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Devils, weed, and dancing

April 22, 2013

Jim the Anti-Christ

My phone buzzed with the text “Death to False Metal. Want to go to Silver Spring?” I was in. (Full disclosure, I’m working on a series of metal portraits so it was one part selfish and one part for love of the music).

After a few bands growled and screamed through their sets at Sergio’s Place, a Latino restaurant and bar, one band stepped to the stage in amazing corpse paint and flanked the stage with two posts constructed from cow skulls and bones. The music started and that’s when Dominium’s lead singer Jim (no last name given) as he introduced himself to us before the show, led the crowd on a road to hell using shredding vocals, charismatic gestures and interaction with his audience.

“You’re gonna want to stay and see this,” said Baltimore’s premier metal blogger Maery Spiro (, before Dominium’s set. “Trust me.”
And she wasn’t lying. Jim is a born leader. The crowd all but worshiped him as he hopped off the stage and slammed his cow-bone covered mike stand against the ground again and again for a seriously chilling effect. It wouldn’t surprise me if a few Santeria candles were lit that night when the joint cleaned out.

“This guy could be a leader of a country,” says my companion.
If you end up in hell and there’s a guy on the throne with long blond hair and corpse paint, don’t be surprised if the devil’s name is Jim and he’s surrounded by a band called Dominium.(Photo: Jim of Dominium by J.M. Giordano)

4/20 411

It’s the wee hours. At least I think it is. Who knows. I’ve long since lost track of time. I’m at the Stoner’s Night: 4:20THC Party, and the air is thick with little whorls of weed-smoke spinning in green laser lights. The beer is Genesee Cream Ale, presumably because the cans are green and the wasted party-goers pass around various “for tobacco use only” devices in the near dark. “Here,” says a well known up-and-coming young film maker. “Try some good old homegrown.”

He hands me a one hitter, and, boy, is this “tobacco” good. “They throw the best parties,” he says before meeting up with some more narrow-eyed friends gathering outside a secret venue on the outer industrial edge of Remington.
“They” are Kat, her boyfriend Antonio, Eliot, and Kyle and they have been throwing semi-monthly theme parties for about a year. Consider them The Misshapes of Baltimore. Club kids, DJs, and party planners. This is the second one not at their home base in The Annex behind the Copycat building. “We’re a collective. We all play a little part. If one was missing the vibe would be different,” Ponyo says.

The crew’s attention to detail is impressive. When you pass the ladies at the front door, you walk through dark trashbag curtains, as if you’re heading into a homemade weed processing plant. Dancers and guests bob around with blinking weed-stalks on their heads and rub shoulders with some local celebs like the rapper GODDM and the  fashion designer Virginia Rohr. The DJs: Ponyo, Ozone Mark, Sexoesthetic, Braider, Lil’ Jabba, Re:Juvenile and Bearcat, who’s from London, knew their crowd and played some Chicago juke, trap, Bmore club, trance, dancehall, and house to great effect.

“These are the parties I’ll remember in Baltimore,” said one guest, whose head is topped with a leafy Statue of Liberty Crown, while taking a break from dancing in the small hot room. “I’m from the county. I like it that there’s still an underground and that these things are mostly word of mouth. Who are you again?”

(Photo: DJ Ponyo by J.M. Giordano)

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