Pep Rally Presents “Clubbing on the Moon (Staring at the Sun)”

Though it’s right in the middle of Center City, MilkBoy epitomizes the egalitarian spirit of the Philly independent and underground music scene. It’s a home for upstarts and iconoclasts and always a great time. Tommy Joyner, the man behind Pep Rally, was one of the founding members of MilkBoy, and he’s won a Grammy for his work behind the boards at the club’s affiliated studio. Joyner’s operation has established itself as the the place to go for first-rate, unpretentious, straight-to-the-heart sound. MilkBoy the Studio carries on the mission of the legendary venue, and Joyner and his team have been shaking the streets and making memorable records since 1994, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down.

Considering the songwriter and producer behind the track, it’s no surprise that “Clubbing on the Moon (Staring at the Sun),” the latest single from Pep Rally, sounds fantastic. This is a blast of unfettered, anthemic, party-starting rock, imbued with punk spirit, buoyed by relentless percussion, and carried along by a memorable melody. Followers of the Pep Rally story will recognize the voice of drummer and mischief-maker Emily Roane, who answers Tommy Joyner’s lyrics with pithy lines (and an insouciant delivery) of her own. It’s the scary, thrilling, delightful, inimitable experience of clubbing all night that they’re singing about — a tale drawn from true-life experiences in places as strange, wonderful, and occasionally terrifying as the Philadelphia independent rock scene. Joyner and Roane are generous with details and specifics, because honesty is the only way they know how to play.

“Clubbing on the Moon (Staring at the Sun)” follows “Turn the Radio Up (Own the Night),” a bracing single that invites listeners to surrender to their rocking impulses. Joyner matched “Radio” with a clip that doubled as a celebration of the city that he calls home. The “Clubbing” clip, which was directed by Joyner himself, takes viewers inside the recording studio to see footage of Joyner and Roane in an environment they know extremely well. They’re loose, playful, and magnetic, and their easy camaraderie is apparent in every shot. They find room for some gripping still images of local clubs, too. Of course, they are highlighting the venue that started it all, MilkBoy.

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