NOISE: AN ARTS BLOG

Bassnectar, Above & Beyond headline this year's Moonrise Festival

American DJ and record producer Bassnectar is set to return as a headliner of the Moonrise Festival along with British trance trio Above & Beyond, who will be performing at the festival for the first time. Now in its second year, The Moonrise Festival released "Phase 1" of its lineup today,...

Young Moose drops Freddie Gray anthem 'No SunShine'

Yesterday, local rappers Young Moose and Martina Lynch released a powerful song and video, 'No SunShine,' addressing the death...

Sun Ra Arkestra leader Marshall Allen to play Baltimore show with Spectral this Sunday

Marshall Allen, the alto-saxophone player who played with avant-garde jazz legend Sun Ra dating back to the late 1950s and still leads the Sun Ra Arkestra, will join free-improvising jazz trio...

Clicking and Streaming: Music doc 'The Wrecking Crew' is informative and more importantly, Bono free

Director Denny Tedesco is the son of featured guitarist Tommy Tedesco, who was a go-to player on smash hits by everyone from Herb Alpert to Cher and worked alongside drummers Hal Blaine and Earl...

Center Stage's 'Marley' presents a more complex, human version of the legend

Walking into the lobby of Center Stage for opening night of "Marley" was very much like entering one of those walled-off resorts in Jamaica, where local culture is sanitized and presented as some...

Highlights from MICA's undergraduate commencement exhibition

It's art-fair season in the world, y'all. According to my Instagram feed, you've got the Frieze Art Fair and NADA in New York City through this weekend, and the Venice Biennale through November, and...

Q&A: Ray Wylie Hubbard talks 'dead thumb' guitar playing, working with Willie Nelson, and more

Long before the release of his newest album, "The Ruffian's Misfortune," Texas-based songwriter and guitar-slayer Ray Wylie Hubbard joined the pantheon of country-blues rock gods he so often enshrines...

Directing pain through art in the wake of the #BaltimoreUprising

"Did you see that? That store got its window smashed," a white man lamented to me on the bus a couple of days after the events of last Monday. A lot of people have been saying these kinds of things,...

A list of songs by local artists inspired by the #BaltimoreUprising

We've written about about the songs...

Q&A: Lily Tomlin discusses feminism, rocking chairs, and sensible shoes

Lily Tomlin is on the move. Between wrapping the Paul Weitz comedy “Grandma” and the Netflix original series “Grace and Frankie,” and receiving a 37th Annual Kennedy Center...

Prince's 'RALLY 4 PEACE' says it's for Baltimore, but is it really?

People were thrilled to learn that the Purple One, Prince, ...

Baltimore-based composer Judah Adashi releases track, 'Rise (Invocation),' in honor of Freddie Gray

On the day that Freddie Gray died, April 19, local composer Judah Adashi premiered a piece called "Rise" in Washington, D.C. The...

Everyman's 'Ghosts' shows you can't leave the past behind you

For centuries, women were treated as property, with nothing to call their own; their husbands could beat them and they had no legal recourse. Even now that we treat domestic...

Watch the 'Freaky Friday'-esque video for the Ed Schrader's Music Beat song 'Emperor's New Chair'

The premise is this: Ed Schrader and Devlin Rice are on the set of a big-time video shoot, enjoying some real carrots and uncoooked Eggo waffles. Just as they're about to start filming, they high five...

Listen to Beauty Pill's cover of classic Lungfish track 'Ann The Word'

Lungfish, one of Baltimore's most revered bands as well the only major Dischord Records act based outside Washington D.C., hasn't released new music in nearly a decade. But they were paid tribute...

The Scapescape lineup begins slowly trickling out

It was announced back in January that Scapescape...

Stream the new Al Rogers Jr. single 'BlueGreen'

With lush production and more singing than rapping, 'BlueGreen,' the new single from local MC Al Rogers Jr., feels as much Frank Ocean-esque electro-R&B as it does hip-hop. Part of the yet-to-drop...

Maryland Film Festival announces next batch of movies

More titles scheduled for this year's Maryland Film Festival are trickling out, and ...

You can now be the proud owner of a Kesha black metal shirt, and it's for charity!

Ride for the Feast, a bicycle ride benefiting the group Moveable Feast, which provides food for people suffering from AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening illnessses, brings about plenty of...

Watch the otherworldly psychedelic video for Wildhoney's 'Seventeen'

Earlier this month local shoegaze group Wildhoney released a video for its sugary sweet single, 'Seventeen.' And while we're only now coming across it, we suggest you watch, especially in...

Watch the video for Pianos Become the Teeth's '895'

You might think a video accompanying a song named '895,' written by a local post-hardcore band, would include sweeping shots of industrial Baltimore, but you'd be wrong. The video for the lastest from...

Clicking and Streaming: Tough guys and puppies in the gruff, sweet, 'The Drop'

Directed by a Belgian best known for "Bullhead," a bumpy noir about the beef trade, and written by Dennis Lehane (and based on his short story "Animal Rescue"), "The Drop" is a quirky, staid...

Ratscape announces a jam-packed three-day lineup

Ratscape, the healthy helping of counter-programming to the city-run outdoor arts festival...

Stevie Wonder brings new twists and a renewed fervor to 'Songs in the Key of Life' live show

Stevie Wonder was so prolific as a songwriter in the mid-1970s that he had 21 songs he insisted be included on his 1976 album "Songs in the Key of Life." To fit the long performances onto the vinyl...

The Maryland Film Festival announces the first 10 feature films in this year's lineup

A Stanley Nelson-directed examination of the Black Panther movement, a doc following a metal band of Brooklyn teens called Unlocking the Truth that became a viral sensation, and a look at the...

Remembering Mike Beresh of the Country Devils

Mike Beresh died on Good Friday, April 3, 2015. His final album, "Wives Tales," was released posthumously on April 6 on RatHawk Records. The album is maybe Mike's 40th record including cassette...

Doreen Bolger to retire from the Baltimore Museum of Art

Doreen Bolger, who to many artists is the face of the Baltimore Museum of Art, is planning to retire, according to a BMA press release. Bolger will retire from her position effective June 30, the...

R.I.P. Mike Beresh, prolific songwriter of Country Devils

Mike Beresh, longtime leader of the Country Devils, Baltimore's best hard-core, hard-luck honky-tonk band with a wicked sense of humor, died last Friday* at the...

Clicking and Streaming: Netflix Original Series 'Bloodline' brings Faulknerian modernism to television

So many people called "The Wire" Dickensian that David Simon incorporated a joke about it into the show’s final season. And, although Simon’s show could equally well be termed Balzacian,...

City Paper rabble-rouser Baynard Woods to have book turned into TV series

"Coffin Point," the true-crime book inspired by a real-life Hoodoo-practicing sheriff in Beaufort County, South Carolina, written by area raconteur, shit-stirrer, and, oh right, City Paper Managing...

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...

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...

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