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Fawning: Paper Magazine Reads Other Magazines

June 4, 2008

Granted, this is a rather late entry into the Magazines With a Hard-On for Baltimore category, but we still thought you should know. (Given there’s probably plenty more of these to come, maybe it’s actually not that late.) Paper, a mag we last recall seeing in Whole Foods, gave a fairly similar Baltimore shout-out to what we’ve recently seen in Blender and Rolling Stone, though keeping things relatively white and “indie”–the subtitle is “Baltimore’s booming indie-rock scene”–with a round-up including Wzt Hearts, Ecstatic Sunshine, Wye Oak, Ponytail, and, of course, Dan Deacon. Other notable features: 1) Holy shit, this is actually more words than pictures; 2) the article starts off mentioning ex-residents Spank Rock (not indie rock), Yeasayer (yes, very), and Animal Collective (by default); 3) again: kinda late on this, eh?; 4) Floristree resident/booker and Wzt Heart Jason Urick practically has a part-time job as underground Baltimore journalist liaison, winning or close to winning the award for most quoted local figure. “I’m not sure why I keep getting interviewed other than it seems Floristree is one of the ‘hip’ easy things to write about in these mini-tourism pieces,” he writes us via e-mail. “All in all I think it’s pretty funny, but for the most part the articles have been total throwaway page-filler BS. Why any of the writers bother to even talk to people here when they just end up reprinting misinformation from previous articles anyways is beyond me.”

We were also curious as to what kind of mind-set glossy mag carpetbaggers are coming into Baltimore with. As in, how formed/open to reforming is their idea of Baltimore before even setting foot in the city? “It seems to me that most of them are just picking up ‘keeping up with the jonses’ assignments from their publications, and the questions have been stock ‘I’ve never been to your city before, but let me ask you about these things I’ve read’ questions,” Urick writes. “And in the end, no matter what you stress to the contrary, it will end up fitting whatever niche and angle the editors have decided it will fill.”

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