I started Food Punk to create a space to celebrate food and music. Where else could I herald the magic of both Ramps and Pusha T? Cooking, like music, is an art. Both can be visceral, sensory experiences that transport, inspire and define us. I’ve often found that those who play with knives are also into ‘deep cuts’ of another nature. It is in this spirit that I bring you this series: HEARD! highlighting the music enthusiasts behind the line, the bar, the pass and the pen.
Danny McDermott is bar manager at Acacia
in Richmond, VA. His cocktail shake brings all the boys to the yard.
What was the first live music performance you attended?
The first show I ever went to was at the Drexel Student Union building in Philadelphia with my brother and his friends back in 1997/1998 featuring Ink and Dagger amongst other hardcore bands. I was 16/17 and it was my first experience with moshing and bloody noses…It was the show that started to lead me down the road of punk/straight edge/hardcore with Minor Threat, Earth Crisis, Fugazi, etc.
What was the most recent?
I’m pretty sure it was the New Kids on the Block reunion tour at the Super Dome in New Orleans, where Tami Chynn taught me how to “wind”.
What album/artist changed/defined/etc your life?
There have been multiple and its all space specific.
When I was living in DC and got involved in the anarcho-bike punk scene (anti-corporate globalization protests, black bloc stuff) it was all about political punk and agitprop..i.e. Fugazi, Q and not U, Against Me!, Propaghandi, etc. It was all sweaty punks, track bikes, and politics.. good times.
In New Orleans, it was bounce music that changed everything–especially because I met my boyfriend at a bounce party at St. Roch Tavern. From the Godfather of bounce Dj Jubilee (especially Do You Thang Girl) to Sissy Bounce. You should really check out Gitty Up feat. da Rumpshakers or Big Freedia (have you seen the video for Y’all Get Back Now? well you should!). It was all about rump shakin’, getting down on the floor and being free–something New Orleans does better than any other city.
Do you have a musical equivalent to a guilty pleasure?
Too many, from the boy bands of the 90s to J-Pop (Pizzicato Five, etc.) to crappy pop of today, sometimes–just like shitty TV—you just want to turn off your brain.
What album is your go to for when you wanna smash stuff and life is sticking it to you?
Gotta go back to Against Me! “Baby I’m an Anarchist”
What album is your go to for fist-pumping-this-is-the-best-
Not so much fist-pumping, but The Flaming Lips always reminds me of the good days in NYC riding over the Manhattan Bridge from Bed-Stuy to Lower Manhattan, because It’s Summertime.
What is on your turntable at home right now?
This might be a shameless plug, but really the album on my turntable is my brother’s band Nymph If you like Sun Ra, or Arthur Doyle, or awesome music in general you’ll love them.
I also really like to sing–I don’t do it much anymore, but I’ve been singing for ages, from classical in Carnegie Hall to dressed in raunchy drag singing punk versions of You Are My Sunshine as the lead singer for the Chicken Missiles at the Red Hook Bait and Tackle (the bar where I got started) in Red Hook, Brooklyn.