Tag Archives: Sidebar

Tomorrow: Puddle, Poly/Western @ Sidebar

You probably know by now that this blog is a big fan of local band Poly/Western. We’ve posted about them before and go to see them every chance we get. Luckily, we get another chance tomorrow night at the Sidebar.

We’ve always said that they were a great band who were bound to get better and better, and since the last time we saw them that’s exactly what’s happened. They’ve gone professional. No more giving away 3 song demos for these guys. If you want the Rock now, you’ve gotta get it from a real, bona fide EP which you can download here for the low low price of $5. They’ve even got a genuine band page on Facebook now, where you can stream songs and such. Of course, if you like them “just as friends,” you can still do that here.

Poly/Western plays the Sidebar tomorrow. 9pm doors.

But wait! There’s more! Puddle is headlining tonight’s show. Do you know how long it’s been since we’ve seen Puddle? More than 10 years. Clinton was president. Yet they’re still riding the same groove they were back then: too much like a jam band for the cool kids, and too cool for the hippies. The bottom line is that they kind of sound like Landspeedrecord! if LSR had gone to Juliard and knew everything there was to know about composition and arrangement. Just when you think Puddle is starting to sound a little too much like Mededski Martin and Wood or some crap, they’ll play something that kind of reminds you of Jawbox. So you’re just going to have to go and make up your own mind.

While you’re at it, you can also make up your own mind about Muscle Twin, who play reggae for white people, and Goodbye New Plans who don’t.

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Sidebar is at 218 E. Lexington St. Downtown. 18+ 9pm doors.

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Hipster Parking Lot: Parking Info for Station North and Downtown Clubs

It’s kind of ironic that we’re writing a post about parking now that we’ve resolved to give up our car, but there are two changes in parking at places we go regularly that are worth noting for the rest of you who still have cars.

The first change we noticed was in Station North, at the lot on the corner of 20th and Howard Street. This lot is kind of a minor urban miracle in that it functions as a free community lot where people can park day or night without fear of being towed. A lot of people are quick to denigrate the presence of parking lots, but when they’re free and open to all they’re very much a valuable community resource.

Now, we’ve been parking in this lot for years, and we’ve always kind of wondered who owns it and why they allow free parking, but we never thought it wise to look the free-parking gift horse in the mouth since we’ve never been ticketed, towed, or broken into there.

In this diagram, south is up.

The only difference now is that when we went to Joe Squared last week there was a large poster board with the above graphic lashed to the fence next to the patio. We can only take this to mean that parking in this lot is pretty legit for patrons of all Station North businesses. Who says there’s no such thing as free parking? Now all we gotta do is pass Go and get our $200.

The other parking change is much more substantial and will be of interest to anyone attending shows at Sonar or other clubs near the foot of the JFX.

We’ve always just parked on the street when going to Sonar, Sidebar, etc, since there’s generally not any shortage of street parking near City Hall at night. Going to the Shellac show though, the weather was rainy and since our driver’s side window has been reduced to a pile of Baltimore Diamonds we were looking for sheltered parking.

As it turned out, we were in luck. We’d noticed on Sonar’s website that this show’s listing said parking would be available in the garage above the club for $2. We had always know that there was a garage on top, but had no idea that it was available for show-goers. Not only that, but when we pulled in, there was no one there to take our money. The parking was free.

When we asked the club staff about it at the door, they advised us that nighttime parking in the Farmers’ Market lot under the JFX now costs seven dollars ($7!). They also said that from now on, Sonar patrons can park above the club either for free, or for some rate which will be less than $7.00 depending on the show.

If you zoom in on the embedded map, Sonar itself looks like a parking lot. There are 2 levels of parking on the building, a covered garage, and the exposed rooftop. you can access both levels from Gay Street, passing the church and making a hard left right behind the billboards.

Have any downtown parking tips of your own? Feel free to share them in the comments.

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Awesome Saturday Again in Baltimore Tonight

We’ve talked before on this blog about the Baltimore phenomenon we’ve taken to calling Awesome Saturday. The movers and shakers and event planners in this town who plan things in advance all seem to zero in on the last Saturday of the month to book the really cool stuff, and at least 3 great events will all happen at the exact same time. It’s usually the last Saturday, anyway. Sometimes it’s the third Saturday. This month, after Christmas and New Year’s and all, it’s both.

There are three shows going on tonight that are all worthy of your attention. We still don’t really know which one (or more) we’ll get to, so we’re going to tell you about all of them in a Just the facts, ma’am sort of way.

A visual approximation of Joan of Arc eating dinner at the Golden West.

The Sidebar is drawing first blood with 4:30 pm doors on a huge bill at Incest Fest, the general idea of which is a small-timore style crossover day of bands and friends sharing the stage in common bands and side projects. Highlights include the straight-out-the-garage rockabilly style of Young Jaguars and the one and only TUNNELBIKE!

Up at the Metro Gallery it’s gonna be Sick Sick Birds, who we talked about on Wednesday when they played with the Queers in DC. They’re playing with Squaaks, White Tiger and the Bed of Roses, and former Government Issue frontman John Stabb’s latest band Sleeper Agent, who were one of the subjects of our first post ever.

Finally, the Golden West in Hampden is hosting Joan of Arc. You would think that would be a no-brainer, since we love Joan of Arc and all the bands in tonight’s other shows are local, but they’re also playing Monday at the Black Cat, so there’s your second chance right there. Tonight’s show also features Philly’s Algernon Cadwallader, who’ve made a career out of sounding exactly like Cap’n Jazz, and Soft Circle.

Wherever you or we or any of us end up tonight, it’s bound to be an awesome Saturday.

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Metro Gallery is at 1801 N. Charles Street in Station North.

Golden West Cafe is at 1105 W. 36th Street in Hampden.

Sidebar is at 218 E. Lexington Street Downtown.

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A Fun Filled Friday at the Old-Punks’ Home

Okay, Baltimore. Today is the last day for you to go over and vote for us in the Mobbies. Go ahead. Click over and do it now. We’ll wait.

Are you back? Okay. Cool. Thanks for that.

Anyway, We’re still hoping to pull out a win in the Music/Nightlife category. We seem to have fallen well behind in the Personal category, which is strange to us, because we continue to think of this first and foremost as a personal blog. It’s solely about the things that we do and think of day in and day out. We just happen to like seeing live music and drinking in bars more than most people.

A visual approximation of dinner at the Chophouse tonight.

Case in point: tonight we will not be attending the Youth Brigade show at the Sidebar. Likewise, we also won’t be going down to DC for the Suicidal Tendencies. And there’s no fucking way we’re going to pay $30 to see Saves the Day at Sonar.

These are all bands we like. At least, we liked them in their time and place. For all of these acts though, their time is well in the past. We’ve already gone on record with our feelings about old bands as well as their aging fanbase, and all of these shows fall squarely into that category. It’s hard to call yourself Youth Brigade when you’re fucking 50, and we’d like to see the fat, aging Mike Muir try to get on a skateboard these days. These bands were about the coolest thing going in the year we were born and if we’re feeling old in 2010, then they must have roadies who are just in charge of Ben Gay, Icy Hot, and prune juice.

Saves the Day gets a bit of a pass, since they’re only about 30, but as a band they have definitely not aged well. Can’t Slow Down was a near perfect post-high school record, but at this point we’re- uhh, very post high school. We used to love seeing this band play in churches, garages, and even a barn, but by the time we saw them in 2005 at the 9:30 Club they were barely recognizable and very disappointing.

So this is not a post about those shows. It’s a post about how the Chop is an old man, and is going to have some of our other old man friends in for dinner tonight. We could post a recipe or two, but we just don’t do that. We might make a risotto or some sort of stuffed peppers. We’re also thinking roasted potatoes and a seasonal salad, and maybe some of the scratch-made corn chowder we’ve still got on hand.

We’re also going to drink brown liquor and talk about how great things used to be and how everything is terrible now, as old men are wont to do.

This is a post about that.

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Deleted Scenes, Medications @ The Sidebar Tonight

We were just saying the other day how we never get around to going to DC anymore, and how when we do all we seem to do is go straight to the Black Cat and then come straight home. We even skipped out on yesterday’s trip to the DC Record Fair.

But why would we want to go to DC anyway? Considering: A… Baltimore is way better, and B… If we just sit around and wait, the best of DC will come to us, which is exactly what’s happening at the Sidebar tonight.

Deleted Scenes, Medications play the Sidebar tonight. 9 pm doors.

If it please the court, here are the facts of the case:

Gary B and the Notions provide local support. We’ve written about them before and even compared them favorably to Elvis Costello. If that’s not a shining recommendation, we don’t know what is.

Medications have a new record out on Dischord called Completely Removed which completely rules. You might recall the members of this band from former Dischord heavy hitters like Faraquet, Smart Went Crazy, and Beauty Pill, who are all largely responsible for making the DC sound what it is. (Fugazi didn’t do it all by themselves, kiddies.)

Deleted Scenes is that rarest of rarities, a really cool DC band that is not on Dischord. The J Robbins produced Birdseed Shirt is probably better than any record on your shelf right now. Don’t take our word for it though. We’d like to enter into the record testimony from expert witnesses Pitchfork, Brightest Young Things, DCist, Pasta Primavera, and Aural States. They’ll all do a better job than we can of telling you why and how this band is so unique, innovative and superior.

Closing arguments: Despite the fact that it’s Monday and you probably want to flop down on the couch after work and sleep where you lie, you should go to this show; not because it’s something to do on a Monday, but because its probably the best show you’ll see for some time. Besides, we know you all stayed home last night watching Lost.

Verdict: Awesome as charged.

Sentence: Two hours of hard listening.

Court is in recess.

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Sidebar is at 218 E. Lexington Street downtown. Sidebar is a legal term, and the Sidebar Tavern has a gavel in its logo. This whole post is a pun. Pretty clever, huh?

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Sick Sick Birds @ the Sidebar Tonight

What did you think Baltimore? That just because we’re an old man now we’re going to sit out on our stoop and whittle? Not so. Nope, we’re heading right back downtown tonight for a show we wouldn’t miss, and suggest you don’t either.

Of course we’re talking about our fellow oldsters, Baltimore’s own Sick Sick Birds at the Sidebar.

Sick Sick Birds Play the Sidebar Tonight.

SSB is easily one of the best bands Baltimore has produced, but they’d almost have to be with their kind of pedigree. A read of their resume is like a look back through the annals of Mobtown punk. Members have been in old favorites Blank, the Pee Tanks, the Thumbs, High School Hellcats and more. In their current incarnation they’ve been somewhat reclusive, although over the past year they’ve been playing out in town semi-regularly. Our advice: see them as often as you possibly can.

They’re not the only thing worth coming out for tonight though. Before we left for Europe, we had a chance to see the Fun Brigade, who definitely lived up to their name with a set full of Operation Ivy covers. So much music has been created since the OPIV era, but none of it has been as much fun to sing along to. Tonight FB is doing a punk-rock jukebox set ca. ’77-85. They’re joined by Tunnelbike! who’ll be spreading the word of Bibleman, and North Carolina’s Quarantines.

But what do you do before the game? Pregame, of course. The Charm City Art Space had the clever idea to throw a party that’s not quite a dance party, not quite a listening party, but not quite boring either. Billed as a ‘box social for punx’, we see it as a good chance to check out the Space’s new building (right next door to the old one) which opened while we were gone.

Of course being the Art Space, the event is Dry, so we might just sneak off to Midtown Yacht Club to pregame instead.

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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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