Trains, Rain and Shining TV screen.
Fishtown is a dirty looking place on a rainy Wednesday Night. Philadelphia’s back alleys are tight and not as easy to navigate as NYCs mass transit friendly system. But If you get down there I suggest spending the cab fare to make it to The Manhattan Room, down on W. Girard. They have a great draught selection, Good looking Menu, burgers and wings. They’re wings were great I split an order with my little sister. That’s right the amongst all the other things going on in my life i still manage to visit the family every now and then. We got there a little early, the bar was full of the same sort of Daytime hipsters and locals that frequent my bar. So needless to say I feel right at home. The super attractive bartenders didn’t hurt either!
A really important part of this story, is the fact that I was in Philly to see Shining TV Screen, who invited me to check them out through Twitter! I accepted the offer and made the trip. Bands, if you’re not on twitter yet, Jump the Shark and just do it already. Your fans demand it! Plus its good press! It worked for Shining TV Screen!
So at about 9pm Social Hall set up. These guys plowed right into their set! So into the rock, they almost forgot to introduce themselves! That’s dedication! John Corkery (guitar/vox) fielded a small amount of respectful heckling from the crowd with a witty retort, “I still have a mustache!” I wish i knew what that was in reference to. During the set though John was all business. Mike Gartner (bass/backing vox) rounded out the guitar with some concrete bottom. Joe Aquaviva (Drums) was on fire lighting up the rest of the stage! The first few songs went by in a rush. As the place filled, up the crowd started to get into a groove. No one jumped out and danced or anything, but you could tell there where a few cats that wanted to. Social Hall had a sort of revival of rock circa 2001 sound that was straight-forward and totally toe tappin’! You gotta check it out! Seeing these fellas play again is a must!
Shining TV Screen jumped onto stage right after, and made good with the afterglow of Social Hall’s energy! The first thing I must remark about is how young these guys are. Don’t let their age fool you though. They’ve got concept, and that counts for a lot. The vocals are often soothing and reserved, which is a great contrast to the bands more flustered outbursting style! A really impressive sound, STS has a real stage presence! They popped, shuffled, spun, and rattled through their songs. After the set they promptly introduced themselves to me. They even bought me a beer and a shot!
We talked about school, and girls and bands we dug and still dig. It’s like therapy for me, sharing stories with a young band about what its like to do my thing creatively. And how they have to keep at it. I mean I’m telling myself the same thing everyday.
Not to get too autobiographical here, but bare with me for a sec. I do it because I love doing it. I love music, and I love taking pictures of bands. But most importantly, I really can’t see myself doing much else. Maybe one day I’ll grow-up I’ll get a real job and I’ll cut my hair, respectably, and I’ll sit in a box for 10 hours a day five days a week. I get told a lot that I won’t make it or that there’s no money in photography and that I don’t have what it takes or the schooling for it or a million other excuses that people are simply regurgitating. Oddly enough the most supportive people in my life are my parents, who always tell me to go for it. I guess I said all that to say this. If you want an unconventional career, be prepared for people to tell you that you won’t make it. The difference between us and them is that we haven’t been beaten yet. I think that’s inspiring, my muses are all the bands out there kicking ass on the small stage or sweating it out in the basement hoping that they can rock out for another night.
The epilogue to this tale or what I didn’t mention was that about 30mins before the show my sis had to leave. So there I was in South Philly. At about 1 o’Clock I was far beyond drunk and I needed to get back home. So she, in her infinite charity, drove back on over the bridge and scooped me up from 8th and Market. And then I went back to my dad’s place and fell asleep on my shitty old futon. I kind of felt like I was 21 again.