Well, we spoke with Jason Mecler earlier this week, and he helped book the artists for this Saturday’s JoAnn Garrett Classic; now it’s time to talk to one of the artists performing at it. Check out J Berd, whose been a huge influence on the local hip-hop scene for what seems like approximately 40,000 years at this point (and that’s a good thing). We caught up with him to talk about how he got involved with this year’s installment of the JGC, what it means to open for The Pharcyde, and the current state of Frederick’s music scene. Tickets are still available, friends. It’s all for a great cause. You don’t want to miss out, right?
Note: Local rock act Bad Seed Rising began their run on this summer’s Warped Tour last Friday. They will be appearing on the tour until July 27, including a date at Merriweather Post Pavilion on July 16. Throughout their run, we plan on periodically checking in with the band to see how life is out on the road, sweaty as it may be. The following diary entry was written by lead singer Francheska Pastor. To learn more about Bad Seed Rising, check out their website, their Facebook page, or any of the other 5,000 things bands must offer in the year 2016 to survive. Enjoy!
We did this two years ago, when the JoAnn Garrett Classic hosted Youngblood Hawke, among others, but last year, the event took a break from music. This year? This year, it’s back, and it’s happening this weekend at The Blue Side on Saturday night. It will feature J Berd, Retro/Ricole Barnes (along with his band DaMood), and, the headliner of headliners, The Pharcyde. Tickets are still available, but from what we hear, they are going fast. We spoke with Jason about why the music element took last year off, how organizers landed on The Pharcyde as 2016’s headliner, and how the organization went with using The Blue Side for this year’s venue. You won’t want to miss this show, friends. Like, really. You won’t.
Holy smokes, this weekend is jam-packed with music. We have not one, not two … but three – three! – banner events over the next three days. The first kicks off tomorrow night (that’s Friday for all you day-obsessors). Cafe 611 is hosting Doom Fest throughout all of Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Sixty-five bucks gets you a weekend pass and more than 30 bands. You read that right, friends. More than 30 bands. If you’re into metal, rock, doom or any combination of the three, this ought to be your next 72 hours. The second banner event? How about over in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, where Street Fest is led by the Christian Lopez Band (above), who we adore dearly. That goes on all day Saturday and it’s free. All types of free. And, don’t forget our life mantra: You can’t get better than free. And then finally, on Saturday, Flying Dog is hosting the Violent Femmes out at the brewery. It’s been sold out for months now, but we’ll be there, giving away koozies and jokes. We promise you’ll like at least one of those two things. And … whew, that’s a lot. Also going on – or at least so it appears – is Alive@Five this evening where The Colliders will collide all up in your colliding spaces. There’s The Saturday Giant. There are a couple different options for jazz music, which is always great. There’s Sons Of The Radio. There’s 7th Sun. There’s the E.J. House Party Band. There’s Vertigo Red. And then, of course. There’s No Better Than You. Come by and say hello to us at Flying Dog’s Designated Table Space Saturday night. It will be violent. It will be femme (whatever that means). Don’t let the rain damper your dreams, friends. Viva la Verizon Center.
Well, we should probably do this again, right? Right.
Just in case you haven’t already noticed, the fine city of Frederick, Maryland, won the Levitt Amp grant for a second year in a row. And what does that mean? Well, it means that there’s going to be a free – and as we always say, you can’t get better than free – concert series going on every Tuesday night for the next 10 Tuesday nights. The place is the Carroll Creek Amphitheater. The cost, as already stated, is nothing.
Well, there’s no Alive @ Five tonight, and that’s awfully, awfully sad. Rain, rain, go away. What is happening this weekend, however, is the kickoff to the Downtown Frederick Partnership’s Move Night on the Creek. “Independence Day” is slated to be screened tomorrow night (that’s Friday, for those keeping track), and it promises to be awesome. The fun begins at 8 p.m. And it’s free. As we say every week, you can’t beat free. Also this weekend is a pretty great show at The Blue Side. Silent Old Mtns. (above) will be sharing the stage with The Milestones, whose latest EP we reviewed this week, and Haint Blue. Also Friday night, over in Shepherdstown, Rhin is going to release a record at The Opera House and among the support acts on that bill are Cheshi, who you know we love. There’s the Monocacy Jazz Quartet. There’s Community Center. There’s Future Sound. There’s Rew Smith. There’s 3 A.M., which features our dear old friend Pete Goodwin. And then, of course, there is a Death Fest. Come for the metal. Stay for the mosh. June is slowly getting away from us all. Don’t allow the flood threats to dampen your weekend (see what we did there?!). Meet good people. Eat good food.
It’s a novel idea to play rock music these days. Think about pop radio and then think about how many straight-forward rock artists reside within the fabric of those charts. There are very few. Sure, there are exceptions, but even those can be attached to special rules. Coldplay has an A-list singer. Twenty One Pilots are the product of a genre’s current fad. Others are the product of the country music boon. And then there’s Disturbed (really — that’s still a thing?).
Arguably the most recent band to succeed in this world is Kings Of Leon, which, of course, is the band that Baltimore quartet The Milestones sound like the most on their latest EP, “Honey.” Running only four songs at a little less than 15 minutes, it showcases the value in a type of rock that can’t be subcategorized with words like “pop” or “punk” or “hardcore” or “post”-anything. It’s exciting in its simplicity, lauded for its ability to maintain loyalty to a genre without compromise. These songs weren’t born out of cashing in; they were born out of a desire to … well … rock.
I’m getting increasingly bad at a lot of things (thinking, living, thinking some more), though one of those things is figuring out quite what to say whenever I am called upon to go on a stage to introduce a band. Words have been consistently escaping me anyway over the last couple years, but especially anymore, at the end of these events, it kind of feels like there were approximately 5,000,000 things that I forgot to say and/or should have said. So, by the time midnight on Saturday came around, I thought, “Well, at least I can try to make up for this on Playlist.” I’m sure I’ll fail, but … hell.
Here we go. Old Indian is set to say goodbye. The Thing is going to happen. And it’s a Saturday in the middle of June. So … well … ready to see how this turns out? We are. Hopefully, you’ll give it a chance. There’s too much more to say about it and it’s probably best we say nothing at all. So, again. Hopefully, you’ll give it a chance. Elsewhere this weekend, Alive @ Five is set to bluegrass-and-roll in a couple hours (though please note a very special Alive @ Five one week from tonight that we’ll address next week). Artomatic closes shop tomorrow with an absolutely fantastic show that will feature Time Columns, Drop Electric and Atlas At Last. It’s free. And you can’t beat free. Dapp and our old, dear friends in The Knolly Moles, on separate nights, will be hitting the new-and-improved Cafe Nola this weekend. Shane Gamble, local country hero extraordinaire, is heading to Champions. And Hard Swimmin’ Fish, who we adore, will be blues-and-rolling at JoJo’s. Perhaps we’ll see you at some point Saturday? It sure would be nice. Remember that there’s still a couple days left to get the all-access wristbands at a discount. Come for the Just A Bum. Stay for the Tri-Denim. Smiles and kisses.
Note: The following was written by Roy Ghim. And … well, you all know Roy, right? Right. So enough with the explanations.
Everything has a beginning and an end. So it is with Old Indian, one of Frederick’s biggest — and arguably best — rock bands. They close out their six-year run together on June 11 with a final performance as the headlining act of The Thing at 200 East Art Haus.
The band’s announcement in March to split in June left many wondering, why now? For a band that is adored for deconstructing rock music to a blistering core, playing to over 1,000 people at Fall Fest at 200 East last October, not to mention a reputation rising beyond the clustered spires of Frederick, they seemed to be at the top of their game, a trajectory without ceiling.