Transmodern Festival celebrates a decade of weirdness this weekend

When it comes to festival season in Baltimore, no festival captures the city's eccentric, impossible-to-box-in arts scene like the Transmodern Festival, which kicked off Thursday night. This is Transmodern's 10th year, and like many of the artists involved, it has continued to evolve, grow and thrive.

One of the obvious highlights to the weekend comes Saturday night, when some of Baltimore's most prominent independent musicians perform behind the Current Gallery (421 N. Howard St.). Dan Deacon Ensemble, Ed Schrader's Music Beat, Snails, Moss of Aura and Dan Gaeta, who will perform as Alle Alle and resurrect his DJ alias OCDJ. Appropriately, all acts are based in Baltimore. Doors open at 5 p.m. and cover is $10. The Facebook event page says "All Ages No Jerks" so you've been warned.

For a less-known-but-rising Baltimore artist, check out rapper Abdu Ali's 10 p.m. set at the Maryland Art Place (218 W. Saratoga St.) on Friday. 

Transmodern goes well beyond music. The art exhibition "DC vs. BMORE" features work from D.C. and Baltimore artists at Gallery 788. The title sounds confrontational, but the purpose is to "help bridge the DC and Baltimore art scenes," according to the Transmodern website.

"Rooms Fall Apart: A Serious Play" might capture the Transmodern spirit best. The interactive performance will present "a non linear arrangement of 22 simultaneous performances that will unlock emotions for which we have no words," according to the description on Transmodern's website. It also points out "RFA is not a spa" but "RFA is boot camp." Good luck to all. On Friday and Saturday, performances take place at 6, 8 and 10 p.m. at Maryland Art Place. On Sunday, "RFA" will be at 4, 6 and 8 p.m. at the same location.

There's so much more to the four-day event, and best of all, it's a safe bet you'll encounter art (in many different iterations) you've never experienced before. That's worth the reasonable price of admission ($10 per night or a $40 multi-day pass — tickets available here) alone.

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