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Shorty Boy Boy Wants You to Party Hard.

November 8, 2011

Text by Chesney Davis. Images by Grace Dickinson.

Sitting in a window seat at beer haven The Foodery in Northern Liberties, Joshua Pannepacker shares his view of what a profile of his music should be all about.

“Just put all the fun shit in there,” instructs the artists who performs under the name Shorty Boy Boy.

He pushes his dark blond hair back and tucks the tresses behind his left ear. Then he takes a swig of the lager he chose because it hails from his home state of New Jersey.

Fun is somewhat of a mantra for the eight-year Philly resident when concerning his experimental rock-pop. And with a stage name like Shorty Boy Boy – the name of his childhood dog, a yappy, black and white Papillon – the fun seems built in.

“I want to make songs that make me giggle,” says Pannepacker.

But even with his sense of playfulness, Pannepacker is intent on making quality music with elements that surprise.

“I can get deep into topic or thought,” he says, “but I try it keep it a little bit balanced so it’s not too heavy.”

Since its inception, several musicians have contributed to Pannepacker’s venture.

“It’s just a project where everything shifts all the time,” Pannepacker says. “It’s kind of always been that way. So now I just go with it.”

After releasing the 2006 album Kicking Your Ass, Then Smoking Your Grass, Pannepacker’s focus shifted to playing guitar for Philly-based band Saudi Arabia.

The band folded after three years, so Pannepacker started playing shows with Shorty Boy Boy material again in September 2010.

In April, he began working with friend Mattias Nilsson, a recording and mixing veteran. They’ve partnered to develop the Shorty Boy Boy sound while completing songs for an upcoming album.

With Nilsson on board, Pannepacker says he hopes to soon release new songs and eventually perform on the road. That’s where Shorty Boy Boy really shines.

“I like to make a show of it,” he says.

While powering out one of his minimal, lo-fi ditties, it is not out of the norm for Pannepacker to be surrounded by a flock of fuzzy stuffed bears. Nor is it out of character for him to jump up in the middle of a drum solo and do the wave.

Whether playing solo with backing tracks or jamming with a few of his comrades, Shorty Boy Boy always turns out an energetic show.

“I want everyone to party hard,” Pannepacker says.

And party hard they do.

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