By

Mannequin Pussy keeps it short and occasionally sweet with Romantic

Mannequin Pussy | photo by Scott Troyan | courtesy of the artist
Mannequin Pussy | photo by Scott Troyan | courtesy of the artist

You wouldn’t expect an aggressive punk band like Mannequin Pussy to be romantic, and you especially wouldn’t believe it was the title of their new album, but you better star believing. Romantic is the follow-up to 2014’s Gypsy Pervert, and it’s a bold step forward for the Philadelphia DIY scene faves.

One of the first things you’ll notice about Romantic is how much they’ve upped the production value. Too often, punk bands stubbornly release lo-fi record after record under the false banner of authenticity, but what’s more authentic than hearing the instruments the way you’re supposed to? Is it corporate to have a massive, pummeling rhythm section? Is having a spacier, more balanced mix selling out? Of course not, and thankfully, Mannequin Pussy realize this without sacrificing their razor-sharp edge. Continue reading →

By

Listen to Mannequin Pussy’s jaw-dropping “Romantic” via NPR Music

mannequin pussy
Mannequin Pussy | photo by Sam Rudich | courtesy of the band

On the heels of last month’s “Emotional High” single, local outfit Mannequin Pussy have shared another new track from their forthcoming sophomore LP. Posted on NPR’s Songs We Love feature, “Romantic” comes crashing through the gates in a deluge of guitars and drums before dropping down to a jarringly softer verse led by singer / guitarist Marisa Dabice’s superbly expressive vocals.

Continue reading →

By

Mannequin Pussy’s new rager “Emotional High” is the best way you can spend a minute and 27 seconds this afternoon

Mannequin Pussy
Mannequin Pussy | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Philly thrashers Mannequin Pussy have been teasing songs from their new LP at gigs all around Philly for the better part of the year; and at last, details are in place. The band announced last week that Romantic will be available on Tiny Engines records on October 28th, and gave us a pretty kickass song to tide us over for the next two months.

“Emotional High” is a glorious heaping of heavy guitar riffs, hammering drumbeats and snarling vocals from frontwoman Marisa Dabice. She’s got a total Donita Sparks delivery, and the song finds her navigating the heavy feelings of tight friendships. Continue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Mannequin Pussy at Underground Arts, Port St. Willow at Johnny Brenda’s, Galactic at Electric Factory, and more…

Mannequin Pussy
Marisa Dabice of Mannequin Pussy performs at Hazzard Hall | Photo by John Vettese

Philly punks Mannequin Pussy will be performing at Underground Arts tonight with Guerilla Toss and Banned Books. Their most recent album, Gypsy Pervert, was released back in 2014 on Tiny Engines, and they’re recording the follow up this spring. Tickets and more information can be found via the XPN Concert Calender. Continue reading →

By

Kat of Amanda X and Marisa of Mannequin Pussy cover Sheryl Crow’s “Every Day Is A Winding Road”

Marisa, left, and Kat make up Reagan | Photo courtesy of the artist
Marisa, left, and Kat make up Reagan | Photo courtesy of the artist

Here’s something unexpected: Kat Bean of Amanda X, Marisa of Mannequin Pussy, and… Sheryl Crow. Well, not Sheryl Crow herself, but rather a cover of her 1996 tune “Every Day Is A Winding Road.” While the original epitomizes windows down, hair blowing in the breeze, Reagan (the name of Kat and Marisa’s collaborative effort) have pared things down for a version that is more intimate. Continue reading →

By

Yeah Yeah Yeahs return in triumphant form to bring the rock to the 215 Block Party

Yeah Yeah Yeahs | photo by Matthew Shaver for WXPN

This past weekend, Chicago brewery Goose Island hosted their traveling Block Party at the Electric Factory. The event included reasonably priced food trucks, $3 Goose Island beers (from the 4.5% ABV variety all the way to their fancier fare upwards to 13% ABV) and oh yeah, music! The lineup was a mix of Philly, Chicago, and the return of New York’s Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

The weather in Philly up until this weekend had been like walking around in a warm bath. While it is nice that the humid icky weather finally broke on Friday, having the 215 Block Party outside on an overcast drizzly evening put a slight damper on what was intended to be an end of summer party.   Continue reading →

By

Breaking the Barrier: The Lehigh Valley’s Chris Reject talks punk, wrestling, and tonight’s Let’s Hang Out festival in Bethlehem

Dasher Hatfield vs Juan Francisco | photo by Zia Hitley | courtesy of the artist

Wrestling and punk go together like, well, wrestling and punk. They’re both aggressive, weird, fun, and straddling that line between the mainstream – WWE, Warped Tour, that recent Misfits reunion show where the tickets were like $500 each – and various levels of the DIY underground. Two sides of the same twisted coin. Just like in punk, the atmosphere of a wrestling match is dictated not just by what’s going on in the ring (or out of it!) but by how the crowd is reacting to it all. That’s why one of the most exciting moments in a match or at a show is when that barrier between performer and crowd is literally broken down and the two briefly become one.

It should be no surprise then that there’s been a lot of crossover between wrestling and punk over the years. This is both in the more metaphoric sense, with wrestlers being identified in some way as fans of the music, or quite literally with wrestling-themed bands. Scratch the surface of any self-professed punk and you’ll find someone who, even if they aren’t a wrestling fan, will at the very least admit to enjoying the chaos of it all. And the opposite is certainly true.

To that end, Chris Reject, very much a huge lover of DIY music and wrestling and the head honcho at Lehigh Valley Apparel Creations and Square of Opposition Records, has helped put together an event this Friday in Bethlehem that is all those things and more.

Called Let’s Hang Out! – named after the album by the classic Bethlehem hardcore band The Russian Meatsquats and using the album art as inspiration for the flyer – the night is divided into wrestling matches with the BWA followed by performances by Cheap Pop, Mannequin Pussy, and Spirit of the Beehive.

Continue reading →

By

The Skeleton Key: Multitudes of new music for July, a First Time’s The Charm recap, and gigs from black metal to beatmakers to punk wrestlers

First Time’s The Charm | photo by Yoni Kroll for WXPN

This is a special Skeleton Key and not just because I’m checking in with you a bit later than usual. Don’t worry, my neighbors are still shooting off fireworks all day every day so it’s basically still the 4th and will probably stay that way at least until August. For this column I want to talk about all the new music coming out this month because there’s seriously just so much of it. And check this out: last weekend was First Time’s the Charm which was the debut of eight bands playing their very first sets ever. So much new music! Let’s start with a list because you should always start with a list: Dark Thoughts, Smarthearts, Rosali, Lester, Dark Web, Rabbits to Riches, Empath, and Fleabite. Oh, and a just-announced split between Jenna & The Pups – the solo pop punk band from HIRS frontwoman Jenna Pup – and, well, herself. The PUP/HIRS album will be out in August. Continue reading →