November 24, 2014
>>> Once upon a time, Blonde Redhead were just another New York band with a weird name and a sound that most shrugged off as pretentious and reaching. Over the past two decades, however, they’ve made the not-to-be-understated leap from boho curiosities to tenured ambassadors from the art world to the pop world and vice versa. With a signature style that incorporates the hardest and softest of influences, the noise-rockers and the dream-poppers, the sounds that marked the opposite far edges of the listenable spectrum in the eighties and nineties, the band are an institution for anyone interested in the continuing tradition of weirdo cool. Their new album, Barragán, sounds more than any in recent years like a celebration of all of the music that contributed to the development of this now canonized sound and style. Seeing them tonight at Union Transfer with People Get Ready will be an education in both the then and the now.
>>> Elsewhere: Fresh from a successful performance on Late Night With Seth Myers, minimalist dance-pop super-groovers St. Lucia will be blissing the hell out of the Theatre of Living Arts with The Knocks and HAERTS.
Sometime after we were looking last and before we were looking just now, Philadelphia, like Wildwood Crest, NJ before it, flipped dimensions and once again became a place that has 24/7 Christmas radio until… until when? Until they say it’s over, that’s when. MoreFM (formerly B101) has flipped formats and so too has WXPN’s Xponential radio Internet stream, once again dubbed “Jingle Jams.” This, of course, is to say nothing of those other Philly Xmas radio institutions: what will be the 26th (!!!) annual installment of Jon Solomon’s 25-hour holiday radio marathon on WPRB, and WXPN’s “The Night Before Christmas” from midnight to midnight on Wednesday, December 24th with host Robert Drake. So stack up those Wawa Gobblers and Tastykake Pumpkin Pies and Chocolaty Stars: It’s time to eat your feelings to the cool, cool sounds of The Waitresses.
Well, whaddya know: Even with the Darrell Clarke and the Johnny Doc and the Bob Brady, they’re still interested! It must have been the Pat’s. A final call will be made sometime after the holidays.
If you’ve never heard of it, Spanish Fly is the unstable aphrodisiac, toxic at low doses, that The Beastie Boys rapped about mixing into their brass monkeys before offering them to girls at parties. We hope this audience was only cracking up nervously throughout these three minutes because they had no idea what Cosby was talking about.
Tonight haul yourself over to Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar for the Funny Females comedy show. Hosts Phyllis Voren and Rachel Fogletto have been putting together line ups that include the leading ladies of laugh-ladling and this week is no exception. Performing tonight is Nikki Black, Hanna Trav, Natalie K Levant, Gina Stitzer, and Emily Epstein White. Monday, 8PM, Free.
On Thursday, leave all the jokes up to your uncle because it’s Thanksgiving! If you’re in the mood for hilarious improv comedy, head down to your big box retailer and see just what happens when people with no script attempt to act out the depravity of a culture gone mad with lustful consumerism. Thursday, All day, Free-ish.
On Friday, The Philly Improv Theater is host to an unusual feat of comedy endurance that is being known as “The Black Friday Comedy Marathon.” This 38 hour show will feature a figurative cornucopia of comedy from sketch to improv to stand up and everything in between. The event will also feature special guest hosts and quasi-insomniacs Hey We’re Cool, who will be interspersing the performances with games, sketches and other fun stuff to keep you awake. There are a ton of really great acts including: The Return of Jim Grammond’s Reasonable Discourse with Jerks (Friday at 5:15PM), Sketch Comedy from High Dramma (Friday at 7PM), Chip Chantry’s All Request Rock Block (Friday at 9:45PM), GIRLS AREN’T FUNNY AND YOUR DICK IS HUGE (Saturday at 2:55 AM), and the festival’s close hosted by Hoffman (11:30PM on Saturday). Friday, 10AM-Saturday 11:59PM, $10 or a receipt from a local small business.
If you’ve never seen comedian Todd Glass before but always wanted to and didn’t realize he would be at Helium Comedy Club this week, brace yourself for some good news: Todd Glass will be at Helium Comedy Club this week. Author the The Todd Glass Situation and host of the Todd Glass Show podcast, Todd Glass is potentially the most self-titled comic in the business… and for good reason! He’ll be joined by Blake Wexler, another great stand up comic from Philadelphia that moved to LA. These are precious Philly resources that aren’t around all the time, so drink it up while they are here. Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, show times and prices vary.
– Joe Moore
Joe Moore is the genial jerk 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.
Inspired by The City Real and Imagined, the collaborative document of Frank Sherlock and CAConrad‘s poetic wanderings throughout Philadelphia, Write Your Block is a new project from Sherlock and Creative Philadelphia that encourages city residents of all ages to use poetry to describe their urban experience and their histories in the city’s spaces. As the project’s Tumblr points out, “Whether you are versed in verse, a street rhymer or have yet to write your first poem – every Philadelphian has stories & memories connected to a shared neighborhood experience just waiting to be documented.” Sherlock will have residencies in North Philadelphia, Southwest Philly and Kensington, and neighborhood gatherings will be organized to help further incubate the project. We’re all for this thing. The real Philly’s nothing without the much more exciting imagined Philly.
The week’s just beginning, and already we’re being bombarded from all sides with Bill Cosby op-eds ranging from the refreshingly upright to the deeply, deeply troubling. On the former side is this piece at Salon, itself a takedown of a totally horrendous upchuck called “The Rape of Bill Cosby,” which reminds everyone who still needs to be reminded that it’s not okay to fill an opinion piece about a series of accusations of sexual assault with misogynistic language. On the latter side is Solomon Jones‘ insistence that time and pursuit of media attention discredit these accusations. There’s also this longer analysis at The New York Times of the media’s tendency in the past to shy away from certain topics and the bad ethics of doing so. All of these writings accompany the breaking of the story of a trusted Cosby aide who routinely delivered payments to women Cosby presumably wanted to keep quiet. This shit is definitely piling on faster than we can link it out at this point, but we’re ever vigilant, or at least we’re trying to be.
Cool C, the Philadelphia native and rapper known best for the song in the video above, has been scheduled to be executed on January 8. Governor Tom Corbett signed the death warrant Friday. Cool C, or Christopher Roney, was convicted in 1996 of killing officer Lauretha Vaird while holding up a PNC bank with two others. Roney and his mother both hold that they were at home cooking breakfast when the holdup occurred. Given that Pennsylvania hasn’t executed someone since 1999 in an instance of voluntary forfeiture of the right to appeal, and that Governor Elect Tom Wolf has made clear his vehement opposition to the practice of execution, it seems pretty unlikely that this sentence would be carried out. Until the process advances, the comment wars continue to rage on.
November 21, 2014
>>> As we tipped you off about back in September, Bob Dylan will be making up all weekend long at the Academy of Music for his failure to play Center City for the 50 years that have passed since the above video originally aired.
>>> Moon Hooch, the totally insane fusion ensemble that skyrocketed in no time from a Brooklyn subway station to a tour with They Might Be Giants, will be getting holy and modal at The Abbey Bar.
>>> The Wytches, who, unlike way too many other bands, have actually earned the right to a band name that sounds like a random pull from the Nurse With Wound list, will be at Boot & Saddle with Drone Ranger and Dirt Queen.
>>> For the second of six weekends this season, the Franklin Flea Holiday Market at the old Strawbridge’s space will be accepting and offering their promised “Vintage. Handmades. Great Food.”
>>> Freeshit winners and losers and ignorers alike are welcome to run face-first into the wall of sound that is Natural Child at Underground Arts with Dirty Fences and Killer Bangs.
>>> SO FAR it looks like the Interpol show at Union Transfer is still on, so until we hear otherwise we’re picking it, but over the past few nights, they ain’t been goin’ to the town or the city, so plan accordingly.
>>> All of you who were too stubborn to see The Replacements without Bob Stinson can still check out one-time Tommy Stinson backing band The Figgs with It’s a King Thing at Boot & Saddle guilt free.
>>> Despite the fact that it’s sponsored by Gore-Tex, the Philadelphia Marathon, or CITY OF BROTHERLY RUN & SISTERLY ENDURANCE, is nothing to sneeze at. Especially while running. Keep that breath steady.
>>> The Allah-Lahs, whose music expresses a hip delight in pun and pastiche even more than their name does, will be at Boot & Saddle with Tashaki Miyaki, Residuels.
>>> The Huffamoose show at the Ardmore Music Hall we plugged earlier also includes The Fractals, Ben Arnold, and Jim Boggia.
RECOMMENDED: The intersection of two trails successfully blazed off the beaten path, star Steve Carell‘s from The Daily Show to Despicable Me and director Bennet Miller‘s from The Cruise to Moneyball, is, unsurprisingly, Philadelphia. Foxcatcher is the story of John du Pont, Philadelphia-born millionaire philanthropist, natural scientist, and heir to the du Pont chemical fortune, and his foray into wrestling that ended in 1996 with his senseless murder of Olympic freestyle wresting champion Dave Schultz, played in the film by Mark Ruffalo. Carell’s performance as the notoriously alienated and eccentric du Pont is already generating Oscar buzz, and critics are saying that whether or not he wins, Carell will be getting attention as a dramatic actor that he has never received before. Channing Tatum also stars as Mark Schultz, brother and fellow olympiad of Dave Schultz.
ALSO NEW IN THEATERS THIS WEEK:
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, which you should know about by now, The Better Angels, the black-and-white period drama about Abraham Lincoln that is produced but somehow not directed by Terrence Malick, The Homesman, the Tommy Lee Jones movie to end all Tommy Lee Jones movies, and Keep On Keepin’ On a documentary about jazz trumpeter Clark Terry’s mentorship of a young blind pianist.
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.
Earlier this year, Tyler School of Art’s Temple Contemporary staged an art project/event called Funeral For A Home which was a loving (if melancholy) meditation on the nature of blight. Aided by artists Steven and Billy Dufala, the project worked with community members in Mantua to tell the story, from “birth” to demise, of a property at 3711 Melon Street, capped off by a proper “funeral”-type event. At the heart of the project was a mournful telling of numbers and realities that, in their own way, are nearly as difficult to process as a human death: At the turn of the 20th Century, Philly was building ten new rowhomes per day — today, the City tears down 600 per year. And though in recent years, both historical preservation and gentrification in various neighborhoods has saved an untold number of homes from blight, efforts like that have yet to come to neighborhoods like Mantua, which are as rich (if not richer) in history than anywhere else.
As a lasting document of the project, Funeral For A Home, the book, tells this story and more. Collecting archival materials, original artwork, lots of history, and essays by those close to the project, it is a deeply mournful art book that is both completely unique on the art level while also being necessary reading for any Philly history geek. And we can’t stop looking at it. We were lucky enough to snag a copy at Brickbat Books, but it’s also available directly from Temple Contemporary, for $15 with $3 for shipping/handling, in person at the gallery or ordered from Temple Contemporary, Tyler School of Art, 2001 North 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122. To order a copy, call 215-777-9138 or email us robert.blackson[at]temple.edu.
Back in October, Philly DJ and sometimes Philebrity contributor DJ Apt One was asked to participate in WKDU’s annual Electronic Music Marathon, which is both a fundraiser for the station as well as a tribute to the vast history (and ever-present future) of electronic music — a genre to which WKDU in particular has a deep, decades-long devotion to. For his part, Apt One delved into a funky little corner of the electronic music story referred to as Italo — for the uninitiated, that’s the stuff that’s disco-y but also very synthy, kind of like the soundtrack music in Scarface; it is delightfully scuzzy, weird, funny and oddly compelling stuff. Above, DJ Apt One lays down 90 minutes of the stuff and luckily, the WKDU folks captured it and put it up on Soundcloud. A better Friday afternoon vibe we cannot think of. Click through for a track listing should your interest be piqued.
The grand jury decision on whether or not to indict Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown could be announced today, and groups in Philadelphia — more than twenty — are planning to protest, whichever way it goes. Police commissioner Charles Ramsay is already aware of and prepared for the protests, which will include gatherings at City Hall, Cecil B. Moore Avenue and Broad Street and the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration. The discussion leading up to the decision has been impassioned to say the least, but Ramsay and activist Daryle Lamont Jenkins of OnePeoplesProject.com both anticipate that the protests will be civil. “The majority of people who are concerned about what is going on there, simply want to excercise their first amendment rights,” says Ramsay, “and our job is to see to it that they have the ability to do so in a very peaceful way.”
Maybe they were swayed by this horseshit daily news op-ed, maybe they’re just spineless in their own rights, but numerous representatives of the Temple University Board of Trustees have stated that they would be unwilling to move to remove Bill Cosby from their ranks. Quotes like “I personally do not have enough information to conclude that a decision to change things would be appropriate,” and “They are just allegations. There’s nothing proven. There are no charges made,” are par for the course for those whose comments inspired this sick burn from The Onion.
This kind of argument is, obviously, not new or unique. Bill is “Innocent until proven guilty,” as everyone says who has no idea what that quote really means to our society. Due process is a right worth defending, but while it’s often an awful truth that institutions of higher education don’t have to follow the same rules as US courts of law, in this case, it should be a relief. Cosby is not being robbed of the right to due process. No one’s thrown him in jail. But there’s no law or convention that states that if everyone is pretty sure you did some really fucked up shit, you get to keep everything you have until someone can prove it.
This guy. It’s like, yeah, Kenyatta stands squarely in a pile of doo-doo, and yeah, Ori’s not wrong about the minimum wage thing, it’s just…
Philly Jesus/PJ/Michael Grant/Opal Weaver can’t walk on water, but his message can cross the Atlantic. PJ’s popularity has been growing steadily over the past months, but since his arrest for soliciting in LOVE Park and the emergence of the #FreePhillyJesus hashtag, his fame has reached a new level. This segment on BBC News is just one indication that Mike is on his way to becoming an international symbol of peace and love, along with a number of other bearded guys with long hair.
We’ve always had a soft spot for Huffamoose here on Philebrity, and only partially because of our larger soft spot for all things 90s rock. That’s why we were particularly moved by this guest post for CityPaper from Huffamoose frontman Craig Elkins about the Huffamoose reunion show this Sunday at Ardmore Music Hall. With a charming blend of disaffected wit and humble wisdom, Elkins remembers a last gasp of carefree partying that the millennium finally stifled. Jazzed about the chance to relive a good time, but just as jazzed to be programming websites and jamming on “Jessie’s Girl” with his daughter, Craig seems to have exactly the right attitude about reuniting with the band that defined his youth. We can only hope to be so present-minded at 52.
November 20, 2014
>>> Are you Movember-ing? Well, if so, get into the spirit at Bourbon & Beards at Jerry’s Bar tonight. There will be the raising of money for a good cause, the judging of beards, and of course, bourbon. DJ Bearbait (aka Chris Ward) spins.
Guys, really? C’mon.
As the field finally officially populates for the absolute shitshow that is going to be the 2015 Mayoral Race in Philadelphia, predictable stump speech topics for all candidates will be issues such as the city’s vibrant tech scene, and how the candidates themselves will invariably claim to strive towards both transparency and accessibility. And yet, with two of the race’s perceived heavy hitters “officially” joining the race over the last 24 hours, we were a but surprised to find that, at this moment, if you want to find out what either Lynne Abraham or Tony Williams want their campaigns to be about, you’re going to have to hope to run into them on the street. And even that is a crap shoot: Abraham’s launch event was more a study in absurdity than anything else, and Williams’ opening shot was a fully Seinfeld-ian dose of, well, nothing.
So of course, at some point — preferably upon launch — you’re going to want to go online and find out, straight from the candidates, what they’re about: Their platforms, their interests, their hopes and dreams, pictures of themselves Photoshopped next to people they have not actually met. Well, good luck with that. To the best of our knowledge, there is currently no Facebook profile, no Twitter feed, and no standalone website for either Abraham or Williams’ respective campaigns for Mayor. (Williams has a website and Twitter feed that speak to his constituents as state senator, but nothing else, and neither of those mention his mayoral campaign. And though it appears that lynneabrahamformayor.com has been registered, the Who-Is query tracks back to nothing/no one immediately traceable to Abraham herself.) Meanwhile, the perceived underdogs among the thus far declared, Terry Gillen and Ken Trujillo, would seem to have their online ducks in a row and show awareness that in 2014, this is important. One can only surmise that in the antiquated time and space where Abraham and Williams are running — let’s call it Nineteen Hundred-And-Philly Shrug — being online isn’t.
Update: Well, will wonders never cease: Say hi to the brand spankin’ new @LynneForMayor and @JoinTeamTony, each with websites to match. If you guys could handle this, something tells us you’ll do great at… well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.