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    The Wham City Collective Brings Its Crazy Genius

    The dimly lit basement of Baltimore's Bell Foundry building is out ofan early '80s hardcore show. Pocked concrete walls tagged everywhereand with everything -- "kill cops," for example -- weird dark little alcoves of dust and foundation debris, a long steep bomb shelterstaircase, cheap beer and whiskey, and all underneath some kind oflabyrinthine ex-industrial building in a dark pocket of midtown Baltimore. Onstage, however, are Dan Deacon and fellow Wham City collective member Connor Kizer (of the Santa Dads costume-pop duo) dressed as bumbling cops doing an improv skit -slyly riffing on a TheWire storyline - that could've held water with the State or, hell, Kids In the Hall, at their best. This is Thursday's opening night of the Wham City comedy tour, the Baltimore art collective's first non-music outing since 2007's Jurassic Park send-up/mash-note (sorry if you missed that).

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    After 25 Years, Vaselines' Return Worth the Wait

    The Vaselines are one-quarter jokesters, another quarter dry sarcastic wit, and all the rest, rough-hewn indie-pop gold -- some imperfect alloy of garage, twee, and power pop, famously beloved (and covered) by Nirvana's Kurt Cobain. They're the sort of band that can live on a shelf for almost 25 years and reappear to a near-full 1,100 person room in Washington D.C.

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    Chromeo Launch New Album Tour in D.C.

    "Oooh, Oh, Chrome-ee-oh, Oooh, Oh, Chrome-ee-oh," a sold-out room of fans at Washington D.C.'s 9:30 Club chant-sang Monday night as a bank of lights to put Justice to shame came to life and the space-disco intro music to 2007's Fancy Footwork came through the P.A. Ostensibly, this was the kick-off to the ace party-funk duo's 22-date North American Business Casual tour, heralding the upcoming release of Chromeo's overdue third release this September. But fans got just a taste of that record -- three songs; still, no one seemed particularly disappointed that the pair was more into reminding the room just how many hits they'd amassed in a mere two records. They hit hard at the outset with Fancy Footwork jam "Outta Sight," a punchy boogie lit up with a mean Moog solo from P-Thugg in the middle.

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    The Dead Weather Kick Off Club Tour in D.C.

    It was a full-on pagan rock'n'roll ritual. The altar: one of the best rock venues in the country, Washington's D.C.'s 9:30 Club. Onstage, four stuffed goat's heads were mounted on the Dead Weather's lighting gear, staring out at the sold-out room. A giant glowing eye, a trick of painted curtain and clever light, peered down at the room from near the rafters. Smoke hissed out from sidestage, hanging a milky haze through the crowd. Then the four-piece supergroup of Jack White, the Kills' Alison Mosshart, Queens of the Stone Age's Dean Fertita, and Raconteur Jack Lawrence started playing. Slowly. So began the Dead Weather's summer club tour.

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    Of Montreal Kick Off East Coast Tour

    "We hope you like all the rock'n'roll versions of these songs," said frontman Kevin Barnes, three songs into Of Montreal's 80-minute set at Baltimore's Rams Head Live Monday night. "All of the computers are put away for the night." And then the six piece (including one member doing tripped-out visuals) lunged into a, yes, rock version of "Du Og Meg," which felt like a steroid-pumped take on the 2007 tune. Even by Of Montreal's colorful, verging-on-cartoony pop standards, the set -- the first of this winter's quick eastern U.S.

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    Animal Collective's Deacon Makes Solo Debut

    Baltimore's Ottobar is a cozy space, its walls lacquered with black paint, yellowing punk posters, water stains, and rock history -- the last of which made it an especially fitting venue for the barely-hyped solo debut of Maryland lad-done-good Josh Dibb, better known as Deacon, a founding member of Animal Collective. Deacon -- who hasn't been an active member of the band since 2006 -- used the New Year's Day gig as a test run for songs he's been preparing for a limited edition CD release and a trip to Mali, both of which are part of his efforts to help abolish slavery in the African nation. So while Animal Collective's 2009 opus, Merriweather Post Pavilion -- SPIN's Album of the Year -- was a career-making effort, Deacon's solo set Friday night offered a glimpse into an alternate reality where AC hadn't blown up into the stratosphere: Only a few college-aged Animal Collective fans pop

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    The Cranberries Reunite After Six Years

    Numerous bouquets of flowers made their way from audience to stage Thursday night in Baltimore as the Cranberries played their first U.S.

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    Clone of The Cranberries Reunite After Six Years (do not delete)

    Numerous bouquets of flowers made their way from audience to stage Thursday night in Baltimore as the Cranberries played their first U.S.

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