Live Concert Photography: Filthy Friends with Dressy Bessy at Music Hall of Williamsburg 5/24/19
Initially comprised of Sleater-Kinney’s and Heavens to Betsy’s Corin Tucker (vocals, guitar), Fastbacks‘ Kurt Bloch (guitar), Young Fresh Fellows‘ Scott McCaughey (bass), R.E.M.’s Peter Buck (guitar) and King Crimson‘s Bill Rieflin (drums), Filthy Friends featured some of the most accomplished, influential and beloved musicians of the past 40 years or so in an indie rock/alt rock All-Star act that in some way was both meant to be a side project of sorts and a free-flowing collaboration between likeminded, long-time friends and colleagues.
The indie supergroup’s full-length debut Invitation received attention and praise for its politically charged thematically concerns — and as a result, they were included on the anti-Trump compilation 30 Songs in 30 Days. Just as they were about to begin touring to support their full-length debut, Scott McCaughey suffered a stroke, which unfortunately curtailed the band’s tour plans. While McCaughey was recovering, Tucker wrote and recorded an album with the recently reunited Sleater-Kinney, which they supported with a tour. Peter Buck collaborated with acclaimed singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur in the duo Arthur Buck. Eventually, McCaughey recovered but before the band reconvened to write and record their sophomore album Emerald Valley, the band went through a lineup change with Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3’s Linda Pitmon (drums) replacing Bill Rieflin.
Released last month through Kill Rock Stars Records, Emerald Valley consists of material that finds the band both raging about and mourning over the fate of our planet and the people, who inhabit it. The album’s core idea came from a demo Buck shared with Tucker, a grinding blues that eventually wound up turning into he album’s title track. According to Tucker, as soon as she heard it, it sparked something within her: “I had this long poem growing in my brain,” she says. “It turned into a sort of manifesto about the kind of place we are at as a country but also as a region. Just taking stock of where we’re at and feeling like I can’t believe we let things get this bad.” Songs like “Last Chance County” is a searing indictment of unchecked capitalism with the band calling out the rich and the greedy, who crush the desperate and powerless. Throughout the album demands that the listener has to get up and start changing things now before it’s too late.
The members of Filthy Friends were on a tour throughout last month that included a May 24, 2019 stop at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Denver, CO-based indie rock/punk rock at Dressy Bessy. Check out photos from the show below.
Deriving their name from a popular Playskool doll of the 1970s, the Denver, CO-based indie rock/punk rock act Dressy Bessy — founding members Tammy Ealom (guitar, vocals) and Rob Greene (bass) along with The Apples in Stereo‘s John Hill (guitar) and Craig Gilbert (drums) — formed back in 1996 and are associated with The Elephant 6 Recording Company collective. Over the course of their seven albums, the band’s sound has incorporated punk rock, dream pop, jangle pop and other styles. The band opened the night with a rousing and career spanning set.