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Harriet Tubman

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  • Debussy Riot

    Debussy Riot
    A few years ago, I saw Ben Folds perform with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. It wasn’t the first time Folds has played with an orchestra—far from it: He’s been performing with orchestras around the world since 2002, using world-class classical musicians as backup on orchestrations of his hit pop songs like 'Zak and Sara' and 'Brick.' The concert in Pittsburgh was definitely meant more for Folds fans than classical-music fans: Folds' mic allowed his voice and piano to overpower the orchestra, and the orchestrations were often pretty simple. But Folds was charismatic and entertaining and the concert hall was packed. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is probably hoping for a similarly packed house on Thursday when it performs with Folds at the Meyerhoff. This particular concert will have an addition to his 12-year-old classical-pop routine: They’ll be performing excerpts of Folds’ new piano concerto, his first such composition. Folds described his concerto to Nashville Scene as “proudly and overtly derivative,” and that will certainly be apparent to any fans of Gershwin or Ravel that hear the concerto—but on the bright side, maybe it’ll inspire some Folds fans to check out other classical compositions. (If you're one such fan looking to get into classical music, start with Gershwin's 'Rhapsody in Blue' for another piano concerto with heavy jazz influences, or check out my favorite piano concerto, Edvard Grieg's marvelously dramatic Piano Concerto in A minor.)
  • Harriet Tubman, Badass

    I am filing this week’s column from a hotel room off Delaware’s Route 13 in Dover, as I finish up a weeklong field trip along the Harriet Tubman Byway, a self-guided 125-mile 30-stop driving tour of the American hero's life, with free audio...

    Checking in with Heather Mizeur on her frantic final push to election day

    Checking in with Heather Mizeur on her frantic final push to election day
    Heather Mizeur at Spro in Hampden. Notice the empty coffee cup. (Photo by J.M. Giordano)[/caption] Early voting has ended and all that's left in the primaries is Election Day on Tuesday, June 24th. City Paper caught up with upstart Democratic candidate...

    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 out, both controlled and...

    Summer Reading Challenge

    Well, I’ve got to admit I haven’t had time to take a real field trip in the last couple of weeks, unless you call shoving all my personal crap into boxes that I should probably just have set on fire and then hiring a couple of guys to drag...