Arts Desk

Arts Roundup: “No Haterade for DNA Test Fest” Edition

Good morning! It is, you know, that day! The one with the pranks! However, today's roundup is prank-free. Really, I promise. Promise promise.

In today's print City Paper, I write about the recent flaring-up of rumors concerning Drunkdriver and Pygmy Shrews drummer Jeremy Villalobos. In the last two weeks, allegations that he'd committed several acts of sexual assault caused Drunkdriver to break up and Fan Death Records, which has released music by both bands, to drop Pygmy Shrews from its annual DNA Test Fest, citing concerns raised by other groups performing and on the label.

Perhaps lost in there is that top to bottom, Test Fest features some of the best music you can see in the area this weekend, especially if your taste skews to the noisy and difficult. The show is in Baltimore this year after 2008 and 2009 concerts in D.C., which I suppose you could hold against Fan Death if you want. Certainly, the label has no problem pissing you off, an attitude co-founder Sean Gray discusses in this lengthy interview with Express Night Out. He touches on the controversy he and his co-founder Chris Berry sparked when earlier this year they told All Our Noise how much they think D.C. indie rock sucks. (We wrote about it here, here, and here. Baltimore City Paper wrote about how we overdid it here.) But Gray also talks about what he loves, like the Siltbreeze label and Home Blitz, one of the bands performing at Test Fest. He calls Home Blitz's 2009 album Out of Phrase "probably the best pop record of the year — hands down, you can't tell me otherwise." Hyperbole? You decide:


Black Tambourine, an Irish prankster, and an ode to the organ after the jump:

Black Tambourine members Mike Schulman and Pam Berry talk to eMusic about the new Black Tambourine compilation, touching on the Maryland group's strange, long-fomenting influence, that rain sound on "By Tomorrow," and why they're more like to play a reunion barbecue than a reunion gig. Also: Pitchfork gives Black Tambourine an 8.3.

Only Vanna White could decode who's playing at this year's Lollapalooza, writes Arts Desk contributer Leor Galil.

An organ skeptic becomes a convert.

Joanna Newsom has weird things to say about Avatar.

Solas Nua's pranksterish artist-in-residence, Nevan Lehart, is unveiling an installation today at 1200 1st St. NE at 6:30 p.m.

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