Singer and guitarist Phill Celeste, better known by his stage name Life On Planets, is a man on the move who recently made his Do Lab stage debut at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, he found his passion for music within the city’s vibrant scene and inclusive community. He started out playing on the streets and worked his way up through playing clubs and recording with electronic music producers.
Local success opened the door for planets to travel for festivals and concerts in major US cities like New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit. The artist’s unique sound – an eclectic mix of soul, R&B and house – eventually sent him to Japan, Romania, Russia, the Dominican Republic, Colombia and beyond. But while traveling and playing shows in faraway destinations is an exciting adventure, there’s nothing quite like going back to basics.
“Baltimore was an amazing place to get my start in music,” says Planets. “You can see everything from club B’more, new hip hop, experimental music and amazing art any time of the year.”
To learn more about what makes Baltimore worth a visit, we asked Life on Plents to share everything a first-time tourist should see, do and eat.
“Meet artists, medical professionals, filmmakers, die-hard Ravens fans, farmers, nomads and many more who commune in its bars, cafes, clubs, markets, gardens, parks and warehouse parties “, he says. “Get to know the people and the culture and you’ll find that even though the town is small, it has everything you need to go along with the benches in town that say ‘The Greatest City in America’ .”
Not yet convinced to book your flight? Check out Life on Planets’ full guide to his city below.
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North Avenue Market
The North Avenue Market offers food, drink, an arcade, and a live music venue where you can discover new directions in dance music from artists like Mateyo. From there, you can also go to the Maryland Institute College Of Art, MICA, to view some of the student artwork as well.
I used to go to the Crown seven nights a week! There are Korean cravings, interesting people, and epic dance parties. Everything from comedy shows, hip hop and house music under one roof. Bmore is a town that celebrates its BIPOC/Queer community, and I’ve found The Crown to be the most diverse in its artist bookings and patronage.
I loved coming and meeting people and just catching the vibe of the diverse crowd. Definitely stop by for Karaoke Tuesdays.
Metro Gallery offers an upscale vibe while delivering the local flavors of Bmore music. Catch hometown legends like Future Islands, DDm or James Nasty and take home some of the art on the wall. Head to the Charles Theater across the street for an indie film before the show.
Baltimore is a super walkable city and Remington is increasingly becoming a hub. With options for all types of foodies (vegans and vegetarians!), I would often visit R. House for a great meal or one of their many specialty beers on tap. Hit it for Instagrammable bites and drinks before or after the Baltimore Museum of Art.
The Wyman Dell down the street is also a great place to hang out, watch the dogs, and pack your food for a picnic. Walk around the Johns Hopkins campus to get out for some food.
the washington monument
They say Washington itself is buried deep below… who knows. The Washington Monument is surrounded by beautiful parks and architecture. I used to come here to do some yoga or play guitar. Super chill area. Nearby you’ll find the Walters Art Museum, the Peabody Conservatory, and plenty of drug stores and restaurants along Charles Street.
Visionary Art Museum
Discover the world through some of the most creative and eccentric minds at the Visionary Art Museum, focused on the creations of self-taught artists. Exhibits feature works collected from mental asylums, street artists, and even pieces by Alex Gray. Very enlightening and inspiring. On the way, take a walk around the inner harbor and catch the most frequent places like the aquarium and the mall for shopping.
33rd Street Farmers Market
I used to play 33rd St Farmers Market on Saturdays. Get the Black Sauce Kitchen cookies for an otherworldly experience and watch live music from different street performers. Also stock up on local coffee from Zekes and fresh vegetables from Baltimore farms. Then, stop by Normals for esoteric books and vinyl.