Text and images by Mina Lee.
Swedish indie rockers The Sounds left their fans speechless and sweaty at the Union Transfer on Tuesday evening.
Each member was synchronized to formulate a raucous performance, the result of 16 years performing together as a band. Lead singer Maja Ivarsson seduced members of their audience at multiple times throughout the set, singling out characters for her to play dominatrix to for a few brief, yet scandalous seconds. Displaying limitless energy, Ivarsson went through her arsenal of stage moves including frequent roundhouse kicks and upper-cuts to the mic. Countless cigarettes were smoked by Ivarsson throughout the show, showing no lack of comfort while on stage.
The Sounds created a singular body of passionate, screaming and shameless dance-like-you’re-alone movements out of a ragtag audience of all ages.
A band’s first gig is always a special occasion, and on a rainy Thursday night at MilkBoy Philly last week, Bastards of Earle hit the ground running and didn’t look back.
The Philadelphia band – headed by Todd Zamostien on vocals and guitar along with guitarist Hank Foreman and the solid rhythm section of bassist and drummer Brett and Bart Riley – have yet to release any music. But if their live debut was any indication of their studio sound, they’ll be just fine.
Looking sharp and stylish on stage, Zamostien got the crowd of mostly friends and family to “come a little closer” and with a “let’s do this,” kicked off the set with a driving rock number. A mix of vintage and modern rock sounds, Bastards of Earle’s set grooved from beginning to end.
They hold a regular party, The Glow. The next event is on Friday at Barbarella. See here for details.
Our Holli Stephens spoke with Dan Kauffman, aka Awe Fox, about his start as a DJ and how his music career has evolved.
How did you get your start as a DJ?
I guess in public I started DJing for Tigerbeats at The Barbary and before that, I would DJ at house parties that I would throw along with my friend Tony Mont. I’ve always been playing music to people and then it just evolved to different methods of equipment. One day, Tony and I were asked to be resident DJs at the weekly party Tigerbeats at The Barbary.
Who are your DJ influences?
Right off the top of my head? Local DJ ISL (Ian Saint Laurent), who is a friend of mine. Because of that, I’ve been able to see him DJ so much over the past three years and every time, I’m so impressed by his huge selection. It’s truly inspiring to me since I’m a younger DJ and I it try to keep things fresh and learn how to do everything better. So him and honestly my partner, Gabriel Guerrero, who’s from LA and in a band with his roommate Alden Towler called tygerstrype. They just finished their second album and I’m so excited for it to come out. Not only is he a brilliant musician, singer and dancer, but he has such a unique style of DJing. We have a really good balance when we’re doing The Glow together. He plays a lot of stuff that I never would think to play. And when we’re doing The Glow, we alternate sets and he just gives me so much to work off of.
What are your expectations for this week’s party?
For this specific The Glow, they are pretty high. At The Barbary, how it works is that there’s always two parties – one upstairs and one downstairs. So The Glow will be happening upstairs. The party downstairs is a very successful punk and rock ‘n’ roll party called Guitar Army. I’m usually at this even if I’m working or DJing. I’m excited to pair the digital Internet weirdness dance party with the old school style punk stuff downstairs. It’s going to be an interesting mix.
So how did The Glow start? Read more…
If you’re anything like me, it’s been awhile since you’ve been able to enjoy being outside. Snow, rain and clouds were becoming a large part of our everyday lives. There was even a dark period last month when I forgot the sun was a thing. But all that has changed because spring is in the air. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, baseball is back in season and we couldn’t be happier. If you’re looking for an excuse to finally get out of the house, why not spend a day out on the town and cap it off with a live show this weekend? As you know, Philly always hosts a number of great musicians and bands so go ahead and treat yourself. Trust me, it’s safe to come outside again.- Derrick Krom
Kick off your weekend with Work Drugs, a Philadelphia-based “sedative-wave/smooth-fi” outfit helmed by Thomas Crystal and Benjamin Louisiana. A dream pop duo that is sure to give you that springtime feeling, Work Drugs will be touring in support of their latest album Insurgents. Teen Men, a visually enticing collaboration between two musicians and two visual artists, will also be on the bill.
If you like things a little heavier, make sure to stop by Johnny Brenda’s this Friday night and catch proto-metal legends Bang play their first hometown show in over 40 years. Despite the briefness of their initial career (1969-1973), Bang were at the forefront of the music movement later known as heavy metal. Joining the band’s resurrection are local hard rock acts Serpent Throne and The Company Corvette.
Phlight School, the local self-sufficient hip-hop collective, will be putting on its first official showcase this Saturday night at The Fire hosted by “The Gathering” MC Fame Vasquez and featuring all members of its roster. Each member of the collective will be backed musically by Phlight School creator and resident DJ Philly Will, from the hip-hop artistry of Chris Vance to the eclectic singer-songwriter LaBré Tyler.
Recent winner of Indie Punk Band of the Year at the Third Annual Tri State Indie Awards, The Shackeltons will be bringing its energetic live show to Ortlieb’s. Touring behind their latest album Records, The Shackeltons are bound to play the small stage as if it were an arena. Pennsylvania rockers Hot Jam Factory and Brooklyn indie trio A Deer A Horse will play support Saturday night.
Hailing from New York City, independent folk/rock/blues band Andy Suzuki & The Method will be playing upstairs at World Café Live this Sunday in support of their latest definitive full-length crowd-funded album, Born Out of Mischief. Having already played a number of national and international shows, the songwriting trio is gaining a large following. Fellow NYC pop-folk singer-songwriter Jessica Carvo will support.
Critically acclaimed Philadelphia-by-way-of Scranton punk band and JUMP cover stars The Menzingers don’t release their latest album Rented World until April 22nd. But you have the chance to hear the new album in its entirety this Sunday night (for free!). Along with the listening party, Boot & Saddle will play host to Rust Belt rockers Scumbag Petty and Philadelphia rock band The Paper Shakers.
Please note this is NOT a Menzingers gig … but still an awesome chance to hear the new album along with some great live music.
As the audience gazed upon the intricately set up stage, scattered with illuminated, color-altering pyramids, patiently waiting for James Vincent McMorrow to appear, one would have never guessed that this show almost did not happen.
When the Irish singer-songwriter took the stage, he quickly explained that his drummer had to back out last minute because of a personal engagement, so a majority of the Union Transfer show was thrown together during the course of only one day.