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HELLYEAH
Tue, 03 Mar 2015 20:00:00 +0000

with Devour The Day, Like A Storm
Headbangers, take note! Don't waste time concerning yourself with the band members impressive resumes or with dwelling on their previous work. On BLOOD FOR BLOOD, HELLYEAH lives in the here and now. BLOOD FOR BLOOD is the album that HELLYEAH featuring Mudvayne's Chad Gray on vocals, Pantera's Vinnie Paul on drums and Nothingface's Tom Maxwell on guitar--has always wanted to make. "It's a defining record for HELLYEAH and for anyone on the fence," Paul declared, describing the record as "focused and with a clear direction." After roughly eight years, three albums, countless tours as headliners and as participants on "can't miss" festival bills and hundreds of thousands of albums sold, HELLYEAH is making their biggest and boldest statement yet with BLOOD FOR BLOOD. They are going for the jugular and every song on the album clamps down and doesn't let go. They've exchanged some of the party-centric, good time sounds of past efforts for pure metallic fury and emotional introspection. The album sounds like a re-charged HELLYEAH, taken up many notches.BLOOD FOR BLOOD is easily their most metallic album. It leaves a mark, thanks to songs like the angular, vengeful "DMF." There's also "Demons In The Dirt," a beast of a song birthed by the sort of anger that can't be faked; it will leave you wondering who pissed these guys off. "Gift" is dirty, rowdy rock with equal parts groove and swagger, but also possessed of the sort of punk rock energy that would make Motorhead fans turns their heads. Then there is moodier, more contemplative fare like "Moth to the Flame" or "Hush," which connect on an emotional, cellular level, proving that you can be incredibly heavy in ways other than loud and fast. "We still have a love affair with this band and have a lot we want to say," explained Maxwell. He relished taking on a larger songwriting role and serving as the lead guitarist, which you can hear in the album's overall sound and in every note of his playing. "That magic is there for us, still. This is the record I've always wanted to make in this band, which has so many creative forces." Gray also shared that changes made the members closer. "We leaned on each other for support and inspiration," he said. As a result, the album is tight and the foundation is firm. Fans will be pleased.The band opted to work with an outside producer for the first time ever, recruiting Las Vegas-based Canadian producer, Kevin Churko for the job. "To move forward, you have to make changes," said Paul, who wrote the music in Texas with Maxwell before heading to Hideout Recording Studio in Sin City to put it to tape. "I am used to being a producer or co-producer and I wanted to see what would happen if I backed up and let someone take the reigns, leaving me to just be a drummer," said Paul, while admitting that vocals were the one area of production to which he couldn't do proper justice. The band was happy to allow Churko to provide a fresh perspective. Given Churko's resume, which is littered with names as diverse as Ozzy Osbourne, In This Moment and Five Finger Death Punch, the band knew he was the man who could pull the best performance possible out of Gray. The singer himself praised that Churko had a unique way of extracting what he wanted, saying, "You can be a drill sergeant and rule through intimidation or be laid back and cool, but get it done without pressure. He rules through cool."Overall, the album has less of an obvious southern influence, with Paul deeming it "a metal record that also has melody. It lends itself to a diverse group of people."As the mouthpiece for the band, Gray lets out his primal scream throughout the album, enabling him to properly and fully express his emotions in the music. "We want to shut people up a little, the people who have never given Hellyeah the time of day, for whatever reason," the singer said. "Whether you want it or not, it's undeniable. This [album] is an every night fistfight." Gray shared that he firmly believes in music as therapy and revels in helping the band's fans achieve catharsis with the music they have created.He acknowledged the fact that the album is devoid of the party anthems that previously populated the Hellyeah catalog. "There is not a party song on this record, which we are kind of known for," he said. Gray continued "As much as I love those songs, they put us in a certain box that I've never been comfortable in since I'm not always like that." Instead, Gray and his bandmates wanted to show a depth, breadth and range of emotions and styles. It was important for Gray to craft songs that were heavy on multiple levels at the same time. His approach was that heavy doesn't always mean as fast and as loud as possible. He said, "For me, personally, I was going through my emotional checklist, and how I wanted to be heavy both aggressively and emotionally. I need that balance." For example, the mercurial "Moth To The Flame" examines our base, animal instincts and drives. Despite knowing something is bad for you and will burn you, you still cant pull yourself away from it."Black December" turns a critical eye on the year-end holiday season, and more deeply, the sadness that can permeate the end of the year. "It's a deadly month and depressing," Gray explained. "It's a hard month to get through with all the bullshit and commercialization. John Lennon and Dimebag Darrell were killed in December that's like taking away things I need to live. I can't celebrate this whole December vibe."For his part, Paul labeled his drumming on "Say When" as some of the most challenging of his career, going so far as to say he hasn't played like this since Pantera's 1994 opus Far Beyond Driven. "It's so off the chain, and I will be worn out every night when I play it," the kit minder said. While that may be bad for Paul, it's a very good thing for metal fans.Maxwell also points to the more mainstream rock element of "Hush," which brings a sense of community to those who have had turbulent upbringings. The song is successful "at being heavy while being uplifting." That's not easy to do, but HELLYEAH make it seem and sound easy. BLOOD FOR BLOOD marks a new chapter for Hellyeah. They pushed themselves to new limits, dared to embrace change and to take risks with their music by just doing what comes naturally. Gray said it best: "The more you listen to it, the more it will open up to you."Go ahead. Open the door and crank the knobs on Hellyeah's BLOOD FOR BLOOD.

When: Mar 3, 2015 8:00:00 PM in Baltimore, Maryland
Cost: $22 Advance; $25 Day of

Gaelic Storm
Tue, 03 Mar 2015 20:00:00 +0000


After 10 albums, and nearly 3,000 live shows, Gaelic Storm the chart-topping, multi-national Celtic band is dishing up a hearty serving of Full Irish. The greatest-hits album spans the bulk of the band's career from 2004-2014, mixing crowd favorites and concert staples with three previously unreleased recordings.Gaelic Storm has straddled the line between tradition and innovation for nearly two decades. Led by founding members Patrick Murphy and Steve Twigger, the group infuses traditional Celtic music with modern influences, updating the genre for a new generation of fans raised on rock, country and folk. Along the way, the musicians have topped the Billboard World Chart four times, appeared in the blockbuster film "Titanic" (where they performed "Irish Party in Third Class," an unreleased song made available for the first time on Full Irish) and earned a reputation as a hard-touring, genre-bending band."We have earned every single one of our fans, one at a time," Murphy says. "There's no sponsorship. No corporation is pulling strings. Every fan is made by us playing a show and shaking hands and learning names. We've become friends with so many of them. When someone at a show tells me they've never seen Gaelic Storm before, I say, 'Welcome to the family.'"Regularly playing more than 120 shows a year, Gaelic Storm has built a loyal following as diverse as the band's own music. Fans of traditional Irish music have championed the group for years, but so have fans of harder-edged Celtic rock. On tour, Gaelic Storm is just as likely to play a large rock club as a plush theater. The band makes regular appearances on cruises, too, joining artists like the Barenaked Ladies and Michael Franti."Our audience spans the whole spectrum," Twigger says. "We'll play a rock venue one night, then a performing arts center that might've hosted a ballet performance the night before. We've got hardcore fans who love our energy, Jimmy Buffet fans who love our message, folk fans who love our stories. Everyone can appreciate it, and that's been the secret to our longevity.""Looking back over our past albums is like flipping through a photo album," adds percussionist Ryan Lacey, who joined the band in 2003. "Each record was made during a different time and a completely different phase of our lives. What hasn't changed is the message. We want everybody to have a good time, to enjoy themselves. It's the sort of message that everyone can get behind." Although Full Irish takes a look backward, Gaelic Storm is still moving ahead at full speed. There's another studio album in the works, as well as plenty of tour dates on the books. Hungry for more rule-breaking Celtic music? Full Irish will satisfy your appetite even if it's just an appetizer for what's to come.

When: Mar 3, 2015 8:00:00 PM in Annapolis, Maryland
Cost: $37.50

Mary Poppins at Toby's Dinner Theatre
Sun, 01 Feb 2015 10:30:00 +0000

When: Feb 1, 2015 10:30:00 AM in Baltimore, Maryland
Cost: 58.00 - 58.00

Chicago - The Musical
Tue, 03 Mar 2015 20:00:00 +0000

When: Mar 3, 2015 8:00:00 PM in Baltimore, Maryland
Cost: 25.00 - 75.00

Aenid Brown, Author of Groomed By Fire
Sat, 07 Feb 2015 13:00:00 +0000

Aenid Brown, Author of Groomed By Fire
Author Signing
Religion and Inspiration
Feb 07, 2015 1:00 PM

Barnes & Noble Booksellers
Bowie
Bowie Town Center
15455 Emerald Way
Bowie
MD
20716
301-809-1552


When: Feb 7, 2015 1:00:00 PM in Bowie, Maryland

NOOK Event
Mon, 16 Feb 2015 19:00:00 +0000

NOOK Event
Special Event, NOOK Event
Other
Feb 16, 2015 7:00 PM

Barnes & Noble Booksellers
White Marsh
The Avenue @ White Marsh
8123 Honeygo Blvd. Suite E
Baltimore
MD
21236
410-933-9670


When: Feb 16, 2015 7:00:00 PM in Nottingham, Maryland

Travel Writing Book Club
Wed, 18 Feb 2015 19:00:00 +0000

Travel Writing Book Club
Book Group
Travel
Feb 18, 2015 7:00 PM

Barnes & Noble Booksellers
Towson
Towson Circle
1 East Joppa Road Suite 100
Towson
MD
21286
410-296-7021


When: Feb 18, 2015 7:00:00 PM in Towson, Maryland

Travel Writing Book Club
Wed, 18 Mar 2015 19:00:00 +0000

Travel Writing Book Club
Book Group
Travel
Mar 18, 2015 7:00 PM

Barnes & Noble Booksellers
Towson
Towson Circle
1 East Joppa Road Suite 100
Towson
MD
21286
410-296-7021


When: Mar 18, 2015 7:00:00 PM in Towson, Maryland

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS @ Rams Head Live • Baltimore, MD
Thu, 12 Feb 2015 19:00:00 +0000


THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS @ Rams Head Live • Baltimore, MD

For what purpose the popular song? Does the popular song have a purpose? Is it just a sequence of auditory gestures, desperate acts, adrift in the bigger broader silence of an unforgiving cultural landscape? In what follows, we will assume that the purpose of the popular song is to unite warring disputants and to repair the manifold puncture wounds of life, so that life is revealed, again, as less accursed than it appears. And let's assume that we go on listening to the popular song, which in the vast majority of its iterations is a failure, because we are chronic in our need for this rehabilitation of our puncture-wounded selves. Take any fine example, take "All You Need Is Love," by the Beatles, or "Walk Away, Renee," by the Left Banke, or "Tears of a Clown," by Smokey Robinson. Try listening to these songs. Almost immediately, your suppurations begin to clot.
Into this tryingly difficult history of the popular song stride The New Pornographers, into a period in which it has to be acknowledged that the medium is mostly dead, is passed, is no longer a uniting force, but, more frequently, a medium of division, one entirely controlled by the Ownership Society and made profitable according to shareholders who don't give a fuck if your puncture wounds are healed over as long as the product ships. The New Pornographers, stunningly, do not seem to understand that the popular song is dead, is passed, and The New Pornographers, despite their complete and nearly monastic understanding of the Secret Knowledge of the popular song, will themselves into being, characterized by a uniform devotion to the great history that precedes them by only a couple of decades, and their coming into being in a somewhat unlikely place, Vancouver, not previously noted for a unvarying profusion of rock genius, is particular not only for uniformity of purpose but because they manage, in this uniformity, to bring a considerable cast of local adepts all as one into the tent. The cast of adepts is now well known, but includes at least two startlingly good songwriters, three spectacularly good singers, one of the very best drummers in all of contemporary music, an in-house filmmaker-and that is merely to scratch the surface on the question of bench strength, the shocking amount of bench strength in a band in which everyone seems to be able to produce quality audio emanations from any instrument and to sing, and in which the studio is an instrument as it is in few bands.
Their first album is great, and is power pop, power pop, and more power pop, their second album (Electric Version) refines the form and tinkers, with more studio brilliance on display, the third, viz., Twin Cinema, is an artier thing and a proggier thing, revealing a breadth of confidence, and a breadth of confidences, both senses, and a command of lyrical nuance and anthemic talents that display themselves in unusual spots, in songs that don't begin anthemically, but which then reveal urgencies; Challengers, the fourth, has some quieter annunciations on it, seems to come from a place of adulthood, from a recognition that urgency can be in the theme, and the affirmation of the song is not in the lyric necessarily, but in the commitment, in the commitment to the sonnet-like cadences of the popular song, and the title song herein, "Challengers," a miniature about a romantic entanglement that literally walks past the narrator, takes us far beyond the adolescences of the popular song into the adult spot where really great songwriters begin to ply their craft.
Which brings us to the ineradicable present, which is the moment when The New Pornographers have already done everything they can do, in some senses; they have had songs in films and on television, they have toured the world, they are respected and covered and well reviewed and lionized, and everyone in the band has a justifiably earned reputation for excellence and admirability, chief among them A. C. Newman, first among equals with respect to these musical bulletins, Neko Case, the singer who never met a line of lyrics that she could not in same way make indelible, and Dan Bejar, the stealth member and interpretation-resistant Mandarin troubadour.
There are no more interesting rock and roll bands, you know, there are opiate-addicted white boys who cannot play very well and who are unwilling to turn down the amplifiers so as to be heard, and there are machines and auto-tuned fembots, and there are hip hoppers with public-relations simulated gangster simulations, and there are working-class guys with a lot of tattoos who can play really, really fast. But there are no more interesting rock and roll bands, and there are no longer songs that make you want to get out of bed. Still, The New Pornographers are unable not to behave like underdogs of yearning, like a united front of yearning, and they are also unable, it seems, to resist the challenge to make a perfect album, a form so dead that it is on its seventh wave of maggotry, and so they have an eye on history, and they do love a windmill, they love to charge, and they do not know how to do otherwise now, which means that theirs is a contagious form of yearning, and if in part their longing is postmodern, which is to say that they often writes songs that are about other songs ("Crash Years," e.g., is about "You" by George Harrison, and "Moves" is, in part, about "25 or 6 to 4," by the beleaguered Chicago), they are not able to treat the form simply as a kind of commentary (which has caused others fatefully to go awry), but also as a surgical intervention for puncture-wounded civilians everywhere, as a joy delivery-system, and in this joy-delivery system there are new and interesting twists, for those who are curious about what the ineradicable contemporary moment sounds like, sound-wise, and the twists on this new album, have to do with strings, really, and with a sort of chamber pop orientation, lots of cello, that is, of a sort that calls to mind the amazing Sister Lovers LP by Big Star, around whose open wounds A. C. Newman has orbited in the past but more fearfully than now.
Fewer keyboard flourishes, and fewer things that sound like they necessitated a good computer programmer, and more things that sound like A. C. Newman and the rest of the band playing in a room. This is probably an illusion, this playing together, but it is an illusion with a purpose, because there are at least two songs on this album that use togetherness as the assembling cement, the epoxy of their composition. The first of these is a big rock song, "Your Hands (Together)," and as you would expect the putting of hands together also occasions a silver bullet, of the mortally inflicting variety, which is the paradoxical sort of thematic approach that we would expect from songwriters who are no longer young, and who are willing to write a couplet that answers the question "What's love?" with the response: "What turns up in the dark." All of this is perforation for the tearing away of the final track, "We Get Together," in which the hook, the title, is at the very end, buried in the mix, and the whole is about familial dynamics, much in the way that "Oh, Sister," from Bob Dylan's Desire is about familial dynamics, which is to say not at all, and more about the injunction to "do damage" than it is about familiar unity, "I'm for damage, sweet damage," Newman and Case sing, and the cellos come back around, with their genteel bolshevism, with a hint of the early Electric Light Orchestra, and Carl goes in and out of his falsetto as he does when he's winding up like a violent debater, and they hold back on the drumming, which is what they do, until it's absolutely necessary, and that is a big advantage when the drummer is this great, and then we come to the out chorus, in which Case seems to be singing "ma ma ma ma," as if to mislead you into thinking that the song, is about familial dynamics, and Newman sings "we end up together," and then there is guitar feedback. End credits.
What does he mean about ending up together? What would it mean for a popular song, while clearly supporting an aesthetic palette devoted to "sweet damage," nonetheless to support the idea of ending up together? Is it, paradoxically, about the kind of romantic failure that makes for all the best popular songs? Is it a recognition that the only unifying that can come from the contemporary popular song is the kind of togetherness that recognizes the truth of human life, namely that all is apartness, and all is lonesomeness, and this even if the principle songwriter in the band is recently married, and, by all evidence, reasonably content? Yes, it's all about the ship going down, and the rats leaping from the sinking vessel, the vessel of the popular song, and there is nothing to do but to celebrate a recognition of this rats-going-down business, and, nonetheless, to view the articulation of same as a joy and a responsibility, such that the best joy-delivery system is the song itself, so that the medium is dead and yet is being used to celebrate its death, and it's in our mutual recognition of apartness that we are most together. (The band setting is no different, in this way, from quotidian human life. It is a triumph over the entropic energy that would drive it, the band, apart.)
This is an eschatological approach, and, indeed, some of what you are hearing on Together, by the New Pornographers, is a band of ghosts who are mining their fin de sicle imagery for all its worth, even though we are at the beginning of a century. They are from Vancouver (mostly), they still believe that they have something to say, they are adults, they don't use drum machines, they are not emcees. What could they possibly have going for them? Everything they stand for is over, they are the last iteration, they are the bitter end, the sweet aftertaste of something intoxicating. And yet they believe in doing it, still, together. We are so much the better for it.

When: Feb 12, 2015 7:00:00 PM in Columbia, Maryland
Cost: $35

Read Across America
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 19:00:00 +0000

Read Across America
Storytime, Special Event, Children's Event
Children's
Mar 02, 2015 7:00 PM

Barnes & Noble Booksellers
Bel Air
Tollgate Marketplace
620 Marketplace Drive
Bel Air
MD
21014
410-638-7023


When: Mar 2, 2015 7:00:00 PM in Bel Air, Maryland