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Mixtape
Oct 21, 2009, 08:29AM

A Splice Original Compilation: Baltimore Does Baltimore, Part 1

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In many ways I owe this compilation to Jenn Wasner. It was her idea after all. Back in the spring, only a few weeks after Splice released The Old Lonesome Sound, I was already kicki ng around ideas for a follow-up. I knew I wanted the second compilation to be exclusively Baltimore focused, but I hadn't quite worked out an idea that I liked. After a show at the Metro Gallery, I asked Wasner what she thought of doing a covers compilation of If Children, the first Wye Oak album. "Why make it just about us?" she said. "Just get a bunch of Baltimore bands to cover a bunch of other Baltimore bands." Looking back I don't know how I hadn't already thought of it. But I knew right then and there that was it, that was the next project.

From the dancy oddball weirdness of Dan Deacon and the Wham City crowd, to the gorgeous synth-pop of Beach House and the fiery wailing of Arbouretum and Pontiak, to folksters Small Sur and Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez, to the DJs tearing up the Baltimore Club scene and the noisy post-punk bands blaring from the Copycat and the H&H, Baltimore has the best and most diverse music scene in the country. And it's a close-knit community -- you'd know that from any show, the liner notes of any album. Go to Whartscape, watch Dan Higgs share the same stage as Celebration, watch Height and Double Dagger and Future Islands fill a MICA parking lot. We're a city made for musicians, for record-store junkies, for the kid who can list off every Smiths b-side. And I hope this compilation adds something to the mix.

Many thanks to Matthew Leffler-Schulman at Mobtown Studios for his fine mastering help and to Kathy Fahey for her beautiful cover art.

--Zach Kaufmann (Oct. 21, 2009)

 

Dance My Pain Away

Rod Lee's "Dance My Pain Away" is probably the best known song of the Baltimore Club scene. Listen to Wye Oak pull a Ben Folds on it's ass.

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Little Dreamer

If part 1 (or, *SPOILER ALERT*, part 2) of this compilation does anything to answer the question, What song is on every iPod in Baltimore? Well... we have our answer.

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Oversea

Porch-sittin' folkies Small Sur put their spin on Wheatie Mattiasich's unreleased song "Oversea." Note: In early 2008 Wheatie Mattiasich slipped and fell into Bob Keal's beard. She has not been seen since.

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Too Soon To Know

Freak jazz extraordinaries Microkingdom dug up a sixty-year-old single by The Orioles and had their way with it.

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Ah Well

A post-punk outfit no doubt in the employ of the Kremlin, Mr. Moccasin adds some Eastern kick to Ari Schenck's "Ah Well."

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That I Do

Mickey Free remixes and adds some much need rap to a song from Wye Oak's second album, The Knot.

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Little Dreamer

Having recently released his first full-length album, pysch-rapper Jones takes on a remix of Future Island's "Little Dreamer." Victoria Legrand adds vocal back-up.

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Two Mantras

Baltimore's answer to Townes Van Zandt, Caleb Stine covers "Two Mantras" from Small Sur's debut album We Live in Houses Made of Wood.

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One Lovely Daughter

Formerly under the moniker Private Eleanor, Austin Stahl makes beautifully rich folk-pop. "One Lovely Daughter" is from Lawrence Lanahan's 2005 split EP Tumbling Traces/Scholastic Anomie.

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One That Got Away

Founder of Wax and Wane turned frontman for Ari and the Shanks, Ari Schenck here covers a song from Anomoanon's 2002 album Asleep Many Years in the Wood.

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