Tagged: wolf eyes

My 30 Favorite Sets of 2015, part 3

The end is near… Of 2015!  And my top 30 favorite sets of 2015.  Here are the last 10.

This show is on the list for a few reasons.  This was probably my 14th or 15th time seeing this Baltimore group since their formation several years ago, and this was to be my (and everyone’s) last time to see them.  Their UN Fest (an excellent festival in Baltimore) set was advertised as their last, and I was able to experience the loudness and wild crowd, one last time.

Roomrunner (last show) at Ottobar

The second set on this list was Pleasure Leftists opening for Chameleons VOX, at Metro Gallery.  I have been a fan of this Midwest post-punk group for a while, and it was nice to finally see them live.  I loved the singer’s dance moves.

Pleasure Leftists at Metro Gallery

The next one was something random for me, Sun Ra Arkestra at the Ottobar.  I was hooked on their weirdo jazz, and loved every minute.  The pissed off looking dude was my favorite performer of their raucous set.

Sun Ra Arkestra at the Ottobar

This was one of the Wildhoney sets I saw.  This noisy group gets better and better.  This was their first set with a new guitar player.

Wildhoney (EP release) at the Ottobar

Expert Alterations are some nice dudes and local indie pop heroes.  This was their debut album release show.   I made it there just in time to see them (performing with a member of Wildhoney as a quartet) give an inspired and impassioned performance.

Expert Alterations (album release) at the Crown

I saw the Polyphonic Spree for a third time.  This time I had a front table seat at a sit down venue. The Spree tore it up for two sets; one being their first album in it’s entirety, the second a greatest hits and covers and rarities set.  I love the Spree and this performance further cemented my love.

the Polyphonic Spree at Rams Head On Stage

I have seen Wolf Eyes a few times now.  This was the weirdest of all of the sets.  Which is saying a lot for the mavens of Trip Metal.  This was almost a jazz set, and I think it was mostly improv.  I could be wrong, but it didn’t sound like their new LP.

Wolf Eyes at Metro Gallery

Wing Dam is one of my favorite bands.  They always rock.  They played Cocoon which is my favorite song by them and one I think they had not played the last couple times I saw them.  They also had the best shirts (Miley Cyrus ones that can be seen in the picture below) and I added one to my collection.

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At number 9 is DC band Paint Branch.  This show was in a library basement.  They are another band I have been into for a few years and finally saw.  I think they are the new America (the band) with their harmonies and interplay (guitar and vocals).

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The last of my favorite sets was actually tonight.  And no I am not just throwing them on here.  I felt like i might really dig it so I saved a slot, just in case.  Good thing I did because the unseasonable heat and a packed basement in DC with one of my favorite singers belting out her old and new songs was too excellent.    I had heard they were gonna break up, now it seems like they wont.  Good, I want to see them again…

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Until 2016 (and the one last show I have this year, or maybe two) my friends!

All images in all show pictures by me

My 25 Favorite Sets of 2014

As 2014 winds down, it is the time of the year to reflect on some of the music I saw live this year.  These were my favorite 25 sets out of ones that I saw this year (I will be finishing this year at around 50 shows/festivals attended, almost one per week, and I am not sure how many total sets I saw (and I am not going back to count that). Anyways, here are my 25 favorite sets of 2014 with a short reason why I dug them so much and a picture taken from my Instagram account for each.  They are more or less in chronological order.  Most were in Baltimore or DC, unless otherwise noted.  All pictures are by me.

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Pixies, Electric Factory in Philly, January 2014

This was a cold night.  We braved the cold and drove the two hours to the show, barely making it in time to catch all of Pixies set.   It was crowded, a heater was blasting me while a draft on the wall was also freezing me, but it was a great time.  I finally saw Pixies live, and with someone who was also a huge fan (my fiance). Plus it counted as a celebration for my birthday for this year.  Even leaving the city heading the wrong way and having an hour added to our commute home cant tarnish the memory of their set, seeing all of these classics live with an enthusiastic crowd of fans.

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Weekends, Ottobar in Baltimore, January 2014

I am a big fan of Weekends.  Too bad they are going on a break, with one member moving away.  The music these two can make sounds as big as a four piece band.  Plus I love it when people switch instruments during a set.  I am glad I get to see them at least one more time, at the upcoming Friends Records Anniversary party at the Ottobar.

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Multicult, Stem Graphics in HarCo, February 2014

This whole night was pretty memorable.  From the fist fight during Roomrunner’s set, to excellent offerings from One Watt Sun and Two Inch Astronaut, it was an all around good night of music.  Multicult were no different, ripping through a set of precise and chugging riffs.  This was also only one of a few times I saw them this year.  Each was great.  They do not disappoint.  RIYL Shellac.

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Priests, Barclay House in Baltimore, April 2014

I am a casual fan of Priests.  I saw them a long time ago at the Black Cat in DC (with at least one less member I think).  And then I saw them at a house show.  And they were pretty rocking.  Singer Katie is one hell of a front person, yelping and singing her way through politically charged ditties.  The band played their surf punk rock and we had a blast in a basement.  One day they will be huge and I will be able to think back on seeing them in a basement. With a pentagram on the wall.

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Wolf Eyes, Current Space lot in Baltimore, April 2014

April.  An outside show.  What could go wrong?  How about the coldest show that I ever experienced?  It was freezing but the jams these trip metal masters brought were warm.  This was my second live Wolf Eyes experience, and it was just as brutal as the first.

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Cloud Cult, Sixth and I in DC, April 2014

Cloud Cult are one of my favorite bands.  Their music helped me get through some tough times.  Sixth and I is usually one of my least favorite places to see a show.  But for some reason, this time it was just right.  Cloud Cult did two sets, one acoustic and one electric.  The reworkings of the tracks into acoustic songs was a nice touch to old favorites, and they brought their normal energy.  I almost had to skip it because I was sick, but I sucked it up and ventured out and am glad I did.

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Swans, Black Cat in DC, May 2014

Swans are one of the best bands I have ever seen live.  This set was similar to the first one that I saw.  Crushing riffs, 30 minute songs… Two hours long… But at least this time the no Air Conditioning rule was not in effect, as it was the first time I saw them.  I am looking forward to seeing them next year at a different venue, in Baltimore.

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The Skull Defekts, the Gold Bar in Baltimore, May 2o14

Sadly, this set was sans Daniel Higgs.  But, they still rocked.  They played what they call Street Metal, and I rocked to the percussive big muffed tunes.

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Matmos, Fifth Dimension in Baltimore, May 2014

This was at a fundraiser for High Zero.  There were not that many people there at the warehouse space.  Matmos were very friendly and Drew let me and my friend sit on the stage during their set.  It was a mix of video and electronics, and was but one part of an incredible night that also featured a synth piece by Dan Deacon and a killer set by Horse Lords.

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Microkingdom, the Crown, May 2014

What happens in Baltimore?  Not only will you get a great set by jazz weirdos Microkingdom, but you will also get Sam from Future Islands to join them for a cover.  Which they set up on the spot.

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Wildhoney, the Crown in Baltimore May 2014

Wildhoney get better and better.  Their shoegaze really sounds great live.  I have been a fan for a long time, and am really enjoying experiencing their evolution.

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Wing Dam, Ottobar in Baltimore, June 2014

Wing Dam are one of my favorites.  They are super nice people who play some chilled out fuzzed out rock and roll.  I have seen them a few times, and this one was as rad as never.

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Guerilla Toss, Metro Gallery in Baltimore, June 2014

I did not know what to expect from Guerilla Toss.  What I did experience was a short, intense set of rock and roll with a memorable jumping around like a wild person, front woman.

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Dark Blue, Metro Gallery, July 2014
I finally saw a Sharkey band.  I was actually at a show for another of his projects, Puerto Rico Flowers, but sadly I left early.   This band, while way different, still allowed me a chance to see Mr Sharkey and company rock out.  This Philly band should be seen by all rock fans.

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Kowloon Walled City, Metro Gallery, July 2014

These guys rock.  They are heavy, heavy, heavy.  This whole bill was stacked, but this set was really special since I don’t have the ability to see Kowloon Walled City that often.

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Neutral Milk Hotel, Merriweather Post Pavilion, July 2014

This was my third experience seeing NMH live.  I saw them at 2640 Space for their return show in 2o13.  I also saw them at DAR in DC earlier this year.  But this set was my favorite.  The set was about the same, but it was the night before I went on vacation with my fiance and her family, and the day before I proposed to her.  It was us and her sister and her sister’s boyfriend, and we had a great time listening to great music on a summer night, while I was still on a high from telling her parents my intentions to marry her, immediately before the show.  (also, another no picture NMH show so I snapped this crap one just because).

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Charanjit Singh, Tropicalia in DC, August 2014

I heard of Charanjit Singh from a friend, and went to a Kennedy Center show that was cut way short due to a transportation issue.  But he was also playing that night at a nightclub, so all was not lost.  He rocked his 1980s seminal album and had the DC crowd dancing.
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Joanna Gruesome, the Rock and Roll Hotel in DC, August 2o14

I saw these Welsh musicians with a stacked bill – which included Potty Mouth and Perfect Pussy.  They did not let me down.  They had an infectious energy that did not let up their whole set.

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Horse Lords, Fields Festival, August 2014

I have seen Horse Lords hypnotic krautrock several times, but this set was my favorite.  Usually they play two long songs, for about 20 to 30 minutes.   This night under the stars in the woods with a lot of the Baltimore arts community for 45 minutes, it was true bliss.

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clipping, Metro Gallery, September 2014

Clipping make noise.  Clipping make raps that make you think.  Both are delivered with a technical precession, both live and on album.  I cant stress enough how noise and hip hop heads need to check them out.

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Placebo, Fillmore Silver Spring, October 2014

This was a dream come true.  I first heard Placebo in 1998, and really got into them in 2001 while living in South Korea and have been a huge fan ever since.  The only chance I had to see them was about five years ago in Baltimore, but that show was cancelled due to illness.  This was worth the wait.  The Fillmore’s sound system rocked that night, and they played a set of old and new tunes.

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Roomrunner, Metro Gallery, October 2014.

Roomrunner is one my favorite bands.  Favorite locals bands.  Favorite live bands.  Just the best.  Their 90s grunge throwback sound has been updated a bit, and their more melodic side was shining through this night.  It was a release show for their excellent J Robbins produced Separate EP, and the hometown crowd of friends and fans went nuts.

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Slowdive, 930 Club in DC, October 2014

I was never a huge Slowdive fan, but went to the show with a friend who had an extra to spare.  And I am glad I did.  I love shoegaze and they did not disappoint.  They were loud, but not overbearingly loud.  The sound was perfect.  So clean, with every element of the music, every guitar texture and vocal, clear and beautiful as can be.  I do not go to the 930 Club that often now, but used to go quite a bit; and I think this set stacks up with almost anything I had seen there.

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Riff Raff, Baltimore Soundstage, October 2014

This was my second time seeing Riff Raff.  It almost could have been the worst thing of the year.  Riff Raff’s plane was late, causing the openers to have to stay on for three hours (the crowd was booing, they were restless).  He played a short set (30 or so minutes) but he put a lot of energy into it, and it seemed like he was actually rapping more of his lyrics than he did the first time I saw him.  It was a party for sure, but his set was almost a warm up for the party that was Waka Flocka.  Whatever it was, I had a lot of fun; possibly due to the fact that his album has been out for a while and I am a fan of all of the songs that he rapped.

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Yusuf, Tiny Desk Concert, October 2014

I finally got to see Cat Stevens aka Yusuf live.  He played four songs, two old and two new.  I was able to say hi to him afterwards, shake his hand, and get my CD signed by him.  It was a day of pure elation.

Hexenjagd – Dragged to Hell 18

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After a slight hiatus, my mix series Dragged to Hell returns with volume 18.  It features hip hop, noise, local (to me) artists from Baltimore, and other electronic and noisy tunes.
Tracklist:
1. clipping Body and Blood
2. BRUXA WitchHunty
3. SCHWARZ OPEN UP YR MIND (RAP REMIX) FEAT. LA CHAT AND TT THE ARTIST)
4. Girl Talk & Freeway – Tolerated ft. Waka Flocka Flame (Wolf Eyes Remix)
5. Blacksage Sexsomnia
6.Child Actor Ordinary World
7.JUICEBOXXX OPEN UP YOUR LIFE
8. Nick Hope Ocean City
9. Chiffon Deep Fantasties
10. Bones YouCanTellAlotAboutAManByTheNeckOfHisShirt
11.Sortahuman SPEAK FREELY (PROD. BY NATTYMARI)
12. Death Grips Up My Sleeves
13. LOFTY305 X EYEDRESS Clean Cut Superhero
14. BOFC Die Alone
15. The Body Hail To Thee, Everlasting Pain
16. Repelican Done
17. That Was Then This Is Now Human Pain
18. Virgin Blood Lydia

Favorite Sets of 2013

In chronological order, one image for each of my 20 favorite live music sets of 2013.  All images are from my Instagram account.

1/29 – Quicksand at Black Cat

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2/9 – the Evens at 2640 Space

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4/18 – Dead Mellotron at Club K

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4/25 – GOAT at Black Cat Backstage

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5/22 – Future Islands (mainly unreleased songs 90 minute set) at Metro Gallery

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5/29 – Roomrunner (record release show) at Metro Gallery

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6/7 – Celebration at Metro Gallery

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6/30 – Locrian at Metro Gallery

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7/27 – Potty Mouth at La Casa

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9/1 – the Art Department (surprise set) at ScapeScape

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9/5 – Pharmakon at Hopscotch

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9/5 – Merzbow and Wolf Eyes (surprise collab set) at Hopscotch

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9/6 – Magik Markers (improv set) Three Lobed Records Day Party at Hopscotch

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9/7 – Wing Dam SPAZZSCOTCH Day Party at Hopscotch

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9/7 – BAMBARA DAY-DREAM Day Party at Hopscotch

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9/7 – Matmos at Hopscotch

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10/2 – Dan Deacon (brand new songs set) at the Crown

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10/11 – Neutral Milk Hotel at 2640 Space

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11/13 – Chelsea Light Moving at the Ottobar

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12/1 – Animal Collective at 930 Club

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Favorite Releases of 2013 (everything else)

I am going to keep the descriptions short and sweet.  These 20 releases made up my other favorites that aren’t from Baltimore, or dark/electronic.  A very East Coast heavy list, with Massachusetts having a strong showing. In no particular order, the rest of my favorites (and a mix).

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MIXCLOUD

1. ovlov – am: catchy noise rock is what these brothers deal in
2. Exit Calm – The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be: second album of soaring British shoegaze; vocals are up front unlike a lot of their peers
3. The Courtneys – The Courtneys: probably what I sang along to the most this year in traffic was from these Canadian Keanu Reeves enthusiasts
4. BAMBARA – DREAMVIOLENCE: noise powered pedal theatrics from this NYC band; their day time set at Hopscotch this year was easily among my top five favorite for the year
5. The Polyphonic Spree – Yes, It’s True: the only kickstarter project I supported this year; I have drank their Kool Aid for over a decade, and this one didn’t let me down
6. Sebadoh – Defend Yourself: one of my favorite bands of the 90s return to form; I am glad I was able to see them on tour for this
7. Locrian – Return To Annihilation: I was lucky enough to see them on their short tour for this album; their set’s mix of ambient metal synths and guitars let me wanting more

8. Wolf Eyes – No Answer: Lower Floors: I always thought I wouldn’t like them because they would be too harsh; this release is just the right combo of noise and songs (also another killer band I was able to catch this year)
9. Weekend – Jinx: beat driven shoegaze release
10. Veronica Falls – Waiting For Something To Happen: pop from London; another sing along fest

11. The Stargazer Lilies – We Are The Dreamers: ethereal shoegaze release from Soundpool alums
12. Placebo – Loud Like Love: another strong release from a mainstay in my favorite list; I am not sure if this will convert anyone, but is a treat for fans of the band
13. Chelsea Light Moving – Chelsea Light Moving: I like all the post-Sonic Youth bands but only wanted to include one; CLM made the cut since I listened to this the most, and also really enjoyed the tracks when I experienced them live
14. Kal Marks – LIFE IS MURDER: Guitar heavy Boston band featuring a vocalist with one of the most unique voices I have heard in rock music in a long time
15. Paint Branch – I Wanna Live: the only DC based band on this list; which is sad, I spend a lot of time every week in that city; smart, vocal driven pop from ashes of Q and not U
16. Krill – Lucky Leaves: another reason Massachusetts kicks ass with its music scene
17. Palehound – Bent Nail: another release that has a 90s vibe to it; nice mix of acoustic and electric parts and also singing about a range of topics including pet carrots
18. DJ Dog Dick – The Life Stains: NYC based noise artist releases a instant noise pop classic; beats, singing, basslines, and melodies abound
19. PERFECT PUSSY – I have lost all desire for feeling: probably the noisiest of all of these releases, shoegaze ones included; too short at four songs and they leave you wanting more
20. Potty Mouth – Hell Bent: this band of punk rockers put on one of the funnest sets that I attended this year at an all ages event at an alternative worship place; much ass was kicked

the image of Locrian synth player/singer Terence Hannum at the Metro Gallery in Baltimore was taken by me