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Thanks City Paper & Baltimore!

So I just wanted to say a quick thanks to everyone for getting us City Paper’s Best of Baltimore – Best Local Music Blog award in both the editor’s picks and the reader’s poll.  When I started this whole thing in the end of January, I would’ve never imagined that things would pick up so fast.  I am really happy with the way things are going and proud of our content and the staff I’ve accumulated.  The fact that we have covered nearly every genre imaginable (jazz, classical, R&B, Bmore club, electronic, dance, reggae, ska, punk, pop, rock, metal, indie, folk, country, bluegrass, musicals, soundtracks) is in itself, a miraculous feat.

Despite this wide coverage, we have always strived to bring quality over quantity.  We have never been content with spamming MP3s or regurgitating press releases like some silly PR mouthpiece as CP rightfully called out the infuriating majority of the indie blogosphere.  I firmly believe that the Hype Machine fueled, hits-driven culture is crippling and dangerous for music and artists in general, creating a vicious cycle of hype and backlash that is stifling for someone trying to do something grander than crank out a few populist, floor-filling bangers (but don’t think I don’t enjoy ‘em).  I liken it to the news media and their complicity in ruining politics and news coverage in general with reactionary pandering and the rise of pundit and talking head culture with firm opinions built upon shallow knowledge and ignorance.

Our goal has always been to provide accessible, intelligent writing to introduce readers to new music or recast old favorites in new and insightful light, while also offering more in-depth coverage like our rather exhaustive interviews, picking artists to wee bits for the obsessive/compulsive music geeks out there.  That’s always been how I’ve wanted to distinguish us.  And I’m glad it shows, at least to some extent.

Stay tuned as we’ve got a wealth of stuff planned going into the fall and winter, and we’re working hard to bring some special things to the table as we approach our 1 year web-birth day in the winter.

In the mean time, here’s a small offering of quality audio from some other winners of Best Of awards.  Congrats to every in the music scene who won this year, including but not limited to institutions like Jeff the Taper, the Ottobar and TaxLo.

Oh and one more thing.  To celebrate, we’re running a small giveaway for one copy of Ice Cream Spiritual, the latest release from Best of Baltimore 2008′s Best Band, Ponytail.  Just comment this post or email us for entry!

Thanks again, and keep reading!

Best Band – Ponytail

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MP3: Ponytail – Sky Drool

Best Upgrade – Wye Oak

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MP3: Wye Oak – If Children Were Wishes

Best Summer Jam – Mullyman “Party Walk”

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MP3: Mullyman – Party Walk

Best Song – DJ Excel feat. Pastor Manning “That’s What A Pimp Does”

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MP3: DJ Excel feat. Pastor Manning – “That’s What A Pimp Does”

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6 Responses to “Thanks City Paper & Baltimore!”

  1. Daily Breather says:

    Big fist bumps! Congrats on BoB. Ya got my vote. Keep up the good work.

  2. Caleb Moore says:

    Greg, ur a badass. Great words, as always.
    I’m very happy to be a part of this project.

  3. Alex Mudge says:

    Serendipity, chance, frustration with current music coverage–particularly with the publication Aural States staffers were involved with at the time–and a DIY spirit all played a part in the formation of Aural States.

    But, what has set us aside from other online music sites is our genuine love of music, particularly live music.

    Go to a show and you will see us there, not shyly nursing a beer in the back, but up in the front soaking in the experience in a total aural state.

    I would like to say thanks to all the musicians we interviewed, especially early on, that helped us raise our profile and credibility.

    We are true music nerds, and like nothing else, but to discuss music with the people that create sound.

    Thanks Martin and Drew; thanks Scottie B; thanks Laf; thanks Thrushes; thanks Dave; thanks Adam (and keep telling it like it is); thanks Andy and Jenn, etc.

    Greg is a badass. So is John, web design master. And credit to Caleb, graphic master. Let’s not forget the ladies–Alexa, Sam (what other “indie blog” has a classical contributor?), and Danielle.

    I’m very happy to be part of this project, too.

  4. sam says:

    Hats off to all the peeps here at City Paper’s best music blog! My fellow writers, I salute and promise to hold up my end.

    And a very special thanks for Greg Szeto with the master plan and forceful recruitment.

    The only reason I live is Baltimore is the cheap/free access to LIVE music. (And the fact that my real job is two blocks from my apt.)

    Huzzah for the B-more musicians and the folks who cover them!

  5. Alexa Williams says:

    So happy to have found you guys! Greg, we know where I would be if you didn’t take me in and save me from the exaggerations of you know who. I hope to one day be as nerdy as you and Alex.

  6. Lego1 says:

    Here is a DJ Z-trip Obama mix check it out http://www.djztrip.com/obama/

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