We’ll be honest with ya: We banged out that post about the Danger Danger House closing down its shows in like under five minutes. But key players in the West Philly scene marinated in that shit all weekend, informally kickstarting a web campaign that may or may not still be going. Through it all, we learned a lot about our DIY brethren in West Philly. After the jump, we examine the long Internet trail of the WEST PHILLY PHILEBRITY-DISSED-US MELTDOWN.
OK, first things first and full disclosure: Over the last year or two, Danger Danger has become a kind of shorthand here at Philebs about everything kind of dumb about the West Philly scene. And that is totally not their fault. For us, while we do place a high cred value on any DIY enterprise — after all, we are one — the axe we have to grind against Danger Danger centers mostly around crappy noise bands, not having your shit together, driving your neighbors crazy because you’re young and white and think that throwing shows in your basement is some kind of higher calling, and you know, everything else that made the Philly music scene suck throughout the 1990s. Again, this is not Danger Danger’s fault, it’s just a silly prejudice that Philebrity has milked the shit out of since day one. More full disclosure: None of our staff has ever even been to Danger Danger. See? This is just how much of shit we do not give.
So when we made the post, we didn’t think much of it. We’ve been clowning these guys forever now, inadvertently giving them more press than they’ve ever had anywhere else, so it didn’t feel like, you know, a special day or anything. But fallout was swift. First, we got a couple angry emails from DD principals: One was idiotic, but another, with one Russell Brodie, actually turned out to be really quite productive. Russell pleaded his case so well that by the end of the exchange, we actually began to feel bad. More than any output we’d ever seen from the Danger Danger posse, Brodie’s positions about the house, its shows and its place in the community articulated the upshot of all those basement shows and awful e-flyers: They are/were doing it for the kids. Take a look at your average Penn student, and you begin to realize how culturally impoverished and strangled the “kids” are. Positively Biafran, we tell you. We made peace with Russell, and wished him well on the new Danger Danger Gallery — the group’s new “legit” space, which we believe to be currently undergoing renovations.
But just as we were smoking the peace pipe with Russell, we quickly learned another thing: If the Philly Rock Scene is one big high school (newsflash: it is), Danger Danger House is the Trenchcoat Mafia and for some reason, this dumb post on Philebrity was their fucking Columbine. They were mad as hell, and they weren’t gonna take it anymore. New commenters came one by one for days after the post went live, all to tell us how WRONG we were and how much we SUCKED and so on — to be fair, some more articulately than others. One guy, by the name of Michael Anton Parker, produced a response so thoughtful (and longish) that again, we were taken aback: Danger Danger meant something to people, and it wasn’t very neighborly to shit on it. We still thought/think that Pony Pants suck balls, but hey: To each his own. Perhaps that was the big lesson here.
But like we say, even as we were, in our hearts, having a very special moment with Danger Danger, the fury, as Yngwie Malmsteen might say, was still fookin’ UNLEASHED. Adam Katz of the band Red Rocket tried to post comments about how our esteemed editor was a cokehead pedophile who — sacre bleu! — suffered from impotence. He didn’t explain whether or not this was actually a blessing in disguise, but when we flagged the comment and shut down his user account (not something we do often), he took his bit to a bastion of much higher discourse: MySpace.
Guys, guys, come on: We see no reason to drag John McCain into this.
Classy! At this, we were finally like, enough’s enough. We emailed Russell — at this point, the only person from Danger Danger we were talking to who made any sense — and said, look, we don’t wanna be too sabre-rattling about this, but this is libelous. Sorry. In exchange, we published an update to the original post wherein we took back the bit about them being trustafarians — which was always more of a gross cultural generalization than it was supposed to be any kind of verifiable fact. But for some reason — actual, literal broke-ness, we suspect — this thing in particular made the Danger Danger people LIVID. “Trustafarian” apparently is their N-word. Be careful when using. But in the end, we think that this did appease the kids: They posted a similarly worded retraction to ours of the cokehead pedophile claim on MySpace and even invited us out to that night’s show at Queen of Sheba. We didn’t go because that night was Sweeney’s birthday (his 48th) and we’d purchased an eight-ball and five Thai babies.
Meanwhile, somewhere in Fishtown, Patricio Bernardo Martins De Gouvea‘s phone was ringing.
DANGER DANGER PERSON: Hey hello?
PATRICIO: Ughh yeah…who is this?
DDP: Oh its R***n.
P: How are you doing?
DDP: Alright. I wanted to talk to you about something that happened on Philebrity.
P: Okay what is it?
DDP: It’s about the Danger Danger house.
P: Yeah so…
DDP: Umm you know I’m a part of the Danger Danger house right?!!?
DDP: Okay I’m having trouble understanding this comment about not bathing.
P: You know its a joke. You know…a joke.
DDP: Hey I’m not pissed I just thought…blah blah
P: Well you’ve got to grow some thick skin if you’re going to be in the public.
DDP: He’s threatening legal action but that’s cool you know we’ve got a lawyer.
P: Alright soooooo. Is this a big deal? Its kind of funny.
DDP: No I’m laughing I’m just…you know…its funny.
P: Okay well I got to go but maybe I’ll go to the show tonight hopefully I won’t get sucker punched.
DDP: No, no, no I’ll protect you
P:……(rolls eyes)….alright bye
So what have we learned here? Well, a few things: One is that it’s not nice to be dismissive of other people’s microniched subcultures, especially if they have the self-righteous belief that they’re somehow saintly for doing whatever it is they do. Another is that it’s important not to generalize: In the final analysis, for every completely fucktarded Danger Danger show with Red Rocket or whoever, there was another one with Bondo De Role or somebody else we actually loved, and in this regard they are/were no better or worse than any other venue you might read about on this site. And finally, though it was DD’s request in one MySpace bulletin to “Just keep our fuckin name out your mouth,” well Danger Danger House, we just don’t think we’re going to be able to do that. We’re linked forever now, and you might as well get used to it. God knows we’ve done enough getting used to you.