If We Shout Loud Enough (Double Dagger documentary) now streaming!

Double Dagger's last show.

Gabriel Deloach‘s documentary about Double Dagger, one of the all-time great Baltimore punk bands, is finally streaming on Amazon. I am biased since I am friends with everyone involved in this project, and contributed photography which appears in the film (and was even interviewed, though I unsurprisingly did not make the cut), but I truly think this is a great music doc and worth watching even if you are somehow going in not knowing who Double Dagger was. It’s full of insightful moments and plenty of great live footage from the band’s last tour, a tour I also documented:

“An inside look at the Baltimore underground music scene through one of its most pivotal bands, Double Dagger, this intimate and entertaining portrait follows the band as they complete their final tour and album, tracing the history and growth of the band and of Baltimore’s underground music scene.”

Streaming on Amazon | Buy the physical LP+DVD

Best of… 2013?!?

So, I have been doing yearly “best of” round-ups of my work since 2007. Right around now is when I start to think about what to put in the running for the year… the only problem is, I never posted one for 2013. So, here goes, in no particular order: my very late list of best photos of 2013.


Goblin @ Housecore Horror
A band I waited a lifetime, almost, to be able to see.

Future Islands @ Hopscotch 2013
Future Islands
A band on the cusp, playing their hometown. Well-deserved success stories like theirs are part of what makes this job fun.

Municipal Waste @ GwarBQ 2013
GwarBQ pit

High Zero Experimental Dance Night
High Zero
Only was able to make it to one night of High Zero this year but it always provides something exciting.

The Gories @ Unfest 2
The Gories

Robin Thicke @ Virgin Free Fest 2013
Robin Thicke
Thicke pretty much was peaking at this festival, but it was fun to be there for it.

the Breeders @ Hopscotch 2013
Kim Deal/the Breeders
Just love how much fun she’s having. As I recall, this was days/weeks after she bid goodbye to the Pixies. She seems plenty happy.

Cannibus Corpse  @ GwarBQ 2013
Canibus Corpse

Chvrches @ Virgin Free Fest 2013
Had never heard of this band before this, but I love quiet moments at huge concerts.

Old Lines @ Black Cat
Old Lines.
I love the guy on the left.

Down @ Housecore Horror
Phil Anselmo
He made fun of me from stage during this set.


The Evens.
The Evens
This was an amazing shoot. They were really easy and fun to work with.

Dana rooftop pool, Austin 2013

Call Girl of Cthulhu
Call Girl of Cthulhu
Got to shoot a lot of stills and behind the scenes for this film, as well as the DVD cover. Really fun experience.

Luray Caverns 2013
Luray Caverns

Maryland Film Fest 2013
Maryland Film Fest Hotel Party
This was, I think, taken in Bobcat Goldthwait’s hotel room but the memory is hazy.

Bronycon Baltimore 2013
Bronycon I
The Brony thing has gotten a little weird since this first con but I found them to be refreshing an earnest when I spent the weekend hanging out with them.

Ryan Schapell

Glitter Thighs @ Tiki Barge
Glitter Thighs


Ottobar Haunted House
Ottobar Haunted House

Baltimore Tattoo Convention 2013
Blue Man
I’d heard about this guy for years. A retired Baltimore City civil servant who dedicated his retirement years to getting completely tattooed.

For the truly curious, here is the pool of photos I picked from.

UNfest 2 with Gories, Pissed Jeans, Peach Kelli Pop & more!

The Gories @ Unfest 2
The Gories @ Unfest 2
The Gories

Pissed Jeans @ Unfest 2
Pissed Jeans @ Unfest 2
Pissed Jeans

Peach Kelli Pop @ Unfest 2
Peach Kelli Pop

Obnox @ Unfest 2

Ed Schrader's Music Beat @ Unfest 2
Ed Schrader’s Music Beat

Hunters @ Unfest 2

Roomrunner @ Unfest 2

Old Lines @ Unfest 2
Old Lines

Cult Control @ Unfest 2
Cult Control

Big Christ @ Unfest 2
Big Christ

UNfest 3 is this weekend, so enjoy the above photos from 2013’s fest! You can buy tickets for this year’s fest here.

Click here for all the photos from UNfest 2.

Click here for day one and here for day two photos from UNfest 1!

(These photos originally ran on Noisey.)

Pig Destroyer & 3 Floyds beer release with Old Lines, LTW

Pig Destroyer @ Black Cat
Pig Destroyer @ Black Cat
<a href="https://www.flickr .com/photos/joshsisk/8717977613″ title=”Pig Destroyer @ Black Cat by Josh Sisk, on Flickr”>Pig Destroyer @ Black Cat
Pig Destroyer  + Katherine Katz (of ANB) @ Black Cat
Old Lines @ Black Cat
LTW @ Black Cat

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.


Luray Caverns.

Luray Caverns 2013
Luray Caverns 2013
Luray Caverns 2013
Luray Caverns 2013
Luray Caverns 2013

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.


Ian Svenonious: the Make-Up reunion, Chain and the Gang LP release show.

Chain and the Gang @ Comet Ping-Pong (record release)

My good friend Chris Richards published an article today in the Washington Post (with photo contributions from yours truly) titled “How the “Sassiest Boy in America” 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.


The Make-Up at Save Your Soul in Baltimore:
the Make-Up reunion 2013
the Make-Up reunion 2013
the Make-Up reunion 2013
the Make-Up reunion 2013

Chain and the Gang LP release at Comet Ping Pong:
Chain and the Gang @ Comet Ping-Pong (record release)
Chain and the Gang @ Comet Ping-Pong (record release)
Chain and the Gang @ Comet Ping-Pong (record release)
Chain and the Gang @ Comet Ping-Pong (record release)
Chain and the Gang @ Comet Ping-Pong (record release)

Baroness’s John Baizley on their crash, comeback, and Baltimore show

I first saw Baroness in late 2003, at a show at the old Talking Head Club on Davis Street. From seeing that early show, as well as listening to their demo, it was clear that this Savannah-based band were destined to be a big deal. Over the years, I’ve followed their rise to the heights of the metal scene (and, in the interest of full disclosure, also met them and booked a show or two for them along the way). Like everyone else, I was horrified to hear that their tour bus had crashed in the UK, leaving 3/4ths of the band severely injured. While guitarist Pete Adams received only minor injuries, John Baizley, vocalist and guitarist suffered extreme damage to his left arm and left leg, requiring complex surgeries and months of physical therapy. Drummer Allen Blickle and bassist Matt Maggioni both fractured vertebrae, and have since left the band. That was on August 15, 2012, at the beginning of the tour for their then-new album Yellow & Green. After a nine-month hiatus, the band is going back out on the road, with some changes, and is playing Baltimore on Saturday. I spent a few minutes catching up with John Baizley on the phone:

CP: It’s cool that you are coming back to Baltimore right at the beginning of the tour, it’s been awhile off the road – how are you feeling about touring again?

JB: The Baltimore show will be our second show back. We’re really excited about doing it again, because we haven’t been on tour in almost a year now. It’s not been fun.

CP: What’s preparing for this return to the road like?

JB: It’s good, it’s work. We’re finally working again, and that’s a super good thing. After we got in our wreck last year, it’s like ‘okay, now you can’t do -anything- for awhile’. At this point we’re all healthy enough to be rehearsing as much as we can, we have a new rhythm section basically, so we have to learn everything, kind of start from square one again, figure out exactly where we are physically and musically, get back on the road and start doing it again.

CP: Sebastian Thomson (of Trans Am) is the new drummer, how is that working out?

JB: It’s awesome, he’s a kickass drummer, I’ve been a huge Trans Am fan for years, so it’s awesome to have the opportunity to play with somebody that’s made music that has influenced you and of which you’re a fan. It’s totally kick-ass. Part of what we do in Baroness is spend a lot of time considering the chemistry of the members. He gets it and we all get along, it’s great. It literally couldn’t be a better situation.

CP: He doesn’t live in Philly (where the band is based), though, does he?

JB: He and our bass player live in brooklyn, but we can have practices and do all the things we need to do, like learn and get better at music.

CP: This is going to be the first time the Yellow & Green material is going to be played by the band in the states, right?

JB: Yeah, ever. I’ve done some solo tracks, but quite literally, these will be the first live performances of the full band playing them in the states… and, really, we did a couple of shows in Europe with them, but not even enough that we got comfortable with it and I think at the time we were playing them, most people didn’t know the songs yet either. It’ll be cool to play them to an audience that knows the songs.

CP: Now that everyone has had a year for the album to soak in.

JB: Yeah, that could be a good thing or a bad thing. I’m hoping it’s a good thing. It’s good when there is some comprehension happening, and people can anticipate the songs or get excited about our setlist, have a good time singing along, hopefully. That remains to be seen – this will be as big a surprise for me as it will be for everyone else at the show.

CP: Are the setlists going to mostly focus on the newer material, or…?

JB: We always play a good cross section of our back catalogue and I intend on keeping it that way. We won’t eschewing the old songs in favor of purely new songs. We’ll always dip back and play the good songs off the old records. It’s fun to do.

CP: I saw you play a solo set in Austin for SXSW, you played some new material – are you already working on a new Baroness record?

JB: Honestly, I don’t know. It’s been a lot of energy to get this first tour together. So much so, in fact, to consider anything else has been a distraction. So we put all our energy into this, in developing a rapport with the new guys, teaching them the songs, getting comfortable with it and hopefully working towards not just being comfortable with the material, but being better than we were.

CP: How long has the new group been practicing? How long are you going out?

JB: About a month and a half- not terribly long. It’s a 3 week tour, couple weeks off, then another month on, then we’ll take another weeks off, then a couple things after that.

CP: How are Allen (Blickle, the band’s founding drummer) and the other guys?

JB: Everybody’s doing well, we’re all pretty much past the intense physical therapy side of things, kinda moving forward and getting on with our lives.

CP: It was pleasantly surprising to see how fit you seemed in Austin, and how well you played.

JB: That was actually a very difficult set to play, I was in quite a lot of pain, but you’ve got to deal with it.

CP: I’m sure everyone has asked you this, but what’s your reaction to the recent news that Norman Markus (the bus driver during the 2012 crash) has refused to return to the UK to face criminal charges?

JB: I don’t even know what to say about that, you know? That is what it is. We weren’t anticipating it, we were totally fucking surprised by it, I don’t think anyone of us knows what’s going to go on with that. Sufficive to say, I am not pleased by that fact whatsoever. It’s making a complicated situation infinitely more complicated.

CP: Does the band have to go back to the UK for the trial?

JB: No, because we didn’t file charges. This is a criminal case that the UK has filed against him, and it’s not a big enough case to do extradition or anything like that, so he said ‘I’m not gonna come to the UK’ and we’re waiting to hear back what’s going to happen.

CP: One positive thing that came from this terrible situation is the large amount of support that’s come from the music community.

JB: It’s super powerful, there’s a lot of people out there I have to thank as nicely as I can because collectively this was a very big shot to us, physically, mentally, financially- in every way. We’re still, nine months later, trying to make heads and tails of it, and everybodys got their own experience with it, medical bills, psychological effects, medications and doctors visits, and continued chronic pain. It’s not pleasant, but we’re gonna get through it, and everybody’s gonna be fine at the end.

CP: One last thing- your show is during Maryland Death Fest, I know I’ve seen you there before, are you stopping in this year?

JB: if we can figure a way to get in, we’re definitely coming. Look, INFEST is playing – I’m not gonna miss that.

Baroness performs this Saturday, May 25th with Inter Arma at Rams Head Live in Baltimore.

The Evens feature shoot.

The Evens.
The Evens.

The Evens.   The Evens.

Last month, I shot The Evens (Ian MacKaye and Amy Farina) in their home for Ghetto Blaster magazine, for a feature about their new album. I was a little nervous, unsure how it would be working with Ian, but my worries were totally unfounded – they were both great to work with, friendly, firm about what they wanted, and full of great ideas that made the final product better. A great shoot, and I think the final product came out well!

The Evens - Ghetto Blaster cover tear sheet
The Evens - Ghetto Blaster splash tear sheet

Noisem (formerly Necropsy) @ Golden West

Noisem (aka Necropsy) @ GW
Noisem (aka Necropsy) @ GW   Noisem (aka Necropsy) @ GW
Noisem (aka Necropsy) @ GW
Noisem (aka Necropsy) @ GW

Noisem (formerly known as Necropsy) are a great young Baltimore metal band – though their sound and chops are already quite seasoned, as is their live performance. They recently signed to A389 Recordings and changed their name… I would guess you will hear alot more about these guys in the next couple of years. Here are some photos from their last show under the old name, at the Golden West.

Matmos in the studio.

Matmos in the studio.
Matmos in the studio. Matmos in the studio.
Matmos in the studio. Matmos in the studio.

I spent a pleasant afternoon in Matmos’ Baltimore City studio, photographing them for a recent XLR8R piece on their studio, their gear, and their new album. A really interesting pair of artists, they explained some of their process and a lot of their gear to me, and they even demonstrated the basic concept of how they came out with the concepts and raw material for their new album – having a friend of theirs undergo sensory deprivation and describing the music that he heard (pictured above). A really cool shoot.

XLR8R Matmos feature

Imagine Dragons, Veronica Falls shows.

Imagine Dragons @ Fillmore 2013
Imagine Dragons @ Fillmore 2013 Imagine Dragons @ Fillmore 2013
Imagine Dragons @ Fillmore 2013

Veronica Falls @ Black Cat
Veronica Falls @ Black Cat Veronica Falls @ Black Cat

Two shows I shot for the post, both bands I hadn’t heard before. Imagine Dragons (playing at the Fillmore) were super energetic live, or at least the singer was, but not really to my taste. Veronica Falls (playing at the Black Cat), however, I loved. Very poppy indie rock with melodic vocals… I thought they would fit in opening for the Smiths in the 1980s, or something. Check them out!

I Used To Be Darker poster

I Used To Be Darker.

Stoked to be able to announce my photo of lead actress Deragh Campbell is being used for the festival poster for I Used To Be Darker, the new film from Baltimore director Matt Porterfield. You might know Matt from his previous films Hamilton & Putty Hill. It’s great to be a part of this project, which has just premiered at Sundance as I type this.

Some coverage of the film at MovieScope and MovieMaker, and you can also read Matt’s journal from Sundance here at Baltimore Magazine’s site.
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