Words by Phelps
Since 2009, Unregistered Nurse Booking and promoter Dana Murphy have continually outdone themselves in Baltimore with an onslaught of the best hardcore, lo-fi, and noise rock that we WISH we’d get more of in DC. Tonight marks the second coming of U+Nfest at The Ottobar, a gathering of charm city talent accentuated by the inimitable UN booking tastes with headliners Pissed Jeans and The Gories. In case you missed it, the former staged a noise rock revival at the Black Cat back in April and The Gories are full-on garage rock legends reunited and putting out live records on Jack White’s Third Man Records. For all you lames who complain the MARC won’t run on weekends til December, you can cop a $16 Amtrak back to DC at 12:40 AM each night. IT’S THAT EASY. Check out the sick poster/lineups below as well as killer photos from U+Nfest 1 by Josh Sisk.
Details: 30+ bands at the historic Ottobar
Tickets: VIP 2-day for $65, 2-day pass for $43. single day tickets for $18 Friday and $23 Saturday (includes day show at The Wind Up Space)
Set times on U+Nfest fb event page
The Gories– Founded by Mick Collins of The Dirtbombs in 1986, the Gories (from De-troit) are a legendary band and one of the originators of modern garage punk. This is a rare one-off appearance, absolutely not to be missed. The Gories have been on such labels as Sub Pop, Crypt and In the Red, and have a new release coming out on Jack White’s Third Man Records. White has said of the Gories,”The best garage band in America since the ’60s. Very primitive…they made people with Les Pauls and Marshall amps look like idiots.”
Pissed Jeans– What do you get when you combine four smart, bored young men from Allentown, Pennsylvania who share a penchant for comedy and a taste for mid-era Black Flag? You get Pissed Jeans, a sloppy, beautiful band who has been a highlight of underground music for years now. Almost ten years in, you might think that age, real jobs, fatherhood and the like would dull their wit and their ferocity, but you’d be wrong – the ultimate weekend warriors, their live shows tend to erupt into unpredictable, chaotic hijinx and hilarious rants. Come for the riffs but enjoy the ride, too.
Roomrunner– One of the bands to come out of the demise of local favorites Double Dagger, Roomrunner are poised to be Baltimore’s next big breakout band after recent good reviews from pitchfork, spin, npr, and many others. And the hype is well deserved. Check out their recent piece on NPR and the amazing Wojtek video.
Weekend- Slumberland Record’s Weekend are an interesting band; a goth, shoe gaze, pop, indie rock, post-punk band… influenced by everyone from Robert Smith to Steve Shelly. Their songs are dark and abrasive, but also inviting and at times even catchy. After the huge success of 2009’s “Sports”, the band is back with their new record “Jinx”.
Disappears- Speaking of Steve Shelly, despite his amicable departure from Chicago’s Disappears, the band is still kicking and will be appearing at U+Nfest. Combining grooving kraut rock guitar lines with vocals that meander from faintly echoing to Mark E. Smith-esque, Disappears has a unique style that flows but often builds slowly from mellow to menacing.
Jaill- Milwalkee’s Jaill are another band repping Sub Pop at this fest, the third on this list. Jaill plays poppy, polished indie rock owing an obvious debt to Elvis Costello, at times surfy and a little bit psychedelic. Their music bounces, it jangles, but after repeated listens it becomes clear that all is not all as bright as it seems. Dark, sarcastic lyrics even things out and keep you from a sugar overload
Ex-Cult- Ex-Cult (nee Sex Cult) hail from Memphis, and have a killer Ty Segall-produced record out on Goner Records. The band is a solid mix of classic, tightly-wound punk and garage rock, and somehow manages to have a sound that is both charming and brutal. Their conflicting elements pull together into a cohesive whole, and make Ex-Cult a stylized band worth seeing.
Peach Kelli Pop- Canadian expat Allie Hanlon (of The White Wires), aka Peach Kelli Pop, makes sweet, minimal, girl group-styled power pop songs on Burger Records/ Infinity Cat. Light, fun as hell and good to dance to, Peach Kelli Pop is sure to be a highlight of the festival. Don’t miss them!!!
Obnox– Obnox is the project of Columbus/Cleveland’s Lamont Thomas (mem. of Unholy Two, Bassholes and many other bands). With the exception of one very lengthy write up on Pitchfork’s “Overlooked Experiemental Records of 2013”, Obnox has been flying mostly under the radar. And that’s a damn shame, because his music is on point. Stylistically he varies, moving from experimental funk/ soul, to sound loops, to warped garage and even rap. His music is often fuzzed out, full of reverb, layered and complex, and has a primitive protopunk feel. He sometimes performs in a bizarre suit and wig combo. Unfuckwithable.
Shots from 2012’s U+Nfest