As January winds down, we can start seeing a light at the end of this tunnel called winter. We can start to think about what we might want to do once it gets warm out. Go outside without a coat! Drink a smoothie! Go to some outdoor shows--like the First Thursday concerts that WTMD gives us every year.
I'm a Towson grad, so maybe the college's alternative music radio station WTMD fills me with a little more pride than other people in Maryland--but regardless of where in Maryland you are, you should be listening to this station. Coverage isn't an issue. You can listen right on the website. The future is magical.
In all seriousness, though, the station was one of the things that helped me decide to go to Towson. I wanted to be in an environment where so much cool music was a priority, and bringing it to people for free was just as important. The First Thursday shows (which, as you might have guessed, are concerts held in Baltimore on the first Thursday of each month once the weather gets warm) are free. The Live Lunch shows at their Towson headquarters are free. I saw one of those Live Lunch shows back in May, when the guest was Hozier (and I may have left a final early in order to get to it...). "Take Me to Church" Hozier, who is now performing at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show and blowing up the mainstream radio. Yeah, WTMD was playing that way before then.
Proof I saw this magical being in person. Photo via Eva Niessner.
That's just it, though. WTMD is always, always where you'll hear it first. But it doesn't buy into that hipster exclusivity--that's why the shows are free and accessible to everyone. If you can brave Baltimore traffic on a Thursday evening, you're 99 percent of the way to a free show where someone who will be a huge star in six months will be playing.
And while WTMD gives plenty of airplay to acts from all over the country and all over the world, there's a clear love for local talent, like Letitia VanSant and The Herd of Main Street. I guess they just know that acts from Maryland are clearly the best on the indie scene, right?
It's not just the local music they're promoting, though. They've partnered with quite a few local businesses--here's a full list, one that includes Birroteca and Zeke's Coffee--in the hope of getting more customers in the door of their fellow Baltimoreans. And we know a thing or two about how much a shout-out can mean to a local business. So keep on doing your thing, WTMD, and let the music play!
This post was written by Route One Apparel blogger, Eva Niessner.