Text and images by Diana Shalenkova.
In celebration of their new EP, Krispy Kareem (above) hosted a release show at the Baker Bowl last Friday featuring Matt Holden (from Legs Like Tree Trunks), Second Marriage and Three Man Cannon (ex-Tigers Jaw).
Opening the night with a solo Legs Like Tree Trunks set, Holden’s emotive voice captivated listeners.
Jokingly called the “house jazz band” by residents of The Baker Bowl, Second Marriage returned for the third time in the past month with their ever-addicting set of straightforwardly heavyhearted songs.
Among various unreleased songs, pop rock outfit Krispy Kareem played the entirety of their Cadillac EP, at times sounding mildly reminiscent of surf rock with underwater-sounding tunes.
Wrapping up the night, Three Man Cannon’s distinctly lo-fi pop sound put a definitive blanket of good vibes on the night.
Cheerbleeders is a band offering one thing: a view of girl power through punk rock. By their abrasive and unforgiving live show, it’s clear this foursome means business. The attitude embodied by lead singer Summer Rice, 23, is mesmerizing both in her shrill delivery and her naughty girl aesthetic, making it difficult to peel your eyes away.
Guitarist Caitlin Walker, 20, drives the machine from behind a curtain of flowing red hair. She strives to take the typical idea of punk rock and power chords and turn it on its head with noise reminiscent of underground hardcore and the sounds that influenced early punk, both borrowing from the past and paving her own road ahead.
Drummer Mare Lemongelli, 27, is both the human beatbox and the muscle of the band, the enforcer who protects her girls. To put it simply, she’d be the one to kick your ass when you get out of line.
And that leaves us with bassist Mike Ortiz, 40, the guardian of the bunch. An older brother of sorts, he offers both songwriting prowess and a journeyman’s knowledge of playing in bands. But make no mistake, he offers no restraint to the unbridled attitude that comes with three females looking to kick ass and play punk music.
Cheerbleeders is a band but their true desires lie in forming a platform to influence young women through feminist ideals and to prove that punk rock isn’t just a boys’ club anymore.
Monday nights are the only time members of Pissed Jeans can get together to practice and write new music.
With everyone in their early 30s and with wives or long-term girlfriends and at least one child, their lives naturally pull them in different directions. Tonight, it happens to be the icy rain keeping guitarist Brad Fry home in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, leaving the three South Philly residents, Matt Korvette, Sean McGinnis and Randy Huth, to forge ahead without him.
After a beer or two and a plate of nachos at Wishing Well, Korvette, whose last name is really Kosloff (he uses a stage name because he says rock music is supposed to be fun), kicks everyone into gear and suggests getting to the practice space.
They walk across the street in the cold, wet night to a nondescript door, buzz in and walk down a flight of stairs. The guy at the desk points them to an open room equipped with a drum kit and amps, muffled with a patchwork of sound proofing foam stapled to the walls and ceiling. The band next door can be heard practicing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” until McGinnis starts banging on the drums. This is followed up by a blaring riff on guitar from Huth – opting for guitar instead of his designated bass to help the band feel the music better.
“Let’s try the fast one again,” suggests Korvette, refocusing the group after finishing a song.
At this stage, they don’t have song titles yet so they must refer to the works in progress as “the fast one,” “the one we play live” or “the Low Rider one.”
Huth plays a note and begins to fiddle with dials on his effects pedal until he gets a muted vibrating sound. McGinnis begins counting time with his sticks.
“Could you give me a (motions with his hand for a cue),” says Huth, looking at Korvette. “For some reason it’s hard for me to follow this. I know the parts but…”
“Wait, you want me to direct?” asks Korvette, who is usually singing/snarling for the band but tonight is leaning against the wall, nodding along to the music.
“Like what you did before,” Huth says.
“Yeah, yeah, totally,” agrees Korvette.
As the guitar and drums run through the song, Korvette signals to Huth when the different shifts are nearing. Over the deafening music, Korvette mouths “other part” but Huth misses it and knows so judging by the grimacing look on his face. His guitar slowly comes to a rest.
“It goes six and then the one,” Korvette says. “Six and then the one. Six and then the four and then the one and then eight and then two.”
“Gotchu,” Huth replies.
It’s been more than a month since they last practiced and they sound like it. But at the helm is Korvette, a natural leader for the group. His penchant for questioning conventional wisdom and following his own sense of taste has helped steer Pissed Jeans into a uniquely successful position without seeking it out. Their music is both fun and insightful. Their live performances can be humorous, fierce and sometimes both.
Backed by discipline, which McGinnis cites as another core Pissed Jeans principle, the band has come to represent Philadelphia’s self-sufficient attitude. Read more…
“Welcome aboard, ladies and gentlemen,” an electronic voice said as the lights dimmed at the Union Transfer last Wednesday.
Two figures entirely silhouetted by lights set themselves up behind a command center of knobs and wires and buttons that was shaped like streamlined, ultramodern, pilot’s wings. The floor started vibrating with bass and Flight Facilities took off. Read more…
Text and images by Breeanin Hansteen.
Dogs on Acid kept the crowd warm with a short set that helped build the anticipation for Conversations’ performance.
It wasn’t long before tunes from Totally Redeem Yourself, meandered through the intimate space and pushed people to lighten up and bust a move.
Crowd members were personally invited to move a little closer to the stage once the band, formerly known as Conversations with Enemies, graced the stage. After a few tracks from the new record, the band performed covers of Radiohead’s “Creep,“ and Beastie Boy’s “Fight For Your Right,” amping up the crowd even more.
It is obvious that this group was meant to entertain. Their presence immediately loosened up the audience. If there is one word to describe this group it would be FUN. Standing still while listening to this four-piece crew is not an option.
Text and images by Lee Miller.
ZZ Top re-emerged into commercial and critical relevance in 2012 with their Rick Rubin produced La Futura album. It was their first album in 9 years and their first top 10 album in America since 1990. Perhaps most importantly, it re-established them as a band still putting out new and interesting material rather than a veteran band simply touring on the backs of nostalgia.
It is somewhat unbelievable. ZZ Top is rocking with the same lineup that laid down their first album (the appropriately named ZZ Top’s First Album from 1971). Unlike so many bands, it isn’t a reunion. They’ve never gone anywhere. They are survivors.
WIN FREE TICKETS! See Taking Back Sunday and The Menzingers @ The Electric Factory on Sunday, March 22.
We’re giving away tickets to the Sunday show!
If you want to play it safe and get your own tickets, find details for the show here.