Philadelphia Punk Rock Lives/The Bunnydrums
Yes, I call myself the The New Wave Diva. But believe it or not, I actually like a lot of punk rock. Perhaps a topic I’ll explore in depth in a future post.
Jokingly, not long after I started spinning at Sex Dwarf in 2003, I appointed the moniker to myself. It wasn’t just about marketing as it was simply affirming my love and authority of knowledge of the genre. Of course I remember New Wave when it was ‘new’. I was a wee lass, but it was hard to escape it on the radio and MTV in the early ’80s. Both of which I was never too far from. I must have terrorized my parents; I always wanted to have music on.
As I’ve gotten older, I have grown to have a greater respect and passion for the music. There’s just nothing quite like it.
When I decided to start blogging about music in 2007, it made sense that I call the blog The New Wave Diva. By then, New Wave music meant more to me than just “music I spin at a club to make people dance”. It truly became the music that made me the happiest. I found a music connection that I was proud to identify with.
But let’s back up a bit. When I began DJ’ing at Philadelphia nightclubs in earnest in 2002, The New Wave Diva hadn’t been born yet. I took on the stage name “DJ Pussy Galore”. Because, quite honestly, I wanted a DJ name that stood out from the rest and was truly memorable. It did not, however, describe the music I wanted to play.
Either way, it worked like a charm. I got plenty of gigs, at every major Philadelphia nightclub, playing all kinds of music… goth/industrial, techno, house, electro/electroclash, rock, etc. Playing 80s New Wave (and it’s many derivatives) surely became my favorite genre to play. Why? Because it was a surefire way to light up any dance floor. Simply put, people want to dance to music they know. (Note: I dropped the stage name “DJ Pussy Galore” and started spinning simply as “DJ Marilyn Thomas” in 2007).
As I delved deeper into the history of New Wave music, I became an ardent student of learning its many sub-genres and associated genres. I had always loved hard rock and punk rock and the commercial bands of the genres. However, it was learning about the lesser known, underground, obscure and specifically local rock acts from the time period that I became most interested in.
I can’t even say exactly when I first heard the Philadelphia no-wave/punk rock band The Bunnydrums. I know it was Robert Drake who first turned me on to them, probably on his radio show Land of the Lost on WXPN. Sadly, in the ’80s, I did not live in Philadelphia. So, unless they had airplay on the big radio stations or MTV, I never really got to know all the awesome bands that came out of Philadelphia. Not being of club-age in the ’80s has always been a huge disappointment for me. I’m sure I would have fit right in back in the day! Alas.
Anyways, fast forward to tonight. I attended a benefit concert at Connie’s Ric Rac in South Philly for Beth Ann Lejman (AKA B.A.L. Stack) of The Stick Men – another seminal Philadelphia no-wave/punk band. It drew a sizable “who’s who” of Philadelphia punks who, not only wanted to support one of their own, but hear other Philadelphia punk rock acts such as 25 Cromwell Street lead by Rodney Anonymous of The Dead Milkmen, The Blessed Muthas, and Trained Attack Dogs. All righteous Philadelphia punk bands for sure.
The Bunnydrums brought down the house, though. They played 8 songs in total, including these gems…
And my personal favorite…
Get to know The Bunnydrums. You’ll thank me.
All in all, a great night for Philadelphia punk rock, supporting a great cause right in my backyard. I feel blessed.
LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST — GET WELL BETH ANN LEJMAN!! KICK CANCER’S ASS!