NOISE: AN ARTS BLOG

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 like a very abstracted body, with swinging genitalia. On another glance, the painting is a few...

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,...

Watch the Lotfy Nathan-directed video for Blaqstarr's 'Hands Up Thumbs Down'

This thing where Mad Decent and Blaqstarr repurpose old Blaqstarr tracks for 2014 is weird as hell, man. For Baltimore club heads, tracks 'Feel It In The Air' and 'Hands Up Thumbs Down' (released...

Nerftoss' 'Maiden Powers,' mescaline, and Baltimore's new chill

Here's what immediately came to mind while listening to Nerftoss' stoned, soigné "Maiden Powers," released earlier this week on Ehse...

Introducing our new blog series of art ruminations, Art Fart. Some thoughts on 'The Ideal City' at the Walters Art Museum

In this new weekly feature, City Paper's art critics wll look at a single work of art that is on view somewhere in the city. Except, as this first installment shows, it is almost impossible to talk...

A Center Stage playwright wrote a one-minute play about me during lunch. You can get one too

Thursdays at the City Paper offices often means lunch at the Kooper's Chowhound Burger Wagon parked two blocks away at North Calvert and East Monument streets. On our way to the line last week, we...

Stop playing fast and loose with Bmore club history

This playing fast and loose with Baltimore club history must stop. The innovators, all of them working-class, most of them black, all from Baltimore, haven't really gotten their due or really received...

An introduction to Canon Balls, featuring power-pop bands Luxury, The Letters, and The Shivvers

Arguments about pop canon—the "genuine" articles of highest artistic quality in a given medium as determined by tradition and/or critical consensus—are arguments between pop ideologies. Is...

Michael Owen and Lululemon are collaborating on a clothing line. They deserve each other

Baltimore magazine wrote yesterday that local artist Michael Owen and overpriced athletic-wear company Lululemon are...

Going beyond "Is your refrigerator running?" Some words with the infamous prank caller Longmont Potion Castle

The phone call begins with a seemingly harmless question: "Yeah, when does that Green Julius come out?" The Orange Julius employee on the other end tells the caller he knows nothing of a Green Julius,...

Being a woman on the internet is hard

Here's a fun game. Go to any comment section on an online story/video/blog/whatever about or written by a woman and count how many posts it takes before you see a gendered slur or personal attack...

Listen to James Nasty and DJ Dizzy's butt music EP, 'Bmore Bounce'

Just when you think Baltimore club's ability to grab onto viral pop-culture detritus has hit a wall, some new fresh-faced producer comes along and re-energizes the formula. These days, it's DJ Dizzy,...

Now Hear This: J. Robbins, Jonah's Onelinedrawing, Lushfarm, Invitational

In case you didn't know, part of the reason Roomrunner's new EP "Separate" sounds so damned good, so punchy and direct even at its noise-rockiest, is because of producer J. Robbins of Magpie Cage...

Now Support This: Holdenfest

Larger than life when he was alive, Baltimore photographer and drummer Sam Holden is staying so even after his sudden death in April. The Sam Holden Memorial Fund at Towson University, where he...

Clicking and Streaming: "How To Die In Oregon" and "A Field In England"

How To Die In Oregon

Sweet Adelines International features female barbershop singers from all around the world, and you can see them perform at the Convention Center today

Downtown is buzzing in harmony this weekend, thanks to Sweet Adelines International, which brings 8,000 singers, fans, and supporters to town this week. And most of them are in sequins and...

Live Review: Black Pus and Oozing Wound shook the Floristree, literally and figuratively

The experience of listening to Black Pus' music in the comfort of one's own automobile or domicile is distinctly different from standing two or three feet away from Brian Chippendale while he performs...

Sterling Sisters call it quits; Scout Pare-Phillips debuts new single

Last time we saw the Sterling Sisters (2013's "Best Country Band") at Metro Gallery, Scout Paré-...

Potential Gallery CA art exhibit causes controversy with its culturally insensitive message, critics say

An exhibition intended to be shown at Gallery CA, still in the very beginning stages of planning, has come under fire for communicating a culturally insensitive message. "Xenos," curated by Lizz...

Why you should ignore 'F-Bombs for Feminism' and the company that made it

Whenever your mom shares something on Facebook about feminism, it's time to get skeptical.

Lafayette Gilchrist and the New Volcanoes impressively blend jazz and go-go at the Windup Space

Baltimore pianist Lafayette Gilchrist has been playing bits and pieces of his "Go-Go Suite" for several years now, but the first official recording of the project was finally released Sunday and...

Watch the excellent video for 'Matinee' by Bond St. District, a collaborative project between DDm and Paul Hutson

Bond St. District is a collaborative project between DDm (here credited as "Unkle Lulu") and beatmaker Paul Hutson and their EP, "Everybody’s So Sleepy," is out today. Certainly, once we've...

Q&A: Boister's Anne Watts on 'Intolerance'

Boister, the chamber-pop ensemble led by composer/keyboardist Anne Watts (who won CP’s Best Pop Composer this year), will perform their original score to D.W. Griffith’s 1916 silent...

Review: The Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra at An Die Musik Live

Even An Die Musik Live, which boasts a really big stage for a jazz club, was crowded Friday night when all 11 members of the Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra came aboard to play Marcus’ “Blues...

Watch the video for Lor Scoota's 'Bird Flu' remix featuring Shy Glizzy

Yesterday, Lor Scoota released a new mixtape "Still N The Trenches 2.5," at an event at the Downtown Locker Room at Mondawmin Mall (it is presumably, on its way to being officially uploaded onto...

What's good today?: The Exchange, MAGFest costume contest, the Baltimore Crown Awards

Red Emma’s hosts The Exchange, a panel discussion about the state of hip-hop in Baltimore, with panelists including Scottie B., Labtekwon,...

No Trivia: DIY? OTM? What's the difference?

Over the past month, the conversation surrounding "DIY" (do it yourself) has gotten a lot more interesting here in Baltimore. A few weeks ago, Dan Keech, better known as the rapper Height, penned an...

Catch up with Salvia Plath's Michael Collins, who now lives in L.A. and performs as part of the soul duo Silk Rhodes

Michael Collins, known locally for the blissed-out songs of Salvia Plath

Clicking and Streaming: "Messiah of Evil," "Dark Mountain," and 23 other horror movies you probably haven't seen

For this Halloween edition of 'Clicking and Streaming' we reviewed two rather slept-on horror flicks that don't exactly play the scary-movie game and offer up a list of 23 others in a similar vein....

Local street artist Nether creates work on bus stop where video captured police beating citizen

Over the last year or so, Baltimore street artist Nether has been demolishing the somewhat-stale lines between politically engaged work and avant-garde conceptual art. Unlike so much of the boosterish...

Premiere: DJ AngelBaby and Mighty Mark's 'Avenue' music video

DJ Angelbaby has spent the past few years helping to resurrect Baltimore club music in Baltimore, in the clubs, on the radio, and on the internet. Yeah yeah yeah, Bmore club never left or died out and...

Be sure to watch the music video for Dope Body's 'Repo Man' ahead of tonight's release show

Dope Body recently released a beautifully shot visual tribute to south Baltimore County with its new music video for the song 'Repo Man,' off the band's new album "Lifer." Featuring shots following...

The Contemporary creates a new grant, the Grit Fund, to support artist collaboration

On the heels of last week's Cultural Town...

Elaine Eff to talk about "The Painted Screens of Baltimore" on CBS News Sunday Morning

When we wrote about Elaine Eff’s book, “The Painted Screens of Baltimore: An Urban Folk Art Revealed," Rafael Alvarez said it was a “masterful” history of screen painting and...

Who benefits from the mayor's plan to boost the Baltimore art scene?

During the Cultural Town Meeting on Wednesday night at the Maryland Historical Society, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake boasted the numerous arts- and community-based projects, research, and grants...

Just in time for Halloween, Terence Hannum releases "Dead Air," a hour-long mix of horror-movie music

I don't know about you, but I'm still pretty bummed out that Claudio Simonetti's live-scoring "Dawn of the Dead" got canceled back in July. Not only did it promise to be a unique way to see the...

Read the review, skip the recap and the show at Guest Spot

We have reached a kind of post-historical point in culture where there is no longer a narrative about what art should or can be. As a result, we now see many artists producing...

No Trivia: A local crack rap hit becomes an Orioles anthem

West Baltimore rapper Lor Scoota has a local hit on his hands right now with 'Bird Flu.' The catchy, menacing, and brutally...

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