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November 11, 2010

Get your new music groove on Friday at Orion Sound Studios with Newspeak

For fans of the outer limits of the contemporary music scene, especially Mobtown Modern regulars, I think you'll want to check out Newspeak, an eight-piece ensemble making its Baltimore debut Friday as part of the Progressive Rock Showcases at Orion Sound Studios (2903 Whittington Ave # C; 410-206-1801).

Directed by composer David T. Little and clarinetist Eileen Mack, the group takes its name from a term in Orwell’s "1984" (didn't we just hear a lot of "newspeak" during the midterm elections?).

In a way that may remind you of Missy Mazzoli's group that appeared recently on the Mobtown series, Newspeak treads simultaneously through rock band and classical chamber ensemble waters. Little's own description has Newspeak "forged in the fires of Black Sabbath and Louis Andriessen, Dead Kennedys and Frederic Rzewski." That's rather evocative, wouldn't you say?

The group's Baltimore visit is part of a tour promoting its debut album from super-cool New Amsterdam Records, "On sweet light crude." Here's a video teaser:

Posted by Tim Smith at 11:47 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Clef Notes

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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