Tag Archives: Philly

The Hippest Thing in Philly

Punk Rock Girl Recreated

I recently wrapped up my album review of Soko’s new release, My Dreams Dictate My Reality, and was slammed with a few wonderful memories of my early years in Philly. (Read it here, especially if you remember The Revival).

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Then coincidentally, in my InBox that afternoon, arrived the latest offering from In The Pocket, a special project that screams Philly Rock Royalty.

David Uosikkinen of Hooters’ fame put this concept together a few years ago, and it’s been a fun journey ever since. For rock fans still in Philly, I am sure it is even more of a fantastic experience, but rock music fans everywhere will enjoy this creative rock music.  Check out our interview with Uosikkinen from 2012 to learn a little bit more about this cool collaborative endeavor.

Uosikkinen’s brainchild was to assemble a group of Philadelphia music legends, lock them in a studio and have them collaborate on re-imagining a hit song from the city’s rich musical past. Each musician is given the musical freedom to put their own distinctive spin on each recording. Every few months, they release a new offering, and follow that up with a live show or two. Over the past few years, I’ve become a big fan and have enjoyed the musical ear candy, including their cuts at “Open My Eyes” (Todd Rundgren/Nazz), “Beat Up Guitar” (Hooters), “Change Reaction” (Robert Hazard) and “Disco Inferno” (The Trammps).

l-r: William Wittman, David Uosikkinen, Pete Donnelly, Tommy Conwell, Richard Bush - Photo by Dallyn Pavey/Dish Public Relations
William Wittman, David Uosikkinen, Pete Donnelly, Tommy Conwell, Richard Bush – Photo by Dallyn Pavey/Dish Public Relations

The new song, the 12th in the series, is an under-appreciated punk classic, “Punk Rock Girl” originally recorded by The Dead Milkmen in 1988. On this version, we are treated to Richard Bush (The A’s) on vocals and he puts his unique and pleasing spin on this angsty rocker. The song is less edgy than the original, and more of a feverish party version highlighted by a some killer guitar riffs from Tommy Conwell that actually boast a bit of a cool rockabilly vibe, and he’s accompanied nicely by William Wittman (Cindy Lauper) also on guitar.  Uosikkinen and bassist Pete Donnelly (NRBQ) drive the aggressive, rollicking rhythm throughout.

I always loved the lyrics on the original, including nostalgic references to Zipperhead and Mojo Nixon, as well as the mistaken reference in “…someone played a Beach Boys song on the jukebox,
It was “California Dreamin’…” and Bush delivers them in that distinctive voice and style that made the A’s so poignant a few decades earlier.

In another nice twist, Uosikkinen and In The Pocket are joined by two of his Hooters’ brethren. Rob Hyman’s melodica is a wonderful and noticeable addition to this version, while Eric Bazilian’s hurdy gurdy is a bit understated, but still a nice creative addition.

The 1988 original was a masterpiece, and this one might just be a bit better! It’s a blast to listen to and a song that’s even better if you’re personally connected to the Philadelphia music scene of the 80’s and 90’s.

Check out a video of the song with recorded in the studio below, as well as a slew of killer photos here: “Punk Rock Girl” recording session.

I highly recommend you snag their music now on iTunes now:

Punk Rock Girl – Single – David Uosikkinen’s in the Pocket

And just for good measure, the original from The Dead Milkman: Punk Rock Girl – Beelzebubba

You can catch Uosikkinen and friends on March 28th at the Ardmore Music Hall. Get tickets here. For those of us in Florida and outside of the Philly region will need to pop on their music, enjoy the flood of nostalgia and wonder what their next offering will be – always a fun trip down memory lane…

Rock On!
Cretin

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Rock Music Musings – Rancid, Hazard…

Last week, I saw the following concert line-up: Rancid, Blink 182, Against Me! and My Chemical Romance.  Are you kidding me? Those four bands on the same bill? The folks in Vancouver had a great night! Four of today’s best punk and alternative bands under one roof.  Nice! Hard to believe, but next year is Rancid’s 20th Anniversary, and they are planning a big tour to celebrate. We’ll provide more details as we get them.

Here’s one of my favorite Rancid tunes to whet your appetite: “Red Hot Moon.” Great tune, which is made even better by the site of the video shoot.  This was filmed in front of the official favorite all-time club of RARA’s Farm, the now departed, CBGB’s. I still remember those sticker-clad, graffiti-covered claustrophobic backstage spaces, and miss them 🙂

Watch the video it really captures the essence of the band and the club.

Listening to Sirius XM’s 1st Wave, I had a flashback to some great years in the Philly live music scene. First, they played Robert Hazard’s “new wave” hit “Escalator of Life” and followed it with Joe Jackson’s “I’m The Man.” I realize Joe Jackson was a Brit, but the rocking title tune off of his 1979 album was covered fantastically by an under-appreciated Philly band, The Chasers.

As with many other Philly bands from the 80’s and 90’s, The Chasers and Robert Hazard were great live, and tore up the local stages for many years. Add in a host of other great live bands like The Hooters, Beru Revue, The A’s, The Daves and Tommy Conwell, and we were blessed with one hell of a good local music scene.  Great days indeed!

Today, I’ll leave with you a cover tune that I stumbled across on Little Steven’s Underground Garage. Remember Ronnie James Dio and his hit “Rainbow In The Dark?” Check out this cover from Paola. I think she’s Swedish, but the internet is not exactly flowing with information about her. I can tell you that the song was released in 2003.  Not sure how I missed it until now..  Enjoy – “Rainbow In The Dark.”

Later – Cretin