Tag Archives: Double dagger

Double Dagger @ CCAS Tonight

Today is an important day in the city of Baltimore. Double Dagger will play its penultimate Baltimore show tonight at the Charm City Art Space. If you don’t know or care who Double Dagger is, or if you don’t think tonight is important, then you can go look at some fucking cats or something, okay? For the rest of us, Double Dagger frontman Nolen Strals was kind enough to sit down and answer a few of our questions about the last 10 years of his life…

Double Dagger plays CCAS Tonight. Go now or cry later.

So, why did you want to be in a band in the first place?

    In high school I wanted to be in a band just because, you know, I was young, newish to punk and it’s ideas and ideals and I was an angry kid in a small town with a lot to say. Being in a band gave me a chance to say things that were important to me. Sixteen years later I’m still in bands partly for that same reason but with new things to say. As anyone who knows me can attest, I usually have a lot to say. I’m full of ideas and opinions and I’m not afraid to let people hear them.

    Also, it’s just fun as hell to play shows. Double Dagger shows are almost always really fun, interacting with the audience. We’re giving them something, they’re giving us something back. I sometimes feel as if the crowd at the right show is like a fourth member of the band. Seeing people flip out for our music, hearing them sing along… there’s no questioning why I’m in a band when that’s happening. We all feed off that reaction.

What were your goals as a band? Do you feel like all of those goals were met?

    When Double Dagger started I think we just wanted to be a really high energy, smart-ass post punk band… In the middle years, when our original drummer Brian Dubin left and Denny Bowen joined full-time I think we were trying to figure out how to take the Double Dagger formula of spare bass, drums, and vocals and beef it up, fill it out, push that reductive combination further. The band as a whole got more serious, taking more care with our recordings, putting more effort into playing out of town and touring, etc. We definitely met or exceeded all of those goals. Touring-wise we exceeded it by going to Europe for almost a month in 2010.

    I think when we started people didn’t take us too seriously, and I’m really proud to say that I think a lot of people respect the band now. A ton of bands are liked or loved, but respect is harder to come by, and I think we earned that through the music we wrote and the way operated.

Looking back, would you have done anything differently?

    I wish we’d played more benefit shows, especially ones to help local organizations and causes. We care a lot about Baltimore City and that’s reflected in our songs, but I think our actions could have showed it a little more.

Baltimore could definitely use a bigger act like Fugazi, who played a lot of benefits and encouraged other bands to be more civic-minded and philanthropic.

    Totally agree. Bands who have a big draw have the ability to use that for more than just selling tickets. You can have an impact beyond that especially when playing locally, so there’s no reason not to.

    We’re a band that crosses a lot of the scene barriers in Baltimore. I love that we draw punk and hardcore kids as well as the art school warehouse types, plus high schoolers and old dudes. I think at times we pigeonholed ourselves to certain types of shows. Basically I just we’d played with more hardcore bands in the later years.

This final stuff you’re putting out is your last chance to design one of your own releases. How are you possibly going to top Masks?

    We’re thinking 1/6-scale vinyl toys of all three members with 9 points of articulation (11 for Denny), and when you pop the head off, a USB drive holding the songs is sticking out of the neck. Either that or something more traditional… we’re still hammering out the details.

After 10 years in a band, you'd be tired too.

What advice would you give to someone starting their first band today?

    Think. Practice. Practice. Think. Practice. Practice. We were a part of a generation of local bands who spent a few months figuring out their songs, their sound, and what they wanted to do before ever playing in front of people, because they wanted their first show to be as good as possible. They wanted people to take them seriously. It seems a lot of younger people (but not all) don’t have that mentality. It’s more of ‘Hey let’s just start a band and play our first show next week because we can and it will be cool.’ Those bands don’t last, and unless there’s some accidental genius at work they’re not very good.

    Figure out not just how you want to sound, but why you want to sound that way.

    Don’t accept that just because certain things are done regularly now, that you should do it too. When you first start out, book your own shows. You don’t need an agent, tour manager, or booking agent within your first several years of being a band. You’ll probably never need one. I’ve heard recently about some relatively new, comparatively tiny bands who have publicity agents and tour managers with them while playing only small DIY shows. That’s some rockstar bullshit. Get real/get out.

    Play out of town early and often. Playing in-town all the time is too easy. Play for people who aren’t your friends. That’s a better gauge of what you’re doing. Philly, DC, and New York are all close, and all have DIY scenes that are easy to access so play there. You’ll become better playing for strangers than you will for friends.

What are some of the more important things you’ve learned along the way?

    Oooh there might be some bitter replies in this one… The views in this reply are only mine, not speaking for the other dudes here:

    I learned hard work is often trumped by internet hype. Accept this early on. The lesson to be learned here is not to go after blog hype. Not if you want to last at least. Very few music bloggers are music journalists (don’t worry Chop, you wrote better questions than we usually get from music writers). Get ready to be let down and, at times, surprised.

    Don’t trust the words of people whose job title rhymes with the two words “Hooking…” and uh, I can’t finish this joke because nothing rhymes with “Agent.” Doing it the hard way pays off in the long run.

    And if you are going to do something the hard way, be it music or otherwise, you’d better be sure what all the repercussions of that will be in your personal life, and you need to determine if it’s worth it. Sometimes it is, sometimes it ain’t.

    If you eat shitty food on tour, you will play shitty shows on tour. Local, cheap, good restaurants trump any fast food ever. It may take an extra 30-40 minutes, but your body will appreciate it. Ask local folks where to go. Fat Sandwiches in New Brunswick, NJ are the best post-show food ever.

    Pack light, but pack thoroughly.

    Shows in towns that never get shows will always be more fun than selling out huge rooms in big cities. Small town kids will appreciate you going out of your way to play in their no where town more than even the most enthusiastic city dweller. You need to play those shows from time to time. I wouldn’t have gotten into punk rock without that happening for me.

    I realize most of these sound negative, but lessons aren’t always easy. The easy stuff happens the rest of the time, and it outshines all the bad. I learned a lot of amazing things in this band and saw incredible places and made great friends in places I never would have gone otherwise.

    The DIY Punk Community is international, beautiful, and inspiring.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Charm City Art Space is at 1731 Maryland Ave in Station North. 7 pm doors, all ages.

Tonight’s show also features Holy Tongues and Ed Schrader’s Music Beat.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under shows

Obits, Sal Bando @ Sonar’s Talking Head Stage Tonight

Sometimes we’re too cool for things. Sometimes we like to pretend we’re too cool for things, when we’re really just too old and jaded for them. This is not one of those times.

We’ve talked before about the right and wrong ways to continue a musical career after some initial success. It’s become increasingly easy to sit at home, especially during the dead of winter, and wait to hear the meh reviews of live sets from bands who were only marginally exciting 15 years ago. That won’t be the case at Sonar’s Talking Head Stage tonight.

Obits plays Talking Head tonight. 8:30 doors.

Rick Froberg is an archetypal model for how to conduct a career. We said as much in the link above about his former bandmate John Reis (Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes), and Froberg’s newest band Obits is putting out exactly the type of music we want to listen to at this point. Late Night Wallflower once described them as Surf Like Jehu, and that’s a good thing. We don’t think we can sum it up any better.

Playing in support tonight is DC’s Shortstack, who are another band currently putting out just what we want to hear. It can be tough to describe their particular brand of rocky-tonk, but if you think the Old 97’s are a little too polished, Ryan Adams is a little too precious, and Uncle Tupelo was just about right, then Shortstack is right up your alley.

The natural choice for a local slot on the bill is Baltimore’s own Sal Bando, who’ve all got their own laudable musical resumés, and their own surf garage band that kind of sounds like the Hold Steady would sound if Craig Finn actually knew how to sing and didn’t just talk over the music in the same annoying manner record after record. Not sure why Sal Bando is waiting around so long to put out an album, but if they’d go ahead and release one we’d definitely buy it.

It’s not all old man music tonight though. Local favorites Double Dagger are also on the bill, and are guaranteed to bring it fast and manic enough to ensure that none of the old codgers coming out of the woodwork (and there will be plenty of them (us) there tonight) don’t fall asleep at the bar. We missed their final show of 2010, which was a crowded round-robin affair with Orphan and Dope Body, so we’re happy to see their first date in 2011 before we split town.

Just informed that Double Dagger is not on the bill. What do we look like, some kind of music journalist or something?

So yeah. We’re excited. You should be too, since we’d bet dollars to Dogfish that even though it’s early yet, this show makes our top ten list for 2011.

________________________________________________

Sonar is at 407 E. Saratoga St. downtown.

1 Comment

Filed under Baltimore Events, shows

Fundraiser Show to Benefit Current Gallery Today

Well, we told you that charities, non-profits, and do-gooders of all types were about to come out of the woodwork raising funds as the holidays approach, and we were right. Fortunately, we’re in a giving and generous mood today, so we’re heading down to the new Current Space (421 N. Howard St.) to check out their new (ish) environs and support their endeavors by attending today’s benefit show.

Weekend afternoon shows used to be a pretty regular thing, back before punks and scenesters all started liking football. It’s a tradition we’d love to see reinstated, although today’s bill is more of a mini-Whartscape than a CBGB’s Sunday matinee. If you liked Whartscape this summer, but thought it was entirely too hot and crowded and stinky and confusing to go from place to place, then today’s show should be right up your alley.

Current Gallery holds a fundraiser today. 2-11 pm.

With 9 bands including Thrill Jockey labelmates Double Dagger and Thank You, the festivities also include several craft and rummage tables, as well as beers from the Brewer’s Art (No Natty Boh’s today, Hon.), and a chance to view the gallery’s current exhibition Force: On the Culture of Rape.

_______________________________________________________

We’re not going to force you to vote for the Chop in the Mobbies, but it is highly encouraged. We’re nominated in the Music/Nightlife, Misfits, and Personal categories, and we’re going to need your vote to push us over the top. You can and should vote daily from now until Nov. 12.

Leave a comment

Filed under Baltimore Events, shows

2004 All Over Again @ CCAS Tonight

Well, it looks as though we’ve really lucked out this time. After coming home on Friday, we’ve had quite enough of bumming around the house and watching the rain. Look out Baltimore, the Chop is taking to the streets once again, and we couldn’t have come up with a better bill for our first show back in town than tonight’s lineup at the Charm City Art Space.

The new Art Space recently picked up a Best of Baltimore award for being Baltimore’s best all-ages venue from the Citypaper, who said “Do you even know what passes for punk these days for most of the 13-to-17 set? Trust us, it’s ghastly.” We agree with this statement wholeheartedly, which is why we’re urging you young choppers especially to get out and hear what straight-up no frills circle-pitting hardcore punk sounded like in the early part of the last decade.

Ruiner, Double Dagger, The Spark, Never Enough and Sacred Love play CCAS tonight. 7 pm doors.

Punks of a certain age may have also noticed that some local music has become a bit precious of late; a little too damn clever for its own good, in trying to make rock look like art it’s no longer loud enough, fast enough or dangerous enough to fit anywhere under the punk umbrella.

We’ve put so much focus on bands and labels that we’ve fooled ourselves into thinking that they matter. They don’t. It’s a community of kids who matter, and at tonight’s show you’re going to see singalongs and circle pits, and no one will notice or care who happens to be holding the mic. That’s how it should be.

In case you’re curious though, tonight the mic will be held by Ruiner in their penultimate show, 6 years to the day after their first show on the very same stage at CCAS. Having recently returned from Europe, they’ll play tonight before calling it a career at Sonar this weekend.

They’ll be supported by Double Dagger, about whom we’ve already written plenty and who are possibly the only band in Baltimore who can match Ruiner pound for pound for staying power and hardcore punk bona fides.

We’ve got to give them credit for lasting as long as they have. The Spark and Never Enough, who are both reuniting for tonight’s show have been on hiatus for some years now, fully enmeshed in the world of day jobs and marriages and mortgages. We’ve been griping about reunions in general a lot lately, but we’ve got to give a pass to both of these acts. 2004 was a pretty good year, after all. Neither band has ever made a dime and these reunions are about as far as you can get from phoning it in for a payday. (Another interesting bit of trivia: Ruiner played the final Spark show in 2006.)

It’s not all strolls down memory lane though, as Sacred Love is also on tonight’s bill. If you want to hear what Baltimore HC punk is going to sound like in the next decade, make sure you show up on time.

All told this is more fun than anyone ought to have on a Tuesday, and since it’s the Art Space, you’ll still get home in plenty of time to rest up for work tomorrow, Grandpa.

Leave a comment

Filed under Baltimore Events, shows

Double Dagger, Future Islands @ Floristree Tonight

We were actually pretty happy when Secret Mountains won last week’s poll. They’re the real deal live, and quickly becoming one of our favorite Baltimore Bands. We sure hated to miss Double Dagger and Future Islands though, and it’s been a long week we’ve been waiting for tonight’s show.

We shouldn’t have to tell you how awesome Double Dagger is, since we’ve been doing just that from day one. We will remind you though that this is your last chance to see them before they set off to tour Europe and the UK.

Double Dagger and Future Islands play Floristree tonight. 8 pm doors.

We also shouldn’t have to tell you how awesome Future Islands is, since that’s all anyone seems to tell us. We will reiterate our prediction that they make it all the way to Saturday Night Live though. When the new record comes out May 4, they’re going to become a household name.

We’re just trying to figure out how to help them along to the SNL stage. Write a letter to Thrill Jockey? A Twitter hashtag? #FIonSNL Maybe? A Facebook page perhaps? A deal with the Devil? We’ll do whatever it takes.

___________________________________________________________

Floristree is located in the H & H Building. 405 W. Franklin St. 6th floor. Doors are at 8 pm. It’s like, a private residence, man. And should be treated accordingly.

Share

2 Comments

Filed under Baltimore Events, shows

Double Secret Island Swans @ The Windup Cat Tonight

Well, isn’t this something. It’s already Earth Day and we still haven’t figured out what we’re doing tonight. There are two shows on the Chop’s radar this evening, and unlike we sometimes do we can’t try being in two places at once tonight. It’s a tough call. We’ll give you the facts and let you sort it out.

Double Dagger/ Future Islands/ Ed Schrader Play the Black Cat tonight. 9pm.

Baltimore is taking over DC tonight when Double Dagger invades the Black Cat back stage with Ed Schrader and the superheated Future Islands who are so hot right now you’d think they were the next Joy Division or something. Seriously, they’ve been setting the internet on fire with that Tin Man Video and when In Evening Air comes out on May 4th it’s going to sell about a million copies and they’ll probably end up on Saturday Night Live. (And remember, you heard that prediction here first. SNL. For real.)

This is clearly a great show, and one of the last opportunities to see both these bands before they both undertake a long touring schedule and get rich and world famous and snort caviar off of Suicide Girls. It’s also a very good chance to go down and thumb our nose at DC a little and remind them that we really are cooler than they are at the end of the day.

There are two very compelling reasons to skip it though, cause who wants to drive to DC anyway? Also: We’re planning on seeing both of these bands at Floristree next week.

Secret Mountains, Soft Cat play the Windup Space tonight. 9 pm.

Our other, equally enticing option for tonight is to keep it local and low-key and check out the Earth Day show at the Windup Space headlined by Secret Mountains. We’ve blogged about SM before, and they’re another Baltimore band that we basically cannot get tired of listening to or seeing live.

They’re supported by fellow locals Soft Cat, who seem to have an awful lot of members for such a pared down sound; New Jersey’s European Swans, who sound pretty good, but who’d definitely fit in over at LATFH, and Shaun David Gould.

Like we said, we’re torn. So in an unprecedented and exclusive first ever world premiere, we’re going to let you, the Reader, decide which show we check out tonight. Don’t steer us wrong.

Share

Leave a comment

Filed under Baltimore Events, shows

Double Dagger, Sick Weapons Record Releases @ Hexagon Tonight

You ain’t reading blogs today. You’re hiding pretty eggs from your nieces and nephews and drinking Madras’ and eating more chocolate than is good for you.

But once that’s all done, go to the Hexagon tonight.

Double Dagger, Sick Weapons, Hollywood play Hexagon tonight. 7 pm doors.

Tonight’s not just about some guy named Jebus. Tonight is going down as a milestone in the Baltimore music scene when Double Dagger drops the Masks EP on Thrill Jockey.

But wait… There’s More! Sick Weapons gives you a Birthday Gift courtesy of Reptilian.

But Wait… There’s More! HOLLYWOOD shows you Some Stunts by way of Some Records.

But Wait… There’s More! Dope Body shows you how you can get Your Dopest Body on sparkling crystal clear DVD.

This is maybe the most important Baltimore Show in 10 years. Come to it. Bring booze. Bring money for records. If you don’t you’re going to regret it for a long, long time.

Leave a comment

Filed under Baltimore Events, shows