LIVE MUSIC: Laura Mann’s Got A New Living Room

  BY DYLAN LONG Walking her dog along the streets of Ardmore last summer, Philly music scene veteran Laura Mann happened upon a distinctive Masonic building that struck her fancy. “I have to see the inside of it, she said to herself. Fast forward to September 4, 2021, Ardmore will officially become home to the new-and-improved Living Room 35 E, a 300-400 music space pioneered by Laura Mann, a veteran of the Philly music scene. Located at 35 E. Ardmore Avenue, the titular venue is a precise set of steps away from her previous space, Living Room 35 East, notably […]

BEING THERE: Japanese Breakfast @ Union Trans

Photo by DYLAN LONG The long-awaited return to live music at Philly’s beloved Union Transfer was spearheaded by none other than Philly’s own Japanese Breakfast. The breakout indie pop unit, headed by frontwoman, author and director Michelle Zauner, played its second of five sold-out shows last night to a packed, masked up crowd spanning all ages, backgrounds and creeds. In terms of homecomings, five nights over six days is wildly impressive without the existence of a pandemic, and exactly what the people needed with one. The night was as beautiful as it was a stark reminder of the pandemic. The […]

ALBUM REVIEW: Psychedelic Porn Crumpets

  Bad news for all you work-from-home folks. The new Psychedelic Porn Crumpets album is going to bring your house crashing to the ground. Don’t worry about it. Lucky for you, it’s also going to serve as the badass soundtrack to your new life as a gallivanting cowboy roaming the land in search of brand new sensations. The two-sided goliath, dubbed SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound, brings fans a new lease on life in the form of luscious, towering riffs, anthemic vocal melodies dripping in static, and a palatable sonic energy. Hardly a departure from their previous albums, High Visceral Pt. […]

EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT: I Went Down To The Demonstration To Get My Fair Share Of Abuse

Photos by DYLAN LONG BY DYLAN LONG I was at the George Floyd protest yesterday that ended on the Vine Street Expressway in a melee with the police, both as a participant and a witness documenting the events with my camera. This is what I saw: The demonstration started at 8th & Race and snaked through Center City streets near City Hall, ending up on the Ben Franklin Parkway. At approximately 4:50 PM we approached the 22nd street on-ramp to I-676, aka the Vine Street Expressway. Police officers blocked the entrance with their cars, but protesters began bypassing them along […]

DISPATCHES: My Life Under Quarantine

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ve asked Phawker contributors to send in dispatches describing their lives under quarantine. Enjoy. BY DYLAN LONG I got let off of work in the middle of my shift. We turned the lights off and began disinfecting the store for a final time. Card readers, chairs, counters, clothing racks, the works. Rumors floated about that the whole city was shutting down. It was mid-March. Our store’s shutting down felt overdue, but thankfully, the company I work for was giving us two weeks paid leave. I left work and walked straight down to the Wine & Spirits store, which […]

BEING THERE: Twin Peaks @ Union Transfer

Photo by DYLAN LONG Chicago rock stars Twin Peaks touched down in Philly this past Tuesday ready for another round of rowdy, jangly, good ol’ rock n’ roll at Union Transfer. The five-piece is touring on the heels of their latest album, Lookout Low, an album that shows signs of maturity in their songwriting yet retains the signature feel-good sounds that fans know and love them for. Like the single track off the album, “Dance Through It,” fans jumped around the room in elation to classics like “My Boys,” “Walk To The One You Love” and “Butterfly.” Fans in the […]

HOT FREAK: Q&A w/ Philly’s Own Alex G

Photo by DYLAN LONG BY JONATHAN VALANIA Alex G, aka Alex Giannascoli, is like the red-eyed unshaven love child of Olivia Tremor Control and the Beta Band drunk on early Iron and Wine, Portland-era Elliott Smith and Guided By Voices circa Vampire On Titus: pretty/sad zig-zag bedsit folk-pop chopped and screwed until blissed out and chimerical. Born and raised on the mean streets of Havertown, an inner ring suburb of Philadelphia, and bottle-fed on the mid-90s’ indie-rock of his big sister’s record collection, he started making his own music on Garageband at the tender age of 15 and pumping it […]

BEING THERE: Crumb @ Union Transfer

Photo by DYLAN LONG Crumb, unlike the name, is a seven-course feast of dreamy pop-rock that leads you far away from the musically ordinary. Instead, this four-piece band is a never-ending journey on a road less traveled. Assuming their sound even desires definition, it draws hints of Hiatus Kaiyote, BADBADNOTGOOD, and a healthy dose of the mysterious. This past Thursday night, Crumb graced a packed crowd at Union Transfer with support from Divino Niño and Shormey. Colorful light-filled balloons sat scattered across the stage, glowing and evolving from shades of red to purple to blue. The four-piece had a soothing […]

BEING THERE: Skegss @ Boot & Saddle

Photo by DYLAN LONG Skegss is an Australian three-piece group that wants you to live your best life. If the band’s energetic and jangly garage rock doesn’t lift you up off your ass, their inspiring, anecdotal lyrics surely will. Frontman Ben Reed has it figured out: he can teach you things like getting out of bed in the morning on the track fittingly titled “Wake The Fuck Up,” or how to enjoy the present moment despite life’s complexities on the jangly anthem “My Face.” With just a quick glance at his bright-blond surfer hair and brighter smile, it’s easy to […]

BEING THERE: Meek Mill @ The Met Philly

Photo by DYLAN LONG Meek Mill is for the people. This should come as no surprise if you’re even vaguely familiar with the rapper-turned philanthropist and criminal justice reform leader. His ethos is speaking truth to power – on and offstage, in and out of the studio. Hell, City Council just named this weekend “Meek Mill Weekend” to honor his dedicated efforts to use his platform to incite positive change within his community and beyond. This formal recognition of Meek as the king of Philly coincided with his two-night stand at The Met Philly. And what a homecoming it was. […]

BEING THERE: Anderson .Paak @ The Fillmore

Photo by DYLAN LONG When I found out that Anderson .Paak (pronounced pak) used to go by the name Breezy Lovejoy, I couldn’t help but smile. After seeing his live show at the Fillmore last night alongside a couple thousand fans who crammed themselves as far up front as they could, I learned firsthand that the name suits him all too well. The acclaimed funkster’s stop at the Fillmore was part of his Andy’s Beach Club world tour, aptly named given that his entire discography takes wing on a perpetual summer breeze. Surrounded by his partners in crime, the R&B […]

BEING THERE: (Sandy) Alex G @ First Unitarian

Photo by DYLAN LONG Nandi Rose Plunkett produces solo music under the moniker Half Waif, a name that conjures the idea of a small and helpless creature – but the singer-songwriter is anything but. Plunkett towered over a synthesizer in a red dress patterned with rose petals and hair in space buns. With her eyes closed and hands joined in prayer, I half-expected her to levitate above the stage. The set drew from her latest release, Lavender, an work punctuated with intimate portraits of human life, touching on themes of family, love and mortality. The lyrics read like poetic fairy […]

BEING THERE: 88 Degrees And Rising Tour @ The Fillmore

Photo by DYLAN LONG The 88rising crew kicked off their immense new 88 Degrees and Rising tour last night at The Fillmore in Philadelphia with a lineup so extensive, one can only imagine the workload ahead for whoever handles their settlement. The tour, branded with the 88rising record label which has become well renowned for serving as a strong platform for Asian artists, features prominent headliners Rich Brian and Joji. Joining them are the four man rap group Higher Brothers, singer-songwriter Niki, and several other singers and rappers with Asian roots. Something that you don’t see very often in live […]