Being a female can be tough. See world history and goddess Emma Watson’s most recent speech at the UN for more information. But being a female and 5’2” can make life a little tougher, especially for those of us who enjoy frequenting shows to see our favorite bands but have to face harms way to do so.
Cali punk saviors Joyce Manor have *thankfully* shed some light on the situation during their most recent tour.
Seeing a lot of people online saying I’m a “pussy” and a “bitch” for calling out that grown man trying to crush a group of teenage girls.— Joyce Manor (@JoyceManor)September 23, 2014
So far on this tour I’ve seen a girl with a black eye, a girl with a concussion, and a girl with a dislocated knee.. .— Joyce Manor (@JoyceManor)September 23, 2014
..Great way to make young women feel safe at a show when the rest of the fucking world is hostile towards them already.— Joyce Manor (@JoyceManor)September 23, 2014
I love a crazy show as much as any1 else I just don’t think any1 should have to go 2 the hospital cuz of sum idiot w a tank top & Moz hair— Joyce Manor (@JoyceManor)September 23, 2014
In my very humble opinion, being punk does not mean you have to get SO wiley at a show that you give another human being a black eye and/or a concussion. If you MUST MUST MUST get crazy and inflict harm to others and/or yourself, please attend the moshpit. It has been created and sustained throughout rock ‘n’ roll history for a reason.
In all seriousness (if you can seriously discuss the politics of a moshpit), I think the moshpit is a great place to let out all of your angsty, bottled up emotions. If you’re at a show and feel the need to throw your limbs around, go to the moshpit. It’s a “safe” place to express these things. SIDENOTE: if you are uncomfortable with getting hit, get the fuck out of the pit.
But outside of “The Pit,” DON’T BE THAT ASSHOLE. What does that really mean? It means:
- don’t shove
- don’t hit
- give people some semblance of personal space
- keep your hands to yourself unless you are pointing to the band as you belt out their lyrics
- assist crowdsurfers
- JUST DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE
As H.O.V.A. once stated, allow me to reintroduce myself. I am a short female who loves to go to a shit ton of shows, especially those of the punk-leaning persuasion. My resumé of shows I’ve attended, let alone ones where I’ve been physical hurt, exceeds one page; so I guess it’s less of a resumé and more of a lengthy, boring list. I also host shows in my basement in Philly so I’d like to think I get the whole DIY/punk scene thing.
For those of you who are not small and/or female, let me describe to you what it feels like to attempt to get close to the band that you love (unless you are a lucky suit that gets backstage). First of all, unless we (“shorties”) are standing on some kind of stool, we can’t see shit at shows. That’s life. We’re short. We have overcome it by compensating with climbing skills, standing on our tippy toes, or just simply accepting that we can only listen to the music and observe the crowd around us rather than the band. (Some short gals like to hop on people’s shoulders to see the show, but I’m not counting them in this discussion because they are among the “asshole” category since they block everyone behind them from seeing the show.)
But sometimes we feel the overwhelming desire to actually SEE the band that we came to see. Therefore, we must get up close. Really close. And that usually means we have to accept the fact that our lives are out of our control as we get crushed by the crowd, hit in the head by crowdsurfers, or, worst case scenario, groped as we’re crowdsurfing or by shitty people around us in the crowd.
I’ve personally experienced a couple of uncomfortable incidents recently that sparked my desire to speak on the subject of crowd culture and safety. Most recently was actually at the Joyce Manor show in Philly. (Sick show. 9/10. Only reason it’s not a 10/10 was because of the stupid idiot who kicked me in the head.)
Throughout the entire show the lead singer Barry Johnson was telling everyone to stop being an asshole and to stop aggressively stagediving. I was pretty stoked on that and felt a safer than usual at a show, so I got up close. Next thing I know, I get kicked in the head by some asshole, feel my brain rattle in my head and boom, I got a concussion.
Rewind to a couple weeks earlier at Riot Fest, I was trying to enjoy my middle school sweethearts, Taking Back Sunday, up close ‘n personal. During the second song, some random dude passing through the crowd aggressively shoved my head for literally no reason whatsoever other than to show off that he was bigger than me and had a penis. Since I’m not a confrontational person I did nothing about it. The girl next to me in the crowd (also a stranger), however, did not mind confrontation. She screamed at the random dude who shoved me, “Don’t you ever fucking touch another girl that way!” Male or female, that dude should not have unnecessarily shoved another human being the way he shoved me.
It was at that point that I realized I’m done with putting up with fucking assholes in crowds. I’ve been letting people literally shove me around for years and I’m sick of it. There’s a time and place for that. I’ve been in the pit. I’ve partaken in a Wall of Death or two – but when I’m not participating in these events I should not feel like my safety is at risk.
Let’s stick up for ourselves rather than allow the assholes of the crowd run the show. Who put them in charge? Shouldn’t we all feel comfortable? Let’s at least start a discussion about crowd culture and safety.
From garage rock to “trash pop” to experimental hip-hop, emo, and synth-wave, too many great albums and EPs were released in the first half of 2014 to not make a playlist out of them. Here’s our favorite tracks of the year thus far.
50 Best Songs of 2014
1. Cloud Nothings - “I’m Not Part of Me”
2. Sylvan Esso - “Hey Mami”
3. Future Islands - “Seasons (Waiting On You)”
4. Jamie xx - “Girl”
5. Dub Thompson - “Dograces”
6. The Hotelier - “Your Deep Rest”
7. La Dispute - “Hudsonville, MI 1956”
8. Conor Oberst - “Time Forgot”
9. Skrillex - “All Is Fair In Love And Brostep”
10. St. Vincent - “Birth In Reverse”
11. Swans - “A Little God In My Hands”
12. clipping - “Body & Blood”
13. Saintseneca - “Blood Bath”
14. Modern Baseball - “Rock Bottom”
15. Joyce Manor - “Catalina Fight Song”
16. Eagulls - “Nerve Endings”
17. Lana Del Rey - “Brooklyn Baby”
18. Tweens - “Be Mean”
19. W.C. Lindsay - “Little Ghost”
20. Lily Allen - “Sheezus”
21. Only Real - “Cadillac Girl”
22. Fucked Up - “Sun Glass”
23. MØ - “Fire Rides”
24. The Hundred Acre Woods - “City Lights”
25. Perfect Pussy - “Interference Fits”
26. Speedy Ortiz - “American Horror”
27. Jack White - “Lazaretto”
28. Tycho - “Awake”
29. Mac Demarco - “Salad Days”
30. Nothing - “Dig”
31. You Blew It! - “House Address”
32. Weatherbox - “Bring Us The Head of Weatherbox”
33. The Orwells - “Who Needs You”
34. Tigers Jaw - “Hum”
35. Parquet Courts - “Sunbathing Animal”
36. Iggy Azalea feat Charli XCX - “Fancy”
37. The Menzingers - “I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore”
38. Donovan Wolfington - “Sleeping”
39. Seahaven - “Silhouette (Latin Skin)”
40. PUP - “Dark Days”
41. Sorority Noise - “Rory Shield”
42. Tiny Moving Parts - “Swimming Lessons”
43. A Sunny Day In Glasgow - “Crushin’”
44. Frankie Cosmos - “School”
45. tUnE-yArDs - “Water Fountain”
46. Manchester Orchestra - “The Ocean”
47. Die Antwoord - “Happy Go Sucky Fucky”
48. Osoosooso - “Neighbors”
49. Cayetana - “Hot Dad Calendar”
50. OhBree - “Death by Broomstick”
MadKo Concerts Presents:
The Hundred Acre Woods
The Tin Angel
20 S 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Thursday May 29, 2014 – 8:00 pm
MadKo Concerts, the student-run concert promotion arm of the Music Industry Program at Drexel University, is proud to present The Hundred Acre Woods, Steady Hands, and Former Belle at The Tin Angel on Thursday May 29th. Listeners will be treated to the sounds of some Philadelphia’s best local talent at one of the city’s premiere listening room venues. Pulling elements from several genres including indie, punk, and folk, this collection of performers is a great representation of the music movement in the city of Philadelphia.
Tickets are available for $10. Show is 21+
THE HUNDRED ACRE WOODS: Formed in the latter half of 2009, Philadelphia-based The Hundred Acre Woods aims to convey a message that is both young and old – a blending of the honesty and sincerity of traditional folk music with the raw energy and drive of punk rock. (Check out our review of their latest EP here!)
STEADY HANDS: Steady Hands began as a solo project of Sean Huber in the Winter of 2012. In favor of the simplicity and rawness of a sole honest voice and acoustic guitar, he started thrashing his way through Philadelphia bars and basements, breaking a lot of strings in the process. That summer he released his first EP, “Not Many Of Us Left,” employing a strong group of talented friends to record. By the end of the year, Huber brought the gang back together, adding producer Brandon Bost to create “The Libertines,” released February 2013 via Lame-O Records. Steady Hands continues on thrashing through basements and clubs with intention, bringing honest punk music just as pretty as it is dirty.
FORMER BELLE: Former Belle was born in a suburban basement just outside of Philadelphia. During their 2011-2012 run of shows, Former Belle played alongside the likes of Owen, Fences, Colour Revolt, River City Extension, Allison Weiss, Illinois, Yarn and more. After a 6-month runaway retreat to Boston, they embarked on a five-week European tour spanning 7 different countries. In 2012, singer Bruno headed back into the studio with Chris Radwanski to finish tracking Former Belle’s debut full length, ‘Cathedral’ which was released last February. Former Belle is currently working on a B-sides EP that is aimed for a summer release date with more information coming soon.
The Philly dance-punk trio W.C. Lindsay recently released their first full-length album Easy Victim, Charitable Deceptions through Big Footprints Records, and we gotta say it’s a cause for celebration. W.C. Lindsay brings the party as they explore their youth in retrospect and evaluate the present.They are not a group that can be pigeon holed into a single genre, for example the album ranges from ecstatic pop to intricate electro jams to sincere rock ballads and everything in between. What’s even more impressive than their ability to conquer almost every genre under the sun is their ability to do it while still sounding like the same band. While most bands would lose their sound doing what W.C. Lindsay has done, they’ve found a way to stay sonically diverse and consistent all at once.
“Into the Night” opens with epic militant drums as a call to arms for their fellow party troopers to rally. The bands’ indie-electro-pop influences are clearly showcased with upbeat synths and layers of vocal tracks being grounded by anthemic drums. The next track “Kids These Days” is an ode to the youths that has been declared THE song of the summer (by us, right now). Its infectious melody paired with the moombahton inspired beat will be stuck in your head for eternity, in the best way possible.
The album then takes some twists and turns into nostalgia. If you didn’t know that electro-pop-folk-rock was a thing, “Slowly, So Sweet” has proven that it is. We are then transported to the 80s with the track “Kelsey”. It’s about simpler times, driving around in cars with friends “under the age and under the influence”. The nostalgia continues with the acoustic number “Oregon,” a sincere, stripped down song that sounds like Chris Martin could have written it.
The second half of the album begins to explore a slightly darker side of the band. As Lindsay stated in an interview with Red Bull, “The ‘Easy Victim’ half is the more upbeat portion that deals with how it feels to be restless, and young, and to long so intensely for the responsibilities and freedoms that age will afford. The ‘Charitable Deceptions’ half is the darker portion of the record that examines what it means to reach that age that was once so desired, and to find that you only wish to go back to the age of naiveté.” “Hard Youth, Hardly You” might sound like the album’s most uplifting track, but don’t let the music fool you. Lyrically it’s a kind of tongue in cheek criticism of the youth culture. It’s like looking at a picture of yourself when you were a teen wearing an All American Rejects T-shirt and smoking a cigarette because you thought it was edgy. Now that you’re older you can criticize yourself, but you would also give anything to go back to that moment as you were just starting to discover what decent music and alcohol was. The song explodes at the bridge as Richie “Ghost Note” Straub absolutely nails the drums and Lindsay strains,“Let’s get sold, Take my heart but not my soul, I’ll sell when I get old,” the gang vocals responding with a resounding “WHOA”.
The smooth female vocals on the next track “Little Ghost” matched with the contrasting strictly punctuated drums create a head-swaying jam. Some seriously clever lyrics rapped by Lindsay (“I looked to the sky and called on God for guidance, left a voicemail and learned about self-reliance.”) deliver clarity on issues concerning love, broken homes, and teenage mistakes alongside swelling synths and a hip-hop swagger. The final tracks that make up Easy Victim, Charitable Deceptions rely on more straight rock influences than the rest of the album, such as “Finally Learning the Language” and “Hum and Roar” with their distinctive catchy guitar riffs and established drums. “Tree” is also grounded by its rock roots and enhanced with subtle synths. A fantastic mesh of every previous song “Ungrow”, closes out the album with pounding drums, resounding guitars and synths that seem to ebb and flow together to eternity.
You can get the album at the link below! And you should definitely do so because:
a) It’s fantastic.
b) $1 from every album purchased will be donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
LCM Rating: 8.5/10