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Author Archives: Sam Sessa

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…

With Lorde, Preakness InfieldFest hits its stride

Teenage pop star Lorde headlines this year's Preakness InfieldFest. Photo by James K. Lowe.

Six years ago, when the Maryland Jockey Club announced that a music festival would replace the decades-long tradition of Preakness BYOB infield mayhem, fans were furious. A lineup featuring shlock rockers Buckcherry and the aging ZZ Top didn’t help, and attendance at the once-packed event plummeted. But in the following years, Preakness InfieldFest has become…

Baltimore Backtrack: Emerson’s Old Timey Custard-Suckin’ Band

The liner notes from Emerson's first and only album.

If you looked at a list of the names of all the Baltimore bands from the past 40 years, one in particular is impossible to ignore. Emerson’s Old Timey Custard-Suckin’ Band was not only one of the most offbeat, but also one of the longest Baltimore band names. They were an acoustic quartet — Neil…

Baltimore Hit Parade’s first live taping with Kentavius Jones Feb. 11

The soul singer/songwriter and his band are part of the first ever live taping of Baltimore Hit Parade, 9 p.m. Jan. 21

On Tuesday Feb. 11, we’re opening our doors for the first ever live taping of Baltimore Hit Parade, broadcast live on-air with a studio audience. (Originally scheduled for January, the show was postponed due to snow.) It’s part live music, part variety show. The house band is Kentavius Jones (pictured), a talented soul singer making his Baltimore…

In Baltimore, Beach House Gene Clark tribute is a show like ‘No Other’

Beach House and an all-star lineup re-created Gene Clark's forgotten 1974 album "No Other" at Floristree.

In the past several years, much has been said and written about Baltimore’s music scene. Too much, perhaps. But it has produced wonderful moments, when you feel a part of something larger — moments which could have only happened here. Last night’s Gene Clark: No Other show at Floristree felt that way. Beach House, the…

Baltimore Hit Parade playlist – Jaabs, Jan. 7

The members of Baltimore indie rockers Jaabs.

The members of Jaabs have a lot of history on the Baltimore music scene. Roman Keubler, formerly of the Oranges Band and Roads to Space Travel (and who used to co-own the old Talking Head Club) founded the group. He’s joined by Shawna Potter (vocals), Jim Glass (lead guitar), Mike Ward (keyboards), Kristin Ward (bass)…

‘Drunk History’ to film at Mothers Grille Thursday

Bob Odenkirk (left) as Nixon and Jack Black as Elvis in the first episode of "Drunk History." The Comedy Central show will film at Mothers Grille 8 p.m. Thursday.

“Drunk History,” the Comedy Central show created by Lutherville native Derek Waters, will film part of an episode for its second season at Mothers Federal Hill Grille (1113 S. Charles St.) starting at 8 p.m. Thursday, according to the bar’s Facebook page and the Maryland Historical Society. On the show, which was recently renewed for…

Baltimore Backtrack: Great Pooba Subway and Pooba

Baltimore experimental band Great Pooba Subway, performing at the 1972 Read Street Fun Festival. (Photo by Morris Denmark)

In the history of the Baltimore music scene, few bands have been as bizarre and irreverent as Great Pooba Subway. The group was founded by David Wilcox, a Baltimore native and Maryland Institute College of Art student who wanted to have his own band — but couldn’t play an instrument or sing. But he wasn’t…

With ‘Worst Case Scenario,’ Single Carrot Theatre returns to sketch comedy

Mike Smith (left) and Jenna Rossman perform in Single Carrot Theatre's "Worst Case Scenario." Credit: Britt Olsen-Ecker Photography

‘Listen to Elliott Rauh and Jessica Garrett read a sketch about jogging from Worst Case Scenario’ “Worst Case Scenario” is the name of the new sketch comedy from Baltimore’s Single Carrot Theatre. It’s an original production featuring 15 miniature plays focusing on fear – what’s the worst thing that could happen in seemingly innocuous situations,…

Sam Sessa’s top 10 Baltimore songs of 2013

I'm Sam, WTMD's Baltimore Music Coordinator.

For me, the best Baltimore songs of the year are the ones I keep coming back to – weeks and months after I’ve first heard them. Aside from J. Roddy Walston and the Business, it was a quiet year for the heavyweights — no new albums from Dan Deacon, Beach House, Wye Oak or Future…

Beach House answers criticism with all-star Gene Clark tribute show

Alex Scally (left) and Victoria Legrand of Beach House spearheaded an all-star tribute to Gene Clark.

Yesterday, Beach House announced a short run of tribute shows performing Gene Clark’s album “No Other” with a star-studded cast of musicians which stops at Floristree on Jan. 23. But it’s more than just a cool idea for a concert. This is a change in direction for the duo of Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand,…

Baltimore Hit Parade playlist – Super City, Nov. 5

Super City was the house band on Baltimore Hit Parade.

Super City is a new Baltimore band which brings together a prog-rock flourishes with strong pop sensibilities. Greg Wellham and Dan Ryan, two friends who had known each other for years but never played in a band together, founded Super City on a series of interlocking guitar riffs. They recruited a few other like-minded musicians,…