Anything for a Weird Life


It is clear: we are so back. In Baltimore City, every weekend and weekday there are multiple cultural events to choose to attend this month. This past weekend was historically (in)famous as the most busy. There are three major events, now in alignment once again: the Kinetic Sculpture Race, the Flower Mart,and the Maryland Film Festival.

It is also clear: you can’t do it all. Now that we are beyond the gee, I sure missed these things happening” appreciation we all felt as the pandemic eased, the floodgates have been opened. The continual problem is where to let the flood take you over the course of each season. This is a great problem to have as an event attender, not as great a problem to have as an event promoter or performer. A potential audience can only be divided up so much.

There is an artist, Rutherford Chang, who has made an installation called We Buy White Albums. He owns 3,417 copies of first pressings of that particular Beatles record. In interviews, he never comments about whether or not he likes The Beatles’ music in general or particularly on that album. He just buys and collects the numbered first pressings of The White Album. He does not have No. 0000001. He listens to The White Album every day.

I admire the installation and understand his interest in this album as a cultural artifact. However, if I am not careful, I can get like that in terms of my show attendance. Folks greet me at non-show events with mock-surprise. Folks view me as a sign they chose correctly” if I am in attendance. This is all fine and good and I get it. I can be asked what is going on this weekend?” and I am sure to know.

The reason I go out to shows is to seek music and performance that will move me. It is not guaranteed that it will occur, but it still does with enough regularity to make the practice worthwhile. Of course, if you overload any cultural experience, you risk becoming numb to its potential power.

This column has become part of that daily and weekly dance of seeking to be moved, factoring in to what I attend and where I go. What have I seen and what haven’t I seen? If I am keeping up with the underground, what corner of it have I yet to cover? How far into the past have I allowed myself to drift? Where is the future of the underground engaging in activity? Where is the punk I can ask? Who do I need to DM for address?

I think it is ultimately a good pressure to have as long as I recognize the potential curdling I may be undergoing. As I prepare to write the last few columns of my second series run this month, I see how crispy I am getting on the edges. It happens every year around this time.

Please know I am thinking of you and hoping you are doing well. I apologize for not attending your event. I hope all went well, and I hope to make it out next time.

Tim Kabara

IG: @kim_tabara

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