There are a lot of things we love in this world; one of them is Karen Jonas. She offered up a Celebrity Playlist last week and tonight she’ll be performing, live and in color, at The Blue Side. The above video, produced when she was kind enough to come by our super secret headquarters to perform, features what we believe is her current single, “Wasting Time.” Live. Love. Learn. Also this weekend, Ginada Pinata will be at The Blue Side, and Jesse was gracious enough to offer up a Celebrity Playlist of his own earlier today. Rock and roll that. Hard Swimmin’ Fish, who, some months (years?) ago, came by to perform in the same manner you see Ms. Jonas above, will be returning to JoJo’s, and if you don’t like Hard Swimmin’ Fish, you don’t love life. Lost Keys, who we’ll be talking about extensively next week, will be soft-rockin’ Cafe Nola. Take note. There’s the Atmosphere Party at Cafe 611, and we spoke with that show’s organizer earlier this week. Some Amish Outlaws. Some jazz, via Jeff Cosgrove. Some Frank & Vinny, who we adore. Some Merlin’s Beard Band. Some Dirty Middle. And. Of course. Some Advanced Party Solutions. Could this be the last weekend before the snow comes? Perhaps. Check out the parade. Support local music. Smile. Repeat. T-minus two-and-a-half weeks until Christmas. Drink a hot toddy.
Oh, we love us some Celebrity Playlist. This time up, we have Jesse Shultzaberger, drummer for the band Ginada Pinata, who will be performing in the area not once, but twice – twice! – this weekend. On Friday, they’ll be at The Blue Side here in town, while on Saturday, they’ll be performing at the Town Run Brewing Company over in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. He recently gave us a list of his favorite songs right now, and there’s some doozies in here, friends, including some Chick Corea, some Lettuce and even a little Bruno Mars, among others. You’ll definitely want to give it a good, long scroll. For more about the band, check them out on Facebook here.
Well, all right, then. Saturday night – you down for some EDM? There’s this crazy good show set to go down at Cafe 611 and it’s called Atmosphere. Among the artists performing will be Secret Panda Society, Throdown and Plaeground. We recently caught up with the show’s producer, Josh Noble, to talk about how the lineup came together, the state of the local music scene, and what it’s like to be a fire dancer. The fun starts at 8 p.m. Saturday. Is there a better way to celebrate mid-December? We think not.
It’s been a long, long time since we’ve been able to post a Chelsea McBee-specific video … and yet here we are on the very first day of December in the year 2016, and check it out: Chelsea McBee and her fine little ditty called “Gone-A-Rye.” You can see her perform live in and in color Saturday night over in Shepherdstown at The Opera House. You know we love us some Chelsea McBee, and we know that you should, too. Elsewhere this weekend … well, it’s a First Saturday, so there’s that. And aren’t First Saturdays in December fun around here? Seems like they are supposed to be. Saturday night, there’s going to be a whole bunch of Motown fun at the Weinberg, and gosh darn-it, if that’s not the right way to kick off a holiday season, we don’t know what is. Soul music. It heals the … soul. Also, something called The Bees Trees will be at Cafe Nola Friday night and that’s a fun name. The Blues Vultures will be at Cactus Flats, and this cold weather is awfully conducive to the blues, you know. There’s Sons Of The Radio. There’s The New Thirty. There’s Mindy Miller & The Chrome Tears. There’s two doses of Justin Angelo. And, of course, there’s 5.5 Men. Where the other half goes, nobody knows. T-minus 24 days until Christmas. Have you started shopping yet? Tisk tisk. Get in that holiday spirit, put on a coat and have some fun. Be good.
It’s been a joy to listen to the maturation of Adam Trice through the years. The Baltimore singer, who is the brainchild of folk group Red Sammy, has come into his own as a growling street poet who leans heavily on Depression-era guitars and lush strings. Whereas his ambition got in the way three releases ago, with “A Cheaper Kind Of Love Song,” he’s since toned back the rock and smartly unplugged instruments that he never appeared to have much use for to begin with.
That trend continues on his latest eight-song set, “True Believer.” Billed as Red Sammy & Some Charming Trespassers, this is the warmest, most competent Red Sammy release to date. Still prominent is Trice’s Tom Waits-inspired gruff singing voice and that 1933 National Resonator guitar; gone are all drums and an electricity that never quite suited the singer the way he wanted it to. With the addition of a sad cello and an even more melodramatic violin, this set aims for introspection and doesn’t mind the tears that might have to fall in order to achieve it.
Behold Music & Mental Health, a feature we hope to bring you more often than not, written by the fabulous Imade Borha. She’ll check in from time to time with her thoughts on … well … presumably, music and mental health. Duh. If you dig, you can follow her on Twitter here. Enjoy!
If you’re a member of a marginalized group, your existence is resistance. On November 9, I never felt my existence more threatened on both a national and local level. I stayed up until 5 a.m. so disturbed by the news of our presidential election that I called my social activist friend in New York and joked about bomb shelters to keep the pain at bay. I tried to muster up the energy to get ready for work later that morning, but fortunately, I didn’t have to. My boss let me take the day off. Like a child scared by a nightmare, I kept the covers up to my ears and spent the day in bed. As the KKK celebrated in my home state of North Carolina, I retreated inside. My apartment is surrounded by Trump signs large and small. I braced myself to see anti-black graffiti on my car when I left for work. I’m perpetually flinching, preparing for the pain to come.
Hey, did you hear that Karen Jonas has a new record out?!?! We’re super excited for it and it’s called “Country Songs.” She’s going to be bringing those Country Songs to The Blue Side on Dec. 8, which, for those keeping score, is one week from Thursday. We recently caught up with her to see if she’d be willing to contribute to our Celebrity Playlist series, and check it out: She was actually nice enough to do just that! Love her. Really. Love. Her. But we digress. More accurately, both Jonas and her guitar player, Tim Bray, were kind enough to give us five songs they can’t get enough of right now. So, go support her when she comes to town next week, friends. We promise you won’t regret it.
Note: The following was written by Bill Mercurio. He headed over to Baltimore to check out The Pretty Reckless at Rams Head Live on Friday. And he did so via his car, a car that he has named Larry. If you’d like to tell him how much you love him – or how much you think The Pretty Reckless sucks – feel free to shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wow. Who knew? Certainly not this humble (and occasional) reviewer. The Pretty Reckless flat out Bring. It. Live. This is an one impressive hard rock act. And I’m not referring to Miss GossipGirl’s, umm, many charms.
We love us some Peter Gabriel and we’ve long seen the Dapp name in regards to coming to Cafe Nola every now and then. So check it out. A video of Dapp covering “Sledgehammer.” And a happy Thursday to you, too! These dudes are going to be at Cafe Nola on Saturday and why wouldn’t you go funk and roll? Like, honestly. Why wouldn’t you? It’s supposed to be a fine weather day. It’s the final weekend before Thanksgiving. Go funk and roll. Do it. Anyway, also this weekend, Hucklebuck, who we questioned and answered this week, will be at The Blue Side Saturday night and that promises to be fun. 7th Sun, who we questioned and answered a little while ago, is heading to Olde Towne. A genuinely great show for a genuinely great cause is also going down at Champions Friday evening as three of the area’s best cover bands plan to take the stage as a means to raise funds for children this holiday season. Honestly. Head out to Westview and help support the cause. You won’t regret it. A super great show is going down at the Rock School here in town, and if you want to rock, you know where to go. Bad Seed Rising. Strange Hate. More To Monroe. Marzy Maddox. Medium. Do it to it. There’s Muskrat Sally. There’s a slew of open mics. There’s Chamomile & Whiskey. There’s Donnie Wood, who we adore. There’s Craggy Island. There’s Future Sound. And, of course, there’s the Short Hill Mountain Boys. No Weekend Playlist next week, friends. Instead, eat your turkey and watch your football. Remember to be kind and rewind. Always. Forever.
Local singer-songwriter Dave Mott’s latest set, “Riverside,” is the perfect storm of monotony. He’s got a low, vaguely baritone voice and a load of songs as predictable as they are cliched. Plus, the writing itself is passive, a kind-hearted approach to bits of music that tackle heartbreak and/or loneliness. Even when you’re supposed to cry for the guy, his storytelling method makes you think it’s really not all that big of a deal.
There’s something about Shab Row Recordings in Frederick that lacks depth. Now, this isn’t to say that the studio needs to shut down and the people who record there need to stop making music; it’s only to say that at some point, someone has to step up and try to take this stuff to the next level. The performances need to be tighter. The drummers rarely ever need to be involved. And somehow, someway, a little bit of soul needs to be pulled out of these artists.