemed like it was laughing at the sudden arrival of super-mainstream electronic dance music, it might be this. By Michael Byrne 10/12/2011
Bill Orcutt: <em>How the Thing Sings</em>

Bill Orcutt: How the Thing Sings

Listening Party: Bill Orcutt How the Thing Sings Editions Mego Depending on how literally you want to take it, the “thing” referenced in the title could be Bill Orcutt’s guitar, a battered acoustic with the A and D strings missing. Or maybe the “thing” is Orcutt h By Lee Gardner 10/5/2011
Krallice: <em>DIOTIMA</em>

Krallice: DIOTIMA

Listening Party: Krallice advances its own black metal influenced heaviness agenda with the kind of spacious (and nondogmatic) touches that can only open more ears and blow more minds. By Lee Gardner 9/14/2011
Loren Connors: <em>Red Mars</em>

Loren Connors: Red Mars

Listening Party: The rabbit hole that is the Loren Connors catalog is an impressive one indeed. By Michael Byrne 8/31/2011
Fennesz: <em>Seven Stars</em>

Fennesz: Seven Stars

Listening Party: Ambient music has long had a friendly relationship with cheese. It’s the difference between Brian Eno’s Music for Airports and his Music for Films, for example. By Michael Byrne 8/24/2011
Baring Teeth: <em>Atrophy</em>

Baring Teeth: Atrophy

Listening Party: Metal just gets weirder and weirder as it expands, and that can only be a good thing. By Lee Gardner 8/17/2011
*AR: <em>Wolf Notes</em>

*AR: Wolf Notes

Listening Party: Frankly, there aren’t many terms that Wolf Notes can fall under. By Michael Byrne 8/10/2011
Disma: <em>Towards the Megalith</em>

Disma: Towards the Megalith

Listening Party: It you’re still standing by the time the machine-gunning ends, you’ll be ready to follow him anywhere. By Lee Gardner 8/3/2011
Gillian Welch and David Rawlings: <em>The Harrow and the Harvest</em>

Gillian Welch and David Rawlings: The Harrow and the Harvest

Listening Party: Gillian Welch has a bit of Emmeline Grangerford in her—you know, the somber teenage girl from Huckleberry Finn who hurries off to scribble a morbid ode anytime anyone dies. By Lee Gardner 7/27/2011
Jackie-O Motherfucker: Earth Sound System

Jackie-O Motherfucker: Earth Sound System

Listening Party: Tom Greenwood delivers a series of surreal invocations and natural-world references By Lee Gardner 7/20/2011
Small Sur: <em>Tones</em>

Small Sur: Tones

Listening Party: Small Sur Tones self-released Music for getting from point “A” to point “B.” It could be a genre unto itself. It’s more immediate and, in some ways, personal—wandering is a solitary, headspace-y way of being—than electronic/electro-acoustic ambient By Michael Byrne 7/6/2011
Saåad: <em>Pink Sabbath EP</em>

Saåad: Pink Sabbath EP

Listening Party: What makes one drone as soothing and encompassing and soul-tugging as the sound of the womb and another a flat, dull noise? By Michael Byrne 6/22/2011
Kreuzberg: <em>Kreuzberg</em>

Kreuzberg: Kreuzberg

Listening Party: it’s so infectious the machine-like steady beat that Klaus Dinger lays down and guitarist Michael Rother builds epics around. By Bret McCabe 6/15/2011
The Caretaker: <em>An Empty Bliss Beyond This World </em>

The Caretaker: An Empty Bliss Beyond This World

Listening Party: One of the more undersung joys in listening to music is being utterly confounded by something. By Michael Byrne 6/8/2011
Boris: <em>Attention Please, Heavy Rocks</em>

Boris: Attention Please, Heavy Rocks

Listening Party: Boris Heavy Rocks Attention Please Sargent House When a band releases two albums at the same time, it’s easy to suspect that it doesn’t quite know what it wants to say. Listening to the two new albums from Boris doesn’t dispel that idea, though By Lee Gardner 6/1/2011
Dope Body: <em>Nupping</em>

Dope Body: Nupping

Listening Party: Future-forward yet heavy guitar leads that at points feel like math-rock. That’s the weird duality of Dope Body. By Michael Byrne 5/25/2011
Tara Jane O’Neil and Nikaido Kazumi: <em>Tara Jane O’Neil</em>

Tara Jane O’Neil and Nikaido Kazumi: Tara Jane O’Neil

Listening Party: If it was still possible for a folk song to become a standard or traditional Tara Jane O’Neil would be responsible for at least a few. By Michael Byrne 5/11/2011
Cass McCombs: <em>Wit’s End</em>

Cass McCombs: Wit’s End

Listening Party: Cass McCombs writes and records great songs. His albums are sometimes more problematic. By Lee Gardner 5/4/2011
Clams Casino: <em>Instrumental Mixtape</em>

Clams Casino: Instrumental Mixtape

Listening Party: What a mind-blower. Cue up Lil B the Based God’s “Motivation” and nod your head to the dramatic beat with the ethereal synths. By Lee Gardner 4/20/2011
Wye Oak: <em>Civilian</em>

Wye Oak: Civilian

Listening Party: So many paradoxes in such a small package. The third album from Wye Oak strips away some of the extra instrumental touches. By Lee Gardner 4/13/2011
Weekends: <em>Strange Cultures</em>

Weekends: Strange Cultures

Listening Party: The thing about lo-fi pop/rock is that it’s less the low that matters than the fidelity. By Bret McCabe 4/13/2011
Felicia Carter and Amy Shook: <em>Nothing to Do</em>

Felicia Carter and Amy Shook: Nothing to Do

Listening Party: Felicia Carter and Amy Shook Nothing to Do ShookShak Productions When the contemporary female jazz vocalist norm looks/sounds like posh cosmopolitanism (the Diana Krall, Jane Moneheit, Lorraine Feather model) or stately eminence (Dee Dee Bridgewa By Bret McCabe 4/6/2011
Dog Leather: <em>Greezy Man and Stinky Man Meets Smutty Ranks on Tarantula Hill</em>

Dog Leather: Greezy Man and Stinky Man Meets Smutty Ranks on Tarantula Hill

Listening Party: The problem is that two great tastes don’t always go great together. By Bret McCabe 3/30/2011
Earth: <em>Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light 1 </em>

Earth: Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light 1

Listening Party: “Old Black” is the name of the first of the five long tracks that make up the new album by Earth. By Lee Gardner 3/16/2011
Tim Hecker: <em>Ravedeath, 1972</em>

Tim Hecker: Ravedeath, 1972

Listening Party: How do you assess another disc of diaphanous drones and waxing and waning slabs of sound from the Montreal-based musician in a standard music-review format? By Lee Gardner 3/2/2011
The Psychic Paramount: <em>II</em>

The Psychic Paramount: II

Listening Party: The Psychic Paramount II No Quarter The first proper studio album by New York trio the Psychic Paramount was called Gamelan Into the Mink Supernatural. Wow. The second one, released recently after a nearly six-year silence, is called II. Hmm. Well, By Lee Gardner 2/23/2011
PJ Harvey: <em>Let England Shake</em>

PJ Harvey: Let England Shake

Listening Party: A solid few days of digesting PJ Harvey’s new Let England Shake sent this pair of ears back to her entire catalog. By Bret McCabe 2/16/2011
Deaf Center: <em>Owl Splinters</em>

Deaf Center: Owl Splinters

Listening Party: Deaf Center’s Owl Splinters has lulled you into its web. By Bret McCabe 2/9/2011
The Skull Defekts: <em>Peer Amid</em>

The Skull Defekts: Peer Amid

Listening Party: Rejoice: Daniel Higgs is making rock music again. By Michael Byrne 2/2/2011
Wire: <em>Red Barked Tree</em>

Wire: Red Barked Tree

Listening Party: The postpunk generation is redefining burning out and not fading away. By Bret McCabe 1/26/2011
Gerald Cleaver/Uncle June: <em>Be It as I See It</em>

Gerald Cleaver/Uncle June: Be It as I See It

Listening Party: Gerald Cleaver/Uncle June Be It as I See It Fresh Sound New Talent One of the prime clichés in the writing-about-jazz fakebook is how a drummer’s record doesn’t sound like a “drummer’s record.” Then again, Gerald Cleaver’s Be It as I See It does By Lee Gardner 1/12/2011
Altar Eagle: <em>Mechanical Gardens</em>

Altar Eagle: Mechanical Gardens

Listening Party: Given Mechanical Gardens’ early fall 2010 release, we are admittedly batting cleanup on this. By Michael Byrne 1/5/2011
Pan American: <em>For Waiting, For Chasing</em>

Pan American: For Waiting, For Chasing

Listening Party: Since so many ’90s indie bands are busy launching reunions these days, can it be Labradford revival time now? By Lee Gardner 12/22/2010
Nicki Minaj: Pink Friday

Nicki Minaj: Pink Friday

Listening Party: Whether or not Nicki Minaj can rap is beside the point. By Bret McCabe 12/15/2010
Maserati: Pyramid of the Sun

Maserati: Pyramid of the Sun

Listening Party: Maserati Pyramid of the Sun Temporary Residence Ltd. There’s a great moment in the not-as-great-as-it-thinks-it-is recent rock doc It Might Get Loud when perma-skullcapped U2 guitarist the Edge stands in front of his several refrigerator-sized cab By Lee Gardner 12/1/2010
Salome: Terminal

Salome: Terminal

Listening Party: When it comes to doom, less is more. Seems counterintuitive, but there it is. By Lee Gardner 11/24/2010
Clockcleaner: Auf Wiedersehen

Clockcleaner: Auf Wiedersehen

Listening Party: At some point in the last dying throes before Philly’s Clockcleaner gave up, it recorded Auf Wiedersehen, which comes a full year and a half after the gloomy racket-punk band’s final show. By Michael Byrne 10/13/2010
Grinderman: Grinderman 2

Grinderman: Grinderman 2

Listening Party: A steak, rare, with something deep-fried on the side. No veggies, thanks. And a shot of Jack Daniels with a beer to chase. A last meal, a final meal. The meal you eat when you don’t have or care about a future. The meal you eat when you’re feeling, or better, living dangerous. By Michael Byrne 10/6/2010
Thomas Köner: Nunatak/Teimo/Permafrost

Thomas Köner: Nunatak/Teimo/Permafrost

Listening Party: Thomas Köner’s first three albums emerged at the dawn of the IDM/ambient boom of the early 1990s, but they were never a good fit for the chill-out room at raves. By Lee Gardner 9/29/2010
Coil Sea: <em>Coil Sea</em>

Coil Sea: Coil Sea

Listening Party: The Coil Sea is the project of Arbouretum frontman Dave Heumann; Big in Japan’s Matthew Pierce and Michael Lowry; Michael Kuhl; Jimmy Wallace of Asheville, N.C.; and Walker Teret, a Baltimore folk veteran who plays with too many bands to mention. By Michael Byrne 9/8/2010
Susan Alcorn: Touch This Moment

Susan Alcorn: Touch This Moment

Listening Party: Susan Alcorn Touch This Moment Uma Sounds An organ-like hum begins to fluctuate in timbre and intensity, snowballing into a buzzing morass. Just more than a minute and a half into this anxious squall it fades to near silence, before a gentler sound By Bret McCabe 9/1/2010
Randy Barracuda: On the Low

Randy Barracuda: On the Low

Listening Party: Randy Barracuda On the Low Harmönia Anybody’s having more fun branding themselves and naming songs/albums than certain European electronic music producers, they’re saving that shit for themselves. Dutch producer Young Marco can marry a tropicalia-esque g By Bret McCabe 8/25/2010
Danny and the Parkins Sisters

Danny and the Parkins Sisters

Listening Party: Anybody can write a song about a lover, a departed friend, or some political outrage, but it takes an extra special band to pen a song that treats The China Syndrome like a juvenile delinquent flick. Anybody can write a song about a lover, a departed friend, or some political outrage, but it takes an extra special band to pen a song that treats The China Syndrome like a ju By Bret McCabe 8/18/2010
Matthew Dear: Black City

Matthew Dear: Black City

Listening Party: By Michael Byrne) 8/11/2010