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Come Away With Us: Norah Jones at the Lyric Opera House, March 30

March 31, 2010
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Come Away With Us: Norah Jones at the Lyric Opera House, March 30

Norah Jones has a genuine gift, but she doesn’t seem to grasp what it is. She has the ability to be the next Linda Ronstadt or Emmylou Harris—a strikingly beautiful woman with a strikingly beautiful voice that can imbue the most familiar songs with a new flush of feeling. Unfortunately, she seems to think...
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Posted in Live Review | 28 Comments »

Burying the Hatchet: Bossman and Mullyman at the Black Hole Rock Club March 17

March 30, 2010
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Burying the Hatchet: Bossman and Mullyman at the Black Hole Rock Club March 17

Mullyman and Bossman rock the house, mics In 2004, a couple of local MCs named Bossmand and Mullyman began their parallel rises to prominence as two of Baltimore hip-hop’s brightest mainstream prospects. In 2005, they started throwing lyrical darts at each other in a series of diss tracks, for reasons that most people still...
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Posted in Live Review, News | 10 Comments »

Felons and Gypsies: Balti Mare and the Baltimore String Felons at the Sidebar March 19

March 30, 2010
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Balti Mare is a group of Eastern European shepherds who were granted supernatural powers of musical talent by a gypsy witch and relocated to the United States a few years ago to share their gifts with the rest of the world. At least, that’s the backstory of the 7-piece band as it was given...
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Posted in Live Review | 58 Comments »

SXSW: Ruben Ramos and Little Joe at Kenny Dorham’s Backyard, Austin, Texas, March 18

March 23, 2010
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SXSW: Ruben Ramos and Little Joe at Kenny Dorham’s Backyard, Austin, Texas, March 18

Ruben Ramos Interstate 35, which runs from Dallas to San Antonio, slices through the middle of Austin north to south. It’s also the traditional dividing line between West Austin, where most of the white population lives, and East Austin, which is largely black and brown. The South by Southwest Music Conference has rarely ventured...
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Posted in Live Review, SXSW | 739 Comments »

SXSW: the Silos and Jon Dee Graham and the Fighting Cocks, Joe’s Bar, Austin, Texas, March 17

March 23, 2010
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SXSW: the Silos and Jon Dee Graham and the Fighting Cocks, Joe’s Bar, Austin, Texas, March 17

Jon Dee Graham For the four days of the South by Southwest Music Conference, it seems that every barroom patio, restaurant deck, and vacant lot within walking distance of downtown Austin has been commandeered as a live-music stage. Some of these were the sites for the conference’s official showcases, but many more are for...
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Posted in Live Review, SXSW | 28 Comments »

SXSW: Spoon and Broken Bells, Stubbs, Austin, Texas, March 17

March 18, 2010
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SXSW: Spoon and Broken Bells, Stubbs, Austin, Texas, March 17

The microchip has changed rock’n'roll forever. It has added a whole new palette of sounds and a whole new level of precision that can be perfectly repeated forever. But there is danger in these new possibilities—danger that the otherworldly sonics might crowd out handmade noises, danger that perfectibility may obscure the imperfections that are...
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Posted in Live Review, SXSW | 24 Comments »

Cirque de la Symphonie and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, March 11

March 13, 2010
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One totally hairless gold man is supporting another hairless gold man entirely with his neck. No joke: Atop a platform placed front and center on the Meyerhoff stage, two male acrobats clad in goldish trunks and tinted with golden body paint, slowly move through a series of poses that this writer couldn’t pull off...
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Posted in Classical, Live Review | 103 Comments »

Caffeine and Guitars: Reina Williams, March 4 at Peace and A Cup of Joe

March 11, 2010
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Caffeine and Guitars: Reina Williams, March 4 at Peace and A Cup of Joe

| Image by City Paper Digi-Cam Reina Williams is one of the more unique musicians working in Baltimore these days, someone who straddles a few different genres. As a hip-hop producer, she’s made beats for brash young rappers like Lil D, and recently won the producer competition No Guts No Glory at 5 Seasons...
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Posted in Live Review | 31 Comments »

Know Your Product: Jonathan Badger, Unsung Stories from Lilly’s Days as a Solar Astronaut (MT6/High Horse)

March 9, 2010
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Know Your Product: Jonathan Badger, Unsung Stories from Lilly’s Days as a Solar Astronaut  (MT6/High Horse)

The first thing you notice about Unsung Stories from Lilly’s Days as a Solar Astronaut is its distinctive packaging, a cryptic collage overlaying a backdrop the color of faded parchment paper: ragged, Ralph Steadman-esque lettering interspersed with distressed typefaces, washed-out snapshots of an ’80s-era sedan and an unidentifiable action figure, aimless doodles, a gray...
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Posted in Album Review, Know Your Product | 23 Comments »

Working Out the Kinks: Ray Davies at Rams Head Tavern, March 2

March 9, 2010
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Working Out the Kinks: Ray Davies at Rams Head Tavern, March 2

As the pop stars of the 1960s enter their 60s, as their hairlines recede and voices roughen, the second-tier stars begin to play smaller and smaller rooms. Thus it was possible on the night of March 2, within the intimate confines of Annapolis’s Rams Head Tavern, to sit less than 20 feet from Ray...
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Posted in Live Review | 16 Comments »

Know Your Product: ScholarMan, Free Spirit of a Troubled Soul (Soganic Music)

March 8, 2010
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Know Your Product: ScholarMan, Free Spirit of a Troubled Soul (Soganic Music)

ScholarMan may be the hardest working Baltimore rapper you probably haven’t heard of, with a thick discography that appears to grow every few months. His 2009 included a solo full-length and two collaborative EPs and, at the top of 2010, he came right back with a new album, Free Spirit of a Troubled Soul....
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Posted in Album Review, Know Your Product, Uncategorized | 20 Comments »

Over Guiding Light: Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Feb. 28 at Goucher College

March 3, 2010
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Over Guiding Light: Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Feb. 28 at Goucher College

| Image by Robbie Whelan There are heaps of nice things to say about the Baltimore Choral Arts Society’s Feb. 28 program at Goucher College. The program—Franz Schubert’s Mass in G Major and Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna—included two highly beautiful pieces of music that made an interesting counterpoint to one another: one a tidy,...
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Posted in Live Review | 85 Comments »