cnut here again. So, going down to Philly was definitely a fun time. I rode down with the guys from Refuse Resist, 5 1/2 hours in the car, past NYC, over all the cool bridges, past that giant cemetery, then onto the Jersey Turnpike, where the counties are clearly delineated by the particular smell they emit.
But then we were there! First stop: South St. From what I understand, South St. was kind of Philly's Haight/Ashbury without so many hippies. A kind of cultural gathering point for the freaks. Always my kind of place to start with in a town. I had been to South St. once before, when the Growlers went through Philly in June on tour. We stopped into a tattoo shop where the RR boys were visiting a friend from the Thorp board, then we dropped by Repo Records - the Growlers CD's are still on sale there! - for them to leave some copies of their disc. If you're in Philly, go grab copies of both!
Then, we popped around the corner to Gianna's for cheesesteak (with the whiz, not any of that other shit, do it right) and giant fries. Love this place, it's good food for not too much money, the guy behind the counter is obviously old school punk, and they have veggie and vegan options. Also, any band that comes through, if you have a flyer, they want you to sign it and put it up on their wall.
From there, it was time to actually go to the house show we were playing. It was in south Philly, not sure what street or if there's a certain name for that neighborhood, but the house venue is called The Black Sheep. We had a GPS with us, so finding our way to the place wasn't difficult, but when we came to the street were needed to turn down to drive the last half mile to the show, like 14 cop cars materialized out of nowhere - not on us, but next to us. There was a very overgrown vacant lot at the corner we were supposed to turn on. We saw this blur of a guy dart into the lot and then there were cops leaping out of their cars, drawing their weapons and rushing headlong into the overgrowth. We could hear, "Shots fired!"
So, we went around, realized they wouldn't fuck with us for an illegal right turn right this second, found an alternate route to the house show. The street of houses looked like small post-war row housing - really small-looking houses all attached on the sides. You could see the living room half-full of punks from the other side of the street. It was pretty cool - some of the kids in the punk house were the only white faces to be seen on the street. Everyone on the stoops around the house were drinking and having fun and started asking us if there was a party when we walked into the house with our instruments. The answer of course was yes. =)
I went downstairs to check out the basement where we'd be playing, and it smelled like someone had been painting. We talked to the guy who lived there and he said it was a big accident where his landlord told him the unused heating oil container was empty. He sawed through it and it wasn't empty at old. Stinky but at least it makes you have a headache. They opened a window and used a fan and it got slightly better, but really it just added to the surreality of the whole night anyway.
The first couple of band, I can't remember their name, was good fast punk. I was still mostly cheesing bowl hits and beers upstairs during most of their set, I'm sad to say. But it was cool, the kids in Philly were mad nice and I even saw someone that I haven't seen since I was 16 or so in Harvard Sq. Very neat. Then Blood Bound (I think I have that name right) played and they were sick. Really awesome folks in the band, really awesome band. Again, fast punk, great songwriting.
Then The Boils played. It was my first time to get to see them play live, and worth the wait. The Boils don't play very many shows, so it was especially a treat to play their hometown with them. They are a tight, solid band, even if they do like sports. =) It was great to see a scene that likes where they're from. It reminds me of Boston, where we love our city. These Philly kids had a pride in being part of a scene that produces great bands and insane house shows. It's a long tradition and from what I saw that night, it's not going anywhere anytime soon.
Finally, Refuse Resist got to take stage. They started with 3 songs I hadn't been told to practice, so I got to kind of stand on the side of the stage and just jam out. But then we hit the stuff that I knew and we cranked it up. Playing bass is a lot of fun. I'm not going to switch to it or anything, but it was cool and I'd like to do it again. I remembered most of most of the songs. The kids danced. We got headaches from the fumes, but it was worth it.
We rode out of Philly, on our way back to Boston at about 12:30 or so. I slept most of the way back, except for waking up long enough to make witty relevant comments (FUPA) and then back to sleep. Made it home about 7 am, slept till 2:30 pm, then stayed awake for about 36 hours with no drugs except Mountain Dew.
Since then, I've spent my week looking for a job (yuck!), practicing songs that the bands I'm in play, and trying to live without spending money.
Signing off for now. The Growlers are in CT on Saturday night at Cherry St. Station - if you're within striking distance, we'd love to see you out.