Tis’ the season to list things, so this is my recap of some great Baltimore shows and how I drug myself kicking and screaming into the holiday spirit, all in a very list-y fashion. Our story takes us to the chilly month of December and the dark streets of Baltimore where a music blogger finds herself with one glimmering light of indie rock hope at the mighty Ottobar. Not yet feeling the holiday spirit, its cynical music blogger vs. our gracious and road trodden contestants. In chronological order, we have J Roddy Walston and the Business up first. Wild rock and rollin piano man J Roddy is a Baltimore transplant but none the less spiritually connected with the city having at least one song, Brave Man’s Death directly influenced by his current hometown. Beautiful and dramatic dance interpretation electronic pop god’s, Future Islands followed the very next night. Future Islands members are also transplants by way of North Carolina but they’ve been performing and collaborating in Baltimore for so long now no one even knows the difference. Heck they used to play house parties in Wheaton and even played out our way at Café Nola and the BlueMoon a few years back. Two weekends later, perhaps the most iconic Baltimore artist although not having been born and raised here either, Dan Deacon takes stage with a whole host of friends. Dan Deacon is famously known for his off the wall samples, involuntary body convulsing electronic rhythms accompanied by great light shows, and his efforts in helping to strengthen the local Baltimore indie rock community. Lastly rounding out the heavy hitters is the only band with members original from Baltimore, Baltimore’s beloved duo Wye Oak. Wye Oak brings the best of fuzzed out guitar distortion rocking and quieter folk rock like moments together in a forever soul satisfying mix.
If you haven’t guessed by now, said cynical music blogger had absolutely no chance of not feeling all magically warm and fuzzy after an epic run of local sold out show as such. So, the only question that remains is who’s hot and who’s not. Actually all the shows were phenomenal, it’s like comparing getting a Porsche against getting a beach house in Maui or a lifetime supply of Flying Dog for Christmas, but like in the animal kingdom there is always an order. Here's the run down and videos from each show!
#4. Future Islands. Yes, someone has to be last. Maybe it was the crowd. The band was lively and endearing as always but there were a lot of young shoe gazing hipster types there. One huge plus in this show however was that Ed Schrader opened and his performances are always shocking in a really really great way.
#3 J Roddy Walston and the Business. The most high energy of the bunch and two opening acts to boot. One of which, The Matrimonials are Baltimore natives. Fun! Fun! Fun!
#2 Wye Oak. For just a duo, they pack a lot of punch. I wasn’t crazy about the opener, but the pre show anticipation was great. Definitely the longest pre show door line of all the shows.
#1. Hands down, numero uno, Dan Deacon and friends. Dan Deacon’s musical craft always walks a fine line between cheesy electronic and just let yourself go crazy genius. You have to see it to believe it. The sound is great and the crowd is even better. He had a stellar warm up cast with him also. Matmos who have Baltimore connections, showed us how sophisticated electronic music can be and Celebration mix it up with some good solid indie power rock.
Happy Holidays to all and to all a rockin good night! Bucket Blogger
Related Links: J Roddy Photo Album Future Islands Photo Album Dan Deacon Photo Album Wye Oak Photo Album