NOISE: AN ARTS BLOG

No Trivia: How white people have gentrified the word 'gentrification'

How do you define "gentrification"? There is the "official" definition, here cribbed from the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary website: "the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents."...

See who's competing in Sound Off Live! for a spot at Artscape

Every year the organizers of Artscape bring a bevy of musicians to the city's massive outdoor arts festival. In more recent years, local bands have had the chance to take the stage through an...

Clicking and Streaming: 'Fried Green Tomatoes' and 'Bridesmaids,' two films that pass The Bechdel Test

When it comes to film, representations of women are for the most part, epic fails. They're almost always afforded roles like a flatly characterized romantic partner or their actions and emotions are...

Finding substance in the minimalist Gedi Sibony sculpture 'All Her Teeth Are Made of Slate'

A photo of Gedi Sibony's sculpture 'All Her Teeth Are Made of Slate' from the Baltimore Museum of Art's Contemporary Wing has been the background picture on my phone for about a year. Every time I...

Comparing Barack Obama's thoughts on 'The Wire' with those of Baltimore officials

The White House released a video yesterday in which Barack Obama talks with David Simon about "The Wire," Simon's five-season drama dissecting the many institutional problems in big American cities,...

Kwame Kwei-Armah and Center Stage's 'Marley' has its lead: 'The Voice' alum Mitchell Brunings

A day after rehearsals began for Kwame Kwei-Armah's "Marley," a musical based on the life of reggae legend Bob Marley, Center Stage publicly announced the performer who will play the musician:...

City Paper at SXSW: Sun Club tries out some new material, and we're digging the glockenspiel

Baltimore's Sun Club had two official showcases at this year's South by Southwest Music Conference, but the audience for the second showcase was limited by circumstances beyond the band's control. The...

City Paper at SXSW: 'Landfill Harmonic' offers the irresistible story of children learning music on instruments made from garbage

Hundreds of documentary films are released each year and only a few are ever screened in a theater—and fewer still are ever shown for more than a few days. "Landfill Harmonic" has a good...

City Paper at SXSW: Neil Young discusses remastering his dystopian sci-fi flick 'Human Highway'

When Neil Young answered questions about the release of his 1982 film "Human Highway" at the South by Southwest Film Festival Thursday evening, he didn't make any great claims for the movie, but he...

On the spectators in Manet's 'The Café-Concert' and art openings as gatherings for the sake of gathering

Of the "passionate spectator," or flâneur, Charles Baudelaire wrote, ". . . We might liken him to a mirror as vast as the crowd itself; or to a kaleidoscope gifted with consciousness, responding...

Cohesion Theatre tells a beguiling tale of true love and a curse in '13 Dead Husbands'

Tom Horan's "13 Dead Husbands" has been described as "darkly comedic" by the Cohesion Theatre, now presenting the play as a Baltimore premiere. But it's more accurately...

'She's Beautiful When She's Angry,' screening tonight at the Creative Alliance, has some important lessons for modern feminists

"We were angry. Maybe the anger is what carried us through and made us fearless," says Alice Wolfson, an activist who was a member of D.C. Women's Liberation and The Daughters of Lilith collective, as...

City Paper at SXSW: Down in Austin, music is something of a family business

Austin music is becoming a family business. Parents are passing down to their children songwriter/performer brand names as if they were used-car lots, drug stores, or Italian restaurants. The kids...

City Paper at SXSW: San Fermin succeeds in fusing classical and pop where so many others have failed

The history of blending classical music and rock 'n' roll is a story of blunders and stumbles. If it's not symphony orchestras turning rock hits into middle-of-the-road, easy-listening pops concerts,...

City Paper at SXSW: The doc 'Deep Web' is a deeply dishonest look at the Silk Road online marketplace

"Deep Web," which had its world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival this week, is a deeply dishonest movie, for it tries to pass off right-wing entitlement as left-wing rebellion. This...

Bandcamp enables our vinyl addiction, and that's OK when we come across things like CP/M's 'Hang'

Hello, my name is Bret, and I'm a record junky. (Hi, Bret.) I thought I had my habit under control in my 40s, but I think I've merely found a substitute. I no longer accidentally stop by the record...

Live Review: Björk bares her wounds to overwhelming effect at Carnegie Hall

"What's fertile in a wound? Why dwell in one?" writer Leslie Jamison asks in her beautiful essay "Grand...

City Paper at SXSW: The music doc 'Mavis!' lets the powerful performances do the talking

Like the Maryland Film Festival, the South by Southwest Film Festival follows each screening by a discussion with the movie's creative team. After SXSW presented the world premiere of "Mavis!" on...

City Paper at SXSW: Gurf Morlix brings a now-or-never urgency to the CD release party for his new album

Before Bobby Womack and then the Rolling Stones turned it into a romantic-ultimatum pop song, 'The Last Time' was a bluesy gospel song performed by many church quartets, most famously by the Blind...

City Paper at SXSW: Praise for two documentaries on renowned artists, 'The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson' and 'The Salt of the Earth'

The first film to be screened during the 2015 South by Southwest Film Festival was "The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson" on Friday afternoon. If you're a rock fan of a certain age and a certain...

No Trivia: Dan Deacon and the unbearable lightness of bleeping b/w Yung Jake and Matic808's web purges

Supposedly, synthesizers are cold, dead things—electronic instruments you poke and manipulate that emit bleeps and bloops. Not-"real" sounds from a not-"real" instrument, because well,...

On 'Unnatural Ways,' guitarist Ava Mendoza showcases her indelible way of blending genres and sound

"Guitar god," like "compassionate conservatism" or "dance punk," is a dated term to use in 2015: It brings to mind some spandex- or leather-clad dude—and inevitably a dude—legs spread,...

An 11-year-old superfan interviews comedian Brian Regan about eating doughnuts, working on movies, and more

My son Watson is a Brian Regan superfan. "Mom, Brian Regan is just about the best comedian there ever was," he informed me on the way to school the other morning. Because he's 11, he doesn't have that...

Wolfgang Tillmans' 'Dan' at the BMA shakes the viewer while revealing so little

The human body is both excessively revered and despised. We take so much pride in our bodies that we imagine God as having the same white, male form. We value certain bodies so much that we make...

High-profile soloists, new concert series among highlights of BSO's upcoming centennial season

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's upcoming centennial season will include high-profile soloists such as cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Joshua Bell, specially commissioned new music, a multimedia...

Just a reminder on 3/11 Day that one time in 2005 311 and Scott Stapp brawled in Baltimore

It sounds more like something generated by some music-savvy meme machine than real life, hitting all kind of sweet spots for LULZ, but never forget that on Thanksgiving Day in 2005, Creed's Scott...

Live review: Eric Church's Verizon Center set waffles between bro-country and rootsy rock, and only one truly stands out

Eric Church is a talented fellow. Tuesday night at the Verizon Center in Washington, the country superstar showed off a terrific tenor voice, a charismatic stage presence, and a crackerjack Southern-...

Q&A: Hannibal Buress talks 'Broad City,' dogs, death, and more

In anticipation of the Baltimore stop on his Comedy Comisado Tour at the Lyric this Friday, we connected with stand-up comedian, co-host of Adult Swim's "The Eric Andre Show," cool dude Lincoln on...

Clicking and Streaming: 'Friends' is part Gen-X shit-bag time capsule, part sci-fi New York where 9/11 didn't happen

A proposition: Here are the only three ways to watch "Friends," the NBC sitcom about six white buddies living in Manhattan, which aired from 1994-2004 (streaming on Netflix in its 10-season-long...

Renga Ensemble packs a lot of thought and jazz history into its music, but it's just plain gorgeous

Fifty-three seconds into 'The Second Renga (Ken)' somebody laid me on my ass. One of the six reeds players in James Falzone's Renga...

Local duo Romantic States delivers subtly sneaky surprises on its minimalist self-titled cassette

On paper, the ingredients of local duo Romantic States shouldn't work together at all. Start with a base of the plodding don't-do-...

Three depictions of the god Mercury in Baltimore and thoughts on transportation and the end of the American Century

I've written before about the sculpture on the facade of the old B&O Railroad building at 2 N. Charles St., and how it reminds me of my favorite passage in the "Odyssey," where the bard Demodocus...

This year's Preakness InfieldFest will be headlined by Armin van Buuren and Childish Gambino

Trance DJ Armin van Buuren and rapper Childish Gambino, the musical project of actor and comedian Donald Glover, will headline this year's Preakness InField Fest, the annual boozy party and concert...

Schwarz and Ehse Records team up for dance label Nina Pop Records

Last month, Baltimore club virtuoso Schwarz announced his new dance label, Nina Pop, with the release of "Up In The Club EP," ...

Talking about our feelings: On masculinity, Nirvana, and Robert Motherwell's 'Africa' at the BMA

Robert Motherwell's 'Africa' is a large black-and-white painting of a bridge from the point of view of something much smaller, such as a wading bird. Or maybe, with its sinewy shapes, 'Africa' is more...

Live review: Marty Ehrlich and Michael Formanek bring a perfect balance between dissonance and melody

The upstairs room at Bertha's is a hidden gem among Baltimore's live-music venues. Half the size of the similarly jewel-like An Die Musik, this former dance studio on the second-and-a-half floor...

Live review: Kat Edmonson and Robert Ellis offer dynamic takes on jazz at Rams Head On Stage

Kat Edmonson and Robert Ellis, who brought their tour to Annapolis Tuesday night, are Houston singers with the same final initial and current Brooklyn addresses. But they share something even more...

Live review: Saxophonist Oliver Lake finds suitable foils in Lafayette Gilchrist and Michael Formanek

Oliver Lake is best known as a co-founder of the World Saxophone Quartet; his punctuated lines of blues-y eighth notes contrasted with the longer, warmer lines of fellow altoist Julius Hemphill....

No Trivia: Baltimore's Top 10 Most Desirable Singles! Chiffon! War On Women! Abdu Ali! Lower Dens!

Oh boy, so earlier this week Baltimore Magazine released a list of the "top 20 bachelors and bachelorettes in...

'Out of the Blue,' Dennis Hopper's bleak, cult punk-rock flick at the Charles Theatre on Thursday

Early on in Dennis Hopper's "Out of the Blue," teenaged Cebe (Linda Manz) observes that her fathers, Johnny Rotten, Sid Vicious, and Elvis Presley, have abandoned her, in that order. To her, the men...

Kacey Musgraves' Valentine's Day show at Rams Head Live harkens back to country's roots

A Kacey Musgraves show is not a bad place to be on Valentine's Day. Rams Head Live was packed with beautiful women Saturday night, painted up and pumped to see the sultry songstress and modern-day...

So, this list contains two trashy early '90s sex noirs, two queer avant-garde classics, and two movies in which women lop the dicks off their dude lovers, so, not bad. Not to mention a...

Chiffon releases a futuristic R&B jam, 'Venerable,' just in time for Valentine's Day

Just in time for Valentine's Day, there's a new track from Chiffon, the kitchen-sink R&B duo of Amy Reid and Chase O'Hara. 'Venerable' pushes the genre-jumping sophistication of last year's "Marble...

Listen to the new Dan Deacon song 'Learning to Relax'

We are only a few weeks away from the release of "Gliss Riffer," the latest album from Dan Deacon. But if you can't wait that long, listen to the latest single from the album, 'Learning To Relax,' a...

No Trivia: Anonymous art with Donut, Angry Kevin, and OCDJ

Last week, I noticed graffers Donut and Bogus had tagged the hell out of artist Michael Owen's mural, 'One Day At a Time.' Scrawled across the bottom of Owen's 35-foot tall mural on Maryland Avenue...

Craig Ferguson talks about leaving 'The Late Late Show,' why he won't be singing, and more before his Sunday show at the Meyerhoff

Craig Ferguson has been the host of the Peabody Award-winning "The Late Late Show" on CBS for 10 years, but it's enough already, and so he’s out on the road telling jokes and eventually he's...

The much-hated 'Male/Female' statue at Penn Station is in fact Baltimore's kinkiest artwork

The sexiest things always feel "wrong" on some level—like fooling around in a church, rough sex, weird porn, or using various orifices or bodily fluids for something other than their intended...

Zane Campell's self-titled album, about death, family, and fast food, is out today

Today, maddeningly slept-on songwriter and local hero of weird country Zane Campbell released his self-titled album, produced by City Paper contributor Travis Kitchens and backed by a band featuring...

Clicking and Streaming: Films scored by the late Edgar Froese and Tangerine Dream

Edgar Froese, founder of Tangerine Dream, died last week, and part of his legacy was an impact on film scoring that has yet to be fully unpacked. Along with John Carpenter, Giorgio Moroder, Vangelis,...

No Trivia: 'There are no more good rock bands!' Maybe listen to Priests, Sleater-Kinney, and Wildhoney

"Where'd all the rock bands go?" your ding-dong of a friend'll ask you as he pulls the ghost of Jimmy Page's peen out of his mouth and climbs across the recliner to crank up the stereo and get the Led...

True Directions, a lesbian/queer feminist film series, is a fun way to build community. Check it out this Sunday

Sara Lautman wanted to screen just one movie: "Freeway II: Confessions of a Trickbaby," a 1999 film featuring Natasha Lyonne and Vincent Gallo that tracked the escapades of two women on the run from a...

Lower Dens announces third album, 'Escape From Evil,' due out in March. Hear 'To Die in L.A.'

Local kraut-rocky indie group Lower Dens is set to release its third album, "Escape from Evil," on March 31 via Ribbon Music. It's the band's first album since the delightful, Kraftwerk-indebted...

Alleged serial rapist and comedy legend Bill Cosby is still set to play the Lyric in March, two weeks after Hannibal Buress

On March 27, to be exact. Tickets are still on sale on The Lyric's website and a representative for the...

In 'Blackhat,' Thor trades Mjölnir for continental philosophy in Michael Mann's latest

We first encounter Nick Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth) in a maximum-security prison cell, where the erstwhile MIT student and anarchic brogrammer makes the most of his time, as he later explains, by...

Check out the awesome new video for Wet Brain's 'Waitress'

Watch as our heroes in Wet Brain run the eponymous Chez Wet Brain (which you might recognize as The Windup Space), an all-spaghetti restaurant patronized by gluttonous uppity assholes. Then watch with...

The Lexington Market subway station's mosaics are the rare example of good public art in Baltimore

Baltimore is a city with great public life. We're also a city that's known for having great art. So it's downright confusing that the majority of our public art is underwhelming, predictable, or...

'American Sniper': Gun-toting religious fanatic wages holy war in Clint Eastwood's old-fashioned, politically naive Chris Kyle biopic

A gun-toting religious fanatic waging a holy war. Sound familiar? Maybe when talking about the Charlie Hebdo massacre, not so much Chris Kyle, self-branded "most lethal sniper in U.S. history" and...

Metalhead record shop Black Mess Records is closing its doors at the end of the month

Local record store Black Mess Records announced on Facebook that Jan. 31 would be its last day in its...

Tangled up in blue, a sublime color of mystery and distance

Before I get going, I recommend opening up this YouTube link to Derek Jarman's film "Blue" in a...

A sneak peek at this year's A389 Bash, which kicks off tonight

Veteran purveyors of all things dark and heavy, A389 Recordings return this year with a scaled-down but still-crucial edition of their annual A389 Bash. A tradition that is now over a decade strong,...

After skipping 2014, Scapescape returns this summer

Following last year's absence, Scapescape, the multiday fete of local music and just one...

Watch the appropriately stoney video for Nerftoss track 'Corner Prophet'

We've already told you about the "confident...

Clicking and Streaming: 'The Nine Lives of Marion Barry' and 'Happy,' two knotty documentaries

"The Nine Lives of Marion Barry"

Q&A: Weyes Blood discusses her time in Baltimore, Flannery O'Connor, and early 20s disillusionment. See her Sunday at The Crown

Natalie Mering, aka Weyes Blood, the well-traveled, Pennsylvania-bred, and now Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter, sings like a '60s American folk poet or medieval bard who has seen the 21st century....

Stream the new Wildhoney track 'Sleep Through It,' see the band's LP release show at The Crown on Jan. 23

Baltimore four-piece Wildhoney, through projects such as 2013's self-titled EP and last year's "Seventeen" EP, mixes genres in a way that's unique to the city's noise-rock scene. Though guitarist...

Check out the selfie-tastic video for The Sneaks' latest song, 'D.A.M.B.'

Pardon our post-holidays malaise, for we are only just now getting around to telling you about the new video for 'D.A.M.B.,' or Don't Ask Me 'Bout, the latest song from electronic rockers The Sneaks.

'Foxcatcher' is a rigidly surreal masterpiece of sustained dread

"Foxcatcher," a viscous movie about the myth of American exceptionalism, really gets going when down-on-his-luck Olympic gold-medal-winning wrestling lug Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and John du Pont...

Finding a sense of isolation and anxiety in Alberto Giacometti's 'Man Pointing' at the BMA

I first started thinking about the sculptures of Alberto Giacometti when I moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, more than 20 years ago now. Space, in the arid high desert, seemed so much different than...

Top 10 people Dan Rodricks should unblock on Twitter

Sun columnist and

Ranking the Covers of Future Islands' 'Seasons (Waiting On You)'

From a crazily crappy karaoke take to a blunted soul-rap remix from BadBadNotGood, City Paper listens to every cover, remix, refix, music-video riff, and mash-up of Future Islands' 'Seasons (Waiting...

A comprehensive roundup of outlets leeching off Justin Fenton's tweets of 'The Wire' locales, then and now

On Friday, Sun crime and courts reporter and Best of Baltimore Hall of Famer Justin Fenton took time...

Baltimore reflects on 'The Wire's' legacy as #TheWireMarathon kicks off

When I talked to Laura Lippman, David Simon's wife, about her book "After I'm Gone" last February, she noted how strange it was to "hear so much 'Wire' lingo in day-to-day life from strangers who have...

Art Fart: Nick Cave's 'Soundsuit' at the BMA

We’d really like to know how Nick Cave decorates his Christmas tree. His 2013 'Soundsuit' in the Contemporary wing at the Baltimore Museum of Art is packed with as much domestic...

A three-word review of 'The Interview'

Well, that sucked.

'Pooches at the Penthouse' offers an art exhibit both dogs and their owners can enjoy

Local dogs and their humans gathered at Penthouse Gallery in the Copycat building Friday night to celebrate the opening of "Pooches at the Penthouse," curated by Process Collective and Alloverstreet...

It's Gianna Bitch!: What's the proper way to use social media during moments of great upheaval? IDEK

I must be listening to too much Taylor Swift because when I was trying to write a column last week my mind was the blankest of ...

Live Review: Warren Wolf and Aaron Diehl bring the muscle of jazz improvisation to Mozart at An die Musik

A highlight of Baltimore vibraphonist Warren Wolf's "Wolfgang" album last year was the title track. Featuring Wolf's variations on a phrase in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Requiem," the piece was...

Clicking and Streaming: 'Zodiac' and 'Broadchurch,' two picks for 'Serial' fans and haters alike

"Serial" is a podcast in which host Sarah Koenig details her own investigation into a potential wrongful imprisonment. It is the biggest podcast of all time. Before reigning podcast champion and "Best...

No Trivia's Year in Music: The top 50 singles and 50 albums of 2014

News flash everybody: Lists are fucking awesome. They get a bad rep these days, because they're cranked out willy-nilly with no thought or energy put into them, but blame that on the lazy wet...

'Laura,' a smirking class satire masquerading as a film noir, plays at the Charles tomorrow and Monday

Who killed advertising superstar Laura Hunt? That's the question New York City detective McPherson (Dana Andrews) is trying to answer in this 1944 thriller. With his hat perpetually at a rakish tilt...

Art Fart: Edwin Lord Weeks, Edouard Vuillard, and making art from memory

Memory is weird. It is always somewhat flawed and distorted. It's a string of reconstructions. It's abstract and subjective, and it's all in your mind. For all of these reasons, I've always had an...

'Akira,' the beyond-reproach Japanese anime, plays at the Charles Theatre tonight

Try and imagine what the inevitable live-action Hollywood remake of "Akira" will look like: directed by some Hollywood worker bee after Darren Aronofsky is fired a few days in from a script written by...

Watch the beautifully animated video for the new Panda Bear song 'Boys Latin.' And yes, it's named for the school

Earlier this morning, Adult Swim premiered a beautifully animated and wonderfully trippy video for 'Boys Latin,' the second single from Baltimore-bred avant-pop musician and Animal Collective member...

No Trivia: D.C. rapper and Bmore favorite Shy Glizzy's 'Law 3' is a profile-raising plateau jump

Young Thug's batshit-crazy baby talk on 'Lifestyle'. I Love Makonnen's alone-in-the-shower howl on 'Tuesday.' Rae Sremmurd's castrato-hop on 'No Flex Zone.' Rap is in its weird-voice phase right now&...

Art Fart: Looking at one of the first nativity scenes, 'Isis with Horus the Child,' and remembering the true origins of Christmas

Since it is the season of dying and resurrecting wine gods, I wandered over to the Walters to see some of the Dionysus black-figure vase paintings. But when I got there, I was captivated by 'Isis with...

Book Review: Dawn Paley looks at the people on the ground in the War on Drugs in 'Drug War Capitalism'

Official accounts of the War on Drugs in Mexico, Central America, and Colombia tend to tell tales of massive cartels fighting each other over territory and trade routes. This narrative dominates our...

Dan Deacon's new album has a name, release date, and single. Watch the video for 'Feel the Lightning'

On Monday, local electronic music maestro Dan Deacon released a...

Dan Deacon to release new album in February

This morning, Dan Deacon posted a video to his Facebook page announcing that he'll release a new album in February. The caption says, "Footage from the recording sessions for the forthcoming Dan...

Clicking and Streaming: Two 'opium Westerns' from Monte Hellman

"The Shooting" / "Ride in the Whirlwind"

Live Review: Drummer Patrick Carney shows how the Black Keys pack a punch as a duo

Guitarist Dan Auerbach sings all the vocals, takes all the solos, and plays the fundamental riffs, so why is drummer Patrick Carney considered an equal half of the Black Keys?

The Baltimore Book Festival relocates to the Inner Harbor for good

After being forced to move from Mount Vernon to the Inner Harbor earlier this year due to the rehabilitation of the Washington Monument, the Baltimore...

Art Fart: Seeing Matisse's 'Large Reclining Nude' at the BMA and on the street

As I meandered through the BMA last weekend, Matisse's 'Large Reclining Nude' gave me a momentary flutter, a fleeting familiarity. I stood in front of it for a few minutes, trying to determine why...

How HBO mutilated 'The Wire' for its HD release

Great news: "The Wire" is being released in HD for the first time and will be available through HBO Go the day after Christmas and available to digitally purchase on Jan. 5 (a Blu-ray release is...

Clicking and Streaming: A families-are-terrible-themed holiday edition featuring 'Restaurant: Impossible,' 'In a World,' and 'I Am Love'

In this installment of "Clicking and Streaming," we have a few recommendations that all circle around the meaty theme of "families are incredibly, depressingly toxic," which is just perfect for the...

No Trivia: Baltimore and Ferguson, protest music, and the importance of shutting the hell up

The night before the announcement that Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old Mike Brown, would not be indicted, I drunkenly derailed City Paper’s...

Art Fart: The political power of Philip Guston's 'The Oracle,' on view at the Baltimore Museum of Art

If Philip Guston were alive today, he would shame us for attempting to escape the tragedy in Ferguson to bother ourselves with irrelevant art. So for this week's Art Fart, we bring you a painting...

Live Review: Focusing on mostly new material, Bob Dylan delivers an invigorating performance at DAR Constitution Hall

For years one of the pleasures of going to a Bob Dylan concert was the guessing game of "What will he play tonight?" It wasn't always easy to recognize the surprises, what with the new, flattened...

Holy shit, 3-D Jean-Luc Godard flick 'Goodbye to Language' to screen at the Senator Theatre

It's frustrating to a be film fan here in Baltimore. Not that that the community itself doesn't do all it can to create an exciting and fairly diverse series of screenings and events all the time...

Friends Records celebrates its fifth anniversary with a two-day bacchanalia of local music

Running a record label is hard—or so we imagine, because we've never actually tried to do it. Based on what we've heard from people who do, the enterprise requires hours for packaging records,...

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