Californian pop-punk band Joyce Manor will take the stage at Union Transfer tonight. Members Barry Johnson, Matt Ebert, Chase Knobbe, and Kurt Walcher recently released their third studio album Never Hungover Again. They refer to its as a collection of songs about how things fall apart – including the loss of friends (“In The Army Now”), the regret of getting a tattoo (“Heart Tattoo”), and the panic of facing the unknown future (“Catalina Fight Song”). For tickets and more information check out the XPN Concert Calender. Below, listen to “Schley.” Continue reading →
DIY punk’s openness, accessibility and ability to survive (and thrive) hinges upon the existence of the right mix of venues. For the most part, Philadelphia has just that. The scene here is so nurturing that just about anyone can start a band, write a few songs, practice them and eventually, play a show. That conduciveness can almost seem passé sometimes just because we’re so acclimated to it, but the reality is that it’s just not like that in most cities. It takes a lot of hard work, some clever maneuvering, and the right mix of personalities to save a subculture from stagnation. In Philadelphia, that means a plethora of non-traditional, not-exactly-legal venues. Pennsylvania’s draconian alcohol laws, along with operating costs that are almost universally prohibitive for broke punks, mean that the vast majority of all-ages punk shows here are happening off the grid in musty basements, dirty kitchens and cavernous lofts, which makes for a uniquely wonderful, but perhaps unsustainable experience.
Daniel Anderson wants to create something sustainable. Since 2011, he and his roommate Ruben Polo have run local label Kat Kat Records, while booking shows both in their own West Philadelphia basement and at others across the city. They’ve also booked festivals of their own, beginning with Kat Kat Phest and culminating with the inaugural TWOB Fest this weekend, which will see local favorites like Kite Party, Marietta and By Surprise performing alongside out-of-town acts like Laura Stevenson, Sundials and The Hotelier to raise money for an all-ages, DIY show space in Philadelphia to hopefully open in the fall. Continue reading →
Toy Soldiers frontman Ron Gallo promotes his new solo album Ronny at this fun Summer Party event presented by Why I Love Philly at Spruce Street Harbor Park. Fellow Philadelphians The Lawsuits and Up the Chain will also be on the bill making for an exciting, action packed performance. Ticketing information for the $10 show for adults 21+ can be found here. Also, be sure to check out a new song below, entitled “Fine Diners and Finer Whiners.”
You have to hand it to Philly pop-punk buzzmakers Modern Baseball – with all the momentum at the band’s collective feet right now, they’re very much about staying true to their roots. Following up a U.S. stint opening for The Wonder Years earlier this spring, the band returned to Philly to play its first headlining shows in support of the awesome new You’re Gonna Miss It All at the pocket-sized Fishtown venue The Barbary. Note that I used the plural there – when an evening show sold out like instantaneously, the band added an afternoon matinee, which also sold out. Hundreds of revved-up and enthusiastic fans packed the joint, crowd surfed, slam danced, screamed along to every one of the band’s myriad screamalong refrains, and generally showed how much this band is busting at the seams.
MoBo has very evidently outgrown spaces like this; these two small shows could have been one big sold-out show at the First Unitarian Church basement. If the ticket price and the lineup were right, I’d even wager that the band could hold their own at The TLA or Union Transfer. But the guys realize that part of the joy in performing – and part of the joy in watching them perform – is the intimate experience of being up close and tight with your crowd, with whom they converse with tones of jovial warmth and friendship, with whom they give hi-fives and lean into heavily, sharing the microphone with outstretched arms in the front row (drummer Sean Huber does a bangup job of that during his cathartic verse in “Your Graduation,” as you can see above, though the room was so densely populated at this point that I couldn’t see who took over for him on drums). It’s an amazing vibe, and of course they want to continue creating that experience for as long as possible.
Singer-guitarist Brendan Lukens powered through the two sets despite a bout of walking pneumonia – which, I don’t even know what that means to have a walking sickness, but it sounds pretty awful. The afternoon set was fun but a bit restrained; the band had loosened up by the night, really letting fly with selections like the very fun “The Weekend,” an absolutely stellar performance of the Death Cab-esque “Two Good Things” (bassist Ian Farmer’s playing totally makes this song) and the fan favorite “It’s Cold Out Here” which was punctuated by the voices of a couple hundred fans joining in on the coda. Crowd surfers flailed, die-hards lunged at the microphones, and singer-guitarist Jacob Ewald at one point said “Let’s give it up for security for keeping you all safe,” acknowledging that, yes, it looked like mass chaos out there, but this was a band that cares and doesn’t want to see anybody hurt in the process of having an ecstatic time.
Opening both shows were Minnesota screamo three-piece Tiny Moving Parts, Massachusetts hardcore faves The Hotelier and Sorority Noise from Connecticut. Check out photos in the gallery below.
Pop-punk Philly band Modern Baseball will kick off their summer tour this afternoon at The Barbary. Earlier this spring, the guys participated a Key Studio Session where they successfully lit up the room with their charismatic energy. You can listen to a full album stream of their 2012 LP Sports here and watch the video for “Your Graduation” from this year’s awesome You’re Gonna Miss It All below. Get tickets for this afternoon’s show here (while they are still available!)
They’re the epitome of pop-punk. If you combined Saves the Day and The Wonder Years toned down a few notches, you’d get Only On Weekends. And with one album and an EP under their belt, the band is prepared to unleash its newest endeavor.
The new Light Years and Heavy Lifting EP is set to be released on May 30 and is produced by Fred Mascherino, who’s played in Taking Back Sunday and Terrible Things. Until, Only On Weekends has given the of new tracks off the EP, including the thrashy, punky and shouty song, “The Prince of East 187th Street,” which showed up on AbsolutePunk last week.
Modern Baseball may have just wrapped up a tour with The Wonder Years, but that doesn’t mean they’re slowing down any time soon. The never-wavering Philly based pop-punk band has announced a stacked summer tour with the likes of post-harcore band Tiny Moving Parts, emo/rock band The Hotelier and pop-punk outfit Sorority Noise. And to top it off, the tour kicks off right here in Philly.
Coming off of the release of their highly acclaimed album You’re Gonna Miss it All, MoBo played a sold out show with The Wonder Years at the E Factory April 13, and if you missed it, the Barbary show on June 1 should be at the top of your list. Tickets go on sale tomorrow via TicketWeb. Get tickets when they become available here, and see the full list of tour stops via MoBo’s facebook page. Check out the studio session Modern Baseball did with The Key here.
Minneapolis punk rock outfit Banner Pilot have released a new video of vintage hometown footage for “Modern Shakes.” Taken from their upcoming fourth album Souvenir (due April 15th), the clip shows what 1950s Minneapolis looked like as the lyrics to the upbeat track are spelled out in the foreground. Watch the video here; stream the song below. Get tickets to their May 25th show at The Barbary here.
On the heels of their newly-released album Wolverine, New York punk crew I Am The Avalanche headlined an all-ages show at The Barbary on Thursday night. Also on the bill were Flint, Michigan’s The Swellers, Virginia band Turnover and locals The Sixties. Check out photos from the show below.