Philly “cuddle-punk” trio Amanda X kicks off Ladyfest’s busy opening night at the Rotunda (4014 Walnut St.). Their six-song EP, Ruin the Moment, is pretty catchy and a little clangy.
New Brunswick’s 3Jane has a bit more passion and a lot less cuddle, but the results are still punk. If you don’t see “Normal” (from their 2011 demo) on their set list, you must demand it.
Chicago’s deep and dirty surf-punks Blizzard Babies are up next. Check out “Kittens!,” from their self-titled EP; driving basslines and droney tones are lightened up with wooh-woohs and an out-of-nowhere, everybody-at-once declaration, “I am weird.” It’s … weird. Find them on BandCamp. Find everybody on BandCamp.
OK, unplug the guitars a second. Philly’s Void Vision is the real damn deal: doomy, danceable beats; swirling, cold-wavey synths; vocals like Goth angels at the other end of a darkened corridor. Might strike the same nerves as New Order/NiN. Should not be missed.
Fronted by husband-and-wife duo Jeff Schroeck and Miranda Taylor, Black Wine has some serious indie-rock pedigree, but you don’t need to know about the Ergs, Hunchback or Don Giovanni records. You just need to like blazing, righteous rock.
The gritty and garagey Potty Mouth, out of Western Massachusetts, brings it on home with tight melodies and fierce lyrics.
The afternoon is packed with workshops — self-defense, urban gardening, an awesome thing where you make your own stop-motion animation — leading up to the Zine Reading event at the Rotunda. Philly’s Kerri Radley will be there, showing off her handmade perzine about living with hearing loss. “I write Deafula for a bunch of reasons,” she says. “To have a forum to freely talk about and analyze experiences, deaf politics and my identity; to be an informational resource for hearing people; and to connect with other people who feel ostracized or othered by some aspect of who they are.” (More info at .)
On to the music. It all gets started early, with lo-fi Philly band Batty taking the Rotunda stage at 5:30 p.m. Things only get louder: ferocious, fighty scream-punks Peeple Watchin’ of Boston. Then noisy, kick-ass scare-punks Shady Hawkins from Brooklyn. Then explosive, raw, stage-stomping Balti-punks Big Mouth, who seem to have a direct Ouija-line to L7, Hole, lots of good stuff.
Here’s a suggested tagline for loud-and-fast New York City hardcore act In School: “Easy to like. Hard to Google.” They kick off Ladyfest’s most pit-worthy rock block, with Philly’s thrashy +HIRS+ following suit. (FYI: +HIRS+ is very upfront about their distaste for gods, cops and shitheads, so try not to be any of those.)
Providence, R.I.’s Whore Paint does all of the above, plus some spooky, mathy, no-wavey stuff, too. Singer Rebecca Mitchell is a force of nature.
Boston’s Parasol brings us back into poppier territory with jangly guitars and pounding drums. Velocity Girl fans, take note.
City Paper favorite U.S. Girls is the nightcap. Ex-Philadelphian Meghan Remy walks in a hazy shadow world between noisy knob-twisting lo-fi and soulful throwback pop.
The highlight of the afternoon’s busy workshop schedule will probably be PW’s Tara Murtha — the alt-weekly writer everybody can agree on — and her presentation Victim Blaming in the Media. That’s 1:15 p.m. at A.I.R. Space (4007 Chestnut St.).
Coupla favorite locals get the music started at 3 p.m.: lo-fi pop-folkie Kate Ferencz (proprietor of Single Girl, Married Girl Records), followed by the mysterious Ghost Ship (starring Blood Like Mine’s Rosali Middleman and in-demand harpist Mary Lattimore).
Here’s another sweet one-two punch: A set by current bands from the Girls Rock Philly camp, followed by one of its better-known success stories — dancey, fancy pop experimentalist Attia Taylor.
Brooklyn rap doofuses Mindtroll will probably get half the room dancing and the other half snort-laughing with their catchy melodies and silly rhymes. A pinch of Le Tigre and a dollop of Fannypack and VIP.
Muscular guitars, blazing vocals, heart-pounding rock ’n’ roll: Trophy Wife is the total package. One of the most thrilling bands in Philadelphia today.
Hey, you’re already sweating. You might as well go nuts for shouty, messy D.C. punks Priests.
I’ll wait here. You go look up that video of Screaming Females co-covering “Because the Night” with Garbage. You back? OK, what have we learned? One: The dirty Jerz trio has escaped its indie upbringing to snag a wider sort of acclaim and respect. Two: Marissa Paternoster is one of the most killer guitarists in the world right now. She just fucking shreds. Three: Do not miss their set.
Brooklyn queercore band Aye Nako puts Ladyfest to bed with some brainy/dancey pop-punk.
Benoit & Sergio
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