The Key Studio Sessions: Tact

Philly indie-punk staple Cat Park is commanding and cathartic on her latest project, channeling anger and aggression into the edgy noise rock of Tact.

Launched in late 2017 with drummer Jarret Nathan of Pears and also bassist Evan Demianczyk of Pocket — with guitarist Josh Agran of Paint It Black joining the fold more recently — the band’s music is a stark contrast to the cerebral pop of Park’s best-known band Amanda X, or the hooky nuggets of Eight, another of her projects.

In Tact, distorted guitars screech and squeal, Nathan’s drums thunder, and Park poetically details observations on the outside world in a mixture of sung and spoken word lyrics; a little bit Kim Gordon, a little bit Patti Smith. Continue reading →


Spirit of the Beehive straddles dreams and reality on “Can I Receive The Contact” from new LP Hypnic Jerks

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

Spirit of the Beehive is releasing their third full-length album, Hypnic Jerks in September 2018 via Tiny Engines. The title refers to the involuntary twitch you might sometimes experience while beginning to fall asleep, a jerked knee or flung arm wrenching you back into reluctant wakefulness. Continue reading →


Strange Parts, Tact and Full Bush to play benefit show for Planned Parenthood

Strange Parts | photo by Adam Haney | via

Amid all of the usual Fourth of July festivities happening next weekend, Johnny Brenda’s will play host to a smaller event, bringing together local music for a good cause. On Saturday, July 7, a lineup of three local bands will join forces for Rock & Roll & Birth Control, a benefit show in support of Planned Parenthood. Strange Parts, the duo of Attia Taylor and Corey Duncan who just released their debut album Oh God, What A Beautiful Time I Spent In The Wild, will headline the show. Also on the bill are local duo Tact and punk four-piece Full Bush. Listen to music from each artist below. Continue reading →


Meet Cat Park’s newest music project, the low-key angst-pop duo, tact

tact | photo by Cat Park | courtesy of the artist
tact | photo by Cat Park | courtesy of the artist

It seems that instead of releasing a succession of albums from one singular band — as most musicians do — Philadelphia’s Cat Park simply joins or creates a whole new band every time there’s new songs to share.

Creatively speaking, this separation of sounds and themes makes perfect sense, as this method allows for whatever different, new ideas that come to mind immediately be put to fruition — with the added bonus of not throwing off your bandmates and fanbase.

Continuing in this pattern, Park is now etching in her new duo, tact, to the already-long repertoire of musical projects — which boast the likes of Amanda XEight, All Bad and Preen.

Composed of Park on vocals, guitar, and bass, and Jarret Nathan on drums, tact evokes 90s riot grrl rock as much as 70s punk icon Patti Smith in this brief six-track release. Continue reading →


Review: A full-contact night with Marnie Stern, Barren Girls and Little Big League at Johnny Brenda’s

All photos by Chris Sikich |

Shredding the night away, Marnie Stern and her crackling band headlined a night of indie rock awesomeness at Johnny Brenda’s on Friday. The tightness of the openers — phenomenal Philly locals Little Big League and the hard-rock stylings Barren Girls — readied the crowd for the entrancing guitar riffs and sweet yet edgy vocals of Stern, who was joined by bassist Nithin Kalvakota and drummer Joe Wong. By the second song, Wong’s shirt was off and the crowd was thrashing about, tossing their shirts onto the stage and hanging onto Stern’s every shred and her frequent references to her vagina. Though brief, her set, clocking in at under an hour, blasted through exuberant numbers from The Chronicles of Marnia, including the title track and a spirited “Year of the Glad.” And with a flourish of rock mania, the show — her last of the tour — came to a close with guitar theatrics and a drumstick flying at this reviewer’s mouth. After a brief taste of blood, all teeth remain — as well as memories of rock heaven, Marnie Stern-style.


Philly Dogs: Watch David Bowie serenade the Tower with “Rock and Roll Suicide” from the David Live recording

David Bowie | still from video

In July of 1974, David Bowie took over the Tower Theater for an unconventional week-long stint of performances. The iconic glam rocker played the Upper Darby venue, known for its unique acoustics, every night from July 8th through the 12th. These shows served as the source material Bowie’s his first concert album, David Live. Continue reading →


The Skeleton Key: From the first show back at The Khyber to one of the last shows at 1026, we’ve got you coming and going for the rest of this packed July

Soul Glo | photo by Yoni Kroll

Hello Philadelphia! By the time you read this I will most likely be back home but right now I’m in the back of a van hurtling between DIY venues across the Midwest. My band embarked on our first ever tour in the last week of June and I’ve never eaten more fast-food in my life.

Tour is funny because while you might play to literally only the other bands one night — including one group of guys who when they were also only performing in front of other musicians still made it a point to tell everyone there to “stick around for the other bands” — the next night you can play to a crowded room of moshing Midwestern teenagers. Oh, and I was interviewed by someone, which as a journalist is a completely bizarre experience. All in all, no complaints.

But you’re not here for the tour tips. You don’t care where to get a bite to eat before playing the Trumbullplex in Detroit, though if you did I’d recommend Pie Sci right down the street for those massive Detroit square pies that are almost as good as what you’d get at Pizza Gutt up in Fishtown. No, what you want is the Philadelphia calendar listings and some good DIY news and gossip. I got you. Let’s go! Continue reading →


The Week Ahead: Octave Cat, Ruby The Hatchet, PnB Rock, Potty Mouth and More

Ruby the Hatchet | photo by Jake Gravbrot | via

On the one hand, it’s a quiet week. On the other hand, I dare you to go to Ruby The Hatchet’s Ortlieb’s gig on Saturday and claim that it’s quiet. From the haunting instrumentals of Hour to the space rock of I Think Like Midnight, the garage rock of Queen Vice and hiphop of PnB Rock, here are ten concerts to see in the next seven days all around Philadelphia. Continue reading →