Tag Archives: BYOB

Spring Meet Opens @ Pimlico This Weekend

So, we wrote a whole big blog post last year about how we were going to put on our Sunday best and go to Pimlico and piss away a few bucks and fake-it rich. As it happened, we got called up last minute to help a friend move. We swore we’d get up to Old Hilltop the next week, and then one thing led to another and long story short, we never made it to the races at all last year.

Well, the Spring meet is here again, and this year, goddamn it, we’re off to the races. We suggest you check out some live racing too, any day except the Preakness. Don’t go to Preakness.

Kegasus, and by extension the Preakness itself, is an embarrassment to our city before the eyes of the nation.

The Preakness organizers have failed miserably in recent years, and this year they’ve more than outdone themselves with the God-awful, thoroughly embarrassing Kegasus campaign. We’ll say first off that we’re no big fan of Danny McBride or any of the white trash, delusional, substance abusing memes surrounding his characters. It was bad enough when Keystone Beer ripped him off entirely, but this rip-off of a ripoff with a horse twist is more watered down than Keystone Beer itself.

Unfortunately, the Jockey Club and their ad firm Elevation Ltd. have decided to make an ‘outside run’ at the highly prized 18-25 male demographic, and don’t mind alienating anyone and everyone who doesn’t fit that demo along the way. The funny thing is, they had those customers locked up in the BYOB days, and blew it all to hell by discontinuing that policy. We understand that they’re trying their hardest to divorce the Preakness from actual horse racing by making the infield a generic rock music-and-shitty-beer festival, but as we’ve already pointed out, there are hundreds of festivals in Baltimore every Summer. Frat boys don’t need Preakness as an excuse to get drunk outside.

The way we see it, the Jockey Club blew a golden opportunity last year when they came crawling back to 18-25 year old males. They should have followed the example of Churchill Downs and divided their infield into sections.

Note: this is not actually Pimlico.

Even a very simple division like this one would make a lot more sense than having a handful of random frat bros wandering dumbly from tent to tent looking for the shortest beer line. We would have liked to see them make the backstretch the collegiate/rock concert/ all you can drink area while reserving the third and fourth turns for the Media pavillion (to which tickets could also be sold, because that’s a lot of real estate. Make the clubhouse turn some sort of family friendly picnic-type area, and market tickets to church groups and the like, and make the home stretch and starting gate area some sort of liquor company sponsored glutton’s paradise with food trucks, tents set up by regional restaurants, mircrobrew beer gardens and the like. Sell passes to each section at different prices, with premium charges for “2 section” passes, and even an “all access infield” pass for people who want to see the bands and get the best fare and best views.

Is this a brilliant revolutionary idea? No. But it’s a good idea. It’s a workable idea. It’s an idea that would make us seriously consider buying Preakness tickets, and it took us about one minute to think of it. If the Maryland Jockey Club would trouble themselves to think seriously about the Preakness for one fucking minute, their sport and our tradition would both be better off.

As it is though, we’ll be watching our racing with the pensioners on the non-stakes days, Irishing up our coffee and going two across the board on a maiden.

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Ted Leo, Heks Orkest @ The G-Spot Tonight

We can’t lie to you Baltimore, we’re getting old. At least in scene terms, 30 is no spring chicken. This is why it’s been a good long time since the Chop has seen Ted Leo and the Pharmacists live.

Seems like there was a time when we couldn’t help seeing Ted Leo play live. We’d go see some band like Ranier Maria and sure enough, there’s Ted Leo, opening the bill. We even used to heckle quite a bit. Ted Leo was just that kid in school who gave you the setup for a joke every time he opened his mouth. Good old Ted couldn’t finish one song and start another without saying something ridiculous. We weren’t the only one… the Elvis Costello, Paul Westerberg, and Matthew Sweet references were bouncing off the walls in those days.

Ted Leo and Heks Orkest play the G-Spot tonight. 8 pm Doors.

Since then Leo has stacked up new records, rounded out his sound, and become almost famous in the process. We haven’t seen him since because we’re frankly getting too old and jaded for stuff like sold-out crowds, advance ticket sales, trips to the 9:30 club, nightclub drink prices, etc. We just don’t like Ted Leo that much. We like him in a just-as-friends-maybe-go-to-second-base-if-you-can-get-us-a-bottle-of-Boone’s-Farm kind of way. Not a my-parents-are-going-away-for-the-weekend-you-can-totally-come-over-for-a-lingerie-fashion-show-and-backrub-marathon kind of way. We don’t like him like that.

So we were glad to hear that he’s playing the G-Spot tonight. This totally erases all the reasons we have for not going. It’s not far away. It’s BYOB. It’s not sold out. We don’t have to stay out until last call, and we don’t have to watch 4 other bands we don’t really want to see.

As near as we can tell, the only other band on the bill is Richmond’s Heks Orkest, whose name means “witches orchestra,” but who sound nothing like Rasputina. Some may even call them a supergroup, although this raises an interesting question:

    What’s the difference between a supergroup and a bunch of guys who have been in a lot of bands before?

Hard to say. But Avail, Sparta, Engine Down, Denali, Kepone, and a several more former bands is a pretty good resume, and the mp3s on their site, How It Will All Fit and I’ve been Waiting are pretty good stuff.

Maybe even the kind of stuff we end up liking more than Ted Leo when it’s all said and done.

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The G-Spot is located at 2980 Falls Road, 3/4 mile north of the Streetcar Museum. Tickets are $12, $15 day of show. All ages, 8 pm doors.

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Secret Mountains, Hop Along @ Hexagon Tonight

It’s Friday Baltimore. Ease up a little. You’ve been busting ass and running yourself ragged all week… don’t think we haven’t noticed. So tonight it’s all about taking it easy. Slow and Low, that’s the word today.

And we’re in luck again, cause after you hit that post-work happy hour and nosh on something spring-timey and delicious, there’s really no better way to decompress that with Baltimore’s own Secret Mountains, playing at the Hexagon tonight.

Secret Mountains play the Hexagon w/ Hop Along tonight. 9 pm.

Aural States says that SM’s Kaddish EP is “nothing short of breathtaking.” We say that quiet is the new hard, and these guys sound like Mazzy Star. Don’t get us wrong though: what we mean to say is that they are as good as Mazzy Star. In our book, that’s no faint praise.

They’re supported on this bill by Philly’s Hop Along, which you may also know as Hop Along Queen Ansleis. They’ve played Baltimore plenty before, but we haven’t heard much from them recently. If you haven’t checked them out yet, you really should. Rounding out the bill is Dangerous Ponies and Lithuania.

The show tonight is BYOB, so we’ll probably strap on our trusty steel flask, which we get a lot more use out of than we thought we would when we bought it. We’re also planning to stop by the Windup Space beforehand and have a few cocktails while we check out their visual exhibit, Coupling: Selections from the Baker Artist Awards, which just opened on Wednesday.

Our walls in the new house are still entirely bare, and now that Value City finally got around to delivering the new bedroom furniture (half-assed customer service, to be sure, but the room is strictly big-pimpin’), we have an idea of exactly what we’ll need for that room, canvas-wise. If the work is up to snuff, we might even break out our checkbook.

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