Preakness is famous for it’s fashion (in addition to, y’know, horse racing and stuff). In the weeks leading up to Preakness we saw guides for what to wear, where to buy and a variety of styling ideas. Outfits are often planned weeks in advance, but faced with gloomy weather and constant rain we asked ourselves, “Now what?”
Do we even bother with still trying to look cute? Do we succumb to the weather and wear our best black, forgoing the florals and bright prints originally picked out? Of course not. Well sorta.
Swapping our cute shoes for rain boots, adding tights to our dresses and trying to keep things light with bright colored lipsticks, we amended our Preakness fashion with practicality in mind.
Some of our fellow Infield Fest goers took a similar approach to their day looks, while bolder types said “to hell with it” and stuck it out in their original outfits. Props to them, although we still saw quite a few outfits choices we thought were mistakes (looking at you, girls in the white jeans/heels).
Here is a snapshot of our time at Preakness featuring our favorite looks from the day. Ranging from cute and preppy to quirky and silly to practical chic, we saw it all and loved every minute of it.
Danielle’s fourth Preakness & Julie/Shae’s first proved to be a huge success (albeit a muddy one). A huge thank you to America’s Best Racing for sponsoring our day and putting us up in the Mug & Vine club (which is where all the bougie’s got to hang out). We enjoyed a little (okay a lotta) wine and beer, snacked on a free surf n turf burger courtesy of Budweiser and did our best to steer clear of the mud. Another shout out to our betting spirit guide, Tony, who we met close to the beginning of the races and without whom we would have lost every bet we made.
Share your Preakness stories/favorite fashion with us in the comments below. We are looking forward to doing it again, maybe with some sunshine next year!
Last weekend, we were fortunate enough to spend a day with Baltimore-based band Citrine (read all about our day here). Citrine, founded in 2015, features Kelci Smith on vocals and synth, Galen Smith on guitar, and Beau Cole on drums. Throughout our day, we were able to chat with Citrine about how they’ve musically progressed and grown and how important embracing the local scene here in Baltimore has been for them and their success.
April, the band’s EP set to release April 22nd, was a DIY effort that has truly embraced community and could not have been successful without the help of many friends of the band. Beau Cole describes it as “standing on the shoulders of giants” and states “it would be a disservice and dishonest not to incorporate the people that have the talents that they have”. The band salutes Devlin Moore of Colorless who helped with their art direction—album art, logo, creating the Citrine website, band photography, and editing their EP videos, and Mickey Freeland, who mixed and produced April, as two people who were absolutely instrumental in the success in creating their EP. Citrine also points to various friends—photographers, videographers, and folks who just wanted to be involved in helping them achieve this final product. Having friends within the Baltimore community give so much for the EP was not only a testament to the members of Citrine as local artists, but also the sense of community that resides within the city of Baltimore. Beau goes as far as saying that “the only way that we really could be genuine was to incorporate other aspects of our personal lives” into this product, which as Kelci describes, was successful because it is “resourceful and scrappy” in nature. Their EP videos were filmed in one weekend in an old Baltimore warehouse cafeteria and was truly a DIY effort that would not have been possible without the friends of the band and the local community.
A reflection of the city they are based out of, Citrine’s April is an investment from Baltimore into Baltimore. Where Kindlewood, Kelci & Galen’s previous band, never fully incorporated with their native DC, Citrine is counting on the feedback and support of their neighbors, as Galen puts it “we’ve got people that are local, that are pouring their gifts and talents into helping us realize, this vision that we have… it’s going to make for a great story, it’s going to make for buy-in from everybody that’s around… and really help solidify our foundation.”
“I will be the first to admit that with Kindlewood, I really wanted to not be the band that got stuck in the local scene,” says Galen. But with Citrine the group has come to rely upon and truly embrace the resources available to them through the talent in the local community. Kelci shares that she is excited about the local involvement from not just a business perspective but a personal one as well. “Even again beyond necessity,” she says, “I think it is just really awesome to incorporate people, other people that are doing other kinds of creative things… I think Baltimore has so many great resources and so many great people doing so many cool things, and I just want to keep that.” Having others pour their gifts and talents into Citrine and April creates buy-in from the ground up and helps solidify a positive foundation of invested fans. Citrine’s dedication to Baltimore is genuine, and their commitment to empowering the local community is part of what fuels this city.
The band values the ability to be able to evaluate and analyze at a local level, trying out their new material here in Baltimore to determine if something is worth fleshing out or recording, rather than testing the waters in a larger venue and run the risk of no one showing up, something they said would happen during previous projects. “We’ve got an opportunity where people have invested interest in what we’re doing, they’re excited about what we’re doing, we’ve been able to bounce ideas off of them, formulate something of value, versus it just being like ‘okay, we’ve done this thing, now the world better listen up because here we come’,” says Galen.
Although there were some challenges, both Kindlewood and Lands & Peoples, one of Beau’s previous projects, saw success. We talked at length about the implications of leaving a project when the artist feels finished with it, even if the project is seeing success and developing a significant fan base. At their height, Kindlewood had a broad following, spanning the country (with some international fans as well) and Lands & Peoples had been in talks with some big names in the music industry, most notably the publicist for the National. When Galen and Kelci were moving away from Kindlewood as a project, they discussed the idea of keeping their name. “We had this platform, and we could’ve built on that platform if we’d kept the name and shifted things,” said Galen, “but keeping the name it didn’t make sense for what we’re doing”. In continuing to talk about the difficult decision to start over and create Citrine, Kelci describes her realization that the band wasn’t “precious”, even though she was treating it as such and that she needed to follow her heart instead. “So many bands are in so many bands before they actually make something happen”, states Kelci, reflecting on other musicians who have found success from something other than their first project. The change was necessary from the band as they grew as people. Although a tough decision, it seems to have been a necessary one in Citrine becoming what it is—and the direction it is heading.
When asked for their elevator pitch (that infuriating yet necessary evil of business,) Citrine uses dream pop to frame up their sound, but with more modern, beat driven elements—using descriptors like “shimmery,” “slightly abstract,” something that “visually, might call soft shapes to mind” and jokingly, “Volkswagen commercial.” The idea of creating “an environment in which the song lives, that the listener is a part of” is the goal of April, says Beau.
April includes two songs off of an unreleased Kindlewood album that have been completely reworked. The band identified these two songs, “Drum and a Drop” and “Decimal Point” as the best “transition” pieces because they carried true weight and substance (and of course could be reworked to fit Citrine’s dream-pop sound. Galen told us that “it was important for us to find something that actually carried meaning for us. Whether or not it carried meaning for anybody else, carried some type of message for us”. “Decimal Point”, “Drum and a Drop” and the third song on their EP, “This Fabric” seems to do just that. Beau describes it as a “bolder choice. A more in your face choice,” and we could not agree more. The EP is a brilliant showcase of their past, present, and future. A sampling of where they have come from and where they intend to go, both sonically and lyrically, where the sky is the limit—April is truly the prelude to a full album that is to come. So what do the months leading up to a full album look like for Citrine? Kelci replies, “Prepping…a lot of practicing, late nights, a lot of silliness, a lot of pizza, a lot of Chipotle.” Beau seconds, “A lot of pizza, slightly more Chipotle.”
Citrine has been crafting and perfecting their EP for the better part of a year. While the music is all done and mixed, the past few months have been crucial. Citrine has been putting final touches on their EP and have slowly been releasing their EP videos. While you are waiting for April, check out the video of ‘Drum and a Drop’, the first of Citrine’s EP videos that they released back in March.
April, Citrine’s first EP, is set to release on April 22nd. April was filmed and recorded live in Baltimore, MD. Citrine will be hosting a public show & EP release party at Ottobar on April 24th.
photography & album art by Colorless
Not everyone can say they have spent a day with one of their favorite bands, which is why we were so excited to be able to do a day-in-the-life with Citrine. Citrine is a Baltimore-based band featuring Kelci Smith, Galen Smith, and Beau Cole. Citrine’s sound is most closely aligned with dream pop, an ethereal sounding alternative rock/pop. They joined us last year for Sunday at the Mill, and with their new EP April set to release in a couple weeks, we were super stoked to spend some time with them and see what they have been up to since.
We started our day around 1pm at B. Doughnut and met up with the band. The trio led us on a walking tour of Hampden, starting with Cafe Cito for cold brew (lots of cold brew) and Harmony Bakery for vegan and gluten free treats to keep the hangry away.
Citrine was scheduled to meet up with Monica Immel, a friend and local artist, to discuss collaboration on a project they have been formulating. We joined their meeting and popped over to Rocket to Venus where we enjoyed pitchers of mimosa and french fries while business was discussed. The members of Citrine hope to release a digital copy of their EP ‘April’, set to drop April 22nd (maybe along with some other treats, like videos and pictures) on USB drives. They wanted to meet with Monica to discuss the logistics of laser printing and how it could fit into the vision they had for producing digital material for their EP. “I really like the idea of this being something that we do regularly and change it up between releases,” said Galen. “We could have a lot of fun with it”.
The idea of a digital way to disseminate their work is fitting for the forward thinking and realistic minds of Citrine and getting the help of friends is in line with their DIY nature. The band enlisted Monica, who has a great deal of knowledge around laser cutting and printing (most notably with her work on the Baltimore Bench), to see if laser printing would be a sustainable and affordable way of mass engraving the thumb drives with their logo or album title. Sustainability is a huge priority for the members of Citrine, who often work on limited time with limited resources. “It’s a lot cheaper than getting CDs pressed. Also who buys…? Nobody buys CDs anymore. And vinyl is so expensive,” said Kelci. The thumb drives make sense—both sustainable and affordable, they are able to cater to the way people consume music in this age while still providing their fan base with a keepsake.
After Rocket to Venus, we followed Citrine to Milk & Ice Vintage for vinyls, eclectic T-shirts, and decorative jars among the treasure trove of vintage other items owners Kate & Angie have carefully selected to fill the space. Kelci found a pretty sweet “World’s Greatest Grandpa” shirt we wished she’d purchased. Keeping with the theme of local retail, we walked the Avenue and made it to Hunting Ground, which sells of mixture of new and vintage clothing and accessories, as well as local handmade goods. At Hunting Ground, we all convinced Beau to purchase the coolest square framed glasses we had ever seen. Galen would later express the wish for two pairs so they could match (if anyone has any leads, please be in touch).
After our modest shopping spree we piled into Beau’s car (an inherited SUV) to head to the Baltimore Node. The Node, as it’s called, is a member-funded work space for makers, ‘hackers’, DIYers, crafters, etc. All the members have 24/7 hour access to the tools and resources available within the space, like the laser cutter and 3D printer. After a small snafu with the alarm code, they got to work making a test jig to create a more visual understanding of how the engraving process would work. One of the biggest concerns the group had was the ability to repeat the process in the event Citrine should sell out of the drives too quickly or want to do something similar at a later date. Beau said “I think really the hard work, the time consuming work, is gonna be getting prepped. Once it’s done, we got a way, it will all be repeatable.” With a game plan in motion, we wrapped up at the Node and made our way back to Hampden to check out the bands’ practice space, where April was recorded and the videos for it were filmed.
The space they used is a small room Beau rents in a large building off Falls road owned by Simpson Strong-Tie, which if you don’t happen to be in the bridge building industry, you may not be familiar with. The space is small but stuffed to the brim with recording equipment, as well as the token portrait of a kitty that all studios have – right? The adjacent staff cafeteria was converted into the space to shoot their videos, with some fancy lighting tricks and some behind the scenes “magic” directed and edited by Colorless.
Finally, we headed back up to the Ave for an interview over dinner at a local favorite, Golden West Cafe. Galen and Beau went “splitsies” on an omelette which, according to both of them, was absolutely delicious (Galen used the words “banging”, and Beau paused the interview to let us all know how good it was).
Hanging out with Citrine gave us a really nice insight into who they are as musicians and as people. We enjoyed going through some of their favorite spots in Hampden and we’re excited to share what we learned from our time with them—keep an eye out for the extended interview later this week.
Thanks to all who came to our 2nd Annual Galentine’s Day Party at Blue Pit BBQ & Whiskey Bar! Check out photos from the event below or on Facebook. Stay in touch with us for more events—we plan on hosting something similar soon (and of course some other fun stuff is in the works…)
Photo booth by Colorless.