Friday, February 20, 2009

The Local Weekend: Is It Spring Yet?

After some great weather and a holiday you either love or hate (damn you, St. Valentine!), winter is somehow still here. And since I got a new cable line wired into the apartment, so am I. Spring is just around the corner and bands are gearing up for the festival of festivals in Austin. Yes, SXSW is only a month away. So prepare yourself for a veritable onslaught of bands fine tuning their shows before heading down Texas way.


A few bands are having a party this weekend to introduce their new discs, so I am giving them first mention. Friday, DC Ping-Pong palace and pizza joint Comet Ping Pong is hosting Loose Lips and their release of the new EP Weighing Winter. Baltimore local favorite FFHH joins the celebration as does The Gagged.

Saturday, two bands, two new releases, two different cities. If you are in Philly, I highly recommend the show at Johnny Brenda's over all other in the city that night. Papertrigger, the local band that everyone must see live, is unleashing their new album. If you enjoyed the Riot Lovers EP, the new album Snake Sale, from the pieces I have heard, is just a continuation of the form and function that made the first EP a critics favorite. If that is not enough, the bearded force known as Pattern Is Movement is slated as an opener! And kicking it all off is the synthy pop of Whales & Cops, featuring former members of Man Man. Again, I restate: This is the show to see in Philly Saturday night!

Now the Rock & Roll Hotel in DC has quite the bill themselves for Saturday. The party is for The Known Unknowns and their self titled EP. The long absent The Roosevelt makes an appearance as the opener. Ra Ra Rasputin is a raucous rocking favorite and The Dance Party will just blow the roof off the place and maybe knock some walls down with it.

mp3: Loose Lips - download entire EP here
mp3: FFHH - The Body (via email from band)
mp3: Papertrigger - Move the Ground (via
mp3: Pattern Is Movement - Blanched and Threshed (via
mp3: Whales & Cops - Bosuns O the Yard(via High Two Records)
mp3: The Known Unknowns - Suggested Donation (via band website)
mp3: The Dance Party - A-list (via email from band)
mp3: The Roosevelt - Codeine Cure (via email from band)

A few big names are making multiple stops in the area. You can catch M. Ward (who knows is Zooey is anywhere nearby) three times this weekend if you play your cards right. Kicking off the weekend at XPN's Free at Noon, John Wesley Harding performs with M. Ward for a great lunch. The Troc then hosts M. Ward later that evening, this time with the Vivian Girls for a sold out show. Saturday, The Historic Sixth & I Synagogue is the venue for the same lineup.

mp3: M. Ward - Never Had Nobody Like You (via RCRDLBL)
mp3: Vivian Girls - Where Do You Run To (via RCRDLBL)

Since those playing the Free at Noon at the World Cafe are not sticking around for the evening shows, Kathleen Edwards steps in to fill the void with The Last Town Chorus. Sunday, you can catch them at The Birchmere.

mp3: Kathleen Edwards - In State (via artist website)
mp3: The Last Town Chorus - Oregon (via artist website)

Drive-By Truckers are back in the area with their brand of southern-fried rock. Head to the 9:30 Club Friday and Saturday for a double dip. Along for the ride is fellow Athens band Bloodkin.

mp3: Drive-By Truckers - Zip City (via band website)

La Strada and Deleted Scenes are making the trip along I-95 this weekend, starting at The Fire in Philly with openers Tongue Sculptures and Council Idaho, the hitting Talking Head in Baltimore for a show with locals Pianowire and Scary River.

mp3: Deleted Scenes - Turn To Sand (via band website)


Even with all those listed above, Friday is still packed with shows.

For something completely different, head to The Abbey @ ABC is Harrisburg for the eclectic sounds of The Two Man Gentlemen Band. Free show!

The Rosewood Thieves and North Lawrence Midnight Singers entertain the Khyber in Philly, while Olivia Mancini & The Terrible Two are joined by Meredith Bragg and No Second Troy for a great local show at the Black Cat in DC.

Baltimore hosts two shows. Talking Head has Mr. Moccasin with Travels, Ari Schenk and The Owls Go while Windup Space features Celebration, always known to give a great show. Opening are Lone Wolf and Ami Dang.

mp3: The Two Man Gentlemen Band - Fancy Beer (via email from band)
mp3: Olivia Mancini - This Kind of Life (stream)
mp3: No Second Troy - The Argonaut (via email from band)
mp3: Celebration - Evergreen (via Beggars Group USA)


It slows down just a touch for the remainder of the weekend. Just down the street from the show at Johnny Brenda's, the M Room is having great show of its own. Tim Fite is joined by DC artist Benjy Ferree and DeLeon (indie with a Spanish flair) for a more lo-fi, less raucous atmosphere. If you want the best of the singer-songwriter ilk, this is the place to be.

Baltimore is the place to be Saturday night, having a couple of shows worth your attention. Indie hip-hop is flourishing and Baltimore has always been a ground breaking scene. See locals Food for Animals at the Zodiac for the best of what Charm City has to offer. Over at the Metro Gallery, The Payola Reserve shares the stage with Lazlo Lee and Sik Sik Nation.

Philly closes the week with two show about two blocks apart. Johnny Brenda's is host to one of my favorites from 2008, Aderbat. Also on the bill is Obi Best and Caves of Mercury. Down at the M Room, Tigercity and Receiving the Ghost perform.

mp3: Tim Fite - Change of Heart entire album download (via artist website)
mp3: Benjy Ferree - Fear (via email from Domino Recording Company)
mp3: The Payola Reserve - Music Is Not Music (via email from band)
mp3: Sik Sik Nation - Lord Is My Gun (demo) (via link on myspace page)
mp3: Aderbat - Mastodon (via band website)
mp3: Tigercity - Are You Sensation (VHS or Beta mix) (via RCRDLBL)



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