Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Schwarz - "Hands Up, Don't Shoot"

In Ferguson, MO the issues that usually bubble under the surface of this country are spilling out into the streets.  There is little that can be said about this tragedy that hasn't already been voiced a hundred times, but now there is another layer to the soundtrack.  Local DJ and producer Schwarz just dropped an absolutely amazing Bmore club track using samples of the protestors in Ferguson chanting, set against the wail of police LRAD systems.  Calls for justice have moved into the club...

Friday, August 15, 2014

Baltimore! Brought to you by Budweiser!

As is the fad these days, yet another corporate interest has backed yet another music blog to "report" on and co-opt the music scene here in Baltimore.  The word is out that if you need something that reads to key demographic groups as relevant and smacks of real, authentic DIY than all you need to do is grab your 4-camera DSLR team, a few associate producers, and Lance Bangs and head to Baltimore.  So it is that VICE magazine's music arm, Noisey, made the video below and put Budweiser's logo on it.

The video itself is produced well, although it doesn't really go into any uncharted territory.  It does manage to get a few DIY luminaries to talk about how great their underground scene is.  How underground is a scene that seems to keep craving, and receiving, national attention?  I really enjoy the part where MATMOS manages to complain about people recording shows in other cities while they're doing an interview on camera for a YouTube channel primarily stocked with concert footage.  The tone of the piece is very positive, and it does make the city look like a place most viewers would want to be.

The funny thing is a lot of people are upset about this video, but no one seems to have a good reason.  Rockers complain online that they weren't featured and that it focused on the noise/GLBT-friendly hip-hop side of things.  Of course, if you want to be in the video than you aren't cool enough to be in it <emphasis sarcasm>.  I saw a complaint about some of the artists not actually being from the Baltimore scene (Animal Collective came of age in Brooklyn, NY and MATMOS is a transplant from San Francisco) but this is clearly referenced in the video and doesn't make their opinions on the scene less valid.  Hipsters that sport their DIY merit badges where their fanny packs were 7 years ago bitch about it being corporate, but after the whole GEICO fiasco last October ignorance is not an excuse.  If a team of people with high-end gear walks into a club and starts asking for interviews it is up to you to ask who's paying for all those cameras.

It should be noted that I am affiliated with the Metro Gallery, which is one of the venues featured in this video.  For what its worth, the team represented themselves as being from VICE, and didn't mention the corporate sponsorship.  No one asked either, and it isn't the first time the Gallery has had corporate interests focus on local talent with our venue as a backdrop.  The frustration I felt over the GEICO video was because of how completely wrong the information it it was and how uninformed the narrator seemed to be.  This video, despite people's feelings on it, manages to paint a fairly accurate picture of what is going on here.  The presentation, including the corporate sponsorship, is a part of the scene.  Congrats, Baltimore.  We made it.

Friday, August 1, 2014


The best festival this Summer is only 3 weeks away!  The Fields Festival, featuring a large portion of your favorite Baltimore bands, is going to be an absolutely awesome event.  Ever wondered what it would be like to be with all the creative freaks of Baltimore in the woods?  Wonder no more and buy your tickets here!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ping Pong - Mighty Mark ft. TT the Artist (video)

Butts.  Lollipops.  Beats by Mighty Mark and TT the Artist talkin' about booty.  More butts.  Colorful "glitch-scape".  Art direction by Felipe Goncalves.  Still more butts.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"Trigger Happy" - Baynard Woods responds to BCPD "Happy" Video

I'm a little late to the game on this one, but it nicely wraps a few themes I like to harp upon in this blog together.  First off, the Baltimore Police Department, apparently overjoyed at having 50,000 followers on Twitter, published this video on June 30th.  It is predictable, kind of nice, and more than a little ironic.

Baynard Woods over at the Baltimore City Paper made this video rejoinder to illustrate how far off target the police's priorities are and published it July 8th.  Since then it has gone viral and has got to be one of the most dynamic examples of video activism I've ever seen.  The Baltimore Police Department gives more ammo to critics to shoot down their public image efforts than most departments.  This explosive video = bullseye!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Celebration - Tomorrow's Here Today / Bosley - Just Like You (videos)

Celebration, the indie-veterans of Baltimore responsible for some of the best music this city has ever heard, just published an amazing video for the track "Tomorrow's Here Today".  This blistering track is  from their upcoming new LP Albumin, scheduled to be released August 19th.  I am really looking forward to (hopefully) seeing that release party!  The video is directed by Matt Riggieri and produced by Digital Cave Media.  This creative team is responsible for a large portion of the best Baltimore music videos produced over the last few years, including Bosley's Neon Magazine and videos for Wye Oak, Great American Canyon Band, and more.  The collaboration between all these heavyweights doesn't disappoint.  As neon colors strobe into painted dancers the visuals of this highly-stylized video ramp up.  As expectations grow regarding the exploitation of a technique known often as a "mirror" effect on the video, the effect itself is turned upside down.  The result is engaging, and the video a triumph.

Back in February Digital Cave also had a hand in yet another Bosley short.  With some absolutely stellar work in the past behind them they all managed to produce a completely different and very impressive video for the tune "Just Like You".  The track is off of Bos's first album Honey Pig.  His second LP, The Dirty Dog Radio Show, was released March 15th.  The accompanying video must have taken an awful lot of time and patience to produce, and the simple but striking result is complimentary to the song and enjoyable to watch.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Ghiant - Elemental Functions (video)

Ghiant is a guy named Donald Ian Black who makes music and lives in L.A.  Using a variety of instruments, he writes catchy pop songs.  Bill Dewald is a guy that I went to school with here in Baltimore, but he ran off to L.A. and is now a successful editor and general movie-type.  You may remember Bill's name from Hummercatz - which you need to watch immediately if you haven't seen it yet.  The track Elemental Functions is off of Ghiant's new release, his third LP, A Discussion of Head Noise.  This delightful video was painstakingly rendered in the old AutoDeskAnimator program that is as old as it looks.  I love everything about this video - from the earnestly corny yet slyly composed animated sequence to the ruminations upon the big-picture explored in the vintage film footage.  Watch below...
GHIANT "Elemental Functions" (OfficialVideo) from INFINITE CRUX on Vimeo.