Tag Archives: Party

Chop Style: Avoiding the Freshman Sydrome

First things first… The first thing is that we’re happy to announce that this blog was recognized yesterday by the City Paper in their annual Best of Baltimore issue as being Baltimore’s Best Local Blog. The BoB award carries a lot of weight in this town, and most of your finer local establishments display one on their walls from some year or another, so we’re excited to have one of our own to put in the office. We’re looking forward to spending long hours staring at it while we’re lazy and distracted and saying to ourselves “What the fuck are we going to write about today?” which is how blogs are made.

We also want to thank the CP staff for paying enough attention to remember that we are a blog. If we were handing out advice to a beginning blogger, it would not be “don’t write anything at all for 3 months” which is exactly what we’ve done up until yesterday. It means that much more to us for having been offline these 90 days.

A visual approximation of the Chop being the best.

So like we said, we get a little award suitable for framing. But the real prize when you win one of these is that you score an invite to the annual Best of Baltimore party, and get to hobnob and schmooze and glad-hand with the other winners, and of course, be privy to an open bar.

So we went there yesterday, and we did that. We even managed to get a date for the event. And without saying too much about it, we didn’t look at it as one of these “Oh I just need somebody to go with so let’s just go and hang out or whatever” dates. It was more like one of these “She seems pretty awesome and I really want this to go well and I’m kind of nervous about it and I still sort of can’t believe she said yes.” kind of dates. The best kind.

Which brings us to the main idea of this post. For a big date, or any type of big event whether it’s a job interview, a holiday, a wedding or what have you, the temptation is always there to go shopping beforehand and find something new to wear. It’s a temptation we usually resist, and we recommend the rest of you do the same.

Think about the beginning of high school. The first day of ninth grade is a big fucking deal for most kids. You’re out of middle school, and thrown in with a lot of older kids. You may be meeting kids from other middle schools, taking new classes, dating for real for the first time, and you’re trying you’re level best just to fit in, let alone cut a great figure down the hallways.

Maybe it’s different for girls, but for most of us boys your mom dragged you to the mall to hit the back to school sales and made you try on jeans and shirts for hours on end, wouldn’t let you get any of the things that you really wanted, or anything that wasn’t on sale, or anything that couldn’t double as church clothes- in short, anything good. So the first day of school rolls around and now that the clothes are bought you actually have to wear them, and in addition to all the hassles and stresses and pressures of starting high school, you’re constantly thinking “Do these jeans look like Dad jeans? Do these look like floppy clown shoes? Does this shirt make me look like a doofus?” And you wish you’d never gone shopping at all.

We’ve got it better as adults. Most of us have a much improved sense of style and a better sense of self than we did at 14, and we’re free to buy and wear what we will without any help from Mom. All the same, the Freshman Syndrome still persists.

Sure, those pants look great, but do they look great on you? That sweater is nice enough to be an investment piece, but will it itch your neck until you wash it a few times? New shoes are great to have, but they’re even better after you’ve broken them in and they’re not stiff and unforgiving. At the end of the day, looking good is mostly about confidence, and it’s hard to be very confident in something you’ve seen only once in a store mirror. The clothes that really inspire confidence are the ones that we know fit the best; that we’ve seen in our own mirrors, that we’ve been photographed in, that have generated plenty of compliments in the past. Better than new clothes are your favorite clothes.

Having a closet full of clothes that we can count on is one of the best things about being a bona fide adult. In our case, we’re always prepared for anything from a wedding to a funeral to a formal event, or even a date… no trip to the mall required.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Baltimore Events, Chop Style, Other

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.

_________________________________________________________

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.

Share

Leave a comment

Filed under Baltimore Events, shows

Two Halloweens for the Price of One!

So, Halloween is pretty much here. Like today. Like right now. You may think that Halloween falls on Sunday, and that that’s totally lame, but for all intents and purposes, it’s really a blessing in disguise for fans of the holiday. A blessing from the Devil maybe. A super secret double bizarro blessing. Or something like that. For the kiddies, trick-or-treating may indeed be Sunday evening, but for the rest of us, we get a two day holiday for drinking and carrying on. Plus a Sunday to sleep it all off again. Talk about a win/win situation…

We spent some time in and around Station North last Halloween, and if you’re in the mood for going out, we’d definitely recommend doing likewise this year. The college kids can have the East Side and the South Side. Take ’em. We’re done with ’em. We’re perfectly happy right here in North Baltimore. Station North has been doing Halloween right for a few good years now, and if previous experience is anything to go by (and it is), there will be just enough costumed revelers to make every place in the neighborhood fun and interesting, but never so many in one place that the party is overwhelming or overcrowded.

 

Of course you can be two places at once. You've got superpowers.

So, by now you’ve got your costume, and you know what to look out for, but where are you going to go, eh?

There’s plenty going on around town tonight, but there are two events we feel are especially worthy of your attention. First up at the Ottobar the Charm City Roller Girls are going to be holding their 6th annual Bruisers’ Ball. This year’s theme is a Supervillain Soiree, and the costume contests will showcase that with various prizes in several different categories. There’s going to be plenty of other fun stuff too, like Halloween themed drinks and a photobooth, and of course, plenty of rollergirls all about the place. They’re even going to tape Dirty Marty to a wall, which just in itself should be worth the price of admission. And of course there’s a solid slate of bands including the Degenerettes, Hollowboy, and the Stalking Horses, as well as the Moustache dance party upstairs.

And if you can’t get your fill of heroes and villains in just one place, you can always head down to the Windup Space for a separate party with a similar theme. It’s Atomic Books’ second annual celebration of heroism and villainy, and this time around it’s going to feature. DJ Miracle Ear, debut videos from Atomic TV, and the new Rock Band 3 for your enjoyment, complete with Keytar.

Plus, the costume contest pays $400 in cold, hard cash. We’re calling it right now: if you’re lucky enough to snag a jackpot like that, the only right thing to do is to buy the house a round of drinks.

Happy Halloween.

__________________________________________________________

The Bruisers’ Ball at Ottobar (2549 N. Howard, Charles Village) begins at 9pm with the show bands playing at 10:00. $10, 18+.

Atomic’s Heroes and Villains Costume Ball at the Windup Space (12 W. North Ave in Station North) runs concurrently.

Share

Leave a comment

Filed under Baltimore Events, shows

Top Five Cheap, Quick and Easy Halloween Costumes for Adults

We’re going to let you in on a little secret of etiquette, Baltimore. When an invitation says something is optional, that thing is damn well mandatory. A good host or hostess will be reluctant to push their guests around, even on paper. There are firm conventions in place though, and if you’re planning to attend a party or event that is ‘black tie optional’ and ‘gifts optional’, you had better show up in a tux with a nicely wrapped gift. You’ll look like a boorish clod if you don’t.

The same is true of ‘costume optional’ Halloween parties, whether they are a private affair or being held at a bar or some sort of festival. Halloween is now less than 2 weeks away, and if you’re still lacking a costume or are dropped a last minute invitation to a ‘costume optional’ party, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

Nothing says Halloween like raging alcoholic clowns.

Fortunately, the Chop is here to help. We’re happy to give you five solid costume ideas which can be assembled with a minimum of effort and expense, and which can easily be shed when the party ends, or if your plans include something that does not require a costume.

5. Priest The priest outfit is really nothing but black on black with a little white cardboard collar. You probably own most of it already. It can be good fun to do the priest schtick too: blessing people, taking confessions from ‘naughty schoolgirl’ costumers, and breaking out your crucifix or holy water to ward off anyone who may be dressed as a devil. Plus, people like the irony of seeing a priest get totally faced on hard liquor.

4. Fisherman Think fishsticks. This guy has the right idea, and he’s really selling it with the beard. If you forgo the beard, you can accessorize with a little green netting or manila rope. Yellow foul weather gear is available cheaply at places like Lowe’s and Home Depot, and of course, you can wear normal clothes underneath.

3. A Mexican Is this racist? Yeah. Probably. A little. But if you dressed in lederhosen or a kilt, no one would say boo, so why not. Besides, you can claim the moral high ground by claiming to be the (Colombian) coffee man Juan Valdez, or just by yelling “Do I look illegal?!?!?” directly into the face of anyone who questions you. A sombrero, a poncho, and a fake mustache and you’re pretty much good to go.

2. The Sheet It’s old hat on TV and in the movies, but you actually see very few people rocking the sheet-ghost costume. It’s the easiest thing in the world and good for a laugh every time. A sheet will also double as a toga with very little modification, so it’s basically 2 costumes in one. Why not?

1. Clown Okay, so a clown may not really be that easy. Makeup is kind of a commitment. Wig, shoes, gags; a lot goes into being a proper clown. We believe that the return is worth it though. Don’t underestimate the scariness of a clown outfit. More people than you think are totally freaked out by clowns. Besides, clowns are never so funny and awesome as when they’re out of context. Drinking heavily, making lewd remarks, and threatening violence are what takes the ordinary clown costume above and beyond all others. If we see you out on Halloween and you’re a clown, we’re totally going to buy you a drink.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, in which we’ll be discussing the dumbest costume trend ideas of 2010. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Share

Leave a comment

Filed under Chop Rants!

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.

___________________________________________________________

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.

Share

4 Comments

Filed under Art Openings, Baltimore Events, Theater

Oranges Band Anniversary, Under the Strobe Light Preview Party Tonight in Baltimore

It’s a big old Saturday night in Baltimore, and the Chop in on the scene-uh, like a sex machine-uh. Much as we regret it, we can’t make it down to the Roller Derby tonight, but instead we’re going to stay uptown and make appearances at two other events.

Under the Strobe Light is released at Bijon tonight, 8:30 pm.

First we’re going down to check out Josh Sisk’s preview party for his new book Under the Strobe Light: Club Photos 2005-2010 at Bijon. Although the Chop’s not big on clubbing, we got a chuckle recently when the man himself posted the following over at Unicorn Meat:

“I don’t think I have any/many Baltimore followers anymore but.. you never know.”

You never know indeed. We remember Josh from when he was living in the DC area and putting out great records from bands like Flowers in the Attic, Medic, and the New Flesh on his McCarthyism label. Once he moved to Baltimore he went all clubby and we haven’t seen him in a few good years and in fact, that McCarthyism website is like a time portal to 2004. But you know what? Josh Sisk is a stand-up guy, the photos look great, and we wish him all the best with the new book.

Oranges Band celebrate ten years at the Ottobar tonight. 9 pm doors.

After we sip some free champagne courtesy of Mr. Sisk, we’re heading up to the Ottobar to check out the Oranges Band’s 10th anniversary show with Slow Jets, Highrise and Doug Gillard Electric.

We could sit here for an hour and tell you all about the Oranges Band, but you know what? It’s nice out and we want to go down to the Hopkins Spring Fair and see if they have any fried dough. Instead, we recommend you check out the excellent write-ups over at Aural States and the Midnight Sun Blog while we sit around the beer garden and watch the co-eds be all, um, collegial.

__________________________________________________________

Bijon is located at 226 W. Monument Street (corner of Howard St.) in Mount Vernon.

The Ottobar is at 2549 North Howard Street. 410-662-0069

Share

3 Comments

Filed under Baltimore Events, Books and Literature, shows

100 Heads for Haiti Opens @ SPUR Gallery Tonight

Well, the Chop has been miserably sick with common cold this week, and as much as we wish it were so, all that Jim Beam and Ginger we drank at Opening Day yesterday is not exactly a curative elixir. So we’re going to be brief today.

We’d like to tell you about all the very cool stuff that’s going on in town tonight. If we could we’d be five places at once. We’ll have to settle for telling you where we’re actually going though, which is the 100 Heads for Haiti opening at SPUR Gallery.

100 Heads for Haiti opens tonight at Spur Gallery (which looks vaguely Hatian, but is actually in Hampden, Hon.) 6 pm - 8:30 pm.

100 heads is an idea so simple it’s brilliant. 100 artists have donated work on the theme of Heads, which will all be priced at $100. After they’ve all sold, SPUR will donate $10,000 to Doctors Without Borders, who are doing a lot of the heavy lifting down in Haiti.

There is also a group poster of the heads, with prints available for a $50 donation.

Since it’s for charity and all, the Chop might just fuck around and hit our two-piece-per-customer limit. We’ve heard from an inside source that some of these heads are jaw-dropping pieces of art, and at that price, we’ll jump at the chance to get some more work on our walls. Even Juxtapoz is giving the show some love.

After the show we’re heading downtown to a mustache themed party we were invited to. The Chop has been letting the beard grow all week, and Saturday afternoon we’ll mow it all down and rock a sweet ‘stache, which will in turn me mown down Sunday morning (Sorry, ladies.)

We’ve got very mixed feelings about such ironically themed parties. Most of us thinks that irony is dumb and you should outgrow it at about 23. Then another part of us says ‘Who the fuck are you too cool for? Your friend was nice enough to invite you so get the fuck over yourself, grow a mustache, go drink beer with your friends and have fun!’ So you can see the dilemma. The Chop skipped the Jortz party, which was definitely a theme too far. But we’re rocking a ‘stache tonight.

Laugh if you will.

___________________________________________________________

Spur Design’s gallery is at 3504 Ash Street in Hampden. Exhibition opens tonight from 6- 8:30 pm. For more info: info@supurdesign.com or
410.235.7803

Leave a comment

Filed under Art Openings, Baltimore Events