As a place known for its crabs (yum), murder rate (1 every 29 hours), and football (we don't talk about the O's when they suck), BALTIMORE sure has a weird music scene. Imagine a city sprawled out on a harbor full of east coast history and urban decay.
2 cups Prep
3 pints Gangster
1 tbs. Suburbia
4 oz. Business
1/2 cup Homeless
1 Dash of Old Bay
2 Pinches of Art
It kind of makes you wonder how such a city spawned bands and artists that are so far removed from the norm (or maybe it's exactly the kind of place you'd expect anything but the norm). Oddness aside, growing up in the suburbs, I wasn't even aware a music scene existed in Bal'mor. I mean, we had maybe four music venues, a couple of rock fests, and that Orchestra my parents raised me on (not to mention the Peabody Choir I sang in... I got beat up a lot...). Who knew there was a quirky collection of artists hiding amongst the ghettoed victorian row houses and towering concrete business structures. It wasn't until I moved to such a vibrantly musical city like Los Angeles that I started to notice how a lot of the music I was getting into out here was actually coming from my good ol' hometown of Baltimore... and it was the oddest of the odd. Dan Deacon (video below), Animal Collective (all over KSCR airwaves), Spank Rock (nasty lyrics indeed), Cex (mp3), Frank Zappa (duh, he's a freak), and Beach House (tamest of them all), just to name a few Bmore artists that have been receiving more and more attention, both from me and the rest of the music universe. Even Tupac kind of got started in Baltimore (do some research). With the exception of Pac and Beach House, you have yourself some of the weirdest (or most brilliantly unique?) people making music ever.
Maybe L.A. isn't the place for you, Mr. Hipster. That is to say, even Pitchfork did a special on Whartscape. If it's the one of a kind you want blasting through your stereo, scaring all those mainstream listeners away, then head to Baltimore and pick up a demo off the street. It seems like it might be weirder than anything you'll hear here... Unless you go to the Neighboorhood Fest.
Here's Dan Deacon performing without a crazy crowd fucking up the video (youtube some more vids of this guy and you'll know what i mean).