NOTHING

NOTHING

Swirlies, Big Bite, Smut

Sat, October 6, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 7:30 pm

UnionTransfer

Philadelphia, PA

$19.00 - $23.00

This event is all ages

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NOTHING
NOTHING
“I don’t feel as though I’ve grown less cynical by any means– maybe just more comfortable knowing that I’m no longer using existence, existence is using me”, chuckles Domenic Palermo when speaking of NOTHING’s ​third installment, Dance On The Blacktop. Palermo first discovered the title, taken from ancient prison slang meaning a fight or hit during outside recreation, in the works of urban fiction writers Donald Goines and Iceberg Slim. Known for their popularity throughout the prison system, Palermo became acquainted while he was incarcerated, later finding it to be a symbolic interpretation of the album’s philosophy. “I've learned to bask in the absurdity of it all– in the chaos,” preaches Palermo. "There’s beauty in the confusion if you can learn to hold its hand.”

The story of NOTHING ​began in 2010 with a simple demo tape in a Philadelphia apartment. The project, which started as a therapeutic outlet solely for Palermo, snowballed into a polished machine with a chance meeting with guitarist/singer Brandon Setta and the eventual addition of Kyle Kimball on drums. Sharing a musical bond, the trio weaved melancholic tales of imprisonment, broken bonds and lost youth as the centerpiece for their 2014 debut, Guilty Of Everything. The world post Guilty served as the focus for the entirety of 2016’s Tired Of Tomorrow – painting a Schopenhauerian tragedy in vivid color and sound.

Dance on the Blacktop is the next chapter of NOTHING’s ​story and like its predecessors, pulls from all corners of life in its contents. Stories of self loathing, self destruction, and a general disdain for humanity and its, “insignificant” role in Palermo’s vision of the universe are met with his poised amusement and tranquil hysteria being one himself. All of this told through the eyes of a recently diagnosed Palermo suggesting he is dealing with the early stages of CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy), a neurodegenerative disease found in people with serious head injuries. And as they packed themselves in a coffin-sized NYC apartment for 23 days to demo songs it became abundantly clear that the ripple effect left upon his psyche from dealing with these newfound symptoms would leave its mark on the material.

NOTHING ​sought out celebrated producer John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr, Breeders, Sonic Youth, Kurt Vile) to help accentuate the band’s love for all sounds 90s, from rock to shoegaze to pop realms and on both sides of the pond. The next month was spent tracking at the historical Dreamland Studios in Woodstock, NY with newly appointed bassist Aaron Heard. As days moved by, Palermo spewed songs of heightened confusion, anxiety, paranoia, depression, and chronic battles with physical pain– a result of his unstable past and more recent illness. These themes, spoken in a lush angelic language are juxtaposed against the band’s now signature apocalyptic, reverberating wall of shimmering sound, all captured beautifully by Agnello and the open room.

Throughout the course of their history, NOTHING ​have brought their signature heavy live performance on the road with a diverse cast of acts like Dinosaur Jr, Jane's Addiction, Failure, Hum, Power Trip, Baroness, Torche, DIIV, Merchandise, Car Seat Headrest, Thursday and AFI. They've appeared at the world-renowned Governor’s Ball, Lollapalooza, Primavera, Made In America, Levitation, Osheaga and Sasquatch, becoming a staple of the festival set, all while garnering widespread critical acclaim from the likes of Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, NPR, NME and more.

While sticking to the sound that has now become their own, you can still hear the band testing their boundaries and creating a plethora of genre-bending, yet widely accessible songs. As a band, NOTHING manage to muster a smile in the face of the illogical, and there is no denying that Dance On The Blacktop is a brave walk into the absurdity.
Swirlies
Swirlies
Formed from the shell of a Go-Go's cover band named Raspberry Bang (featuring the inimitable Rusty Nails), SWIRLIES began their life in Boston/Cambridge, MA in the summer of 1990. The original band featured Damon Tutunjian (guitar/vox), Seana Carmody (guitar/vox), Andy Bernick (bass), and Ben Drucker (drums). SWIRLIES played live for the very first time on 25 January 1991 at the Alcove in Allston, MA. In these early years, SWIRLIES wandered the Northeastern Megalopolis with other like-minded folks, releasing 7" records through the kindness of Slumberland, Pop Narcotic, Cinderblock, and other labels. Billy Ruane was there. And then SWIRLIES signed to the 'local' label Taang! Records in 1992. Our first two releases, the ’What to Do About Them’ EP (a collection of previous 7"s and new tracks) and ‘Blondertongue Audiobaton’ LP, were created and recorded by an amalgamation of the original members and other mysterious entities. Our dependence on sacred symbols (embodied by The Ostrich, The One Who Speaks Abstractly On Recordings, and other archetypes) began at approximately this time.

Then the chaos seeped in slowly...with the first of many churnings of personnel. In early 1993, Morgan Andrews (MADBOX, ROCK/PAPER/SCISSORS) took over bass-related duties and infused them with his own blend of irritating noise. It was this SWIRLIES that made a video for 'Bell' with Linsey Herman (CAKE AND COMMERCE) and went on their first US tour in a stinking minivan filled with fashion magazines. After school ended for the season, Andy returned to join Morgan and the band. Thus, SWIRLIES explored the sensual realm known exclusively to bands with two bass players. Morgan shortly became spent and disgusted and disappeared into anarchist puppetry oblivion. Ben Drucker was oustered (some say unwisely) and went on to use his mind more productively in other areas. Around the time that ‘Brokedick Car’ EP was released, Anthony Deluca (THE PLANTS) signed on -- mainly because Lenny Kravitz found an attractive lady to drum in his nascent band.

After some years with Anthony, and our first small tour of Europe in January 1994, Seana left to form the now defunct SYRUP USA, and guitar/singing duties were taken over by The Otter (a/k/a Christina Files). With this group, ‘They Spent Their Wild Youthful Days In The Glittering World Of The Salons’ LP was conceived/recorded over two years at various studios. Anthony departed with hybrid vigor in late 1995, and Gavin McCarthy (KARATE) took over the drum kit for two US tours and a handful of other shows....during which he went temporarily insane and (smelling like a Bowery bum) drove his fancy white van across the country and out of our lives forever. More chaos. The now Gavin-less SWIRLIES (e.g. Damon, Christina, and Andy) played a few liberating analog/digital shows, before somehow managing to absorb drummer Adam Pierce (IRIS, DYLAN GROUP, MICE PARADE).

In 1997, Christina left for glory (including VICTORY AT SEA, MARY TIMONY, and current recording/sound genius). ‘Strictly East Coast Sneaky Flute Music’ LP (our last for Taang!) was released at about this time. This record featured remixes of 'Salons’ LP material, and new pieces heavily influenced by Scituate, MA. Free from contractual obligations, SWIRLIES were blessed by Yahweh to find guitarist Rob '(The) Doctor Laasoko' Laakso (WICKED FARLEYS, THE MATHS, DIAMOND NIGHTS, AMAZING BABY).

Since about 2000, SWIRLIES have more or less maintained the "Damon-Rob-Andy-Adam" arrangement, while also taking on: Mike Walker (LILYS), Ken Bernard (WICKED FARLEYS, CERTAINLY, SIR, STRICTLY BUSINESS), Kara Tutunjian, our old comrade Seana Carmody, Deb Warfield (PUELLA), Doro Tachler (IGLOO), Avery Matthews, Kevin Shea (COPTIC LIGHT, SEXY THOUGHTS, PEOPLE), Junko Henmi (CANDYCANE) and so many others. All of the above helped to make and/or perform songs that became 'Cats of The Wild, Volume 2', the mini-album, EP, or whatever it was (Bubblecore, released 25 March 2003). Touring with a "Damon-Rob-Adam-Mike-Doro-and-rarely-with-bird-researchin'-Andy" arrangement continued for a few years, and briefly ended when Damon moved to Parts Midwest to find better living through psycholinguistics. A smattering of northeastern US shows (mislabeled "reunions") happened in 2009 (and will happen in 2011) with a "Damon-Rob-Andy-Adam-Deb-Shep-plus guests" arrangement.

photo of the sirlies in 2003Some examples of recent activity, also known as Grim Death Throes: 1) SNEAKY FLUTE EMPIRE, our special alter-ur-label with cassette and CD releases; 2) THE YES GIRLS, a sneaky-flute-music-playing group featuring Damon and occasionally some combination of Rob Laakso, Andy Bernick, and Ron Rege; 3) RICHMOND COUNTY ARCHIVES, a label with various tangential releases (like NEVAH HAVE I EVAH: A Sneaky Flute Family Album and BUCK WILD!); 4) SWIRLIES' MAGIC STROP, a series of old SWIRLIES sounds offered as free web releases on this very site.

Stay vigilant always and prepared anytime, and we shall see you at The Spit on the 4th of July.
Big Bite
Big Bite
After years long waiting, Big Bite delivers their debut LP. The self titled release sees the band honing in on their raw and relentless sound. Go outside and break your guitar. For fans of rock music and fire signs.
Smut
Smut
Noise pop for the people.
Venue Information:
UnionTransfer
1026 Spring Garden St
Philadelphia, PA, 19123