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January 4, 2008

Fab Five Friday

Researching for this week's Fab Five Friday on the city's best dance parties, I realized just how few there are left.

Remember five years ago when Taxlo dominated the Talking Head? Not anymore.

But the city's dance party scene hasn't completely bitten the dust. Here's my list of the five best survivors.

So without further delay, here is my list ... 

1. Reaction! at the Sidebar Tavern, 218 E. Lexington St.

This monthly mod dance party draws vintage duds and some of the area's better talent. DJs Amanda Otto and Matt Walter spin and a live band performs a short set the second Friday of every month. 

2. Automatic! at The Ottobar, 2549 N. Howard St.

Matt Walter and Craig Boarman have been spinning together for years now, first as Underground and more recently as Automatic. It's a pretty solid party.

3. Monthly Mayhem at Angels Rock Bar, Power Plant Live

Yes, the crowd can get fratty and annoying, but I like going to a club and dancing to rock music. And live acts perform at Monthly Mayhem too.  

4. Lithuanian Hall, 851 Hollins St.

The last Friday of the month, Lithuanian Hall plays host to renowned area DJs such as Pablo Fiasco. But this was one of those dance parties that lost its luster when tons of people found out about it. 

5. Last Saturdays at The Depot, 1728 N. Charles St.

Most months, the last Saturday is the day to hit the Depot if you like electronic music.

(Barbara Haddock Taylor/Sun Photographer) 

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:46 AM | | Comments (16)
Categories: Fab Five Fridays


I've been to the Lithuanian Hall on Friday Nights. Cheap drinks... Great Lithuanian Beer.

dancing in the city was at something of a high point 10 and 15 years ago. we used to have spiritual movement parties, sonic soul and fever. then it was the spot and club midnight and deve8 and copy cat building parties. now the same promoters that were running the underground club/rave scene in the early 90s are running successful legit clubs (sonar and mosaic before lg was fired). The hipster dance parties are a whole new thing....

Sam - can you expand on the type of music played at the Lithuanian Hall? Not everyone knows about it!

And does Angels Rock cover all types of rock music, or do they focus on any sub-genres in particular?

Thanks for the tips!


The music at Lithuanian Hall depends on the DJ. You might get indie rock, Britpop, or reggae. It all depends.

There is no house, techno or club music at Angels Rock Bar. They only spin rock, from 80s hair stuff to GNR to Pantera to Ted Nugent.

Is TaxLo's irregularity a disqualifier? If not, it's probably my number one, if only for who they bring to town. Are We Not Men!? is a grand time; its roster of past guests is impressive to say the least.

Reaction! and Automatic! are good parties. Everyone should check them out.

But, what's with all the exclamation points?


I might be wrong, but I was under the impression TaxLo was canceled. I don't see it on Sonar's schedule anymore.


What! You! Don't! Like! Exclamation! Points?!?!?

It's still happening, albeit not every Friday and not at any one location. NYE was at Talking Head and there's one coming up at Sonar with Glass Candy.


Cool, thanks for the heads up.

Thanks for the mention Sam.

More or Less is always the last Saturday of every month @ The Depot, featuring cheap drinks, and a range of local and national electronic headliners. Come check it out!

We may be small, but we are mighty... and we came to shake it!

Where is that light up dance floor from in the picture? That's pretty dope!

R.I.P. Gardel's

Just found this post... Michael thanks for setting the record straight. TaxLo isn't done as a party at all, but it is true that shifting our party from weekly status has left some folks confused - they can't check their clocks by us anymore. Props to Are We Not Men? and everyone else trying to bring new and different stuff to the table. Hope to see you all on the 18th!

E$ -- That photo is from the now-defunct Have a Nice Day Cafe in Power Plant Live.

I am too old for Depot .. eww, & would not do Powerplant, Reaction is very cool because the of the girls (mostly) and boys who dress the part (mod) & cool bands .. but its a small scene and they have been playing the same tunes lately , Lithuanian takes it ! Tres fun but agreed too crowded, lately.. the only thing worse than that would be not crowded enough ..

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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