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March 16, 2011

Baltimore at South by Southwest: Wye Oak, Lower Dens, June Star and more

sxsw.JPGFor a solid month now, they've been arriving at a faster clip than spam peddling Viagra. E-mails about South by Southwest.

Will you see this show, Will you attend that panel "Yoko Ono is Set to appear at SXSW," "Mellencamp documentary premieres at SXSW."

The barrage of e-mails has only intensified since last week, when geeks, journalists, angel investors and their friends - some 17,000 of them - started convening in Austin for the interactive portion of the mammoth confab, now un-ironically referred to as "South By."

For the music portion, which began Tuesday, the frenzy made its way to Baltimore, where sitar player and singer Ami Dang desperately tweeted earlier this month: "AMI DANG (@amidang) is going to #SXSW but has no shows. "PLEASE HELP; I WANT TO PLAY!! <3 <3."

While the interactive powwows at SXSW are the biggest draw now, the festival was conceived in 1987 as a place to discover emerging musicians, and it still retains that appeal, hence Dang's tweet. Several other musicians who live here, or started out here, are also headed to Austin, or are already there, to perform.

If you're there, this is a handy guide to Baltimore at SXSW.

If you're not - as I am not (guess why!)  - and depended on Paul Ford's six-word reviews of the festival to keep up on the music side of things, he won't be doing them this year. Blame a panel.

Still, you can preview many of the thousands of bands playing by listening to the MP3s they've submitted to the festival's website. And if they haven't, they can also be previewed at the unofficial torrents site.

Sam Sessa has also been covering things for WTMD, where he hosts "Baltimore Unsigned," and he'll have dispatches for Midnight Sun throughout the week. 

(UPDATED) Baltimore at SXSW:

Adventure: better known as Benny Boeldt, Adventure performs two nights, starting at 1 a.m. Wednesday at Malaia, 300 E 6th St. His SXSW promo is here

Ami Dang: the singer, whose new album "Hukam" is excellent, will perform Sunday at Austin Java, 1206 Parkway Ave. Starts at noon. She's also requesting some housing help on twitter, which is a far more respectable tweet than "bail me out of jail."

Blaqstarr: Out with first EP "Divine" on MIA's NEET, Blaqstarr performs five nights, starting 8 p.m. Thursdayat the Austin Convention Center, 612 W 4th St.

Cass McCombs: McCombs, who's from California but lived in a Baltimore for a while (see: "Not the Way"), has a new album this year called "Wit's End." He'll perform Thursday at midnight at Emo's Main Room, 603 Red River St.

Dan Deacon: won't be at an official showcase, but at a free show Saturday at 7 p.m. at Cheer Up Charlies, 1104 East 6th Street.

Deep in the Game: two of the party's DJs, Mark Brown and Adam Schwarz, have an official showcase on Thursday at Malaia; starts at 9:30 p.m.

EAR PWR: the band, which had a short stint in Baltimore, will perform Thursday at 9:20 p.m. at 512 Rooftop, 408 E 6th St. In May, they'll have an even bigger spotlight when they perform at the Animal Collective-curated ATP Festival in England.

Eureka Birds: the five piece band performs at Lovejoy's, 604 Neches, at 12 p.m. Thursday.

Hazel Dickens: Could she be the oldest performer at SXSW? The 75-year-old bluegrass singer will be at the Driskill Wednesday, where the festival she inspired, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, will be taking submissions. 11 p.m. at 604 Brazos St.

J. Roddy Walston and the Business:  The band made a memorable appearance at the festival last year, and is back again. They perform Thursday at 1 a.m. at Soho Lounge, 217 E 6th St.

June Star: the alt-country six piece is promoting new album, "Lower Your Arms." They will perform Thursday and Friday, though they haven't yet said where. Keep an eye on the band's website for updates. 

Labtekwon: the Ghetto Dai Lai Llama performs Friday at 8 p.m. at the Marq, 422 N Congress Ave. Festival promo.

Lands & Peoples: the young upstarts booked three unofficial SXSW gigs, starting 1:30 p.m. Wednesday with a house show at 1304 Mariposa Dr #154. Other dates are here.

Lower Dens: Last year, Jana Hunter described CMJ as this thing where, “The whole industry descends on [New York] for a few days to geek out about music in a really intense and obnoxious way." SXSW is the same, but hotter. They perform Friday at 8 p.m. at Klub Krucial, 614 E 6th St. (Their promo video is below)

Secret Mountains: with Lands & Peoples, Secret Mountains have put together an interactive SXSW video.  Check it here. They have also booked unofficial SXSW gigs, listed on their website. They will perform after Lands & Peoples at 2:15 p.m at 1304 Mariposa Dr. #154.

Spank Rock: the hometown boys play on the showcase of deep house DJ Boys Noize, who is producing their new album. Thursday at midnight at Elysium, 705 Red River St.

Stan Killian: the saxophonist, and An die Musik regular, performs Thursday at 1 a.m. at the Elephant Room, 315 Congress Ave.

Uncle Jesse: The DJ is on his own, not at the Unruly showcase, Thursday at 11 p.m. at Malaia, where it seems a lot of Baltimore people are stopping by. I prefer his tumblr to his soundcloud; more frequently updated.

Unruly Records: the Baltimore club label presents a showcase Saturday that features Scottie B (as Chavy Boys, with King Tutt), DJ Class, and DC's Nadastrom.  Starts at 8 p.m. at 206 E. 6th St.

 Wye Oak: the duo is promoting just released "Civilian," which NPR is streaming in its entirety. They perform Friday at 11:45 p.m. at The Parish, 214C E 6th St.

If I've missed someone, e-mail me. 

Lower Dens' SXSW promo video:

Photo: SXSW

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Posted by Erik Maza at 2:59 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Local music


Hey Erik! Andrew Grimm here from June Star... We need help finding shows too! Please follow us on twitter @junestarband, I'm not even kidding...:)


Uncle Jesse
Mark Brown & Schwarz
Death Set
Dan Deacon

and Spank Rock

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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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