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By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun | July 10, 2013
[Note: Video contains explicit language.] Mario, the R&B singer from Baltimore, hasn't released an album since 2009's "D.N.A. " It was the 26-year-old singer's fourth album and featured the underrated hit "Break Up. " "D.N.A. " was also the worst-selling album of his career. Since then, Mario has dealt with personal drama , a shifting genre and a flat, non-starter of a single (2011's "The Walls" ). Now, he's plotting a comeback -- or, more accurately, trying to find his place in the current-day R&B scene.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun | May 17, 2013
You know the Goo Goo Dolls' hits: "Name," "Long Way Down," "Slide," "Black Balloon" and, of course, the once-ubiquitous ballad from the "City of Angels" soundtrack, "Iris. " But what about the less popular album cuts? Like any band with material spanning decades, the Goo Goo Dolls have hidden gems in their catalog. Here are five worth seeking out. "On the Lie" (from 1993's "Superstar Car Wash") It's mainly a strange back-and-forth conversation between a man and woman, but this song highlights Rzeznik's ability to craft unique - and even mysterious - characters.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun | May 17, 2013
John Rzeznik, lead singer of the Goo Goo Dolls, should know a thing or two about wedding songs. He wrote the inescapable hit "Iris" in 1998, which plenty of newly married couples have played for their first dance, including, most famously, singer Avril Lavigne in 2006. And yet, for his own upcoming wedding in July, Rzeznik has no clue what song he and his fiance, Melina Gallo, will dance to. "I'm just happy that I'm getting married. I'm looking forward to it, but I'm still a guy," Rzeznik said from his Los Angeles home recently.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 3, 2013
Michael Mayer knows a thing or two about coming of age. The Maryland-born director won a Tony Award for his work guiding the 2006 Broadway hit "Spring Awakening," which chronicles teens getting a grip on their budding sexuality. In 2010, he directed "American Idiot," a punk rock musical based on the Green Day album of that name, which follows a group of cynical, spent youths as they seek excitement in a big city. Mayer didn't just direct the latter, but collaborated on the book with Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun | April 2, 2013
Seated at a downtown coffee shop last week, Victoria Vox quickly noticed the table was wobbly and uneven. Rather than ignore the minor nuisance, the 34-year-old singer-songwriter took the newspaper she walked in with, folded up a few pages and stuck it under the table's leg. She punctuated the correction with a shrug. "I fix things," Vox said nonchalantly. Born Victoria Davitt, Vox's do-it-herself mentality has served her well since May 2003, when she quit her managerial job at New York & Company in the mall of her hometown, Green Bay, Wis. Since then, music has been her only career.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun | March 27, 2013
At first glance, the Metro Gallery's Saturday night bill seems like an odd pairing: Dope Body - one of Baltimore's noisiest, most abrasive bands in years - and Mykki Blanco, a gender-bending, impressively nimble rapper from New York. But watch some live YouTube clips of each act, and the show makes more sense. Dope Body and Mykki Blanco command attention immediately, and both are capable of consistently winning over new audiences through sheer force and charisma. It doesn't matter that their albums would be categorized at opposite ends of the store.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Colleen Jaskot, The Baltimore Sun | February 22, 2013
Of all the cities Chris Tomlin plays, Baltimore is one of his favorites. "I don't know what it is, but it seems like there's nights where you feel really connected to the people immediately," Tomlin said. "There's other nights where you have to work at it. At Baltimore, you never have to work at it. " Tomlin, 40, is returning to Baltimore on Friday, to perform at 1st Mariner Arena . It's the third stop of his Burning Lights tour, promoting the album of the same name that topped the Billboard 200 chart - only the fourth Christian rock album to do so. "It's pretty crazy," Tomlin said.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun | February 13, 2013
In 1993, a trio of University of Colorado students released a debut album, "Sister Sweetly," as Big Head Todd and the Monsters. Four Top 10 singles, including "Broken Hearted Savior," pushed album sales passed one million. An unknown at the time named Sheryl Crow opened some of the band's tour dates. That same year, the group made its network television debut on "Late Show with David Letterman. " Frontman Todd Park Mohr remains proud of the band's biggest - and earliest - accomplishments, but he doesn't sugarcoat their affect on him, even 20 years later.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun | February 6, 2013
The anticipated self-titled debut album from Dungeonesse, the Baltimore pop duo of Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak, Flock of Dimes) and Jon Ehrens (White Life, zillions of other projects), will be released on May 14 via Secretly Canadian. In November, we received the first offering, "Drive You Crazy. " Today, the group released its second single, the album opener "Shucks. " Listen to it at the bottom of this post. The tracklist, posted below, features 10 songs. Most intriguing are two songs that include TT the Artist and DDm, rappers featured in the June 2012 b cover story, "Baltimore gay rappers are loud and proud.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun | February 6, 2013
Get Arbouretum frontman Dave Heumann started on certain topics - such as maximizing the sound quality of vinyl, fictitious narrators in songwriting, photography - and expect long-winding exchanges full of ideas and anecdotes. But ask the 40-year-old Roland Park musician why he started playing music in the first place and the answer is uncharacteristically succinct. "You start a band and you get to play guitar solos for as long as you want," Heumann said from a corner of a coffeeshop late last month.
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