is a special place. Known for its eccentricity, unusual creativity,
and stimulating grassroots cultural scene, the character of the
city is extremely distinctive.
the mid 90's, Baltimore has also suprisingly joined cities like
Chicago, New York, Seattle, San Fransisco, and Montreal as a rare
center for avant-garde musical activity in North America.
Baltimore has actually always had strong underground cultural
scenes for experimental music, film, and performance, which has
drifted in and out of public visibility. However, these days,
things have dramatically changed... fueled partially by an intense
group of original players and inventors organizing a concert series
at The Red Room, the Baltimore
scene has received continual praise and critical attention since
a sort of renaissance which began in 1996. At this time, the Red
Room has organized over 400+ concerts on a volunteer basis. Baltimore
now also has had a number of large festivals of "out"
music (High Zero, Harmonic
and Unfold), as well as quite a number of venues where experimental
music can be heard throughout the year (The Red Room, The True
Vine, Tarantula Hill, The Ottobar, Talking Head, and others).
ZERO is an outgrowth of this cultural momentum, forming musical
bonds between experimental players from different cities and subcultures
and focusing the attentions of a broad audience for four days
on this art form which is, at base, all about inspiration.
you are visiting Baltimore for the festival, here are some recommendations:
and other places to stay : a list of relatively raw
contact information for people visiting from out of town, hopefully
American Visionary Arts Museum : A great, stimulating
museum by any standard. Similar to Jean Dubuffet's Art Brut
museum in Switzerland, this is a highly stimulating museum dedicated
to the creativity of the untrained, marginalized, and highly
singular. Well worth a visit. It was also the site of the opening
night of High Zero 2000.
Brewers Art Restaraunt : The official restaraunt of
High Zero 2001 has amazing food, a formal dining room, a noisy
grotto pub below, and a huge selection of European and microbrew
beers. A few blocks to the South from the Theater Project at
Charles and Chase Streets and highly recommended.
Books and Records : Home of The Red Room performance
space, this is a ten year old, collectively-run store which
has won either "best used book store" or "best
used record store" for ten years running in the City Paper.
Prices are usually considered extraordinarily cheap by out-of-towners,
and the selection is vast and weighted towards the obscure.
Baltimore City Paper : A big slice of listings of things
you can do in town while you are here, and a media sponsor of
True Vine Record Store : Another great record store,
specializing in exotic vinyl and experimental cds, located in
Hampden at 1100 W block of 36th street, right across from Atomic
Books and next to Golden West.
Golden West : Amazing, friendly, no-cell-phones allowed
restaraunt (southwest meets trans-asian) in Hampden again on
the 1100 W. Block of 36th St. 410-889 8891
Books : Great underground comics/bookstore, again
on the 1100 W. Block of 36th St.
Once.Twice:Sound : Yet another excellent record store, with a strong focus on experimental electronics and modern underground fare, located in Mount Vernon at 519 N Charles just south of the monument.