Text and images by Matthew Leister.
Walk into this South Philly space you get a sense of the talent in the room. The walls are plastered with tapestries and original paintings. An old wooden piano sits in the corner of the room, between a set of stacked keyboards. In the opposite corner sits a sparse drum kit. The center of the room is, of course, the Mac.
Five of the eight members of hip-hop band ILL Doots inhabit the environment, affectionately dubbed the Tasker House. They all have formal training as musicians or artists from University of the Arts. They are a well-rounded group who inject their soundscapes with rock, jazz, funk and even more random sources, like Willy Wonka.
Wonka Beats, created by Sly Tompson, the bassist, sometimes producer and one of the musical leaders of the group, is a collection of beats created with samples from the “Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory” soundtrack. Every week, friends and fans can submit their bars and the band distributes the final product on “Wonka Wednesdays.” Their music is interactive. Read more…
On Saturday night at the Electric Factory, Filthadelphia was graced with the presence of those Scumdogs of the Universe, GWAR.
For those that don’t know, GWAR is a shock rock/heavy metal outfit that has been going strong since 1984. The band sports massive, schlocky, sci-fi, horror-inspired costumes and sets that are just as, if not more, important than their music. The best way to describe a GWAR concert is the tasteless sublime. The band will mock just about anything to get a laugh and a reaction from the audience.
If you want to play it safe and get your own tickets, find details for the show here.
Images by Ryan Farber.
Congrats to Fergus Carey and his team at Fergie’s Pub. Lat night, they celebrated 20 years of business at the Center City bar that serves as home base for a dedicated crew of Philly performers. The pub has long been a refuge for the arts and artists, as we wrote about in our recent profile of Fergus. The Districts performed last night before a packed crowd to mark the occasion.
In 1993, three years after forming in founder Matt Jacobson’s parents’ basement in Aurora, Colorado, Relapse Records released its first compilation. Highlighting the label’s roster at that time, it included acts such as Suffocation, Incantation and Anal Cunt. The disc’s cover featured a tall skyscraper adorned with the Relapse logo. The liner notes featured photos of Jacobson and company in suits, sitting around a boardroom.
For a company still operating out of a basement, the presentation couldn’t have been further from the truth and yet folks were duped.
“When you have your product out there with the bigger names,” Jacobson explains, “people just assume you’re that big.”
When her former band drove through Baltimore on its last tour, Jamie Glisson spotted a massive ship docked on the water. Painted on its side was the name “Cape Wrath” – derived from the Old Norse language for turning point, in reference to the most northwestern point of Scotland known for its treacherous waters.
“Something about it just lodged in my brain and resonated,” Glisson says. “I thought, ‘That’s going to be the name of my next project.’”
Here’s the latest installment of our monthly mixtape series, which is curated by GUN$ Garcia. This month, she brings us Illvibe Collective member Lil Dave, who has partnered up with DJ Junior to bring a nationally-known party to Philadelphia.
Motown on Mondays has appeared in cities across the United States, from San Francisco to Boston. The event premiered locally at Silk City last month and runs every week.
Motown on Mondays at Silk City is brand new. How has it been so far?
It’s been off to a good start. It’s going to be a little bit of work to build it up to just the right crowd but there’s a lot of potential there. Everybody who came out so far has just enjoyed the music and the atmosphere and had a good time.
How do you break down the music?
It’s Motown based but it’s also taking into account all of the music that was influenced by Motown. We play a lot of remixes, remakes, covers, and songs that are in that vane. It’s really open. I like a lot of different music that is soulful. It’s like paying tribute to the music of the past. This party gives me the opportunity to do that.
You get to communicate with people through music and really just make them feel good. Most of this music that I’m playing is very fluid. Most people know Motown – even if you don’t think you know it, you know it. It’s pretty ubiquitous, all over the place. They play it in commercials, movies. At every wedding, there’s probably 30 or 40 Motown songs played at one point. Everybody can relate to it. It’s music you know you like, even if you don’t know it.
What’s the atmosphere like at Silk City during the party?
It’s a family atmosphere. People come in just to enjoy the music, a good drink and see some friends. Even if you’re not family, you’ll feel like family there. People came in the door dancing at 9:00 at the first one. There’s plenty of music that everyone can relate to.
What’s it like to be a part of a national brand?
The Motown on Mondays brand has a lot of remixes they put out, so they get the producers from their towns to send in remixes of classic songs. And all of the DJs from all of the different cities pick from this stuff. It gives us more ammo, a bigger weapon to use to keep the dance floor full.
There are people outside the city pushing for it and people from other places who live in Philly now who are already familiar with Motown on Mondays. When they see it happening here, they’re all ready to go. The first night here, we had a bunch of people from Portland and a few other places who knew about the party and came out. That was cool.
Are people receptive to another party on a Monday?
It’s especially difficult in this city. People are very working class, blue collar, 9-5. When you say you’ve got a party on Monday night, people are already like, “Well I’ve got to be up at 8 a.m.” We start at 9 p.m., so you can grab dinner here. And we don’t charge any cover. A lot of the obstacles aren’t there that would hold you back. It’s fun from the beginning to the end, so you can show up early and still have a good time.
It’s feel good music that makes you smile. Nothing negative, lots of positivity. Positive attitudes from the people around you, just good feelings.