Posts filed under ‘Sugar Town’

Sugar Town 4/28

st flier

Sugar Town, a monthly night of lady rockers, DJ’s, and more:
1508 South Street
Doors at 9, Show at 10
$7, 21+


If you hang at West Philly house shows, you know PRE and love them. If you don’t, meet your new best friends. Listing their influences from Sabbath to Sleater-Kinney, they describe their sound as “a kiss on the hand and then a punch in the face.” How very Crystals!


The Wilmington, Delaware duo are made up of Rob Montejo (ex-Smashing Orange) and Monika Bullette, whose 2005 Internet release of her solo album “The Secrets” won Philadelphia City Paper’s “Best Album You Can Get For Free and Without a Guilty Conscience“. Together, they elicit comparisons to My Bloody Valentine and “a shoegazing Everly Brothers.”


With drums, bass, guitar, violin, and powerful, intertwining vocals, The Shondes bring to their music the drama of Patti Smith, the punch of Sleater Kinney, traditional Jewish melodies, and a songwriting style deeply rooted in Classical tradition. Shonde is the Yiddish word for disgrace, shame or outrage. As queers and trannies, radicals, Jewish and non-Jewish Palestine-solidarity activists, it’s no surprise that they’ve been called “disgraceful. With their surprising sound, contagious passion, and radical political content, The Shondes move and energize audiences in New York and beyond.

JAMI ATTENBERG (Replaces Donna Gaines)

Jami Attenberg has written about sex, technology, design, graphic novels, books, television, and urban life for Salon, Print, Nylon, Radar, the San Francisco Chronicle, Plenty, Time Out NY, eWeek, and others. Her fiction has been published by Nerve , Pindeldyboz, Spork, and Bullfight Review . Her debut collection of stories, INSTANT LOVE, was published by Crown/Shaye Areheart Books in June 2006. CP said, “Attenberg‘s language is spot-on, walking that fine line between cutesy and brilliant with stunning alacrity.” A novel, THE KEPT MAN, will be published by Riverhead Books in 2007. She lives in Brooklyn, NY


DJ KIT (Fuse at Sal’s)

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)


April 7, 2007 at 3:17 pm Leave a comment

Sugar Town Schedule For Tonight


Hottt flier designed by Beretta 76.

9:00 Doors, DJ’s
10:00-10:15ish Elizabeth Fiend
10:15-10:30ish Richard B Grande
10:30 DJ’s
11:00-11:30 Bells Bells Bells
11:45-12:15 Beretta 76

12:30-1:45 DJ’s

See ya there!

March 23, 2007 at 3:24 pm Leave a comment

Sugar Town Flier

st flier

By “Chatty” Cathy Heard

March 10, 2007 at 7:08 pm Leave a comment

The Next Sugar Town!

9:00, $6, 21+
Tritone, 1508 South Street


Camille Escobedo’s Joan Jett snarl rides atop a bracing Cheap Trick guitar crunch from an amped-up garage band that’s ready for bigger things. (Dan DeLuca, Philadelphia Inquirer)

bells bells bells

Inspired by PJ Harvey and Throwing Muses, Amandah Romick (ex Grendel) and Melissa Zahnweh (ex Floozy and Undergirl) started Black Strap Withdrawal. After they disbanded, they started Bells Bells Bells with The Chance’s Kevin Fassett, drummer Bill Morrison and An Albatross’ Kat Paffett. Zahnweh recently left the group. BBB is currently recording new material with Apollo Audio’s Eric Harms.


RICHARD B. GRANDE (a.k.a.Nicola Visaggio), Mr. Drag King Philadelphia (Liberty City Kings)
Nicola Visaggio is a South Philly based queer boi dandy-dyke, visual artist (photo), musician, singer/songwriter and drag performer. Her songs pull on influences from folk/rock and blues music, with lyrical content motivated by life and all the obscurities contained within. Nicola is also the reigning Mr. Drag King Philadelphia and co-conspirator of the now forming Liberty City Kings: a drag performance troupe.

Storytelling By ELIZABETH FIEND (Big Tea Party)
Author, artist, musician; this (ir)regular Renaissance woman has college credit in stone cutting, wood crafts, jewelry making, ceramics & welding. She is a self-taught nutritionist & vegetarian cook. She has had solo exhibits of her paintings. Her cartoons have appeared in hundreds of underground magazines as well as R. Crumb’s Weirdo & Screw Magazine. She has been interviewed by publications as diverse as The New York Times & Anarchy International. Elizabeth is the co-author of a reference book on the thematical analysis of television, “Index to the Annenberg Television Script Archive.” She is also slide guitar player in the psycho-trash band More Fiends, the only Philly band to ever record a Peel Session for the BBC radio in London and has recorded nine records/CD’s. For her paying gig, she’s the Bibliographic Specialist at the Wharton Library.


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


DJ M.J. FINE (O.G. Sugar Town DJ, City Paper)
M.J. Fine was one of the original Sugar Town DJ’s when we started in 2001. She is a true Girl Rock expert, able to find the best tracks on all the mediocre Juliana Hatfield and Liz Phair albums that I’d long since forgotten about. This self-described “word nerd” is a copy editor for the Courier-Post and a longtime contributor to the Philadelphia City Paper, where she writes the “Reconsider Me” column.

Manning the soundboard is the lovely Beth Warshaw of WXPN and Girls Rock Philly.

March 2, 2007 at 3:00 pm Leave a comment

How Did Sugar Town Go?


I like booking shows at Tritone because it’s a cheap, easy room to fill. (Cheap meaning inexpensive to book, but I’m sure Rick D would like to think of Tritone as cheap n easy if that’s what gets people drinkin specials and eating pierogies). Considering the bad weather and a competing sold-out Yo La Tengo show, I was happy with the roughly 40 paid. If you were among the 40, I love you.

Citizen Mom read a heartfelt tribute to Anna Nicole Smith.

Y-Front (Cathy and Carolyn) came out in drag: Cathy in a tiger fat suit, Carolyn in a robe and black leather pants. Carolyn eventually took off the robe and she was topless with her rack taped down with Saran and bubble wrap. They started out by boxing to “Eye of the Tiger,” and then lipsynced to The Dead Milkmen’s “Bitchin Camaro.” As far as I know, this might have been the first Dead Milkmen drag ever. When they were done, they offered a dollar to touch the ‘burns.

My soundwoman, Jen Hess is one of the few singer-songwriter types who rocks more like Patti Smith and she held her own against a lot of weirdness that happened earlier in the evening. I’ll get to that in a minute.

Voodoo Economics were wonderful and bizarre like the first Need album mixed with a little bit of Deerhoof. I don’t really know how to describe what they do because it’s so unique, especially Allison’s voice, which sounds like Lene Lovich going off the rails and the keyboards remind me of creepy circus music. The best part was a cover of Heart’s “Crazy on You,” in VE’s crazy style.

Julia, Darshana, and Chetana made a great little dance party for the coldest room ever. I swear, I don’t think I felt any heat in that place all night long.

The Bad & The Ugly
For the first time in Plain Parade or Sugar Town history, I had to break up a fight. Someone tried to beat up my soundwoman, and I couldn’t have that happen. When Jen and I first got there, we were basically working around a table of 8-10 people who’d obviously been eating and drinking for a little while. Even though they were sitting right up front, near the stage and the soundboard, we did our best not to disturb them. Jen helped Voodoo Economics set up and I worked on the DJ stuff. The people at the table had their stuff spread out, as people relaxing in a bar usually do. When VE came in with their huge amount of equipment, everyone’s stuff got moved around.

At one point, I looked up and I saw a woman not with the band throwing stuff around and screaming at Jen. It turned out that her gloves and hat were misplaced and she couldn’t find them. Jen jumped up, understandably on the defensive, like, “Hey please don’t throw other people’s expensive stuff around!”

One thing I’ve learned with dealing with crazy people at Tower Records for five years is that you do what you need to do to make them disappear. You can’t argue with a loud violent drunk. So I got between them and asked the woman about 50 times until I got an answer, “What does your coat look like? What can I help you find?” Then we discovered her hat and gloves under the soundboard and I reached underneath and grabbed them for her, talking to her as if I were a kindergarten teacher. Then she was gone.

Unfortunately, this brought a weird vibe onto the night and Jen’s poor nerves were jangled. When someone does a favor for me or plays one of my events, the number one thing is that they feel safe and enjoy playing to people. So in that aspect, I failed. Also, my head throbbed with a stubborn migraine all night long. And I forgot to take pictures!

Anytime you deal with rock and roll and the public, shit happens. I’m still really glad I tried to do this by myself because for so long, I was afraid that I couldn’t (all due respect to my long and fruitful partnership with Maria). 2007 is the year I make myself do stuff I’m scared to do.

The next Sugar Town is Fri. 3/23 with Beretta 76, Mr. Drag King Philadelphia,tunes from DJ’s Lizbot (WPRB) and original ST DJ M.J. Fine (Phila City Paper), and more TBA. Hopefully next time will bring more lovers than fighters and the weather will be a tad warmer?

February 14, 2007 at 5:21 pm Leave a comment

Sugar Town Tomorrow!


It’s half-off with a Yo La Tengo ticket stub.

Here’s tomorrow night’s schedule, if you’re interested:
9:00 Doors
9:30 Amy Quinn/Citizen Mom reads
9:45 Y-Front
10:00 Jen Hess
11:00 Voodoo Economics
11:30 Fun dance party with DJ’s Julia Factorial, Darshana & Chetena

This, the latest — and hopefully permanent — Sugar Town revival has got some promise. The first re-installment of Sara Sherr’s monthly female-first showcase (which started in 2001) is no mere “Night of Lady Rockers and DJs” as the flier boasts. There’s also a reading by Amy Z. Quinn, aka blogger/parenting pundit Citizen Mom, and a “drag/performance-art project” by Dumpsta Players Chatty Cathy and Carolyn “The Motherfucking Clash” Chernoff. But, yeah, there’s gonna be some rock and roll, too. In the moody, groovy Voodoo Economics, everybody takes a turn on the synths. Alison Conard has a smoky croon somewhere between psycho and sultry, especially when she’s wrapping her lips around “Bail,” a chaotic little number that cribs its lyrics from Reservoir Dogs: “First things fuckin’ last/ You better wake up and apologize/ You’re not blind, you’ve just got blood in your eyes.” Isn’t that sweet? (Pat Rapa, Philadelphia City Paper)

February 9, 2007 at 2:50 pm Leave a comment

Sugar Town Flier

st flier

In honor of Patti’s controversial induction into the RNR Hall of Fame, by Cathy Heard.

January 29, 2007 at 4:24 pm Leave a comment

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