I get the feeling sometimes that folks rarely check websites anymore, with all updates instead coming from social media. Still it’s been so long since I’ve posted here, I figured I’d say “hi.” It’s me, Sebastian Petsu, the main person behind DDMS. I’m healthy and have stayed relatively sane despite the obvious challenges. The rest of the core team that’s helped put on past shows— Bob Sweeney, Scott Troyan, Maria T, Andy Thierauf and Dustin Hurt are also alive and well.
Some people have asked me when the Double Decker Music Series will start back up, and I’ll respond here honestly: I don’t know when or even IF we’ll host any more DDMS events. I definitely want to err on the side of caution when it comes to COVID safety. Safe small-scale outdoor live events seem a very real possibility for the summer but potential restrictions don’t work well with the layout of the bus. We really can’t have any “distancing” on the top of bus. To make sure everyone gets fairly paid and to create a proper atmosphere, the DDMS needs every available seat to be filled. So it feels uncertain that we could host bus events in a sustainable way.
Also, even before the pandemic hit I was thinking that perhaps it was time to wrap up the DDMS. After hosting 44 different sonic sets in the span of 22 evening over the course of 7 years I asked myself “has the series achieved all it can?” And I started to think that maybe it had.
So the TDLR version is I currently have no plans to put on any double decker events in 2021. As for 2022 and beyond, who knows? All of this is subject to change and there could possibly be spin-off events put on under the DDMS umbrella.
If there’s any news about upcoming events, it will be posted here and first sent to email subscribers.
Be well. Stay safe. Stay creative.
We hope everyone is hanging in and taking goods care of themselves and their neighbors during this tense time. It probably isn’t a big surprise at this point, but it seems unlikely we’ll be able to host any DDMS events in 2020 because of COVID-19 concerns and restrictions.
We are also saddened and angered by the recent murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police and the ongoing systemic injustice, brutality and murder that black Americans have experienced at the hands of police nationwide. We support demonstrations that aim to dismantle white supremacy and systemic racism. While the core team that puts on these shows is predominantly white, we hope that even in a quiet way, our performer choices and tour narration have reiterated our belief here that BLACK LIVES MATTER.
We are a work in progress, and while the future of the series is uncertain, you can always reach us via the contact if you have questions, recommendations for future programming, or even great bits of Black Philly history that deserve more attention! We’re listening. We can do better.
On a somewhat lighter, but related note, the Frank Rizzo statute in Philly that we’ve driven by during most DDMS events has FINALLY been removed. The statue has long been an uncomfortable reminder of police brutality and we’re glad to see it gone. We hope it can be replaced with other art that instead affirms the value of Black communities in our city. In the meantime enjoy this 3 minute video megamix video assembled by Bob Sweeney highlighting the DDMS’ run-ins with the statue over the years. Good riddance…
And in light of a criminal justice system still stacked against Black Americans we encourage you to donate to Philly Bail Fund
We closed out our 7th season on the bus with August 25th 2019’s
performances by Seraiah Nicole and Rosali. You can turn back that strange-moving clock and take a seat up top right HERE thanks to Bob Sweeney’s great video documentation. And for the first time ever, this edition of DDMS includes pyrotechnics. SERIOUSLY!
We now have clips from every single DDMS event posted in our Past Events section. While you’re staying at home, you can cozy up on the couch and mitigate that existential dread and distanced boredom by spending an epic 4 hours (virtually) on top of the bus if you want to watch them all. GO FOR IT!
Stay safe. Be well. Never doubt I’m feeling it too.
I hope y’all are staying healthy, washing those hands, maintaining safe distances, and having solo dance parties to good tunes while staying at home. Here’s the wild night where we turned 21 episodes old back on July 28th 2019. Under the “(Darkly)” moniker, host Sebastian did a rare live tape-manipulation set letting radio waves bleed in as they might. Then Jaimie Branch ripped it up on trumpet, all pocketed and pedaled through. Video by the indefatigable Mr. Bob Sweeney is now UP HERE.
Ease those COVID 19 anxieties with some DDMS 20. Finally, HERE is Bob Sweeney’s video featuring Ursula Rucker and Madam Data from July 2019– a seemingly distant time when we felt comfortable sitting on a bus with our bare shoulders touching friends and strangers. The rough sound, born out of some technical difficulties, is sort of a blessing-in-disguise. It gives the home viewer a more “you’re almost there” experience than ever before, with all the sounds of the bus and the city bleeding in. You can almost smell the diesel fumes! And in these cooped up distanced times, it’s sort of refreshing.
Madam Data’s electronics are a meditation and Ursula Ruckers’s poem is a celebration of this flawed yet beautiful city, made up of so many of us.
We’re gonna make it through.
Keep loving. Keep fighting. And WASH YOUR HANDS.
We’re teaming up again with Bowerbird to host a series of 3 Double Decker Music Series events this summer.
more info and tickets available here:
Here’s one more breath of summer 2018 before we plunge into the new year. Come back with us to August to see Schuyler Thum create the most complex layered version of a kindergarten classic imaginable and see Birdie Busch’s triumphant return to the bus top. Bob Sweeney’s fabulous video is RIGHT HERE
See y’all in 2019
As the Northeast continues its descent into the darkest, coldest depths of winter, warm up with Bob Sweeney’s breezy footage from July RIGHT HERE
More great work by Bob Sweeney. Check it out here!