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R.I.P. Pete Seeger

January 28, 2014
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R.I.P. Pete Seeger

Last May, I had the chance to spend a couple hours talking to Pete Seeger at George’s in the Peabody Court hotel. He was in town to speak at Peabody’s commencement. Later that night, I happened to be back in George’s. A man approached me. “Who was that man you were talking to this...
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Pete Seeger talks Beethoven, Bob Dylan, and the end of the world

May 23, 2013
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Pete Seeger talks Beethoven, Bob Dylan, and the end of the world

The legendary folk singer and songwriter Pete Seeger is in town to speak at Peabody’s graduation ceremony, where he will receive the Peabody Medal for his outstanding contributions to music. We were delighted to meet Seeger over lunch, where our conversation ranged widely, as he often broke into song, singing “Anacreon in Heaven,”  from...
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Q&A: Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino talks old-school country, confessional songwriting, and bench pressing

April 1, 2013
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In 2010 Best Coast surprised everyone, including themselves, with the runaway success of their debut Crazy for You. Its blast of catchy, lo-fi guitar pop caught many an ear, including power pop legend and Kanye West co-producer Jon Brion, who produced the band’s second album The Only Place. With a new polished sound, Best...
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Final Thoughts From Double Dagger on Shoe-Licking, Being Pissed Off, T-Shirt Smuggling, and More

October 21, 2011
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Final Thoughts From Double Dagger on Shoe-Licking, Being Pissed Off, T-Shirt Smuggling, and More

So it is that today, Oct. 21, 2011, marks the last-ever show for Baltimore’s own Double Dagger. City Paper has done an appreciative feature and a do-it-yourself six-panel poster, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t offer some more words from the band. In researching the former, I sat down with lead singer Nolen...
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Animal Collective Talks More About Returning to Maryland, Turning Pop, and Playing Merriweather Post Pavilion

July 8, 2011
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Animal Collective Talks More About Returning to Maryland, Turning Pop, and Playing Merriweather Post Pavilion

In this week’s cover story, we talked to Animal Collective members Brian Weitz and David Portner—aka Geologist and Avey Tare, respectively—about their recent return to Maryland to write new material following the huge success of their 2009 album Merriweather Post Pavilion. All four members spent January through March working in a converted barn on...
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Flying Eyes’ Elias Schutzman Talks Farm Fest V (Q&A)

July 1, 2011
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Flying Eyes’ Elias Schutzman Talks Farm Fest V (Q&A)

The best Baltimore rock show happening this weekend may actually be all the way out in Carroll County. This Saturday, leading lights of the local indie scene like Lower Dens and Arbouretum will be heading up a bill of nine bands from in and out of town on the Carney Family Farm in Manchester,...
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Posted in Q&A | 72 Comments »

Talking Cassette Tapes and Memories with Lexie Mountain

June 30, 2011
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Talking Cassette Tapes and Memories with Lexie Mountain

Lexie Mountain rummages through her tape collection, pulls out yet another cassette and pops it into the Centennial tape player on the floor. “Her tapes are bonkers,” Mountain says of the woman on the recording. Play. “God, I wish I could stop shaking,” says the woman. Audibly, she shutters, shivers. Then silence for a...
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Posted in Q&A, Thinking 'Bout Stuff | 69 Comments »

Q&A: Solar Temple Suicides On Fears, SCarey Studios, and the Japanese Nuclear Disaster

June 6, 2011
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Q&A: Solar Temple Suicides On Fears, SCarey Studios, and the Japanese Nuclear Disaster

The first instrumental element you’ll take real note of in a Solar Temple Suicides song is the bass. It’s not shy, that bass. It’s prominent in the mix: bold, booming, probing, a sweet, mellow groundswell carrying the rest of this Baltimore-based group’s earthenware psychedelic grooves on its muscular back like an enormous, oversized tortoise,...
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Q&A: Jana Hunter on Exxon, Band Changes, and the Changing Future of Humans (Part Two)

May 10, 2011
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Q&A: Jana Hunter on Exxon, Band Changes, and the Changing Future of Humans (Part Two)

At the time of this interview, which was arranged and conducted in the span of several hours after it was announced that Will Adams was leaving Lower Dens on April 25, there was a growing local controversy surrounding an ExxonMobil commercial touting oil-sands technology. The reason: the oil company licensed the opening guitar chords...
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Posted in Q&A | 6 Comments »

Q&A: Lower Dens’ Jana Hunter Talks Band Shake-ups, Bohemians vs. Robots, and Exxon (Part One)

April 28, 2011
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Q&A: Lower Dens’ Jana Hunter Talks Band Shake-ups, Bohemians vs. Robots, and Exxon (Part One)

In a flurry of tweets and Facebook status updates on Monday, Lower Dens announced that Will Adams would be leaving the band due to exhaustion. It was the second major lineup change since the start of the year, the first being the departure of drummer Abe Sanders in early January. As part of a...
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Posted in Q&A | 12 Comments »

Q&A: Adventure’s Benny Boeldt On Growing Up and ’80s Love

April 13, 2011
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Q&A: Adventure’s Benny Boeldt On Growing Up and ’80s Love

After many placed him within the chip-tune movement, Baltimore-based electronic musician Benny Boeldt has drastically changed the sound of his project Adventure. His new album, Lesser Known, is filled with bubbly synth-pop that sounds like the music kids listened to in the ‘80s when they turned off the Nintendo and switched on MTV. Additionally,...
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Posted in Q&A | 1 Comment »

Q&A: Local Composer David Smooke on the League of the Unsound Sound, March 20 at the Windup Space

March 17, 2011
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Q&A: Local Composer David Smooke on the League of the Unsound Sound, March 20 at the Windup Space

On Sunday night the latest experimental music endeavor with firm Baltimore roots makes it local debut. Co-organized and -founded by local composer and musician David Smooke, the League of the Unsound Sound is a loose ensemble dedicated not only to exploring new composed music and improvisation, but to advocating for both of those camps...
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Posted in Classical, Preview, Q&A | 201 Comments »

Q&A: Height on the New Shark Tank Album and Impending Height With Friends Tour

February 23, 2011
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Q&A: Height on the New Shark Tank Album and Impending Height With Friends Tour

More than a decade ago, Dan Keech began rapping under the name Height, forming the short-lived hip-hop group Wounds with a few high school buddies and later releasing three solo albums. In 2009, however, he began billing his records as Height With Friends, first with Baltimore Highlands and then last year’s Bed of Seeds,...
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Posted in Q&A | 4 Comments »

Q & A: Adam Katzman, North Carolina’s Biggest Baltimore Club Fan

February 7, 2011
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Q & A: Adam Katzman, North Carolina’s Biggest Baltimore Club Fan

One of the stranger things we’ve heard about as of late is Artistika, a venue in Greensboro, North Carolina, just a few minutes from Quaker liberal arts school Guilford College, that’s hosting Baltimore club shows: A late November Say Wut show, and last month, DJ Pierre, Murder Mark (with Tt the Artist), and James...
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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 »

Q&A: Spermwhales’ Brent Grant on Casios, the Time Warp EP, and Danny Glover

November 12, 2010
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Q&A: Spermwhales’ Brent Grant on Casios, the Time Warp EP, and Danny Glover

Spermwhales songs have titles like “Daydreams,” “Dwell Forever,“ and “Surf Out Of Forever” that telegraph the cerebral, blunted atmospheres that Spermwhales’ Brent Grant taps into with little more than a guitar, effects pedals, and an impeccable melodic intuition. His prismatic, hypnotic drones, tonal-pond ripples, and Wavves-esque surf-noise is nothing short of beautiful. Occasionally, as...
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Posted in Q&A | 60 Comments »

Q&A: Warpaint’s Jenny Lee on Billie Holiday, Exquisite Corpses, and Los Angeles

August 16, 2010
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Q&A: Warpaint’s Jenny Lee on Billie Holiday, Exquisite Corpses, and Los Angeles

The guitars of Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman interlocking in sequin-sparkle shimmer or sinuous smolder; Jenny Lee Lindburg’s bass notes pacing thoughtfully at melody’s edge; Stella Mozgawa’s keyboards adding depth and texture to the whole even as her drumming propels it. This is the intoxicating sound of Warpaint , an Los Angeles-based foursome whose...
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Q&A: GayBomb on Vivaldi, Charles Nelson Reilly, and Antique Computing

June 9, 2010
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Q&A: GayBomb on Vivaldi, Charles Nelson Reilly, and Antique Computing

By day, Andrew Barranca works as a special educator, assisting children with autism. In his spare time, the Fredrick native (who now resides in Rockville) moonlights as GayBomb, whipping up sonic-slurry shakes–created in part using a card reader Barranca discovered “in the supply closet of my first classroom”–that suggest a hybrid of industrial noise...
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Q&A: Roman Kuebler of the Oranges Band

April 23, 2010
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Q&A: Roman Kuebler of the Oranges Band

Read: The Oranges Band recalls The Whole Ten Years In the process of gathering stories for this week’s remembrance of the Oranges’ first decade, writer Joe Tropea spent some time on the phone with guitarist/vocalist/songwrite Roman Kuebler, a conversation that offered more background on the band that didn’t fit into the story. Here’s the...
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Posted in Q&A | 379 Comments »

Q&A: Fred Schneider on Junking, Holiday-Themed Albums, and the Mastergators

April 9, 2010
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Q&A: Fred Schneider on Junking, Holiday-Themed Albums, and the Mastergators

Fred Schneider sounds exhausted. It’s an evening in mid-March, and the party-pop icon is at home in New York City—holding forth about his recent musical exploits and the impetus for tonight’s performance at the American Visionary Arts Museum—and he just seems wiped out, like most mere mortals are at 10 p.m. on an average...
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Posted in Q&A | 772 Comments »