On Thursday, May 2, Search and Rescue Drygoods hosted Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L. Clarke, along with State Representative Donna Bullock, for a meet-and-greet with their constituency. This is Tawfeeq was kind enough to ask me to come out and shoot portraits of attendees, for whom I’m grateful to have met. It has taken us some time to really get to know our neighbors. I feel lucky to be surrounded by a community of people who take pride in their civic involvement and believe truly believe in staying engaged. Special thanks to Representative Bullock for bringing and maintaining a focus on local businesses like Tawfeeq’s.
Sunny Singh knows what work is. At this year’s This Is Hardcore Fest, I watched Sunny as he wielded his video camera overhead for long stretches, capturing every single one of the forty bands that performed over the course the three-day fest. Sunny is the Alan Lomax of hardcore punk. For nearly a decade, he has captured and published thousands of hours of footage of punk and hardcore acts through his site hate5six.com, revealing the scope and scale of an artistic form that is constantly in flux.
Being a first-generation American, he learned from an early age through the example of his parents, that taking risks does not end after one has crossed the threshold, but has to be worked through continuously with grit and determination. It is through Sunny’s sense of stick-to-itiveness that enabled hate5six to thrive and garner an audience that continues to grow.
In this conversation, Sunny and I discuss matters of identity, the changing trends in the punk scene, and whether or not it is still possible to promote political action through music.
Songs for the Soul Philly is a monthly concert series founded by Solomon Thorne (see profile below). SFTS seeks to “heal, uplift and edify the soul” through the power of music. On Saturday, April 13, 4 artists, including Nana B Cool, Nic Hanson, Sakinah Scott, and Hannah Lorimer, were poised to perform through the night, backed by a band that, despite having only had a week of practice, sounded like they were deep in the pocket.
Solomon and co. pushed all of the furniture on Maison 208’s 2nd story to the walls, opening up the floor wide for the taking. SFTS seeks to demolish cliques, to correct misunderstandings, to give people a safe space to share their selves and stories through voice, dance, and conversation. I was lucky to capture these portraits before 9:30 PM, when the cops had to shut the party down due to health code violations.
Special thanks to everyone who came out, the organizers, the talent, and to those folks featured here in this first of what I hope will be an extensive look at the way people gather in Philadelphia.