Recommended by Mac Pogue
Part performance artist, part totalitarian dictator, Ed Schrader is maybe one of the more outré acts to come from weird Baltimore (among the likes of syllabic screamers Ponytail and modern-day pigfuck practitioners Dope Body). Schrader and his Music Beat, while superficially working in the realm of nervy punks like Devo, belong in a category of new minimalism with the likes of Majical Cloudz and Little Joy-era My Disco. Live, the Music Beat experience is that of Schrader incanting bizarre Mark E. Smith-worthy stories while banging on a lit-up floor tom, accompanied by nerdy hesher Devin Rice. The effect is invigorating, forcing viewers to parse each note of their primal rhythms and Schrader's drunken/drugged/all-too-sober screeds. The motormouth megalomaniac Schrader consumes the room, focusing all attention on him, and the experience couldn't be more exciting.