Tag: Philadelphia PA

Just about 13 years ago, I started what has been for me, my life’s work — this site. And honestly, when I started this site, I couldn’t have imagined three-quarters of the things I’ve done and experienced over JOVM’s history to ever happen. 

  • I’ve covered roughly 1,100-1,200 shows in NYC, with a handful of shows in ChicagoBaltimore and Philadelphia
  • I’ve covered about a dozen or more festivals, including traveling to Montreal for M for Montreal in 2019 and again earlier this month.
  • I’ve been a panelist at Mondo.NYC Festival and at New Colossus Festival, speaking about PR, promotion and press for indie artists, giving my perspective as a indie blogger. 
  • A few years ago, I made a cameo in a JOVM mainstay’s music video. It’s a very noticeable spot towards the end of the video. It was a fun experience, but so far no one has called me about acting or dancing gigs. Maybe I need to stick to the writing and photography? 
  • I couldn’t have imagined photographing George ClintonPatti LaBelleSnoop DoggBlondieNile RodgersRoky EricksonPhilip BaileyBlind Boys of Alabama and so many others, as well as this site’s countless mainstays.
  • I wouldn’t have met the countless colleagues and musicians, who have become supporters and friends.  

Now you’ll remember that during the very worst of the pandemic, things seemed — understandably — bleak. And although we’ve slowly managed to claw our way back to even greater degree of normalcy, being a working and touring musician has remained extremely bleak. Financially touring has always been a financial risk but rising inflation and COVID-19 has made touring much more daunting and complicated. 

We’re all trying to figure out how to maneuver in a new, confusing and uncertain landscape that may well be with us for an indefinite period of time. But with these past 12+ years under my belt, I have no intentions of going anywhere. 

I strongly believe that I’ve managed to carve out a unique spot in the blogosphere, a place that I feel is desperately necessary because both the music and media worlds are often so incredibly homogenous. Someone out there has to do something different. And representation in every aspect matters. So JOVM and my work with it has to continue. 

As I do every month, I want to thank the following folks and organizations. Without them this past few years — and especially this year — wouldn’t have been remotely possible: 

Sash

Alice Northover

Bella Fox

Jenny MacRostie

Janene Otten 

All of those folks have been generous Patreon patrons. Of course, feel free to check out the Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/TheJoyofViolentMovement. And if you’re able to support, your support will be greatly appreciated and continuously shouted out. Any amount really helps. 

I have to thank the folks at Creatives Rebuild New York. I’m relieved, proud and humbled to be included in their Guaranteed Income for Artists program. The money I’ll receive over the next 13 months or so will be put to good use — keeping this little dream of mine going. I don’t think there’s enough words to thank them — or to show how grateful I am. (I’ll keep trying, of course!) 

There are other ways you can support. 

You can also support by checking the JOVM shop: https://www.joyofviolentmovement.com/shop 

You can also support my following me on the following platforms:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/william_ruben_helms 

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/yankee32879 and https://www.twitter.com/joyofviolent 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheJoyofViolentMovement

And you can hire me for headshots, portraits and events. Seriously, I’m available for that, too. You can click here: https://www.photobooker.com/photographer/ny/new-york/william-h?duration=1?duration=1# or you can contact me directly.

New Audio: ZADAR Teams up with Isa Niels on Shimmering and Brooding “Halos On The Moon”

Antonio G is a Philadelphia-based songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and creative mastermind behind the goth/darkwave outfit ZADAR. He’s currently working on the project’s first album — and is searching for like-minded musicians to join him in playing the material live.

ZADAR’s latest single “Halos On The Moon” sees the Philadelphia-based Antonio G collaborating with Isa Nielsen, a singer/songwriter and guitarist, who has opened for Rage Against the Machine‘s Tom Morello and John 5, who has played with Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie — and is the newest member of Mötley Crùe. Nielsen has also played on MTV Specials, MTV’s VMB Awards. Built around shimmering guitars, a relentless motorik-like groove, Neilsen’s plaintive vocals and enormous hooks, “Halos On The Moon” may recall The Sisters of Mercy and Cocteau Twins, while being rooted in swooning Romanticism.

“‘Halos’ is a song about regret and loss. It’s a song about somehow coming to terms with your failure and past mistakes and still moving on with your life,” Antonio G explains.

New Audio: Philly’s Vixen77 Shares a Gritty and Defiant Rocker

Philadelphia-based guitarist Caitlin D’Agostino has dreamt of playing in an all-women rock band since she was in high school. And after playing in the City of Brotherly Love’s punk scene for a handful of years, she decided to put in dream in motion in late 2018 when she started Vixen77, her latest band, which references female energy and the influence of the ’77 punk rock revolution. Fittingly, the band specializes in a loud, aggressive, rebellious and downright fun take on rock ‘n’ roll that’s nostalgia-inducing — and necessary.

The band re-emerged from pandemic-related lockdowns with a new lineup featuring D’Agostino, Elizabeth Cartwright (bass), Jaz (bass), Sarah Novack (drums) and Samatha Joan (vocals, harmonica), and since then have released a string of attention-grabbing singles, which has lead to packed, headlining shows in the Philly area and an opening slot for Wayne Kramer on his current MC5 tour.

Building upon a growing profile, the Philly-band punk outfit’s highly-anticipated full-length debut Easy Access is slated for a Friday release through Megaforce Records. Recorded in a breakneck 72 hour recording session at Retro City Studios, Easy Access‘ 12 songs navigate life through love and rock ‘n’ roll. And so far, the album has earned support from KEXP, Sirius XM, WXPN and others.

Vixen77 shared the last pre-album release, “Royalty” earlier today. “Royalty” is a gritty and defiant AC/DC-like rocker centered around D’Agostino’s bluesy power chord-driven riffage, a locked in and chugging propulsive rhythm section paired with Joan’s self-assured, snarl. The new single sees the Philly-based outfit adding their names to a lengthy and growing list of women-led acts who boldly and unashamedly kick ass and take names.

“‘Royalty’ is about feeling a sense of purpose in playing music and doing it on your own terms,” the band says. “It’s about loving and playing music your whole life and centering so much of your energy on it. It’s also a good memento mori and reminder to live in the moment because we’re here for a short time, so do what you love.” 

12 years ago, I started what has been for me — my life’s work.

And honestly, when I started this site, I couldn’t have imagined three-quarters of the things I’ve done and experienced over JOVM’s history to ever happen. 

  • I’ve covered roughly 1,100-1,200 shows in NYC, with a handful of shows in ChicagoBaltimore and Philadelphia.
  • I’ve covered about a dozen or more festivals, including traveling to Montreal for M for Montreal back in 2019. 
  • I’ve been a panelist at Mondo.NYC Festival and at New Colossus Festival, speaking about PR, promotion and press for indie artists, giving my perspective as a indie blogger. 
  • A few years ago, I made a cameo in a JOVM mainstay’s music video. It’s a very noticeable spot towards the end of the video. It was a fun experience, but so far no one has called me about acting gigs. Maybe I need to stick to the writing and photography? 
  • I couldn’t have imagined photographing George ClintonPatti LaBelleSnoop DoggBlondieNile RodgersRoky EricksonPhilip BaileyBlind Boys of Alabama and so many others, as well as this site’s countless mainstays.
  • I wouldn’t have met the countless colleagues and musicians, who have become supporters and friends. And by far, music friends have proven to be the very best of friends. 

JOVM turned 10 in June 2020. And during the middle of the very worst of the pandemic, things seemed — understandably — bleak. And although we’re slowly managed to claw our way back to a degree of normalcy, in which gathering together can happen, things across the music industry still seem rather bleak: Touring has always been a big financial risk for musicians but COVID-19 has made it even more complicated, because musicians are out there risking their health and lives — because they need to make money to live. 

We’re all trying to figure out how to maneuver in a new, confusing and uncertain landscape that may well be with us for an indefinite period of time. But with these past 12 years under my belt, I have no intentions of going anywhere. 

I strongly believe that I’ve managed to carve out a unique spot in the blogosphere, a place that I feel is desperately necessary because both the music and media worlds are often so incredibly homogenous. Someone out there has to do something different. And representation in every aspect matters. So in many ways, this has to continue. 

As I do every month, I want to thank the following folks and organizations. Without them this past few years — and especially this year — wouldn’t have been remotely possible: 

Sash

Alice Northover

Bella Fox

Jenny MacRostie

Janene Otten 

All of those folks have been generous Patreon patrons. Of course, feel free to check out the Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/TheJoyofViolentMovement. And if you’re able to support, your support will be greatly appreciated and continuously shouted out. Any amount really helps. Seriously. 

I must thank the folks at Creatives Rebuild New York. I’m relieved, proud and humbled to be included in their Guaranteed Income for Artists program. The money I’ll receive over the next 18 months will be put to good use — keeping this little dream of mine going. I don’t think there’s enough words to thank them — or to show how grateful I am. (I’ll keep trying, of course!) 

There are other ways you can support. 

You can also support by checking the JOVM shop: https://www.joyofviolentmovement.com/shop 

You can also support my following me on the following platforms:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/william_ruben_helms 

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/yankee32879 and https://www.twitter.com/joyofviolent 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheJoyofViolentMovement

And you can hire me for headshots, portraits and events. Seriously, I’m available for that, too. You can click here: https://www.photobooker.com/photographer/ny/new-york/william-h?duration=1?duration=1# or you can contact me directly.

New Video: Palm Ghosts Shares Power Ballad “Cross Your Heart”

Throughout the course of this site’s 12 year history, I’ve spilled copious amounts of virtual ink covering Nashville-based indie rock act Palm Ghosts. Led by singer/songwriter and producer and Ice Queen Records founder Joseph Lekkas, Palm Ghosts can trace its origins to when Lekkas lived in Philadelphia: After spending a number of years playing in local bands like Grammar Debate! and Hilliard, Lekkas took a lengthy hiatus from writing, recording and performing music to book shows and festivals in and around the Philadelphia area. 

Lekkas initially started Palm Ghosts as a solo recording project — and as a creative outlet to cope with an incapacitating bout of depression and anxiety. During a long, prototypically Northeastern winter, Lekkas recorded a batch of introspective songs that at the time, he dubbed “sun-damaged American music,” which eventually became the project’s full-length debut. After a short tour in 2013 to support the album, Lekkas packed up his belongings and relocated to Music City, enticed by its growing indie rock scene.

Palm Ghosts’ third album, 2018’s Architecture was a decided change in sonic direction with Lekkas crafting material influenced by the 80s — in particular, Cocteau TwinsPeter GabrielDead Can DanceNew Order,  The Cure, and others. 

Much like countless musical acts across the globe, Lekkas and his bandmates spent the forced downtime of the pandemic, attempting to be as busy as they possible could: They wrote a ton of new material informed by a year or so of quarantine-related isolation, socioeconomic and financial instability, protests and demonstrations.

Last year, the JOVM mainstays released two albums, their fourth album, Lifeboat Candidate and their fifth album, Lost Frequency. Lifeboat Candidate was a fittingly dark, dystopian effort full of confusion, fear and dread that drew from the events and circumstances of the year preceding its release. Interestingly, Lost Frequency is a much different album: Initially scheduled for a 2020 release, Palm Ghosts’ fifth album harkens back to before the pandemic, when things seemed more or a less normal and carefree — or at least somehow a bit less uneasy and desperately urgent. In some way, the album’s material feels both celebratory, escapist, and perhaps even somewhat nostalgic. But paradoxically, the album’s material lyrically brings confrontation to the forefront, reminding the listener that nothing is normal — and that normalcy and the desire to return to it is extremely destructive.

The JOVM’s mainstays forthcoming sixth album Post Preservation reveals an entirely different side of the band. The album’s material features love songs — and there’s even a hint of optimism and some light showing through the cracks. But it’s still 2022, and there’s still plenty of darkness and discontent to the proceedings to balance the sunniness of much of the material. Conceived as a sort of soundtrack to a long lost John Hughes film, Post Preservation is full of nostalgic longing for a world that no longer exists, except in our hearts and minds.

Post Preservation‘s latest single “Cross Your Heart” is a swooning, hook-driven power ballad that sonically is one-part Psychedelic Furs‘ “Pretty in Pink,” one-part Simple Minds‘ “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” and paired with earnest, lived-in lyrics that describe being in — and perhaps out of — love, at the end of the world.

The accompanying video is nostalgia-fueled fever dream featuring the band playing the song together at what appears to be either a house party or a rehearsal space, fuzzy nuclear snow, images of sun-dappled forests, adding to the overall dystopian yet hopeful feel.