Trash Boy | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com
The Key Studio Sessions: Trash Boy
Philadelphia’s Trash Boy is here for the minimum-wage-earners, the multiple-part-time-job-workers, the under-appreciated folks that drive the service industry, and generally anybody who feels the pressure of capitalist society to acquire lots of money and flaunt their wealth.
Sure, ripping apart capitalism has become once again en vogue in post-Bernie America — gotta love the meme I once saw skewering this newfound awareness, saying how anybody who haphazardly tosses about the term “late-stage capitalism” on social media should be required to list and define the previous stages of capitalism. Know what though? Hustling across three jobs to make a fraction of what one of your boss’ bosses makes sucks. Getting paid an okay-at-best amount to sell food and drinks to the high-strung high-maintenance assholes of the world sucks. And those things that help some of us find fleeting happiness in the fray — nice clothes, new cars, travel, assorted recreational substances — they all cost money.
And while fixing income inequality requires a massive top-down change (difficult) and fixing material culture requires a re-thinking of personal values (slightly less difficult), sometimes it’s all we can do to find release by dancing it out, sweating it out, and screaming into the void, together. That’s what Trash Boy is all about. Their songs tackle these sorts of societal critiques, but they do it via high-energy, hooky, super fun punk rock; think Green Day’s Lookout! years, or PUP’s reliably punchy discography.
The core songwriters of the band — guitarists and vocalists Chris Fortunato and Dan Baggarly — made the move to Philadelphia after graduating college in 2016. A year and change later, they met drummer and vocalist Nolee Morris and released their debut LP The Future Is Trash. This summer, with bassist Davey Jones now part of the lineup, the band released its sophomore album, Who Will Take Out the Trash While We’re Gone, via South Philly indie label Good How Are You Records. The live set that Trash Boy recorded for The Key spotlights four songs from that album — the biting “Job Interview,” the frustrated rejection of bougie culture “Perfect Teeth,” the parsing of the pro-religion anti-refugee quandry “Jesus Loves Fighter Jets.” It also digs into The Future Is Trash for the opening rager “Lizard People,” and the salty “Fuck New York” — which, despite its untrue knock on Philadelphia pizza, is a fun tune. There’s also an untitled, unreleased post-script to that “Job Interview” scenario: the story of somebody who doesn’t want to be a Boston aristocrat, or a D.C. diplomat, but just wants to get paid enough to get drunk on Friday.
Watch Trash Boy play “Jesus Loves Fighter Jets” below, and listen to their entire Key Studio Session on Soundcloud. The band heads out on a two-and-a-half week fall tour this Thursday night in Brooklyn, and plays a homecoming show on October 30th at Johnny Brenda’s with Full Bush and Teenage Bigfoot. Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.
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