NEPA Scene Staff

Scranton’s Menzingers headline Project Pabst Music Festival in Philadelphia on Sept. 16

Scranton’s Menzingers headline Project Pabst Music Festival in Philadelphia on Sept. 16
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From a press release:

Who hasn’t enjoyed a cold Pabst Blue Ribbon before, during, or after a good concert? Well, there will be plenty of those on hand when Scranton punk band The Menzingers headline the Project Pabst Music Festival at the Electric Factory in their current home of Philadelphia on Saturday, Sept. 16.

Launched in Portland, Oregon in 2014, Project Pabst expanded to a four-city festival series last year. The 2017 series kicked off on May 20 in Denver, with additional block party-style shows planned for Sept. 16 in Philadelphia and Oct. 7 in Atlanta, Georgia. Last year, Project Pabst also successfully merged with Portland’s MusicfestNW for a sold out, two-day MusicfestNW Presents Project Pabst, returning on Aug. 26 and 27.

Project Pabst offers a unique festival experience, incorporating music, art, and hands-on interactive elements, as well as food and beer at reasonable “non-festival” prices. 21+ festivalgoers will be entertained with the old school video games in the PBRcade, the PBR Vandalism interactive graffiti art display, and PBR Wax – an on-the-spot pressing of vinyl recordings that the fans create themselves. Additionally, a local artist from each city will be highlighted on a limited edition Project Pabst 16 ounce can.

The Philly edition of Project Pabst will be held rain or shine, so these elements will be moved inside or under tents if necessary. The lineup includes The Menzingers, Peaches, Big Thief, Speedy Ortiz, Nothing, The Coathangers, Madame Gandhi, Lionize, and Thin Lips, with “a very special guest” to be announced.

Doors at the Electric Factory (421 N. 7th St., Philadelphia) open at noon, and the show starts at 1 p.m. and ends at 10 p.m. Tickets, which are $20, are on sale now at and all Ticketmaster outlets.

Though they would later relocate to nearby Philadelphia, punk rock unit The Menzingers came together in Scranton and included former members of local ska punk bands Bob & the Sagets and Kos Mos. Tom May (vocals, guitar), Joe Godino (drums), Eric Keen (bass), and Greg Barnett (vocals, guitar) released a self-titled demo in 2006 and, after it found its way into the hands of folks at Go-Kart Records, the guys earned a spot on the impressed label’s roster.

The Menzingers’ debut full-length, “A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology,” subsequently came out in the summer of 2007. The record went over well and the band found its name spreading steadily among punk fans, especially among fans of groups like The Lawrence Arms. They hooked up with Red Scare Industries next and a four-song EP, “Hold on Dodge,” was released in May 2009; it was followed by tour dates alongside Broadway Calls.

The Menzingers eventually headed back into the studio to work with producer Matt Allison on their next full-length, “Chamberlain Waits,” which was issued amid growing hype via Red Scare in April 2010. The following year, the Menzingers signed on with punk giant Epitaph Records and, in 2012, they released their third, more mature album, “On the Impossible Past.” The band continued to grow and refine their sound, incorporating elements of earthy and earnest heartland rock, a trend that was evident on their 2014 album “Rented World.” For the 2017 follow-up, “After the Party,” the band reflected on hitting their 30s and reminisced about their younger days, with fans comparing the results to their earlier work.

Peaches (Merrill Nisker) burst into transcontinental favor with her very particular brand of cocksure rapping and groovebox beats. Though she came from an underground cauldron of acoustic folk (Mermaid Café), avant-garde jazz (Fancypants Hoolum), and deconstructed noise swarms (The Shit), it wasn’t until 2000 that her fearless, political gender play truly raised heads.

European trawls unearthed new admirers, and collaborations with the equally lewd Chilly Gonzales certainly fueled the fire for her first solo effort. By the time she signed with Berlin’s Kitty-Yo label and unleashed “The Teaches of Peaches,” her niche had already been carved out – Peaches sounded like a Penthouse Forum together with Grandmaster Flash, Shirley Manson, and Charles Manson. She soon moved to XL, which reissued “The Teaches of Peaches” in 2002 and released “Fatherfucker” in 2003 and “Impeach My Bush” in 2006.

For 2009’s “I Feel Cream,” Peaches worked with Simian Mobile Disco and took her sound in a more electronic, eclectic direction. Nisker then took an extended break from recording, instead appearing in a one-woman version of “Jesus Christ Superstar” entitled, naturally, “Peaches Christ Superstar.” Other projects included the meta rock opera “Peaches Does Herself,” which chronicled her rise to fame, and the book “What Else Is in the Teaches of Peaches,” which documented her between-album work.

She returned to the studio with longtime producer Vice Cooler as well as guests such as Kim Gordon, Feist, and Simonne Jones for 2015’s “Rub,” a set reflecting the directions dance and hip-hop had taken in the six years since her last album.