Posts filed under ‘Arts and culture’

“Maybe We’ll Even Listen to the Music”

Jazz educator Dr. Billy Taylor died in January 2011 at age 89. In this musical essay from Maryland Morning, I reminisce about an encounter with Dr. Taylor that changed the way I listen to music. (more…)

November 8, 2011 at 12:32 pm 1 comment

Duck Hunting on the Chesapeake

After stumbling upon a chapter about the Chesapeake in a 1947 book about waterfowl hunting, I went down to Cambridge with Maryland Morning intern Erin Gleeson to see how the bay had changed since then, and how duck hunting had changed with it.


November 8, 2011 at 10:44 am Leave a comment

The Wire’s Lessons for Urban Journalism

The premiere of the fifth season of The Wire rekindled a vicious dispute between David Simon and his former editors at the Baltimore Sun. It has gotten personal, but can we learn anything about how we report on our cities from the substance beneath the bickering? Find out in “Secrets of the City,” the cover story from the January/February 2008 issue of Columbia Journalism Review.

November 7, 2011 at 11:25 pm Leave a comment

Noise Welcome at This Library

When film and television music supervisors need background music on the cheap, they turn to music libraries, who have pre-recorded music searchable by keywords like “dark” and “groovy.” It’s not meant to be listened to intently, but in the 1970s, some libraries were turning out irresistable avant-garde funk. Learn more in this piece from Studio 360.


November 7, 2011 at 11:05 pm Leave a comment

A Dream Fulfilled Under the Gospel Tent

On April 25, 2008, The Worship Squad performed under the Gospel Tent at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival for the first time. For their leader, Minister Ron Hadley, it was the culmination of a struggle to turn his life around. From Weekend America.

November 7, 2011 at 10:53 pm Leave a comment

Catch Him if You Can

A review of David Samuels’s The Runner, from High Country News.

November 7, 2011 at 1:18 am Leave a comment

Black History’s Future on Pennsylvania Avenue

Harlem has 125th Street; Baltimore has Pennsylvania Avenue. In February 2011, Maryland Morning broadcast this tour from a man who hopes to restore “The Avenue” to its former glory. (more…)

November 7, 2011 at 12:19 am Leave a comment

Zappa in Bronze

Why did two Frank Zappa fans from Vilnius, Lithuania donate a bronze bust of Frank Zappa to the city of Baltimore? Find out in this 2008 piece from Weekend America.


November 6, 2011 at 11:55 pm Leave a comment

Spring 2010 Music Preview with Al Shipley

Music writer Al Shipley tells Maryland Morning producer Lawrence Lanahan about some of his favorite releases of the season.

August 10, 2011 at 6:26 pm Leave a comment

Top Ten in Arts and Culture, 2005

Top Ten in Arts and Culture for 2005: From Baltimore’s PeekReview.

July 24, 2011 at 11:49 am Leave a comment

Older Posts

- A much prettier website with my journalistic highlights is at
- Disappearing Ink released its first album, "There Is No Time and Nothing's Been," in December 2014. It's available on iTunes.
- After almost five years at WYPR, I'm back to freelancing. Editors can reach me at
- The Art of Social Critique: Painting Mirrors of Social Life includes my chapter "New Possibilities and Old Limitations of Political Art in The Wire."
- You can still buy my 2004 self-titled EP.