I ran a crazy 5K race about a month ago called the Tunnel 2 Towers run. It was in honor of an NYC firefighter, Stephen Siller, who ran through the Battery Tunnel from Red Hook, Brooklyn to the World Trade Center in full gear on September 11th, 2001. It was wild! I haven’t run a race in decades and never a race through a tunnel. I ran a 23:49.4 m. in the top 50! 31st of my gender. Anyway, after the race I got myself together and later in the day took a bus to Philadelphia with a friend to meet up with a friend of his, who lives there, to hear Pylon play at Johnny Brenda’s. I hadn’t visited Philly in years….the last time I was there I think I auditioned for the t.v. show, “Hack”, and went to AKA Music on North 2nd and visited the Wilma Theatre on Broad Street (I was in a couple of productions there in the 90’s when they were on Sansom Street). We walked from the bus drop-off on Market Street and it was a wild trip down memory lane. I fell in love there, I went to art school there, I worked in various restaurants there, and I worked as an actor there. Philadelphia has changed since I left but not in any way that New York hasn’t. There are hipsters there and there are luxury buildings and fancy special eateries and everyone wonders how anyone could afford anything (or maybe that’s just me). Johnny Brenda’s is an amazing bar/restaurant/music venue. The music venue part of the joint is a perfect-sized rock club for true fans. A raised stage, a balcony overlooking the stage (like a tiny, compact Bowery Ballroom). Johnny Brenda’s is for the embattled remaining faithful who listen to full albums, go to live shows and actually care about music they haven’t been force-fed. I wasn’t very familiar with Pylon and listened to them a couple of days prior to the show to get a sense of what I was in for. They made simple, angular 80’s rock i.e. cool stuff worth checking out (I recommend their album, ‘Chomp More’. Dressy Bessy hit the stage first (we missed the opener, Telepathic) and I was blown away! The band is from Denver, Colorado. Tammy Ealom, the lead singer/guitarist, is full of raw energy and attitude befitting her brand of pop-punk. It may sound sterile or something but she really knew how to connect with the audience. The band is associated with the Elephant Six Collective (a group of American musicians who comprised the bands; Neutral Milk Hotel, The Apples in Stereo, Olivia Tremor Control, Elf Power, oF Montreal, The Minders, and Circulatory System) mostly 60’s inspired pop. Also playing for Dressy Bessy are Darren Albert (drummer), Rob Greene (bass), John Hill (lead guitar (also plays with The Apples in Stereo)). I later found out that Tammy Ealom was in The Minders at one time, a band I really dig. They had a great set! Most of the songs are from their latest album, ‘Kingsized’ (Yeproc). Upon listening to earlier albums after the show I realized that with this current one they have really come into their own undoubtedly!! I highly recommend this album for it’s upbeat energy, lyrical bite, and hooky melodic lines!! Pylon had a good set too….but Dressy Bessy won the night (for me)!
Sorry it’s been a while dear listeners/readers! More musical observations, reviews and revelations soon! Until then, maintain. -p