Tag Archives: Metro Gallery

Tomorrow: Charles Street Friday Market @ Charles & Lanvale

The Chop has always has decidedly mixed feelings about farmers’ markets. We’re certainly glad they’re there… no doubt about that. At the same time though, we don’t actually go out to them and buy produce as often as we probably ought to.

We like the Waverly market quite a lot, but it ends at noon and quite frankly if we’re waking up at 10:30, getting dressed and running out to buy vegetables isn’t always at the top of our priorities list, especially if we’ve still got to go into Giant for items not available outside. That’s the reason it took us so long to get to the JFX Farmers’ Market, and now that we’ve been, well, we’re in no rush to go back. The JFX market is just the right mix of dirty hippies, snotty yuppies, oblivious children, and a 30-deep line for coffee to make it equal to about the 5th level of hell.

Charles Street Friday Market combines two classic Baltimore pastimes: buying produce and drinking in the street.

The new Charles Street Friday Market might be a little more up our alley. First of all, we don’t have to roll our ass out of bed at the crack of 9 am to get there on time. The Lanvale Street location is just about perfect for being close to home and central, but not blocking up Friday rush hour traffic, and being in Station North (we suspect) will draw a better mix of people than some other area markets.

We were out of town last Friday for the inaugural setup of the Friday Market, but we expect it will have everything the JFX offers, only on a decreased scale. We’re looking for tomatoes and corn and spinach and asparagus… the hula hoops and baubles and scented soap are none of our concern.

But perhaps the best thing going for the Friday market is that they’ve got the one thing we may love more than coffee… beer. The market is sponsored by Frederick’s Flying Dog Brewery, and you can even sip on an Old Scratch or a Snake Dog while you’re shopping. In addition, the Metro Gallery will open its doors at 3 pm with happy hour specials, and is also now featuring a carry out license for beer and wine.

The combination of a farmers’ market and a happy hour isn’t just clever, it’s one of those ideas that’s so ingenious that we didn’t even know we needed it in our lives until someone invented it. As if you weren’t doing enough good by supporting local farms and brewers, a portion of the market’s sales will go to benefit League of Dreams, which helps children with developmental disabilities get involved with baseball and softball throughout the area. It’s not just win-win, it’s win-win-win.

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Charles Street Friday Market runs from 3-8 pm every Friday in the unit block of Lanvale Street.

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Tonight: Heads for Deleted Scenes, Tales for Vivian Girls

Well, lucky Chop. We’ve got another night with too damn many interesting things going on. We already told you yesterday about the Found Footage Festival at the Creative Alliance tonight, and we can scarcely find room to mention that Madison Smartt Bell is also reading from his new novel and signing copies at Atomic Books tonight.

Sadly though, we’re not quite in the mood for film or literature tonight. We feel like getting drunk and listening to some rock and roll bands. And there’s no shortage of them going around either.

Black Lips play the Ottobar tonight. 9pm.

It’s impossible to go wrong with Deleted Scenes, who have been getting a lot of attention lately as a band to watch. Some of that attention has been from this blog, as we named them among the 10 best shows we blogged last year. Riding that momentum, we expect they’ll be playing a number of songs from their forthcoming record Young People’s Church of the Air, which is bound to be one of the better records coming out in 2011. They’re playing the Metro Gallery tonight with North Carolina’s equally buzzworthy Hammer No More the Fingers, who are set to record a full length in May with J. Robbins, as well as locals Gary B and the Notions and Vinny Vegas.

It’s a show we’d jump on under normal circumstances, but tonight there’s an equally interesting show happening at the Ottobar. A Vivian Girls show is always a good time, and they’ve got a new album of their own, Share the Joy coming out on Tuesday. If you just can’t wait that long, you can click over to NPR’s First Listen and hear the new stuff before the show tonight.

If Cassie Ramone, Kickball Katy, and new drummer Fiona Campbell look noticeably more suntanned than this crummy overcast Spring should allow, it may be because they’re fresh off the Bruise Cruise on the Carnival Imagination. Go ahead and read that link and we think you’ll agree with us that the end of Punk, and Western Civilization is very, very near.

They’re playing tonight with a band we like but have never seen before, the Black Lips who are the heirs apparent to acts like Ween and the Dead Milkmen. It’s a tough call. A trip to the Ottobar tonight may mean a quality John Waters sighting, or it could also mean a few ex-girlfriend sightings. You pays your money and you takes your chances, we guess.

So we’re going to leave it to chance. Not being bothered to try to see both shows, we’re just going to flip a coin. Heads for Deleted Scenes, tales for Vivian Girls. We’ll let the Queen decide via a British pound coin.

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Awesome Saturday Again in Baltimore Tonight

We’ve talked before on this blog about the Baltimore phenomenon we’ve taken to calling Awesome Saturday. The movers and shakers and event planners in this town who plan things in advance all seem to zero in on the last Saturday of the month to book the really cool stuff, and at least 3 great events will all happen at the exact same time. It’s usually the last Saturday, anyway. Sometimes it’s the third Saturday. This month, after Christmas and New Year’s and all, it’s both.

There are three shows going on tonight that are all worthy of your attention. We still don’t really know which one (or more) we’ll get to, so we’re going to tell you about all of them in a Just the facts, ma’am sort of way.

A visual approximation of Joan of Arc eating dinner at the Golden West.

The Sidebar is drawing first blood with 4:30 pm doors on a huge bill at Incest Fest, the general idea of which is a small-timore style crossover day of bands and friends sharing the stage in common bands and side projects. Highlights include the straight-out-the-garage rockabilly style of Young Jaguars and the one and only TUNNELBIKE!

Up at the Metro Gallery it’s gonna be Sick Sick Birds, who we talked about on Wednesday when they played with the Queers in DC. They’re playing with Squaaks, White Tiger and the Bed of Roses, and former Government Issue frontman John Stabb’s latest band Sleeper Agent, who were one of the subjects of our first post ever.

Finally, the Golden West in Hampden is hosting Joan of Arc. You would think that would be a no-brainer, since we love Joan of Arc and all the bands in tonight’s other shows are local, but they’re also playing Monday at the Black Cat, so there’s your second chance right there. Tonight’s show also features Philly’s Algernon Cadwallader, who’ve made a career out of sounding exactly like Cap’n Jazz, and Soft Circle.

Wherever you or we or any of us end up tonight, it’s bound to be an awesome Saturday.

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Metro Gallery is at 1801 N. Charles Street in Station North.

Golden West Cafe is at 1105 W. 36th Street in Hampden.

Sidebar is at 218 E. Lexington Street Downtown.

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Tomorrow: Landspeedrecord!, Poly/Western @ Metro Gallery

Why is it that sometimes the best bands are also the laziest? We don’t mean to call anyone lazy, especially since we pretty much take the cake for sloth in this town, but we can’t help but notice that sometimes those with the most talent do relatively little with it. Consider the scant output by writers like JD Salinger and John Kennedy Toole, or the recent careers of local bands like Landspeedrecord! and Poly/Western.

Granted: LSR put out a shitload of records, and was no slouch back in the day, but since they got back together they’ve played out only occasionally, and seem to be doing things just for the fun of it (not that there’s a damn thing wrong with that). We already told you how cool they are back in May, so we won’t waste words here telling you again. They’re still cool, okay?

Landspeedrecord! plays the Metro Gallery tomorrow. 8 pm doors.

Poly/Western is also a sort of groundhog of local music. Every now and again they’ll pop up and play a show, see their shadow or not, and go back underground for as long as suits them. If they were to start playing and traveling regularly though, or maybe even release a record, we think they could really be a band to watch for 2011. They’ve got that slow, full, ambient feel while still staying true to pop/rock song structures that we’ve begun referring to as the Baltimore Sound, and they do it a lot better than many bands who seem to work a lot harder than they do. On this blog, we try to give you a heads up for what you can expect at local shows, but rarely can we do it with such precision so easily. Here’s a youtube video of Poly/Western playing at the Metro Gallery. In other words, it’s pretty much exactly what you can expect to see tomorrow.

Joining in on the fun are a couple of bands who play a lot more often around town, Thee Lexington Arrows and The Matrimonials. Both are worth watching, and for $8 at a bar that stocks cheap Löwenbräus, this is our idea of nightlife.

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Metro Gallery is located at 1700 N. Charles St. in Station North. Tonight’s show is 21+.

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Gutter Magazine’s Dead Celebrities Ball, CA Lantern Parade Tonight

What? You think you’re done with Halloween? You went out raging last night and now you think you’re just going to stay at home and watch Simpsons’ Halloween special reruns and eat pumpkin flavored junk food? Well, Halloween’s not done with you, Baltimore.

You’d better get started on washing off all the beer and lipstick stains you got on that costume last night, because you’re going to need it again tonight. As luck would have it, all of the reasonable, moderate and sane folks are heading down to DC to be reasonable and moderate together, which means that by default, the rest of us left in Baltimore are unreasonable, immoderate, and insane. Should make for a hell of a Devil’s Night.

Gutter Mag's Dead Celebrities Ball is at Metro Gallery tonight.

As if we didn’t have enough to do last night, we’re starting off tonight with a trip to Patterson Park for the Creative Alliance‘s Great Halloween Lantern Parade and Festival. From what we’ve heard, last year’s parade was really quite a spectacle, done well down to the last detail. Word was that it was on of the very rare events that’s billed as ‘fun for the whole family’ that actually is fun for the whole family.

Afterward we’re heading back up to Station North, where we’ll be around and about the rest of the night. We’re definitely going to make the Metro Gallery our home base though. Our friends at Gutter Magazine are back there tonight with their second annual Dead Celebrities Ball. They’ve booked in four of Charm City’s best post-rock bands including old favorites Sick Sick Birds as well as Squaaks and the Jennifers. Plus we’ll finally get a chance to check out the relatively new(ish) Sal Bando, who we haven’t had a chance to see live yet.

With a grown up set like that, we can pretty much guarantee that the Misfits covers and Halloween cheesiness will be kept to a minimum, which is a great relief at this point. Best part? It’s only five bucks at the door, sucka.

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Lantern festivities begin at 3pm. Parade Starts at 7:30 pm. Corner of Eastern and Linwood in Patterson Park.

Metro Gallery is at 1801 N. Charles St. in Station North. Doors at 8:45.

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Arbouretum, Caltrop, Pilgrim @ Metro Gallery Tonight

Well, it’s official. The Chop is definitely suffering from some sort of double reverse culture shock. Being cooped up in the sealed fuselages of germy planes for better than 24 hours has given us a terrible cold, right at the same time we actually need to be productive for the first time in 2 or 3 weeks. Yes, you would think that we would need to be productive while doing actual work, not screwing around online most of the day, but that’s where you’re wrong. The last 3 weeks or so have been pretty relaxed. Lots of waiting around, mostly, and not a lot of overtime, which is really the only part of the job that requires actual work anyway.

So we’ve had a lot of time to sit around in the desert and daydream about all the things we wanted to do upon arrival back home. Then there’s the whole other list of things we have to do, the giant stack of mail, dealing with the bank, chores around the house, fixing the car, sundry other personal business. Add to that the giant list of shopping we’re trying to knock out; new shoes, jeans, buying (and learning how to use) one of those new Blackberry Torch phones, food, restocking the bar… and furniture. Furniture is a lot of work. We just scored a sofabed, and are in the process of hunting up a dining room group, which of course will also necessitate finding paint, wallpaper, curtains, etc. It’s getting to be a task just to squeeze in recreation.

Arbouretum plays the Metro Gallery tonight with Caltrop and Pilgrim. 8 pm Doors.

Which is why we’re taking it down a notch tonight with Arbouretum at the Metro Gallery.

You may ask yourself, ‘But why go out at all? Why not just take it easy for a while?’ Well, because after last night, this is taking it easy. It’s the kind of show where you can cop a barstool, open a tab, and just sit back and enjoy some really good music. Plus there’s likely to be women there. And the plain truth is we just haven’t seen many of those in the last 3 months.

Why should you turn out tonight? Because you’ve got to show a little love, that’s why. Despite being objectively talented with an impressive musical resume and a comfortable spot in the Thrill Jockey stable, we feel like ever since its founding (8 years ago! Time flies!) Dave Heumann’s band has often fallen victim to what we like to refer to as “The Oranges Band Syndrome”, meaning that everyone likes them, but somehow they’re nobody’s favorite.

You may or may not agree, but one thing that’s undeniable is that they are indeed the perfect band for Fall. Arbouretum has never been the band you play loudly in the car when you can finally roll down the windows in April. They’re not that summer festival band you have to catch on the sidestage. They’re not even the band you put on the iPod to brace up and shovel out of 4 feet of snow. They’re a band for October. So wrap your scarf, pack your flask, don your cap, and get down to the Metro Gallery. We’ll see you there.

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Metro Gallery is at 1700 N. Charles in Station North. Doors at 8 pm. $8.

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The Chop vs. Ikea

Okay. We admit it. This is a half-assed post. No links or brilliant commentary today.

We’re busy as hell this weekend and don’t have time for a proper post. In fact, we’re so busy we don’t even know what we’re up to today.

We might go to the Senator Theater to catch a free screening of Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story at 1pm. But probably not since we’ve already seen it.

We might go to Ottobar for Jello Biafra’s new project, but probably not, because it’s not DK and never will be.

We might even go to the Metro Gallery for the Victoria Vox CD release show. But maybe not.

You know what they say about guys with big bookshelves...

What we’ll probably do is stay at home and open a bottle of wine and attempt to assemble this monster, the Expedit 5 x 5 which is the centerpiece of the Chop’s new home office. We’ve already knocked together two of the smaller ones this week, but this is the big leagues right here.

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