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SXSW 2008 has ended
Friday, March 14 • 10:30pm - 11:00pm
Chuck Treece Feat. Dubtronic

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In the Mix On music and culture McRad Not only does Chuck Treece sport excellent tube socks, he can play some music for you too. For those unfamiliar with the Philadelphia skatepunk-hardcore-ska-session musician scene, Treece (pictured above, on the half pipe, in 1984) is the only multiinstrumentalist around town who's plied his trade for the Bad Brains, Busta Rhymes and Billy Joel (he played bass on "River of Dreams"), not to mention such Philadelphia luminaries as the Goats, Stiffed, Nancy Falkow, G. Love, Jeffrey Gaines, King Britt and Stiffed. But though Treece is the kind of guy who's mostly known by those in the know, he steps into the spotlight every now and again. Back in the day, the former Black Lily house drummer fronted a rap-rock outfit called Black Beans, and in 1991 he released Dream'n, his sole solo album. And these days, besides being the man behind the curtain for rugged pop-punk singer Leiana, whose 2006 overlooked album No Going Back contains the not unfamiliar credit line "all songs written, arrranged, produced and performed by Chuck Treece," Treece is back out front with his original Philadelphia punk band, McRad. There's a new McRad album coming out on Sept. 4 on Uprising Records. It's called F.D.R. after the skatepark in South Philly where the 43 year old Treece, who was a sponsored professional skater from 1982 to 1990, still skates. And last Thursday, McRad headlined a show at the Khyber that was a benefit for the Paine's Park Project, the planned skate park that's to be built near the Art Museum along the banks of the Schuykill that's meant to make up for the city's egregious sin of banning skateboarding in Love Park. (From Love Comes Paine is the motto of the proposed park, which takes its name from Thomas Paine, because it would only make common sense for their to be a Center City park that extend Love's legacy. Check it out at painesparkproject.org.) But I digress. Back to McRad, who were the fifth band onstage at the Khyber on Thursday, and, this being the Khyber, didn't hit the stage until about twenty past 1 on Friday. Was it worth the wait, to see a band who along with other hardcore acts like Trained Attack Dogs and Pagan Babies played a crucial role in the Philadelphia hardcore scene in the '80s? Sure thing. First of all, I got to check out a couple of worthwhile punk bands who came on earlier. Sicu is a tight, driving Philadelphia four piece with a sense of humor and a bunch of concise songs that leave you gasping for air, like "Maryann and Wally" which promises the landlord: "I'm not going to pay the rent this month!" And Jump Ship was a New Jersey three piece with a big bruising sound who've got some gigs coming up in a cheese shop in Atlantic City called Le Grand Fromage. When McRad hit, the half full house burst into action like ping pong balls in a lottery machine. (Rock and roll may not be all that dangerous in a socio-political sense anymore, but watch out when some punk rock enthusiast finally seeing the band of his dreams comes running at you like a human battering ram...) The music was pulverizing enough in its physicality to warrant the hyperactivity. Once Treece took off the backpack he'd been toting around all night and strapped on a guitar, he delivered a to-the-point bruising set of convulsive F.D.R. songs like "Weakness," "McShred," and the contemplative yet fierce "Words of Life," that rocked hard but while blending punk and metal with elements of reggae and dub, and were filled with roiling guitar solos. (F.D.R. also contains one really superb pop-rocker called "Son," that buried at Track 14.) Even by punk standards, the set was brief - about half an hour - but properly cathartic, as if the peripatetic Treece needed to get this order of business out of the way before moving on. Thankfully, though, he's got more McRad on his plate, with a show at the North Star tonight that's a Katrina benefit, and another on Sept. 9 at the Starlight Ballroom with Ursula Rucker and King Britt, among others.
http://2008.sxsw.com/music/showcases/band/69609.html

Friday March 14, 2008 10:30pm - 11:00pm
Beauty Bar Backyard 617 E 7th St

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