Tag Archives: Station North

Bi-Weekly Political Roundup: More Sex Scandals Edition

Well, the forecast for this week has not been good. It may not be Joplin-esque, and we may be a whiny pussy of a blogger for complaining about it, but we’re getting sick of rain. To hell with rain. Seriously. We want to do outdoorsy things, like go to festivals and swing golf clubs and most especially, enjoy the outdoor seating at Joe Squared tonight during the regular meeting of the Baltimore Chapter of Drinking Liberally.

Hell, we might even like to walk there, you know? At any rate, we want to stay dry long enough to gossip about political sexytime. As you know, these things come in threes, and so there must be one more shoe soon to drop.

Baltimore's Drinking Liberally meets at Joe Squared tonight. 7 pm.

The news recently has been dominated by the sex scandals of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The GOP primary field is as boring as can be, and the Rapture was never a real story anyway, so sex and storms and sexstorms are all we’ve been getting lately. It’s all sort of boring, really. Most natural disasters all look similarly horrible on the news, and we’ve had so many sex scandals in recent years that you’ve got to try pretty damn hard to top Eliot ‘Raw Dog’ Spitzer, Mark ‘Appalachian Trail’ Sanford or Ted ‘I-only-tried-meth-once-and-just-asked-him-to-jerk-me-off’ Haggard.

As far as Schwarzenegger goes, we LOL all day long. Arnie oversaw the bankrupting of California, and now Maria Shriver is going to oversee the bankrupting of Arnold. Fair Enough. Most politicians leave office to ‘spend more time with their families,’ and we guess Arnie is no exception.

DSK, on the other hand, deserves not just jail, but a few good jailhouse soap-drops of his own.

Here is a man who claims to be a Socialist, but was more or less in charge of all the money in the world. We don’t know of many true Socialists who favor $3000 per night hotels, although the hotel itself is just the tip of the iceberg. You can believe that real Socialists aren’t staying in such luxury when they gather by the hundreds of thousands to protest the IMF and WorldBank meetings. They aren’t arriving at those meetings in limousines either. They’re marching together, as Brothers and Sisters should.

The thing about Socialism though, the thing that its detractors can’t quite wrap their fat heads around is that at the end of the day Socialism is about Equality. It’s not about tax rates or countries of origin or business regulations. It’s about respecting the rights of Workers, and respecting the Workers as human beings. Socialism is about protecting and elevating those among us in the lowest station, not dragging down anyone else.

Strauss-Kahn has made a habit of preying on precisely those in the lowest station. Time after time, and in this case especially, he has shown a plutocratic hubris and a sense of entitlement which would be disgusting in any man. As far as we’re concerned this is not a sex scandal of any sort, but is in fact a case of sexual assault and attempted rape. These are violent and serious crimes, and are unforgivable no matter who the assailant or the victim may be.

We expect that American justice will be served in this case, and we’re glad of it. This crime was not just a brutal and personal attack against an innocent woman, an American, and a Worker, it was an act of class warfare, and we regard it as such.

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Drinking Liberally meetings are held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month. They’re free to attend and open to anyone interested in progressive politics or causes. The opinions expressed above are those of the Baltimore Chop blog, and are not sanctioned by Living Liberally, Drinking Liberally, or its Baltimore Chapter.

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Bi-Weekly Political Roundup: Bin Laden’s Still Dead Edition

Is it just us, or have the last two weeks gone by really, really quickly? What’s today? April 27th? The 28th maybe?

Fuck! It’s May 11! How is that even possible??? We sort of regret that the last two weeks of life elapsed in what felt like 2 days, but the good news is that if it really must be the 11th of may, that means it’s once again time for the regular meeting of the Baltimore Chapter of Drinking Liberally. And thank God and everything that is holy, we’re finally returning to Joe Squared, home of a hundred rums, delicious pizza, and one of the best outdoor seating arrangements around. If you’re driving across North Avenue tonight, see if you can spot the big red, white and blue bottle on the table, and if you do, feel free to sit down and have a drink.

Baltimore's Drinking Liberally meets at Joe Squared tonight. 7 pm.

One of the major reasons that time has flown so quickly recently is that the only thing on the news has been the death of Osama bin Laden. We’re cool with that. It’s been fully a week and a half now, and we’re still not even close to being tired of hearing about the bin Laden raid. It was awesome. There is not one single thing about that story that is not awesome. Whether it’s photos from inside the Situation Room, parachuting superhero special ops dogs, Pakistan left with its mouth hanging open dumbly, or the president on 60 Minutes being basically the biggest badass of all time.

This is the space where we usually discuss a couple of current political stories, but there’s nothing else to discuss this week, really. Osama’s still dead, it’s still awesome, and no amount of phony-ass quotes on Facebook is going to change that. If you posted one, you can go ahead and de-friend us any time. For the rest of you, here’s a real quote for your wall…

“Justice was done. And I think that anyone who would question that the perpetrator of mass murder on American soil didn’t deserve what he got needs to have their head examined.”

-Barack Obama, winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

Speaking of people who need to have their heads examined, one of the many, many stories that slipped through the media cracks these last 10 days was the first GOP Debate. It was the most clownish of clowny clowning, and only the snarkiest of blogs could even be bothered to make fun of it. Seriously GOP? Herman Cain? Ron Paul? Santorum? The debate was sponsored by and covered exclusively by Fox News. Every other news outlet in the world was too busy showing how awesome our president is. If the GOP had seen any of it, they’d understand that his re-election is an absolute lock.

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Drinking Liberally meets the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Joe Squared is at 133 W. North Ave in Station North.

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A Ton of Music in Baltimore Tonight

So, basically, every place that has ever had music is having music tonight. There’s no shortage of choices, and there’s too much to talk about in detail, so we’ll just give you our picks and let you decide what kind of show you want to go see. Still not sure where we’ll end up tonight, but probably at one of these places.

Future Islands headlines Spring Fair tonight, one of may musical options in town.

The Philly Invades Baltimore Fest is kicking off at 3 pm today over at the Charm City Art Space. We went to this last year and had a great time watching bands like Algernon Cadwallader and 1994! who are both returning this year along with a ton of other acts.

The JHU Spring Fair is happening all weekend, but tonight’s music bill is the one to catch, featuring Future Islands and Lands and Peoples, among dozens more. Spring fair is also your best bet for dinner, with offerings like funnel cake and fried Oreos.

Just a few blocks south of the JHU Campus the 2640 Space is hosting the homecoming show for music media darlings Wye Oak with Callers and a favorite of ours, Secret Mountains. Unfortunately, this is a Dry show with no BYOB.

Down at Sonar local label Fan Death Records is having their annual showcase show featuring Pleasure Leftists and Heroin Sucks, a Charm City Suicides tribute band.

If you’re looking for something smaller scale, Dionysus is hosting a rare live show with former Iron Cross frontman and local author Sab Grey along with surf-garage dudes Sal Bando.

And if you want to go even more old school and off the radar than that, you can check out the rockabilly stylings of local pie-man extraordinaire Rodney Henry with local roustabouts Danny Kay and the Nightlifers at Fell’s Point’s 1919.

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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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Top 10 Signs You’re Too Old to Be at the Hardcore Show

It doesn’t matter who you are, you’re going to grow out of hardcore. It happens to all of us sooner or later. Even the legit, bona-fide True Til Death types among us will eventually stick with the records they grew up with, and turn out to shows less and less often.

There’s no denying it: hardcore is a young man’s game. While there’s no age limit on a dance floor, there are some unmistakable signs that you’re too old to be on it…

Sacred Love plays CCAS tonight. 7 pm doors.

10. You shave your head to hide baldness, not to look tough.

9. You only wear your New Balance sneakers and Adidas shorts to the gym.

8. You actually go to the gym, and don’t make any jokes about hating ‘the jocks.’

7. You’re asking your wife to hold your coat.

6. You’re not wearing anything with varsity font writing on it.

5. You understand that getting ‘stabbed in the back’ happens all the time and isn’t worth writing a song about.

4. You only round up your crew when someone gets married or dies.

3. You’ve ever described a straight edge tattoo as ‘cute’ with a knowing snicker.

2. Records that you own became collectible while sitting on your shelf.

1. You had a Krishna phase.

We’re probably gonna go out to the hardcore show at the Charm City Art Space tonight, even though according to this list we’re way too old for it. Connecticut’s Death Threat are coming down to play with Youngblood Records’ Sacred Love. Alpha and Omega, Expire, and Dead and Dreaming are also on the bill.

Five bands… we may need a nap in between.

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Charm City Art Space is located at 1731 Maryland Avenue in Station North. All Ages.

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E. Joseph & the Phantom Heart, Poly/Western @ Windup Space Tonight

Back in January we had some pretty nice things to say about local trio Poly/Western. Now that it’s almost April, we’re gonna go ahead and double down on those statements.

At that time, we’d been vaguely aware of this band, but hadn’t had the chance to see them live yet. We expected them to be good, but we don’t mind saying that they were great. They reminded us right away of some crazy hybrid of the Twilight Singers, Sense Field, Tool and Big Black. While the rest of the country is just catching onto stuff like Beach House and Wye Oak, we’re here to tell you that Poly/Western is on the vanguard of local talent, and they’re what Baltimore needs to start paying close attention to right now.

E. Joseph and the Phantom Heart play the Windup Space tonight. 9 pm Doors.

Those are some pretty bold statements for a band that has yet to put out its first full-length. We believe they’re warranted though. At the January show we picked up a free copy of their 3-song Orange ep, and it’s been in heavy rotation at the Chophouse ever since. We’d definitely advise you to check out the Poly/Western Bandcamp Page, where you can download the Orange ep, as well as the 3 songs that make up the Down Home Blizzard Demos. Giving a spin to either one of these brief recordings will easily have you wanting to play it again by the time it’s over.

Sharing the stage tonight and equally deserving of your attention tonight is Baltimore’s own E. Joseph and the Phantom Heart. The Phantom Heart is no small pill for the listener to swallow. On the face of it, this band makes pop songs. These songs, however, are not to be taken at face value. The artist page on their label’s site throws around the term “power-pop” pretty liberally, but we don’t quite think this does E. Joseph justice. A listen to their 2008 album All The Medicine In The World… will certainly remind a listener of the best of the 80’s, Duran Duran, Simple Minds and the like, but it also begs the question “What would have happened if U2 and Sting hadn’t fucked it all up for everybody?”

This is definitely some sub-genre of pop. Not power-pop, but we call it that because no one ever got around to naming it properly. It went extinct before anyone could. Only the Cure made it out of the 80’s relatively intact playing something close to this sound. It’s as dead as doo-wop. Dead as Latin.

If they’d been around 30 years ago, E. Joseph and the Phantom Heart are the sort of band that would have signed a multi-record deal on a major, been all over Vh1, and fueled many a post-prom heavy petting session from sea to shining sea. After the complete and utter collapse of the music industry though, they find themselves a perfect fit on the homegrown and very modern Beechfields Label. It’s no stretch to say that this band is revitalizing and reinventing pop music the same way that the Beechfields is helping to reinvent the music industry, and we’d urge anyone reading this to come out to the Windup Space tonight and support them both.

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Windup Space is located at 12 W. North Avenue in Station North. Survival Society and Me & This Army also play. Ages 21+

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Pop-Up Shop and Show @ Charm City Art Space Today

It’s SPRING, Baltimore. You may be thinking that it’s not Spring, that it is in fact monsoon season, but we assure you that Spring has most positively sprung. Do you know what that means? Eh? Eh? Do you? It means that you need t-shirts. But not just any t-shirts will do. You don’t want to be shelling out good money to support some California pervert playing grabass with underlings, or buying a t-shirt which is not the thing that it is a t-shirt of.

No no. Not a bit of it. You want a one of a kind, thoughtfully designed, hand printed t-shirt made by a talented local artist and offered at a fair price. And that’s exactly what you’re going to find today at the Charm City Art Space. Marking the closing of the Rough Language show at the Hexagon, the goods from that show will be offered for sale around the corner at CCAS. We didn’t get a chance to see what was on offer over the last month, but from what we’ve heard just since we got home, it was pretty impressive, and worth your consideration when it goes up for sale today from 1 pm until 6 pm.

Goods from the Rough Language show go on sale at CCAS today. 1-6 pm.

You might think you want to get there early for the best selection, but the smart money says roll in around 5:30 for maximum haggling advantage. You can spend the money you save on a nice round of drinks over at Joe Squared or Club Charles, and walk back around for the 7:00 show. And you will want to stay for the show.

We went to a show there featuring locals Pianos Become the Teeth shortly before we left, and at that time we took the attitude “Meh, let’s go around the corner and watch another band. These guys will play again soon.” Well, soon is now. They’re playing again and we’re not going to take them for granted this time. We’re going to watch them, because they are great at what they do and they deserve a great crowd listening.

Sharing the bill tonight is Connecticut’s Make Do and Mend, who just released their first proper full length this fall. We predict they’ve got a very bright future ahead of them selling songs to video game developers, web-based advertisers, minor filmmakers and the like. See them in a garage now, because in a few years you’re going to be saying “Oh, that band again. Hmm.” They’re on the right track by being on their way to this year’s South By Southwest, no? That’s not to say we approve or disapprove of their sound, it’s just what we see in our crystal ball.

Also sharing the stage tonight are Diamond, Balance and Composure, and Invitational. And you’re invited. See you there.

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Charm City Art Space is at 1731 Maryland Ave in Station North.

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