Thursday, May 31, 2007

Help Fletcher's Snub The Pretentious

Fletcher's Petition

"Suburban kids who mostly have more money than talent or sense"? IT'S ON! Fletcher's can't let their neighbors say that about them in the public record! I have a strong feeling the person who wrote this has more money than respect for the zoning board who has to read letters with such hostile commentary. If that's not the case, or if you feel your letters were taken out of context, please share why you feel so strongly about the picnic tables. I'm genuinely interested.

Caveat emptor: If you live in Fell's Point, you're going to be around nightlife.

Thanks to my good friend Ginger for sharing this story.

Maryland Deathfest VI: May 24 & 25, 2008

Maryland Deathfest logo

Just after the end of this year’s festival, it has been announced that the sixth annual Maryland Deathfest will take place on May 24th and 25th, 2008 at Sonar here in Baltimore, MD.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Lord Baltimore Recording Grand Opening, Saturday June 16: Print This Page For Priority Access

Lord Baltimore Recording

Lord Baltimore Recording, home of Thrushes and WZT Hearts, is about to celebrate its Grand Opening! And what better way to do so than with an awesome party? Sets from Baby Aspirin, Thrushes, The Death Set, and one more band TBA, not to mention free food! The sets will all be recorded live, so your screaming voice will make itself part of the permanent record of the event.

If you are interested in attending this FREE event, print this page and bring it to the event as your invitation to ensure priority access. And shoot me an email (blawk359 at gmail dot com) or leave a comment so I know to say hello to you there!

What: Lord Baltimore Grand Opening w/ live music and free food
When: Saturday, June 16 at 5:30 PM
Where: 100 E. 23rd Street, Baltimore, MD (Home of Lord Baltimore Recording)
Cost: FREE (if you print this page and bring it as your invitation to make sure you get in)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

NowChild Nation Is About To Turn This Mutha Out!

NowChild Nation

NowChild Nation is a funk rock band based in Baltimore and is comprised of former members of the legendary Parliament-Funkadelic and active members of the P-Funk family. Their shows have been known to feature surprise appearances by other former P-Funkers, so watch out!

Just another example of Baltimore's awesome history and even more awesome present!

NowChild Nation has two Baltimore shows coming up:

Friday, June 1, 2007
First Friday Music Series
Reginald F. Lewis Museum
7:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 30, 2007
The Patterson Theatre
7:30 p.m.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Metal Monday: Ion Dissonance; Free MP3 - "Kneel"

Ion Dissonance

Meet Ion Dissonance (whom I knew as ID357 for longer than I'd like to admit before I got a clue). These Canucks make brutal grindcore that will be visiting VA for the Summer Slaughter Tour and Allentown, PA for Infest 2007. I just listened to their latest track, "Kneel", and this is a preview of what I am convinced will be the band's most mature, technical album to date. As a huge fan of metal, prog, and so much more, I am thrilled to see heavier and heavier bands get more and more technical.

Ion Dissonance's new album, Minus the Herd, comes out on June 5.

Free MP3: Ion Dissonance - "Kneel"

Friday, May 25, 2007

Tippy Canoe and The Paddlemen Paddle Into Baltimore In June

Tippy Canoe

Tippy Canoe, the Neko Case meets Tiny Tim, ukelele-strumming songstress from Oakland, CA, is about to hit Baltimore for the first time with the Paddlemen, Don Peyton and Chris Ciattei.

Thursday, June 14
DC9 - Washington DC
with The Parlor Scouts
and The Chaos of Birds

Friday, June 15
The 14Kt Cabaret - Baltimore, MD
with Citizen Rahne,
Secret Crush Society
and special guests

Saturday, June 16
Sangha - Takoma Park, MD
The Fleastompers
and Skizz Cyzyk

Sunday, June 17
The Stolen Heart Cabaret - Baltimore, MD

Thrushes to play The Annex in Baltimore this Saturday


Thrushes will be playing a new Baltimore venue this weekend, since the Lo-Fi Social Club is in the midst of finding out its fate (good luck to the club, everyone is pulling for you!). The details:

The Annex

419 E. Oliver Street, 3rd Floor (use outside stairs).

Starts at 9pm

Check out Any Given Tuesday's review of Sun Come Undone, Thrushes' debut album, and download Episode 1 the Any Given Tuesday podcast, featuring an interview with the band.

Check Out: Radio Chemist - Baroque Hip-Tronic With A Message of Philosophy

Radio Chemist

Radio Chemist is from sunny and plastic Hollywood, California. I caught him on MySpace a while back, and when I saw that his music was inspired by and motivated by philosophy (I studied philosophy), I had to give him his propers. Music that invokes Underworld, Handel, and Michel Foucault deserves to be heard. Fans of postmodern philosophy, classical music, and the apocalypse should enjoy it.

Check out Radio Chemist at the foregoing link, and learn more about his Postmodern Baroque movement here.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Friday Happy Hour Free Concert Series at Power Plant Live!

Power Plant Live - Baltimore

Power Plant Live! has resumed its Friday Happy Hour free concert series. Last week, Papa Roach and Anamide (read Bob Suehs' review at SEN Baltimore) and Mr. Greengenes graced the plaza.

This Friday will feature Shane Gamble. Future performances include:

June 1 - Jimmie's Chicken Shack (gotta love these Annapolis guys)
June 8 - Mr. Greengenes (again)
June 15 - Never Never (Baltimore classic rock)
June 21 - Mambo Combo (Baltimore party band)
June 22 - Better Than Ezra
June 29 - Into The Sun
July 13 - Mr. Greengenes (again?)
July 20 - Violent Femmes (this one's for you, Kristen)
July 26 - Crushing Day
July 27 - Anamide
August 3 - Will Haguewill
August 17 - Mr. Greengenes (again?!?)
August 24 - Vs. The Earth
September 7 - The Reagan Years
September 21 - Kristen and the Noise

Cartel Become the Band In A Bubble Today! Enter to win prizes!

Today, Cartel enters the Bubble to record their next album. Be sure to enter Any Given Tuesday's Cartel contest for your chance to win cool prizes from the band.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Smashing Pumpkins Lineup Finally Revealed

Smashing Pumpkins original lineup

Finally! Smashing Pumpkins have taken the lid off the jar and told us the official lineup: Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin, of course, but here's the news: guitarist Jeff Schroeder (The Lassie Foundation), bassist Ginger Reyes (Halo Friendlies), and keyboardist Lisa Harriton have joined the band for their stage lineup. No James Iha, no D'Arcy, no Auf der Maur. No word yet, officially, on who actually recorded the forthcoming album.

Scratch James and D'Arcy from that photo.....nevermore!

Thanks to everyone who checked out the first episode of Any Given Tuesday; Download the MP3

Any Given Tuesday podcast logo

The first Any Given Tuesday podcast went down last night. A big thanks to Michael Nguyen at SEN Baltimore for producing, and another tip of the hat to Thrushes for sitting down with us and talking about everything from taking time off work for touring to obsessing about gear and even baseball. Way cooler was letting Any Given Tuesday premiere their new demo, "Trees" before it hit the blogosphere for mass download. Even though this was the first episode, and we had some technical issues, things came out well. If you weren't able to listen last night, or had trouble hearing the live stream, you can download Episode 1 here.

I'm starting work on Episode 2 today, which will be available next Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. This will be more of a radio format show. It won't be live, and it will be just me and a few songs by Baltimore bands that you need to hear. Drop me an email or leave a comment, let me know what you think of the first show, and what you want to hear in the future!

EMI Approves Private Equity Buyout, Universal Acquires BMG Music Publishing

EMI Logo

EMI has approved an offer to be bought out by a private equity firm, Terra Firma Capital Partners, for $4.7 billion. A private equity purchase such as this will remove EMI from the open market, returning it to privately-held status. Investors hear lots about leveraged buyouts, which are part of private equity purchases and have been de rigeur of late. EMI's board will recommend this offer to its shareholders at a later date.

This news follows EMI's reporting a loss of near $600 million for the year, which should make the offer more attractive to shareholders. Expect massive layoffs, artists being dumped, and enhanced efforts to protect the monetization of EMI's wares (Hypebot goes so far as to speculate there might be a slowing of movement away from DRM). Private equity buys business to turn it around and make it more profitable. Whether the purchase is long-term or to resell EMI (perhaps after breaking it up into smaller businesses) in the not-too-distant future is to be seen.

Not only is EMI being scooped up, but Universal Music Group, already the world's largest music company, has been approved by the EU to purchase BMG Music Publishing for $2.09 billion. This deal makes the #3 and #4 of the big 4 publishing groups #1 over EMI. To avoid antitrust hangups, Universal has agreed to sell off the European rights to several song catalogs, including Justin Timberlake, R. Kelly, and The Kaiser Chiefs.

Reference: Yahoo Finance

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Any Given Tuesday Podcast Tonight!

Any Given Tuesday podcast

Be sure to check out the first Any Given Tuesday podcast in collaboration with SEN Baltimore tonight at 9:30 Eastern with Thrushes! Click here for more details.

**UPDATE**: The podcast was a great time. We did have some technical difficulties, but Mike at SEN Baltimore is going to load up a better recording for download tomorrow. I'll get the link up as soon as I can. Thanks to Thrushes for participating!

Rock N Roll Triple Play Balpark Tour with Live, Counting Crows, and Collective Soul


As a huge baseball fan, it is really cool to me to see fairly local York, PA band Live, Counting Crows, and Collective Soul (is it 1994 again?) touring for The Rock 'N Roll Triple Play Ballpark Tour, which will hit 23 East Coast and Midwest cities, first stepping to the plate July 22 in Wilmington, DE (go Delaware! Go Blue Rocks!) and ultimately sliding home Sept. 2 in Fargo, ND.

Live has been together for 20 years, still in their original lineup, and still sell out small nightclub venues regularly when they tour. I am reasonably confident these three bands can sell out minor league ballparks.

The tour will hit minor league ballparks all over, including the Aberdeen Ironbirds and Frederick Keys here in Maryland.

July 22: Wilmington, DE, Daniel S. Frawley Stadium/ Home of the Blue Rocks
July 24: Eastlake, OH, Classic Park / Home of the Lake County Captains
July 25: Washington, PA, Consol Energy Park /Home of the Wild Things
July 27: Dayton, OH, Fifth Third Field / Home of the Dragons
July 28: Comstock Park, MI, Fifth Third Ballpark / Home of the West Michigan Whitecaps
July 31: Erie, PA, Jerry Uht Park / Home of the Seawolves
August 1: Buffalo, NY, Dunne Tire Park/Home of the Bisons
August 3: Louisville, KY, Louisville Slugger Field/Home of the Bats
August 4: Indianapolis, IN, Victory Field/ Home of the Indians
August 7: Sauget, IL, GCS Ballpark/ Home of the Gateway Grizzlies
August 8: Tulsa, OK, Drillers Stadium/ Home of the Drillers
August 11: Des Moines, IA, Principal Park/ Home of the Iowa Cubs
August 14: Aberdeen, MD, Ripken Stadium/ Home of the Ironbirds
August 15: Frederick, MD, Harry Grove Stadium/ Home of the Keys
August 17: Manchester, NH, Stadium/Home of the NH Fisher Cats
August 18: New Britain, CT, New Britain Stadium/ Home of the Rock Cats
August 21: Altoona, PA, Blair County Ballpark/ Home of the Curve
August 22: Lakewood, NJ, First Energy Park/ Home of the BlueClaws
August 24: Pawtucket, RI, McCoy Stadium/ Home of the Paw Sox
August 25: Wappingers Falls, NY Dutchess Stadium/Hudson Valley Renegades
August 30: Ft. Wayne, IN, Memorial Stadium/ Home of the Wizards
September 1: St. Paul, MN, Midway Stadium/ Home of the Saints
September 2: Fargo, ND, Newman Outdoor Field/ Home of theRedhawks

Monday, May 21, 2007

A look at the industry and the war amongst artists, labels, and fans

Last month, Yahoo! Music entered into a deal with Gracenote allowing Yahoo to offer song lyrics from the big five publishers. A pretty big improvement over malware and spam sites that offer horribly wrong (and unlicensed) lyrics just to get hits. Of course, I have settled many a dispute, both between myself and a friend as well as internal disputes over what a song is saying, thanks to search engines and quality fan lyric sites. And I've also hit a number of sites that bog my hard disk down with spyware (thanks, Google search for Dashboard Confessional lyrics). I'm probably better off surfing the digital version of The Block (Baltimore knows what I'm talking about) than searching for song lyrics.

The Wall Street Journal just published an interesting story taking Yahoo and Gracenote to task for not allowing the lyrics on the site to be copy-pasted. This is prevented by publishing the lyrics on the site as an image rather than as text. It protects the lyrics from being hunted online by robots that would turn and republish the lyrics on other sites, but it also prevents search engine robots from adding the lyrics to popular engines, thus precluding fans from searching lyrics on any engine other than Yahoo to avail themselves of this new service.

Why all this rigamarole? Money. The copyright holders are asking for this protection, according to Ian Rogers of Yahoo Music. Lyrics are copyrighted just as the actual song is, and allowing the lyrics to be grabbed for free online prevents selling the lyrics in other fashion, such as in sheet music, or even in the publishing rights to print the lyrics. The more "frugal" users, but for this protection, would go on a site, copy and paste, and voila, they have lyrics without acquiring them through the normal business channels. Right now, the article indicates that iTunes and other download stores may slowly be moving towards including lyrics in the metadata for downloaded songs, for which the publishing company would be compensated by a couple "cents" out of the song sale. This is partially evidenced by the fact that you can go into iTunes and add lyrics to the metadata yourself in the "Lyrics" tab of the song file, but they won't come by default.

I am in complete agreement with the article's author, Jason Fry, that fans who are online searching for lyrics are seeking a level of engagement with the song and with the artist that merits including lyrics without charging the consumer or making it overly difficult for the consumer to obtain the lyrics. Having fans who are ravenous enough to go searching online, doing more than just listening to the song, but analyzing it, are an artist's dream come true. And the fans are being inconvenienced, if not punished, by the current state of lyric discovery.

But is this really all that different from before the internet? What about all those LPs, cassettes, and CDs I have bought over the years with no lyrics at all inside? I'm very ambivalent on the whole subject of maintaining protection of the lyrics versus providing them to the fan as easily as possible, to the extent that I can understand everyone's involvement: the artist (with the dichotomous paradigms of being both an "artist" in the true sense of the word, and wanting to live off of profits from that art), the fan, and the business(es) that invests in the artist and seeks to recoup and profit.

Being adored by fans is an obvious goal. Let's move past that, and analyze further. Of course an artist, as noble and altruistic and creative and unique as the word connotes, needs to survive. Surviving (and thriving) off of one's art is an actualization of an American dream. Thus, royalties are an important and necessary element to the artist's work. Sure, artists on most major labels get very little from individual album sales. There is a popular notion that the real money is in touring. Both may be true, subject to case-by-case analysis. For purposes of this writing, I take the position that even the "very little" that the artist gets from sales is the artist's due. In this respect, stealing recorded music (that is, taking it without permission), lyrics, written music, all copyrighted, is wrong as between the artist and the fan.

As a business, whether a record label, music publisher, or other entity who can capitalize on holding a copyright to a certain musical composition, the goal is to profit, plain and simple. Business exists fundamentally to profit from its goods or services. Therefore, all potential avenues must be monetized. Sell albums, sell sheet music, sell lyrics. Sell, sell, sell.

But that's not entirely bad. The labels invest a lot of money in creating quality (and some not) albums. They also invest a lot in creating star power; for example, Justin Timberlake, who has been groomed from Mouseketeer on up. And don't try and tell me that pop stars are what ruin music. I heard Peter Bjorn and John in The Gap yesterday. Even this type of artist is being groomed for a business purpose. If that's indie, I'm Miles Davis. Music is entertainment, and entertainment is an industry, plain and simple. Whether high art, low art, or just plain pop art, there is money to be made, and industrialization of entertainment has long been the status quo. And maybe Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have been doing the whole business for themselves, but it's cost them money to get out there, and they want to recoup that money, and then some. They wouldn't invest money just to get the name out. They want to thrive. So, whether philosophically shameful or not, that is the state of the industry. To thrive off of music, via profitability in multiple avenues.

Left to be spoken for, then, is the fan (who, of course, needs no introduction, since the fan is reading this article, even if the fan is also an artist or in the business). Investing time and money in listening to radio and watching videos (both businesses of their own, which engage in business relationships with the aforementioned, spinning certain artists more than others and each profiting in the end), researching online for lyrics, going to shows, and telling other fans about cool music, the fan is arguably most pure in this triangle. The fan doesn't seek to survive from love for music. The fan seeks the sensation of enjoying the music and engaging in it. The fan invests money in return for entertainment, and in some cases, emotional experience. This is in direct opposition to investing money hoping to turn it into more money. But the business model for the fan, if you will, turning money into pleasure, is a losing one. The fan must find ways to finance this emotional investment. The artist and business have that figured out, assuming their venture is successful.

But fans are on the losing end of this business relationship. Fans are overwhelmed with purchasing opportunities and with rising prices for CDs, tickets, and now, lyrics. And when the fan cries, "Enough!", and seeks to curb the expenses through Robin Hood maneuvers like downloading songs without permission (the modern-day equivalent to burning CDs), they run afoul of the business model and the law. And now the business seeks to keep the fan from downloading lyrics, too? Of course! The way the fan seeks to engage goes directly against their business model. The fan is de-monetizing an entirely monetized (and copyright-protected) area of consumption.

This whole complex web of multiple equations and paradigms comes down to opposite and (as yet) irreconcilable viewpoints: business and pleasure. Anyone who works realizes that mixing business and pleasure is often a dangerous brew. The irony is that the entertainment industry makes business from pleasure, buying (sometimes at a fair price, sometimes not) from the artist (unless the artist is, itself, handling the business) and sells it right back to the fan. And it's come down to a silly game of emotional warfare between the factions. The big guns, though, have a bigger thumb to press on the legislators and that helps determine what is "wrong" and "right" in these arguments.

So I have no answer to the problem. I leave that to the greater minds and the masses to figure out. If anyone has any points to add or counterarguments to what I've stated, please comment. I'd love to start a dialogue.

Monsters of Mayhem Tour II: Hatebreed, Terror, God Forbid, The Acacia Strain, more


Ah, Hatebreed. They're touring with Ozzfest, doing shows on the side with Lamb of God, and headlining Monsters of Mayhem in its second running. Terror, God Forbid, The Acacia Strain, Evergreen Terrace and After the Burial will assist.

5/18  Rochester, NY @ Water Street Music Hall (2 stage mini fest)
5/19  Hartford, CT @ Webster Theater (2 stage mini fest)
5/20 - Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
5/21  Charlotte, NC @ Tremont Music Hall
5/22  Columbia, SC @ Headliners
5/23  North Myrtle Beach, SC @ House of Blues
524  Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
5/25  Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution
5/26  Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues
5/28  Knoxville, TN @ Blue Cats
5/29  Memphis, TN @ New Daisy Theater
5/30  Little Rock, AR @ Juanitas'Cantina Ballroom
5/31  Houston, TX @ Scout Bar
6/1  Dallas, TX @ Palladium Ballroom
6/2  San Antonio, TX @ White Rabbit
6/3  El Paso, TX @ Club 101
6/5  Tulsa, OK @ Cains Ballroom
6/6  Kansas City, MO @ The Beaumont
6/7  Omaha, NE @ Sokol Auditorium
6/8  Waterloo, IA @ The Pepsi Pavilion
6/9  Indianapolis, IN @ Emerson Theatre

Friday, May 18, 2007

Album Review: Puttanesca - Puttanesca


Following up on Any Given Tuesday's review of the Unknown Instructors recent release, The Master's Voice (available now from Morphius Records), I recently received a copy of another Joe Baiza project: Puttanesca (Catasonic Records). Along with Guitar Joe, Puttanesca is Weba Garretson on vocals, Wayne Griffin on drums, and Ralph Gorodetsky on bass (all three gentlemen being part of Universal Congress Of).

Recorded roughly a decade ago and shelved for various reasons, the album is finally available in its raw, unadulterated, no overdubs glory. Blending the free form of jazz, the dischord and aggression of punk, the eclecticism of Joe Baiza and Weba Garretson's electrifying and liberated lyrics, Puttanesca is a saucy dish full of spice. Don't be fooled by the sultry opening of "Shift", because the electric guitar kicks in and the lyrics, well, you'll realize this isn't your parent's jazz.

Puttanesca bombards with Baiza's signature guitar and rumbling, rocks-falling-off-mountain drums, throughout 10 tracks of original material before settling on one cover: Captain Beefheart's "Lick My Decals Off, Baby", ironically chosen, I'll venture, as part of Garretson's feminist expression of sensuality. "Shiny Red Box" is a smooth cabaret number with groovy guitar underlied with baritone sax.

Expect to be challenged by Puttanesca, which requires an adventurous taste just as its namesake would.

Purchase Puttanesca at CDBaby.

Lamb of God, Hatebreed Tour Dates (side dates on Ozzfest tour)

Lamb of God


Lamb of God and Hatebreed will be playing twenty off-Ozzfest dates this summer, with Behemoth and 3 Inches of Blood supporting:

7/13 Vancouver, BC @ Croatian Cultural Center
7/15 Eugene, OR @ McDonald Theatre
7/16 Sparks, NV @ New Oasis
7/20 Bakersfield, CA @ Stramler Park (Outdoors)
7/22 San Diego, CA @ Soma
7/23 Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
7/27 Boulder, CO @ Boulder Theatre
7/29 Wichita, KS @ The Cotillion
8/1 Houston, TX @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
8/3 Lubbock, TX @ Lonestar Events Center
8/5 Dallas, TX @ Clear Channel Metroplex
8/13 Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theatre
8/17 Niagara Falls, NY @ The Dome Theater
8/19 Johnson City, NY @ Magic City Music Hall
8/23 Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live! (tix on sale tomorrow 5/19)
8/25 Toronto, ONT @ Kool Haus
8/29 Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle
8/31 Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues
9/1 North Charleston, SC @ The Plex
9/2 Richmond, VA @ Toad's Place

See Any Given Tuesday's review of Hatebreed's last visit to Baltimore here.

50 Cent Won't Clean Up His Lyrics, Punks Master P; TI Agrees

50 Cent

50 Cent has issued a characteristic response to the recent movement to "clean up hip-hop", with artists such as Master P changing their game.

In response to questions about others demanding artists to clean up their lyrics, 50 quipped: "I personally believe on every level that it's easier to attack an individual than it is to go after a corporation. They'll go after a specific hip-hop artist as opposed to a Paramount or a Columbia Pictures.

"Music is a mirror, and hip-hop is a reflection of the environment that we grew up in. It's the harsh realities that end up in the music. If I ask you to paint a picture of the American flag and not use the color red, you're gonna have a difficult time. To capture what we try to capture in the art form, I'm sure some conservative Americans can't actually ID with it because of their lifestyle and the way they've actually been brought up, and they haven't been exposed to those realities."

I appreciate that 50 Cent is standing up and presenting a valid argument for what he is doing, rather than dismissing it with a wave of the hand or lashing out. What 50 seems to miss is that one can reflect the environment they grew up in without sensationalizing those realities, and one can paint an American flag in an abstract manner with other colors, or with just black on white canvas, and still get the point across. The flag is an icon, it will be recognizable no matter what color it is painted in. Further, there are plenty of Americans, conservative, liberal or otherwise, who can identify and who cannot identify, regardless of their upbringing. Some folks grow up in tough places, both emotionally and geographically. But not all of those folks sensationalize that upbringing.

It is certainly important to create a historic record of these realities. Corporations, as 50 mentions them, have capitalized on the cycle of violence, lining their pockets with hip-hop money, and so has 50. Society will go to the individuals at the front lines over the corporation because the corporation is an intangible. It is much easier to blame the artist, though both the artist and the corporation are of unclean hands. I support 50's right to say what he wants, and he's lived a life that allows him to rap about his reality with authority.

50 also went at Master P during his commentary: "Well, Master P doesn't sell CDs anymore," he scoffed. "You can tell him I said it. Cameras is rollin' right?...Curtis, June 26." You heard it. June 26.

T.I. joined the fray with good points of his own. "What 50 was trying to put into words without losing his temper is it all starts at home. I'm a father of five. And my kids watch BET. They watch all kinds of videos, they watch movies, they listen to music, they like 50 and Lil' Wayne, whomever you can mention. But when my children look at these videos or listen to this music, I don't care how impressionable it is. They know they aren't going to have to deal with 50. They're going to have to deal with daddy. And that's the way it starts."

Continuing, T.I. said, "The things I say come from the life that I used to live."

Good words, but T.I. confirms the only point I keep returning to in my own battle with what kind of hip-hop to listen to: the life he used to live. Rappers tend to rap about their realities. Well, T.I., 50 Cent, your realities are now full of cars and money, and you're selling your past back to both those who do and do not understand that reality. I've seen you both on "Cribs." You've got it all. Rap about what your reality is now. Don't keep returning to the same stuff that you were lucky enough to break free of. Let's look forward a little bit instead of always looking backward. Rap about how important it is to look to the future and a chance to get out of these harsh realities that will always be a part of you. I'm not saying on every song, just some. Give your fans something they can look forward to, strive towards. Most of us aren't going to be huge commercial rappers like you. We're going to have to find other ways to change our situations.

Hip-hop, like any kind of music, is a wonderful thing. It's a creative outlet, and emotionally cathartic form of escapism, and many other positive things. In the end, the artist can, and should, have the right to say what they want on their record. But music is always involving. The climate changes. Artists grow and their world view becomes more complex. Let's get political, get sociological. People are growing tired of the status quo of hearing the same message in any form of music. Challenge the listener to dissect the complexity of the work. Be a part of the evolution.

Tonight at Baltimore's Bedrock: No Second Troy

No Second Troy

I got an email last night from some neighbors down in DC: No Second Troy. If you're in Baltimore tonight looking for a nice show, head over to Bedrock (near the Hippodrome) and check these guys out.

Give No Second Troy's music a listen on their MySpace.

KRS-One and Hip-Hop Appreciation Week; New KRS-One Album with Marley Marl: Hip-Hop Lives


As my favorite Blastmaster MC, KRS-One, has represented since 1998, we are in the midst of Hip-Hop Appreciation Week (May 14-21).

According to KRS: "During this time (May 14th-21st 2007) the Hip Hop community refocuses itself through a collective reviewand update of its own history and core principles and elements. Principles- peace,love, unity and having fun. Elements- Breakin, Emceein, Graffiti Art, Deejayin, Beat Boxin, Street Fashion, Street Language, Street Knowledge and Street Entrepreneurialism. The idea is to celebrate Hip Hop itself.

"Let us show our respect for Hip Hop with a sincere respect for one another. Men—support the women in your life. Women, comfort the men in your life. And let us all remain committed to the well-being of our children; they are the reason we do what we do. Love your children. Reserve a special love for them. Give them your time and your attention. Be patient with them. Touch them, hug them, play with them and be sure to teach them, advise them, protect them, discipline them, and most of all LISTEN to them. One of the best ways to teach our children that they are valuable is to value them. Often we must compliment them, point out their special qualities to them, fulfill their prayers, support their legitimate dreams and aspirations and let them know that we are interested in them. They are the future of Hip Hop! The preservation of our children IS the preservation of Hip Hop. HAPPY HIP HOP APPRECIATION WEEK! There it is."

Much respect to KRS-One. He has maintained a legacy of intelligent hip-hop, always challenging and always positive. I, for one, support his work and envy his dedication to his community. With his influence, we will see more positive hip-hop; hip-hop that we can be proud of down the road. Hip-hop we can give to our children as a time capsule of our lives, not boilerplate, commercial hip-hop that glamorizes this moment in life which will surely pass, but that provides a much-needed intellectual stream of good lyrics over quality beats that defy popular culture.

And, in a step showing impeccable timing, KRS-One's joint effort with Marley Marl, Hip-Hop Lives, hits streets on May 22.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Album Review: Brian Adam Ant - Separation Celebration; Free MP3s from the album

Brian Adam Ant - Separation Celebration

Brian Adam Ant is Baltimore's answer to Jeff Mangum, AKA Neutral Milk Hotel. Obtuse lyrics bordering on psychedelic, warbling vocals, and hypnotic instrument experimentation blending folk, blues, indie, and alternative sounds, Brian Adam Ant is either going to strike you as utterly deranged or fanatically dedicated to musical revolution.

"Rainy Winter Weather" is a guitar-strumming blues track, dismissing love as a "rat race baby, and there ain't no f****** prize." The track forces humor with hieroglyphic lyrics sung over jaunty guitar with a quavering voice. The hallucinatory lyrics of "Our Artillery" can be sung along to, while "Crushed Up Pills" is an apparent reinterpretation of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb", with a monotone, underwater vocal effect and a chorus that screams David Gilmour.

On "The Other Side of the Street", over a reverberating guitar, Brian Adam Ant appears to be singing about unrequited love. Love gone bad is a recurring theme in the album, muddled in tales of a chemically dependent hero who could be quite picaresque after a bout with detox (which it appears our hero is undergoing, according to his MySpace blog).

Separation Celebration is the first solo album from Brian, who also plays bass in Baltimore alt-rock outfit Evolve, as well as the Dirty Marmaduke Flute Squad, another uniquely "Baltimore" project.

Catch Brian Adam Ant with Private Eleanor (read Any Given Tuesday's review of Sweethearting, their latest) and Wailing Wall at Lo-Fi Social Club in Baltimore May 31.

Buy the album from CD Baby, or at Sound Garden in Fells Point or Atomic Books in Hampden.

Free MP3 Downloads from Separation Celebration:

Brian Adam Ant - "Rainy Winter Weather"
Brian Adam Ant - "Our Artillery"

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Album Review: Limbs - Stages; Free MP3 - "Stages"

Limbs - Stages

Limbs are a three-piece indie rock group from Brooklyn, NY. The trio has just unleashed upon us a self-recorded and self-released full-length called Stages. Stages is the music Slint would play if they found themselves playing on an ice-covered pond when the temperature just went above 32 degrees Fahrenheit: the music is just soft enough to keep the surface from giving in, but is still challenging and percussive. Limbs are a band on the edge of several genres. An intriguing emo-punk/indie rock combination, Stages avoids the mistake of choppy starts/stops of lousy punk and over-instrumentation of bigger bands (or bigger budgets), sticking with ambient guitars and frontal-assault drumming carried by a healthy bass line. Check out "A Second Pass" and "Stages".

Free MP3: Limbs - "Stages"

Head over to Limbs' MySpace to buy the album. The band tells me that they will "hopefully be in Baltimore this summer," so keep your eyes peeled, locals.

Smashing Pumpkins Zeitgeist Cover Art Revealed

Smashing Pumpkins - Zeitgeist

The Smashing Pumpkins (or 1/2 thereof) have announced the artwork for Zeitgeist:

The album is due July 10. The first single, "Tarantula", will be out May 22.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Album Review: City-State - Monument; Free MP3: "Great Lakes"

New today from DC's City-State: Monuments, the band's debut LP and the follow-up to 2006's Wolves +4 EP. Monument was recorded with original member Matthew Kalinowski, who has since parted with the band and Forrest Yingling has taken his position (guitar/keys) in the current lineup. The album is a bit brief, weighing in at seven new songs (plus 2 remix tracks of songs from the EP), but what the album lacks in length it makes up in depth.

Monument is at all times ominous, somber, and melancholy, a razor blade to the listening vein, pouring out catharsis with every track. Even on the brighter, beaming songs like "Arlanda Terminal" the sound returns to the bleak influences of Joy Division and even Television (the latter of which had its start in Delaware, how about that?). "Great Lakes" is a darkly beautiful gem, which vaguely pulls forth a comparison to Portishead with its tympanic keyed intro and aesthetically dreary vocals.

City-State takes their name from the unique situation that Washington, DC finds itself in, being a city but never a state. As emotionally taxing as that must be, there is much more between the lines of this album than political subdivisions. The perfect soundtrack to short days and long nights, Monument is one more example of great music in the Baltimore/DC metro.

Free MP3 download: City-State - "Great Lakes"

Scheduled shows for City-State:

6/2 - the Khyber (Philadelphia, PA)

6/16 - Galaxy Hut (Arlington VA)

7/28 - The Red & The Black (Washington DC)

Click the album art above to buy Monument by City-State.

Monday, May 14, 2007

"Any Given Tuesday" Podcast Featuring Thrushes: Details

Any Given Tuesday podcast

Any Given Tuesday's podcast is about to be in full effect. Make sure you have the Talkshoe link ready when the show premieres on Tuesday, May 22 at 9:30 Eastern. If you want to listen live or call in to the show and talk to Thrushes, you'll need to download the Talkshoe client. If you aren't around for the actual broadcast, you will have the opportunity to download the show to your computer or MP3 player, more on that later.

To call in: (724) 444.7444 and enter in ID# 31860

Band In A Bubble featuring Cartel; Win A Prize Pack From Cartel, Dr. Pepper, and M80

Dr. Pepper and M80 have informed Any Given Tuesday about a project called Band In A Bubble featuring Cartel. Cartel will be sealed inside a huge transparent bubble on Hudson River Park's Pier 54 in New York City from May 24 through June 12, and every move they make will be live for the world to see as they eat, breathe, sleep and record the follow-up to their debut album, Chroma.

Cartel will be trapped inside the bubble for the duration of recording, with webcams streaming, and there will be a music special in four 30-minute episodes aired on MTV.

As for the bubble itself, it is a 40-by-40 foot state-of-the-art recording studio equipped with everything Cartel needs to record their next album. Designed by international firm TPG Architecture, the 2,000-square-foot structure will consist of 55,000 pounds of steel truss and quarter-inch-thick fireproof rigid fiber glass. Three semi-circular steel arches will loop the bubble and act as light trusses to provide a glowing effect. While in the bubble, Cartel will have access to a custom kitchen and dining room, a casual lounge area and a spa-like bathroom as well as a “Sleeping Bubble,” or mezzanine level, which will be a giant pod elevated nine feet off the ground and hung in place with airplane hanger cables, that will house the band's sleeping quarters.

Click the banner above to check out the Band In A Bubble. You can also join the Band In A Bubble Street Team.

To top it all off, Cartel, M80 and Dr. Pepper have been generous enough to offer a Cartel prize pack (containing CDs, posters, and more) for giveaway on Any Given Tuesday. Leave a comment or send Any Given Tuesday an email and you'll have the chance to win something out of the prize pack when Cartel comes out of the bubble!

PJ Harvey's Studio Work Going Quite Well; 33 1/3 Book Series To Release "Rid Of Me" Title

PJ Harvey

According to PJ Harvey's website, things are going quite well in the studio, and there could be a potential autumn release date for Harvey's next studio album.

Perhaps just as exciting is a book in the "33 1/3" series, which releases books about and inspired by historic albums. The book is called PJ Harvey's Rid of Me: A Story (33 1/3). Read more about "Rid of Me" here. The title is slated for an August release.

And check out Any Given Tuesday's Top 10 music icons, which includes PJ Harvey.

Static-X Joins Ozzfest 2007


Static-X have been announced as the last band to join Ozzfest. Static-X, Ozzy Osbourne, Lamb of God, Hatebreed, Lordi, Behemoth, Mondo Generator, Nile, Ankla, Circus Diablo, The Showdown, 3 Inches of Blood, Daath, Chthonic and In This Moment are among the bands that will be playing the monumental "Freefest." Go to to register for your code, which enables you to join the queue for tickets on June 12.

Fletcher's Hosts Wilco Sky Blue Sky Listening Party Tonight


In light of tomorrow's release of Wilco's Sky Blue Sky, Fletcher's in Baltimore's Fells Point will be hosting an album listening party tonight at 8PM. Listeners will have the opportunity to win the entire Wilco album catalog, t-shirts, and tote bags. You can buy copies of the album at midnight at Sound Garden.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Any Given Tuesday Podcast In Collaboration With SEN Baltimore

Any Given Tuesday podcast

SEN (scene) Baltimore

I am very excited to announce that Any Given Tuesday is working with SEN Baltimore to produce a podcast all about Baltimore music. The podcast will be named after this site, Any Given Tuesday, and is hosted by yours truly. The first episode will broadcast live on Tuesday, May 22, at 9:30 Eastern Time and will feature an interview with Thrushes and will deliver a demo of their latest song, "Trees", to the masses. Listeners will have the opportunity to call in and speak with the band.

Download the Press Release and help spread the word or read below:

SĒN Baltimore and Any Given Tuesday Announce Baltimore Music Podcast
First Episode Featuring Breakout Band Thrushes will be Broadcast Live Online

BALTIMORE, Maryland, May 15, 2007—Building upon the powerful media content of Baltimore entertainment magazine SĒN Baltimore ( and the expansive music coverage of music blog Any Given Tuesday (, the two organizations have joined forces to create an “Any Given Tuesday” podcast covering the latest and hottest sounds in the Baltimore music scene.

“Any Given Tuesday” will premiere May 22, 2007 at 9:30 PM Eastern as a live internet broadcast on, kicking off a series of podcast media from The SĒN Baltimore Network. Hosted by Barrett King, creator of Any Given Tuesday, the first episode will feature an interview with Baltimore’s own Thrushes (, who have been setting the indie rock scene aflame with their debut album, Sun Come Undone. Thrushes will play a song from the album as well as a newly-recorded track that has yet to take over the blogosphere. Listeners will be able to listen live online and have the opportunity to call in and talk to the band.

“What Any Given Tuesday and SĒN Baltimore are doing here could become essential to Baltimore artists. Current traditional outlets like print and word-of-mouth are important, but a downloadable podcast with interviews, songs, and the ability to call in on some episodes and participate with the artists in real time is going to change the way we find new music in this town," King said. "This isn’t big media jumping on late in the game and trying to break news that fans already know about; this is the scene breaking itself. The trendsetters get to beat the suits to the punch. Working with SĒN Baltimore, 'Any Given Tuesday' wants to keep music trends with those who actually shape them: the artists and fans.”

Michael Nguyen, director of SĒN Baltimore, is equally enthusiastic. “The goal of The SĒN Baltimore Network is to cover all the bases by reaching out via multiple media formats. SĒN Baltimore magazine is visually aggressive and so is its companion website,," Nguyen said. "The 'Any Given Tuesday' podcast, and future podcasts from SĒN, will push the envelope even further with an internet audio presence that can be downloaded to an MP3 player and listened to while driving or walking to work, browsing stacks at the record store, and so on.”

“Any Given Tuesday” is planned to become a regular feature, with flexible programming formulas to spotlight bands of various genres all over the Baltimore region. “We aren’t necessarily locked in to Baltimore proper,” King said, “but the band has to have a tie to the area. I’m from Delaware, and Baltimore reaches out that far with respect to the small venue crowd. If a band is willing to do shows in the area and be a part of our community, that’s close enough for me.”

“Driving to D.C. for a show once felt like a necessity for Baltimoreans," Nguyen said. "Our scene is changing, and as it grows, so will the scenes of the surrounding areas. We have to break the news that there is much more to this region than D.C. suburbs.”

About Any Given Tuesday
Any Given Tuesday ( is a music blog featuring album reviews, concert reviews, tour dates and legal MP3s from artists both local and national.

About SĒN Baltimore
SĒN Baltimore ( is published by RETROFORWARD, LLC and offers both print and online editions of its magazine with free information on Baltimore trends and nightlife.

Barrett King, Creator, Any Given Tuesday,, or +1-443-955-5382

Michael Nguyen, owner of RETROFORWARD, LLC, 1.888.507.8289

Friday, May 11, 2007

Bury Your Dead Lose Another Singer

Bury Your Dead

Reports indicate that Bury Your Dead have lost another singer. Michael Crafter, formerly of Australian band I Killed The Prom Queen, has allegedly cited homesickness as the problem, saying ". . .my home is Australia and home is where the heart is."

Source: Lambgoat

Gary B & The Notions Album Release Party June 8

Gary B & The Notions

Congrats to Baltimore's Gary B & The Notions on the impending release of their album, Get Those Crazy Notions! (read Any Given Tuesday's review here).

Help the band celebrate at Lo-Fi Social Club on June 8 at 9PM with Payola Reserve, Deleted Scenes & Belflur. The show is only three bucks, and I challenge you to tell me what you can buy of value for three bucks these days.

Master P To Form Profanity-Free Hip-Hop Label

Master P

May the hip-hop community rain down fire upon me, but I've always been a fan of Master P and No Limit Records. While P's rapping skills were suspect at pest (like most hip-hop producers cum rappers, like Diddy, Kanye West, etc.), I was all about Ghetto D (click to check out the 10th anniversary edition of the album that put the dirty south on the map). The late 90's label put out all kinds of good records, and in its heyday with Silkk The Shocker, P, Mystikal, and Soulja Slim all churning out tracks at the same time, I could not spend money fast enough.

So it interests me to hear that P is going to introduce a new label (amidst all the hype about hip-hop eliminating offensive lyrics) that is entirely profanity-free. The label will be called Take A Stand Records, and P says, ""I can honestly say that I was once part of the problem and now it's time to be part of the solution. I am ready to take a stand by cleaning up my music and follow my son's [Lil Romeo] footsteps and make a clean rap album." P and Romeo are co-founding the label as a father/son venture, and are looking for talent via

The label's first release, however, will be an LP with both Master P and Lil Romeo called Hip-Hop History.


Slayer Next Band To Create A Fee-Based Fan Club: Slatanic Wehrmacht


Slayer have announced their official fanclub, Slatanic Wehrmacht. For $25/year, the site offers pre-sale tickets (real handy for the upcoming tour), a members-only website, contests, giveaways, a fan club store with member discount, newsletters, and a membership packet including a DVD and a bunch of crap you'll never let see the light of day again.

I'm sure there is a very good counter to my feelings about fan clubs (like guaranteeing fans tickets without dealing with scalpers), but every band in the world is coming up with these. If I had to drop thirty bucks to join a fan club (or worse, thirty bucks a year) for all the bands I am a fan of, I'd need three full-time jobs. And then the presale tickets would be lost on me. I don't need a glossy paper ID with my name printed on a dot-matrix printer to remind me that I like a band. What's worse, if a membership is renewed annually, what if that band doesn't tour that year? The only really good reason to be a member is for tickets, and if there are no tickets to be bought, well, that membership was worthless!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Derrick Credito

Derrick Credito

Every once in a while, I want to try to throw a nod in the direction of a solo performer from Maryland (and Delaware, if you're out there, stand up!) who I think is doing something good. Today, I want to introduce you to Derrick Credito. D wrote me a while back, and sent me a couple MP3s (all available on his MySpace) from his EP. I was impressed. "Nowhere To Turn" and "The Preacher's Daughter" take me back to a brand of acoustic rock I haven't heard in a long time. Check him out.

Exclusive Interview with Jack White of The White Stripes In NME

The White Stripes

Yeah, I'm usin' the old-fashioned White Stripes picture. I like the old picture.

In a world wide exclusive in this week's issue of the NME Jack White explains some of the lyrical themes in the new White Stripes' single ICKY THUMP.
In answer to queries about the song's seemingly political content, in particular the lines: "White Americans, what?/ Nothing better to do?/ Why don't you kick yourself out/You're an immigrant too”, Jack explains "I've always been interested in the double-edged sword of being proud of your culture,” elaborates Jack. “It’s a very touchy subject in America. You can’t be too proud or you tip the scale. But at the same time, America is made up of nothing but immigrants. It’s a big melting pot, yet there’s a lot of segregation still to this day. It’s an intricate minefield of a topic.”

You can read more excerpts from his revealing interview at NME's site.

Austin City Limits 2007 Lineup: Dylan, Bjork, White Stripes, more

Austin City Limits

The lineup for Austin City Limits has been announced. The fest will take place in Zilker Park in Austin from September 14-16.

Bob Dylan
The White Stripes
The Killers
Arcade Fire
My Morning Jacket
Queens of the Stone Age
Bloc Party
Arctic Monkeys

Gotan Project
Joss Stone
Damien Rice
Robert Earl Keen
Lucinda Williams
Blue October
Indigo Girls
The Decemberists
Paolo Nutini
Regina Spektor
Amy Winehouse
Crowded House
Steve Earle
Ziggy Marley
Stephen Marley
Kaiser Chiefs
LCD Soundsystem
Amos Lee
Ben Kweller
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Andrew Bird
Bela Fleck & The Flecktones

Ghostland Observatory
Cross Canadian Ragweed
Reverend Horton Heat
Pete Yorn
Butch Walker
Peter Bjorn and John
STS9 (Sound Tribe Sector 9)
Yo La Tengo
Joseph Arthur & The Lonely Astronauts
Rodrigo y Gabriela
Zap Mama
Blonde Redhead
Eli Young Band
Heartless Bastards
Raul Malo
James Hunter
Mighty Clouds of Joy
Del McCoury Band
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Andy Palacio & the Garifima Collective
Asleep at the Wheel
Ryan Shaw
Will Hoge
The National
Beau Soleil
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
Railroad Earth
Dax Riggs
Sound Team
The Legendary Soul Stirrers

Charlie Musselwhite
JJ Grey & Mofro
Young Love
The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker
Ian Ball (of Gomez)
The Little Ones
Manchester Orchestra
Patterson Hood
Billy Joe Shaver
Fionn Regan
Big Sam’s Funky Nation
John Ralston
The Broken West
Rose Hill Drive
Brandon Rhyder
Ocote Soul Sounds
Sara Hickman
Willy Mason
Jon Dee Graham
Kevin Devine
Nicole Atkins & The Sea
Ike Reilly Assassination
Guy Forsyth
Adam Hood
Cary Ann Hearst & The Gun Street Girls
The Jones Family Singers
The Gospel Silvertones
The Shields of Faith
Sylvia St. James
Jeffrey Steele

Amy Cook
Trent Summar & the New Row Mob
Back Door Slam
Mario Matteoli
Kara Grainger
One Mississippi
Kevin McKinney
Jennifer Nicely
Sahara Smith
The New Soul Invaders
The Wonderful Harmonizers
Loretta Williams Gurnell
Amy LaVere
Amy Loftus

And for the kids:
The Paul Green School of Rock All-Stars
The Steps
We Go To 11
The Sippy Cups
Daddy A Go Go
Farmer Jason
Q Brothers
The Bummkinn Band
The Jellydots

Infest 2007 in Allentown, PA

Infest 2007

Infest 2007 is scheduled for June 2 in Allentown, PA at Crocodile Rock.

Acts scheduled for the festival include:


More bands are expected to be announced.

I gotta say, 2007 is an exciting year for hardcore metal. With other festivals and tours like Robot Mosh, Summer Slaughter, and so on, there's a lot to see!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Bleeding Through To Join Marilyn Manson & Slayer On Tour, Marta One of "Hottest Chicks of Metal"

Bleeding Through

After reporting the tour dates for Slayer & Marilyn Manson Monday, I learned that Bleeding Through will be joining the tour as an opener.

"I can't say how excited we are about this tour," said singer Brandan
Schieppati."These are two bands that we have all loved for years,
with really diverse fans. Our band certainly draws a little from both
sides of the line."

"Slayer is a huge influence on all of us," commented guitarist Brian
Leppke, who is wearing a Slayer t-shirt in the promo photos for the
band's 2003 breakthrough album, This Is Love, This Is Murderous.

Revolver - Marta - Hottest Chicks in Metal

The band's keyboard player, Marta, will be featured on the cover of
Revolver's next issue, which hits stands later this month. Also featured is Christina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil. I'm a little bit let down with the blatant sexism of a magazine featuring the "hottest chicks" in metal. After many years, women are still being judged by their appearance as well as (and often in spite of) their talent. Would Evanescence be as successful if Amy Lee weren't such a looker? (And would Ms. Lee be able to cause two members to "part ways" without their intending to part?)