Music, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: Morrissey @ Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 6/10/14

IMP_Morrissey_Art_V2Late last year, Morrissey published his best-selling Autobiography. The book is full of witty recollections of various experiences in the life of the British crooner, and many of the details dwell on various grievances as the man strikes back against those who have crossed him at various points in his life.

But the book largely has a happy ending. He spends dozens of pages describing the euphoria of his performances in recent years, and how crowds have embraced him and his music from Sweden to Mexico. Morrissey wraps it all up in a cheery giddiness of sorts, reflecting his attitude that the only time he truly feels alive is when he is on the stage.

Fresh off publishing that book and recording a new album in France, Morrissey is set to return to the stage this year, coming to visit Baltimore, Md., at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall on Tuesday, June 10. Alas, the Mancunian turned Angeleno booked no date in the fair city of D.C., but I.M.P. Productions, owners of the 9:30 Club, are handling promotional duties for the show at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.

Not much is known about Morrissey’s new album as of yet, but he just released a cover of “Satellite of Love” in honor of one of his heroes Lou Reed, who passed away last year. So perhaps we can expect to hear that, along with several select selections from the new album and his time in The Smiths as well as another dozen or more from across his career.

Tickets go on sale to the public Friday, Feb. 21, at noon. A presale distributed by the 9:30 Club, however, starts today at 10am, so those in the know may buy a ticket earlier. Either way, portents suggest this will be a good year for Moz, so put on your thinking cap, dive into your love for old movies, and make a push and a rush to make those tickets yours!

w/ Kristeen Young
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Baltimore, Md.
Tuesday, June 10
Doors @7pm
All ages

Entertainment, Music, Night Life, We Love Music

We Love Music: Cass McCombs @ Ottobar, 1/21/2012


photo by Sandy Kim

Cass McCombs turned Baltimore’s Ottobar into a spacey dreamworld during his set Saturday night. In the midst of his US winter tour,  he played with a full backing band, including keys, bass, guitar, pedal-steel guitar and drums. Opening was Frank Fairfield, along for the duration of the tour, and Walker and Jay

First to the stage was the Baltimore based trio Walker and Jay. Gathered close around one microphone, with only acoustic instruments, they looked and sounded like they could have walked right out of the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?. There was an upright bass, providing the backbone and rhythm for the set, a fiddle, and the lead singer switched between playing banjo and what looked like some kind of steel guitar. Their old-timey country/bluegrass/blues was both lovely and rousing, and set an intimate mood for the evening.  Continue reading

Entertainment, Music, Night Life, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: Cass McCombs @ Ottobar, 1/21/2012

photo courtesy of Cass McCombs

Cass McCombs brings soulful, mellow, dreamy rock to Baltimore’s Ottobar this Saturday night. He has received high praise from the likes of John Peel and Pitchfork Media, and has performed or toured with Cat Power, Andrew Bird, Blonde Redhead & Modest Mouse among many others.

His sixth album (and second in 2011), Humor Risk, was released in November of 2011 , to much acclaim, and landed him a cover story on Fader.

I am currently addicted to the single “Love Thine Enemy,” from Humor Risk, but I can’t find that anywhere online to share, so check out “The Same Thing” also on the new album.

Cass McCombs

Saturday, January 21, 2012, Ottobar

w/Frank Fairfield 

Walker and Jay

doors 9pm/show 9:30


We Love Arts

We Love Arts: Dylan Koehler of the Baltimore Rock Opera Society

From Terrible Secret of Lunastus
All photos by Heather Keating, courtesy of Baltimore Rock Opera Society

At last summer’s H Street Festival just beyond the hand dancing demonstration, and right before the zoot-suited swing band, lay the Brothership, an art-car manned by a half dozen members of the Baltimore Rock Opera Society (BROS). With their ornate hats, righteous shredding techniques, devilish good looks, they won my heart.

The Baltimore Rock Opera Society took Baltimore by storm in 2009 with their original rock opera Gründlehammer, and after a year of toil, they debuted their new double feature of original works two weekends ago at the renovated Autograph Playhouse in the Charles Village in Baltimore.

We caught up with Grand Viceroy of Harmonious Operations (aka Musical Director) Dylan Koehler this week to talk about the BROS, their latest production, the renovation of the Autograph, and all things rock opera. Continue reading

Entertainment, Music, We Love Music

We Love Music: Agalloch @ Sonar (Baltimore), 3/21/11

All photos courtesy of Agalloch

On Monday, I drove up to Baltimore to check out Agalloch, rising stars in the American black metal scene. You know, I try to defend DC’s metal scene, but what does it mean when a critically acclaimed band passes us by? Are we not metal enough for a band from Portland? Are our local venues discriminating against the longhairs?

Anyway. I usually scoff at black metal as being too Satanic, too repetitive, or too grim – but Agalloch bring something unique to the genre, mixing in elements of folk (including acoustic and orchestral instruments), psych metal, and post-rock. It coalesces into something heavy and complex, something that rewards multiple listens. Despite some weak opening bands and a late set (running past 1am), I left the show sold on their vision for the future of black metal.
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Entertainment, Music, We Love Music

We Love Music: Weedeater @ SONAR (Baltimore), 2/23/11

all photos by author.

Step right up folks. Here we have the genuine article. A regular nine-toed, Jim Beam soused, hard working, son of the South. Brought straight out of the backwaters of North Carolina and direct to SONAR Baltimore’s side stage to both bewilder and terrify you with his gravel voiced howls and suffocating sludge bass guitar. The wild man reputation of “Dixie” Dave Collins has preceded him for a decade and on Tuesday night I finally got to experience this force of nature front man for myself.

“Dixie” Dave fronts Weedeater, a Stoner Doom metal band with a sound that is a little more Southern-fried than most of their peers. Accompanying Collins on drums is Keith “Keko” Kirkum, an imposing mountain of a man who would look equally at home guarding the gates to Mordor with a giant war-hammer or roughing you up for the change in your pockets. On guitar is Dave Sheperd; tall, slender, eyes hidden beneath the brim of his camouflage cap; lurking in the background like your uncle’s weird hunting buddy or that unassuming neighbor that turns out to be a serial killer. All three of these guys look like they could deliver some serious damage with any assortment of WalMart supplied bows, shotguns, and lawn darts. Weedeater trade in their firearms for instruments every couple of years to cut an album and tour behind it, unleashing an entirely different type of punishment than the kind they delivered to Ned Beatty’s ass in “Deliverance”.

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Entertainment, Music, We Love Music

We Love Music: Helmet @ SONAR 10/22/10

On Friday night, I took the MARC train to Baltimore, to meet my brother Marcus at SONAR, where we continued our brothers’ tradition of seeing Helmet in concert together every chance we get. Friday night was our sixth Helmet concert and Page Hamilton put on a casual but kick-ass show of guitar intensity that reminded us both why we’ve always held Helmet’s music in such high regard.*

Friday’s concert also featured two opening acts: Intronaut and Fight Amp. I have been digging on Intronaut’s albums for awhile now and this was my first chance to see them perform in concert. Fight Amp was an unknown element for me going into the show, but I had read some message board love for them that had me interested enough to show up early. To my surprise, Intronaut proved to be a disappointment and Fight Amp put on the more entertaining opening set.

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Entertainment, Music, We Love Music

We Love Music: Slayer w/ Megadeth @ 1st Mariner Arena

I know every self-respecting heavy metal fan is looking at the title of this article and wondering “where the f*ck is Anthrax?”. It is true that Anthrax opened the show in Baltimore on Wednesday night but I did not get to see much of their set. Try the last part of their last song only. Thank you Baltimore for forcing a show to start the minute the doors opened to get the small army of metal fans in and out of the Inner Harbor as quickly as possible. Seriously, my buddies and I made good time on our drive from DC to Baltimore, only to be shocked that Anthrax were saying their “Thank you, good night” the minute we took to the arena floor. It was 7:36 and Anthrax had already played their full set. FAIL.

Anthrax rant aside, the rest of the Jagermeister Fall Music Tour aka American Carnage II otherwise known as Clash Of The Titans Tour Redux was a head-banging, air guitar dueling, kick ass, good time. Megadeth performed their classic album “Rust in Peace” and then some with arena-metal showmanship that, frankly, I forgot still existed. Slayer then took the stage to perform their second masterpiece “Seasons in the Abyss” along with a sampler of their greatest hits and delivered a mammoth set of skin-peeling intensity. The show was a fun mix of somewhat silly 80’s Metal nostalgia followed by a virtuoso performance by the best Metal band in the business.

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Entertainment, Music, We Love Music

We Love Music: Unsane & Keehaul @ Ottobar 8/7/10

Unsane @ Ottobar 8/7/10
courtesy of Unsane.

I drove up to the wonderful Ottobar in Baltimore to catch a noise-rock double-bill so too-good-to-be-true that it was as if the lords of aggression themselves had forged it. I imagine these mighty creatures in their red-glowing cave, dipping their battle-scarred fists into molten iron, before plunging them into icy mountain rapids to cool and harden. The first fist of fury they named Keelhaul. The second they fastened to the end of a tree-trunk to fashion a warhammer; this they called Unsane. For decades these two mystic weapons of pummel made their way through the mortal world wrecking havoc on any and all who encountered them. Separated for many years by the fog of war, on Saturday night these two legendary forces reunited in a furious concert that stirred the blood and let slip the dogs of war.

Noise-rock is mostly about the musical expression of one thing: aggression. It isn’t pretty music, it isn’t nice. Noise-rock doesn’t ask politely and noise-rock never ever says “I’m sorry”. Noise-rock karate-chops you in the throat and knees you in the groin. Noise-rock throws you to the ground by your shirt-collar and pummels you with telephone books. It’s angry man music and it has been too damn long since this area’s tapped into the real old-school source of the stuff. The other night Boris and Russian Circles put on an amazing display of thinking man’s metal; at Saturday night’s Keelhaul/Unsane show you were too busy dodging blunt sonic jabs and throwing fists of your own to do much thinking. While you experience a post-metal show; with a good noise-rock show you are lucky to survive. Saturday night’s concert was so damn good I barely made it out alive.

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Entertainment, Music, We Love Music

We Love Music: The Smashing Pumpkins @ Ram’s Head Live 7/12/10

SP @ Ram's Head Live #3 photo by Michael Darpino.

The Smashing Pumpkins (2010 edition) performed at Ram’s Head Live in Baltimore on Monday night. The show was part of the current ‘small venue’ tour to promote Billy Corgan’s latest free-on-the-internet Smashing Pumpkins’ project/album, “Teargarden by Kaleidyscope”. The small venue tour also seems designed to generate the buzz of exclusivity for shows that are meant to erase the memory of the 2008 anniversary tour that swayed in quality from disappointment to fiasco. As both a promotional tour for the new album (it got me downloading it*) and a do-over for the infamous 2008 “shitshow“, Monday night’s concert was a success. The show was less a nostalgia trip (although some classics were performed) than it was an introduction to the new line-up, an exploration of the band’s more recent output, and an ego-stroke for The Smashing Pumpkins’ perpetually wounded band-leader Billy Corgan.

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The Daily Feed

Please Ripken, Save the Orioles

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘Keith Allison’

We don’t cover a lot of Orioles “news’ because…well…we have our own team now, and the Orioles have been the laughing stock of professional sports for over a decade. But as a life-long fan of the birds, and what some could call DC’s AL team, I just had to write about Cal. Our beloved Cal. The Iron Man. The nicest guy ever. The guy my friends and I grew up idolizing. Could it be? Could it be true that Cal Jr. is coming to be our savior and turn around the obnoxiously bad Baltimore Orioles? Front office, club house, I don’t care. Just give me Cal.

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News, The Daily Feed, WTF?!

Secret Service Van Runs Afoul of Baltimore PD

Photo courtesy of
”Hollywood’ Parking Ticket’
courtesy of ‘p_a_h’

This one’s got to be just about the funniest story I’ve read in a while. Jenna Bush’s Secret Service detail in Baltimore got in a little bit of a pissing match with the Baltimore Police, which ended up in their vehicles being ticketed and towed from just outside Federal Hill.

Nice to know that the rules do apply to the Secret Service, when they’re parking illegally in a neighborhood known for horrific parking conditions to begin with. What do you say, good call to tow the USSS away? Bad? Anyone who’s ever circled and circled and circled in Federal Hill looking for a spot says good call, I think.

Adventures, Tourism

Tourism: Fells Point

Fells Point, photo by rjohnson

Fells Point, photo by rjohnson

If you take a 42 mile northeast jaunt up the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, you’ll find yourself walking through the historic Baltimore neighborhood of Fells Point. A home to Frederick Douglass and drinking spot for Edgar Allen Poe, the area was established in 1730 by William Fell, and bore the names “Fell’s Prospect,” “Long Island Point,” and “Copus Harbor,” before finally settling on Fells Point in 1763.

Home to the Fells Point Ship Yard, area shipbuilders produced world renowned schooners (aka Baltimore Clippers) whose easy handling and quick speed helped U.S. Privateers plunder British shipping vessels during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.During this era the shipyard also produced the USS Constellation, a 38-gun frigate that was the first US Navy warship to engage with, defeat and capture an enemy. However, make no mistake; this vessel is not to be confused with the same named 1854 sloop-of-war that now resides in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
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