In the wake of the recent Black Guerrilla Family prison scandal that showed the gang essentially running two state jails, Van Smith pores over dozens of inmate lawsuits to fill out the picture of disarray in Maryland's prisons, where a "culture of corruption," as the FBI described it, pervades, and gangs like the BGF, the Bloods, and the Aryan Brotherhood jockey with correctional officers and other groups in a violent battle for control.
In Mobtown Beat, Edward Ericson Jr. explores the complicated feud between community activists Matt and Summer Gonter and multi-property owner Thomas Karle Jr.: They say Karle is having people vandalize their property (and have surveillance tapes to bolster their claims), Karle says they're racist (and at least one neighbor agrees). Ericson also writes about the mayor's efforts to surpress a damning animal abuse report that she actually commissioned. The subject of this week's City Folk is Eric Lowry, a heavy metal drummer from Dundalk who doesn't let his disability slow him down. Also, don't miss Baltimore City Power Rankings, which see gun violence and Towson baseball moving up and Hopkins and Il Mayore moving down, and Murder Ink. There's also an epic letter to the editor detailing one reader's experience working at Preakness.
In the Arts sections, Baynard Woods checks in on rehearsals for the Annex's production of Macbeth (featuring a woman as King Macbeth), the company's first in its new home at Station North's Chicken Box. In music, Bret McCabe talks to Ian Nogosky and his efforts, with Canary Records, to unearth rarely-heard gems from across the decades and continents, and, in the BPM column, Al Shipley chronicles the latest happenings in the world of dance music.
In film, Brandon Soderberg reviews Frances Ha, which could also be called White Hipster Problems, and Jenn Ladd writes about Stories We Tell. In Books, Baynard Woods is disappointed in Jessica Anya Blau's latest, which seems to skip the emotion of her previous work for something closer to the A-Team. And in art, Bret McCabe tries to figure out what's going on in Kate McGraw's jarring show at EMP Collective, which features a disquietingly large, creepy cat.
Eats and Drinks offers the lowdown on the Little Ethiopia that has sprung up on Park Avenue, featuring several restaurants and shops. Jenn Ladd finds delectable Cheap Eats and Henry Hong's DIY Kitchen offers pro-tips for grilling everything from chicken to fruit.