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Mike Apichella pens epic love letter to the ’90s Baltimore County scene

August 9, 2012

A few days ago, local musician and writer Mike Apichella launched a new website, Towson Glen-Arm Freakouts, with an incredibly dense 10,000 word timeline of the DIY scene among a cabal of Baltimore County teenagers from 1992 to 1997. The story goes up to around the time of the foundation of the storied all ages venue the Small Intestine, and one of Apichella’s best loved bands, Charm City Suicides, who broke up in 2002. Along the way, dozens of otherwise forgotten bands with names like Spastic Cracker and The Preschoolers are tracked via house shows and self-released cassettes. As someone who attended Towson University in the early 2000′s, and witnessed Charm City Suicides just once in an incredible performance at Ten Care Pile Up, I find it a fascinating inside look at a scene that has taken on somewhat mythological status over the years.

Apichella went on to form the still active Human Host, while his timeline features mentions of musicians who went onto projects including Oxes, The Convocation, Cex and Arbouretum. But what his remembrances make a case for, without putting too fine a point on it, is how influential the so-called “90′s teen avant-garde of north Baltimore County” was on the city’s later punk and indie scenes, as those kids grew up and moved into the city and populating the clubs and warehouse spaces of today. It’s hard to imagine, say, Wham City happening without the foundation laid back then, with the kids Towson making far more idiosyncratic noise than the Nirvana and Fugazi knockoffs that probably dominated comparable suburban scenes across the country in the mid-’90s. Apichella plans to further document the Towson-Glen Arm scene with a series of archival compilations, and hopefully more lovingly detailed blog entries like this one will also follow.