Spirits Having Fun
Ramp Local Presents

Spirits Having Fun

Spirits Having Fun
Spin Off
Ages 21+
Spirits Having Fun release show with Likes, JOBS, and Spin Off at Johnny Brenda's in Philadelphia
  • 7PM - Doors
  • 8PM - Spin Off
  • 8:45PM - JOBS
  • 9:30PM - Likes
  • 10:15PM - Spirits Having Fun


Chicago-via-NYC outfit Spirits Having Fun make the kind of music that is perhaps never encountered the same twice. So, in announcing their debut album Auto-Portrait, out in June via Ramp Local, they are sharing but an iteration of themselves, one that is to be manipulated and reinvented again and again upon future performances of its nine songs. Coming from such eclectic backgrounds as jazz and composition, ska and punk, folk and synthpop, the members of Spirits Having Fun (Katie McShane, Jesse Heasly, Andrew Clinkman, and Phil Sudderberg) are at home with improvisation, but only/especially because of their affinity for each other, musically. “Collaborative magic,” they call it.

That Auto-Portrait was recorded in ONE DAY (with Dave Vettraino) is nothing short of absolutely stunning, as its many intricate song structures flow into and out of one another so seamlessly, one would think this has been years in the making. One or two takes on each song. That’s it. Crazily, the band has only been playing together since December of 2016, and, on top of that, half of them live in Chicago while the other reside in New York. They get together when they’re able. It’s simply a matter of playing with music with people you trust, who understand you and whom you understand. The result is a genre-bending blend of scattered yet undeniably infectious melodies coasting along ever-adaptable rhythmic patterns. Dissonant and chaotic at times, completely and lovingly alluring at others…Auto-Portrait is a record with which you can wrestle, or you can hug. Or do both. The song compositions are so intricate that, more often than not, by their end, they can resemble almost nothing of their beginnings.

The point is, you are constantly engaging with it, and that is the way music ought to be. Whether amid the unbridled sonic disarray of “Waiting At The Airport,” or the calming outset of closer “Plastic Party Perfect,” or incensed quirks of the Title opener, there is an allure to it all that keeps the listener active, as though the attention paid to everything happening in these songs, acts as the fifth band member. Ears as an instrument. Katie McShane’s vocals serve as a grounding force through the constant transformations within each song, crooning with a pop sensibility that is at once a conversation and a lullaby. And perhaps the greatest part of Spirits Having Fun is all the room left for future alterations and improvisations. New life will be breathed into the songs of Auto-Portrait with every live performance, of which there will be plenty in the coming year. The album, again, is but one iteration of the band. To hear any of it played live, will be to hear it anew. And yet, the same could be said for the album itself—new things to be picked up with every new listen, the antithesis of stale.


Bringing Gen Z prog to the Gen Z masses


We are the band called JOBS, and sometimes that feels like a big responsibility. JOBS believes that this band is our job, and it is the band’s job to provide an experience that makes you forget your job, and hopefully gets you to look at the way things are with an eye towards how things could be.

The original members of JOBS - drummer Max Jaffe, bassist Rob Lundberg, and guitarist David Scanlon - started the project (under the name “killer BOB”) in a tiny closet in Manhattan when they were music students (yes, this is music made by music students, but don’t let that scare you away), and 10 years later, they continue to devise new ways of maintaining their creative vitality.

The music on their forthcoming record, “Log On For The Free Chance To Log On For Free”, is the result of changes to their environment and lineup. To prepare for this record, JOBS rented a small two-bedroom bungalow in Santa Fe for a week. There is a vastness and an openness to the environment there that is nowhere to be found in New York, and the band took full advantage of that, feeling the space and freedom to run with their craziest ideas. Long unstructured days of writing and rehearsing were broken up by spontaneous hikes in the Galisteo Basin. Food was prepared together. Energy flowed with ease. A record of new material was essentially complete by the end of the week.

After completing the recordings in a communal house studio in Woodstock (The Isokon), JOBS had one final crucial step, which was to formally bring longtime friend and occasional member Jessica Pavone into the band. She brings her own highly-developed musical personality to the table, as well as years of immeasurable experience as a luminary of the New York avant-garde. Her viola playing and one of her compositions (“Held Up Fairly”) make its debut with JOBS on this record.

On the title of the record, "Log On For The Free Chance To Log On For Free”, it can easily be heard as coming from the voice of a corporation which, for many, is the keeper of their job. “Logging in... is a ploy to acquire information. ‘Log on for the free chance to log on for free’ is a catch-22. It is a corporation exploiting someone and, in return, giving them what they already had,” says Lundberg. Jaffe adds, “there are corporations that we have socially agreed to collaborate with. Our information and the content that we create is monetized and in exchange we are given a community that we already had.”

The energy that is bottled and distilled in this record is multitudinous, with moments of tensile contemplation leading to teary-eyed euphoria, irreverent humor morphing into inchoate rage, all-out metallic assaults paired with spacious group meditations, and all guided by a spirit of joyful experimentalism. Despite the musical risk-taking found on the record, the concept of “groove” is essential to JOBS’ music. Scanlon says “I do not have a clear definition for ‘groove’; however, a collectively agreed upon pulse seems crucial to its existence”. One can hear the influence of the communal living and open spaces that forged these songs in the many collective and risky agreements JOBS makes throughout the record.


SPIN OFF is a multidimensional experience. Every SPIN OFF act is just part of a larger collection of stories about unrequited passion and gold stars. Each story reflects on and delves into extremely personal experiences dealing with issues such as envy and despair. Some call it rock music. Others call it an opera. To SPIN OFF, it’s just life.

(SPIN OFF is Rachie and Madeline)

Venue Information:
Johnny Brenda's
1201 N. Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA, 19125