Johnny Brenda's & Philly Music Fest Present
Remember Sports, Sammus
1201 N. Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA, 19125
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
“Necessary brattiness” is the motto for Speedy Ortiz’s dauntless new collection of songs, Twerp Verse. The follow-up to 2015’s Foil Deer, the band’s latest indie rock missive is prompted by a tidal wave of voices, no longer silent on the hurt they’ve endured from society’s margins. But like many of these truth-tellers, songwriter, guitarist and singer Sadie Dupuis scales the careful line between what she calls being “outrageous and practical” in order to be heard at all.
“You need to employ a self-preservational sense of humor to speak truth in an increasingly baffling world,” says Dupuis. “I call it a ‘twerp verse’ when a musician guests on a track and says something totally outlandish - like a Lil Wayne verse - but it becomes the most crucial part. This record is our own twerp verse, for those instances when you desperately need to stand up and show your teeth.”
Twerp Verse was tracked in Brooklyn DIY space Silent Barn, mixed by Omaha legend Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley) and mastered by Grammy-nominated engineer Emily Lazar (Sia, Haim, Beck). The record pulls from the most elastic pop moments in Squeeze’s Argybargy and the seesawing synth-rock of Deerhoof and the Rentals. With Dupuis on guitars, vocals, and synths, supporting guitarist Andy Molholt (of psych pop outfit Laser Background) now joins Speedy veterans Darl Ferm on bass and Mike Falcone on drums - and together they accelerate the band’s idiosyncrasy through the wilderness of Dupuis’ heady reflections on sex, lies and audiotape.
Dupuis, who both earned an MFA in poetry and taught at UMass Amherst, propels the band’s brain-teasing melodies with her serpentine wit. Inspired by the cutting observations of Eve Babitz, Aline Crumb’s biting memoirs, and the acute humor of AstroPoet Dorothea Lasky, Dupuis craftily navigates the danger zone that is building intimacy and political allyship in 2018. Now as public pushback against the old guards reaches a fever pitch - in the White House, Hollywood and beyond - the band fires shots in disillusioned Gen Y theme “Lucky 88,” and casts a side-eye towards suitors-turned-monsters in the cold-blooded single “Villain.” Closing track “You Hate The Title” is a slinky traipse through the banality of this current moment in patriarchy - in which survivors are given the mic, but nitpicked over the timbre of their testimonies. “You hate the title, but you’re digging the song,” Dupuis sings wryly, “You like it in theory, but it’s rubbing you wrong.” Tuned smartly to the political opacity of the present, Twerp Verse rings clear as a bell.
It took more than two years for all of the pieces to come together for Remember Sports’ third album. In the time that elapsed, Carmen Perry (vocals, guitar), Jack Washburn (guitar), and Catherine Dwyer (bass) relocated from the tiny Midwestern college town of Gambier, Ohio, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, adding new drummer Connor Perry and retiring their original nom de plume, SPORTS, along the way. Slow Buzz is the latest evolution of a band known for its dedication to friendship and ability to carve out revelatory scuzz fueled tunes that make you want to grab your closest buds and dance your cares away.
Slow Buzz centers around a break up and comes at a crossroads for the band. The record is the first official release under Remember Sports, a moniker that functions as both a question and a command, which foreshadows all of the deeply personal emotions Carmen experiences at the painful end of a good relationship. Carmen’s writing is diaristic and intimate; hearing this record is a strange amalgam of both melancholy and joy. Brazen and energetic as ever, Slow Buzz is a record that is a paradox. It celebrates both the sanctity and joy of friendship in the same heartbeat as the grief attached to moving on from something difficult and nostalgic.
Recorded in Valatie, NY by Evan M. Marré (Russel the Leaf), Slow Buzz is the band’s first release as a solidified group, and fittingly the first record on which they had the luxury to experiment and expand upon their live sound. The result is an album that is expertly layered in its sonics: Slow Buzz focuses intently on all of the nuances of arrangement and production that Remember Sports has fine tuned over five years of playing together is their most ambitious record to date. Come for the high energy dynamism, stay to have your heart broken.
SAMMUS (Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo) an Ithaca, NY native, is a rap artist and producer, as well as a soon-to-be doctor in science and technology studies from Cornell University. In fall of 2019 she will be joining Brown’s music department as a postdoctoral fellow through a joint appointment with the Cogut Center for the Humanities. As a working musician since 2010, Enongo aka Sammus has also written, produced, and recorded three full-length albums (one of which has charted on Billboard), three EPs, a collaborative video-game themed concept album with the MC Mega Ran, a critically acclaimed beat tape, and countless one-off collaborations with artists from a variety of genres as well as video game developers, podcasters, and filmmakers. Her story as an artist at the intersections of academia and Afrofuturism has led to coverage in publications like The New York Times, NPR, Pitchfork, and Afropunk among others. She has also been invited to perform and speak at a range of conferences, conventions, festivals and campus engagements about her experiences as a hip hop artist, black feminist, Afrofuturist thinker, and artist/academic. Her live shows, characterized by her explosive energy and the inclusion of elements of cosplay, bring together a diverse array of activists, hip hop heads, punks, and self-identified nerds and geeks, among others. As noted by the Los Angeles Times, Sammus “has a gift for getting a message across.”
At Brown she will be pursuing research and teaching about Afrodiasporic forms of music-making. Her other academic interests include gender and technology, as well as sound in gaming. Her dissertation is a multi-cited ethnography that examines the politics that coproduce music-making practices in recording studios that prioritize working with artists from “underserved” communities (poor, black and Latinx youth) as well as women and non-binary artists; and that exist to provide these groups with free and low-cost recording services and education.
In addition to managing a full-time music career and her graduate school obligations, Enongo has spent the past decade as an educator in both public-school contexts and at the college level. Between 2008-2010 she served as a corps member in the national teaching program Teach for America, through which she taught elementary math and science at an underserved school in southwest Houston, TX. Throughout her graduate school experience at Cornell she has taught and TA’d courses on sound studies, bioethics, science and feminism, American studies, and introductory science & technology studies as well as giving talks in the music department and Africana studies department. Since 2016 she has also taught courses at NYU in the Science, Technology, and Society Department within the Tandon School of Engineering. At Brown she hopes to lead courses on hip hop songwriting and feminist recording and musicking practices among other topics.
Finally, as a public scholar, Enongo has committed much of her time to community building and thinking critically about how to invite other forms of expertise into academic spaces. From 2014-2016 she served as the Assistant Residence Hall Director at a music-focused residential community at Cornell through which she highlighted the creative contributions of black artists across a multitude of musical genres through concerts, panel discussions, and workshops among other programs. From 2016-2017 she served on the board of Ithaca Underground, a radical all-ages arts non-profit within the Ithaca area. During her time on the board, she focused her efforts on building relationships with more local and regional hip hop acts and conducting outreach to involve more people of color in the programming and planning of events. That same year she also helped to organize an Ithaca chapter of Black Lives Matter with a multi-generational group of organizers who were (and remain) committed to developing initiatives and programs around the principles of anti-racism and self-determination. From 2013-2014 she was selected to be a Publicly Active Graduate Education (PAGE) Fellow and from 2016-2017 she served as a New York Public Humanities Fellow, through which she participated in workshops and conferences designed to engender more expansive ideas around what constitutes ethical and accessible academic research.
Finally, as a very-vocal black feminist, Enongo has produced articles for publications such as Bitch, For Harriet, Sounding Out!, and The Mary Sue related to issues of race, hip-hop, gaming, and feminism.
All shows are 21+ Proper I.D. required for admission