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Ape School

New Track: "Haunt If You Want" - Ape School

Though it looked like Ape School had been seemingly put to rest, Michael Johnson continues to still record (and earlier this year perform) under the moniker. Below is "Haunt If You Want," the final track on his upcoming LP. Death is Messy is due out in early 2017 via Boiled Records. (Photo by Darshana Borah)


Weekend Warrior, November 29 - December 1

Ape School gets put to death at Boot and Saddle. DRGN KING and Lux Perpetua will be there to witness and toll the bell.” Well, it might be the end for the live band as head primate Michael Johnson starts his own shrewdness by welcoming a tiny ape of his own to his family and drummer Eric Slick gets ready for his move to North Carolina; however, you can still expect to hear more recordings from Johnson because recording is still an addiction that he has yet a “desire to control.” The death of the live band is also uncertain, but you definitely won’t be seeing them perform again for a “very long time.” It’ll be a bittersweet celebration at the new South Philly venue, but come out and raise a glass to some amazing musicians as they get set to embark on new life journeys. Cheers, fellas! The Boot & Saddle, 11131 S. Broad St., 9pm, $10, 21+ - Q.D. Tran
Other places to escape the chill this weekend…
The Boot & Saddle (1131 S. Broad St.) SAT Penrose, Static Mountain, Conversations With Enemies
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) SAT Hezekiah Jones, Vilebred, Manatawny Creek Ramblers
Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) FRI Sugarquief, Beethoven Bikini, SAT Purling Hiss, Amanda X, Shape Breaker, SUN Wrong Answer, Time Bomb
PhilaMOCA (531 N. 12th St. Philadelphia) SAT The Love Club Album Release Show w/Alumbrados (Feat. Members of Bardo Pond)
North Star Bar (2639 Poplar St.) FRI New Pony, Chaos Thompson, SAT Marathon, Sic Bacchus
The Fire (412 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Milhaus, Successful Failures, Stars Apart, SUN Principia, Bunk, A Victim of Good Times, Old Arrows
MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut St.) SAT Close To Good Release Show w/Vintage Kicks, Chronicles of Sound, X-Hunters
Ortlieb’s Lounge (847 N. 3rd St.) FRI Dokument
TLA (334 South St.) FRI Architekt
World Café Live (3025 Walnut St.) FRI Stephen Kellogg, SUN Susan Werner’s Hayseed Project
M Room (15 W. Girard Ave.) FRI Ju-Taun, T. Shaw
Tin Angel (20 S. 2nd St.) FRI Jeffrey Gaines, Shaun Ruymen
Voltage Lounge (421 N. 7th St.) SAT Drew Nielsen Band, The Lux, Undergun
The Grape Room (105 Grape St.) FRI Terrible Friends, The Late Crowd, Fang Fang, SAT The Great Endangered, Ado James
Goldilocks Gallery (723 Chestnut St.)) FRI Josh Jones
Mt. Thrashmore (Please contact one of the acts or venue for more info.) FRI edhochuli, Herb

Show Recap: Mac DeMarco, Ape School & Mock Suns at MilkBoy Philly

I’m not really sure why I don’t end up at Milkboy more often. Maybe it’s because I’m bad at life, but I doubt it. It’s probably because I’m bad at checking out event calendars. But after a dinner consisting of stale crackers, antibiotics and a rum cocktail, I was more than ready to check out Mac DeMarco’s sold-out show this past Thursday. Locals Mock Suns and Ape School opened for everyone’s new favorite Canadian slacker rock babe, and did a swell job of it. I had myself a really good time - infected spider bite and all! 

Mock Suns and their heady, playful revelry and what my discerning male companion described as, “agreeable, good-guy guitar-driven indie rock,” which I’m pretty sure was a compliment. If Phoenix and Real Estate and Lower Dens formed a jam band and afterwards wrote a screenplay in which Arnold Schwarzenegger birthed their unlikely child, you’d be looking at Mock Suns. And I refuse to apologize for that statement, because I have an infected spider bite and I liked Mock Suns, and would be psyched to see them again.

Ape School also ruled it, banging out a set of discerningly anthemic rock and roll that worked way more often than not. It was a more stripped-down Ape School than I’m used to with the band taking the stage as a four-piece. Michael Johnson and his smart, moppy pompadour closed out a fulfilling set with his angst-tinged, celebratory, “Be An Encore.” The audience would’ve been down for one more, at least; however, that luxury isn’t usually provided for an opener. Plus, don’t mess with a sound guy and his set times.

Mac DeMarco and his swaggery maneuvering of fine lines in his dirty skate shoes, shrouding his modus operandi as a not-not prolific musician in a cloud of scum and viceroy smoke. He is your future-ex-boyfriend. He’s the best dude you used to skate with. Demarco and his bandmates clearly give a shit about what they’re doing - just not in front of their audience. They’re simply too busy having fun. You can just tell by their ridiculous facial expressions. They’re preternaturally good-natured, rough, goofy and replete. It was a complete-feeling set of clean, hard-edged translations of his studio recordings that still retained their “stoned-on-a-leaking-waterbed-and-hey-perhaps-it’s-the-80s vibe.” They also pulled off a loud, shrieky cover of the Beatles’ “Blackbird” lead by bassist Pierce McGarry in a string of admirably insincere classic rock covers. All in all, DeMarco proved on Thursday evening that good music can make fun of itself and be better for it. (Ape School Photo by Leslie Burnette) - Leslie Burnette


New Music Video: "Fly Your Bullshit To The Moon" - Ape School

Michael Johnson continues to impress with the wave of psych-pop tunes from his project Ape School while providing some seriously oddball song titles. Here's a new music video for his track "Fly Your Bullshit To The Moon" from his latest release Quitting Time. It was produced by the rad production crew Woodshop Films, the people behind Deli fave Trippin' Balls with Brother JT. Ape School will be opening tonight at MilkBoy Philly for buzzing Canuck rocker Mac DeMarco.


New Ape School EP Available for Streaming

Check out the new 4-song EP entitled Quitting Time from Ape School (a.k.a. Michael Johnson, who "done did it all") below! We're feeling a very post-Talking Heads David Byrne vibe on this one, which we definitely likey. Ape School will be performing next on Thursday, August 29 at MilkBoy Philly.


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