Finally got to see Mayhem!
This week marked the relaunch of a Baltimore institution: the Ed Schrader Show! Long before Ed helmed Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, he was known for hosting the always-unpredictable Ed Schrader Show, a live talk show held at various spots around Baltimore. The show would present various notable (and often unsung) people of Baltimore and sitting them down for a chat with Ed in his unique interview style.
After taking some time to focus on music pursuits, this week Ed brought the show back to Metro Gallery and interviewed artist Dina Kelberman (check out her project I‘m Google) and rapper DDM (who is also in the stellar group Bond Street District), both long-time members of the creative scene here in Baltimore.
It was a great show, full of funny moments as well as heartfelt, insightful ones. I’ll add a podcast link here when it goes up- this is just the first in a monthly series of new shows, so you can come to Metro Gallery in march for next month’s taping.
Merry Christmas! I forgot that some of my photos are in this cheery holiday-themed video from Agoraphobic Nosebleed. Enjoy!
Alex Ebstein, artist????? ?? ?????? ?????? ??????
Some recent portraits I’ve taken for City Paper.
Paradox owner Wayne Davis posted today that Paradox, the legendary Baltimore nightclub and after-hours spot, will be closing in 2016. Sad to see it go but after 25+ years, I imagine Wayne is ready to move on to something new. I took the opportunity to assemble some just a few of the photos I’ve taken there over the years…
Earlier this summer I made the trip down to Carrboro, NC with noted Baltimoreans Kevin Sherry and Mark Brown to watch Future Islands play their celebratory 1000th show. I wrote the following for Noisey:
FUTURE ISLANDS BRING IT ON HOME TO NORTH CAROLINA FOR THEIR 1,000TH SHOW
Future Islands capped off their first 1,000 shows (and a tremendous year) with an all-fam celebration in Carrboro, NC this Sunday, appropriately dubbed FI1000. Not wanting to miss it, I packed into a car with a few other Baltimoreans and road tripped it down there. Though known primarily as a Baltimore band, the boys grew up in North Carolina and started the band there, so it felt right for this party to be down south.
Located at the open air Carrboro Town Commons, the show had kind of a block party or family reunion vibe with a lineup filled with old friends of the band. NC buddies like Valient Thorr and Lonnie Walker, along with Baltimore friend Dan Deacon and Ed Schraderâ€™s Music Beat. Add in Danny Brown and about 4,500 exuberant fans and thatâ€™s a recipe for quite a party.
The relaxed atmosphere was pretty perfect for a intimate fest like this, with the artists mingling with the (mostly young) crowd, who seemed appreciative of even the early bands on the bill. But once Danny Brown took the stage, the energy of the crowd spiked sharply, with people dancing exuberantly, grinding, chanting along. The stage fencing almost gave way at more than one point. I donâ€™t think the Carrboro Town Commons security staff had seen a show like this before.
Dan Deacon kept the energy high, performing a set mixed with both new tracks and old classics like Wham City and Crystal Cat. Iâ€™ve seen him do his audience participation parts more time than I can count, but it never ceases to amaze me how he can coax a huge crowd into seemingly anything. He also took time to speak about police violence and how it affects us all, the most somber moment of the night but delivered in a classic uplifting and reflective Deacon manner.
All the artists told stories about Future Islands, some dating back to even before they were a band. The anticipation was super high for them to take the stage at dusk. Always charismatic on stage, it was obvious how pleased the guys were to be playing in front of friends and family. Throughout, frontman Sam Herring kept the crowd engaged with anecdotes and stories (told in a Southern accent that grew throughout the night) about their time as a band, growing up in North Carolina, and about the other bands who played. It was a great set, full of both intimate moments and big stage moves – confetti and huge balloons kept the crowd bouncing. They played a packed set which of course included songs like Seasons and Tin Man, but also ranged to older, little heard songs like Pinocchio and New Autobahn, to the obvious pleasure of the crowd. They closed the show out with a promise to return to Town Commons when they hit 2000 shows, though I guess theyâ€™ll need a larger venue next time.
Cemetery Piss (cricketcemetery.bandcamp.com)
For his birthday, Baltimore promoter Adam Savage gave us a present – a sick party at the Metro Gallery (a venue that has stepped up it’s game of late with a remodel, new stage as well as way more metal shows). Local newcomers Putrisect are the most promising new band I’ve heard this year- brutal, guttural howling vocals, killer riffs and a “fuck y’all” live performance attitude add up to a band to watch. Black Metal band Cemetery Piss (featuring the birthday boy himself) have been a fave of mine for awhile but they just keep getting better and more consistent. Pick up their new 7″ if you are at all a fan of the genre. I had to slip away at this point to go to LadyFest to see Whore Paint, but Inter Arma’s set was, by all accounts, incredible. Magrudergrind killed, as always – love those guys and the crowd obviously did as well. Finally, it’s great to see Pig Destroyer strutting their stuff as a five-piece – they have been playing a lot of out of town dates, and it shows in how together they are. One of the best times I’ve seen them in awhile (and I’ve seen them a lot). Super secret birthday suprise: A Pig Destroyer Misfits cover set with Adam joining in on vocals!
Earlier in the day, I shot Pig Destroyer and Magrudergrind band photos, so be on the lookout for those soon…
Big Mouth (bigmouthsound.bandcamp.com)
Whore Paint (whorepaint.bandcamp.com)
Coup Sauvage & the Snips (coupsauvage.bandcamp.com)
War On Women (waronwomen.bandcamp.com)
Lizz King (www.ehserecords.com/lizzking)
Trophy Wife (trophywifetheband.bandcamp.com)
Crimson Wave (crimsonwave.bandcamp.com)
This was such a great event. Two days of bands, workshops and community in Station North. Got to see some of Baltimore’s best bands and discover quite a few out of town acts that I had never heard of – Coup Sauvage and Whore Paint in particular impressed me. Baltimore rules.
Saturday night was the last night of The Gold Bar, an amazing local venue started by Dana Murphy of Unregistered Nurse Booking. In the same building as the Crown, it was unfortunately only open for a little less than six months, but in that short time managed to have amazing shows like Skull Defekts, the Death Set, Nothing, Big Mouth, and dozens more that I was too wizened to take pictures at.
A really cool spot and Baltimore is poorer with it gone – but Diarrhea Planet, Cowabunga Pizza Time, Ratboiler and Music Band, along with a packed house of local troublemakers, gave it quite the send-off. Beer, silly string, confetti, champagne and bodies were all flying through the air by the end of the show (sooner, actually), which sold out by 9pm. Everything got a little fuzzy (and messy) there at the end, but it’s safe to say everyone had quite the time.
Friday night one of my favorite Baltimore bands, Big Christ, played their last show at the Gold Bar (itself winding down – this was the second to last night of the venue’s existence) with another local favorite, Old Lines. Big Christ has been around for a bit, playing noise rock/punk in the vein of Black Flag or Shellac… clearly enunciated, bold lyrics with pounding, lurching music backing it up. They have a couple release up on their bandcamp, but I don’t think any of them really compare to their live sound. I saw them play recently with Protomartyr and was struck by how good they sounded; Friday they had improved even more. Apparently one or more members are moving away, a shame, was looking forward to them developing further.
The night was capped off (after plenty of nightcaps) by my friends Old Lines, who I’ve been talking with about providing some promo photos for their upcoming release on No Sleep for awhile now. Finally the night seem primed for everyone to be drunk enough for it to happen… with the help of some local lovelies, of course.
3 Floyds Brewery and my friends in Pig Destroyer (primarily Scott Hull, noted craft beer fan) collaborated on a beer, Permanent Funeral, which rated VERY highly on the various beer sites, including Beer Advocate calling it one of the top 40 beers of the world. To celebrate, they threw a release party at the Black Cat in DC. Continuing on my mid-year resolution to get my site up to date, here are the photos I took at the event… Baltimore band Old Lines and (now-defunct, I believe) DC band LTW opened.
Continuing to catch up with posts of things from the year I neglected this site. Last summer, Dana and I took a trip to Luray Caverns. It was my first time – a really amazing place. I recommend anyone go at least once. If you can manage to go in with a smaller group it’s very much a peaceful experience. They have weddings down there, too, apparently, which would be pretty amazing and unique.
My good friend Chris Richards published an article today in the Washington Post (with photo contributions from yours truly) titled “How the â€œSassiest Boy in Americaâ€ became the most interesting man in rock-and-roll“, and I thought this would be as good as an occasion as any to post photos from the recent Chain and the Gang show at Comet Ping Pong in DC (which marked the release of their new record, Minimum Rock and Roll), as well as photos from the once-in-a-lifetime the Make-Up reunion at the Lithuanian Hall in Baltimore.
The Lith Hall show was pretty spectacular, mainly because I have a pretty low opinion of reunions, and most I’ve been to are fairly disappointing. I forgot, however, just how good of a performer Svenonious is – while I never saw the Make-Up in their heyday, I’ve seen all or most of his bands since and he definitely still has it. Strutting the stage, engaging in his crazy banter, busting his lip on the mic and bleeding without even acknowledging it… good stuff. The rest of the band brought it as well, though I wondered about the absence of Steve Gamboa on drums.
Flash forward a year, and I’m asked to go check out Svenonious’ current band, Chain and the Gang, play at Comet Ping Pong as they bring out their new record, Minimum Rock and Roll. Equally fun time, though minus the anthem factor of having known the songs for 15 or so years… but still, they have it down and know how to work with the crowd and the initimate atmosphere brought with it a sense something crazy might happen at any moment. I was surprised, however, to find the Gang opening for the Coathangers… perhaps a sign of the times? Perhaps not since a good chunk of the crowd seemed to leave after their site, skipping the headliners.
Haven’t updated my site in a WHOLE YEAR. Wow. Going to rectify that, hopefully, with a bunch of new stuff and slowly posted old stuff as well. What better way of starting it off than something that combines the two – photos of old homies and former Baltimoreans THE DEATH SET, playing an e.p. release show for their new record on Dim Mak, ‘King Babies’ at the Gold Bar?
A great night of seeing old friends, though a bunch of old heads I expected to see didn’t make – I guess we are all getting old now. Still, Johnny and Dan tore it up, played old favorites, crowd surfed, jumped around and generally reminded us all why TDS were considered Baltimore’s Best Live Band back in the day… good times.
The Death Set, ‘Light the Fuse’ from King Babies
Flashback to: the last time Death Set played in Baltimore, when they played Sonar with the F Yeah tour (which is now a documentary), and one of my favorite shows ever, them and Matt & Kim at the Lo-Fi Social Club, before it became the Hexagon then Dan Deacon’s studio.
Saturday was something I thought I would never see… the reunion of Baltimore band Daybreak. They were a late 90s/early 2000s power violence band who put out records on Reptilian Records and Robodog Records (now Robotic Empire). I never saw them, but their records made their way to Baton Rouge by way of Page 99’s distro table and the Robodog’s Geocities-era website. Me and my friends appreciated the music, extreme but approachable and with musicianship, and even more, we appreciated the humorous piss-takes at “the scene” and the feeling of a crew of punks that we got from their record art and inserts… I thought it was cool that there was enough people who liked this music there to even HAVE a crew!
Anyway, somehow, someway, 10+ years later and I am friends with alot of the people involved with the making of these records, and they are all great and I am thankful they decided to do this reunion show so me and others had the chance to finally see this band! It was a fun night, and for a good cause – to help pay for a friend of the band’s cancer-related medical bills.
I am currently displaying 3 pieces in New York Photo Festival’s juried exhibition Audio/Visual, at PowerHouse Arena in Dumbo, Brooklyn. It’s a show about music & photography, which pretty much means photos of musicians, though there were some interesting shots that didn’t quite fit that mold. You can read more about it here. The show is up all month, so if you find yourself in Dumbo, stop in!
Here are the photos that are in the show (Janelle Monae, Monotonix, The Spark):
Great show, best night. I stage dove, in fact all the photographers stage dove… wait, EVERYONE stage dove. Denny’s dad held it down at the front for the whole show! So much fun, what a good send off for one of the best bands the city has ever seen. Thanks for the memories, guys.
- See all the photos from Double Dagger’s last show, including a couple of openers Dan Deacon & Future Islands.
- BUY PRINTS of photos from the last Double Dagger shows (CCAS, DC, NYC, Baltimore)
If you are interested, you can also:
Al Shipley over at Urbanite just did a nice little write-up about my book. The thing basically sold out the first run, only a couple left, but I am about to do a second run, with some expansions and some changed design elements, so feel free to purchase one – but if you want the new & improved version, it won’t be out for a bit yet! If you don’t mind the OG edition, go ahead!