Digging Through the Archives: Dancetorium brings unseen 70s and 80s punk video into the 21st century

Courtesy of Brendan Gilmartin
Bush Tetras circa 1980 in a still from Ivers’ and Armstrong’s footage Courtesy of Brendan Gilmartin

Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong were exposed to American rock n’ roll and the British Invasion at a young age.

Ivers grew up in Philadelphia and worked at an auto part factory as a teenager. In lieu of joining her coworkers for lunch, she much preferred to sneak outside and listen to her transistor radio.

Armstrong, on the other hand, grew up in Long Island, and was introduced to music by a friend’s parent who’d generously chauffeur them from rock show to rock show. With his help, Armstrong saw the Rolling Stones and the Beatles during their first U.S. tour.

“He would collect our money and drive us,” Armstrong said. “Wherever he is, I thank him.”

After meeting while working together at Manhattan’s Public Access Television, the budding videographers teamed together to record over 300 hours worth of footage that would later be digitized and shown at museums and exhibits across the country.

This Thursday, the two are showing a significant amount of footage they collected during the up-and-coming New York punk scene in the 70’s and 80’s at International House; Dancetorium screens as the centerpiece of the venue’s spring preview event.

Before they met and joined creative forces, Ivers and Armstrong coincidentally lived on the same block in New York. They were also neighbors with Patti Smith.

“We’d see Patti seeing on her stoop,” Armstrong said. “We knew her as a poet.”

It wasn’t until posters for concerts started to pop up that they realized Smith was a musician as well. With the help of these posters – which also advertised bands like Talking Heads, Blondie and more – Ivers began to take on a film project documenting this musical uprising along with coworkers at Public Access Television.

The GoNightclubbing Archive Video from GoNightclubbing,Ltd. on Vimeo.

After some time, her and her team, who called themselves Metropolis Video, didn’t see any point as to why they were filming bands – they weren’t making money, and her coworkers abandoned ship on the project. But Ivers wasn’t quite done. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Savages at Union Transfer, A Flock of Seagulls at The Trocadero, Tin Bird Choir at Upper Merion Township Concert Under The Stars


Savages are a post-punk band hailing from London who released their debut album, Silence Yourself, back in May.  Even though they’re fairly new on the music scene, Savages are already gaining a lot of attention and appeared on Jimmy Fallon a few weeks back.  Tonight, the group plays at Union Transfer.  If you’re looking to keep the weekend going into Sunday night, you’ll definitely want to check out this concert tonight.  Click here for ticket info and listen to their song “Shut Up” below.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at Union Transfer, Family Vacation at Steel City Coffeehouse, JD McPherson at World Cafe Live, Reef the Lost Cause and Voss at The M Room

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark have been around since the late 70s, garnering critical acclaim as masters of new wave and earning the title “intelligent pop” from the release of their self-titled 1981 full length. Except for a small gap in the 2000s, the group has been consistently releasing material since the late 70s, including their most recent release, English Electric, which came out this summer.  Tonight, the godfathers of new wave play Union Transfer.  Click here for ticket info and check out one of their classic hits below.

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Download The Downtown Club’s “Dance” from the forthcoming Philadelphia Maneto compilation

This summer, the local Young Robots label is bringing remixes of some of your favorite Philly bands as part of a compilation called Philadelphia Maneto.  Each track will be remixed mainly by electronic artist DJ Apt One (along with help from a few other artists) and released as a single for digital-download and on vinyl, all culminating in a July 18th Philadelphia Race Street Pier Concert.  Artists include Nicos Gun, The Downtown Club and Pink Skull.  Today we’ve got a free download from The Downtown Club, a dark dance triowho recently recorded a Key Studio Session.  The track, “Dance,” is full of dramatic synths, echoing guitars and smooth vocals, and the remix is a rager – but you’ll have to wait to hear that one.  For now, get a free download of the original version of the song below and check out the music video here.  You can also check out the band at Ortlieb‘s July 4th, and stay tuned for more on Philadelphia Maneto in the coming weeks.