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FYI on DIYs in PHL: PhillyMetal.com

As chief instigator of local black metal outfit Woe, Chris Grigg knows firsthand the lack of love metal feels in Philadelphia. “I have been playing music for what I think of as a long time and always felt that the metal scene in particular was simply overlooked and disorganized.” In response, Grigg launched his site, Phillymetal.com, this past September, with the intention of drawing attention to and unifying the local metal community. The minimalistic and monochromatic metal hub, modeled after the dial-up billboard services of yore, hosts a daily list of area shows and an extensive message board for metal fans, bands and promoters alike to trade opinions and information. For the Woe frontman, Phillymetal.com is about exposing metal and developing a constant “built-in” crowd, and once it was launched, he “got major support from pretty much every band and promoter in the city, and the rest is history.”
 
We had a chance to chat with Grigg about his website, the metal underground and why it deserves more attention.
 
The Deli: Why do you think Philly's metal scene is barely recognized?
 
Chris Grigg: It's hard to say. I don't know if there really is one answer. Lack of communication, poor show promotion, limited venue support? Horrible egos? Bands that are simply... not that good?
 
Things have changed a lot in the last few years and it's probably easier to talk about why things are getting better. I see it as a cumulative effect. The punk and metal scenes now have major crossover, which really got the ball rolling. My website launched, which gives promoters access to a much large number of metal fans than the city has ever had and encourages a community and networking. You have venues that are far more supportive of metal than anything we've ever seen, particularly Kung Fu Necktie and the M Room, but there are shows at the Barbary and an ever-growing number of DIY houses and warehouses all over the place.
 
TD: Does it shock you at all that the local music community doesn't pay attention to metal all that much, considering Decibel, a well-known metal mag, is based here?
 
CG: It shocks me more that Decibel does absolutely nothing for the metal community more than anything else. They put their name on shows here and there, and I guess plug them on their message board, but if they want to help, they should do a report on our fantastic scene in their magazine. As for the local music community...metal and punk have always been somewhat segregated from everything else. It's good in a way. It helps ensure that those who are there are interested in the music, not the social scene. I'd rather keep things small and dedicated than have adults who don't know anything about the music trying to act like they do because it's suddenly hip. On the flipside, there is a lot of value in underground metal that I think has appeal outside of our community. There's a lot for other scenes to learn, just as there's a lot our scene can learn from others.
 
TD: Going through PhillyMetal.com, it's a very simple site, visually and content wise (only show listings and a board). Why is that? Why keep the site to the bare minimum?
 
CG: There are a few reasons. A lot of reasons. First and foremost, I designed the site to fill very specific needs: reach the area's metal fans to promote shows, help bands, and build community. Any needs beyond that are already filled by another site, meaning that if I waste my time doing it, it probably won't be used because someone else is doing it better. It's like... I could add the ability to upload videos of bands playing and then have a Videos section of the site... but it would never be as good as YouTube, so you know what? If you want to share a video, go to youtube.com and then post the link on our message board. Don't waste my bandwidth. 
 
TD: What do you hope for the future of Philly Metal and metal in Philly?
 
CG: The website is not important. Sooner or later, something will come around that does it better and my site will be replaced. I want Philadelphia to make a mark. I want people to talk about Philadelphia (I'd settle for East Coast Metal) the way they talk about Sweden or the American Northwest. We are on our way but still need more quality people involved, more quality bands appearing, more shows, more noise, more art, MORE CHAOS!
 
TD: What’s your favorite thing to get in the deli?
 
CG: Oh...Uhh...Matzo Balls, if it's a Jewish deli.
 
- The Deli Staff
 

 

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Birds of Maya Flyin’ High at KFN June 14

Local psychedelic garage ROCK power trio Birds of Maya will be bringing their heavy blues riffs and avalanche of distortion to an unsuspecting Monday night at Kung Fu Necktie. But we all know that Rock has no idea what day it is. I’m guessing that Jimi will be smiling down on them tonight when they takeover the stage. You can grab Birds of Maya’s latest release Ready to Howl, an ambitious 3-song double LP brought to you by one of our favorite daredevil Philly labels, Richie Records. It’s the soundtrack to an upcoming feature film with the same name. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 8pm, $5, 21+ - H.M. Kauffman
 

 

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The 2nd Annual Dock Street Music Fest at Dock Street Brew Pub June 13

The moment Dock Street Brew Pub organized its first annual music festival last year it looked to be a dynamic event that would be held for years to come. And while last years was a pretty hard lineup to top, it looks like they might have just done it ten fold. Since it resides on a street that is tied to such West Philly music staples as Grandchildren and Stinking Lizaveta, it should be no secret to anyone that both bands are back to rock the foundation of this years lineup. They’ll be joined by the politically charged reggae Latin rock band Among Criminals who have been hitting it big time thanks to their latest EP War, and are getting ready for some huge shows alongside the likes of Jello Biafra and Tom Morello. The melodic siren calls and harmonious strings of Chasing Arethusa channel images of pixies and Greek mythology, and should make for an ethereal addition to the other bands playing. Top it all with the melodic melancholy of The Homophones, fresh beer, and plenty of brats and pizza. It’s set to be a memorable occasion. Dock Street Brew Pub, 701 S. 50th St., 2pm - 6pm, Free, 21+ - Bill McThrill
 

 

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Mischief Brew Brewing Up Some Mischief at First Unitarian June 12

Hailing from pissed-off Pennsylvania, local punks Mischief Brew, cook up a riot like nobody’s business. Between frontman Erik Petersen’s antics and punk-folk riffs, this Philly collective knows how to keep it fresh. Mischief Brew’s mix of marimba and mandolin bring to mind Eastern European street parades, or a less sophisticated Gogol Bordello. With the DIY aesthetic that Against Me! now lacks, Petersen along with his  bandmates  crank up the volume with tracks like, “Fight Dirty”, and “A Liquor Never Brewed”. Think the summer of ‘77, Mischief Brew is punk as fuck. They’ll be taking the stage with the garden state surf punks Mirrors and Wires. Leave your studded belts at home. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St. 3pm. $10, All Ages (Photo by Chris Martell) - Dianca Potts 
 

 

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Serpent Throne - None Shall Pass at June 12

Citing Black Sabbath and the Dark Lord of the Underworld (and in the Church Lady-est voice in my head, “mmm…Satan”) as influences, local instrumental four-piece Serpent Throne is an aural work out in epic ruthlessness. With 2007’s Ride Satan Ride and 2009’s The Battle of Old Crow (available on Philly’s Vessel Records), the stoner act fuses twisting arrangements, leaden drum batters and mammoth guitar riffs to construct valiantly protracted oeuvres or in short, music so much bigger than the body it escapes the physical realm. No, seriously - see for yourself tonight at the M Room, where they’ll play alongside the ambitious hometown power-trio Gondola, and Los Angeles-based psychedelic hard rock throwback Dead Meadow. M Room, 15 W. Girard Ave, 9 pm, $12,  21+ - Annamarya Scaccia
 

 

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