Why not start the year off on the heaviest foot possible with Pissed Jeans, Purling Hiss and Trophy Wife at Union Transfer on February 8th? Ultra-thrash punk band Pissed Jeans released their Honeys LP on Sub Pop this year, while scuzzy distortion kings Purling Hiss celebrated their major label debut with Water On Mars and Drag City. Fellow local duo Trophy Wife are prepping to head into the studio in January, so we can expect to hear some new songs from the socially-conscious rockers as well. Tickets and information for the all-ages show can be found here. Watch Pissed Jeans’ video for “Bathroom Laughter” below.
Last week, boisterous Allentown / Philly punk band Pissed Jeans performed a free 21+ show at Morgan’s Pier along with Big Mouth and Ultramantis Black. The show began with five guys all dressed in black and playing black instruments on stage creating a wall of noise and feedback. This was Ultramantis Black, a hardcore band fronted by the professional wrestler of the same name. As the feedback and buildup continued I examined the men on stage and tried to determine which one of them was the pro wrestler. I figured it probably wasn’t the skinny guy with the beard or the average-sized man sitting at the drums. “Maybe it’s the tall dude playing guitar, he’s pretty big” I thought to myself. It never occurred to me that Ultramantis himself wasn’t even on stage yet until he came charging out in full wrestling garb, complete with cape, mask and skull staff. This was when I started to get a little worried. I didn’t find the spooky clown getup endearing and the all-black uniform donned by the other members made me feel like these guys are a little too concerned with trying to look badass.
After the first song Ultramantis began pacing back and forth across the stage, shouting the usual “HELLO PHILADELPHIA” type stuff, but it wasn’t long before he went off on a long diatribe about the choices people make when they sit down to dinner. I was confused until he went on to give us a rather poorly thought-out lecture on the morality of consuming meat. He went on to rant about America’s dependency on pharmaceuticals and how they are destroying our bodies. It took about five minutes of this before they even started the second song, which was immediately followed by another long-winded lecture, this time on the evils of fracking. Obviously the guy was talking about some important issues, but they only had a 20 minute set and at this point it was half over and they’d only played two songs. It isn’t wrong to be opinionated and passionate about these issues but there’s a time and place for activism and I personally wasn’t interested in being lectured on my night out. They finished up their set and before the last song was even done Ultramantis had disappeared from the stage. The band finished out the set and with the help of some of the staff started disassembling their gear. At this time Ultramantis reappeared from backstage drinking a beer with his wrestling mask still on. This ridiculous guy didn’t even help his band-mates load out their gear. It doesn’t matter if your instrument is just your voice and a microphone, helping your buddies load out is just the decent thing to do. To be fair, though the music wasn’t ground-breaking by any means, they did play spot-on and had a lot of energy on stage, but my experience was soured by one of the most obnoxious front men I’ve ever had the misfortune of seeing perform.
The next band was Big Mouth, hailing from the DC/Baltimore area. They performed an angsty brand of punk characterized by creative atonal interplay between the bass and guitar, backed by fairly straightforward, but effective drumming. Their front-woman taunted the crowd and sang in a voice that reminded me of a homeless lady I saw last week at 69th st. terminal last week who screamed at me and called me a cocksucker. She even teased the bouncer by the stage and stroked his beard. I was extremely impressed by the guitarist’s ability to stomp around on stage and headband in heels and a floor-length dress. The singer weaved her way through the audience throughout the set and certainly captivated people through fear that they would be the next victim of her manic outbursts. This was definitely the most unique performance of the night and I enjoyed it quite a bit.
When Pissed Jeans took to the stage and began playing the energy at the pier came to a head and things became chaotic. This was a true rock and roll performance. Their front-man, Matt Korvette, has amazing stage presence and is a master at working the crowd. He’s also a genuinely hilarious dude. Matt ran back and forth across the stage as a sea of people moshing and stage diving churned before him. He shouted, threw ice at his bandmates, chugged Miller Lite, did some pull-ups from the scaffolding and posed for the photographers next to the stage. Pissed Jeans puts on one of the most high-energy shows in Philly and I’d recommend attending their next show to anyone looking to witness true madness and hear some great punk music.
The City Hall Courtyard summer music series comes to a close tonight with a free solo performance by Kurt Vile. Today has been dubbed Kurt Vile Day by the City of Philadelphia, which will present the Philly native with the Liberty Bell Award in recognition of his “outstanding professional achievements and civic generosity.” Vile released his highly-regarded Wakin’ On a Pretty Daze LP earlier this year and will be back for a full-band show at Union Transfer on October 25th. More information for tonight’s free concert can be found here. Watch Vile’s video for “KV Crimes” below.
Allentown-born, Philly-based sludge-punks Pissed Jeans, along with other Philly acts like Waxahatchee, recently paid a visit to Chicago as part of Pitchfork‘s 2013 music festival. Late last week, Pitchfork.tv released two videos of the band’s set. Watch them play “Romanticize Me” and “Bathroom Laughter”, both off their latest LP, Honeys, below, and be sure to catch the band at the end of the month, when they’ll be playing a free show at Morgan’s Pier on Wednesday, August 28th. More info on the 21+ show can be found here.
Local punks Pissed Jeans just debuted a new music video for their song “Romanticize Me.” The track is off the band’s latest full-length release, Honeys, which came out earlier this year on Sub Pop. The video is sure to be the only place you’ll find a figure skater using Pissed Jeans as his backing music; check it out for yourself below. The band is playing a free show at Morgan’s Pier on August 28th – which should be awesome, since the show they played there last summer ruled. Get more information at the R5 Productions website here.
Talk about an ideal match-up. Philly proto-punk aficionados Pissed Jeans, who released the hard-hitting Honeys earlier this year on Sub Pop Records, will tour with their labelmates and sonic ancestors Mudhoney. If you’ve spent any time with Honeys – particularly “Cathouse” or “Teenage Adult” – you know the bands will play totally well off one another. There might even be some possibility of Pissed Jeans, with their well-earned reputation for live ragers, upstaging the headliners. But don’t be so sure on that last count – Mark Arm remains a wily and charismatic frontman in his own right. The tour sadly doesn’t stop in Philadelphia (it’s a handful of dates in the UK and midwest, per Brooklyn Vegan) but it nonetheless gives us an excuse to turn up this live performance of Pissed Jeans’ “Bathroom Laughter” from The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 7.
The latest edition of our Key Studio Sessions compilations is out today – now streamable and downloadable from Soundcloud! Check out this year’s in-studio appearances with The Key Studio Sessions Vol. 7, including the down-tempo folk stylings of Waxahatchee, the thrashing punk of Pissed Jeans and the all-out rock jams of Ruby the Hatchet. Thanks to production assistants Fred Knittel, Madeleine Lesperance, and Dan Malloy as well as photographers Rachel Del Sordo and Kate McCann, and videographers The Angry Mountain, HotBox Studios and Out of Town Films for sharing their work. Continue reading →
Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
In exciting local music news, Kurt Vile announced further album details and a show at Union Transfer with Steve Gunn and Angel Olsen. Wakin On A Pretty Dazewill be out via Matador Records on April 9th and will be a double LP (on blue vinyl!). The lead track, “Wakin On A Pretty Day,” is available as a free download on Matador’s website here – get ready for 9+ minutes of classic Vile-isms like “to be frank I’m fried / but I don’t mind.” Tickets and information for Kurt Vile & The Violators at Union Transfer on Saturday, May 18th, can be found here. Listen to “Wakin On A Pretty Day” below set to a video of images from this cover art documentary.
After celebrating the release of his RFM LP with a sold-out crowd at The TLA a couple of months ago, local hip hop artist Chill Moody comes to The Blockley for another celebration – this time a celebration of love. Moody will team up once again with Beano and Hank McCoy to perform the last installment in their Valentine’s Day mixtape Who Do You Love?in its entirety. Tickets and information for the 21+ show can be found here. Below, watch them perform a track from the mixtape live in Love Park.