F E B R U A R Y 2 1 , 2 0 1 8 V O L . 2 I S S . 8 B A L T I M O R E B E AT. C O M
Metal Gear Artist Chris Bathgate on his otherworldly, engineered sculptures and machining as a medium By Raymond Cummings
Merriweather Post Pavilion • Columbia, MD JUST ANNOUNCED!
w/ Old Dominion .............. AUGUST 22
On Sale Friday, February 23 at 10am
L METAT! FES
M3 ROCK FESTIVAL 2018
Queensryche • Kix • Tom Keifer • Ace Frehley and more! .............................................................. MAY 4 & 5
M3 SOUTHERN ROCK CLASSIC FEATURING HERN SOUTOCK R ! FEST
THIS WEEK’S SHOWS U STREET MUSIC HALL PRESENTS
Lane 8 w/ Enamour................................................................................ Th FEB 22
ALL GOOD PRESENTS
Railroad Earth w/ Roosevelt Coliler................................................F 23 & Sa 24 Lights w/ Chase Atlantic & DCF ..................................................................... Tu 27 MARCH
Kelela .........................................Th 1 Galactic
ALL GOOD PRESENTS
The Soul Rebels
• For full lineups and more info, visit merriweathermusic.com • 930.com
ALL GOOD PRESENTS
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
2-Night Passes Available .....F 30 & Sa 31
w/ Melvv & Olivia Noelle ..............Su 4
Cornelius w/ Ava Luna ...............W 7 No Scrubs: ‘90s Dance Party
Cigarettes After Sex ..............M 2 Yo La Tengo ...............................W 4
with DJs Will Eastman and Brian Billion .........................F 9
Beth Ditto w/ SSION ................Sa 10
Lincoln Theatre • 1215 U Street, NW Washington, D.C. JUST ANNOUNCED!
Jacksepticeye ......................................................................... APRIL 3
............................................................................ MAY 9
On Sale Friday, February 23 at 10am
ALL GOOD PRESENTS
The Motet .................................Th 5 Anderson East
ALL GOOD PRESENTS
w/ Jesse Royal & Etana .............Su 11
w/ Devon Gilfillian ..........................F 6
K.Flay w/ Yungblud ...................M 12 Mason Bates’s Mercury Soul ........................Th 15
The Black Angels w/ Black Lips .................................M 9
Andy Grammer ......................Tu 10 Thirdstory ...............................Th 12
AN EVENING WITH
Nils Frahm ...............................F 16 Jon Batiste (Solo in the Round)
ALL GOOD PRESENTS
Perpetual Groove w/ CBDB ..F 13
Early Show! 6pm Doors ..................Sa 17
ALL GOOD PRESENTS
STEEZ PROMO PRESENTS
Hurray For The Riff Raff & Waxahatchee
The Floozies w/ Anomalie
Late Show! 10:30pm Doors .............Sa 17
w/ Bedouine ..............................Su 15
D SHOW ADDED!
FIRST SHOW SOLD OUT! SECON
Andy Borowitz ........................ FEB 24 Dixie Dregs (Complete Original Lineup with Steve Morse, Rod Morgenstein, Allen Sloan, Andy West, and Steve Davidowski) ..................MAR 7
PostSecret: The Show ...... MAR 24 Rob Bell
w/ Peter Rollins .......... MAR 27 • thelincolndc.com •
Stuff You Should Know About (Live).................APR 5 Max Raabe & Palast Orchester.............APR 11 Rick Astley ................................APR 18 ALL GOOD PRESENTS moe................................................APR 20
Calexico w/ Ryley Walker ............APR 27 Robyn Hitchcock and His L.A. Squires w/ Tristen .......................................APR 28
U Street (Green/Yellow) stop across the street!
D NIGHT ADDED!
FIRST NIGHT SOLD OUT! SECON
Judah & The Lion
w/ Colony House & Tall Heights..Tu 17
Betty Who w/ Pretty Sister
Sofi Tukker ..............................W 18 Clean Bandit w/ Nina Nesbitt .Th 19
& Spencer Ludwig........................W 21
ALL GOOD PRESENTS
D SHOW ADDED FIRST SHOW SOLD OUT! SECON
Maneka w/ Bleary Eyed • Tosser • DJ Franzia ......................F 23
Godspeed You! Black Emperor w/ KGD .......................................Sa 24
of Montreal .............................Su 25 Turnover w/ Mannequin Pussy & Summer Salt ...........................Tu 27
MANY MORE SHOWS ON SALE!
Dierks Bentley w/ Brothers Osborne & LANCO ................................................. MAY 18 Jason Aldean w/ Luke Combs & Lauren Alaina .................................................. MAY 24 Florida Georgia Line .................................................................................... JUNE 7 Sugarland w/ Brandy Clark & Clare Bowen ......................................................... JULY 14 David Byrne w/ Benjamin Clementine................................................................ JULY 28 Lady Antebellum & Darius Rucker w/ Russell Dickerson..........AUGUST 2 Jason Mraz....................................................................................................AUGUST 10 Phish ........................................................................................................ AUGUST 11 & 12
feat. GZA & Talib Kweli.......Th 29
(F 2 - w/ Butcher Brown • Sa 3 - w/ Aztec Sun) ........... F 2 & Sa 3
Moose Blood w/ Lydia ............Su 18 Coast Modern..........................M 19 Wild Child w/ The Wild Reeds .Tu 20
The Marshall Tucker Band • Blackberry Smoke • The Outlaws and more! .................................................................. MAY 6
Lotus .............................F 20 & Sa 21 The Weepies
Hideaway 10 Year Anniv. Tour .....Su 22
Stars w/ Dan Mangan .................M 23 Steven Wilson
w/ Paul Draper ...........................Tu 24
Unknown Mortal Orchestra w/ Makeness ................................F 27
9:30 CLUB PRESENTS AT U STREET MUSIC HALL MAKO w/ Night Lights ...................Sa FEB 24 Vinyl Theatre & Vesperteen w/ The Stolen ........................................ Su 25 Gabrielle Aplin w/ John Splithoff & Hudson Taylor ......... Su 25 Hollie Cook w/ Jenna Camille.............. M 26 Sevdaliza ........................................... Tu 27 Albert Hammond Jr w/ The Marias.. Tu 27 Ella Vos w/ Freya Ridings ............... M MAR 5 Digitalism ........................................... W 28 Amy Shark w/ MILCK .......................... M 12 Curtis Harding.................................. Sa 31 Craig David presents TS5.............. Tu 13 Fujiya & Miyagi w/ Annie Hart ..... Su APR 1 The Hunna & Coasts w/ Courtship ... Sa 17 Ripe ........................................................W 4 The Strypes ......................................... F 23 Colter Wall w/ Jade Bird ...................... Sa 7 The Marmozets ................................ Sa 24 Skizzy Mars ....................................... Tu 10 • Buy advance tickets at the 9:30 Club box office • 930.com
The best thing you could possibly put in your mouth Cupcakes by BUZZ... your neighborhood bakery in Alexandria, VA. | www.buzzonslaters.com
TICKETS for 9:30 Club shows are available through TicketFly.com, 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.
HAPPY HOUR DRINK PRICES impconcerts.com AFTER THE SHOW AT THE BACK BAR!
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!
The Real News Network produces independent, veriﬁable, fact-based journalism that engages ordinary people in solving critical problems in their communities. As legendary journalist Ida B. Wells said, “The people must know before they can act, and there is no educator to compare with the press.”
The Future Depends On Knowing. Find us online at www.therealnews.com
We examine the underlying causes of the chronic problems facing Baltimore, and investigate and report on effective solutions and models for change. We don’t just cover people in high ofﬁce or limit news to the partisan horse race for power. People who ﬁght for human rights and work for solutions are newsmakers. We believe that real change will be driven by the people who need it most. While we report and investigate on all important issues of social and economic concern, we consider the climate change crisis an existential threat. In all of our programming and journalism the impact of environmental degradation and the climate crisis, especially on marginalized people, and the urgency of ﬁnding solutions will be front and center.
HAVE A NICE DAY
“A mix of realism and punky attitude” Robert Abele, TheWrap
EAT, DRINK, AND WEAR TOGAS! TICKE TS AT
VOL.2 | ISS.8 ADDRESS PO Box 53352 Washington DC 20009 PHONE 410-844-0755 EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org DIGITAL www.baltimorebeat.com PUBLISHED BY BROWN NAFF PITTS OMNIMEDIA, INC. Kevin Naff email@example.com PUBLISHER Ext. 8088 Jennifer Marsh firstname.lastname@example.org ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Ext. 9463
Not Objectively Reasonable
Korryn Gaines’ mother Rhanda Dormeus discusses her daughter’s death, her grandson’s trauma, and police force
Lisa Snowden-McCray email@example.com EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Ext. 9461 Maura Callahan firstname.lastname@example.org DEPUTY EDITOR Brandon Soderberg email@example.com MANAGING EDITOR Ext. 9462 Jeff Stintz firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Ext. 9464 CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING email@example.com 202-747-2077
Artist Chris Bathgate on his otherworldly, engineered sculptures and machining as a medium
Third Time’s a Charm
Chef Catina Smith talks about her culinary event Taste Baltimore
WEEK IN REVIEW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 COMMUNITY NOTES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 REAL ESTATE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 DISPATCHES FROM WEEK FOUR OF THE GUN TRACE TASK FORCE TRIAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 NOT OBJECTIVELY REASONABLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 BLADE NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 DEMOCRACY IN CRISIS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 METAL GEAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 ON PAPER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 ART . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 MUSIC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 BOOKS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 STAGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 SCREENS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 FOOD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 FIELD TRIPPING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 WEED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Azer Creative firstname.lastname@example.org DESIGN & PRODUCTION 202-540-8928 For distribution, contact Lynne Brown at 202-747-2077, Ext. 8075. Distributed by MediaPoint, LLC 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. ©2018 BROWN NAFF PITTS OMNIMEDIA, INC.
FEBRUARY 14, 2018
Week In Review Stories from last week in Baltimore not covered elsewhere in this issue
Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott made a surprise entrance into the Maryland governor’s race—he announced last Thursday that he’d be running as James Shea’s lieutenant governor. The two say they plan on making Baltimore a top priority. Many have speculated that Scott, who serves as vice chair of the council’s public safety committee and has frequently clashed with Mayor Catherine Pugh, would eventually run for mayor. He doesn’t have to give up his council seat to run, so he doesn’t risk anything by giving this a try. We got to see a little bit of what Mayor Catherine Pugh and other city officials used to unsuccessfully woo Amazon to Baltimore via the website thismustbetheplace.city, and, well, we weren’t impressed. The pitch didn’t feel very much like Baltimore at all. In fact, Port Covington seemed to be the city’s only selling point (it’s a “masterplanned, mixed-use, urban redevelopment project,” you know). There’s nothing wrong with seeking to bring new business into the city, but this feels like a real moment to break away from the business-as-usual way things have been done, and create something new. Consider this quote: “The Port Covington peninsula, located in South Baltimore, has very low crime rates, as do the surrounding neighborhoods of Locust Point, Westport, Fells Point, Federal Hill, and Riverside.” Yes, those are the parts of the city that have always received the resources that help keep crime down. But let’s not ignore the parts of the city where crime rates are higher and life isn’t so rosey (there’s no use ignoring it—surely the folks at Amazon have read a paper or two). And, btw, can we start asking these companies what they are willing to do for us, too? The whole country was left reeling after another tragic mass shooting—this time in Parkland, Fla. Here in Maryland, school officials at Loch Raven High School in Baltimore County went on high alert when a student brought a pellet gun the day after the Florida shooting. Police got the gun and no one was injured. Baltimore County Executive Kevin B. Kamenetz noted that he wanted things at the school to go back to normal. But it feels like fear is the new normal now. Then there’s this: Sgt. Aaron Penman, a Republican running to represent Harford County in the Maryland House of Delegates, held a gun bingo fundraiser the weekend after the Parkland shooting. One of the prizes: an AR-15, the same kind of rifle used in Florida and in other mass shooting events around the country. We’ll just say kudos to the protesters who didn’t let the weekend’s snow stop them from showing up outside the event and holding a vigil for victims of the mass shooting. Gun Trace Task Force (GTTF) members Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor (the only two of the eight federally-indicted officers not to plead guilty) were found guilty by a jury on Feb. 12. Next comes the sentencing of all eight of them in the spring, but in the more immediate: Ongoing demands for massive police reform. Del. Bilal Ali recommended disbanding BPD (an idea Mayor Catherine Pugh quickly dismissed). Meanwhile, BPD commissioner Darryl DeSousa went on ABC2 News and apologized to the public for GTTF’s actions and also declared that there will be an “independent, outside” group looking into Det. Sean Suiter’s death. Suiter was killed just one day before he was supposed to testify to a grand jury about a GTTF-related incident. A jury made up entirely of women found that the police shooting of Korryn Gaines and her son to be “not objectively reasonable,” awarding her family $37 million. The ruling feels bittersweet, considering the officer who shot her has received a promotion since the August 2016 incident. The Baltimore Sun has noted that the case is far from over, and it’s likely that Gaines’ family will never see the full amount. It’s notable that although Baltimore County government attorney Mike Field released a statement indicating that he could appeal the verdict, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, who is running for governor, declined to comment. And of course, no amount of money will bring a life back. There have been four homicides between Feb. 12 (when last week’s issue of the Beat went to press) and Feb. 19 (when this week’s issue goes to press): Sadik Griffin and John Townes Jr. on Feb. 13, Maurice Anthony Knight on Feb. 15, and a victim not yet identified by police on Feb. 17. These four homicides come after a lengthy break without any homicides—from Feb. 3-12. So far this year there have been 31 homicides in Baltimore.
Acting Police Commissioner Darryl DeSousa
Photo by Lisa Snowden-McCray
Community Events: F E B . 2 1 - 2 8 Hearing for Police Commissioner. Executive appointments hearing for Police Commissioner De Souza. Feb. 21, 5 p.m., Baltimore City Hall, 100 N. Holliday St., (410) 396-4804, baltimorecitycouncil.com/content/hearing-policecommissioner. West Wednesday. 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. Feb. 21 and 28, usually held at the intersection of 33rd Street and Greenmount Avenue, check facebook.com/justicefortyronewest for details. Investing in Parents Townhall. Panel discussion with local, state, and federal officials. Food, transportation, and childcare provided. Feb. 22, 6-8 p.m., Baltimore City Community College Fine Arts Theater, 2901 Liberty Heights Ave., (443) 255-9413, eventbrite.com/e/investing-in-parents-town-hall-meetingtickets-41987264037?aff=eac2. Waverly Main Street Kickoff Celebration. Find out what’s in store for Greenmount Avenue and how to get involved. Free food and beer samples. Feb. 22, 6-8 p.m., Peabody Heights Brewery, 401 E. 30th St., waverlymainstreet.org. Free Black History Month Concert. Baritone Daniel C.X. Rich will perform a concert of African American composers, spiritual arrangements, and songs. Artist reception will follow. Feb. 23, 7-9 p.m., Faith Presbyterian Church, 5400 Loch Raven Blvd., faithpcbalt.org/event/black-history-month-concert. Art Law Clinic. Pay $5 for a 30 minute session with a lawyer to assist with legal issues for creative professionals. Feb. 24., 1-4 p.m., Maryland Art Place, 218 W. Saratoga St., email email@example.com to learn more or to schedule an appointment. Greater Baltimore Democratic Gubernatorial Forum. Hear from candidates Rushern Baker, Ben Jealous, Kevin Kamenetz, Rich Madaleno, Alec Ross, Jim Shea and Krishanti Vignarajah. Phylicia Porter moderates and Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings offers concluding speech. Feb. 24, 2-5 p.m., War Memorial, 101 N. Gay St., secure.actblue.com/donate/ufm4, free ($10-$30 donations accepted). Second Anniversary CommUNITY Celebration. Join Fresh at the Avenue in celebrating two years of providing Sandtown-Winchester with fresh, affordable vegetables and fruits. Feb. 25, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 1700 Pennsylvania Ave., eventbrite. com/e/2nd-anniversary-community-celebration-tickets-43260960698?aff=es2. Plug into Planning @ The Door. Meet with Baltimore City Department of Planning staff and learn about current projects and upcoming opportunities to shape the course of Baltimore’s development. Feb. 27, 7-8:30 p.m., The Door (Baltimore Urban Leadership Foundation), 219 N. Chester St., planning. baltimorecity.gov/public-engagement-0.
• • •
FEBRUARY 21, 2018
T H E L I V I N G A N D R E A L E S TAT E B E AT
You can finally see Baltimore’s failed presentation to Amazon to get the company to place a new headquarters here. You can view it at thismustbetheplace.city, a flashy website that gives a sense of what Mayor Pugh and Under Armour would like the city to look like and includes a few depressing mistruths—including a reference to the Red Line, killed by Hogan years ago but here presented as part of the transit map for the city. Read it and weep, because of its occasionally baffling tech dweeb speak or because Amazon gave Baltimore a big “nah,” you decide. As the Baltimore Business Journal first reported, the reimagining of Lexington Market, which involves a massive redesign and the demolishing of the current beloved market building, has been approved by the Baltimore spending board for $250,000. Merritt Properties has gotten the first go ahead to build a 200,000 squarefoot, 20-story, $70 million office building in Canton near its Boston Street gym that would include retail space and a conferencing center. Groundbreaking on the building, if all goes as planned, should happen in 2021. Improvements to the Howard Street tunnel are being reconsidered. The project, which would involve updating and adjusting the tunnel ideally to make the city’s port more active and lead to new jobs, has languished lately. But last week, James White, the executive director of the Port Administration, informed the House of Delegates budget committee that there is serious consideration again, with railroading company CSX Corporation and the deputy secretary of transportation (whose name is Jim Ports, just saying) in conversation. In the fall, CSX pulled their support, essentially saying they couldn’t justify the investment, and the city ended its request for $155 million dollars from the federal government. In related port news, the debate about whether or not the city should expand its two crude oil terminals and add new ones continues. City Council has offered legislation to prohibit oil being moved by train through Baltimore neighborhoods. There is a growing public outcry as well to prevent oil spills and other potentially disastrous impacts (as Clean Water Action, who supports the council’s bill, has observed, “165,000 Baltimoreans live in the crude oil train blast zone”). On Feb. 21, there will be a hearing at 1 p.m. held by City Council’s Land Use and Transportation Committee. Those who support the prohibition of oil terminals expansion will gather in front of City Hall at noon. Reed Cordish, son of developer David Cordish of Cordish Companies (and a former partner in Cordish Companies), has left his year-long role in the Trump administration as Trump’s head of the the Office of American Innovation. Mostly, Cordish had been involved in infrastructure changes, which are under consideration by congress and, despite the heavy price tag, remain some of the most (or maybe make the few?) promising changes from Trump since he came into office.
• • •
FEBRUARY 21, 2018
NOT DONE Gun Trace Task Force trial ends with a guilty verdict By Brandon Soderberg and Baynard Woods
Catharsis and corruption follows a guilty verdict All afternoon on the final day of jury deliberations in the Gun Trace Task Force corruption trial of Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor, Alex Hilton paced around the lobby of the federal courthouse, anticipating a guilty verdict. He was there for Hersl, a cop he has history with dating back more than a decade. “If I hear ‘guilty,’ then I know I won’t have to worry about him anymore, he’s a monster man,” Hilton said, as he hiccuped and cried. “A monster.” Everyone expected an outpouring of emotion in the trials of the officers charged with death of Freddie Gray and with every acquittal, national news agencies swarmed the city looking for signs of “riot” as police helicopters hovered overhead. There were no “riots” though—only a resigned frustration toward a legal system that was clearly broken. But at the courthouse on Feb. 12 following a guilty verdict for Hersl and Taylor on robbery, fraud, conspiracy, and racketeering charges, there was raw emotion everywhere—just far fewer people were interested in it. The GTTF trial shed light on the conditions that led to the Baltimore Uprising, including the “looting” of the pharmacies, which the trial showed corrupt officers profited from via reselling stolen pharmaceuticals. “Every time they have had the trial, I kid you not, I get up off the bus and right up to the door and I’d sit there and try to will myself to come in but couldn’t come in,” Hilton said. Today was the first day he made it through the door during the three-week trial and two days of jury deliberation. In 2006, Hilton was picked up by Hersl outside of a substance abuse clinic where he was volunteering. “I never abused drugs but I sold them,” Hilton said. “But I got out the game pretty early—everything about me now is right. My thinking, my walk.” That day, Hilton said Hersl searched him and others for drugs, found none, then planted cocaine. “You always had some asshole cops or whatever but as far as they go would be a threat at you or whatever, I can live with that,” Hilton said. But Hersl was different, more of a bully, who’d focus on people and return to them again and again. “You look into this guy’s eyes man, I don’t know if it’s the hold he has on me—that could be it— but something about his eyes man. It’s that power he got over me. I just want it to end. Until he don’t have power on me, it’s never gonna end, man.” In 2011, Hilton was working a
FEBRUARY 21, 2018
construction gig near Fells Point. He says plainclothes came up to him as he ate his lunch on a friend’s stoop. Hersl searched him, pulled a cable bill out of his pocket with his brother’s address where he was staying at the time, and took the keys to his brother’s home. As Hilton sat in jail, eventually hit with drug charges he wasn’t even told about—he thought he was arrested for trespassing—his brother’s home was broken into and $1,100 was stolen. After that, Hilton moved to West Baltimore to avoid Hersl. Although Hilton was not part of the case against Hersl and did not testify, his experience is similar to the story of Herbert Tate, who testified during the trial that Hersl approached him, kept his money, and planted drugs on him. Tate left the city for Anne Arundel County. “Every now and then I have a nightmare—anything that has to do with prison brings me back to drugs and then I go to him. I just kind of put it to rest, then when this [trial] happened and I see it on the news, it brings up all these memories,” Hilton said. Before Hilton went into the courtroom for the first time on Monday, he kneeled and prayed. He had prepared himself for the decisive moment—but it turned out everyone had gathered in the courtroom for a question from the jury and not the verdict, at least not yet. Still, Hilton got to see Hersl saunter across the courtroom and sit down. Studying the back of Hersl’s head, Hilton watched the former detective fidget in court: “He knows how I feel now, look at him, twiddling his fuckin’ thumbs man,” Hilton said aloud in the courtroom to no one and everyone. When he left the courtroom after the judge answered the jury’s question, Hilton was looser, more clear-headed. The hard part—facing someone he said “terrorized” him—was over. “See, it’s like some woman been battered all her life and until she knows the judge said ‘guilty,’ she’s never free. I ain’t free,” Hilton said. “I feel crazy because I’m a man and I feel like this. I’m afraid of another man. That just does something to you as a man, you know?” Then Hilton’s eyes shifted around the courthouse lobby. He looked at the U.S. Marshals, hulking, mostly bald—like Hersl. “Security, they all look just like him, man,” Hilton spat out. Briefly, he spiralled. So he prayed again. Soon after, the verdict finally arrived. The tedious, tension-filled roll-out of each of the charges, the majority of which Hersl and Taylor were found “guilty” of committing. Hersl’s head grew red as the verdict landed. Taylor seemed unaffected. When Hersl went away in handcuffs, Hilton and Hersl’s family—who had been at court every day, often bringing a cooler full
of lunch—watched the disgraced cop exit, holding onto the moment together for very different reasons. “I love you Danny,” Hersl’s brother Steve cried out. In the lobby, Steve Hersl wailed while the rest of the Hersl family wobbled in shock nearby. Taylor’s family was eerily silent as they moved like ghosts through the courthouse and into the media scrum outside. “I can go on with my own life without having to worry about and being in fear of somebody who’s supposed to protect me,” Hilton said in the lobby a few feet from a bawling Steve Hersl. “I feel for [the Hersl family], I do, because I’m a Christian man, but right is right and wrong is wrong.” Outside, Hilton shared his catharsis with reporters: “It’s crazy. We’re talking about cops. Somebody’s who’s supposed to protect and serve. I finally came to grips with it today because once he got the cuffs put on him I knew he was no longer a police officer,” Hilton said.“I feel I have closure. Is it totally over with? Probably not. There’s a lot more work to be done. It’s going to start from the top up.” Like Hilton, Steve Hersl, a former firefighter, was furious at the cops he considered dirty—he just didn’t think his brother was one of them. He thought “Danny” had been “shanghai’ed” and set up by the higher ups. “My brother Danny Hersl wasn’t a part of this gang,” he said, his cheek glistening with drying tears. “He tried to get out of this gang. He begged. He cried. He cried to the family. He cried to everybody to get out of the gang. He didn’t want a part of it.” Steve Hersl blamed higher ups like former Commissioner Kevin Davis and Deputy Commissioner Dean Palmere, who announced his retirement on the same day that Momodu Gondo said Palmere covered up the 2009 murder of Shawn Cannady committed by GTTF’s Jemell Rayam. Gondo also testified that he had robbed people with Detective Sean Suiter, who was was murdered the day before he was supposed to testify before the Grand Jury in the case. Suiter’s death has not been solved. “When you got guys resigning, walking out the door with their head down—the commissioner, Palmere, all of them. Why are their heads down?” Steve Hersl asked. “Hey, is there an unsolved murder of a police officer? They know what the hell happened. They know. My brother Danny Hersl knows what happened.” More television cameras surrounded Steve Hersl. “Do you know what happened?” we asked. “Oh yeah I know what happened. You’re gonna find out what happened and
you’re going to find out a lot more because Danny Hersl is gonna tell you what’s going to happen because he’s going to write a book and he’s gonna do some talking. He’s not done,” Hersl said. (Brandon Soderberg & Baynard Woods)
Video reveals Gun Trace Task Force tactics Security camera footage of Gun Trace Task Force (GTTF) members Wayne Jenkins, Daniel Hersl, and Momodu Gondo burglarizing an apartment in Canton was released on Feb. 14 by attorneys Josh Insley, Natalie Finegar, and Tony Garcia. The footage shows Jenkins trying to sneak into the apartment by posing as a tenant who forgot his key and returning later in his police vest along with Gondo and Hersl, who presents a fake warrant. “There he is waving, who knows, some papers he had in his car—it’s not a warrant,” Insley said, narrating the video as it was played for reporters. The three GTTF members then walk behind the desk of the apartment complex and surround the security guard. “So now they’re taking over the situation. You’ll see the security guard is a rather young gentlemen clearly intimidated by their actions,” Insley said. Eventually, the security guard walks them up to the apartment of Damon Hardrick and April Sims, whom GTTF robbed. The security footage is a rare glimpse of Jenkins and GTTF at work and shows how easy it was for them to rob and steal under the color of law. In the video, Jenkins and Gondo have police vests slung over one shoulder, while Hersl remains in civilian clothes—a bright orange Orioles shirt and dad jeans. During the trial, which ultimately found Hersl and another GTTF member Marcus Taylor, guilty of robbery, racketeering conspiracy, and racketeering, this burglary came up. According to Gondo’s testimony, Jenkins called up Hersl and Gondo, said he had a “fuckin’ baller” because he spotted a Mercedes Benz truck parked outside the building and had observed drug transactions. He said that there was about $50,000 inside the house, and also that he had probable cause for a warrant from a judge. This is an example of the “sneak and peek” tactics often mentioned during the trial: GTTF enter a residence without a warrant and scope it out, sometimes stealing and returning much later with a warrant proper and other officers who would do actual police work. Gondo also testified that Hersl said he wanted in on the robbery because he had
just bought a new home (Hersl closed on a Joppa home on July 20, 2016; this burglary took place on July 25, 2016) and that Hersl handed Gondo a $5,000 Chanel purse from the apartment, which Gondo gave to a woman he was seeing. Later in the security video, we see Jenkins, Hersl, and Gondo back in the apartment lobby now holding boxes of things taken from the Sims residence, grinning and laughing with the security guard. “This is just boxes of stuff, they’re just stealing out of these peoples’ apartment,” Insley said, incredulous. “Sneak, peek, and steal.” A couple hours after that, Jenkins, Hersl, and Gondo returned again with other police officers and a warrant and seized heroin from the apartment and charged Sims and Hardrick with possession of a large amount of narcotics, intent to distribute, and paraphernalia. Additional footage shows Jenkins and Hersl messing about in another room of the apartment complex where the security cameras are, returning to the building with other officers who have a proper warrant, and officers in uniform carrying out Sims and Hardrick in handcuffs. (Brandon Soderberg)
Attorneys again accuse Mosby of knowing about corrupt cops and doing nothing Like the Feb. 2 press conference organized by Insley, Finegar, and Garcia’s partner Ivan Bates (who is also running for State’s Attorney), the larger point here was the failings of the current State’s Attorney’s Office. Sims and Hardrick’s case languished in court because GTTF members did not testify and couldn’t produce the warrant, Insley explained. When the case was dismissed because it violated right to a speedy trial, the SAO simply indicted Sims again. The Sims case was dismissed only after GTTF members were indicted. “There is no way Marilyn Mosby didn’t know about the credibility of these officers,” Finegar said, highlighting the SAO’s approach of attempting to push through cases with officers with credibility issues simply by not calling those officers with issues to court and relying on the testimony of other officers present. Garcia characterized the SAO’s approach to prosecution when they had problem officers. “‘Well, we’re not gonna call that officer, we’re gonna simply cut him out of the picture and go with the other officers that didn’t exactly do anything,’” Garcia said.
Alex Hilton (top) and Steve Hersl Photos by Bashi Rose / Courtesy The Real News Network
“Well, they’re all complicit because the other officers saw the other officers commit a crime. That’s called conspiracy.” “It’s about how do I look good, not how do I be good,” Finegar said. In response to the criticism by Insley, Finegar, and Garcia, the SAO’s Melba Saunders released a statement that said the SAO pushed forward because there was “overwhelming evidence against the defendants, which included 390 grams of heroin recovered at the scene.” Saunders added, “this is yet another example of hundreds of cases where police corruption has impeded our city’s ability to deliver justice on behalf of its citizens.” Sanders’ statement verifies the lawyers’ accusations against the SAO: They pursued cases even when those cases were deeply flawed. In the Sims case, there is video evidence that Jenkins, Hersl, and Gondo entered the apartment hours before they were allowed to search it and removed items. Given GTTF trial testimony that included stories of GTTF dealing drugs themselves and in some cases even planting drugs on people, the ability to determine where the heroin seized originated should be called into question. Whistleblowers provided other internal documents to Insley, who was in turn passing them on to the press, as he did with thousands of pages of internal affairs documents pertaining to Rayam, which he
obtained from a whistleblower and gave to the Sun’s Justin Fenton last December. Many of these documents involve the same 2009 theft of $11,000 covered by Fenton. Details in that case are similar to many that came out in the GTTF trials. In his statements to the Internal Affairs Department, Rayam said he and his partner Jason Giordano were driving by when they saw another officer, whom they didn’t know, outside a stopped vehicle. It turned out the other officer was Michael Sylvester, with whom Rayam became friends in the academy. And, as he testified in the federal trial, shortly before this incident, Jason Giordano had already helped him cover up Rayam’s shooting of Shawn Cannady in an alley. The defense attorneys, who are part of a PAC trying to unseat Mosby, provided a lie detector test given to Giordano regarding the 2009 theft—and it determined that there was a 99 percent chance he was not telling the truth. Giordano, they pointed out, is still on the force with four open cases. The attorneys also pointed out that Thomas Wilson still has 37 cases pending. Wilson was Jenkins’ former partner and was put on administrative duty after his name came up in the federal trial when Donald Stepp alleged that he helped provide security at Scores stripclub for a Dominican drug dealer visiting from New York and
had knowledge of the theft of 30 pounds of weed from two individuals outside the Belvedere Towers apartments. In an affidavit provided by the attorneys and dated April 8, 2015, Kimberly Demory stated that Rayam forced her to hang up the phone when she tried use 911 to call uniformed officers. When she asked for a warrant, Jenkins “pulled his gun out and placed it to [her] temple.” Other documents showed that the SAO was aware of Rayam’s credibility problems—but instead of revealing those issues to defense attorneys, as they are required to, the SAO simply tried to bring the case without having to call Rayam. A 2016 memo from Assistant State’s Attorney Kent Grasso sent to the police integrity unit addressed Rayam’s “credibility issues” during a trial overseen by Judge Barry Williams. Mosby’s office not only ignored concerns about members of the GTTF, Garcia said, but someone in the office tipped Jenkins that GTTF was being investigated. “Our office learned of the egregious and illegal acts of these officers the same time as the public, when they were federally indicted,” Saunders said in response. She referred all questions regarding the leaker to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Documents provided by Insley, Garcia and Finegar showed, however, that the heads of the police integrity unit and the intelligence unit were aware of the problems—and waited months before sharing those concerns with BPD’s internal affairs. The letter went to Ian Dombrowski, who was named in the GTTF trial as originating the free days off for guns scheme utilized by the officers. Insley remarked that the new corruption unit announced by commissioner-designate Darryl De Sousa is a “second IAD,” because the existing internal affairs has been “compromised,” like the SAO, by leaking information to GTTF officers. He also criticized Mayor Catherine Pugh and DeSousa, who have adopted “a few bad apples,” talk when it comes to GTTF. He mentioned William King and Antonio Murray, two federally-indicted BPD officers who robbed drug dealers in 2005 and were then referred to as “bad apples” by the powers that be. It’s a cheap rhetorical trick used to ignore the problem. “A few bad apples means ‘I don’t care,’” Insley said. (Baynard Woods) Coverage of the Gun Trace Task Force trial is a collaboration between the Baltimore Beat and the Real News Network. Visit therealnews.com for more independent local, national, and international journalism that examines the underlying causes of chronic problems and searches for effective solutions.
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Not Objectively Reasonable Korryn Gaines’ mother Rhanda Dormeus discusses her daughter’s death, her grandson’s trauma, and police force By Ericka Blount Danois
Kodi Gaines and Korryn Gaines Courtesy Instagram
Korryn Gaines was a pretty and petite young woman, at 23, with tiny hands and tiny feet. Her friends and family members say she was a voracious reader and they became accustomed to seeing her face immersed in a book, reading until late at night. On Aug. 1, 2016, she was in a stand-off with Baltimore County police who had come to her Randallstown apartment to serve her with a warrant for a traffic violation and her fiancé, Kareem Courtney, with a warrant related to an alleged assault. Fearful of police, she held a shotgun on her lap and reached out to family and friends on her cell phone and shared video of the incident on social media. Her 5-year-old son, Kodi, stayed near her. The
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stand-off lasted for nearly six hours. A SWAT vehicle remained parked outside Gaines’ apartment vehicle. A tactical unit of police officers in full armor, guns at the ready, stood in her doorway and in the hallway, along with a hostage negotiation team. Family members who came to convince her to come out were corralled into a nearby church and their phones were taken, so they had no communication with her. Three minutes after Korryn’s Facebook account was shut down at the request of police, she was shot by Corporal Royce Ruby who said in a deposition that he feared for the life of his fellow officers when Gaines walked into the kitchen, where she would have had a
more direct line of fire. During testimony in court he said she raised her gun at him at that moment and he fired at her. Her son Kodi was hit by gunfire in the face and in the arm, which shattered his elbow. Lead attorneys for the Gaines’ family, J. Wyndal Gordon and Ken Ravenell, filed a lawsuit for a total of $42 million ($32 million for Kodi, $2.6 for the estate, $3.38 million for Gaines’ daughter Karsyn Courtney, $2.08 million for her mother Rhanda Dormeus, and $2.23 million for her father, Ryan Gaines Sr.) claiming excessive force was used by the Baltimore County Police Department and that Gaines and her son Kodi’s rights were violated. On Feb. 16, a jury of women
declared Ruby’s shooting Gaines and her son “not objectively reasonable” and awarded Kodi Gaines $32 million, $300,00 each to Gaines’ father and mother, and $4.5 million to Gaines’ other child. While the trial was still going on, the Beat spoke to Gaines’ mother Rhanda Dormeus. Baltimore Beat: Tell me a little about Korryn as a child. Rhanda Dormeus: Korryn was my third child. She was born a 9-pound, 12-ounce, blue-eyed baby girl [laughs]. She was precocious. She was a daddy’s girl. She was extremely outspoken. She was an extremely honest child. I told her to speak her mind, but be respectful. She was on the swim team. She was always a reader. She played in marching band, she played clarinet. She wanted her own clarinet, because she took it seriously, so I bought it for her; an electric blue clarinet. That was one of her favorite colors. I think she wanted it so I could be able to spot her. In her last year at City [College High School] she knew she wanted to focus on political science in college; she wanted to be a lawyer. She didn’t decide if she wanted the campus experience or stay home, so I told her she could have both at Morgan. If you want to stay on campus, you’re gonna stay on campus. Between her grandmother, her father’s mother, and myself, we made it happen. I borrowed against my 401K, my retirement, her grandmother helped me. We had a dorm warming party, it was a big thing, it was just a big thing. She started at Morgan in 2010, but she only stayed the one semester. Kodi came about, but let me tell you how hard I was fighting to keep her in school. I was fighting for her to finish school. I think it was Notre Dame that had a program where mothers and their children could come. They had on campus daycare. The cost was astronomical, but I was gonna try to figure it out, between her grandmother and I, we were gonna try to figure it out. I think from her perspective, she wasn’t as motivated, to move from this place, now to attend another school and being a mother. After she had Kodi she went to Fortis hair salon to do hair and she was working at a salon on Liberty Road, Salon L. BB: Let’s talk about the case. According to your nephew’s testimony, Ruby told him after he shot her that, “I was hot. I was frustrated. I had been out there all day.” RD: That day, after they told me she’s gone, I dropped. I have to see the welfare of my grandson and what state he’s in. As I was doing that, my nephew came to help me up, that’s when the officer began to chastise him, and it was a row of them. I remember my nephew confronting him and having an exchange. He said, “this motherfucker is gonna tell me he was hot out there.” I remember my nephew having that outburst. BB: At some point the police told you that Korryn had shot Kodi? RD: They led me to believe that the bullet wound in his elbow came from her gun. BB: At this point you didn’t know she was gone. RD: No. They shut her [Facebook] page down at maybe 3:30, 3:40—two minutes later, she was shot. BB: Were you looking at her page as it was happening? RD: They took my phone as soon as I got there. I told my best girlfriend, “I am on my way to Korryn’s. I think think they are gonna kill my baby.” BB: Your nephew testified that the officer told him that he wasn’t going to sleep for weeks over this? RD: Yup, that’s what he said. We won’t be right for the rest of our lives. BB: How has Kodi been coping? He was shot in the arm and the face. What did the doctor in his testimony say about Kodi? RD: He used a hierarchy scale—post-traumatic stress hierarchy scale. Based on his hierarchy it shows
Korryn Gaines Courtesy Instagram
the highest level of trauma. He’s faced with a lifetime of therapy and all of these outcomes for this type of trauma, drug abuse, suicide, lack of being able to take care of himself from depression. He suffers from anxiety, night terrors, he’s become aggressive, which was never in his character. He’s physically abusive, he’s lying, something that was never tolerated. My oldest daughter told me he has turned dark. He’s not an average six-year-old like he should be. When you know a child pre-trauma and now have to deal with him post-trauma, it’s not just a shock to the child, it’s a shock to his caregivers. You’re faced with these new challenges for something that was out of his control. BB: How have you as a mother been coping? RD: I’m a mess. Sometimes it gets very dark. I can’t get out of bed. Kodi is experiencing anxiety and panic attacks. I have panic attacks. Not wanting to eat. I have to force myself to eat sometimes. The sporadic crying. I just start screaming and crying. There are not even words to explain the depth of hurt and pain. I’m not even angry with Rudy, there’s no space there, there’s too much pain. And that’s how I’m able to stay focused. There’s no room for anger and pain. I’m so profoundly hurt. Especially when I know all means weren’t exhausted. There was no urgency, it was six hours later. They can wait it out for days. I was a psych for nurse for years. There’s a group of mothers in court everyday to support me and they are my source of comfort and strength. They really do understand. BB: There are mothers there that have lost children? RD: Yes, one of the mothers her son was killed 19 years ago by a Prince George’s County police officer— Marion Gray-Hopkins. She lives in PG County and she drives up every day to come to court. Another mother, she lost three sons six weeks apart due to community violence, one was robbed and he had a heart attack, another one stabbed to death, gas was on in the house. I am a member of the Coalition of Concerned Mothers— their focus is on police violence. It’s so profound the connection the mothers have because we share a
common pain that nobody unless they walk in their shoes will ever imagine. And I don’t want them to. BB: The topic of Korryn’s mental illness has come up in court—she suffered from lead paint poisoning? RD: One day she called me crying saying, ‘I don’t know if I’m good enough to be Kodi’s mother.’ She was about to get the settlement for the lead case and she was like I want to make sure I do everything I’m supposed to do with the money to make sure we’re good. She was overwhelmed. She had gone into a depression. I told her you need to go in to talk to someone. She agreed and they admitted her. She was 21 so I wasn’t privy to everything that was said. She was released on an antidepressant to outpatient therapy. She told me about being sexually abused. They put her on Celexa. That was working. Then she got pregnant with Karyson [her youngest daughter] and she wasn’t comfortable taking it anymore and she stopped taking it. BB: You explained to the police her history of mental illness at the scene? RD: Yes. When I got to the scene I explained that she had had a mental break and that she was under doctor’s care and I actually called the clinic. I spoke to I believe the charge nurse that morning. I told them what the situation was and that Korryn wasn’t coming out. She made Wanda Allen, the doctor, aware that I was on the phone. She then tried to get Dr. Allen on the phone. The officer told me straight up, ‘I’ll talk to her if I need to talk to her.’ She was 23 years old, she shared what she wanted to share with me. At the end of the day the doctor would be able to reveal more information than I could ever reveal. He never called. BB: You said they didn’t exhaust all means. RD: We begged all day to let one of us talk to her. I told them I would go in there. I said I would sign a disclaimer exonerating them from any collateral damage. They said it wasn’t protocol to let me talk to her. I said what about flash bang grenades and smoke bombs? They said that was out of protocol because there was an innocent child there. But they ended up shooting an innocent child.
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A roundup of LGBTQ news from the region and around the world courtesy the Washington Blade
Julie Verratti co-founded Denizens Brewing Co. in Silver Spring, Md., with her wife, Emily Bruno, and her brother-in-law. Photo courtesy of Daniel Ensign/Alec Ross for Governor
Md. gubernatorial candidate chooses lesbian running mate A Maryland gubernatorial candidate has chosen a lesbian business owner as his running mate. Democrat Alec Ross on Monday officially announced that Julie Verratti has joined his ticket. Verratti co-founded Denizens Brewing Co. in Silver Spring with her wife, Emily Bruno, and her brother-in-law. A bio that Ross’ campaign provided to the Washington Blade notes Verratti was a fellow and senior policy advisor for the U.S. Small Business Administration who focused on the Affordable Care Act, women’s entrepreneurship and other issues. Verratti last year was a member of a task force that studied the overhaul of Maryland’s alcohol laws. She also worked for Equality Maryland, which is now known as FreeState Justice, the Human Rights Campaign and other social justice organizations when she was a student at the George Washington University Law School. Verratti, who is from Silver Spring, worked for the Boston-based MassEquality from 2005-2007. She has never run for political office. Verratti would become Maryland’s first out lieutenant governor if she and Ross are elected in November. “I feel good about it,” Verratti told the Washington Blade last week during a telephone interview with Ross. “Obviously when you’re doing something for the very first time, it’s scary.” “I also think it’s really important,” added Verratti. “Representation matters and it matters tremendously. I’m proud and honored.” Ross was a senior State Department official during the Obama administration. He founded One Economy, a nonprofit organization that his campaign bio says “helped deliver high-speech Internet access, educational content and education to low-income communities.” Ross is also a former public school teacher in Baltimore City. Ross told the Blade he first met Verratti last September at a Democratic Business Council of Maryland meeting that was taking place at a Rockville. Ross said the audience was 80 to 90 percent “men in ties.” “There was this woman asking these incredibly sharp questions and making these incredible observations in a leather jacket,” said Ross. “She really stood out in that ballroom in a Rockville hotel.” Ross also told the Blade in response to a question about the history his ticket would make in November if it is elected that he wishes “we were making history long ago.”
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“We need to make it now,” he said. “Julie has abundant attributes as a business leader, as someone who has achieved in government. With Donald Trump’s Washington, I want it to be the case that (it) says welcome to Maryland, you’re entering a business and you’re entering a place that’s mirroring the opposite values of Donald Trump’s Washington.” Ross will face off against former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous; Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker; Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz; state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County); lawyer Jim Shea and Krishanti Vignarajah, who was former first lady Michelle Obama’s policy director, in the June Democratic primary. The winner will run against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the general election. Shea last week announced Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott is his running mate. Madaleno could become the first openly gay man elected governor in the U.S. if he were to win. The Montgomery County Democrat, who is accepting public financing, last month reported his gubernatorial campaign has thus far raised $439,862. Ross is among the Democratic candidates who have raised more than $1 million. “The campaign’s going really well,” Ross told the Blade. “Julie’s addition will make it even more distinct.” (Michael K. Lavers)
Another Trump budget, another attempt to cut HIV/AIDS programs New year, new cuts to HIV/AIDS programs. President Trump’s proposed $4.4 trillion budget for fiscal year 2019 is most prominently characterized by soaring deficits, but also calls for varying degrees of cuts to HIV/AIDS programs reminiscent of his earlier request. The proposed cuts for HIV/AIDS overall are significantly less than the cuts that were called “pretty shocking” in last year’s request. But compared to current funding that was actually appropriated by Congress, fewer dollars are requested for domestic programs as the epidemic continues in the United States while global programs see dramatic cuts. The reductions come at a time when HIV/AIDS continues to affect the LGBT community as well as populations within the United States and abroad. An estimated 1.2 million people have HIV/AIDS in the United States and 37 million have the disease worldwide. Substantial reductions are proposed for Medicaid, which would be cut by $1.1 trillion over the next decade. That program is important to low-income people with HIV/AIDS because an estimated 40 percent of Americans with the disease receive care under Medicaid. In the aftermath of the tax reform package’s undoing of the individual mandate in Obamacare, the Trump budget proposes to complete the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act by passage of the Graham-Cassidy proposal in Congress. That would repeal the Medicaid expansion in Obamacare and reinvent the program as a block-grant program to the states, which is more limited and would raise questions about access to care if it were implemented. But the Graham-Cassidy proposal was already rejected by Congress last year where there wasn’t sufficient support to bring up the measure, prompting HIV/AIDS advocates to guffaw at the proposed change. The modest cuts to domestic HIV/AIDS programs, however, pale in comparison to proposed reductions for global initiatives. The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, would see a reduction of 17 percent compared to existing funding levels, down from $4.65 billion in FY-17 to $3.85 billion. Contributions to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria are down are whopping 31 percent. While the current level is at $1.35 billion, Trump’s request calls for $925 million in funds. (Chris Johnson)
Democracy in Crisis: Law Enforcement, Antifa, and the Alt-Right Pop culture embraces Trump’s “both sides” narrative as alt-right grows increasingly dangerous By Baynard Woods A recent episode of the seeminglyeternal crime drama “Law & Order” featured an Ann Coulter like figure—she had a name in the show but let’s call her Ann Fauxlter—who was raped with a protest sign in a “riot” on a college campus in New York (the fictional Hudson University). The “ripped-from-theheadlines” show engaged in a bit of bothsides-ism worthy of Schrodinger’s cat. At first Fauxlter claims that an antifascist activist wearing all black and a mask raped her. Tracking down leads, the “liberal” cops and prosecutors come to suspect a smallhanded alt-right troll whose advances she spurned the night before. SPOILER ALERT: In the end, it never says who raped Fauxlter, but it pushed hard the general establishment consensus that “both sides”—antifa and the alt-right—are equally bad. Recent events show, again, that this is bullshit—especially in the show’s depiction of police officers and prosecutors who are more sympathetic to antifa than the alt-right. Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions praised the role of sheriffs in the “AngloAmerican” tradition of law enforcement. As so often with Sessions, the phrase was a dog-whistle. He could defend his position and note that the position of sheriff originated in England—think Sheriff of Nottingham—but the racists would hear that he supported them. In contrast to Sessions, James Comey—the FBI director that Sessions fired over the Russia investigation—gave a speech in 2015 noting that “All of us in law enforcement must be honest enough to acknowledge that much of
our history is not pretty.” The Anglo-American tradition of law enforcement has been one of white supremacy for much of that history— and police departments and sheriff’s offices around the country are still trying to grapple with that. When the CBS news show 60 Minutes interviewed recovering racist Christian Picciolini a few months back, he talked about how skinheads made a conscious decision to clean up and join law enforcement. “You know 30 years ago, we were skinheads,” he said. “We wore swastikas and shaved heads, and you could identify us pretty easily. So we decided at that time to grow our hair out, to trade in our boots for suits, and we encouraged people to get jobs in law enforcement, to go to the military and get training and to recruit there.” A 2006 FBI report worried about white supremacists “infiltrating law enforcement communities or recruiting law enforcement personnel” and leading to “to investigative breaches.” But one of the first things the Trump administration floated upon coming into office was to changing the name of the Countering Violent Extremism program to “Countering Islamic Extremism” and eliminating a focus on white supremacist terror groups. At the same time, they were ramping up a prosecution of 200 people arrested in an anti-capitalist anti-fascist protest of Trump’s inauguration. More than a year later, 59 people, including a journalist, are still facing decades in prison for wearing black clothes near a “black bloc” action
where a few windows were broken. At the same time, right-wing terror is on the rise. The same week that Law & Order aired its “Info Wars” episode, the Southern Poverty Law Center released a new report showing that individuals who were associated with or influenced by the alt-right killed 17 people in 2017. That doubled the number from the previous year. Nikolas Cruz killed that many people in one day when he went on a shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last week. More information about his motives will surely arise in coming days, but the leader of white supremacist militia Republic of Florida (ROF) told the Anti Defamation League that Cruz had trained with the group. Jordan Jereb, ROF leader, soon started trying to distance himself from his earlier statement, blaming the “Jew media,” but this is the second school shooting in the last two months with possible white supremacist ties. William Edward Atchison, who frequently posted on sites like Daily Stormer, killed two students at Aztec High School in New Mexico. When the FBI visited him in 2015 after he had posted about trying to find a weapon for a school shooting, they concluded that he wasn’t a threat. The FBI had apparently been warned by a YouTube vlogger that someone with the name Nikolas Cruz posted “I’m going to be a professional school shooter” on his page. The local sheriff’s office in Leon County, Florida says it has not been able
to find any concrete ties between Cruz and ROF—and Jereb may have just been trying to gain attention by claiming the horrendous actions of the MAGA-hatwearing murderer. Still, it is clear that the racist, misogynist ideology of the alt-right is a serious threat, and that threat is enhanced when it is equated with anticapitalist property destruction. The white supremacist violence in Charlottesville was able to reach the level it did because law enforcement stood around the mall across from Emancipation Park, protecting the windows of restaurants and stores from antifa protesters, instead of protecting people from the Nazis who, leaked communications show, were clearly set on violence. But we know that the FBI and Homeland Security are actively monitoring people who are inspired by a “kind of an antifa ideology,” according to FBI director Christopher Wray, and is actively investigating “black identity extremists.” So when our popular culture starts to mimic Trump and rightwing memes, declaring “both sides” are bad and adding the layer that law enforcement somehow sympathizes with antifascists, it adds yet another dangerous layer to our already deeply toxic political discourse about violence, race, and law.
Baynard Woods is a reporter at the Real News Network and the founder of Democracy in Crisis. Email firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter @baynardwoods
FEBRUARY 21, 2018
Chris Bathgate at the Baltimore Museum of Industry Photo by Tedd Henn
Metal Gear Artist Chris Bathgate on his otherworldly, engineered sculptures and machining as a medium By Raymond Cummings Chris Bathgate’s sleek, exacting sculptures can make an observer feel— at first, anyway—like a kid in a manga store. Wrought from aluminum, brass, bronze, and other alloys, this Essex, Maryland native’s rigorously engineered art “objects” bear a decidedly alien cast. Those pieces assembled as part of “REINVENTION: The Work of Chris Bathgate”—on display at the Baltimore Museum of Industry through March 11—seem, initially, wholly unrelated to neighboring exhibits. One striking object resembles a severed robotic tentacle separating into quadfurcated claws at each end, while others suggest incomprehensibly structured kitchen slicers and exoskeletal afterburners in miniature. Yet the outlandish hyperreality of Bathgate’s craft yields the further one wades into this exhibit. Here are mounted, tri-colored things that look like stationary pinwheels; there is a shiny, sea urchin simulacrum and a series of impeccably designed ovals
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that could be Decepticon Faberge eggs. Such is the grace of these designs that the eye is fooled into believing that each object is far lighter and less substantial than it actually is. Bathgate came to the attention of the Baltimore Museum of Industry after he won a Baker Artist Award in 2014. The public reaction to the exhibit, which launched last spring, has been “overwhelmingly positive,” according to museum Executive Director Anita Kassof. “It’s been extremely helpful in making people think in new ways about the intersection of industry and art. School children really respond to the objects, maybe because they’re reminded of Transformers or robots, but this work can be appreciated on so many different levels.” On a blustery Saturday in late January, The Beat sat down with the 1998 Carver Center graduate in Towson to discuss the nature of his chosen medium.
Baltimore Beat: What were the origins of this exhibit, and how did you decide what you wanted to include? Chris Bathgate: The exhibit came about because I approached the museum with an idea for the show. And when I contacted the museum, they promptly replied that “oh, we were just thinking about you—we were gonna contact you!” It was like a perfect match. One of the motivating factors was that I’ve been showing my artwork at commercial galleries and museums and different “white boxes”—white pedestals, white walls, sterile boxes—for a long time, and I think that makes it harder for people to understand the subtext of the work, that there’s this underlying engineering and craft to it. I think people approach the work like they do any other work, as these surface objects, and they’re looking for visual references, not subtext. I was hungry for an environment that illuminated some of
the things that maybe suffer in a gallery environment. The Baltimore Museum of Industry is perfect for that. Hopefully people can make a connection between the machine shop in the back and some of the industrial cues, between the objects I’m making and the objects in the museum’s collection. That was the hope. We did try to choose works that relate to objects already in the museum. We placed some objects in specific areas to try to emphasize those connections. BB: In the materials for this exhibit, you observed that there’s not a lot of machinist art. Can you speak a little about that, and about what you’ve found? CB: There’s nobody who’s taken machine work as a vocation and undertaken a direct artistic exploration of that craft like I have. There are lots of examples of artists taking a very formalistic approach to photography or painting to see what that technology is good for artistically, to see what potential
it has. As far as I know, there are no machinists doing that. There are a lot of craftspeople working with machine tools; there are a lot of fine artists hiring machinists to make designs for them, or co-opting the technology in some way. But there are no artists that are sort of approaching machining as a medium and trying to find expression in it that I know of, in that very intentional way. BB: My immediate reaction to your work, before I really dug in, was to be reminded of anime or manga illustrations, of tentacles; I imagine that’s what comes to mind for quite a lot of people. I still see that, but there are also a lot of natural world elements—some pieces look like eggs, or flowers, or undersea creatures. Then there’s the aspect that makes this art a good fit for the Baltimore Museum of Industry, which is industry itself; these are very graceful and very beautiful pieces, but they’re also made of cold, hard steel and they’re superengineered. This isn’t coming right out of your brain, this is something you have to build. How do you see the work that you’re doing? CB: Reactions to my work usually fall into a couple of different categories. Some people are like you, and they see animeinfluence, they see manga-influence. Some people come right out of the gate seeing sci-fi, like raygun gothic; some people are engineers, and they go right in for the construction. And I think that’s what’s really interesting about this craft. What I think I’m trying to do is see what sort of design cues arise out of the constraints of someone who has to build and engineer objects that only have an aesthetic consideration— BB: Meaning that they don’t have to do anything? CB: They don’t have to do anything. The contrast I was originally going for is that there are these objects that are highly engineered, but they don’t have to do anything, they don’t have a function even though they have all this utility built into them, and I think that’s a very beautiful contrast. Most sculpture is like a statue, right? BB: Right. CB: It’s a superficial shape and the inside is homogenous. It’s just a casting, a wood carving, or anything else. But my works have these very elaborate internal assemblages that don’t just hold them together, but influence the designs themselves. [Each one] is an assembly of parts much like a jet engine or a car motor, except that it has an aesthetic function rather than a physical function. It’s push and pull. I work backwards. I think, “What can my tools do eloquently? What can my process do eloquently?” And I use those things as constraints to arrive at designs, so there are certain visual characteristics
inherent to that that arise again and again that relate to other genres in a really interesting way; the Futurists, various industrial movements that have come and gone, that repurposed industrial objects. There’s a lot of overlap with old science-fiction movies, a lot of shared visual history. BB: Watching you at work with the tools in the video—as someone who hasn’t worked with tools much, I have to admit, I was clenching up. Do you ever experience injuries in the process of creating these objects? CB: Nothing major. I mean, the truth of the matter is that it’s a very dangerous process if you are careless. But if you’re thoughtful and methodical and you put in place processes for being safe, it’s not too hard to keep all your fingers. Things go wrong. Machines aren’t smart—they only do what you tell them to, and if you accidentally tell them to do the wrong thing, they’ll just tear themselves to pieces. And I’ve done that; I’ve broken tools, and crashed my machines, but I’ve been safe. It may sound strange, but the best way for me to tell if something’s going wrong in my studio is by hearing. Like, you can hear the machines working; I usually run four or five machines at the same time. A lot of the processes are automated, so I can bounce between five tools and keep them all running, and while I’m doing that I’m just sort of listening, and everything is noisy but it all makes predictable noises. So when something goes wrong I can hear it immediately, and I just go running to see what it is and shut it down. I’ve cut myself badly. But everyone who works with their hands has a lot of little scars and things like that. Nothing major, though. BB: Where are some of the places in the world that machine art has taken you, and where has your work traveled? CB: I don’t travel very much; my work has seen more of the world than I have. [laughs] I haven’t done a lot of museum shows. I had the work shown at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, and some of that show traveled to Sydney, Australia. I actually recently did a show in Shenzen, China as part of this architecture and design symposium. My collector base is world-wide, so the work is all over the world, but it’s all in private collections. I haven’t got a whole lot of traction in the fine art community, in the sense that I don’t think my work fits with the classical fine art conception. There’s a bit of a bias against from sorts of formalism that I’ve run up against, but I’ll argue that there is a place for formalism when appropriating new mediums. Even in photography or painting, formalism plays a very important role, which is to find the technical boundaries of a new medium, and so there are strong
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Photo by Tedd Henn
elements of formalism instead of high conceptualism in a lot of my projects. I’ve found it tough to create a narrative that would interest a lot of museums. So I’ve had more luck at showing my work at the National Academy of Sciences and obviously the Baltimore Museum of Industry—places where there’s a little more meat to the subtext of the work as well as the look and aesthetic of the work. BB: Are there any artists, in any medium, who you’ve drawn inspiration from for your own work? CB: I can’t say that there’s anyone that I aspire to be like. I’ve always been drawn to art that exhibits a couple of things: some sort of mastery, a sincerity, a playfulness. I like artists who take the work seriously, but not themselves seriously. Artists have different periods; if you look at artists over the course of a career, for artists who become successful, seriousness usually creeps in eventually. I’m a sculptor who’s learned machine work and turned that into my medium. As an artist machinist, it gets kind of lonely when you don’t have a lot of peers. So I’ve been looking for other machinists, and what I’ve found is a lot of craftspeople and communities— people who make knives, people who modify firearms, people who make things that the art world sometimes is a little bit snobby about. At first I was hesitant to explore those avenues, but you can’t take yourself too seriously;
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Photo by Tedd Henn
there’s a lot of beauty in what these communities are making. I’ve had a lot of meaningful interactions with people in the maker community. BB: In some ways, your object names remind me of Autechre song titles, which typically seem to resemble experimental pharmaceuticals— they’re assemblages of letters and numbers which force the listener to deal with the music on its own terms. Why do you give your works names like “NV 614434235524”? CB: I’m very intentional about not giving any of my objects fictional functions or narratives, because I don’t want them to be science-fiction objects—I want them to be art objects. I don’t even give them recognizable titles. They’re “properly” titled when I start, but then there’s an encryption cipher that I use so that [the ultimate names are] just garbled nonsense. Like I said, your experience of the work is based on your worldview— your frame of reference. Everyone comes at the work from a different angle. I get a lot out of people’s reactions to the work; I find it interesting, and it gives me ideas sometimes. BB: How did you come to machine artwork? How did it begin for you? CB: The bulk of my art education was in high school. When I graduated from high school, the thing I was most interested in was sculpture—I had already started experimenting with it, playing around
with some rudimentary welding. I was working in metals and had a lot of ideas of what I wanted to pursue, and this was pre-Makerspace, pre-Internet, pre-easy access to fabrication knowledge. So I got it into my head that I needed to go to arts college, to learn technical skills like fabrication and how to work with tools and metal. So I applied to Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and I went there for one year, and my experience was not one of learning technical skills; it was very “art theory” heavy. BB: Were you looking for something more active? CB: I was looking for tangible skills. A lot of people go to art school to find themselves, and learn what they want to make; I already had a pretty robust idea of the things that I wanted to pursue. Instead, I was in these theory classes, twiddling my thumbs, waiting for the opportunity to make the things I wanted to make—and not learning the things I thought I needed to learn: how to put things together, how to build structures that don’t fall apart. So after a year I was frustrated and a little broke, so I dropped out of art school. There was a little self-reflection after that, asking myself “what is it that I need to really pursue what I’m interested in?” It kept coming back to technical knowledge. So I became obsessed with learning little facets of every technical trade. I started off with welding, then I did some woodwork, then I picked up some
rudimentary fabrication and sheet metal tools. Then I sort of stumbled onto machining; I’d found this craft that was different than all the other crafts I’d done. Machine work is this very holistic craft; you can build with machine tools machines to do all of the other trades I’d been exploring, right? You can build woodworking tools. You can build sheet metal tools. You can build other machining tools to work differently. You can make paint brushes to paint. You can make anything. You can make a car. I was looking for the primary color of working in three-dimensional shapes. BB: At this point, is metal art what you do for a living? CB: Uh-huh. BB: How long have you been able to sustain that, if you’re comfortable saying? CB: I think it’s been since about 2012. At first I was working a day job, then I’d do about a 30-hour week in the studio—I was doing that for about 11 years. But now I’m self-supporting; I sell enough work now that I can make it work. BB: Has this been all you’d hoped it would be? CB: I guess it’s scary at first, until you get used to the uncertainty of not having a regular paycheck. There’s a lot more pressure not just to produce, but to produce good work. When I quit my day job, I’d saved up just enough money to
Photo by Tedd Henn
support myself for one year. At the end of the first year, I’d saved just enough money to go a second year; at the end of the second year, I hadn’t sold so much work, but I was fortunate to apply for and receive a few grants, so I was able to cobble something together. The third year, things were a little better; the fourth year, things were a little better. It’s much more stable now, because I’ve figured out how to make it work. It gets easier; I’m less worried now. It’s nice to devote myself to it 100 percent. BB: Did it seem like it was very sudden or difficult for you to get into this work in terms of tools and space? Does one start out in this vocation by borrowing or renting resources to be able to create? CB: Space is definitely an issue. I have a very unique working space. I grew up poor, to say it bluntly, so most of my life has been spent working around those kinds of constraints. So I became sort of accustomed to not having enough space, or not having the right tools. When I found myself learning machine work I quickly learned that I could—rather than buy or rent— build a lot of the tools that I needed. With machine work, some of the tools you need cost half a million dollars, and that’s something beyond the scope of what an artist could afford or reasonably achieve without being someone born into means to begin with. I know a lot of art students who are
Photo by Tedd Henn
dependent on institutions for access to casting equipment or foundry work; I didn’t want that relationship. I wanted to be a self-contained entity, so I wouldn’t feel any constraint put on me by an institution on what I could make. I work in my basement, out of my home studio, so I’ve always felt like overhead was the devil. I have about a thousand-square foot shop. Every tool I have, I’ve purchased something small or affordable and modified it, or in the case of my more advanced equipment I’ve built those tools myself. I’ve taken those experiences of learning tools and learning how to build tools and folded that experience back into my work. So that’s sort of how the domain knowledge for a lot of the sculptures I make kind of came about. I’m not trying to make art about art; I’m trying to make art about my journey through learning how the physical world is built—the world that we live in, the tangible world. Everything around us has been touched by machine work in some way, whether it’s something like the metal bench we’re sitting on; even bricks are made by tools that have been through that process, and same goes for fabric, rubber, and basically everything. When I was a kid I was very curious about these things, and how they came to be. I still have that sense of awe about how all this stuff is how it is, and I want to make art about that. BB: Was there anything in particular,
when you were young, that jumped out at you in that way? CB: [laughs] I don’t know if this is a very good anecdote, but I just remember when I was really young trying to piece out in my head how something as simple as a fork is made. Like, I had a piece of silverware, and I just couldn’t—I was maybe five or six. With the tools I had at my disposal, I couldn’t scratch it, I wasn’t even strong enough to bend it yet. I saw all of these things around me. There were walls in my house, and they seemed like they’d always been there, permanent, right? It’s a really funny thing; I had a job as a contractor for a short period of time, and we were knocking down walls in hospitals and building new ones. That changes your perspective, when you realize that walls can be moved. A lot of people take for granted when they buy a house that the walls are where they are. Once you have that notion dispelled, that really opens things up. A lot of people view metal as this very permanent thing that’s unyielding; it just takes the application of heat or metal to change its state. That’s what hooked me on metalwork. It’s a highly technical craft; you have to learn a lot about material science. And as I was researching— when I was in high school, I’d think “I’m never gonna use this stuff in real life, why am I learning this stuff, this is completely useless.” And then there I was, struggling to teach myself to build tools, to work out cutting paths, and
learning about heat management— and then all of a sudden I find myself reading about thermodynamics, and re-teaching myself trigonometry. That period in my life was a great time for connecting a lot of dots—realizing that everything is connected, and every learning experience had a point. I became very pro-learning. Whenever I feel uninspired, I’ll get myself involved in learning something, anything, new. One thing that people say to me often is, “How did you learn this? Where did you learn this? You must have gone to school.” A lot of people have this belief that in order for them to learn something, they have to go to school. As an admitted art school dropout, I started by going to the library, checking out books, reading technical manuals, and eventually, as the internet matured, there was more access to forums, manufacturing sites, and places where people share information, and I became a habitual self-learner. So when people ask me “where did you go to school?” it kind of jars me, because information is everywhere. There is no specific class that teaches the things that most people want to do. “REINVENTION: The Work of Chris Bathgate” is on display at the Baltimore Museum of Industry through March 11. Learn more about Bathgate’s work at chrisbathgate.org.
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Photos by Timothy Amundson / Courtesy Hanauer
Kimi Hanauer is an artist, writer, and cultural organizer originally from Tel Aviv and based in Baltimore. Kimi is the founder and organizer of Press Press (427 N. Eutaw St., presspress.info, Instagram @press_press_bmore), an interdisciplinary publishing studio that aims to shift and deepen the understanding of voices, identities, and narratives that have been suppressed or misrepresented by the mainstream. In her practice, she is dedicated to two primary goals: first, to cultivate models and methodologies that can serve as utopian alternatives to our current realities, and second, to develop networks and spaces that can translate these alternatives into concrete experiences. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is held in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art. Kimi received a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2015. Learn more about Kimi at kimihanauer.com and follow her on Instagram @kimi_hanauer.
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Currently, as an artist in residence at the Peabody Library, Kimi is focused on the notions of the “American citizen” and the “immigrant,” and their relation to contemporary forms of white supremacy. Using historical documents like legal briefs and trial proceedings, she is creating an archive, sculptures, and a series of workshops that give concrete form to the critical findings of this research. The images featured here show an iteration of this ongoing project that was exhibited in Kansas City at Front/Space. The research ultimately shows how the notion of the “American citizen” has been constructed in reaction to a racialized notion of the “immigrant” in ways that (partly) shaped contemporary forms of white supremacy. The exhibition featured examples of moments where the legal definition of whiteness was refined in the 20th century through Supreme Court cases which excluded ‘non-white’ aliens from citizenship; since the first immigration act in 1790 through 1952, only “free white aliens” could naturalize. The full project will be featured in an exhibition and series of programs hosted by the George Peabody Library and the Institute for Expanded Research in Summer 2018.
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ART American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway. (410) 244-1900, avam.org. “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. Baltimore Jewelry Center, Impact Hub, 10 E. North Ave., baltimorejewelrycenter.org. “Icons of the Flesh,” Through badges, collars, and buttons, Lauren Kalman visualizes the body in ways that promote positive identification with anatomy and sexuality. Artist talk March 16, 6-8 p.m.; on view through March 31. Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, (443) 573-1700, artbma.org. “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 African-American abstract expressionist Al Loving. Through April 15. “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. “Head Back & High: Senga Nengudi, Performance Objects (1976–2015),” Performance photography and a video documenting more than 40 years of work from American artist Senga Negudi. Through May 27. “MAKE TRIBE x Buckley: The Art of Flow States,” Participate in a private tour and gallery talk of the Senga Nengudi and Njideka Akunyili Crosby exhibitions followed by a discourse and hands-on workshop led by visionary artist Buckley focused on the process of creativity, rather than the product. Feb. 21, 6-8:30 p.m., $65 (includes workshop and all supplies, gallery tour, snacks, wine, and coffee). Baltimore Museum of Industry, 1415 Key Highway, (410) 727-4808, thebmi.org. “REINVENTION: The Work of Chris Bathgate,” Otherworldly, engineered sculptures by Maryland native Chris Bathgate. Through March 11. “Video Game Wizards–Transforming Science and Art into Games,” Interactive exhibition allows visitors to create their own video game. Through 2019. “Dressed for Work,” A history of work uniforms. Through May 2018. “Fueling the Automobile Age,” An exhibition exploring America’s dependence on cars through the lens of oil companies. Opening Feb. 23. Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower, 21 S. Eutaw St., (443) 874-3596, bromoseltzertower.com. “Art of
Lace,” From Baltimore native fashion designer Stacy Stube, a collection of pieces inspired by the Kebaya dress originating in Indonesia. Through July 28. “Adventures Close to Home,” Paintings of intimate domestic spaces and objects by Ryan Syrell. Through July 25. C. Grimaldis Gallery, 523 N. Charles St., (410)539-1080, cgrimaldisgallery.com. “Collages: An Exhibition,” Collages by Romare Bearden, Vivian Fliegel, José Manuel Fors, Lee Hall, Grace Hartigan, Keith Martin, and Esteban Vicente. Through March 10. Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651, creativealliance.org. “Unveiled,” Mequitta Ahuja, Milana Braslavsky, and Sebastian Martorana reexamine traditional artistic languages. Through March 3. “Black History Month Student Competition and Exhibition,” Presented by Johns Hopkins East Baltimore Community Affairs, an exhibition and competition of work by young people, families, and community members that examines black history in Baltimore. Opening reception Feb. 24, noon-2 p.m.; on view through March 10. Current Space, 421 N. Howard St., (410) 343-9295, currentspace.com. “Tight Craft,” A solo exhibition of fiber works by Baltimore-based labor artist, percussion enthusiast, and ventriloquist April Camlin. Through March 4. Galerie Myrtis, 2224 N. Charles St., (410) 235-3711, galeriemyrtis.net. “Art of the Collectors VI,” An exhibition exploring the role of the collector in preserving culture with work by prominent and lesser known artists including prints and African art from private collections and institutions. Tea With Myrtis on March 3, 2-4 p.m. (registration required); on view through March 24. Goya Contemporary, 3000 Chestnut Ave., Mill Centre #214, (410) 366-2001, goyacontemporary. com. “Lilian Hoover,” A solo exhibition by the local painter. Through March 1. Make Studio, Schwing Art Center, 3326 Keswick Road, (443) 627-3502, make-studio.org. “Go Figure,” Make Studio, a nonprofit that provides visual arts programming to adults with disabilities, celebrates its eighth anniversary with a special exhibition featuring new works by over 30 participating artists. Opening reception Feb. 24, 1-4 p.m.; on view through March 16. Maryland Art Place, 218 W. Saratoga St., (410) 962-8565, mdartplace.org. “Scott Pennington: Two Minute Joys,” Solo exhibition by Maryland native artist specializing in large-scale participatory installation and sculptural assemblage works. Through March 10. Maryland Institute College of Art, 1300 W. Mount Royal Ave., events.mica.edu. “Germinal,” Sitespecific installation by painting faculty member Lauren Frances Adams exploring themes converging around feminist activists from American history, domestic ornament in service of political messages, such as Quaker abolitionist quilts and pro-Confederacy secessionist cockades, and the recent removal of Baltimore’s Confederate monuments. Through March 13 at MICA’s Pinkard Gallery, Bunting Center, 1401 W. Mount Royal Ave. “Land/Trust,” Works exploring contemporary relationships to land by Margaret Boozer, Demian DinéYazhi´, Maren Hassinger, Mary Mattingly, Nadia Myre, and Glenn Ross. Through Feb. 22 in MICA’s Decker and Meyerhoff Galleries, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave. “Counternarratives: Performance and Actions in Public Space,” A collaborative exhibition of significant performative actions from 1955 to the present through a global timeline installation and the commissioning of new performances in local public spaces. Through March 11 in MICA’s Decker Gallery, 1303 W. Mount Royal Ave. Metro Gallery, 1700 N. Charles St., (410) 244-0899, themetrogallery.net. “Field Notes,” Work by Gina Denton, Jean Nagai, Tyler Keeton Robbins, Katey Truhn, and Jessie Unterhalter. Ongoing. Motor House, 120 W. North Ave., (410) 637-8300, motorhousebaltimore.com. “10x10” Arts Every Day presents their second annual exhibition of over a hundred student and teacher artworks from Baltimore City Public Schools that respond to a culturally relevant body of work. This year’s artwork was inspired by painter Jacob Lawrence and Maryland story quilter Joan Gaither. Through Feb. 23. Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, 830 E. Pratt St., (443) 263-1800, lewismuseum.org. “Freedom: Emancipation Quilted & Stitched,” Documentarystyle story quilts by artist Joan M.E. Gaither, PhD that celebrate the contributions, lives, and legacies of people of color in Maryland. Through Feb. 28. “Reflections: Intimate Portraits of Iconic African Americans,” A documentary-style series of black and white photographs by photographer Terrence A. Reese. Through Aug. 12. Resort, 235 Park Ave., (443) 415-2139, resortbaltimore.com. “Ginevra Shay and Roxana Azar: A Big Toe Touches A Green Tomato,” In Resort’s inaugural exhibition, photography, sculpture, and ceramics from Baltimore-based artist Ginevra Shay and Philadelphia-based artist Roxana Azar. Through March 5. School 33 Art Center, 1427 Light St., (410) 396-4641, school33.org. “Test Pattern,” Works by Tom Boram, April Camlin, Roxana Alger Geffen, Luke Ikard, LoVid, and Rives Wiley. Through Feb. 24. “Bodies in Sounded Space,” An exhibition of sculpture and musical performance by Fionn Duffy and Katie Shlon. Through Feb. 24. “(un)familiar territory,” An installation by Bobby Coleman that echoes an abstracted urban environment. Through Feb. 24. St. Charles Projects, 2701 N. Charles St., stcharlesprojects.com. “Butterfly Pictures,” New video performance and paintings by Aiden Dillard. Through March 1. Steven Scott Gallery, 808 S. Ann St., (410) 902-9300, stevenscottgallery.com. “Painterly,” Recent works by Robert Andriulli, Gary Bukovnik, Ellen Hill, Sheep Jones, Kathryn O’Grady, and Frank Trefny. Through March 31. The Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St., (410)547-9000, thewalters.org. “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, digitallyrendered Fabergé eggs by artist Jonathan Monaghan complement the exhibition “Fabergé and the Russian Crafts Tradition.” Through June 24.
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VENUES An Die Musik, 409 N. Charles St., (410) 385-2638, andiemusiklive.com Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW, Washington, D.C., (202) 888-0020, theanthemdc.com Baltimore Soundstage, 124 Market Place, (410) 244-0057, baltimoresoundstage.com Bertha’s, 734 S. Broadway, (410) 3275795, berthas.com The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, VA, (703) 549-7500, birchmere.com The Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C., (202) 667-4490, blackcatdc. com Cat’s Eye Pub, 1730 Thames St., (410) 276-9866, catseyepub.com Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651, creativealliance.org The Crown, 1910 N. Charles St., (410) 625-4848, facebook.com/TheCrownBaltimore Echostage, 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE, Washington, D.C., (202) 503-2330, echostage.com The 8x10, 10 E. Cross St., (410) 625-2000, the8x10.com E.M.P. Collective, 307 W. Baltimore St., (410) 244-0785, empcollective.org The Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Road, (301) 960-9999, fillmoresilverspring.com Germano’s Piattini, 300 S. High St., (410) 752-4515, germanospiattini.com Joe Squared, 33 W. North Ave., (410) 5450444, joesquared.com Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., (410) 783-8000, bsomusic.org Lithuanian Hall, 851 Hollins St., (410) 685-5787, lithuanianhall.com Lyric Opera House, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave., (410) 685-5086, modell-lyric.com Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia, (410) 715-5550, merriweathermusic.com. Metro Gallery, 1700 N. Charles St., (410) 244-0899, themetrogallery.net Motor House, 120 W. North Ave., (410) 6378300, motorhousebaltimore.com 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW, Washington, D.C., (202) 265-0930, 930.com The Ottobar, 2549 N. Howard St., (410) 6620069, theottobar.com Pier Six Pavillion, 731 Eastern Ave., (410) 547-7200, livenation.com/venues/14732/ pier-six-pavilion Rams Head Live, 20 Market Place, (410) 244-1131, ramsheadlive.com Rams Head On Stage, 33 West St., Annapolis, (410) 268-4545, ramsheadonstage.com Red Room, 425 E. 31st St., redroom.org Reverb, 2112 N. Charles St., (443) 4474325, reverbcollective.com Royal Farms Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St., (410) 347-2020, royalfarmsarena.com The Sidebar, 218 E. Lexington St., (410) 659-4130, sidebarbaltimore.com Tin Roof, 32 Market Place, (443) 873-8137, tinroofbaltimore.com U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW, Washington, D.C., (202) 588-1889, ustreetmusichall.com The Windup Space, 12 W. North Ave., (410) 244-8855, thewindupspace.com
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Bertha’s. Baltimore Songwriters Association Songwriters Showcase. The Black Cat. Bottled Up, Reed Appleseed, Lovejet. Cat’s Eye Pub. Rachel & Chick Hall. The Crown. Pow Pow Family Band, $100 Girlfriend, James and the Giant Peach. The 8x10. ELM, lespecial. The Fillmore Silver Spring. K. Michelle, London Savoy. Germano’s Piattini. Open Mic Night with Mary Reilly. Metro Gallery. Yndi Halda, Staghorn, Time Columns. 9:30 Club. The Oh Hellos, Lowland Hum. The Ottobar. Karaoke Night; I Set My Friends On Fire, Kissing Candice, Awaken I Am, At This Point, Spermasaurus Rex. Rams Head On Stage. Robert Stevenson, I Am Strikes. The Windup Space. Windup Wednesday.
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An Die Musik. i am dauda. Bertha’s. Jeff Reed Trio. The Birchmere. Jeffrey Osborne. The Black Cat. Fuzzqueen, Sam Cooper & The Sleepwalkers, Social Station. Cat’s Eye Pub. Ruben Montoya Band. The Crown. Albert Bagman, Amazon Prime, EllenSiberianTiger, No Hair; UFO VOL 11 with Baby.com, Nikilad, :3lon (DJ set), Alienood420; A Night Of Japanese New Wave & Obscure. The 8x10. Roots of Creation Grateful Dub Tour with Kash’d out, The Elovaers. The Fillmore Silver Spring. DVSN. Germano’s Piattini. BSA Senior Acting Ensemble’s Senior Showcase Cabaret. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Baltimore Symphony Orchestra: Rite of Spring. Lyric Opera House. Justin Moore, Dylan Scott. Metro Gallery. Ian Brown Memorial with Alms, Cemetery Piss, Pearl. Motor House. Mood2Soul. 9:30 Club. Lane 8, Enamour. The Ottobar. Full Of Hell, Prisoner, Neolithic, R-Complex; DJ Diamond Dustin. Rams Head On Stage. Parsonsfield, Jesse Ruben. Reverb. Baltimore Song Writers Group. The Sidebar. No Zodiac, Strengthen What Remains, Iron Price, Dahmed., Cancer Priest. Tin Roof. As If - A ‘90s Tribute. U Street Music Hall. Georgetown Cabaret. The Windup Space. Beat Barrage with Ashley Sierra and Ullnevano.
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An Die Musik. Robin Bullock & Sue Richards: Celtic Harp & Guitar Duo. Baltimore Soundstage. Eli Young Band, Melodime. Bertha’s. Juke Drivers. The Birchmere. Jeffrey Osborne. The Black Cat. It’s a Strip! A Star Wars Burlesque Tribute; Dark & Stormy. Cat’s Eye Pub. Johnny Smooth; Nate Myers
& The Aces. Creative Alliance. 3rd Annual Django Festival with Sara L’abriola and Thor Jensen, Ultrafaux. The Crown. Blush + Brews with :3lon, Loc Spice, Randi + Infinity Knives, Graffititech, Vicunyah, Dentana. The 8x10. Exmag + Bass Physics, The Pleasure Tour, DeltaNine, Image.Nation. The Fillmore Silver Spring. The Prince Experience. Joe Squared. Medium Cheetah, Wishing Rock, WOASH. Metro Gallery. Matt Talley, Locus Sound, Thunder Club, Flying Jacob, TM Lockemy. Motor House. Dance Your Brass Off: Funky Dawgz and Rufus Roundtree. 9:30 Club. Railroad Earth, Roosevelt Collier. The Ottobar. Karaoke Happy Hour/Electric Cafe Dance Party; Tim Barry, Josh Small, Roger Harvey. Rams Head Live. Rookshot, At Face Value, One Life To Lead, Follow Your Bliss, Stuck in Reverse. Rams Head On Stage. Nick Moss Band, Toby Walker. Reverb. Hip-Hop Open Mic Night. The Sidebar. Street 45’s, E. Joseph and the Phantom Heart, 3rd Grade Friends, Subtastics. U Street Music Hall. Werk Ethic: ‘80s and ‘90s House and Techno with Ken Lazee, Nick Garcia. The Windup Space. Surf Harp, Operator Music Band, Zula, Chiffon, Jacober.
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An Die Musik. Classical Pianist Hélène Papadopoulos; Ethnic Heritage Ensemble 45th Anniversary Tour. Anthem. Portugal. The Man, Twin Peaks. Baltimore Soundstage. The Prince Experience. Bertha’s. Whale Show. The Birchmere. Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival. The Black Cat. Cryfest: The Cure vs. The Smiths Dance Party with DJs Steve EP, Missguided, Killa K, and Krasty McNasty; Heavy Rotation: Strictly Vinyl Funk, Disco, and Soul Jams from Days Past. Cat’s Eye Pub. Community Groove; Carl Filipiak Jazz Band. Creative Alliance. 3rd Annual Django Festival with Samson Schmiit with Mario Forte, Eduardo Belo, and Josh Kaye, The Django Legacy Band. The Crown. Night Gruuvs. Echostage. 3LAU, Lost Kings, Throttle. The 8x10. Splintered Sunlight. E.M.P. Collective. GRL PWR Presents SWEAT, A Night of Drag. The Fillmore Silver Spring. AWOLNATION, Nothing But Thieves, Irontom. Germano’s Piattini. Kings of Crownsville. Joe Squared. June Star, Stars and the Sea, Leland Sundries, Saddle of Centaur. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Baltimore Symphony Orchestra: Off The Cuff - Rite of Spring. Metro Gallery. Pianos Become The Teeth, Praise, Unholy Sights.
Motor House. The Onus, Todd Marcus. 9:30 Club. Railroad Earth, Roosevelt Collier. The Ottobar. Black Masala; Butter with DJ Dan G. Rams Head On Stage. Rachael Yamagata, Jordan Sokel of Pressing Strings; Keiko Matsui. Red Room. Secret German Masters of Electronic Sound, Leprechaun Catering. Reverb. Dr. Wren’s: Conclave. The Sidebar. Bad Time, No Parking. Tin Roof. Hedera. U Street Music Hall. Mako, Night Lights; QUIX, Basscamp, Bortz. The Windup Space. DJ Pope, Marc Evans.
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An Die Musik. Hidemi “Mimi” Minagawa; Starvation Army Band. Anthem. Tyler The Creator, Vince Staples, Taco. Baltimore Soundstage. “More Laughs” The Annual Big Fred Birthday Comedy Show. Bertha’s. Whale Show. The Birchmere. Keiko Matsui. The Black Cat. Dove Lady, Spooky Cool, Black Lodge + em.g. Cat’s Eye Pub. Steve Kraemer & The Bluesicians; Timmy Shelley Band. Creative Alliance. 3rd Annual Django Festival with ‘Nuff Said, Rhythm Future Quartet. E.M.P. Collective. Maitri, The Deep Light, Adjective Animal. Germano’s Piattini. Craig Gildner and Beto Rodrigues; Hank and Pattie Duo. Joe Squared. Go Dog Go, The Jennifers, The Dive Bombs. The Ottobar. Service Industry Night. Rams Head On Stage. Oleta Adams. The Sidebar. Runaway Brother, The Neckbeards, Clairvoyant, Pinkwench, 96 Olympics. Tin Roof. Jason DeVore from Authority Zero, Howi Spangler from Ballyhoo!, Russ Baum, Troll Tribe. U Street Music Hall. Gabrielle Aplin, Hudson Taylor, John Splithoff. The Windup Space. Baltimore Record Bazaar Winter Show; Expert of Nothing.
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The Birchmere. Ana Tijoux presents Roja y Negro: Canciones de Amor y Desamor. The Black Cat. How To Be A Pinball Wizard. Cat’s Eye Pub. Phil Cunneff New Trio. Metro Gallery. Vérité, Roses And Revolutions, Pale Spring. 9:30 Club. Rhye, Boulevards. The Ottobar. Metal Monday. Rams Head On Stage. Uriah Heep. Red Room. Matt Mottel, Beam Splitter, Martín Escalante.
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An Die Musik. Brightmoor: Original Composition by Samuel Saunders with BSO Musicians & Film. Find more music events at baltimorebeat.com.
FEBRUARY 21, 2018
Beyond Black Panther “Blood Syndicate” and the unsung superheroes of Milestone Media By Alex Siquig
The Fantastic Four, the Avengers, the Justice League. Those are superhero teams. The Blood Syndicate were a super-powered gang. They wouldn’t give a shit about Dr. Doom or Thanos as long as they were out of sight. Their concerns were turf, respect, and burning down crack-houses. This was my favorite comic book growing up. From 1993 to 1996, the Syndicate starred in their own title, published by Milestone Media, the largest blackowned comics company (which would cease publishing in 1997) in partnership with DC. The world of mainstream comics, dominated by the purchasing power of white males, was perhaps not ready for a superhero universe in which the people that looked like them were the minority. Seeing the expected racist pushback against “Black Panther,” I don’t want to even imagine the reaction to a Blood Syndicate film. Would even liberals want to support a team whose tagline is “America Eats Its Young”? Still, “Black Panther” has already broken multiple box office records. There have been superhero films featuring black leads before, like “Blade,” “Meteor Man,” “Spawn,” and “Steel.” But “Black Panther,” a mega-budget production helmed by a black director, starring a predominantly black cast, and dropping in the eye of the storm that is Donald Trump’s racistfriendly tenure as president, feels as though it has its own careening velocity, a trajectory flirting with historic. Yes, it’s long overdue; and yes, it will make Disney tons of money. But we all knew there would be a Black Panther film eventually. It would be a shame if the success of “Black Panther” becomes the end of the conversation. We got the one big black superhero film. Which is why the news that Milestone is set to begin publishing again in the spring with the launch of the new umbrella line “Earth M” feels like a breath of cosmic fresh air. Milestone Media was founded by Derek Dingle, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis, and the late Dwayne McDuffie. It operated as an imprint of DC but maintained editorial and creative control. They constructed a comic book universe with the audacity to reflect the demographic realities of wide swaths of America, specifically, an America that white suburban teens and Manhattan power-players weren’t all that interested in. Milestone created scores of complicated characters, super-powered and otherwise, that were not simply defined by their non-whiteness, or reliant on a “Black” prefix. Milestone’s slate of titles included “Hardware,” “Icon,” and “Static.” Hardware was a genius inventor pulled out of poverty by a white father figure who
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exploited his labor. “Icon” took the “Superman but black” pitch and deconstructed it with a haughty upper-class Republican haranguing youths about the importance of pulling yourself up by the bootstraps. Static was centered on a teenager who could harness electromagnetism and tackled child abuse, affirmative action, and the differing roadblocks that Jews and African-Americans face in their attempts to assimilate. Again, these were comic books intended for children in the ‘90s—they were not marketed to adults like “Vertigo” or “Dark Horse”—and yet they quietly examined extremely real shit. But “Blood Syndicate” was my favorite of Milestone’s output. In elementary school, the X-Men
were my X-Men, but by 6th grade, Blood Syndicate were my X-Men. The worldbuilding was fit for a prestige cable drama. They were a full squad of Omar Littles, except some of them could fly. A tired complaint about Milestone was that it was the “black superhero company” and thus was a niche or gimmick line of comics that your average (i.e. white nerd) fan couldn’t possibly hope to penetrate. In addition to being tired, it wasn’t even true. Forget the Uncanny X-Men; Blood Syndicate was the most ethnically diverse group in comics. Wise Son, an invulnerable black Muslim led them, and his struggle with imposter syndrome and anger issues made him more relatable than any of his Marvel or DC counterparts. The aptly named Brickhouse was a Puerto Rican girl made of bricks who grappled with body dysmorphia. Fade and Flashback, two Dominican-American siblings, carried stigmas that would have crushed Peter Parker. There was Masquerade, a transgender HaitianAmerican shapeshifter; Third-Rail, a brawny Korean-American wracked with guilt over failing to save his father’s life; Kwai, an immortal Chinese warrior woman—and Boogeyman, a huge talking rat, later exposed as a try-hard white boy attempting to pass himself off as black. As Cowan told Wizard Magazine in 1995, “I don’t want a world where you can pop over to Reed Richards’ lab and borrow a time machine. I want it to be when you see a man fly, it’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen.” That sense of spectacle was evident throughout the Milestone universe. DC and Marvel leaned on decades of history with which to build upon and tear down. With Milestone, we saw a world bloom and prosper and wither away in real time, just as its characters did. The subjects were heady, but the tone rarely lurched into pedantry. Authentic conversations that Americans did their best to avoid were addressed by super-powered gangsters. These were serious, sometimes nearly taboo topics. Toothless liberal do-gooders, gentrification, the savage consequences of capitalism. It was bracing and subversive, but also it was just good story-telling. And it’s been 20 years, but the subjects Milestone sought to confront via superhero comics are as germane as ever. And since this company didn’t get the respect nor the sales it deserved the first time around, it’s a comfort that we can perhaps rectify that injustice, so long as the craftsmanship and quality matches the first iteration of course. It’s a second chance to learn things that you didn’t even know you didn’t know.
Further Reading: The Gun Trace Task Force Trial By Brandon Soderberg
The Gun Trace Task Force trial revealed in great detail the often cruel and impunitive tactics used by police. It has finally kicked off a conversation in Baltimore about radical reformation of the Baltimore Police Department, with some caling for disbanding the current department and in some circles—certainly more circles than say, a year ago—abolishing policing altogether. The trial also offered up plenty of novelistic detail, both absurd (cops planning a robbery while guzzling Twisted Tea) and terrifying (BB guns in gloveboxes, there to plant in case you shoot someone and have to justify it). Below are 10 books, nonfiction and some fiction, that may help you better understand this city’s massive police scandal, the precarious place policing is in right now, and how we got here. “Clockers” by Richard Price “They all looked like bums, except they were healthy bums, six-foot, two-hundred-pound white bums with lead saps and Glock Nineteens on their hips,” is how Richard Price describes some plainclothes police (“knockos”) a few pages into his sprawling, fictional look into the forever war between drug cops and drug dealers. He could’ve been describing Sgt. Wayne Jenkins and Det. Daniel Hersl as they bluffed their way into a Canton hotel to rob its tenants. Price’s 1992 novel, which he researched for a decade—Price clearly brought the observations he gleaned researching “Clockers” to his work on “The Wire” as well—is the most electric and devastating look at how drug squads operate. Read it and then watch Spike Lee’s tone poem-like film adaptation. “Snitch: Informants, Cooperators & the Corruption of Justice” by Ethan Brown A thoughtful overview of the so-called “Stop Snitching” movement, which has its origins in Baltimore and continues to be offered up as evidence of an ethical deficit among heavily policed communities. Ethan Brown reads it quite differently: “Stop Snitching,” which as we saw during the GTTF trial is alive and well among the police, exists in black communities due to a profound distrust of police and the system. Meanwhile, outrageous drug-sentencing guidelines have created a whole industry of informants ready to say anything on behalf of the government to reduce their own sentences, Brown argues. Oh, and federally-indicted corrupt cops William King and Antonio Murray—from the mid-2000s, trust-shattering BPD scandal—pop up here too. More: “All Shot Up” by Chester Himes “The Black Book: Reflections from the Baltimore Grassroots” by Lawrence Grandpre and Dayvon Love “Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion” by Gary Webb “Freaky Deaky” by Elmore Leonard “The History of the Black Guerrilla Family” by Gabe Morales “Marshall Law: The Life & Times of a Baltimore Black Panther” by Eddie Conway and Dominique Stevenson “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander “Our Enemies In Blue: Power and Police in America” by Kristian Williams
Atomic Books, 3260 Falls Road, (410) 6624444, atomicbooks.com. Joanna Angel reads from her first novel-length work of fiction, “Night Shift: A Choose-Your-Own Erotic Fantasy.” A surprise is in store for attendees, as Joanna will be bringing her own “Choose-Your-Own” aspect to the reading. The event will also feature a special acoustic performance by War On Women. Feb. 24, 7 p.m. The Children’s Bookstore, 737 Deepdene Road, (410)532-2000, thecbstore.com. The Children’s Bookstore will host Newbery Honor Award winning author and illustrator Victoria Jamieson in the store. Widely acclaimed for 2015’s “Roller Girl,” Jamieson’s latest book is “All’s Faire in Middle School.” Feb. 26, 3:40 p.m. The Ivy Bookshop, 6080 Falls Road, (410) 3772966, theivybookshop.com. New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman launches her newest thriller, “Sunburn.” The Baltimorebased writer will follow the reading with a book signing; Feb. 23, 7 p.m. Children’s author Casey Lyall will read from her latest book, “Inky’s Great Escape.” The book is inspired by the true-life story of “Inky the Octopus” who escaped from the National Aquarium of New Zealand in 2016; Feb. 24, 10 a.m. The Red Canoe, 4337 Harford Road, (410) 4444440, redcanoecafe.virb.com. Calling all YA readers! Local YA author Katelyn Brawn will read from her recently published novel, “Pumpkin Pie.” Feb. 25, 1-3 p.m. Red Emma’s, 30 W. North Ave., (443) 6027585, redemmas.org. What is harm reduction? What are Safer Consumption Spaces? These questions and more will be answered when Nurses for Justice and Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition come together to host a panel on Safer Consumption Spaces; Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m. Cultural critic and American studies professor Noliwe Rooks, author of “Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education,” will explore the challenges and tensions at play today in America’s “separate and unequal’ public school system; Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m. National Book Award Finalist Nancy MacLean will discuss her book “Democracy in Chains,” a thoroughly researched narrative that follows Nobel Prize-winning political economist James McGill Buchanan and the operation he and his colleagues designed over six decades to alter every branch of government to disempower the democratic majority; Feb. 24, 6 p.m. For more books listings, visit baltimorebeat.com.
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Photo: Lars Plougmann
6080 Falls Road @ W. Lake Avenue Mt. Washington WWW. THEIVYBOOKSHOP. COM
11 East 33rd Street, 1 block from Johns Hopkins Charles Village WWW. BIRDINHANDCHARLESVILLAGE. COM
ON THE LINE Detroit auto workers face down crisis in “Skeleton Crew,” an intimate reckoning of the 2008 recession By Maura Callahan
Stephanie Berry (left), Brittany Bellizeare, and Gabriel Lawrence in “Skeleton Crew” Photo by Bill Geenen, courtesy Baltimore Center Stage
Crisis exists where answers do not. surrounded by lockers accented with HOPEFrom there, it grows, chewing at the fixtures era Obama campaign stickers. that keep you in place till they’re so far apart In “Skeleton Crew,” the final installment it’s impossible to piece them together, and of Morisseau’s Detroit trilogy (a nod to August you’re left with nothing to hold onto. The old Wilson’s Pittsburgh cycle) after “Detroit tools—effort, resilience, hope—stop working. ‘67” (which appeared in Center Stage’s “Skeleton Crew,” Dominique Morisseau’s 2015/2016 season) and “Paradise Blue” (set A D now V E being R T I S IinN1949), G crisis P R has O O F ordinary, monumental drama consumed the industry performed at Center Stage, excavates crisis that once made Detroit the Motor City. The 06 SALES REPRESENTATIVE: JEN MARSH JMARSH@BALTIMOREBEAT.COMplay’s title refers the bare-bones assembly as it expands. “I feel like nothing’s familiar anymore,” line keeping the city’s last exporting auto OR COPY AND DESIGN ACCURACY. Revisions must be submitted within 24 hours of the date of proof. saysofFaye plant afloat, while also gesturing toward the onsidered final and will be submitted for publication if revision is not submitted within 24 hours the date(played by Stephanie Berry), a ons will not be accepted after 12:01 pm Monday, the week of publication. Brown Naff Pitts Omnimedia veteran auto factory worker staring down demise of their livelihoods. All familiarity has more Beat) is not responsible for the content and/or design of your ad. Advertiser is responsible for joblessness disappeared—or become unrecognizable— ity arising out of or relating to the advertisement, and/or any material to which users can link throughin Morisseau’s Detroit. She once ment. Advertiser represents that its advertisement will not violate any criminal laws or any rights of third saw herself and that hits particularly hard for this crew, ng, but not limited to, such violations as infringement or misapporpriation of any copyright, patent, as a warrior woman, but that de secret, music, image,409 or otherW. proprietary or propety right, false advertising, unfair competition,is wavering. She’s had some time foundation whose labor is based in routine. Coldspring Lane vasion of privacy or rights of celebrity, violation of anti-discrimination law or regulation, or any other right to Beat) sit with the knowledge that theSIGNATURE plant is At the center is Faye, the workplace or entity. Advertiser agrees to idemnify Brown Naff Pitts Omnimedia Inc. (dba Baltimore and to ADVERTISER Baltimore, MD 21210 ff Pitts Omnimedia Inc. (dba Baltimore Beat) harmless from any and all liability, loss, damages, claims, or By signing this proof you are agreeing to your contract obligations with the going to be shut down, that she and her matriarch who’s put in nearly 30 years at on, including reasonable legal fees and expenses that may be incurred by Brown Naff Pitts Omnimedia washington blade newspaper. This includes but is not limited to placement, t of or related to advertiser’s breach of any of the foregoing representations and warranties. payment and insertion schedule. fellow workers for whom she’s responsible the plant. She has loved and lost, survived as union rep will join the casualties of the cancer, and as a single parent raised a 2008 recession. In this moment, she says son who would grow up to reject her as to Reggie (Sekou Laidlow), the plant’s she started dating women—Faye doesn’t foreman—he and Faye go way back—she hesitate to remind her coworkers that she’s recognizes no before and foresees no after. seen it all, or a lot anyway. She wears her She offers this confessional in the employee conquered hardships as a badge, and the break room, where the entire play is set, fact that she’s made it through everything
Daniel Elder Katie Elder
HAIR * ART * MUSIC
#WeAreSoulLove FEBRUARY 21, 2018
in one piece gives her license to gamble constantly on the little money she has and keep up a chain smoking habit while she’s at it, despite her health record and the notice Reggie’s posted in the break room that reads “NO SMOKING FAYE.” Then there’s Dez (Gabriel Lawrence) and Shanita (Brittany Bellizeare), both younger factory crew members who share Faye’s skill and enthusiasm for the work. A second-generation autoworker who, by the way, is visibly pregnant, Shanita in particular loves the craft and takes pride in knowing her handiwork will go on to bear witness to important moments in the lives of everyday people. She’ll shut off the boombox playing Dez’s pump-up anthem (‘Get Dis Money’ by Detroit rap crew Slum Village, who have also endured plenty of attrition) so she can listen to the steadying music of cranking and clanging on the line: “Sounds like life happening.” Dez too takes pleasure in the grind but aspires to run his own car shop. It’s not even finished yet and he’s already haunted by the “ghosts” on the assembly line. Despite his practical optimism— “better
to wait till the last possible minute to start worrying,” he says—fear commands him; he packs a gun in his backpack every day, which inevitably gets him into deep shit. Morisseau builds up the chemistry between Dez and Shanita—he knows how she takes her coffee!—and, at times, it’s undeniably heartwarming. But the charm is unfortunate: Here we have another representation of a meant-to-be pair that begins with incessant sexual harassment (at the beginning of the play, Dez is at strike number 5,062 by Shanita’s count) and ends with the harasser getting what he wanted and his target realizing this is want she wanted all along, despite resisting all those times before. A tired, toxic trope that mars Morisseau’s otherwise thoughtful storytelling. In this intimate reckoning of the modern era’s greatest financial crisis, Morisseau pays no mind to the suits responsible for and complicit in the devastation; they’re not worth any time on her stage. They appear only though the battles fought offstage by Reggie, who is charged with the impossible task of pleasing everyone. He comes from the same world as his employees, the same neighborhood; a high school dropout who’s since pulled himself up into white collar comfort more or less, but only to find himself isolated. He identifies with neither his employees, some of whom—Dez in particular—figure he’s rejected where he came from; nor his own employers, who understand nothing of those origins. Under the incisive direction of Nicole A. Watson, the cast delivers the rhythm in the script’s lyricism while cutting deep into the tension that breaks it up. Morisseau tells each character’s story lovingly—the most notable divergence from her muse and fellow social observer Wilson, who offered just a sliver of redemption to his great tragic hero Troy Maxson. For people inching closer toward rock bottom in a city depicted here as thoroughly “desperate,” all four characters remain true to themselves and to each other, even as they must reassess what all that means. They don’t slump under the weight, although that doesn’t mean they follow the increasingly irrelevant rules keeping them all in line: Among other transgressions, someone has been stealing parts from the plant for resale. As all this unfolds, a mountain of crumpled car scraps peaks from behind the break room walls, a shadow looming over the brightly-lit, well-loved gathering spot. In the play’s final moments, the factory floor is revealed in full, barren except for the piled remnants. It’s a chilling image, but there’s a sense that this is only a graveyard for the industry; the assembly line ghosts of Dez’s imagination are all but absent. The experiences that took place here—the identities forged, the bonds strengthened— can be taken apart and put back together beyond the factory. “Skeleton Crew,” a part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival, continues through March 4 at Baltimore Center Stage.
Photo Courtesy Facebook
The Stoop Storytelling Series: That 80’s Show F E B . 2 2 I was born in 1980, which makes me a super official ‘80s baby and as such, I’d like to give you a list of the things I usually watch on TV these days: reruns of “The Golden Girls,” reruns of “227,” reruns of “Mama’s Family,” and reruns of “A Different World.” Nostalgia, I’m learning, is comforting even when real life is not (plus “The Golden Girls” tackled subjects like immigration, sexual harassment, and mental illness—everything old is new again). That may be part of the reason why the people behind The Stoop Storytelling Series are putting on an event this week focused on all things ’80s, promising tales of “excess, fear, big hair, and the Bomb.” Storytellers include Robin Yasinow, Gillian Stewart Quinn, Steve Parke, Naomi Cross, Bill Henry, and Louis Hughes Jr. There’s no rule that you should pull out your best neon-colored off-the-shoulder-top, or sport a banana clip hair thingy, but of course you should. And The Beat is a sponsor, so we’ll be there handing out papers and waving hello. Cocktails and live music at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m., The Senator Theatre, 5904 York Road, stoopstorytelling.com, $20. (Lisa Snowden-McCray)
Bald & Boujee. Comedy duo Malik S. and Torrei Hart (Kevin Hart’s ex-wife) perform. Feb. 22-24, Baltimore Comedy Factory, 5625 O’Donnell St., (410) 5477798, baltimorecomedy.com, $20-$40. The Beanie Bros Tour. L.A. comics Pete Buchbauer and Chip Nicholson perform with support from local comedians including host Nikki Fuchs. Feb. 27, 7 p.m., The Crown, 1910 N. Charles St., (410) 625-4848, facebook.com/ TheCrownBaltimore, $10. BIG Time with Jen Marsh. Baltimore Improv Group performs a totally made up and unprepared tribute to Baltimore Beat’s associate publisher, Jen Marsh. Feb. 23, 8 p.m., The BIG Theater, 1727 N. Charles St., (888) 745-8393, bigimprov.org, $5. Camp Adventure. Alexa Sciuto hosts a night of improv, stand-up, and sketch from Silversmith, Bad Karaoke Experience, and OLGA, followed by an improv karaoke jam. Feb. 23, 8 p.m., Charm City Comedy Project at Zissimos Bar, 1023 W. 36th St., charmcitycomedyproject. com, $5. “Count Down.” As part of the 2018 Women’s Voices Theatre Festival, The Stand present Dominique Cieri’s interdisciplinary piece about girls growing up in the child welfare system. Through March 4, Strand Theatre, 5426 Harford Road, (443) 874-4917, strandtheater.org, $10-$25. “The Death of Walt Disney.” The regional premiere of Lucas Hnath’s biographical play about the megalomaniacal mind of Walt Disney. Through Feb. 25, Single Carrot Theatre, 2600 N. Howard St., (443) 844-9253, singlecarrot.com, $25-$29. Demetri Martin - The Awkward Tour. The stand-up comedian, writer, actor, and director performs. Feb. 23, 8 p.m., Hippodrome Theatre at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, 12 N. Eutaw St., (410) 837-7400, baltimorehippodrome.com, $58. “A Disappearing Act.” Single Shoe Productions presents a memorial tribute to the deceased fictional magician Philip Winterbottom. Feb. 22-25, Baltimore Theatre Project, 45 W. Preston St., (410) 752-8558, theatreproject.org, $15-$25. “Everybody.” Theatre Morgan presents a modern riff on the 15th-century morality play following a character named Everybody (played by a different cast member each performance) as he or she travels down a road toward life’s greatest mystery. Feb. 22-24, Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center, 2201 Argonne Drive, (443) 885-4440, murphyfineartscenter.org, $5$15. Everything Will Be Okay (A standup comedy show) [#39]. Chris Hudson hosts a night of stand-up featuring Bryan Preston, Pete Musto, Sahib Singh, Michael Furr, and Natalie McGill. Feb. 22, 8 p.m., The Crown, 1910 N. Charles St., (410) 625-4848, facebook.com/TheCrownBaltimore, $5.
“I Hate Hamlet.” An actor who hates “Hamlet” takes on the title role and encounters the ghost of John Barrymore. Through March 4, Spotlighters Theatre, 817 St. Paul St., (410) 752-1225, spotlighters. org, $10-$22. Katt Williams. The veteran comedy icon returns to Baltimore, having most recently co-starred in “Father Figures.” Feb. 23, 8 p.m., Royal Farms Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St., (410) 347-2020, royalfarmsarena.com, $55-$128. “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.” Eugene O’Neill’s autobiographical drama spans one day in the life of a family troubled by addiction and the inability to let go of the past. Through March 4, Everyman Theatre, 315 W. Fayette St., (410) 752-2208, everymantheatre.org, $43-$65. More Laughs: The Annual Big Fred Birthday Comedy Show. Baltimore native Fred “Big Fred” Watkins, best known as a member of “The Empire” on Oxygen TV’s “Last Squad Standing,” performs standup. Feb. 25, 8 p.m., Baltimore Soundstage, 124 Market Place, (410) 244-0057, baltimoresoundstage.com, $20-$35. “The Pillowman.” A writer becomes the focus of a police interrogation when his macabre short stories are linked to a series of actual child murders. Feb. 23-March 18, Vagabond Players, 806 S. Broadway, (410) 563-9135, vagabondplayers.org, $10-$20. “Red Velvet.” The biographical play from Lolita Chakrabarti tells the story of the 19th century AfricanAmerican Shakespearean actor Ira Aldridge. Through Feb. 25, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, 7 S. Calvert St., (410) 244-8570, chesapeakeshakespeare. com, $16-$43. “Skeleton Crew.” In the third play in Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit trilogy, four workers at the city’s last exporting auto plant face down an uncertain future. Through March 4, Baltimore Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St., (410) 332-0033, centerstage.org, $20-$79. “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” Baltimore Concert Opera presents a two-nights-only operatic production of Stephen Sondheim’s horror musical. Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 25, 3 p.m.; Baltimore Concert Opera, 11 W. Mount Vernon Place, Suite 307, baltimoreconcertopera.com, $29.50$71.50. Talkin’ S%\T: A Roast Battle. A comedy tournament in three rounds to find the champion of being nasty, featuring “The Legend” Sonny Fuller, Mike Storck, Kim Ambrose, Leeland Clayton, “Sweet Sweet Baby Boy” Matt Brown, Ian Salyers, Rose Vineshank, and Ben Broedel. Feb. 25, 6 p.m., Magooby’s Joke House, 9603 Deereco Road, (410) 2522727, magoobys.com, $10.
For more stage listings, visit baltimorebeat.com
FEBRUARY 21, 2018
Securing The Bag “Black Panther” is a big superhero film and a subversive celebration of blackness By Dominic Griffin
Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther aka T’Challa in “Black Panther”
As the ﬁrst—and maybe best—black superhero the comics world has ever seen, Black Panther is not merely one archetype the way most costumed vigilantes tend to be. He is the ultimate black fairy tale, the king of the technologically advanced African nation Wakanda as well as a super spy, scientist, spiritual warrior, and a billionaire richer than Batman. If he wasn’t a living, breathing course correction of comicdom’s lily white lineage, this plurality would be overkill. But for a movie released in an era where every big budget blockbuster is about some asshole in a cape punching people through buildings, this versatility sure does help— “Black Panther” begins like a James Bond movie and ends like “Conan The Barbarian,” with enough comedic levity and racial commentary along the way to satiate both heart and mind. It also withstands the many sides to the draining internet discourse surrounding the eighteenth ﬁlm in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2008, and the ﬁrst to star a black hero. For every enthusiastic supporter suggesting you see the ﬁlm en masse, multiple times in the theater to remind Hollywood of the black audience’s collective buying power, there’s an equally vociferous detractor slamming you for even thinking of lining Disney’s coffers in the name of racial solidarity. Somewhere, in a corner, there’s racists mad at the entire endeavor, scratching at their arms and crying that there’s no White Panther for them to champion. Amid all of this clamor, what’s been
FEBRUARY 21, 2018
treated as the most expensive, pop cultural political football ever made is really just a very good superhero ﬁlm. Perhaps, one of the ﬁnest ever made. “Creed” director Ryan Coogler delivers something radical and artfully synthesizes the MCU’s most successful, tried and true features: the technological dynamism of “Iron Man,” the Shakespearean tragedy of the “Thor” ﬁlms, and the ‘70s spy-ﬁ intrigue of the “Captain America” series. And thanks to “Captain America: Civil War,” which did most of the heavy lifting in establishing Black Panther and his alter ego T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), “Black Panther” instead spends its time exploring the world of Wakanda, the mythical nation T’Challa calls home, and its many inhabitants. It’s clear that a great deal of effort went into realizing Wakanda on screen, even if the end result resembles an afrofuturist fever dream rendition of Zamunda from “Coming to America” as sketched by Jack Kirby. The ﬁlm treats the very idea of Wakanda, an isolationist magical city built on a reservoir of otherworldly metal called Vibranium masquerading as one of Trump’s “shithole” countries, as a high-minded symposium on the nature of diaspora, an action packed echo chamber of conﬂicting geopolitical perspectives. T’Challa remains a Prince Akeemesque straight man soaking up the opinions of those around him, as each debate and foil brings him closer to ﬁnding out who he must be. This isn’t a story about how a man becomes a leader, but the journey of
discovering the kind of leader he chooses to be. No stone sharpens his sword as much as the ﬁlm’s breakout star, Michael B. Jordan. In his capable hands, Erik Killmonger is easily one of the best villains the MCU has seen thus far, largely because he’s no cookie cutter antagonist. T’Challa and Killmonger are two sides of the same coin, mirroring the Martin & Malcolm ideological divide of two other Marvel nemeses, “X-Men’s” Professor X and his best friend turned lifelong rival Magneto. A villain is always more compelling when the bone he’s picking is a legitimate one, and the beef between these two is artfully wrapped up in the central argument of the ﬁlm. Jordan plays Killmonger with a singular kind of charisma, a world burning intensity and effortless wit. Coogler and co-writer Joe Robert Cole ﬂesh out supporting cast members and give each arcs that mirror and compliment T’Challa’s own. Moreso than any other Marvel movie, or really any other superhero movie ever, this is a ﬁlm where every cast member is given space to shine and a legitimate reason to exist. From T’Challa’s scene-stealing sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) to the General of the Dora Milaje, his personal guard forces, Okoye (Danai Gurira) to the two token whites—the coked out Russell Crowe impression of Andy Serkis’ villain Klaw and the stiff, comic relief of Martin Freeman’s Agent Ross—each character stands alone and plays a part in the ﬁlm’s larger conversation with conﬂicting notions of what the nation of Wakanda should be and
how they should conduct themselves on the world’s stage. The same action beats audiences have come to expect from the Marvel milieu are on display, though executed with Coogler’s personal touch and a brio other directors in this playground haven’t been given the opportunity to express. The third act features some positively cringey CGI, and the opening set piece is murkily staged, but those are minor quibbles. Other than Rian Johnson injecting some much needed idiosyncrasy into the world of “Star Wars,” no other ﬁlmmaker has dug so deep into the belly of the beast without losing the style that got him to the dance in the ﬁrst place. That Coogler came out the other end of the Marvel machine with a ﬁnished product so distinctly him is a miracle, and one worth celebrating. A ﬁlm this Black with such a powerful marketing push behind it is noteworthy, especially in 2018, where people are so thirsty for representation and so ready for this movie to be the end-all-be all-of blackness on screen that they’d likely twist themselves into pretzels defending it as such even if it wound up being lowkey trash. But the real joy is that “Black Panther” is a prismatic portrait of blackness that’s both intoxicating and inspiring. We don’t have to pretend that a superhero movie is going to somehow cure all of society’s problems, but we also don’t need to deny its symbolic power. “Black Panther” is now playing in theaters.
Daniel Kaluuya in “Get Out”
“Get Out” F E B . 2 2
“Have A Nice Day” opens at the Parkway on Feb. 23. Screencap courtesy YouTube
If you missed the blessing that was AMC theaters screening Jordan Peele’s social thriller for free on President’s Day, you can still see it again on the big screen today— which is especially useful considering folks (The Golden Globes) who misinterpreted “Get Out” as a comedy apparently need a careful rewatch. Because really, it’s more “a documentary,” as the director tweeted. That “Get Out” opened last year and has already earned a spot in The Charles’ Revival Series speaks volumes to its deserved status as an instantly iconic film, and moreover a resonant indictment of white liberalism. See it tonight ahead of the Oscars next week, when it may or may not be awarded Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and/or Best Original Screenplay. By the way, look out next week for The Beat’s Fake Oscars issue, in which we’ll award the true movie winners this year—because as we all know, more often than not, there’s no justice in the Academy. 9 p.m., The Charles Theatre, 1711 N. Charles St., (410) 727-3464, thecharles.com, $11. (Maura Callahan)
The Charles Theatre
1711 N. Charles St., (410) 727-3464, thecharles.com. “A Fantastic Woman” (Sebastián Lelio, Spain, 2017), now playing. “Lady Bird” (Greta Gerwig, U.S., 2017), now playing. “Phantom Thread” (Paul Thomas Anderson, U.S., 2017), now playing. “The Shape Of Water” (Guillermo del Toro, U.S., 2017), now playing. “Get Out” (Jordan Peele, U.S., 2017), Feb. 22. “The Insult” (Ziad Doueiri, Lebanon/France, 2017), opens Feb. 23. “Boudu Saved From Drowning” (Jean Renoir, France, 1932), Feb. 24, Feb. 26.
3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651, creativealliance.org “Miss Kiet’s Children” (Peter Lataster and Petra Lataster-Czisch, Netherlands, 2016), Feb. 22.
440 E. Oliver St., (410) 528-9239, facebook.com/GalleryCA. Secret Psychic Cinema presents Roger Beebe: Films for ONE to EIGHT Projectors, Feb. 23.
The Parkway Theatre
5 W. North Ave., (410) 752-8083, mdfilmfest.com. “Double Lover” (François Ozon, France, 2017), through Feb. 22. “Along With The Gods: Two Worlds”, (Kim Yong-hwa, South Korea, 2017), through Feb. 22. “Maigret Sets A Trap” (Jean Delannoy, France, 1958), through Feb. 22. “The Cage Fighter” (Jeff Unay, US.. 2018), opens Feb. 23. “Have A Nice Day” (Liu Jian, China, 2017) opens Feb. 23. “Golden Exits” (Alex Ross Perry, U.S., 2017) with director Q&A, Feb. 23. “A Touch Of Sin” (Jia Zhangke, China, 2013), Feb. 23. Gunky’s Basement: “American Psycho” (Mary Harron, U.S. 2000), Feb. 28.
Christian Bale in “American Psycho”
Gunky’s Basement: “American Psycho” F E B . 2 8
Here’s the thing about “American Psycho”: It’s a movie full of violence toward women, specifically sex workers, who are frequent targets of violence both in real life and onscreen. In life, it’s appalling; in film, it’s a frustrating if dull trope. Story goes Gloria Steinem talked Leonardo DiCaprio out of getting involved in the movie for that reason (I guess that was before she became stepmom to Christian Bale the same year the film premiered). But here’s the other thing about “American Psycho”: It’s directed and written by women (Mary Haron directed; she and Guinevere Turner adapted the novel) who reconfigured author Bret Easton Ellis’ misogynist blood lust as a biting though still questionable satire of toxic masculinity—at the very least, they cut Ellis’ unforgivable scene where Bateman performs rat torture on a woman in the worst possible way. All of this is to say, I just want to watch that bumptious dickhole Jared Leto get butchered, Huey Lewis blasting, all the time. He’ll be turned into pulp on the big screen tonight in the latest installment of Gunky’s Basement, co-hosted by Dan Deacon and Jimmy Joe Roche. 9 p.m., The Parkway Theatre, 5 W. North Ave., (410) 752-8083, mdfilmfest.com, $10 ($8 for members). (Maura Callahan)
The Senator Theatre
5904 York Road, (410) 323-4424, senatortheatre.com. “Black Panther” (Ryan Coogler, U.S., 2018), now playing. “Call Me By Your Name” (Luca Guadagnino, U.S/Italy/Brazil/France, 2017), now playing. “Darkest Hour” (Joe Wright, U.K., 2017), now playing. “I, Tonya” (Craig Gillespie, U.S., 2017), now playing. “The Post” (Steven Spielberg, U.S., 2017), now playing. “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri” (Martin McDonagh, U.S., 2017), now playing. “Warner Brothers Cartoon Show,” Feb. 25. “Once Upon A Time In America (Extended Director’s Cut),” (Sergio Leone, U.S., 1984), Feb. 28.
FEBRUARY 21, 2018
THIRD TIME’S A CHARM Chef Catina Smith talks about her culinary event Taste Baltimore By Arli Lima
Catina Smith Photographed by Alli Mofor
Catina Smith or “Chef Cat,” as she’s affectionately known, is a woman of many talents. By day she is a line chef at Magdalena Restaurant [205 E. Biddle St., (410) 514-0303, theivybaltimore.com/magdalena] in the Ivy Hotel and by night she puts in work at Webster University, where she’s only two classes away from her master’s degree. It’s only February and Chef Cat is already finalizing her events and endeavors for 2018. She’s launching her own apron line, is working on her own sorbet brand, and has partnered with two local non-profits— Black Girls Cook and Black Professional Men—to help create events and programming. She also has her own podcast “Taste Charm City” and is organizing several themed events throughout the year. “I’ve had ideas for years,” she says. “I’m kind of learning as I go. I think I’m such a shy and introverted person but somehow I became the ‘culinary socialite.’ I go to all these places and talk to people because I feel that I’m not necessarily meant to be a cookie-cutter chef. I feel like I am supposed to be intermingling with people and bringing people together.” In that vein, she is currently focused on her third installment of Taste Baltimore. This was one of her first events and it remains one of her favorites. (Arli Lima)
FEBRUARY 21, 2018
Baltimore Beat: What is Taste Baltimore? Catina Smith: So Taste Baltimore in a nutshell is kind of a food expo or mini emporium. I like to highlight local businesses and local chefs. I like to invite vendors that are trying to make their mark and reach new people to grow their clientele. It’s funny because a lot of things I do, people think they’re black-only events but this is not blackonly. Just like I hold a monthly chef meet-up, it’s not only for black chefs, it’s for all chefs to start gaining that camaraderie and sense of community—we’re here to help each other. I’m on my third one now; it’s growing and it is highlighting those businesses that kind of only had a small reach . . . so I was grateful that I was able to do that for those businesses. I’m hosting this installment on Saturday, Feb. 24 at The Motor House. BB: What type of vendors can we expect? CS: We will have restaurants, private chefs, and caterers. We also have business owners that make juice, desserts, sauces, and spices. This year it’s going to be a wide variety of vendors. You’ll also be able to purchase their products. BB: How will Taste Baltimore 3 surpass the other two events? CS: Well, the first one was packed! I had it in a small space and I didn’t know what to expect, so when I saw it was packed with people my heart
was so full. If you see some of the pictures, you’ll see people smiling and laughing and really enjoying themselves, everyone had a great time. The second one, we had a live band and it was really interactive. We had (local chef and personality) Chef Egg there and he did a live cooking demo and he’s doing another demo this time around. This year we also have a DJ, DJ 5 Starr is a sponsor and he’s donating his time and talent to us. We’re doing the black box challenge, it’s kind of like “Chopped” where I pop up on a few chefs with a black box and they have to come up with some creative ideas for the wacky things I put in the boxes. They will be judged on taste, creativity, plating, and the winner gets a trophy. Also, the first 25 people that arrive get an amazing swag bag. BB: How many vendors will you have at Taste Baltimore 3? CS: This time we have 15 vendors and it’s pretty cool too because so many people were just reaching out to me asking to be a part of it. My first event, I was begging people “please be a part of my event” and now people are telling me they want to be a part of it, so many I have to turn people away. I’m even getting hits from bigger restaurants; this year I’m having The Elephant participate as my big restaurant and I was so shocked that they reached out to me, so that’s exciting. Next year I’m putting out a call for vendors early so I can get the vendors first and then I’ll pick the venue. BB: You seem to have this event all covered—I can’t imagine what you’ll do to top this. CS: Well, I’ve also been working on a Taste Baltimore kids’ edition. People are reaching out to me about events for kids and I notice a lot of kid businesses are emerging so I wanted to do something to highlight them. I found a kid that does his own chicken hand pies, my friend she does lemonade, I have a couple of cupcake kids, I know one girl her business is called “What The Dill” and she makes her own pickles. My daughter Micah, she has her own project “Unicorn Magic,” it’s her little rainbow sparkle inspired treats. She’s making macaroons, rice krispies treats, bath bombs and soaps. I’m also developing something called “Chef Cat’s Kid Restaurant Week” and we’re going to develop a small curriculum and teach kids how to do the culinary basics. They will cook and we will sell their food; that will be more of a fundraiser. I’m creating my own scholarship where I’m going to try and give seed money to high school seniors going to culinary school in Baltimore City. Taste Baltimore 3 will be held Feb. 24 from noon to 4 p.m. at The Motor House (120 W. North Avenue,  637-8300). Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at eventbrite.com/e/taste-baltimore-3tickets-41256750050. Follow Chef Cat on Instagram @naturallychefcat and @culinary_socialite.
See us for Toys, Books, and More! 1001 W 36th St., Hampden Baltimore, MD
G-SPOTS, SQUIRTING & FUN with Jacq Jones | $25 February 26th
Food News Some openings: Downtown’s Chez Hugo (206 E Redwood St.) will finally open on Feb. 24 after a few delays; Lost City Diner (1730 N. Charles St.) will return later in the month with some help from Bottega owner Adrien Aeschliman, who will also be revamping the menu; Hampen waffle shop Waffie (839 W. 36th St.) is now open; and Jack’s Bistro in Canton (2822 Hudson St.), which closed last month, will reopen in April as The Regal Beagle. At first the Regal Beagle opened in February as some kind of stop-gap endeavor, but is now permanent and will take a few more months to get up and running. As we’re typing this, it occurred to us that we may be far enough away from “Three’s Company” that Jack’s Bistro and Regal Beagle may not even scan as references to the late ‘70s, sexual-tension-filled sitcom—yikes. OK, more specifically, some doughnut news: So B. Doughnut, which began in Hampden, then left Hampden for Leesburg, Va., will return to Baltimore on weekends at the Mount Vernon Marketplace. On Saturdays and Sundays, you can get get B. Doughnut starting at 11 a.m. until they run out. In the spring, Donut Alliance, which is currently in Govans (and whose doughnuts you can get at Golden West, Land Of Kush, and Red Emma’s) will get its own store in Hamilton-Lauraville at 4311 Harford Road. Chef Cindy Wolfe of the Charleston (1000 Lancaster St.) in Harbor East has once again been named a semifinalist for the James Beard Award in the Mid-Atlantic category. This is Wolfe’s eleventh time nominated as a semi-finalist and she has made it as a finalist six times. On Feb. 22, Leaders Of A Beautiful Struggle hosts a Black Power Happy Hour at Terra Cafe (101 E. 25th St.) from 6-9 p.m. Holy Frijoles has been back open for a bit after it suffered a devastating fire in Aug. 2016 that required the Hampden burrito institution to be closed for a while and remodeled, but the official grand reopening will be held on Feb. 22 with hourly food and drink specials including $2.22 margaritas, plus music from DJ Pancakes and The Busted Boots. For reasons we don’t quite understand, axe-throwing and serious drinking have merged into one nightlife activity in a whole bunch of cities around the country and it comes to Baltimore with Urban Axes in Highlandtown which opens on March 15. This is Urban Axes’ third location—there’s also one in Philadelphia and Austin—and like those other locations, this new one in Baltimore offers group bookings, league axe-throwing, corporate events, and hey, walk-in hours when you can just roll up with some friends, booze it up and toss some axes. At the American Visionary Art Museum on March 3, the thirteenth annual Small Foods Party, wherein you can go and taste tiny foods or offer up your own and compete for top prizes. All proceeds going to Moveable Feast. Drinks provided by Waverly Brewing Company plus music. $5 if you’re competing and $10 if you’re just there to eat, drink, listen, and watch.
FEBRUARY 21, 2018
with Darian | $15 March 8th 7pm
POLY AND THE LAWPOLYAMORY AND THE LAW Jonathan D. Lane March 14th 6:30pm
BLOWN AWAY- KILLER BLOW JOBS with Stefani | $25 March 26th 6:30pm
EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR VALENTINE’S DAY!
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Field Tripping What to Do With Yourself When You’ve Got Cancer and the Flu By Kate Drabinski This column is supposed to be about field trips, about leaving the computer and actually going out into the world and doing actual things, an increasingly rare feat in newspapering these days. That’s a good plan until you come down with the flu while on chemo for breast cancer. Yeah, I wasn’t going anywhere. When there are headlines warning of healthy people dying three days after getting a slight fever, the immunocompromised cancer patient gets pretty fucking scared they are next. I also wasn’t going outside because the fatigue that hit me was so very intense. “Fatigue” can’t capture the weight how I’ve felt this chemo cycle. I barely remember the first few days with the flu, a hot blur of hours spent in and out of consciousness as the “Great British Baking Show” sang in the background. I can’t say enough about this show for times of trial. After my dad was killed by an errant driver, the family gathered in the silence that follows such an event—what is there to say or do when faced with such unexpected tragedy? The answer turned out to be sitting, looking side eye at the abyss I feared would swallow me if I looked at it straight on, and watching as sweet-natured people with day jobs turned out meringues, sponges, scones, and tarts. When a baker was eliminated, everyone shared hugs and regret. It’s perfect for when everything else is terrible. Another round of bakers lulled me through some hard days in and out of fever and worry that my developing cough would lead to pneumonia and then sepsis and then become a headline: Unhealthy middle aged woman with a wife and two cats dies, unsurprisingly, after catching the flu despite all best precautions. There are no more seasons left, so let’s hope things look up over here for the next few years. And then the Olympics started. These aren’t quite as feel-good, what with the casual racism of our U.S.-based announcers and the knowledge that for host cities, the Olympics often herald brutal displacement and transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. I’m privileged enough to get to put that in the background and just enjoy myself—what a world, what a self. The Olympics also turn me into a rabid USA USA USA nationalist in spite of all I know about our brutal history and present of settler colonialism, slavery, heteropatriarchy, and capitalist superexploitation. I weep at the feel-good stories of athletes who have worked so hard and dreamed so long and here they are, living their Olympic dreams. If you can’t leave the house and you have access to cable television, nothing’s better than the Olympics. I’ve gotten into every sport I’ve watched. Curling is so much strategy and artistry, and the time limits count down how long you’ve got to think about what you’re doing, but the doing can take just as long as the thinking. Brilliant. Luge—the fastest sport at the games, as they keep reminding us—is just death-defying, no margin for error. Biathlon asks people to ski uphill if you can believe that, and then remain a steady shot in high winds. What the fuck. Slopestyle and halfpipe are just bananas, downhill is completely out of control, and who volunteers to get into ski jumping? You start higher than the Statue of Liberty, and a few seconds later you at the bottom and 110 meters away (however far that is). No way. I love the part of watching the Olympics where I get to share in that moment when you’ve worked so hard for something for so long, had to get over so many mental hurdles— the doubt, the fear, the despair—and you finally reach the goal. I’ll have that moment maybe two or three times in my life, but mostly life is getting up when the alarm goes off, packing a lunch, getting to work and getting back, making dinner when you’re too tired, and then going to bed to get up and do it again the next day. I love and miss the steadiness and reliability of the quotidian, but the thrill of getting that thing you’ve worked so hard for? It is such a rush. I like to feed off somebody else’s when I can, and I appreciate that it makes me cry. In between watching the Olympics I’ve been reading books by people dying of cancer. Let me be clear: Cancer isn’t killing me right now. I’m going to die, just like we all are, but likely not of breast cancer in the near future. My prognosis is excellent. That said, I think about dying a lot more than I used to, an abyss that threatens to swallow me whole if I look too close. It’s scary. Writers like Kate Bowler, Paul Kalanithi, and Nina Riggs offer a radical vulnerability about a time that most of us are too scared to even imagine ever coming for us, even as intellectually we know it’s coming for all of us. Most recently I finished Kalanithi’s “When Breath Becomes Air,” a 2016 bestseller. I lay there in bed reading his words about what it’s like to live when you know you are dying but you aren’t sure when but are sure it’ll be sooner than later and you know too much to let yourself believe too much in hope. I cried. And I wished we talked more about death, that death were more a part of life. It’s the only thing other than getting born that we’re all guaranteed to share, and yet we push it away as long as we can, each of us figuring out our own paths when our dads are hit by trucks and we come down with a case of the cancer. I can feel myself shoving it in the background even as it has made its presence so materially known. And then I got out of bed, put on some clothes, and headed to the bar for a beer and some men’s double curling. I’ve got another round of chemo in two days, the is world on fire, I’m finally over the flu, I think, and hopefully they’ll open up the downhill course tonight so I can watch Mikaela Shiffrin cement her legacy at the ripe old age of 22. Life with cancer, as it goes.
FEBRUARY 21, 2018
Baltimore Beat Photo by Brandon Soderberg
Cherry Pie By Brandon Soderberg
A mix of Grandaddy Purple (a knock-you-out strain, previously reviewed) and Durban Poison (the nervy, edgy, uppity strain that you probably already know), Cherry Pie’s lengthy, hypnagogic high has you half asleep and then wide awake but still somewhere else. The mind meanders on this stuff, in part because the high comes on fast and strong and sticks around for hours, but also because it’s a drowsy sort of stoned that doesn’t turn you dull, just dissociated — like a brain in a jar, all thoughts, no sensation. The way this all works, the way you can feel the two kinds of weed that make up Cherry Pie interacting, is important. Low-key, I have been on a modest little quest to ground cannabis criticism in something tangible without reducing it to tedious #actuallying which has led, as I’ve said before, to lots of hot take pot writing. (“Whatever it is you think you know about cannabis is bullshit, man,” declares an edgelord on the internet somewhere at least a few times a year.) And here, without knowing about terpenes or cannabinoids or whatever, you can clearly feel how these strains converse and argue and cede power to one another. Its effects are clear and so are what strains-within-the-strain are causing those effects. And yes, it has taken me this long to review cannabis and mention reggae, which is fairly un-obsequious for a white boy like me, I must pat myself on the back and say, but here we go: The confluence of smoking Cherry Pie, and avant-dub legend Lee “Scratch” Perry having just toured the country performing a kind of hybrid strain of his 1976 classic album, “Super Ape” along the closed-circuit, lab-grown reggae sway of Subatomic Sound System that by all accounts did not suck, makes the Cherry Pie/ reggae connection worth exploring. Namely, Cherry Pie’s high (a wild and woolly back-and-forth between two different sorts of zone-outs, HD-clear to cloudy, uncomfortably close to far, jobinterview cogent to fully faded, and back again) very much echoes the effects of Perry’s darkened, dub reggae style. Perry would take a previously recorded, relatively conventional reggae song, pull pieces of the original out, rearrange the pieces, remove some altogether, turn vocals and hooks into afterthoughts, and add sound effects often in impulsive real-time, reconstructing a conventional song into an erased and redrawn version of itself. Just one great example: ‘Dub the Rhythm’ off 1975’s “Revolution Dub” where Scratch takes Clancy Eccles’ 1968 ‘Feel the Rhythm’ and turns it translucent, a bumping smeary groove that Scratch, instead of singing over, burps, coughs and almost hacks a lung up, all set to the music. One moment the song’s loping along pleasantly and the next, it disrupts, totally screwing with your head, in a good way. The same can be said of Cherry Pie. Strength: 9 Nose: Organic hard candy with a hint of vomit Euphoria: 9 Existential dread: 9 Freaking out when a crazy person approaches you: 9 Drink pairing: Water with mint leaves in it Music pairing: Lee “Scratch” Perry’s “Revolution Dub” or James Burton and Ralph Mooney’s “Corn Pickin’ & Slick Slidin’” Rating: 9
R E S E A R C H
W E L L N E S S
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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
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FEBRUARY 21. 2018
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Baltimorebeat.com, Volume 2, Issue 8, February 21, 2018