baltimoresun.com

July 4, 2011

Baltimore's best places to watch the fireworks

At 9:30 p.m. today, fireworks will explode over the Inner Harbor in the annual Independence Day show.

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts, which produces the show, says the best place to see them is at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater or the West Shore Park. 

Below, are some of the suggestions Midnight Sun has culled over the years.

Beyond the fireworks show, today the city has also scheduled several children’s shows, starting at noon at Inner Harbor West Shore Park with a magician and comic, and followed by the Grammy-nominated Baltimore children’s band Milkshake at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

The Pennsylvania Air National Guard Band and the Electric Brigade, the U.S. Naval Academy band, will perform at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater starting at 4 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.

The music that accompanies the fireworks show can be heard best at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater and on the harbor’s west shore, according to BOPA.

Continue reading "Baltimore's best places to watch the fireworks" »

Posted by Erik Maza at 8:00 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Random stuff
        

June 28, 2011

Video: Baltimore reservoir rangers bust more swimmers this summer


You might have missed this story in Saturday's paper about increased enforcement at Baltimore's reservoirs, Loch Raven, Liberty and Prettyboy. The rangers have the highest number of members since they came back from a hiatus three years ago, and fines and warnings - $100 for swimming - have been steadily increasing, peaking last year at over 2,500. A reader commented on the story: "If I get a $200 fine for enjoying nature I'll gladly pay it as 'my dues'.  I will cooperate with Rangers and gladly accept my ticket(s). If I drown, that's OK, I lived life to the fullest." Thoughts? Above, a video of the rangers busting some illegal swimmers.
Posted by Erik Maza at 4:14 PM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Random stuff
        

June 23, 2011

Did Nancy Pelosi break bread with Matt Damon at U2 show? More celebity sightings at the Baltimore show

In what is likely my last post on U2 in a while, I bring you the celebrity sightings at the show, for those of you who care about this stuff. A source at Live Nation spotted Matt Damon and John Krasinski, "The Office's" Jim, at the VIP Riser hanging out with show opener Florence Welch.

And while the Guv could not make it to the show, he did send an envoy. His wife Katie made an appearance.

From late last night: "Our Head of Digital Trif Alatzas spotted House Minority Leader and Baltimore native Nancy Pelosi in the audience. Apparently the California Democrat decided to watch U2 rather than President Obama's speech on Afghanistan."

Photo: Nancy Pelosi at M&T (@trifalatzas)

Posted by Erik Maza at 8:00 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Random stuff
        

June 22, 2011

Tailgaiting at M&T Bank Stadium for U2?

The parking lots at M&T Bank Stadium will swell up with people this afternoon as if the Ravens were back in season.

They'll be there in anticipation of the U2 show. Tailgating parties are supposedly starting around 3 p.m., according to my super informal twitter survey.

WNST is at least throwing a slightly more organized party starting at noon at the Tiki Barge. They're planning on moving to Stalking Horse at 4 p.m. and then making their way to the stadium. 

Who else has tailgaiting plans for U2?

Posted by Erik Maza at 10:34 AM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Random stuff
        

June 20, 2011

Share your favorite U2 memory

"I literally cry at every U2 concert. There is a powerful energy that you cannot help but feel."

That's how much U2 fan Jason Siemer loves U2.

The band's fans are many and extremely devoted. When I asked for superfans last week for a story previewing the concert, I didn't anticipate all the e-mails I'd be flooded with. I'm still getting some of them. Thanks!

Some of those fans, like Siemer, are quoted in today's story about the show.

But if you weren't, here's your space to tell us why you love U2, where you're coming from to see the show, how many times you've seen them live, and your favorite U2 concert memory.

The comments are yours. 

The show is likely to be special for another reason: it may be one of the last music concerts M&T Bank Stadium gets to host. The stadium concert as a concept is on the wane, as we reported last year when the U2 show was announced. 

Continue reading "Share your favorite U2 memory" »

Posted by Erik Maza at 2:48 PM | | Comments (13)
Categories: Random stuff
        

June 15, 2011

Seeking U2 superfans

We're working on a story to preview U2's performance at M&T Bank Stadium next week and we're looking for superfans who either live in the area or are traveling in for the show. If you're interested in speaking with us, e-mail me, erik.maza@baltsun.com, or Chris Kaltenbach, chris.kaltenbach@baltsun.com.
Posted by Erik Maza at 11:10 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Random stuff
        

June 2, 2011

Crowdsourcing: Calling all Baltimore plankers

Reporter Jill Rosen is looking to interview local plankers for a story. The fad, which consists of lying down in random places and being photographed, is big overseas but has apparently popped up recently in Baltimore. Jill can be reached at jrosen@baltsun.com.
Posted by Erik Maza at 2:02 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Random stuff
        

May 4, 2011

What's missing from the Baltimore Bucket List?

Performing at a Night of 100 Elvises. Watching a thunderstorm from the bar at the 13th Floor. Taking in breakfast at Jimmy's. These are all on The Sun's Baltimore Bucket List, which was posted online today. Disagree? Agree? No doubt there are must-do's in Baltimore that are missing, like say, going to Sidebar for a punk show or getting drunk at Mt. Royal Tavern. What's missing from the list?

Posted by Erik Maza at 1:50 PM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Random stuff
        

April 18, 2011

Top 50 county restaurants?

Dining@Large's Richard Gorelick is putting together a list of the best 50 county restaurants for an upcoming story, and he's looking for suggestions.

Go here to leave yours.

Posted by Erik Maza at 10:47 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Random stuff
        

March 30, 2011

Is InfieldFEST's Kegasus an Old Spice rip-off?

The birth of a product pitchman is a complicated process that sometimes involves focus groups, lots of spit-balling, and drinking twenty Old Fashioneds in a row a la Don Draper.

Other times, it just boils down to watering down another firm's more successful campaign and adding a nipple ring.

That may just have been what Elevation, the DC-based firm, did to come up with Kegasus. 

It's hard to imagine there was a pitch meeting to cobble together this thing, but even "The Rural Juror" had its own spitballing session.

InfieldFEST's topless, deep-voiced pitchman already sounded and looked a lot like Old Spice's Isaiah Mustafa as played by Danny McBride. 

But AdFreak points out that Old Spice had already used a centaur pitchman created by Portland-based firm Wielden+ Kennedy about two years ago. 

Compare and contrast:

Continue reading "Is InfieldFEST's Kegasus an Old Spice rip-off? " »

Posted by Erik Maza at 2:31 PM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Random stuff
        

Maryland State Fair wants Justin Bieber crowds again, books girlfriend Selena Gomez

When Justin Bieber performed at the Maryland State Fair last year, 12,500 fans turned up to see him toss his hair and perform.

Organizers can't book the Biebs again this year, so they're settling for the next best thing: his girlfriend, or anyway the girl he's been seen making out with, Selena Gomez. The Disney Channel star will perform at the fair August 26. Tickets, at $42.50, go on sale Saturday.

Posted by Erik Maza at 2:28 PM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Random stuff
        

March 28, 2011

Elton John's front row at Baltimore's 1st Mariner Arena: Young, hot guys, mostly

elton john in baltimore Does Elton John like a good-looking front row? Sam Sessa hears from a fan who saw John at 1st Mariner Arena.

Hi all, it's Midnight Sun alum Sam Sessa (Erik is on vacation until tomorrow) with a funny Elton John tidbit.

I wasn't able to make John's Baltimore concert Saturday night at 1st Mariner Arena, but my good friend Kristin did. She scored second-row seats ("10 feet from Elton!") from a local radio station.

Once she and her date were situated, they turned to the young, good-looking guys ahead of them and asked them how they'd managed to land front row seats. They had been sitting further back when one of John's crew came up and offered them seats in the front row.

Kristin marveled at this, until she realized that most of the folks in the front row -- at least the ones near John -- were young, hot guys.

Continue reading "Elton John's front row at Baltimore's 1st Mariner Arena: Young, hot guys, mostly" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:54 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Random stuff
        

February 7, 2011

Got Valentine's Day stories? The Sun wants to talk to you

How did you fall in love? blind date? OkCupid? after a few bottomless mimosas? If you're not camera-shy, The Sun wants to talk to you. Email Leeann Adams at leeann.adams@baltsun.com.
Posted by Erik Maza at 2:47 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Random stuff
        

January 13, 2011

What are the best and worst scores by pop musicians?

The news that Dan Deacon would score a new Francis Ford Coppola movie follows a time-honored tradition of pop musicians scoring motion pictures. That trend hit something of a peak last year, with Trent Reznor scoring "The Social Network" and Daft Punk scoring "Tron: Legacy." Gutter magazine compiled a list of the best and worst scores by pop musicians. In the worst category? A surprise: the Alan Parsons Project's score for "Ladyhawke," a Michelle Pfeiffer movie by the guy who made "Lethal Weapon" about a lady who, duh, turns into a hawk. No doubt Deacon can live up to their legacy. Gutter's list is here.

Posted by Erik Maza at 2:40 PM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Random stuff
        

January 10, 2011

Maryland Bartending Academy grad lands a steady gig

In lighter news, Susan Watkins, a graduate of the Maryland Bartending Academy I interviewed two months ago, writes that she's found a job.

As a bartender no less. 

The 57-year-old took the bartending class after her marriage of 30 years ended. She hoped for a new, late-in-life career. 

She had worked a few private parties since graduating in November, but hadn't landed a job until early last month, when looking at  usajobs.gov, of all places, she saw an opening at a bar.

She offered to mix a margarita, and has been bartending at The Lanes of Fort Meade's lounge since Friday. The next day, she was running the bar by herself.

The bartending school didn't help her find a gig, but Watkins says it gave her a crash course on mixing. She beams in her e-mail, "I guess you never get too old for something new."

Related to the controversial bartending school: the Midnight Sun Mixer, inspired by my story, is coming up January 20

Photo: Susan Watkins in November (Jed Kirschbaum/Baltimore Sun) 

Posted by Erik Maza at 3:03 PM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Random stuff
        

January 7, 2011

Four Loko now used as gasoline. Prepare for gasoline to be banned

When several states ko'd Four Loko, the poison swill that almost hijacked the November news cycle, bottlers were forced to buy back loads of cases of the thing and other caffeinated beverages. Now, a Virginia company named MXI Environmental Services is converting all that discarded booze into ethanol. To power your car. The company will distill the ethyl alcohol in the drinks and ship it to gasoline blenders to make a powerful brew that's almost indistinguishable from ethanol made from corn. So that Four Loko now won't just taste like gasoline, it will actually be gasoline. A warning however: don't blame your ethanol-powered car next time you crash into a ditch. They might get banned too soon after. (via)

Posted by Erik Maza at 4:38 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Random stuff
        

December 13, 2010

The better Christmas songs: Mariah Carey out, Kirsty MacColl in

Last week, even holiday album maker Aaron Neville complained about the sheer number of Christmas-themed songs. There are still too many of them, but The Awl today has a round up of the better ones. Mariah Carey does not make an appearance. "Fairytale in New York," naturally, does.
Posted by Erik Maza at 11:29 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Random stuff
        

December 6, 2010

Video: When Justin Bieber met John Waters

You know what Justin Bieber really wants? Not loads of teenage fans, or his own fragrance, which, by the way carries hints of Frankincense & candy corn. Justin Bieber wants facial hair. Like most boys his age, he's impressed with anyone who can grow it, even if that hair is waifer-thin and on John Waters' face. Visiting the "Graham Norton Show" last week, Bieber gushed to Waters, "Your 'stache is the jam," before tossing his bangs. And John Waters, being awesome, retorted by asking the teen to sign a bottle of Proactiv, of which Bieber is a spokesman. NB to a studio executive somewhere: that remake of "Cry-Baby" you wanted? You just found your new Johnny Depp. Video of Waters, Bieber, and Norton in their historic meeting, our generation's Yalta Conference, after the jump. The 'stache line clocks in at 3:08.

Continue reading "Video: When Justin Bieber met John Waters" »

Posted by Erik Maza at 4:36 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Random stuff
        

Forget iTunes, this is the only way to listen to the Beatles

If you ever wanted to see a modern-day's Dionne Warwick's "Psychic Friends" lip-sync the Beatles's "Let it Be" - and have I ever - the Interwebs have your back. Actually, a Norwegian TV series that celebrates has-been stars has your back, but the Internet made it viral. Appearing in the video? George Wendt (TV's Norm from "Cheers"), Jason Alexander ("Seinfeld"), David Faustino ("Married with Children"), and the Goot himself, Steve Guttenberg. Video after the jump.

Continue reading "Forget iTunes, this is the only way to listen to the Beatles" »

Posted by Erik Maza at 12:39 PM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Random stuff
        

November 30, 2010

"Tron: Legacy" soundtrack previewed on MySpace

Nerds rejoice: MySpace today posted the longest preview yet of the music in "Tron: Legacy." The preview begins with Jeff Bridges ominously intoning: "The Grid. A digital frontier," followed by 21 minutes of the Daft Punk-scored soundtrack. Of course, a couple of tracks have been playing on the movie's official website since the summer, and at the soundtrack's own website.  The soundtrack goes on sale next week. 

Posted by Erik Maza at 11:27 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Random stuff
        

October 28, 2010

Midnight Sun seeks contributors

Readers know I'm a big Rye Rye fan - while others, confusingly still wonder why I write about her at all. I had been planning on going to see her and Die Antwoord Wednesday night at the 9:30 club but I had to work late and couldn't make it.

It was the saddest part of my week after learning Sony retired the cassette Walkman. But as a reporter who blogs - not vice versa - sometimes (read: most of the time) I get pulled into other assignments.

This is why I'm still looking for occasional contributors to the blog in order to keep it fresh as often as possible.  Jay Trucker and Christeen Roden have already dispatched some great posts, and I'm looking for more writers like them.

Generally, I'm looking for bar and concert reviews, but feel free to pitch the occasional post too -- one reader will start doing a straight man's guide to local gay bars soon.

A contributor should have personality and the writing chops to match it. Ideally, you've written for someone other than livejournal before; even Splice Today will do.   

I can't pay, but I can get you review tickets, and sometimes, set-up Q&As. The idea is to show off the work of more Baltimore culture writers. 

Interested? e-mail erik.maza@baltsun.com three writing samples and a bio.

Posted by Erik Maza at 11:46 AM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Random stuff
        

October 26, 2010

Document a whole day in Baltimore with The Sun's Picture This

The Baltimore Sun invites readers to submit photos to an online feature called Picture This, Baltimore: October 26.

The feature is a constantly updated fotolog for locals. The idea is to have a visual record of a day in the city by the end of Tuesday, created by those who walk its streets. 

At Midnight Sun, I've asked for nightlife and concert photos; this is more general.

Say you woke up this morning, went sailing, and took a picture of the skyllne with your phone (right). Just e-mail it to pictures@baltimoresun.com sometime between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

You have complete discretion over the subject. The only directions? Include the photog's name and a caption.

Posted by Erik Maza at 10:00 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Random stuff
        

October 4, 2010

"If Baltimore is a blowzy broad, your city is" contest winner

Baltimore might be the blowzy broad with a million stories, but San Francisco is "the uppity vegan taking you aside at Whole Foods to explain why your choice of oat bran crackers is supporting the packaged food industrial complex."

That's the winning caption of the contest that was inspired by last week's nightlife column.

After Midnight Sun anthropomorphized Charm City as a chatty broad, colleague John McIntyre launched a small-stakes contest to see who could come up with the snappiest city comparison. 

This blog even upped the ante by offering the new Gucci Mane album, "The Appeal" to the winning writer.

Commenter 'fermata' wrote the winning caption, but others submitted some real gems:

Continue reading ""If Baltimore is a blowzy broad, your city is" contest winner" »

Posted by Erik Maza at 12:53 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Random stuff
        

October 1, 2010

'If Baltimore is a blowzy broad, your city is...' contest

In today's nightlife column, Midnight Sun refers to Baltimore as the blowzy broad at the bar with a million stories to tell. And to Miami as the brain-dead babe with nothing to say.

Our inimitable John McIntyre is running a contest on his blog for other city comparisons. Call it the  "anthropomorphize your city" contest. So far it's resulted in this gem: "San Francisco is the uppity vegan taking you aside at Whole Foods to explain why your choice of oat bran crackers is supporting the packaged food industrial complex."

I'm upping the ante: you come up with something snappy, you get the new Gucci Mane album, "The Appeal."

Leave your comments here or at You Don't Say.

Posted by Erik Maza at 3:01 PM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Random stuff
        

Midnight Sun seeks contributors, haters of Vampire Weekend

Readers, Midnight Sun is looking for contributors to review concerts and bars. Hopefully, not at the same time. Although, sometimes that yields interesting results.

A contributor should have an authentic voice and the writing chops to match it. Your taste in beer or music is actually irrelevant, though if you're the kind of person who started to like the Ting Tings after P4K gave them a 3.8, you'd be starting off on the right foot. Lovers of Ale Mary's in Fells Point also get gold stars.

Those interested, e-mail erik.maza@baltsun.com three writing samples and a small bio. 

(If you have ideas for blogs beyond reviews -- like, say, a Tipsy Tuesday - pitch them along with your writing samples and bio. Also if you have 800 words in you about the importance/irrelevance of celebrity spawn and meme Willow Smith).

Posted by Erik Maza at 12:00 PM | | Comments (14)
Categories: Random stuff
        

September 10, 2010

Babez for Breakfast by Eurovision winner Lordi is worst album cover of 2010

Stop the search! 2011 is still four months away, but I've already found the worst album cover of the year. It is worse than the Klaxons' LOLspacecat. It is worst than anything Ted Nugent's ever produced. It is "Babez for Breakfast" by Finnish band Lordi. 

In the cover art, if it can be called that, a flesh-toned demon baby devours a woman's  - his mother's? - bloody, heaving bosom. I imagine this is what Quran-burning pastor Terry Jones' nightmares are made up of.

I hadn't heard of Lordi until I opened my mail. Music writers get all sorts of tripe that way - just recently I got a 2-disc greatest hits album by Pantera! 

But the Finnish band is best known for winning the Eurovision contest in 2006. Their Web site doesn't name the person who so lovingly illustrated the pink gromit to your right. But all fingers point to bandleader Mr. Lordi. He is also, you see, their costume designer. 

In the comments, suggest the worst album covers you've seen this year, and I'll rank them by the end of the day. 

Posted by Erik Maza at 7:50 AM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Random stuff
        

September 7, 2010

New nightlife reporter Erik Maza tries to buy sunscreen, gets flat tire on first day

eiufz9hp94eiph4f.jpgThe first day at a new job is usually fraught with alarm, sweat-stains, disorientation. Not me. As Sessa wrote earlier, I'll be your new live music and nightlife reporter.

For my first day on the gig, I woke up eerily prepared. I ironed my shirt, didn't drop cereal on my pants, even added a dimple to my tie. Notes? Check. AP Style Book 2008 edition? Check. Missing from my to do list was some sunscreen. You know what they say: moisturize, moisturize. It was 7 a.m. and I didn't have to be in the newsroom for another two hours, so I drove to the nearest Rite Aid to my digs to be totally spiffed up for the office.

Ah, Greenmount Avenue in the morning. As I'm parking, BANG! PFFF! Had I been shot? It's only been a week, Baltimore! Turns out I'd driven too close to the curb and punctured my tire. Two hours before work. Great. Greenmount and 32nd St. -- just where you want to be with a pooped car. Did I mention I hadn't ever changed a tire before? Or that I'm the nightlife reporter, what in the world do I need sunscreen for? Que Sera Sera. This was my welcome.

Before coming here, I was a reporter at another whacko news town: Miami ...

Continue reading "New nightlife reporter Erik Maza tries to buy sunscreen, gets flat tire on first day" »

Posted by Erik Maza at 2:47 PM | | Comments (23)
Categories: Random stuff
        

Everything that's right -- and wrong -- with America

kfc!Obviously, this has nothing to do with nightlife, but I drove past this KFC the other day and had to snap a photo.

God bless America.

(Photo by me)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 6:31 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Random stuff
        

September 6, 2010

I survived Justin Bieber at the State Fair

'sha boy, JB!They should make T-shirts with that logo on it. I'd wear one, and I'll bet half the parents who were at the Maryland State Fairgrounds last night for Bieber-mania would, too.

Bieber fever is real, folks. My ears still hurt from all the screaming. And I woke up with his hit "Baby" stuck in my head.

I had two stories in today's paper, a scene piece about people at the fair, and a Bieber concert review. And here's a photo gallery from the show, courtesy of Sun photog Gene Sweeney Jr.

For some reason, Bieber kept dashing off back stage between songs and then reappearing a minute or two later. Meanwhile, an a capella group would sing some pop hits, or the video screens would display a montage of Bieber photos and video. Then he would pop back out -- sometimes in a new outfit, sometimes not -- and play another song. It felt like Bieber was a guest at his own show. Bieber sang most of his songs, and lip-synched one or two ...

Continue reading "I survived Justin Bieber at the State Fair" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:02 PM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Random stuff
        

September 1, 2010

Septimius The Great's Artscape performance video

Though Nikc posted a link to this video under the original Septimius the Great thread, I thought it deserved its own special little spotlight.

Septimius The Great did indeed perform at this year's Artscape Festival, and what a spectacle it was.

There were three -- not two, not four, but three -- dancers who performed a choreographed routine. Septimius himself was front and center, in a body length white cape, singing (lip-synching, perhaps?) one of his singles. Check it out ...

Continue reading "Septimius The Great's Artscape performance video" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:44 PM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Local music, Random stuff
        

August 10, 2010

Fergie's oldest fan?

esther lenettEsther Lenett might not be the Black Eyed Peas' biggest fan, but she's probably their oldest.

At 92, Lenett is a passionate fan of the pop group, and will be at the 1st Mariner Arena tonight to see the Peas live.

Lenett has followed the Peas for years, she said. She especially likes Fergie, who, at 35, is about a third her age.

"First of all, I love music -- any kind -- and I love the beat they have," she said. "Know what I mean? I may be old and aged but I’m young at heart. Even my daughter says, 'Mom, aren't you ever going to grow up?' I say, 'No.' I think young."
 ...

Continue reading "Fergie's oldest fan?" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:47 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Random stuff
        

August 6, 2010

B.o.B.'s "Airplanes" was written by a kid from Rockville

If you've turned on the radio for as much as a minute this summer, you've probably heard B.o.B.'s hit "Airplanes." It's everywhere. Paramore lead singer Hayley Williams sang the chorus, and Eminem even threw down a verse.

Tim Sommers, a guy who grew up in Rockville, wrote the song with his friend when they were freshmen at Cornell a few years ago. True story. I did a piece about it in today's paper. Check it out.

Something that didn't make it into the story: I asked Sommers if he ever brags about writing the song, or even just tells people about it. I chuckled at his response ...

Continue reading "B.o.B.'s "Airplanes" was written by a kid from Rockville" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:00 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Local music, Random stuff
        

August 5, 2010

The inflatable Irish pub, or, 'I want that'

Do you have a big yard you're tired of mowing? Would you rather open an Irish pub there, but don't want to waste time buying materials/building it?

Portable Pubs to the rescue! ...

Continue reading "The inflatable Irish pub, or, 'I want that'" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:11 PM | | Comments (14)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Drink-ology, Random stuff
        

August 2, 2010

"Bikini Barista" by Quickie

While Java Divas, the coffee shop with scantily clad employees, is new to Maryland, the idea is pretty common on the west coast.

Drive-thru coffee shops with baristas in bikinis are all over Seattle. A band named Quickie even wrote a song and made a music video about them. Check it out ...

Continue reading ""Bikini Barista" by Quickie" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 4:09 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Random stuff
        

Java Divas has baristas in bikinis (and other outfits)

Lindsay Krebs is one of the Java Divas

On the side of Ritchie Highway in sunny, beautiful Pasadena, there's a little gray coffee shack called Java Divas.

It's a drive-thru coffee shop with beans roasted by Caffe Pronto in Annapolis, snowballs and all-natural smoothies.

Oh, and all the baristas are young women in skimpy outfits. Seriously.

Here's my story on Java Divas, which ran in today's paper. And here's a photo gallery of three of the divas.

The whole bikini barista idea isn't anything new. Shops like Java Divas are all over the west coast, in states like Washington ...

Continue reading "Java Divas has baristas in bikinis (and other outfits)" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:42 AM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Random stuff
        

August 1, 2010

My Keane interview was more candid than expected

keaneI've interviewed a decent amount of musicians over the years, and gotten my share of by-the-book answers.

Typically when you ask an artist about record sales -- especially if they haven't sold many lately -- they'll tell you they don't care about the numbers and yadda yadda.

Since Keane is coming to Merriweather Post Pavilion this week, I spoke with lead singer Tom Chaplin about the band's new EP, hip-hop collaborations and their struggles with fame. But I also wanted to know what he thought about their sales figures. Here's a link to the piece, which ran in today's paper.

Keane's first album, "Hopes and Fears," was huge. It sold millions upon millions, and made them overnight stars. But every album since then hasn't sold as much. 

I asked Chaplin if he ever thought about that, and instead of giving me a stock answer about not caring, he was quite frank about it. Check it out ...

Continue reading "My Keane interview was more candid than expected" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:25 PM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Random stuff
        

July 13, 2010

The Smashing Pumpkins hecklers

There were more than a few hecklers in the crowd for last night's Smashing Pumpkins show at Rams Head Live (here's my review of the show). Something feisty must have been in the air, because people were hurling curse words at the stage -- at least from where I was standing near the back bar. Here are a few of the heckles I wrote down ...

Continue reading "The Smashing Pumpkins hecklers" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:34 AM | | Comments (19)
Categories: Random stuff
        

June 12, 2010

Port in a Storm's germaphobe-friendly door string

port in a storm doorOn my way into Port in a Storm the other night, I noticed a piece of white twine tied around the front door handle.

"What's this?" I said to myself. Or maybe I said it to jmgiordano. Could be either.

I used the string to open the door, instead of touching the grimy grungy dingy door handle with my spic and span hand.

I know more than a few germaphobes who would be pleased to have such an option. You see, the string is the new thing.

In all sobriety, it might not have been a conscious move on the bar's part, so much as a celebration of someone's birthday.

I noticed party fare (including a cake!) inside ...

Continue reading "Port in a Storm's germaphobe-friendly door string" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:10 AM | | Comments (11)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Random stuff
        

May 6, 2010

Happy (belated) birthday to Midnight Sun

sams identical twin enjoys some bday cake

I was busy worrying about what I was going to blog about this afternoon when I realized I'd totally forgotten about Midnight Sun's third birthday, which was technically April 30. Oops.

Happy belated blog birthday, Midnight Sun.

Man, I can't believe it's been three years since my very first post. A quick look at the numbers:

Over the years, I have written more than 2,600 posts, and Midnight Sunners have left more than 24,000 comments.

In its first week, Midnight Sun had 800 page views. Last week, Midnight Sun had 41,000 page views. 

Midnight Sun has been more fun (and more frustrating) than just about anything else I've done as a writer ...

Continue reading "Happy (belated) birthday to Midnight Sun" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 3:30 PM | | Comments (14)
Categories: Random stuff
        

April 27, 2010

Lingerie football is coming to Baltimore

lingere football Ladies and gentlemen (but mostly gentlemen), let's give a warm welcome to the Baltimore Charm -- the newest branch of the Lingerie Football League.

Read it and rejoice. Or weep, if you're a feminist.

Yes yes, women will soon be playing football in lingerie at 1st Mariner Arena. Tackle football, no less. None of that flag football fluff (insert pun about two-hand touch). The arena is hosting open tryouts 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday.  

This is the best thing to happen to women's football since Anita Marks retired. Ba-Zing! ...

Continue reading "Lingerie football is coming to Baltimore" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:30 PM | | Comments (19)
Categories: Random stuff
        

April 23, 2010

Is the new Preakness ad campaign "Get Your Preak On" in poor taste?

preak on billboardIn the ad, a feisty young volunteer at a retirement home gushes about getting his "preak on" with an elderly woman.

"How could I resist, especially considering this might be her last chance,” he says. “I was a little concerned with how her hip would hold up, knowing we'd be at it all day long."

The commercial, one of six ads airing on local radio stations, is part of a controversial ad campaign for this year’s Preakness Stakes. Listen to it here. The "Get Your Preak On" slogan also appears online, in TV ads and on billboards and bus stops around Baltimore.

Do you think it's in poor taste? Or is it effective? E-mail me at sam.sessa@baltsun.com ...

Continue reading "Is the new Preakness ad campaign "Get Your Preak On" in poor taste?" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:54 PM | | Comments (47)
Categories: Random stuff
        

April 21, 2010

A day in the life of Sam Sessa

The Baltimore Chop's comment about shadowing me got me thinking: What does my typical day look like? It looks something like this ...

Continue reading "A day in the life of Sam Sessa" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:29 PM | | Comments (14)
Categories: Random stuff
        

April 19, 2010

British woman banned from every pub in England for two years

A 20-year-old woman named Lauren Hall has been formally banned from every liquor store and pub in Britian, the Daily Mail reports. She also can't carry an unsealed container or consuming alcohol in a public place.

Two things jumped out at me when I read this article ...

Continue reading "British woman banned from every pub in England for two years" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:11 AM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Random stuff
        

April 14, 2010

My new project: "Sheilly Dan," a reality TV show

get  ready, world. "sheilly dan" is coming!Attention world: There is a new reality TV show in the works, and it's going to blow your mind.

We're going to get former mayor Sheila Dixon and experimental music genius Dan Deacon to live together for a month -- inside the Bromo Seltzer Tower -- and film the whole thing.

We're going to call it "Sheilly Dan."

Lookout, Baltimore -- this show is going to drop the awesome bomb. You can't see it, but right now, I'm rubbing my hands together in a decidedly devious way.

Don't hate. Don't doubt. I already spoke with Deacon, who was reluctant at first, but quickly warmed to the idea.

"I don't know, man," he said. "Maybe. Sure." ...

Continue reading "My new project: "Sheilly Dan," a reality TV show" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:02 PM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Local music, Random stuff
        

April 7, 2010

Charm City Roller Girls see record crowds, contemplate move

the charm city roller girlsThe Charm City Roller Girls need a bigger place to play.

For the past few years, Baltimore's all-female roller derby league has performed at Du Burns Arena in Canton. These days, Du Burns is starting to feel a little snug for the Roller Girls.

Approximately 1,800 people have turned out for the past few bouts this season, according to roller girl Hilary "Rosie the Riveter Rioter" Rosensteel. They've had to turn away people from at least one event.

"The crowds keep topping off," she said. "We're going to have to look somewhere else." ...

Continue reading "Charm City Roller Girls see record crowds, contemplate move" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:30 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Random stuff
        

March 23, 2010

What was your high school graduation song?

after four years of intensive schooling, it's time to graduate and  move on to new things. many of the people i graduated with went away to  school and wound up right back where they started, on the eastern  shore.Close your eyes and think back to your last year in high school.

Well, don't really close your eyes. Then you wouldn't be able to keep reading. Are your eyes back open? OK.

What was your class song? Did you even have a class song?

I had one, but I can't remember it that well (my memory of high school as a whole is a little hazy) ...

Continue reading "What was your high school graduation song?" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:34 AM | | Comments (36)
Categories: Random stuff
        

March 15, 2010

I've already decided on a Halloween costume for this year

Halloween may be months away, but I've got my costume on lock down.

I'm going as Ruby Rod, Chris Tucker's character from "The Fifth Element." Bzzzzzt!!! Most people probably won't get the reference, but this movie's been on TV a lot lately and Ruby Rod brings me to tears. Tears of joy. Witness: 

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:44 AM | | Comments (15)
Categories: Random stuff
        

March 11, 2010

So I got that City Paper award

midnight sun's various awardsBehold, the physical proof of Midnight Sun's award-winning-ness.

This makes up for all those blue ribbons I never got at the county fair as a child.

Damn you, tractor pull!

With all these awards, I'm going to have to get a bigger desk. And a bigger ego.

All this recognition was too much for my old ego, which split at the seams.

No, wait, that was my waistline, from all those $1.25 Clipper City Golds at Down the Hatch ...

Continue reading "So I got that City Paper award" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:20 PM | | Comments (12)
Categories: Random stuff
        

March 6, 2010

What I sing in the shower ...

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:41 AM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Random stuff
        

March 5, 2010

A fistful of Bacon Pop, or, 'What's that smell?'

mark plants a kiss on his new love, bacon popA couple months ago, someone (maybe pets blogger Jill?) gave me a bag of Bacon Pop.

That's right -- bacon-flavored popcorn. 

Individually, I love popcorn and bacon with almost religious fervor. But how would they taste together? 

Too afraid to find out, I let the bag be. Then Editor Amanda spotted it, and said, 'Mark might like that.'

You may remember Mark from such posts as this one, from last year's Virgin Mobile FreeFest. Mark's an adventurous guy. He lives on the edge. Or in Brewer's Hill. One of the two.

About an hour ago, Mark fired up the microwave. The smell hasn't gone away yet. I think the newsroom may be on the verge of mutiny ...

Continue reading "A fistful of Bacon Pop, or, 'What's that smell?'" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 1:59 PM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Random stuff
        

March 3, 2010

'We're just taking notes for work'

the killersI make a living talking to people. If I don't talk to people, I don't get tips or quotes for stories.

When I review concerts, however, I don't have to talk to anybody. I just need to take notes.

But when I'm at a concert and people see me whip out my notepad and start jotting things down, they want to know what I'm up to. It's inevitable. Someone -- or multiple someones -- at each show point to my notepad and ask me what I'm doing.

I used to tell them the truth. "I'm reviewing the show," I'd say. They'd ask who I work for, and I'd tell them.

A funny thing happens when you tell someone that. They suddenly get the urge to tell you what they thing of the show. It all depends on how much they've been drinking (I don't drink alcohol when I'm reviewing concerts) ...

Continue reading "'We're just taking notes for work'" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:08 PM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Random stuff
        

February 23, 2010

What, pray tell, is a snot rag?

snot ragsKids these days, blowing their snot into a rag and then wearing it like a hat.

Savages!

Back in my day, we ain't use no rags -- we blew our snot into our hands, and shook hands with other folks, like gentlemen.

But oh no ... these kids just can't be stopped. It's such a terrible issue, Dead Freddie's went and made a rule about it. It's on their Official Dress Code.

Seriously, does not knowing what a snot rag is make me an old geezer? I feel like one.

To better understand the snot rag culture, I looked up the term on Urban Dictionary (witness). ...

Continue reading "What, pray tell, is a snot rag?" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:40 AM | | Comments (9)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Random stuff
        

February 22, 2010

Flipside flops

flipside, flapside, flopside

Flipside Footwear, the summery retail store which replaced The Vineyard Wine and Spirits in South Baltimore, is closing, much to the chagrin of the popped-collar set.

In all seriousness, I've never been one to gloat over the demise of any business -- not even Canton Arts and Entertainment (is it technically closed yet?).

I just never understood how a boutique surf wear shop could generate enough business to stay afloat (pun!) in the neighborhood.

But let's give Flipside the credit it deserves -- the shop survived two summers but just couldn't last through the recession. Oh well.

Goodbye, Flipside. See you ... on the flipside.

Zink!

(Photo by Midnight Sunner Evan)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:17 PM | | Comments (21)
Categories: Random stuff
        

February 19, 2010

A fond farewell for Elizabeth Large

diningatlarge.jpg

It is one of the great mysteries of journalism that someone could write about anything -- especially food -- for so long with such insight. There are, after all, only so many ways to describe a crabcake.

Somehow, Elizabeth Large has written about food for the Baltimore Sun for nearly 40 years. Unfortunately for us, today is her last day.

I've been lucky enough to work with Elizabeth Large for the last five years. During that time, I've come to know and admire her conversational but authoritative tone and her wry sense of humor ...

Continue reading "A fond farewell for Elizabeth Large" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:32 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Random stuff
        

This is where I get my hair did

umbertosI won't settle for anything less than ... THE TOTAL LOOK!

Don't judge me.

(Photo by me)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:55 AM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Random stuff
        

February 16, 2010

I'm baaack ... and boy do I miss Argentina

I could live in Buenos Aires. And after spending a week in the warm, sunny South American city (dodging not one but two back-to-back Baltimore blizzards), I want to go back. Now.

Returning to 30-some inches of snow was a shock to the system. Two things flashed across my mind as we pulled into Baltimore:

'Are the roads really that bad?' (they were), and 'Is that mound of snow really our car?' (It was) ...

Continue reading "I'm baaack ... and boy do I miss Argentina" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:32 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Random stuff
        

February 15, 2010

The infinity rotation

the white stripesI can't tell you how many times I've heard a song for the first time, liked it and played it to death. Here is Midnight Sunner Duffster with a guest column about what he calls the Infinity Rotation:

Do you ever hear a song that is so unbelievably awesome that you play it over and over and over again and you can never get sick of it? I mean ever.

That doesn't mean that you can listen to it incessantly for a week or two and then discard it because it's old. These are lifetime-adders. Songs that you will look to play and will have no problem playing years from now. Songs that you know exactly where they are on your iPod and probably go there first before you play anything else, unless there's some hot new album you've got to hear first, but you know once you get sick of that album you'll just go back to your old standards.

That seems to happen to me about once every three months. I'll add a new song to the lifetime list. I call it my "Infinity Rotation." ...

Continue reading "The infinity rotation" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:00 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Random stuff
        

February 12, 2010

Tif's tales: The Alicia Keys 'wannabe' and a music video

alicia keysToday Midnight Sun guest columnist Tif discusses a close encounter with a "wannabe" Alicia Keys and the making of a high-profile music video. Take it away, Tif:

Once, an artist I represented was scheduled to perform at a venue, but couldn’t find her.

I went to the green room, and when I inquired about her whereabouts, a short fair-skinned girl in braids rolled her eyes at me and brushed by me.

With a few in the fuel system I mumbled "go head with yourself you little Alicia Keys wanna-be."...

Continue reading "Tif's tales: The Alicia Keys 'wannabe' and a music video" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:00 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Random stuff
        

February 10, 2010

Tif's tales: Mos Def is a thief!

mos defToday, Midnight Sun guest columnist Tif shares another one of his hip-hop memories. Take it away, Tif:

I remember when I was invited back to the green room at Rams Head @ Power Plant Live for a Mos Def performance. 

My partner was getting Mos to wear his new clothing line when Mos yelled to his people "yall find that Wire DVD yet?"

They replied, "Best Buy didn't have it, we can't locate a copy, etc."

I said, "Mos, I have all seasons on DVD." ...

Continue reading "Tif's tales: Mos Def is a thief!" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:00 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Random stuff
        

February 2, 2010

And I'm off!

iguazu fallsIn a few short hours, I'll be en route to (hopefully) warmer climates, far south of clammy Baltimore.

I'd like to thank all of the folks who volunteered to write Midnight Sun guest columns and help keep the blog going while I'm gone.

All in all, we've got close to 30 guest columns coming over the course of the next couple weeks. I'll be back in about 15 days.

See you then!

(AP photo of Iguazu Falls)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:30 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Random stuff
        

January 30, 2010

Make your own spiked cider

a glass of delicious-looking apple cider may be in your near futureIn last week's City Paper, Michelle Gienow wrote about her (successful) attempt at brewing homemade hard cider.

Her piece is a great read, and makes me want to try it for myself -- except the part where I'd have to press my own. I'd rather just buy a jug from Weber's Farm.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

It turns out that fermenting your own hard cider is in the same category as home-brewing beer--unlike distillation (the making of actual moonshine), brewing is legal without a license so long as you don't sell your product. ...

Continue reading "Make your own spiked cider" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:24 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Random stuff
        

January 21, 2010

Introducing Tragedy, the all-metal Bee Gees tribute band

tragedy, the all metal bee gees tributeGet ready, gang.

Get ready for Tragedy.

Ever heard of Tragedy? No? Well, that's a ... heh, do I need to say it?

Tragedy is the world's premiere all-metal Bee Gees tribute band. They are quite awesome. And tomorrow, they're coming to Rams Head Live.

Look at those outfits! Listen to their music! It's like Judas Priest meets the brothers Gibb.

Why the Bee Gees? Lead singer Robin Gibbens (the dude in the middle of the photo) explains:

"It's the best material to work with," Gibbens said. "The melodies were phenomenal. They just needed some crunch. They needed some distortion pedal."

I couldn't agree more.

Here's a link to a piece I did on the band, which ran in today's paper.

(Photo courtesy of the band)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:21 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Random stuff
        

January 14, 2010

Midnight Sun is also in the motel business

midnight sun motelSleepy?

Well, Midnight Sun's got what you need: Comfy beds, a sauna, pool, laundry services and more. And by "more," we mean "laundry."

Hee hee.

Midnight Sunner Shankman spotted this awesome business while on vacation in sunny Florida. 

I'm still trying to get the Midnight Sun Brewery in Alaska to send me merchandise/suds. So far, I've had no luck. I blame Sarah Palin.

Midnight Sun Brewery, if you're reading this, I formally request as much Midnight Sun apparel/beer as possible.

(Photo by Shankman)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:47 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Random stuff
        

January 11, 2010

The Situation from 'Jersey Shore' to guest bartend at Mad River

jersey shore style

The Situation from "Jersey Shore" will be guest bartending at Mad River Feb. 11.

All the details about the show and The Situation can be found right here

Get ready for some six-pack abs IN YOUR FACE!

(AP photo)

 

Posted by Sam Sessa at 4:07 PM | | Comments (13)
Categories: Random stuff
        

January 6, 2010

Dixon not mayor at Baltimore City Hall ... on Foursquare

Baltimore City HallMidnight Sun King Sam Sessa isn't on Foursquare -- a growing social networking site where users can "check in" at bars, restaurants and the like, letting their friends know where they are eating and drinking. But I (guest poster and Community Coordinator Carla) am, and when news came down via an e-mail from Marc Steiner that Mayor Sheila Dixon would be resigning, there was a mad rush for Foursquarers to check in at, you guessed it, City Hall.

See, the person who's checked in the most at a place becomes the "mayor." For example, I'm the mayor of The Reserve in South Baltimore. And, sometimes, mayors get perks. I hear the mayor of Teavolve gets a free entree. Pretty neat? Some of you think so (others will make fun of Foursquare in the comments, I'm sure).

So, people began to check in at City Hall, joking that they had to become the mayor before Stephanie Rawlings-Blake steps in. But who is the mayor of City Hall on Foursquare? That would be Steve Kruskamp Jr., who says his first order of business will be "appointing the entire cast of Jersey Shore as my staff."

Sounds like a fabulous plan to me.

Baltimore Sun photo by Jed Kirschbaum

 

Posted by Carla Correa at 4:32 PM | | Comments (17)
Categories: Random stuff
        

December 31, 2009

The (unpublished) comment of the week

Back when I posted about how it's not cool to send in evil/wicked/nasty/eviler comments, I never expected people to stop sending them in. I just stopped posting them. 

Then I got this comment from someone named Carl. It's so bogusly negative, I kind of want to publish it. Not under the original thread about DuClaw closing, but here, where it can get the attention it deserves ...

Continue reading "The (unpublished) comment of the week" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:02 AM | | Comments (12)
Categories: Random stuff
        

December 21, 2009

So, today is Frank Zappa Day, eh?

frank zappaHave you heard the news?

Today, Dec. 21, 2009, is Frank Zappa Day.

Mayor Sheila Dixon issued the proclamation, which makes it official. Why today? Well, today was his birthday, and he was born in Baltimore.

I did have one question, however: Is Frank Zappa Day just today? Or every Dec. 21 from now on?

So I called Scott Peterson, the mayor's spokesman, and asked him. His response was pretty funny ...

Continue reading "So, today is Frank Zappa Day, eh?" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 4:45 PM | | Comments (11)
Categories: Random stuff
        

December 17, 2009

Frank Zappa statue to go near Highlandtown library

frank zappa statueSo the Public Art Committee finally found a home for that Frank Zappa statue: Outside the Southeast Anchor Library, a branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Highlandtown.

The bust of Zappa (who was born in Baltimore) will go up sometime next year, according to committee chair Anne Perkins.

"We think this is a great place for it -- a terrific neighborhood" Perkins said. "I think it will be the focal point for a lot of really fun festivals."

Here's a link to the full story.

At first, I was a little surprised at the site they chose. Highlandtown might get a decent amount of foot traffic, but probably not as much as the other sites they were considering -- such as Fells Point.

And besides the Creative Alliance, Highlandtown really isn't known for its arts and entertainment.. 

Then I spoke with Zappa's widow, Gail, who cleared things up for me ...

Continue reading "Frank Zappa statue to go near Highlandtown library" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:12 PM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Random stuff
        

December 13, 2009

You know what I need?

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:59 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Random stuff
        

December 11, 2009

What was your very first favorite song?

Do you remember the very first song you were fixated with? Think way back -- waaaaay back to when you were a little kid.

What was the first song you played over and over and over again?

For me, it was "All I Need is a Miracle" by Mike + The Mechanics. I hope I'm not dating myself here. I was a little kid, and I had a little record player that spun 45s. I'm not sure where I got my hands on the single, but I had it, and I played it to death ...

Continue reading "What was your very first favorite song?" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:28 AM | | Comments (52)
Categories: Random stuff
        

December 9, 2009

Daft Punk is playing on my keyboard

Do you like Daft Punk? Or do you like wasting time on silly Internet things? I know you do, and you're definitely going to like this. ...

Continue reading "Daft Punk is playing on my keyboard" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:04 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Random stuff
        

December 5, 2009

Midnight Sun endorses this T-shirt

carpe noctumAfter the monument lighting Thursday night, City Paper held one of their Illuminate events in a building on West Read St.

The events showcase local arts and crafts, as well as apartments and condos. 

I came across this T-shirt, which was part of a display from Shine Collective. I didn't ask how much it cost (I'm too poor to afford clothes), but if I had some greenbacks, I'd buy one.

That's why I'm endorsing it on behalf of Midnight Sun.

Carpe noctum!

(Photo by me)
Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:09 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Random stuff
        

November 29, 2009

Susan Boyle, "As seen on YouTube"

susan boyle, i dreamed a dreamWhen I got my review copy of Susan Boyle's new CD, "I Dreamed a Dream," in the mail the other day, the sticker on the front caught my eye.

Stickers like this one on the cover of CD jewel cases are fairly common. Usually, they list the singles, or maybe a few kind words from a magazine like Rolling Stone.

This one read "As Seen on YouTube."

That's the first time I've seen something like that.

If you're not familiar with Boyle, she's the 48-year-old Scottish singer who became an overnight sensation on "Britain's Got Talent" in April. She is perhaps YouTube's biggest success story, as well.

I plugged Boyle's name into YouTube, and did a quick tally. Boyle-related videos have been watched more than 100 million times.

According to a press release, pre-orders of "I Dreamed a Dream," which was released Tuesday, made her No. 1 on Amazon.com's best-sellers list ...

Continue reading "Susan Boyle, "As seen on YouTube"" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:48 AM | | Comments (25)
Categories: Random stuff
        

November 28, 2009

Are Baltimore bums getting more innovative?

parking ticketYou know the old standbys: The scruffy dude on the corner with a wad of newspaper and a bottle of blueish water, offering to wipe your windshield -- or the guy banging on the overturned bucket.

But the other day, I saw something I'd never seen before.

I had parked on Broadway in Fells Point, and was walking up to the automated parking kiosk when a panhandler approached me with an offer:

"Four hours, half price," he said.

At first, I didn't get what he was saying. Then he stuck out his hand, which had a couple crumpled parking slips in it.

Oh, I thought. I firmly but politely declined ...

Continue reading "Are Baltimore bums getting more innovative?" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:17 AM | | Comments (13)
Categories: Random stuff
        

November 27, 2009

I finally found Ful

fulFor years, I've been trying to find Ful, the city's most exclusive yet elusive club.*

Dreamed up by Midnight Sunner BryaninTowson as an answer to Pur, Ful is high-end underground -- or so I heard. I never knew the secret location. Until now.

I was walking down Calvert Street when I saw the sign, and it opened up my eyes. 

By Jove, I thought, I finally found it, after all these years.

Why had Ful been so hard to find? Because Ful wasn't in one place. It changed locations, depending on the night. Genius! Or is it ingenious? I'm never sure ...

Continue reading "I finally found Ful" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:41 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Random stuff
        

Rolling Stones in Baltimore, part 2

rolling stones baltimoreWith the help of archivist Paul McCardell, here is one more clip about the Rolling Stones' 1969 appearance at the Baltimore Civic Center. This article, published on November 28, 1969, focuses more on the music and less on the violence:

Crowd Devastated by Rolling Stones

Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones devastated a sellout crowd at the Civic Center Wednesday night with basic, unsophisticated, harder-than-steel rock.

The show started an hour late, and was not helped appreciably by the appearance of Terry Reid, a British singer who looked and sounded like the Artful Dodger of "Oliver Twist."

But the pace quickened with B.B. King and his band, who showed a together audience where Mick and the Stones got some of their roots ...

Continue reading "Rolling Stones in Baltimore, part 2" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:35 AM | | Comments (12)
Categories: Local music, Random stuff
        

Rolling Stones in Baltimore -- 40 years later

the rolling stones in 1969This week in 1969, the Rolling Stones performed a sold-out show at the Baltimore Civic Center (now called the 1st Mariner Arena).

Now, 40 years later, here is The Baltimore Sun's recount of the show. There were fistfights and at least one karate chop to the throat, but somehow, no one was arrested. Oh, and the Stones played.

Rolling Stones Rock Civic Center

The shrieks of thousands of young females filled the Civic Center last night as the Rolling Stones, the English rock group, brought their brand of the electric apocalypse to Baltimore.

Mick Jagger, the head Rolling Stone, pranced out on the stage dressed in a red scarf, silver collar and a black costume amid the hysterical roar of the 13,000 persons who filled the Center to capacity ...

Continue reading "Rolling Stones in Baltimore -- 40 years later" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:43 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Local music, Random stuff
        

November 24, 2009

Is Adam Lambert the new Chris Sligh?

Discuss.
Posted by Sam Sessa at 4:19 PM | | Comments (28)
Categories: Random stuff
        

Why Jackson Browne likes Baltimore

jackson browneA couple weeks ago at the Lyric Opera House, Jackson Browne took a moment to tell the audience why he likes Baltimore.

Is it because he recorded much of his acclaimed 1977 release "Running on Empty" at nearby Merriweather Post Pavilion and the Cross Keys Inn (which is now the Radisson Hotel, I believe)? Is it because he loves crab cakes or Berger cookies?

Nope. Browne likes Baltimore because he watches "The Wire."

"I think it's a good show," he told the crowd (here's a link to my review of that show).

"Do you have an awareness that show was shot here?" he asked.

Sigh ...

Continue reading "Why Jackson Browne likes Baltimore" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:04 AM | | Comments (9)
Categories: Random stuff
        

November 19, 2009

Checking in with Jim Gaffigan

jim gaffigan

Tomorrow night, comedian Jim Gaffigan is going to be in town for two shows at the Lyric Opera House (get tickets here).

It's been a few years since the last time I talked to Gaffigan, but he still plays the whiny, lovable lazy butt like few can. And his bits about food (especially bacon, bologna and Hot Pockets) are still hilarious.

Gaffigan has accepted the notion that, at this point, he's probably The Food Comedian.

"Every time there's a new bacon-scented envelope, I get 50 e-mails or messages or tweets about it," he said. "It's the same whenever there's a new Hot Pocket. ... It's very flattering."

Here is a link to my piece on Gaffigan, which ran in today's paper.

(Handout photo)

 

Posted by Sam Sessa at 1:04 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Random stuff
        

November 17, 2009

Bruce Springsteen blowout coverage

bruce springsteen in 1975Since Bruce Springsteen hasn't played in Baltimore since 1973, we're pulling out all the stops and going all Bruce, all the time.

Dig if you will this entire online section devoted to Bruce Springsteen.

It has Springsteen photos.

It has a test-your-Bruce-knowledge pop quiz.

The page also has a ton of Springsteen stories. Sun researcher Paul McCardell and I spent a good deal of time yesterday digging through the vast, dusty archives looking for colorful old Springsteen stories and photos.

You would not believe how many times The Baltimore Sun has gushed about Springsteen.

Former Sun writer Rafael Alvarez called Springsteen "the messiah of rock and roll." Columnist Dan Rodricks wrote a couple columns in the '80s that were blatant ploys to get free Springsteen tickets.

Surprisingly, we could only find one actual interview with Springsteen -- back in 1975 after a show at Painter's Mill (here's a link to the piece) ...

Continue reading "Bruce Springsteen blowout coverage" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:30 PM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Random stuff
        

November 12, 2009

A look at Sam Seltzer's Steakhouse

sam seltzer's steakhouseMidnight Sun commenter (and liquor board commish) LiquorBoarding (aka Stephan Fogleman) was in Florida the other day, when he spotted a Sam Seltzer's Steakhouse.

He writes:

I'm running late to the airport, and what do I see on Route 41 but Sam Seltzers Steakhouse. I had to take one quick pic for you. P.S. Kids, if you were trying to find Nemo, you can stop now. He's at Sam Seltzers.

Thanks for the photo, Mr. LiquorBoarding, sir!

I love how he's got the badge out there. I imagine a cheesy commercial, where LiquorBoarding is "arresting" the restaurant.

"At Sam Seltzer's Steakhouse, you have the right to a thick and juicy steak, rich mashed potatoes and delicious sea scallops."

Hee hee!

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:41 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Random stuff
        

November 6, 2009

So I got a sample of Usher's new cologne ...

usherR&B star Usher recently released a new cologne called VIP. And guess what? I got a sample of it!!! OMG!!!

Heh.

I've read that wearing this new fragrance is supposed to empower you to be your own VIP. This weekend, I'm going to put that theory to the test.

Either tonight or tomorrow night, I'm going to drench myself in Usher's VIP and try to breeze past the bouncers at one of Baltimore's high-end clubs.

What do you think will happen? 

There's only one way to find out.

(Photo by Getty Images)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:17 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Random stuff
        

How to open a bottle of wine with your shoe

This could have come in handy in college, when corkscrews were hard to come by. I can't tell you how many times we ended up jamming the cork down into the wine, which almost always meant tiny bits of cork bobbing in your glass.

Not only does this shoe method look like a fun party trick (or an ace in the hole, if you don't have a corkscrew), it seems like even tipsy Frenchmen can do it. And if tipsy Frenchmen can do it, so can we. Thanks to Owl Meat for sharing the vid:

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:30 AM | | Comments (13)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Random stuff
        

November 2, 2009

"The Recession Nation Project" is released

andres zapata recession nationWay back in April, I did this piece about local artists, photographers and musicians who were using the recession as inspiration.

One of the people I spoke with was Andres Zapata (pictured), who was working on a project called Recession Nation.

Zapata collected photos, short stories, visual art and poems from Baltimore and abroad, and recently published them in the book "The Recession Nation Project."

You can preview and buy a copy here.

I flipped through the book online and was pleasantly surprised at how well it came out ...

Continue reading ""The Recession Nation Project" is released" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:54 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Random stuff
        

October 23, 2009

Sam Seltzer's Steakhouse

OK, OK, I admit it -- sometimes, I Google my own name. Yes, I know, it's super lame. I like seeing where my stories end up online, that's all.

Anyway, you know when you start to type something into Google's search bar and it gives you suggestions? Well, as I was typing my name in, the words "Sam Seltzer's Restaurant" popped up. Intrigued, I clicked on it ...

Continue reading "Sam Seltzer's Steakhouse" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:30 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Random stuff
        

October 22, 2009

Dancers are gearing up for Saturday's mass "Thriller" performance

thriller dance rehearsalsSeveral months ago, dozens of dancers began training to zombie walk and booty swim their way through a mass synchronized performance of Michael Jackson's thriller.

The celebration, called "Thrill the World" will take place in the Inner Harbor at 8 p.m. Saturday.

As of today, about 275 have registered to perform the dance.

At the exact same time, thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) will join them around the world, in an effort to set a record for the largest synchronized dance routine at various venues ...

Continue reading "Dancers are gearing up for Saturday's mass "Thriller" performance" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:01 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Local music, Random stuff
        

October 21, 2009

Fix up the Inner Harbor carousel? Or put something new there?

inner harbor carouselI loved your suggestions for where to put the Frank Zappa statue. 

Today, I read where the Baltimore Development Corp. is taking a hard look at the shabby (but long-standing) carousel on the South side of the Inner Harbor, near the Science Center.

You don't need to spend much time near the carousel to notice that it's not used much and in need of some pretty major repairs.

The question is, should the carousel be restored? Or removed altogether and replaced with something else?

The Inner Harbor "has to be re-energized," said Jim Seay, president of Premier Rides of Baltimore, who presented ideas yesterday. "We have to return some of the magic of the Inner Harbor."

I'm with you, Jim ...

Continue reading "Fix up the Inner Harbor carousel? Or put something new there?" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:09 AM | | Comments (28)
Categories: Random stuff
        

October 20, 2009

Where would you like to see the Frank Zappa statue?

frank zappa statueMore than a year ago, Baltimore accepted a bust of Baltimore native Frank Zappa. Valued at $50,000, the bust was a gift from a Lithuanian Zappa fan club.

Since then, officials have been debating where to put it.

For a while, it looked like the statue would be placed at Fleet Street and Broadway in Fells Point. But the Fells Point location wasn't suitable for the statue, officials said.

Tomorrow, officials from the Baltimore Public Art Commission will scout two new locations: The intersection of South Conkling Street and Eastern Avenue in Highlandtown and a Patterson Park annex.

"They want to have more room so people would be able to interact and congregate around the sculpture," said Tracy Baskerville, spokeswoman for the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts.

"That's what the Fells Point location lacked. These two locations have that. More than one person can be next to it."

Personally, I think neither of these new locations are appealing.

Where would you like to see the bust? I have a suggestion ...

Continue reading "Where would you like to see the Frank Zappa statue?" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:04 PM | | Comments (40)
Categories: Random stuff
        

October 18, 2009

Outings for kids with autism

I had a story in today's paper (link) about a rise in the number of events that are geared toward autistic children. I'm talking about movie screenings, restaurant nights, local trips, church services and even play zones. For someone who mostly covers entertainment, this was an interesting piece to research and write.
Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:08 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Random stuff
        

October 15, 2009

Catching up with Ray LaMontagne

ray lamontagneTonight, enigmatic singer/songwriter Ray LaMontagne will play the first of two sold-out shows with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

The first is at Strathmore, and the second is tomorrow at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.

I talked to Ray for an article which ran in today's paper (here's a link). I was shocked to find out he's never played one of his songs for his wife, and that, at first, he didn't like his voice.

This is the second time Ray has played with an orchestra. The first time was this past July at the Hollywood Bowl.

Ray had a funny perspective on what it's like to be backed by an orchestra:

"When you play with an orchestra, you have to go back and re-learn all the songs," he said. "It's just a pain in the ass." 

Hee hee ...

Continue reading "Catching up with Ray LaMontagne" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:39 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Random stuff
        

October 10, 2009

Alliance Comics celebrates its grand opening tonight at Illusions

illusions magic bar

Looks like today is all about the grand openings.

The new Alliance Comics in South Baltimore is celebrating its grand opening 8 p.m.-10 p.m. tonight with a celebration at Illusions Magic Bar (1025 S. Charles St.).

According to Alliance's owner Amy McNeal, there will be drink specials, snacks, and of course, a live magic show.

She writes:

If you're looking for some relaxation at a beautiful art deco style bar with delicious drinks and an awesome magic show , come and join us!

(Photo by me)

 

Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:00 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Random stuff
        

October 2, 2009

Sipping Michelob Ultra Pomegranate Raspberry beer

michelob ultra pomegranate raspberry

This post might just put a permanent dent in my manliness. But that's OK.

Last week, Amie saw an ad for Michaelob Ultra Pomegranate Raspberry beer (think they could have made the name any longer?).

When she asked me to pick her up a six-pack at the local liquor store, I cringed to myself.

I figured she would try one, not like it, and I'd be stuck drinking the other five bottles of fruit-tastic beer.

Oh boy!

Turns out, it's not actually that bad ...

Continue reading "Sipping Michelob Ultra Pomegranate Raspberry beer" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:57 AM | | Comments (13)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Drink-ology, Random stuff
        

September 27, 2009

Awesomeness on wheels

the skittles carLoooook! It's the Skittles car! How awesome is that?!?!?

I was walking around on the West Side when I encountered the Skittles car. It stopped me in my tracks.

I wanted to lick the side of the car, and see if it tasted like the rainbow.

What prompts someone to paint Skittles all over their car? Is it the Official Skittles Company Car? Or just the family car?

How awesomely bad would it be if it was a gift from a set of parents to their 16-year-old daughter?

Mom! Mom! I want to go to the movies! Can I go to the movies?

Sure, but you have to take the Skittles car.

But, Moooooom I don't wanna take the Skittles car.

YOU'LL TAKE THE SKITTLES CAR AND YOU'LL LIKE IT YOUNG LADY! DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY PACKS OF SKITTLES YOUR FATHER AND I HAD TO EAT TO EARN ENOUGH RAINBOW POINTS TO GET THE SKITTLES CAR?!?! I HAVE TYPE 2 DIABETES NOW!

Hee hee.

Anyway, I really enjoyed witnessing the Skittles car.

(Photo by me)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:00 AM | | Comments (17)
Categories: Random stuff
        

September 25, 2009

Bruce Springsteen tickets sell out in 20 minutes

bruce springsteenBruce Springsteen's show at the 1st Mariner Arena sold out in a mere 20 minutes -- about 15 minutes quicker than teen pop star Hannah Montana, officials said.

Fans snapped up the roughly 14,400 tickets for the Nov. 20 show --
the first time The Boss has played Baltimore proper in more than 35 years -- without a hitch, according to 1st Mariner's general manager Frank Remesch.

Remesch said the night before the tickets went on sale, he worried it wouldn't sell out, thereby proving Baltimore's reputation as a second-tier tour stop ...

Continue reading "Bruce Springsteen tickets sell out in 20 minutes" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:19 AM | | Comments (39)
Categories: Local music, Random stuff
        

Are you ready to try for Bruce Springsteen 1st Mariner tickets?

bruuuuuuuuuuce.JPGOh man oh man, it's almost time -- tickets for Bruce Springsteen's 1st Mariner Arena gig go on sale at 10 a.m.

This is the first time the Boss has played in Baltimore proper since 1973, when he performed at -- you guessed it -- the 1st Mariner Arena (then known as the Baltimore Civic Center). I wonder if Bruuuce remembers that gig.

The Nov. 20 gig will probably be a nostalgia trip for Springsteen, considering the venue has barely changed in the past 36 years. Heh.

If you end up getting tickets or have problems getting tickets, this is the place to share your experience. Let me know how it goes, and, of course, good luck!

(AP photo)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:55 AM | | Comments (104)
Categories: Local music, Random stuff
        

September 24, 2009

What music makes you cry? And why?

marvin gaye

Do you ever listen to music and suddenly start to choke up?

I do.

Sometimes I can feel it coming, and sometimes it takes me by surprise. I get chills, choke up, and occasionally, cry. Depends on the song and my mood.

The first few times I heard Emmylou Harris' "Red Dirt Girl," I had to try hard not to cry. I know girls like the one in the song, and I'm from a place like the one Harris describes, so it really resonates with me.

A couple days ago, I choked up when I watched this clip of Marvin Gaye singing short, solo versions of the songs he used to do with Tammi Terrell. It's so sad, and so uplifting at the same time. And as always, Gaye makes singing from the heart seem effortless.

I almost had to turn off "On and On and On" by Wilco the first time I heard it ...

Continue reading "What music makes you cry? And why?" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:14 PM | | Comments (57)
Categories: Random stuff
        

September 23, 2009

One of the wackiest interviews I've ever seen

I'm a little snowed under with stories for tomorrow's weekend section, so instead of blogging about something important or controversial, I'm going to post one of the zaniest interviews I've ever seen ...

Continue reading "One of the wackiest interviews I've ever seen" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:55 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Random stuff
        

Seen Springsteen before? How was the show?

bruce springsteenYesterday, I traded e-mails with a reader named Charlotte, who saw Bruce Springsteen at the Capital Centre in 1980. She was even able to find her old ticket stub.

Can you believe it only cost $11 for floor seats? If you want to get floor seats for Springsteen's Nov. 20 show at 1st Mariner, they're going to run you $100.

I asked Charlotte what she remembers from the show, and she sent me this:

I was working at McDonald's making about $2.90-$3.05/hr. and going to school at Villa Julie College (now Stevenson University) in the Medical Technician program.  One of my classmates either gave me the ticket or sold it to me ...

Continue reading "Seen Springsteen before? How was the show?" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:00 AM | | Comments (26)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Local music, Random stuff
        

September 22, 2009

Circular Blogging 101

Hey everybody, check out this piece by Elizabeth Large.

There. I have just officially posted about her post, which is about my post, which was based on a comment left under her other post

The circle is complete. I feel dizzy.

Posted by Sam Sessa at 1:57 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Random stuff
        

September 19, 2009

These are a few of my favorite words

If you write about anything long enough, you tend to use the same old words over and over again.

To help me fight the urge to use the same old words over and over again (see? I just did it again), I started a list ofg words that I need to use on Midnight Sun more often. If you have a favorite word you'd like to see on here, I'd love to try and use it. Here's my little list ...

Continue reading "These are a few of my favorite words" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:00 PM | | Comments (9)
Categories: Random stuff
        

September 18, 2009

Check out the free Kia Soul concerts in Washington this weekend

Kia, as in the car company, is throwing a pretty sweet free concert series this weekend. We're talking about free performances by MGMT, Dan Deacon, Wale and the Creepers. More info here.

From what I hear, the venue is pretty small, too -- about 400 capacity. To get into most of the shows, you just need to show up. However, to get into the MGMT show, you have to test drive a Kia. That's not so bad.

Posted by Sam Sessa at 5:02 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Random stuff
        

Rock on, Yim Yames

yimyames2.JPGyim yamesIf you're a fan of the indie rock group My Morning Jacket, you will have noticed that lead singer Jim James has started calling himself Yim Yames.

Some people, like WTMD's AmyWoo, find this ridiculous.

I too find it ridiculous. Ridiculously AWESOME.

If I were a rock star like Mr. Yames, I would do the same thing.

In fact, I'd take it a step further: I'd insist that everyone who spoke to me pronounced all their Js as Ys ...

Continue reading "Rock on, Yim Yames" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:53 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Random stuff
        

September 17, 2009

Notice anything funny about this receipt?

man-whore receipt

Snicker snicker.

Got this receipt at Turp's last night. I'll write more about Turp's later.

For now, enjoy this receipt.

Lord knows how this came to be. But it's pretty funny.

I wonder if the server (who was female) knew about it?

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:30 AM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Random stuff
        

September 16, 2009

I'm a winner! (At least, that's what I keep telling myself)

Woo hoo! Midnight Sun is on a roll, gang: We just won Best Local Blog in City Paper's Best of Baltimore 2009 readers' poll.

Dig it.

Man, and to think -- I didn't even vote for myself! Thanks, everybody who did vote for me. Before I could even make a Kanye West comment, someone beat me to it. Awesome!

Please join me in a cubicle victory dance to "True Skool" by Coldcut. "Cooler than cooler than cool."

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:00 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Random stuff
        

September 15, 2009

Tonight only: Cheap samurai movie rentals at Video Americain

Poor taste be damned: Until 10 p.m. tonight, Video Americain in Charles Village is renting all samurai flicks for a mere $2. This is, of course, a timely response to the burglar who was killed by a samurai sword-welding Johns Hopkins student early this morning.

Thanks to jmgiordano for the tip.

Posted by Sam Sessa at 5:43 PM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Random stuff
        

September 14, 2009

So I tried Drank ...

sam tried drank and look what happened?Drink, Drank, drunk.

Dude. I just, like, pounded a 16-ounce can of the "extreme relaxation beverage" Drank.

My roll has officially been slowed.

According to the can, I consumed 20 mg of Valerian root extract, 20 mg of rose hips extract, 2 mg of melatonin and, like, 220 calories(!).

I pounded it, too, in 15 minutes. 

How was it? Sweet.

Literally -- sweet. I think my teeth just disintegrated. Maybe it's just the melatonin. I don't know ...

Continue reading "So I tried Drank ..." »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 3:42 PM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Drink-ology, Random stuff
        

September 10, 2009

Who wants to get their Drank on?

drankI do! I do!

I'm not talking about drinking just anything, either. I'm talking about drinking Drank.

Have you heard of Drank? It's the new anti-energy drink. It's a relaxation drink. Or so I hear.

I haven't tried Drank myself -- yet. But the name is pretty awesome. And I'll bet all the kids are gettin' their Drank on. Those kids and their Drank. Gee, what will they think of next?

Here's what Drank's publicist had to say:

Comprised of melatonin, rose hips, and valerian root, drank is intended to chill you out, or “slow your roll” as it says on the can.  drank is currently slowing rolls throughout the country (including Delaware, D.C., and Virginia), and is now turning to Baltimore.

And here I've been wondering why traffic on 495 has been so sluggish lately. I'll bet it's because everybody's roll has been slowed by Drank!

I remember melatonin having something to do with sleep and relaxation. But rose hips? Valerian root? What? ...

Continue reading "Who wants to get their Drank on?" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:07 AM | | Comments (14)
Categories: Drink-ology, Random stuff
        

August 31, 2009

Seth Hurwitz and the wasp

seth hurwitz

Yesterday, I grabbed Virgin Mobile FreeFest producer Seth Hurwitz for a quick interview.

I asked him about the difference between Pimlico Race Course and Merriweather Post Pavilion.

Merriweather might have a less storied history than Pimlico, but its sprawling grounds suited this year’s scaled-back festival, Hurwitz said.

"[Merriweather] is not an exotic site, but it has its own ambiance," he said.

Just then, a yellow jacket wasp flew onto Hurwitz’s face and stung him on the forehead ...

Continue reading "Seth Hurwitz and the wasp" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:25 PM | | Comments (16)
Categories: Local music, Random stuff
        

August 25, 2009

Charm City Roller Girls raise thousands for hate crime victim

charm city roller girlsHow about some good news? 

The Charm City Roller Girls raised more than $2,000 at their bout this past Saturday, through beer sales and private donations. The money will go to James Privott, a 76-year-old victim of a hate crime.

The Roller Girls will also give Privott a $100 gift card to Rusty Scupper and a $250 gift certificate to Dick's Sporting Goods, which he can use to buy more fishing equipment (Privott had just finished fishing when he was attacked by a group of white men).

If you missed the bout but still want to make a contribution, the Roller Girls have set up a PayPal button on their Web site, which goes directly to the Privott donation fund.

They're going to keep the button up on their site until Friday, according to league member Tara Gebhardt. They hope to hit $3,000 by the end of the week ...

Continue reading "Charm City Roller Girls raise thousands for hate crime victim" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:00 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Random stuff
        

August 22, 2009

Go see the Charm City Roller Girls today and help the victim of a hate crime

charm city roller girlsAt today's bout, the Charm City Roller Girls are raising money to help James Privott, the 76-year-old man who was beaten by three white supremacists while fishing earlier this week.

Five percent of the beer sales from the bout will be donated to Privott, as well as any donations from audience members.

The roller girls are also going to give Privott a gift card for $150 to Dick's Sporting Goods so he can buy new fishing equipment ...

Continue reading "Go see the Charm City Roller Girls today and help the victim of a hate crime" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:17 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Random stuff
        

August 21, 2009

Alliance Comics coming to Federal Hill

alliance comicsA new comic store called Alliance Comics is opening in Federal Hill Sept. 2.

The store, at 904 Light St., will be the third location for Alliance Comics, which also has stores in Bowie and Silver Spring.

I wasn't able to get a hold of the owner(s) of the store, but according to the Web site, Alliance Comics will offer graphic novels, toys, cards and, of course, comics. The site also lists a number, 410-685-0021, but I called it a couple times today and nobody answered.

The space formerly housed Theodore's Cleaners and Tailors, is about halfway between the Maryland Science Center and the Cross Street Market.

(Photo by me)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 4:02 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Random stuff
        

August 14, 2009

I need more Midnight Sun magnet photos

midnight sun magnetsAt this point, I've mailed out, like, 50-some Midnight Sun magnets. And I have another dozen or so that I need to send out soon.

But I've only gotten a handful of funny photos of Midnight Sun magnets in action.

Come on, people! Surprise me! Tickle my funny bone!

The place to email photos is sam.sessa@baltsun.com

(Photo by me)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 6:25 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Random stuff
        

August 11, 2009

A note about comments

angry samEverybody's entitled to their own opinion, of course. And regular commenters are gonna disagree pretty regularly.

But both Elizabeth Large and I have seen more and more pointlessly negative comments in the past month or so, and we're getting tired of it.

If you're sniping at another commenter or me, that's fine -- as long as you're making a point. I rarely refuse to publish comments, and only edit comments for profanity.

But from now on out, pointless, nasty attacks on other posters or myself aren't going to get published.

Thanks,

Management

Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:37 AM | | Comments (25)
Categories: Random stuff
        

August 10, 2009

A look at the week ahead

How was everyone's weekend? I made the rounds Friday, sampling some drinks for a piece about cocktails with weird herbs in them. More on that later. Then I hit up the Beach House/Celebration show at the Metro Gallery (review here) and closed out the night at the Idle Hour (201 E. Fort Ave.). Busy night ...

Continue reading "A look at the week ahead" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:43 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Random stuff
        

August 6, 2009

Alizee, Brightons, Cafe Hon win Crab Soup Stakes

the judges, hard at work, sacrificing their waistlines for the good of societyThe results are in: Alizee (4 W. University Pkwy) and Brightons (550 Light St. in the Intercontinental Harbor Court Hotel) won the judge's award for best Maryland crab soup and best cream of crab soup, respectively, at the Crab Soup Stakes.

The winners of the people's choice awards were: Cafe Hon (for Maryland crab) and Brightons (for cream of crab).

Way to go, Brightons!

Held in the Inner Harbor amphitheater, the Crab Soup Stakes featured soups from 10 local restaurants (five had Maryland crab soups and five had cream of crab soups).

Three "celebrity" judges (pictured) -- WJZ weekend sports anchor Stan Saunders, Porkchop from 92Q and yours truly -- sampled all 10 soups, and picked the winners based on taste, consistency and presentation ...

Continue reading "Alizee, Brightons, Cafe Hon win Crab Soup Stakes" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 3:37 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Random stuff
        

I'm judging a crab soup contest today

Guess who one of the "celebrity" judges at the Crab Soup Stakes at the Harborplace Amphitheater is?

I'll bet I don't even have to tell you. (It's me.)

That's right, folks. From 11 a.m.-1 p.m. today, I'll be judging crab soup made from several Baltimore restaurants. The event celebrates the official kickoff of Baltimore Restaurant Week ...

Continue reading "I'm judging a crab soup contest today" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:58 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Random stuff
        

August 4, 2009

A quick chat with Snoop Dogg

snoop doggOne of the smoothest gangsta rappers on the planet, Snoop Dogg comes to Merriweather Post Pavilion tomorrow on the Blazed and Confused Tour.

Midnight Sun and Baltimore Metromix contributor Mark Gross e-mailed Snoop some questions.

Snoop, why do you only do e-mail interviews?
Because generally reporters ask tha same questions, manage to piss me off with a smartass remark and I'm in tha studio wrappin up "Malice In Wonderland" when I'm not on tour. 

Where's your mind? Where's your money?
Example A of what I was jus talkn about. Jus jokin. U know I got my mind on my money and my money on my mind.

The Snoop Dogg iFizzle iPhone app features several of your most iconic phrases. If you could record common phrases from your every day life, which ones would be most useful for you?
Chuuuch!!!

Recently, Pope Benedict signed to Geffen Records. If you produced an album for the pontiff, what would his gangsta name be and what's his first single?
"Is There Heaven for a Gangsta?" - and his name would be Chuuuuch! ...

Continue reading "A quick chat with Snoop Dogg" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:01 PM | | Comments (14)
Categories: Random stuff
        

July 30, 2009

Moonlight bike ride tonight

Check this out: Tonight, there is a 20-mile bicycle tour of Baltimore. Cyclists can gather at 8 p.m. at the corner of Mulberry and Cathedral streets. The ride starts at 8:30 p.m. More info here.
Posted by Sam Sessa at 5:14 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Random stuff
        

Boy was I wrong about that Gummy Bacon

sam eating gummy baconOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM!

That's the sound of me devouring a long, rubbery piece of gummy bacon.

Turns out, I read the packaging wrong. It's not strawberry gum shaped like bacon -- it's gummy bacon, as in, gummy bears.

For what it was, gummy bacon wasn't half bad.

But I was kind of disappointed to find out it was gummy -- not gum.

Oh well. 

I've got three strips left. Anybody want one?

(Photo by me)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 3:12 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Random stuff
        

Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray -- a surprisingly awesome interview

mark mcgrathI must admit -- at first, I was a little leery of interviewing Mark McGrath, the lead singer and front man of Sugar Ray.

You remember Sugar Ray, right? With hits like "Fly," "Every Morning" and "Someday," they were huge in the '90s. Even though they just released a new album, these days, people look at them as has-beens and lightweights.

But McGrath is actually a hard core music nerd. He's really unpretentious and modest about the band's success. Here's a link to the centerpiece I did on them, which ran in today's paper.

McGrath talked really, really fast and gave me so many good quotes, I couldn't use them all in the piece. Here are some of the passages I didn't use in the article ...

Continue reading "Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray -- a surprisingly awesome interview" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:41 AM | | Comments (47)
Categories: Random stuff
        

Bacon ... gum?

gummy baconWhen it comes to all things bacon, I'm like that dog in those Beggin Strips commercials.

Well, maybe I should say most things bacon.

So when Former Roommate Patchen brought me a box of Uncle Oinker's Gummy Bacon, I was beside myself.

Bacon gum? I'm kind of morbidly fascinated with it.

Thankfully, this gum doesn't try to taste like bacon -- at least, according to the box, it's strawberry-flavored. I haven't tried it yet (because I'm milking it for two blog entries). 

There are four "slices" of the stuff in the box. It certainly ain't sugar free, either. Each slice has more than 50 calories. But, if Uncle Oinker eats it, so will I ...

Continue reading "Bacon ... gum?" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:49 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Random stuff
        

July 29, 2009

So I mailed the first batch of Midnight Sun magnets ...

wait a minute mr. postman... All 50-some of them.

Each one of them came with a hand-written Post-It note in an official Baltimore Sun envelope. As you can imagine, this process took several hours.

And my handwriting degenerated into a nearly un-readable scrawl by the end of the stack. Sorry, last few letter-getters.

Now comes the cool part: I want you to put your Midnight Sun magnet somewhere funny, and take a picture of it. You don't have to leave it there permanently -- just long enough to snap a photo.

Then, e-mail me the photo (sam.sessa@baltsun.com). I'll go through them all, and the funniest one wins a Midnight Sun Prize Pack ...

Continue reading "So I mailed the first batch of Midnight Sun magnets ..." »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:02 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Random stuff
        

July 28, 2009

Still waiting on that Frank Zappa statue

frank zappa statueIt's been more than a year since the city accepted a statue of eccentric composer and Baltimore native Frank Zappa, and city officials are still not sure exactly where to put it.

The statue, valued at roughly $50,000, was a gift from a Lithuanian Zappa fan club. And officials are looking to place it in Fells Point.

Fells Point community groups approved a location at Fleet Street and South Broadway, according to Tracy Baskerville, director of communications for the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts. But the location is being reconsidered, she said.

"We're looking for a place where people will congregate," said Baskerville.

It could be another few months before the statue finds a permanent home in Fells Point, Baskerville said.

(Pictured is a Zappa statue in Lithuania, similiar to the Baltimore statue. AP photo.)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:28 AM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Local music, Random stuff
        

July 25, 2009

Oh snap -- the Midnight Sun magnets are in!

midnight sun magnetsWho's got a spot on their fridge for a lovely little Midnight Sun magnet?

I know you do.

A box of super sweet Midnight Sun magnets landed on my desk today, compliments of the Baltimore Sun marketing department and our crew of community coordinators.

I don't have an exact figure, but there are a ton of these things in this box. I can't count them all. There are just too many.

That's why, if you e-mail me (sam.sessa@baltsun.com) your home address, I'll mail you one ASAP. Because, I mean, everybody could use a little Midnight Sun in their kitchen.

I'm going to carry some in my pockets and hand-deliver them to bars around town ...

Continue reading "Oh snap -- the Midnight Sun magnets are in!" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:00 AM | | Comments (9)
Categories: Random stuff
        

July 24, 2009

A quick interview with Jason Mraz

jason mrazIt just keep getting better for singer/songwriter Jason Mraz.

Each of his three albums has charted higher and sold more copies than the one before it. "I'm Yours," the first single from his latest album, We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things, is still on the Billboard Hot 100 chart -- 66 weeks after its release.

Only one song has spent more time on the chart: "How Do I Live" by LeAnn Rimes, which stayed on the chart for 69 weeks.

Earlier today, I checked in with Mraz, who performs at Merriweather Post Pavilion tomorrow.

Congrats on this Billboard 100 thing, Jason. You're four weeks away from toppling LeAnn Rimes. That's gotta be big.

Yeah, I understand that that is happening. It's very exciting. I can't believe the world has taken to that song the way they have. I'm really, really stoked.

You think she'll call you and congratulate you if you break her record?

Jewel did. So maybe LeAnn will. Jewel was last week -- I tied with her last week. LeAnn shows up in two weeks. We'll see what happens.

What did Jewel say when she called you?

It was through texting, but we're supposed to speak this weekend. At first she was funny -- she was like, 'Oooh, it seems we're at war.' But now it's like, 'Congrats for doing it.' She was with me right when my career began. She gave me a couple of gigs and was really a big support. It was almost as if she was checking in. ...

Continue reading "A quick interview with Jason Mraz " »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 5:23 PM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Random stuff
        

July 23, 2009

Midnight Sun is now award-winning

Yeeeee-hooo!

That's what I said after finding out Midnight Sun won Best Blog in Baltimore Magazine's Best of Baltimore 2009: Reader's Poll. Dining@Large took second place, and foodandwineblog.com came in third. 

I'd like to thank God and my beautiful wife and my parents (Dad, note how I didn't just say 'Mom'), and all of the little people I stepped on to get here. ...

Continue reading "Midnight Sun is now award-winning" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:35 AM | | Comments (15)
Categories: Random stuff
        

July 21, 2009

Digging Artscape

tinyrave.jpg

Sorry it took me a few days to get to blogging about Artscape. 

These days, I'm kind of the de facto music/nightlife/local entertainment reporter, which means I've been writing up a storm lately. And that, unfortunately, has kept me from blogging as much as I'd like.

Last Friday afternoon, I took a few hours and strolled around the sprawling Artscape festival grounds.

For me, some of the most interesting, innovative stuff was on Charles Street between Mount Royal Avenue and Lanvale Street ...

Continue reading "Digging Artscape" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:14 AM | | Comments (9)
Categories: Local music, Random stuff
        

July 16, 2009

Leftover Cake is kind of depressing

cakeIn case you (gasp!) didn't see today's print edition, it featured my centerpiece on alt-rock group Cake. Here's a link.

It was, perhaps, one of the more depressing -- but open -- interviews I've done recently. I spoke with front man and lead singer John McCrea (pictured, second from the left), who founded the band back in the early '90s.

McCrea sounded really downbeat and grumpy for some reason. I don't know why. Maybe that's just how he is. I played devil's advocate a bit and he got pretty riled up. Here are a couple quotes that didn't end up in the article.

"It wouldn't take much to push us off the edge, just the edge of being able to exist, being able to continue to exist as a band. ... It's getting easier and easier to be a big star on YouTube. But in terms of being able to eat food, that's getting almost impossible for all but a very, very few bands."

(The band sold out the 4,200-capacity Pier Six Pavilion in 2007 and sold out a two-night stand at the 9:30 Club in late May) ...

Continue reading "Leftover Cake is kind of depressing" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:37 AM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Random stuff
        

July 15, 2009

Dancing on The Block: The video for "Keep Good Time" by Tommy Tucker

This is one of the wilder Baltimore music videos I've seen in a while. And though it starts to get  a little monotonous after a while, the first few minutes are pretty funny.

Last night, when Tommy Tucker and the Supernaturals were in studio for a Baltimore Unsigned taping, Tucker told me he stripped naked in an abandoned countryside house to record the song. So it makes sense that he would head to The Block for the music video. Dig it:

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:43 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Random stuff
        

July 14, 2009

A look at "real" Romulan Ale

romulan aleAfter I wrote about Romulan Ale last week, Alexander D. Mitchell IV sent me this shot of "real" Romulan Ale.

No, not a "shot" as in a shot of liquor -- a "shot" as in a photograph.

Zink!

From the way he describes it, Romulan Ale seems like pale ale dyed blue. And eventually, the dye stained the glass blue. Wonder what your stomach would look like if you drank it.

Yuck.

Apparently, this stuff was made in El Salvador. If I wrote a book called Drinks That Never Should Have Been, this would be in it.

Any other nominees?

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:24 AM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Random stuff
        

July 13, 2009

Dr. Doom drops by the Golden West

Oh. My. Goodness.

A little while back, a dude dropped by the monthly Bar Bacon open mike comedy night at the Golden West Cafe (1105 W. 36th St.) dressed in full Dr. Doom costume. (Dr. Doom is the villain from the Fantastic Four). His routine was a stroke of genius: He told these corny "man walks into a bar" type jokes, but inserted members of the Fantastic Four into them ...

Continue reading "Dr. Doom drops by the Golden West" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:59 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Random stuff
        

111 Cyclists to converge on Artscape

111cyclists.jpgSince January 2008, Erik Spangler and Brian Sacawa have been organizing off-kilter shows as part of the Contemporary Museum's Mobtown Modern concert series.

But this Saturday, they're going to take it to a new level.

Spangler and Sacawa have put together a performance of Mauricio Kagel's "Eine Brise (A Breeze)," a performance art piece that involves no less than 111 cyclists whooshing, whistling and ringing bells as they ride by.

They're not disclosing the route they'll take, but they're gathering outside the Metro Gallery (1700 N. Charles St.) at 3 p.m. Saturday. 

Here's a link to a piece I wrote about the event, with more details.

(Baltimore Sun photo by Gene Sweeney Jr.)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:00 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Random stuff
        

July 10, 2009

Big Boi, All Time Low, etc.

I'd like to take a moment and humbly steer your attention to two music stories I wrote this week. I talked to Big Boi of rap duo OutKast about his solo album (it still doesn't have a release date), and local pop rockers All Time Low about their new album (which was released on Tuesday). Both stories are, in my opinion, quite diggable.
Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:11 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Local music, Random stuff
        

July 9, 2009

Big Kidz Sports Bar

springy thingsYou've already heard about Fumbles: The Sports Bar for Losers. Now, witness my latest wickedly awesome bar concept: Big Kidz Sports Bar.

It's like Dave and Busters. But not lame. Or, maybe, awesomely lame -- like, lame dipped in chocolate.

Basically this bar would take everything we enjoyed as kids (and possibly early teens*) and bring them into a bar setting.

I'm talking about a giant indoor dodgeball court. A swing set. Those springy things (pictured). Monkey bars. A big slide (wax paper costs $.50 a sheet). An Activity Zone. Possibly mini-golf. Possibly.

There would be a sandbox, complete with miniature John Deere tractors and an adult-sized, semi-mechanized digger (like this).

And then of course, standard games like corn hole, beer pong, shuffleboard and the like.

Continue reading "Big Kidz Sports Bar" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:27 AM | | Comments (15)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Random stuff
        

July 4, 2009

Another place to watch the fireworks tonight

When I compiled the list of the best places to watch the fireworks tonight, outside of the crowded Inner Harbor pavilion scene, I left one great spot out: Tabrizi's, (500 Harborview Dr.). I don't know why I didn't include Tabrizi's in the list ...

Continue reading "Another place to watch the fireworks tonight" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:28 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Random stuff
        

July 3, 2009

Why would I possibly care?

As a journalist, I get all sorts of weird e-mails from attention-seeking press agents. But I think this has to be one of the most random ones I've gotten in a while:

BEE GEES HONORED WITH POSTAGE STAMPS IN THEIR BIRTHPLACE
Issued Today, Isle Of Man's Eight-Stamp Set Salutes Hitmaking Native Sons

Umm ... OK ...

Continue reading "Why would I possibly care?" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:59 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Random stuff
        

July 2, 2009

My list of offbeat Inner Harbor spots to watch the 4th of July fireworks

baltimore fireworksThanks again for posting your suggestions for offbeat places to catch Saturday's downtown fireworks display.

I came up with about a dozen options outside of the Inner Harbor.

They include (but aren't limited to) Bo Brooks, Tide Point Waterfront Park, Canton Waterfront Park, Shuckers, the Bay Cafe and more.

Here's a link to the piece, which ran in today's paper.

(Baltimore Sun archive photo)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:00 AM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Random stuff
        

Let's talk about Lady Gaga for a second

ladygaga.JPGWhy? Because it's my blog and I'll write about Lady Gaga if I want to.

Lady Gaga makes me giggle.

She's saturated with sexuality. Her wardrobes are so over the top. Her image is pure plastic.

But I can't imagine that she takes herself seriously. She's got to be in on the joke. Right?

Look at this photo of her. She's wearing some kind of cyborg spacesuit dress, she's got what appears to be a cutesy blonde wig draped over one eye, and then the kicker: She's rocking a keytar.

Awesome!

Unfamiliar with the keytar? Witness this.

Awesome!

...

Continue reading "Let's talk about Lady Gaga for a second" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 6:41 AM | | Comments (13)
Categories: Random stuff
        

July 1, 2009

Offbeat places to watch the fireworks?

I'm writing a nightlife column about some spots to watch the fireworks -- outside of the sure-to-be-swamped Harborplace. Right now, I've got Tide Point Waterfront Park, Bond Street Wharf, Bay Cafe, Bo Brooks and Shucker's. Got any other ones for me?
Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:29 AM | | Comments (18)
Categories: Random stuff
        

Some news, some notes, some whatnots

sometimes sam has bloodshot eyes in the morning. or maybe he's really Cyclops. your call.You know, most days when you see the 7 a.m. time stamp on a post, I'm actually up that early blogging.

But I won't touch Midnight Sun without a large cup of hot, tasty coffee. That's my only prerequisite (a big word for 7 a.m., I know).

A brief tangent: Anybody know a local spot or distributor that carries really good coffee? Like, this stuff? I'd love to get some without paying an arm and a leg for shipping from Costa Rica.

If you notice, Midnight Sun (and the rest of the Sun blogs) got a minor face lift earlier this week.

I lobbied hard to have the blog search bar bumped up from the very bottom of the sidebar almost all the way to the top. That way, it's easier to find previous posts. At least, that's what I'm hoping.

I also created a Name That Bar category, which will (soon) have all the previous Name That Bar contests and winners, just for kicks. And I'm going to add a category titled All the Essentials (or something like that), and put some background posts about me and Midnight Sun in it ...

Continue reading "Some news, some notes, some whatnots" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:20 AM | | Comments (13)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Local music, Random stuff
        

June 30, 2009

More Michael Jackson tributes planned in Baltimore

michael jacksonThe wave of Michael Jackson tributes isn't over yet.

Last night, radio station 92Q held a Jackson candlelight vigil outside its offices. Hundreds of MJ fans turned out to show their support for the late pop star.

Here are some photos from the vigil.

Thursday, Bourbon Street (316 Guilford Ave.) is throwing a College Night Thriller party, complete with Jackson videos and music.

Anyone that shows up wearing a white glove will be eligible to win door prizes, bar tabs, etc. ...

Continue reading "More Michael Jackson tributes planned in Baltimore" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:04 AM | | Comments (15)
Categories: Random stuff
        

June 29, 2009

"Eggs Benedict"

eggs benedict by Emily Uchytil

Take a look at this painting. 

It took me a few seconds to even notice that Jesus is holding a small frying pan with an egg in it.

The name of the piece? "Eggs Benedict." Hee hee.

"Eggs Benedict" was done by a Baltimore-based artist named Emily Uchytil (dig her site).

I first saw Emily's work hanging in the Idle Hour (201 E. Fort Ave.) a couple months ago. I sent her an e-mail asking her more about her work, but never heard back.

Either way, I really like this piece.

Great stuff, Emily.

Posted by Sam Sessa at 1:48 PM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Random stuff
        

Did you buy any Michael Jackson CDs, etc. after his death?

If so, I wanna talk to you for a piece I'm working on. E-mail me at sam.sessa@baltsun.com
Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:51 AM | | Comments (12)
Categories: Random stuff
        

The best form of advertising

temptation.jpgAt first, it seems like another innocent stretch of sidewalk.

But when you hoof it on Fleet Street by the Maryland Athletic Club, the smell suddenly smacks you right in the face: popcorn.

Not just any popcorn, either.

I'm talking about rich, buttery movie theater popcorn -- the kind they serve in big paper bags and charge an arm and a leg for, but if you're a popcorn fanatic like me, you pay it anyway.

The source of this awesome scent is the Landmark Theatre around the corner on President Street. There must be some kind of vent that goes straight from popcorn booth at the concession stand to the sidewalk on Fleet Street ...

Continue reading "The best form of advertising" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:33 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Random stuff
        

June 28, 2009

I dig the U.S. Botanical Garden

orchidBefore I became a city slicker, I was a backwoods hick.

And as a backwoods hick, I've always liked plants. It's in my blood. My great-grandfather was a farmer, my grandfather was a farmer, my father was a farmer, and, for a time, I was a farmer too. Spinach, if you care to know.

If you're like me and you dig greenery, I highly recommend checking out the U.S. Botanical Garden in Washington. 

It's free (which, as we all know, makes everything better), and has a ton of wild, beautiful plants.

I think my personal favorite was the pitcher plant, a carnivorous species which grows large pitcher-shaped jugs with a saliva-like substance inside. Flies and other small creatures slip into the jugs and are digested. Yum. In the jungle, these bad boys get so big they catch rats and snakes. Dig it.

I also enjoyed the bull's horn acacia ...

Continue reading "I dig the U.S. Botanical Garden" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:22 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Random stuff
        

June 26, 2009

Whew!

michael jackson tribute in london

Sorry about not posting as much as normal today, gang. Michael Jackson's death has thrown all my plans for today out the window.

A little while ago, I finished this roundup of Jackson-related events at bars and clubs around town. If you know of any more stuff like this going on, let me know.

I also just added a few thoughts to a great MJ remembrance by Sun writer Jill Rosen (of OC bar roundup fame), which should be out in print this weekend.

(AP photo)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 3:16 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Random stuff
        

June 25, 2009

Did you see Michael Jackson or the Jackson 5 perform in the area?

If so, we'd like to hear from you. What was it like? What are your memories of the show? We're combing through our archives and putting together a piece for tomorrow's paper. Any help you could give us would be much appreciated. E-mail my editor, Tim Swift, at tim.swift@baltsun.com
Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:21 PM | | Comments (15)
Categories: Random stuff
        

Michael Jackson: A brilliant but bizarre life

mj.jpgMichael Jackson didn't just leave his stamp on pop music -- he irreversibly changed it.

From his early days as the pint-sized, Afro-sporting lead singer of the Jackson 5 to his astronomical success as a solo artist in the 1980s, Michael Jackson undeniably earned his title as the King of Pop.

If you listened to top 40 radio in the '70s, '80s or '90s, Jackson was inescapable. His album sales topped 750 million worldwide, and his 13 No. 1 singles and Grammy awards made him into a global celebrity.

In 1983, Jackson stunned audiences with the moonwalk, which, to this day, remains one of pop culture's most famous and enduring dance moves.

But as Jackson's popularity grew, his eccentric behavior and ever-changing physical appearance began to overshadow his many musical achievements. A chilling 2003 documentary with Martin Bashir titled Living With Michael Jackson foreshadowed a trial for child molestation. Jackson was later found not guilty, but the negative perception would plague him for the rest of his life.

In recent years, Jackson struggled financially, and was said to be on the brink of bankruptcy. His death today at age 50 is an abrupt end to a brilliant but bizarre life.

(AP photo)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:08 PM | | Comments (12)
Categories: Random stuff
        

June 22, 2009

Madonna, Celine Dion, Beyonce top Forbes' list of highest-earning musicians

madonnaWhat musicians made the most money in the past year?

Forbes just released its annual list of the top-earning musicians (from June 2008 to June 2009), and the top three spots are:

1. Madonna (pictured), $110 million

2. Celine Dion, $100 million

3. Beyonce, $87 million

Forbes estimated the musicians' gross earnings by tallying album sales, publishing rights and endorsements from Billboard, Pollstar and Nielsen SoundScan.

According to Forbes, the top 10 highest-grossing musicians piled up just about $719 million this past year, compared with $500 million the year before.

The reasons for the surge? Ticket prices are up $5 on average, which is the largest price hike in years, Forbes reports.

(AP photo)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 4:54 PM | | Comments (27)
Categories: Random stuff
        

June 20, 2009

I (actually) bought the album!

Think back ten years. Heck, maybe 15 years.

Back then, if a new band had a hit single, people went to the record store and bought the CD. That's how I ended up with Tubthumper by Chumbawamba and Fush Yu Mang by Smash Mouth. I probably paid $17.99 each for those CDs. When I realized that both of those albums kind of stunk (except for the singles), I grumbled a bit. But what could I do?

When the Internet blew up, everything was turned upside down ...

Continue reading "I (actually) bought the album!" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:28 AM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Random stuff
        

June 19, 2009

"Inner City Blues"

I read news like this and it reminds me of Marvin Gaye's incredible album What's Going On. Believe it or not, I had never sat down and listened to the entire album in one sitting until a few weeks ago ...

Continue reading ""Inner City Blues"" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:02 PM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Random stuff
        

June 18, 2009

Bacon vodka lives!

bakon vodkabakon vodkabakon vodka Midnight Sun and bacon vodka go back. Way back.

And it was only a matter of time before a mainstream (legal) bacon vodka hit the market.

If there ever was a time for bacon vodka, that time was now.

So, without further delay, ladies and gents, I give you: Bakon Vodka.

oooooooooooooooooh SNAP!

As you see, it's not just Bacon Vodka. Oh no. It's Bacon with a "K"! 

Edgy stuff, man. Hee hee.

I seriously am game to try it. Has anybody else tried this particular brand of it? ...

Continue reading "Bacon vodka lives!" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:09 AM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Drink-ology, Random stuff
        

June 13, 2009

Overheard at the Beastie Boys show at Rams Head Live

This is a much less funny version of the Overhead section* of Mobtown Shank. If you've never read the Shank's roundup of wacky Overheards, you should.

The setting: Rams Head Live, about an hour before the Beastie Boys are to take the stage. 

The players: A blonde woman walks up to a security staffer at Rams Head Live

Woman: Hey, what's the deal with seating here?

Security staffer: We don't have seating.

Woman, in a Legally Blonde voice: Seriously?!?!?!?

*Careful, there is some profanity in the Overheard section. Just a heads up.

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:00 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Local music, Random stuff
        

Bad Luck 13: Better bring a helmet

bad luck 13 riot extravaganzaWhen Midnight Sun reader Allan first told me about Bad Luck 13, I was shocked, appalled and wildly interested in the group.

DISCLAIMER: I, Allan, do not endorse, nor condone, some of the things I’m about to write about.

That said, let me introduce you to the Bad Luck 13 Riot Extravaganza. It’s a name that strikes terror and salivation into avid hardcore fans and sends bar and club owners scrambling for better property insurance.

If, for some crazy reason, you found yourself at show with these guys and didn’t know what was coming, you might as well write your last will and testament on the nearest bar napkin.

To start it off, Bad Luck 13, is a hardcore/metal act from Philly, comprised of 13 members. They’re notorious for having the most absurd, brutal, and dangerous stage shows in recent history. Violence, pyrotechnics, and sometimes unwilling audience participation are often the norm.

And before you go thinking to yourself, "I saw Metallica/Seether/Papa Roach at Hammerjacks, and I was fine," think again. These shows are absolute war zones. Words can barely describe them, but I’ll try ...

Continue reading "Bad Luck 13: Better bring a helmet" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:00 AM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Random stuff
        

June 11, 2009

Y'all remember this one?

Hard to believe it was almost 20 years ago, eh?
Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:49 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Random stuff
        

June 9, 2009

Zack Morris drops by Fallon's show

This has absolutely nothing to do with nightlife (except that it was on a late night TV show), but I just had to post it. I was never a huge Saved By the Bell fan, and I had no idea Late Night with Jimmy Fallon had mounted a campaign for a Bell reunion. But this guest appearance by Mark Paul Gosselaar -- I mean, Zack Morris -- is hilarious.
Posted by Sam Sessa at 1:11 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Random stuff
        

My growler

sam's growlerFor years, I've been meaning to post a photo of my growler. I don't know why it's taken me this long, but here it is.

Ain't she a beauty? Heh.

Honestly, I don't care too much what it looks like, as long as it holds beer. 

I picked up this growler a couple years ago at DuClaw Brewing Co. in Fells Point. If I remember corretly, it cost $15.

I had the option of paying an additional $10 to fill it with DuClaw beer, but I'm not a huge fan of DuClaw's stuff. 

This made for a rather awkward moment when I bought the growler ...

Continue reading "My growler" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:26 AM | | Comments (19)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Random stuff
        

June 4, 2009

"Total Eclipse of the Heart:" the literal video version

I cracked up when I watched this video. It's a hilarious description of what's going on in the music video of "Total Eclipse of the Heart," sung to the song's original melody. I can't believe the original video was this bizarre. "Mullet with headlights!" Dig it:
Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:01 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Random stuff
        

June 3, 2009

One of my favorite musician quotes

robbie williamsBy way of popdirt:

Robbie Williams (pictured) says he's still embarrassed about a drugged-out chat he had with U2 frontman Bono a while back.

"I was at this party and completely and totally off my face -- mushrooms, Ecstasy ... And I was staring at this painting for ages," Williams tells Stuff magazine.

"I was just mesmerized by it. And Bono comes up and asks, 'Robbie, what are you doing?' And I said, 'Bono, man, this [bleeping] painting is incredible.'

And he went, 'Robbie, that’s the window.'"

(AP photo)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:29 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Random stuff
        

June 2, 2009

The Merriweather chicken statue

merriweather chickenHere's a look at that chicken I was telling you about. It's about 15 feet tall and weighs 7,500 lbs.

It's called the Great Key West Chicken, and was made by Maryland artist Derek Arnold. 

This is one chicken you don't wanna mess with.

What does it have to do with music? Not much, really. But it certainly helps spruce up Merriweather. 

I got a peak at Merriweather's new Music Pinball Hall of Fame yesterday, which is also pretty cool ...

Continue reading "The Merriweather chicken statue" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:46 AM | | Comments (9)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Local music, Random stuff
        

June 1, 2009

Speaking of moonshine ...

moonshiningRead Street Dave's timely, tasty comment about drinking moonshine got me thinking about the backyard brew I scored in college. I think it may have saved my life. Or almost killed me. I'm still not sure.

My freshman year, I went to the Sunshine Daydream Festival in Terra Alta, West Virginia.

Ever been up that way? It's good country. But I was totally unprepared. I brought one blanket and one change of clothes. It snowed.

I vividly remember huddling around a fire at 4:30 a.m. in the mountains as snow fell, afraid I might freeze if I fell asleep.

Someone was selling Mason jars full of fruit-flavored moonshine, and my buddy bought a whole bunch of it and passed it around. Each jar had little chunks of fruit floating near the top.

We could tell it was good stuff because even though it was freezing outside, none of the moonshine froze. That was probably the only good thing about it ...

Continue reading "Speaking of moonshine ..." »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 1:34 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Random stuff
        

May 29, 2009

Baltimore Magazine has me blushing

The June issue of Baltimore Magazine has a lovely little shout out to Baltimore Unsigned, the local music show I host on WTMD. The show is No. 69 on B-Mag's list of 101 Things To Eat, See & Do Before You Die.

Since the list isn't online yet (probably because it's not June), here is what the blurb says ...

Continue reading "Baltimore Magazine has me blushing" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:37 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Random stuff
        

May 21, 2009

What do we have to look forward to?

parking federal hillFrequent Midnight Sun commenter Jason has stepped up to the plate to produce this questionnaire of local entertainment happenings:

A lot of things happen in Baltimore which make people either happy or mad one day and then they disappear the next.

By the end of the year, Baltimore will see a few more changes that we can either look forward to or blog against. I was wondering if anybody has any updates on the following:
 
1.  Bar openings: The Reserve (in the old Charlottes) should be opening soon -- I have been told within the next month. The Rowhouse Grille is still being worked on and The Hill should open next week.

Whatever happened to The Fed on Light Street next to Dunkin Donuts? The owner of Rub is opening a place in Silo Point this summer and Sam reported on work at Bar.

We also have to look forward to Avery's Pearl where the old Vine used to be on Hanover Street ...

Continue reading "What do we have to look forward to?" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:00 AM | | Comments (9)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Random stuff
        

May 18, 2009

Porch drinking etiquette

porch drinking

This guest post comes from Matthew Smith (pictured, on his porch), a writer for the Urban Discoveries Blog. Check them out. As a country boy with my share of front porch chilling, I heartily agree with Matthew:

The coincidence of economic collapse and spring in Baltimore has led to a spate of stay-at-home drinking among my circle of friends.

And thanks to my porch, the home everyone’s drinking at is mine. Which, mostly, is a good thing.

I’ve lived in a few towns with traditions of boozing on porches, so I fully support the cause.

Here are a few guidelines for those who participate in the Sport of King’s Cabin, N.C.:

Continue reading "Porch drinking etiquette" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:30 AM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Random stuff
        

May 15, 2009

Pocketshots: My new squeeze

pocket shots

And just like that, I'm off on my honeymoon. Whoosh! Don't worry, though -- I've left you some great guest posts from some delightful guest commenters. Remember Owl Meat Gravy? Here he is:

I was sitting at my desk squirting Purell directly into my mouth on Monday morning when I caught my reflection in the computer monitor.  "What am I doing?" I said to myself. 

Like a message from God, a voice inside me said, "This would be better if it tasted like tequila instead of potpourri." If only there was a way to sanitize my hands and get my gel swerve crankin' too.  Reason number 637 of why America is great: PocketShots.  
 
PocketShots are 50 ml (1.7 oz.) squeeze packets of alcohol gel preferred by discerning ladies in ill-fitting tube tops everywhere. The container looks like the worst (best) tiny IV bag ever. They contain 80 proof alcohol as gin, vodka, rum, tequila or "Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Aged Four Years."...


Continue reading "Pocketshots: My new squeeze" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:30 AM | | Comments (21)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Drink-ology, Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays, Random stuff
        

May 14, 2009

And I'm off!

costa rica

Sunny beaches and various adventures await.

I'll be back May 27.

Don't worry though -- I've lined up about 20 guest posts from old friends and new favorites.

Oh, and before I forget, The Hill will have its soft opening this time next week.

Elizabeth Large should have more details between now and then.

See ya!

(AP photo)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 5:30 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Random stuff
        

How about a refreshing sip of Vapor Water?

vapor water

As an entertainment writer/editor, I get some pretty weird stuff in the mail.

Most of it, I either throw away, give away or award as prizes to loyal Midnight Sun commenters.

But I've just got to post a bit about Vapor Water. It's some new brand of water from a company named Arizona. 

Side note: Why would you name your company after a state, which (I thought) didn't have much water to begin with?

Anyway, on the back of the sizable (33.8 oz.) bottle, it says:

A perfectly balanced blend of electrolytes in every thirst-quenching sip.

If every sip is thirst-quenching, why does it come in such a big bottle?

(Photo by me)

 

Posted by Sam Sessa at 1:54 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Random stuff
        

Approaching 12,000 comments

By now, you had better know what that means.

But, for posterity's sake, I'll say it again: Who so ever posteth the 12,000th comment shall win cool stuff. Need something to discuss? How about this: Besides the mojito and the gin and tonic, what is the best summer cocktail?

Go!

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:30 AM | | Comments (33)
Categories: Random stuff
        

May 12, 2009

Are you going (or not going) to Preakness?

running of the urinalsA colleague of mine, Michael Dresser, wants to know if you're going to (or avoiding) Preakness because of the new anti-BYOB policies.

He's working on a piece from the paper, and needs to hear from you.

Call him at 410.332.6175 or e-mail him at michael.dresser@baltsun.com

Michael is curious if more or fewer people will hit up Pimlico on Saturday. Remember -- it's now illegal to bring your own wine and beer, and there will be live music from ZZ Top, Buckcherry and the Charm City Devils.

Hit him up and tell him what you think.

(Sun photo by Karl Merton Ferron)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:09 AM | | Comments (22)
Categories: Random stuff
        

May 9, 2009

"Shelter from the Storm"

Best version of this song, hands down.
Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:48 PM | | Comments (11)
Categories: Random stuff
        

April 29, 2009

Happy birthday to meeeeeeeeeeeee!

midnight sun's second bdayTwo years ago today, ladies and gentlemen, I wrote the very first post on Midnight Sun.

At the time, I had no idea that Midnight Sun would eventually consume my life. And I could have never guessed that I would have as much fun writing a blog as writing a story or column for the paper.

Since there are (almost) no rules on Midnight Sun, I have this incredible amount of freedom in terms of style and voice. I've grown so much as a writer since Midnight Sun started.

Anyhow, enough of the boring stuff.

When Midnight Sun first launched, it was supposed to be an outlet for Baltimore Sun LIVE writers and editors. Heh, well, that didn't quite pan out like we planned. And the LIVE section itself ate the dust some months back.

But Midnight Sun continues to grow. Back in the day, I used to average about 1,000 page views a week. These days, it's more like 25,000 page views a week. In two years, I have written more than 1,600 entries and gotten almost 12,000 comments.

I love the community of commenters that has come together over the years. I remember thinking, "Wow, somebody actually reads my stuff." Because before Midnight Sun, I rarely ever got feedback on my writing.

And who could forget some of the wilder threads we've had on here ...

Continue reading "Happy birthday to meeeeeeeeeeeee!" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:30 AM | | Comments (15)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Random stuff
        

April 24, 2009

My nightmare

tommygun.JPGAre nightmares contagious?

One day after Sun restaurant critic/blogger Elizabeth Large had a nightmare about being recognized in the Milton Inn, I too had a vivid, terrible nightmare. Mine was much more intense, though.

I was a child, and my friend and I had snuck up to the house of a certain Baltimore nightlife/entertainment/real estate mogul who shall remain nameless. Let's call him Bob for the sake of this story.

So there we are, crouching by Bob's house, trying to see what's going on inside, when we hear someone coming. We scatter into the nearby trees, as Bob comes out of the house with another guy. I run a little ahead of my friend, so that we are separated by about 50 yards.

Here is where it gets wild ...

Continue reading "My nightmare" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:27 AM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Random stuff
        

Starting tomorrow, I'm on vacation ...

And believe me, I can't wait. It's been a crazy week.

I took off next week to move into Amie's place and help with the last-minute details for the wedding. Thankfully, a number of Midnight Sun commenters came through with guests posts to cover me while I'm gone.

I'll be back May 6, but will be on vacation again May 18-27 for our honeymoon. So I still need guest posts from people. If you have an idea, e-mail a 300-400 word nightlife-related blog item to me, and I'll toss it up on Midnight Sun. My e-mail is sam.sessa@baltsun.com

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:12 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Random stuff
        

April 21, 2009

A Vodka Movie by Zach Galifianakis, Tim and Eric

Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:16 PM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Random stuff
        

April 20, 2009

A cover song that's better than the original

I think the best covers give you a new appreciation for the original songs.

I've always liked Blondie's "Heart of Glass," probably because I like disco funk. But I never paid too much attention to the lyrics, until I heard this cover. It's by a Charlottesville-based Americana group called Old School Freight Train.

Take a couple of minutes and watch this music video. The best part comes about 3:40 minutes into it.

Continue reading "A cover song that's better than the original" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 3:16 PM | | Comments (17)
Categories: Random stuff
        

April 14, 2009

Wanna write something for Midnight Sun?

I've put the call out before, and I'm putting it out again: Who out there wants to write for me ... for free?!?!? I'm gettin' hitched next month, and I'm sure as heck not blogging on my honeymoon.

Come on, gang! Elizabeth Large's band of pranksters come up with tons of stuff every week. I'm just trying to be a freeloader here. Holler at me 410-332-6689 or, uh, e-mail at me sam.sessa@baltsun.com.

Posted by Sam Sessa at 1:48 PM | | Comments (18)
Categories: Random stuff
        

"I'm on a Boat"

"I've got my swim trunks and my flippy-floppys. I'm flipping burgers. You're at Kinko's straight flipping copies."

Hee hee.

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:53 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Random stuff
        

Check out War Child

holdsteady.JPG

Midnight Sun commenter Allan sent me this e-mail:

This Web site is devoted to sending aid to children affected by war, in various parts of the world. It provides education, food, shelter, and other basic living needs.

As if that wasn't cool enough, they put out an album of covers of some of the biggest acts in the music biz. Now, the neat part is the original artists got to choose who they wanted to cover their songs.

The results are actually pretty cool, and worth a good listen to on youtube. Case in point: The Hold Steady (pictured) covering Bruce Springsteen's "Atlantic City."

(Getty Images for the Tribeca Film Festival)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:41 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Random stuff
        

April 11, 2009

Did You Know?

Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:50 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Random stuff
        

April 10, 2009

Possibly the best version of "Stand by Me"

Midnight Sun reader Bob BBS sent me a link to this awesome video. Members of this organization called Playing For Change went all over the world and recorded street musicians singing the classic "Stand by Me." Then they put it all together for this video. If you even remotely like the song, you should really check it out.
Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:19 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Random stuff
        

April 9, 2009

The best lyrics of 2009?

black eyed peasLast year's best single was Beyonce's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" according to Washington Post humor columnist Gene Weingarten.

Why? The phrase "shouldaputa."

I'll second that.

And though it's still too early to tell, I think this year's best phrase could very well be "steppin' on leprechauns" from "Boom Boom Pow" by the Black Eyed Peas (pictured).

Think about it: Steppin' on leprechauns!

I love it! It just rolls right off your tongue.

(AP photo)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 4:40 PM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Random stuff
        

April 8, 2009

Bloodbath and Beyond

That's what Editor Sarah calls the retail chain store Bed Bath and Beyond. I mentioned this to Midnight Sun commenter Allan, who said Bloodbath and Beyond would be a great name for a metal band.

Looks like someone had the very same thought. and as far as metal bands go, these guys aren't half bad, either. Weird.

Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:03 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Random stuff
        

April 7, 2009

Something I never thought I'd hear from Elizabeth Large

Sun Food Empress Elizabeth Large, who sits near me at work, just asked,

"Sam, do you know what Snoop Dogg calls himself these days?"

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:04 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Random stuff
        

April 5, 2009

Local art, music, photography inspired by the recession

recession artI'm particularly proud of this piece in today's paper.

Several Baltimore-based artists, musicians and photographers have started using the economic downturn as inspiration for their art.

They've made some really interesting stuff. The article is worth a read, if I do say so myself.

Pictured is Andres Zapata, a Web designer who chopped up his old credit cards to make this sinister-looking piece called Plastic. Check out the project he started, called Recession Nation.

(Sun photo by Chiaki Kawajiri)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:37 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Random stuff
        

March 31, 2009

Hilarious!

Read this ASAP! Thanks to Andy for the link.
Posted by Sam Sessa at 1:35 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Random stuff
        

March 30, 2009

Same name, different song. Which one wins?

billy joel circa 1993

Last week, Midnight Sun scribe Lindsey Citron did a little digging and came up with a pretty extensive list of totally different songs that share the same name.

There are some pretty wild ones, and I'm sure Lindsey just scratched the tip of the iceberg. So feel free to add yours to the list. Here goes:

"[Female Dog]" -- The Rolling Stones vs. Meredith Brooks
The figurative versus the literal.

"Vienna" -- Billy Joel (pictured) vs. The Fray
The Fray takes on the lonely aspect of a foreign city, while Billy Joel romanticizes the idea of leaving it all behind. ...

Continue reading "Same name, different song. Which one wins?" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:54 AM | | Comments (18)
Categories: Random stuff
        

March 29, 2009

Quote of the day

"Early to rise and early to bed makes a man healthy, wealthy and socially dead."

Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:56 PM | | Comments (12)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Random stuff
        

March 28, 2009

I've seen the future and I'm not sure I like it.

record and tape traders"It's the ultimate Socialist conspiracy."

That's what one of my coworkers said when I told him about the closing of Record and Tape Traders in Catonsville.

Backstory here.

Basically, it all boils down to this: There is now a generation of young adults who believe  music, movies, art, photography and news should be free. Gee, thanks, Internet.

There are many other factors at play here, of course, but this is a big reason why thousands of people in the journalism and music businesses are losing their jobs.

And though I'm no political idealist, when I think about it, it really seems to be cultural socialism at its finest ...

Continue reading "I've seen the future and I'm not sure I like it." »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:25 AM | | Comments (20)
Categories: Local music, Random stuff
        

March 27, 2009

I'll bet you didn't know

I secretly write for the Wall Street Journal using an alias.

Witness.

(And thanks to Patchen for the link.)

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:47 AM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Random stuff
        

March 20, 2009

Why I didn't post much yesterday

I was at the University of Maryland School of Medicine's annual Match Day to see what future awaited Amie, my fiancee. She's going to graduate in May, and was hoping to get into a dermatology program ...

Continue reading "Why I didn't post much yesterday" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:18 AM | | Comments (12)
Categories: Random stuff
        

March 17, 2009

A really cool photo of ... Smoothteaze

This photo is from Patrick Smith (check out his site), a buddy of mine who interned at The Sun a while back and is now a freelancer. He covered the Senator Theatre conference last night for the Associated Press, and this was one of the leftovers ...

Continue reading "A really cool photo of ... Smoothteaze" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 1:02 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Local music, Random stuff
        

Unfulfilled promise: Quick tips

Last fall, I talked about starting a semi-regular feature called Quick tips, where local bartenders would share their advice on various aspects of the business. We heard from Queen Colleen about the best way to get a bartender's attention.

What else would you guys like to know? I'll float your questions to Baltimore bartenders and publish their responses here.

Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:55 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Random stuff
        

Smoothteaze wants you to save the Senator Theatre

smoothteaze.jpg

In my piece about last night's Senator Theatre meeting, I forgot to mention the live entertainment. The whole thing kicked off with a 30-minute performance by the Baltimore-based a capella group Smoothteaze (pictured).

Well, according to the members of Smoothteaze, Smoothteaze is Baltimore's "newest and hottest a capella doo-wop group."

Hmm ...

Continue reading "Smoothteaze wants you to save the Senator Theatre" »

Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:55 AM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Local music, Random stuff