How about that weather?!? Sort of warm(ish). Snow melting(ish). Sun shining(ish). What a great way to begin a weekend of shows that you – yes, you! – really ought to consider as the next three days unfold. In addition to the normal crop of open mics this evening, we have a slew of great stuff going on down Friday and Saturday. The Knolly Moles, ye of Frederick Music Showcase fame, will be taking the stage at Guidos tomorrow night, and you most definitely will not want to miss that. The pop-country sounds of Donnie Wood are heading to the Blue Sky because the Blue Sky be Blue Sky-in’. Nobody knows what that means. You can pick up some alligator meat while you check out Trix and Black at The Lodge. One of the more prestigious local names around, Ms. Adrienne Smith, will be folkin’ it up at Cafe Nola. Speaking of Nola, there appears to be a Baltimore invasion going down there on Saturday night, so that promises to be fun. Freddie Long will be around. The Averist and the greatness of their metal friends will be smashing faces at Cafe 611. A former “Voice” contestant will be at The Cellar Door (you can check him out above). And, of course, Hey Baby! No, but really: Hey Baby! Come for the bluegrass, stay for the Jack Z. We have less than a month until we invade the Weinberg. You already have a ticket, right? Right. We hope to unveil a new set of videos for one of the showcase’s artists on Monday. Who will it be? You’ll have to check back to see what’s up. For now, embrace the impending three days, adjust your weekend plans accordingly, and say hello to someone randomly. Why? Because that’s weird. And who doesn’t love weird? Viva la Thursday!
So, you guys all know about NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series, right? Hell, even we ripped it off. Anyway, that fine institution recently announced a contest and invited artists to submit their own Tiny Desk Concert videos for a chance to win their own personal Tiny Desk Concert. That’s a lot of “Tiny Desk Concert” in one sentence. Anyway (again), Big Hoax, a former subject for one of our Q&As, submitted the above video. And not only is it great, but it’s also from a local artist. So, really: Is there a better way to begin a Thursday? We think not.
Hey, tomorrow is Thursday. Do you have any plans? Because if you don’t, you ought to check out OMG 2.0, who will be at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Walkersville at about 7 p.m. This photo? It’s of them rehearsing at something called Yellow Cow Studio. Oh, and for those of you fluffing and puffing at the name – it actually doesn’t mean what you think it means (maybe). Instead, they claim it’s the first letter of each band member’s last name. Simple coincidence? We may never know. Photo by Sam Yu.
You know what’s tough? Tuesdays. Like, really. You just settled into the week by going through Monday (which is always awful), yet you’re still one day away from actually feeling like you’re halfway to Friday. So, how do you deal? You make plans for Friday now. Not tomorrow. Not in a few hours. But now. So, what can do you this Friday? Well, you can check out the always-fabulous Adrienne Smith as she takes the Cafe Nola stage. So, there. Doesn’t it feel better now, knowing you have plans for the weekend even though we’re no more than two days into the week?! Precisely. Viva La Tuesday!
Each week from now until the show, we will be unveiling four different Frederick Playlist Presents … sessions – one for each band appearing at the Weinberg Center in downtown Frederick on Thursday, February 19 (tickets, remember, are on sale now). All performances were recorded at our top-secret hideaway, somewhere within the depths of the Frederick News-Post facilities, where the paper rolls are many and the smells of cake (or something like that) circulate the air with abandon.
There’s no reason you shouldn’t like Cumberland’s Grand Ole’ Ditch. Even if you’ve been opposed to the recent bluegrass-ification of mainstream music, the group’s latest set is so inoffensive and so charming that you can’t help but root for the guys to succeed in whatever they do. Come on, now. They’ve got a dude called “Fiddlin” Ray Bruckman in their band. Just reading that should make you smile.
If anything, these guys might just be too innocuous for their own good. Because despite the storytelling chops they display throughout all of their most recent set, “Big Red Ball,” one can’t help but be struck by the naivety and assembly-line nature that sometimes creeps between lyrics like “Evil skies surround me down / My eyes are here beside this town” or “Inside them hills / I killed my lover.” Yeah, everyone can understand why those tropes appear within the fabric of traditional folk music. But hearing those words come from voices so unassuming that they might make Steve Martin and all of his Steep Canyon Rangers blush?
It’s all Chopin all the time on this unseasonably not-cold-as-hell January Monday morning. This photo right here looks at pianist Brian Ganz as he rehearses before launching into his “All-Chopin” concert at Calvary United Methodist Church Sunday afternoon. Hey – some people like Charli XCX. Some people like Chopin. You say tomato. We say tomato. Wait. That phrase doesn’t really work in print, does it? Anyway. Check back later today. We’re going to have some neatness coming your way. Photo by Bill Green. He’s got the greatest voice in the world and you can follow him on Twitter here.
Well, then. For a middle-of-January weekend, there sure seems to be a light slate of shows throughout the next three days to devour. And that’s sad. Fear not, though, friends, because there are still gems to be found, and there is certainly enough local music to get you through the weekend (and for those of you who might like to get out of town on Sunday, remember, the fine lads in Signs Point East will be rocking and rolling at the Ottobar). Where will that local music be? Well, we have a trio of open mics this evening as well as some pretty great jazz going down at Ayse. The Shack Band will be returning to town when they take the Cafe Nola stage on Friday, while something called Spiral will be setting up shop on that ginormous stage Champion Billiards offers. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the fact that you can check out Frederick Music Showcase featured artists Hard Swimmin’ Fish (above) at The Main Cup this weekend as well. On Saturday, the great dudes in Kabob-O-Taj will be hittin’ up Cafe Nola (side: Who says “hittin’ up” anymore?). Broken Rocker is at Bushwallers. The Few are at Olde Towne. And, of course, the band name of the week goes to Half Serious. We are in the midst of the dog days of winter, friends, so stay warm. We’ll be back next week with some more announcements regarding the showcase at the Weinberg. So much awesomeness is set to be unleashed. Let’s all be awesome together. No idea what any of that means. Happy Thursday!
Hey, remember when we did a Q&A with the fine fellas in The Shack Band back in July? They told us they love them some Frederick and they love them some Flying Dog, too. It was fun. Anyway, they are coming back to town tomorrow night (or Friday night, for all of those people concerned with specifics and such). The venue will be the fabulous Cafe Nola. The time will be 9:30 p.m. You will want to see this. You will shove 2-dollar PBRs in your face. You will have fun. You will be happy it is Friday. You will buy a Shack Band CD. Or … well … maybe you’ll do none of those things. Either way, you really should check it out!
We’d be remiss if we didn’t begin by saying tickets for our first-ever Frederick Music Showcase are now officially on sale over at the Weinberg website. 10 bucks gets you a glass, a ticket and the night of your life. Pretty great deal, right? Right.
But back to business. Signs Point East. Have you ever heard of them? Because you should have by now. They’re pretty great. They’re from Frederick. And they’re also playing at the Ottobar in Baltimore on Sunday as part of Gorilla Music’s “Best Of Baltimore” event. They are offering up tickets, complete with a party bus ride to and from the show, over in their corner of the World Wide Internet, so you ought to hop on over there to check it out yesterday. We caught up with the guys in the band recently to talk about the Frederick music scene, how the band started, and what we can expect from their show in Baltimore this weekend: