1. Al Rogers, “U Must Luv Me” (2013, from the forthcoming Almost EP)

    Returning from my Slumbr to post this fantastic video/song from Baltimore rapper Al Rogers. Posted it at work, too.

    The crazy part: Apparently, this is only a snippet. Almost drops March 26.

  2. When a band says where they’re from, I feel like a lot of that has to do with where they come into their own,” Deacon says. “I came into my own in Baltimore, through Wham City, through shows at the Copycat, through playing the Talking Head, through weird opening slots at the Ottobar. I would go to other places and other cities and come back to Baltimore, and Baltimore always had this energy to it, this weirdness to the shows, that was different from everywhere else—a positive weirdness.

    — "Dan Deacon’s America," by Evan Serpick, Baltimore City Paper

    (Source: citypaper.com)

  3. Where you'll mostly find me →

    To briefly explain my recent absence from the Tumblr page I only sporadically updated in the first place …

    Following the likes of the Sun O.G. Sam Sessa and Women’s Wear Daily media reporter Erik Maza, I am now the dude running the Baltimore Sun’s Midnight Sun nightlife blog. My music writing is all here (Mindless Behavior last week!), along with my reviews of local bars and even strip clubs. I never thought I’d review bars but in a city like this, it’s fun as hell. OK, peace!

  4. Download Now: Kane Mayfield, 'Hydrants' →

    Finally got around to posting this solid Kane Mayfield song over at Midnight Sun.

  5. Baltimore’s biggest band had fame in its grasp — and then happily let go.

    Baltimore’s biggest band had fame in its grasp — and then happily let go.

  6. If I wanted to release a “screwed” cover of an Eagles song, I don’t have to ask anybody. If I have a bizarre idea that might weird people out or piss people off or not make sense, then I want to be able to share that with people and take that feedback. I’m fully willing to take responsiblitiy for these weird songs that I have. I just have to. It’s something that I feel compelled to share with people. That’s why I’m a songwriter. That’s why I’m a musician. I’m confused as to why that is, but it is.

    — 

    Jenn Wasner, guitarist/singer for Wye Oak, talked to me about her new solo project, Flock of Dimes, Wye Oak’s future and falling back in love with Baltimore.

    By the way, she really did do a screwed cover of the Eagles’ “I Can’t Tell You Why.” It’s the B-side to her new 7”, which I would recommend picking up over at Friends or when the Sharon Van Etten tour comes to your town. Orange vinyl; very #RARE.

  7. Los and Mullyman miss XXL's 'Freshman' list. Who cares? →

    A rambling blog post about two Baltimore rappers not making the XXL Freshman list.

  8. Review: A$AP Rocky at Baltimore Soundstage →

  9. Not sure if anyone still cares about Sisqo or Dru Hill, but if you do, you’re in luck. From today’s Baltimore Sun.

    Not sure if anyone still cares about Sisqo or Dru Hill, but if you do, you’re in luck. From today’s Baltimore Sun.

  10. Los, “Lord Knows (Freestyle)” (Internet, 2012)

    Will a Baltimore rapper ever blow up? Los seems as poised as anyone from Charm City to crossover. His easy-to-follow but densely packed rapping works well over beats as busy as “Lord Knows.” I wrote about it for the Sun; while Brandon wrote a smart piece on Los, Mullyman and XXL’s Freshmen 2012 List for City Paper.

  11. On new album, Pianos Become the Teeth deal with death →

    It was fun to write about (and thus, listen to) screamo again.

    During high school, I gravitated toward pop-punk (Saves the Day, Alkaline Trio, the Get Up Kids) but loved many aspects and many bands from the heavier, harder fringes. In order for my band to get shows, I had to book many of the shows myself, so we brought through bands we liked, including Ampere (ex-Montcalm) and the Saddest Landscape (a band that did a 7” with PBT last year). So it all feels, if not full circle, at least interconnected. Doing this story even led me to Touche Amore’s excellent Deathwish-release from last year, Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me. It’s on Spotify.

    The Lack Long After is a beautiful album about lead singer Kyle Durfey’s dad’s death. You’ll need the lyric sheet to understand, which the band supplied on its Tumblr (of course).

    And if anyone cares, my favorite hardcore/screamo bands are Hot Cross, Montcalm, Bane, Circle Takes the Square, I Hate Myself and Saetia.

  12. I wrote b’s cover story this week on Future Islands, the post-whatever trio from Baltimore and one of my favorite bands. On the Water, their recently BNM-snubbed album released Tuesday, is one of the best of year. If you’re curious about the group and haven’t heard their music, imagine entering a dancefloor and bobbing your head, then you pick up pace as the band’s low-end and synthesizers find their groove and then — as soon as you hear Herring’s confessional lyrics — you begin to weep and assume the fetal position. Your feet will still be tapping and twitching. It’s beautiful shit. 
I met the guys for coffee at Carma’s Cafe in Charles Village, and we hung out outside for an hour. Sam Herring, the lead singer, rolled cigarettes and ate tomato soup that looked delicious. The band, especially Herring, was gracious and thoughtful. I’m really happy with how the piece turned out.
Another great aspect of Future Islands is their videos. Their latest and perhaps best is “Balance,” and I spoke with the director Jay Buim about it. It stars the Calvin Klein model and musician Elbee Thrie and Tumblr-approved fashionista Danii Phae. They’re truly in love and you can tell.
UPDATE: NPR is streaming On the Water.
Photo by Lloyd Fox, the Baltimore Sun

    I wrote b’s cover story this week on Future Islands, the post-whatever trio from Baltimore and one of my favorite bands. On the Water, their recently BNM-snubbed album released Tuesday, is one of the best of year. If you’re curious about the group and haven’t heard their music, imagine entering a dancefloor and bobbing your head, then you pick up pace as the band’s low-end and synthesizers find their groove and then — as soon as you hear Herring’s confessional lyrics — you begin to weep and assume the fetal position. Your feet will still be tapping and twitching. It’s beautiful shit. 

    I met the guys for coffee at Carma’s Cafe in Charles Village, and we hung out outside for an hour. Sam Herring, the lead singer, rolled cigarettes and ate tomato soup that looked delicious. The band, especially Herring, was gracious and thoughtful. I’m really happy with how the piece turned out.

    Another great aspect of Future Islands is their videos. Their latest and perhaps best is “Balance,” and I spoke with the director Jay Buim about it. It stars the Calvin Klein model and musician Elbee Thrie and Tumblr-approved fashionista Danii Phae. They’re truly in love and you can tell.

    UPDATE: NPR is streaming On the Water.

    Photo by Lloyd Fox, the Baltimore Sun

  13. I wrote the cover story for this week’s b, the Baltimore Sun’s free weekly. It’s a profile on Rome Cee, one of the few Baltimore rappers who has made me think he could at least breakthrough the city’s insular limits. His new mixtape album is the Extra Mile, and it was posted on Nah Right, 2 Dope Boyz and has a Sean Price feature, so those are small but encouraging signs. He’s thoughtful but never preaches, and he has a pretty good ear for beats. This is my first long-form profile in awhile, so excuse any cobwebs. I’m stoked it’s the cover, and if you’re in the Baltimore area in the coming week, try and pick one up.
Print journalism ain’t dead, the ad revenue just scared.

    I wrote the cover story for this week’s b, the Baltimore Sun’s free weekly. It’s a profile on Rome Cee, one of the few Baltimore rappers who has made me think he could at least breakthrough the city’s insular limits. His new mixtape album is the Extra Mile, and it was posted on Nah Right, 2 Dope Boyz and has a Sean Price feature, so those are small but encouraging signs. He’s thoughtful but never preaches, and he has a pretty good ear for beats. This is my first long-form profile in awhile, so excuse any cobwebs. I’m stoked it’s the cover, and if you’re in the Baltimore area in the coming week, try and pick one up.

    Print journalism ain’t dead, the ad revenue just scared.

  14. Rome Cee’s latest, “By Your Side,” has been getting a lot of spins from me at work. Produced by E Hill of Mizfitz Soundz (also responsible for Greenspan’s "Cold"). Yes, I will always fuck with dusty soul samples. Some additional words if you’re interested.

  15. I was able to sit down with Victoria and Alex for a little less than an hour at a Baltimore coffee shop a couple weeks ago. They were very nice. I thought Victoria had smoked weed before we talked. She made a 4:20 reference and said her lyrics addressed Eywa. (“Avatar” came up a few times. “Dead Man,” too.) When it came time to get serious about the new album, they were pros.
Of course, I wrote too much (hate to think how many inches were eventually cut) and forgot my audience was most likely just being introduced to Beach House rather than Gorilla vs. Bear regulars. Still, I’m pretty stoked about the piece and the accompanying review; probably because Teen Dream is such a giant leap for the band. I was late to the self-titled and Devotion — and I think they’re cool, Devotion especially — but this is a different beast. “Zebra,” “Better Times,” “Norway.” All really incredible tracks. Not to add to the gushing Internet love (good review, by the way), but I love the way this record hits my chest right now. Where other (new, good) records feel out-of-season in late January, Teen Dream does not.

    I was able to sit down with Victoria and Alex for a little less than an hour at a Baltimore coffee shop a couple weeks ago. They were very nice. I thought Victoria had smoked weed before we talked. She made a 4:20 reference and said her lyrics addressed Eywa. (“Avatar” came up a few times. “Dead Man,” too.) When it came time to get serious about the new album, they were pros.

    Of course, I wrote too much (hate to think how many inches were eventually cut) and forgot my audience was most likely just being introduced to Beach House rather than Gorilla vs. Bear regulars. Still, I’m pretty stoked about the piece and the accompanying review; probably because Teen Dream is such a giant leap for the band. I was late to the self-titled and Devotion — and I think they’re cool, Devotion especially — but this is a different beast. “Zebra,” “Better Times,” “Norway.” All really incredible tracks. Not to add to the gushing Internet love (good review, by the way), but I love the way this record hits my chest right now. Where other (new, good) records feel out-of-season in late January, Teen Dream does not.