Monthly Archives: May 2010

Deleted Scenes, Medications @ The Sidebar Tonight

We were just saying the other day how we never get around to going to DC anymore, and how when we do all we seem to do is go straight to the Black Cat and then come straight home. We even skipped out on yesterday’s trip to the DC Record Fair.

But why would we want to go to DC anyway? Considering: A… Baltimore is way better, and B… If we just sit around and wait, the best of DC will come to us, which is exactly what’s happening at the Sidebar tonight.

Deleted Scenes, Medications play the Sidebar tonight. 9 pm doors.

If it please the court, here are the facts of the case:

Gary B and the Notions provide local support. We’ve written about them before and even compared them favorably to Elvis Costello. If that’s not a shining recommendation, we don’t know what is.

Medications have a new record out on Dischord called Completely Removed which completely rules. You might recall the members of this band from former Dischord heavy hitters like Faraquet, Smart Went Crazy, and Beauty Pill, who are all largely responsible for making the DC sound what it is. (Fugazi didn’t do it all by themselves, kiddies.)

Deleted Scenes is that rarest of rarities, a really cool DC band that is not on Dischord. The J Robbins produced Birdseed Shirt is probably better than any record on your shelf right now. Don’t take our word for it though. We’d like to enter into the record testimony from expert witnesses Pitchfork, Brightest Young Things, DCist, Pasta Primavera, and Aural States. They’ll all do a better job than we can of telling you why and how this band is so unique, innovative and superior.

Closing arguments: Despite the fact that it’s Monday and you probably want to flop down on the couch after work and sleep where you lie, you should go to this show; not because it’s something to do on a Monday, but because its probably the best show you’ll see for some time. Besides, we know you all stayed home last night watching Lost.

Verdict: Awesome as charged.

Sentence: Two hours of hard listening.

Court is in recess.

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Sidebar is at 218 E. Lexington Street downtown. Sidebar is a legal term, and the Sidebar Tavern has a gavel in its logo. This whole post is a pun. Pretty clever, huh?

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Bikes, Bands and Burritos @ Charm City Art Space Today

So, the Baltimore Chop has already gone on record as giving brunch our seal of approval, but if there’s one thing we like more than fancy hotel brunch, it’s gotta be DIY punk rock brunch- which is exactly what we’re doing today.

This is late-breaking developments, Baltimore! We were tentatively planning to do the day-tripping thing today, and check out the DC Record Fair at the Black Cat before taking the metro down to Nationals Park to see our O’s reign victorious in the Battle of the Beltways, but when we suggested this to Roommate he say “No way Jose! Domingo esta los Bicycletas, Mariachis, y Burritos!!!” or something to that effect.

Bikes, Bands and Burritos is at Charm City Art Space today. Doors= too early.

Yes Baltimore, today is the annual celebration of Bikes, Bands, and Burritos at Charm City Art Space. We’re going to treat this as brunch since we’re lazy and won’t be rolling out of bed until noon, but to a lot of other people, it means much more than that.

This week was National Bike to Work Week and as we all know, North Baltimore loves bikes. In addition to being a worthy cause on its own, Bike to Work Week has been endorsed by some of the Chop’s favorite blogs, namely the Magnificent Bastard and Kempt. Although the Chop recommends you follow local custom and throw your bike in the back of a co-worker’s car and go to happy hour on the way home from the office.

In an extra little bit of kismet, today’s show also coincides with the Baltimore Bike Jam and Kelly Cup, and if you pedal fast enough you can even do both.

But down to brass tacks: if you want to buy, sell, or trade a bicycle or some bicycle parts, show up at 10 am. If you want to participate in a punkrock group ride around the city, show up by 10:30. And if you want to do like the Chop does and see Tiny Bombs and Fires and nosh on tasty veggie Mexican food (swap napa cabbage for kale there) show up at noon sharp, because that’s what time they’re playing.

It’s all pot luck, and the Chop loves to wow ’em with the veggie pot luck surprise, so we’re definitely bringing a dish. We even made a trip to the Upper Fells’ Point supermercado the other day, so we’ve got some authentic ingredients cold chillin’ in our fridge.

And if you’re still unsatisfied with that, you can always walk around the corner and get a proper brunch at Joe Squared (who knew?) and go authentico with one of their many tequilas like we just might.

Ole!

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Charm City Roller Girls Championship and Awesome Saturday Tonight in Baltimore

We’ve noticed something peculiar these last few months. Here at the Baltimore Chop, we keep track of local happenings and events pretty closely, and it seems to us that a pattern is beginning to emerge. Much as each week has a social ebb and flow to it, so do the months. And for the last few months, the final Saturday of the month has been Awesome Saturday.

It’s starting to feel like planners, promoters and party-people are all looking at their calendars in advance and zeroing in on Awesome Saturday as the date to schedule their event. We often find ourselves hard pressed to decide what to do on Awesome Saturdays.

Charm City Roller Girls' championship bout is at DuBurns Arena tonight. 6 pm doors.

A lot of that has to do with the Charm City Roller Girls, who routinely hold bouts on the final Saturday of the month. We’re always grateful that CCRG opens the doors at DuBurns nice and early, since it leaves us (and them) plenty of time for post-game raging.

We never quite understood why people don’t like showing up for things until 11pm or later. We’ve always been of the opinion that if you’re out to have fun, more time= more fun. So listen Choppers… get there early. You’re clearly not working on Saturday, so get yourself down to DuBurns and grab a PBR before the sun goes down. Tonight is the final final Saturday for a while. It’s the league championship bout, and the last chance you’ll have to see derby until July 24, when Charm City takes on Denver at home. Tonight also determines who’s awarded the prestigious and much sought-after Donaghy Cup. We don’t know all the details, but we like to imagine that it’s part Stanley Cup and part pimp cup… something you can take turns dragging to bars around town and drinking beer out of.

What else is so awesome about Awesome Saturday? Glad you asked.

In addition to the Innovate Love Art Auction that we mentioned yesterday, which is probably sold-out anyway, you could go see Matt Porterfield Speak at the Catonsville Library. Porterfield has enjoyed much acclaim recently for his film Putty Hill as well as setting the blogs on fire with the new Double Dagger No Allies video he directed.

If you’re in the mood for dinner and a movie you can check out the Slideluck Potshow at H & H’s Gallery Four. It’s bound to be a veritable bohemian bacchanalia and worth checking out.

Musically speaking you can keep it calmed-down tonight with Wrens at Sonar, step it up a notch with Loved Ones, Dead Mechanical and the Desert Boys at Golden West or get goofy and thoroughly rage with Pfisters and Davey G at the Windup Space.

If you’re not having an Awesome Saturday it’s your own fault, Baltimore.

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The New York Times Dumps on Baltimore Again, But Local Artists Are Too Busy Making Art to Notice

The Baltimore Chop was none too thrilled on Wednesday when we read on the Midnight Sun that the New York Times is looking down its nose at us again. They seem to see Baltimore as little more than a source for so-so regional cuisine, a great inspiration for campy Broadway musicals, and a crummy baseball team for the sweeping.

This time around they’re making us out to be a bungling, artless money-pit who is stuck in the Schmoke era and wants to copy Manhattan. We really, really wish the Times would mind their own fucking business a little more, and publish these cheap, quickie drive-by stories about Baltimore a little less.

The truth is that there’s already more creativity going on in Baltimore than the Chop can possibly keep up with. We saw an outstanding opening last night, and we’re torn between two events that deserve our full attention tonight.

Cezanne and American Modernism closes at the BMA tonight. 7-10:30 pm.

First up, Run of the Mill Theater is opening Variations on Beauty tonight in the BBOX space in MICA‘s Gateway Building. The Variations series is an ongoing project for which playwrights assemble and collaborate on various themes, with each crafting a play on the central idea. Tonight’s opening show focuses on Beauty and features eight world premieres by local writers, as well as a chance for the audience to decide on the next theme. Variations only runs 8 performances, and closes May 30 so get your tickets now.

We might have to catch a weekday performance though, because we’re probably going to keep it close to home and head over to the closing party for Cezanne and American Modernism at the BMA.

(Despite the BMA’s website, it looks like the New York Times also poo-pooed this exhibition when it opened in New Jersey.)

We’ve been meaning to get over and see this show since it opened, and for once it looks like our procrastination has paid off. The museum is keeping late hours tonight (until 10:30), and $5 for non-members is a bargain to get dressed up fancy, see the paintings, get access to the snack table and a cash bar too. Not to mention DJ’s and soundscape artists performing live.

Innovate Love auctions art at Silo Point tomorrow. 7-11 pm.

While we’re high on our visual arts horse, we’re also going to mention tomorrow’s Innovate Love art auction at Silo Point. Innovate Love is a joint benefit for Innovate Baltimore and the Baltimore Love Project; worthy causes both. We probably won’t make it out to this because tomorrow is a crazy busy night in Baltimore, but we really wish we could. We haven’t been to Silo Point yet, although we almost went to the last auction they had there. This one’s in the penthouse, so it’s likely to be pretty swank. Then again, Super Art Fight is bound to make sure it doesn’t get too stuffy in there.

We’re still looking to fill our walls up with art, but alas, Big Daddy Barack hasn’t made with our tax refund deposit yet, so an art auction is a temptation we can’t afford at the moment. Just as well. We can always spend Six Dollars! for the Sunday New York Times so they can tell us how crummy and provincial it was.

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MICA’s Gateway Building is at 1601 W. Mount Royal Ave in Bolton Hill.

The BMA is at 10 Art Museum Dr. in Charles Village.

Silo Point is at 1200 Steuart St. in Locust point.

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Baltimore Portrait: New Drawings by Erin Fitzpatrick @ UB Tonight

If there’s one activity that Baltimore likes to engage in collectively, it’s looking at itself in the proverbial mirror. It’s part of the reason we love the films of John Waters so much. It’s why we think The Wire was such a wonderful show, and it’s even why we went to go see Naked Baltimore when it opened at the Metro Gallery.

This ongoing game of monkey in the mirror is also part of the reason we’re so excited about the opening of Erin Fitzpatrick‘s Baltimore Portrait series at the University of Baltimore’s Student Center tonight.

Baltimore Portrait opens at the University of Baltimore Student Center tonight. 7-9 pm (Show is on 5th floor, not 3rd).

The current installation of the Baltimore Portrait series includes 20 new local faces, selected from a total of 75 and counting, with more than half of the series completed recently. Portraits from the series have been on display since November ’09, most recently at the Theater Project’s John Fonda Gallery.

But don’t take our word for it. Erin was kind enough to answer a few quick questions for us in advance of tonight’s show. It’s the first time this blog has undertaken to do an interview, and we couldn’t be happier about it. Let’s begin, shall we?

Megan Fitzpatrick

The Baltimore Chop:

    Your portrait series focuses on a collection of people from a specific place. What connections or effects have you observed between people and the places they live and vice versa?

Erin Fitzpatrick: “So far, almost all of my subjects have been Baltimore-based. Some have transplanted, but they are all people who I met here. I have plans to start some new pieces based on subjects in L.A. this summer. Maybe then I’ll be able to get a better perspective on how the portraits differ with location.

For me, working within the parameter of a certain city is about meeting, and capturing on paper or canvas, all of the interesting people that live within that area. It’s like visual networking.”

Chop:

    In addition to being a working artist you’re also a proficient blogger, focusing on your portrait series as well as other more general topics like fashion and Baltimore life. What made you want to start blogging and what’s kept you going?

Fitz: “I originally started Fitzbomb as an easy way to show my art on line. I got a few hits from people I knew and through random searches. Then I started thinking about what people want to see (themselves and other people out and looking good) and how I could tie that in to my art. I started carrying a camera around and shooting nightlife (especially when I could capture people who I have drawn/painted.) This approach immediately expanded my viewing audience.”

Elena Johnston

Chop:

    How has the Fitzbomb blog complemented or helped with the portraits’ creative process since it’s inception?

Fitz:
“The main way that Fitzbomb has helped my portrait project is through exposure. The next stage in my plan is to make the portrait project and the blog more cohesive.

While I’m sure that I will still photograph/post a lot of social events, I really want to get into documenting my subjects. Like, this is Erin, this is where she lives/works/hangs out, here are some interview questions that tell you what she does, and then the whole thing culminates in my final portrait. I want Fitzbomb to primarily be a place to exhibit my subjects both as portraits and as people (thus actually living up to the blog’s tag line. Ha.)”

Chop:

    All of the portraits in this series are very similar in composition, with a lot of negative space at the top. Do you feel a similar look helps to highlight the differences and details in your subjects?

Fitz: “I compose my pieces with a lot of negative space to draw the viewer in to each individual portrait. So, yes, you got it.

I’ve been thinking about doing some paintings in the near future that have more than one person in them, but I would keep the same space around each figure. I think it would create interesting tensions and make the viewer look at the individuals, but wonder about the relationships.”

Jenny Andrzejewski

Chop:

    Thanks so much! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Fitz: “Nope. You asked good questions. I got to talk about the ideas that I’ve been planning in my head while drawing the pieces for my up-coming show. Also, I’m always thinking about individuals and groups who I could draw, so if you have any good ideas for me…”

If you’ve got any good ideas for Erin, you can let her know at tonight’s opening, or at www.fitzbomb.com. The current installation of Baltimore Portrait opens tonight with a reception from 7- 9 pm in the Hilda and Michael Bogomolny Room on the 5th floor, and will remain on view until August 27th in the 5th Floor Gallery.

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UB’s Student Center is at 21 W. Mount Royal Ave in Mount Vernon. See their website for gallery hours and additional information.

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The Chop Aboard the Liberty Ship SS John W Brown

“I’m on a boat!”

Not really. I’m actually on a ship. But if you want to get your little Foursquare badge-y thing, this would be a hell of a way to do it.

Today the Chop is visiting what is probably Baltimore’s most interesting and least visited attraction, the Liberty Ship SS John W Brown.

Length: 441' Beam:57' Draft: 27 Displacement: 14,245 tons

How do we know it’s the least visited? Because it’s really, really hard to visit. We know. We’ve tried to go aboard about four times already. The all-volunteer run ship is only open to visitors Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 am until 4 pm, when and if she’s at her berth (as she is still operational and sometimes moves for tours, maintenance, goodwill port calls in other cities, etc).

Until this weekend, we didn’t even know she was open on Wednesdays. A trip down to the docks at 2 pm found the crew of the Brown filing down the gangway and raising it against visitors early, apparently just because they felt like it.

Engine: 19' x 21'/ 270,000 lbs./ 76 rpm max./ 2500 hp tunring an 18' 4 blade prop

But today is the day. No more fooling around. The Chop is going to get up and out of bed as early as possible and go down to Canton to see the ship, which is not only important to the history of WWII, but is an important piece of Baltimore history, as it was built at Sparrows Point.

Sparrows Point built 385 liberty ships, some in as little as 28 days each.

The full story of the liberty ships and the John W Brown can be found at the Project Liberty Ship website. The Brown is one of only two surviving liberty ships in the world, the other being the Jeremiah O’Brien in San Francisco (not to be confused with the later-built victory ships of a different design).

Armament: Three 3-inch/50 caliber guns; one 5-inch/38 caliber gun; eight 20mm guns.

We’ve actually been lucky enough to see the Brown steaming out of the harbor, and it was a fascinating site. We can’t wait to climb the gangway, ring the bell on the forecastle, stroll the quarterdeck, check out the view from the bridge, see what’s cooking in the galley, and gape and gawp at the authentic triple expansion steam engine down below and the .50 caliber guns on the fantail.

Yeah. The Chop’s a bit of a boat nerd.

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The John W Brown is berthed at pier 1 on Clinton Street in Canton, south of the First Mariner tower. Parking is available inside the wharf building on the dock itself. The gangway is generally down Wed. and Sat. at 10 am. Admission is free but donations are accepted.

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The Best Bars to Visit After an Orioles Game at Camden Yards

No trip to Oriole Park is complete without a pre-game beer for happy hour, and between the Inner Harbor, Pickles and Sliders’, Pratt Street Ale House and the Chop’s favorite, California Tortilla there’s no shortage of options near the park.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for post game cocktails. It’s a problem of urban planning that there are no decent late-night bars in the immediate vicinity for baseball fans to patronize. We really liked going to Lucy’s on Eutaw last season, but with their demise, most people we know beat a retreat back to their own neighborhood (or suburb, as the case may be) for their post game drinks.

Drinking close to home is always a good idea, but what about those times when you’re meeting friends, entertaining clients, visiting from out-of-town or otherwise want to extend your evening downtown?

It’s for times like these that we’re proud to present our meticulously researched and true-life tested list of:

The Best Bars to Visit After an Orioles Game

# 5… Mt. Royal Tavern

Mt. Royal Tavern. 1204 W. Mount Royal Ave.

This is about as far as you can get from a sports bar. If you’re coming here to drink with other people in orange jerseys, you’re definitely in the wrong place. If you’re looking for super cheap drinks and easy access to the light rail and JFX, then you’ve arrived. This is also one of the best bars in Baltimore for getting completely, utterly shitfaced. Not for the faint of heart.

# 4… Dougherty’s Pub

Dougherty's Pub. 223 W. Chase Street.

Also near light rail but a bit more hospitable is Dougherty’s. Never too busy, they’ve got plenty of tables, decent bar food, and a good selection of reasonably priced pitchers. They’re also easy walking distance to the rest of Mount Vernon. It definitely beats the cloistered, cacophonous atmosphere of certain upper Mount Vernon watering holes, even if the beer is not hand-made.

# 3… Max’s

Max's. 737 S. Broadway

Also referred to as Max’s Taphouse or Max’s on Broadway, The bar on the square in Fell’s Point is beloved by locals and visitors alike. With 1000+ bottled beers and over 100 taps, there’s a lot to like here. Easily accessible after the game by cab, water taxi, or circulator, you can camp here for the night or use it as a home base for exploring the rest of the neighborhood.

# 2… Mick O’Shea’s

Mick O'Shea's. 328 N. Charles Street.

This is likely your best option if you’re staying in a downtown hotel. Mick’s bartender Tricia Murphy recently won the title of Baltimore’s Best Bartender in a very extensive poll by a local paper. O’Shea’s is a little bit of local nestled right next to the touristy harbor, and the place to go if you want to see live Irish music on the weekend or maybe have a post-game drink with some of the opposing players during the week. Beats your hotel bar by a mile.

# 1… Little Havana

Little Havana. 1325 Key Highway.

Our number one choice for a post-game drink is a little out of the way if you don’t live in South Baltimore, but it’s worth the effort to get there. It’s far enough away from the typical South Baltimore bar circuit that it’s mostly free of riff-raff, and as an added bonus you can get free parking nearby at the high school, and walk from there to the park and then to the bar. A mojito or mint julep on their waterfront balcony is the perfect summer nightcap after an evening at the Yard.

Every true Oriole needs a post-game drink.

What are some of your favorite spots to drink after the game? Which ones do you avoid? Honorable mentions here go out to James Joyce, B & O Brasserie, and almost any place in Little Italy.

The Chop is heading back out there for Tuesday bargain night again tonight, and you can bet your baseballs we’ll end up at one of these spots after the game. See you there.

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The Orioles play the Kansas City Royals at Camden Yards tonight. 7:05 on MASN 2.

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