Brendan Kelly

Brendan Kelly

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Hometown: Chicago, IL (USA)


Brendan Kelly (born September 8, 1976) is the bassist/vocalist of Chicago-based punk band The Lawrence Arms, as well as guitarist/lead vocalist in The Falcon and Brendan Kelly and the Wandering Birds. Kelly's former bands include Slapstick and The Broadways. He is known for his raspy vocals, drunken demeanor, and onstage witticisms.

Kelly also appeared on The Daily Show in a correspondent piece by Ed Helms entitled "The Clash" in which he criticized Michale Graves for being a Republican. Kelly boycotts the Warped Tour on the belief that it ruins the original system for underground bands of touring and supporting larger bands, as well as ruining business for small venues. He along with The Lawrence Arms were banned for life for spreading this belief to the audience whilst participating in the Warped Tour.

Kelly provided backup vocals for the songs "The Company," "Stuck in Summertime," and "Unsatisfied" on The Copyrights' third full-length album, 2007's Make Sound, released on Red Scare Industries, a label owned and operated by Tobias Jeg, a close friend of Kelly. Kelly (along with Chris McCaughan) also provided back-up vocals on Common Rider's This is Unity Music album.

In 2010, Kelly released a split album with Joe McMahon of the punk rock band Smoke or Fire, entitled Wasted Potential. Kelly's half of the split contained acoustic versions of Lawrence Arms songs, as well as a cover of "Kiss the Bottle" by Jawbreaker.

In 2011, Kelly released a 3-song EP, A Man with the Passion of Tennessee Williams, with new band the Wandering Birds. A full length, I'd Rather Die Than Live Forever, followed in 2012. The Wandering Birds are generally darker in tone than Kelly's earlier musical output. He also created a short film, The Spirit of Transparency, to promote the project.

During the periods of inactivity of his musical projects, Brendan has been joined by fellow punk rock singers Laura Jane Grace and Brian Fallon in maintaining a blog, Bad Sandwich Chronicles. The blog is a mixture of scatological humor, social commentary, and stories of life in music. Kelly also co-hosts iconic music television program JBTV in Chicago.

Kelly also provided guest vocals on the Alkaline Trio song "I Wanna Be A Warhol" on their 2013 release My Shame Is True.

Kelly is also now part of Punk Rock Weddings which is the Brainchild of Mike Park founder of Asian Man Records


Brendan Kelly/ Sam Russo Split the Tip [7-inch]

Brendan Kelly/ Sam Russo

Split the Tip [7-inch] (2014)

Red Scare Industries

Brendan Kelly / Joe McMahon Wasted Potential

Brendan Kelly / Joe McMahon

Wasted Potential (2010)

Red Scare / Anchorless

Matt Skiba / Brendan Kelly live in West Chester

Matt Skiba / Brendan Kelly

live in West Chester (2010)

live show


Picture of Brendan Kelly

Band on Band: Brendan Kelly/Elway

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 8:00 PM (EST)

Picture of Brendan Kelly

Brendan Kelly (Brendan Kelly and the Wandering Birds / The Lawrence Arms)

Monday, March 26, 2012 at 8:00 PM (EDT)

Picture of Brendan Kelly

Fest Edition We'll Do It Live: Brendan Kelly

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 8:00 PM (EDT)

Picture of Brendan Kelly

Brendan Kelly (The Lawrence Arms)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 8:00 PM (EST)

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