Smoke Up Johnny.
THICK SYRUP BIRTHDAY SHOW
9 p.m., White Water Tavern. $7.
“We're getting older ... but much louder.” That's Travis McElroy's motto heading into the fourth anniversary of his label
, which he says has evolved into what he always wanted it to be: “indie rock, noise.” To that broad end, he's released albums by the diverse local likes of Browningham (Michael McDonald-style keyboard pop), Frown Pow'r (Hasil Adkins gone pop), San Antokyo (cowpunk) and The Weisenheimers (bubblegum garage). And, for the last several years, his label's been the home to Baltimore avant-pop cult heroes David and Jad Fair, most famous for their band Half Japanese. Coming up, McElroy promises new projects from the Fairs, including the soundtrack to “The Middle Man,” a film David is behind, and a box set of covers of David's Coo Coo Rockin' Time “Coo Coo Party Time” album. As for local releases, McElroy hopes to net enough at this show to put out new records by Sweet Eagle and Wicked Good (which includes current and former members of American Princes, Moving Front and Smoke Up Johnny) and to master the final Smoke Up Johnny album. He shouldn't have any problem packing the house. Along with avant-noise rockers Androids of Ex-Lovers
and local superstars Brother Andy and His Big Damn Mouth
(read all about 'em in this Q&A
), the much-beloved bar rock kings Smoke Up Johnny
reunite for the occasion. Plus, two filmmakers, one of whom is an editor for Paste Magazine, will be on hand as part of a project they're calling “40 Nights of Rock 'n' Roll,” where they're traveling 14,000 miles to film the likes of Ratt, The Shout-Out Louds and Drive By-Truckers in a quest to prove that rock's not dead.