Pop Quiz

Wedding Present Weekend: Talking to the Fans... Part 1: Keg Davies of The Container Drivers

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Girl About Town: So when did you first become a Wedding Present fan, and what excited you about the music?

Keg: Sometime in the spring of 1989, a mate of my brother's came rushing into the room in a breathless state of excitement, brandishing a cassette tape in his hand. "Bloody hell, you've got to listen to this. It's ace!" he said. The tape turned out to be a copy of the Wedding Present's debut album, 'George Best'. The combination of those glorious 100 mph strummed guitars and David Gedge's lyrics proved to be instantly irresistible. I never looked back. Funnily enough, my first taste of the band playing live was during the 'Bizarro' tour in November the same year.

Tell us about the Wedding Present fanbase that you know of....

I suppose the bulk of the fanbase in the UK at least are getting on a bit now... nudging 40, many of them. The forum on the group's website is one of the most friendly places I've visited on the internet. The social aspect of meeting up with people from it is one of the things that make Wedding Present gigs so special. A large proportion of fans seem to work in the teaching profession, which is an odd fact. I'm not sure why the two go together.

Tell us about your own band, The Container Drivers, who have primarily been influenced by The Fall. If Gedge and Mark E. Smith were to have lunch together: how do you think the conversation would go?

The Container Drivers consist of myself on bass and vocals, Rik on guitar and Bryn on drums. A classic three piece. We've been playing live with this lineup since 2004. We're slowly working towards putting a debut album together - too slowly for many people's liking, including my own! In the past I've described our music as sounding like David Gedge, Frank Black and Mark E Smith having an argument in a washing machine, which just about covers all the bases. Although there is an undoubted Fall influence at work in the band (the source of our name is a rather obvious pointer), I'd say that other bands have proved to be more influential. All three of us are fans of fast jangly guitars, so inevitably we like to play like that too. Lyrically Frank Black has been a key influence on my own scribblings.

I know that David Gedge is a big fan of The Fall, so I'm sure he'd have some questions to ask Mark E Smith about his back catalogue. I daresay that John Peel might crop up in the conversation too. As two Mancunians, they could always discuss football, as Gedge supports United while Smith is a supporter of City.

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Listen
The Container Drivers - It Must Be The Pipes

If you had to make a call on your top five Wedding Present songs to be heard live; what would these top five songs be and why?

Wow, that's a tricky one.

'You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends'. A prime example of their early sound, with those disarmingly clattering guitars.

'A Million Miles'. Wonderfully evocative of that giddy rush of emotion when you first meet somebody.

'Corduroy'. Time for some controlled noise.

'Flying Saucer'. Just because it's such a glorious guitar song and one of my all-time favourites.

'Perfect Blue' as a set closer.

If you could ask Dave Gedge anything; what would it be?

Can we come and play at your 'At The Edge Of The Sea' festival this year, please? (ha ha)

The latest release "1988" is a continuing collection of the Wedding Present's live songs from 1998 that is being put out through their own label, Scopitone. Do you follow their older material as much as you do their newer songs?

Their older material was what got me hooked in the first place. Unfortunately, by the time I got to see them live they'd stopped playing these songs. Of course, the newer material was just as thrilling to hear, but I never lost the feeling of disappointment that I didn't get to hear them play material from the 'Tommy' album. When the group reverted to calling themselves the Wedding Present again, their sets revisited the back catalogue all the way back to the start, so it was great to hear the early material after all. I bought all the original live tapes that the band put out at the time, but it's good to be able to have them on CD.

Do you think Bizarro is a cornerstone album when it comes to the group's wealth of material?

David Gedge is on record as saying that he considers 'Bizarro' to be the album that 'George Best' should have been, and I can see what he means. I think 'Bizarro' takes up the early blueprint and just does it better. With 'Take Me', the formula is stretched out to its logical - and joyous - conclusion. But for me, it was the work they did with Steve Albini in the early Nineties that really provides the definitive moments in the group's back catalogue, when the power and fury of the music matched the often bleak emotions expressed in the lyrics.

What is your favorite Wedding Present lyric?

Another tough one. There's several lines and phrases that are memorable, but two songs from their latter period really stand out for me, these being 'Larry's' from 2005's 'Take Fountain', and the contemporary b-sides, 'Shivers'. Both describe situations that I can relate to, so listening is a bittersweet experience.

The Container Drivers - myspace


Pop Quiz! Popped Edition

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Girl About Town worked the crowd on Saturday at the Popped! Festival on the Drexel campus to find out what music fans will be listening to this Summer.  Let's take a look:

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Carrie (L) and Emily (R) of yelp.com

Carrie, 34, Philly: Sia, Elliot Smith, Cat Power, Ting Tings, Metric, Flight of the Conchords
Emily, 22, West Philly: Tokyo Police Club, The Pixies, Elliot Smith

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Roger LaMay, General Manager of WXPN

Roger, 54, East Falls: Alejandro Escovedo, Kathleen Edwards, Ting Tings

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Kristian, drummer for band Jotto

Kristian, 23, Philly: Lil' Wayne, N.E.R.D., Trucks and Buses

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Dan (L) and Chloe (R)

Chloe, 15, Narberth: Radiohead, Vampire Weekend, Deathcab for Cutie
Dan, 15, Ardmore: the same as Chloe

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Noey is listening to Riotgrrl bands

Noey, 28, Philly: Sleater-Kinney, Hotwater Music, The Automatics

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Emeline, 21, Philly: Santogold, The New Pornographers

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Lance, 23, Philly: Dinosaur Jr, White Williams, MGMT

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Sara, 21, Philly: Daft Punk, Vampire Weekend, Gorillaz

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Charisse, 19, Philly: Coldplay, Jack Johnson, Gogol Bordello, Bachata (Dominican Hispanic music)

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Roxie (pictured at Left) with friends

Roxie, 26, Washington DC: DeVotchKa, Gogol Bordello, Southern Culture on the Skids, Dresden Dolls

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Eddie (pictured at Left) with his sister

Eddie, 22, Philly - Ray Parker Jr (Ghostbusters soundtrack), King Kahn, The Trons, "Age of Consent" by New Order, Alice Cooper, ELO, and "Sabotage" by Black Sabbath


Pop Quiz - Philly Roller Girl Edition

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Girl About Town went to see newest GAT contributor Callye Morrissey, aka Dotti Horror of the Philthy Britches, skate circles around CT's Stepford Sabotage on Saturday night.  For those of you out of the loop, we are talking about all girl Roller Derby!  Last night's double header was at the Sportsplex in Feasterville, PA and was a crazy mix of punk rock, deranged cheerleaders, and hot girls on wheels.  Besides the Britches skating against Stepford, we were also treated to the Broad Street Butchers vs. the Heavy Metal Hookers.  In between all the action we watched local band Jukebox Zeros play a loud set, mixing rockabilly with Ramones-style punk.  GAT asked some of the evening's participants about what music they are listening to these days:

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Derby fans Lex (L) and Elizabeth (R)

Lex, 35, Drexel Hill, PA - Esquivel, Negativland, Beethoven
Elizabeth, 32, Lafayette Hill, PA - Social Distortion, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Chris Isaak

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Mo Russ, official singer of National Anthem at Derby events

Mo, 32, Claymont, DE - Cab Calloway, Art Tatum, Harry Edison, and 60s garage compilations

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Nikki, whose Mom Mary is a long-time derby volunteer

Nikki, 19, Bucks County/Philly - Stray Cats, Elvis, Misfits

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Janet Meano of the Philthy Britches

Janet Meano, 26, South Philly - Magnetic Fields, Uncle Tupelo, Kid Sister

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Kurt, owner of the 700 Club, who sponsored the Roller Girls after party

Kurt, 41, Philly - Black Market Baby, The Testors, The Descendents, No Trend, No Means No, and other old punk rock and jazz

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Andi, Roller Girls volunteer

Andi, 28, Philly - Pearl Jam, Ani DiFranco

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Rosie Bloodbath of the Philthy Britches

Rosie Bloodbath, 31, NE Philly - Pantera, A Tribe Called Quest, Wilco

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Tiddleywinks, cheerleader for the Heavy Metal Hookers

Tiddleywinks, 26, South Philly - Graveyard, Tragedy, Forca Macabre

Philly Roller Girls - website / myspace


Pop Quiz! Wish you were here...

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Photos by Lauren Trzaska

Girl About Town was at the World Cafe for the live taping of Carbon/Silicon on WXPN on April 7th and asked a couple of concert goers:

What was your favorite thing about tonight's Carbon/Silicon show?

1. Simone, 22 (West Philadelphia)
"Tonight was the first night I heard this [Carbon/Silicon]... and I really liked that song "The News", the way they sounded: what they are singing about. I'm really glad that I got to see Tony James from Sigue Sigue Sputnik too."

2. Olivia, 10 (Succassuna, NJ - who also came with Dad and younger brother)
"...just seeing them play was great! I know some of them [the songs] because of him [points at Dad]. I liked the music! My Dad brought me, so..."


Pop Quiz! Straight from Girard Ave.

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Girl About Town was at the Raveonettes show on 3/27 at Johnny Brenda's and asked a couple of concert-goers:

Which bands are you listening to lately?

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"... Die! Die! Die!--they're great, and from New Zealand! Let's see... I've been listening to their album "Promises Promises". They just played SXSW--you gotta see them, they have a great live show! Big Green Limousine are another one. They're pop-punk and from where I'm from." - Terence, 38 (Phoenixville, PA)

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"I'm like a deer in headlights here! Okay... Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, and old now--but still loving Peter, Bjorn and John's last album Writer's Block...My friend just made me a mix CD that I've been loving, too. It has contemporary indie female artists like Cat Power and a bunch of other currents on it--all singing about the best way to give an apology... we'll call it the "I'm Sorry" mix." - Jessica, 30 (Newark, DE)