February 28, 2022
Bag Count - 5. Cleanup MC - The Polychromatics. Running Bag Count - 33.
Saturday night I went to the Psychedelic Expo at PhilaMOCA, which is a former mausoleum showroom turned “multipurpose art space that proudly showcases the best in underground, alternative, and DIY culture.” They just got a new logo, and I think it’s looking great:
At the Expo, four bands took the stage in front of a crowd of roughly 50 people, who were bordered on their remaining three sides by tables, which were manned by vendors, who were selling local art and band merch.
Bird Furniture has been a cleanup MC before, Delay 77 and Double Suede are both worth checking out, and The Polychromatics… well, they were sick. Their style is pretty hard to categorize, and usually I think it’s best to avoid comparisons, because, in the wise words of Chet Hanks, “comparison is the thief of joy.” But I had the thought that if Jefferson Airplane made a baby with King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, the kid might come out sounding something like The Polychromatics — assuming that the kid took voice lessons from Amy Winehouse, who I’ve read is an inspiration for the band’s lead singer. Click that link for a more in-depth profile of the band and for an introduction to Philly-based Plaze Mobile App, which was a sponsor of the Expo and is a really cool idea for helping musicians connect with one another.
As the band was warming up, someone from the crowd yelled to the bass player, Gisli, “burn the incense!” and, at first, I had no clue what that meant. Sure enough, partway through the performance, I noticed that Gisli had a stick of burning incense jutting out from the end of his bass, which is just cool as hell. In fact, every member of the band was cool as hell. The lead guitarist, John, was as charming between songs as his lion’s mane was commanding. The guy playing rhythm guitar, Isaac, had the quietest stage presence but the loudest fan section. The drummer, Jimmy, absolutely blew me away. He had an extremely expressive face, so when he was going hard, his face was too — seriously, at times he looked like he was edging right there on stage. And the lead vocalist, Jordan, was stunning — she had a powerful voice that was hypnotic and slightly haunting (in a good way), and for some reason I got the sense that she could beat me in a fight.
Here are some pictures of them from the Expo snapped by a local photographer who I don’t know but whose name seems like it’s probably Lilly Jonello:1
And here are two songs of the many you can find on Spotify that illustrate the band’s impressively wide range of sounds:
This afternoon I listened to more Polychromatics on my way to a cleanup in Grays Ferry, and then some more on my way home, and then a little more before writing this. Here are some shots of S. 33rd St. and Wharton taken around 2 PM:
And here are some shots taken around 3 PM:
As always, bag count receipts:
I’ll leave you with a question and answer:
The Polychromatics: “Can hope be renewed?”
Ya Fav Trashman: “I really feel like a change is coming in Philadelphia. I feel like we’re getting close to a zero litter Philadelphia. And the reason I feel this way is because I think now people are really taking serious environmental justice. And I think people in positions of power are really understanding the weight and the priority of environmental justice here in Philadelphia. More and more I see elected officials talking about environmental justice, talking about solutions…”