Does Your Hometown Care?

Thrilladelphia's big shout-out to the 215.

By Mike McKee
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Apr. 19, 2006

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Hoping to exploit this powder keg of opportunity, Anderson says this year's Thrilladelphia promises to be far bigger than anything he's attempted before, bringing together more than 60 bands and a dozen venues.

The strategy involves a good amount of collaboration with some of the city's more established movers and shakers, from R5 to Heyday Booking and the Khyber, Philebrity, the Prison Jazz label and the M Room. Larger names such as the Lilys, Bardo Pond, the Capitol Years, Saxon Shore and Bitter, Bitter Weeks are paired alongside buzzworthy acts like Mountain High, Coyote and Phil Moore Browne.

Like any good mixtape, there are still a few gems missing (Espers, A-Sides, R.A.M.B.O., your friend's band), but Anderson's managed to capture a wide swathe of the 215. Along the way he's invited bands from outside the city to join in the fun too, noting the potential for show swapping and networking. And while we may have a bad rep as sports fans, we make pretty good hosts when it comes to music.

"It's definitely easier making music in Philly than it is in New York City," says Illumina guitarist Jen Appel. "Since it's a smaller music scene than N.Y.C., it creates a nice sense of community among indie bands, which can only be a good thing."

Thrilladelphia's third year seems a more widely publicized and finely honed machine. Perhaps the only wild card is the "why bother?" attitude-a true Philly prerequisite.

"Everyone always has their own agenda, whether it's shining on Philadelphia or getting rich, and that doesn't bother me," Anderson says. "The underlying theme is for people to start talking about Philly. That's the goal everyone has in common."

Well, maybe. For some it might be more dire than that. It might be something that leaves all the New York youth crews, D.C. emoters, Olympia riot grrls and Chapel Hill slackers in the dust.

"Sun Ra once moved here because he concluded that Philly is the center of evil in the universe," says Bardo Pond's Mike Gibbons. "He was dedicated to fighting evil. So are we."

Thrilladelphia
Starts Fri., April 21. Various days, times, prices and venues. Through April 29. www.thrilladelphia.com

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