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December 16, 2009

Aural States Fest II is coming!

heightAural States, the blog that brought you Aural States Fest I is returning ... with Aural States Fest II.

Oh snap!

Sonar and the Talking Head Club will host the festival, which takes place Jan. 30. I have it on good authority that this will not only be the second Aural States Fest -- it will also be the last.

If I understand correctly, Aural States' main man Greg Setzo is moving out of Bmore next year. Then again, you know how I am with rumors.

Are you ready for the lineup? Of course you are. And what a lineup it is ...


Leprechaun Catering

Vincent Black Shadow

Sick Weapons

Office of Future Plans (J Robbins of Jawbox)

Caleb Stine

Benjy Ferree

Sick Sick Birds

Noble Lake

Dustin Wong

Height With Friends


True Womanhood

Lands & Peoples

Ami Dang

Here's everything you need to know, courtesy of Aural States:

This year we are proud to team up with our younger regional cousin Bmore Musically Informed to present our festival as Night 2 of the “Blogtimore PWNS” weekend. Night 1 takes place Friday January 29th, when a combination of Aural States Fest alums and fresh local talent will play the last show ever at the G-Spot.

Tickets for Night 1 are $10ADV/$12DOS and available through Tickets for Night 2 are $15 and available through A limited supply of 50 double-header tickets are available for a discounted rate of $20 through ( and missiontix), and will guarantee access to both nights.

(Anybody know who took this photo? I borrowed it from Height's Myspace site. I'm guessing it's a Josh Sisk photo, but I'm not sure)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:30 AM | | Comments (17)
Categories: Local music


Wow that is an incredibly unimpressive list of mediocre-at-best bands...

Not me, I think it might be the lovely and talented Frank Hamilton...? Thanks for the link though! :)

Just curious who you would pull from the local scene, Frankie Sez?

I think it's a good slice of local talent.

In all respects, it seems better than any of the Baltimore Music Conferences...

I am in fact moving out of Baltimore. I should be finished my PhD within the year and moving onto a post-doc.

Frankie: I have to disagree with your glib assessment. When assembling these lineups, the one thing in my mind is how much I am affected by their music. In these terms, each of these acts has knocked my socks off, either recorded or live, in the past year.

If people perceived the lineup as "impressive" in any traditional sense of the word (fame/recognition), I would probably be kind of disappointed. I would hope that at least one act would be unfamiliar to everyone, and that smaller artists would get a bigger audience to showcase their work to. An audience who might not be motivated enough to see them on a smaller bill or alone.

Hey Frankie, take a tip from your user name and relax.

Also, thanks for the support Sam!

Calmer than you are.

Height = bad@ss

Anonymous, sorry I missed answer your question, I would be impressed with any of the following, off the top of my head:

Animal Collective (I personally am not a huge fan, but would probably see them here in bmore)
Wye Oak
Dan Deacon
Beach House

I do not recognize many of the bands on here, but I do know Caleb Stine and Thrushes (hopefully nobody here is in them), and respectfully do not dig in the least.


Dustin Wong is in Ponytail, and is doing interesting stuff on his own. You should come check him out.

Yeasayer is not local/has no local ties, so kinda out of the scope of the festival.

We had Wye Oak last year, and I had a firm rule of no repeat performances. Andy and Jenn will probably be playing in other configurations with bands here (they have played before with Caleb Stine and Noble Lake).

Did you happen to catch the festival called Whartscape?

I should clarify, I meant to say that Yeasayer have no direct creative legacy/connection to Baltimore. Members of Yeasayer are from Baltimore, if I remember correctly, but didn't really do anything under that banner while here.

Thanks Greg, I might come and check it out.

I was @ Whartscape, primarily to see Beach House, but also really like Ponytail, Dan Deacon and the Death Set...

What can I say, you've sold me. I do appreciate your idea of no repeat performances. Hopefully it will be a great showcase of some bands that even music snobs like me haven't heard of. Cheers-

hope you make it out.

for a sneak peek at some of the sounds (and maybe some others you haven't heard of), you can check out our website.

this post is a good start:

and if you dig some more through the related posts, you'll find all kinds of free music.

and of course, "free makes everything better" (sorry Sam, had to steal the phrase)

Some mixed Bmore music news today.

Frank Zappa bust in Highlandtown
Aural States Fest II announced

Last show at G-Spot in January
Aural States Greg moving

::Feeding the troll::

Remember an unimpressive, mediocre band called Jawbox? Yeah. Um. That was sarcasm. J. Robbins, the guy who wrote and sang much of their material, is behind Office of Future Plans.

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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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