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Anything for a Weird Life

Finding Peace in the Valley

When you need a map, when you get a little lost on the way… I always find that to be a good sign.

At a place listed online as CLOSED: opens 5:30 PM Wednesday, on Mondays in April and May, check out back. In the alley. Look for the sign.

Le Comptoir du Vins backbar shall be and is poppin’ off.

I felt so sure Monday night is a dead zone in Baltimore these days, the pandemic cementing a pattern long in practice for places to be closed Monday, many now also on Tuesday, even Wednesday. I am glad to be wrong.

But this isn’t the first time Mondays are meaningful. When the dance party first became a fixture in underground Baltimore, in 2002, it was on that very night, at bar called Goodlove. The event was called Taxidermy Lodge and it was a guaranteed rager.

The event grew and changed, shortened its name to Taxlo, and became a main weekend event elsewhere over the course of a long Sparks-fueled run. The Goodlove bar burned down.

#

Everything was absolutely fine at Peace in the Valley the night I attended. No fires to be put out. Except musically.

I always give props to artists who defy the crowd, but I also enjoy those who fit the vibe of the room.

Nicholas Hoegberg opened, performed his music with others, threw in a Silver Jews cover. I have seen him walking around my neighborhood recently, which I assume is our neighborhood. I have ordered food from him at another place nearby. The music fit the pleasant spring evening (Baltimore usually gets a handful at most) as the crowd grew. The synapses fired and I knew that I know this person and their music! From before the pandemic!

Hello, Nicolas.

Back to the fire. I have seen Leprechaun Catering many times, and I have never seen them perform the same way twice.

I first met Tom Boram/x in college in the middle 1990s. I handed him a flyer for my show. He asked me what kind of music I make. I then launched into a prickly thicket of a conversation with him about what is music, man?” and what is genre, man?” Boy, was I a jerk back then. Poor guy just asked a reasonable question.

Sorry, Tom.

I first met Jason Willet as he was spinning records at an underground venue called Payan’s Rugs. He was masterful, even awe-inspiring. When he played a song by Faust, I was delighted and impressed as I had not yet managed to pick up any Faust albums on vinyl. I tried to speak to him about this, but it was a circular conversation. He was nice, but I think he assumed he was suffering another fool, and it was hard to be glad. After years of similar conversations, I now know the feeling.

With Apologies, Jason.

I have never interacted with John Dierker in any personal way, but he was the musical gasoline on their fire. If you weren’t there to be challenged, you were in the wrong place at the wrong time at the point he joined in with Leprechaun Catering.

Hooray, John!

Then I had to go home. My job requires me to get up at 5AM. This meant I had to miss MEMS.

Bummer.

How was the set?

Let me know, okay?

My suggestion would be to do the work, follow the map, get to bed a little late on a school night if you can manage it. Be sure to tip well! Peace in the Valley runs Mondays this month and the next. Questions? Concerns? Contact John Hoegburg. Or do what I did. Ask Anna K. Crooks about it.

Greetings, John.

Swing Away, Anna!

Tim Kabara

IG: @kim_tabara

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