Listen to HIRS’ powerful Friends. Lovers. Favorites. via NPR Music’s First Listen

+HIRS+ | photo courtesy of Get Better Records
HIRS | photo courtesy of Get Better Records

HIRS — or The HIRS Collective, as they’re calling themselves for the purposes of their new record — are loud. They’re loud in a way that catches you off guard upon first listen, no matter how hard you’ve mentally prepared for the force that’s about to hit you. The sheer intensity of their songs makes you need to listen over and over just in case you missed something — and now you can do just that, as HIRS’ new LP, Friends. Lovers. Favorites., is available to stream via NPR Music’s First Listen.

It’s the group’s first full-length record after a steady series of EPs, and they’ve certainly taken the term “full-length” to heart — it’s 20 tracks long. Granted, most of them are of the short, 30 seconds to a minute variety, but that doesn’t lessen their potency in the slightest. HIRS’ message comes through clearly — they’ve devoted their musical purpose to fighting violence agains the queer and trans communities, and on the new record, the unrest that’s spurred their activism is more urgent than ever. Continue reading →


Thin Lips, Pinkwash, Trophy Wife and more playing benefit festivals in April

Thin Lips | photo by Jessica Flynn | courtesy of the artist
Thin Lips | photo by Jessica Flynn | courtesy of the artist

Local bands are teaming up for a run of benefit festivals this spring, supporting organizations that are crucial to queer and POC communities. Electrifest: Radical Queer Empowered Healthcare and Wellness expands the fest model to include symposium-style discussions on April 8th and 9th at The Rotunda, while the 4th annual Get Better Fest supports the Trans Assistance Project, Youth Emergency Services, and Women Against Abuse on April 28th at Glittery Gallery, April 29th at the First Unitarian Church, and April 30th at PhilaMOCA.

Continue reading →


Philadelphia Punk Legends Flag of Democracy announce show at Golden Tea House on 12/15

Philadelphia punk legends Flag of Democracy (F.O.D.) recently announced a show at the modern day punk haven Golden Tea House. After headlining the Philly Punx Picnic at FDR Park this past summer, and re-releasing their second full length album 23 (listen below) this past September on SRA Records, F.O.D. showed it is still a big part of the Philly punk scene. Their music has stood as an influence for hardcore and punk bands since the eighties.

Guitarist and vocalist Jim McMonagle plays at breakneck speeds that have not slowed down a bit since the band’s heyday. Their live show is still full of one-minute burners that are a result of swift licks and and barely audible yelling. Alongside McMonagle is Dave Rochon, singing backup and playing equally fast riffs on bass, and Bob Walker, hammering the drums in a way that makes you think he must have some kind of mechanical component to him. Seeing these now forty-somethings play at FDR over the summer was the pinnacle of punk rock sublime for me. The clatter of the tattooed and hair-spiked kids’ skateboards behind the gritty yelling of these punks that never fully grew up was total evidence that this genre is still alive. Make sure to get to the gig, as F.O.D. is not only a legendary Philly band, but one of the fastest bands you will ever see.

Also on the bill, +HIRS+ is a queer thrash band that is probably the heaviest group in the Philly scene right now. In the process of listening to their 100 song LP (listen below), which is totally composed of songs that are shorter than a minute, +HIRS+ brings some of the most brutal riffs I have heard in recent years. Expect a destructive set from these hardcore locals. The night will also feature sets by Regular Adults and Spectrum Disorder (featuring a member of Autistic Behavior).

Find more info on the show on the Facebook event page. You can also pick up FOD’s album 23 here and +HIRS+‘s album First 100 Songs here.


Check out highlights from Phreak ‘N Queer Festival lineup (returning 8/1 through 8/4)

phreak n queer

The annual Phreak ‘N Queer Arts And Music Festival returns for its third year this summer. From August 1 through the 4th, the LGBTQ festival will host literary and art events, performances, and concerts across different venues in Philly. According to the festival, Phreak ‘N Queer is run by volunteers who “acknowledge the need for safe performance spaces and supporting local queer / trans talent.” There will be all ages events as well as those for the 21+ crowd. Below, get a sampling of some of the varied and interesting musical acts you can check out this year. Continue reading →