Thursday, April 29, 2010

October 6th, 1998: Cross My Heart, Brandston, Appleseed Cast, Situation at 1200, East Liberty @ Sound Exchange, Ellicott City, MD

I can't remember why the UMBC Commuter Cafe became unavailable for shows again, but this show actually got moved to the Sound Exchange record store in Ellicott City. Even though Brandston were ex-members of some crappy Jesus-core band, I thought their first Deep Elm release had some pretty decent indie-rock songs on it so I was into booking a show for them. Nothing Appleseed Cast ever released ever did anything for me, but they were on tour with Brandston. Situation at 1200 were an OK indie/emo band from New Jersey. Not sure if any of them went on to do anything later on. East Liberty were a local indie rock band featuring Pat Vogel (Crispus Attucks, FVKDC, Sick Fix...), Jim Ventosa (Passover, South Carey), and I forget who else. And like I said in a previous post, Cross My Heart were one of my favorite local bands. Good show.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

October 4th, 1998: Knapsack, At the Drive-In, Antarctica, Charlie Brown Gets a Valentine @ UMBC, Baltimore, MD

I like to tell the story of this show cuz it goes to show how douchey some people can become because some people like their band. I never cared much for Knapsack, always thought they were a boring Samiam rip-off, but their booking agent sent me a copy of their new album, "This Conversation Is Ending Starting Right Now", and I thought it was decent. In the same package I got At the Drive-In's "In/Casino/Out". Fuck. I was blown away. They'd already had a couple of records out but hadn't done much east coast touring, if any, so no one really had a clue who they were. I couldn't stop listening to that CD. It was fresh and unique and energetic and really really good. I immediately agreed to do the show as they were supporting Knapsack on the tour. I was definitely way more excited to see At the Drive-In than Knapsack for sure. I don't remember who Antarctica were. Charlie Brown Gets a Valentine were a few guys from around Maryland that played pretty decent pop-punk (they're reuniting for this year's Insubordination Fest, mention this show if you go). Lucas, the guitar player, would go on to form Dead Mechanical many years later, who are one of my favorite current local bands. I added them to the bill and the show was all set. The show was in the Commuter Cafe at UMBC, which was, well, a cafeteria. Not your typical venue for the rising stars of emo-pop I guess, because when Knapsack showed up, they were the first band there, they walked in, looked around, asked where they could find some food, left and never came back. Meanwhile, the locals played to a small crowd and then At the Drive-In set up and blew everyone away. You'd think they were playing to a crowd of 1000. Totally going crazy, playing well, and having a blast. They were excellent. They were totally down to earth, friendly dudes just happy to play a show in front of new people. From that day on I always had a chip on my shoulder for Knapsack. The Jealous Sound were way better anyway. I have some pictures from this show somewhere but can't seem to find them right now. When I do, I'll post them. I made that sweet flyer.

Monday, April 26, 2010

October 1st, 1998: Kill Your Idols, Longshot, De Nada, Mendoza @ Sound Exchange, Ellicott City, MD

Ah, the Sound Exchange. Those were fun days for me because I met many of the people that would become some of my best friends at those shows, and I am still close with most of them to this day. Those were the days of cramped but fun shows in a tiny record store in downtown Ellicott City, epic Tetris matches in Josh's apartment above the store, late nights at the Double T diner in Catonsville after the shows...good times. This probably would have been the first time I saw Kill Your Idols. They clicked with the Baltimore area kids right away and were always down to hang out before and after the shows. That started a friendship with those guys that still carries on to this day. Pulling Teeth had the honor of playing one of their last shows. It's cool to see that over ten years later most of them are still making music. A super solid trio of locals opened the show and helped make it a super fun time. For those of you that are too young to remember the Sound Exchange, it was the third or fourth building on the right as you came under the train tracks, coming from Catonsville into old Ellicott City. I think it was a golfing supply store right after the Sound Exchange closed. Last time I was down there I think it was a chandelier/lighting store.

Friday, April 23, 2010

September 27th, 1998: Cross My Heart, Wrong Button, the Exploder, 5 Gold Stars @ Ottobar, Baltimore, MD

Hmmm, I saw Cross My Heart and The Exploder at the old Ottobar so many times they all get jumbled together. I'm pretty sure this was when Eric Kane (Strike Anywhere) was playing drums for The Exploder. They were such a rad band. I still spin their records fairly often. I also seem to like "West End Kids Crusade" more than anyone else I know. Cross My Heart are one of my favorite Baltimore bands ever. Indie/emo perfected. Funny aside, I am now engaged to the girl that that first EP (and probably a bunch of later songs) was about. Wrong Button were decent, but never really grabbed me. I can't remember who 5 Gold Stars were. Not sure who made this flyer, but I always liked it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

September 4th, 1998: Disembodied, Overcast, Zao, Darkest Hour @ Supreme Imperial, Baltimore, MD

Jamie Arthurs and Chris Brady booked this show. I made the flyer. This was the last show we did at the original incarnation of the Supreme Imperial. Again, we arrived to find no one around to open up for us so we broke in so we could have the show. I don't remember an amazing turnout but I think it was decent. If you were a fan of heavy metallic hardcore, then that was quite a line up, minus the corny-ass Christian rock element, but that was Jamie Arthurs for ya. I thought that Disembodied 10" was solid but I can't say I've listened to it in quite some time. Ferret Records had a pretty quality reputation for a while before they decided to follow the money trail. I actually enjoy Overcast more these days than I did then. It was a bit too much for me at the time, but I get it now. By that point we had had it with not having anyone show up to let us into the space so we moved all of our upcoming shows to various venues. The reggae band returned from tour at the end of the month and informed us that they were getting evicted by the landlords for not paying rent for a few months. They filled us in on how the guy they had set up to take care of their bills while they were on tour was spending the money on himself and then got arrested for selling weed. We acted pretty bummed but saw this as our opportunity to take over the space. We gave it a week or so and called them up asking for the landlord's phone number. Sometime in October we got in touch with the landlords and worked out a rental deal that included a clause that they needed to take care of a bunch of repairs to the building before any rent would be due. Things like putting in new windows upstairs, putting a security gate and new front door in, fixing the garage door so it was secure, fixing the furnace, etc. They let us have access to the space right away so we could get to work on cleaning it out, building a stage, painting, etc. We re-opened as the Chop Shop on November 4th, but more info on that when we get to that flyer. For more details on the history of the space, see my "Partial History of Supreme Imperial / Chop Shop" at

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

August 29th, 1998: Rain On the Parade, Longshot, For the Living, De Nada, Innerside Burning @ Supreme Imperial, Baltimore, MD

Another Steve Clark flyer. I honestly don't remember anything from this show. I have a feeling ROTP cancelled. I'm gonna defer to those with a better memory than me on the details from this one.

Friday, April 16, 2010

August 14th, 1998: Nerve Agents, Rain On the Parade, Count Me Out, Right Brigade, the Explosion, No Justice @ Falls Church VFW, Falls Church, VA

I think the flyer says enough. Amazing fucking show. I think I got the American Nightmare demo tape at this show. Did they play a few songs? By the looks of the flyer, Barfight would have been the "surprise guest", but I don't remember them playing. Maybe they did. I did sound for this show. I think Tru and Eric came up to me at one of the Supreme Imperial shows and asked if I knew anyone that had a PA that could do sound for their Falls Church VFW shows. The PA we were using at the Supreme Imperial was my friend Kevin's. Sometimes we used our friend Carlos's stuff as well. I talked to them about letting me use their equipment for these Malfunction shows and we worked out a deal and I ended up doing sound pretty often for those guys at the Falls Church VFW and then later on at High Fidelity Records in Woodbridge. There were some great shows. Linas Garsys made this flyer.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pictures from the spring and summer of 1998: Bloodlet, De Nada, P.O.C., Buried Alive, Saves the Day, Dillinger Escape Plan

I've got the rest of the day off of work cuz I got a tooth pulled at the dentist's office today and I've got a mouth full of gauze and I'm supposed to relax for the rest of the day. I found a bunch of photos from some shows from the spring and summer of 1998 that I don't have flyers for, so as an added bonus post for the day, I present them to you here.

This first batch is from a very short notice show at the Supreme Imperial for Bloodlet when they had a cancellation on a tour they were doing. I don't have the date, but it was sometime in the spring of 1998. I think the band in the first photo was called Blindside, but I'm not positive. I know they were from northern Virginia, but I have no idea who was in the band or if any of them went on to do any other bands. The second picture is of Prisoner of Conscience. Johnny X, the singer, was the one who booked the show. Bloodlet was one of his favorite bands at the time. I loved all their 7"s and most of "Eclectic" so I was pretty pumped on the show myself. De Nada was the third local on the show. They played the Supreme Imperial a bunch of times and at almost every show Dave broke his guitar in some manner. This may have been the show when he was flailing around and broke the headstock off on a 4' x 4' column. They were always a great live band. Bloodlet were great, but this was right after the release of "The Seraphim Fall" and they mostly played those newer songs. It was all a bit too slow and sludgy for me. Wasn't really feeling it. Still, they were a great band and always good to see live.

Here we have two pics of Dillinger Escape Plan from their show at the Supreme Imperial on their tour with Botch and Jesuit on July 19th, 1998. That guitar player was a maniac and kept "attacking" the crowd (all 15 of us) with his guitar while playing. Actually, it got kind of annoying after a few songs. Still, they were amazing to watch play.

Here's a picture of Buried Alive at Club Soda in NW Washington, DC from August 6th, 1998. The bar is currently on Connecticut Ave. in Cleveland Park, but I seem to remember it being a few blocks over on Wisconsin Ave. at this time. I could be remembering that incorrectly though. This was from a show with Brother's Keeper, Endeavor, and Lynchpin that was originally supposed to be at the Supreme Imperial, but when things started getting sticky about us getting in when our temporary contact got arrested, Jamie decided to move this show to another venue. I always hated seeing shows at Club Soda. Shows were in the downstairs bar and it had an odd, cramped layout.

This picture of Saves the Day is from the Supreme Imperial show on August 13th, 1998 on their tour with Bane. Turmoil, Blindside, and 44 Evergiven also played the show. RIP Sean McGrath.

August 8th, 1998: Silent Majority, Indecision, Milhouse, Codeseven, Falling Sickness @ Supreme Imperial, Baltimore, MD

Look at this line-up! You'd think this would have been a pretty big show, right? Nope. There were maybe 15 people there. I couldn't believe it. We really thought this was gonna be as big, if not bigger, than the Hot Water Music show. We were baffled. All of the bands were great. Actually, Falling Sickness didn't show up. Apparently they didn't get the memo that it was a matinee show, because we didn't want to compete with the 25 Ta Life/Turmoil show happening at the 180 Club that evening, and they didn't arrive until well after the show was over and everyone was gone. I only know they made it because they left a note on one of their posters on the front door saying "fuck you assholes" or something to that effect that I found a couple days later when opening up for the next show. I didn't make it out to Hagerstown for that 180 Club show so I don't know what the turn out was like for that one, but our only assumption was that people didn't want to deal with an afternoon show in Baltimore and then an immediate hour-long drive to Hagerstown for the night show. Maybe people just weren't as into those bands around here as I thought they were. Who knows? What I do know is people missed some great bands that day. Flyer and pictures by me.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

August 4th, 1998: Kid Dynamite, No Reason, Mendoza @ Supreme Imperial, Baltimore, MD

This would have been my first time booking Kid Dynamite but they ended up cancelling. Jason and I went to high school together, but Bound didn't start until after we had graduated and I had moved down to Baltimore from New Jersey, so while I was really stoked for him to be in a band that was playing out a bunch, I only got to see them a handful of times. I remember talking to him not long after Bound broke up and him telling me that he was trying out for a new band with Dan and Dave from Lifetime. I tell him that is awesome but in my head I'm thinking, 'yeah, that'll happen, sure...' A couple weeks later I'm talking to him again and he tells me he's in the band and they'll have a demo soon. I couldn't believe it. I was so stoked for him. I can't remember the date but I went up to Philly to see them open for Propagandhi, Avail, and J Church (I'm pretty sure that was the show) and picked up the demo and it blew me away. I kept bugging him to get them to come down to Baltimore and this would have been the first time. I can't remember why they had to cancel this show. Bummer. No Reason were a Buffalo band featuring ex-members of Half Mast and future members of Dead Hearts. They were a decent fast hardcore band. Mendoza was a College Park all-star band featuring Alex D (Government Warning, Grave Mistake Records) on vocals, Tem (What Lies Ahead, De Nada, Superchinchillarescuemission) on bass, John Mutchler (Chernobyl Kids, No Justice, the Aftermath, Set To Explode) on guitar, Pat Vogel (Sick Fix, FVKDC, Crispus Attucks, Rations) on guitar, and Jeremy (Torn Apart) on drums. They were a pretty good Lifetime-y melodic punk band. Alex should really sing in a band again. Demo 7" on Grave Mistake eventually. Alex seems to remember some touring band hopping on the show to replace Kid Dynamite but neither of us have any recollection of what they were called. They obviously weren't that memorable. Oh yeah, we also had to break into the venue to do the show since our guy there was in jail and not able to open up for us. I think Alex made the flyer.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

July 24th, 1998: Shai Hulud, Overcast, Built To Last, Tony Stark, Section 8 @ The Funnel, Baltimore, MD

My memory is a little hazy on this one, but I know I booked Overcast at the Vault (the Bank, the Funnel, whatever it was called at the time) at some point. I'm pretty sure this was the one as it was a last minute move, most likely due to the fact that we couldn't get a hold of our guy at the Supreme Imperial (which we would come to discover was due to his getting arrested for drug possession). This is another one of those shows that would probably fill a venue like Sonar these days (at least the two headliners), but drew maybe 60 people on this night. I couldn't tell you anything about the first three bands. I think Built To Last was from California, and I think Tony Stark was members of Maximum Penalty or some other B-level NYHC band. I have no idea who Section 8 was. I remember Overcast killing it at this show and Shai Hulud boring me to tears. More comic book art for this flyer.

Monday, April 12, 2010

July 15th, 1998: Unconquered, Clear, Countervail, 12 Ounces @ Hal Daddy's, Baltimore, MD

Two metallic straightedge bands, one metallic not-straightedge band, and one very-not-straightedge dirty punk band. What a bill! When we were doing shows at the Supreme Imperial we would have to call up our contact in the reggae band that rented it out and used it as their practice space / hang out spot to let him know what time we'd need to open up and get set up. The guy we dealt with was really reliable and friendly and we never had any trouble with doing shows through him. Then they went on tour for 6 weeks and had a friend of theirs take care of opening up the space for us. This worked out for a few shows but then things started getting flaky. Sometimes we would get there and he wouldn't be there yet and we'd have to call him up and it would turn out he totally forgot about us. This show was one of those times when we showed up to the Supreme Imperial to find all the doors locked and no one around to let us in. We called up their friend but got no answer. We waited around an hour or so and then decided it was time to start scrambling for a new venue. I think it was Julian, who did a zine that I forget the name of and the occasional show at Hal Daddy's, a dive bar/venue in east Baltimore, who got a hold of someone there and let us move the show there on a moment's notice. I tell the bands that we've got a new venue and give them directions and we head over there. Once we get there, Unconquered, who were a borderline hardline band from Reno, NV, realize the place is a bar and say they're not playing a show at a bar. Clear, who were also a straightedge band, out of the notoriously hardline town of Salt Lake City, UT, decided they were happy to play a show and spread their message in a bar, rather than preach to the converted. I think Unconquered hung around outside during the show, but can't remember for sure. Both bands crashed at my place that night and while the Clear dudes were totally down to earth and cool to hang out with, the Unconquered dudes just hung out by themselves and didn't say much. Countervail were a band that seemed to tour a lot but never really got off the ground much. The 12 Ounces guys were some dirty ass punks but very friendly and played well. Interesting show for sure. Flyer by yours truly. Oh, and the guy who was supposed to open up the Supreme Imperial for us...turns out he got arrested for drug possession. More on that to come...

Friday, April 9, 2010

July 12th, 1998: Discount, As Friends Rust, Pastime, the Butterflies @ Supreme Imperial, Baltimore, MD

This was a great show. Discount were rad. I still listen to both albums fairly regularly. I only got to see them twice and this was the first time. I remember people being really psyched to see them play. They were touring with As Friends Rust, which was Damien from Culture's new band, whose demo I'd been listening to a lot since he gave it to me when I booked Culture a few months earlier. I can't remember if their 10" was out yet but I don't think it was. Jim V. (South Carey, East Liberty, Passover) thinks the Glasscraft played this show as well. I think they may have but am not certain. The Butterflies was the new name for The Propeller Song. Chuck Cole (Two If By Sea) played drums. Not sure what the other two members went on to do. I believe they were a couple. Really nice and pleasant indie stuff. I'm not sure who made this flyer but it wasn't me. I miss Discount.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Supreme Imperial calendar #2

Another calendar flyer. This time for the Supreme Imperial. At this point Jamie Arthurs and I had teamed up and the Supreme Imperial was our main venue for shows. There are some amazing shows on that calendar. It's funny though...these days some of those shows would sell out The Ottobar or even Sonar or Recher, but some of those shows were complete flops for us. Especially that Dillinger Escape Plan show and the Indecision show. We both thought those were gonna be huge, but no more than 20 people showed up for each of those. It was very strange. I also like No Reason being listed over Kid Dynamite. KD only had a demo out at that time and were just starting to get out and play shows outside of Philly. They actually ended up cancelling that show, but I can't remember why. That August 6th show ended up getting moved to Club Soda in DC for some reason. That was a fun summer, but there will be more details as we get to the individual flyers.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

July 6th, 1998: Ink & Dagger, Elliott, Six Going On Seven, Saves the Day, ErrorType:11, Yearly @ Supreme Imperial, Baltimore, MD

Let's see how well I remember this show... Ink & Dagger definitely cancelled and I'm not sure that Saves the Day played either. Yearly were an emo/punk band from Long Island. I think one or more of them went on to play in The Stryder. Not sure what else. ErrorType:11 were a decent indie rock band on Some Records from NYC. At the time, I really enjoyed most of what they put out, though I haven't listened to any of it in years so I'm not sure how well it has stood up over time. I really liked Six Going On Seven's first album and their split with Hot Water Music. I remember getting their first CD in the same package with the Get Up Kids' "Four Minute Mile" CD when I worked at the radio station at UMBC and being really pleasantly surprised by it. Their 2nd (last?) album had some pretty good songs on it as well. I need to put that stuff on my iPod. I enjoyed most of Elliott's records but they never impressed me much live, although that one guitar player, the long hair, who may have also been in By the Grace of God was a maniac on stage. I really enjoyed watching him play. Sweet flyer art by yours truly.

*Updates from Facebook comments:

  • Josh Greenbaum reminded me of a story from this show where Saves the Day's van broke down and one of the Elliott guys had to go pick them up in their van. Thanks Josh!
  • Jamie Arthurs reminded me that Chris from Saves the Day also played an impromptu solo set outside the venue after the show. Thanks Jamie!

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Final Small Intestine Calendar

I saw a handful of shows at the Small Intestine which was a cool little DIY show space in northeast Baltimore run by a young Ben Valis (later of Stars of the Dogon, among others). I think Ben was about 17 when he opened up this space, pretty much on his own. Ben hosted a lot of really cool bands during it's time. This is the final calendar of shows for the place. I can't remember why he decided to stop doing it. After he closed down I think the space became a shoe store. It's currently a store that sells car stereo systems, rims, and that sort of thing.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

June 23rd, 1998: Converge, Today Is the Day, Boy Sets Fire, Brother's Keeper, Seventyeightdays @ Phantasmagoria, Wheaton, MD

Here's another flyer for a show I couldn't make it to. I can't remember why. I was pretty bummed though, as I had never seen Converge or Today Is the Day at that point. Phantaz was a pretty cool spot for shows for a while. It was a record store, cafe, and venue all rolled into one. I saw some great bands and shows there, and booked a few as well. Jamie Arthurs booked this one, along with Chris, who's last name I can't remember. If you were at this show, tell us about it.