EZTV, Romantic States
2549 North Howard Street
Baltimore, MD, 21218
Doors 7:30 PM / Show 8:30 PM
This event is all ages
Ex Hex is Mary Timony, Laura Harris, and Betsy Wright. They are a power trio hailing from Washington, DC, making the music you’ve been waiting for. Drums, bass, guitar, P90s, searing leads—this is unapologetic rock ’n’ roll spat out in the discipline’s mother tongue.
Mary found Laura Harris (The Aquarium, Benjy Ferree) and they hit it off immediately. Laura is a monster on drums: intuitive, solid, and just a bit rough around the edges. The pair played together for a couple of months in a tiny carpet-lined practice space shared with half a dozen hardcore bands and what appeared to be the better part of a B.C. Rich Mockingbird.
In walked Betsy Wright from the wilds of Virginia. She and Mary have similar tendencies, both defaulting to denim and The Voidoids. Betsy is a performer and an ace piano player, and before long, she was slinging a cherry SG as the third member of Ex Hex.
The group played a handful of shows and a couple of months later, in the spring of 2014, headed into the studio. Working furiously, they recorded over the span of two weeks in North Carolina with Mitch Easter (Let’s Active) and in the basement of Mary’s home with frequent collaborator Jonah Takagi. Bobby Harlow (The Go, Conspiracy of Owls) was tapped to mix because of his unique take on making rock records.
What results is Ex Hex Rips, twelve songs about underdogs, guys stealing your wallet, schoolyard brawls, and getting bent. The record happens pretty quickly, so don’t blink.
Ezra Tenenbaum reeled Michael Stasiak into the band when he told Michael that his new songs sounded a little bit like Teenage Fanclub, and that he needed a drummer that could play like Jody Stephens from Big Star—after a bit of flattery like that, how could he refuse?
But even though Ezra, bassist Shane O’Connell, and Michael all share a deep love for Chilton and Bell, there are plenty of other wonderful bands and songwriters that echo from inside of Ezra’s songs (which he writes and demos in his bedroom like you or I breathe). EZTV has a whole lot of affection for Midwest power poppers like Shoes and Dwight Twilley, but also a definite love for left-of-the-dial bands from across the pond like Orange Juice and The Go-Betweens. Ezra’s chiming guitar riffs ring perfectly within classic pop song structures, while Shane and Michael provide groovy, dynamic rhythm and keep the sneaky hooks and riffs clicking like the gears of a fine watch.
On its fifth album, Baltimore’s Romantic States light a small yet inextinguishable fire. "Corduroy In Italy" captures the minimalist rock group’s undefeatable spirit. It is nothing new for a small duo like Romantic States to sound huge, as they often do. But it is rare to hear a twosome like this. Drummer Ilenia Madelaire and guitarist Jim Triplett (they both sing) have a considerate collaboration that does not hide the beauty of simplicity. There is a seamless responsiveness in their playing. This is music made with soulful intent, inspired by those who prefer one note over two.
$16 advance/ $18 day of show