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Sixteen Jackies

The Deli Philly’s June Record of the Month: Movie Was Bad/Mascula – Sixteen Jackies

Glam quartet Sixteen Jackies’ new double-EP release, featuring the reissue of 2017’s Movie Was Bad and their latest Mascula, is out now via Philly’s own Born Losers Records. Both collections of recordings are cinematic from the start, with the latter finding focus on “American masculinity and the layers of violence that lie underneath its surface – the causes and the effects of that violence.”

However, Movie Was Bad opens with an atmospheric and melodic nonchalance, allowing its first track, “You Came,” to slowly ease into a smooth yet urgent narrative that’s unafraid of grappling with the dissonance of human desire and intimacy. With patient riffs and a tempo reminiscent of bossa nova and a sun-soaked shoreline, frontman Joey DeMarco croons, “I could be a beauty, I could be a diamond in your ear” with such earnest diction that it becomes a swoon-ready reflection of romance and its simultaneous potential to heal and cause harm. Visceral, yet tender, “You Came” is as dreamy as it is honest.

The EP's second offering, “VHS #1 (A Body),” is part of a series of recordings, inspired by classic horror films, and is equally arresting. Unrushed and evocative of its namesake, its bassline and looped guitar licks cast a spell on its listener. As the track progresses, its melody volleys between being openly and covertly brooding. Whether dramatic or understated, its lyricism feels visual. Ending with eerie, buzzing static and laughter, Sixteen Jackies’ homage to film and analog becomes a metaphor for postmodern identity and how we document what denies or defines who we are. It morphs into the album’s title track, an infectiously dance-y anthem, infused with audacious vibrance and playful bravado. Stitching together an electrifying backbeat with the tongue-in-cheek chorus of “I was so high,” “Movie Was Bad” is undeniably memorable and charismatic.

In contrast, the beginning of “Blood Feast” is subtle and soft, which creates a satisfying juxtaposition between the track's title and its emotional interior. The recording presents itself as a disillusioned love song, with light at its center. Sleigh bells and the tempered swell of guitar lead to determined confessions like "I won't ever, ever have to be lonely, no not again." Soulful rather than showy, “Blood Feast” is a pragmatic ode to affection. The EP's end, “In Here,” blooms at an instant, enveloping its audience through oscillating assonance and strategic wisps of snare. As DeMarco sings, “I believe in innocence and I believe in losing it, but I believe in keeping it too,” it becomes clear that the album’s closer is the crystallized thesis of the EP’s narrative. Optimistic without being naïve, Movie Was Bad’s final moments offer an antidote to apathy in a world where it’s so easy to be numb. Revisiting the Sixteen Jackies’ earlier gems will implore you to feel without apprehension.

Similarly so, the Philly four-piece’s latest EP Mascula is a timely reprieve from the reality of 2018. The steady beat and echoed vocals of “Little Duke” are visceral, gritty, and full of just enough swagger that each chord and lyric presents itself as a two-fold plea and proclamation. Its conceit is concise yet effective. “Power” sprouts from the rhythmic shake of maracas, steady bass, and lush reverb. "I've got a lot of problems with the state I'm in" – the vulnerability of the track becomes transparent, making it a satisfyingly frank hymn of unabashed authenticity. Its diction and instrumentive delivery is raw and filled with yearning. Its self-awareness is unblinking in a way that will make you question how honest you are with yourself. While “Open the Door” remains equally sincere, here, DeMarco's voice rises and falls seamlessly with the soothing cool of the song’s harmony, embedding each note deeper into the heart of its audience.

"Out There" is a surf-drenched and ingeniously candid monument to the self. Whether political or personal, it examines the dangers of conformity. When DeMarco urges, "I'll never be like you," the track becomes a call to arms that feels deeply personal but universal. However, you interpret it; this ballad is a reminder of the value of boundaries. Delectably volatile “Virgin Burning" sinks its teeth into its listener without warning. Like a lover's spat or an imagined dialogue with a spiteful ex, the song is the perfect storm of frustration, anger, and longing. Like its predecessor, “Virgin Burning” is easily relatable.

Closing out this snapshot of the band’s recorded history, the earliest seconds of “VHS #2 (Masks)” are haunting and quickly become an unbridled portrait of the American soul. Pulling images from cult classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre, it honors the beauty and the horror of what it is to be human. The song scratches away the veneer of a singular narrative; instead, it suggests that who and what we are is two-fold and that we are made of contradictions.

Paired with 2017’s Movie Was Bad, Sixteen Jackies’ Mascula is gratifying in an unpredictable way. Best when enjoyed together, both EPs should definitely be listened to more than once, especially during sunset, with a cool drink and your cell phone turned off. – Dianca London

Weekend Warrior, May 18 - 20

A mysterious psych/surf sonic structure sweeps through when breathing in the music of Sixteen Jackies. Serenading in relaxed, sand-in-your-toes melodies that rhythmically breeze by but hint at an underlying stormy volatility, there’s a cautious, haunting element that lays in wait, stirring up the atmosphere in funky, possessive, art-rock/pop grooves. Incorporating the serene with the slightly strange and cutting through the mist with moments that set you in motion, the glam quartet hovers the threshold between calm and combustible. Tonight, at PhilaMOCA, Sixteen Jackies will be celebrating the release of their double EP 12” vinyl, Movie Was Bad Mascula, via Born Losers Records. They’ll also be joined by The Lawsuits’ offshoot Isles Isles, the tumultuous, trance-inducing fun of Madalean Gauze, and the hazy, splintering get down of Long Hots. – Michael Colavita 

Other places where the locals will be hanging this weekend…

PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th St.) FRI Sixteen Jackies (EP Release), Long Hots, Isles Isles, Madalean Gauze, SAT Earthboy, Port Lucian

Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) FRI The 1910 Chainsaw Company, SAT It's the Year 2002: DJ Emynd, Bo Bliz

Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Moons, Witching, The Stone Eye/DJ Deejay, SAT Mental Jewelry, Manikineter, SUN Derrick Diesel, Joe Butta/Mirrorsigns, Alpha_Alpha

Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) SAT Rumours: Philly Artists Pay Tribute To Fleetwood Mac Katie Frank, Ryan Tennis, Primitive Heart & Dwight Remington, Meaghan Kyle (No Good Sister), Black Horse Motel, Morgan Pinkstone, Grady Hoss & The Sidewinders, Christina Ward (Your Kids), Vessna Scheff, Midnight Singers, Stargazer Lily, SUN Rock To The Future 8th Annual Showcase

Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden St.) SAT Hop Along, Eight

The Trocadero (1003 Arch St.) SAT Shane Henderson, June Divided, Commonwealth Choir, The GoAround, Summer Scouts, Sonnder/Voguish, Shady Monk, SUN Knightlife, Service Dog, Gainstrive, Lamplit, MRJR

The Fillmore Philadelphia (1100 Canal St.) FRI So Far Gone: Dirty South Joe, Magglezzz

The Foundry (1000 Frankford Ave.) SAT Mt. Joy

World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI (Upstairs) John Vettese/Ryan Corcoran/(Downstairs) Massive

The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Dark Blue, The Charley Few, The Lot, SAT Felipe Pupo, Jazz Fresh, SUN Handsome Crü, Groomers

MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) SAT Judah Kim & The Assasination (Record Release Show), Somethin' Divine, Tiny Vices, Nathan Allebach, SUN Mars Parker, LiMM, Jus O

Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI The Classic Hunt (Release Show), Hover, Mosin Nagant, SAT Palmas, Lady HD, SUN Spring Fling: Variety Show by Femme. Collective

The Barbary (951 Frankford Ave.) SAT Dominy, Honeytiger, Grace Vonderkuhn, SUN Sara Henya (EP Release), Argon Gardens, Hannah Frances, Jesse Gimbel

Silk City (435 Spring Garden St.) FRI Bo Bliz, Low Budget, SAT DJ Deejay, SUN MambaCinco, Dappa

Fergie’s (1214 Sansom St.) SAT Joe Kenney Band, SUN Rusty Cadillac

Connie’s Ric Rac (1132 S. 9th St.) FRI The End A.D., Hellrad, Workhorse III, SAT Italian Market Festival: Adventure Lost Alright Junior, Audio Impulse,Calla Bere, The Charley Few, Coffins and Cobwebs, Endless Taile, Fenris, Hambone Relay, Hannah Taylor & The Rekardo Lee Trio, Ivy Rand, Jacopo DeNicola, Joey Sweeney & The Neon Grease, Johnny Shortcake, Katie Barbato, Kelvin Cochrane, Looseleaf, Lovers League, Muscle Tough, Muskrat Flats, OOLALA, Railroad Fever, RFA, Roxy Rollz, Secret Nudist Friends, Settlement Music School Student Band, Supermarket Sneakers, T.C. Cole, The Cheddar Boys, The Dead Flowers, The Jawn, The Plibmen, The School Of Rock Kidz, The Wallace Brothers Band, Tucker Hill Band, Ty Asoudegan,Us & Them, Vilebred, Whiskey Effect, You Do You

Bourbon & Branch(705 N. 2ndSt.) FRI The Rectors (Release Show), SUN Dizzy Valdez,Voss, Mason , Joji Ruffin, Cain Kerner, Besphrenz

Morgan’s Pier (221 N. Columbus Boulevard) FRI DJ BeatStreet, SUN Rich Baker

Frankie Bradley’s (1320 Chancellor St.) FRI Peek-a-Boo Revue/Ben Aire, SAT Peek-a-Boo Revue/Ed Christof

The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI SomaRai, Judex, SAT Dune Puma, Beta Phase, Modern Hypocrites, Qwirk

Ardmore Music Hall (23 E. Lancaster Ave.) SAT Flightschool, The Captain ~ The Pilot ~ The Driver, American Dinosaur, SUN Countdown to Ecstasy, School of Rock (Downingtown)

Everybody Hits (529 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Laser Background, The Vernes

The Pharmacy (1300 S. 18th St.) FRI Lil Bøyband,  Journell Pierre, ReqDali & Eddie Madrid, Amadio Sanchez, SAT Tree Stampede, Omar's Hat, dot.gov

LAVA Space (4134 Lancster Ave.)) SAT Dark Web, Dialer

No Face Studio (5213 Grays Ave.) FRI Fishy Suvaz

The Sound Hole (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Stoops, Buddie

Hole Foods (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) SUN Caracara, They Are Gutting a Body of Water

The Secret Garden on Green (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Tubey Frank, Abi Reimold, Rachel Andie & The V Element

All Night Diner (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Aphra

The Spreehive (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI Wyoming, A Virgin, Gender Work, Itchy Kisses

New Sixteen Jackies Double EP Release Available for Streaming & Purchase

Glam-pop/rock outfit Sixteen Jackies just released a new double EP 12" vinyl via Philly's own Born Loser Records. Consisting of their wonderfully unique debut Movie Was Bad and equally captivating latest project Mascula, this gem of recordings is a must-have for your collection. You can grab your very own copy at their record release celebration on Friday, May 18 at PhilaMOCA, with Madalean Gauze, Isles Isles (featuring members of The Lawsuits), and Long Hots. Bring your best self.

New Track: "VHS #2 (Masks)" - Sixteen Jackies

On May 4, Movie Was Bad/Mascula, the double EP from Sixteen Jackies, is set for release via Philly's own Born Losers Records. The band’s new single and the second installment in the VHS series; “VHS #2 (Masks)" projects an eerie atmosphere, with each installment pulling "from a different classic horror film for inspiration (while not being too overt) and this one in particular pulls its images from Texas Chainsaw Massacre." Looking back on the range of possibilities one’s upbringing projects on his/her/their future, a villain takes note, backed by a looming albeit energetic, musical menace. Come join Sixteen Jackies at their release celebration on Friday, May 18 at PhilaMOCA, where they'll be supported by Madalean Gauze and Isles Isles!

New Video: "You Came" (Live - Swell Tone Session) - Sixteen Jackies

One finds him/herself in a relaxed seductive haunt as Sixteen Jackies perform “You Came” for a Swell Tone session. Draped in blue and pink lighting, the band feels at home on stage. However, the alternative white/grey of the empty warehouse stirs up some ghosts.  Sixteen Jackies' double EP Movie Was Bad/Mascula is due out on May 4 via Philly's own Born Losers Records, which you can preorder HERE. In the mean time, you catch them next in Philly on Wednesday, March 21 at Bourbob & Branch, with Stereo League and Monogold.


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