Watch My Basement is a Sh*thole, a student-produced documentary on Philadelphia’s DIY scene

Photo by Teresa Salinas
Photo by Teresa Salinas
Students at Temple University produced a short documentary on Philadelphia’s basement show and DIY scene, examining the culture’s trajectory from the seventies (mentioning when WXPN had a hand in hosting punk shows) to today.  The film was created by Evan Lescallette, Luke Proctor, Ayanda Sithole, and Tina Lam for their Genres in Media Studies class and features interviews with Joe Reinhart (Algernon Cadwallader / Headroom Studios), John Redden (The Barbary) and Mark Walsh (Secret Plot to Destroy the Entire Universe / IHOP / Double Deuce) as well as live set clips of Rasputin’s Secret Police, Pill Friends, Bleeding Fractals (pictured above) and more.  Check out the documentary below and visit DIYPHL for a comprehensive list of house / DIY shows in the Philadelphia area.


Major Bummer: Algernon Cadwallader is calling it a day

Algernon Cadwalader at Pi Lam, circa 2012 | photo by John Vettese

Not many bands could rock a room like Philly punks Algernon Cadwallader. The enthusiasm – no, the freaking devotion – they drew out of their fans was inspiring. Crowds swarmed the stage, flailed around, dove on top of each other, pushed and shoved for their chance to scream along the words into bassist Peter Helmis’s microphone, which he gladly turned over to them. I think of the times I caught them at Pi Lam, where people in front reached across amps to strum Joe Reinhart’s guitar, or snuck around the side to hit Tank Bergman’s drums. Crowd interaction was as much a part of Algernon’s live shows as their own songs, which were inspired heavily by unbridled late 90s emo – Cap’n Jazz is a band they’re often compared to – and with the announcement this weekend of their disbanding, a big void is left in Philly’s live music scene.

In a “Mission Accomplished” post on Algernon’s website yesterday, the band explained that Bergman’s new full-time nursing job (and baby on the way) left him unable to tour. Of their run as a band, Helmis had this to say:

It has been a pleasure to narrate our story to you for the past 2 and a half years. The world spins pretty damn fast when you’re having a good time. Looking back on these old posts I am glad I wrote it all (not even close) down. Thankfully there was an audience otherwise I doubt I would have taken the time.

I feel obligated to announce that our friends and listeners have been each bit as (way more) important to us as (than) we have been to them. The things we did, people we met, and places we saw during Algernon Cadwallader have changed my life forever. Thank you so much.

Download some free jams from Algernon below, and rock around the room one more time.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: My Morning Jacket w/ Band of Horses at the Mann, Ape School LP release show at Johnny Brenda’s, MilkBoy Anniversary w/ GANG and Chill Moody at Milkboy, and Algeron Cadwallader w/ Kite Party at First Unitarian

Tonight XPN welcomes My Morning Jacket with special guests Band of Horses to the Mann Center for a rockin’ all-ages event. The doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices range from $29.50 to $48.50 and can be purchased here.

Philly musician Michael Johnson’s solo project, Ape School, is celebrating the release of their new LP, Junior Violence, tonight with a show at Johnny Brenda’s. The 21+ event features performance by Norwegian Arms, Jeff Zeigler & Mary Lattimore, Laser Background, and Adam & Dave of The War on Drugs will be DJing throughout the night. Doors for the 21+ show open at 8PM and the show starts at 9:15 p.m. Tickets are available here for $10.

Looking to hear some free music tonight? Head on over to MilkBoy for their One-Year Anniversary Show featuring GANG, Johnny Showcase, The Lawsuits and Chill Moody. Doors for the 21+ show open at 8:30PM and the show starts at 9:30 p.m. Watch the video for GANG’s song “Why Can’t You Just Be” below.

Algernon Cadwallader are playing First Unitarian Church tonight with Joyce Manor, Tigers Jaw, and Kite Party for a night of sweaty pop-punk. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here for $10. Below, check out Algernon Cadwallader’s song “Springing Leaks” from the album Parrot Flies.


Josh Craft of Conversations with Enemies to guest DJ the XPN2 Philly Local Show this Thursday

Photo by Jonathan Appelbaum

This weekend, Philly’s action/adventure pop troupe Conversations With Enemies celebrates the release of its latest record, The Good Times, in a show at Johnny Brenda’s. The album references just about every fictional character you might have loved as a kid – werewolves, vampires, cowboys, zombies – and like Enemies’ 2010 debut, Nowhere OK, it comes accompanied by a comic book that mixes them all together. This week, band leader Josh Craft will guest DJ the XPN2 Philly Local Show, previewing tracks from the album, giving us the lowdown the concert, and spinning tunes from some of his favorite Philly peers like Algernon Cadwallader, Dangerous Ponies, Break It Up and more. Listen in this Thursday, July 5, on XPN2, download a song from the album below, and catch the Conversations With Enemies record release show this Saturday July 7 at Johnny Brenda’s.


Algernon Cadwallader playing a free show today at Morgan’s Pier

Algernon Cadwallader rock the riverfront this afternoon at Morgan’s Pier for the lastest show in R5 Production’s free concert series. The Philly emo/punk rock outfit are gearing up for a New England and Midwest tour in August, and will take the stage today after Ohio rockers En Garde. The show is 21+ and free, with doors at 5pm and the show at 6:30. Go here to listen to “Springing Leaks” from the band’s last release, Parrot Flies.


Tonight’s Concert Pick: Algernon Cadwallader at The Fire

The Philly trio Algernon Cadwallader has amassed a devoted and diverse fan base both in and outside of the city. Their music is nothing groundbreaking, but it’s angsty yet very available emo that can be pretty fun. The scream-along vocals overtop pop-rock melodies draw large crowds to the group’s frequent (and, often, far away) shows. In fact, the band is about to embark on its second European tour in a few weeks. Overseas adventures aside, the group has been blogging about tonight as their “actual homecoming” show. Algernon Cadwallader performs with Joyce Manor, 1994!, and Snowing at 7­­­­­­­­ p.m. at The Fire; tickets to the all-ages show are $7.