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August 06, 2007

Illinois; The Sw!ms: World Café Live, Philadelphia PA, 07.28.07

Look, I know I have a tendency to start these posts off with telling you about "how it is" here in the City of Brotherly Love, but let's face it -- there's few people like me who have the experience, history or whatever it takes to drop this science on all you readers out there. People say Philadelphia is the Next Big Thing, Sixth Borough and whatever, so let me tell you a secret (which I guess isn't really a secret now that I've shared it through Billboard!): some of this city's best exports are not Philadelphia bands per se, but rather from our surrounding areas. Thank heavens we have the keen sense to claim them for our own.

On this particular night it was a cavalcade of suburban indie rock; a great reminder that not every band outside city limits is chock full of soul-patch douchebaggery, and what better proof do you need than the one-two punch of Scranton's The Sw!ms and Doylestown's Illinois. Sometimes, you know, people just live outside the city 'cause it's cheaper. Or something like that. Who knew World Café Live could get so positively suburban?

Back when I was booking shows, the Sw!ms were always a personal favorite -- their sunny psychedelic pop went in tandem with frontman Brian's crazy vintage outfits. (I have previously remarked that Brian is Philly's version of The Bee Girl -- something about him just makes people so happy!) It's been a while since I've seen the Sw!ms, and I'm wishing I hadn't held out for so long. They just get tighter and tighter each time; their closer track was a sprawling psych scorcher, at points touching upon some British heavy metal. Rad!

After them were Illinois. Now I realize I wasn't so kind to them the first time around, but let's face it -- these guys look like a bunch of Williamsburgin', Stereogum readin', skinny jeans wearin', sneaker fad followin' nu-ravers but then they have the audacity to come out on stage and kick out some serious banjo rock that makes every Dr. Dog fan within a 100-mile radius quiver with orgasmic glee. So kudos to you, gentlemen, for bucking hipster expectations and rocking out Appalachian-meets-Radiohead stylee, but you lost points when I spotted you liquoring up women that look like what some might call "sorostitutes". (I would have thought you'd pick cooler girls than that to mack on, but like the title of your record says: what the hell do I know?)

No photos of sleazy sorority girls here, but plenty of rock:

The Sw!ms











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LOVE your style of writing in this entry, Maria. And your shout-out to sorostitutes, natch.

Raised By Bees

No one sets out to find sorostitutes. They just sort of find you.

muhal richard abrams

"Who knew World Café Live could get so positively suburban?"



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