the Death Set e.p. release at Gold Bar (w/ Spray Paint, Wax Witches)

The Death Set

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

The Death Set   The Death Set

The Death Set

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.

Sharon Needles pays tribute to Edith Massey @ Deep In The Game.

Sharon Needles pays tribute to Edith "the Egg Lady" Massey

Sharon Needles, winner of Ru Paul’s Drag Race and noted drag performer, did two pieces at Baltimore’s Deep In The Game party at the Hippo. The second, pictured above was a tribute to Baltimore’s own Edith Massey, perhaps better known as “the Egg Lady”, who was one of John Waters’ Dreamlanders.

See more photos from her performance here.

Psychic TV & Celebration @ Sonar.

Psychic TV @ Sonar
Celebration @ Sonar.

See the rest of the Psychic TV & Celebration photos here.

This show was a real surprise. I knew what to expect from Celebration, one of the best (and most long-lived, at this point) current band in Baltimore… I have seen them many times, own all their records… so I knew they were gonna be great. But Psychic TV… that’s another matter. Genesis P-Orridge’s project post-Throbbing Gristle has gone through so many manifestations through the years (and I honestly lost track a long time ago), so I didn’t know what to expect. I was honestly expecting some 80s “I.C. Water”-era proto-rave… instead, what I got was 90 minutes of rollicking prog-rock, including at least two Hawkwind covers (but maybe three?) and some great banter by Orridge, include a claim (which I don’t think is true?) of actually having been a member of Hawkwind. Anyway, great, really unexpected show.

Trayvon Martin Protest at Baltimore City Hall (liveblog).

"This is bigger than profiling." - sign at the #trayvonmartin protest at #baltimore city hall.   Occupying the flagpole at #baltimore city hall. #trayvon protest
On the steps at #trayvon protest at #baltimore city hall   #trayvon protest at #baltimore city hall
#baltimore city hall at the #trayvon protest   Skittles at the #trayvon protest in #baltimore

Today I attended the Trayvon Martin rally at the Baltimore City Hall. It was packed full of people, include on the steps, which surprised me. The overall feel was positive, with everyone I interacted with being friendly. There were a few people with sort of wingnuts signs there, and a surprising amount of t-shirt vendors, but in general it felt like a very honest, positive event. I’m glad I went.

See some photos above and some more photos here.

(Posted via Instagram for sake of being able to post them “as it happened”. Follow me on twitter or instagram at @joshsisk to see more liveblogs when I do them.)

Dan Deacon portraits for XLR8R Magazine.

Dan Deacon.   Dan Deacon.   Dan Deacon.

I shot these with Dan in his house in… 2009? Wow. Don’t know why I never posted these. These were for XLR8R Magazine, which no longer exists in printed form (RIP). The fabric in the background is the fabric that was used (he had it hand-made) for the tent that is on the cover of Bromst (which was photographed by the lovely & talented Baltimore photographer Frank Hamilton).

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Dan Deacon Ensemble, Celebration, Matmos @ Ottobar.

Dan Deacon Ensemble @ Ottobar
Dan Deacon Ensemble @ Ottobar
Dan Deacon Ensemble @ Ottobar
Dan Deacon Ensemble @ Ottobar   Dan Deacon Ensemble @ Ottobar
Celebration @ Ottobar
Celebration @ Ottobar   Matmos @ Ottobar

Awesome show, from beginning to end. 3 very different, yet complimentary Baltimore music groups, all on one bill! A great weekend for the Ottobar, who also hosted a sold out Wye Oak show the following night… anyway…

I have seen Matmos several times, and they are always different. This night, they chose to create a droning/grooving sort of atmosphere with a Caribbean (to my uninformed ears) feeling type of beat, very noddable and swayable. One of their songs got pretty minimal industrial, again to my uniformed ears, and I would SWEAR that on one song they used the same sample as Ministry does on one of their “Land of Rape And Honey” era records… but maybe I am just a goth.

Celebration remains one of my absolute favorite bands to see live in Baltimore… I love their old material and their newer stuff is growing on me more and more now that I have seen it played live a few times. Their set has morphed into only having one or two songs from the “The Modern Tribe” era, and they are still a treat to watch.

Dan Deacon used this show to introduce his new five piece ensemble (who I have posted about here recently) , and I really enjoyed the additional instrumentation. I think it worked best on the newer songs, ones that I assume were written for this group, but even on the classic Deacon songs, I think they added alot, especially the dual percussion. Live drums really can create a feeling like nothing else. The crowd seemed to agree, they went CRAZY, which is too be expected, and it was a really really fun set. Somehow I managed to stick it out the whole time at the front… a bit of a while since I managed that, but I was having a blast!

See the rest of the photos here!

Art Department, Quiet Hooves, Dave Fell, Other Colors @ Golden West

The Art Department.
Quiet Hooves
Other Colors   Dave Fell

Last week, I went to an (I think) all-local Unregistered Nurse show at Golden West, featuring : The Art Department, Other Colors, Dave Fell, and Quiet Hooves. I had only ever seen The Art Department before, and this was their first show in awhile – perhaps after some sort of hiatus (great journalism, I know). Of the other bands, I though that Quiet Hooves were particularly interesting.

I am at my parents for the holidays, so stay tuned for many updates with photos from the last few months (and perhaps beyond…)

Daybreak reunion @ Golden West

Daybreak reunion
Daybreak reunion   Daybreak reunion
Daybreak reunion

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.

Total Control & Thee Oh Sees @ Sonar

Thee Oh Sees

Total Control   Total Control

Total Control

Great show the other day at Sonar, courtesy of Unregistered Nurse. Australia’s Total Control (featuring at least one member of Eddy Current Suppression Ring) and California’s Thee Oh Sees.

One night, two shows: Thou, Tremors 2, Natural Child.

Tremors 2 @ Golden West
Thou @ Talking Head
Natural Child @ Golden West   Natural Child @ Golden West

Caught one of my favorite metal bands, Thou, the other day at the Talking Head Club. They played later than I thought, but always great and they ended with a cover of Black Sabbath’s Sabotage Into The Void, which was really, really awesome. Great to see some old friends too.

I got out of there as fast as possible and made my way to the Unregistered Nurse show at the Golden West, just in time to catch the last couple of songs by new baltimore band Tremors 2. Amazingly bad/good/bad/unsure name, but they were really good and lively to watch. I managed to get a few snaps. Then Natural Child played, who are a slowed down southern garage/punk band who are really catchy and fun, most of their songs have more than a hint of humor about them and the dudes in the band are really chill as well. Go check them out, they seem to always be on tour.

Davila 666 @ Golden West

Davila 666 @ Golden West

Davila 666 @ Golden West   Davila 666 @ Golden West

Davila 666 @ Golden West

Unregistered Nurse brought Puerto Rican band Davila 666 to the Golden West on Halloween weekend… I am not sure if I had seen them before, but they were really fun live, full of energy, multi-person singing/yelling parts… they put on a good show!

Two shows: Wino’s Premonition 13, Purling Hiss @ Sonar

Premonition 13 f/ Wino

Premonition 13 f/ Wino

Purling Hiss

I caught two cool shows in the same building this Sunday, Premonition 13 (the new band of doom metal legend Scott “Wino” Weinreich), and Philadelphia’s Purling Hiss. Sadly, neither show was especially well attended, but it was great to see two really incredible musicians at work… Wino is, of course, a much-heralded guitar player, and his seminal bands St Vitus and the Obsessed (along with The Hidden Hand, and his solo albums) have won him countless fans in the metal underground… but Purling Hiss’ Mike Polizze, who I don’t know much about, is also an incredible guitar player. Dana Murphy from Unregistered Nurse Booking first turned me on to this band, check them out if they play near you… really excellent.

Ice Age in SPIN Magazine.

Ice Age - Nov 2011 SPIN

My photo of Ice Age at the Golden West in Baltimore, in the November issue of SPIN (the Das Racist cover). On newsstands now. Pretty stoked to have a photo from a punk show at my friend’s restaurant in there… and to be featured in such a great magazine for music photography!

Trans Am, The Psychic Paramount, Dope Body @ Sonar.

the Psychic Paramount
Trans Am
Dope Body

The other week, I checked out Trans Am playing the entirety of their FUTUREWORLD record, along with local stalwarts Dope Body and the blissfully droney (and foggy) The Psychic Paramount. An all around great show, in the club room at Sonar, but to me the best part of the evening were The Psychic Paramount, who I had somehow never seen before… a great set, a wall of noise, feedback, fog, light, riffs… really good experience. Check them out.

Pissed Jeans & drag queens @ Golden West

Pissed Jeans @ Dana's BD

Pissed Jeans @ Dana's BD   Pissed Jeans @ Dana's BD

Dana, that dude from pissed jeans & drag queens @ Dana's BD

Last month to celebrate the birthday of local booker extraordinaire Dana Murphy (of Unregistered Nurse Booking), Pissed Jeans played a crazy show at the Golden West… complete with bottles of champagne, drag queens handing out cupcakes and shots, and plenty of other craziness.

Double Dagger’s Last Show.

Double Dagger's last show.
Double Dagger's last show.
Double Dagger's last show.
Double Dagger's last show.
Double Dagger's last show.

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.

If you are interested, you can also:

Double Dagger’s last show in NYC.

Double Dagger @ DBA

Double Dagger @ DBA   Double Dagger @ DBA

Double Dagger @ DBA

Continuing the Double Dagger last shows train, last Thursday I went to see them at Death By Audio in Brooklyn… the kids there love DD, apparently, and the show was so full of singalongs and stagediving and crowdsurfing, I was nervous the Baltimore true finale might find it hard to top this…