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October 29, 2010

Baltimore's "subculturally mind-blowing" Halloween parties: Bonjay at Taxlo, The Annex, Celebration at G Spot

On Saturday, Power Plant Live will hold its annual Halloween party - "Baltimore's Biggest!" its website announces.

And Fells Point will be predictably mobbed with friendly neighborhood drunks bar-hopping all night long.

But there are other options too.

Jonathan Coelho, who's hosting the Halloween Monster Bash at the Annex tonight, initially scoffed at Baltimore's current Halloween party choices. "Power Plant Live is massively lame compared to something that will blow your mind musically and culturally, or should i say subculturally."

He also framed his party, though, as a showcase of local talent that may not have a chance to play bigger venues. "The reason for all this is to support emerging artists coming out of nowhere that don't have an audience," he said. "DIY shows help underground artists."

On the Midnight Sun Halloween party round-up, I want to highlight other parties with a similar focus. They're more indie, more underground - take your pejorative - but also, maybe, just more "subculturally mind-blowing."

The music at the bash, held on the fourth floor 419 E Oliver St., will vary - indie rock, progressive rock, noise, Baltimore house - and is scheduled to include acts like Abiku, Great Tap Root, Moustache, and Witch Hat, whose Chris Day screen-printed the poster above.

Bands are supposed to play 30-45 minute sets. Doors open at 8 p.m. Cover is $3-$5 at the door; $8 for the lame-o's who don't wear costumes. The Facebook invite specifies: "No $ no entry (sic), unless you got 2 beers and 3 smokes." Now you know.

Around the same time doors open there, Celebration will play its first non-festival show in Baltimore since March at the G Spot, says Bmore Musically Informed, which is throwing the concert. Sri Aurobindo, Microkingdom and Dustin Wong will also play that night. Day, actually, drew the poster above for this show. Tickets are $12 on missiontix. 

Saturday and Sunday parties after the jump..

DJ Cullen Stalin, who is co-promoting the return of the popular Taxlo to Sonar, was more diplomatic than Coelho in describing the conventional Halloween party choices at hand.

"Most parties are a chance to get dressed up and dance around," he said. While they wanted a party with a broad appeal - "broad because it's a broad range of people not because it's so bland everyone likes it" - they also didn't want something that was just catering to the lowest common denominator.

"Expect there to be a creative selection," he said. "It's not going to be the hits. It's not going to be music that everyone's familiar with. We push new music and new artists."

This time around they've gotten Bonjay, these Canadians who specialize in dreamy reggae, to play two sets, one in D.C. (Friday) and one in Baltimore. Tickets are $6.66 in advance, and Sonar is offering $2 Natty Bohs all night.

Also on Saturday, (online) Gutter magazine will host its second annual Dead Celebrity Ball at Metro Gallery. Sal Bando and Sick Sick Birds are set to perform, but the draw is the dead celebrities costumes. Here's to hoping someone goes as Carmen Ghia or George Steinbrenner. Tickets are $5.

The tiny Hexagon Space will have its own Halloween Party Saturday night too, where Asian Tiger and The Help are scheduled to perform; doors open at 9 p.m. At 10 p.m. Golden West Cafe, will host Los Angeles band The Zeros. Cover is $10; best costume prize is $100.

And on Sunday, the event with the best line-up has the least information available online right now. It's probably for the best, as disclosing the location might attract the fuzz. The 4th Annual Bank Halloween Cellebration (sic) will open its doors -somewhere! - at 9 p.m. and go until 4 a.m, according to the Facebook invite. Rapdragons will MC downstairs, and Sewn Leather, Dan Deacon, and Eric Copeland will play upstairs. Tickets - $8 - are sold at the True Vine.

Photo: Chris Day/Bmore Musically Informed 

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Posted by Erik Maza at 8:29 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


Not to support Power Plant Live! or anything but I'm sure if all the people planning to go to PPL decided to go to the Annex instead, the Annex organizers would be sorely disappointed.

Thanks for writing us up but Bonjay doesn't specialize "dreamy reggae" at all! Not sure where that came from. I'd say it's weird Electro-Dancehall more in line with Ninja Tune's Ghislain Poirier or even some of Diplo's weirder stuff with a singer who can really sing. Judge for yourself..

I don't understand why you keep saying that TaxLo is "returning" never really left! They've been consistently doing one-offs at Sonar and the Talking Head for a while.

Thanks Stefon! We're always working on something and always have plenty of stuff in the works too!

There's a great Halloween party at Housewerks to benefit the Baltimore Architecture Foundation. It's such a great space for a spooky party. Tix are $25 at the door, with beer, wine, munchies, and a dj.

I dont know what to say. This blog is fantastic. Thats not really a really huge statement, but its all I could come up with after reading this. You know so much about this subject. So much so that you made me want to learn more about it. Your blog is my stepping stone, my friend. Thanks for the heads up on this subject.

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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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