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 →
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 →
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 →
Deathfix, 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.
Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2017 incredible. To kick off the series, Key editor John Vettese recaps six of his favorite Philadelphia music discoveries from the past 12 months.
Earlier today, I was listening to a conversation with Johnny Brenda’s talent buyer Chris Ward on the 25 O’Clock podcast, and he made a very interesting point. The bumper crop of musical talent in Philadelphia, or what is often perceived as such, is no sudden phenomenon. It’s not as though, pre-2006, the city was in some dire straits or a lesser creative state, and has subsequently grown and evolved to the present-day bursting of the proverbial seams.
The truth is that amazing music — rap music, rock music, pop music, soul music — has always existed in the 215; in many cases (the Gamble & Huff era), it’s downright thrived. But as Ward pointed out, a more recent confluence of factors and persons and places and institutions over the past decade (like him and JBs, I might add, or like our friends at The Deli and Jump, or like countless others) have helped amplify the scene tremendously.
Every year around this time, as we launch into The Key’s annual year-in-review extravaganza, I begin by sitting down and reflecting on the new artists and new-to-me artists who, over the past twelve months, have knocked me sideways. There have always be artists like this, whether or not the outside world is paying attention. And there always will be; even if, at some point, the zeitgeist declares Philly to be “over,” if you look and listen, you’ll find them continually creating, somehow, somewhere.
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 Communismon 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.
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 →