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  • Saturday: Pigtown Festival

    Saturday: Pigtown Festival

    Oct. 14 I was gonna tell you to check out, among the other attraction of Pigtown's annual neighborhood party, the Squeakness—the pig racing tradition that, I think, could be a suitable and conveniently already established replacement for the Preakness when it (seemingly inevitably) leaves Pimlico....

  • Saturday: "Retreat": William Lamson and Lu Zhang

    Saturday: "Retreat": William Lamson and Lu Zhang

    Oct. 14 The old hard wood floors, the dark stone walls, and the spare/unobtrusive lighting in artist-run stalwart Area 405, the 170-year-old warehouse turned art gallery and studio building, sometimes seem like they're competing for attention with the art that's on display. For this exhibit, Baltimore...

  • Friday & Saturday: The Charm City Kitty Club Presents: Fifteen Years of Queer

    Friday & Saturday: The Charm City Kitty Club Presents: Fifteen Years of Queer

    Oct. 13 and 14 Queerness in identity and in art are tricky to reconcile, as they can be very much integrated but not necessarily so. But through queer-focused artist platforms like the now-15-year-old Charm City Kitty Club, it's made clear that there is no one kind of queer art or artist—you know,...

  • Thursday: The H.H. Holmescoming Dance

    Thursday: The H.H. Holmescoming Dance

    Oct. 12 I'm not alone in this unsavory fascination with serial killers and brutal slayings—just look at the popularity of the podcast "My Favorite Murder," and, you know, Halloween. But despite the obsession being commonplace, I still don't feel good about it. Murder is bad, cruelty is bad, suffering...

  • Contact Sheet: Second Alarm. Engine 1, Truck 11.

    Contact Sheet: Second Alarm. Engine 1, Truck 11.

    For my senior thesis at the Maryland Institute College of Art, I spent a year photographing the Baltimore City Fire Department. I got permission from the chief of the department at the time, Peter J. O’Conner, through a combination of luck and nerve—I walked into headquarters, knocked on his door,...

  • Democracy in Crisis: Coincidence and Quantum Politics in the Age of Trump

    Democracy in Crisis: Coincidence and Quantum Politics in the Age of Trump

    A few moments before Senators Richard Burr and Mark Warner, chair and co-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee respectively, came out to present an update on their investigation into Russian attempts to interfere with the 2016 election, a man walked out carrying a large cardboard sign—not...

  • Field Tripping: Bicycling

    Field Tripping: Bicycling

    As I'm sure you've heard, City Paper is winding down after 40 years of weekly publication. It's such a bummer in so many ways, a sign of times I don't always like very much. On a personal note, it means just a couple more columns before I'm off field tripping in obscurity. As commenter once tweeted...

  • Q&A: Dan Deacon on the 10th anniversary of "Spiderman of the Rings" and "Ultimate Reality," the state of DIY, and more

    Q&A: Dan Deacon on the 10th anniversary of "Spiderman of the Rings" and "Ultimate Reality," the state of DIY, and more

    Full disclosure: The last time I saw Dan Deacon I hugged him. It's not worth detailing in full, but here are the basics: He was DJing the last Best of Baltimore party, I was drunk, and he said some nice and important things to the entire crowd about the end of City Paper that everybody on staff...

  • Savage Love: Poly Wants

    Savage Love: Poly Wants

    I'm a 25-year-old woman currently in a poly relationship with a married man roughly 20 years my senior. This has by far been the best relationship I've ever had. However, something has me a bit on edge. We went on a trip with friends to a brewery with a great restaurant. It was an amazing place,...

  • Murder Ink: 5 murders this week, 275 murders this year

    Murder Ink: 5 murders this week, 275 murders this year

    A comparatively light week for killings should not mask that 18 other people were shot non-fatally, including three double-shootings. Monday, Oct. 2 On Sept. 28 at about 8 p.m., Leonard Carolina, a 40-year-old African-American man, was near the intersection of Poplar Grove and Riggs Avenue in the...

  • Democracy in Crisis Episode 35: Trump and country music

    Democracy in Crisis Episode 35: Trump and country music

    In this week's episode cohosts Baynard Woods and Brandon Soderberg talk about right-wing politics, country music, guns, and the terror in Las Vegas. This episode was engineered and edited by Brandon Soderberg, with music by Ruby Fulton and the Rhymes with Orchestra, and the Barnyard Sharks.

  • Club Charles is back

    Club Charles is back

    The iconic Club Charles reopened for business last night after closing in late July for renovations.  Fortunately, as the many reopening night posts on social media show, the bar's red walls, neon lights, and Art Deco touches all remain intact. "It looked the same, there was a lot of speculation...

  • Thursday: Josh Davis presents "From Head Shops to Whole Foods"

    Thursday: Josh Davis presents "From Head Shops to Whole Foods"

    Oct. 5 The commodificiation of wokeness, as it were, is not new; it just feels particularly pungent and annoying and icky right now because, well, most things do and because we're very much up against this Trump regime. And all this fretting about troubling hasthags, usurped kneels during the National...

  • Friday-Oct. 29: "Lear"

    Friday-Oct. 29: "Lear"

    Oct. 6-29 Shakespear’s "King Lear" sans Lear is a sort of Seinfeld: The Next Generation. Edgar enthuses: “The soup was covered by nearly an inch of baked cheese!” Replies Edmund: “I’m a bad person!” Beginning at the point when Lear and Gloucester, newly blinded, have been banished to the storm,...

  • Saturday: Baltimore Craft Beer Festival

    Saturday: Baltimore Craft Beer Festival

    Oct. 7 Baltimore Beer Week kicks off on Oct. 13, but hey, who says there's such a thing as too much beer? Well, medical professionals probably do. Anyway, the Brewers Association of Maryland is gathering 45 breweries from across the state and setting them all up at Canton Waterfront Park for attendees...

  • Saturday: "We* Are the Asteroid"

    Oct. 7 Everything right now feels hot and frantic and dire, and many fingers are pointing at many directions toward what's to blame or what needs to change. In this show at Current Space, "We* Are the Asteroid," artists Liz Ensz and David Moré confront the global issue of climate change through...

  • Saturday-Sunday: 2017 Baltimore Open Studio Tour

    Oct. 7-8 Some artists—see the Abstract Expressionists—bring process to the forefront of their work, leaving all their marks and scraps and methodology visible in their final product. That transparency, on one hand, could be seen as a vulnerable kind of exposure into the intrinsic humanity within...

  • Wednesday: The Monument Quilt

    Oct. 4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., The Beach at Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles St., themonumentquilt.org, free. The massive, growing quilt carrying messages by and for survivors of rape and abuse is displayed in Hopkins' Homewood campus with the opportunity for visitors to create their own quilt...

  • “Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play”

    Nov. 30 “The Simpsons” feels oddly at home in small theater—those who saw the Acme Corporation’s “Stranger Kindness,” City Paper’s Best Play this year, will remember the tiny TV screen looping the episode “A Streetcar Named Marge” as the actors performed the characters of Tennessee Williams’ play...

  • Free Thursdays: "195 Lewis"

    Nov. 19 This web series about a young black queer couple in Bed-Stuy has been premiering the first five episodes around the country, glowing and vibrating with the energy of a lot of the best recent comedy-dramas unabashedly for right now such as "Tangerine," "Broad City," "Chewing Gum," "Spring...

  • “Crossing Borders: Mexican Modernist Prints”

    Nov. 19 The first (and only) Mexican Soviet was a special time. Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Leon Trotsky, and Jose Clemente Orozco swanned about, fighting and fucking, getting drunk, plotting, getting killed (in Trotsky’s case) and making art that transported the nascent USSR’s muscular propaganda...

  • "The Lion King"

    Nov. 16 Paws down, “The Lion King” is the best movie Disney has ever made. ‘Hakuna Matata,’ ‘Circle of Life,’ and ‘I Just Can't Wait To Be King’ are all bangers. The movie sends you through a whirlwind of emotions and balances—love, humor, sadness, betrayal, guilt, support, death, suffering, and...

  • The Jesus and Mary Chain

    Nov. 14 “My favorite parts are the cheapest; when the feedback wells up over the chords in perfect pseudomelodic formation I feel as if I've been waiting to hear this music all my life,” wrote Robert Christgau, dean of rock critics, about the Jesus and Mary Chain’s seminal debut album, “Psychocandy.”...

  • “Suspiria”

    Nov. 11, 13, 16 It’s nearly impossible to talk about Dario Argento’s “Suspiria” without considering the role of color in the film’s particular brand of fright. In a world of horror films defined by light and dark—namely, scary shit jumping out of pitch black—cinematographer Luciano Tovoli set out...

  • No Age

    Nov. 10 It has been a little over four years since the last album from very noisy power-pop duo No Age—2013's "An Object," which many thought didn't rock hard enough and others thought wasn't noisy enough. Both sides were wrong: The whole thing is a really good record about discontent and limits...

  • “Look and See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry”

    Nov. 9 America’s greatest living philosopher is an ancient farmer and poet who advocates for small-c, no-buck, slow, steady, and fully-personal community development of the kind that used to be Standard Issue and is now nowhere. You’ve heard Wendell Berry’s name but perhaps never read any of his...

  • “Buena Vista Social Club”

    Nov. 8, 12, 13, 14 Two decades ago, Nick Gold and Ry Cooder went to Havana and coaxed legends from retirement. Ruben Gonzalez no longer owned a piano, Ibrahim Ferrer was shining shoes, Compay Segundo was 89 years old. Guitarist Eliades Ochoa and singer Omara Portuondo joined Guajiro Mirabal’s trumpet...

  • Baltimore '90s Block Party

    Nov. 4 I would be remiss by not beginning this blurb by saying that it is in these moments where I truly miss former CP staffer Lisa Snowden-McCray, who would clearly write the shit out of a blurb such as this one, but she is now one floor below at the not-soon-to-close Baltimore Sun. So you'll...

  • U+NFest 6

    Nov. 3-5 You already know, don't you? One of the best collections of bands in Baltimore, all put together by Dana Murphy of Unregistered Nurse, now in its sixth year. This year, U+N features a few City Paper favorites including Post Pink (City Paper's Best Band of 2016: "It’s kind of incredible...

  • Charm City Fringe Festival

    Nov. 2-12 Some people are able to rapidly binge on art and performance, catching show after show without break for as long as their schedules will allow. Others find that they best experience creative work in moderation, taking time to chew on each piece. For editors and writers of a paper committed...

  • Screaming Females

    Nov. 1 Last year, New Brunswick-based punx/screamers Screaming Females played to a packed and exuberant crowd at Windup Space and the next morning there was a picture on the band’s Instagram of someone’s extremely gnarly, bloody, fucked up fingertips—presumably  guitarist/singer Marissa Paternoster’s,...

  • New Found Glory: 20 Years of Pop Punk

    Oct. 27 One of pop punk’s rallying cries is a rather protective stance that the genre must be defended. And in a way, that makes sense: The genre has never been taken seriously by critics and the angsty lyrics are now being sung by dudes pushing 40 (note that this is a 20th anniversary tour). And...

  • “MANIFESTO! A Theatrical DaDa Diversion”

    Oct. 26 As people alive during what feels like an extreme point in history, we might look to DaDa for how to aesthetically channel our confusion and fear and fuck-it-all state of mind. Born in Zürich out of horror and disgust toward the first World War and the rise of nationalism, DaDa was one...

  • Front Room: Njideka Akunyili Crosby

    Oct. 25 Nigerian-born, Los Angeles-based artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby is well-known for her large-scale, mixed media collage works and paintings featuring interiors and people in them that feel like memories a la Mamma Andersson or Edouard Vuillard—though sometimes her spaces are hauntingly devoid...

  • "Terminator 2: Judgment Day 3D"

    Oct. 18, 22, 23, and 24 The "Terminator" movies are now a franchise with a parade of sequels and a forthcoming reboot due for 2019. The first of these sequels, "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," released in 1991, felt more like a natural continuation of the story instead of a cynical cash grab, even...

  • Steely Dan

    Oct. 24 Donald Fagen has done plenty without Walter Becker, the guitarist who died last month, widely-regarded to be Fagen’s lesser half in Steely Dan. There were the several early ‘90s “Rock and Soul Review” shows (though Becker showed up for some of them too), “The Nightfly,” “Bright Lights,...

  • “Birdland and the Anthropocene”

    Oct. 6 Local artist and long-time birder Lynne Parks has curated this group show at the Peale Center after researching and taking note of dwindling local bird populations, asking us “to consider how our city’s architecture and the built environment impact the natural ecosystems in the Anthropocene”—that...

  • Interiors: Stephanie Dinkins + Bina48 & Bruce Duncan

    Oct. 17 Artist Stephanie Dinkins has been recording her conversations with Bina48, a “social robot” commissioned by Martine Rothblatt and modeled after her wife Bina Aspen, a co-founder of the Terasem Movement and the World Against Racism Museum. Programmed with a compilation of Aspen’s thoughts,...

  • CURTA, JPEGMAFIA, Height Keech, Melanin Free

    Oct. 15 Oh man, here's quite an evening of art-rap that is also, well, a fun listen, unlike a lot of art-rap. CURTA, art-damaged electro-ish abstract rap from Colorado, links up with a whole bunch of similarly-minded Baltimore or former Baltimore rappers and rap-not-rap artists, including recent...

  • Dan Deacon Presents: “Spiderman of The Rings” & “Ultimate Reality”

    Oct. 13 On Sept. 6 of this year, Dan Deacon posted a photo, taken by former CP photog Frank Hamilton, from the Floristree release show for “Spiderman of the Rings,” an album now in its 10th year. Deacon’s eyes are closed tight as he shouts into the mic, his fist raised triumphantly. There are many...

  • City Paper's final issue will be Nov. 1

    The very last issue of City Paper will hit yellow boxes and storefronts on Wednesday, Nov. 1. Baltimore Sun Media Group announced plans to close City Paper back in July. At the time, details about the end date were still being discussed.  A special issue is in the works, with the current staff...

  • Drugs, Murder, A Dirty Lawyer, and a Hitman Convicted: Jose Morales case finally ends—maybe

    A federal jury found Troy Allen Lucas guilty yesterday of the 2008 contract murder of Robert Long in South Baltimore, ending a complex case that saw the wrong man convicted and exonerated, a prominent defense lawyer disbarred and imprisoned, and the alleged ringleader sent to prison for life. "This...

  • Friday: Kids Who Know Everything

    Sept. 29 A few weeks ago we ran a cover story comprised of poems and profiles of various Baltimoreans written by the teen participants of Writers in Baltimore Schools’ Summer Writers’ Studio, and like other examples of writing by non-adults, the issue demonstrated how kids are often as clued-in...

  • Friday: Here and There

    Sept. 29 It's always cool to see art spaces promote a healthy exchange of ideas—it can be a rupture of what we're used to seeing, the way that some galleries stay super strict to whatever kind of concept/ethos they've branded themselves with and made themselves beholden to. Ugh, screw brands. For...

  • Monday: Magic Mike Monday

    Oct. 2 I am really, super into the artistry and performance in Channing Tatum's oily, almost-nude beefcake body writhing around on stage and atop sawhorses in his woodshop to Ginuwine's 'Pony,' featured in "Magic Mike" and its sequel "Magic Mike XXL." But what I appreciate most about the films...

  • Saturday: Made in Baltimore Short Film Festival

    Sept. 30 Creative Alliance screens a dozen home-grown film shorts at The Patterson, showcasing the best local moving-picture talent as determined by Abbie Algar of the AFI Silver Theater and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, entrepreneur and political man-about-town Dave Troy and Matt Porterfield,...

  • Wednesday: Gunky's Basement presents: "RoboCop" on 35mm

    Sept. 27 Do you ever watch those Boston Dynamics videos of the robots they make prancing around and get a little freaked out? I do. Slap a machine gun on those things and we're not far off from the Enforcement Droid Series 209, the hulking trigger-happy robot made by mega-corporation Omni Consumer...

  • Sunday: Al Rogers Jr.: "A Bright Hearted" Release Party

    Oct. 1 Al Rogers Jr. can meld Baltimore club music with Sade or Dru Hill to make a sound all his own. His versatility allows him to make slower records that are perfect for chilling in the park, or sitting in the room pondering life's greatest greatest quandaries while eating Life Savers gummies....

  • Saturday: Evil Hate Monkey's "Ass Menagerie"

    Sept. 30, 9 p.m., Ottobar, 2549 N. Howard St., (410) 662-0069, theottobar.com, $17-$20. Boylesque performer Evil Hate Monkey returns to Baltimore with a lineup of animal-themed acts in tow.

  • We Are Kinda Unbreakable

    Trans sex workers remain resilient in Baltimore while navigating neighborhood associations, cops, gentrification, and more

  • Raising Hell: "The Christians" and "Sally McCoy"—two plays about the good, evil, and people at odds to see now

    "The Christians" Those who do not belong to megachurches tend to find them alienating, to put it kindly—and I count myself here. For one thing, there's the stripping away of any aesthetic value established by the old religions (say what you will about the Roman Catholic Church, at least they know...

  • Savage Love: At the Palace

    I had a blast hosting Savage Lovecast Live at San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts. Audience members submitted questions before the show, and I consumed a large pot edible right after the curtain went up and then raced to give as much decent sex advice as I could before it took effect. Here are...

  • Murder Ink: 14 murders over the past two weeks, 258 murders this year

    This week's Murder Ink covers the past two weeks of murders. There were 27 murders in the past 30 days. Police continue to seize illegal guns and arrest people, and shootings continue anyway: 15 people within the last week shot non-fatally. Federal agents closed four city murder cases, revealed...

  • "The Feds Got Instagram Dummy": Twelfth Murdaland Mafia defendant pleads guilty

    When Dontray Johnson visited Dante Bailey at the Baltimore County jail and told him he had killed fellow gang member Brian "Nutty B" Johnson for refusing to pay gang dues, Bailey approved. "I told you about this," the leader of the Murdaland Mafia Piru (MMP) said, according to a wiretapped conversation...

  • Field Tripping: Annapolis Floating

    I've been so busy lately. If I'm being real, I've largely been busy resenting the idea of being busy, but it all feels busy nonetheless. I have been promised many things by capitalism—alienated labor, unpaid reproductive labor, the enshrinement of racism, ideological support for heterosexual family...

  • Savage Love: Dicks Deluxe

    I am a 35-year-old straight guy. I met a nice lady through the normal methods, and we hit it off and have grown closer. I think we are both considering "taking it to the next level." We are on the same intellectual wavelength, enjoy the same social experiences, and have a lot of fun together. So...

  • Saturday: Monumental Moments - A Series of Imaginings

    Sept. 23 Now that the Confederate monuments are gone, taken down by Mayor Catherine Pugh overnight following the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville that left one anti-fascist counter protester dead, the city has a bunch of plinths that could become the home for new works of art. But what?...

  • Thursday: Ward Churchill: Wielding Words Like Weapons

    Sept. 21 The stories that Ward Churchill has told about his incredible life would make a great book. Born to a Native-American family, drafted into the Army to serve as a Long Range Reconnaissance Patrolman in Vietnam, taught the Weathermen how to make bombs, redesigned Soldier of Fortune magazine,...

  • Friday-Sunday: Baltimore Book Festival

    Sept. 22-24 This year's Book Festival got off to a rocky start, to put it mildly, long before the programming was finalized with the announcement that Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who for years claimed she was black, would be a featured author. The Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts...

  • Saturday: Gucci Mane

    Sept. 23 La Flare, Big Guwop, Mr. Zone 6, Trap God—or whatever you prefer to call him—the Atlanta rapper has had a hell of a comeback season. Gucci was released from prison May 26, 2016 and hit the ground running (Gucci Mane Bolt) and blessed the streets with the celebratory post-incarceration...

  • Thursday: City Paper Best Of Baltimore

    Sept. 21 Perhaps you hadn't heard, but this here City Paper Best of Baltimore issue is the last. As you can imagine, our staff is dealing with some serious emotions, both as people who work hard to bring you this paper each week and as citizens who understand the loss this means for Baltimore....

  • Friday-Sunday: Baltimore Comic Con

    Sept. 22-24, Baltimore Convention Center, 1 W. Pratt St., baltimorecomiccon.com, $25-$150. Hundreds of creators and fans gather to celebrate comics with three full days of panels, seminars, exhibitors, costume contests, signings, and appearances from legends like Frank Miller.

  • 2017 Best of Baltimore: We Who Are About To Die Salute You

    This, the final Best Of Baltimore issue, sure does make the death of the Baltimore City Paper more palpable, doesn’t it? Our last big-deal issue—the one that even the people who really, really hate us pick up. That said, one of my many flaws as an editor—and as a human being, probably—is a profound...

  • 2017 Readers' Poll: Baltimore Living

    Best Reason to Live in Baltimore 1. The People 2. The Food   Best Reason to Leave Baltimore 1. Crime 2. Corruption   Best Neighborhood 1. Hampden 2. Mount Vernon   Best Place to Work 1. From Home 2. Johns Hopkins   Best Local Landmark 1. Dominos Sugar Sign 2. The empty spots where Confederate monuments...

  • 2017 Readers' Poll: Arts & Entertainment

    Best Band 1. Future Islands 2. Infinite Pizza   Best Hip-Hop Act 1. Bond St. District 2. TT the Artist   Best Aboveground Venue 1. Ottobar 2. Metro Gallery   Best Underground Music Venue 1. The Copycat 2. The Compound   Best All-Ages Music Venue 1. Ottobar 2. Baltimore Soundstage   Best Local Music...

  • 2017 Readers' Poll: Nightlife

    2017 Readers' Poll: Nightlife

    Best Local Beer 1. Brewer’s Art 2. Union Craft   Best Happy Hour 1. Brewer’s Art 2. Rocket to Venus   Best Bar Station North/Mount Vernon 1. Club Charles 2. The Windup Space   Best Bar Charles Village/Remington 1. Ottobar 2. W.C. Harlan   Best Bar Fells Point 1. Max’s Taphouse 2. Rye   Best Bar...

  • 2017 Readers' Poll: Dining

    2017 Readers' Poll: Dining

    Best New Restaurant 1. Wicked Sisters 2. Dylan’s Oyster Cellar   Best Fancy Restaurant 1. Woodberry Kitchen 2. Parts & Labor   Best Cheap Restaurant 1. Golden West 2. The Dizz   Best Romantic Restaurant 1. Woodberry Kitchen 2. Bottega   Best Restaurant for Vegetarians 1. Land of Kush 2. One World...

  • 2017 Readers' Poll: Goods & Services

    2017 Readers' Poll: Goods & Services

    Best Local Fashion Boutique 1. Hunting Ground 2. Doubledutch Boutique   Best Local Children’s Clothing Store 1. Janie and Jack 2. Baby Cloud 9   Best Jewelry Store 1. Smyth 2. Milagro   Best Shoe Store 1. Ma Petit Shoe 2. DSW   Best Eyewear Store 1. Eye Candy 2. Warby Parker   Best Thrift and Consignment...

  • 2017 Readers' Poll: News & Media

    2017 Readers' Poll: News & Media

    Best Politician 1. Larry Hogan 2. Ryan Dorsey   Best Politician in Need of a Primary Challenge 1. All of them 2. Larry Hogan   Best Do-Gooder 1. DeRay McKesson 2. Johnny Marra   Best Troublemaker 1. Ryan Dorsey 2. Shorty Davis   Best Local Cause 1. BARCS 2. Black Lives Matter   Best Journalist ...

  • Best Space: Bell Foundry

    Best Space: Bell Foundry

    Before it was condemned last December and its tenants abruptly evicted, the Bell Foundry was for years a landmark in the arts scene, hosting shows, artist studios, and the headquarters of the Baltimore Rock Opera Society (who were permitted to return to the space, after making safety improvements,...

  • Best Director: Anthony Lane Hinkle

    Best Director: Anthony Lane Hinkle

    Baltimore theater lost a juggernaut with the death of Anthony Lane Hinkle, the vice president of Fells Point Corner Theatre and founding member of The Collaborative Theatre, back in April. Directing plays including last season’s excellent productions of “The Elephant Man” and “Blackbird” with the...

  • Best Theater Company: Baltimore Rock Opera Society

    Best Theater Company: Baltimore Rock Opera Society

    baltimorerockopera.org We’re impressed by how the BROS have bounced back from an all-around awful year—their 10th in existence—kicked off by their sudden eviction from their headquarters at the Bell Foundry. But that’s not really why this award goes to BROS, because no matter how shitty their luck,...

  • Best ACAB Rock: Joe Biden

    Best ACAB Rock: Joe Biden

    joebiden.bandcamp.com More of a piece with a project such as Melanin Free, where noise is freedom and catharsis and something to reclaim, Baltimore foursome Joe Biden make lumbering, menacing “fuck the police”-powered hardcore and they stood out at a kind of star-packed Snail Mail Ottobar show,...

  • Best Solo Debut: Amy Reid

    Best Solo Debut: Amy Reid

    amyreidmusic.com As Chiffon, Amy Reid and Chase O’Hara make slow jamz that wrangle the best production of ‘90s R&B and mix in sounds that make the songs feel like they’ve been beamed back from some distant future. With her first solo album, “hirsute,” Reid tackles some of the same lyrical subjects...

  • Best Live Act: Bond St. District

    Best Live Act: Bond St. District

    facebook.com/bondstdistrict As the title suggests, “A Church On Vulcan,” the first full-length album from rap duo Bond St. District, weighs in on religion. For the album release show at Ottobar, Bond St. went all out, pulling together various rituals from religious ceremonies and using props to...

  • Best Rapper: Bandhunta Izzy

    Best Rapper: Bandhunta Izzy

    soundcloud.com/bandhuntaizzy Twenty-year-old rapper Bandhunta Izzy’s massive, stomping ‘I Got It’ fits right in on 92Q between the radio hits you’ve heard hundreds of times over. His booming voice, which gets direct and in-your-face on the hook and more nimble on the verse—echoes of a recent street...

  • Best Album: Future Islands “The Far Field”

    Best Album: Future Islands “The Far Field”

    future-islands.com How do you react to your career heading for the stratosphere? For synth-pop trio Future Islands, the answer was a mid-tempo album that sees frontman Sam Herring, rather than ripping his heart out and trying to hand it through the speaker, sounding defeated and forlorn, more like...

  • Best Song: Creek Boyz, ‘With My Team’

    Best Song: Creek Boyz, ‘With My Team’

    soundcloud.com/creekboyz111 The city talks a lot of shit about the county, but it’s rarely that simple in Baltimore. Consider Woodlawn’s Creek Boyz, whose song ‘With My Team,’ which you’ve no doubt heard on 92Q and playing off kids’ phones when you’re waiting for the bus and sailing out car windows,...

  • Best New Band: Snail Mail

    Best New Band: Snail Mail

    snailmailbaltimore.bandcamp.com Could you imagine if the band you played in when you were 17 was suddenly discovered by Pitchfork and the New York Times? God, the humiliation. Snail Mail’s Lindsey Jordan was still in high school when her lo-fi bedroom pop music was suddenly thrust onto a national...

  • Best Band: Lafayette Gilchrist and the New Volcanoes

    Best Band: Lafayette Gilchrist and the New Volcanoes

    thenewvolcanoes.com Lafayette Gilchrist and the New Volcanoes are one of those bands that get more love in Europe than they do at home. But they have been banging out their big band concoction of funk, go-go, jazz, blues, and soul for over a decade now. And they keep getting better and better—and...

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