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DNA Test Fest: A starting lineup of noise-rock and baseball

Jeans/Howard[Expletive] Jeans = Ryan Howard? Read on - it will make sense.

If you're familiar with Fan Death Records it's probably for one of two reasons: 1) you are a connoisseur of the finest in aggressive, demented noise-rock, or 2) you read that City Paper piece in which they slammed the D.C. scene. The latter was a fine bit of showmanship, your standard heel wrestling promo. Sure, labelheads Sean Gray and Chris Berry meant every word, but that was just a small segment of what they were talking about in a longer interview with local Web site All Our Noise. There may be some vitriol but that's balanced out by a true love for the obscure.

I covered most of that in my preview of last year's DNA Test Fest in which the pair fawned over the obscure-even-to-their-own-family Australian band, Taco Leg. Test Fest is Fan Death's annual marquee event, now in its third year. It started out at College Park's WMUC radio station, where the pair still host a radio show every Tuesday night. Last year it was a two-evening affair at D.C.'s Velvet Lounge, but the 2010 edition is moving north to Baltimore. It will be just one night but cover two stages at Sonar and host more than a dozen bands, all varieties of sludgy, screechy and scuzzy.

The folks at Express and Baltimore City Paper have already gotten deep with Fan Death's Sean Gray about what they love and what they hate. So Click Track decided to tackle Test Fest from a different angle -- the baseball angle.

"Most music is stupid," Gray says, matter-of-factly, the only way he can say anything. "I'd rather watch sports than go to most shows. I had offers to book this the week later, but baseball starts then. I am no jock, but then again, I'd rather be into sports then into record collecting. I have much more respect for someone that can get me stats on a shortstop then someone who owns all the pressings of the Void/Faith split."

So in honor of the impending start of baseball season, we've assembled a Test Fest starting nine. After the jump read a brief description of nine bands, their MLB dopplegangers and enjoy an MP3. It will probably be more enjoyable than the Orioles 2010 campaign. That's Gray's squad and he has low expectations.

"Tejada, what the [expletive] was that? Yeah we needed a third baseman, but really? Lugo might have been a smart move, but nothing Earth shattering."

But can you diss a current lo-fi movement in your Orioles analysis, Sean?

"Our bullpen - that's sadder than OK-looking girls in a band that sounds like the Beach Boys filtered through a [expletive] reverb pedal. Worthless and embarrassing for everyone involved. But I do believe we will go .500 this year. Oh, and for the record, Peter Angelos is the worst person in the world. Even a chair can run the team better than he can. I love my O's, though, we will one day get back to the O's way."


(Sluggers and MP3s, after the jump.)

[Expletive] Jeans: Massive, blustery noise rockers from Pennsylvania that swings for the fences with each tune.

Baseball comparison: Philadelphia Phillies moonshot king Ryan Howard

"Dream Smotherer" - [Expletive] Jeans

Psychedelic Horse[expletive]: Bratty, schizophrenic band that sometimes writes great deranged pop songs, other times just messes around and makes noise to satisfy their own desires, if even that.

Baseball comparison: Noted troublemaker and mouther-offer Milton Bradley

"Unseen Voids" - Psychedelic Horse[expletive]

Birds of Maya: Nothing groundbreaking, just a modern update on '60s garage rock stuff but done better than pretty much all of the other imitators.

Baseball comparison: Ho-hum, 30 home run/100 RBI year-in-year-out slugger Carlos Lee

"Regulation" - Birds of Maya

Home Blitz: Criminally overlooked pop-savant who has toiled in obscurity but has songs that can match up to the best of what passes for lo-fi greatness these days.

Baseball comparison: Toiling in obscurity Padres superstar Adrian Gonzalez

"Two Steps" - Home Blitz

DNA Test Fest

Lamps: Gritty and all out at all times. Crashing and crunching with abandon.

Baseball comparison: Noted outfield fence crasher Aaron Rowand

"Dog Catcher" - Lamps

Sightings: Crackling, screeching, bleeping avant-garde barrages of noise. Hard to know what you're going to get from song to song.

Baseball comparison: Side-arming, occasionally wild Cubs closer Carlos Marmol who has a habit of keeping the Wrigley faithful and Lou Pinella on the edge of their seats before closing the deal.

"Tar and Pine" - Sightings

Twin Stumps: In the same vein as [Expletive] Jeans - ferociously loud and confrontational - perhaps even more unhinged.

Baseball comparison: All-or-nothing power hitter Russell Branyan

"Missing Persons" - Twin Stumps

Neon Blud: Tampa newcomers who manage to combine the seemingly disparate sounds of garage-pop and sludge-rock.

Baseball comparison: Top prospect and soon-to-be Rays power/speed star Desmond Jennings

"[Title Unknown]" - Neon Blud

The Chickens: Cult favorites within their small scene in Philadelphia, side project of FNU Ronnies; workingman's rock-and-roll.

Baseball comparison: Phillies catcher and postseason hero Carlos Ruiz

"Systematic Desensitization" - The Chickens

By David Malitz  |  April 2, 2010; 12:30 PM ET
Categories:  Local news  | Tags: DNA Test Fest, Fan Death Records, Home Blitz, Neon Blud, Psychedelic Horse[expletive], Sightings, [Expletive] Jeans  
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This is an excellent post. It is good to know that O's fans from all walks of life feel the same way about Peter Angelos.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | April 2, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

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