October 5, 2015

This Evening: Why Can’t We Smile Just Like We Used To?

>>> Luna plays tonight at The Troc. Fun fact: Britta Phillips played the singing voice for Jem back in the 1980s. The more you know! Wait, you knew that already, right? It’s kind of common knowledge at this point. Still makes us smile though.

>>> Speaking of things that amuse us, the phrase “beach goth” is how The Growlers describe their sound. We were perilously close to breaking our lifetime ban of typing ‘LOL’ here as a response to this then we went on to YouTube and checked them out and kind of dug ’em. Who would’ve guessed? See what personal discoveries you can make for yourself this evening when the group hits Union Transfer.

>>> Philly’s Lightninging (which is amazingly fun to type, by the way) bring their fuzzy wuzzy rock to Bourbon and Branch to supply your Monday night with a great big reminder of the fact that you are alive and living now.

Get Well Soon, Steve “Pickle Man” Slutsky Of Zayda’s Fame

We’re just learning that veteran Philly comedian/Zayda’s foods founder Steve “Pickle Man” Slutsky in on the mend after being he was stabbed in the neck this past Saturday night while in his car on Aramingo Avenue. (The Daily News is reporting he is currently in good condition at Hahnemann University Hospital). As the above Scrapple TV video reflects, Slutsky is a real Philadelphia gem, the type of character who gives our city its unique personality. We hope he’s back on his feet again soon. Get well Steve, we’re eating a pickle in your honor with dinner!

Eraserhead Came Alive Over The Weekend At PhilaMOCA

Saturday night, PhilaMOCA‘s sold-out Eraserhood Forever event (which pays tribute to Philly’s impact on David Lynch and vice versa) featured an appearance by Eraserhead‘s Lady in the Radiator, Laurel Near. Accompanied by The Divine Hand Ensemble, Near performed a version of “In Heaven” from the film that was somehow even more captivating the the original. To summarize: Philly paid tribute to the Lynch film that paid tribute to the weird sense of menace inhabiting our city. That’s an ouroboros of oddness right there, not to mention perfectly befitting.


And Now, Today’s GOOD NEWS: The City Paper Archives Will Live On

In the aftermath of last week’s upsetting news of the death of City Paper, the future of the weekly’s extensive archives was in doubt. (A concern voiced in the staff’s farewell message, which has since been removed from the Internet). In the only silver lining to come out of this story so far, City Paper‘s Emily Guendelsberger has just published a portion of her interview with Broad Street Media CEO Darwin Oordt from this week’s final issue in which he voices his intent to keep the paper’s 35-year history alive. Concrete details about the archive’s future are to be announced…but it looks like there will be a future for them. We keep our fingers crossed that this immeasurable part of Philly history doesn’t vanish into the ether. Count on more details on this as they come.

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.

The Week Ahead In Comedy: Eat To The Beat

Eat Your Beats. Photo by Ed Newton

Eat Your Beats. Photo by Ed Newton

On Tuesday, music, comedy, and burlesque combine on stage at Bob and Barbara’s as only music, comedy and burlesque can! The Absinthe Drinkers Presents: COCKTOBER will feature performances by The Absinthe Drinkers, Fenris, Elektra Lux, Kevelin Squish, Dr. Timaree Lee, Rachel Fogletto, Petey Zog, and more! Tuesday, 9pm. Free

Sitcoms aren’t just for TV any more! On Friday, the Philly Improv Theater presents Stipend For Life, an all new sitcom-for-stage. Developed by comedians Molly Scullion and Meredith Weir, Stipend For Life is a blend of improvisation and written comedy to tell the story of two sisters who were given a second chance from a generous benefactor. Friday, 10:30pm. $10

What’s going on in the world of sex? If you aren’t keeping up-to-date, get to the Darryl and Timaree Fun Hour (DTF) at Franky Bradley’s on Friday Night. Comedian Darryl Charles and PhD Sexologist Timaree discuss all the things you know and many more you don’t! This month’s show also features Philly’s Phunniest winner Steve Gerben and Stonewall Kickball’s Felipe Vazquez. Friday, 8:30pm. $10

Do New Yorkers and Philadelphians have the same tastes? Do they drink from the same cultural well, sharing experiences and comedic references? Find out on Friday night at The Ninety7, a new showcase that features comedians from across the Tri-State Area (minus one state!) This month’s show features performances from Ariana Grane (improv, NYC), Playback (Philly, Improv), AJ Dunk (Stand up, NYC), and Brian Six (Stand up, Philly). Friday, 10:30pm. $10

What if there was a comedy show where I couldn’t tell you who the guests were? What then huh? That’s the case on Saturday at What’s My Line?, the guessing game show where comedian panelists try and guess the occupation of the guests. The show will be its first at their new home at Play and Players Theater. Hosted by Dave Metter, What’s My Line? will feature some of the most varied and interesting occupations you can imagine. But you don’t have to imagine it, you can go to the show and see for yourself! Saturday, 8pm. $5

After What’s My Line?, stick around Play and Players as Philadelphia’s most talented words lyrical warriors square up at Eat Your Beats. Kriss-Krossing the world of hip-hop, comedy, food, and more, Eat Your Beats will feature lyrical grudge matches from some of Philly’s most talented comedic minds, hosts Alejandro Morales and Setoiyo, and special guest judge Schoolly D! Saturday 10:30pm. $5

If you ever wanted to help a sketch group get to Indianapolis, listen up because your time is coming. On Sunday, at 7:30 Philly sketch juggernauts Barbara Bush will be performing a show of all new material at the Playground at the Adrienne. Presented by Philly Sketchfest, Barbara Bush’s show will be a fundraiser to help the group get to the Cross Roads Comedy Festival later this month in Indianapolis. The show will be hosted by Nicole Yates. Sunday, 7:30pm. $10

— 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.


Noontime Nuggetz: Long Live The King Of Mattresses

We’re desperately trying to not go down the rabbit hole of locally produced commercials right now. While we try our hardest to resist the televised lure of the boss’s wife or loving it at Levitz, we ask you this: Could the Mattress Man exist without King Aaron here?

R.I.P. Journalist And Former Philadelphia NAACP President Jerry Mondesire

Jerome-MondesireYesterday, journalist and the former Philadelphia NAACP president J. Whyatt “Jerry” Mondesire died at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. (The Inquirer reports that he suffered a brain aneurysm on Friday during a dialysis treatment ring his career, the larger-than-life Mondesire had worked for The Inquirer and as the publisher of The Philadelphia Sun and was head of Philly’s NAACP from 1996 until he was ousted from the organization amidst questions of financial management last year. Mayor Nutter made the following statement via Twitter:

Jerry Mondesire championed many causes to create empowerment opportunities for many people in Phila and thruout Pa. His spirit will live on.

Mondesire was 65. For more on his legacy, click here.

The Philadelphia Film Festival To Feature Freddy Krueger And Monty Python Among All The Life-Affirming Offerings

Philadelphia Film Festival

Tickets are now on sale for the Philadelphia Film Festival, the region’s annual celebration of the finest cinema from around the world. Expect a full rundown of the fest — now in its 24th year — closer to its kickoff on October 22nd. We’ve spent some time leafing through the program guide this morning, and what immediately leaped out at us are the latest films by Todd Haynes and David Gordon Green , a “Sight and Soundtrack” series of music-related films, a repertory screening of Life of Brian held in conjunction with the Philly premiere of the new documentary Monty Python: The Meaning of Live, and a Halloween sleepover marathon of the films of the late Wes Craven curated by the Awesome Fest that will be held at the Prince Theater. Local cineastes can begin planning their viewing schedule here.

The Free Library Names Cold Mountain As Its 2016 One Book, One Philadelphia Selection

ColdMountainPersonally we would have gone with The Phillie Phanatic’s Galapagos Island Adventure, but instead the Free Library’s One Book, One Philadelphia initiative — which aims to get the entire region reading and discussing the same book in an attempt to foster a love of literature throughout Philly — has named Charles Frazier‘s 1997 Civil War epic Cold Mountain as this year’s selection. Now in its 14th season, the One Book, One Philadelphia program will run from February 2nd to March 30th, featuring discussions and events revolving around the work and this year’s companion books, The Civil War, by Geoffrey Ward with Ric Burns and Ken Burns, and Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup. Each of these works examines different aspects of how the Civil War forever altered lives and charted the course of America’s future, leaving readers with a broader perspective on the conflict. With exact details about corresponding events relating to this year’s program TBA, your best bet to keep up to date with all things One Book, One Philadelphia is the Library’s website.

ICYMI: Philly Area Colleges Up Their Security In Light Of Online Threat

In light of the alert issued by the FBI and ATF yesterday as a response to an online threat of an attack to an unspecified Philadelphia-area university that was posted to 4chan yesterday (and the events in Oregon last week), local colleges are taking extra security precautions today. While no specific threat has been issued, given the times we find ourselves in the extra vigilance is necessary. So, to borrow a catchphrase from Hill Street Blues, let’s be careful out there today Philly, okay?

October 1, 2015

This Weekend: Sparks Are Gonna Fly


>>> Mural Arts Program’s Open Source is a month-long initiative in which 14 artists from across the world work under guest curator Pedro Alonzo to “highlight the diverse identity of the city” and “engage different communities.” The above video is an in-depth analysis of the scope and complexity of the event, one that is a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of both Philadelphia and the jaw-dropping art it inspires in people who lived here their entire lives and first-time visitors alike.

>>> Rock On Philly hosts A Tribute to David Bowie at Tin Angel, with the likes of Cory Wade, Jennifer Logue, Rob Tait, and Deep City Healers honoring the Thin White Duke in song.

>>> As discussed earlier, The Fillmore debuts with a sold out Hall & Oates show.

>>> The Eraserhood Forever celebrations at PhilaMOCA get underway with a showcase of works inspired by David Lynch films and a screening that includes the eerie delight I’ve Always Been Here from Philly’s M. Sean McManus.

>>> It’s not the nicest of days, but nevertheless Pier 68 is now open and waiting for your love. Plus, we just heard someone on the El talking about how “it’s good fishing weather” and we were charmed by that like you wouldn’t believe.

>>> Chvrches are at the Electric Factory, but you already got your tickets so we will shut up now.


>>> Kraftwerk plays a sold out show at the Electric Factory. We didn’t get tickets in time so we’ll be feeling disconnected from modern life and listening to the above jam all night.

>>> The Philly Pigeon Poetry Slam features Janae Johnson and a competition featuring Philly’s greatest rising talents in the artform.

>>> LEGEND ALERT: Joan Armatrading will be at the Keswick Theater, and so, we think, should you be as well. Music nerds take note that Don Dixon is also on the bill (with Marti Jones). If you don’t know why this is important and great we are seriously tsk-tsking you.

>>> Built to Spill play Union Transfer, and yes, their music is still the exact sound of your fondest memories and long-hidden dreams. Seriously. We aren’t even exaggerating.


>>> It’s hard to say how the universe aligned properly enough to allow the joining of forces between Sparks and Franz Ferdinand to unite to form FFS. For in a world this random and lacking of any kind of justice or cohesive order, their perfect pop fusion seems wrong in a way — as if we aren’t worthy of the sounds they are bringing. But dare we say that is just typical Philly low self-esteem? We are deserving of picking up what they are throwing down, and you are too. When you see us tonight as FFS plays the Electric Factory, give us a high-five and we’ll do the same. We’ve all earned it, whether we believe it or not.

>>> The weather isn’t looking too promising, but we hope that changes because Saturday marks tons of Philly festivals. First up, the Philly AIDS Thrift 10 Year Anniversary Block Party. Celebrating the first decade of the invaluable local institution that donates its proceeds to HIV/AIDS charities, the party will include a set from DJ Robert Drake and, most tantalizingly, a celebrity dunk tank. Rain, rain go away. And yes, this sentiment holds true for the Open Source North Philly Block Party/Norte de Filadelfia Block Party as well. (The Midtown Village Fall Festival will be happening rain or shine).

>>> Christeene brings her genre-defying performance art rock to Kung Fu Necktie. Not for the weak-minded, but everyone else is gonna dig it.

>>> Destroyer plays Underground Arts, touring behind the captivating (and genre-jumping) Poison Season LP. Who is Dan Bejar this time? Everyone you want him to be.


>>> Maybe the devil made us do it, but we’re convinced there’s nothing worth happening today other than PhilaMOCA’s book launch for Satanic Panic: Pop Culture Paranoia in the 1980s. What will go down here? It’s being described as “a multimedia seance intent on conjuring the spirits of a previous era’s moral panic.” Oh hell yes.

Film Sweat: It’s A God-Awful Small Affair

RECOMMENDED: Based on Andy Weir‘s 2011 novel of the same name, The Martian stars Matt Damon (who really should just hush in interviews) as a NASA astronaut who is presumed dead by his crew and left behind on the seemingly unlivable planet. What follows is a celebration of the human spirit that features genuine emotion as opposed to mere sentiment and marks a return to form for director Ridley Scott after the lame Prometheus (which is threatening three sequels for, huh?) and Exodus: Gods & Kings. We recommend you hit this one ASAP before everyone is talking about it to death and your interest plummets.

ALSO NEW IN THEATERS THIS WEEK: Robert ZemeckisThe Walk chronicles the real-life exploits of Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) as he walked between the Twin Towers via highwire in 1974. (The same story, minus the IMAX 3D bombast was also told in the enthralling 2008 documentary Man on Wire); Richard Gere, Ben Vereen and Jena Malone star in the Oscar bait that is Time Out of Mind; Sicario is a must-see crime drama about the War on Drugs as it plays out between the U.S. and Mexico starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro; Goodnight Mommy is a creepy looking Austrian horror flick perfect to usher in your Halloween season viewing with; The Keeping Room is Brit Marling‘s latest, set against the backdrop of the end of the Civil War; and Peace Officer is a documentary that attempts to shed some light on the current state of the police system in America.

For more recommendations on films currently in theaters, visit Philebrity’s Film Sweat archive. And click here for movie times. Need repertory film? Try Cinedelphia.

And Now, Today’s GOOD NEWS: Temple Adjuncts Can Now Have A Union Election

temple-university_200x200For too long adjunct professors at universities have becoming living, breathing representations of being overworked and underpaid. Colleges of 2015 would be way screwed without their work, and it’s beyond time they get compensated fairly for their time and ability. That notion just inched closer to reality. The Inquirer breaks it down thusly:

The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board approved a request to allow an election, and if a simple majority of adjuncts who vote say yes, the adjuncts will become part of the Temple Association of University Professionals.

If approved, the move would nearly double the size of the faculty union, which currently has about 1,400 members.

Until the light comes some darkness, with word that Temple Provost Hai-Lung Dai opposes the move, saying it “does not make sense for full-time or adjunct faculty.” But the wheels of this are in motion, and it may be hard for the momentum to stop now — which is good news for long-suffering adjuncts.

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.

Dept. On It Belongs In A Museum: WaPo Weighs In Bob Brady’s Growing Glass Collection

bob-bradyRemember the scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when Indy attempts to recover a stolen artifact by bellowing “it belongs in a museum” to no avail? A weird Philly version of that exchange is currently playing out right now involving the water glass that Bob Brady claims to have taken from President Obama‘s 2009 inauguration. (An act that was encored by Brady’s grabbing of a glass Pope Francis drank from last week). The Washington Post is reporting that the House Curator’s office — itself a mysterious entity that reminds us of that massive warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark and oh lord do we need to watch more than just the same five movies repeatedly — has been looking for the glass to preserve for posterity and they’d like it back, please and thank you. Bob Brady, the ball’s in your court. Glass. Whatever.

Noontime Nuggetz: Hall & Oates’ Immortal “Fall In Philadelphia”

This is likely the most on the nose Nug we’ve ever run, but damn if it just doesn’t encapsulate everything we are feeling right now. Hall & Oates are playing this tonight at The Fillmore grand opening right? That should be a contractual obligation. We’ve listened to this song countless times before but only now are we really hearing it. Oh man are we ever.

With Word Of A New Construction Project, Is All Hope To #SAVELITTLEPETES Lost?

LittlePeteWe’re hearing that original plans for a Hudson hotel project on the site of the parking structure that houses our beloved (and yours too, everybody’s really) Little Pete’s at 17th and Chancellor are now dead. But there is no room for celebrating here, as the spot will instead be the home for a new Hyatt Centric hotel, an upscale boutique branding. Which is almost certainly bad news for the cherished greasy spoon. The project already has the approval of the Center City Residents Association, and Little Pete’s as will currently know it will doubtlessly be a victim to New Philadelphia construction. Obviously we would love to see it reopen at a new location because the Scrapple-scented joie de virve of Little Pete’s can’t be destroyed by any wrecking ball. But is this a viable option to the owners? Is there even a place in Philly still for such an affordable dining institution? We’d ponder these questions over lunch, but we don’t have much of an appetite right now.

Mayor Nutter Announces His Support Of Vehicle-Free Zones In Philly

Mayor Nutter, you are filling us with such complex emotions right now. One minute you are blasting the media and the next you are absolutely charming us by endorsing vehicle-free days in Center City. You see like most of us, the mayor was smitten with the open streets of Philly during the papal visit, and his office is now working on the logistics of implementing a plan that would allow for more such spaces before he leaves office. (The #OpenStreetsPHL initiative is something that Jim Kenney also supports). We are cautiously optimistic that sometime in the not-too-distant future there will again be a part of Philly that is temporarily devoid of cars…and the lack of papal panic will be great too.

Previously: We Are Now Collectively Spoiled By Having Open Streets Last Weekend And We Want More

FYI: The Fillmore Opens Tonight, Here’s A Look Around Via Periscope

FillmoreThe Fillmore, Venuedelphia’s latest concert hall that you didn’t even realize you wanted or needed but it doesn’t matter anyway because here it is, opens tonight with a performance by Hall & Oates. We completely approve of having the duo break in the place because we aren’t monsters, yet the show is way way sold out. There’s still the opportunity to explore the former home of the Ajax Metal Company prior to its official opening via the comfort of your own couch or desk. The venue’s social media team has uploaded a Periscope tour that will give you a hint of what the place is like. Our initial thoughts? That LIVE statue is pandering and cheesy, and we’re on the fence about the Betsy Ross flag/concert poster mural until we see it up close. Otherwise, it looks spacious and we love the Ajax building’s aesthetic. Congrats Philly, there’s yet another place to see live music. Well done?

BREAKING: Attorney General Kathleen Kane Charged With An Additional Perjury Count

KathleenKaneThe legal woes of Kathleen Kane continue as word is just coming in that the embattled Attorney General has just been charged by prosecutors with an additional count or perjury. From The Philadelphia Business Journal:

Newly discovered evidence shows Kathleen Kane “lied in sworn testimony before the Thirty-fifth Statewide Investigating Grand Jury when she repeatedly claimed that she was never sworn to secrecy” on Nov. 17, 2014 for another grand jury investigation, said Risa Vetri Ferman, Montco’s DA.

“Kane testified that, because she had not signed the secrecy oath, she could not be held criminally culpable for leaking Grand Jury information … to the press,” she said.

The DA said a Sept. 17 search of the Attorney General’s office uncovered the signed secrecy oath, as well as several others for all then-current investigating grand juries.

This is still breaking, so there’s no word as of yet from Kane’s camp. The news comes on the heels of claims of patronage and Tuesday’s announcement by Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor that although her law license is suspended she remains a member of Pennsylvania’s bar and as such still meets the requirements to be Attorney General. This story won’t be fading from the headlines anytime soon, so we’ll be covering it for the foreseeable future. (Image via Twitter)

From The Good Morning Files: Oh Hey, Here’s A Rundown Of Philly’s Richest

The Forbes 400, that annual list of America’s richest people that causes a wiffle ball of emotions to form deep within your chest, has just been released. Deciding to bring a local angle to the overview of the type of wealth few of us will ever see, the Philadelphia Business Journal presents this roundup of what Philly-related folks featured on the list. Included are Campbell Soup’s Mary Alice Dorrance Malone and Phillies shareholder John Middleton, among others. Consider the piece your monthly reminder to get out there and make the donuts today. It’s October 1st, rent’s due. Oof.