One of the profile pictures on Philly’s “primal funk” band Endless Joy’s MySpace is of the Hamburglar enjoying a sno-cone and slice of pizza on the beach, and you get the sense that this just might be the influence of one of its two members, Brian Dwyer. Dwyer, late of Papertrigger and currently playing in both Endless Joy and Whales ‘n’ Cops, loves food, pizza in particular. He co-directed a movie about competitive eating, Swallow Your Pride, and in videos on his Vimeo page you can watch him attend South Philly’s “Pizzalympics” and attempt to eat the “garbage plate”—a large Styrofoam takeout box of macaroni salad, fried potatoes, baked beans and your choice of meats (plural), all mixed in a pile of evil—at Nick Tahou Hots in Rochester, N.Y.
Dwyer’s love of pizza—come to think of it, Endless Joy’s website, weareendlessjoy.com, is more about pizza than music—has led him to put together an art show called “Give Pizza Chance” in order to, he says, “celebrate ‘za in all its glory.” The show opens Friday at Rocket Cat Cafe (2001 Frankford Ave.) and runs through the month. It’ll feature more than 20 local artists’ pizza-themed art, “including a giant pizza sculpture and an interactive Velcro pizza wall,” Dwyer says. Opening night is sponsored by Rustica on Second Street, and they will be serving up free pizza all night.
It’s with pizza on the brain that I headed to Dock Street Brewing Co. in West Philly to meet Roman Salcic of Grandchildren. The six-piece West Philly band is just now putting the final touches on their new album Cold Warrior, out on Green Owl (Ninjasonik, the Very Best) this Fall. They recorded the horns on the album at Dock Street, and Salcic and bandmate Tristan Palazzolo both work there as a manager and waiter, respectively. “They’re very supportive of the band,” says Salcic of the restaurant and its owner, Rosemarie Certo, between bites of Sicilian and swallows of house-brewed Port.
Live Grandchildren’s six multi-instrumentalists swap instruments, jump around and are very energetic. The goal, both live and on Cold Warrior, is “to attempt to make our six-piece band sound like a 12-piece … sky’s the limit!” says Salcic. They succeed, slapping layers and layers of sound—samples, horns, multiple rhythms—one on top of the other to a skeleton etched out by main Grandchildren songwriter Aleks Martray to create what he calls “electro-acoustic orchestral pop music” in the vein of such bands as Animal Collective and Yeasayer.
Cold Warrior is four years in the making, and the six members of Grandchildren have been playing in bands together in some form or another for more than a decade. One of the names they tooled around with, Palazzolo tells me, was “Totally Pizza.”
Grandchildren play this Friday at Johnny Brenda’s.
Fri., May 7
With TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb, the Chimeras + Skeletonbreath
1201 N. Frankford Ave.
PW's Music Issue 2014