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The House that Mencken Built

As Mencken Day Approaches, We Stop To Reflect On The Legacy Of The Sage Of Baltimore

When the Sunpapers bought City Paper last spring, we were uncertain, to say the least. We’d been through a heavy battle with our old owners. We’d been for sale for a long time. We were tired. And then the...

The Sage in Black and White

Was Mencken A Racist Or A Civil Rights Hero? Prof. Larry Gibson Offers An Answer

The Negro brain, Mencken wrote in 1910, “is not fitted for the higher forms of mental effort.” This from the same man who probably did more to help black writers—including the likes of W.E.B. Du Bois,...

More Mencken

Marion Elizabeth Rodgers Continues Her Lifelong Engagement with Mencken

As a student, Marion Elizabeth Rodgers was intending to write a master’s thesis on the poetry of T. S. Eliot, when she stumbled upon a box of letters between H. L. Mencken and his wife, Sara, at the Goucher* Library....

Mencken's Music

H.L. Mencken's Music Brought to Life by an Associate at the Pratt

H. L. Mencken was a lifelong musician. In his preface to “Happy Days,” he writes that he spent half a century boasting that he could read music by the age of 6. But, upon finding a bill for the family’s...

Camp 83

Camp 83

It’s a big house with no walls and cars on the roof. There’s a plastic shelf with cleaning supplies, a “kitchen” table, a book stand with a bright white copy of the Bible, a bubbling fish tank, beds,...

Super Fans to the Rescue

Super Fans to the Rescue

In the fifth inning at Camden Yards, the cameras leave the field and turn to the stands to find the “Fan of the Game.” The big screen over the scoreboard shows a smiling dude in an O’s jersey and an orange...

College Guide 2014

College Guide 2014

It’s a bizarre time for college kids. There’s no longer a set path laid out for us. Gone are the days of the “get good grades, get into a credible university, get a job, and reap the rewards”...

DIY Diploma

DIY Diploma

When high school graduation was approaching, I was eager to get as far away from my hometown as possible. So much so that I paid for my own application fee to the University of Alabama, hitched a ride with my friend down...

What are Schools Doing to Prevent Assault?

What are Schools Doing to Prevent Assault?

“Nearly 1 in 5 women have reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives,” according to the Center for Disease Control. The freshman fall semester, or first 90 days of a student being at school, proves...

College Guys, Stop Being So Rapey

College Guys, Stop Being So Rapey

Sup guys, I’m Leo. And I’m a dude. That’s why I’m writing this article, really. I work with nine other female interns (the only other guy was busy editing this issue) and it had been predetermined...

The Socially Awkward Network

The Socially Awkward Network

I have 522 friends on Facebook, 172 followers on Twitter, 272 followers on Tumblr, and 140 followers on Instagram. But the number of these people I communicate with in a real-life, face-to-face, not-through-a-computer-...

Major Shmajor

Despite what years of parental nagging, academic advice, and those endless “What Major Should I Choose?” Buzzfeed quizzes have indicated, your major has very little to do with your ultimate career.  Most...

Stripping Away Debt

Stripping Away Debt

At 10 p.m. or so on a given Saturday night, around the same time my friends were leaving for some party or another, I threw one more pair of heels into an enormous duffle bag already blooming with black lace, makeup, and...

College Cooking with the Klepto Queen

College Cooking with the Klepto Queen

Dining hall food is one of the worst parts of college: It’s fucking expensive and mediocre at best. Your school charges you for food they assume you’ll steal from them, making it even more of a rip-off. Since...

Post-Baccalaureate Bar Hopping

Post-Baccalaureate Bar Hopping

Flash forward. You’re now a resident of the Greatest City In America—an official resident. Your lease does not expire at the end of the semester. Your lease expires when you want it to. You’ve made it...

Just Business?

Just Business?

Kenneth W. Watford says he is here because of an injustice. Sitting on the other side of the sloppily caulked double Plexiglas window, his wide face and short cropped hair flecked with gray leaning into a flat microphone and speaker affixed...

Eating Along The Way

Eating Along The Way

I was not a born road-tripper. For a kid with chronic motion sickness, piling into the car with extended family for an afternoon’s drive held no pleasure, only anxiety and annoyance. The road...

50 Local Releases You Should Hear

50 Local Releases You Should Hear

The crazy thing is, this list could've easily hovered around 100 or so. There's no dearth of excellent music coming out of Baltimore. Nevertheless, it's worth pointing out that highlighting recorded music in 2014--especially in a city...

Brain Power

Brain Power

On their way out of a dreary Remington bar, the members of Wet Brain encounter an unexpected moment of female solidarity. “I love your skirt,” the female bartender tells Madi Shapiro, the...

Negative Theology

Negative Theology

Terence Hannum, one-third of the Baltimore-Chicago experimental metal powerhouse Locrian, learned a very important lesson early in his life: His knowledge of the world was limited. The visual artist,...

Do Everything and Do It Yourself

Do Everything and Do It Yourself

It’s 1 A.M. on Artscape Saturday, long after the arts festival has packed up and gone home, but the Windup Space keeps the party going. The bass coming from the venue’s speakers is too...

The Old Weird Maryland

The Old Weird Maryland

Zane Campbell is seated, clutching a borrowed Martin D-45 and singing into a black ribbon mic boomed 45 degrees down towards his mouth: “The places I have gone/ people don’t come back...

Love ->Warehouses That Might Catch On Fire

Love ->Warehouses That Might Catch On Fire

Instead of properly introducing the Big Music issue, Managing Editor/Arts Editor Baynard Woods (green) and I are just going to give you a facsimile of the nutty text messages, emails, and phone calls we’ve been...

Trash Talk

Trash Talk

Drivers approaching the entrance of the former FMC Corp. chemical-making complex on Baltimore’s industrial Fairfield peninsula are welcomed by a large and well-lit green sign mounted on a...

Mr. Artscape is Dead. Long Live Mr. Artscape

Mr. Artscape is Dead. Long Live Mr. Artscape

As an artist who has been involved in Artscape over the years, I was really excited to meet the new “Mr. Artscape,” as people have tended to think of the festival’s visual-arts coordinator, most recently...

We're The Rats

We're The Rats

In the annals of Baltimore festivals adorned with the “-scape” suffix, DIY music has the proudest legacy.

Game On

Game On

From their basement headquarters inside a rowhouse on Eastern Avenue, developers at Pure Bang Games are programming the final touches to a demo of “MUD,” the latest video game from this Highlandtown gaming...

Sexy Opera

Sexy Opera

It’s getting hot in a practice room at Peabody Institute—and loud. There are 12 people packed against the walls, with a pianist sweating over the keys as six opera singers belt away, their melodic lines...

Salon des Refusés

Salon des Refusés

30 years since its founding as an alternative to Artscape, Foodscape munches on

Why Prizes Matter

A few days ago, I couldn't remember whether or not I had applied for this year's Sondheim Prize (I shot them an email and found out that I had). I consider applying every year, but most of the time I don't. That's dumb!...

The Sondheim Artscape Prize

The Sondheim Artscape Prize

When will the Baltimore art scene stop griping, speculating, and guessing about who will win the Janet and Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize and just start betting on that shit? Last year, we lost a five spot to a...

Lauren Frances Adams

Lauren Frances Adams

Of all the installations in the Sondheim Exhibition, the work of Lauren Frances Adams feels most at home in the Walters Art Museum. And that’s not entirely due to her appropriation of the museum’s work...

Neil Feather

Neil Feather

Imagine an experimental band made entirely of machines—not the animatronic kind that haunts your childhood memories from bad birthdays at Chuck E. Cheese, but something that looks like it came from the basement of a...

Kyle Tata

Kyle Tata

Last year’s much-maligned Sondheim finalist show was dominated by photographs that felt desperate to appear relevant. While Kyle Tata works in the same medium, his photographs seem to take the opposite, high-modernist...

Kyle Bauer

Kyle Bauer

In an exhibit with a lot of sounds, collages, and moving pieces, Kyle J. Bauer’s showcase is easy to take in. It’s full of playful, balanced sculptures with solid colors or simple patterns. His pieces are mainly...

Stewart Watson

Stewart Watson

There is something pathetically beautiful, even comical, in art that concerns itself with memory. Memories are intangible and flawed, and the people and things attached to these memories eventually go away. Stories...

Shannon Collis

Shannon Collis

Like so much in this year’s show, Shannon Collis’ work is as audible as it is visual. In fact, her intent is to “make audible the visual qualities of hand generated” lines and images, so that they...

Marley Dawson

Marley Dawson

That horrid, high pitched screeching you hear is not some mechanical error—it’s coming from Marley Dawson’s 'Slow Burn (full circle).' One of three pieces Dawson has in the exhibit, 'Slow Burn (full...

Snap City

Snap City

Trains of skaters up to 10 deep are ripping around the rink. People are doing a little dip known as the “Baltimore Bounce,” snapping half turns in double and triple time, skating backward, kicking their legs...

Down on the Corner

Down on the Corner

It's four p.m. on April 22, a beautiful spring day in Baltimore. At the corner of Mount Royal and North avenues, a group of seven people are working in traffic. Dressed in yellow T-shirts, they carry five-gallon buckets...

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