Digging through the stacks on this Thanksgiving eve and finding lots of old gems I haven’t posted. Here are some photos of my pals PURE JUNK from last year, playing a show at the Ottobar. Perhaps opening for Fred & Toody of Dead Moon? This was a fun night. Look for more posts soon (I always say that, but for real this time).
Managed to escape from the recent Green Day show I shot for the Washington Post and make it back to Baltimore to catch one of my favorite bands, Thou, at the Sidebar. Bryan Funck, Thou’s vocalist, is an old friend and one of the best people in punk & diy. Thou’s work ethic is really inspiring, they’ve released so many great records and toured consistently without any sort of compromises. Love seeing bands who still do it right.
Big Mouth is one of my absolute favorite Baltimore live bands, they hadn’t played a show for awhile before this one, so I was really stoked to go. I’ve been carrying my Fuji x100t lately, a smaller camera, and I took this show as an opportunity to try and shoot a show entirely with it. It was super challenging, but fun, and I think it came out pretty well.
Government Issue, the legendary DC hardcore band fronted by John Stabb, played a surprise show at the Ottobar recently. Pretty cool getting to see them play just blocks from my house, on a icy Sunday evening.
Scaled down a little this year, but still a blast! I was only able to make it to half of the 4 shows that comprised this year’s event but still managed to catch a bunch of great performances, see some homies, and dodge some fireworks at Haymaker. Seeing them in that small, smoke-filled room was really a surreal highlight of my show-going so far this year.
Always amazing – one of my favorite bands of all time. So stoked to get to see them in my city. If you ever get the chance, don’t sleep. I almost skipped their Philly show in 2013 and it ended up being one of the best shows I have ever seen, and I see ALOT of shows. Classic band.
Earlier this year, Marked Men played 3 shows in two days at Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus. I covered it for Noisey. Great shows, I wish we could have stayed for the third one but no sense being greedy, I suppose. The atmosphere at these shows were great, really intimate, lots of fans from all over there to see one of their favorite bands play with little or no BS. The day show, especially was cool, though less “wild” since people were just waking up/not tipsy, but it gave it a more youthful vibe. Don’t miss a chance to see this band.
Saw Baltimore’s Best Band, Ed Schrader’s Music Beat awhile ago at venerable DIY venue Floristree along with Rat Fist, a new band made up of members of No Age and Pissed Jeans. Long time homie Sean McGuiness of PJ (and various back-in-the-day DC bands) drums and sings for Rat Fist, so I couldn’t miss it. Great show. ESMB really deserves all the attention they are getting, what a great band. Seeing shows at Floristree is a really good experience because it feels so home-y (after all, it is a home) and the crowd is generally so respectful and into the music. They even have a better sounding PA now, too!
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.
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.
Starting off a strong month of heavy shows is Baltimore d-beat band Old Lines, who have been playing out a lot in support of their self-titled first LP. See them Wednesday, March 6 with straight edgers WarXGames and Big Christ at Club K. Also coming up at Club K is Holly Hunt, a new band featuring members of Cavity and Floor (two of my favorite dark, sludgy groups of the 90s). They’re playing with D.O.C., Radical Discharge and Eddie Brock on March 18th.
Last year, Baltimore musician Jason Donnells (The New Flesh) split for greener pastures but thankfully heâ€™ll be back long enough for his most recent band, Friend Collector, to play a show in town. See them at the Bell Foundry on March 25th with Curse and Multicult. Later in the week, a new metal party kicks off on March 30th at the Borinquen Night Club on Eastern Ave, featuring performances from Lich King, Possessor, and a host of other bands. The promoters say this will be the first of a weekly metal night at the club.
Moving into April, on the 6th Tim â€œRipperâ€ Owens is performing at Cafe 611 in Frederick. I canâ€™t say Iâ€™m a huge fan, but the guy went from being in a Judas Priest cover band, to being in Judas Priest, to having a movie made out of his life starring Mark Wahlberg as him. Pretty wild ride. The next night, Baltimoreâ€™s Passage Between opens for Kowloon Walled City and Zozobra at the Ottobar, and Cemetery Piss opens for Evil Army at the Sidebar.
Joining the ranks of other local fests like A389 Bash and the upcoming Maryland Death Fest, Chris Moore (Magrudergrind, Coke Bust) has organized a strong line-up for the first Damaged City Fest, a two day event at Saint Stephens in D.C. There are too many bands playing to list here, but some of the area acts include: Mindset, Sick Fix, Ilsa, Necropsy, Coke Bust and Give, along with out of towners like Negative Approach, Double Negative, and Dropdead. It goes down April 12-13th and passes are on sale now.
Necropsy, a Baltimore metal band new enough that several members are reportedly still in high school, have just recorded an album with Kevin Bernsten of Developing Nations for their debut release on A389 records. The album should be out in the next few months. Baltimore punk band Paper Dragons have just released an LP, Die To Please, on Wallride Records. They are also playing on April 14th at the Ottobar, with Diarrhea Planet & Tenement. Everlasting grind band Triac just released a split 12â€ record with D.C.â€™s D.O.C. on German label RSR.
Finally, on a sad note, longtime Relapse Records sales manager Pat Egan recently passed away from pneumonia complications. Egan was a beloved fixture in the metal community at large for years and Relapseâ€˜s Pig Destroyer is releasing a benefit EP named â€œMass and Volumeâ€, which will consist of several doom metal-inspired tracks that were previously available only in Japan. Relapse has also released a 20 band compilation entitled â€œPatlapseâ€. Proceeds from both will go towards his daughterâ€™s college fund. You can find out more at patlapse.bandcamp.com.
Shot the second of two sold out shows at the Black Cat to celebrate the impending release of Salad Days, a documentary about the 80s punk and hardcore scene in DC. Great show. I had seen GI before, so knew what to expect – always fun, though. But Scream I had never seen, and honestly, hadn’t listened to that much in a long time… so I was pleasantly surprised at how much they killed it. Seriously a great performance.
Every year local neer-do-well Dustin Diamond has a cover band show at the Talking Head… well, next year it will have to be somewhere else, sadly, but it’s historically a great time. Different Baltimore bands or mixtures of Baltimore bands get together and do cover sets. This year among the bands were Fairies Wear Beards, which featured most of The Pilgrim doing Black Sabbath songs, and PISS, which featured most of Murder + Josh Seipp (formerly of Triac and Maudlin of the Well) and Matt Gabs from the Biters doing KISS covers… in full make-up! Continue reading
This was a lot of fun – an annual pop-punk/punk fest from local punk label Insubordination records, I was sent out by the Baltimore Sun to cover this, but was excited to see the Mean Jeans, who I have covered before, as well as Night Birds & the Dopamines (who were playing with Mikey from the Ergs), both of whom I have always managed to miss. House Boat, who I’d never heard of before, was a good discovery – they played until they literally fell down from exhaustion. What a fun show and crowd… crazy crowd-surfing and dancing, lots of fun bands. And the organizers, including the legendary Larry Livermore, were very easy to talk to and chill. Read on for more photos or click here for the whole Flickr set from Insub fest… Continue reading
Black Pus is Brian Chippendale (Lightning Bolt, Mindflayer, drawing comic books)’s one man drums+electronics band, and it was really fun… the crowd went crazy for him and his wall of sound, constantly stage-diving and dancing. One girl next to me went up easily 12 times in a row… pretty fun. Even Chester got into the action!
Ed and Devin’s set was energetic and awesome… everyone singing along, dancing, the crowd spill forward onto the stage over and over… there was an amazing moment when the power died and Ed led the crowd in a capella version of Air Show, which was just awesome to have happen.