Tag Archives: Cheshi

Fugazi @ Weinberg 30 years ago + Shut Up & Listen / Cosmic Hallitosis / Cheshi+more January 13

Saturday January 13th 2018 — seems so Frederick to schedule a billion things all on one weekend night (not that I’m mad at anyone – it’s just more challenging to figure out logistics to be 3 different place at once).  So here’s how Western Machines reboots in 2018 after several months layoff – pick a random weekend to preview/list what the fuck is going down in Frederick.  Frederick Playlist highlighted the Cosmic Hallitosis show, but there’s 2 more events to keep tabs on. If you can multitask – you’re going to have a more sonically adventurous Saturday.

But first, it has been too long since I last posted – and it was mostly about the Nov city election. Turns out the dems made a clean sweep (made easier when the GOP candidates either got caught cheating by forging his signature so his daughter could vote for him  -from the Frederick Extra (hilarious irony as it’s the GOP that’s generally always accusing the other side of illegal voting), or didn’t show up to campaign at all – literally.

But nothing since then, though I should have posted about my own writing, having finally published a piece on the improbable events leading to Fugazi having played at the prim and proper Weinberg Center 30 years ago!  Pretty wild scenes in there – mosh pits (CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT AT THE WEINBERG?!) …the thing that blew me away researching the article was discovering there was NO CONTRACT AT ALL!  It was all verbally done, a simple phone call by a the 16 year old Chris Stup.  That would never happen today. I’ll tell you something else that will never happen again (probably -never say never I guess): Fugazi -should they regroup- or another post-hardcore band headlining at the Weinberg.  I do regret not getting in all the different stories and anecdotes about the 3 legendary Fugazi shows at the Weinberg – but through Subversive Zine, I’m doing a more comprehensive expanded version of the article.  Stay tuned for that (not in the next issue, #5 which is coming out soon- the expanded Fugazi piece will likely be in #6).

Fugazi at Weinberg in 1989 / Photo: J. Venverloh

But the flipside is that Frederick had a legit punk rock scene. Actually a few different unique and occasionally cross-collaborative scenes – metal / hardcore / punk / post punk / new wave.  They had all ages venues downtown – they were making waves outside of Frederick.  It happened before.  While there is a legit music scene today, all punching above their weight, I think everyone, including those in those bands know that it could be so much better. The missing ingredient – and common theme since Western Machines came online – is Frederick is in dire need of a mid-size music venue.  Even Scott Ambush, bassist for Spiro Gyra was quoted in the FNP 72 Hours yesterday:

Ambush…believes that Frederick getting a mid-size venue is the logical next step to a more vibrant music scene.

“A 300- to 500-seat venue would be great here,” he explained. “That would allow enough sales for regional and less expensive national acts to play in an atmosphere where food and drink was served. If I had the money, I would do it.”

There are some challenges that may get in the way — Ambush cited that a smaller venue means there’s less at stake compared with a mid-size venue.

Imade Borha interviewed Ambush and got that response — I agree with him on the need for a venue of course, but the food/drink thing – I don’t know – we may have slightly different ideas on what the atmosphere would look like for a hypothetical venue.  Anyway, FNP reporter Kelsi Loos tweeted this:

That would be Frederick County’s 20 year plan that incorporates a possible blueprint to making Frederick more livable – including improving entertainment/cultural options in order to attract people to come work and play in the area.  There was a survey (not a great one as surveys go) that went into the just released master plan – check that out here.

But how serious are they at the county or city level about this mid size venue idea?

In any event – New Spire Stages was in the news -the former Frederick Cultural Center on 15th and Patrick –   they’re doing a groundbreaking ceremony next week with a new executive director – eventually a 300-500 person capacity… maybe barebones ready by July…more on that soon…



2 quick plugs – Subversive Zine finally has a website – find it at subversivefrederick.com 

Already lots of more up to date stuff that’s on the online version of Subversive – like covering the new O’Conner mayoral adminstration,  and their super rad playlist on spotify (apple too? not sure but I’m going to check that out) + a comprehensive Frederick band list.

Last plug, I’ve been to Anthem in DC, their new ‘midsize’ venue built and operated by DC independents IMP and I got to review St Vincent’s show there last month (late Nov really) for the FNP.   Check out the review here.  The show was such a blast – Emily Jessee took this incredible photo below:


Photo: Emily Jessee



finally the shows that matter this Saturday, in no particular order:


Local Hip Hop at 611 – neat!


Next up: Cosmic Halitosis 1st full length album release show at Guidos, starting at 9pm.  From their FB events page:

…On January 13, the planets will align, blood will rain from the skies and rock ‘n’ roll will spread through the air like a toxic fume, creeping and slithering into every crevice. Comic Halitosis is releasing their first full length album and will be celebrating at Guidos!!!

Cosmic Halitosis

Slow Reader

My Friday Anthem

and if you missed it, Frederick Playlist interviewed frontman Matt Henry (and relatively new father – he joins the rock dad club) about the new album release called “Where is She?” Good lineup – and I heard My Friday Anthem has a new album nearly ready to drop. Subversive Zine is previewing their new album soon…


Last but not least:


Cheshi and Silent Old Mts did a set last weekend at Baltimore’s Ottobar (hopefully they slayed – this rock dad couldn’t make it).  But I can make up for it partially by going to this show.  Doors at 9, music starts at 10, from the FB events page:

CHESHI (alt-indie)

HEXGIRLFRIENDS (electrofemme punk)

EVOLV (cinematic sound)

It is 21+ show and 3-5$ cover.   You know that WM is all about Cheshi — now HexGirlfriends is a Baltimore band I’ve been wanting to check out, and all the better that they’re coming to Nola. Evolv sounds very ambient/electronic – from DC – could be interesting.

I’m taking in all 3 shows somehow.  Let the transmorgrifying begin…it’s gonna be a long night. Enjoy, be safe, and don’t act like a trump out there. Peace.





Tuff Junior & Mr Husband Sept 2 @ cafe nola

This non-frequent posting thing just has to end, might as well end the loooong break on labor day weekend as Tuff Junior AND Mr Husband team up for a killer show at Nola tomorrow – that’s Saturday night Sept 2.

Tuff Junior is a post Old Indian project of frontman Cory Springirth and while we’re waiting for their EP,  the few shows they’ve done in Frederick and the 2 online singles released on their bandcamp page have given a pretty good indication of the awesomeness that awaits.

Mr Husband – we’ve written about before so I’ll let the promo from Cafe Nola do the talking…

Mr. Husband is the songwriting and comedy persona of Kenny Tompkins.  He is best known as co-founder of noteworthy indie-upstart Yellow K Records who released one of 2016’s most critically acclaimed albums “Psychopomp” by Japanese Breakfast.   In his live band Tompkins is joined by Chris Morris of Cotton Jones on drums and Jasen Reeder of Page France on bass. The group is quickly making a name for itself with their unique live show which mixes in small doses of comedy, theatrics, and faux-self-help all centered around extremely well crafted songs.   Mr. Husband is currently on tour in support of their debut  “Plaid on Plaid” which was released on May 5th, 2017 via Yellow K Records. Continue reading Tuff Junior & Mr Husband Sept 2 @ cafe nola

Rozwell Kid album release show+Travelin’ Appalachian Revue+F3filmFest+Pride Fest+Doom Fest=too much good shit to do this weekend

Listen, I know I’ve been neglectful (not updating often) but my new mantra is quality, not quantity.  Still, since the WesternMachines/Skystage/Thing show May20th (so glad you came / sorry if u didn’t go), plenty of great shows have come & gone.  Good shit happening in the film scene as well, including the F3 Pride Film Fest (which I covered in the FNP earlier in June, shameless plug). But seeing as I’m typing simultaneously whilest biking thru the city, wobbly & avoiding near death collisions – no more apologies – this post be real short.

First: let’s fill you in on cool shows happening + great events as too much good shit is happening this weekend (I’m trademarking that last fragment, get yr fucking hands off that Flying Dog. ’cause I know where u live).

Rozwell Kid – album release show with Gloop at SLAYGROUND Friday June 22 / 7:30-11pm

WHAT A COUP…can I tell you how incredible this is?  West Virgina’s Rozwell Kid, newly signed to California indie label SideOneDummy and blowing the bejezus up –  are launching their US tour with a album release show at…wait for it… the Frederick house venue known as the Slayground.  The DIY venue  is relatively new, and out of total respect for the occupants, I’ll set the tone: if you go, do not act like a bona fide asshole. I’ll let you figure out how to interpret and process that. You still in?  To get the address, go to this link and make contact. Suggested $5 donation.  Self described as ‘noisy grunge junk’ from Frederick, Gloop is also on the bill – and if you know your WesternMachines history, Gloop and their show at the JunkDrawer was (I think) the 2nd or 3rd WesternMachines post ever when it launched last summer.  So that show, which included Cheshi, had to end prematurely when the cops was called to the makeshift storage space/outdoor venue, but it would end happily when the show moved over to Knights Castle –house venue to the rescue!   Back to Rozwell Kid, they’re about to go on a pretty sizable US tour (including a stop at Omaha’s Slowdown -run by Saddle Creek Records), and going coast to coast.  If you missed them at 200 East Art Haus (like the very first show at 200 East in 2015 and very last official show there last month), this intimate house setting is going to be radical.

Travelin’ Appalachians Revue @Area31 / 7-11pm

now goddammit – why are all the good shows packed on the same weekend, on the same day ?!?  From their FB events page:

Hello, Frederick. This show is real special for us, it marks our first steps with this project outside the state of West Virginia. We can’t wait to celebrate that milestone with you. ~Celebrate~ being the key word here- that’s the whole purpose of this show.
In case you’re not familiar with The Travelin’ Appalachians Revue, we are an annual mobile arts and culture festival, featuring a showcase of Appalachian writers, musicians, and artists. This is our THIRD ANNUAL year, and like I said, this is our FIRST time outside West Virginia. RAD!
Hope you can join us at the Area 31. The show kicks off at 7pm. Entry is free, but we ask you to considering donating what you can at the door so we can give all these talented folks a little cashola for their hard work.
That said, we will NEVER turn anyone away who can’t afford it!
Again, this show starts at 7pm and it is ALL AGES.

This gig is doubly unique because we will be featuring a film screening by Frederick filmmaker Samuel Tressler IV
A very special one-time-only ACOUSTIC set from Cheshi

and more musicians and writers from WV are on this bill.  Transmorgrify yourself and attend both events – it’s like the best of WV has descended onto Frederick on Friday.

But I must let loose more foul language ($*%#*&%^#@^%*$^!) as the Frederick Film Festival returns this year (now rebranded as Frederick Film & Music Fest) and opening night is…you guessed it : fucking Friday.

The Film Fest spans from Friday’s opening at the Weinberg to Saturday – with the 2nd day spread out across several venues. Me, if I can’t transmorgrify, will likely check out some documentaries on Syrian refugees on Saturday at the Deleplaine. Check out the full event schedule here.  And do check out Imade Borha’s FNP article about some of the highlights to possibly see at the film festival.

What is a music and film aficionado to do? Keep transmorgriying, Calvin & Hobbes style.

  • If there are three of me, one can go to the Slayground
  • another to Area 31
  • and the third to the Weinberg for F3’s opening night

Maryland Doom Fest returns this weekend as well – adding to Friday night’s troubles of splitting several ways, but Saturday and Sunday night offers options to attend as well.  Wander to the ‘ass end of North Market st’ and it’s there at Cafe 611 you’ll find these excellent regional and national metal acts that range in scope and subgenres.

I’ll update soon on the high Priestess of all things Metal in Frederick, Caroline Wexler with her pick of not-to-be-missed bands for the festival:



Faith in Jane

Lo Pan

Captain Beyond



The Well

Heavy Temple

Serpents of Secrecy


Wo Fat






Lifetime Shitlist

Atomic Bitchwax

Here’s more from Caroline: “…each day this year is packed with a bunch of amazing bands, so you could really show up at any time and the quality of music you’d be seeing would be off the charts. And the headliners this year are nuts. Captain Beyond is a 70s rock group that hasn’t released and album since 1977 and they’re releasing one this year…like big time rockstar types. Honestly the quality of Doom Fest has always been of such a high caliber, right from the first one they did a few years ago. Never been disappointed by this festival.”

Hella endorsement.  So…I’m splitting up 4 ways on Friday now…


But during the day Saturday, I don’t have to split myself up as one event takes over part of the city during the day: the 2017 Frederick Pride Fest.  Head over to Carrol Creek Linear Park beginning at 11am and celebrate LGBTQ pride & culture -and give a middle finger to trump and his  bigoted agenda that reversed Obama’s school policy on transgender students.  For last min schedule updates, check the FB page.


I’ll try to update tomorrow or sometime this weekend as there’s tons to talk about – I haven’t even discussed Subversive Zine issue #2 now out at yr favorite subversive joint in the city (issue #3 coming out in…July?), and a  brand new article I wrote for the FNP that came out today discussing the potential for the New Spire Spaces (formerly the Artomatic building on church st) to be a catalyst for  the Frederick music/film/art scene. Could that (or it’s sister venue, New Spire Stage, set to open next year) finally be the [permanent. read: not temporary] mid-size venue we’ve all been praying to jeebus for? Check that here.  Some super awesome voices weigh in, including Ashli Cheshire of Cheshi, Alexa Johnson -who started the SQUAT, the DIY house venue that started last year (but SQUAT’s lease ending in August), and Ryan Nicholson from Heavy Lights.  There’s also the matter of underground hip hop artist J Berd who’s going to be playing with RZA in Montreal later in early fall – yes RZA – downright exciting.  No press has covered the fact he opened for Redman and Method Man in Pittsburg last month.  J Berd, with the Makeshift Crew put out a new mixtape that’s dope af, check it here:

We’ll talk more about J soon.

After the weekend —keep a look out for :

Monday June 26 at Skystage is Cinemonday’s screening of Watership Down  Hell to the yes!

Tuesday June 27  New Spire Spaces Open House (see above and/or here)


Kid got to be picked up from summer camp, gots to go before CPS is called on my ass. Culture up. Fuck trump and fuck fascism. Peace Love and Resistance.

The Fire Within @ area 31 monday Feb 27 / Deathlord emerges from Cheshi’s EP release show

This weather in maryland, 70 degrees in February…theres something quite lovey and menacing at the same time. It’s unnatural.  I want to enjoy this weather (and I am) and yet…I can’t shake this sense of impending doom. Like a catastrophic flood of biblical proportions on the way.

To distract your concerns about this and the decimation of democracy by the trumpians, there’s nothing like getting together in a nearly hidden pop up cinemahouse and watching a French film on hopelessness and hope.  “The Fire Within” (Le feu follet) released in 1963 and directed by Louis Malle, it’s main character, Alain Leroy is a self-destructive writer who is set on killing himself within 24 hours but hangs out with friends in a bid to convince himself that he has a reason to live.  Here’s a snippet from the film (switch on CC if you don’t usually dialogue in French)

“The Fire Within” screens at Area 31 Monday Feb 27 at 8pm for their Cinemondays series.

More after the jump… Continue reading The Fire Within @ area 31 monday Feb 27 / Deathlord emerges from Cheshi’s EP release show

Frederick Showcase v.3 : Cheshi EP release & Stitch Early’s list

Before we get to some Frederick music scene awesomeness, Area 31 is killing it, continuing to pack the joint with their Cinemondays East screenings (“Fantastic Planet” and “Lola” just screened) and their Select Screening series latest showing of “Mifune: The Last Samurai” last weekend.  They’re showing Wim Wenders’ “Paris, Texas” as part of their experimental/cult/obscure/arthouse free series next Monday, Feb 20th.

more after the jump… Continue reading Frederick Showcase v.3 : Cheshi EP release & Stitch Early’s list

Reflections on the Cheshi EP: luscious / dark / angry

impressions of Cheshi’s self title EP

This is less a review and more of my stream.of.consciousness.notes from listening to Cheshi’s first EP about to drop on February 16th.  I opt not for a traditional review. When I look at a Rothko painting  – I just know that several complex reactions occur internally.  The same would apply as I listen to this calibrated maelstrom from this band of Frederick based musicians, fronted by Ashli Cheshire and exponentially amped further by Matthew Jachowski on bass, Trevor Williams on guitar and vocals and Evan Owens on drums – having transitioned in over the past year from his now defunct band, Old Indian.

As the record was being formed, I got a chance to see Cheshi and interview them in May 2016 for BoR.  Ashli had difficulty pinning down her band’s sound, but eventually came up with this: heavy. as is heavy emotionally. Continue reading Reflections on the Cheshi EP: luscious / dark / angry

“Evolution” screening at Area 31 on Dec 30 / Mason-Dixon Punk Art Show opening Jan 6&7

Merry Festivus, the loony festive season is upon us in full swing. 2016 crashing to a close, the year of catastrophe is over. Celebrity deaths will be a thing of the past –  David Bowie can transfer to the great gig in the sky only once.  Add to the list Prince, Phife Dawg, Leonard Cohen, Carrie Fisher, and the hits just keep on coming.  Let’s pray trump can only get elected once…

All that said, one particular bright spot in Frederick: Area 31 and their heroic attempt to bring first run indie cinema to downtown.  April 2016 will forever be etched in memory with their sold out screening of “Embrace of the Serpent.” People had to be turned away at the door (unfortunate that not everyone could get in, but chalk that under good problems to have). That was really a wild moment and gave a sense of the pent up demand for 1st run indie cinema in this part of the DMV.

Fast forward to Friday Dec 30th, Area 31  at it again, screening  “Evolution.” Starts at 7:30pm, tickets available at Eventbrite.

There’s a bit more, stay with us after the jump…

Continue reading “Evolution” screening at Area 31 on Dec 30 / Mason-Dixon Punk Art Show opening Jan 6&7

Landless & ESAC Going Landless redux + Funboys/Stitch Early @ Skystage + DEAD WILL RISE show @ MET

Ok I do have to lament just a tad, the end of October means ghosts, ghouls and merryment -but I know that the good folks at Landless Theater will be packing up as I write this.  If you’ve been following WesternMachines or read my FNP column on Thursday, you know that the Landless Theater is moving out and it’s a lost opportunity for the Frederick performing arts scene. (Stay with me after the jump, there be positive stuff to balance out the darkness…) Continue reading Landless & ESAC Going Landless redux + Funboys/Stitch Early @ Skystage + DEAD WILL RISE show @ MET

Skystage opens today + Landless Theater’s last stand at East St Arts Center

One alternative performing arts center comes alive; another alt venue starts winding down to a magnificent death – using artistic license to say the place is going dark.  Birth / death, cycles within the Frederick performing arts scene all happening in the span of a day.  Let’s start first with Landless’ Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, which looks like a hilarious take on the teen angst of the Peanuts gang following the death of Snoopy. From what I can tell, tonight (Sept 17th show) looks like the last hurrah event for the short lived East St Arts Center, the new-ish name for the space the Landless Theater has occupied since late June.   Continue reading Skystage opens today + Landless Theater’s last stand at East St Arts Center

Middle Kid EP show + Weekend of Cheshi + LEDA Kickstarter launch

Lots happening this weekend in Frederick including the In the Streets festival on Saturday -why don’t we start there with this update: Heavy Lights -who was listed in Thursday’s FNP to play the annual festival at the Carroll Creek Amphitheater – are not playing on Saturday.  The band had contacted In the Streets a while back that they would not be able to play, given Brian Weakly and Derek Salazar have moved (or at least are in process of moving) from Maryland.  That word apparently didn’t reach the FNP in time as their Thursday 72 Hr edition still listed HL playing in the afternoon right after Cheshi’s set…   Continue reading Middle Kid EP show + Weekend of Cheshi + LEDA Kickstarter launch