Help! The Pandemic is Lifting and I Can’t Stop Going To Shows.

I semi-sincerely apologize to anyone who thought this image was a real upcoming event. To be fair, this fantasy concert kinda/sorta happened for me with just a couple months’ wait between bands. (Just like your standard metal show. So many bass drums and full stacks.)

Shannon and the Clams 

w/ Delicate Steve and Electric Candlelight @ The Union Transfer

October 23 2021

Playing my favorite song!

It was nice for me and the better half to just chill on the balcony with the other old heads including my buddies Chip, Eggs, and Kate.

Electric Candlelight started the processions with a mellow, trippy set. Delicate Steve kept that vibe going with instrumental guitar music.

Shannon and the Clams didn’t fail to deliver their go-go goodness. Damn, that girl doesn’t really need a microphone. What a powerful set of pipes. If she yelled at me, I’d run.

The guitar player, Cody Blanchard, wore an awesome caped costume while Shannon looked stunning in her knee-high boots and retro-sixties garb.

I was surprised how similar Shannon and Blanchard’s voices are. Sometimes, it sounded like he was doubling her vocals, not unlike classic Ray and Dave Davies. I hope the Clams argue less backstage. 

Snapped Ankles 

W/ Gloin and Lady HD @ Johnny Brendas

March 10th, 2022

Sorry, I was too busy getting my groove on to take any footage. The band was as good as they were at this show though, I swear.

I went with my buddies Jay and Pete. Jay just got a new job, so he treated us all to the best Italian place I’ve ever been to, Murph’s Bar. (Yes, you heard me correctly. An Irish Pub has the best Italian.) Then we killed time at Barricade, drinking beers and dropping tokens into Double Dragon and Burger Time.

Johnny Branda’s is probably my favorite Philly venue. I think it’s because I saw Pere Ubu a couple years ago and that show was so transcendental that part of my soul left me and got stuck in the woodwork.

Snoring at our table, my buddy Jay fell into a pasta coma during the Gloin set. But then, halfway through, the band kicked into overdrive, rousing Sleeping Beauty. I wish I remembered what song they played that turned the crowd around. Jay was so into them that he wound up buying a record. 

Irrefutable Photographic evidence proving Jay bought their album. That leather strap isn’t just for his bass, btw.

Up next was Lady HD. They were a good time and are on my list of bands to further explore.

Rhythm is Snapped Ankle’s business and they were clocked the fuck in. Although it’s hard to see their faces under the costumes, Snapped Ankles seemed to have as much fun as the audience. They sound like a battle between Devo and the Daleks from Dr. Who. Glow-in-the dark band members waded through the audience, playing percussion. It felt like more of a happening than a show, but I dug it.

The Chats

W/ Mean Jeans and THICK at The Foundry at The Fillmore

May 8, 2022

My man is pissed! And not the good kind.

When we bought tickets for the Chats right before lockdown. My wife had a dream that we wouldn’t get to see them for two years. She was right. I think she may be a witch.  

Two years later, we arrived at the Foundry at the Fillmore. The atmosphere reminded me of upstairs at the Trocadero. (RIP)

At the beginning of her set, I thought that the guitar player from THICK was the worst solist I’ve ever heard in my life, but by the end her wackadoo style grew on me like mold. (Mould if you are Australian.)

Mean Jeans have definitely worshiped at the altar of the Ramones with just as much energy, speed, and catchy hooks. Their singer had a lot of personality. I don’t remember what he said, but he made me laugh a couple times. 

When the Chats hit the stage, I was reminded why Philadelphia can’t have nice things. From throwing snowballs at Santa Claus at sports games, to ringing the Liberty Bell with a hammer, to unsuccessfully trying to boo Bill Burr off stage, it’s not the friendliest city. I’ve seen L7 storm off stage and vow never to play “this fucking shithole town again.” Most touring bands hate playing Philly and they should. It’s like going through a frat boy hazing ritual, but without getting any sweet job connections.

In true Philly form, some douche-nozzle pegged singer/bassist Eamon Sandwith in the back of the head with a water bottle before the band even started playing. It still had water in it, so it must have hurt like hell. (More of Will Smith slap trickle-down, if you ask me.)

I don’t know what was up with security at the event, but someone dickhead kept fucking with  Sanwith between songs. Of course, an Australian redhead can only be expected to endure so much bullshit. Sanwith finally shut the heckler up with an attempted boot to the head. 

Totally justifiable, in my opinion. I just wish that his Doc Martins had connected and knocked some smarts into that asshat.

Anyone could tell that incident ruined the whole night for the boys. The Chats steamrolled through their set. I know they have been flirting with a more hardcore sound, but “Smoko” was almost unrecognizable at the clip they played it. The Chats ended early and skipped the encore. Total bummer, but I can’t fault the band. I hope Philly didn’t blow it and The Chats come back again.

Molchat Doma

w/ Wassup Gina at Underground Arts

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

We are Ready!

I’m usually not a big fan of DJ’s unless I’m bearing glowsticks, but Wassup Gina has her charm. 

My wife described her best. “I love how she half-heartedly dances around, like she’s too cool for her own music.” 

Gina ended her set with Joy Division, the perfect segway for the headliner. 

The singer of Molchat Doma has everything you want from a Darkwave band: He’s Eastern European, he dresses like an unemployed  grave digger, and he sings in Russian. I have no clue what homeboy is saying, but it’s mournful and vodka soaked. Dracula would give this guy a hug.

It always creeps me out seeing a band with a machine instead of a drummer. Hey Molchat, when you guys are ready to take your sound to the next level with a real drummer, hit me up. Paradoxically, the less English you know, the easier it will be to hang out with me.

Ever notice that there is always some big head blocking everyone’s view, wearing a stupid ironic hat that guarentees he will never get laid? Notice how his side to side dance provides maximum blockage for the vertically challenged. 

The Viagra boys

 W/ Provoker @ The Underground Arts 

 Apr 2, 2022.

I wished I had filmed this footage. Yes, being there was as fun as it looks.

I really dug Provoker live. I liked watching their drummer play a Alexis drum pad while wearing  long disco ball earrings that swung with every beat. Each member of the band had cooler hair than me.

The Viagra boys brought the ruckus. It was singer Sebastian Murphy’s birthday and, as a gift, Philly dropped the poor guy on his head the first time he stage-dived.

After limping back on stage Murphy said, “You guys drop me on my birthday, Philly? Come on, I’m fat but I’m not that fucking fat!”

Clearly a man who learns lessons, Murphy only jumped into the crowd about six times after that.

Here he talks about Philly, telling us what we wanted to hear. The new song was “Ain’t No Thief.”

I don’t think this guy ever stops practicing his sax, not even on the plane.

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