The Short List
Hollywood, Dark Star Orchestra, Wise Eyes, and more
Published: December 28, 2011
WEDNESDAY: Dark Star Orchestra does the Grateful Dead at Rams Head Live; Project/Object does Frank Zappa at Baltimore Soundstage. New Jersey grind band Budd Dwyer makes hell at the Sidebar with Downfall of Gaia, Vestiges, and more. Pianist Marc Irwin pairs with theater vocalist Daniel Schwait at An die Musik. Don’t miss: Singer/songwriter/MC/beatboxer Queen Earth performs at the Bohemian Coffee House.
THURSDAY: Halestorm, an area major-label rock band in the same broad category as Buckcherry, et al., plays Rams Head Live with Ashes Remain and Cold Harbour. Gubernatorial Celtic rock band O’Malley’s March plays Annapolis’ Rams Head Tavern. South Carolina’s Forgetting Fera brings its bounce-along pop-punk to the Sidebar with Brigades, A World Away, the Zits, and Wise Eyes. The jamgrass notables of Infamous Stringdusters play the 8X10 with Wes Swing. Scenic Route Recordings moves its live recording event, Songwriter Sessions, down to the Windup Space with Yellow Raincoats, the Plastic Traps, Eureka Birds, and Minimus the Poet. The New Deal returns prosperity to Baltimore Soundstage with Eliot Lipp and Fractal.
FRIDAY: Ibot Records, a local digital-only label started by a fellow from the band Wakefield, hosts an early New Year’s Eve party at the Ottobar with A Cool Stick, Doopadooz, the Herd of Main Street, Deuce Deuce, and more. A whole bunch of bit-music/electronic-music trippers take over the Metro Gallery for the Cytoplastik East and West Smorgasbord, including DJ Romulus, Megadrives, the Intergalactic Council of the Intergon, Fractal Cat, Turbomatic, and No Dancing. Baltimore hair band-of-yore Child’s Play reunites at Rams Head Live. The KREation Ensemble eight-piece plays a homecoming show after a year out of Baltimore at An die Musik. Baltimore’s free-jazz/new-music scenes come together for reed wizard John Dierker’s yearly holiday show at the Red Room at Normal’s Books and Records: Dierker plays with Adam Hopkins, Chris Pumphrey, Will Redman, and Marc Miller. Don’t miss: Snails, a rarely seen supergroup of sorts from folks in bands such as Future Islands, Nuclear Power Pants, and Small Sur, oozes through the Windup Space with Great Tap Root, Andy Abelow, and Wing Dam.
SATURDAY: The Ottobar splits in a few different directions for its New Year’s bash, with DJ Craig Boarman helming the “Girls Rule” Gaga/Britney/Beyonce/etc.-themed party up till midnight and TaxLo taking over late with DJs Simon Phoenix and Stereofaith. Get the Led Out: The American Led Zeppelin does you’ll never guess what at Rams Head Live. Blues singer Deanna Bogart rings it in at Rams Head Tavern. The Sidebar hosts a relatively please-all New Year’s bash with Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Y-Love making “global hip-hop,” club regulars Thee Lexington Arrows, the Evokatones, and more. Pigeons Playing Ping Pong make “fun funky electro-jazz rock” at the 8X10 with Jesters of Kindness, the Deaf Scene, and Segway. Arlington reggae band SOJA, aka Soldiers of Jah’s Army, performs at Baltimore Soundstage with I-Wayne and Jah Works. A New Year’s edition of weekly funk/breaks party Dig takes over Joe Squared Station North with the F guesting. Don’t miss: Ben Frock’s Love Unit, featuring some 15 players from in and around Baltimore’s thriving out-jazz scene, returns to the Windup Space with the Chris Pumphrey Sextet, and Interstella Live Live Live Live.The Golden West Cafe and punk booking force Unregistered Nurse does New Year’s right with a free garage/punk show courtesy usual suspects the Matrimonials, Hollywood, and Murder.
SUNDAY: Pianist Sarah Wagner plays a broad combination of classical art songs, jazz standards, and showtunes at An die Musik.
MONDAY: DJ James Nasty mans the decks (laptop?) at Joe Squared Power Plant.
TUESDAY: Vowel-challenged indie-something band Nghbrs play the Ottobar. Ray Rice hosts the Gridiron Sing Off at Rams Head Live, which is football players singing songs for charity. Young Adult Fiction, a fairly straight-ahead indie-rock band from Richmond, plays the Sidebar with Jim From the Moon, Basmati, and Robert Mitchell. The Dig with Landis Expandis and DJ Napspace rests for nothing at Joe Squared Station North. Scottie B DJs Joe Squared Power Plant.
WEDNESDAY:Don’t miss: Baltimore doom/thrash/noise/black-metal band Pleasure Wizard makes hell at the Sidebar with Left and Right, Atlas, and Tendrills.
IN THE WINGS: The two-day Ice Jam takes over Sonar with a great deal of only the finest in latter-day emo, “crunkcore,” and metalcore on Jan. 14 and 15, including August Burns Red, Attack! Attack!, I See Stars, and much more. (For more information visit sonarbaltimore.com or call  783-7888.) The Where’s the Band Tour stops off at the Ottobar Jan. 21 with guys from bands like Bayside, Saves the Day, and the Get Up Kids, all going solo. (For more information visit theottobar.com or call  662-0069.) Crowded Streets, “the second best Dave Matthews Band,” plays Rams Head Live Jan. 27. (For more information visit ramsheadlive.com or call  244-1131.)
> Email Michael Byrne