ELM Album Release Show

The 8×10, Baltimore, MD

Friday, Oct. 4th, 2013

written by Andrew Brown

photos by Kindones Photography

On Friday October 4th, we here at Appalachian Jamwich were enthralled to be apart of the festivities ensued following the release ELM’s debut album Xenophonex. The setting: the infamous two story, corner purple venue down Cross St., Baltimore’s famed 8×10 club. It still amazes me the events which have transpired over the years for this night to have even occurred. When I think about ELM, I think about friends, family and a rich musical history. Add two bands together, with a brand new lead singer, and you have the foundation of ELM. Not long ago, the band performed under the name Segway. At that point, the band had only one of the founding members of Segway left, drummer Steve O Gorsuch. Steve O then added keyboardist Jon Brady and bassist Colin Rappa, previously of the Baltimore band Jesters of Kindness, into his already well-established local band. The vocalist/guitarist, Jon Wood, was the final addition before Segway was to change their name and transition their sound into what is now ELM. Once Jon Wood was set into the band, the chemistry seemed to click instantaneously on stage. Now that their debut album has been released, the band is a super tight, funk driven, Electric Love Machine of the highest caliber. 


  To fully experience the magic of the night, the best way to journey through this sonic escapade is to describe the events which transpired as a four part play. 

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    Act One: The night began at 8 pm with local Dj Soohan (Whohan?!?) taking to the stage.  Behind him, the stage was draped  from the ceiling to the floor with three cloth banners, created by the Baltimore clothing production team Proper Playground, individually labeled E,L,&M. Soohan’s first set was to consist of old school hip-hop acapellas layered over downtempo r&b and popular rock anthems. Personally, I found myself most attracted to his mix of the “So Fresh, So Clean” acapella by Outkast over the rhythm of Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android”, later transitioning using the unmistakeable sounds of Marvin Gaye. Although Soohan’s set fit the mood perfectly, the dance floor was devoid of the freaks and creatures that have become accustomed to these nightly gatherings. As Ten O’Clock rolled around, those…things….you know, the ones that go bump in the night, They were now ready and ELM hit the stage. 


    Act Two: ELM started out the night by playing “Hattori Hanzo”, the first track of their album Xenophonex. Their first set unfolded beautifully as the album was played the entire way through. While dancing ensued downstairs, patrons were in awe of the inspirational synergy between live painters Renee Webber and Liz Hu upstairs. The moment which set the room into an euphoric uproar ensued when two local horn players joined the band on stage for an improvisational rendition of the catchy single “Electronica”. As the saxophonist and trumpeter introduced their warmly welcomed flair, they broke down their respective parts beautifully. If any words could be used to describe this monumental sweep of emotion at that time, it felt as though disco jazz was born. To wrap up the first set, the group finished their first set playing “Dr. Destructo” into “Replica”.

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     Act Three: During the intermission, Soohan came back on stage to spin for another half hour. His second set consisted of popular acapellas layered over heavy bass anthems. Within his second set, the rhythmic energy set in place was a welcomed surprise. As we tried to guess each song to come next, two songs I hadn’t thought would seamlessly blend together worked as Soohan set “Amber” by 311 over top of “Basshead” by Bassnectar. During his final set of the night, as lively people gyrated on the dance floor, Soohan (Whohan?!?) intuitively played to his crowd well as he control the tempo of the evening with ease. 


   Act Four: ELM’s second set was packed with a potpourri of well performed covers from a multitude of genres. The set seemed to highlight each members technical expertise. Where their first set introduces ELM formally, the second set allows the band to demonstrate their sonic range. The set starts off with a rendition of “Expect Death” by !!!  and later transitions into tribute to the Godfather of Soul, Mr. James Brown, with a beautiful execution of “Superbad” into “Sex Machine”. During the final song of their last set, the band brings out two vocalists, the lovely Sarah Boan and Jayne Harris, on stage to perform Lorde’s “Royals”. As if this was not the perfect ending to an amazing set, little did everyone know, the night was not to stop here. For their encore, ELM had an ace up their sleeves, finishing the night playing “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath, sung by vocalist Sarah Boan.

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    As we walked away, we reminisced over the night that we wished would never end. A roller coaster of a sonic adventure, of loving family and new friends. While old memories were endeared by those who attended, new memories no doubt will follow.


To experience the night for yourself check out:






and to find your unique cosmic armament, find Proper Playground at: