We, like most longtime Philly residents, have spent our fair share of hours soaking up the booze and atmosphere of the timestuck (which, believe us, we totally do not mean as a knock) Oscar’s Tavern. The veteran dive is back in the spotlight today courtesy of a Philly.com profile from Danya Henninger that explores the bar’s history and gives us some invaluable insights on the joint from general manager Joe Mullan. See for yourself:
Did you really have customers who came in at 7 in the morning?
There used to be people standing outside if I was late. Like, take it easy, will ya? It’s 7 in the morning. I’m talking about office people.
They’d come get a drink before going to work?
We had a guy who used to come in, Joe. He worked around the corner. I forget where. He would stop in before work and then come in again around 10. Just have a mug of beer. But he would never wear his coat, even in winter, and he would always carry a paper. One day I asked him why, and turns out it was so when he went back in, people would think he was just on another floor or something. “Where were you, Joe?” “Oh, I was on the sixth.”
Joe, whomever or wherever you are, we just want you to know that you are our goddamn hero.
In an era where NewPhies threaten to suck the character out of this town one generic NoLibs condo at a time, it is beyond comforting to know that Oscar’s remains trapped in its lager-soaked amber or all times. Keep keepin’ over there guys, and we’ll be in after work for a few. You are like a boozy hug from mom.
The latest move in the game of Papal Pile On that Philadelphia is currently experiencing comes to us via The Washington Post. In an article titled “Philadelphia’s plans for hosting pope are far from heavenly for residents,” writer Frances Stead Sellers presents an overview of the papal woes our city has endured of late (i.e. where’s everybody gonna stay, the “traffic box,” the Papal Playbook, #Popeapocalypse, “an overly complicated lottery system for train tickets,” and on and on and on). We’d throw some select pull quotes for the piece out there at you, but folks, we’re already living it, so why bother? Way to kick us when we’re down, WaPo. I mean, you’re not wrong but still. That shit’s cold.
This past Thursday, Meg Baird played Johnny Brenda’s in support of her new album Don’t Weigh Down the Light. It was by all accounts an amazing evening, one that through the magic of YouTube you can enjoy anytime. Above are performances of “Back to You” and the haunting “Even the Walls Don’t Want You to Go,” and you can hear more from the show here. And trust us, you should.
Hey listen, it’s no big deal that you’re into sex. You don’t have to worry about being polite, this is me you’re talking to. Sex is a natural thing you are probably thinking about a lot. Well, this week come think about Sex at Hey We’re Cool’s The Sex Show on Thursday at L’Etage. Hey We’re Cool Hosts Matt and Pat welcome comedy from Robert X (pictured above), Charlie Schulman and Dog Mountain, music from Riley O’Riley, and a special appearance by Dr. Timaree Leigh. It’s called The Sex Show because there will probably be stuff about sex in it. Which you are into. I know you are. Thursday, 8pm. $5.
So you’re into sex, and we scratched that itch for you. Maybe you’re also into monologues and video sketches? Just like sex, it’s natural for us to be attracted to these sorts of things and you shouldn’t be embarrassed. On Friday, the Philly Improv Theater has BOTH monologues and video sketch at Monologues with Brought To You By. Monologues is a showcase of some top comedy writers delivering one-person sketches, and Brought To You By… is a collection of home-grown sketch video. Friday, 9pm. $8 in advance, $10 door.
So we talked about sex, monologues, videos… what about anniversaries? You’re into that too, right? On Sunday, the veritable cavalcade of comedy Honorable Mention is celebrating its one year anniversary at Fergie’s Pub. The celebration will begin with some music, a stand up showcase and will be followed by an open mic. Will there be a cake? Probably, but it’s hard to say. Cakes are great for first birthday parties for people, but this is a party for a show. I don’t know what the rules are for celebrating shows. I guess we’ll find out together on Sunday. Sunday, 8pm. Free. — Joe Moore
Joe Moore is the genial jerk who is head writer of sketch group Dog Mountain, host of monthly show Guilty Pleasures and a sketch comedy instructor. Hunt him down on twitter @TheJoeMoore.
In light of this Billy Penn piece in which some Philly Airbnb hosts discuss their frustration with not being able to make as much money off of Pope Francis‘ visit as they initially hoped, we’d like to just remind those of you out there in the Philebrity viewing audience who may have forgotten that, oh heyyyyyyyy, the world doesn’t owe you anything. Obvs. We all are dealing with the papal visit, and most of us aren’t making a single cent off it (and that’s not even getting into the concerns our friends in the service industry have over what the visit and its restrictions will have for them). The words of that old UHF commercial stating “Do you want to make more money? Of course, we all do” still resonate deep within all of us, so we can appreciate your desire to make bank. But that doesn’t mean any of us are entitled to it. So if you are upset right now about not making as much papal dough as you hoped, might we suggest just having a nice dinner and forgetting your problems for awhile? Why, we bet you’d just love Le Bok Fin.
Coming next year is Sigma Sound: The Sound Heard ‘Round the World, a documentary focusing on the history and impressive legacy of the famed Philly-based studio. As you should already be aware, Sigma brought artists ranging from The O’Jays to Patti LaBelle to the global spotlight, and established “The Philadelphia Sound” (think undiluted bliss). The highly anticipated doc will feature insights from the likes of Sigma founder Joe Tarsia, Kenny Gamble, and Jerry Blavat, as well as the requisite archival footage showcasing the foreverjams that the studio spawned. With Sigma itself currently being turned into apartments, this film is a timely reminder of how important the unassuming 12th street studio was to the trajectory of popular music in the late 20th century. As such, this is most definitely on our radar. Bring on 2016, and the songs that will never end.
We’re actually kind of surprised that the Philly comedy community hasn’t been barraging us with Popecentric videos (perhaps they are as weary of all of us this as we are?), but we would like to turn your attention to Green Light Productions‘ “POPE.” A parody of Lady Gaga’s “Dope,” this video subtly comments on Philadelphia’s current Pope Francis addiction by taking us into the mind of a man distraught over his likely inability to get close to His Holiness. (The Eagles jersey is a nice a touch). Popemania is a crisis that touches all of our lives, so consider this one a video support group.
Really folks, you just couldn’t resist could you? Meanwhile, it should be noted that Philly’s Chip Chantry totally predicted this would happen. Pro tip: If you were planning on Indegoing today, it’s probably best to bring along some anti-bacterial wipes for the ride.
>>> Meg Baird is at Johnny Brenda’s tonight, so yeah, this is pretty much a must-do. Joining her for an evening of music that will help heal your late-summer weary soul will be Samara Lubelski and Mary Lattimore. God, could it just be showtime already?
>>> Over at Tattooed Mom, there will be an End of Summer Reading of fiction and poetry that will include Scottish author Helen McClory (whose in town to promote her new book, On the Edges of Vision), as well as Philly’s own Asali Solomon, P.E. Garcia, Ras Mashramani, and Jasmine Combs. Let their words wash over you.
We’re saddened to learn of the passing of larger-than-life former 76ers great Darryl Dawkins at the age of 58. During his 14-year NBA career — with 1975-1982 spent with the Sixers — Dawkins became best known for his peerless dunking skills — ones with a tendency towards breaking backboards caused the NBA to ban the stunt. Nicknamed “Chocolate Thunder,” Dawkins retired from the NBA in 1989, although he spent the rest of his life affiliated with the sport in one capacity or another (including a stint in the Harlem Globetrotters). He leaves behind a wife, three children, and countless fans who realize we won’t see the likes of him on the court again.
RECOMMENDED: Mistress America once again has writer/director Noah Baumbach and co-writer/star Greta Gerwig revisiting themes initially explored in their 2012 gem Frances Ha. This time around, Gerwig is a free-spirit whose befriending of her soon-to-be stepsister (Lola Kirke) makes both of the women take stock of what’s going on in their lives. Being a Baumbach jam, the film is can be goofy and surprisingly impactful…which is exactly what you keep coming back for.
ALSO NEW IN THEATERS THIS WEEK: No Escape is a ripped from the headlines thriller with a very serious Owen Wilson, so in other words, a hard pass. With Lake Bell (who is terrific in Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp), Pierce Brosnan; Digging For Fire explores adulthood ennui in the latest from director Joe Swanberg. Jake Johnson, Rosemarie DeWitt star; and Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet is a beautifully animated tale based on the novel from the acclaimed Lebanese writer that chronicles the attempts by an exiled writer, his housekeeper, and his daughter to return home. Features music by Glen Hansard and Damien Rice.
Earlier this month, The Blog That Celebrates Itself released Dreams Never End: A Tribute to New Order that features a variety of contemporary shoegaze, nugaze and dream pop acts. Amongst the bands included are Philly’s very own The Morelings, who present their swirling, magnificent take on Thieves Like Us‘ “Lonesome Tonight.” You can hear the results above but be warned, you’ll never settle for the original version again.
Fresh off of a Buzzfeed profile (congratulations?) Jayson Musson has returned with the just-released third installment of his hilarious webseries The Adventures of Jamel: The Time-Traveling B-Boy. This time around, James III‘s temporal logic-defying character encounters brutality at the hands of Spain’s King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella I, and accidentally prevents Christopher Columbus from “discovering” America. See, this is exactly why Doc Brown wanted the DeLorean destroyed in Back to the Future Part III. Time travel is way too unpredictable.
It’s the last Thursday in August and you have already emotionally checked out of your job, humming “Echo Beach” to yourself and trying to figure out how to squeeze one final adventure into your summer before we are collectively forced to crash into the bleak, cool days ahead. So you may as well do something positive with your time — like PLAYING WITH A PUPPY. Today until 3pm, Philly Uber users can arrange for a puppy to be delivered to their office for a 15-minute playdate. (We call dibs on any French bulldogs). The cost of this animal therapy? A mere $20, with all of the proceeds benefiting the Pennsylvania SPCA. Unfortunately, the deal is for today only in the Center City area, so if that’s where your workplace is, get it on the belly-rubbing, snuggling action. Full details can be found here. D’awwwww.
So there you have it: The world is not totally made of shit. Have you got some good news? If so, send it to tips[at]philebrity[dot]com with “GOOD MOTHERFUCKING NEWS!” in the subject header — we’d love to hear about it.
While we neither no nor care what the Van Halen lineup of 2015 that is playing the Susquehanna Bank Center tonight is like, we will admit to enjoying a few of their classic songs — featured in the above radio ad for a 1981 show the band did at the Spectrum. (Can you even comprehend the Heavy Metal Parking Lot tailgating scene that concert must have been?) As for the Tom Petty/Split Enz show referenced at the end of the commercial, there is nothing we would rather do than be at that right now.
The highly publicized woes of 19 Kids and Counting co-star Josh Duggar have seemingly just taken a Philly turn with statements made by local stripper/porn star Danica Dillon to In Touch Weekly claiming that she had sex with Duggar twice, once at Philly’s Gold Club in March, and another time a month later at a club in Colmar, PA. From the article:
After watching her show and “eyeballing me,” Danica says he bought $600 in private dances and then “asked me how would he be able to spend the evening with me.” She reveals to In Touch that Josh was violent with her when they had sex, he did not use protection and gave her thousands of dollars after their encounters.
Meanwhile, Gawker scrutinizes Dillon’s claims here. So congrats Philly, you once again made it into the TMZ fodder mill. Hooray?