September is shaping up as a trip in the Wayback Machine for this former rock critic.
First, the Bottle Rockets of Festus, Missouri are coming to the Washington DC metro area on their 15th anniversary tour on Saturday, September 6th. (The gig is at the Iota Club in Northern Virginia; no advance tickets.) They're only doing 15 shows this year, so this is a special event.
The Rockets just finished recording a new record that finds them reunited with Eric "Roscoe" Ambel -- who produced three classic Rockets' records: The Brooklyn Side, 24 Hours a Day and Brand New Day. Since I've known leader Brian Henneman and drummer Mark Ortmann even longer than those 15 years (it'll be 20 years on New Year's Eve, when I saw them tear up the legendary Cicero's Basement Bar in St. Louis as Chicken Truck), it's going to be a thrill to see them again...
The Rockets, however, still exist. An even bigger September surprise for me is the imminent one-night only reunion of Baltimore's raffish punk melodians Liquor Bike on Friday, September 26 at the Ottobar in Charm City. The Bike's guitarist/vocalist David Koslowski got in touch recently to let me know about the gig, and I helped out a bit with the snazzy press kit that he's assembled to hype the show. (There are photos/mp3s and other stuff...) It's the first time they've played since another one-off reunion in 1998 which I witnessed in all its shambolic grandeur. Ten years, man. Time fades away.
The Bike put out three killler records -- Lowborne, Neon Hoop Ride and The Beauty of Falling Apart -- before falling apart themselves in the late 1990s. They're still my fave Baltimore band of all time -- equal parts songcraft and fury. Their September 26 gig also kicks off an exhibit of photos and flyers from the 1990s Baltimore scene which will also be featured at Ottobar.
Circle the date for a Baltimore road trip: Friday, September 26.