Those Who Dig & EMP Collective Present: Home Brew Hullabaloo

Those Who Dig & the EMP Collective are teaming up to present a party of epic proportions. The Home Brew Hullabaloo is a home brew competition and concert featuring the music of Norm Sherman, Inca, and the Chris Pumphrey Sextet. There will also be performances from the good folks at Sticky Buns Burlesque including Paco Fish, Shortstaxx, and Ruby Rockafella.

Any and all local home brewers are encouraged to bring their work to share. Please RSVP for space by emailing The Home Brew Hullabaloo is sponsored in part by the Maryland Homebrew Store and Nepenthe Homebrew Store so the evening's winners will be receiving a gift certificate to the stores. Additionally, pizza will be provided by Homeslyce in Baltimore who has also graciously co-sponsered the event to help feed you hungry beer drinkers.

The party is happening at the EMP space on 307 West Baltimore St Baltimore MD 21201 at 8:00 pm. Suggested donations for the party are $10 and the event is most definitely 21 and older.  All attendees are also the judges for the home brew competition so don't forget to practice your beer tasting between now and then.

Mark your calendar, gather up your friends, and come on out because we got it all going on. Brews, Tunes, and Partially Nudes – It's the Home Brew Hullabaloo! Read on for the complete information, RSVP options, and images of the performers.


Sirius Quartet: Spidey Falls

Recently, friend of the Dig as well as badass free thinking cellist for The Ballroom Thieves Rachel Gawell sent me a video she shot of the Sirius Quartet performing a composition entitled Spidey Falls. The piece was written by Fung Chern Hwei who is also the first violinist in the quartet. The additional members of the ensemble are Jeremy Harman, Gregor Huebner, and Ronald Lawrence

In his astounding biography, Fung Chern Hwei writes that although he is a traditionally classically trained violinist, he grew up deeply influenced by Chinese pop, Indian Bollywood tunes, Malay dance music, and in his younger years even took to imitating the sounds of the electric guitar and saxophone on his violin. With this in mind, I have always believed that one of the major components necessary for success in the field of classical music in the 21st century is a breadth of language. Truly successful musicians are the ones who are not limited by their language or technique, only their creativity. Nevertheless, it is sometimes the case that trained musicians will sacrifice language on behalf of technique and become compartmentalized in their thinking and ability to compose or improvise. This is not Fung Chern Hwei. This is not Spidey Falls, and this is absolutely not the Sirius Quartet.

Read on for my full thoughts concerning, the quartet and the composition. You dig?


NYC Shows This Week

I've been sick and computer-less, but there are some great shows coming up this week in NYC that I wanted to make sure you all knew about. Read on for all the deets. 


PB&Jamz: Baltimore Rap

It's Super Bowl week here in Baltimore and good vibrations abound around town in a way we we only get to enjoy when our beloved birds are rolling through their competition in spite of what the critics predict. That's why I wanted to share this hometown gem entitled Baltimore Rap from friends of the Dig PB&Jamz

PB&Jamz are Paul Diem, Jeremy Durkin, Britt Olsen-Ecker, Aldo Pantoja, and Melissa Wimbish. Baltimore Rap from PB&Jamz is an infectious celebration of the city's highs, lows, quirks, pitfalls, and Berger cookies. There is something relatable in this song for every Baltimorean from Dundalk to Charles Village, Locust Point to Roland Park, and everywhere in between. I dare you not to turn it up and sing along. It's OK, really. You don't have to be ashamed, cautious, or in anyway reserved. PB&Jamz is a juggernaut of feel good Balti-mania. You're welcome.



Madeleine Peyroux: Changing All Those Changes

Madeleine Peyroux is the most recognizable voice in contemporary jazz vocals. It is also easy commentary to say that this voice sounds like it belongs more to the first half of the 20th century than the 21st. However, her success is built not just on this voice, but on her impeccable phrasing, succinct backing backing band, and uncanny ability to recognize a song outside of the boundaries of her genre and then successfully reallocate it into her language. Finally, it is this last performance talent that makes Peyroux quintessentially 21st century.

Her next album, The Blue Room, is set for release on March 5th from Decca Records. The founding idea of this project was to set Peyroux's fresh perspective on the controversial Ray Charles classic Modern Sounds In Country Western Music, but the project soon expanded to include the like minded material of Randy Newman's “Guilty,” Warren Zevon's “Desperadoes Under The Eaves” and John Hartford’s “Gentle On My Mind.” As a teaser for the forthcoming album, Madeleine Peyroux has released a video for Changing All Those Changes. The song was originally penned by Buddy Holly and underneath Peyroux's sultry voice and cultured backing band you can still hear the heartbeat and healthy reverb of Buddy Holly's version.

Read on for my full thoughts as well as tour dates after the album's release.


The Wood Brothers: East Coast Tour Dates

The Wood Brothers are a TWD favorite, however, I'm embarrassed to say I've never had the pleasure of seeing them live in concert. In looking up their newest tour schedule I was thinking about correcting this either in Philadelphia or NYC in the coming weeks. If you and I share this neglectful commonality check out the east coast dates below and take care of correcting this matter for yourself. 

2/21 – Fairfield, CT – StageOne

2/22 – Albany, NY – The Egg 2/23 – Syracuse, NY – Westcott Theater

2/24 – Philadelphia, PA – World Cafe Live

2/26 – New Hope, PA – Triumph Brewing Company 2/27 – Northampton, MA – Iron Horse

2/28 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club

3/1 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom

3/2 – Hudson, NY – Club Helsinki  

There are also a slew of west coast dates on tap and you can find those here. Are you new to the Wood Brothers and not sure if they're worth a road trip? Well then just trust me, they are. Start here, listen to the records, and then find a friend in one of the tour stops and tell them to ready the couch because it's about to have company.

FacebookTwitterYou dig?


Digcast IX with Colin Sorgi of the Sonar New Music Ensemble

Over the weekend I sat down with Colin Sorgi, a  superb violinist and artistic director of the Sonar New Ensemble. Sonar is Baltimore based new music ensemble that was founded in 2007 to promote modern chamber music of note that is otherwise lacking a consistent advocate in the concert hall. Our conversation centered around Sonar's upcoming concert entitled Darkness at the Baltimore Theatre Project this coming Friday, January 18th at 8:00 pm. The featured repertoire will be George Crumb's Black Angels as well as In Iij Noct. by George Friedrich Haas.

In the interview you will also hear how Sonar is expanding the normative concert program in order to showcase Baltimore's theatre talent, the work of local artist and MICA professor Trudi Ludwig-Johnson, as well as spatial disorientation of the quartet to amplify the emotional experience of the concert. Tickets are available in advance here or at the door for ten dollars. You can also find Sonar via Facebook and Twitter.

Digcast Episode IX: Sonar New Music Ensemble – Colin Sorgi Interview


Sigur R

Sigur Rós has consistently been one of the most outside of the box bands of their generation. I was first introduced to the band via their 2002 album ambiguously titled ( ). The title is a place holder because the idea behind this project was that the band wanted only to suggest musical ideas to the listener and let that person project in their own ideas of title or content. This concept of open to interpretation seemed so appealing to me at the time and I embraced it whole heartedly. In 2012 Sigur Rós furhtered this trend with an unprecedented project the called The Valtari Mystery Film Experiment

Their explanation of the project is as follows:

sigur rós have given a dozen film makers the same modest budget and asked them to create whatever comes into their head when they listen to songs from the band's new album valtari. the idea is to bypass the usual artistic approval process and allow people utmost creative freedom. among the filmmakers are ramin bahrani, alma har'el and john cameron mitchell.

"we never meant our music to come with a pre-programmed emotional response. we don’t want to tell anyone how to feel and what to take from it. with the films, we have literally no idea what the directors are going to come back with. none of them know what the others are doing, so hopefully it will be interesting." – sigur rós, may 2012

Read on for information regarding the projects release, as well as credits for the contributing film makers whose wonderful work is posted below.