Tag Archives: 2640

Lovers @ 2640 Space Tonight

…And now for something completely different. The Chop is on our way to the Red Emma’s Queer Music Explosion! at the 2640 Space tonight. That might surprise some regular readers of this blog, who are more used to us talking about pretty straightforward punk and post-punk bands. We’re not exactly known for being a fan of synth-driven dance music, let alone uber-queer Portland hippie synth-driven dance music, but believe us when we say that Lovers is one of our favorite bands of all time. Seriously. We’re talking like you can only bring five records to a desert island type of favorites. They’re that good.

Lovers plays 2640 tonight. 7:30 pm.

Our first introduction to Carolyn Berk had nothing to do with synthpop at all. It was in (circa) 2005 when Lovers was a very different band indeed. In fact, that night it was just Berk with a chair and a guitar, down in the basement at the Charm City Art Space. Even on that night, stripped down to the barest of elements, Lovers was a captivating band. We went home that night with a copy of the first record Star Lit Sunken Ship, and were blown away by the added textural layers that made the great songs we’d heard performed even better. It’s since become one of our favorite records, and has remained in heavy rotation here at the Chophouse.

Since then, Carolyn Berk has been one of those artists who spends at least as much time gathering inspiration as she has making and selling records. Moving from New England to Georgia before finally settling in Portland, Lovers’ discography has been as varied as their lineups and geography. A quick look and listen at their Myspace page will reveal not only the differences in style the band has embraced in the last 10 years, but also the similarities in mood, tone, feeling and subject matter. Any band that keeps writing the same record again and again will doom itself to irrelevance and cheapen the value of its earlier work. There is no danger of that here.

In the case of Lovers, the band’s musical growth has mirrored its frontwoman’s personal growth, and not since the Beatles has any band been able to depart so drastically from its starting point while maintaining such a consistent sense of purpose and vision. Berk and her bandmates are every bit as good with synths as they ever were with guitars. It’s this sort of evolution that will, for any band, bring in new fans while rewarding the old ones. Since the move to Portland, Berk and Lovers have been embraced by and immersed in the queer community, and fit very well on a bill like tonight’s, but don’t let that fool you. Carolyn’s lyrics have always been as personal and introspective as it is possible to be, and it’s precisely that which makes them universal. As she told Venus Zine in 2009:

“I am all those things, but I’m so much more,” she says. “I think it’s important to be loud and proud, and there’s a lot of pressure to feel marginalized, which is so old and tired. There are tons of straight, male Lovers fans, and I’m singing to everybody. I like to write about universal things because more than any of that I’m a humanist — I’m beyond humanist. I like animals. I’m a hippie. I’m a lover.”

We hope we can convince a few more of those straight, male fans to say “Dan Who-con? Future What-lands?” and come out to 2640 tonight to see what is without a doubt the best electronic band working today, anywhere.

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Queer Music Explosion also features Silence Kid, Saddle of Centaur, and The Degenerettes. 2640 Saint Paul Street is a dry venue, and this show is no alcohol, no BYOB. 7:30-11pm.

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A Ton of Music in Baltimore Tonight

So, basically, every place that has ever had music is having music tonight. There’s no shortage of choices, and there’s too much to talk about in detail, so we’ll just give you our picks and let you decide what kind of show you want to go see. Still not sure where we’ll end up tonight, but probably at one of these places.

Future Islands headlines Spring Fair tonight, one of may musical options in town.

The Philly Invades Baltimore Fest is kicking off at 3 pm today over at the Charm City Art Space. We went to this last year and had a great time watching bands like Algernon Cadwallader and 1994! who are both returning this year along with a ton of other acts.

The JHU Spring Fair is happening all weekend, but tonight’s music bill is the one to catch, featuring Future Islands and Lands and Peoples, among dozens more. Spring fair is also your best bet for dinner, with offerings like funnel cake and fried Oreos.

Just a few blocks south of the JHU Campus the 2640 Space is hosting the homecoming show for music media darlings Wye Oak with Callers and a favorite of ours, Secret Mountains. Unfortunately, this is a Dry show with no BYOB.

Down at Sonar local label Fan Death Records is having their annual showcase show featuring Pleasure Leftists and Heroin Sucks, a Charm City Suicides tribute band.

If you’re looking for something smaller scale, Dionysus is hosting a rare live show with former Iron Cross frontman and local author Sab Grey along with surf-garage dudes Sal Bando.

And if you want to go even more old school and off the radar than that, you can check out the rockabilly stylings of local pie-man extraordinaire Rodney Henry with local roustabouts Danny Kay and the Nightlifers at Fell’s Point’s 1919.

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Not Just a Game Screening @ 2640 Space Tonight

The Chop is not a lawyer. We’re not a banker, a military officer, or a city councilman either. Somehow though, we ended up as one of these people for whom everything has political overtones. We make no bones about being a labor-loving, Secularist, pro-choice, pro-gay, anti-war Lefty. It’s a worldview that informs everything we do, and every decision we make, from the place we choose to live to what we read, watch and listen to, and even to what we eat. You can believe that those Few who have money and power approach everything politically, and until the rest of us begin to do so as well, nothing will ever change.

Not Just a Game will screen at 2640 tonight. 7:30 pm.

Dave Zirin realizes this as well. Zirin is sports editor at The Nation, and also the host of an XM radio show, columnist for other publications, and author of several books. He’s dedicated his career to the the coverage, study and understanding of sports. Zirin is nearly alone among sportswriters in comprehending that the games we watch and play inform every aspect of our social structure and interaction. From the ongoing NFL lockout to Luke Scott’s absurd love of guns and Orly Taitz, to whether your kid ends up playing basketball or lacrosse, politics is pervasive on every level of sports.

We say that Zirin is nearly alone in that world, because the increasingly-popular Deadspin will never hesitate to jump on a story with deep sociopolitical overtones. From Ben Roethlisberger’s alleged sexual misconduct to racism and gender bias on the PGA tour, Deadspin seems to understand that racism, sexism, homophobia and class warfare drives page views much harder than mere box scores. Zirin though is the polar opposite of Deadspin. Where the latter represents the worst in muckraking and questionable reporting reminiscent of the early days of the Hearst papers, Zirin is a sort of HL Mencken of the sports world, reminding us that the final score is irrelevant, not because we’re playing for fun, but because the only victories that matter are won away from the field of play.

Tonight the Red Emma’s collective will host Zirin at the 2640 Space for a Screening of Not Just a Game, which is based on his 2008 book A People’s History of Sports in the United States. The film explores the history of sport running head-to-head against politics in our culture, and Dave Zirin will be available for discussion and Questions afterward.

Even your mere attendance tonight is an overtly political act, as your $10 admission will go to benefit both the Baltimore Algebra Project and the United Workers, two local organizations which focus on social justice in Baltimore.

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Further reading: Bret McCabe interviewed Dave Zirin in this week’s edition of City Paper.

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Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price Screening @ 2640 Tonight

There are scores of reasons to boycott Wal-Mart. Listing them all here would be very near impossible. But if you care at all for human rights, make no mistake, Wal-Mart treats it’s employees like slaves; Literally locking them in the store overnight, collecting on ‘dead peasant’ insurance policies, forcing employees onto medicaid, and union busting.

Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price will be shown in a free screening at 2640 tonight. 7 pm.

That’s not what we need in Remington, and tonight the good people at Bmore Local are pleased to present a free screening of Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price at 2640 Space. if you missed the coming out party at City Hall last week, this is another great chance to connect with your neighbors in person and unite to shape the growth of our city in a sensible, positive way.

Come out and say hello, see the film and sign up for the mailing list. Of course, whether you can make it tonight or not you can still join over 500 people on Facebook who make up the Bmore Local group there.

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2640 is located at 2640 Saint Paul Street in Charles Village.

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Round II: Book Signing, Then Back To The Sidebar.

Now, we know we said the Chop would be heading down to Howard County to see Valentino Deng, but those were plans, and plans change, you know?

While we still recommend What is the What, its the book we haven’t read which is catching our attention tonight, namely, Hos, Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys.

Meet the Authors at Atomic books tonight. 7pm.

Yep. The Chop is headed back to Atomic Books for another reading, and hopefully this one will go a little more smoothly than the last one. This being Baltimore though, people do love their whores, so there may just be a good crowd on hand.

The Chop is especially interested to see Shawna Kenney, who we had a chance to see when she sat in on the panel discussion recently at 2640, and who is fascinating not only because she was a teenage dominatrix, but also because reading her work or listening to her is kind of like discussing sex with your sister. You can talk about the kinkiest stuff in the world, but none of it is going to be a turn-on.

Which is just as well, because the Chop actually bumped into our little cousin at the feminist sex discussion, who was there with some guy. It wasn’t as awkward as you might think though, and on the whole the discussion would have made for a better sex ed curriculum than most schools are currently teaching.

But what really changed our minds for tonight was the ability to jump right on 83 afterwards and get down to the Sidebar for Baltimore’s own Deep Sleep. Granted they would have been an even better fit on last night’s bill, but Deep Sleep is certainly good enough to stand alone.

Remember when we told you Tony Pence was great? Here's more proof.

Twin Killing. 2 new Deep Sleep records out soon! (Photo: ChestyXBond)

Hell, it being the Sidebar, we might even drink enough cheap beer to close our eyes and half-believe that it actually is Los Angeles in 1984.

Its pretty unusual for the Chop to make such frequent trips down there. Over the years we’ve grown accustomed to the Sidebar hosting a lot of bands we just weren’t that into like Thee Lexington Arrows. So with the Talking Head closing up shop, we’d really like to see Sidebar continue in this direction. Hell, Landspeedrecord! even played there again 2 Saturdays ago.

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