The Upful LIFE Podcast: Episode 002 : Chris Perella (Ardmore Music Hall, The Blockley, Philadelphia)

Episode 002 of The Upful LIFE Podcast, featuring a long-form interview with Chris Perella, of Philadelphia-area jam hub Ardmore Music Hall (AMH). Before assuming the reigns (and ultimately heading up a team to buy) at Ardmore Music Hall, Chris was manager and talent buyer at storied, infamous Philly club The Blockley, which operated (as CP details, by the seat of it’s pants and skin of it’s teeth) for about five years. I had the pleasure and privilege of working for Mr. Perella at The Blockley for a year and a half or so, during this time period that Chris both befriended me and peeled back the curtain of the Philly music scenes/industry.


Beginning in June 2012 through August 2013, Chris Perella hired and employed me through some very dark personal times; I was not back in Philadelphia by choice, I moved back from Florida because my father had become very ill, and my mother was overwhelmed caring for him. It was during this time that I came to know CP both professionally, and personally’ and since then he’s been among the finest humans I’ve been lucky to call a friend in this life. As such, I was anxious to get him onto The Upful LIFE Podcast to discuss his career arc, as well as any number of music culture topics.

Chris Perella interview starts at 10:30 mark

CP and BG take a trip down memory lane, discussing the five years that AMH has been doing the damn thing. Chris really opens up about his former club, the infamous/legendary Philly nightspot #TheBlockley, where I had the pleasure of working for him in 2012-2013. Perella wrestles with what made The Blockley both the dream venue, and his personal nightmare, and we laugh at a few classic nights of yore (including the sold out LETTUCE show in May 2013!). Perella offers insights as to why The Blockley ultimately failed, and how he mined the lessons from that experience to find great success at AMH.

Chris also details his own path from green AF rookie band manager almost overnight to big-market talent buyer, running the hottest room in town with virtually NO experience. He talks about what he’s looking for when booking a new band, and why. We reflect on some gambles he’s taken on young bands years ago. Also sheds light on how he became co-manager of Everyone Orchestra. We get his thoughts on the legacies of Grateful Dead, New Orleans music, The Disco Biscuits and how these entities have affected and influenced Philadelphia’s vibrant music scene, of which he is a major cog. We conclude with an honest and raw exchange about loyalty in this industry. A fantastic (HOUR LONG!) powwow with CP!

Episode 002 ends with the debut segment *Vibe Junkie JAM of the Week* (1:15:25), where I will be placing a spotlight on a excessively dope piece of music every episode. Sometimes I’ll play just a song, other times I’ll discuss it at length. This week’s segment focuses on Lettuce recently busting out D’Angelo‘s “Brown Sugar” (9/20 Berkeley CA), which was a very special moment for the host, and many others. You’ll have to listen in to find out why!

Thank you for supporting *The Upful LIFE Podcast*! We’ll be back in a couple of weeks.