Archive for the ‘Philadelphia, PA’ Category

[DID NOT ATTEND: March 1, 2023] Thick / Jigsaw Youth / Puppy Angst

I’ve been a fan of New York band Thick for a few years (since I head about them on NPR).  I’ve been wanting to see them live for a while.  I had a chance in 2021, but that show was scheduled against something else I wanted to do.

So, here they were coming to Milkboy.  I had been to Milkboy once before–although apparently not the main Milkboy venue I just learned.  I know Milkboy is a pretty small place, so I figured this would be a great way to see this riveting band.

And then, I got really sick yesterday.  I’m assuming it was the norovirus.  And, wow, although I was feeling better by show timem there was no way I felt like doing anything.  So I had to miss Thick yet again.  I hope they come back again or maybe play NJ?

Jigsaw Youth is a punk band from Staten Island.  I listened to a few songs and liked some.  I preferred their newer stuff to their older songs.  I’m sure they would have kicked ass.

Puppy Angst is from Philly and was created by Alyssa Milman (they/them) who I saw play bass with Kississippi (and thought they were great).  Puppy Angst is a moody indie dream pop quartet that Milman formed alongside Eric Naroden (drums), Dan Leinweber (guitar, vocals), and John Heywood (bass).  [These would be the only men in the show, too].

Now that I realize who Puppy Angst is, I’m even more bummed that I couldn’t make this show.


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[CANCELLED: February 28, 2023] Crawlers / Kelsy Karter

Last year my daughter and I really enjoyed the Crawlers show that we went to.

When they announced that they were going to come back to the U.S., I grabbed a ticket for us immediately.  I knew The Foundry wouldn’t be quite as intimate as PhilaMOCA, but I knew she’d still love the venue.

But then near the end of January, Crawlers informed us that they were cancelling the entire U.S. tour.

hi creepy crawlies ❤

we hate to have to do this to you, but we have the made the difficult decision to cancel our USA & Toronto dates in March. </3 please know we are just as upset as you are to have to do this, we hate to let our fans down as you guys really are making our dreams come true. we are so thankful we got to see u all last year & have fun together, and look forward to doing that with you soon when the time is right. making our album the best it can be for you is our biggest priority in the coming months. combining this with the cost of touring has brought us to this difficult decision. </3. for now, we must give our time to writing the best album that you deserve, because this one really is for you and we can’t wait to share new music. Sorry crawlers family, we will make it up to you next time and it will be more special than ever before.

for those who purchased tickets, we are offering a full refund for your ticket.

we love u and we will see you soon.

crawlers x


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[ATTENDED: February 24, 2023] Otoboke Beaver 

I saw Otoboke Beaver back in October and since they decided to swing through Philly again, I immediately grabbed a ticket.  The show sold out a few days before it happened (good for them).  And this venue is twice the size of Johnny Brenda’s (from 300 to 650 capacity) so even better for them.

There were several rules up on the wall before the show.  Basically they didn’t want people on stage (understandable) and they didn’t want people taking their setlist (this one I still don’t get) and no posting videos to YouTube (although Instagram is okay–I don’t quite get that either but whatever).  This also meant t hat there was a barrier up between the band and the stage (unusual for Underground Arts).  Sadly this meant that guitarist Yoyoyoshie would not be crowd surfing.  Of course, I didn’t arrive early enough to get that close anyhow.

Nevertheless, I had a pretty good spot up front, but as soon as they started playing, the mosh pit started and I got pushed off to the side a bit.  And by the end of the show I was all the way off to the side in a not especially great place.  That kind of sucked because they are so much fun to watch that I was bummed I couldn’t see them from the front.  But it was neat being near bassist Hiro-Chan who plays barefoot!

They sing (almost) exclusively in Japanese so I can’t really tell which song is which.  And most of their songs are short and fast so who knows what they played (again, not seeing a setlist), but it doesn’t matter because their whole set is about fun-wild fun.

One thing that really impressed me was that before one of the songs, singer Accorinrin stood with her arm raised and the whole band waited for her to begin.  The crowd, not taking the hint, whooped it up, but she was clearly waiting for silence (I understand Japanese audiences are very quiet between songs).  She stood and waited (like a teacher), until eventually she lowered her arms in a quiet gesture and everyone was quiet.  Their songs are very tight and need to be coordinated well.  As soon as their was silence, she was able to start and everyone was in synch.  (more…)

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[ATTENDED: February 24, 2023] Gladie

Otoboke Beaver had a different local band open for each of their shows on this tour.  After the show I spoke to Gladie and they were really psyched to have been chosen to open.

This was actually the fourth time I was supposed to see Gladie.  Most of the shows they were opening for someone and the show as postponed due to COIVD. So I was glad this one actually came through.

They don’t quite fit musically, but they were an excellent warm up.  Gladie are a Philly-based band that was created out of the ashes of other Philly-based band.  Singer Augusta Koch was the singer of beloved band Cayetana, who I only really found out about as they were breaking up (and who actually only put out two albums!).

The band also has Matt Schimelfenig and some other people who may or may not have been on stage that night.

Augusta Koch is clearly in charge of things.  She is a fun frontwoman and made some funny comments about the show.  She was saying how much she loves Underground Arts and how much it reminds her of the club in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (that’s pretty accurate). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: February 22, 2023] Gilla Band

When Irish quartet Gilla Band first became a band back in 2011 or so, they were called Girl Band.  I first heard about them in 2015, when the single “Why They Hide the Bodies Under My Garage” came out.  It was noisy and abrasive and painful and wonderful.

I lost track of them for a bit (WIkipedia says they had a hiatus for health issues).  Then in 2021 they announced they were changing the name of the band because it was a “misgendered name” and that their former name could have been “propagating a culture of non-inclusivity.”  Which is pretty cool.  They changed it to Gilla Band (keeping the G and the Band).

The quartet has remained the same since the beginning: vocalist Dara Kiely, guitarist Alan Duggan, bassist Daniel Fox and drummer Adam Faulkner.  This is probably a good thing because I don’t see how anyone could reproduce what these guys do.

They opened with a bunch of older songs.  First up was “Lawman” which has scraping guitars and a mechanical sliding bass. as Dara sing/speaks (in a manner not unlike Mark E. Smith) as the song slams forward.   The end of the song features some high pitched noises that I don’t now how guitarist Alan Duggan even thought to make.   That song pushed six minutes and they followed it with the 90 second blast of noise called “Heckle the Frames.”  I loved the guitar that was just a high pitched note sliding up the neck.  (Is it about making fun of Glen Hansard’s band?)

“Pears for Lunch” was largely quiet (relatively) until about half way in when the guitars turned into a wall of noise.  “Fucking Butter” was amazing because bassist Daniel Fox was playing these really nigh notes that didn’t sound like a bass at all. The guitar was just a buzzsaw of scraping playing along with the drums.  Somehow the guitar made a increasingly higher and higher sound that seemed to keep going up and up long after he reached the highest point of his strings. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: February 22, 2023] Pure Adult

I knew about Gilla Band and have listened to a few of their songs.  They’re a bit too abrasive to listen to for fun, but I imagined that their live set would be amazing.

I had no idea who would open for them, and had not heard of Pure Adult.

Pure Adult is technically a duo: Jeremy Snyder and Bianca Abarca.

Although on stage there were five people.

Pure Adult is that wonderful kind of band that I feel like was more prevalent in the 1990s (and maybe bands like this have always been around and I don’t know them).  They play weird music that doesn’t really fit a style or pattern.  There are catchy parts and non-catchy parts and sudden stops and starts and vocals that may or may not match with the music.  The singers are weird and the lyrics have no context and feel like they are story songs.  In other words, they will never be popular and never make any money.  But they may find some fans on college radio stations.  And they will always be amazing live.

They came out and Jeremy Snyder looked like someone straight out of a 70s movie (possibly pornographic).  He had on tan pants (maybe polyester) with a button down shirt and a jacket.  He had shaggy hair and a bushy mustache.  He jumped around the stage shouting and relating his lyrics.

Bianca Abarca was on keys, but they traded off when she sang the lead parts.  She also did some cool moves–the Johnny Brenda’s stage was way too small for them.

Their guitar player Nelson Antonio Espinal (in the dim light I pictured him as Paul Rudd in a big curly wig) played some wild solos and made some great noises as well.  I also really enjoyed the sounds that their bassist created ( I didn’t get the name of him or their drummer who was solid and handled the wild time changes easily). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: February 15, 2023] Hooveriii / Gift

I have come to like Hooveriii over the last couple of years and was really looking forward to seeing them.

They played with Acid Dad and Frankie and the Witch Fingers at PhilaMOCA a few years ago and I had a tough choice that night between this show and Torres (which I went to and it was awesome).

I hadn’t heard of Gift, but I listened to their album and thought it was really good.

I was quite looking forward to this show–in a strange venue that I’d never heard of before.  (more…)

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[ATTENDED: February 5, 2023] SOAK. / Katie Malco

I saw SOAK. four years ago and really enjoyed the show.  It was intimate and Bridie Monds-Watson was compelling and powerful.

I was really excited that she and Katie Malco were going to come to the States for a small tour.  Their location in Philly was TBD, but there are so many venues in Philly that I assumed they’d have no trouble securing a spot. (more…)

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[DID NOT ATTEND: November 5, 2022] Dry Cleaning / The Spirit of the Beehive / Nourished By Time

Dry Cleaning are a kind of trendy British band.  They are of the spoken deadpan vocal/wild guitar noise variety.  I don’t love them, but I think their music is really interesting.  I thought they’d be fun to see live once.

But we had a family emergency and it wasn’t time to go to a show.  So, I didn’t really mind missing this one. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: January 20, 2023] Oxymorrons

My son and I saw Oxymorrons open for grandson about a year ago.  No opening band has made such an impact o me. They were intense and fun and catchy and crazy and just all around wonderful.

So when they announced this mini tour and that it would hit the Foundry, I knew that he and I would have to check them out again.  But I was sure the tint Foundry stage wouldn’t be big enough to keep them in.

I was also sure that the show would sell out and we’d be in for a massive thrashing mosh pit.  That’s why we stayed to the side the whole night (he wasn’t in the mood for slam dancing).

This meant we were right next to guitarist Jafe Paulino.  I suggested that the stage was too small for them and he laughed and said he’d be hopping over those guardrails in no time.

When they came out, drummer Matty Mayz, (I had forgotten how much fun he was) had his laptop set up and he got the intro pumping as the frontmen, Demi “Deee” and his brother Kami “KI” came bouncing up on stage.

Deee and KI were great at engaging the audience.  They are excellent at getting everyone hyped up. (more…)

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