If there’s one thing that can be said about the Baltimore music scene, it’s that it has a batch of great promoters who book bands that up until a few years ago would have blown through Bmore on their way to DC or New York. With so many good shows in 2014, it was hard to pick a specific promoter, but we settled on metalhead Hasan Ali and his Ripping Headaches Promotions. Last year, dropping Hasan’s name may have lead to a “huh?” but now he’s everywhere, booking fantastic metal shows at The Sidebar to dovetail with Maryland Deathfest and keeping it underground by booking shows at smaller spaces whose addresses are texted or whispered but never posted to social media. Ali doesn’t yet have the track record of other, more established promoters, but we predict he will. Judging by the shows we’ve covered, Ali seems pretty dedicated to making Baltimore a destination for national metal bands, such as Thou, and upping the profile of the city’s rising metal acts such as Noisem. Carry on, wayward son.