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Big Music Introduction


Bruce Willen

Big Music Issue 2003

Unsung We recently received a curious CD,The Best of Baltimore's Buried Bands II, an early-'70s-to-the pres...

It's Oh So Quiet . . . Richard Chartier Breaks a New Sound Barrier With His Near-silent Electronic Art | By Bret McCabe

Hillbilly Deluxe Lonesome Blue Yodeler Mark Brine Looks for a Hit in Contemporary Country's Wide Open Spaces | By Geoffrey Himes

All Hail the Queen DJ K-Swift Presides Over Club Music's Man's, Man's, Man's World | By Jaye Hunnie

Youth Gone Mild Punk-Rock Promoting Machine Ben Valis Contemplates Life After Baltimore | By Tom Breihan

Posted 7/16/2003

We recently received a curious CD,The Best of Baltimore's Buried Bands II, an early-'70s-to-the present compendium of proggish local bands, outfits with a preference for Roger Dean over Howard Dean. It made us realize you could make a similar compilation for any of Baltimore's musical eras or genres. This town has always been swimming with musical lightning bolts that never really connected anywhere else, bands confined to blurry memories tarnished ever more by the years--the Matt Clark 5, Furniture Falling Down the Stairs, Kneeling on Beans, Cloaca, ad infinitum.

Thing is, some local musicians are obscure in the here and now. Some local musicians barely raise an eyebrow around town but are better known around the country and overseas (see Mark Brine, and Richard Chartier). Some local musicians are more renowned for their nonband endeavors (see Ben Valis). And some local artists work in genres that don't even exist outside the 410 area code (see K-Swift).

So before firing off the hate mail letting us know who and what we failed to give propers to this year, take a moment to familiarize yourself with some overlooked Charm City charms. They might be little-known to you, but they're out there making Baltimore known for more than Formstone-covered rowhouses, a surfeit of crabs, and a mayor who loves to have his picture taken.

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