Booed Music

City Paper
  • Fall arts seasons kick off a little differently in Baltimore. Yes, there’s the usually battery of new programming from theaters, symphonies, and art museums, but we also getting things like the Baltimore Boom Bap Society’s Wendel Patrick and Erik Spangler make sonic silly putty out of ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture a few weeks ago. Or Swiss violist Charlotte Hug making bird songs with her voice while all but bowing through her violin during her High Zero set. Or Lurch and Holler (Liz Downing and Michael Willis) transporting you back to ancient times via the old, weird America in “Penelope” while a pair of tumblers cast forbidding shadows on sheets at the Transmodern Festival.
  • Booed drank in all of that around town recently, and some of the fall’s good bets are still coming up. Local electronic musician and Holy Page Records honcho Christian Filardo collaborated with Arizona sound artist James Fella for the recently released “Avocado Goth,” a lathe-cut 7-inch on Fella’s Gilgongo Records. You can listen to it on Bandcamp, and it’s a meditative plunge into Loren Mazzacane Connors-ish bleak beauty. Even better, NNA Tapes releases “Hidden Cities,” the new LP from local polyrhythmic thunderbolt Horse Lords, Nov. 4, and if the sounds included in Horse Lords members Max Eilbacher and Andrew Bernstein’s trippy 3-D-animated trailer for the album is any indication, fans will finally have recorded versions of some of the songs that have seriously animated the band’s live sets over the past year.
  • But that’s November. This weekend Bernard Lyons’ Creative Differences series continues this fall’s doses of out-of-this-world live music. At the Windup Space Oct. 4, InsideOut, the trio of pianist Lafayette Gilchrist, bassist Michael Formanek, and drummer Eric Kennedy, share a bill with pianist Marilyn Crispell and Scottish saxophonist Raymond MacDonald. Their “Parallel Moments” release from February showcases two out players finding a lyrical beauty in abstraction (much as Matthew Shipp does on his gorgeous new “I’ve Been to Many Place,” which has been in heavy rotation in Booed’s headphones). Creative Differences continues the following night at the Windup with a quartet featuring pianist Uri Caine, local trumpeter Dave Ballou, drummer Devin Gray, and bassist Formanek.
  • A few weeks back, Booed inquired about Chrissy Vasquez, a local producer/singer/songwriter who crafts moody electro-pop in the Grimes and Gazelle Twin spectrum with more hip-hop spice. Turns out Vasquez is a high school senior, and her three-song “Sola’moor Demo” is only the third thing she’s ever self-released following last fall’s “Pro$per Proficient” EP and the downright haunting ‘Golden Reaper’ single from earlier this year. She’s got a voice that carries more world weariness than her age suggests, and the haunted-house mood of her production gels with a number of things that have caught Booed’s ears as of late—such as the grimy techno of Cleveland producer Prostitutes on the recent “Nouveauree” and especially the nightmare instrumental hip-hop of NYC producer Gut Nose’s “Filthy City,” which sounds like a city decaying. Vasquez’s sounds fits comfortably alongside the defiant shrugs of this downer gestalt. (Other recent antagonistic Booed faves: PC Worship’s “Social Rust,” HaiKai No Ku’s “Ultra High Dimensionality,” and, well, Shellac’s lean, mean “Dude Incredible.”)
  • Finally, Booed wanted to take a brief moment to bid adieu to one of the city’s experimental mainstays. Jenny Gräf moved to Baltimore from Chicago about a decade ago, and in that time her name attached to a project as a musician, collaborator, filmmaker, or social experimenter guaranteed a novel, difference experience. Whether it be the “Proud Flesh” Western film she made with Chiara Giovando (and the sumptuous soundtrack they recorded as Harrius), The Stone Carving Oraclestra performance at High Zero 2008, the noise albums she made as Metalux (her duo with MV Carbon), The Guitars Project collaborative piece made with women living with Alzheimer’s, or the dark storms that were her solo albums, Gräf boldly goes in search of moods, feelings, and sounds that pucker the skin and invite the mind to consider life from a different perspective. She moves to Copenhagen this month. Godspeed.
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