New Ideas to Inspire a Sweet New Year


Sweet New Year

Looking for something healthy to accompany your traditional holiday menu? How about a pomegranate salad with cabbage from Lifebridge’s Esther Lejtman? Or Elise Rubenstein’s gluten-free brown rice crispy treats to go with your special apple cake? Discover new ideas that will inspire you and your family to have a sweet new year. 

Event Pick: Take your pick of standup shows for the second Baltimore Comedy Festival

Flyer via Baltimore Comedy Festival

When we talked with Baltimore comedian Ivan Martin in April, he was busy putting together an opportunity for the city’s comics to shine on one of Kevin Hart’s cable-televised showcases. At the time, Martin said part of the reason he thought Hart would even bother stopping through Baltimore was the growth he’d seen in Baltimore’s standup scene over the last decade or so: “When it comes to downtown Baltimore and Station North and Mount Vernon, you can get on stage every single night now.”

Martin has helped make that a reality as an organizer of events showcasing fellow local comics. One of his biggest undertakings has been the city’s very own comedy festival. Now in its second year, the weekend-long event features a host of standup shows across the city.

Your Senior Struggling with the College Essay?


Save Your Relationship; Leave it to the Pros.

College Essay
credit: The Journal

As if today’s rising high school seniors don’t face enough pressure—about where they’ll apply to college, if they’ll get in, whether they’re making the right choice—there’s the looming hurdle of the college application itself. Sure, high school college counselors likely advised rising seniors to grind it out during the summer months. And if you have a child who actually followed this sage advice, congratulations. You’re in the minority.

Q&A: Michael Faulkner, director of ‘Dope Body: The End,’ talks about the band’s music, capturing the final performances, more

A still from “Dope Body: The End.”

During its eight-year run, the scuzzy noise rock band Dope Body was never the first name on the tongues of national music journalists delving into the Baltimore scene. That didn’t stop them from, over the course of six albums, earning a loyal following both at home and elsewhere in the country with an abrasive sound and a sweaty, physical live show.

In 2016, they called it quits, playing two final shows at the Metro Gallery and the DIY space Floristree. This Wednesday, we will get the definitive document of the latter in the movie “Dope Body: The End,” a concert film that eschews interviews, commentary and any behind-the-scenes looks and stays homed in on singer Andrew Laumann, guitarist Zachary Utz, bassist John Jones and drummer David Jacober as they deliver a raw farewell performance.

Director Michael Faulkner, whose credits include the documentary “Shu-De!” on local beatboxer Shodekeh, says the black-and-white, anamorphic footage matches the gritty qualities of the band’s music and stage presence. “We felt like it ended up resembling a 16 mm film, like a ’70s Iggy and the Stooges concert,” he said. I met up with Faulkner earlier this week to talk about what drew him to Dope Body’s music, how he and his film crew captured the group’s final performances, the movie’s premiere at the Parkway Theatre and more.

Event pick: The Parkway screens ‘Alice,’ a dark, stop motion puppetry-filled adaptation of Carroll’s classic tale

Still from “Alice,” via IMDB

Disney’s 1951 classic “Alice in Wonderland” was plenty strange on its own, presenting a twisted, but vibrant and somewhat sweet take on Lewis Carroll’s tale of the little girl who falls down the rabbit hole.

Event Pick: Antonio McAfee’s latest show reinterpreting African-American portraiture opens in Station North

Image via Facebook, courtesy of Antonio McAfee/ICA Gallery

It was 118 years ago that black sociological pioneers W.E.B. DuBois and Thomas Calloway presented a new face for the African-American to the world, showcasing a series of studio portraits of the black middle class from Georgia at the 1900 Paris World’s Fair. In the 21st century, local photographer Antonio McAfee is putting a new face on their time-honored work here in Baltimore through a series of transformations—first through colored holograms, and now through abstract collage.

With property headed to sale, Feed the Scene is raising money to buy its home in Highlandtown

The Bank Street home of Feed the Scene. Photo via GoFundMe.

After seven years of generously housing and feeding countless touring bands stopping through Baltimore, the operator of local “band and breakfast” Feed the Scene is asking others to pitch in and help give her project a permanent home.

Creative Alliance to hold Aretha Franklin tribute concert in September

Image via the Creative Alliance.

A group of local musicians will pay tribute to the late Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, who died last week of pancreatic cancer, with a September concert at the Creative Alliance. 

Time in a Bottle


Time in a Bottle, Jim Croce, is playing on The Bridge when I get pulled over for speeding—I 87 just outside Albany. A state trooper, plumed all in gray with maroon points, comes to stand outside my window. He pauses to take in the full measure of the situation, looking down at me.

He says, “83,” as a statement of fact. I do not make a joke, something along the lines of, “Is that all?” I just hand over my license and registration. Yes, I was flying.

Nicki Minaj cancels North American tour dates, including Baltimore show

Nicki Minaj on the cover of her fourth album, “Queen.” Image via the artist’s Facebook page.

Rap superstar Nicki Minaj has cancelled the North American leg of her upcoming tour, including a Sept. 21 stop at Royal Farms Arena, to fine tune some of the production elements of the co-headlining shows with rapper Future.