Author Archives: Sam Sessa

Baltimore Hit Parade pays tribute to singer-songwriter Michael Beresh

Michael Beresh, singer and songwriter and member of the Country Devils, passed away at the age of 40.

This past weekend, Baltimore’s music scene lost a key member when Michael Beresh passed away from natural causes at the age of 40. A solo artist and member of the Country Devils, Beresh lives on through his many songs. Here is a short tribute to Beresh which aired Tuesday night on Baltimore Hit Parade, and…

An Evening With Lower Dens at WTMD [Pictures]

Jana Hunter of Lower Dens at WTMD (Photo by Steve Parke)

On Thursday April 2, Baltimore’s Lower Dens performed an intimate live broadcast for a seated audience of 100 at WTMD’s performance studio. Led by singer Jana Hunter, the band performed songs from its critically acclaimed new album, “Escape From Evil,” which was released on Ribbon Music two days before the show. Steve Parke photographed the…

Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner opens up about her songwriting process for new solo album

Baltimore singer and songwriter Jenn Wasner is working on a new full-length solo album under the name Flock of Dimes. (Photo by Mickey Freeland)

With Wye Oak on hiatus from touring, Jenn Wasner has been working on songs for her first full-length album for her solo project, Flock of Dimes. This month she’s on the road opening for Sylvan Esso, testing eight of her new tracks in front of live audiences. When she gets back, Wasner plans to work…

SOLD OUT – WTMD presents An Evening With Lower Dens April 2

Lower Dens will perform an intimate seated live broadcast at WTMD on April 2. Poster by Alex Fine Illustration.

UPDATE: This show is sold out. See you Thursday April 2! WTMD is excited to welcome Lower Dens, one of Baltimore’s most enigmatic bands, for a live broadcast with a seated studio audience on Thursday April 2. Lower Dens is adored by critics but still a well-kept secret among indie music fans. However, that may…

How to hit the high notes with Mark Mikina

Baltimore singer/songwriter Mark Mikina knows how to hit the high notes.

Baltimore singer-songwriter Mark Mikina knows how to hit the high notes. When people hear his music for the first time, they often wonder if the singer is a woman. In fact, Mark is a man. He used to play in the rock band Storm the Beaches, before setting out on his own. He’s gearing up…

Dan Deacon talks new album ‘Gliss Riffer,’ the craziest place he’s ever played and more

Dan Deacon is one of Baltimore’s most popular and influential musicians. And after spending several years touring and recording with an ensemble of musicians, he went back to his roots as a solo artist for his new album, “Gliss Riffer” (out now on Domino Records). Since he moved to Baltimore in 2004, Dan has amassed some…

3 Baltimore musicians to watch in 2015

Singer and songwriter Jana Hunter, of Lower Dens. [Frank Hamilton photo]

Last year, it was all Future Islands. And while it’s unlikely another Baltimore band will match Future Islands’ meteoric rise to indie stardom, here are three artists who could break out in 2015. Lower Dens Why isn’t Lower Dens more popular? Critics love this indie rock quartet led by singer/songwriter Jana Hunter. Pitchfork gave their…

WTMD to debut new Panda Bear track as part of worldwide live radio broadcast

WTMD will debut a song from the new Panda Bear album on Tuesday Jan. 6. (Press photo by Fernanda Pereira)

WTMD is thrilled to announce the radio premiere of “Acid Wash,” a new track from the forthcoming Panda Bear album “Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper,” at 2 p.m. Tuesday Jan. 6, as part of a global radio broadcast coordinated by Domino Records. Instead of debuting the album on a blog stream, Domino asked 14…

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…