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July 2, 2011

June 27 - July 2 reviewed: Muggsys's, R. Kelly, African American Heritage Festival

Looking for places to watch the fireworks this weekend? We have a helpful guide from last year. Personally, I'm a fan of Tide Point Waterfront Park. This week was a definite change of pace from last. We released the schedule for the African American Festival, or as it's being called this year, the African American Heritage Festival. The festival is taking place through Sunday. Charlie Wilson talked about his legacy in our interview. If you wanted an interview with another veteran who's also performing this weekend, Chuck Brown talked to us last week. The IFC show that goes all Bruce Parry on Baltimore premiered on Friday. The Black Eyed Peas, Ani DiFranco and Stephen Malkmus all announced area shows. In bar news, Muggsys's served its last beer. Baltimore Taphouse was reviewed. Power Plant Live started offering $1 Miller Lites at its new Friday happy hour, a good deal or not depending on your tolerance for Miller Lite. Beer prices went up by 25 cents at some bars thanks to the new state alcohol tax. We looked for fourth of July drink specials. Nick's Fish House, for instance, has $2 domestics all weekend. If you're still looking for other stuff to do this weekend, you might find some suggestions here. Later today, we'll have pictures from Friday night's R. Kelly concert.
Posted by Erik Maza at 7:00 AM | | Comments (1)
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June 25, 2011

June 20 - 24 reviewed: U2, Roots Festival, Barfly's Pub, Rap Round Robin

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake declared June 22 U2 day. I'm sure for some readers it felt more like a month. There was wall-to-wall coverage, including on this blog: There were the fans sharing their favorite memories before the show.  A preview of the four-legged stage. Tour director Craig Evans discussing how the massive stage was set up. Behind-the-scenes video of the stage at M&T. Talk of tailgating. Maryland pols talking about how giddy they were about the show. Concerns about the weather disrupting the show, and what fans were not allowed to bring. Celebrity sightings at the show. But the weather did not mess up what ended up being a technological feat of a concert. Here's our review. At least 75,000 people attended. The attention devoted to the show is part due because the band hadn't played Baltimore in what seems like a decade; their last regional show was two years. Fans demanded their U2 fix. But also, this U2 show might be the last stadium concert we might see for a while. There were other news of course: today is the start of the music side of the Roots Festival. The schedule is here. In an interview, festival headliner Chuck Brown said he has no intention to retire. The Rap Round Robin announced this year's line-up, which includes Height and Rapdragons. Barfly's Pub was reviewed. Stevie Nicks and Erasure both announced local shows. Still wondering what to do this weekend? We've got you covered.  One night you might want to avoid is swimming at one of Baltimore's reservoirs. Rangers are stepping up enforcement, and a fine could be as much as a $1,000.

Posted by Erik Maza at 6:00 AM | | Comments (0)
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June 4, 2011

May 31 - June 3 reviewed: Backstreet Boys, Starscape, Rihanna, senior week, Kenny Chesney

If you're going to Starscape tonight, here's our picks for the five acts you shouldn't miss.  The whole Starscape schedule is posted here. If you're going to see Rihanna instead (or maybe as well!), you might want to read our preview of the show and interview with opener J. Cole. You might also be going to Kenny Chesney, who performs tonight at Fed Ex Field. He talked about the show here. And in a longer interview, on fresh starts, getting older, and Grace Potter. But maybe you're not going because you spent all your money going to the Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block, who performed at Verizon Center Friday night. Relive the show with our AJ McLean interview, where he talks about the tour, Donnie Wahlberg, and recovering from rehab. In other headlines: Ocean City braces for its yearly influx of 'June bugs.' What do you think about those high-schoolers? Red House Tavern raises the concept of the neighborhood bar, a review. Agree or disagree with Red House review? Free music from Unruly Records' Schwarz every day this month. Concert news: Nas, Damian Marley, Boys Noize, African American Fest. Maryland Deathfest in photos. Wondering where to go in Baltimore to watch the NBA Finals Sunday? Readers have some suggestions on our corkboard. Still don't know what to do this weekend? Check out our nightlife guide.

Posted by Erik Maza at 7:00 AM | | Comments (0)
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May 28, 2011

May 22 - 27 reviewed: Backstreet Boys, Artscape, Scapescape

Last weekend we had Train, Bruno Mars and Puddle of Mudd at the Preakness Infield. This week we have Celebration, Rapdragons, Mickey Free and others at Scapescape and Coroner, Neurosis and Nuclear Assault (and others, obviously) at the Maryland Deathfest. Improvements! Also this week, our Live section was diverse, there was a preview of the Death Set shows today at the Windup Space, as well as an interview with AJ McLean of the Backstreet BoysThe Shamrock Inn was voted one of America's best bars; too bad no one's heard of it. The Artscape line-up and schedule was announced. Dubai, formerly the Velvet Rope, is slowly scheduling great headliners. Raekwon is the latest.  Paul Simon's show was reviewed. Everyone survived the rapture, but no one was more glad than Woody's. Still don't know what to do tonight and Sunday night? Go here
Posted by Erik Maza at 7:00 AM | | Comments (0)
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May 21, 2011

May 16 - 20 reviewed: Preakness, Sonar, Tiki Barge, Train

Ok, you might be dead today, or so twitter tells me. It's supposed to be the rapture. But, if you're alive and going to the Preakness, we have some handy literature. Here's the Infield schedule and a map of Pimlico. Read up on Train, one of the headliners, here. Hotspur, who kick things off at 11 a.m., is interviewed here. Try some new Preakness cocktails other than a Black-Eyed Susan. Instead of going to Preakness, you could be going to see Jason Aldean, who talked to us about his upcoming single, new album, and Kelly Clarkson. Local bars did experience a kind of rapture. Sonar regained its liquor license, as did the Tiki Barge. But, Lagers Pub did not. Club One downtown closed. And so did the Hexagon Space. In other news, HFStival announced its 2011 line-up. Hercules & the Love Affair, Tom Tom Club, and Toro y Moi announced regional shows. A fan of Grace Potter reviewed her show after winning tickets from us. We reviewed the Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band show at the 9:30 club. Still don't know what to do tonight and Sunday night? Go here

Posted by Erik Maza at 7:00 AM | | Comments (0)
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May 14, 2011

May 9 - 13 reviewed: Preakness Stakes 2011, Power Plant Live

Headlines from this past week:  Selling the Preakness Stakes confounds organizers, but the marketing may be starting to work. The Maryland Jockey Club expects biggest crowds since 2007's record numbers. Joe Squared and Leinenkugel's Beer Hall are the latest tenants of Power Plant Live's $10 million upgrade. Developer Reed Cordish expects it will create over 100 new positions. Redwood Trust, worth $2.5 million, now selling for 800K. Sonar re-opens; Maryland Deathfest and Deftones shows to go on as scheduled. Two new bars will join beleaguered Canton Arts and Entertainment. Baltimore summer concert preview looks forward to summer concerts by U2, Phish, R. Kelly, Britney, Starscape and 20 other headliners. James Taylor: reviewed. Talib Kweli, Kid Cudi and All Time Low announce local shows. Wanna know what to do tonight and Sunday night? Go here.
Posted by Erik Maza at 7:00 AM | | Comments (0)
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May 7, 2011

May 2 - 6 reviewed: Sonar, Trail of Dead, Sweetlife Festival

This week: Sonar shut down, its acting general manager said. Lots of band got shafted. Deftones have still not locked in a new location. Neither has Maryland Deathfest, though it looked like Bourbon Street would take it in. By Friday, the club had re-opened, according to an announcement on Facebook. Osama bin Laden was killed on the same night the Sweetlife Festival ended; there was some overlap in enthusiasm. We interviewed: U.S. Royalty, Theophilus London, Ra Ra Riot. Trail of Dead's Conrad Keeley defended baby-faced Surfer Blood. Redwood Trust, home to megaclubs of yore and now the Velvet Rope/Dubai, is up for auction. Yo Gotti announced a return to the old Velvet Rope. Jason Aldean said he wants "See You When I See You" to be his next single. Liquor board begun reviewing license renewal applications for overdue taxes. Wanna know what to do tonight and Sunday night? Go here.

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Posted by Erik Maza at 7:00 AM | | Comments (0)
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April 23, 2011

April 18 - 23 reviewed: William Donald Schaefer, beer at Oriole Park, Charlie Sheen

William Donald Schaefer died. We suggested bars where he should be toasted. Charlie Sheen came and went at DAR Constitution Hall without self-destructing on stage. A disappointment. The beer at Oriole Park was reviewed: lots of variety, but too expensive. The new Baltimore Comedy Factory was profiled. And we looked at the best Baltimore comedy nights. Animal Collective announced it would finally play "Merriweather Post Pavillion" at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Coachella was remembered; Mumford & Sons was one of the best acts this year. We corkboard'ed the best Baltimore jazz clubs. All, even the dingiest ones, more worth it than a night with Charlie Sheen.
Posted by Erik Maza at 11:14 AM | | Comments (0)
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April 10, 2011

April 3 - 8 reviewed: PBR Baltimore, Bourbon Street stabbing, Orioles

Four men were stabbed at Bourbon Street Live Saturday morning; one of them died. Little progress has made on the investigation so far. That's not surprising. It took two months for Baltimore police to have a draft of the Select Lounge investigation report, news that was reported this week. Also this week: Power Plant Live's country-western bar, PBR Baltimore, was reviewed.  There are better alternatives. The Orioles played their first home game. Can you guess their entrance songs? By the way, a glass of Natty Boh at the ballpark? $7.50. "How Bout Dem O's" was followed with "Oh Oh Orioles." The Baltimore Farmers' Market banned cigarette smoking, a rare step. Aimee Mann, who performs tonight at the Recher Theater, did a Q&A. Bond Street Social's owners promised a Fall opening date. The first Tax Day bar specials were posted.  Mumford & Sons announced its first Maryland date. Kesha and Spank Rock also said they're coming. Oxes released a new single. All your dumb questions about absinthe were answered. 

Posted by Erik Maza at 3:52 PM | | Comments (0)
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April 2, 2011

March 28 - April 1: Kegasus, Britney Spears, Orioles

This was the week that Kegasus crashed. He came wearing nothing but a nipple ring and some shades, all but missing a drinking helmet, and set off a debate about taste, drinking and Preakness. Is it a rip-off? Does he a have a half brother? Will it draw young people to the infield? That's what the Maryland Jockey's Plan is anyway, what with the social media assault. So far, Twitter remains unimpressed. At last count @allhailkegasus had 302 followers. Even a random fake Charlie Sheen account can boast more. In other nightlife news this week, James Nasty dug up Baltimore club classics for his party at the Windup Space. Britney Spears announced a joint tour with Enrique Iglesias, only to have the Spanish heartthrob pull out early. Typical. Oriole Park confirmed news we'd reported months ago: Natty Boh will be served on tap at the stadium. Dan Deacon ended up on an IFC show called "Young, Broke & Beautiful." Blackwater Distilling started shipping its Sloop Betty vodka. We revisited Locust Point's Barracuda's.  The new Roots Festival announced Chuck Brown would perform there. Sara Bareilles talked about her new album before an appearance Sunday at Rams Head Live. Elton John performed his first show in Baltimore in over a decade. Readers chose British folk rock and Girl Talk as their dream acts for Virgin Mobile FreeFest. We looked for bar specials during the Orioles' first home game. That search is ongoing.

Posted by Erik Maza at 7:00 AM | | Comments (0)
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March 26, 2011

March 21 - 25 reviewed: Lil Wayne, Elton John, Celebration

This week, IFC filmed Dan Deacon and Wham City members for an episode of an upcoming show called "Young, Broke & Beautiful," which might as well describe the headline above. We kicked off the week with Lil Wayne, who was upstaged at his show at 1st Mariner Arena by Nicki Minaj. The combination of the two made for the first big show of the season. Another big show happens tonight at the same place: Elton John returns to Baltimore for the first time in over a decade. We'll have a review tomorrow. This week, we also started making wishlists for the biggest show of all: the Virgin Mobile FreeFest. The Baltimore Comedy Club confirmed an official grand opening for April. The Mountain Goats played at the 9:30 club on Friday; lead singer John Darnielle loves gothic cowboy horror and Judy Garland. Tipsy? Taxi! slightly improved its performance from New Year's Eve. Liam Flynn's Ale House made progress. Deacon and several other local bands performed at South by Southwest in Austin. We picked the best Baltimore March Madness bars. Lupe Fiasco announced a return to Baltimore, if only for a meet-and-greet. Rye Rye talked about how much she enjoys the Paradox and Miley Cyrus. TV on the Radio announced local band Celebration will open for them. The band, led by Katrina Ford, performed a new song, "Don't Stop Dreaming," for us. And, if you pick up tomorrow's paper, or just click here, you can read a profile of the band as they release their third, 4AD-less album "Hello Paradise."

Posted by Erik Maza at 8:00 AM | | Comments (0)
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March 19, 2011

March 14 - 19 reviewed: Preakness InFieldFEST, South by Southwest, Lil Wayne

It was a week of big festival announcements. On Monday, the two-year-old Sweetlife Festival announced Lupe Fiasco, Crystal Castles and Girl Talk as headliners. Almost a month later, Bruno Mars and Train will lead the infield entertainment during Preakness, organizers announced. It's unclear yet if Janelle Monae will join Mars on stage, or if anyone will actually go see Buckcherry on the side stage.A bunch of Baltimore musicians headed to Austin for South by Southwest. Sam Sessa interviewed some of them. There was lots of shamrockery during St. Patrick's Day. Tipsy? Taxi! returned in honor of the festival. Organizers promised there were no complaints this time. I judged a bartending competition. Lil Wayne still declined interview offers.  The show on Sunday at 1st Mariner should be one of the most star-studded in some time. Ellie Goulding talked about trying to break through in America. Fans of the 90s rejoiced when it was announced Stone Temple Pilots would play at Pier Six. Several bars said they are doing their part to aid Japan. There's still opportunities to donate to relief efforts.

Posted by Erik Maza at 7:00 AM | | Comments (0)
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March 5, 2011

Feb. 28 - March 4 reviewed: Tiki Barge, Titus Andronicus, PBR Baltimore

This week, the Tiki Barge saga got underway. And it won't be over for another three weeks. Titus Andronicus' Patrick Stickles, who performs Monday at Rams Head Live, talked about getting Dustin Wong, Jenn Wasner and Nolen Strals for the band's new album. The guide to a successful beer dinner was released. Incidentally, Flying Dog Brewery hosts its own dinner Monday night at Woodberry Kitchen. A list of upcoming beer and food pairing events is here. A yogurt company announced its second music festival, and somehow wrangled The Strokes to perform. The mayor finally chose a panel to review the shooting outside Select Lounge. We interviewed Ra Ra Riot. Power Plant's country-western themed bar opened Friday. The Maryland Senate accidentally threatened to ban people under 21 from going to Baltimore clubs and bars. Charlie Sheen was ubiquitous, not just ruining TV for a while, but also torpedoing Tiki Barge's shot at trending supremacy. Maybe, instead of #tikibarge, the hashtag should have been #pottedpalmtree?

Posted by Erik Maza at 7:00 AM | | Comments (0)
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February 19, 2011

Feb. 13 - 19 reviewed: Grammys, Lexie Mountain Boys, Max's Belgian Beer Festival

Some Canadians won the Grammys last Sunday night, and more importantly, the Internet. Rosie O'Donnell tweeted "Who the eff are the Arcade Fire?" and Beach House was all, "Sooooooo pathetic." Someone else wondered, "who the eff are the Lexie Mountain Boys?" There was also this, on the relationship between Baltimore bands and the Recording Academy. At the end of the week, Dubai, the Velvet Rope's new name, was reviewed. In over 100 years, the building has had a complicated history. Plain White T's defended its lyrics. Clutch closed - without the band Clutch ever playing there. Salt-n-Pepa will be at 1st Mariner tonight, 25 years after the release of their first album. No one agreed on the best anti-Valentine's Day places. Wye Oak announced an upcoming show at Sound Garden, and Rihanna added Cee Lo Green to her tour. Home brewers got a chance to compete against each other. Despite losing to Arcade Fire, Eminem said he'll still perform alongside them at Bonnaroo 2011. Max's Belgian Beer Festival started Friday. If you're reading this, you might still be recovering. If you're going tonight, the full draft and bottle menu is here. You'll be happy to know it's one place where few probably care about buzzbands or the Arcade Fire. 

Posted by Erik Maza at 9:00 AM | | Comments (9)
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February 5, 2011

Jan. 31- Feb. 5 reviewed: National Bohemian, Girl Talk, police lawsuit debate

Natty Boh came back on draft. The End. For other news, see below:

Continue reading "Jan. 31- Feb. 5 reviewed: National Bohemian, Girl Talk, police lawsuit debate" »

Posted by Erik Maza at 7:00 AM | | Comments (0)
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January 29, 2011

The week, reviewed: Jan. 23 - 29, Baltimore police sued, Natty Boh returned on draft, mini-snowpocalypse

The big news of the week? Snow and Natty Boh. And people complaining about the snow. Couldn't they just drink some Boh? Jeez. They were plenty of bars open. So here's what happened: Pabst Blue Ribbon, owner of Natty Boh, announced it would bring Boh on draft for the first time in 15 years in a bid to expand the brand's footprint in the region. The good news was only slightly tempered by the snowstorm that paralyzed Baltimore and much of the East Coast. The week kicked off with a big profile of up and coming Baltimore bands Lower Dens, Future Islands, Weekends and Lands & Peoples, some of which have been covered in Midnight Sun, and some totally new ones. On Monday, the Baltimore police department was sued for $420,000 by three men who allege they were arrested without cause. Early in the week there were also high profile concert announcements for the area: Elton John and Lil Wayne will both play 1st Mariner arena, though sadly not together. But the biggest of all was Lauryn Hill, who announced she would play Rams Head Live just two weeks before the show. Later in the week Taylor Swift, and indie acts the Mountain Goats and Hunx and his Punx also  also announced upcoming shows. The Highway to Nowhere area got its own music festival. The Bacon Brothers were interviewed. No Rule celebrated 1 1/2 years at Metro Gallery. Robyn talked about her plans for future albums, and Girl Talk said his shows are as anarchic as ever. We'll have to see when he stops by Rams Head Live this Monday night.

Posted by Erik Maza at 7:00 AM | | Comments (19)
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January 22, 2011

The week, reviewed: Jan. 16 - 22: the return of Damian Bohager, free concerts, and 2011's first Midnight Sun Mixer

A short week meant a way too hectic week. But we survived. Meanwhile, a liquor board inspector was caught in a sticky situation after he admitted consulting for the club that might herald Damian Bohager's return. Sugarland was announced as Merriweather Post Pavilion's first headliner of the year. A little later in the week Katy Perry joined them. After much debate, the former Taps, and former Catherine's Pub, and already for sale Delia Foley's finally opened. Wonder how long it'll take before everyone stops calling it new Taps. Future Islands and Arbouretum announced a couple of free shows, on February 26 and February 13, respectively. Midnight Sun toured the Heavy Seas brewery for a print story on regional brewery tours. Dope Body performed at the Ottobar, and we had the pictures. Liz Phair's upcoming show was previewed. As was the one by Gainesville's very own Animaniacs, Less than Jake. And, after all that, the week thankfully culminated with beer and shots at the first Midnight Sun Mixer of the year, which, I also managed to survive none the worse for wear. Now all that's left is to pick the date for the next one. 

Posted by Erik Maza at 9:00 AM | | Comments (6)
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January 15, 2011

The week, reviewed: Jan. 9 - 15, Select Lounge, the new Rafters, Coppola and Deacon

The week began on a tragic note, with a shooting near Select Lounge, a bar that had dubbed itself an upscale destination for Baltimore. Liquor Board chairman Stephan Fogleman and Councilman William H. Cole IV warned the deadly incident would likely culminate in yet another round of talks about downtown safety. On Friday, the club planned to open for the first time since the shooting. In lighter news, Francis Ford Coppola tapped local goofball composer and musician Dan Deacon to score his upcoming Gothic romance. Columbia's strip mall bar Frisco Tap and Brew House was reviewed, positively. Coldwave returned to Club Phoenix; read here for a brief history lesson on the sub-sub-genre. The new owner of famous formstone bar Rafters said when it returns in two months, it'll be called Barfly's Pub, and it won't have much of the formstone. Ten ideas were floated to beat the Justin Bieber singing constest. The local rapper Height tipped us to his massive tour. Also in touring news: pop divas Kylie Minogue and Janet Jackson announced DMV shows. The B-52s Fred Schneider confirmed the band will stick to touring in the near future. Hey, at least he didn't compose one of the worst scores of all time.
Posted by Erik Maza at 8:00 AM | | Comments (0)
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January 8, 2011

The week, reviewed: Jan. 2 - Jan. 8: Tipsy Taxi, Four Loko, Looney's fine

In nightlife this week, there was wide agreement Tipsy? Taxi! dropped the ball on New Year's Eve. Even Dwight Kines, general manager of Yellow Cab, had to defend his company against the criticism. Not that it helped. Wild Goose's new owners announced the popular beer will be produced again in a couple of months, just as soon as they can find someone to contract-brew it. After an East Coast comedy tour, Wham City said it will begin holding monthly comedy nights. Four Loko resurfaced again, this time as fuel for cars, causing rappers to go nuts. Actually, the rappers might have just been using this as some newfangled defense strategy. Except in DMX's case, who is probably is crazy, just this great story from the Phoenix New Times.In unrelated news, the DMV area's best rappers of the year were named. Among them? Slightly crazed Wale. Maple Lawn's Looney's was fined. Vicki Leekx dropped a new mixtape. Stillwater Ales and Mikkeller revealed a new collaboration at Max's. New shows were scheduled: Egg Babies, Dustin Wong, Surfer Blood and Trail of Dead. Sticky Rice finally got a live entertainment license. The merits of Old Dominion's Victory Amber Lager were discussed. As were the finer points of craft beer semantics. Still lingering before Sunday's Maryland-Duke game: What are Baltimore's best Terps bars?

Posted by Erik Maza at 8:00 AM | | Comments (0)
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January 2, 2011

The week, reviewed: Dec. 26 - Jan. 1

Happy New Year Baltimore! And what a year it's a been. Just take a look at our most-read posts of the year. The whole week has been been building in anticipation of NYE.  To help you out, Midnight Sun compiled a list of all the bars that were planning on staying open all night long Friday. (The expanded hours are possible because of a state law that's nearly 70 years old and that applies only to the city of Baltimore). Thanks to that list, some of you might have spent the whole night celebrating, the same ones that might still be nursing a hangover today. You could have also spent the night at one of the 11 events listed in our New Year's Eve guide. Among them was the party at Rams Head Live where J. Roddy Walston and the Business performed. In this interview, Walston talked about the influence of Leon Russell, and the benefits of recording on tape. Rapper Mickey Free, who's had a great year himself, opened for the band. If you didn't see him there, here's a video of him performing last month. Celebrating on New Year's was made easier by free public transportation thanks to a beer conglomerate, and to the Tipsy? Taxi! program, though that one may not have been as useful given the 45 minutes expected waiting time. Elsewhere this week, an electronic music showdown went down at Metro gallery, and we looked at some concerts coming up in the new year, Starscape festival, Liz Phair, and Asia, among them. Still unclear is who'll perform at Starscape, or who'll show up at Liz Phair's concert, the pop princess or the Keith Richards fan. Also unclear: did anyone actually use Tipsy? Taxi! How was it? Timely? Useful? And, the most important question of all, did Baltimore live up to its reputation as the 37th drunkest city in the country? Anyway, here's to a great 2011.

Posted by Erik Maza at 8:00 AM | | Comments (4)
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December 25, 2010

The week, reviewed Christmas edition: Dec. 18 - Dec. 25

Ah, the holidaze are here. Merry Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza and, whatever it is that Wiccans celebrate, to all. Let's take a quick reindeer sparkulator ride through the last seven days of news. Maryland became the only state where a fake Willow Smith concert was sold. The Waterfront Hotel said it would switch management next year, but will keep its name. We found out Beach House plays for Team Coco. The MTA offered free public transportation on New Year's Eve until 2 a.m.; too bad many bars will stay open 'til 4 a.m. Wale flipped out on 92Q over D-list rapper Bossman's disses. I checked in with Midway Bar, the Block's only bar, to see how they were coping after the fire. Verdict? Just ok. 2640 will host not just Celebration, but Future Islands and Arbouretum next year. Flying Dog ended up not dumping Wild Goose, just selling it to the highest bidder, a small DC brewery that doesn't even have a website. Trombone Shorty spoke about David Simon and Lenny Kravitz. The Baltimore Bass Connection Xmas party was reviewed.  After 30 years in business, it was time to reappraise Rodos. Yep, still a frat house. The Virgin Mobile FreeFest topped the list of the best Baltimore live music shows of the year, despite M.I.A. Lessons were learned at the first DuClaw beer brunch. R&B singer Mario made his first appearance since his mother dropped criminal charges against him.  I looked for the best Wiz Khalifa tweets. Now, go back to ignoring your relatives and stuffing yourself with Christmas food. 

Posted by Erik Maza at 7:00 AM | | Comments (2)
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December 11, 2010

The week, reviewed: Dec. 5 - Dec. 11

Let's take one long, slow ride on the Charm City Circulator to review the week's events. First, yes, it is possible to barhop on the thing. Though only if you're willing to have just one drink at a bar, something I wasn't able to do. Larry Flynt's Hustler Club, Club Pussycat and others closed its doors temporarily after a fire devastated The Block; miles away, the Gentleman's Gold Club also had a tiny fire, but still trashed Hustler Club's clientele.  Usher sweated a lot at his show at 1st Mariner; Trey Songz just disappointed. Bill's Lighthouse Inn didn't sell at auction, but the owner won't close the 30-year-old South Baltimore bar. I got fed up with holiday albums, so did holiday album maker Aaron Neville. Two dollar drafts at Grumpie's are on hold for a while; the new owners closed the bar for renovations. Rye Rye abruptly announced new tour dates, including a stop in Baltimore next weekend. Flying Dog Ales announced plans for a movie festival, but forgot there was already one that needed money.  Wye Oak released a new track, and announced tour dates with Lower Dens, who also performed a new song. Justin Bieber met John Waters, hilarity ensued. The Ottobar will revive its Underground party, not that you'd be able to take the circulator there. Maybe instead of a fourth route, the Department of Transportation should just add a route to a neighborhood where people might actually use it.

Posted by Erik Maza at 7:00 AM | | Comments (4)
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December 4, 2010

The week, reviewed: Nov. 28 - Dec. 4

Ozzy Osbourne played an awesome show at 1st Mariner Arena last week. But would it have been better if he'd drank Four Loko? Now, there's a frightening combination: Ozzy on Loko. Sadly, the devil swill was killed again before he got a hold of it. No one in Canton had a hard time getting a hold of the "Joe Flacco special" - two hot dogs and cheddar wrapped in puff pastry - on gameday. Ted Leo considered retirement last week, but instead decided to just scale back shows. South Baltimore's The Park Bench opened and was reviewed. But the new Frisco Grill hasn't yet opened and hasn't been reviewed. Though they do have a snazzy a 9-minute video tour. We wondered if it'd be possible to barhop on the Charm City Circulator. The Grammy nominated young and old: Chuck Brown and Justin Bieber, a slightly crazier combo than Ozzy and Four Loko. Hudson Street Stackhouse added 12 new draft lines, possibly beating Mahaffey's to be Canton's best beer bar. And Reverend Peyton commented on the wonders of the washboard, and the horribleness of T-Pain. In better news: Max's Taphouse kicked off the Holidays early with homemade Christmas lights. And MySpace did the same by posting a preview of the Daft Punk-scored "Tron" soundtrack.

Posted by Erik Maza at 3:23 PM | | Comments (1)
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November 20, 2010

The week, reviewed: Nov. 14 - 20

It was a Four Loko-crazy kind of week. One day America lost its mind over Four Loko, and the next, that insanity was vindicated. But here's a list of stories from the past week where Four Loko did not make an appearance:

Four Loko is not downloadable - if only! - but Girl Talk's new album is. The Park Bench opened in South Baltimore, sans Wii and Four Loko. Carrie Underwood might have flown over 1st Mariner in a blue pick-up truck looking like a West Virginia Elphaba, but she did it, presumably, without the influence of Four Loko. Four Loko will not be available at the new Flying Dog brewery tours. But then again, maybe the tours themselves won't be either. Joanna Newsom has not had Four Loko with her groupies.   Sam Herring of Future Islands doesn't know if Four Loko is dead, but he thinks CDs are. Four Loko will not be allowed at the Midnight Sun Mix-off. Rams Head Live will not sell Four Loko over Facebook, you must have gotten the wrong message. It will only sell concert tickets.  Just like Four Loko, "Ace of Cakes" was canceled, but an episode with Stephen Malkmus will still air. Hey, you might be out of 4Loko, but, at least you're not any of these guys

Posted by Erik Maza at 10:49 AM | | Comments (0)
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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at erik.maza@baltsun.com. Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

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