Tag: friends records

    Old Hollywood and Dead Mice: The Baltimore Music Fliers of Chris Day

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    You might know Chris Day for his solo cassette project Vlonde, or as the bass player in the excellent dark punk band Witch Hat — but even if you don’t follow local music you’ve seen his iconic, screen-printed show fliers hung up everywhere from the H&H building on the Westside to Normal’s in Waverly.

    Dense collages of counterintuitive images with striking, hand-placed lettering, Day’s designs have helped define the visual language of Baltimore’s music scene. His intense style and focus on manual processes have inspired more than a few collectors; his fliers endure as art hanging on living room walls years after the events they promote have come and gone.

    I recently got him to answer some questions about his flier-making process.

    Guitarist Marc Miller on Oxes’ Unlikely Collaboration with Will Oldham

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    I have no trouble believing Will Oldham (AKA Bonnie “Prince” Billy) would cover Sheryl Crow’s “Strong Enough” — I could even imagine what it would sound like, to the point where I could probably get his version stuck in my head without having heard it. But Will Oldham collaborating with Oxes — the legendary Baltimore three-piece known for dissonant, technical guitar workouts — on a cover of the song sounds like an event with a probability of zero. Trying to guess what it would sound like makes my head hurt.

      The Dirt on Scapescape, Baltimore’s Newest Summer Music Festival

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      Maybe because I want to look forward to when the oppressive heat begins to give way to the cool of the early fall, I’ve decided to focus on one of Baltimore’s newest late summer festivals, Scapescape. The name is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Baltimore tradition of Artscape send-ups (e.g. Starscape, Ratscape, Whartscape, etc.), and the festival was first organized last year filling a void left by the demise of Whartscape in 2010. But Scapescape’s main organizer, Dave Underhill, is careful to emphasize that the Wham City organized festival only inspired Scapescape in part.

      Either way, Underhill’s -scape continues the tradition of oversize, local-band-and-artist-driven summer blowouts, occupying stages inside and outside of the Windup Space and Metro Gallery, as well as various art galleries, August 30 – September 2. Of the 50-plus bands already announced (more to come!), Wye Oak, Celebration, Dope Body, and Arbouretum are among the bigger names. Unlike Whartscape (which I promise to stop mentioning), Scapescape draws from exclusively local talent.

      I interviewed the festival’s main organizer, Dave Underhill, who offered a little more insight into Scapescape’s beginnings, as well as what we can expect this year.

      What prompted the first Scapescape? Was it the end of Whartscape?

      Actually, what prompted the first Scapescape was the impending closure of the Gspot.  My friend and co-organizer Reuben Kroiz, who founded the venue, wanted to orchestrate a blowout festival to send it off.  He had just recently been to see my now-defunct band the Suits and asked if we wanted to play this with our friends in the now-(criminally)defunct band We Used to Be Family.  Since we were the first he asked, I offered to do one better and help organize the entire show.  As we were in a bar, also present were Dan Deacon, Ed Harris of Big in Japan, and Brandon Arinoldo of Sri Aurobindo.  I asked all three if they wanted to play a festival for the Gspot.  All were willing, and the show snowballed in size from there.  So a lot of credit goes to those guys for helping us get started.

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