EVERYTHING’S ENDING HERE
Well, it’s finally upon us — our week-long swan song.
To state the obvious: please come out and support the bands, support us and in general, have an awesome time. We’re positive this weekend is going to go down in the history books — You don’t want to miss this!
Let’s give the City Paper a round of applause for naming us “Most Missed Rock Curators” in this year’s Choice Awards:
So long, fair ladies of Plain Parade. Your tiny happy shows were the most lovingly booked, your tastes were impeccable. Four years of giving Philly its first glimpses of underdog indie stars is a pretty good run, and last year’s Songs From the Sixth Borough comp is a fitting and lasting swan song. (Pat Rapa)
FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS
The following people and organizations have helped us thrive over the years, so with that said, we thank:
– The bands: Thanks for believing in our crazy little project. Your music inspired us.
– Our audiences: You followed us from the Balcony to Doc Watsons, to West Philly and Port Richmond and even down to South Philly. Without your support, we wouldn’t have lasted this long.
– The staff and writers of the Philadelphia Weekly, City Paper, Inquirer, Daily News and Metro: Your dedication to covering us and this city’s music scene continues to floor us.
– Lisa Cohen: without your help, Sugar Town (and ultimately, Plain Parade) would never have existed! Thanks for being a great teacher.
– Ned & Joanna at the Trocadero, Rick D at Tritone, Joe, Maiken & Steve at the M Room, Ben Morgan at the Millcreek Tavern, Stacie George at Live Nation, Sean Agnew at R5 Productions, Matt & Russell at Danger! Danger! House, Regina at Silk City: Your generosity, whether it was giving us space to do shows, help us book bands, etc, earns you a place in indie rock heaven, for sure!
– The sympathetic and beleaguered staff at Doc Watson’s: We were all in it together.
– Derek at Satellite Booking, John at the Free Agency, Krist at the Crow Agency: Thanks for being amazing, understanding booking agents. You have no idea what a rare breed you are.
– Kevin at Largemammal Print: Thanks for providing us with some amazing concert posters over the years.
– Eric at Apollo Audio, Laris & Kendra at movetophilly.com, Turtle Studios: SFTSB wouldn’t have existed without your help!
– Dragon City & This Radiant Boy: You were bands, more importantly, you are our friends.
– Last but certainly not least: Our families and friends. You know why.
Sara is hosting karaoke at the Millcreek Tavern on Monday nights, beginning 11/20. She’ll continue to write for the Daily News, blog and perform with the Dumpsta Players.
Maria will continue to host her weekly radio show on WQHS (Wednesdays, 10AM – 12PM EST), write for Pitchfork, apply to grad school, blog, photograph bands and figure skate as much as possible.
We’d really love it if you stopped by our Myspace Page and leave us some funny testimonials:
But C that U remember me!
Sara Sherr and Maria Tessa Sciarrino
Plain Parade (2002-2006)
At Tritone (1508 South Street)
10PM, 7$, 21+
Clockcleaner plays relentless noise-rock dirges with no room for air and
a chest-thumping dynamic, as dissonance splinters off of the heavy
delay/reverb processing like broken glass from a shattered picture
window. At the center of this storm is singer-guitarist John Sharkey,
who spent his formative years destroying venues and pissing on their
ashes while in Cleveland hardcore act 9 Shocks Terror. Sharkey?s the guy
behind the effects pedals, which add artifice and annoyance in equal
measure, obscuring lyrical details and segueing in between tracks with
queasy smears of piercing noise. He?s also the barker in this circus,
recalling Gibson Haynes and David Yow in his words and delivery. Kicking
things off with the words ?I saw your girlfriend leaving the abortion
clinic yesterday with another man,? he sets the stage for the narrator
to frame a heartsick boyfriend for a murder he didn’t commit, over a
needling one-note high tension line. The tribal pound of ?New Slow?
throws a bone to Flipper, while the thrashy ?NSA? throws the bone to
Slip It In-era Black Flag. ?Blood Driver? has that type of swagger the
Midwest was known for in the early ?90s, and could fit with dancing in a
moshpit or on a pole at a gentlemen?s cabaret.
Onstage and off, Clockcleaner may offend the thin of skin, and with
songs titled ?Interview w/ a Black Man? and ?Gentle Swastika? printed on
the back, and paintings of deformed children on the front, they can do
so without a sound. But there?s a pretty serious wink going on here, one
that’s aware of crossing a boundary or breaking a confidence, and at the
same time putting an angry audience on a pedestal for ignoring the
problems of the real world that a moderately dangerous rock band won?t
be held accountable for. Some of the best punk rock, the most
forward-thinking, has also been the most nihilistic. The most
downtrodden have been known to make the angriest music, the most
relevant to the times. Clockcleaner is a crucial throwback to the
horrors of late ?80s ?don’t worry, be happy? blind consumerist optimism,
and throws your own PMA back in your face like mace in the eyes of a
victim on an episode of ?COPS.? Nevermind is not pretty, but it works
like a classic noise rock record should; it rocks hard with both middle
fingers extended, staring down a dead end with a leering, maniacal grin,
and that’s possibly its greatest asset. (Doug Mosurak, Dusted)
NOTEKILLERS (Ecstatic Peace)
While the rhythm section churns furiously, David First peels off a
series of scrambled guitar lines, precise even when he’s improvising.
His diagonal riffs are marvelously untraceable (Surf-rock?New-wave?
Heavy metal? Free jazz? Serialism?), and somehow these dense
compositions inevitably come out sounding like party music. It’s clear
this band ranked with any of New York’s much celebrated no-wave acts.
(Kelefa Sanneh, New York Times)
Despite kicking up garage-rawk dirt for a decade, Philly five-piece Ken
are only now releasing their first album. Parade of Sinners is all
har-har puns (“Sweaty Psalms”) and dusk-till-dawn smarminess. It’s
fitting that the band’s singer-simply dubbed “Jenn-Pie Snyder”-always
seems angry and amused at once. Something may piss her off, but not
enough that she can’t laugh about it. (Besides, there’s another drink on
the way.) Fitting in nicely alongside fellow locals Beretta 76 and Thee
Minks, Ken represent the part of our city that comes out only after a
handful of whiskey-and-Pabst specials. (Doug Wallen, PW)
At the M Room (15 W. Girard Avenue)
10PM, 7$, 21+
DRAGON CITY (Record release show!)
Cascading with pedal-driven fuzz, Dragon City is known around town for
voluminous live shows and nine-minute songs. The guys open their new
quasi-concept EP All About Rabbits with — what else? –the sound of
carrots crunching, before launching into three heady originals and a
crush-worthy cover of Adventures in Stereo’s “There Was a Time.” (They
also do a killer version of Sonic Youth’s “Kotton Krown” live.) Josh Meakim sings in an androgynous squeak that’s buried so deep in the mix, it seems like one of the instruments. If the wall of sound is too immense for some people, the glimmering melodies beneath are worth opening up to. (Doug Wallen, PW)
ARTANKER CONVOY (NYC, Social Registry)
They’d never admit it. They probably don’t realize it either. But the
six members of Artanker Convoy have more in common with Medeski Martin & Wood than any band of the Brooklyn basement variety. This is not a bad thing. Like the latter’s slave-to-the-rhythm jazz, Artanker’s postmodern patchwork stretches tracks like taffy at a county fair without ever sounding like a noodling, comfortably numb jam band. If anything, they find an unforeseen middle ground between hipsters and hippies, an
insistent groove that’d move the masses at a Rapture show or the second
stage of Bonnaroo. And unlike most bands with seven-minute songs,
Artanker actually sounds great when you aren’t absurdly stoned. The
just-released Mature Fantasy LP (The Social Registry) is a prime example
of this, as it lulls the listener into a stupor with slight shades of
soul, Krautrock, bossa nova, hip-hop, psych, punk funk and New York
noise. Prepare to be bowled over. (Andrew Earles, CP)
BLACK TAJ (NC, ex-Polvo, Idyll Swords)
North Carolina?s late, indie rock, eastern-motif guitar wizards Polvo
were always an exhilarating listen. More importantly, they were
beautifully distinct in a morass of hyped and often disappointing guitar
bands. Ten years after the band?s demise comes Black Taj, whose core
features former Polvo guitarist Dave Brylawski and bassist Steve Popson.
Recording the band?s self-titled debut was another former member of
Polvo, Ash Bowie, along with Cherry Valence?s Brian Quast. Boasting said
pedigree, it is easy to understand why expectations might run high for
Black Taj. The album can be summarized best as an extension of the
players? former band. Here, sounds often return to the mystery and
beauty that served as Polvo?s signature, and yet Black Taj brings the
big, big ?70s psychedelic rock sound. Opening the album is the largely
instrumental ?Back to the Bridges?, a bold seven-and-a-half minutes of
melodic riffing and brawny chording chug-a-lugging against a
hyper-kinetic slide. What follows is an album heavy on loud guitars and
ambitious arrangements nuanced with airy vocals floating to the rafters.
While delivering nothing particularly Earth-shattering, Black Taj is a
solid listen, succeeding in entertaining those who mourn the absence of
Polvo. (C. Harris-Nystrom, Chico News & Review)