>>> Right now, I’m about halfway through reading Richard Price’s scuzzy roman å clef ode to 1970s NYC, Ladies Man (fun trivia note: it would later be sorta-adapted into the movie Sea Of Love). It’s a flawed book in lots of ways, but there is this great moment in the book when, after running his brain ragged over a departed girlfriend, the protagonist hooks up with some old buddies and notices how his cares seem to instantly evaporate. He ends the passage thusly: “Friends, man. Fuckin’ friends.” And in that instant, you kind of get exactly what he means; hell, you might have said that exact sentence to yourself at some point along the way.
One of the nice things about this time of year is that the touring bands kind of lay off a bit and the local venues do all kinds of all-locals shows, which often (on the best nights) turn into all-friends shows, and it is then that we truly get to see the majesty of the thing we call Friendrock. That’s basically the story of this weekend, as The Cobbs play their first Philly show in forever with the ex-Lenola band, JJL, and Mark Freeman at Johnny Brenda’s. Similarly, The Walkmen (who at this point we can almost count as our own) and Alec Ounsworth play at Union Transfer.
>>> But in terms of sheer number of Friendrock friends, those shows have nothing on the City Of Love Festival at Underground Arts, a mammoth local bill that starts at 5pm and goes until 2am, and features Sean Hoots (of Hoots & Hellmouth), The Districts, John Francis & The Midnight Choir, Kuf Knotz, Sharon Little, Zach Djanikian, Foxhound, Ross Bellenoit, Ryan Tennis & the Clubhouse Band, Blayer Pointdujour & the Rockers Galore, Levee Drivers, Caleb Hawley, The Lawsuits, Kwesi Kankam, and Sunshowers. Proceeds benefit Broad Street Ministry and its Hospitality Initiative, and with that kind of lineup, you could get all of your Friendrocking done for the whole year.
>>> Or you could sit in a bar in South Philly and listen to the amazing parade of records that will be Kooze Control at Lucky 13. That Friendrock ain’t going anywhere; that’s kind of the thing about it.
>>> If there were awards given for such a thing, Kung Fu Necktie would be this week’s winner, hands-down, for Venue Most Dedicated To Booking Tons Of Bands From Bandcamp That You Can Tell Looooooooove The Jesus & Mary Chain. See for yourself when Stolen Girls/Hard Nips/Jackie Paper/Chit Chat/Hardbodies all touch down there.
>>> And finally: So it is written, so shall it be: Watch Downton Abbey with a clear conscience, and Girls with the correct sense that you and everyone you know are horrible, horrible people. Happy weekend, Philly!