The Short List
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Nada Surf, Femi The DriFish
Published: July 4, 2012
WEDNESDAY: If fireworks and barbecue aren’t enough to set off your holiday, there are musical options. Pigeons Playing Ping Pong are at the 8x10. Baltimore Boom Bap Society is getting down at the Windup Space. Wyldlife and Thee Lexington Arrows (with City Paper illustrator Alex Fine) are upstairs at the Ottobar. Don’t miss: Black Breath and TRIAC headline a very metallic Fourth of July celebration, courtesy of Southern Lord Records, at Sonar.
THURSDAY: Nada Surf, who is more popular now than when it released “Popular,” plays at Rams Head Live. Sarah McLachlan makes you weep with that song about dying kittens or whatever with the National Philharmonic at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Creative spelling in hip-hop reigns at the Talking Head with Mars and Mastamind, Sik Mob, Spaide Ripper, Homicydal Maniaxe, Isolated Beingz, and, best of all, Pfhatty Garcia. Little Worlds interpret Bela Bartok at An die Musik. Sac Au Lait swings at Joe Squared Station North. Don’t miss: The uncategorizable Meshell Ndegeocello headlines at Baltimore Soundstage.
FRIDAY: Rachel Anne Warren (of Gunwife Gone) debuts a new “pulp cabaret” stage show at the Ottobar. The Charm City Art Space 10-Year Anniversary Blowout kicks off with Pinkerton Thugs and Sacred Love. Meanwhile, Femi The DriFish celebrates a birthday and a new album at the Creative Alliance at the Patterson. Deep in the Game throws a release party for its new DDm/Rye Rye remix EP at Club Hippo. The Jennifers drop by the Golden West with the Sky Drops. Don’t miss: Baltimore’s own Gary B and the Notions go down to Washington for the STTP Fest Benefit at the Black Cat.
SATURDAY: The Charm City Art Space 10-Year Anniversary Blowout continues with Dead Mechanical and Brick. Piano soloist Michael Sheppard is choppin’ up Chopin and droppin’ bombs on Brahms at An die Musik. Balti Mare makes gypsies dance at the Sidebar. The Rush tribute band Second Nature records a new live album at Orion Sound Studios. The Creative Alliance at the Patterson hosts traditional Irish music from the Old Bay C�il� Band. If you know what “jam-tronica” is and want to hear it, Sonar’s got it with Damn Right! and the Werks. Johnny Balls strums a ukulele at Joe Squared Station North. The Recher Theatre shines the local music spotlight on Between Heart and Home. Don’t miss: The sixth annual psych-rock extravaganza Farm Fest, held on The Carney Farm in Manchester, Md., blasts off with some of Baltimore’s best rock bands, including Celebration, the Pilgrim, and festival founders, the Flying Eyes.
SUNDAY: Mayu Saeki Trio, led by the New York-based flutist, plays at An die Musik. Grateful Dead alumni in Furthur space out at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Baltimore’s kickass feminist-punk supergroup War On Women opens for Tacocat at Sonar. Elsewhere in Sonar, Millionaires continue to exist, hilariously, in the club room. Baltimore Soundstage hosts a Baltimore Battle of the Bands, with the Pedicidle Ghost and Soul Kitchen Collective facing off with nine other groups. Don’t miss: The Charm City Art Space 10-Year Anniversary Blowout concludes with Praise and Trophy Wife.
MONDAY: Matisyahu and The Dirty Heads provide a double bill of horrible white-boy reggae at Rams Head Live. Old Time Musketry looks to the past at An die Musik.
TUESDAY: Def Leppard, Poison, and Lita Ford party like it’s 1989 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Much blander contemporary-mainstream rockers 10 Years headline at Rams Head Live. The Out Of Your Head collective does its usual unusual thing at the Windup Space. The Taxpayers file their quarterly earnings at the Charm City Art Space with Saintseneca. Don’t miss: Pianist Freddie Redd continues his summer residency for a second week at An die Musik.
WEDNESDAY: Neon Trees headline the Starbucks Frappucino Summer Music Tour at the 9:30 Club in Washington, bringing together two of my favorite guilty pleasures of the moment. Craig Cummings and Ari Baranson play acoustic at Joe Squared Station North. Beres Hammond headlines at Rams Head Live. Me and This Army and Pinata come out swinging at the Sidebar. Gigamesh and Punks Jump Up try not to get beat down at Baltimore Soundstage.
IN THE WINGS: Santana and the Allman Brothers Band bring you ’70s guitar-solo euphoria at Merriweather Post Pavilion on July 30. (For more information, visit merriweathermusic.com or call  715-5550.) The Hold Your Wife tour, featuring R&B heartthrobs Raheem DeVaughn, Tank, and Carl Thomas, comes to Pier Six Pavilion on Aug. 24. (For more information, visit piersixpavilion.com or call  783-4189.) Baltimore rock royalty Kix plays one of its semi-annual reunion gigs at Rams Head LIve on Sept. 22, and you really owe it to yourself to check it out. (For more information, visit ramsheadlive.com or call  244-1131.)
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