I attend a rock showcase on Friday night among modest winter temperatures. With the lack of a fierce wind, and with the snowfall just ending in mid-afternoon, the roads were somewhat passable, and I found my commute relatively easy, trudging up South Street.
I was to interview electro-rock artists Alex Kelly
, who was to play an unplugged set with Kelsey Warren (Pillow Theory
). Neither artist showed up. I haven’t received definite word as to why just yet. I know they are based in NYC and I have to wonder whether or not the travel or weather advisory warnings were enough of a threat not to make the trek in. As I type this, I’m planning a Skype interview with Alex. She’s scheduled for gigs in New Hampshire tonight (1/26) and the Jersey shore (1/27)
It appears that all the Philly kids who grew up on grunge are now finding their voices and applying the same sounds and techniques. Such is the case with The Good Excuses. They kicked off song #1 with an original that recalls Smashing Pumpkins. Then a 50s cover which I positively cannot recall at this moment. Every song contained some humorous banter from lead vox/guitarist Andrew. He produced some chime-like sounds from one of his pedals, another nod to 90’s guitar bands. Generally they keep to a pop structure and find space to jam a bit, get progressive with some solos, and show off some humor amidst the lyrics.
Once They Were
are a 5-piece (electric guitar, bass, acoustic, backing vocalist, drummer) led by vocalist Chris Panico. Drummer Anders tells me that they each met while attending the city’s University For The Arts. Chris and Kate (vocals) come across fairly low-key, delivering in a sing-song style. My favorite song of their set is Broken Headphones, which could be attributed to squabbles or disagreements at about any age. Indeed they pretty accessible in their sound; it appeared that a lot of their fellow students were in attendance. They only truly rocked out on the final song, perhaps to placate those who were seeking to be sufficiently rocked.
The Parachuting Apostles were headliners bringing a good loud rock sound with elements of metal, punk, and classic rock. Domenic Malandro leads this band on vocals and assorted antics. He was present on guitar for a Stone Temple Pilots cover (more grunge!) and performed sax on an original. Very exciting band, whose members find easy to be nearly as animated as Domenic himself. They recorded their new 3-song EP at the legendary Studio 4 in Conshohocken. Will Yip, in the producers chair had worked on albums there by The Hooters, Schooly D., Ms. Lauryn Hill among the notable there.