Tag: dope body

Q&A: Michael Faulkner, director of ‘Dope Body: The End,’ talks about the band’s music, capturing the final performances, more

A still from “Dope Body: The End.”

During its eight-year run, the scuzzy noise rock band Dope Body was never the first name on the tongues of national music journalists delving into the Baltimore scene. That didn’t stop them from, over the course of six albums, earning a loyal following both at home and elsewhere in the country with an abrasive sound and a sweaty, physical live show.

In 2016, they called it quits, playing two final shows at the Metro Gallery and the DIY space Floristree. This Wednesday, we will get the definitive document of the latter in the movie “Dope Body: The End,” a concert film that eschews interviews, commentary and any behind-the-scenes looks and stays homed in on singer Andrew Laumann, guitarist Zachary Utz, bassist John Jones and drummer David Jacober as they deliver a raw farewell performance.

Director Michael Faulkner, whose credits include the documentary “Shu-De!” on local beatboxer Shodekeh, says the black-and-white, anamorphic footage matches the gritty qualities of the band’s music and stage presence. “We felt like it ended up resembling a 16 mm film, like a ’70s Iggy and the Stooges concert,” he said. I met up with Faulkner earlier this week to talk about what drew him to Dope Body’s music, how he and his film crew captured the group’s final performances, the movie’s premiere at the Parkway Theatre and more.

Sick with 1,000 Fevers: The Music Videos of Ben O’Brien and Showbeast

Ben with puppet Kasey Tang ca. 2007.

Ben O’Brien has never let the fact that he doesn’t play an instrument or write songs keep him out of the music scene. In college, this meant his brother (that’s me) had to devise a band with two lead singers, one of whom could sort of growl along. Post-college, it meant making a slew of music videos that tie into his puppet-and-green-screen-heavy video series Showbeast, which Ben describes as “a kids-TV-show style series of short films that come out irregularly for adults.”

Eli Jones: Baltimore’s Tragic Suburban Rock Star Remembered

Eli Jones ca. 1996. Photo by Jason Forster.

If you weren’t part of Baltimore’s suburban youth rock scene of the ’90s, you may never have heard of Eli Jones, a musician his friends and fans — Rjyan Kidwell AKA Cex, local music writer Tim Kabara, Human Host’s Mike Apichella, and Tempsound Solutions’ Shawn Phase among them — refer to variously as “brilliant,” a “rock star,” a “young Captain Beefheart,” and “one of the greatest artists of any kind who ever lived.”

Baltimore Music Fans: Friday Show Double-Whammy Wildness


Friday night’s going to be a wild one. It’ll kick off at the Current Space Lot and end at some ungodly hour in the Floristree.

Current is holding a double-album release party for Chester Endersby Gwazda and Bamboo. And if that isn’t exciting enough, Future Islands and Believers are playing there too.

    The Dirt on Scapescape, Baltimore’s Newest Summer Music Festival


    Maybe because I want to look forward to when the oppressive heat begins to give way to the cool of the early fall, I’ve decided to focus on one of Baltimore’s newest late summer festivals, Scapescape. The name is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Baltimore tradition of Artscape send-ups (e.g. Starscape, Ratscape, Whartscape, etc.), and the festival was first organized last year filling a void left by the demise of Whartscape in 2010. But Scapescape’s main organizer, Dave Underhill, is careful to emphasize that the Wham City organized festival only inspired Scapescape in part.

    Either way, Underhill’s -scape continues the tradition of oversize, local-band-and-artist-driven summer blowouts, occupying stages inside and outside of the Windup Space and Metro Gallery, as well as various art galleries, August 30 – September 2. Of the 50-plus bands already announced (more to come!), Wye Oak, Celebration, Dope Body, and Arbouretum are among the bigger names. Unlike Whartscape (which I promise to stop mentioning), Scapescape draws from exclusively local talent.

    I interviewed the festival’s main organizer, Dave Underhill, who offered a little more insight into Scapescape’s beginnings, as well as what we can expect this year.

    What prompted the first Scapescape? Was it the end of Whartscape?

    Actually, what prompted the first Scapescape was the impending closure of the Gspot.  My friend and co-organizer Reuben Kroiz, who founded the venue, wanted to orchestrate a blowout festival to send it off.  He had just recently been to see my now-defunct band the Suits and asked if we wanted to play this with our friends in the now-(criminally)defunct band We Used to Be Family.  Since we were the first he asked, I offered to do one better and help organize the entire show.  As we were in a bar, also present were Dan Deacon, Ed Harris of Big in Japan, and Brandon Arinoldo of Sri Aurobindo.  I asked all three if they wanted to play a festival for the Gspot.  All were willing, and the show snowballed in size from there.  So a lot of credit goes to those guys for helping us get started.