Tag: windup

Hell Comes to Frogtown, and the Wind Up Space

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hell-comes-to-frogtown-original

We at the Baltimore Fishbowl have lauded MONDO BALTIMORE in the past.  The first Thursday of every month, these wonderful people find horrific movies for everyone to enjoy.  In January, it was Vanilla Ice’s 1991 hit, “Cool as Ice,” and last month was a celebration of all things Mr. T.  This month’s fearful film is entitled, “Hell Comes to Frogtown” – a 1987 cult classic that stars the wrestler, Roddy Piper, of 80’s WWE fame.

At first, I was skeptical.  It’s hard to follow such inherently terrible films as “Cool as Ice” and “The Toughest Man in the World.”  There’s so much hair gel, the pants are so high-waisted.  I wasn’t sure that this movie with a B-list wrestler could be remotely as promising.  I went to Wikipedia to make my final judgment call, and I am so glad I did.  The plot synopsis, without giving away any spoilers, includes the following gems:

Brews and Boardgames at The Windup Space

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After a long week, sometimes one can barely muster up the energy to stay in and play board games.  You get endless texts, emails and phone calls reminding you that you should be social, but your idea of a great time is playing a seven-letter word with a Q on a triple-word score square.  Tell your friends you can’t join them on whatever physically exhausting outing they have scheduled because you’re needed elsewhere in the city to win a rousing match of Pictionary.  The best part?  You won’t be lying.

This Saturday at The WindUp Space is the first weekend gathering of the Baltimore Brews and Boardgames.  Generally a group that meets Tuesday nights, they decided they needed more time for play and secured a second timeslot at the popular Station North locale.  Grab a drink, head to a table, and play from an assortment of provided games.  Feel free to bring your own, should you be so inclined.  Their game list is extensive and includes classics like decks of cards, Scrabble, Boggle and Bananagrams, but ranges all the way to other games like Fluxx, and Gloom, that I personally have never heard of.    There is a ping pong table in the back if physical exertion is more up your alley.

When:
Saturday, January 12, 2013
4:00p – 8:00p

Where:
The WindUp Space
12 W. North Ave

Baltimore, MD

Why:
To get out of the house and meet cool new people who play obscure board games!  Alternatively, so you can sink a stranger’s battleship.

Cost:
Free!  Or at least, there’s no cover.  Pay your tab, tip generously, and BYO Snacks.

Stop, Collaborate and Listen; Vanilla Ice Hits the Big Screen (in 1991)

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cool as ice

There are times when a movie is so horrific that it becomes nothing short of wonderful.  A Night at the Roxbury, for instance, is such an awful piece of cinematic work that one cannot help but adore it.  Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan in matching shiny suits head bopping to 1998’s finest club beats brings the dorkiest smile to one’s face.

Imagine my unbridled joy when I discovered MONDO BALTIMORE – where horrible cinema is not only revered, but rightfully praised.  Every Thursday at The Windup Space on North Avenue, lovers of film failures assemble to absorb the atrocities.  This week’s chosen masterpiece is “Cool as Ice,” a movie where, apparently, Vanilla Ice felt he should make his highly-anticipated screen debut.  Rated a whopping 2.4 stars on IMDB, the plot synopsis reads, “A rap oriented re-make of “Rebel Without a Cause,” with heavy emphasis on the fact that rap star Vanilla Ice has assumed the James Dean role.”  I’ve been assured that there are bad jackets aplenty and that Vanilla Ice attempts to woo an honors student.  No worries, Vanilla Ice; you had me at, “Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it.”

Where:
The Windup Space
12 W North Ave

When:
Thursday, January 3
7:00p – 10:00p

Why:
Because Vanilla Ice made a movie and terrible movies make us feel better about our smaller failures.  At least we didn’t invest millions in a movie for lesser rappers.

Han Bennink at The Windup Space

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Last Sunday, The Windup Space hosted the revered Dutch free jazz drummer Han Bennink, as well as the California-born, Amsterdam-residing violist Mary Oliver as part of their monthly Creative Differences series.

Here’s what you need to know about Han Bennink: He co-founded the influential improvisational group Instant Composers Pool in 1967 and was a key collaborator of incendiary German saxophonist Peter Brotzmann in the sixties and beyond. Bennink is known for his inclusive drum style, which switches between reverent jazz idioms, and fierce, even absurd, “out” playing, regularly bringing foreign objects and his own body into the mix.

Joining Bennink and Oliver on stage, in ever-shifting permutations, were some of Baltimore’s finest improvisational talent: Michael Formanek on double bass, Lafayette Gilchrist on piano, Dave Ballou on trumpet, and John Dierker on reed instruments. Dierker’s participation seemed especially appropriate; an omnivorous and accomplished player in his own right, he is a frequent member of Baltimore’s Microkingdom — aggressive, frenetic heirs to Bennink’s ’60s collaborations — who have branched out effortlessly into the indie rock scene, and who, like their Northern European forebears, somehow manage to get their experimental records reviewed on Pitchfork.

Bennink, who turns 70 this year, was as youthful and energetic as ever, turning his sticks into an impromptu jaw harp, waving brushes in the air like a hyperactive child, laughing and screaming through his fills. He playfully baited the audience in between pieces, saying it was great to be “here in Detroit.”

In a way he’s a hard player to accompany; his show-stealing antics and aura of fame tend to draw a disproportionate amount of attention, which can undermine the anarchic quality of free improvisation. But the Baltimoreans matched Bennink in intensity and timbral range, jockeying between growly squonks, romantic melodies, expressionistic scrapes and multiphonics. In deed, there were moments it barely felt like jazz at all. One of the few improvisations that saw Bennink sitting out — a stark, pointillist exploration from Oliver, Ballou, and Dierker — reminded me more of Olivier Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time” than anything by Ornette Coleman.

The next Creative Differences will feature New York alto saxophonist Darius Jones and takes place on February 12.

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