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October 18, 2008

Steve Hefter & Jason Dove live at the Talking Head

jason doveThursday night, two indie rock groups with the word "and" in their name took the stage at the Talking Head Club (inside Sonar, 407 E. Saratoga St.): Steve Hefter and Friends and Friends of Friends and Jason Dove and Vacation Face.

It was Hefter's last gig in Baltimore before he splits for several months in Canada. I caught (and enjoyed) the last handful of songs. Hefter's music can be sparse and ambling at times, but it can really grab your attention.

Hefter closed his set with what is perhaps his most poignant song, "Diamond Ring." Complete with whistling synthesizer riffs and a sharp snare drum, it was a wistful way to say goodbye (for now) to Charm City. Bye bye, Steve. We'll miss ya.

Next up was Jason Dove (pictured) and his new group, Vacation Face.  

Vacation Face includes a hodge-podge of local indie rock musicians: Mike Ward (from Egg Babies Orchestra) on keys, Steve Colmus on drums (from J-Roddy Walston and the Business) and Hefter on guitar and vocals.

Dove is a semi-goofy, totally unpretentious guy who likes poking fun at himself (check out his hilarious Jason Dove Diaries series). But on stage, Dove got down to business pretty quick. He played a fair share of new material from an album he's finishing right now.

Dove didn't introduce most of the songs, but I especially liked the one he dedicated to Neil. It ended with Dove and Hefter layering their guitars (a la "Blue Sky" by the Allman Brothers) and playing a tight melody in two-part harmony. It was a tight set of indie rock. Now I'm itching to hear the new album.

(Sun archive photo) 

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:35 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Concert reviews


My review would have centered less on the bands and more on the talkative audience, especially during Hefter's set. If you're interested, the Vacation Face audio is here:

I wanted to see the headlining band, Star****er. How were they?

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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