Archive for the ‘Shows’ Category

Joe Squared pizza

This August marks my third anniversary of living in Baltimore. After five years in New York, the streets of Mount Vernon seemed positively pastoral. In place of modernist skyscrapers and mobile phone ads plastered to ever-present scaffolding, there were green parks, fountains and the muted melody of a flute being played by an open window. Instead of elbowing through crowds, I started strolling, looking at gorgeous antique houses that anybody, even me, could afford.  I would even say I found my Happy Place, although not using the Happy Detector the tourism department concocted.

If we made a Happy Map of our neighborhood for eating and drinking purposes, it could consist of:

1. Howard’s of Mount Vernon offers inexpensive, thoughtfully prepared salads, sandwiches and a few dynamite dinner plates like fish n’ chips. Even the salad dressings are made from scratch and served up with a friendly smile from people who know us by name (naturally, they live nearby and visit the same dog parks). We could eat here every day, and for a while, until we got a/c, we basically did. We sat with a bottle of white wine (BYOB until their liquor license comes through) with the blind Fox and ate grilled ham and cheese and the Howard’s Salad–strawberries, feta, walnuts and local veggies–for less than $15. (more…)


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Height With FriendsThis video will be screened at Height’s record release party, which is today at the Hexagon in Baltimore’s rip-roaring arts district.

Height With Friends special mega-set featuring Mickey Free, Emily Slaughter, Gavin Riley, Travis Allen, Brendan Richmond, Liz Aeby, Pam Kurowski and Rob Dowler of Nuclear Power Pants.

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HFStival rises from the deadNow that we’ve entered our third decade, the culture lords of my generation have gotten nostalgic for the good old days. We worshiped Kurt Cobain, entered radio contests on WHFS 94.7 and made wicked cassette mix tapes. I remember a time when we taped the radio — BT on Transmissions, anyone? We loved the Nineties. I mean, we totally loathed the nineties, but in an ironic way we relished those days, cognizant of the dissonance… Ahem.

It seems others are feeling similarly wistful for the Clinton years when we unknowingly trashed the planet and beat icebergs back driving SUVs and rocking out to alternative schlock like Live.  Here, just 5 signs we are totally in charge of the culture ship and steering it back into time.

5. The artistic directors of Urban Outfitters has outfitted the Millennials in grunge-era plaid, imitation thrift store t-shirts and Rolling Stones-inspired t-shirts because we still haven’t gotten over seeing Mick Jagger sing Brown Sugar at RFK in 1994. Actually, no one has gotten over seeing Mick Jagger sing Brown Sugar, and that’s how they are selling a Super Deluxe edition of Exile on Main Street for upwards of $100. (more…)

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We didn’t get in to Putty Hill, but we did stalk director Matt Porterfield from Friday night openings at the Charles, to Saturday’s Creative Alliance kegger in the Film Fest parking lot/green room, and up to the Beach House orgy of skinny pants and character spectacles (figuratively, and the coke bottle kind) in Charles Village. It was not that we intentionally shadowed the chronicler of North East Baltimore (naturally, he was clad in uber-tight jeans and philosophic glasses). It was that we were obsessed this weekend with scouring the streets of Baltimore for festivals, filmic and verdant alike. (more…)

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Spring Shows

Word on the street (Ave?) is that prodigal son and daughter Beach House, all growns up and rocking out on Sub Pop now, will return to Baltimore for a primetime show on Saturday May 8th.  The venue for what promises to be a veritable sea of hipsters swaying methodically to Beach House’s hauntingly beautiful jams will be 2640 Saint Paul Street.  In just a few short weeks the other Baltimore export to the ranks of indie superstardom, one Daniel Deacon, makes the Ottobar masses sweat profusely on Friday February 19th.

Some other shows that the Block looks forward to with great expectation:

  • Gang Gang Dance brings their oddly invigorating show back to Ottobar on Thursday March 25th
  • The xx keep it low key for a matinée show at Sixth and I Synagogue in DC on Palm Sunday, March 28th
  • polished British shoe gaze (is that redundant?) newcomers The Big Pink try to keep it real with the suits at Rams Head on Thursday April 1st
  • Baltimore’s other cultural export to Brooklyn, the fantastic Yeasayer, bring their world beats to 930 Club Saturday April 3rd

Anything I missed?

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Lazer Moustache Party

Be there or be square

Libby Picken from LazerBitch will be performing at Ottobar’s Moustache party tomorrow evening. To get sufficiently pumped up, check out this video of Libby stealing from people all over Baltimore. After depositing the Corvette in an alley near the Copycat building, she storms the stage at The Windup space, which looks like freaking Twilo in this video.

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