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Slingshot Dakota to Everybody Hits: “Listen to more Fugazi”

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Slingshot Dakota | Photo by Sydney Schaefer for WXPN | sydneyschaeferphotos.com

Just last week, Bethlehem sweethearts Carly Commando and Tom Patterson of Slingshot Dakota set out on a month long tour with Philly indie pop outfit and XPN Fest alums Kississippi. On Sunday night, this stellar lineup made its way to Philly, where both bands played Girard Avenue’s Everybody Hits: batting cage by day, music venue by night. Continue reading →

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Watch Fugazi rage at a WKDU band bash circa 1991

Flyer for Fugazi's March 2, 1991 Philly show
Flyer for Fugazi’s March 2, 1991 Philly show

Here’s an incredible bit of Throwback Thursday action for you: iconic DC post-hardcore outfit Fugazi played a show at the Creese Student Center on Drexel’s campus in March of 1991, and thanks to a tweet from WKDU this morning, I’ve stumbled across a treasure trove of YouTube videos from the show – as well as a recording of it over at the Dischord Records website. Continue reading →

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The spirit of Fugazi is alive in Philly’s Cassavetes and Split Red

Cassavetes
Cassavetes | Photo via facebook.com/cassavetesphilly

Sure, it’s possible that Philly punk four-piece Cassavetes picked its name as a tip of the hat to the American actor-director who starred in Rosemary’s Baby and directed Faces, A Woman Under the Influence and a host of others. It’s equally possible – and, listening to the music, maybe more probable – that the band is making a nod to “Cassavetes” the song, which appeared on In on the Kill Taker, the killer 1993 album from DC DIY icons Fugazi.

The members of Cassavetes have been kicking around the scene for a while now. Continue reading →

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Stream “Transmission” by Deathfix, a new project from Fugazi’s Brendan Canty (playing Johnny Brenda’s on 3/15)

Deathfix2WebDeathfix, a collaboration between industry veterans Brendan Canty (Fugazi) and Richard Morel (Morel, Blowoff) released their debut self-titled LP last month on Dischord Records.  Rising out of the deeply rooted DC punk scene, Deathfix has abandoned its primary members’ backgrounds in the hard-hitting arena of Canty’s past bands and the label’s history, opting for a more new-wavey, polished sound on the full-length’s seven tracks.  There are still moments of punk though, like the heavy guitars on lead track “Better Than Bad” or the raw percussion on “Mind Control,” but the edges have been tempered by catchy pop melodies and jaunts into funk (“Dali’s House”) and prog (“Transmission”).  Deathfix plays Johnny Brenda’s on March 15th alongside Dubpixel with Robin Bell and Wigwams.  Tickets and information for the 21+ show can be found here.  Stream “Transmission” below.

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Seven bands from the Philly DIY underground you need to hear right now

Ursula | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Philly is one of those cities (the only city?!) that’s able to contain, harness, and release the unbridled energy of hardcore punk and strange outsider indie rock in the form of four impactful spring festivals and still have enough left to keep the summer righteously shredded.

We came together for Electrifest (queer POC experimental music fest centering LGBT health concerns), Get Better Fest (queerpunk fest put on by the folks at Get Better Records), Break Free Fest (an event centering black and brown hardcore acts) and of course, Philly Shreds (a showcase of punk bands from all over with a heavy Philly edge), but we are still rocking, still falling into our amps in damp, sweltering basements and rolling around in the free dumpstered bagel piles at our local community centers, screaming our hearts out, shouting down The Man.

This article seeks to chronicle the continued mayhem of the Philadelphia punk rock scene, seeking out both the upstart and lesser known bands and the tried and true favorites breathing new life into their sets, as well as highlighting how truly diverse our loud rock scene is. It is exhilarating to think that our community features women, queer / LGBT folks, and people of color playing prominent roles. Sit back and let the pretzel-flavored chaos reign. Continue reading →

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Downtown Boys sound fiercer than ever on “Somos Chulas (No Somos Pendejas)”

downtown boys
Downtown Boys | photo courtesy of the band

Last month, Rhode Island’s Downtown Boys signed to Sub Pop Records with promise of major label debut later this year. It was also promised that Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto would oversee the sessions for that album, but if that sounded too good to be true, the proof is finally here. Their new single “Somos Chulas (No Somos Pendejas),” which translates to “We’re Elegant/Intelligent (We’re not Dumb),” is available for streaming below. Continue reading →

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Listening to a Dementor: Spirit of the Beehive on channeling the emotional spectrum for Pleasure Suck

Spirit of the Beehive | photo courtesy of the artist
Spirit of the Beehive | photo by Emily Burtner | courtesy of the artist

Pat Conaboy, drummer of Spirit of the Beehive, stands his bed, which is just a mattress, up against the wall of his bedroom so that the rest of the band can fit their amps, a synth and other gear for practices. The room is densely filled — stepping on cables strewn about the floor is unavoidable. Upon entering, each member of the band is laughing as if they’re old friends just hanging out, beers already in hand. But not long before that cymbals stopped ringing and the amps are now being turned off as practice is being wrapped up. Continue reading →

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Downtown Boys sign to Sub Pop, announce show at Everybody Hits

downtown boys
Downtown Boys | photo courtesy of the band

Providence, RI outfit Downtown Boys have become familiar faces in the Philadelphia DIY scene lately, building a grassroots movement around their multi-faceted punk music (think grit, political resistance, and horns) for the last half decade that led to the 2015 release of Full Communism on Don Giovanni Records. Well, the quintet is continuing to move up with this week’s announcement that revered Seattle label Sub Pop has signed them on for a new LP, with Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto joining Communism‘s Greg Norman in the engineering seat.

Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: King Azaz at Haus of Yarga, Slaughter Beach, Dog at Boot and Saddle, Whaler at Kung Fu Necktie

King Azaz | via kingazaz.bandcamp.com

Drummer Sarah Schardt and singer-guitarist Christo Johnson met in North Carolina eight years ago, transplanted more recently to Philadelphia and are currently destroying in the punk two-piece King Azaz. Their record Spiritus Mundii was a quiet standout in 2016, filled with grungy riffs, hammering drums and minor key aggression – but there’s also a level of Fugazi / Dischord style socially charged catharsis. Tonight they’re on a pretty stacked lineup at West Philly staple Haus of Yarga, along with Thin Lips, Tombo Crush and more. Info on the show can be found at Facebook. Continue reading →

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Current Mood: Minor Threat live at Camden, NJ’s Buff Hall, 11/20/82

Minor Threat in Camden | still from video
Minor Threat in Camden | still from video

I’ve been listening to a lot of punk lately. I mean, I listen to a fair amount of punk in general, but it’s felt especially apt in light of the general malaise that’s circulated in my circle of acquaintances, friends and family since November 9th or so. As with music in general, punk can fill any number of roles in our lives — at its most basic level, it can be a means of channeling aggression and discontent into sonic catharsis. But the best punk serves as a vehicle for education and inspiration. Few bands embodied this more than short-lived, wildly influential D.C. heroes Minor Threat, and 34 years ago today, they played a local show at Buff Hall in Camden, NJ. Continue reading →