Get Better Fest 4 - Day 2
the HIRS collective, Radiator Hospital, Open City, Pandemix, Soul Glo, Pinkwash, Solarized
2125 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19103
Doors 5:30 PM / Show 6:00 PM
This event is all ages
Get Better Fest 4
GET BETTER FEST 4
Friday April 28th @ Glittery Gallery
ASK A PUNK
Saturday April 29 @ The First Unitarian Church
THE +HIRS+ COLLECTIVE / RADIATOR HOSPITAL / OPEN CITY / PANDEMIX / SOUL GLO / SOLARIZED
Sunday April 30 @ PhilaMOCA
THIN LIPS / KATIE ELLEN / LOONE / L. MATHIS (poetry) / EMPATH / AMANDA X / CHRISTY C. ROAD (spoken word) / ELLEN AND THE DEGENERATES / URSULA
Get Better Fest has always been, and will continue to be a benefit. All proceeds from this year's fest will be donated to the following:
TRANS ASSISTANCE PROJECT
The Trans Assistance Project (TAP) is a national organization that connects trans people in both financial and non-financial need with donors able to provide financial and non-financial resources for documentation and medical purposes. In the face of the recent election, trans individuals will face an increasingly difficult time meeting their basic needs for survival. TAP helps trans folks cast a much wider net than they would be able to on their own, linking up willing donors with recipients in need beyond individual social networks.
YOUTH EMERGENCY SERVICES
Y.E.S. is a non-profit organization that has provided immediate shelter and support services to Philadelphia’s children, youth and families for over 65 years. YSI offers unique programs and niche services throughout the city, including Philadelphia’s only Crisis Nursery Programs and the largest shelter in the area for homeless and runaway teens. Through shelter, counseling, and in-home support services, YSI reaches more than 5,000 clients annually, the majority of whom live below the poverty level. They Offer: Emergency shelter for homeless and runaway teens, 24-hour emergency care for young children, parenting skills classes and counseling, truancy prevention services and family-based services in the home.
WOMEN AGAINST ABUSE
The mission of Women Against Abuse is to provide quality, compassionate, and nonjudgmental services in a manner that fosters self-respect and independence in persons experiencing intimate partner violence and to lead the struggle to end domestic violence through advocacy and community education.
We are a rock band of rockers who love to rock. We also can be just one person who is much quieter but still loves to rock.
"I know you’d like if we just sat silent / and never challenged your ideas," asserts Rachel Rubino in the opening moments of Open City, the eponymous debut by the Philadelphia four-piece, over a blast of hardcore dissonance. “So here's how we feel, here’s what we want, here’s what we need: to be heard!” Open City is a project embedded with histories — people, places, sounds, scenes. Bringing together collective decades of experience in East Coast punk and DIY communities, specifically ones known for prying open the melodic sides of punk rock, hardcore and post-punk, the project is: singer and lyricist Rachel Rubino (Bridge And Tunnel, Worriers), bassist Andy Nelson (Paint It Black, Ceremony, Dark Blue), guitarist Dan Yemin (Paint It Black, Lifetime, Kid Dynamite, Armalite), and drummer Chris Wilson (Ted Leo & the Pharmacists).
“Hell Hath No Fury” is the album’s opening track, an apt point of entry to Open City’s ten tracks of dynamic post-hardcore and Rubino’s wide-ranging vocals, which fluctuate from shouts and screams, to melodic hooks and the occasional deadpan. “I've personally never felt like I fit into the binary of what a woman should be or do,” Rubino says, reflecting on the song. “I feel a strong desire to disconnect gender from talents and actions. I constantly want to find new ways of challenging myself, and through that to challenge the stale ideas others have placed on us. I refuse to do so in silence. I believe in the individual’s right to govern themselves based on what they feel is right and true to their vision of a positive reality.”
A shared ideology is central to Open City. The project grew out of a mutual desire for a band that rehearsed continuously, coupled with an urgent need for something faster and more aggressive than some of its members had done before. Yemin, Nelson and Wilson spent a year carving out the band’s sonic framework, searching for a singer who spoke their common musical language, one inspired by 90s basements and commitment to DIY as an ongoing process. By the time they found Rubino, they’d already linked up with Will Yip at Studio 4 to record the instrumental tracks for the record, fueled by eagerness, frustration, and utter necessity. The result is an album that moves seamlessly, full of thoughtfulness and careful rage.
Open City draws direct inspiration from a specific period in underground punk. “The most exciting shows I’ve seen in my entire life have been in basements in New Jersey, Philadelphia and New York, during 1991 through the early 00s. Specifically Sarah Kirsch’s bands,” Yemin says, speaking of the prolific punk songwriter who played in 12 bands over 20 years, including John Henry West, Torches to Rome, Bread and Circuits, and Fuel. “Those bands were really inspiring in terms of how she did things, what the records sounded like and looked like, the interface between content and design, and presentation and process. Most recently Mothercountry Motherfuckers, the posthumous record that just came out, that was my favorite record of the past few years.” In the early 90s, Kirsch’s music left Yemin in awe: for its aggression, for its melody, the energy, the things said on stage between songs.
Open City weaves in and out of pointed themes: sexism, not staying silent, but also the hollowness of words in the face of inaction. The stakes are high. “I am tired / and you are right / we’ve given up the fight,” Rubino scowls on “Nerve Center”. “Trading my cards in for other efforts / find a place where I can be more effective / What a fucking joke!” It’s a song that stares you right in the eye and couldn’t be better timed. "All these words they don’t mean shit when all you do is yell at bricks," Rubino screams on a cut that rallies against inequality, “Brother I'm Getting Nowhere.”
These are songs about sleepless nights, the reality of endings, about feeling stuck, honing on a purpose; about fighting, and then not fighting. “There's an inherent anger at the systems of oppression and abuse that constantly diminish and destroy the efforts of folks who are fighting for a better world,” Rubio says. “There's a deep disappointment for a lack of support and care from individuals in my life and in my community who I expected more from. There's a heavy dose of self-analysis, in a range from self care to self-loathing. Finding hope in strange places. Mourning loss along a timeline you cannot control. Trying to understand it. Admitting that I can't. It exists in that tense place where frustration is fighting apathy.”
- Liz Pelly
Soul Glo are a self described “aggressive” band from Philadelphia. “Aggressive” typifies their presence in multiple senses: their first release is an untitled 13track LP of sonically diverse exploration of all of the best themes of extreme music. Covering ground that journeys from hardcore punk to black metal with welcome experiences of powerviolence, screamo, and grindcore, the band applies aggression in a much more direct and urgent sense lyrically, describing “the experience of the Black american,” as their priority. “Aggressive” doesn’t just apply to their open politics but also the ease with which the message spreads to the ears of anyone who daily walks with the burden of “social other” on their back. It’s a replenishment of the body’s water in a drought, both revealing and satisfying a need for truth that one doesn’t know they possess. In the same places they find inspiration, the members of Soul Glo see desperate need for change. They have little interest in simply providing the world with more color-by-numbers hardcore songs, and instead focus on the politics of identity and experience in an increasingly dystopian america.
COLLECTIVE SIGH is the debut LP from Philadelphia’s prog-punk duo PINKWASH, the follow up to their 2014 Your Cure Your Soil EP and 2015’s Cancer Money(both out on Sister Polygon Records). With the release of the full-length on Don Giovanni Records, the band showcases their hypnotic mathy metal riffs and tight punishing drumming.
The powerful delivery of the vocals “from a high-pitched scream, on the verge of cutting out, to a strong-trained melody” is one of a kind, undeniably unique. And that’s a good way to describe the music itself, easy to make comparisons, but all the explanations of Fugazi-like angularity, early At the Drive-In vibes, and the, daresay,”post-hardcore” feel don’t encompass the sound that is PINKWASH.
This is heavy, distorted music, full of passion and care, made by two artists who are clearly locked in on the same plane, as shown by flawless synchronicity in songs such as “SPACE DUST”. The band builds non-linear structures around repetitive riffs, that not only keep you on your toes, but anxious to hear what’s next, all underpinned by the high-octane energy that typifies their music. Whether moving from the melodic “HALFMOON” to the dreamy dissonance of “WALK FORWARD WITH MY EYES CLOSED” COLLECTIVE SIGH maintains cohesion, while pushing the envelope with the band’s dynamic sound.
Solarized is a buncha space noise, just some burnt embers floating around the shitty trappings of punk rock like pixies through a celestial husk. DC-meets-San Diego trashy, queer-inspired hardcore from some old assed dudes/astronauts you know.
All proceeds from Get Better Fest 4 will be donated to the Trans Assistance Project, Youth Emergency Services and Women Against Abuse.