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D E C E M B E R 2 7 , 2 0 1 7 V O L . 1 I S S . 7 B A L T I M O R E B E AT. C O M

Lincoln Theatre • 1215 U Street, NW Washington, D.C. NEW YEAR’S EVE AT LINCOLN THEATRE!


White Ford Bronco: DC’s All 90s Band


Flosstradamus w/ Phantoms (DJ Set) ................................................ Th DEC 28 Can’t Feel My Face: 2010s Dance Party with DJs Will Eastman & Ozker with visuals by Kylos ...................................... F 29


Henry Rollins -

Travel Slideshow .......................... JAN 15


JANUARY (cont.)

The Dead Milkmen

w/ Mindless Faith ...........................F 5

Typhoon w/ Bad Bad Hats .........W 31 FEBRUARY

Hot in Herre: 2000s Dance Party

with DJs Will Eastman and Ozker ...................................Sa 6

Boat Burning: Music for 100 Guitars

w/ Visuals by DC guerrilla projectionist Robin Bell .............Su 7

The Wombats

w/ Blaenavon & Courtship.............M 8 D NIGHT ADDED!


Passion Pit ................................Tu 9 Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven ....Th 11 RJD2 w/ Photay .........................Sa 13 Dorothy ....................................Su 14 ALL GOOD PRESENTS

Collie Buddz w/ Jo Mersa Marley

& The Holdup..............................M 15


Circles Around The Sun....Th 18


BoomBox ..................................F 19


The Infamous Stringdusters ......................Sa 20 D NIGHT ADDED!



Greensky Bluegrass w/ Billy Strings

Ticket included with purchase of tickets to 2/3 Greensky Bluegrass @ The Anthem .F 2 STEEZ PROMO PRESENTS

Emancipator Ensemble ......Sa 3 J. Roddy Walston and The Business w/ Post Animal..........Th 8 COIN w/ The Aces ......................Sa 10 Múm ..........................................Su 11 Sleigh Bells w/ Sunflower Bean ......................W 14 U STREET MUSIC HALL PRESENTS


w/ Elephante & Youngr .............Th 15

ZZ Ward w/ Black Pistol Fire

& Billy Raffoul ..............................F 16

STRFKR w/ Reptaliens .............Sa 17 U STREET MUSIC HALL PRESENTS

Ganja White Night

w/ Dirt Monkey & Subtronics ....Su 18

w/ Darius ....................................Tu 23

Tennis w/ Overcoats ..................W 24 Big Head Todd & The Monsters

w/ Luther Dickinson ..................Th 25

Manic Focus and Minnesota .....................Sa 27 Enter Shikari w/ Single Mothers & Milk Teeth..Su 28

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

w/ Night Beats .............................M 29

Kimbra w/ Arc Iris....................Tu 30




The Wood Brothers

w/ The Stray Birds ................... JAN 26 & 27


Sucker For Love ................... FEB 10 Andy Borowitz ........................ FEB 24 • •

(Complete Original Lineup with Steve Morse, Rod Morgenstein, Allen Sloan, Andy West, and Steve Davidowski) ..................MAR 7 AEG PRESENTS

Bianca Del Rio ...................... MAR 15 PostSecret: The Show ...... MAR 24 Rob Bell w/ Peter Rollins .......... MAR 27 Max Raabe & Palast Orchester.............APR 11 Calexico w/ Ryley Walker ............APR 27

U Street (Green/Yellow) stop across the street!

9:30 CLUB PRESENTS AT U STREET MUSIC HALL herMajesty & Honest Haloway

w/ Greenland ................................Sa JAN 13

Alex Aiono w/ Trinidad Cardona ........... Sa 20 Cuco + Helado Negro w/ Lido Pimienta ................................... Tu 23

Rostam w/ Joy Again ......................Th FEB 1 Flint Eastwood w/ NYDGE .....................F 2 Anna Meredith ................................... Sa 3 Mod Sun w/ Karizma .............................. M 5 Why? w/ Open Mike Eagle ........................F 9

Anti-Flag & Stray From The Path .. Sa 10 Wylder ................................................ Sa 17 MAGIC GIANT w/ The Brevet.............. Su 18 Higher Brothers ............................... M 19 MAKO .................................................. Sa 24 Gabrielle Aplin w/ John Splithoff ...... Su 25 Missio w/ Welshly Arms...................F MAR 2 Joywave ............................................... Sa 3 Ella Vos w/ Freya Ridings ....................... M 5 Amy Shark .......................................... M 12

• Buy advance tickets at the 9:30 Club box office •

w/ Lowland Hum .........................W 21





Railroad Earth w/ Roosevelt Coliler .......F 23 & Sa 24

Rhye ...........................................M 26 Lights w/ Chase Atlantic & DCF .Tu 27

Frankie Ballard.......................F 26 STEEZ PROMO PRESENTS

Top Shelf ................................... JAN 20 Majid Jordan w/ Stwo............... JAN 23

The Oh Hellos

Lane 8 ......................................Th 22

MØ & Cashmere Cat


Dixie Dregs



(F 2 - w/ Butcher Brown) .... F 2 & Sa 3

Hippie Sabotage

w/ Melvv & Olivia Noelle ..............Su 4

LP w/ Noah Kahan .........................M 5 Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark w/ GGOOLLDD ......Tu 6

The best thing you could possibly put in your mouth Cupcakes by BUZZ... your neighborhood bakery in Alexandria, VA. |

TICKETS for 9:30 Club shows are available through, by phone at 1-877-4FLY-TIX, and at the 9:30 Club box office. 9:30 CLUB BOX OFFICE HOURS are 12-7pm on weekdays & until 11pm on show nights, 6-11pm on Sat, and 6-10:30pm on Sun on show nights.


PARKING: THE OFFICIAL 9:30 parking lot entrance is on 9th Street, directly behind the 9:30 Club. Buy your advance parking tickets at the same time as your concert tickets!


UB Tosses DeVos

University of Baltimore graduates turn their backs to commencement speaker Betsy DeVos.

Lisa Snowden-McCray EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Ext. 9461 Maura Callahan DEPUTY EDITOR Brandon Soderberg MANAGING EDITOR Ext. 9462 Jeff Stintz ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Ext. 9464 CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING 202-747-2077 Azer Creative DESIGN & PRODUCTION 202-540-8928 For distribution, contact Lynne Brown at 202-747-2077, Ext. 8075. Distributed by MediaPoint, LLC

The Beat’s Top 10 Local Albums This year’s best new music

The Beat’s Top 10 Restaurants This year’s best new restaurants

On the Cover: 2017 Year In Review: Album of the year from political punks Joe Biden. Photo by Micah E. Wood.

COMMUNITY VOICES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 BEAT NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 REAL NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 BLADE NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 THE YEAR IN REVIEW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

All material in the Baltimore Beat is protected by federal copyright law and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Baltimore Beat. Although the Baltimore Beat is supported by many fine advertisers, we cannot accept responsibility for claims made by advertisers. Unsolicited editorial material is accepted by the Baltimore Beat, but the paper cannot take responsibility for its return. The editors reserve the right to accept, reject or edit any submission. A single copy of the Baltimore Beat is available from authorized distribution points, to any individual within Baltimore. Multiple copies are available from the Baltimore Beat office only. Call for rates. If you are unable to get to a convenient free distribution point, you may receive a 52-week mailed subscription for $195 per year or $5.00 per single issue. Checks or credit card orders can be sent to Postmaster: Send address changes to the Baltimore Beat, PO BOX 53352 Washington, DC 20009. The Baltimore Beat is published weekly, on Wednesday, by Brown Naff Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. Individual Subscriptions are $195 per year for 52 issues (only $3.75 per issue mailed to you USPS). Rates for businesses/institutions are $450 per year. Periodical postage paid at Washington, D.C., and additional mailing offices. Editorial positions of the Baltimore Beat are expressed in editorials and in editors’ notes as determined by the paper’s editors. Other opinions are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Baltimore Beat or its staff. To submit a letter or commentary: Letters should be fewer than 400 words; commentaries should be fewer than 750 words. Submissions may be edited for content and length, and must include a name, address and phone number for verification. Send submissions by e-mail to ©2017 BROWN NAFF PITTS OMNIMEDIA, INC.

DECEMBER 27, 2017






"A lively fusion of funk, soul, hip hop, rock and spoken word." – The Washingtonian

THU, JAN 4, 2018




89.7 WTMD



COMMUNITY VOICES Op-Ed: New Republican Tax Bill is Costly for Baltimore’s Poor B y S e r e n a J . G o l d b e r g a n d Te r e s a N g The “middle class” dominates political discussion, and the new Republican tax bill is no exception. This focus neglects those at the bottom, including the third of Baltimore’s households that earn less than $25,000 a year. While they pay little in income tax, we cannot ignore how the inequality perpetuated by this tax bill could exacerbate poverty in Baltimore’s vulnerable communities. Maryland has the highest concentration of millionaires in the nation, even as 32.6 percent of Baltimore’s children live in poverty. The bill only widens the gap between low-income and privileged children. Baltimore’s millionaires will now be able to leave $11.2 million of their accumulated wealth tax-free to their children—up from $5.6 million in the status quo. This results in a wider wealth gap, reinforcing inequality. Wealth matters because it is a buffer against economic shocks, and enables long-term investments into education, new businesses, and retirement. Most egregious is the bill’s massive corporate tax cut. The cut will naturally increase corporate profits, but 91 percent of available corporate profits are currently directed to stock buybacks and dividends. Since the poor lack the financial resources to invest in stock, the tax cut only exacerbates the income gap. Income inequality is more than an ideological issue, according to Nobel Prizewinning economist Joseph Stiglitz. In a world of limited resources, it ensures the rich can buy privileges for their children that the poor cannot afford, impeding social mobility. Poverty becomes concentrated in particular neighborhoods when only the rich can buy their way out. The exodus in turn weakens community institutions like stores and schools that provide essential support to families. Take, for instance, McElderry Park, a once middle-class neighborhood that descended into poverty with population loss. Higher income inequality also means higher political inequality—it increases the ability of rich donors to crowd out the poor’s already diminutive voices in policymaking. Ultimately, the bill buttresses rich children at the expense of poor children’s social mobility. Furthermore, the revenue lost from tax cuts for the wealthy may soon be used to justify major cuts to vital anti-poverty programs. Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, have suggested changing the federal Medicaid and food stamp programs to state-controlled block grants. When Bill Clinton made similar changes to the cash welfare system in 1996, states siphoned off grant money to fill budgetary gaps, while inflation eroded the grant’s value. The poor may similarly lose out in the case of food stamps and Medicaid. This would directly affect the nearly third of Baltimore’s residents on Medicaid or food stamps. A weaker safety net could also mean more family instability, detrimental to child development. Research by Kathryn Edin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins University, shows that many impoverished single mothers see financial stability as a key prerequisite for marriage, a potential source of family stability. 64.8 percent of Baltimore’s children are in single-parent households, with the percentage at 93.5 percent in some neighborhoods. Cuts to anti-poverty programs as a result of the bill could severely affect these children’s futures. It will be hard for states and localities like Maryland and Baltimore to compensate for any federal cuts with new or expanded initiatives. The bill’s cap on the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction makes it politically difficult to raise taxes. Moreover, a bias against poor minority communities might already exist in public spending. City planners recently uncovered that Baltimore spends more on public infrastructure in low-poverty than highpoverty areas. Should federal cuts occur, we fear low-income minority neighborhoods will take the brunt of federal cuts with little help from the state or city. To be sure, individual aspects of the bill soften rather than worsen inequality. Though capping SALT is problematic, the deduction is disproportionately used by the rich. The Child Tax Credit has also become temporarily more refundable for the poor, though its expansion to the wealthy is troubling. By themselves, these reforms might have been signs of progress. Unfortunately, they have only been stomached to pay for massive tax cuts for the rich, dwarfing the benefits. As the tax bill comes into effect, and as income inequality widens in the long run, Baltimore’s low-income residents are most at risk. Our city should monitor the effects of the tax bill as they play out and find ways to protect our most vulnerable from its consequences.

Photo Courtesy Facebook

Activist, Community, and Government Events D E C . 2 7 - J A N . 3 West Wednesdays. Tawanda Jones, the sister of Tyrone West, a man killed in police custody in July 2013, has been gathering every Wednesday with other activists in the city to call attention to West’s death and police brutality in Baltimore. Dec. 27 and Jan. 3, usually held at the intersection of 33rd and Greenmount Avenue, check for details. Show Your Luv Kwanzaa Networking Event. An opportunity for community members to connect and support black-owned businesses. Dec. 28, 5 p.m., Capital Lounge, 1531-33 Pennsylvania Ave, Semper Friday in Oliver. Open volunteer opportunity to help maintain the Bethel Street Playscape and operate the Oliver Community Farm and Orchard Dec. 29, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Oliver Community Farm, 1600 Ellsworth St., events/499906063696270. Anti-Prom for Anti-Racism. Event to raise money for an anti-racism workshop at the UMB School of Social Work, Dec. 29, 9 p.m.-2 a.m., The Windup Space, 12 W. North Ave.,, $15. Our Daily Bread: Feeding the Homeless. Our Daily Bread is looking for adult volunteers to serve food. Dec. 30, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Our Daily Bread, 725 Fallsway, (email volunteer@ KWAANZA Celebration Event NIA. Celebrate Kwanzaa in recognition of NIA principles with W.O.M.A.N INC. Event will also feature local vendors and organizations from the community and performances by WombWorks and Anthony Ware. December 30, 1 p.m.-5 p.m., Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, 3050 Liberty Heights Ave., Lunch Patrol: New Year’s Eve Edition. Take part in a brown bag lunch distribution throughout Baltimore City. Premade brown bag lunches are preferred: sandwich, drink, snack, dessert. They will be delivered by volunteers on foot and by vehicle. Dec. 31, noon, 421 Fallsway, Friends of Barclay Meeting. Brainstorm fun spring event ideas for the four communities within the Barclay school zone. Jan. 3, 6 p.m.-7 p.m., Peabody Heights Brewery, LLC, 401 E. 30th St.,

Serena Goldberg ( and Teresa Ng ( are social policy students at Johns Hopkins University. Submit your own op-ed to The Baltimore Beat by emailing it to

DECEMBER 27, 2017



UB TOSSES DEVOS University of Baltimore graduates turn their backs to commencement speaker Betsy DeVos By Jaisal Noor and Brandon Soderberg

Graduates protest Betsy Devos

UB assistant professor Ian Power

Photo courtesy The Real News Network

Photo courtesy The Real News Network

On Monday, Dec. 18, about 30 people gathered outside of the Modell Lyric Opera House in protest of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who was set to give the commencement speech to University of Baltimore’s fall graduating class—and a couple hours later 40 or so UB graduates protested inside by standing with their backs to the billionaire heiress during her speech. “To invite somebody this incendiary to an event that’s supposed to be celebratory is really, I think very disrespectful to [graduates] and all the work that they’ve put through,” said University of Baltimore graduate student Kerrin Smith in front of the Lyric. “A lot of them are grappling with whether or not they want to have a happy celebratory graduation day or if they want or how they’re going to make their ideas known during the ceremony. That’s just not a choice they should have to make.” DeVos was a polarizing pick for the nation’s top education post due to her hostility towards public education, lack of experience, and support for privatization via championing “school choice,” which led to contentious hearings over her appointment. The DeVos family has funded Republican causes for decades. The rally outside was organized by FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture and the Maryland chapter of the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and attended by a number of University of Baltimore students and faculty. Protesters highlighted


DeVos’ connection to the Trump administration (“White Supremacy controls who is believed” one banner read), her aggressive pro-charter school position, and her roll back of Title IX, the law against gender-based discrimination that was expanded under President Obama to require schools to combat sexual harassment and sexual assault on campus. “It seems strange to invite someone whose goal is to defund and destroy public education to a public university,” said Ian Power, an assistant professor of integrated arts at UB. “I’m in favor of Title IX and even though charter schools for some students offer better resources, all that does is provide the ones left behind with fewer resources. This is the Republican tactic of defunding something public and then saying ‘It doesn’t work so we had to shut it down.’” FORCE’s Saida Agostini stressed DeVos’ commentary recasting concern about sexual assault on the accused by focusing on false accusations, which are incredibly low, according to every legitimate study out there. “Betsy DeVos has had a pretty intensely antisurvivor position in her administration, particularly with critical Title IX protections by heightening the burden of proof for survivors on campus,” Agostini said. “When we talk about increasing the burden of proof for survivors, what we’re really talking about is who is worthy of belief in campuses and our communities.” Jabari Lyles, Executive Director of GLSEN


highlighted how DeVos undermined civil rights protections for LGBTQ students. “Our mission is all about making sure that all students have a safe place to learn including those students who are LGBT,” Lyles said. “We know that many of the actions that Betsy DeVos have set forth, the ones that she’s already done and the one that she intends to do will harm students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer.” Back in September, the announcement that DeVos would give the commencement speech resulted in significant protest from UB students. There was also a wildly popular Medium post from UB student Rachael Edwards, and a statement by the UB Student Government Association that said they were not informed of DeVos’ booking until far too late in the process and that it was essentially pushed through by UB President and former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke. “Your graduation day speaker is supposed to represent the best ideals of the school and the highest aspirations of the students and Betsy DeVos is quite simply the most anti-public education secretary of education our country has ever had,” said Ben Jealous, Democratic candidate for governor at an anti-DeVos rally back in September. “In her very short tenure she has made it easier for banks to profiteer off of students, she has threatened the very hard-won protections students have against sexual assault that President

DECEMBER 27, 2017

Graduates protest Betsy Devos

Betsy DeVos speaks at UB

Photo courtesy The Real News Network

Photo courtesy The Real News Network

Obama pushed through, and she has attacked the very notion of public education itself.” As parents and faculty began entering the Lyric for the graduation ceremony, word got to those outside at the rally that some faculty sitting on the stage for the graduation wore large buttons which read, “Support and Defend Public Schools” and many students had written anti-DeVos and anti-Trump messages on the top of their caps. The nearby statue of Edgar Allen Poe on the UB campus was cloaked in a graduation gown and cardboard signs that read “Toss DeVos” and “Survivors are worthy of belief” were placed in front of it. Anticipation over what would happen when DeVos spoke was palpable during the ceremony before she took to the podium. Earlier this year, DeVos spoke at historically black college Bethune-Cooke University, where graduates booed her and turned their backs. When Schmoke mentioned DeVos’ name, there was some scant “boo”-ing, which increased during his generous introduction of her. “It’s quite an honor to have a person whose powerful recommendations have had such an impact not only on education but the quality of life of many of us here,” Schmoke said. “She has been involved in the education reform movements and clearly involved in the debate about the ways in which education is going in our country from top to bottom.” As DeVos began her speech, two women stood in the front row just feet away from DeVos with their backs to her. One held up her graduation cap, which had “Not My Commencement Speaker” written on it. Soon, another joined the two and then slowly more students stood up with their back to DeVos staring straight

DECEMBER 27, 2017

ahead. A few black students stood defiantly with their fists up. Slowly, it grew to about 40 graduates and even some their parents. “In a fast-paced modern world, it is healthy to develop an interior life, to be silent, to pray,” DeVos declared, as cameras flashed, taking photos of solemn students staring the other way. DeVos’ speech, which leaned heavily on deceptive rhetoric about “choice” when promoting private charter schools along with a smattering of loosely inspirational graduation speech platitudes, was besides the point. At one point, DeVos quoted Malcolm Gladwell-ian pop theorist Angela Duckworth and her “Lean In”-esque book, “Grit,” and the passage which read, “when you permanently turn your back on a commitment, your effort plummets to zero,” eliced laughs from protesting graduates. “I would have never had the opportunity to pursue higher education without there being an option to go to a public school. I wouldn’t have been able to afford it,” said Emily Wenker, a UB graduate who stood with her back to DeVos. “Today I graduated summa cum laude after working my way through school for seven years. Betsy DeVos does not represent me as a student. I stood up because I earned this day, and it was disrespectful to us, as graduates, to be misrepresented.” Rachael Edwards chose not to attend the ceremony at all. “Today was my undergraduate graduation,” Edwards said. “I have been waiting for this moment for years. The reason why I did not attend graduation today is because I believe it devalues University of Baltimore’s mission to ensure students are protected. ‘Protected’ meaning down to the speakers we invite into safe spaces.


The Trump administration, which includes Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, unleashed a handful of policies that undermine marginalized communities. I refused to go because I do not believe in giving platforms to anyone that represents an administration that is hellbent on destroying vulnerable communities.” On the day after DeVos’ commencement speech, Dec. 19, Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference On Civil and Human Rights released a statement in anticipation of the oversight hearing for House Education and the Workforce Committee which questioned whether DeVos had fulfilled her duties as Secretary of Education. “In her first year as secretary, DeVos has consistently shirked her civil rights duties,” the statement read in part. “She’s rescinded vital guidance relating to the rights of transgender students and schools’ obligations regarding sexual violence, limited review of systemic discrimination reported to the department, and foreshadowed rollbacks to protections for students of color and students with disabilities regarding school discipline.” And on Dec. 20, The Department Of Education announced it would adjust loan forgiveness compensation for students defrauded by their colleges. Loan forgiveness will now be decided based on a students’ income whereas under President Obama, all defrauded students received full loan forgiveness. “This improved process will allow claims to be adjudicated quickly and harmed students to be treated fairly,” DeVos said in a statement. “It also protects taxpayers from being forced to shoulder massive costs that may be unjustified.”


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Updates on the J20 case First six defendants found not guilty; motion claims key detective gave false testimony By Baynard Woods

didn’t mean to say what she just said.” Detective Greggory Pemberton has spent an entire year investigating the case, which has relied on evidence from unreliable, far-right sources such as Project Veritas, which recently tried to trick the Washington Post and discredit the women accusing former Alabama Senatorial candidate Roy Moore. The judge had already dismissed the felony inciting a riot charge against all of the defendants. The U.S. Attorney’s office will continue with the case after this verdict. The next trial is scheduled to begin motions in January. The Department of Justice was not available for comment at time of publication. Motion alleges lead Detective in J20 case gave false testimony to Grand Jury A rally for J20 defendants held on May Day. Photo by Baynard Woods

A jury found the first six J20 defendants to stand trial in connection with protests at Trump’s inauguration not guilty on all charges The first six of 193 people charged with rioting and conspiracy charges after being arrested in connection with protests in Washington D.C. on Inauguration Day were found not guilty. The case has been seen as a test of the First Amendment under the Trump administration. Because the arrests occurred in Washington D.C. the crimes are prosecuted by U.S. Attorneys who ultimately answer to Jeff Sessions. Lead prosecutor Jennifer Kerkhoff has argued, on a novel legal theory, that anyone who was wearing black and was in the vicinity of 12th and L streets, where police used pepper spray, stingball grenades, and batons to cordon off more than 200 people in a kettle, is guilty of conspiring to riot and of any property damage associated with the riot. Among those kettled are journalists who were covering the protest, legal observers, and medics. Of the six defendants in the first group to stand trial, one, Alexei Wood, is a journalist who was live-streaming the protest, and two medics, one who is a registered nurse, were there to offer medical services. “She was aiding and abetting this riot. That was her role,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Rizwan Qureshi in court. “As a provider of medical services, she was a co-conspirator. She aided and abetted this group. She wasn’t prepared for a march or a protest. She was prepared for war.” At the close of this trial, when Kerkhoff told the jury that the standard of ascertaining guilt “beyond reasonable doubt” in a case “doesn’t mean a whole lot,” Judge Lynn Leibovitz assured the jurors, “I’m sure she

DECEMBER 27, 2017

A motion filed in D.C. Superior Court earlier this month claims that the lead detective in the case against 193 people arrested during protests of President Trump’s inauguration gave false testimony before a grand jury to secure charges against two of those people. The motion claims that Greggory Pemberton, a detective with the Metropolitan Police Department and the treasurer of the Fraternal Order of Police union in D.C., told the grand jury that everyone who was “kettled” and arrested en masse on Jan. 20 “participated in the entire march,” including Jada Young and Sasha Hill, both of whom are scheduled to stand trial next month on three misdemeanor charges. But, the motion argues, this isn’t true—and so any charges brought by the grand jury on the basis of this testimony should be dismissed. “It really undercuts the government’s whole theory of what people were doing there and caught up in the kettle,” said Scott Michelman, of the ACLU, which is pursuing a civil case against MPD based on the actions of individual officers and command that day. The motion contains portions of grand jury testimony obtained by Young and Hill’s lawyers after a recent proffer that reduced their charges acknowledged that the two women had not been present for many of the crimes with which they were charged. “The grand jury indicted Ms. Young and Ms. Hill on all of the charges in the incident, without differentiating them from other participants in the march, based on the false testimony of Detective Pemberton,” the motion reads. Pemberton, the motion alleges, “led the grand jury to believe that anyone arrested in the kettle had participated in the entire march.” “He did so even though by the time his testimony was complete on April 21, 2017, he had reviewed hundreds of hours of videotape and had the ability to describe Ms. Young’s and Ms. Hill’s very limited participation in the march to the grand jury and to differentiate it from everyone who participated in the march from beginning. Instead, he provided false testimony about their participation, whereupon the grand jury indicted them on all of the counts,” the motion reads. Pemberton has spent the entire year working solely


on this case at a salary of over $78,000. If a judge rules that he provided false testimony to the grand jury, it could have far-reaching results that go way beyond the charges that Hill and Young are facing. The grand jury testimony—which is used to bring charges and is usually kept secret—included in the subsequent motion shows a grand juror trying to understand the grounds of arrest. “Is being—wearing black and being in the immediate area was cause for arrest?” Jennifer Kerkhoff, the U.S. Attorney in charge of the government’s case, reframed the question for Pemberton. “So you’ve testified that the group itself that moved through the city was the one that was stopped. Can you explain a little bit more what you mean by that, the group that was moving through the city causing the damage was the one that was stopped?” Pemberton responded that “anybody that appeared to not be associated with this group left and went in another direction, because of the fact that the destruction was so—it was proliferating.” The group had, Pemberton testified, “coalesced into one group of individuals that was pretty much wearing all black, carrying flags, chanting, throwing bottles at people, throwing rocks at the police, breaking windows, breaking cars.” “I don’t think that there’s anybody that just sort of happened to be there at that point in time. Because they were engaging in active violence against property and people and the police—anyone that was left at that location…they had obviously gotten it down to a group of individuals that were the most egregious of the group and that’s the individuals that were placed under arrest.” The testimony shows that Pemberton was specifically asked about both Young and Hill. When he was asked “Have you identified Ms. Hill as having participated in this riot?,” he answered affirmatively. With regards to Young, the question was even more specific, asking Pemberton if he had specifically identified Young in video evidence of the “riot.” “Yes, I have,” he answered. Lawyers for Hill and Young argue that the evidence makes it clear that their clients weren’t swept up in the march until near the end—for the final three blocks. They did not have opportunities to leave or witness any of the acts of destruction mentioned in the indictment. Nor did they cheer at those acts of destruction, the motion claims. “The fact that the government now concedes that Ms. Young and Ms. Hill participated in the march for only three blocks and seven minutes makes clear that Detective Pemberton gave false testimony and, as a result, Ms. Young and Ms. Hill were deprived of their Fifth Amendment right to a fair hearing before the Grand Jury,” the motion concludes. Visit for independent local, national, and international journalism that examines the underlying causes of chronic problems and searches for effective solutions.


A roundup of LGBTQ news from the region and around the world courtesy the Washington Blade suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder due to the sexual assault, the Post reported. “The offenses against the dental patient victims…followed a typical pattern in which Ahmed would take patients into the procedure room, close the door, administer nitrous oxide through a face mask, and then sexually assault the victims while they were sedated,” a statement released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office says. A charging document filed in court says Ahmed asked four of the five patients whom he admitted to sexually assaulting “intrusive and inappropriate questions” about their personal life, including their sexual orientation, shortly before administering the nitrous oxide anesthesia. “I feel the shame,” the Post quoted Ahmed as telling Judge Zoe Bush minutes before the sentencing. “To err is human, to forgive divine.” (Lou Chibbaro Jr.)

Kelvin Cochran sued after he was fired for distributing anti-gay literature.

Judge rules against Atlanta chief fired for distributing anti-gay book A former fire chief’s lawsuit against the City of Atlanta challenging his termination for distributing anti-gay literature on the job yielded mixed results in a court decision Wednesday — although the judge ruled against the major freedom of speech and religion claims he presented. U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May, an Obama appointee, denied relief for Kelvin Cochran — who distributed a book saying men who engage in homosexual or extramarital sex are “un-Godly” and “wicked” sinners and their deaths would be celebrated — on his basis of his freedom of speech, association and religion claims. The material was part of Cochran’s book titled “Who Told You That You Were Naked?” In 2014, Cochran, an evangelical Christian, distributed it to employees on the job at the Atlanta Fire Department. The book offended at least one employee and made its way to Atlanta Council member Alex Wan, who brought it the attention of city management. In 2015, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed fired Cochran for his actions. “Although plaintiff contends that the book was addressed to Christian men, the book was disseminated by a supervisor at the workplace — as opposed to completely off campus — and was even distributed unsolicited to at least three individuals,” May writes. “At least one such employee felt the subject matter of the book was sufficiently concerning such that he gave the book to the union president, and the union president then disseminated it more broadly to city officials.” May also found the city of Atlanta had sufficient reason to terminate Cochran because the material “exposed the City to hostile work environment liability” and elicited reasonable concerns the city could be open to a lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights of Act of 1964. (Chris Johnson)

Puerto Ricans with HIV/AIDS continue to struggle after Maria The situation for people with HIV/AIDS in Puerto Rico remains precarious three months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. Anselmo Fonseca of Pacientes de Sida Pro Política Sana, an HIV/AIDS service organization that is based in the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan, told the Washington Blade last week during a conference call that Maria flooded the office in which he and his colleagues worked. He said Pacientes de Sida Pro Política Sana has “basically been operating out of” Bill’s Kitchen, a San Juan-based organization that provides meals to people with HIV/AIDS in Puerto Rico. Bill’s Kitchen lost electricity when Hurricane Irma brushed Puerto Rico on Sept. 7. Food and Friends in D.C. has donated $35,000 to Bill’s Kitchen in order to buy a generator. “We’ve lost homes,” Fonseca told the Blade. “We’ve lost food, opportunities to see our doctors on a regular basis.” Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico’s southeast coast on Sept. 20 with 155 mph winds. The hurricane’s official death toll in Puerto Rico is 64, but Gov. Ricardo Rosselló on Monday ordered a review of this figure amid widespread reports that suggest there may be more than 1,000 Maria-related deaths in the U.S. commonwealth. Statistics from the Puerto Rican government indicate the island’s electrical grid — which was compromised before Maria and Irma — is at 65.4 percent capacity. More than 200,000 people have left Puerto Rico since Maria. The Puerto Rico Community Network for Clinical Research on AIDS is based near the main campus of the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras. Roughly 900 people from across Puerto Rico — people with HIV/AIDS, women, drug addicts, people who are homeless and young people between 13-24 — receive services from the organization each year. Puerto Rico Community Network for Clinical Research on AIDS Executive Director Rosaura López-Fontánez, told the Blade last week that her organization “has lost over” $250,000 in equipment and medication because of Maria. She said Maria also destroyed all of the Puerto Rico Community Network for Clinical Research on AIDS’ testing equipment and it “had to redo” its two clinics. López-Fontánez told the Blade the organization began to operate once again a week after Maria. She said a local pharmacy provided space that allowed patients to receive their medications “with no problem.” Wilfred Labiosa, co-founder of WAVES AHEAD, a group that works with at-risk groups in Puerto Rico, told the Blade on Tuesday during a telephone interview that the 21 people with HIV with whom he works now have “stable” access to medications through the mail. “They have been able to finagle that,” he said. López-Fontánez told the Blade her organization’s dental clinic was able to operate in the office of a dentist who subcontracted space for $100 a day. She also said Bill’s Kitchen is cooking meals for her staff who have “suffered tremendously.” “It has affected all of Puerto Rico, that includes the HIV and the LGBT community,” said López-Fontánez. (Micahel K. Lavers)

D.C. dentist gets 16 years for sexually assaulting male patients A D.C. Superior Court Judge on Dec. 15 sentenced former District dentist Bilal Ahmed to 16 and a half years in prison for sexually assaulting five male former patients and one male former employee at his dental office on the 2300 block of M St., N.W., between 2010 and 2014. The sentence also calls for Ahmed, 45, to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life upon his release from prison, at which time he will also be placed on three years of supervised probation. The sentencing came six months after Ahmed, whose dental licenses in D.C. and Maryland were suspended, pleaded guilty to five felony charges and three misdemeanor charges related to the sexual assaults against the patients and employee. In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office agreed to drop several additional charges against Ahmed handed down by a Superior Court Grand Jury in a multi-count indictment in October 2016. The Washington Post reported that four of the former patients and one former employee testified at the Dec. 15 sentencing hearing that Ahmed’s actions caused them to suffer lasting emotional distress. At least one of the victims testified he is



DECEMBER 27, 2017

Duane “Shorty” Davis at Baltimore’s solidarity march for Charlottesville Photo by Tedd Henn

The day after the Charlottesville white supremacist attack that killed Heather Heyer, injured many others, possibly cracked the country in half for good, and made it even clearer that our president is totally OK with hatemongers, there was a moment in Baltimore that combined the past few years of protest here and exemplified national ennui en masse: About a thousand people gathered around the Lee-Jackson Memorial by the Wyman Park Dell in solidarity with Charlottesville and then marched through Charles Village.It was a semi-spontaneous procession that recalled the energy and excitement of the Baltimore Uprising. Marchers at the front held up an Antifacist flag, followed by others sprinkled throughout carrying Transgender Pride flags along with plenty of vital, unapologetic, anti-Trump sentiment. If there is a one photo that sums up the past year for me, it is Tedd Henn’s photo above from that day. It captures all of that. There’s activist and artist Duane “Shorty” Davis in the foreground, holding some anti-Trump art, and the Antifa flag behind him, and the Transgender Pride flag peeking out behind that—and looming over it all, that stupid fucking Lee-Jackson monument, which would be removed less than a week later. As is often the case, the protest was in part organized by young, engaged activists and older organizers

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willing to work with them. People showed up and it exemplified the lesson declared post-uprising but then quickly forgotten by most: “Listen to the youth.” Young people, they know what’s up way more than us olds do. Also, like, literally listen to young people. In this case, youthful political punks Joe Biden, whose album “S/T” is the Beat’s top album of the year. Seen on the cover of this issue (shot by Micah E. Wood), the foursome–Paris Roberts on vocals, Robert Chappell on guitar, Alex Armbruster on bass, and Sean McCabe on drums—have figured out a way to introduce some particularly rarefied menace into their hardcore and oh man, when Paris howls, “fuck your laws!” on ‘Natural Born Killer,’ it is a moment. And let me just quote from Biden’s Bandcamp page: “THIS EP IS FOR EVERY UNARMED BLACK MAN OR WOMAN MURDERED IN THE HANDS OF THE POLICE. THIS EP IS FOR ALL THE FAMILIES THAT HAD THEIR KID MURDERED IN THE HANDS OF THE POLICE. THIS EP IS FOR BLACK EXCELLENCE. THIS EP IS FOR BLACK LIVES MATTER. THIS EP IS FOR OUR VOICES TO BE HEARD. WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED.” There were so many painful hot takes that contrived any and every piece of art into being “more relevant than ever” or claimed any dissent however polite


or oblique was part of #TheResistance and good on anybody saying anything about the state of the country, but Joe Biden really means it, man. The rest of the issue celebrates others like Joe Biden making great art and restaurants making good food, and even deigns to consider some national—or as I prefer to say, non-local—art and rushes through the past year in news, locally and non-locally, with some help from the The Real News Network, one of our partners in this new newspaper. Oh yeah, that’s something that happened this year: We started a newspaper. When the Baltimore City Paper was set to be closed by its owners, I worked hard along with Baynard Woods, now of the Real News Network, and the Washington Blade’s Kevin Naff to start a new paper, and we brought in Lisa Snowden-McCray and Maura Callahan and Jen Marsh and, well, we really went and did it. We were not so vain here as to include the founding of the Beat in our Top 10 News Stories of the year list, though starting a new print alt-weekly in 2017 and getting it off the ground real quickly might be one of the top 11 or top 12 Baltimore stories of the year, no? Brandon Soderberg Baltimore Beat Managing Editor


The Beat’s Top 10 News Stories of 2017 By Brandon Soderberg

1. The Gun Trace Task Force What many Baltimoreans have been talking about and telling reporters like us for a while turns out to be totally true: Cops are straight up robbing people, stealing drugs, planting drugs, and being truly, absolutely terrible. It all came crashing down and became public in March when seven officers were federally indicted for racketeering. The charges kept piling on, more members were indicted, and it fanned out to Philly, where a former Baltimore cop was selling stolen drugs, and to the murder of Det. Sean Suiter, who was set to testify against some members of the task force. The biggest Baltimore police scandal of all time?

2. Homicides

at Pinderhughes Elementary, and most took it. It was the first step toward the loftier goals of the action dissolving, but it provided a model for action outside of marching in the streets, and it got the Mayor’s attention.

8. DIY Task Force

The initial seven federally indicted officers from the Gun Trace Task Force Courtesy The Real News Network

As of press time, Baltimore is at 336 homicides and approaching 2015’s 344 homicides. The short-term solutions to the homicide rate are terrible and mean bringing back the policies that got us here in the first place. Mayor Catherine Pugh is on the right track with talk of rec centers, but she keeps falling short of the kind of dynamic, inventive leadership that results in legit change. There are community-oriented fixes—namely Safe Streets and Baltimore Ceasefire. Finding solutions to violent crime won’t be easy, but funding and recognizing programs that work is a start.

3. Baltimore Ceasefire Community mediator Erricka Bridgeford along with others including veteran rapper Ogun constructed a decentralized, grassroots effort that demanded “nobody kill anybody for 72 hours.” They promoted it like a club night or rap show with fliers, and they pounded the pavement with Bridgeford and others’ outreach, talking to Mount Washington residents and shooters and gang members. The ceasefire offered some hope, and they’re going to do it again with a third one in February. Bridgeford provided hope and insight that addressed gun violence, but also didn’t ignore the systemic reasons for the city’s problems. Thankfully, as a result, she left respectability politics behind and brought the whole city together.

4. Det. Sean Suiter’s Death On Nov. 15, Baltimore Police Department Detective Sean Suiter was shot in the head in the Harlem Park neighborhood. He died the next day. We’d later learn, either via much-delayed drips of info from the police or through dogged reporting, that Suiter was set to testify against other police officers and that he was driven to Shock Trauma in a police car, which crashed on the way there. There was a suspect (a black man in black coat), but no real description ever popped up and a $215,000 award for information remains unclaimed. Rumors abound, the Harlem Park neighborhood put on lockdown for days, and a general veil of secrecy around Suiter’s death made this a messy story and possibly one too big for Davis and his PR-obsessed police department to


keep quiet. Prediction: Davis will be fired soon and how he handled this will be a factor, no doubt.

5. Confederate Monuments Coming Down In what is clearly the most decisive and admirable decision by Mayor Catherine Pugh, the city’s Confederate monuments were swiftly taken down just a few days after the white supremacist terrorist attack in Charlottesville and sent to a yard on Route 40. It placed Baltimore on the vanguard of what to do with these monuments of hate, and it seemed as though for a rare moment this year, Baltimore let out a sigh of relief as these hateful statues got taken away.

6. The LINK In June, LINK, a new bus system—enacted by Governor Larry Hogan and essentially a whole bunch of technocrats who never ride the bus—was forced upon the city under the always-troubling claim of efficiency, which mostly meant removing some routes and reducing others, inconveniencing daily commuters. Not to mention confusion for the drivers who didn’t entirely know the routes, and the shift to color coding even on routes that remained exactly the same. It is months later and like many things here, the city’s resigned to accepting it. Public transportation is one of the keys to a successful and thriving city, and ours still sucks.

7. Te n t C i t y In August, red tents appeared in front City Hall as part of a complex endeavor organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Baltimore Bloc, and others to call attention to people experiencing homelessness and to demand a Racial Equity Benefits Agreement. What made this occupation different was how it was organized: Decisions were made by the people experiencing homelessness. A true inspiration. Ten days in, Mayor Pugh offered key organizers access to shelter


Following the tragic fire at a DIY space in Oakland last December, Baltimore’s Bell Foundry was condemned and its artist-tenants evicted. What followed was a surreal task force set up to help find housing and present recommendations to the mayor and an order to not raid more spaces. By all artists’ accounts, the task force was clueless, the recommendations long-delayed, and what was finally released unsatisfactory and entirely dependent on aboveground venue-building and creating more arts districts. A year later, the resilient-as-hell tenants have kept moving. The Baltimore Rock Opera Society, which was allowed to return to its headquarters at the Bell following eviction, are still fundraising for their own permanent venue and workshop. The task force’s full recommendations dropped last week and have little to do with DIY space safety.

9. City Council vs. Pugh More than half of our City Council are new to the job and they’ve brought with them some sincerity and swagger, and have seemingly found an ally and mentor in Councilman Brandon Scott and perhaps an enemy or at least a foil in Mayor Pugh. The $15 minimum wage was passed by council, but then the mayor—who previously supported it—said “nah” and the council couldn’t override the veto. That said, the council was able to essentially gut the new (and deeply troubling and regressive) mandatory-minimum gun law, so that’s a bit of a win. Perception isn’t everything and so this new blood hasn’t quite lived up to the hype, but knowing there are passionate progressives pushing the mayor a little bit on nearly everything? Well, I’ll take it.

10. Ric Royer Out At Le Mondo This past spring, the internet and the arts scene were brewing with rumors surrounding the abusive behavior of performer and director Ric Royer, then executive director at Le Mondo, a massive, multi-million dollar arts development. Behind the scenes, Le Mondo’s directors and board wrestled with what to do, and many say dragged their feet. Initially, Royer was removed from the Le Mondo board and his executive director role, but kept a position on the development side through Le Mondo’s real estate affiliate company, Howard Street Incubator, LLC. By then, a very public reckoning with abusers in the entertainment industry was rolling out, and soon Royer was booted altogether. It was an open secret aired out finally, and it will have long term effects on the arts scene—especially Le Mondo, which by many accounts massively mishandled it.

DECEMBER 27, 2017

The Realest News Of 2017 By Jess Kanen and Baynard Woods

Michael Mann on The Real News Network talking about climate change Screenshot courtesy the Real News Network

DisruptJ20 protesters kettled Screencap courtesy Democracy In Crisis

The big stories this year aren’t isolated events, earthquakes that shake the world and subside. They are nexuses of events, which should be teased apart by the press—although much of the time the corporate media seems to go out of its way to avoid context and connection, for fear of seeming biased. Instead it reports on each story as an isolated occurrence. Real News covers the faultlines, not just the earthquakes. These are five of the biggest stories we’ve covered this year. The Climate Crisis The biggest story of the year from here on out is likely to be the climate crisis, which has reached a point of existential danger. But most people don’t see it. We elected a climate denier last year because news outlets cover each event—a flood, a hurricane, a fire—as something isolated and discrete, random chance. People have done those calculations and it’s

DECEMBER 27, 2017

not random. “A calculation of the likelihood of three consecutive record-breaking years like we’ve seen now with 2014, 2015, and 2016, in the absence of humancaused climate change, if it were just the random dice of weather and natural climate variability? That sort of event, three consecutive record-breakers should be a one in a million event,” Michael Mann, Director of The Earth Systems Science Center at Penn State University, told the Real News. “And what the warming of the planet has done is taken an event like that, that should be a one in a million event and turned it into a, you know, one in 10 event—the sort of event that we expect to happen over the course of a decade or so.” Mann said that climate change was one of the greatest national security threats we face as a nation— and yet the current administration has pulled us out of the Paris Agreement, all but ensuring that things will get worse.


“The effects of climate change are no longer subtle. You don’t have to tease them out with clever statistical tools,” Mann said. “We can see the impacts of climate change now, playing out on the 24-hour news cycle with our very own eyes.” Men Are Being Held Accountable for their Actions Mainstream media had to give this story a lot of attention—because their own anchors and reporters were getting fired. And even though it shows how grim reality is, half of us already knew that—that we are reckoning with it is almost the only good news of the year. It started on Oct. 5, when the New York Times outed Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein as a sexual predator. A deafening chorus of #MeToos erupted online, and the hashtag went viral. Millions of women came forward with their own stories of sexual harassment and assault. And unlike most hashtags, this one didn’t get chewed up and spit out by the carnivorous news cycle; it became a global rallying cry. The #MeToo hashtag turned into a #MeToo moment, and then a #MeToo movement. The idea that virtually all women have dealt with some form of harassment or assault shouldn’t surprise people, although it did (mostly men). But the hashtag’s visibility made the problem impossible to ignore, even by the corporate media, and the online solidarity empowered women to finally begin calling out the men who hurt them. The craziest part? Men were actually being held accountable. High-profile, powerful men. From Weinstein to Kevin Spacey to Dustin Hoffman to Louis C.K. to Sen. Al Franken—the list really does go on— dozens of influential men in entertainment, media, and politics were suddenly paying a price for their actions. Unfortunately, Donald “Grab ‘em by the Pussy” Trump, who’s been accused of harassing or assaulting more than a dozen women (that we know of), has managed to skirt all accountability, which shows that


Nina Turner on The Real News Network talking about the failure of corporate Democrats


Courtesy The Real News Network

Photo by Baynard Woods

the movement still has its limits. But its impact is undeniable. Time magazine awarded Person of the Year to “the Silence Breakers.” Of course, in a tweet, Trump claimed the magazine told him he would “probably” be given the honor, but he “took a pass” because he didn’t want it. A Time spokesperson quickly clarified that Trump was lying. Silence breakers: 1; Groper-in-chief: 0. Let’s see if women can start racking up some more points against the Lecher of the Free World in 2018. (Jess Kamen) The Failure of the Corporate Democrats Trump’s first year in office is obviously the giant story of 2017. But the same outlets that failed to provide context during the election, which they covered as a horse race, are still playing the same game—the tax cuts for the rich are portrayed as a “victory for Trump” rather than something that will harm millions of people. They may have sent a few reporters out to Appalachia to talk to some angry white Trump voters and doubled their coverage of Russia, but most major outlets are still trying to imagine that mainstream American politics are OK and that Trump is somehow an aberration, rather than a result of the system. The Democratic party is now co-opting #Resistance to mean retweeting neocons who are against Trump. “This was a non-establishment year and the Democrats’ biggest failure, both on the state party level and the national level, is that we refused to hear the cries of the people, the coalition of the forgotten, basically saying, ‘We’re not gonna take this anymore. We mad as hell and we’re not gonna take it anymore. And we’re gonna vote either by not voting, or we’re gonna vote for Mr. Trump,’” Nina Turner told Paul Jay days before the inauguration. And over the course of the year, the party apparatus has continued to attempt to try to smash its insurgent progressive wing. The Criminalization of Dissent BALTIMOREBEAT.COM

On the day of Trump’s inauguration, Washington D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department cordoned off and arrested more than 200 people, 193 of whom will now stand trial. They are all being charged under the federal Riot Act based on the fact that they were wearing black clothes. A few windows were broken as a “black bloc” moved through the city—but to charge hundreds of people with any crime committed at a protest they attend can only be intended to keep people from attending protests. The case involves thousands of GBs of evidence— data taken from defendants’ cell phones, surveillance cameras, livestream footage, bodycams, and even video taken by sleazeball video editor James O’Keefe. Two of the people being prosecuted in this case are journalists, but at the same time that corporate media complains every time Jim Acosta doesn’t get called on at a White House press briefing, they largely ignore the plight of Aaron Cantú and Alexei Wood. To be clear, everyone, and not just journalists, should be protected by the First Amendment, but it is especially egregious when the TV stars posing as reporters can’t even mention that members of their own profession face decades in prison. But this case is only part of the larger move to criminalize protest at state houses and police departments around the nation. The Mainstreaming of Hate When President Trump failed to condemn the terrorist Nazis who killed Heather Heyer and injured numerous others in Charlottesville, many people in the ruling class were shocked, shocked! And it was shocking—but it was also obvious. In the months between Charlottesville and the election, we saw numerous profiles pointing out how dapper uber-alt-right idiot Richard Spencer is. The altlite internet personalities who aren’t so openly racist scrambled to distance themselves from the overtly


fascist Spencer and his ilk—while still acting like everyday racists. Even Steve Bannon sought a little distance from the confederate cosplayers at Charlottesville. But when Buzzfeed printed the emails of former Breitbart provocateur and everyone saw how deeply enmeshed sites like Breitbart were with full-on Nazis, they started to recoil. Robert Mercer, the billionaire partly behind Trump’s ascent, sold his stake in Breitbart to his daughters. The way that Breitbart and alt-lite celebrities make their extreme compatriots more mainstream is called bridging, and it allowed Breitbart to legitimate ideas of farther-right sites like the Daily Stormer without being tarred by them—which is a perfect description of the role the president has played for the far right. This plays out in everything from judicial appointments to campaign endorsements. And it’s inspiring a new generation of far-right racists around the world. If the right sees itself as a global force, we need to look at it that way as well. The Transfer of Wealth The last decades have seen an unprecedented transfer of wealth from everyone else to the rich. A few years ago, Occupy Wall Street briefly focused the attention of corporate media on this transfer with relentless activism against it, but then, because they are so entrenched in the theft itself, the mainstream press abandoned the story (Matt Lauer made $20 million?). The only good thing about Trump and the new tax plan is that it may force people to focus on this great siphoning of money from all of us to the rich. From net neutrality to tax cuts, Trump and the current crop of Republicans are all about making the rich richer. Even war, which the Trump regime seems desperate to get into, especially with Iran, is ultimately about the money. Visit for independent local, national, and international journalism that examines the underlying causes of chronic problems and searches for effective solutions. DECEMBER 27, 2017

Ten of Trump’s Insane Tweets I won’t say top ten because they all suck By Baynard Woods I got drunk last weekend and read all 2,735 tweets that Donald Trump has written since the election in the hopes that Trump’s Twitter feed, collected and searchable on, might be a good way to get a sense of the horrors we’ve endured. Looking at the tweets was like reliving all of the unbelievable moments of this last year in fast motion. But it’s important not to forget that we used to not have to deal with the dread of waking up each morning to realize that Donald Trump is president and scramble madly for Twitter to make sure we’re not at war. A year ago, all of this was new to us. So here are ten of Trump’s tweets, in chronological order, that capture something about the authoritarian nature of this presidency or the insanity of our social media moment. I left off some obvious favorites (covfefe!) and tended to favor some earlier ones that prefigured later themes. 1. Nov 10, 2016 09:19:44 PM: Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair. Even though it was from the interregnum, this tweet is in many ways the Ur-tweet of the Trump presidency. It is only Trump’s fourth post-election tweet, but it captures the spirit of his feed. Validate Trump+attack enemies+attack media=complain about affront to Trump. 2. Nov 19, 2016 08:56:30 AM: The Theater must always be a safe and special place.The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize! This tweet is about the VP-elect’s

DECEMBER 27, 2017

attendance of the hit play “Hamilton,” whose cast ended the performance with a short speech, expressing the concern we all felt in those uncertain days while hoping “this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.” But Trump took the opportunity to remind us of the depths of his cynicism when he demanded a safe space for powerful white men. Brandon Victor Dixon, who gave the speech, is Black, and Trump has made a habit of demanding apologies from Black people. This tweet barely made the list, just edging out Trump’s claim, also in November, that “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!” because both turn out to introduce autocratic themes we’ve seen develop over the year. 3. Feb 2, 2017 06:13:13 AM: If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - NO FEDERAL FUNDS? Here the President threatens the funds of a major university in order to support Milo Yiannopoulos, the rightwing troll who had white supremacists line-edit his ghostwritten Breitbart stories, when his speech at Berkeley was being protested. Milo worked for Steve Bannon, who worked for Trump. 4. Feb 17, 2017 04:32:29 PM: The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @ CNN, @NBCNews and many more) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people. SICK! This is at the top of the list of author-


itarian tweets. It’s got it all. 5. Apr 11, 2017 07:03:43 AM: North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A. Foreign policy by tweet. This led to all of the little Rocketman stuff that almost started a nuclear war and ruined a perfectly good Elton John song. 6. Apr 23, 2017 10:44:59 AM: Eventually, but at a later date so we can get started early, Mexico will be paying, in some form, for the badly needed border wall. Walking back an impossible promise while making it look like you’re delivering. This is exactly how Trump ran (runs?) his businesses. 7. June 16, 2017 08:07:55 AM: I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt This reminds me of a line from an Oedipus play. Read it again with that in mind. Tragic. 8. Sep 30, 2017 06:26:16 AM: ...Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They…… Sep 30, 2017 06:29:47 AM: want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job. OK, this is two. But he’s attacking the mayor of a devastated city and using racist stereotypes all in one (he practiced for this after the London terrorist attack.) 9. Nov 29, 2017 07:16:21 AM: Wow, Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.” But when will the top exec-

utives at NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out so much Fake News. Check out Andy Lack’s past! The complete cynicism of the entire administration becomes painfully clear here. Remember how tough Lauer was on Clinton as he bro-ed it up with Trump? The 16 allegations of sexual harassment against Trump? Yeah. He still went there. 10. Dec 2, 2017 12:14:13 PM: I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!* This one has an asterisk beside it because when it seemed like it could be an admission that Trump obstructed justice in the investigation of Flynn, Trump’s creepy lawyer John Dowd claimed that he actually wrote the tweet. Bonus Retweet This is a retweet, but it’s Trump retweeting Laura Ingraham responding to a story I wrote arguing that Charles Manson was alt-right, so I couldn’t not include it. The New York Times opinion page tweeted: Nov 20, 2017 9:38 PM: Charles Manson wasn’t the inevitable outgrowth of the Sixties. If anything, he was a harbinger of today’s far right. Ingraham quoted that and wrote: Nov 21, 2017 8:37 PM “Far right”? You mean “right so far,” as in @realDonaldTrump has been right so far abt how to kick the economy into high gear. And Trump retweeted it, somehow both proving my point and completing the circle of my year.





















































































































































































































The Beat’s Top 10 Art Shows of 2017 1. Removal of Confederate monuments and ‘Madre Luz’

7. Lu Zhang and William Lamson, “Retreat”

at Wyman Park

at Area 405

At the end of a rally in solidarity with Charlottesville, Baltimore activists placed the ‘Madre Luz’ statue of a pregnant black woman with her fist up, created by artist Pablo Machioli, next to the Lee-Jackson Confederate monument by the Wyman Park Dell, where she remained for several days, despite being knocked over several times. After the city removed its Confederate monuments late one August night, Madre Luz was placed, if for only a little while, on top of the vacant marble platform by the Dell. Tear down all white supremacist monuments; this is the kind of socially engaged, public art we need to see in their place. (Rebekah Kirkman)

When galleries and museums are rightfully saturated with art that addresses the injustices that make our shit times feel the way they do, an exhibition that poses itself as a kind of escape could come across as irresponsible. Instead, “Retreat” felt needed. Here we found respite in Baltimore-based Lu Zhang’s in-flux installation intuitively pieced together along a series of three-dimensional grids alongside New York-based William Lamson’s trance-inducing video filmed through a kaleidoscopic optical device made from one-way mirrors that floated along NYC’s waterways. The key here was that the artists didn’t try to get us out of our heads; they merely guided us away from the noise and into some clarity. (MC)

2. Njideka Akunyili Crosby, “Counterparts”

8. Beki Basch, “Vision Quest Lundi: Flush/Flood”

at the Baltimore Museum of Art

Half of the work in the Nigerian-born, LA-based artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby’s show acts as a mirror to the other half: Three large, mixed-media paintings featuring domestic scenes and still life connect to the artist’s home in Nigeria through distinctive objects—such as portrait fabric featuring the artist’s politician mother, tea kettles, fashion magazines, remnants of English colonization— versus three distinctly American scenes and items connoting the artist’s life in America (a Colin Kaepernick bobblehead, Black Lives Matter protest photos, blatantly racist kitsch). Compartmentalizing these worlds in her skillful compositions, Akunyili Crosby opens them up and presents another way of understanding what it means to be a product of one’s environment. (RK)

3. Malcolm Peacock, “The Opening of the Museum of Trayvon Martin: A Meeting before Labor” a t Te r ra u l t Co n t e m p o ra r y

Empathy is a driving force in Malcolm Peacock’s art practice. For this event, the artist coaxed attendees into this mindset before we even showed up to the gallery: If you’re not a black person, you were instructed to ask a black person if you could accompany them to the event. The gallery’s stark scene, a bright white space meant to look like a 7-Eleven, as well as another component of the work which took place in an apartment about a mile north, were full of props, videos, stories, and anecdotes that tried to defy death, illuminating moments from Trayvon Martin’s actual life, and imagining his future—which George Zimmerman took away. (RK)

4. LabBodies’ “BBB Performance Art Review III: Freedom” at SpaceCamp

“Freedom” is an apt curatorial theme for a performance art showcase any time: Both freedom and performance art itself are ephemeral and, more often than not, they implicate the body. But for these artists—mostly women of color—the slipperiness of freedom nearly year into the Trump regime made for an especially potent point to pass through and break down. At performance art incubator LabBodies’ third annual “Borders, Boundaries, and Barricades (BBB)” exhibition (the first of which took place in 2015 in response to the uprising), we saw the effects and survival of oppression distilled into commanding images of endurance, repetition, and gesture. (Maura Callahan)

DECEMBER 27, 2017

at Current Space

‘Madre Luz’ placed in front of the Lee-Jackson Memorial Photo by Tedd Henn

Basch’s “Vision Quest Lundi” series uses the monomyth to explore such slippery vectors of institutional power as history, religion, and education to make genuinely odd combos of performance and installation. “Flush/Flood” felt like an unnatural history museum gift shop, filled with a toy race-car track, burlap canvases with imagery from some nonspecific indigenous culture, drums, and a large black sculpture that was a little bit Formula One race car and a little bit sky burial platform with a thoughtful water fountain addition. There’s a hero’s journey inscrutably packed somewhere into all this, and the attempt to unpack it prompts you to question how you know what you think you know. (Bret McCabe)

5. Mickalene Thomas, “Muse and tête-à-tête”

9. “Out/Side & In/Between”

at Maryland Institute College of Art

This show, comprised of eight artists who are all firstor second-generation immigrants to the United States or Canada, explored language and storytelling, the implications of borders and boundaries, and being marginalized in your own home. Puerto Rican artist Eric Rivera Barbeito drove that last point home: The show went up right before Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, and was on view amidst the U.S. government’s failure to sufficiently help its own territory. As I wrote for City Paper in a review: “The way the current administration stokes racism, fear, and hatred can make one wonder just what a ‘nationality’ is for, or what ‘citizen’ is supposed to mean”—“Out/Side & In/Between” provoked these questions and more. (RK)

Throughout Western art history, women—moreover, women of color—have received the consolation prize of being “celebrated” (i.e. eroticized, exoticized) as the (white, male) artist’s muse, and less often championed as artists themselves. As the artist behind “Muse” and curator of the group photography exhibition “tête-à-tête,” Mickalene Thomas flipped that narrative on its head, framing black women as both the means and the ends of art with her own exquisite, Great-Master-riffing, blaxploitation-tinged portrait photography alongside a show of photographers who inspire her, like Carrie Mae Weems, LaToya Ruby Frazier, and Lorna Simpson. And it was cool to see a corner of Thomas’ photography studio, resplendent with the vintage textiles that fill much of Thomas’ painting and photo work, lifted up and dropped into MICA’s white wall gallery. (MC)

at School 33 Art Center

10. Wickerham & Lomax, “DUOX4Odell’s You’ll Know If You Belong”

6. Shannon Wallace, “Ain’t I A Woman”

at Light City Baltimore Neighborhood Lights: Station North

at Platform Gallery

Baltimore’s most fearless ethnographers of underground culture dared to ask, What happens when a nightlife hotspot is erased but not the people who sustained it? Wickerham & Lomax filled the former Everyman Theatre black-box space with short films, digital and 3D installations, and the irreverent memories of queer dance-club euphoria from clubgoers of Odell’s, black Baltimore’s Studio 54 on North Avenue that lasted from 1976 to 1992. Less nostalgic time capsule than makerspace of a future that wasn’t allowed to be, “DUOX4Odell’s” showed that gentrification doesn’t merely displace people; it destroys the possibilities those communities had yet to imagine. (BM)

Baltimore photographer/writer Wallace’s solo show gathered candid photos of African-American women young and old caught in the defiant act of being themselves: a young girl resting her head on her hand while writing, two gleefully casual young women chilling outside. Her imagery combines a photojournalist’s eye for compositional drama and a portraitist’s gift for recognizing the epic of the face. Where #BlackGirlMagic is the social media hashtag amplifying black women’s accomplishments, Wallace’s imagery is a reminder that everyday joy in 21st century America is a testament to black women’s power. (Bret McCabe)



The Beat’s Top 10 Plays of 2017 1. “Fucking A,” Iron Crow Theatre

All our critics agreed that the best fucking play of 2017 was “Fucking A,” which by no coincidence was also the fucking darkest and therefore the most fucking relevant. In Iron Crow’s production of Suzan-Lori Parks’ take on “The Scarlet Letter,” Jessica Bennett killed it as the shamed heroine Hester—not a capital-A Adulterer like her literary model, but a capital-A Abortionist trying to get by and free her incarcerated son in some dustland America, where the gulf between the powerful and the powerless is even wider than in Trump’s Amerikkka. This world was strange enough to shake us, but familiar enough to resemble both where we’ve been and where we seem dead set on going. (Maura Callahan)

2. “The Last Five Years,” Stillpointe Theatre

Musicals aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but you can’t argue with the beautiful storytelling on display in “The Last Five Years” by Jason Robert Brown. What could be a simple tale of two artists finding (and losing) one another was made gut-wrenching by the acting chops of Danny Bertaux and Jessica Bennett (again in a winning role). The play’s ghostly structure, with the characters passing in and out of each other’s timelines, added to the melancholy atmosphere, as did the innovative staging in Stillpointe’s narrow bowling alley of a space. With lyrics like “I will not fail so you can be comfortable,” “Five Years” cut deep. (The Bad Oracle aka Annie Montone)

3. “Sally McCoy,” Cohesion Theatre Company

Local playwright and Cohesion co-founder Alice Stanley’s new drama is an old-fashioned gabfest that feels as vital as social media activism. “Sally McCoy” imagines a single night in the life of the very real titular woman (an exquisite Katharine Vary), the wife to one-half of the manly American men responsible for the bloody Hatfield-McCoy feud. She spends this entire play arguing with a series of Hatfields to spare three of her sons, who they plan to murder in retaliation for killing one their own. “McCoy’s” devastating oomph slowly builds as she adamantly refuses to stand by in silence while men decide the fate of her children. (Bret McCabe)

4. “Promenade: Baltimore,” Single Carrot Theatre

Part podcast, part tourism, part happening, “Promenade: Baltimore,” was a sweeping theatrical event made of small parts, each seen from a bus that meandered through the city in clever ways, crossing socioeconomic boundaries that separate neighborhoods such Sandtown-Winchester from Bolton Hill, or Remington present from Remington past. An audio story (collected from interviews done by SC artistic director Genevieve de Mahy with Baltimoreans) deftly weaved together little moments of city life into a sum greater than the “quirky Baltimore” trope. Together with the scenes viewed out the bus window, sound and image create a film-like experience—a guided audiovisual meditation on Baltimore itself. (Brandon Block)

5. “That Face,” Baltimore Center Stage

Baltimore’s biggest professional theater inaugurated its DIY-sized third space with Polly Stenham’s feral descent into class strife and desperate family dysfunction. Mia


“Fucking A” Photo by Rob Clatterbuck / Courtesy Iron Crow Theatre

(Emily Juliette Murphy) and her friend Izzy (Sarah Nicole Deaver) get expelled from their posh boarding school after a hazing prank goes too far, and they retreat to Mia’s cramped home where her brother Henry (Josh Tobin) has become uncomfortably close with their alcoholic mother (Leenya Rideout). This is kitchen-sink British realism that opens in cruel Harold Pinter territory and then proceeds to get truly unpleasant. (BM)

6. “Voices in the Rubble”/“Endgame,” Rapid Lemon Productions at Motor House

The reality of 2017 was absurd enough for most of us, so Rapid Lemon’s trip down the rabbit hole of theatrical genres with their spring pairing of Darren Donohue’s “Voices in the Rubble” and Samuel Beckett’s classic “Endgame,” felt startlingly familiar. Rapid Lemon may be small, but their production of these two hard-to-pull-off pieces had surprising bite. From Donohue’s housewife of horrors to Beckett’s apocalyptic whistling in the dark, director Lance Bankerd nailed the style, giving audiences an intense peek into some weird, hilarious landscapes. “Stranger Things” has nothing on these upside-downs. (TBO)

7. “H.T. Darling’s Incredible Musaeum Presents: The Treasures of New Galapagos, Astonishing Acquisitions from the Perisphere,”

8. “Yellowman,” Arena Players

In Arena Player’s 64th season, Dael Orlandersmith’s monologue-driven exploration of colorism drew force from its two sole actors Rosey Young and George Oliver Buntin, who not only played the protagonists—two old friends divided by their skin tone and resentful parents—from childhood into adulthood, but also their families and friends along the way. Director Rosiland Cauthen gave Young and Buntin the space necessary to stretch the nuance of their roles and pull apart the ways in which nurture can wedge itself into a relationship, all while allowing Orlandersmith’s lush prose to illuminate the scope of experiences in South Carolina Gullah society. (MC)

9. “Los Otros,” Ever y man Theatre

Philip Hernández and Judy McLane anchored this chamber piece that musically and narratively coils two life stories into an unlikely duet. McLane’s Lillian is a Southern California girl grown into a divorced mother who initially harbors casually racist ideas about Mexicans. Hernández’ Carlos is a migrant worker who becomes a “gay septuagenarian Latino accountant” who remembers what such bigotry feels like. “Los Otros” recounts their stories in parallel, and it’s only toward the end that their songs reveal how, in 20th-century America, such different “others” could be on a lifelong collision course. Exploring identity politics rarely finds such a touching minor key. (BM)

10. “The Goodies,”

Submersive Productions at the Peale Center

Iron Crow Theatre at Baltimore Theatre Project

If you missed “H.T. Darling” you probably suffered major FOMO, because it was the show that everyone was talking about all season long. Submersive Productions (the folks behind 2015’s “The Mesmeric Revelations! of Edgar Allan Poe”), along with the astonishingly accommodating former Peale Museum, presented one of the wildest, most immersive pieces of theater Baltimore has ever seen. A Victorian cabinet of curiosities combined with an epic sci-fi odyssey, “H.T. Darling” managed to fully dazzle the senses and slip in some sneaky critiques of cultural appropriation along the way. I’ll never look at a museum the same again— and I think that’s a good thing. (TBO)

Iron Crow’s first fully-devised piece transported the Salem Witch Trials to a modern-day high school, where racism runs rampant to the point that its female students of color become physically debilitated by its toxicity. The “witch hunt” here was not the girls’ efforts to squash the palpable harm thrown their way, but the school’s appearances-only attempt to clean up the problem at its surface—and the demonization of the girls for speaking up and merely existing. An original production this precarious was not without flaws, but the all-womenof-color cast (each member performed in multiple roles and contributed to the play’s development) brought raw clarity to the often abstruse sensation of being repeatedly invalidated and dehumanized while still young. (MC)


DECEMBER 27, 2017

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Venues An Die Musik, 409 N. Charles St., (410) 385-2638, Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW, Washington, D.C., (202) 888-0020, Baltimore Soundstage, 124 Market Place, (410) 244-0057, Bertha’s, 734 S. Broadway, (410) 3275795, The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, VA, (703) 549-7500, The Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C., (202) 667-4490, Cat’s Eye Pub, 1730 Thames St., (410) 276-9866, Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651, The Crown, 1910 N. Charles St., (410) 625-4848, TheCrownBaltimore The 8x10, 10 E. Cross St., (410) 625-2000, E.M.P. Collective, 307 W. Baltimore St., (410) 244-0785, Echostage, 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE, Washington, D.C., (202) 503-2330, The Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Road, (301) 960-9999, Germano’s Piattini, 300 S. High St., (410) 752-4515, Joe Squared, 33 W. North Ave., (410) 545-0444, Lyric Opera House, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave., (410) 685-5086, Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia, (410) 7155550, Metro Gallery, 1700 N. Charles St., (410) 244-0899, Motor House, 120 W. North Ave., (410) 637-8300, 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW, Washington, D.C., (202) 265-0930, The Ottobar, 2549 N. Howard St., (410) 662-0069, Pier Six Pavillion, 731 Eastern Ave., (410) 547-7200, pier-six-pavilion Rams Head Live, 20 Market Place, (410) 244-1131, Rams Head On Stage, 33 West St., Annapolis, (410) 268-4545, Red Room, 425 E. 31st St., Reverb, 2112 N. Charles St., (443) 4474325, Royal Farms Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St., (410) 347-2020, The Sidebar, 218 E. Lexington St., (410) 659-4130, Tin Roof, 32 Market Place, (443) 8738137, U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW, Washington, D.C., (202) 588-1889, The Windup Space, 12 W. North Ave., (410) 244-8855,


MUSIC W e d . 2 7

The Birchmere. Charles Esten, Jones Point. Cat’s Eye Pub. Dog Among The Bushes. The Crown. Cascading Elephants, Andy Livingston, Melanin Free, Clean Breast, Seesaw Offenders; Crown Conversation: Baltimore Hip Hop. The 8x10. Baltimore School Of Rock Alumni Show. Joe Squared. Doc Pine & The Respect He Deserves, Matt Pless, Quinton Randall. The Ottobar. Karaoke Night. Rams Head Live. Thursday, Pianos Become The Teeth, Pup. Rams Head On Stage. Stephen Kellogg, Chris Koza. The Sidebar. DJ Pancakes’ Back II Life. Tin Roof. Chris Diller. The Windup Space. John Dierker & Will Redman and friends Holiday Train Wreck.

T h u . 2 8

An Die Musik. Aidan Lombard & Friends. Baltimore Soundstage. The John Kadlecik Band. Bertha’s. Jeff Reed Trio. The Birchmere. Piff The Magic Dragon. Cat’s Eye Pub. Wayne Dean & The Bailouts. Creative Alliance. The Stray Birds, the Bumper Jacksons Duo. The Crown. Persephone, John Hoegberg, Gurl Crush, Dwellingville. Echostage. Zedd. The 8x10. 3 Fifths. The Fillmore Silver Spring. The Roots, Junkyard Band. Joe Squared. Del Florida, Maybe Nots, Sonic Spell. Motor House. Turntabliss Thursdays with DJ Sean J. 9:30 Club. Flosstradamus, Phantoms (DJ Set). The Ottobar. “Hedwig And The Angry Inch”; DJ Diamond Dustin. Rams Head On Stage. The Morrison Brothers Band, Jackson Dean. Tin Roof. As If - A ‘90s Tribute. U Street Music Hall. Angerfist, Kardiak, 2rip, GXNNXR, Treachery.

F r i . 2 9

An Die Musik. Ulysses Owens Jr. THREE featuring Joel Ross and Phil Norris. Anthem. SOJA, Twiddle, Footwerk. Baltimore Soundstage. Airbud, No Capes, Paradise Creek, The Hollow Party. Bertha’s. The Juke Drivers. The Birchmere. Pieces Of A Dream. Cat’s Eye Pub. Girl Band; Dirty Deal Band with Billy Myers. Creative Alliance. Charlie Hunter Trio. The Crown. Human Host, R’n’R Unlimited, Ruckzuck; Goodbye 2017 Dance Party.

The 8x10. James Brown Dance Party with The Funkiest All-Star Tribute In Show Business, The Fritz. Germano’s Piattini. The Hot Club of Baltimore. Metro Gallery. Eze Jackson’s Dirty Christmas 3 with Bobbi Rush, Josh Stokes, DJ Excel, Love The Poet. 9:30 Club. Can’t Feel My Face: 2010s Dance Party with DJs Will Eastman & Ozker. The Ottobar. Karaoke Happy Hour with DJ Penfold; Electric Cafe Dance Party. Rams Head Live. Lotus. Rams Head On Stage. The Every Woman Comedy Tour. The Sidebar. See Sick, Hangers, Faking, Skush, Tombtoker. Tin Roof. Seventy Six and Sunny. U Street Music Hall. Ase Manual, DJ Underdog, Native Sun, Mane Squeeze. The Windup Space. Anti-Prom for AntiRacism.

S a t . 3 0

An Die Musik. Charmaine Michelle Quintet. Baltimore Soundstage. Say Goodnight Seventeen with Outlet, Sunshine Hysteria, Kotic Couture, Brothers Clair, Entropy Meets Obsession, The Hollow Truths, Uphold Acoustic, Sweet Peach, Rickshaw Lizard, Tore Black, Early Dismissal. The Birchmere. Hank Williams Tribute featuring Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, Robbie Fulks, Robin & Linda Williams, Patrick McAvinue, Mark Schatz. The Black Cat. The Obsessed, Rezin, The Messthetics. Cat’s Eye Pub. Community Groove; The Teletones. The Crown. Night Gruuvs; The Rain: Women of Hip Hop Dance Party. Echostage. Armin van Buuren. The 8x10. A Tribute to Tom Petty. The Fillmore Silver Spring. The White Panda, Cade, Brandyn Burnette. Germano’s Piattini. Dauda x Mike Gary II. 9:30 Club. Spoon, White Reaper. The Ottobar. Afton presents At This Point, Derty, Elder Children, Water Taxi, Tim Neil, Madison Rising, The Blue Moons. Rams Head On Stage. Seldom Scene. Reverb. One More Thing, The Harbor Boys, Alonzo and the Experience. Tin Roof. Nowhere Slow. U Street Music Hall. Deep Sugar DC with Ultra Naté, Lisa Moody, Vanniety Kills. The Windup Space. Pre-NYE Party with Teddy Douglas and DJ Pope.

S u n . 3 1

An Die Musik. Dariusz Skoraczewski Complete Bach Cello Suites. Anthem. Thievery Corporation, Gogol


Bordello, Trouble Funk. Baltimore Soundstage. The Marcus King Band, People’s Blues of Richmond. The Birchmere. The Seldom Scene, The Eastman String Band, The Plate Scrapers. Cat’s Eye Pub. Steve Kremer & The Bluesicians; Katie Bowers Band. Creative Alliance. Motown New Years Eve 1968. The Crown. Caption This! New Year’s Eve with Bbymutha, Trillnatured, Kotic Couture, DJ Pancakes, RoVo Monty, Isabejja. Echostage. Eric Prydz, Cristoph. The 8x10. New Year’s Eve Celebration with Better Off Dead, Dirty Grass Players. The Fillmore Silver Spring. Backyard Band. Germano’s Piattini. Charmaine Michelle Quintet. Metro Gallery. New Year’s Eve with Black Rose (Thin Lizzy Tribute), Black Lung, Murder, Alms, Psycho Therapy DJs. 9:30 Club. Spoon, White Reaper. The Ottobar. Baltimore Rock Opera Society: Sinners and Saints New Year’s Eve with Bosley, Joseph & the Beasts, Cora Sone. Rams Head Live. Turkuaz, Pimps Of Joytime. Rams Head On Stage. NRBQ. Reverb. The Methmatics, Build The Wall. The Sidebar. Ripping Headaches Presents: Noisem, Chepang, Blame God, Nightfear, Bandit, DJ Sad Mountain. Tin Roof. Seventy Six and Sunny. U Street Music Hall. Nadastrom, SamiSuYung, Ken Lazee, Ayes Cold, David Hamilton. The Windup Space. Interstella Live! Live! Live New Year’s Eve.

M o n . 1

Cat’s Eye Pub. Phil Cunneff New Trio. Echostage. Flux Pavilion, Joyryde, Black Tiger Sex Machine, JayKode, Mark The Beast. The 8x10. New Year’s Eve Sunrise Show with Squaring the Circle. The Fillmore Silver Spring. Wale & Friends 7th Annual New Year’s Day Show.

T u e . 2

Cat’s Eye Pub. Timmy Shelley Band. Tin Roof. The Harikaraoke Band Gong Show.

W e d . 3

Bertha’s. Big Bertha’s Rhythm Kings. Cat’s Eye Pub. Automatic Slim & His Sensational Band. The Sidebar. The Neckbeards, Have a Good Season, The Flat Stanleys, Triple Backflip Committee. The Windup Space. Baltimore Boom Bap Society.

DE C E M B ER 2 7 , 2 0 1 7



American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway. (410) 244-1900, “The Great Mystery Show,” A group exhibition of self-taught artists exploring the unknown and human imagination. Through Sept. 2. “Reverend Albert Lee Wagner: Miracle At Midnight,” Art by the late visionary artist who experienced a spiritual epiphany at age 50. Ongoing. Area 405, 405 E. Oliver St., “Retreat,” In a dual exhibition, Baltimore-based artist Lu Zhang presents an in-flux, experimental installation ‘Headspace’ alongside New York-based artist William Lamson’s video installation ‘Untitled’ (Infinity Camera).’ Through Jan. 13. Baltimore City Hall, 100 Holliday St., (410) 396-3100, “WOKE,” Recent abstract paintings by Alma Roberts. Through Jan. 15. Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, (443) 573-1700, “Njideka Akunyili Crosby: Counterparts,” A suite of new paintings by 2017 MacArthur fellow Njideka Akunyili Crosby drawing from her experience as a Nigerian immigrant. Through March 18. “Phaan Howng: The Succession of Nature,” in collaboration with Blue Water Baltimore, local artist Phaan Howng highlights local environmental issues through a toxic-toned immersive installation. Through Aug. 31. “Spiral Play: Loving in the ‘80s,” Three dimensional collages in intense colors and spiral shapes by the late AfricanAmerican abstract expressionist Al Loving. Through April 15. “Annet Couwenberg: From Digital to Damask,” Marylandbased artist Annet Couwenberg investigates the intersections of science, art, history, and technology through 11 textile works. Through Feb. 18. “Tomás Saraceno: Entangled Orbits,” Web-like clusters of iridescent-paneled modules are suspended in the museum’s East Lobby. Through June 10. “Black Box: Kara Walker & Hank Willis Thomas,” ‘Salvation’ by Kara Walker and ‘And I Can’t Run’ by Hank Willis Thomas are paired as explorations of the legacy of slavery. Through March 18. “Crossing Borders: Mexican Modernist Prints,” 30 prints and drawings by artists including Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Elizabeth Catlett. Through March 11. “Beyond Flight: Birds in African Art,” Approximately 20 works demonstrate the symbolic roles birds serve within African cultures. Through June 10. Cardinal, 1758 Park Ave., “The Post Contemporary Record Store,” Works by Seth Scriver, Neil Feather, Margaret Noble, Rutherford Chang, the Vinyl Vagabonds, and Vaunita Goodman examine the relationship between visual art and vinyl music culture. Artist talks and performances Jan. 19; on view through Jan. 27. C. Grimaldis Gallery, 523 N. Charles St., (410)539-1080, “Tara Sellios: Sinuous,” Photographs and watercolor and ink drawings from Boston-based artist Tara Sellios. Through Dec. 23. “Ben Marcin: Structures,” New photographs from the self-taught Baltimore photographer’s ongoing series of abstract grids. Through Jan. 12. Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651, “James Hennessey: Enduring Concerns,” A career-spanning retrospective showcases large work produced by the former longtime MICA professor over the course of more than 50 years. Through Jan. 13. “Joshua Highter: Intimately Unfamiliar,” Process-driven, abstract paintings by the Maryland-based artist. Through Dec. 30. Goya Contemporary, 3000 Chestnut Ave., Mill Centre #214, (410) 366-2001, “Wilhelm Mundt: Trashstones,” Prints and sculptures from the “Trashstone” series by German artist Wilhelm Mundt. Through Jan. 3. “Josef Albers: Variants,” Work by the influential artist-education and Bauhaus member, best known for his experimentations in color. Through Jan. 3. Guest Spot At The Reinstitute, 1715 N. Calvert St., (718) 541-9672, “Not on View: Re/Activating the Archive and its A/Effects,” Work from Conrad Bakker, Eric Doeringer, Noah Fischer, Kang Seung Lee, Antoine Lefebvre, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and Paul Soulellis; with selected ephemera, texts, and archival materials from John Cage, Juan Caloca, Sylvia Federici, Coco Fusco, the Guerrilla Girls, Martin Herbert, David Horvitz, the Journal of Aesthetics & Protest, Miranda July, Sister Corita Kent, Zoe Leonard, Mess Hall, Occupy Museums, John O’Connor, Press Press, Public Collectors, The Reinstitute Press, Gregory Sholette, Temporary Services, W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy), Kara Walker, and Caroline Woolard. Through Jan. 6. Maryland Historical Society, 201 W. Monument St., (410) 685-3750, “Unscripted Moments: The Life & Photography of Joseph Kohl,” Photographs from c.1980 through 2002 by the late Baltimore photojournalist Joseph Kohl. Ongoing. Metro Gallery, 1700 N. Charles St., (410) 244-0899, “Complicated World Views,” Works by Ryan Travis Christian, Lauren Genovese, Kat Kennedy, Matt Leines, and Anna Silina. Through Dec. 31. Motor House, 120 W. North Ave., (410) 637-8300, “Censored,” Art by Baltimore-based artists Paul Rucker and Stephen Towns, both of whom have previously had work closed to the public or removed in response to complaints or fears of protest. Also on view are images of performances by local performance artist Lynn Hunter and photographs of Baltimore’s Confederate and Columbus monuments before and after removal. Through Dec. 31. Project 1628, 1628 Bolton St., contact to view. “Katie Pumphrey: Rearranging Rooms,” Through large-scale paintings and installation, local artist Katie Pumphrey explores the tension between movement and stillness. Artist talk and closing reception Jan. 4, 6-8 p.m. Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, 830 E. Pratt St., (443) 263-1800, “Maryland Collects: Jacob Lawrence,” Over 50 prints by Jacob Lawrence from personal collections in and around Maryland. Through Jan. 7. School 33 Art Center, 1427 Light St., (410) 396-4641, “Slow Form,” A juried exhibition featuring the work of Mary Baum, Mollye Bendell, Kei Ito, Elizabeth Mead, Lake Newton, Nick Primo, Margaret Rorison, Matthew Sepielli, and Doohyun Yoon. Through Jan. 6. “Decompositions,” A solo exhibition by Chris Zickefoose employing common construction materials and negative space. Through Jan. 6. “Lost Earring,” A multi-media installation by Elliot Doughtie considers the shift of cultural touchstones and the evolution of the artist’s own queer sexuality and transgender body. Through Jan. 6. St. Charles Projects, 2701 N. Charles St., “Pre-Verse,” Paintings by June Culp, Joshua Bienko, and Delphine Hennelly in conversation with Grace Hartigan. Through mid-January. The Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St., (410)547-9000, “Fabergé and the Russian Crafts Tradition: An Empire’s Legacy,” 70 works including the Walters’ two famed Fabergé Easter eggs alongside gold and silver vessels, enamels, jewelry, carved stones, and icons from Russia. Through June 24. “After Fabergé,” Five digital prints of surreal, digitally-rendered Fabergé eggs by artist Jonathan Monaghan complement the exhibition “Fabergé and the Russian Crafts Tradition.” Through June 24. Y:ART, 3402 Gough St., (443) 928-2272, “The Miniature Holiday Exhibition,” Small artworks that serve well as gifts by Craig Haupt, Diana Sanlorenzo Campbell, Edmond Praybe, Justin Wiest, Ken Karlic, Lois Borgenicht, Mary Bickford, Nieves Saah, Ricardo Hoegg, Roland Phillips, Sally Hopkins, and Susan McCurdy Yonkers. Through Jan. 13.

Club 1727: An Open Musical-Improv Jam. Learn musical improv games and song formats. No experience necessary. Dec. 27, 7 p.m., The BIG Theater, 1727 N. Charles St., (888) 745-8393,, free. Everything Will Be Okay (A stand-up comedy show) [#37]. Chris Hudson hosts a special holiday edition of Everything Will Be Okay featuring stand-up from Jordan Levine, Nik Oldershaw, Collin Baker, Camirin Farmer, Lexie Mountain, Dark Mark, and Chelsea Shorte. Dec. 28, 8 p.m., 1910 N. Charles St., (410) 625-4848,, $5. “First Date.” A blind date newbie and a serial dater get set up on a date that turns out to be much more than they bargained for. Through Jan. 21, Spotlighters Theatre, 817 St. Paul St., (410) 7521225,, $10-$22. “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” StillPointe Theatre brings the cult rock musical about an East German rock ‘n roll queen to The Ottobar. Dec. 28, 9 p.m., The Ottobar, 2549 N. Howard St., (410) 662-0069,, $25-$40. Impropourri. The Baltimore Improv Group (BIG) hosts a weekly bring-your-own-troupe improv and sketch showcase. Dec. 28, 7:30 p.m., The BIG Theater, 1727 N. Charles St., (888) 745-8393, John Oliver. The host of “Last Week Tonight” performs standup. Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, 7 and 9:30 p.m. each night, Hippodrome Theater, 12 N. Eutaw St., (410) 837-7400,, $91-$117. “Lookingglass Alice.” A contemporary retelling of Lewis Carroll’s trippy tale. Through Dec. 31, Baltimore Center Stage, 700 N. Charles St., (410) 332-0033,, $19.50-$74. “The Revolutionists.” Former queen Marie Antoinette, feminist playwright Olympe de Gouges, assassin Charlotte Corday, and Caribbean spy Marianne Angelle get together and talk revolution and duty. Through Jan. 7, Everyman Theatre, 315 W. Fayette St., (410) 752-2208,, $25-$65.




The Charles Theater

1711 N. Charles St., (410) 727-3464, “Call Me By Your Name” (Luca Guadagnino, U.S./Italy, 2017) now playing. “Darkest Hour” (Joe Wright, U.K., 2017), now playing. “The Disaster Artist” (James Franco, U.S., 2017), now playing. “Lady Bird” (Greta Gerwig, U.S., 2017), now playing. “The Shape Of Water” (Guillermo del Toro, U.S., 2017), now playing. “Wonder Wheel” (Woody Allen who by the way has been accused of sexual assault and even a judge said his behavior toward Dylan Farrow was “grossly inappropriate,” U.S., 2017), now playing. “The Shop Around The Corner” (Ernst Lubitsch, U.S., 1940), Dec. 28. “Duck Soup” (Leo McCarey, U.S., 1933), Dec. 30, Jan. 1.

The Parkway Theatre 5 W. North Ave., (410) 752-8083, “Big Sonia” (Leah Warshawski and Todd Soliday, U.S., 2017) through Dec. 28. “The Paris Opera” (Jean-Stéphane Bron, France/Switzerland, 2016), through Dec. 28. Free Thursdays: “35 Shots Of Rum” (Claire Denis, France/Germany, 2009), Dec. 28. “Antiporno” (Sion Sono, Japan, 2017), opens Dec. 29. “Killing For Love” (Marcus Vetter and Karin Steinberger, Germany, 2017), opens Dec. 29.

The Senator Theatre 5904 York Road, (410) 323-4424, “The Greatest Showman” (Michael Gracey, U.S., 2017), now playing. “Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle” (Jake Kasdan, U.S., 2017), now playing. “Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi” (Rian Johnson, U.S., 2017), now playing. “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (Martin McDonagh, U.S., 2017), now playing. “Molly’s Game” (Aaron Sorkin, U.S., 2017), now playing.

DECEMBER 27, 2017

The Beat’s Top 10 Local Albums Of 2017

Joe Biden’s “S/T”

Liz Durette’s “Four Improvisations”

1. Joe Biden, “S/T”

This un-Googleable self-titled EP from the four-piece punk outfit mockingly named after our former vice president is a relentless lightning strike of righteous indignation. These seven, screeching tracks are the scuzzed out distillation of the maxim “all cops are bastards,” played fast and hard, recorded with an immediacy that turns your headphones into the basement of a house show. Recorded during the uprising after Freddie Gray’s death, the persistent air of pointed rage is, depressingly, no less relevant two-anda-half years later. But it’s a cathartic blast of expression, a necessary exorcism of anger at a status quo that isn’t changing fast enough. (Dominic Griffin)

2. Sneaks, “It’s a Myth”

With just her bass and drum machine to aid her, Eva Moolchan continues to make space for curiosity on her minimalist second release and first on Merge Records. Sung or spoken like they are common knowledge, Moolchan’s lyrics impart absurdist wit: the circuitous non-answers of ‘Look Like That’ (“What do they look like?/ The look like that”) or the emblematic use of kids’ rhymes to suggest otherness in ‘Not My Combination’ (“tic tac toe, three in a row/ not my combination”). This is the album I jump-rope to while wondering how I came

DECEMBER 27, 2017

to be jumping rope wearing pajamas in my living room in the middle of the day. (Maura Callahan)

3. Lafayette Gilchrist and the New Volcanoes, “New Urban World Blues”

This album couldn’t possibly feel more rooted in Baltimore. “New Urban World Blues” finds Lafayette Gilchrist drawing from disparate elements of jazz, soul, funk as always, but every song here is densely packed and never shies away from having dissonant horns interject into a swinging piano melody like menace lurching around a street corner and down the block. On ‘Blues for Freddie Gray,’ Brooks Long sings, “did you see him, did you hear him as he screamed in pain” and yet, Gilchrist works patiently toward a genuine hopefulness— the album ends on a heartbreakingly beautiful and bright little song called ‘Treasures In Our Futures,’ sung in English and Spanish by two young children, about getting up in the morning and going to school. It’s also about comprehending the vast unfairness of the world at such a young age, nevertheless holding onto hope that “there are treasures in our futures that are great yet unknown.” (Brandon Block)

4. Pale Spring, “EP2”

Pale Spring’s second release, the five-song “EP2” co-


produced with Drew Scott, evokes the altogether slower, sexier, and sadder sides of things. Over minimalist beats, twinkling piano, thrumming guitar and occasional birdsong, multi-instrumentalist Emily Wenker seems to pull from dreams and nightmares, foggy moods, and gothic literature. Opening track ‘Waiting Time’ reckons with the void (“face of your cruelty/ what was I to do?” Wenker sings) and bleeds into the blushing/ pulsing synths of the next song, ‘Proud of Your Poison’ and subsequent allusions to pleasure and suffering and sins—it is hard to shake the serpentine lingering of Pale Spring. (Rebekah Kirkman)

5. Liz Durette, “Four Improvisations”

Durette numbers her extended instrumental improvisations as bluntly as a painter titling abstract canvases in a series, and the four excursions here—three cruising around 7 minutes, one a 20-minute inner-space odyssey—gorgeously plunge down similarly expressive mental mineshafts. Durette’s at times nimble, at times plaintive Rhodes lines minnow through the electric piano’s gift for meditative, almost sacred moods and timbres. These odysseys travel through tessellations, where a snippet of melody elicits a pang of longing that unlocks a memory hiding inside the brain’s happy place, that cozy resort where consciousness holidays when reality threatens to become too much. (Bret McCabe)


The Beat’s Top 10 Local Albums Of 2017

Ygg Tay’s “Rich Before Rap 2”

6. YGG Tay, “Rich Before Rap 2”

So there is YGG Tay’s ear for aggressively pleasant trap beats—what our EIC Lisa Snowden-McCray once observed sounds like trap music for the spa—which adds a dimension to “Rich Before Rap 2” that’s different from plenty of other Baltimore rappers embroiled in the life. And there is Tay’s rapping, a direct approach that owes a great deal to Jeezy but becomes more flexible when it needs to with a dose of Meek Mill off-the-rails mania. Funny given his star is rising as a result of his song ‘Why You So Mad,’ “Rich Before Rap 2” thrives thanks to Tay’s modesty: a curt 11 tracks with like-minded guests (D.C.’s brilliant and bouncy Shy Glizzy, West Baltimore’s brash YG Teck) and soaring, solid tracks that pile pain on top of punchlines and by the time that hook comes around, provide a catchy, club-ready respite. (Brandon Soderberg)

7. Ultra Naté & Quentin Harris, “Black Stereo Faith”

House music icons Ultra Naté and Quentin Harris team up for this epic journey through a veritable cornucopia of dance music strains. “Black Stereo Faith,” joining Ultra Naté’s dramatic and powerful vocals with Quentin Harris’ chameleonic production skills, feels like a David Lean widescreen approach to the past few decades of what gets asses shaking, hearts soaring, and


Dyyo Faccina’s “People Are Scared...”

feet pumping. Once the opening track ‘SNL’ starts with its disco rhythms and technicolor string stabs, it’s clear we’re going to be in for a real treat. From the Italo-indebted ‘Tears’ to the new wave-y ‘Transformation,’ there’s no corner of the dancefloor universe that isn’t touched upon, crystallized, and in some cases, improved upon. (DG)

8. Eva Rhymes, “The Life & Times of Eva Rhy mes”

That Eva Rhymes celebrates all the world’s “weirdos”— you know, all y’all vulnerable, complicated human beings just like her—is only the third or 87th most interesting thing about this versatile MC on her assured full-length debut. Like Snow Tha Product, another underrated MC, Rhymes has more vocal personalities than some dudes have sneakers, moving from Bahamadia chill to Rah Digga fire to the ethereally headiness of S.I.N.’s Medusa and Koko. And she confidently raps about depression, insecurity, the unnecessary competitiveness between girlfriends, social media anxiety, and more, giving such ordinary travails the thoughtful, comic, and candid attention they deserve. (BM)

9. Natural Velvet, “Mirror to Make You”

Bassist/vocalist Corynne Ostermann swirls together elements of shimmery glam, kohl-eyed proto-punk, and bo-BS garage rock into Natural Velvet’s musical


stew and art direction. Ostermann’s voice, though, is pure, closer to Babes in Toyland’s Kat Bjelland’s glorious bellow, and with her bandmates—drummer Greg Hatem and guitarists Spike Arreaga and Kim Te—NV pounds out a propulsive mix of Dog Faced Hermans’ melodic throb and Scissor Girls’ coiled turmoil. Lyrically, Osterman is in a personal-is-political storyteller mode here, as on album standout ‘Crowning,’ about a woman fresh out of fucks to give about how others want to define her. (BM)

10. Dyyo Faccina, “People Are Scared...”

Few working artists today flit between moods as seamlessly as Dyyo Faccina. On “People Are Scared,” he alternates between sexy and menacing, humorous and pained, boisterous and withdrawn with ease. Whether rapping, singing, cooing, whispering, or just speaking, he possesses a compelling presence, soldering genres onto other incongruous genres, driven by audacious abandon. From the ghastly boom bap subversion of opening track ‘OoOoOoo’ to the wryly threatening ‘See Me With The Hands,’ he’s a singular force, adapting to shifting sonic landscapes without losing a shred of authenticity or clarity. The plaintive ‘Fight or Flight?’ may be the album’s best, where his nimble rhymes are fired off with a casual confidence befitting his natural star power. (DG)

DECEMBER 27, 2017

The Beat’s Top 10 Local Singles Of 2017

Peso Da Mafia’s ‘Money Man’

1. Peso Da Mafia, ‘Money Man’

The narcotic choruses croak, these verses jaggedly layer-cake, that beat knocks woozily. CDC-level infectious as anthems go, ‘Money Man’ lives and dies on a hook slow-mo enough that even non-dancers can get down to it: The moves its video prescribes or something more improvisatory. And if this massive, cash-as-cash-can anthem from Peso Da Mafia bodies hustling tropes, poetic license is there for Shordie Shordie, Purp, and Lor Dee to claim if they care to. Is this the real world? Is this just fantasy? This Baltimore trio spit hard enough that the answers might not really matter. (Raymond Cummings)

2. Horse Lords feat. Abdu Ali, ‘Stay On It’

The visceral, heady Horse Lords, whose “Mixtape IV” consists of two lengthy compositions, includes this jaunty cover of Julius Eastman’s inspirational ‘Stay On It.’ Here, Abdu Ali provides an encouraging poem at the beginning— tying Ali to Eastman and therefore a history of black queer avant-garde with a club sensibility—and then Horse Lords’ precision-based art rock, flicks, flutters, and bangs on Eastman’s syncopated composition, bringing it a bit closer to the underground, and, in the process, further revealing its funk qualities (everybody kind of playing the same damn thing at the same damn time). Oh man, does this 20-minute modern classical composition swing. (Brandon Soderberg)

3. Lor Choc, ‘Fast Life’

Given the tax bill just legalized a nationwide heist and everyone from start-up thinkfluencers to prison abolitionists are jumping into cryptocurrency, literally every form of getting money is on the table right now. On what sounds like a xylophone from a water planet in Super Mario Galaxy, Lor Choc sings out to Black youth stuck on the supposed wrong side trying to game the pre-emptive block placed on them by what negligibly passes for a right one. Choc turns “put your hands up” into an inclusive call for anyone grinding on the east, west, south side, doesn’t matter, to “run your bands up” by whatever means necessary. (Adam Katzman)

4. Creek Boyz, ‘ W i t h M y Te a m ’

When Baltimore hip-hop sketches city life, it tends to go hard—Young Moose’s ‘Dumb Dumb,’ Bossman’s ‘Oh,’ hell, in the ’90s S.C.U. had ‘Murder One’ while Last Man Standing

DECEMBER 27, 2017

Lor Choc’s ‘Fast Life’

Glassine’s ‘Day 1’

recounted a ‘Harm City Slaughter.’ Woodlawn’s Creek Boyz opted to talk about Baltimore’s murder rate in Dru Hillian fourpart harmonizing. Yes, there’s that verse of everyday misogyny that distressingly abounds in too much male art. And, yes, when the local hit got upgraded for national audiences that murder rate line was neutered into “can’t nobody stop our shine,” but this catchy number remains a singalong strategy for survival through solidarity. (Bret McCabe)

5. Bobbi Rush feat. JPEGMAFIA and Micah E. Wood, ‘Nice Guy’

A standout cut from Bobbi Rush’s sensuous debut “Miles,” ‘Nice Guy’ flips the rapper/R&B singer duet paradigm in exciting ways. Usually, a guest verse from an emcee on an otherwise “soft” track is an excuse for said rapper to pantomime sincerity for a few bars before the radio hook kicks in, a tried and true formula to lend some masculine cred to a song aimed at women. Instead of that well worn formula, Micah E. Wood’s production lurches and JPEGMAFIA’s verse is a serrated aberration, cutting through the sweet tenor of Rush’s hook. It has the effect of feeling like two worlds colliding, rather than one sublimating the other, which leads to far more impressive results. (Dominic Griffin)

6. Amy Reid, ‘ O n l y To n i g h t ’

An ethereal slice of art pop, the lead single from Chiffon singer Amy Reid’s solo debut “Hirsute” pulses with the propulsion of a four to the floor dance record, but there’s a haunting, dreamlike quality to Reid’s expressive vocals, soaring amid a cacophony of synth burbles and a heart pounding drum beat. It’s soulful, like the PBR&B of recent years, but earnest, sincere in a way that trendier entries in the genre tend to miss. That bedroom pop production and her lush vocals bind to form a slinky tune that’s hard to stop playing, equally as effective through club speakers or earbuds on the bus. (DG)

7. Romantic States, ‘Lunch Date’

Drummer Ilenia Madelaire puts a Joy Division-bleak drumbeat underneath Jim Triplett’s two-note guitar line and haunted incantation of the lone lyric, “staying.” Now repeat for nearly four minutes as Madelaire every so often finds a cymbal and she slows the tempo to a sulking lurch as Triplett’s guitar splinters into a noisy buzz. By the time Triplett begins repeating “staying” for the 12th or 367th time, the song has become this anxious soundtrack for being young,


arty, and completely unprepared for sexual tension. (BM)

8. Glassine, ‘Day 1’

Consisting of manipulated samples from this year’s historic Women’s March and with all the proceeds going to Planned Parenthood, Glassine’s clever, delicate composition has a lot of good will that goes with it, all of which would mean very little if the song itself weren’t also a transporting piece of ambient music with some appropriate edge. You hear chants, you hear snippets of dialogue, you hear percussive pounds, you hear laughter (also important in our politics: fun!), all held together by a quiet kind of Tim Hecker-like glow that is both triumphant and uncertain melancholy. (BS)

9. Dan Deacon, ‘Redlining’

Listen to Dan Deacon’s ‘Redlining’—named after the act of legislatively disenfranchising populations in specific areas along racial or ethnic lines, a central theme in Theo Anthony’s “Rat Film”—and you’ll detect hints of legendary composers like Philip Glass, John Williams, and Johann Strauss. A maestro’s grandiose piano flourishes give way to minimalist pings and thin, synthesizer drones that mimic bells and strings; that shift—from musical violence to sonic equivalent of drawing dotted lines in the sand—serves to literalize the song’s title. Even taken alone, this is powerful, conservatory catnip. While no one would confuse this with Deacon’s recent solo LPs, an increasingly considered approach colors his work. That his riotous Wham City epoch seems like it happened a century ago is no tragedy; something is gained here. (RC)

10. Bandhunta Izzy, ‘I Got It’

Less a break from the rest of the radio’s rap than a finetuned, aggressively local version of all the other songs in rotation, ‘I Got It’ illustrates how Bandhunta Izzy can hang with other regional rap heroes you hear on 92Q’s Hooligan Express such as G Herbo, Lil Bibby, or Willtharapper. He mixes a plain and simple hook (“I got the gang with me I got a shooter with me/ I got 100 niggas all masked up/ I don’t know who is with me”) with some sly writing and tricky battle rapper shit talk. “I got a problem, with fuckin’ up commas—to the point that I think I need help/ My momma, know I’m about it like drama/ And I stay with the gun by my belt,” Izzy raps, redirecting his flow, briefly going introspective, venting, confessing, over eerie, haunted trap music. (BS)


The Beat’s Top 10 Non-Local Albums Of 2017 1. Jlin, “Black Origami”

ruining the world. “Break the chain of the fuckups of the fathers/ it is time for us women to rise and not just take it lying down,” Björk rallies us in ‘Tabula Rasa,’ on an album that defies our collective despair. Co-produced with Arca, “Utopia” acknowledges elements of our calamitous reality (listen for the demon/dog barks that perforate ‘Body Memory’) while transporting us to some kind of future perfect matriarchal otherworld full of love, flute choirs, birdsong, and trilled syllables. (Rebekah Kirkman)

Rustbelt footwork visionary Jlin, aka producer Jerrilynn Patton, might be the only person on the planet who hears a wicked party album at the intersection of left-field hiphop scientists Antipop Consortium, hiccupping English glitch pioneers Autechre, and the dizzying percussive melodies of Conlan Nancarrow’s player-piano works. From the otherworldly rhythms of ‘Kyanite’ to the bubbling buzz and whir of ‘1%,’ “Black Origami” is an intoxicating immersion into totally foreign sounds being bent and shaped into inviting dancefloor body quake. (Bret McCabe)

8. Priests, “Nothing Feels Natural”

2. Kendrick Lamar, “DAMN.” After the jazzy, concept record odyssey of “To Pimp A Butterfly,” diehard Kendrick fans were want to read too deeply into the relative simplicity of follow-up “DAMN.” Sure, there’s the whole “playable backwards” thing that Drake also did with “Nothing Was The Same,” but what’s so refreshing about this new record is that it’s just a really good rap album. No posthumous conversations with Tupac, no art film pretension to the album’s narrative structure. It’s just dope production, sharp rhymes, and expert songcraft. Mixing in Steve Lacy’s DIY aesthetic and Mike Will’s trunk-rattling southern production with the usual TDE in-house crew makes for a fine assemblage of instrumentals for Kendrick to do what he does best: rap his ass off and tell deeply human stories. No exhaustive RapGenius annotations required. (Dominic Griffin)

3. Mount Eerie, “A Crow Looked At Me” “Death is real.” Mount Eerie’s Phil Elverum lets us know right at the beginning of this album that we’re heading into a kind of bare-naked, wound-opening explication of the death of his wife and the mother of his child, the musician and artist Geneviève Castrée. It is also a kind of love letter. But you can’t turn a death into poetry, Elverum contends, as he vacillates between states of big-picture bewilderment (“The year moves on without you in it,” he sings in ‘Forest Fire’—of course, but how could it?), frank banality (taking out the garbage, getting rid of her clothes), and that impossible-to-pin-down thing where a person dies and parts of them remain, in memory or symbols—which is just not enough. (Rebekah Kirkman)

4. Jason Isbell, “The Nashville Sound” Most of the major news outlets ordered a few dozen copies of “Hillbilly Elegy” and sent an army of reporters out into the wilds of the rural South or the ruined rustbelt city to find the “real Americans” they’d somehow overlooked leading up to the election of a white supremacist. But Jason Isbell, formerly of the Drive-By Truckers, has been on the road for years, playing in those places and singing songs that plumb the depths of fucked-up white people. On the “Nashville Sound,” he makes the politics behind this explicit, at precisely the moment we need to hear it. ‘White Man’s World’ is an adjunct to both #metoo and #blacklivesmatter. It is a man reckoning with himself honestly, something all men need to do. But it is also beautiful in its specificity. In a world where Alabama is Jeff Sessions, Roy Moore, and even Doug Jones, we es-


Jlin’s “Black Origami”

pecially need to hear Isbell’s deconstruction of southern white masculinity. (Baynard Woods)

5. Lorde, “Melodrama” After taking time off to live since her 2013 debut “Pure Heroine,” Ella Yelich O’Connor, 21, is pretty much old enough now to be recognized for her talent without the condescending footnote “and she’s just a kid!” Upon her return, Lorde harnesses her synesthesia to produce a cinematic sound that transcends age while also embracing the tenderness of youth that is too often written off as, well, melodrama. If a 16-year-old made an album with as much vocal virtuosity (‘Writer In The Dark’), dance-pop savvy (‘Homemade Dynamite’), and emotional scope (the hopeful bliss of ‘Green Light,’ the consuming shame and loneliness of ‘Liability’) as “Melodrama,” you can bet she’d be allowed no peace. (Maura Callahan)

6. Sampha, “Process” After years of adding emotive texture to tracks from Drake, SBTRKT, Solange, and others, Sampha’s solo debut feels every ounce as potent as the hype led us to believe. His reliably mournful falsetto is still on display, but the production challenges his usual light touch, forcing him to show off the elasticity of his moody vocals. There’s new power in his delivery, a rueful clarity to his songwriting, and an immediacy that is hard to deny. Across these 10 songs, Sampha is equally adept at threadbare piano balladry as he is lending gravitas to trap inflected instrumentals—a voice for all seasons. (DG)

7. Björk, “Utopia” It’s 2017: All of the men are still bad, and even though a few of them have lost their jobs after abusing their subordinates for many years, they’re still largely running and


When toxic waste has pushed climate change past the point of no return and radical praxis gets washed into a safely commodifiable #resistance, it’s hard for anything to feel organic. Priests don’t give us the “political record we need right now” but articulate and work through the existential anxiety attached to the burden of making one when everything you’ve organized for has gone to shit. While ‘No Big Bang’ questions what progress science and evolution has brought when balancing self-care and creative output in the current climate is a mental and physical nightmare, and ‘Pink White House’ expresses ambivalence about electoral alternatives, the music is outright adventurous, as if trying to follow the lyrics’ train of thought. What will start with the exuberant punch of X-Ray Spex will as easily go into the contemplative depression of late Portishead or the spectral wonder of early Cocteau Twins. Sort of starting where something like Fugazi’s “The Argument” left off, it’s an album of necessary questions that organizes past its despair. (Adam Katzman)

9. Thundercat, “Drunk” The photo cover of Thundercat’s “Drunk,” depicting the electro-jazz/R&B artist emerging from the water like a shaken human Godzilla, is the perfect distillation of the album’s frantic weirdo spirit. While the weeaboo elegy ‘Tokyo’ and messy Wiz Khalifa collaboration ‘Drink Dat’ are emblematic of the album’s everyday-bullshit-as-ice cold funk vibe, the crown jewel of the 23-track release is Neo-Yacht Rock banger ‘Show You the Way.’ Who knew an inexplicable Thundercat team up with Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins that samples Sega Genesis-era Sonic the Hedgehog sound effects would be the smoothest, horniest jam of 2017? (Max Robinson)

10. Kamasi Washington, “Harmony Of Difference” The latest from the visionary Kamasi Washington is just 18 minutes (31 minutes if you count a final track, a terse suite of all the other tracks) though it’s as full of ideas as 2015’s three-hour long “The Epic.” And whereas “The Epic” had some out Coltrane zip and a kind of interstellar sound—like “Star Trek”-baked lounge music—here it’s a measured, occasionally even smooth jazz. Grover Washington pleasantries are a precedent here or say, the tempered style of a ‘60s jazz legend moving into the ‘70s (like Sonny Rollins covering Stevie’s ‘Isn’t She Lovely’’). Critic Ben Ratliff has floated the theory that John Coltrane, had he lived longer, may have not necessarily kept going “out,” and this EP I think suggests what Coltrane may have been doing when he found chaos tedious, especially on the rumbling jump of ‘Integrity’ and the heavy-hearted swirl of ‘Humility.’ (BS)

DECEMBER 27, 2017

J u st P u sh P lay Eze Jackson lists 2017’s Top 10 Baltimore songs from 10 strong projects. By Eze Jackson

At the end of last year, I hosted the release show for Skarr Akbar’s album “Fear, Love and Respect” at the Ottobar. He brought his collaborators EJ and Tony Bosco on stage to perform ‘Black Flamingo’ to the packed house. Skarr and EJ traded verses while Bosco took the hook: “Bmore vs. Everybody/ You go tell everybody/ … we gon bring trophies home.” It was dope—but nobody expected the crowd to demand them to play it again. But they did. And a-fucking-gain. They played ‘Black Flamingo’ four times before the show went on. Technically, that was still 2016, but that sense of forward motion— and, weirdly, hope— has characterized the music of the city for me this year. But the people at Skarr’s show weren’t just pumped for the song—it was the context of the song, a winner’s anthem. In thinking about all the music I’ve heard since that night, it’s stuck in my mind and made me not want to do just a list of songs. I wanted great singles on great albums. So here is a list of my favorite Baltimore artists who have released dope singles that are also on dope albums, EPs or mixtapes this year—offered with the full disclosure and all of the conflicts that come from the fact that I also released music this year, and have been on a couple lists and have performed with some of these people, and know most of them. And like that night at the Ottobar, who you bring makes a big difference too. Some of the projects here are strong collaborations, or are helped out by notable features. Tate Kobang’s ‘Ello’ features Swizz Beatz, Skarr Akbar’s ‘House of Flyin’ Knives’ features Wu Tang Clan’s Raekwon the Chef. Josh Stokes opens his CD with a Blaqstarr feature and TAGMG is one sick collab after another over Street Scott production, bringing back that rap-crew feel we’ve been missing. Whether you’re looking for a city anthem like ‘Black Flamingo,’ Greenspan’s infectious party anthem ‘Cool or Whateva,’ mellowing out to J. Pope’s smooth vocals or Bobbi Rush’s Micah E. Woodproduced ‘Island,’ this is what the artists in your city are putting out and most of it is not on your local radio station.

Skarr Akbar, ‘Black Flamingo,’ feat EJ and Tony Bosco from “Fear, Love and Respect” See what I said above about this song. Yeah, technically, the album came out last year (Dec. 24) but the video and song, as a single, dropped early 2017. The video is a balance of darkness and positive energy in its own right taking place in a boxing ring. Directed by Akbar, it opens with an interview of Baltimore-bred boxing champ Gervonta Davis. “So this is for Baltimore?” the interviewer asks. “Of course, we been through a lot and umm, Baltimore due for a win,” Davis responds.

Greenspan feat. Breezaay, ‘Cool or Whateva’ from “Never Gon’ Die” Produced by Michael J.R. who also sings an altered high-pitch “stuck in your head” type of hook, “Cool or Whateva” hits with a melodic upbeat tempo from the start and keeps going at that pace as it ushers in West Baltimore’s Breezay. “It’s only right this got a West Side feel/ ‘cause when you look at me and see this how the West Side feel/ All these dudes with these jewels ‘round they neck got

DECEMBER 27, 2017

chill/ I be with Green but that’s it, all the rest not real.”

TT the Artist, ‘Yo Bxrthday’ from “Bxrthday” Whatever day your birthday lands on from here on out, you owe it to yourself to listen to TT the Artist’s EP “Bxrthday” at least three times that day. You should probably play it at least once for every close friend’s birthday as well. They’ll run it back themselves. This year, TT dropped music that has appeared on HBO’s “Insecure” and that brought her some much-deserved acclaim, but I think a lot of people missed this fun project that she threw out earlier this year. It’s got all the makings of classic Baltimore club music. ‘Yo Bxrthday’ is sexually honest, as much of club music is, with a straightforward hook: “I wanna fuck you on your bxrthday.” She’s currently working on a documentary titled “Dark City Beneath the Beat” that shines a light on Baltimore’s Club Music scene. Think of “Bxrthday” as one of the best previews possible for that project coming from the reigning Club Queen.

J. Pope and The HearNow, ‘How Long?’ from “Soul Searching” “Soul Searching” is the long-anticipated album for fans of the band formerly known as J. Pope and Funk Friday with production from Wendel Patrick. ‘How Long?’ the only song done without Patrick, shows almost all of the talented band’s range, giving J. Pope the chance to showcase both her singing and rhyme skills. “Soul Searching” is definitely a push-play-and-let-it-rock type of project, giving you the pure, funky, soulful musicianship that can only exist among these friends who started out playing shows at Goucher. Their album release at Creative Alliance brought out a wildly diverse crowd of people, a reflection of the band’s fluidity and crisp execution.

Bobbi Rush, ‘Island’ from “Miles” It’s almost impossible to watch the Audrey Gatewood-directed video of “Island” without wanting to watch it again. The simple yet beautiful peek into nature compliments the strength and sensitivity of Bobbi’s song—and her being. We’ve all been where she is in the first line: “Call you, makin’ my way to the bathroom/ I love you but I been drinkin too/ Sent you a message, didn’t get no reply/ I wonder why, I do this every time.” From there, you can just find yourself walking with her for miles of human experience on this appropriately-titled EP.

Movakween, ‘Gold Honey’ from “Florescence” If you’re going to start a song off with a Sade sample, you’d better be coming with some fire. That’s exactly what Movakween does on this one. Haunting organ chords sit behind an orgy of harmonies and background vocals as Movakween delivers a Sade-esque performance that somehow is also all her own. In the the video, directed by Movakween, Keem Griffey, and Kyle Yearwood, three different versions of herself stand swaying and singing in the three open windows of a brick pagoda. Then, suddenly you realize it’s switched up to an Afro Futurism vibe, gold body paint and glowing eyes that touch and grab your anxiety, telling it to have a seat and listen. The mixtape “Florescence” backs up the notion that Movakween can


sample or cover whoever the hell she wants, because she knows exactly what she’s doing.

Dyyo Faccina, ‘See me with the hands’ from “People Are Scared...” “See me with the hands” is a phrase I grew up hearing. It was a street negotiation, a way to prove strength or solve an argument. “My rhetoric is heavenly/ I’m better than you’ll ever be,” the young Dyyo taunts his enemy in this song, following up with trash talk and threats like you would follow up the first blow in a fight with punches and body slams. In a day when a lot of men are quick to pick up a weapon—and against the backdrop of our city’s murder rate—this song fits perfectly on an album called “People Are Scared...”

Tate Kobang, ‘North North (Still Hangin’)’ from “Tate Ko” This production collab between Tate and YG! Beats had a bunch of us rockin’ this summer with its dark yet upbeat and playful energy, “North North” is the bragging of triumph and continued pursuit of victory. Part of the video is shot in front of what’s probably one of the oldest Chinese food stores in East Baltimore, and Tate delivers loveable ex-coke dealer, ex-perc-poppin bars. “Nigga got famous still gang bangin/ Still with the same click nah I aint changin/ Same jeans for a week, no bitch I aint changin’.” He’s no new Black Thought, but we don’t need him to be. Tate Ko gives you that dark Baltimore, where we can dance to morbid shit.

TAGMG, ‘Whole Lotta’ from “Don’t Worry Now (The Flood)” If I were to make a playlist, “Whole Lotta” would definitely be near Tate’s “North North.” The songs aren’t similar but they both wear that Baltimore shit-talk and swag like a badge of honor. Street Scott, King Dro, and Jase Kevion drop some witty, pretty laid-back verses over a track and hook that somehow still keep you hype. The crew love on “Don’t Worry Now” is something I personally miss from rap, where it seems it should always be that Nelly and St. Lunatics formula where everybody gets behind one dude while we just count money and stand behind him with our guns out. Everyone gets a piece on the album and if you ever get to see them live on stage together, the energy definitely translates as they trade center stage, delivering bars and almost effortlessly transferring the bounce to any onlookers.

Josh Stokes, ‘Say Word’ from “Who is Josh Stokes?” ‘Say Word’ gives you a feel reminiscent of both Prince and George Clinton with synths that take you back to the mid ‘80s a bit. Josh Stokes is no clone, though. His voice and subject matter are all his own. Josh nails the writing, lead and background vocals, and production all over “Who is Josh Stokes?” Other favorites are ‘Higher Than Ever,’ and the light-hearted, inspiring ‘I Know a Place.’ Stokes can handle almost any tempo or topic with the soul of a freaky Southern Baptist choir director who hits the city on the weekends to drink whiskey and party with harlots. His energy is almost Jimi Hendrix-reminiscent in that you wouldn’t expect someone so young to sound the way he does, belting out aged runs and harmonic backgrounds that you find yourself repeating over and over again.


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The Beat’s Top 10 Movies Of 2017 city. An ambling visual essay aided by an original score from Dan Deacon, the film doesn’t shy from tangents, illustrating how just about everything here, even our rats, is touched by and linked to systemic racism. (Maura Callahan)

3. “The Keepers”

“Get Out” Photo Courtesy Universal Studios

1. “Get Out” directed by Jordan Peele

For white viewers, this debut feature from “Key & Peele” star Jordan Peele offers a glimpse at how the other half lives; for everyone else, it’s more of a documentary in body horror movie drag. When photographer Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) travels upstate with girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) to meet her family for the first time, traditional courting anxieties overwhelm warnings specific to this monied milieu. Contrasting intraracial awkwardness and Peele’s directorial embrace of the natural world evokes a certain dissonance: a cinematic feedback where protagonist and audience alike can chalk disquiet up to rattled nerves, until the fix is indisputably in. If nothing else, “Get Out” is home to the tensest “missing car keys” scene in recent memory. (Raymond Cummings)

2. “Rat Film” directed by Theo Anthony

The best thing about Baltimore filmmaker and photographer Theo Anthony’s debut feature is that it isn’t really about rats. A hodgepodge of archival imagery, portraits of modern Baltimoreans, and a video game based on the city as captured by Google Maps, “Rat Film” merely uses Baltimore’s history of rat extermination to frame its palpable housing segregation, both pioneered here in our

DECEMBER 27, 2017

it isn’t enough for you to check it out, how about it this: For fans of ‘Gummo,’ the quotidian details of camming videos, early Fassbinder, the parts in ‘Gomorrah’ about the Tony Montana wannabes, and the video for Bronksi Beat’s ‘Smalltown Boy.’” (Brandon Soderberg)

directed by Ryan White

7. “Logan Lucky”

Abusers rarely act alone; they’re often aided and abetted by both a culture that supports their abuse and people who help cover up their actions. That tendency within the Catholic Church is extensive, and the seven-episode documentary “The Keepers,” released on Netflix this spring, digs up a local example, uncovering Father Joseph Maskell’s horrific, repeated sexual abuse of students at Archbishop Keough High School in Baltimore. As former Keough students/DIY investigators Gemma Hoskins and Abbie Schaub brought to light in the series, Keough educator Sister Cathy Cesnik knew about Maskell’s abuse—and was murdered before she could do anything to stop it. Blessed be the whistleblowers. (Rebekah Kirkman)

directed by Steven Soderbergh

One of the true miracles of this terrible year is that Steven Soderbergh emerged from self-imposed exile to direct the spiritual successor to “Smokey and the Bandit.” There’s something crucially cathartic in a movie where Channing Tatum and Adam Driver play simple brothers fucked over by The Man who decide to rip off a NASCAR race, where Daniel Craig slums it as a charmingly ghoulish explosives expert and Dwight Yoakam’s corrupt warden can’t articulate the intricacies of the “Game of Thrones” publishing schedule to rioting inmates. A slick heist flick with plenty of screw-up heart, “Logan Lucky” is a generous shot of cinematic moonshine. (Max Robinson)

4. “John Wick: Chapter 2”

8. “Ingrid Goes West”

directed by Chad Stahelski

directed by Matt Spicer

Who knew a sequel to a cult hit Keanu Reeves hitman thriller would so beautifully encapsulate the depressing cycle of capitalism and suggest, through the bloody journal of its protagonist, pulling the rug out from society, with bullets if need be. The labyrinthian world building and bisexual neon mood lighting of the original film are back, continuing to influence the action landscape, as are the tightly coiled choreography and cool guy ephemera. But it’s the pathos in Reeve’s central performance that makes the film stick with you long after the last baddie gets head shot. It’s the tale of a life lived in debt to the impulsive sacrifices of one’s youth and what we must do in a corrupt society to sustain ourselves, no matter the cost. (Dominic Griffin)

Director Matt Spicer’s feature debut, in which the titular Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza) trades a mental hospital stay for the Hollywood Hills in a scheme to force a friendship with a popular Insta-influencer (Elizabeth Olsen) she’s obsessed with, is elevated by understated performances. Plaza, ditching her practiced snark, imbues Ingrid with the shaky, desperate-to-be-cool uncool of a woman drowning in a sea of Joshua Tree selfies and hashtagged brunches. Special props to O’Shea Jackson Jr. as Ingrid’s dorky Batman-obsessed paramour/unwitting accomplice and Billy Magnussen as the film’s true villain, Olsen’s terrifyingly pass-agg brother-turned-blackmailer who catches a crowbar to the dome. (MR)

5. “Ladybird”

9. “Mudbound”

directed by Greta Gerwig

directed by Dee Rees

This is the only movie that has ever captured what it is to be young perfectly I think, and when Christine (call her Ladybird) awkwardly offers the line “My mom says French isn’t practical” to her crush and he replies, “It is, if you wanna go to Paris,” says everything to me about how I felt in high school and kinda still feel now—that unspecified urge to be something more than you are, to transcend something. I both grimace and grin when she proclaims, “I want to go where culture is” to her bootstrap-pulling mother because I silently wish I ever possessed the confidence to shout out something like that so totally naïve without a dash of irony to hide behind. (Brandon Block)

Director Rees’ adaptation of Hillary Jordan’s novel turns voice-over narration into a knockout punch. Two young men, the white Jamie (Garret Hedlund) and the black Ronsel (Jason Mitchell), go off to World War II and return to the same hard-scrabble patch of Mississippi farmland forever changed. “Mudbound” begins in the pictorial elegance of Terrence Malick’s transcendental American wonder and progresses through, like the bulk of our nation’s history, the grim realities of hate, ignorance, and violence. Also: a nearly unrecognizable Mary J. Blige plays Ronzel’s mom, and her performance is another reminder that her emotional range knows no bounds. (Bret McCabe)

6. “The Human Surge”

10. “Girls Trip”

directed by Eduardo Williams

directed by Malcolm D. Lee

So, earlier this year the Maryland Film Fest asked me for a pick and I went with “The Human Surge,” and well, I’m not sure I can improve on the effusive praise I fired off then, so here it goes again: “’The Human Surge’ is a movie about the internet but it’s not a movie about how great the internet is or how horrible the internet is like most art about the internet, it’s a movie that’s just very cognizant of how the internet has made some things easier and other things harder and most everything weirder, especially when it comes to labor, access, time, energy, and sex. The New York Times wasn’t really feeling ‘The Human Surge’ when they reviewed it, which is a ringing endorsement as far as I’m concerned, but hey if the Times not feeling

The best war movie of 2017 wasn’t a gimmick-laden, Nigel Farage-approved tribute to British heroism, it was the Mannie Fresh DJ’d dance battle and bar brawl starring half of “Set It Off.” A two-plus hour studio comedy starring four black women—Queen Latifah, Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, and Jada Pinkett Smith—legends in their own right who mainstream studio films otherwise ignore, “Girls Trip” both out-raunches and outsmarts every lame attempt by Apatow to repackage his hit-or-miss bro-comedies to a female audience. Going beyond just trying to prove that girls can be bad too, a wild weekend at Essence Fest builds female solidarity amongst a shared cultural history. God Bless Tiffany Haddish. (Adam Katzman)



The Beat’s Top 10 Local Books Of 2017 1. “A Beautiful Ghetto,”

Shining,’ from which the poem takes its title. The logic is there in patchwork, just go with it. RIYL: Carrie Lorig, Kleenex (the band), dogs, Frank O’Hara. (RK)

by Devin Allen

Devin Allen is both a poet and a documentarian. His images capture all of the particular details that make up a life, a time period, a moment. But all of those details add up to something universal—something that all people of all times could understand. A kid squinting underneath the bill of a too-big baseball cap sitting in the dappled shadows dancing off the stoop. In the same way that the details in each individual image add up to create something larger, each of the photographs in “A Beautiful Ghetto” adds context—conversation—to the others. Haymarket Books did a great job; they beautifully produced the book as a physical object, and stayed out of Allen’s way. Three close-up images of a man contorting his face are offset against a young man with one foot on a curb, looking at a makeshift memorial, a teddy bear strapped to a tree, flowers at its base. The black and white images bounce off each other creating multiple narratives, glimpses overlapping—like life in the city. (Baynard Woods)

7. “Missing Persons (Poems)” by Hilary Jacqmin

A 1923 image by German photographer August Sander captures a showman with his performing bear on a street in Cologne, people milling about, observing. The bear’s hunched posture and right paw to the restraint piercing his snout is heartbreaking, and it’s the reference point for one of Jacquin’s many discomfiting poems gathered in her compact debut collection. The poems bounce between autobiographical reveries of growing up in Ohio and narratives sparked by historical figures like the one captured in the Sander photo, forming a meditative connection between intimate personal experience and the larger historical arcs in which they take place. (BM)

8 . “ F r o m H e a d S h o p s To Whole Foods”

2. “She Named Him Michael”

by Joshua Clark Davis

by Heather Rounds

Building off the true story of a chicken nicknamed Miracle Mike who lived for 18 months with its head cut off, Heather Rounds creates a small family deeply affected by grief and guilt. These feelings manifest differently and slowly shift in this novella, as Michael, the chicken, becomes a focal creature for Claire’s love and attention and a source of financial growth for Claire’s husband, Shotgun Foot—and a shot at freedom and escape, for the both of them. And underneath all this, the book reminds us of a peculiar, troubling human dilemma: We think we can control things, so we resort to violence and aggression to do so. (Rebekah Kirkman)

3. “The Future Generation: The Zine-Book for Subculture Parents, Kids, Friends & Others”

Devin Allen’s “A Beautiful Ghetto”

5. “Mediations” by Aurora Engle-Pratt

China Martens’ “The Future Generation” zine, which she started in 1990, two years after her daughter Clover’s birth, was an unconventional but necessary radical parenting guide. Less of a “how-to” and more of a “howI-did-it,” this second-edition anthology of 16 years of “The Future Generation” issues offers Martens’ firsthand insight as a young single mother, pushing against the solitude of both parenthood and childhood, advocating for collective, nurturing environments for kids, taking a closer look at how society influences or provides for kids—and how it doesn’t quite do enough. (RK)

In this six-poem chapbook, Aurora Engle-Pratt offers a quick respite: poems with a continuous sense of motion that call on senses of home and childhood and family lineage, roads and travels, skies that open up like “a parachute” (as Engle-Pratt describes in the opener, ‘Check In’), and memories of touch (“tucking the concrete under my toes”). ‘Homeward,’ in particular, slings us from intimate snippets of the speaker’s old white home, to the seemingly more transient place she currently resides— and back to that white home, in a field, again. In brief moments of concreteness Engle-Pratt lets us land our feet even while floating through the problems and voids of memory and reckoning with mortality. (RK)

4. “Raw Wounds”

6. “The Middle of the End”

by Kondwani Fidel

by Suzanne Doogan

Fidel’s viral essay “How a young boy has been decaying in Baltimore since age 10: A Death Note” catapulted him into national attention, but his debut novel is the more confident and powerful piece of writing. Equal parts essay, memoir, and poetry chapbook, “Wounds” gathers Fidel’s early life and thoughts about being young and black in a city and country that don’t acknowledge his humanity. D. Watkins is the typical comparison point here, but Fidel is less stylish—though that’s OK. Fidel isn’t afraid to voice his unfiltered vulnerability, putting him in closer conversation with the early works of Chester Himes. (Bret McCabe)

Sometimes a line of thought ends abruptly and begins anew elsewhere, making it hard to follow the writer’s logic. Suzanne Doogan admits as much in one poem: “It’s said good writing is clear thinking/ my problem is my thinking is not too good.” Just past the middle, ‘When the Morning Gathers the Rainbow’ acts as a funny analogue to this point: Amid an elementary school recollection—playing football and not knowing all the rules, exactly—the speaker describes being distracted by the dirt, “internally singing Fatboy Slim’s Bob Marley remix,” more or less an absurd techno-obliteration of the original, Bob Marley’s ‘Sun is

by China Martens

DECEMBER 27, 2017


“Activist entrepreneurs’ harnessing of small businesses for political purposes illuminates a forgotten dimension of dissent in the 1960s and 1970s,” University of Baltimore assistant professor of history Joshua Clark Davis explains early on his book, “From Head Shops to Whole Foods: The Rise and Fall of Activist Entrepreneurs,” a compelling uncovering of a frequently forgotten element of radical culture. Davis spends the rest of the book laying out the histories of natural food stores, head shops, and black bookstores (it makes an especially nice read when paired with Lynn Comella’s “Vibrator Nation,” a history of feminist sex-toy stores) and gently linking their come-up to our current political moment where corporations crib woke platitudes, and we wonder if capitalism and radicalism can comfortably converse at all. (Brandon Soderberg)

9. “Strange Practice” by Vivian Shaw

Anybody even slightly entertained by speculative tales of Gothic supernatural stories should post haste grab this briskly paced and wittily conceived novel. Dr. Greta Helsing, granddaughter of the vampire-hunting Abraham Van Helsing from “Dracula,” is a 30-something London doctor to the “differently alive,” those mummies, ghouls, vampires, and the like who might not be treated by the National Health Service. She just wants to be a GP, but she’s forced to call on the detective-y tools of her family legacy when someone, or something, starts serial killing humans and the undead. Obnoxiously entertaining. (BM)

10. “What Counts as Love” by Marian Crotty

This affecting story collection from Loyola University assistant writing professor Crotty was recently and deservedly longlisted for the 2018 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. The vast divide separating love from sex haunts these nine stories, and the details with which Crotty sketches her characters make their desire to leap from sex to love, or even something close to it, all the more crushing. A couple spies on their neighbor’s sex lives and wonder about their own. A man ponders if it’s time to stop being a nice guy and let his inner monster out. At each turn, you hope for the best, knowing full well that life is rarely so kind. (BM)


The Beat’s Top 10 National Books Of 2017 1 . “ To o M u c h a n d Not the Mood”

7. “Sunshine State” by Sarah Gerard

by Durga Chew-Bose

Every Floridian for some reason must answer for the viral oddities that come out of our state: the alligator in the drive-thru, the murderous bath salts crazes, etc., so I’m glad for—and in a way, feel seen by—my fellow Floridian Sarah Gerard’s book of discursive essays set in or near our hometown. Our country’s problems of evangelical delirium, widening equity gaps, and so on get the local treatment in Gerard’s essays—see, for example, “Mother-Father God,” on cult-like sects of Christianity in Clearwater; and “Going Diamond,” on wealthy McMansion-like Pinellas County communities and Amway, the pyramid scheme started by Betsy DeVos’s father-in-law. (RK)

A feverish collection of essays and intricacies, Durga Chew-Bose’s “Too Much and Not the Mood” takes its name from a note Virginia Woolf scrawled to herself in 1931. Inside, find a focused, wandering breadth of writing touching on subjects of art and culture, relationships, identity—of teen years and growing up, of the writer’s own name, of sacrifice and bowing-to, of living alone, of summertime and movies and observations on white girls getting tans. It is too much, in that my offering a brief synopsis of what the book’s about does nothing to express how it might make you feel. Listen to the writer, at the end of the first essay, ‘Heart Museum’: “Because is there anything better, more truthful and sublime than what cannot be communicated? The marvelous, hard-to-spellout convenience of what’s indefinite.” (Rebekah Kirkman)

2. “Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body” by Roxane Gay

Gay’s mediation on weight and food as response to childhood sexual violence is a devastating plunge into the relationship between body image and trauma. The brutally honest eye that Gay displays in her indispensable cultural criticism and essays is even sharper when she turns her attention to herself, and her personal reflections about being unskinny allows her to focus her formidable mind on our culture that psychologically commodifies thinness—and does so in disarmingly arrestingly prose. (Bret McCabe)

3. “The Future is Histor y: H ow To t a l i t a r i a n i s m Reclaimed Russia” by Masha Gessen

Masha Gessen’s frequent essays in the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, and elsewhere have made her one of our most important writers over the course of this deeply fucked up year. She has been confronting many of the issues that have only recently become existentially urgent to others for years. Her biography of Putin is a masterful portrait of corruption and power. But her most recent book, “The Future is History,” is of an entirely different order. The multi-directional book follows seven different characters from the 1980s up through the present, weaving narratives of characters ranging from Evgenia Dobryanskaya, one of the country’s first gay rights activists, and Aleksandr Dugin, a far-right ideologue associated with Putin, to show how Russia returned to—or never really left—the totalitarian mindset of the Stalin years. (Baynard Woods)

4. “The Raincoats” by Jenn Pelly

Among all the uncertainty and fucked-upness in the world right now, one of the best things you could do to extricate yourself from misery would be to read Jenn Pelly’s essential book about The Raincoats’ first album, the punk masterpiece “The Raincoats.” The book, from the 33 1/3 series, dwells in the English band’s DIY origins and self-made sound, and expertly situates the Raincoats’ fourwomen lineup in terms of their contemporaries, personal histories, politics—their music “is the rare sound of women destroying isolation together,” Pelly writes—and how this all filtered into the legendary music they made together. (RK)


8. “No Wall They Can Build” by Crimethinc

Durga Chew-Bose’s “Too Much and Not The Mood”

5. “South and West: From a Notebook” by Joan Didion

Let’s consider ‘Notes on the South’ and ‘California Notes,’ the two notebook excerpts that make up “South and West,” separately. The latter is a brief, very loosely sketched prelude to Didion’s essay ‘Girl of the Golden West’ from 1982 and her 2003 biographical collection “Where I Was From.” For the (far more fulsome) former, in summer 1970, New Journalism’s coolest customer spent a month traveling through the American South. What she observes, penetratingly, is a genteel, sunstroked United States daydreaming about its past, where a fitfully modernizing region is nonetheless surrendering to wilderness, where racial desegregation advances at a snail’s pace, where gender equality is a fantasy. “Death is still natural and ever present in the South, as it is no more in those urbanized parts of the country where graveyards are burial parks and relegated to unused or unusable land far from sight,” Didion notes. (Raymond Cummings)

6. “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook”

Subtitled “A Guide to Borders and Migration Across America,” this hybrid how-to, explainer, memoir, and manifesto from noted anonymous anarchist collective Crimethinc explores the whats and hows of crossing borders in Central America, with dispatches from those doing work to help people cross along with stories from the undocumented that are tragic, encouraging, and occasionally hilarious. All of it adds up to a sober argument for why there should be no borders at all, and leaves room for the small nuances of moving forward at an especially fraught political moment while admitting there are no easy solutions (a tour de force essay breaks down why the legalization of drugs, even just weed, while good, would also have devastating effects on Mexican labor, which now depends heavily on the American drug trade). (BS)

9. “Animals Strike Curious Poses” by Elena Passarello

Don’t be put off by the idea of a collection of biographies of famous animals—including Koko the signing gorilla and the late Cecil the Lion. Passarello is a bottomless inventive writer, and her mix of prodigious research, natural history, and her own incandescent imagination concocts 17 essays that document an animal’s life but tell us so much more about the humans they touched. The result is a myth-like book and, as Claude Levi-Strauss notes in “The Raw and the Cooked,” myths operate in the same intuitive air as music. And, my word, does this author’s writing sing. (BM)

by Mark Bray

10. “Universal Harvester”

The vanguard of protest in America is antirespectability, and like all vanguards, it has been met with middle-of-the-road wet sandwiches dismissing it, traditiontouting serious types decrying it, and some saying that it isn’t what it says it is at all—in particular, the anti-fascist movement, always around but back with a vengeance post-Trump because, you know, Trump’s a fascist. All of this makes Mark Bray’s “Antifa Handbook,” a quick, dry history of antifacism mixed with a guide to antifa controversies, so vital. Bray is something of a wonk, only his politics don’t suck, so he gives a straightforward and clear-headed evaluation of the movement. And there is an urgency here: Cranked out quickly post-Trump and released the week of the Charlottesville white supremacist attack, “Antifa Handbook” is hard history, a call to action, and an evenhanded and reasonable explanation as to why we need to be way less damned reasonable. (Brandon Soderberg)

A low-level mystery stymies video store clerks in late 1990s Iowa: Someone is splicing seemingly random footage into VHS rentals. And, eventually, John Darnielle’s glacially-paced follow-up to “Wolf In White Van” supplies readers with a purpose and a perpetrator. Yet those specifics sometimes seem besides the point. “Van” was suffused with a depressed, agreeable aimlessness that subsumed the raw tragedy at its core. Likewise, “Universal Harvester” excels when its narrative transforms into the prose equivalent of a wayward cameraperson: digressing down alleys, considering exchanges from odd angles, zooming in on the minutiae of small-town Midwestern existence with a stoner’s fastidiousness. What will linger with you? Those moments suspended between dread and tedium, where nothing much is happening, but it feels like anything could happen. (RC)


by John Darnielle

DECEMBER 27, 2017

The Beat’s Top 10 New Restaurants of 2017

Cornmeal crusted wild blue catfish with Carolina Gold rice from Rye Street Tavern Photo by Arli Lima

1. The BBQ 2602 Greenmount Ave., (443) 468-2131

I had been hearing about The BBQ for weeks before I made my way over to Greenmount Avenue to try it for myself. The place features a steady soundtrack of gritty blues, and offers smokey, meaty mains like pulled pork, pit beef, chicken, and ribs. Then there are the sides, which can make or break a place like this: mac and cheese, collard greens, sweet and savory baked beans, and more—they’re all great. Maurice Bradford, who owns and runs the place along with his son, welcomed me, and offered me a free sample of his homemade peach cobbler. He also said he was looking to expand his section of Greenmount to make it feel more like a community spot with outside seating and live music. I can’t wait to see what he does next. (Lisa Snowden-McCray)

2. Ida B’s Table 235 Holliday St., (410) 844-0444,

The “modern soul food” tribute to Ida B. Wells opened this fall on the ground floor of The Real News Network (full disclosure, a Beat affiliate) with husbandand-wife team Chef David Thomas and Tonya Thomas at the helm, bringing done-up Southern staples (frog legs, fried chicken) and unexpected fusion (fry bread tacos, kimchi reuben sandwiches) to downtown. Serving up breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner made from locallysourced ingredients, plus a fully-stocked bar with craft

DECEMBER 27, 2017

cocktails, Ida B’s extensive menus boast mostly hits and actually something for just about everyone, and the ample space and warm service make for the kind of true Southern hospitality Baltimore needs. (Maura Callahan)

3. Blacksauce Kitchen 401 W. 29th St.,

Open only on Thursdays with a changing menu announced day-of, this Waverly Farmers Market legend went brick and mortar this year, giving a bit more access to its specifically mindful and inexplicably delicious take on barbecue and soul food. The effect is something that still feels special but accessible and never exclusive. And it’s all about the little things: its neo-soul and post-Rawkus Record hiphop soundtrack blasting while you wait; the affable service (if you go more than once they will almost surely remember your name and thank you for returning); and even the look of the place, with a variety cookbooks displayed on shelves and photos on the the walls, including one of the Sterling’s Crab and Oyster House that used to occupy the space—a small acknowledgement of past that matters a lot amid a moment of rapid development and rewriting. (Brandon Soderberg)

4. New America 429 N. Eutaw St., (443) 388-8576,

A project of artists and cooks and artist-cooks, the January opening of New America in the Charles Fish & Sons building helped combat the city’s dearth of good diners with


dishes that find strength in simplicity—including some of the best brunch food we’ve had a while. The space has become as much of a venue as it is a restaurant, regularly hosting film screenings, poetry readings, drawing nights, and more. As the diner’s name suggests, the food and atmosphere feel distinctly American, though less in the Wonderbread-andapple-pie kind of way than a continually expanding and adapting series of intersections. (MC)

5. Rye Street Tavern 225 E. Cromwell St.,

Rye Street Tavern is a seafood lover’s dream. Go with the wood-grilled Maryland rockfish, a plate of shrimp, creamy stone-ground grits, and smoked tomato beneath a sweet, tender cut of rockfish with a crispy grilled skin; or the lightly breaded, fried popcorn softshell clams served with fragrant jalapeno peppers and a tartar sauce drizzle. And with a different Maryland crab appetizer for each day of the week, a waterfront view, and the main dining area’s open-kitchen concept so you can check out the chefs hard at work, Rye Street Tavern does seafood and just plain American food only with five-star service. (Arli Lima)

6. 16 On The Park 800 N. Wolfe St., collection/16-on-the-park

This rooftop restaurant atop the new Residence Inn


The Beat’s Top 10 New Restaurants of 2017

Flatiron steak from 16 on the Park Photo by Arli Lima

Hotel in the Johns Hopkins Medical area offers a sweeping view of the city and a focus on seafood. That it is a standout along with Rye Street Tavern, which also opened this year and works within the same good-food-gone-a-bit fancy theme, makes it even more impressive. In part, this is due to 16 On The Park’s versatility—in particular, its sleek outdoor patio and raw bar (Raw Bar On The 16)—and its exceptional entrees: seared chicken served with fresh vegetables and pan jus, and roasted fingerling potatoes served alongside a prime wagyu flat iron steak are forever fighting it out for best plate. Even the crab cake—served with a garlic aioli—is a whip smart spin on a typical dish. (AL)

7. Miss Carter’s Kitchen 218 N. Liberty St., (443) 630-8255, misscarters_kitchenllc

You’ll know you’re near Miss Carter’s Kitchen, a particularly delicious soul food spot, before you even arrive because of all the energy emanating around it, especially at night when the Liberty Street establishment feels alive with people and food and fun. This is your expected soul-food-and-such-in-styrofoam-containers done with a more personal, family-run touch. On man, the sides—the potato and seafood salads, the seasoned french fries—and a particularly good and sweet halfand-half are standouts. You’ll find the wait for your food a delight as you chat it up with whoever else is in line or perhaps, probably, Miss Carter herself. (BS)


8. The GruB Factor y 1210 N. Charles St., (443) 602-7018,

It takes someone bold to even introduce another vegan place into Baltimore—the monolithic Land of Kush looms—and while there should not be this “there can only be one” logic, it remains, in part because Kush is so good and in part because non-vegans are often picky. So welcome to Baltimore, GruB Factory, and thanks for the seitan, made in the kitchen and unmatched. The relatively small menu is a bonus—they know what they do well—and makes it easier for the vegan skeptic, who won’t be one anymore once they try the french toast platter and taste its almond milk batter with agave honey mixed in. (BS)

9. Minnow 2 E. Wells St., Suite 116, (443) 759-6537,

Minnow opened in South Baltimore in May, just a block away from another local gem, Hersh’s. The two now form one of the best culinary one-two punches in Baltimore. Minnow is owned by Ben and Jake Lefenfeld, who also own La Cuchara, and while it’s had some menu changes since opening, it is now one of the more creative and whimsical destinations in Baltimore. Chef Drew Lesoveck is slinging some inventive dishes on the seafood-forward menu but that L.D.F. dry aged burger, with its squid ink bun and umami sauce, is a stand-out and a standard for all other burgers in Charm


City. Other highlights include the whole “Bait” section on the menu: shareable bites served in quaint sardine tins. If you’re looking for a cocktail, try the Smoke & Fire and Love Potion #8. If you want something with a lofty name that lives up to its billing, give the F* That’s Delicious (bourbon, amaro, cava) a try. (Leandro Lagera)

10. Showroom at Motor House 120 W. North Ave., (410) 862-0930,

Showroom is Andre Mazelin’s newest creative venture melding food, drink, and art. It’s the anchor café and event space for Motor House (formerly Load Of Fun). Aptly named, Showroom is housed on the showroom floor of a former car dealership that used to reside in the building. The spot includes a spacious bar and a back room with plenty of cozy nooks along with a fully equipped stage for live entertainment. At the helm of the kitchen is Daniel Horowitz, founder and executive chef of The Pantry, a local catering company. They’re slinging food from breakfast to lunch most days and have a killer happy hour from Tuesday to Friday (all night on Thursday). The menu is an eclectic mix of international flavors and the bolsitas, which are essentially bags of goodness with a range of flavors from Mexican to TexMex to Mediterranean, represent what Horowitz is trying to accomplish. As for the cocktails, and there are many, but don’t pass up the No. 9, especially since the menu describes it as a “tiki variation of a sazerac.” (LL)

DECEMBER 27, 2017




Trapped by Depression?

Let Try to Find a Way Out...

Am I Eligible?

Are you 18 - 65 years old? Not getting adequate results with your current antidepressant therapy? Diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) changes how you view the world. It causes extreme sadness and feelings of hopelessness.

A clinical research study is currently evaluating an investigational drug for its safety and effectiveness in the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder. LET’S TALK, CONTACT US TO LEARN MORE.

410-602-1440 /

Principal Investigator: Robert Lehman, M.D. / Sub-Investigator: Alan Jonas, M.D.

DECEMBER 27, 2017






Are intrusive thoughts interfering with your daily life? Do these thoughts lead to distress or fear? If you suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) you may qualify to participate in a clinical research study examining the use of an investigational medication for people with OCD, not currently satisďŹ ed with their SSRI (or clomipramine). For information please call


Desmond M. Kaplan, M.D. Principal Investigator


Alan M. Jonas, M.D. & Robert B. Lehman, M.D., Sub-Investigators

DECEMBER 27, 2017




Has your life been affected by bipolar depression? If so, you may be interested in taking part in the 401 or 402 Study. The 401 and 402 Studies are looking at a potential new treatment – an investigational medication – for bipolar depression (bipolar I or bipolar II disorder) to see whether it works, and how safe it is, for improving the symptoms of bipolar depression. The 401 Study will look at the investigational medication when it is used on its own. The 402 Study will look at the investigational medication in patients who are already taking a mood stabilizer, specifically lithium or valproate. We are looking for people who are currently experiencing major depressive episodes associated with bipolar disorder to take part in the 401 and 402 Studies. You may be able to take part in the 401 or 402 Study if you: • are between 18 and 75 years of age (inclusive)

If you are interested in taking part in one of these studies, or if you would like more information, please contact:


have been diagnosed with bipolar I or bipolar II disorder

are currently having a major depressive episode that started at least 2 weeks ago, but no more than 6 months ago

have previously had at least one bipolar manic episode or mixed episode (if you have bipolar I disorder) or hypomanic episode (if you have bipolar II disorder).

Study participation will last up to 12 weeks and will require nine visits to the study center.

ITI-007 Alan M. Jonas, M.D. Principal Investigator

Bipolar Depression Program

Desmond M. Kaplan, M.D. & Robert B. Lehman, M.D., Sub-Investigators

DECEMBER 27, 2017





Do you drink alcohol?


Marijuana users of Baltimore:

We want you!

Research volunteers needed. The National Institutes of Health is seeking volunteers for a study to learn more about how past experiences with alcohol can influence current drinking and cravings. You may be eligible to participate if you are 21 to 65 years old and drink alcohol weekly. • Participants paid for time and travel—up to $770 • Up to 6 visits to the study clinic and 1 phone call over 2 months • Conducted on the Johns Hopkins Bayview campus

If you are at least 18 years old, use marijuana, and live in Baltimore City or a surrounding county, you may be able to participate in a research study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that seeks to understand how where you live affects drug use.

Call Toll Free:

Visit or call toll free:

• Participants paid for time and travel—up to $220 • Requires 2 visits to the study clinic over 1 year • Conducted on the Johns Hopkins Bayview Campus




I N G S M O KI N G I S H A R D .

Let us help you through it. If you are 18-60 years old and ready to quit smoking, we need you for a RESEARCH STUDY on nicotine dependence at the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Baltimore. The study’s treatment plan is customized to your individual needs and includes free nicotine replacement combined with one-on-one counseling. This is a program that offers a research/treatment combination. • Earn up to $1690 for completing the study • Receive compensation after each study visit

• Receive an MRI of your brain in a t-shirt • Evening and weekend study appointments available

We want you to succeed. Call today to see if you qualify.




DECEMBER 27, 2017

Are YouFind Eligible? out today Disability Support Services, Inc. is a team of legal representatives who specializes in Social Security Disability Law. We are the “go-to” representation firm for all your Social Security Disability needs. Don’t wait any longer! Disability Support Services can help you apply or if you have been denied help file your appeals.

If your check isn’t coming to you. . .

you should be coming to us!


CALL TODAY! 410-244-0006, Volume 1, Issue 7, December 27, 2017, Volume 1, Issue 7, December 27, 2017, Volume 1, Issue 7, December 27, 2017, Volume 1, Issue 7, December 27, 2017