New Website Documents North Baltimore County’s “’90s Teen Avant-Garde”

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Baltimore County’s Charm City Suicides, ca. 1998

There are certain things that Wikipedia is just no good for.  One of them tends to be minor regional art movements. Something like what is documented by Towson-Glen Arm Freakouts would lack “notability” and be quickly eliminated by one of Wikipedia’s (increasingly deletionist) editors. And even if you were somehow able to stave off the ravenous article-eating editors in general, a factoid like “Before calling it quits, Within plays a final show at Tim Kabara’s mom’s house” simply would not survive for long. And that’s why we should count ourselves lucky that Mike Apichella (currently of the spectacular and protean Human Host) started this website two days ago.

Towson-Glen Arm Freakouts documents (so far in occasionally obsessive detail) a group of teenage bands and artists who experienced a simultaneous creative emergency in Baltimore County from 1992 to 1997. Some of it reads like the interminable “begat” passages in Genesis, but it’s cut with enough anecdotal detail and absurd band names to stay engaging, and anyway it’s all part of the site’s charm. And it’s the kind of thing that you could only get from someone who was there.

What the site needs is some more photos and some audio files — which it looks like it will get. As the launch of the site as been bringing the ’90s Baltimore County scenemakers out of the woodwork offering to pass along music and scans of old flyers. Hopefully Towson-Glen Arm Freakouts will grow to include more stories and voices as time goes on.

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