The Short List
Published: September 21, 2011
WEDNESDAY: Indie-indie band Matt Pond PA sticks to the basics at the Ottobar with Rocky Votolato and A Cat Called Cricket. Dead Confederate and friends do Neil Young’s Tonight’s the Night at the Golden West Café with Thomas Hardy. Ten Out of Tenn, the Tennessee songwriters’ collective, performs at Rams Head Live. New York alt-rock band Cousin Sleaze plays the Sidebar with Broken Glow, the Atonement, and Left Stronger.
THURSDAY: Nick 13, leader of the pyschobilly Tiger Army, plays the Ottobar with Juliana Theory’s Brett Detar; meanwhile, the Kowli Nights dance party thumps on upstairs. Wild Beasts, an English four-piece making an unexpected and all-in sort of indie-rock, smother Sonar with Bobby. The Sidebar hosts a most-worthy Skatepark of Baltimore benefit show with Throwback Syndicate, Soul Craft, Taking Tragedy, and Soulful Aggression. Don’t miss: David Dondero, credited by NPR as one of the “best living songwriters” and granddad to the entire Bright Eyes sound, performs at the Golden West with Lizz King and the Demon Beat. The High Zero fest’s core series of improv ensembles/concerts kicks off at the Theatre Project, running through Sunday night with various ensembles (lineups at high zero.org).
FRIDAY: Folk/punk fellow Frank Turner brings his Sleeping Souls to the Ottobar with Into It. Over It. and Andrew Jackson Jihad; upstairs, James Nasty and Antonio Harper’s Physical Education party doesn’t miss a beat. One of Sonar’s semiregular local rap showcases, Welcome 2 the Court, returns with Young Jase, Big Dro, and J-Hunt, with Ambush and DJ Cliff Starr DJing and Billy Lyve playing as a sort of master of ceremonies. “ManiFest Presents Activate: A Conscious Multimedia Experience” takes over Sonar with Heyoka, Segway, D.V.S., and Fractal. Jazz-and-then-some vocalist/composer Heidi Martin performs at An die Musik. Folk-pop singer/songwriter Adrian Mathenia plays the Windup Space with Among Wolves and Red Sammy. Fleet Foxes kick off a last big summer weekend at Columbia’s Merriweather Post Pavilion with the Walkmen. Don’t miss: John Prine—yes the most-holy singer/songwriter legend—plays a hurricane-rescheduled show at Pier Six Pavilion with Loudon Wainwright III.
SATURDAY: Somewhat amorphous out-pop band Big in Japan boasts guest vocalist Katrina Ford at the Ottobar with Dope Body and Rapdragons. The Rapture, now out of dormancy and with a new record, is, you know, out of the races and onto the tracks at Sonar. Chicago doom beast Indian plays the Golden West with Batillus and Malungeon. Lush Farm brings its unpolished indie-rock to the Metro Gallery for a CD-release show with Asexual Woods, Syrrah, and Goodbye New Plans. The Casey Cares Foundation’s annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Bash returns to Rams Head Live with a smattering of folks from such outfits as the Billy Joel band, the Saturday Night Live band, and Bon Jovi. Reggie Workman, the seen-it-all/played-with-’em-all jazz legend/bassist, guests with the Carl Grubbs Ensemble at An die Musik. “D.C. punk rock post-apoc all-you-can-eat band” (Stop Worrying &) Love the Bomb feasts at the Sidebar with Jacob Panic, Musicband, and the Drapes. Singer/songwriter/college-guy hero Jason Mraz plays Merriweather Post Pavilion with Colbie Caillat.
SUNDAY: New York’s Damnwells make some fairly straight-ahead indie-rock at the Ottobar with Harper Blynn and Carley Tanchon. Dangermuffin makes “organic, sand-blasted roots rock, with a sweet jam spread” at the 8X10 with Yarn. Lubbock, one of the more massive and impressive improv ensembles in a city full of them, packs 10 players onto the Windup Space’s stage; Friday Night Book Club and Sunshine Soldier open the night. The Dio Disciples do, you know, Ronnie James Dio at Soundstage with Aries, NeverThought, and GI-9. Don’t miss: Wilco, whichever strain/era you might be most a fan of, can still put on a pretty great all-pleasing show; it does so at Merriweather Post Pavilion with Nick Lowe.
MONDAY: Cerebral Ballzy makes rude-as-fuck early-days hardcore at the Golden West with Murder, Bitter American, and Cell Mates. Don’t miss: Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum keeps on his slowly building comeback with two nights of sold-out shows at 2640 Space.
TUESDAY: Lo-fi/punk singer/songwriter Ty Segall plays the Golden West with Mikal Cronin and Human Eye. Mac Miller, the Pittsburgh-bred sudden rap big name, takes the mic at Rams Head Live with the Come Up and Casey Veggies. The Out of Your Head collective delivers what should be a fairly different sort of improv ensemble to the Windup Space with vocalists Amanda Bloom and Lauren Shusterich and Erik Spangler on turntables and electronics. The Dig with Landis Expandis and DJ Napspace brings the funk back once again to Joe Squared’s North Avenue location. Don’t miss: Saxophone/electronics avant-gardist/modern composer Earl Howard pairs with free-improv vocalist Thomas Buckner at An die Musik.
WEDNESDAY: D.R.I., the grubby thrash/hardcore band now nearly 30 years in, lays into Frederick’s Krug’s Place with Misery Index, Strong Intention, and Coke Bust. Chris Brown is all class at 1st Mariner Arena with Kelly Rowland, T-Pain, and TYGA. Dustin Wong brings his loopy, inward-gazing guitarscapes to the Metro Gallery with Hume and Avocado Happy Hour. Don’t miss: Shellac, Steve Albini’s mighty and kinda rarely seen slab of fuck-you noise-rock, makes its only area appearance at Sonar with Helen Money.
IN THE WINGS: Surfabilly band Southern Culture on the Skids comes to Soundstage Oct. 13. (For more information visit baltimoresoundstage.com.) The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are still pretty adorable at the Ottobar Oct. 18 with the Dialogue and Twin Sister. (For more information visit the ottobar.com or call  662-0069.)
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