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TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb

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Weekend Warrior, October 28 - 30

Technically, Halloween falls on Monday. However, the autumnal celebration of dastardly deeds and debauchery will be in full flux this Saturday as Underground Arts opens its doors for the 7th Annual TJ Kong Halloween Costume Ball Rock N Roll Murdershow. Along with a haunting stir of booze-saturated country blues perpetuated by Kong & The Atomic Bomb, the candy-coated, Andy Moholt-led daydream down the rabbit-hole, better known as Laser Background, will provide their twist on The Zombies’ catalogue. The attitude-infused rumbling reverberation of Straw Hats and the serenading psych-pop grip of Grubby Little Hands will be joined by the slinky, streamlined, funk-fueled fire of MINKA and the rippling surf-psych wave of Ceramic Animal to seal this evening. Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St., 8pm, $15, 21+ - Michael Colavita
 
Other places to party this Halloween weekend…

Johnny Brenda’s
 (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) SUN Purling Hiss, Honey Radar
 
Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) FRI Mercury Radio Theater (Record Release), Gringo Motel, SAT American Film Institute (Members of Restorations - A.F.I), The Danged (Members of Hound - The Damned)
 
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Bryant Eugene Vazquez, Dweeb, DJ Eric Schuman/Sean Hearn, SAT Burnout Star/Wassup Gina , Jesse Tyler, SUN The Superweaks (Record Release), Thin Lips, Three Man Cannon, Sun Organ
 
PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th St.) FRI Hurry, Eric Slick, Cherry, Cave People, SAT Summus & Sad13, Ivy Sole, Empath
 
Bourbon & Branch (705 N. 2nd St.) FRI The Jawn, SAT Andrew Meoray, Slikk Mouth, SUN Elissa Janelle Velveteen
 
World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) SAT (Upstairs) RUST - Neil Young Tribute, SUN (Upstairs) Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Benefit Show: Hinton, Bower, Jones
 
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.)  FRI Daddylap, Egocentric Plastic Men, School of Rock Philadelphia, Kevin McCall, SAT Members of Conversations and The Best Westerns as Third Eye Blind, Members of North Lawrence Midnight Singers as George Harrison, Josh & Rachel (The Really Cooks) as Marty & Bobbi Culp (SNL), SUN Pure Jerry
 
MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) FRI Vic Ruggiero & The Snails, Night Windows (as Weezer), Ryan Tennis & The Clubhouse Band (as Bill Withers), Seoul Dehli (as Black Sabbath), The Preps (as Green Day), SAT Louie Louie
 
Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) SAT Trailer Trash, The Pink Robots, Stoned Queens/Suburban Living (DJ Set)
 
Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) FRI Francisco Collazo, DJ Royale, SAT DJ Deejay, SUN Cherry Bomb, Ginger Leigh, Sophie Sucre
 
Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) FRI Looseleaf, Rogue Methods, Overcoming Gravity, SAT Audio Impulse, Stereotytans, The One2s, Custom Power Ride, Rob Clancy, SUN DUSTWUN, Cthulhu Martini, Physis, Great Neck
 
Voltage Lounge (421 N. 7th St.) FRI LSDXOXO, Precolumbian, SAT Lost Continent, SUN The Droogettes
 
Frankie Bradley’s (1320 Chancellor St.) SAT The Haunting of Poe: A Burlesque Masquerade
 
The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Pete Groch, Rad and Kell, SAT Makhaira, SAT Pravda
 
Ardmore Music Hall (23 E. Lancaster Ave.) FRI The GTVs, The Wayside Shakeup, SAT Philly Bloco, SUN Splintered Sunlight
 
Everybody Hits (529 W. Girard Ave.)  SUN Dear Friend, The Insides, Honeytiger, Haunted Homes
 
The Pharmacy (1300 S.18th St.) SUN Loose Tooth Friendship, most selfless cheerleader
 
Space 1026 (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Sinking Body, Shape Denter
 
The Cable Box (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT Mich Laggi, Giancarlo (EP Release), Harmony Woods
 
Black Magic (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Birthday Ponies, Minor Setbacks, Tiny Rainbows (as Megadeth)
 
Baird Mansion Atrium (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Nina Ryser, Gun TV, Mack Enemy
 
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Weekend Warrior, April 18-20

There’s a battle-tested, charred aspect in Dan Bruskewicz ‘s singing ; as if his vocal chords have been marinated in whiskey, and touched with smoke giving the words he sings an experienced time-tested appeal.  His voice is coupled with heavy, heart-thumping bass, guitar that picks opportune moments to demonstrate force, but knows when to lay back and play with flow, and harmonica that lets out a charging run when called upon.  TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb blend traditional folk with an untamed country-blues revealing their internal core in the process. Tonight, they celebrate the release of their new Bill Moriarty produced EP Kong. Joining in on the festivities is Pine Barons whose exploratory folk wrap its roots around you and the ever-interesting combination of soulful siren Alison Wadsworth and the heavy blues-rocking Satellite Hearts- Johnny Brenda’s 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 8pm., $10, 21+ -Michael Colavita
 
Other things about town this weekend…
 
 
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) SAT Philly Loves Def Jam w. Chilly Moody
 
The Boot & Saddle(1131 S. Broad St.) SAT Kewsi K (Album Release), Maitland SUN DRGN
 
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Satellite Hearts, Cold Roses – Mumblr SAT No Other, Hurry
    
MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) SAT Kate Faust, Elegant Animals SUN Harsh Vibes, Village
  
North Star Bar (2639 Poplar St.) SAT Black Horse Motel, Sydney Joseph and The Organic Reverb
 
Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI New Sound Brass, The Wayside Shakeup SAT Desoto Jones
 
Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) FRI The Late Saints, Full Carbon Get Up SUN The Glitch Tape ft. Jack Deezl, Architekt
 
Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) SAT Todd Fausnacht & The Well Whiskey SUN Rusty Cadillac
 
The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Smoke, Sacred Cube SAT Those People, Angela Everwood
 
Ardmore Music Hall (23 E Lancaster Ave.) FRI David Uosikkinen’s In The Pocket SAT The Great Socio, Kid Felix, Bong Hits for Jesus
 
Great Indoors (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI The Breathing Light, Trophy Wife, Mighty Paradocs, Alex Smith, Atruth Anarchopunk
 
Hong Kong Garden (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.)  SAT Abi Reimold, Cold Foamers, Grim Sleeper, Slippertails 
 
Golden Tea House (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SUN Weed, Gunk, Amanda X, Marge
 
Dog Morgue (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SAT Ted Nguyent, Denzell, Speed Trials, Hoser
 

Rock Bottom (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Pill Friends, Soda Bomb, Besting Tensions, Boss Logic 

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Where Is My Mind?: TJ Kong and The Atomic Bomb's Dan Bruskewicz

If you were wandering along a country road and heard music emanating from a building just a bit farther back, a juke joint were the blues and booze seem to flow in unison and an omnipresent cloud of smoke persists like a perpetual curtain. TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb transport listeners to that cabin in the back with their foot-stomping earnest intensity and Dan Bruskewicz distinguished rasped vocals. The group will celebrate the release of their new EP bluntly entitled Kong, with a show at Johnny Brenda’s Friday. The Deli caught up Bruskewicz to get his take on the process, the community and the future. Check out the entire inteview HERE. - Michael Colavita

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Interview with TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb

- by Alexis V. and Michael Colavita

If you were wandering along a country road and heard music emanating from a building just a bit farther back, a juke joint were the blues and booze seem to flow in unison and an omnipresent cloud of smoke persists like a perpetual curtain. TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb transport listeners to that cabin in the back with their foot-stomping earnest intensity and Dan Bruskewicz distinguished rasped vocals. The group will celebrate the release of their new EP bluntly entitled Kong, with a show at Johnny Brenda’s Friday. The Deli caught up Bruskewicz to get his take on the process, the community and the future.

The Deli: What are the essentials of good lyrics for you?

Dan Bruskewicz: I enjoy lyrics with some poetry as much as the next guy, but I think it's important to recognize when the vocal melody is more important than the lyrics themselves and when a lyric doesn't matter at all or works best when played for laughs. A lot of the best lyrics or my favorite ones are not trying to be anything other than fun. That said, the lyricists I enjoy the most can do it all, they can write general pop songs that are elastic enough to reach a wide audience or they can write intimate and artistic or challenging pieces. All are equally difficult. Outkast have some of my favorite lyrics because they can play EVERY angle - “Spread” is one of the most ridiculous songs ever written but it is so damn good and every word is so funny, sexy, stupid and perfect. To be able to pull that off is really amazing, it's like the highest point on the mountain. 

 

TD: A couple of the tracks on the new EP are older songs. What took you so long to release them, and why did you feel that they fit on this release?

DB: Sometimes you get to a point with a song where it works live, but you know that it needs something else. I have to step away, and write other songs, and work on them for a while, and then use a new outlook to really get to the bottom of songs like that. “Dynamite” and “Blood in the Bathtub” are examples of that. And that is why I wanted them on an EP, because they have had long lives and don't necessarily fit with those songs I wrote in between that helped give me the outlook to finish them. “Blood in the Bathtub” was the most popular song we ever played live when we first started playing gigs. People really liked it. We were a two-piece then. I didn't think the song had enough body as a two-piece song. It's so epic. I wanted to thicken it out on a recording. So we put it aside for a while. I think the addition of the hammond on that song was the last piece. I really wanted some organ on that song, and we only recently started using that in the songs so it had to wait until this EP to see any daylight. 

 

TD: Out of singing, songwriter and playing your instruments, what do you feel that you’ve made the most improvement at since your debut EP, and why?

DB: Dancing. Because fuck the rest.

 

TD: You play music and book shows. You are also involved with the Philly theater community. What do you think those communities can learn from each other that you don’t think has been fully realized yet?

DB: First off, Philly has the tightest knit creative community I have ever encountered. We've been to nearly every other major American city, and some places come close - Chicago, New Orleans, Asheville, Austin, but I am constantly reminded how lucky we have it in Philadelphia. We are truly in a golden age that will one day change, and the biggest thing everyone in town needs to do is just enjoy it. This is what we have all been building together. There's not another town in the country whose artists are as supportive of each other as Philly, not another town whose venues work together, and whose restaurants and bars support each other and whose Mayor actually honors that hard work. This is some rare shit. Enjoy it. 

 

TD: Were you a fan of the movie King Kong when you were growing up? If so, which one is your favorite version, and why?

DB: I was not a fan. I liked dinosaurs and movies about cheetahs. The original is obviously the best though, with Fay Wray. 

TD: What are your favorite drugs to perform on and write music?

DB: Tequila and Green Tea. 

 

TD: You obviously love your blues, country, folk and rock ‘n’ roll. If you could start a supergroup to play any other type of genre, what would it be, and who would be in the band?

DB: It would be me and the West Philly Orchestra doing the song "Zombie" by Fela Kuti. 

 

TD: What are TJ Kong & the Atomic Bomb’s plans for the rest of 2014?

DB: Last year, we did a lot of touring. We did the SXSW tour to Texas and a tour to California and back in July. This year, we are gonna be doing some smaller tours to show off the new EP, and revisit our favorite spots on the road - more of a lazer beam and less of a shotgun blast. We have some music videos coming for the new EP that we are very excited about. We also have some killer shows in Philly that we are looking forward to, like our EP release show at Johnny Brenda's on April 18th and our 5th annual Halloween Murdershow at Underground Arts, which we are already starting to plan. And we are gonna record our next full-length LP, which will be the third in our planned trilogy of full-length records. So not much. 

 



 

 

 

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New TJ Kong & the Atomic Bomb EP Available for Streaming & Purchase

TJ Kong & the Atomic Bomb celebrated the release of their new album Kong and the kickoff to their SXSW tour last night at Kung Fu Necktie. Well, you can now stream and purchase the five-song EP below. It was produced and mixed by Bill Moriarty at Kawari Sound Recording Studio. Enjoy!

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