Stomping Grounds: Wye Oak (Baltimore, Maryland)

Wye Oak

In our continuing series, where we show appreciation for the towns our favorite bands come from and all the local spots of note, this week we have Jenn Wasner, singer and guitarist from Wye Oak. The folk-tinged indie rock duo most recently released My Neighbor / My Creator digitally (physical release is June 8), a five-song follow-up EP to their 2009 full-length, The Knot. Both are well worth checking out for fans of Bowerbirds, Shearwater or The Rosebuds.

Now join us as we ask Wasner a few questions about her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, and all the fine music, fireplaces and crabcakes it has to offer.

What’s your town’s nickname?
Depends on who you ask. According to the powers that be, it’s “The City That Reads” or, ambitiously, “The Greatest City In America.” Local folks have been known to favor “Mobtown,” “Bodymore, Murderland,” “The City that Bleeds,” or, perhaps most appropriately, “Charm City.”
What’s your nickname for your town?
Why do you live there?
Good question. Because I was born here, for a start. Also because I’m in love with the kind of person who chooses to live in a city like Baltimore: down-to-earth, yet brilliant, productive, inspired, and usually a little insane.
What is your favorite local attraction (monument, park, etc)?
I’m quite fond of the Visionary Art Museum. And the Aquarium.
What is your favorite local event/festival?
Easy. Whartscape.
What is the best time of year to be there?
Each season has its perks. I find spring to be particularly charming. But it happens to be spring as I type this, so please note the bias…
Who is your favorite local celebrity/personality?
I’m a huge Ravens fan, and #27 Ray Rice is my favorite Raven. Caw.
Where is the best place to drink and what’s their specialty or happy hour?
My living room, in front of the fireplace. Happy hour is every hour…that there’s a fire in the fireplace.
Who has the best jukebox (and what’s in it)?
As you may have noticed from my previous answer, you’re asking the wrong gal.
What is your favorite place to see live music and what was your favorite show there?
I’ve seen some absolutely stunning shows at the Floristree space. Sweating and dancing through Extra Golden was a highlight among many, many highlights.
What is your favorite local band?
There are so, so many favorites. But right now I’m listening fairly constantly to the new Future Islands record and the soon-to-be released first album from the new and brilliant Lower Dens.
What is your favorite diner or restaurant and what is their best dish?
Old school me picks the crabcake at G&M. Current school me daydreams about pasta at Grano in Hampden. Future school me only eats hard tack and fruit rollups.
What is your favorite record store and what was your best find there?
Up until the past few years, I purchased pretty much every piece of music I own at the Sound Garden in Fells Point. Recently, shoutouts and props of all kinds to True Vine Records in Hampden.
What is your favorite local publication (alternative weekly, zine, website or blog)?
I really like the Baltimore music blog Aural States.
What is your favorite local shop?
I probably spend the largest chunk of my money at the Value Village on North Avenue. But when I’m not broke and feeling like a special treat, I really like Double Dutch Boutique in Hampden. (Can you tell I live in Hampden? Damn.)
Photo credit: Matthew Yake