Tag Archives: Garage Rock

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.

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Sonar is at 407 E. Saratoga St. downtown.

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Extraordinaires, Dangerous Ponies @ Charm City Art Space Tonight

Updated: Secret Mountains is a last minute cancellation on this bill. They are being replaced by Hermit Thrushes.

You should listen to the Chop, Baltimore. You should listen to the Chop because we haven’t steered you wrong yet. You should listen to us because what we’re about to tell you will steer you very, very right. You need to go to the Charm City Art Space tonight, because there’s a pretty damn good show going on there. This is at least the best you’ll get in the month of November, and maybe for the rest of the year.

Philly has been demanding more and more attention lately, and while they’re putting out acts like Dangerous Ponies and the Extraordinaires, it’s not difficult to see why. Being friends and labelmates on Punk Rock Payroll, these two often share the stage, as well as sharing a fun, upbeat-yet-stripped down garage-pop sound reminiscent of the Black Lips, Jay Reatard, and the Vivian Girls.

Dangerous Ponies play CCAS tonight. 7 pm Doors.

There’s not even a proper name for this sort of sub-genre, as ‘garage pop’ falls quite short for what these bands actually play, but whatever you want to call it, it’s a blast to listen to. These are the sort of bands that are happiest when they’re up on stage, to the point of being ecstatic, and remind you that they’re making music because it’s fun to make music.

While Dangerous Ponies and the Extraordinaires may be two sides of the same coin, Baltimore’s Secret Mountains is something different entirely. Don’t get us wrong; they’re plenty of fun to watch, but not quite in the same way. With a sound more reminiscent of Mazzy Star or Feist, Secret Mountains are enjoyable to see because you know you’re in on the ground floor, and watching one of this decade’s most talented bands before anyone else knows about them. Hearing these intricate melodies and full-bodied rhythms on the stage of a club or a DIY space is kind of akin to watching Brooks Robinson field grounders in Arkansas amateur ball… the talent is immediately obvious and overwhelming, and it goes without saying that this band’s star is going to be on the rise for many years to come.

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You know what else is a whole lot of fun? Voting for the Chop in the Sun’s Mobbies Contest, that’s what. There are only 3 days left to vote, and you can vote for us in 3 categories, Music/Nightlife, Misfits, and Personal. We’re going to need you to go vote right now since time is growing shorter and sadly, our trailing margin is not.

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