Moses Hubbard

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Don’t Miss the Open Walls Project: Finale Celebration Tonight at Station North

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You’re driving down East North Avenue and just as you take the left onto Charles you look up and whoa! Huge mural. It’s a man lying on his side, fetal position, pulling off a mask that spirals away from him into a bright tangle of color and shapes. It must be 25-feet tall, and more than twice that long. All of a sudden the empty lot becomes a stage, a vantage point, somewhere to stand and take in the art. Sure it’s still dotted with empty cement buckets, and Doritos bags roll through like tumbleweed, but these things seem to matter less now.

The piece, recently completed by Argentinian artist Ever, is one of the most visible of 23 murals in Baltimore’s Open Walls project, which spans through Station North. Open Walls is an achievement in many senses – not only are the pieces artistically significant in and of themselves, they also represent a major collaboration among some of the foremost contemporary mural artists in the world, and a media success within and outside of the city. As a Baltimore native and resident, though, the most important part for me is their psychological impact, the way they transform the spaces they overlook. I wanted to see some more, so I rode around the area for a while.

Baltimore-and-Brooklyn-Based Animal Collective Announces Long Awaited New Album

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Since Merriweather Post Pavilion (2009), Animal Collective has played hard-to-get with their fans, offering only two reissues and a handful of tracks on their Fall Be Kind EP (2009). But the past couple of weeks have seen a lot of action from the group. First there was the two-side single Honeycomb and Gotham, which hit the internet on May 6.  Then a week later, the Brooklyn-via-Baltimore based band announced a new album, Centipede Hz (“Hz” pronounced “Hertz”), due out on September 4.

Check out the teaser here:

The album was recorded at Sonic Ranch in El Paso, Texas, but much of the actual composition took place near Baltimore, in a barn on Josh Dibb (stage name Deakin)’s property. In interviews, Dave Portner (Avey Tare) describes the album as a return to Animal Collective’s “garage band roots.” It’s a move away from Merriweather’s terrestrial, aural moods, focusing more on the live performance – less sampling, and a higher, rawer energy on many of the tracks.

Great Fabric, Sweet Deals: Village Thrift in Reservoir Hill

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Like many of Baltimore’s gems, Reservoir Hill’s Village Thrift will catch you by surprise. The architecture lands somewhere between warehouse and minimum-security prison, but if you talk yourself through the doors you’ll step into a whirl of great fabric and sweet deals.

I just started living in the Bolton Hill area with some people I know at MICA, and when I asked them where to look for clothes they all pointed me to Village Thrift.  It’s a MICA favorite because the threads look good and the prices are decent even for art students. And the best part? It’s right on West North, only a five minute walk from the main campus, and even closer to a lot of the houses in Bolton Hill. I walked out of my door eating a banana and still had a couple bites left by the time I was in their parking lot.

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