Author Archives: Sam Sessa

Sam Sessa’s Top 14 Baltimore songs of 2014

Sam Sessa

What a year for Baltimore music. Here are some of my favorites. 14. Fractal Cat — “Tryptide” Warm and sunny music to brighten a cold winter day. 13. Repelican — “Done” Jon Ehrens continues his streak of inventive, retro-sounding tunes. 12. Adam Lempel and the Casiobeats — “Jump” Lonesome nostalgia and tasty ’80s synth hooks….

WTMD album premiere – Adam Lempel & the Casiobeats

smallcasiobeats

Few Baltimore musicians have as many side projects as Adam Lempel. He’s one half of the basement rock duo Weekends, he channels new wave with Adam Lempel and the Heartbeats and also has a series of classical and traditional compositions (he’s actually studying composition in Amsterdam at the moment). “Adam Lempel and the Casiobeats,” which…

Meet ‘Test Patterns’ artists Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn

Artists Jessie Unterhalter (left) and Katey Truhn typically work on outdoor installations, but they're going indoors for "Test Patterns" at WTMD.

At 7 p.m. Friday, WTMD hosts the opening reception to “Test Patterns,” a new installation by artists Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn featuring videos by Robby Rackleff. (The exhibit is a partnership with BmoreArt, curated by Alex Ebstein.) Unterhalter and Truhn studied together at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and became artistic partners in…

What’s My Lyric: Civil rights photographer Robert Houston reads ‘Logic of Color’ by Wye Oak

Robert Houston documented the Civil Rights movement with photos of Martin Luther King, Jr. and many others. Portrait by J.M. Giordano.

Great songs can mean different things to different people. And hearing Robert Houston, who photographed many of the luminaries of the Civil Rights movement, read the lyrics to Wye Oak’s song “Logic of Color” gives the song a stark new perspective. Houston is one of several subjects of “Struggle: Portraits of Civil Rights and Black…

Bono gives Future Islands some love in Rolling Stone

Future Islands!

2014 just keeps getting better for Baltimore’s Future Islands. They were a huge hit on Letterman. Win Butler, the lead singer of Arcade Fire, joined them on stage to play their single “Seasons (Waiting On You).” And thousands came out to see them play for free at Hampdenfest last month. Now, they can add another…

New art exhibit ‘Test Patterns’ opens 7 p.m. Nov. 7 at WTMD

A mural by Baltimore artists Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn, who, along with Robby Rackleff, are transforming the WTMD Studios with "Test Patterns."

Artists Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn have turned outdoor public spaces into vibrant works of art, and video artist Robby Rackleff has transformed pure color into complex animation. Now, they’re re-imagining the WTMD Studios with a new art exhibit, “Test Patterns.” It’s a partnership between WTMD and BmoreArt, curated by Alex Ebstein and featuring screen…

What’s My Lyric: Baltimore Rock Opera Society’s dramatic reading of ‘Stab My Face’

Actor Derek Vaughan Brown, a member of the Baltimore Rock Opera Society.

Because life isn’t dramatic enough, we’d like to introduce “What’s My Lyric,” a new occasional feature on Baltimore Hit Parade where Baltimore actors give dramatic readings of the lyrics to Baltimore songs. Our first guest, Derek Vaughan Brown (pictured), is a member of the Baltimore Rock Opera Society. They’re about to debut their new production,…

WTMD’s 5 emerging stars of Baltimore’s music scene, as heard on The World Cafe

Baltimore experimental rockers Celebration are one of the city's rising stars.

Yesterday, NPR’s the World Cafe spotlighted Baltimore’s music and culture as part of the show’s “Sense of Place Series.” Host David Dye had a session with breakout stars Future Islands, and led a tour through Baltimore music past and present — with some help from the WTMD staff. One of Dye’s segments was a list…

Alex Fine Poster Show with Music From Jaabs and Sara Kryscio

WTMD presents a poster show by Alex Fine at 7 p.m. Friday Oct. 10, with performances by Jaabs and Sara Kryscio

Alex Fine has drawn some of the most eye-catching concert posters in Baltimore. And on Friday Oct 10, WTMD is thrilled to host a poster show featuring dozens of posters and illustrations by Alex Fine — including limited edition signed prints. Come meet the man behind some of Baltimore’s most iconic concert posters and take…

Furthur Bus, John Kadlecik come to The 8×10 Tuesday

The Furthur Bus brings its 50th anniversary tour to The 8x10 today.

The Furthur Bus, the second generation of Ken Kesey’s wild trip across the country, is coming to The 8×10 this afternoon, according to the club’s co-owner Brian Shupe. Fifty years after the original trip, Kesey’s son Zane is re-creating his father’s journey around America in a decades-old psychedelic school bus, and plans to park it…

SOLD OUT: WTMD’s first film screening – ‘Call Girl of Cthulhu’ on Aug. 20

CGOC_Screencap27

Update: This screening is now sold out. Thanks, and see you Wednesday night! Join us Wednesday August 20th for our very first movie night at WTMD studios, featuring a screening of “Call Girl of Cthulhu,” a new movie from critically acclaimed DIY Baltimore filmmaker Chris LaMartina. It’s the first Baltimore screening of the film, which…

Weekends becomes the loudest band to play WTMD

The cover to "New Humans," the most recent album from Weekends.

Moments before our live recording with Baltimore post-punk duo Weekends, I had a moment of pure terror when I realized they had plugged one guitar into three amps — two guitar amps and a bass amp. And they were all cranked. “I’ll be back in a minute,” I said, and ran to my desk to…

9 CDs I can’t believe I bought in the ’90s

"Spiceworld"

Not long ago, I went back to my parent’s house, looked at my old CD collection and almost threw up in my mouth a little bit. It wasn’t just that I had gone to Sam Goody and paid $15.99 for “Spiceworld”  (the second album from the Spice Girls). The worst part was, I remember rocking…

Baltimore Backtrack – Hammerjacks calendar for October 1988

A look at the lineup for Hammerjack's in October of 1988

Ask anyone who was young in Baltimore back in the ’80s and they’ll talk your ear off about how great it was to go see bands at Hammerjacks. The club, which was torn down in 1997 to make way for an M&T Bank Stadium parking lot, hosted some of the biggest rock and hair metal…

Inside ‘Everything On It,’ WTMD’s first installation art exhibit

"The Worm" by Andrew Liang is part of "Everything On It," WTMD's first installation art exhibit.

Listen: ‘Everything On It’ Power rangers, teenage mutant ninja turtles and other whimsical figures dance along a giant black swirl painted on the wall inside WTMD’s conference room. In the lobby, the windows are dotted with dozens of black vinyl cutouts in different shapes and sizes. It’s all part of “Everything On It,” an exhibit created…

Free reception for new art exhibit ‘Everything On It’ 7 p.m. Friday March 28

Vinyl cutouts from Zoe Friedman (left) and cartoon-style mural paintings by Andrew Liang (right) are part of "Everything On It," a new art exhibit at WTMD.

Two of Baltimore’s most exciting young artists have come together to transform the WTMD studios with an art exhibit designed just for this space. Andrew Liang and Zoe Friedman are re-imagining WTMD with vinyl cutouts, cartoon-style mural paintings, videos and more. WTMD is partnering with the award-winning online publication Bmoreart for the exhibit, titled “Everything…