Friday, October 06, 2006

One Memory, Shared By Many

One of the neatest things about this memoirs blog is how many people I've heard from that have commented on how my posts have triggered their own memory vaults and they are appreciative of the chance to flashback to what was, in many ways, a simplier time.

Last week I had the chance to host Bunnydrums as they returned live to the Philly stage at the North Star Bar. They were intense and reproduced the sound that I remember 20 years ago at the Kennel Club.

A day later I received an email from a fellow fan - but a stranger to me. They wanted to share their opinion about Bunnydrums and wanted my feedback on what they had written - I was so impressed with their description of the music, the times, the energy that I asked if I could post it. They agreed and to this day, remain anonymous.

So - for a change, let's relive Philadelphia
in the early/mid 1980s through the words of another:


- the story of a local Philly band
and what they've meant (and still mean) to me

Its been over 20 years since I've had the pleasure of seeing a live Bunnydrums performance. In a way, this is a love story, a fanatical outpouring from an obsessed but semi-adjusted individual. Bear with me... this is something that just can't stay buried inside of me.


First off, they sound like no one and no one sounds like them. I can't tell you the first time I actually watched them play. I can barely tell you the exact location of the record shops where I purchased the vinyl after discovering them. The memory from 'those days' is not to be trusted, but the feelings, the emotion THAT is the story I wish to tell.

When I hear these songs, I get visuals - strong visuals; emotional / spiritual / physical - something only music can do to me.

Bunnydrums is something else.

This is where I live - it not only hits me, but there are moments when it actually knocks me down. Not in a depressing or morbid melancholy, but an exuberance - a familiarity -- I know this. I often believe I can recognize genius - I know it when I hear it. And this truly is.

I have an extreme respect and an almost divine awe - both uplifting and down. Contradictory, but never without understanding. There is knowledge here. There are live wires being held onto by tight fists. No consciousness lost, but there is abandon, detachment.

There is resonance caught in the silences of a single recording. The production on every single vinyl release is meticulous, capturing the essence of this truly original sound sculpture - this contribution to my world.

The live shows, where I had the pleasure of hearing this ethereal fusion - the 'factory' funk dungeon, to shows in local philly haunts such as the East Side Club, Filly's, The Kennel Club, whatever - memory fails me in this endeavor. It's not solely about the 'live' experience.

This is a sound phenom. It followed me home at night, to work, and to school in the mornings. I walked around aimlessly with them into Center City Philadelphia - to read in parks, to look for my friends. I walked on railroad tracks at night and always, as I ascended the grimy steps of the Broad Street subway, Bunnydrums was there with me.

Trudging along in anguish, in triumph, in the rain, in whatever time of day it was! This music, this phenomena which called itself Bunnydrums was Philly to me - my home. It was the soundtrack to my life, and still is.

The oddest thing is I have no real love for this city, yet I seem not to be able to leave it. Everything I know is here. Friends, family, disastrous x lovers, but most importantly, the multitude of music I've witnessed.

Bunnydrums has always provided me with the soundtrack to my existence as a long (and I mean long!) time Philly resident. They sound like what I know, they sound like this city, my city, for better AND worse.

They have the power to breathe for me on days when I find it unbearable to move. Truly this is either insanity, complete fanaticism, senility, or a miraculous underground intervention ---> you decide.

...but give Bunnydrums a listen.

click the album cover to visit their site and listen to their sounds!


Michael Mongiello said...

This is Michael Mongiello, the current drummer for Bunnydrums. The way this music has affected me, even though I am much younger than both the other members of this band and it's initial fanbase, is incredible. Your words about the band touch me as a member of it and as a listener, in that I feel much of what you say. It is a marvelous experience to perform this music and I will never forget it. This band will live on forever in the heart of Philadelphia and in the ears and minds of anyone who apreciates the power of music as art.

Anonymous said...

deep in the heart...
of memory...
deep in the heart...

thank you very much,,,much,
marc laurick