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Chatting “Politics in the Time of Heroin” with The Penny Serfs

By Andrea Ramirez-Maciolek, Rock At Night Philadelphia


The Penny Serf’s album, Politics in the Time of Heroin, has been released for almost a year with stellar reception from both fans and the world of music. The album is not only a musical, and lyrical masterpiece but also an important part of American music history and its transcending psyche during a political landscape of tumultuous divide. Politics in the Time of Heroin was put together at the time of the election circus right before Donald Trump was elected president. The album is the unheard cynical voice of many “what the fuck” moments going through the minds of Americans during political unrest where it was almost impossible to go three feet without getting into a political argument, not to mention, the in-your-face unfriending social media frenzy-all this while many Americans were hiding behind the mask of an opiate epidemic in order to drown the pains of everyday life. It was a rough time for Americans during the presidential elections seeing the world through a surreal curtain of toxic media and drugs. Let’s face it, it still is a rough time especially while many continue to fight their own demons but one inevitable positive process that never fails to repeat itself during times of socio-political unrest is the creation of incredible and emotional art. Luckily for our generation, Politics in the Time of Heroin, is one of those great pieces of art and it came at the right time where, hey, if politics keep us divided let music bring us together.

The Penny Serfs are veterans in the music industry and are well known for the work they do behind the scenes as music techs touring around the world with acts such as The National, Regina Spektor, Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), The Shins, Sufjan Stevens, and Derek Smalls (Spinal Tap). Mikey Loy is a guitar tech and Kyle Lewis is a drum tech. It is no surprise their albums are flawlessly recorded due to the band’s musical technical prowess. I had the chance to speak with Mikey and Kyle right before Thanksgiving break and they gave some insight on their latest album, Politics In the Time of Heroin. Rounding up the rest of the Serfs are Stu Tenold and Aiden Landman. To listen to our fun and insightful conversation where we talk about everything from politics, the meaning behind the album title and some of the songs on the album, and what the guys were cooking up for the holidays take a listen to the podcast below.

Click on the arrow above to listen to the audio

Photo by Harry W. Walker III

Politics in the Time of Heroin Tracklist:
1. Lonely Boy
2. In My Room I’m on Fire
3. Religious Republicans of Rock Island County
4. Ode to Franklin D. Roosevelt
5. Somebody Else
6. Obituary for Her
7. Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared
8. Suzy Turned Yellow Yesterday


Check Out The Penny Serfs:

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Andrea Ramirez Maciolek
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About Andrea Ramirez Maciolek (296 Articles)
Managing Editor I'm a photojournalist who is passionate about music. I love the adrenaline of shooting live concerts. Photography has given me the opportunity to photograph some of today's most legendary bands, and entertainers. When I'm not photographing music you can find me on the runway shooting New York, London, and Philadelphia Fashion Week. I am also a contributing photographer at Getty Images.
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