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The Strange, Post-“I’m the Ish” Career of DJ Class

January 31, 2011
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The Strange, Post-“I’m the Ish” Career of DJ Class

Since “I’m the Ish,” DJ Class’ career has been all over the place, but that’s oddly appropriate given the wonky music climate right now. We’re all still waiting for his Alameda and Cold Spring Universal Republic major label debut–and it’s safe to assume we’re never gonna see it–but meanwhile, Class has cleverly bounced between...
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Posted in Listen, News | 12 Comments »

Baltimore’s Ckrisis Gets Interscope Digital Deal, Collaborates With Mims

January 31, 2011
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Baltimore’s Ckrisis Gets Interscope Digital Deal, Collaborates With Mims

In early 2007, a rapper named Ckrisis started making some noise around Baltimore with the mixtape Muscle Up Vol. 1 and the single “Tore Up,” in which producers the Pornstars married a Baltimore club-inspired “Think” breakbeat to a saxophone riff that sounded like it was sampled from a 1950s rock ‘n’ roll record. More...
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On the Download: Ultra Naté, “Turn It Up”

January 28, 2011
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On the Download: Ultra Naté, “Turn It Up”

This new one from Ultra Naté’s upcoming album Hero Worship is exactly what to expect from the Baltimore house diva: a big, bright celebration of all-night dancing and favorite songs, anchored by an unabashed house thump and some disco strings. About the only thing “modern” here is a polite touch of Auto-Tune, and even...
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Posted in Listen, On the Download | No Comments »

Band of Susan’s: Out of Your Head Collective at the Windup Space, Jan. 25

January 27, 2011
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Band of Susan’s: Out of Your Head Collective at the Windup Space, Jan. 25

I once interviewed Adam Hopkins and Matt Frazao, who curate the constantly changing lineups of improvisers that perform as the Out of Your Head collective at the Windup Space every Tuesday night, and they both singled out pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn as one of the standout players in their repertory. “Everybody likes playing...
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Posted in Live Review | 707 Comments »

Mania Music Group Is Just Giving Away Beats

January 26, 2011
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Mania Music Group Is Just Giving Away Beats

Attention Baltimore rappers with chintzy, sounds-like-ass beats. You no longer have an excuse. In-house producers for Mania Music, BeaLack and Headphonemusik, are handing out 11 beats for free over at the Mania Music Group BandCamp account. These aren’t instrumentals of previously heard Mania tracks either. They’re new productions in a wide range of hip-hop...
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On the Download: James Nasty’s The Truth About James Nasty

January 25, 2011
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On the Download: James Nasty’s The Truth About James Nasty

Somehow, we missed out on talking about James Nasty’s The Truth About James Nasty when it was released in early January. This pause tape-like mix of the Moustache Party DJ’s original productions, and a few from his club producer peers like Murder Mark and Benny Stixx, is a breezy, juiced-up journey through club music...
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Posted in Album Review, Listen, On the Download | 1 Comment »

Preview: Blaqstarr’s Divine EP

January 24, 2011
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Preview: Blaqstarr’s Divine EP

Let’s get this out of the way: Divine EP doesn’t really have any club music on it. OK, the parts of the title track that aren’t grimy indie rock featuring Blaq asking if he can “lick your ice cream” do indeed shuffle and stutter like “Tote It,” but that’s about it. Even when Blaq’s...
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Video Roundup: New Sounds/Pictures From the Death Set, Celebration, and Dog Leather

January 21, 2011
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Video Roundup: New Sounds/Pictures From the Death Set, Celebration, and Dog Leather

First up, the first new song in years from erstwhile Baltimore spazz-punk band the Death Set. And it’s probably the heaviest, most breaking-things track the band’s ever done—Johnny Siera stops shrieking just long enough for a weird mechanical sampled chorus to cut in, backed by a guitar that seems almost metal. Punishing and kinda...
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On the Download: Improv With Dan Deacon and Matmos

January 20, 2011
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On the Download: Improv With Dan Deacon and Matmos

This happened at last fall’s MoogFest in North Carolina: two improv jams between Dan Deacon and Matmos’ Drew Daniel and M.C. Schmidt, released yesterday via the indie live-recording vault Daytrotter. Warned by a comment from Schmidt on the Daytrotter posting that the second track “*really* isn’t very good,” I went ahead and skipped it,...
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Posted in On the Download | 17 Comments »

Video: Greenspan Gets Live With Soul Adrenaline

January 19, 2011
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Video: Greenspan Gets Live With Soul Adrenaline

Rising Baltimore rapper Greenspan’s biggest edge over other MCs in the city is the degree of energy, charisma, and attention to detail he brings to his live show, even when he’s just rapping over a beat. On Dec. 14, Greenspan appeared as a rare hip-hop act at Gypsy Soul PR’s monthly R&B showcase Ear...
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Posted in Visual | 9 Comments »

Listen: Lower Dens’ Cover of Mayo Thompson’s “Dear Betty Baby”

January 18, 2011
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Listen: Lower Dens’ Cover of Mayo Thompson’s “Dear Betty Baby”

In last week’s paper, Michael Byrne wrote about “Batman,” the A-side of the new 7-inch from Lower Dens, out today. Though this isn’t a case of “B-side wins again”–“Batman” is too crunchy and buoyant to concede to a cover of an old psych-folk song–Lower Dens’ take on Mayo Thompson’s “Dear Betty Baby” (from his...
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Posted in Listen, Track | 10 Comments »

On the Download: Thank You, “1-2-3 Bad”

January 18, 2011
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On the Download: Thank You, “1-2-3 Bad”

“1-2-3 Bad,” the new song from Thank You, is like a surf instrumental broken into tiny pieces. All the excited riffs and rolling grooves are there, and it eventually builds to a harmonized chant of some sort, but all the simple rewards of rock have been cleverly rearranged to bump into each other, rather...
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Stormtroopers Raid the BSO as BSO Goes to the Windup Space

January 18, 2011
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Stormtroopers Raid the BSO as BSO Goes to the Windup Space

Synchronicity enjoyed a sold-out, standing room only debut last week. The new partnership marks a new musical cooperation between the young Mobtown Modern and the solid symphonic sound that is the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Orchestras across the nation scramble to cater to listeners under 30, wherever they can be found. Mobtown Modern curator Brian...
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Posted in Live Review | 3 Comments »

Dan Deacon on Scoring Francis Ford Coppola’s New Film

January 17, 2011
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Dan Deacon on Scoring Francis Ford Coppola’s New Film

It wasn’t long ago that Dan Deacon was touring via Greyhound bus and living the unglamorous, underground art-collective lifestyle. Well, he still does. Mostly. But last week, it was announced that he’ll be scoring the new Francis Ford Coppola movie, Twixt Now and Sunrise, starring Val Kilmer. Late last week, City Paper caught up...
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Posted in Q&A | 1 Comment »

No Story to Tell: Cameron Blake, Sea Couch, Sine Jensen, and Adam Trice at the Golden West Café, Jan. 15

January 17, 2011
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No Story to Tell: Cameron Blake, Sea Couch, Sine Jensen, and Adam Trice at the Golden West Café, Jan. 15

Last weekend, Scenic Route Recordings hosted the third edition of the Songwriter Sessions, a monthly event in which local musicians showcase their work in a quiet, intimate setting, often but not necessarily solo. There’s apparently been enough confusion about that fairly straightforward format, however, that there have been running jokes on- and offstage about...
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All In: Lafayette Gilchrist’s Inside Out at the Creative Alliance, Jan. 15

January 17, 2011
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All In: Lafayette Gilchrist’s Inside Out at the Creative Alliance, Jan. 15

In 2007, pianist Lafayette Gilchrist reduced his Baltimore septet, the New Volcanoes, to a trio to release the Hyena Records album Lafayette Gilchrist 3. It was, he admitted, partially an attempt to create a more affordable touring vehicle, but it was also an opportunity to test himself in a format where the pianist has...
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Posted in Live Review | 66 Comments »

Like Baltimore Hip-Hop? Need Some Sneakers?

January 14, 2011
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Like Baltimore Hip-Hop? Need Some Sneakers?

If you head over to any of the Downtown Locker Room locations and buy a pair of New Balance sneakers, you get a free copy of The New Balance Vol. 1, a mix CD from WKYS’ DJ Quicksilva featuring music from DMV Baltimore and Washington, D.C., rappers. Kinda cool, huh? While you’re there, you...
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Posted in Listen, News | 1,955 Comments »

Mobtown Modern Announces Project 20 Remix

January 13, 2011
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Mobtown Modern Announces Project 20 Remix

At last night’s Mobtown Modern performance of Philip Glass’ Glassworks at the Windup Space, a first-ever official collaboration with musicians from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, MM curator Brian Sacawa announced yet another trailblazing project: the Project 20 Remix. Jumping off from Project 20, the ambitious year-long 20th-anniversary arts rubric/celebration put forth by MM sponsoring...
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Video: Arbouretum’s Dave Heumann Performing “When Delivery Comes” Solo

January 13, 2011
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Video: Arbouretum’s Dave Heumann Performing “When Delivery Comes” Solo

Dunno the context for this aside from it being Dave Heumann sitting alone on a hill during the fall sometime. The song is “When Delivery Comes,” off Arbouretum‘s forthcoming The Gathering, and you’ve got to appreciate how heavy he can make it even minus all of the full band’s electric churn and gravitas. No...
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Relive Lil B’s Whartscape Set Via iTunes

January 12, 2011
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Relive Lil B’s Whartscape Set Via iTunes

Live In Baltimore 2010, Bay Area experimental rapper Lil B’s live set from the 2010 Whartscape festival, begins with the self-proclaimed “Based God” walking onstage shouting “swag” a whole bunch of times as M83′s “Can’t Stop” blasts from the speakers. It’s actually pretty exhilarating–but it’s all downhill from there. Most of the time, B...
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Posted in News, Thinking 'Bout Stuff | 1,383 Comments »