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Find Your Freaks: RunHideFight goes indepth about discovering themselves through music on 25 O’Clock

RunHideFight | photo by Senia Lopez | senialopez.photography

Philly punk rockers Geeta Simons and Christine Weiser of RunHideFight made a recent appearance on 25 O’Clock, the self-proclaimed “longest running music podcast in Philadelphia…I think.” They talk with host Dan Drago about growing up, what it’s like writing music in a modern era and the pressure of balancing motherhood while performing in bands and pursuing music careers. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: RunHideFight

“I’m gonna sing you a little song about what it was like growing up in West Virginia, looking like me.”

RunHideFight frontwoman Geeta Simons says that in a long disaffected drawl on the simmering intro to the Stooges-esque “What Are You Talking?,” and we can take it a couple ways. Certainly, she was an 80s punk rocker in the Mountain State, a person whose style and artistic / cultural inclinations stood out from her conservatively-attired and -minded peers. But no, that’s not the whole story; not by a longshot. Simons’ family is of Desi heritage, and she grew up in a region that is — to put it bluntly — kind of blindingly white. And not the most tolerant, either.

“As a first gen, Indian American woman; I was busting up all kinds of cultural/gender norms by not finishing a pre-med track, having a green Mohawk and tattoos, playing in punk bands at skate parks, openly dating before marriage,” Simons recalled in an interview earlier this year with The Key’s A.D. Amorosi. “I was so angry and I desperately wanted to be heard and seen by a world which resisted that.”

Music was her outlet, continuing through her move to Philadelphia and her immersion in its indie community during the 90s and early 00s, when she played with Khyber regulars Swisher, Los Angeles, and Rockula. She stepped back from the scene for about a decade when she had children, but returned last year with a vengeance to form RunHideFight, a project born out of Simons’ heartache at her mother’s passing, her frustration at Donald Trump’s election, and the generally frayed-nerve state of the world. Continue reading →

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RunHideFight brings Geeta Simons from motherhood to garage-rocking mother-f$#&ing-hood

RunHideFight | photo by Adam Wallacavage | courtesy of the artist

Toward the end of the mad, bad, 90s in Philadelphia, blunt, forceful guitarist-singer Geeta Simons was part of several essential bands, with the revved-up garage rocking Rockula and the poppy, post-punk Swisher being two of her most notable and notorious. Like other musical artists before her, Simons was effected by two things, for better and worse: physical problems involving the dexterity of her hands, and marriage, then children. So she became, in her words, “freaking Donna Reed, if she was tanned and cool,” for over a decade of (still wedded) bliss, and raising two girls.

Like other artists before her, Simons grew as restless now, as she was a young player – the very manifestation of the 7-year-itch. So, she kicked the kids out of the playroom, so to speak, began demo-ing new garage-ish songs she had composed, then formed RunHideFight with another punk rock mom, Christine Weiser of Mae Pang, as well as Stinking Lizavetta’s Cheshire Agusta and Suffacox, and Jonathan “Brother JT” Terelsky.

Simons debuts her band and her custom-made checkerboard double-neck 24 string (12 electric neck/ 12 electric sitar neck) Chris DiPinto guitar in an opening slot for the legendary Pere Ubu at Johnny Brenda’s on November 14. Continue reading →

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The Key Studio Sessions: Sheena and Thee Nosebleeds

Riff-wrangler Kermit Lyman III has been walking that Motörhead line between punk rock and heavy metal over the past couple decades in the Philadelphia scene, making noise in bands like Wally, Slumlord and the original incarnation of Thee Nosebleeds. And then he met Sheena Powell.

A punk rocker at heart with a love for The Stooges and The Ramones, Powell’s voice is vibrant and versatile. She can soar along to the strange keys of 80s metal — I definitely hear some of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson in her — but she can also belt the blues with gusto. After some jams, the chemistry was undeniable, and Sheena and Thee Nosebleeds was born.   Continue reading →

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The Skeleton Key: Pilam is dead, long live Pilam

A flyer for Pi Lam’s notorious Human BBQ, circa 1987

Starting off August’s edition of the Skeleton Key with some breaking news, which for the record is a strange thing when it comes to a column that comes out once a month. Pilam, the venerated “freak frat” at the University of Pennsylvania, is closed, at least temporarily. After more than four decades of being a space for DIY music in Philadelphia, the organization has lost its home. Details are still emerging as to what’s going on but for the time being I’d much rather just focus on the positive. Which, to repeat what I just said, is more than four decades of serving as a home for music in our city. That’s just incredible.

If you were to compile a list of every band that ever played Pilam we’d be here for a very long time. Hell, just looking at the listings of who performed at Human BBQ, the annual all-day concert at the house, is wildly impressive in both quality and quantity. This past year was the 40th BBQ with bands including Old Maybe, Norwegian Arms, Slingshot Dakota, and EDO. Screaming Females and Sadie from Speedy Ortiz played last year, along with a ton of other great bands. Two years ago it was Moor Mother, HIRS, and Japanese Breakfast. We could seriously go on like this forever.

The first time I specifically remember being at the festival was way back in 2001 to see An Albatross, Stinking Lizaveta, and … EDO. Some things never change. Also, I somehow missed Wesley Willis. Maybe I was getting pizza? Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Jenny Lewis, U2, Eternal Summers, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and more

Jenny Lewis
Jenny Lewis | photo by Rich McKie for WXPN

You can’t tell us that there’s nothing going on this week — even if you don’t count the Firefly Music Festival (which you should totally count), there are more artists moving through the Philly region that we can pin down. Massive arena shows like U2 and Harry Styles to modest DIY gigs like Cold Fronts and Eternal Summers, the spectrum is huge. Here are 27 concerts you can see in and around Philly this week. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Roots Picnic, Porchfest, Natalie Prass, Depeche Mode and more

The Roots at The 9th Annual Roots Picnic | photo by Wendy McCardle

No superstition here — this week we’ve got 13 concerts for you to see around the Philadelphia area, major festivals and basement shows alike. Start things off tonight on Lancaster Avenue, where if you time things correctly, you’ll be able to see three different gigs in one shot. Dive in Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Miguel, Gepe, Deb Callahan, CRUISR, Palm and more

Miguel | Photo by Rachel Barrish for WXPN

As I type this, people around me are fretting about snowfall predictions and travel routes home; kind of unusual for a spring equinox. At the same time, we’ve got the first weekend of the new season ahead of us, and a whopping six concerts to choose from this Friday to kick it off, so things are looking up. From a couple shows from country icon k.d. lang to expansive experimental sounds from Philly’s Palm, punk rock from Yankee Bluff and hip-hop from Tiani Victoria, here are 18 concerts you can’t miss this week. Continue reading →