Arbouretum, Weekends play CD release shows

Baltimore bands celebrate new albums with shows at Ottobar, Golden West

February 10, 2011

This week, two local bands will mark the release of new albums with a pair of inexpensive shows.

The members of one band are veterans, the others are a couple of young bucks. One of the shows is free, the other one is five bucks. Guess which one?

Surprise: The older band's gig is gratis: Arbouretum will perform Sunday upstairs at the Ottobar for the release of its new album, "The Gathering." And Weekends plays Saturday at Golden West Cafe.

After eight years together, it looks like Arbouretum, a Baltimore four-piece, wants to throw cash-short fans a bone.

Started by guitarist Dave Heumann in 2002, the band has released four albums with Chicago-based Thrill Jockey, which represents other local bands. The band members have always followed an unconventional path, stubbornly playing to their own eccentric muses along the way.

For their second album, "Rites of Uncovering," they cited writers Cormac McCarthy and Paul Bowles as reference points. The latest is no different. The inspiration? Psychiatrist Carl Jung. How dreamy.

Though Heumann's guitar solos are still a hallmark on the new album, as heard in "Destroying to Save," the band's normal instrumentation has been altered. One of the guitars was replaced with Matthew Pierce's keyboards and percussion.

The show at the Ottobar is free, but Ottobar manager Craig Boarman said it's first-come, first-served. It is the first of a handful of U.S. dates supporting the album before the band heads to Europe in April.

On March 5, the band will perform at 2640 with Celebration for the latter group's album release party. Art-pop trio Future Islands also will perform.

The other band playing a show this weekend is Weekends. Since forming in 2008, Adam Lempel and Brendan Sullivan — former students at the Johns Hopkins University and the Maryland Institute College of Art, respectively — have quickly found an audience for their anarchic brand of rock. They recorded their first album at Sullivan's room at the Copy Cat building. But for the new one, "Strange Cultures," Arbouretum's first producer, Rob Girardi, helped them out. It's going to be released by local Friends Records.

At Golden West, Raindeer, Winks — which consists of Lempel and Ineveryroom's Chase O'Hara — will also perform, along with local Holy Ghost Party, which is not to be confused with the pithier Brooklyn-based Holy Ghost!

Arbouretum will perform Sunday at the Ottobar, 2549 N. Howard St. Admission is free. Doors open at 10 p.m. Secret Mountains will open. Weekends will perform at 10 p.m. Saturday at Golden West Cafe, 1105 W. 36th St. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door or at sonar.thundertix.com.

—Erik Maza

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