Poster art by Maria T. Sciarrino.
It was an early-January in 2008 (just like this one) when we first spoke to Sara Sherr about her monthly music night, "Sugar Town"--a night that celebrates women young and old who are artists and musicians. Back then it was Sugar Town's 7th Anniversary, and now; only a few years later, Philadelphia's favorite monthly is turning '10' and Sherr's fans and friends couldn't be happier for her, or for that matter, more eager to jump in and become a part of the grand event!
The 10th Anniversary of Sugar Town is set to be a huge tribute night with (of course) the focus on the feminine, and will feature tributes to well-known groups such as Blondie, Cyndi Lauper, The B-52's, The Pandoras, and Garbage as well as others--and with the rapid set time coming in at about a rockin' fifteen minutes per group it's going to be a super-charged evening out! Girl About Town couldn't resist getting involved with the special tribute and making an homage to our own faves: The Go-Go's (along with help from Sugar Town alum Maria T. Sciarrino, and a group of great friends). Other local groups partaking in the event include KeN, The Tulanes, Girls Dressed As Girls, Betty Iron Thumbs, Dear Althea, and more…!
"...I feel blessed to have the opportunity to do a night like Sugar Town in Philadelphia and continue to get so much respect and support. I can't play an instrument or sing beyond a karaoke night so I sort of live vicariously through all these women when they perform. I'll never get tired of seeing a woman bashing away on a set of drums or shredding on guitar." - Sara Sherr (January, 2008)
Sherr, who is something of a fabulously dressed and coiffed legend as well as being a heavy supporter when it comes to local music on the scene, has been booking music for well over 10 years now, as well as co-founding Plain Parade with good friend Maria T. Sciarrino back in the day. As for her other highlights which include completely rocking Philadelphia with her Sing Your Life karaoke series nights; she is also a writer for Philadelphia Daily News. It is fitting that Sciarrino helped to create the eye-popping posters and images for this year's fête as a special gift for Sara as well!
We were able to take a few moments and had Sara write down a few of her top memories for us (you will want to read Pat Rapa's Critical Mass article in this week's City Paper as well, which features Sara/Sugar Town).
Here you will find the list of just a few of Sara's Sugar Town top moments (below), and we're happy to see that she has one of our own favorite moments at number five, as well:
1. The Yeah Yeah Yeah's in 2002 at the Balcony
It was their second or maybe third show in Philadelphia and we got very lucky, timing-wise because the next time they played here, it was at the Trocadero.
2. Mirah at the Balcony
I believe she was playing solo and acoustic and the crowd was so chatty that she asked everyone to come sit on stage with her.
3. Collaborations with Fuse
For a couple of years, there was a queer dance party for women called Fuse that was at Sal's and XOXO. We did a couple of shows together at Tritone in 2007: Bitch and Lesbians on Ecstasy. The crowd was so enthusiastic and a reminder that so many lesbian and bi women are always looking to see other women like themselves onstage and have few options like that in the traditional Gayborhood scene. I am always on the lookout for more queer acts.
4. Underage Performers
It's a challenge to book them since Tritone is very strict about having a parent present the entire time they are in the club. But I'm always glad when I do it. It's really amazing to witness talented young women so early in their careers: Attia Taylor (a Girls Rock Philly camper and counselor), Gina Gleason (who plays in Misstallica, Queen Diamond, and two other bands), and the women of Post Post, who are sadly on hiatus now.
5. The Friggs and Baby Flamehead
These were bands that I idolized when I was young and first going out to shows so I was honored to bring them to Sugar Town and reintroduce them to younger crowds.
Girl About Town: What would you like to accomplish with future Sugar Town events?
Sara Sherr: I'd like to inspire more women to pick up instruments, which I think the tribute show did. I would like to find a way to do an all ages show once in a while. The reason that I don't is mainly about money and logistics. Tritone lets me use the space for free and I only have to pay for a soundman. I always want to add other components to the
evening, like more DJ's or writers.
And lastly, we asked Sara what she's learned from any of this--from ALL of this: "That good will is the strongest currency of all," was her response. Well spoken, and we heartily agree.
**Don't miss this one of a kind event: The 10th Anniversary of Sugar Town is happening this Saturday, January 29th, at Tritone in Philadelphia, PA. Tritone is located at 1508 South Street. The night begins at 6 p.m. with DJs and dancing, with the bands kicking into high gear at 7 p.m. This is a 21+ show, with cover being a token $7.00. We hope to see you there!**
Sugar Town - Read about the event on Facebook
Previously on Girl About Town: Sugar Town's 7th Anniversary