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Midnight Sun
Wesley Case covers the city's after-hours scene
'All About That Bass' co-writer took '15 years to become an overnight success'

For years, no one in the music industry cared about songwriter Kevin Kadish's passion project: a '50s-sounding record of doo-wop-inspired pop. Top 40 radio had increasingly fallen in love with the opposite: beat-driven, electronic-leaning dance music — and Kadish "just didn't care about that stuff."

The Nashville, Tenn., resident, who is originally from Owings Mills, kept the idea in his back pocket until June 2013, when a 19-year-old unknown visited his studio in hopes of writing together.

After bonding over a shared love of Jimmy Soul's 1963 hit, "If You Wanna Be Happy," Kadish and the teenager — a songwriter from Massachusetts named Meghan Trainor — quickly wrote their first song together called "All About That Bass." Pulling from a notebook of potential song titles he keeps, Kadish mentioned "Bass" to Trainor, who almost immediately began singing in a low register, "You know I'm all about that bass, 'bout that bass, no treble." Kadish added upright bass, handclaps and layered vocal...

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TruTV bar 'swap' show with Holy Frijoles airs Wednesday

Holy Frijoles in Hampden is the subject of a cable TV show airing Wednesday night on the TruTV network.

The one-hour show, titled "Barmageddon," is a variation of "Wife Swap," the reality show in which two very different kind of families exchange matriarchs. In "Barmageddon," it's the owners of very different bars who are swapped out. 

In the Baltimore episode, which taped in January, Holy Frijoles owner Geoffrey Danek took his laid-back management style to Frederick's on Fleet for three nights of filming, while Frederick's part-owner Jim Saufley, a part-time boxing coach, brought his stricter style to Hampden.

The Baltimore episode is the pilot, which partly explains the long gap between taping and airing. A TruTV spokeswoman said the episode is a "sneak peek" of the series before it launches in December.

In a clip from the show on the TruTV website, Danek is seen alienating the gang at Frederick's when he tries to remove a stuffed deer head from the bar's wall.

We don't know how the...

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One Direction to perform at M&T Bank Stadium next summer

One Direction is coming to Baltimore next year, with a tour date at M&T Bank Stadium on Aug. 8.

The show is among 17 U.S. concerts and six in Europe added to the British pop group's "On the Road Again" 2015 summer stadium tour, which will also include stops in Japan, Australia and Southeast Asia, Live Nation announced Thursday.

Tickets go on sale Nov. 1 at A pre-sale deal is available on the band's Facebook beginning Oct. 29. The band is set to release its newest album "Four" on Nov. 17, and the music video for its single, "Steal My Girl," debuts Friday.

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Farmstead Grill pleasantly surprises in Canton

Canton Crossing — the 326,000-square-foot, 12-month-old shopping center in Southeast Baltimore — is convenient but not exactly exciting.

As a resident living less than a mile away, I find myself there frequently, but almost always with practical intentions. Trash bags? Target. Above-average fast-food chicken? Find me in the Chick-fil-A drive-thru, except on Sundays. I can already see a last-minute trip to Michaels for a makeshift Halloween costume.

But from my vantage point, Farmstead Grill — the retail center's huge centerpiece restaurant that opened in June — blended into the background, despite its size and prominent placement. Canton Crossing, in my mind, was a place for errand-running, not leisurely dining or social drinking.

That association changed quickly on a recent Friday evening visit to the restaurant's bar.

From afar, Farmstead Grill looks like an oversized barn, but one step inside reveals a beautiful setting with a ceiling that never seems to end. Accents of wood keep it...

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Still unpredictable, Dope Body finds confidence in 'Lifer'

Six years after forming the Baltimore rock quartet Dope Body, its members still lose money every time they tour. The reality is enough to make singer Andrew Laumann question how much time and effort the band will dedicate to its future.

“We're going to see how it goes but it's hard to promise that we're going to be like, 'Yeah, we're going to tour for six months straight and go for it!'“ Laumann said recently. “I don't know if we can do that. We tried before and it just didn't work out.”

On this day, at least, the uncertainty can wait. Laumann calls from the band's van as it heads toward New York's The Studio at Webster Hall for opening night of yet another multiday trek. (The band returns home to Metro Gallery on Friday). It is five days until Dope Body releases “Lifer,” its third full-length album, and the 27-year-old frontman from Waverly believes this record finally captures the band's live reputation — unhinged, restless and captivating — to tape.

“We've always prided ourselves on...

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Maryland brewers discuss pumpkin-spice beer phenomenon

Each year, the list of products infused with pumpkin-spice flavor grows. Coffee and ice cream offerings are common, but what about pumpkin-spice marshmallows, Oreos and English muffins? Search hard enough, and you will discover pumpkin-spice margarine and pasta.

It feels like seasonal overkill, but there is one marriage growing stronger with time: pumpkin-spice beer. We recently spoke with owners and brewmasters of Maryland breweries, and all agreed the demand for it continues to grow annually -- which means higher volumes of production and earlier release schedules.

"It's very American. People love pumpkin pie," said Tom Knorr, founder of Evolution Craft Brewing Co. in Salisbury. "It's just one of those fall things people can't get enough of, and it doesn't seem like it's slowing down." 

With demand and competition on the rise, we asked five men behind these seasonal beers to discuss what sets their pumpkin-spice beers apart from the rest.

Great'ER Pumpkin by Heavy Seas Beer,...

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