Union Transfer

1026 SPRING GARDEN STREET, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19123 Ι 215-232-2100

Beach Slang

Beach Slang

Potty Mouth, Dyke Drama, Positive No

Sat, May 21, 2016

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 7:30 pm

Union Transfer

Philadelphia, PA

$15.00

This event is all ages

Beach Slang
Beach Slang
“I don’t want to whisper things anymore. I want to yell them.” -- Beach Slang’s James Alex

First there’s the choppy E chord, revving the song like a boot stomping a gas pedal: the sound of all that excess energy built up at the start of the night. Then comes James Alex’s fine-grain sandpaper voice: “Play it loud, play it fast / Play me something that will always last / Play it soft, play it quiet / Play me something that might save my life…”

James Alex, songwriter and front man for Philly indie-punk outfit Beach Slang, knows wherefrom he sings. Like a lot of us, Alex is that kid Lou Reed sang about, the one whose life was saved by rock and roll. And A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings (Polyvinyl), Beach Slang’s second full-length, is just that—a crash-and-thunder collection of songs about what it takes to keep yourself going, to make it through the rest of the night—hell, through the rest of your youth—and beyond.

Coming off a string of acclaimed EPs, Beach Slang’s first album, 2015’s The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us, won remarkably effusive acclaim from a number of critics, and wound up on several “best-of-the-year” lists. James wrote much of A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings on that album’s support tour, during which he spent a lot of time with the kids who’d picked up the record.

“A lot of the songs [on Loud Bash] are the stories of the kids who got turned on to Beach Slang by the first album,” says Alex. “They’re autobiographical, too, but kind of at a remove—I’m not that young kid anymore, but I used to be. You know how it is; rock and roll is a new crop of 15-year-olds picking up guitars every year and having at it. There was something really cool about documenting someone elses life, but seeing myself in it. I suppose that’s why we connect. We’re all kind of one big gang.”

The same could be said of Beach Slang itself, whose members came together very organically. After logging 15 years in Weston, the much-praised Philly hardcore punk outfit, Alex brought the songs that would become Beach Slang’s first EP to an impromptu jam session with outside musicians, including future bassist Ed McNulty. “It felt right, right away,” says James. “It was one of those rock and roll moments.”

Going into the second record, Alex didn’t feel a sense of pressure to match the broad, unexpected success of the first. “What I did feel was a sense of responsibility to the kids who told me they were finding something in our music that brought them back from a bad place, the ones who were getting Beach Slang tattoos and quoting lyrics to me after the shows. I don’t want to let those people down. As a 20-year-old, I thought, hey, let’s all have fun, we’re gonna live forever. You don’t really see the finish line. Now it’s more like, am I leaving behind work that’s going to matter? What’s this going to say about me when I run out of air, and my son is listening to these records and tapes that I left behind. Is he going to say, “Yeah, my dad was all right”? These days I feel like I’m responsible for things bigger than myself. And I want to do right by them.”

Indeed, Alex is that rare songwriter who can create songs that blend his own Young Man Blues with the grown man’s earned perspective. Check the arresting “Punks In A Disco Bar” and “Spin The Dial” for his skill at merging full-throttle hooks with memorable, whip-smart lyrics, or “Art Damage” and “Wasted Daze Of Youth” for a lesson in how rock and roll can be sinister and dissonant, and still end up beautiful.

For all the volume and the fuzz and the fury, Beach Slang is a band for sloppy romantics who got there the hard way (“I still taste you in the ash / of every cigarette you kill,” sings Alex). And that’s how the band wants it: “Whether this Beach Slang thing flies or falls,” says Alex, “we want to know that we put everything into it. We’re a rock and roll band; we make records and we tour. We want to sweat it and bleed it. We want to do it like the bands we love and respect did it.

“Without these guys,” James Alex says, “my life would feel really, really empty. And I have a full, beautiful life. But you know how some people have the ‘god hole’? I have the rock and roll hole. I’m that kid with the posters on his wall. Whether I’m right or I’m wrong, I’ve convinced myself this is why I’m here.”

Beach Slang—plug it in, turn it up, and let it scream.
Potty Mouth
Potty Mouth
Potty Mouth are Western MA-based trio Abby Weems (guitar, lead vocals), Ally Einbinder (bass) and Victoria Mandanas (drums). Originating in 2011 from the hometown of guitar rock predecessors Dinosaur Jr., Potty Mouth emerged from a casual, "why not?" attitude when Einbinder, who met Mandanas at Smith college, set out to form a band with like-minded women who shared her interest in learning and growing together as musicians. Though no singer was chosen at the time of formation, Weems emerged as having a knack for melodies and lyric writing, and what started out as a casual pastime turned into a way of life; recording, making t-shirts, and planning tours soon came in natural succession.

One year after their formation, the band recorded a 12" vinyl EP, entitled 'Sun Damage,' released through three small, independently-run labels. 'Sun Damage' garnered the attention of Pitchfork, who called the six-song EP an "an impressive, no-filler debut," as well as local big-hitters The Boston Globe, who named Potty Mouth one of the top five indie-rock bands to watch in 2013.

In 2013, Potty Mouth signed with Brooklyn-based indie label Old Flame Records to release their debut full-length album, 'Hell Bent.' NPR music premiered the album, calling it "one of the best rock albums of the year." As Potty Mouth garnered national attention, the band began to tour more extensively, co-headlining their first full US tour with Perfect Pussy and Swearin' in summer 2014, as well as supporting artists like Waxahatchee and Juliana Hatfield.

On August 21, 2015, the band debuted a five-song self-titled EP under their own imprint, Planet Whatever Records. Produced by John Goodmanson (Sleater-Kinney, Blonde Redhead, Bikini Kill) at London Bridge Studios in Seattle, the new EP shows off a new level of both songwriting and production for the trio. Refreshingly candid, singer-guitarist Abby Weems weaves sarcasm and melancholia into a passionate performance held together by drummer Victoria Mandanas and bassist Ally Einbinder's solid foundation. The crisper direction emphasizes the work the triad has put in since 2013's 'Hell Bent,' with more vocal harmonies and bigger production, recalling the sounds of influences like Veruca Salt and Nirvana.
Dyke Drama
Dyke Drama
Dyke Drama is the solo project of Sadie Switchblade (G.L.O.S.S., Peeple Watchin', Baja Blatz, etc.) She played drums, bass, guitars, tambourine, and sang. Joey Seward played the organ. Vicky Cassis and Rosie Richeson sang backup on "The Thing I Do Best" and "Thelma & Louise".

"With its obvious and acknowledged Replacements comps and unapologetic emotional openness, Dyke Drama could probably most easily be compared sonically and spiritually to Beach Slang, another coastal band that was definitely feeling Minnesota this year. But where The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us found strength and salvation in its arena-rock dreams, Tender Resignation seeks no such affirmation — Switchblade's not interested in breaking guitars or riding the wild haze, she's too exhausted from crying in a bathroom stall and spending the whole day in her f**king bed." --Spin
Positive No
As it turns out, Positive No isn't really a band, it is a remedy.

Positive No started in the confines of a living room in Richmond, Virginia. Songwriter and guitarist Kenny Close began home recording a series of songs over a Christmas vacation. These were shared with Tracy Wilson who in August of that year was hit by a car while crossing the street and was on a long path to recovery. While gaining the strength to be able to walk again and coping with a newly acquired brain injury, she began adding vocals to these songs. This creative process became an important distraction and therapy for Wilson. The intention was never to start a band but once the demo process began in the winter of 2011, the songwriting chemistry snowballed into a series of new songs the two wrote together. Drummer and friend Willis Thompson brought this duo to a trio and then after a series of bass players, this four piece band has been recently rounded out by Sadie Powers. After several years in the band Thompson recently left Positive No and James O'Neill has taken over his drum throne.

Their debut 5 song EP entitled Via Florum was recorded at Magpie Cage with J Robbins (Jawbox / Burning Airlines / Office of Future Plans) and was released on Wilson's record label Little Black Cloud Records in 2013. The line up for this recording included Kenneth Close, Tracy Wilson, Willis Thompson, and James Menefee. A 7" single was recorded for the Negative Fun Records singles club in 2014 (with bass player Andre Phillips) and in 2015 the band returned back to Magpie Cage to record their first full length record Glossa with the original Via Florum line up.

So where exactly did the members of Positive No come from? The band's family tree is well rooted. Kenny has played guitar in a series of noisy indie rock bands from Virginia since the mid '90s. Tracy was the singer in the '90s post hardcore band Dahlia Seed (Theologian/ Troubleman) but has also recorded under the solo moniker Ringfinger over the past 5 years (Magic Bullet Records / Little Black Cloud). Sadie Powers is a long time member of Richmond's synth-pop group Dead Fame. James O'Neill is currently playing in two other bands, Snowy Owls (shoegaze) and Plain Scrap (think Hot Snakes). Positive No may have a confounding combination of styles in their songwriting background, but together they create melodic, unpredictable pop balanced with tension and energy. For those unfamiliar with the band's musical pedigree it would be tempting to suggest they pay heavy tribute to a time when Velocity Girl's singer was rumored to have eloped with the drummer of Sunny Day Real Estate (yes, that was real gossip from back in the day), but in fairness, half of this band has been making music since the mid '90s and have influenced some of the musicians they have been compared to.

With Close and Wilson remaining the core songwriting team, the past year of creating Glossa had its own set of challenges. This time it was Kenny with a seemingly endless string of health hurdles. A sprained foot appeared from thin air in August of 2014 and it spiraled into months of intense leg pain that led to difficulties in walking or standing (goodbye playing live performances). The pain mysteriously spread to much of his body, an X-Ray revealed a shifted pelvis and spine, and then Kenny collapsed in November in what looked like a seizure but was diagnosed as a Vasovagal response. During these 9 months of set backs and slow healing, Glossa was written and recorded. Music once again provided a much needed emotional outlet and necessary diversion between doctor visits and PT.

Spring has arrived and at the end of this long dark tunnel comes 12 new songs and a truly refreshed band. Positive No is back and will be touring in the fall to support their new record.
Venue Information:
Union Transfer
1026 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19123