Former Newspapermen Reflect on the Industry

Two of Baltimore’s most prestigious newspapers were shut down over 20 years ago. The Baltimore News-American folded in 1986. The Baltimore Evening Sun ran its final edition in 1995. Soon after, the Baltimore Sun lost more than half its newsroom as a result of layoffs and buyouts.

In the stories below, current and former Baltimore reporters and editors address the state of news today and look back on their careers working for newspapers.


The Changing Face of Local News Michael Olesker

Michael Olesker, former columnist for both The News-American and Evening Sun papers, discusses the state of print journalism and the role that TV news played in contributing to its decline. Read what he had to say.


A Paperless SocietyRafael shows his Baltimore pride

Former Sun writers Rafael Alvarez and Steve Auerweck discuss the future of journalism and describe how The Sun has altered its coverage over the last decade. Read here to share their insights.




Messengers of Charm CityFormer writers meet at Romans Place

Every Friday, writers of Baltimore’s past and present meet at Roman’s Place, a restaurant near Patterson Park. Over lunch, they share memories of their glory days and share their thoughts on how news has changed over time. Continue reading about these former Baltimore reporters.




Newspapers in MarylandSteve Auerweck talks about the Baltimore Sun. Al Forman discusses his experience working in news.

Posted in Baltimore Newspapers | Leave a comment

Artist Profile: Evolver

This is the third post in a series focused on local bands. The subject of this post is the band Evolver.

Evolver is made up of ex-Limp Biskit guitarist Mike Smith, who also handles vocals in Evolver, Anthony Grabowski on drums, Keith Thompson on bass, and John Cummings on lead guitar.

Evolver’s sound can be described as a mix of hard rock and alternative. The band calls their music “heavy and powerful with catchy wide-open vocal melodies.” They have compared themselves to groups such as 30 Seconds to Mars, Papa Roach, and the Foo Fighters.

The band is currently working on their debut album. They are signed to Union Entertainment Group.

If you want to see Evolver peform, check them out on July 9 when they headline with another local band, Charm City Devils, at Rams Head Live.

Evolver playing the song “Headshot”

Posted in MCOM 341 | Leave a comment

Call it a Comeback

A few local bands that had success in the 1980s are playing at the Recher in Towson this summer.

Crack the Sky formed in West Virginia but relocated to Maryland early in their career. The band has been performing off and on for the last 30 years. They are playing at the Recher on Friday, July 15. Tickets for the show are $25.

The Ravyns are playing on Saturday, August 13 for a reunion show. They are best known for the 1982 hit song “Raised on the Radio” which was featured in the movie “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” Tickets to see the the Ravyns are $15.

Tickets for both shows can be purchased from MissionTix.

Posted in MCOM 341 | 1 Comment

Artist Profile: Loving the Lie

This is the second post in a series focused on local bands. The subject of this post is the band Loving the Lie.

Named by CBS as one of “Baltimore’s 5 Best Rock Bands” in a 2011 article, Loving the Lie has a large amount of potential as a hard rock band.  Describing themselves on their Myspace page as “dark and infectious,” the group has already opened for bands like 30 Seconds to Mars, Halestorm, Everclear, and All Time Low.

Loving the Lie released their debut album entitled Legends of Charm City in 2009. They also released a song called “The Fight” on iTunes in May of 2010.

Members Kevin Hock, Matt Silkworth, Roobyn Bryant, Sean Stinchomb and Dominic Delauney credit bands such as the Foo Fighters, Bon Jovi, My Chemical Romance, and The Beatles as their influences.

You can follow the band on Twitter. The following is a clip of Loving the Lie performing the song “Never Say Die” at Bourbon Street.

Posted in MCOM 341 | Leave a comment

U2 Concert Expected to Draw Record Crowd

Baltimore Sun columnist Ken Murray says he expects close to 80,000 people to be in attendance for Wednesday’s U2 concert at M&T Bank Stadium.

The record, set in 1999 during HFStival, stands at 75,000.

Murray’s article also looks at the economic benefits of having U2 come to downtown Baltimore.

Another article in the Sun, this one written by Chris Kaltenbach, looks at the concert from a fan’s perspective.

The hope is that the U2 concert will put Baltimore on the map as a town that can host large tours. Concerts like this one on Wednesday are great for Baltimore because they produce revenue for the businesses downtown and prove that the people of Baltimore are capable of supporting large events.

Posted in MCOM 341 | Leave a comment

Artist Profile: Breaking Reign

This is the first post in a series focused on local bands. The subject of this post is the band Breaking Reign.

Breaking Reign is a six-member band from Towson. They play a hybrid style of rock and hip-hop. After winning Towson University’s Battle of the Bands, Breaking Reign was given the chance to perform at Tigerfest in 2010. They opened for headline act N.E.R.D.

The band formed in 2008 when vocalist Joey Aikins, guitarist Clark Genau, and drummer Anand Viswanathan began rooming together and creating music. In 2009, another vocalist, Stephanie Blunt, was added to the band as they began playing open mics around the Towson area. Bassist Rock Warnick and turntablist Jermaine Gordon rounded out the group and by 2010, the group began to refine their sound.

Currently, Breaking Reign is working on their first album while playing venues in the Baltimore area. The following clip is a live performance of the song “Maybe One Day.”



Posted in MCOM 341 | Leave a comment

DC 101 Ticket Giveaway

Every week, radio station DC 101 gives away tickets for an upcoming rock concert. This week they are giving away tickets to see Incubus when they play at Merriweather Post Pavilion on September 11.

Tickets are given away every hour from 11:10 a.m. until 9:10 p.m. You can call the radio station, or you can enter the contest online.

In addition to the Thursday Ticket Takeover, there are many other giveaways that DC 101 offers to listeners.

This week, they are giving away tickets to see Citizen Cope at the Warner Theater on June 25 and also tickets to The Uncle Sam Jam on July 2 at The National Harbor in Washington D.C. The Uncle Sam Jam will be the host to Blind Melon, The Wailers, and the Pat McGee Band. Fireworks will be displayed following the show.

Posted in MCOM 341 | Leave a comment

HFStival to Return

One of the more prominent East coast music festivals, HFStival, is returning to Merriweather Post Pavilion on September 17. The festival returned last year after a four-year hiatus.

The 2011 line-up will be headlined by folk rock band The Avett Brothers. Other acts playing are Flogging Molly, Dr.Dog, Gin Blossoms, Minus the Bear, and Clutch.

This will be the 18th year for the concert, which is run by the radio station WHFS-FM. Promoters will have to work hard to top last year which featured acts such as Billy Idol, Third Eye Blind, and Everclear.

Tickets are already on sale, starting at $35.

Posted in MCOM 341 | Leave a comment

Free Concert Tonight

Ska punk band Reel Big Fish is performing at Power Plant Live downtown tonight. The show is free and starts at 6 p.m. You have to be 21 or older to get in.

The California-based band gained a following in the mid 1990’s with songs like “Sell Out” and their cover of the song “Take On Me.” They have undergone a number of lineup changes over the years, but they have managed to release nine studio albums, their latest being released in 2009.

If you’re wondering what ska punk is, it’s a mix between punk rock and jazz influenced beats with Carribean-style rhythms.

Posted in MCOM 341 | 1 Comment

All Time Low releases “Dirty Work”

All Time Low released their fourth studio album “Dirty Work” on June 7, 2011.

Baltimore-based pop punk band All Time Low released their fourth studio album entitled Dirty Work on Tuesday, two years after their last release, which sold over 60,000 copies.

The formula for All Time Low to this point has been taking risks, while at the same time ensuring they have enough radio-friendly tracks to attract the mainstream audience.

While their last album Nothing Personal  strayed slightly from their punk roots and relied more on a pop sound, Dirty Work takes this transition even further.

The album opens with “Do You Want Me (Dead)” the shortest song in the collection. It has a catchy chorus and fun tone, but the production values and subject matter of confusing girls make it more of a guilty pleasure than a standout track.

“I Feel Like Dancin” is the next track and also the first single. It’s an odd choice considering how different it is from the band’s traditional sound. While it maintains the power chords and pop qualities, it also has a few dance-style moments, making me wonder what inspired the band to attempt a Lady Gaga goes rock rendition.

“Forget About It” and “Time-Bomb” are typical All Time Low songs that would have fit in well on their previous record. A couple of forgettable tracks “Guts” and “Return the Favor” make the middle of the album mediocre before tracks like “Under A Paper Moon” and the acoustic “A Daydream Away” bring it back to respectability.

Closing the record, “Heroes” brings back memories of early All Time Low, more punk than pop, with a faster tempo and well-timed vocals from singer Alex Gaskarth.

Overall “Dirty Work” proves to be average in may facets, but there are enough standout tracks to give the band airplay and teens a playlist to go along with their summer endeavors.

Posted in MCOM 341 | Leave a comment