Tag Archives: Ottobar

Strike Anywhere, Copyrights, Younger Years @ Ottobar Tonight

So we’re going to see Strike Anywhere at the Ottobar tonight. Sounds pretty normal, except that we’re not actually going to see Strike Anywhere. Oh we’ll stand there and watch them. We’ll probably even sing along a little. What we mean to say is that even though they’re at the top of the bill, somehow they’re not the draw. If they were playing with different openers, we’d probably sit this one out.

No mistake… Strike Anywhere is still among our favorites, and their place as one of the better punk rock bands of all time is quite secure. It’s just that, well, it’s not 1999 anymore. The last time we saw the band (with Bane in College Park, May ’09) provided a very stark contrast to the shows of 10 years ago. The energy and urgency were very much lacking, not just in their set but up and down the bill. It was one of those shows that reminds you that even the best bands can’t keep getting better, and there’s no shame in moving on.

Yeah. We wish it was 2001 again too.

So we’re actually going to see the opening acts tonight. Specifically the Copyrights and local act Younger Years.

The Copyrights are very very possibly the best pop punk band in the world right now. Think of the Bouncing Souls, Screeching Weasel, and Face to Face all rolled into one. That said, being the best pop punk band in the world in 2011 is kind of like being the world’s best ska band in 2001. It’s not that hard to do because pop punk just isn’t cool anymore and high school kids are all pretentious little fucks these days. We still like pop punk. Some of the ambient dream pop cum shoegaze cum experimental fusion cum fake-ass world music acts that pass for indie rock today could stand to learn something from bands like the Copyrights.

We’re pretty stoked to finally catch Younger Years as well. They’re not exactly a new band anymore, but somehow we’ve managed to miss all of their shows so far. We’ve been hearing good things though, and really how can you say bad things about a band that, when you hear them for the first time you say “Oh, this is a band that sounds like Kid Dynamite and None More Black.” It’s about time somebody picked up that ball and ran with it.

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Ottobar is at 2549 N Howard Street in Charles Village. Tonight’s show is 7 pm doors, all ages. A Wilhelm Scream also plays.

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The Dating Game @ Ottobar Tonight

You read that headline right, Choppers. The Dating Game is at the Ottobar tonight. Not some obscure touring indie rock band called the Dating Game, but, you know, a homegrown version of the old seventies TV show. Their website is short on specifics, but presumably a handful of moderately attractive 20-somethings will get on the stage and answer some corny questions about dating, a girl will pick a guy, and they may or may not go on an actual date some time in the near future.

Second suitor: if we were making whoopee, what sounds would you make?

We are in full support of the staging of live game shows in local bars. It’s a trend we can get behind. We would have organized punk rock Jeopardy long ago if, you know, we weren’t just plain lazy about organizing stuff. We’ll be the first to come out and watch it though, as we were with the RTV ‘talent’ show and the Chatroulette Knife Throwing Contest.

The Dating Game at the Ottobar seems especially appropriate though since, well, who among us hasn’t met someone there? We’ve been on plenty of dates to the bar itself, and as for running into exes- well, there’s simply no better place in Baltimore for that.

We expect that tonight’s production will fall somewhere in that misty gray area between the dating show from Mallrats and some bona fide real life Hipster Wife Hunting. If nothing else, watching a bunch of awkward contestants stammer through embarrassing sex questions will probably make us feel pretty damn good about being single after 30. That is, as long as we can avoid getting the stinkpalm.

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White Wires, Deep Sleep @ Ottobar Upstairs Tonight

If you ask any punk in town, ‘What’s going on at the Ottobar tonight?’ they’d tell you ‘Reagan Youth, Duh.’

That’s not the right answer though. Well, It’s technically the right answer, but it’s not the best show going on in that particular bar on this particular night. We’ve already made known our feelings about old decrepit bands on this blog, and if we skipped the Buzzcocks and sat out Youth Brigade, then you can bet we don’t give a flying fuck about seeing Reagan Youth.

White Wires plays upstairs at the Ottobar tonight. Doors at 9 pm.

What we do give a fuck about seeing is the upstairs show. White Wires should be totally scene-famous right now. Like Vivian Girls or Wavves. but they’re not so much. They do okay. We think it’s because they’re Canadians. Don’t hold that against them though. You should go to the show tonight and buy their CD and then play it loudly all Summer long while you drink Natty Boh on your porch. That’s what it’s made for. If ever there was a Summertime fun band for 2011 Hampden kids, this is it.

But as well as White Wires does garage punk, we in Charm City still like to keep our garage and our punk seperate, much like our peanut butter and our chocolate. This is evidenced by the locals on tonight’s upstairs bill. Hollywood made their name by being more garaged than a ’56 Ford, and Deep Sleep’s, straight up west coast punk style is strictly street. Street parking, that is. (How’s that for not mixing a metaphor?)

So we’re gonna go see an excellent free show tonight, maybe drink some drink specials, and as a bonus, get to see what other old fucks turn up for the Reagan Youth show without actually having to sit through the Reagan Youth show.

Correction: this show is not actually free. $7 at the door.

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Ottobar is at 2549 N. Howard Street in Charles Village. Downstairs show is Doors at 7, all ages. Upstairs show is 18+ doors at 9.

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Super Art Fight 10 @ Ottobar Tonight

It’s Super Art Fight night again at the Ottobar. Once again, there’s nothing we can tell you here that hasn’t already been said over on their very thorough and entertaining blog. They’ve got more inside baseball stuff over there than the actual Inside Baseball. Check it out.

SAFX is at the Ottobar tonight. 9 pm doors.

Then again, maybe there is one thing we can tell you that they won’t. Perhaps it’s out of modesty, but they’ve made no mention that they’ve been selling out shows left and right lately, and enjoying incredible popularity throughout the region. The last time they were at Ottobar, 450 people showed up. There was a line down to 25th street. If you’re going, and you should, make sure you show up early.

Like, 7 pm and sit in Charmington’s until the line starts to form early.

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Tonight: Heads for Deleted Scenes, Tales for Vivian Girls

Well, lucky Chop. We’ve got another night with too damn many interesting things going on. We already told you yesterday about the Found Footage Festival at the Creative Alliance tonight, and we can scarcely find room to mention that Madison Smartt Bell is also reading from his new novel and signing copies at Atomic Books tonight.

Sadly though, we’re not quite in the mood for film or literature tonight. We feel like getting drunk and listening to some rock and roll bands. And there’s no shortage of them going around either.

Black Lips play the Ottobar tonight. 9pm.

It’s impossible to go wrong with Deleted Scenes, who have been getting a lot of attention lately as a band to watch. Some of that attention has been from this blog, as we named them among the 10 best shows we blogged last year. Riding that momentum, we expect they’ll be playing a number of songs from their forthcoming record Young People’s Church of the Air, which is bound to be one of the better records coming out in 2011. They’re playing the Metro Gallery tonight with North Carolina’s equally buzzworthy Hammer No More the Fingers, who are set to record a full length in May with J. Robbins, as well as locals Gary B and the Notions and Vinny Vegas.

It’s a show we’d jump on under normal circumstances, but tonight there’s an equally interesting show happening at the Ottobar. A Vivian Girls show is always a good time, and they’ve got a new album of their own, Share the Joy coming out on Tuesday. If you just can’t wait that long, you can click over to NPR’s First Listen and hear the new stuff before the show tonight.

If Cassie Ramone, Kickball Katy, and new drummer Fiona Campbell look noticeably more suntanned than this crummy overcast Spring should allow, it may be because they’re fresh off the Bruise Cruise on the Carnival Imagination. Go ahead and read that link and we think you’ll agree with us that the end of Punk, and Western Civilization is very, very near.

They’re playing tonight with a band we like but have never seen before, the Black Lips who are the heirs apparent to acts like Ween and the Dead Milkmen. It’s a tough call. A trip to the Ottobar tonight may mean a quality John Waters sighting, or it could also mean a few ex-girlfriend sightings. You pays your money and you takes your chances, we guess.

So we’re going to leave it to chance. Not being bothered to try to see both shows, we’re just going to flip a coin. Heads for Deleted Scenes, tales for Vivian Girls. We’ll let the Queen decide via a British pound coin.

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Matrimonials, Quarantines, South Carey @ Ottobar Tonight

There’s no Sunday Night Football tonight. There’s no Sunday baseball game of the week either. Hell, there’s not even any new episodes of Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, the Walking Dead, or any of the other premium TV fare the networks have started to crowd up Sunday Nights with.

When all else fails though, there’s still the punk rock underground.

South Carey plays the Ottobar tonight. 9 pm doors.

Tonight’s show at the Ottobar could easily be a basement show at someone’s house. With these three bands all playing for free in the upstairs, the basement show vibe should be very well in tact. The drop ceiling, crummy tiles, pool tables and day-glo artwork are all present and accounted for, but thankfully the bar is a little better stocked than pop’s dusty old liquor cabinet.

We’d love to tell you all about the bands, but that’s the thing about basement rock… those guys hide out in the basement and don’t generate a lot of news. The Quarantines play cartoonish horror-pop on Insubordination Records. The Matrimonials pop up to play grunge-punk only occasionally. Unfortunately, we missed their set the last time they played, so we’re eager to catch them tonight.

Perhaps the most elusive of these three acts though is South Carey. We’re racking our memory and the last time we saw them was…? It could be because they’re a true basement band through and through… the kind that has more fun at band practice than at shows. That’s not to disparage them though; they’ve got/Ace Freely/they’ve got Peter Criss/waiting there for them yes they do. there is one piece of news on them though; word on the street has it they’re no longer a 2-piece, but are now playing as a quartet with a sexy beast of a new singer and another dad-core bass player. Here’s hoping the change means they’ll play that much more often and rock that much harder.

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Ottobar is at 2549 N. Howard St. in Charles Village. 9 pm doors, 9:30 show. Free, 21+

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Chucklestorm Presents Neil Hamburger @ Ottobar Tonight

There’s no doubt about it, Baltimore- America is officially in decline. The Republicans are stealing and pillaging as fast as they can. Nobody has a job to go to, and it doesn’t matter because gas is $4 a gallon and the kids are more interested in cocaine and shitty dance music than work anyway. The last time things looked as bad as this was the late 1970’s, when the end of Vietnam drove a 40 year societal wedge into the US, New York City crumbled into a dilapidated, depraved urban wasteland, and we were all afraid of the big, bad Ayatollah.

What’s our best defense against a whole society crumbling around us? How will we come through it all? The same way they did in the 1970’s, of course… we’ll don our finest loungewear, grab a stiff highball, and laugh our asses off as a sloppy, mean-spirited jerk takes the stage and fires off insults at people who are much richer and better looking than the rest of us.

Neil Hamburger stands up at the Ottobar tonight. 9 pm doors.

The glory days of Don Rickles and Joan Rivers may be long gone, but for better or worse, we’ve still got Neil Hamburger, and he’s coming to the Ottobar tonight. If Neil Hamburger says that God is gay, well then it’s probably true. The man has a tuxedo, after all. And a cocktail in hand. And a stage and a spotlight. Logic dictates that any man who has all that at once must be an authority on things. Therefore God is gay.

And as much as Neil Hamburger knows about theology, well, that’s how much Kenny Strasser knows about yo-yos. You may better know “K-Strass” as the guy who single-handedly punked a handful of Midwest local news stations by appearing on their morning shows under the guise of a yo-yo expert and then not knowing how to do a single yo-yo trick. For our money, this was one of the most absurd and hysterical stunts in recent memory.

Rounding out the evening are “Major Entertainer” Mike H, along with the boys of Chucklestorm themselves, Dan and Alex. If you’re not familiar with Chucklestorm yet, we’d highly recommend you take this opportunity to get familiar, as they just seem to keep getting better all the time. Performing monthly at the Ottobar for the last year or so, Dan and Alex have continued to polish their act consistently, as well as displaying a sharp acumen for behind-the-scenes production like when they brought in Brian Posehn back in November. Getting up on stage and telling jokes to drunks is hard, and pulling it all together is just as difficult. To do them both consistently deserves a measure of respect and support.

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Ottobar is at 2549 N. Howard St. in Charles Village. Tonight’s show is ages 18 and up.

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