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Press Release:

This week music critic and journalist Al Shipley is announcing his
first book, Tough Breaks: The Story of Baltimore Club Music, and the
launch of its companion website, ToughBreaksBaltimore.com. Over the
last two decades, Baltimore club music has evolved from a nebulous,
eccentric fusion of house music and hip hop, locally popular but
virutally unheard of outside Maryland, to one of the mid-Atlantic
city’s greatest cultural exports.

Over the past 5 years, the press coverage of Baltimore club music has
increased exponentially, and Shipley has played an integral role in
that progress, as a contributing writer for the Baltimore City Paper
and the proprieter of the Baltimore music blog Government Names. And
with the regular column The Club Beat, he’s interviewed dozens of
Baltimore club producers and DJs, and broken major stories in the
genre’s recent history, such as the tragic 2008 death of Khia “Club
Queen K-Swift” Edgerton and the major label signing of club veteran DJ
Class.

Despite a growing fanbase and media interest in Baltimore club music,
much of its 20-year evolution has gone undocumented, relegated to
underground clubs and white label vinyl 12”s far outside the public
eye, even as thousands of Baltimoreans danced to its frantic 130 BPM
groove. As the first full-length book to delve into that history,
Tough Breaks aims to be a complete and definitive document of
Baltimore club music, an oral history in the words of its participants
with timelines, photos, discographies and thorough critical
examinations of the music and culture.

Over the next few months, as Al Shipley conducts interviews and
research, the book’s progress will be documented on the official
website, ToughBreaksBaltimore.com, as well as his Twitter
(Twitter.com/AlShipley). And throughout the month of June, Shipley
will be raising $5,000 to finance the writing and publication of Tough
Breaks with the fundraising website Kickstarter.com, as well as
promoting the project via various print and online outlets, and a
series of segments on Baltimore public radio station 88.1 WYPR.