Crimson & Clover

Flier by Janet Kim

BITCH (Kill Rock Stars, ex Bitch & Animal, As seen in Shortbus)
Armed with an electric violin, a ukulele and a bass guitar, Bitch
(formerly of Bitch and Animal), is on the road and rampage again with
a fistful of new songs from her debut solo and Kill Rock Stars
release, Make This/Break This. She is an entertainer and songwriter
who has pulled audiences to their feet worldwide with her politically
charged and personally wrenched lyrics, her atypical instrumentation,
minimalist sound and wildly dramatic stage persona. Make This/Break
This, produced by June Millington (Fanny) and mixed by Roma Baran
(Laurie Anderson), was made over the course of two years with her
engineer, Wayne Schrengohst, in her home studio in NYC. Upon
completing the record, Bitch played a sold-out 5-week residency in
NYC, which landed her on the cover of two magazines. The record was
featured on Showtime’s “The L Word,” and has caught the ear of the
Indigo Girls, who took her on their fall record release tour.
Audiences also caught Bitch making her film-acting debut in John
Cameron Mitchell’s (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) feature film, Shortbus.
(Kill Rock Stars)

When the untimely departure of girL party left a hole in the city’s
social offerings for queer women, resident DJs Kit and Phoenix and a
posse of organizers and artists decided to do something about it.
Their vision was to keep the monthly dance party and performance space
alive as a safe and accessible spot for women, including transgender
women and men, to come together. Fuse was born, bringing the music
back every month starting this Saturday at Sal’s—without missing a
beat since girL’s last bash in December. Same time, same $5 cover,
same cheap drinks. Fuse organizers plan to feature local spoken-word
and dance artists in the downstairs space while stepping up party
themes and promotions (read: more freebies). So put on your hot shirt,
pocket a fiver and get ready for some pool, because the party’s
getting started all over again. (Angelina Conti, PW)

STEPH HAYES (Good Problems, Shooting Ropes, ex-Stargazer Lily)
“…The Good Problems exude an androgynous take on Ryan Adams’ studied
cool that seems even more affected than his, but their seemingly
sincere material balances things out nicely.” (Jim Reed, Connect

LOTSIX (Shooting Ropes)
LotSix is a Philadelphia based musician, songwriter, & multimedia
performance artist who jokingly refers to her unique art as
“self-karaoke”: live singing to original prerecorded music with
projected images and lyrics. LotSix treats audiences with smart,
funny, danceable, queer-tinged, laptop electro rock songs accompanied
by videos that further convey the many dimensions of her angsty wry


9PM $7 21+
Tritone 1508 South Street

PARADISE ISLAND (Jenny Hoyston of Erase Errata)
From a certain perspective, Jenny Hoyston is one of San Francisco’s
unsung talents. Sure, her achievements in Erase Errata have been well
documented and internationally appreciated, but consider the whole
woman, not just the guitar/trumpet/vox monster. Musical projects
abound, including the ukulele-driven Paradise Island and other solo
projects as well as the recent CD Hallways of Always with friend
William Elliott Whitmore. But at the monthly queer-friendly literary
night K’vetsh, Hoyston goes Renaissance woman to become a writer and
editor as well. Who knew? Her ´zine, Don’t Worry, is subtitled “You’re
Breaking Up” this issue, and includes contributions by Michelle Tea,
Tara Jepsen, and lots of other locals. (SF Weekly)

Calling Gemini Wolf an electronic rock act is like saying Noam
Chomsky’s just a linguist. It’s not enough. This blip-folksy duo —
Pandar and Mikronesia — expanded the initial tinyness of their
pastoral synth-sound to make something soulful and sweeping. You could
blame the addition of a dub-hungry bassist and some chamber string
kids. But they’re just two more reasons its debut, Josiah, has the
makings of an epic. (AD Amorosi, City Paper)

After calling themselves Under Not Over, keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Stephanie Nelson (The Tunics) and drummer Emil Weintraub (Beat Jamz) decided to revert back to their old band name that they shared with the late activist/performer/force of nature Axi Nue and current Clockcleaner bassist Karen Horner. CP’s Pat Rapa described their music as “intense riffs, dancey grooves and a rebellious attitude.” Bassist Jen Rice (Club Lyfestiles, The Celebs) replaces Horner.

Lizbot spins beeps & whirls while records fly deftly through her robotic appendages, resulting in a frothy melange of no wave, prog, folk, noise, funk, punk, serialism & any other genre you can think of.

September 28, 2007 at 12:37 am 3 comments

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Purple Rhinestone Eagle have been at it for years now, coming off like early Sleater-Kinney with a jones for stoner rock (which, yes, essentially equals S-K’s final album). But since they’ve been tearing shit up primarily in West Philly, it’s there that their reputation has remained. Maybe that’s why the all-girl trio is moving to Portland, Ore., following a string of local shows. Even if that city’s rich indie ore makes West Philly’s basement scene look like Manayunk, it’s still sad to see the ladies go. There’s a lesson here: If we champion some great bands but ignore others, we could lose Maple Rabbit and Bad News Bats too. (Doug Wallen, PW)

NICKY CLICK (Crunks Not Dead)

Much like Le Tigre or Gravy Train, Nicky melds her politics with energetic electronic dance music. She is also an aspiring hip-hop diva in the Peaches mold. (Church Of Girl Radio)

RED SKATE RED (Last seen opening for The Shondes)
After calling themselves Under Not Over, keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Stephanie Nelson (The Tunics) and drummer Emil Weintraub (Beat Jamz) decided to revert back to their old band name that they shared with the late activist/performer/force of nature Axi Nueand current Clockcleanerbassist Karen Horner. CP’s Pat Rapa described their music as “intense riffs, dancey grooves and a rebellious attitude.” Bassist Jen Rice (Club Lyfestiles, The Celebs) replaces Horner

SHEPHERDESS (Hilken Mancini of Punk Rock Aerobics, ex-Fuzzy/Come/Operators, Kimchee Recs)
Singer/guitarist/pedal-hopper Hilken Mancini (Fuzzy, Punk Rock Aerobics), violinist/baritone guitarist Emily Arkin (The Operators), bassist Winston Braman (Come, Consonant) and drummer Mike Savage (Count Me Outs, Fudge) describe themselves as Cat Power on speed. Or perhaps Kate Bush fronting The Wipers. Or Captain Beefheart falling, hitting his head, and waking up believing that he is Built to Spill.


DJ Bunnystyle is a classically trained musician turned math-rocker turned film student turned DJ. He is always a feminist and always queer and always happy to play music for people to dance to. DJ Bunnystyle and friends have a regular queer dance party called Make Yr Break the first Saturday of every month at Dahlak restaurant in West Philly – 4708 Baltimore Ave.


TUES 8/28 at Tritone, 1508 South Street, 9PM, $6 21+

STINKMITT(Vancouver, Cochon Records)
Guys, get ready to get all hot and bothered—and uncomfortable. Surrey, B.C.’s Stink Mitt are back to remind you about tampons, menstrual blood and erectile dysfunction, possibly in that order, if you’re extra squeamish. But their lyrics still deal largely in sex, sluts, secrets, stardom and suicide, backed by the undeniable rhyming and vocalizing skills of MCs Jenni Craige and Betti Forde and producer BigStuff. Blending the classic synthpop side of Prince with a few fluid ounces of modern electro, their music will surely put dance in your pants. And what a prescient tribute to Marilyn Monroe, what with another blonde train wreck in the news. (Lorraine Carpenter, Montreal Mirror)

Mike Grimes and Pete Emes are those dudes known as Smalltown DJs. Based in Calgary,they currently (since 1999) run a weekly known as Hai Karate. Hai Karate and the Smalltown DJs were born out of the ashes of old style block parties, punk rock shows at community halls and the early nineties rave scene. Hanging with these dudes on any given night you will hear funk, pop, dancehall, rock, hip hop, house, breaks, club and bmore. The duo has released several mix cds and vinyl 12″s over the past few years – garnering attention and accolades from the far reaches of the globe. Over the past six years the Smalltown Djs have hosted and played alongside such artsits as Afrika Bambaataa, Lateef, Lyrics Born, Dj Assault, Jeru the Damaja, Tommie Sunshine, Chromeo, Mike Relm, Cosmo Baker and Dj Ayres ATrak, Low Budget, Diplo, James Lavelle, Kool Keith, Z-trip and Dj Radar, Fort Knox Five, and Maseo from De la Soul among many others. They also toured with the Steve-O from Jackass to promote his Out on Bail DVD.

DJ’S JUST JESS & KLEMBOTT (Get Some, Fuse, The Dive)

DIAMOND GIRL (Hands & Knees)

Winner of the Golden Unicorn Award for “DJ to Watch” from Philebrity’s Kelly White
Music that she plays:
Where You’ve Seen Her:
hands & knees @ the m room
10 year anniversary party @ fluid
memorial day party @ key west
vice party @ key west
bad music for bad people @ sal’s

August 22, 2007 at 1:06 am Leave a comment

Dance This Mess Around

st flier

BOYSKOUT (NYC, Alive Records)
How can you not love a band that cherry-picks from the best parts of ’80s synth-doom and ’90s K-punk? Boyskout — recently relocated from San Francisco to Brooklyn — twists their queercore in a spooky, sexy, dancy way that hasn’t been heard since CWA dropped “Only Straight Girls Wear Dresses” 11 years ago. (Maura Johnston, CP/Idolator)

UMLAUT (Record Release Party! Mems of The Hessians, Ex Golden Ball, Snow Fairies, and Men in Fur)
Umlaut started in Philadelphia with Andrea, Amy and Reric looking for a keys-heavy musical adventure. Kidnapped by pirates, they were forced to repeatedly play on a cruise ship in international waters where they honed their foreign-language skills. Thus, they are able to craft dancy, synth-poppy crowd pleasers in a myriad of styles and languages. Their creative process involves pizza, bongos, and lots of hairspray. And now, with Jayme and Angela on board, Umlaut is an unstoppable force destined to conquer all seven continents, nineplanets (including Pluto), and beyond!


Maple Rabbit is a 3-person, all-keyboard video band that prefers their cuteness with edge, their politics with glitz and stop-motion, and their drum machines with careful harmonies. Expect matching outfits, melodies that will stick with you for days, and lyrics about everything from school picture day to the end of the world. Their performances feature original video projections, making for a unique and unforgettable multi-media experience. PW’s Doug Wallen writes, “Don’t let the bashful harmonies and kindergarten keyboards fool you. As cute as Maple Rabbit are, they’re also plenty pissed. On the West
Philly trio’s endearing six-song Love Love Death Death Fun Fun, their homespun twee packs spiky nods to global warming (“Apocalypse”), soured relationships (“Scarf Song”) and the Bush administration’s bungling in New Orleans (“Boat Song”). All that may sound trite on paper, but on record and live—with a carefully made video playing behind them for each song—such familiar sentiments feel brand-new.”

ILL EASE (NYC, Cochon Records)
Low fidelity and low self-esteem have always gone hand in shaky hand. But Elizabeth Sharp (a.k.a. ill ease) makes the combination arresting again…. She wallows in rhythm as well as rejection, dropping playroom instrumentation on deep, circular grooves like a moldy peach playing patty-cake with can. Bad times never seemed so good. (Spin)

A favorite spinner at many past sixties-music events in Philly, New York and her native country of Spain, Silvia is sure to have some new surprises and rare sides in the multiplying boxes of discs she keeps bringing over. Silvia moved to in 2004, from her birthplace in the Spanish city of Gijón in the green province of Asturias.


SAT 8/25: Purple Rhinestone Eagle, Nicky Click (Crunks Not Dead), Red Skate Red, Sheperdess (Ex Operators, Kimchee Recs), DJ Bunnystyle $7

TUES 8/28: Stinkmitt (Montreal, Cochon Recs) DJ’s Just Jess & Klembott, Diamond Girl (Hands & Knees) $5

SAT 9/29: Bitch (of Bitch & Animal, Kill Rock Stars), Fuse DJ’s $8

MON 10/8: Paradise Island (Jenny Hoysten ex Erase Errata), Gemini Wolf, Red Skate Red

SAT 10/27: Special Halloween Drag Queen/Gay Boy Edition with Helen Back & The Str8 Razors, DJ’s Ricky Paul (Dumpsta Players & Baby Loves Disco) and Ryan Creed (Palare)

Wanna play a Sugar Town? Drop me a line at sarasherrATgmailDOTcom

July 24, 2007 at 2:59 pm Leave a comment

Saturday and Upcoming Sugar Towns

st flier

As always, flier by “Chatty” Cathy Heard.

Tritone, 1508 South Street

RAREBIRDS (ex April Disaster, This Radiant Boy)
Following up 2005’s Flight Patterns EP at last, Rarebirds return this month with Burial at Sea, their first proper album. Singer/guitarist Carolynne McNeel leads a tight pack of local players—Adam Herndon,Keith Forsythe, Dave Dworanczyk and Rick Hass—to set up shop in the intersection of coffeehouse folk and bashful indie rock. Regardless of tempo, McNeel’s songs bask in such a daydream haze that her delicate lyrics and sleepy murmur demand closer attention still. The sugary”When You Sleep” (dig the keys and twang) and appropriately peppy “Caffeine Heartbeat” are immediate standouts, whereas “Snow Globe,”with its jazz tinges and ghostly backing vocals, hints at a new direction. (Doug Wallen, PW)

PANDA RIOT (Second-to-last show!)
As Philly’s fledgling Panda Riot, Brian Cook and Rebecca Scott aren’t out to reinvent the wheel. They’re content to program a drum machine, plug in a few pedals, don guitars and bliss out. Throw in Scott’s translucent singing, and the results fall between the Swirlies and early Spinanes, without the proper drumming. (Doug Wallen, PW)

SHE KEEPS BEES (ex English System)
There are few albums that are more endearing than the charmingly underproduced bedroom record, especially when that record features the introspective musings of a husky-voiced chanteuse. Under the moniker She Keeps Bees… There’s a hint of the alluring guttural quality of PJ Harvey, assuming Polly Jean spent an evening with a banjo and some old Merle Haggard records. Jessica Larrabee has the kind of twangy, whiskey-soaked voice you would assume was nurtured in a dying coal mining town, not Brooklyn. (Washington DC City Paper)

Darling Arms is the nom de plume of former One Candle Power vocalist
Christina Musacchio. Her debut EP is a set of extremely sad and morose
tunes that somehow end up feeling pretty damn good, due largely to
Musacchio’s ability to write songs that are always moving slowly
ahead, building upwards without dipping into melodrama. The sound is
sparse, centered on Musacchio’s vocals and acoustic guitar, along with
the occasional accompaniment of a low, rumbling cello and some
respectable piano. The manner suits All the Ghosts well, creating a
mood that stays true to the album’s title, capturing a haunting
feeling of the past, along with a few glimpses of a better future.
(Eden Munro, Vue Weekly)

DJ’s DARSHANA & CHETANA BORAH (Last Love, Bombay to Brazil)
For a few years now, The Borah Sisters, abetted by Pearl and Bryan
Trackstar have delved into world psychedelic classic, raw pop,
sinister funkula and so much more. These people have better taste in
music than anyone you know. (Philebrity)

Upcoming Sugar Towns

SAT 7/28
9PM $7
UMLAUT (Record Release Party, Mems of The Hessians, ex Golden Ball, Snow Fairies, Men in Fur)

SAT 8/25
9PM $7 21+
NICKY CLICK (Crunks Not Dead)
SWAN ISLAND (Portland)
SHEPHERDESS (ex Operators, Kimchee Recs)

9PM, $8
Advance tickets going on sale through Fuse & Sugar Town soon!
BITCH (of Bitch and Animal, Kill Rock Stars)

PARADISE ISLAND (Jenny Hoyston, ex Erase Errata)

Special drag edition of Sugar Town
DJ’s Ricky Paul (Dumpsta Players & Baby Loves Disco) & Ryan Creed (Palare)

June 29, 2007 at 4:56 pm Leave a comment


Tritone, 1508 South Street 9PM, 21+
$5-8 (sliding scale)

GIRLS ROCK PHILLY (GRP) is an initiative to bring Philadelphia a girls only, week-long summer day camp serving junior rockers ages 10-18, to be held August 6 to 11, 2007. Led by a team of all female instructors and band coaches,n the program learn how to play musical instruments, write songs, make their own band merchandise, discover other women in and finesse their on-stage jump kicks.

SHOOTING ROPES (Featuring Steph Hayes and Lotsix)
Steph Hayes also plays with The Good Problems, is a former member of Stargazer Lily, and has toured with Slo-Mo. Lotsix is a “self-karaoke artist,” who writes great songs about having crushes on Sara Gilbert and Kathleen Hanna. You might also know her from Mr. Drag King Philly competitions, The Broken Hipsters, and Brothers Suggarillo.

This is the latest project for John Cecil Price (Temple of Bon Matin and Akash), which City Paper’s A.D. Amorosi describes as “pop/surf/R&B done hardcore.” A bi-racial and multicultural labor of love married to its own form of Black Americana-punk , soul and early gospel music, Baptist Preachers is God’s loudest band.

THE STAY-AT-HOMES (Runaways tribute band featuring Tammy Faye Starlite and mems of Sit N’ Spin, NYC)

The Stay-At-Homes are “The Desperate Housewives Of Rock.” Come see the (only?) East Coast Runaways tribute band. Okay, they’re not teens, but they’re still hot. Even though they may be too tired and jaded to run away and maybe would rather stay home and play with the kids, grade papers, practice law, walk the dog, or watch SVU, they still rock.

The Stay-At-Homes are:
Mony Falcone (Sit N’ Spin) as Jackie Fox, bass
Heidi Lieb (Sit N’ Spin) as Lita Ford, lead guitar
Linda Pitmon (Steve Wynn’s Miracle 3) as Sandy West, drums
Jill Richmond (The Mike Hunt Band, Aquanettas) as Joan Jett, rhythm guitar
Tammy Faye Starlite (The Mike Hunt Band) as Cherie Currie, lead vocals

C’mon spend an American night with the new Queens of Noise. They’ll play a glittering rock-and-roll set of classic Runaways songs, then get you home not that late.

LIBERTY CITY KINGS (Featuring Richard B Grande/Nicola Visaggio)
As seen at Dragadelphia and Philadelphians Against Santorum, the recently formed Liberty City Kings are always looking for old hands and new tricks with style, personality and flair. Their shows are equal parts drag, burlesque, political satire/commentary, and raunchy good times.

A lady reggae DJ duo that plays everything from ska and rocksteady to dub to modern dancehall.

May 18, 2007 at 8:02 pm Leave a comment

How Sassy Changed My Life


Mew Gallery

906 Christian Street


For a generation of teenage girls, Sassy magazine was nothing short of
revolutionary—so much so that its audience, which stretched from
tweens to twentysomething women, remains obsessed with it to this day
and back issues are sold for hefty sums on the Internet. For its brief
but brilliant run from 1988 to 1994, Sassy was the arbiter of all that
was hip and cool, inspiring a dogged devotion from its readers while
almost single-handedly bringing the idea of girl culture to the
mainstream. In the process, Sassy changed the face of teen magazines
in the United States, paved the way for the unedited voice of blogs,
and influenced the current crop of smart women’s zines, such as Bust
and Bitch, that currently hold sway.

How Sassy Changed My Life will present for the first time the inside
story of the magazine’s rise and fall while celebrating its unique
vision and lasting impact. Through interviews with the staff,
columnists, and favorite personalities we are brought behind the
scenes from its launch to its final issue and witness its unique
fusion of feminism and femininity, its frank commentary on taboo
topics like teen sex and suicide, its battles with advertisers and the
religious right, and the ascension of its writers from anonymous
staffers to celebrities in their own right.

Kara Jesella and Marisa Meltzer are New York–based writers. They have
written and edited for publications such as The New York Times, Teen
Vogue, Elle Girl, Bitch, Jane, Spin, Entertainment Weekly,
Nylon,Nerve, and Elle.

Mew Gallery is a boutique nestled in the heart of Philadelphia’s
Italian Market. We offer hand made goods by local artists and
crafters. We’re a gallery, as well, and have rotating exhibits
featuring Philly area artists. Also, in the next few months we’ll be
holding creative workshops for children and adults. With these
workshops, the customer can come in, socialize, have a snack, and get
to work on an art or craft project. Stay tuned for more information on
the class offerings and schedule.

Our mission is to support, nurture, and promote our local creative
community. We aim to provide an independent alternative to commercial
boutiques and inaccessible galleries by providing the public with a
unique alternative to mass-produced, socially irresponsible products.

April 24, 2007 at 4:10 pm 1 comment

Puke Rock Anthems and Pop Tatari

birds of maya

Birds of Maya by Valania

My review of the closing night of the Popped! Festival is up on Phawker.

April 16, 2007 at 5:31 pm 1 comment

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