TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb’s Annual Halloween Show is Out of this World

Photo credit to Neil Santos

Listening to TJ Kong & The Atomic Bomb‘s new album, Dancing out the Door sounds like the “Post-Apocalyptic Americana” band is playing live in the room next to yours – if that room was the Maple Leaf or Tipitina’s in New Orleans, and the band members’ were the younger cousins of Reverend Horton Heat. It’s authentic, bizarre, and most of all, fun.

According to TJ Kong’s electrifying frontman, Dan Bruskewicz, that feeling is intentional. Instead of recording the album digitally, the band decided to record it all live on tape, and they did it in just two days at Kawari Sound Studio. “We wanted to challenge ourselves and find a way to capture our live shows’ energy – exciting, fast, in-the-moment,” he explains in a phone interview with Rock On Philly. “We did not want it to sound perfect, but rather imperfect, alive, and human.”

The band had wanted to incorporate the sounds of NOLA in their music for a while. Members from West Philadelphia Orchestra provided the horns that can be heard on tracks like “Dancing out the Door,” “Soul Asylum,” and “John Wilkes Booth.” “We had planned on those horns parts [for “Dancing out the Door” and “Soul Asylum”], but in the studio with West Philadelphia Orchestra it felt so natural so we wrote the horn parts for the other songs right there in the moment,” says Bruskewicz. 

Fans can hear the album live in its entirety at TJ Kong’s 8th annual Halloween party at Undergrounds Arts this Saturday, October 28th.  Pianist Mike Frank and trumpet player Patrick Hughes from the record will join the lineup to play the horn sections live for the first time.

For Bruskewicz, he excitingly anticipates this event every year. “It’s basically mayhem for the entire evening. There are hundreds of costumes and people in this cavernous space. It feels very Halloween there, and it’s a really fun atmosphere, everyone dresses up. We take the opportunity to book multiple genres where we normally would not, which brings a lot of different people in different scenes together. It feels like a one-time event,” he says.

At the very least, you’ll want to see what the band members dress up as this year. “People should be very excited about what we will dress up as this year,”Bruskewicz teases.  “It’s out of this world, from another world, perhaps another dimension?”

Listen to the album below, and purchase tickets for their Halloween show at Underground Arts this Saturday here! This show is 21+. 



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