Alicia managed to be here for the weekend, in town to visit her family and the new neice. Steph fucked everyone up and I still haven't gotten the downstairs bathroom door unlocked from someone managing to lock it behind them.
After a day of rest on Sunday, Karl went back to work for a short week. He got out early on thursday, we dropped the pup off at the kennel we take her to, and headed for Baltimore. We ended up stuck in insane traffic and a pretty horrible thunderstorm, but we got to the hotel and ended up at the venue *early* for the Meat Beat Manifesto show. I've never been early for a show in my life and me, Karl, and the other 10 people standing outside are all fucking nerds for it.
This club is tiny. Very tiny lounge, very very very tiny performance space. It was *great*. The opener, Dub Trio, should definitely be checked out if you like hardcore (more like Dillinger Escape plan and Candiria than say... Downset or Strapping Young Lad), Dub (reverb-y Freestylers-like dub), or just plain guitar + samples rock. They're apparently from New York and honestly enjoy what they're doing on stage. I was incredibly impressed.
Then they put up two screens to cover the stage and Meat Beat started. Ben Stokes was there behind one of the walls of amp mixing live video (video that actually used the visual sequences that went with the samples from the song. So you actually see that the looped Maria Carey noise is the same video segment EBN used or that that gunshot noise is from that clip in A Better Tomorrow). They also had tiny black and white web cam like things that were intermixing video of Jack, Lynn Farmer (drums), Mark Pistel (mixing?), and Ben Stokes doing the mixing/scratching. So when Jack would come in and do the vocals for certain things he'd meld in to the video on the screens and then fade back out when the samples took over.
Ben and Mark also had a little drum fight. Ben using video clips of insane drumming and Mark drumming live. After they were mostly done, Jack asked "Do you want.... MOOORE?" and did another 3 songs, one of which was a Tino track made up of mostly pure drumming. At the end Lynn Farmer walked past me, caught my eye, and gave me that "I don't know, I'm just the drummer" look. heh.
It was an incredible show and if you get a chance to see your favorite act at Sonar in Baltimore I highly recommend it. It's a great small space. Karl just kept saying that it really reminded him of the old 9:30 club. (Hey, and the bartenders were great, speedy, friendly, and the drinks were pretty cheap for a club). We would go back just for the DJ in the lounge who spun a lot of tech-house and wasn't afraid of bass. The next day we had lunch at the James Joyce, drove back down and picked up the pup, and then spent a few hours lying to ourselves about how tired we were before we finally just went and napped.