Thursday, May 22, 2008

Government Names 4th Anniversary Reader Survey And MP3 Re-Up

So I'm still in the middle of my hiatus, and won't be posting at all for the next 3 weeks. But I wanted to put up these 2 things at once that people can e-mail me over the break: a reader survey to fill out, and an open call for requests to refresh any download links on the site. I get requests to re-up MP3 links all the time, and a lot of times I don't bother, because I feel like if people miss their chance for the free download, they should just buy the record the song is on, but I know that's not possible with a lot of the stuff I post. So I'm making this opportunity available, probably just this once. You can look through all the past 4 years or archives, indexed by month on the right side of this page (although I've only been posting MP3s consistently since December 2005) and request any track I've posted that you want a copy of, although obviously you should check to make sure the old link is expired before asking for a new one. E-mail all requests to by Friday, June 13th, and I'll post them here when I get back from my trip.

The other thing I want people to e-mail me over the break is their answers to this questionnaire for readers of the site. I get a lot of feedback on Gov't Names via e-mail, seeing people in clubs, comments on posts, etc. But I wanted to get a better idea of what people like about the site and what they don't like, especially right now since I'm contemplating some changes in how I do things around here in the next few months. So please e-mail your answers to all (or even just some) of these questions to by June 13th as well, whether or not you have any MP3 requests, and whether or not you think you're the target demographic from this site for visit it every day or not. The wider the variety of responses I get, the better. And obviously, your answers don't have to be exact for everything, just try to estimate as well as possible. None of your responses will be made public anywhere or given to any other company or site, it's all just to help me better run this site.

Government Names Reader Survey

1. How long have you been reading Government Names?

2. How did you first find the site?

3. Do you live in or near Baltimore, Maryland, or have you in the past?

4. If not, where do you live?

5. Are you a musician, or otherwise involved in the music business, and if so how?

6. How often do you visit Gov't Names?

7. How often do download mp3s from Gov't Names?

8. Do you read many other music blogs?

9. What are your favorite music blogs?

10. Do you read other Baltimore blogs?

11. What are your favorite Baltimore blogs?

12.Are you satisfied with the current method of zshare download links posted on Gov't Names?

13. Did you prefer when Gov't Names posted 2 mp3s from each release it reviewed, or are you happy with the 1 mp3 currently offered with each review, and do you think there should be more mp3 posts than the current rate of twice a week?

14. Do you think that Gov't Names reviews are sometimes too vague or casual, or fail to say much positively or negatively about the release?

15. Do you generally download songs from Gov't Names by artists you're already familiar with, or do you often check out unfamiliar artists you're introduced to by the site?

16. How many CDs have you purchased that you learned about from Government Names?

17. How many full-length albums or mixtapes have you downloaded (artist-santioned or otherwise) that have been featured on Gov't Names?

18. Would you be as likely to click on a free, artist-sanctioned download of a full album or mixtape as you would a single song?

19. How often do you attend events because of flyers posted on Government Names?

20. Are there any Baltimore artists that you feel haven't been covered enough on Government Names?

21. Are there any Baltimore artists that you feel have been covered too much or overexposed on Government Names?

22. Do you feel that the clear presence of personal taste and editorial bias playing a factor in the content on Gov't Names has a negative effect on how well the site showcases Baltimore music?

23. Have there been any posts or incidents or statements on the site in the past that have strained the credibility of Gov't Names in your opinion?

24. Would you prefer if CD reviews on Gov't Names came with number ratings?

25. Would you be interested in content on Gov't Names about local politics or issues affecting the community, or would you prefer a continued focus on music and music only?

26. Do you think I should write about every CD submitted for review, or that I should be more selective and not write about CDs I have nothing positive to say about?

27. Do you think that it is unfair or cruel for a site like Gov't Names to give a negative review to an otherwise obscure or unheard artist that isn't being covered by other blogs or media outlets, even if the review was solicited by the artist or label?

28. Would you like to see more coverage of Baltimore club music on Gov't Names, or less, or the same amount?

29. Would you like to see more coverage of Baltimore R&B on Gov't Names?

30. If Gov't Names sponsored or organized concert events in the Baltimore area, would you seriously consider attending based on that alone?

31. If Gov't Names released an album or a mixtape, would you seriously consider buying it based on that alone?

32. If Gov't Names established business relationships with any artists, labels, clubs or studios in the Baltimore area, but made full disclosure of those relationships when writing about those businesses, would you feel that it damages the credibility of the site, or would it have no effect on your opinion?

33. If Gov't Names began running banner ads, but only for Baltimore-based or music-related companies or products, would you feel like it had any effect on the credibility or impartiality of the site?

34. If Gov't Names "presented" or sponsored a free download of an entire mixtape or album on the site, would you be more likely to download it than any other mixtape or album reviewed on the site?

35. If Gov't Names posted podcasts, or ran a streaming internet radio show or radio station, would you listen to those as consistently as you download mp3s from the site?

36. If Gov't Names switched to podcasts or internet radio format instead of posting mp3s, would you be happy with that change, or would you miss the mp3s?

37. Do you keep most of the mp3s you download from Gov't Names and continue to listen to them over time, or do you often quickly delete songs that you don't like at first?

38. Do you think that Gov't Names should ask artists and labels for dirty and clean radio-ready versions of featured songs, to make them easier for DJs to use for club or radio play?

39. What is your favorite song, or some of your favorite songs, that you first heard from Government Names?

40. Who is your favorite artist, or some of your favorite artists, that you first heard from Government Names?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

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Monday, May 19, 2008

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

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Friday, May 16, 2008

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

I'm getting married this week, to my girlfriend of the past 6 years, Jennifer, and a couple of weeks later we're going off on a nice long honeymoon. So I'll be taking a little break from both Government Names and Narrowcast for the next month or so (although I'll be keeping up with my paid writing for Noise and Idolator in at least a limited capacity during that period). And really I'd probably have to take a vacation about now even if this wasn't happening: I've spent the past year and a half straight working a full-time desk job, writing at least 1000 words for pay almost every week, and blogging daily, and basically burning myself out, especially lately leading up to the wedding. I still love doing all this stuff, I just haven't felt like there've been enough hours in the day for a while now. Hopefully disappearing from blogging for a few weeks and cashing in all my PTO at work will do me some good and I can come back for the summer all rested and refreshed, and switch shit up and try some new things. I might pop up here and there to post something I feel like saying at the moment, or a flyer on Gov't Names (and maybe a couple bigger things I'm planning if I have the time), but for the most part GN and Narrowcast won't be updated regularly until probably mid or late June. Those of you I'll see this weekend, I hope you have a great time at our wedding, everyone else, I'll see you later.


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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Tha Profitt - B-More's #1 White Boy (Profitt Productions)

Last year, this kid Tha Profitt sent me three of his mixtapes, and I wrote about the one that was the most recent at the time, Baltimore Entrepeneur, and a few months later saw him at the BMore Vibe mixtape release party, where he put on a crazy energetic live performance. I came across this CD at I guess another show a while back, but hadn't really taken the time to listen to it or think about writing about it, until I heard from Tha Profitt last week, and he told me that he just dropped a double CD from his group project, and a new solo mixtape that he's sending me soon. So I was like shit, this guy's work ethic is impressive, I gotta go write about this last CD before the new ones reach me. And actually, almost half the songs on here also appeared on Baltimore Entrepeneur, including the guest appearances by Skarr Akbar, Ogun, Ray Lugar and Heavy Gold, I guess because this CD was a little freebie that he was giving out at shows and leaving at clubs, which is how I got it. But there's 30 tracks, so there's still a lot of new music on here, including a collab with Comp, and most of the repeat songs are dope enough that I can understand him wanting to use them again. Check out Tha Profitt's MySpace page, which lists a bunch of upcoming live dates at Sonar and the Black Hole Rock Club.

Tha Profitt f/ Skarr Akbar - "Give 'Em Somethin'" (mp3)
I know Skarr hosted his new mixtape and they've got some more material together that I'm looking forward to, because this song is ill. Congrats to Skarr on all the radio play he's been getting by the way, support from 92Q for him is long overdue.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Along with the Baltimore zine in the April issue, XLR8R magazine recently put up a video feature on their YouTube channel of Labtekwon giving a tour of the city.

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Say Wut: DJing live
@ 5 Seasons on Sunday, May 25th &
@ the Talking Head for Tax Lo's 6 year anniversary party on Monday, May 26th

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Monday, May 05, 2008


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Sunday, May 04, 2008

B.O.M.B. - Testers EP (Money In Da Bank Entertainment)

A while back on this site, I called B.O.M.B. "officially the hardest working man in Baltimore hip hop," mainly because his grind as a live performer is ridiculous. In the past few months, he's been on bills at shows I've reviewed for Noise at least four or five times, I've posted flyers on here for a lot of other shows he's played that I haven't seen, and right now his MySpace page lists upcoming shows at Taste, Suite, the Black Hole Rock Club, Sonar and Penguins. And he's always made really interesting, savvy decisions about how to release his music, like pushing enough copies of a CD single for the song "Lean" to go top 10 in Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles Sales chart. And to follow up King Of Da Streets Vol. 1, instead of dropping another mixtape or an album, he realized that he could do CD with the largest number of songs possible and still be considered an EP, and sell it at a cheaper price in stores. So this 9-song EP is really just a mini-album, with a lot of the songs he's been performing over the past year like "Lean" and "Pocket P.C." and I think he's getting into a lot of local stores and retail chains.

B.O.M.B. - "Sunday" (mp3)
This song is really my jam right now, has a real laid back summer vibe.

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Once again, my questionable judgement is in high demand, and The Unstoppable Nuklehidz have asked me to be a judge at their 295 Heat event at Sonar on May 16th.

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Saturday, May 03, 2008

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Some of my new stuff over on the City Paper's Noise blog @ The Club Beat with Dukeyman, I talk about the new series of Baltimore Club Classics records that I had a small role in the origins of. On the show review side, I posted about my latest judging experience at the Word War 1 @ 5 Seasons (congrats to the winner), and also reviewed PenDragon and Profound @ Suite, Soul Cannon/Grand Buffet/J-Roddy Walston and The Business @ The Ottobar (I was so wrong about those guys), Carla Bozulich's Evangelista @ the Velvet Lounge, and Thee Lexington Arrows/Fishboy/The Up Set/Markitect @ the Charm City Art Space.

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Friday, May 02, 2008

Check this out:

We are producing a music video in Baltimore for one of the area's hottest internationally-known musicians. The video will be shot in a swanky club downtown, and we are looking for energetic and talented dancers and extras to fill the club.

Talent details:
Both sexes, ages 18-40
Able to dance in a club setting
(Note: Although all levels of talent will be used in the video, the hottest dancers will get a major scene in the video)

Casting call details:
Sunday, May 4TH
The Turntable Club
2139 Jefferson St (Baltimore MD)

Wear or bring your club/going-out clothes.

Bring a one-sheet if you have one, but not necessary.

You can contact us for more details at

Final note:
If you think you'd look good in a music video, but aren't a dancer, still come by.

We will need non-moving talent as well!

And... we are keeping the artist's name secret for a good reason :)

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!!Big annoucnment!!
Due to the overwhelming popularity of Baltimore's Premier Open Mic, I'm excited to announce that you can get the ultimate open mic experience EVERY OTHER WEEK! Thaaats right! Baltimore's Favorite Open Mic is every 2nd and last Thursday of the month!
Drink specials all night!!
Drink specials all night!!
Drink specials all night!!

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

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