1910 N. Charles St., (410) 625-4848, thecrownbaltimore.tumblr.com
If you’ve been reading this here paper, you’ve witnessed a couple of our writers smuggle in a “Blade Runner” thesis about Station North, wherein the city’s arts district feels a bit like the grimy, multicultural futurism of the sci-fi favorite. Ground zero for this specious conceit is The Crown, the open-minded and open-eared venue on the second floor of the Nissan Building on the corner of North Avenue and Charles Street. Two rooms (one formerly the Gold Bar, R.I.P.), usually one with a free show and one with a pay show, feels like the in-between for the proper venues of the city and the D.I.Y. spots that seem to be ending or getting busted at an alarming rate. The line-ups are diverse and all over the place, from noise to indie rock to club to hip-hop; the food is great; and occasional non-music events (comedy, poetry readings, film screenings) make this a spot to stroll into on any given night and assume you’ll see something unforgettable, or at least unexpected.