>>> B.C. Camplight is once again leaving Philly for the UK, but before he goes he’ll be playing a farewell show that doubles as a benefit for Saved Me Animal Rescue. Join him tonight at Ortlieb’s, and let’s hope he’s back around these parts again soon.
>>> Earlier this week, news broke that Star Trek would be returning to the airwaves under the tutelage of Hannibal and Wonderfalls mastermind Bryan Fuller. Expect much celebrating over this fact at tonights Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage celebration of music and footage from the franchise at the Tower Theater. Proceeding the event at the Studio Grill Music Theater will be a performance by The Roddenberries at a Star Trek Mixer sponsored by Atomic City Comics. Social interaction, the final frontier.
>>> Atlantis, the Lost Bar hosts Nighthawks at the Bar II, featuring art from Jeffro Kilpatrick,Rog Petersen, James C., and Sam Heimer that was directly inspired by artists and their lyrics. Fans of Sinatra and Nick Cave should take special notice to what this evening has in store.
>>> Cheerleader‘s vibrant electro-pop is becoming one of the best things about Philadelphia circa 2016. See why when the combo plays Bourbon & Branch tonight with Suburban Living and Surf Rock Is Dead.
>>> The Tattoo Arts Convention is in town this weekend, so naturally there is no better place to kick off the festivities than at Tattooed Mom’s Opening Night Party. The night will also serve as the launch for the second Pabst Coloring Book Project. Sounds about right.
>>> Shake things up a bit and go outside of your comfort zone by taking in the Swedish genre-jumping of Graveyard at Underground Arts. Roxette/Abba they ain’t. But damn if they don’t have a dark 70s AM radio thing happening.
>>> Quarter after four am, hello! Jeffrey Osborne will ensure that you have the sexiest ever Valentine’s Day when he plays the Keswick Theater tonight.
>>> Spend Valentine’s Day with the person you love most in this world. Unless they spurned your advances and left you in a downward spiral of crippling self-doubt and empty sex, in which case just order a shitload of Indian food, listen to Eels’ “Fucker” and cry over what could and should’ve been. Let the tears put things where they need to be. The happy people are like that everyday, have tonight be for you. It won’t always be like this friend. Remember, we love you no matter what.
Today marks the release of A Delicate Man, the first comedy album from Philly’s own multi-talented chaostician Doogie Horner. (We know he lives in NYC now, but he was ours first). Recorded last November at Helium Comedy Club, the LP sees Horner discussing everything from people who get irrationally angry at those who dislike cheese — listen above — to how poverty food never changes despite where you may live. It’s a terrific overview of his skewed comedic respective that is already familiar with his books 100 Ghosts or Some Very Interesting Cats. We’re glad to hear that life in New York hasn’t made him any less weird. If anything, he’s funnier than ever. Hey, what’s up with that Horner?
In our Etsy-fied world, there is no television or pop culture personality who can’t be quickly re-purposed for the 21st century nostalgia merry go round. This is all well and good, but every now and then a product comes along that gives us pause. Submitted for you consideration: The Sally Starr iPhone cover from RetroPhilly. For the cost of $25, you can have your phone emblazoned with the image of the groundbreaking local kids show host who died in 2013 at the age of 90. Don’t get us wrong, we love Our Gal Sal as much as the next vintage TV obsessive, but we would have went for a current icon who skews towards the same demographic for this specific type of merch. Alas, the GeatorYou Gotta Wash Your Hands! phone case remains strangely unavailable.
RECOMMENDED:Ingrid Bergman, in Her Own Words is an involving look at the life of the world cinema superstar that is pieced together through candid interview footage and personal correspondence. These type of documentaries are rarely anything short of compelling, and given the would-be blockbusters that dominate the other releases this week we will happily spend two hours in the company of a true icon, please and thank you.
ALSO NEW IN THEATERS THIS WEEK:Deadpool is Ryan Reynolds‘ latest attempt (his third, but who’s counting?) to become a superhero franchise star. We’re guessing this one will be his shot, although we never really warmed to the character in the comics and all the humor in the trailer seems very faux-shocking and prepubescent, so hard pass. Sorry fanboys; More things we don’t care about: Zoolander 2, the follow-up to the, ouch, 2001 comedy. Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig star; Where to Invade Next is more Michael Moore (get it?) doing what he does so well;
Can you feel it? Love is in the air all throughout Philly right now. With Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching we find our thoughts consumed by how best to commemorate the holiday. Maybe a nice dinner and carriage ride? Lavish gifts, a nice dinner and then the bumping of uglies? However you spend this Sunday, we hope you make it a special one. Just don’t blather on and on about your great romance on social media, because no one wants to hear that shit, especially if they think that love is dead and that “the one” is just a human construct designed to distract the masses from being enraged about the really sinister things that are going on quietly unnoticed. Anyway, if, like the Thompson Twins, you’ve got love, love, love on your side, we would appreciate it if you could take a sec and let us know exactly how you’ll be spending this Sunday with your respective soulmates. Sound off below:
Again and again our minds turn to the best line of TV dialogue we’ve heard in a decade: “People are unknowable.” True, it came from Broadchurch and was uttered in response to the revelation of a killer’s identity, but it also is an appropriate explanation for every strange thing that ever happens in this city or ever will. Why did the Toynbee Tiler think the dead could be resurrected on Jupiter? People are unknowable. Why did Philly inspire David Lynch to create Eraserhead? People are unknowable. And so forth. We just stumbled upon the YouTube page of one JHand04 and similar questions began bellowing through our heads. For reasons best chalked up by the reality that, well, people are unknowable, this individual has been creating spoofs of old WPVI interstitals and program bumpers through computer animation. What you see above is a video dedicated entirely to the station’s sadly gone Million Dollar Movie program, with others featuring everything from recreated Big Marty ads to a creepy Action News intro redone with Legos. These all are downright fascinating with a neo-Len Cella vibe, and it’s clear that the individual behind the videos is a longtime Philadelphia resident who possesses a deep affinity for local media. Often when a mystery like this one is delved into and solved, the magic is lost. Which is why we won’t explore this any further. We remain content with the answer to all of this being that, as always, people are unknowable.
In our continuing efforts to use state-of-the-art 21st-century technology to propel ourselves backwards in time, we would like to point you in the direction of Radiooooo. Currently in beta, this online radio station/time machine lets you select a country and decade — from 1900 until today — to bring to you the sweet sounds of long ago and far away. Choosing from the mood settings of Slow, Fast and Weird, users can also customize their listening experience through the Taxi option that lets you hear a mix of several different countries and time periods. We’ve been stuck on 1980s Sweden today, which has yielded both good and questionable results (Caramba’s “Fedora (I’ll Be Your Dawg)” anyone?) The benefits of this website are twofold — the easy-to-use interface lets you uncover music that you may not have been previously exposed to, and it also provides insight into how songs reflect the culture and people of the countries from which they came. We’ve created one of our favorite Radiooooo taxi trips for you to enjoy here, and we encourage you to play around with the site and see if you don’t discover some hidden musical treasures for yourself.
>>> It’s now been just over a month since David Bowie died and even typing those words seem so cosmically wrong. Unsurprisingly, the tribute nights keep coming, with the latest one happening at The Fire tonight as part of the Northern Liberties Winter Festival. The full lineup is featured on the bill above, and regardless of how familiar you may or may not be with these acts you will most definitely know the songbook from which they are all drawing inspiration from.
>>> To support their new LP Dirt, Rust, Chaos, Deaf Rhino will present an evening of funky spacerockish bangers at Milkboy, joined by Kid Felix and the audaciously named The Sixties.
Just a few days after announcing that the new GalleryFashion Outlets of Philadelphia project will be delayed until at least 2018, the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust and Macerich Company have bought three additional properties in the Market East area. What this means is that they are clearly feeling confident about the revitalization of the corridor, something that the partnership’s efforts will be largely responsible for if all goes according to plan.
At this point we’d like to step in and say that we’ve gotten so used to the strange retail whateverness of the Market East area that we can’t even imagine what this new planned revamp will actually be like, except very, almost eye-piercingly bright (see the Gallery Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia design plans). Would Jules Verne himself be able to predict such a brave New Philadelphia future full of LED gravitas and stores stores stores? We know that this sea change is approaching, and we’ll certainly have a lot to say on it when it does. Today however we are going to take it easy and reflect upon the out with the old/in with the new-ness of it all and wonder what this city will even be when the promised future finally arrives.
The latest infuriating move by Philadelphia Weekly is also the most depressing: The paper’s rich and extensive archives have been inexplicably yanked from the web. No longer can we revisit old Steven Wells pieces, Top Fives of the Moment, Pressler’s Miscellany articles (including the infamous “Sixth Borough” piece), and on and on and on and on and on. Just like why Broad Street Media decided to shutter City Paper and then start transplanting features from that weekly into PW, we neither understand nor our privy to the details as to why this decision was made. What we can tell you is that PW alums, ourselves included, are confused and saddened by the move. We cut our teeth over at the Weekly (as well as City Paper) and to have these words vanish as if they were written on air a la Vonnegut’s Galapagos fills us with rage. Such is the danger of writing for a living circa 2016, but that doesn’t mean that the reality that work could vanish into the ether seemingly at any time ever becomes harder to swallow. There’s hope that the abundance of Error 404 messages we are seeing right now as we look for favorite pieces from the years are just a result of some backend problem or update gone wrong. For the immediate future we will cling to the hope that these pieces will return (even the Wayback Machine is largely useless here). The new PW remains a cipher to us, the alt weekly equivalent of a once great pal who moved West and became an insufferable stranger. But we want our old friends back, and the comfort that the PW archives used to provide by letting us visit with them whenever we liked.
Long before Left Behind, Philly consumers were enraptured by the bargain-promising ads of Betsons Furniture that were a staple of local television throughout the 1980s. Even though the store vanished long ago, we still say “THEY’VE GOT TO BETSONS!” loudly and obnoxiously whenever anyone asks us where someone went. We’ve posted ads for this retail paradise in the past, but there has always been one of the spots that eluded us — a belly dancing-themed ad filmed at Jimmy Tayoun‘s legendary Middle East Restaurant (a spot where a father of one of our staffers infamously got so drunk that he went home, emptied out a clothes hamper, contorted himself to fit inside of it and proceeded to sleep it off). These vintage spots are like catnip to us, filled with a cheese and charm that are desperately missed today. We’d like to think that right at this very moment, the Betsons man and Ben Krass are up in heaven having beers and reflecting on lives well lived.
A video posted by Adam Wallacavage (@adam_wallacavage) on
In the dinner party of our dreams, Adam Wallacavage invites us into his South Philly home to dine on sumptuous foods and even more delicious strangeness. To put things mildly, we like his style. Oddly enough however, we never thought to browse his Instagram page until recently. There are pictures of his renowned chandeliers obviously, along with memorable travel pictures and a bizarre short video from time to time (see above). We are guessing from Wallacavage’s images that he is more of a Munsters guy than Addams Family yet the creepy, spooky and altogether ooky visuals he posts to Instagram are mini works of art unto themselves. For more on Adam Wallacavage’s offbeat inspirations, listen to his recent appearance on the Background Noise podcast.
Remember on Remote Control when a contestant would lose and they would be pulled through a wall while the audience sang Steam’s “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye?” Well a variation on that cosmic ballet is playing out right now with word that Chris Christiehas ended his run for president. We’d say we’ve had some laughs together, but that would be a lie, as as happy as we may be about your departure from the race we know somewhere deep inside that you’d still be a better president that Donald Trump. These are disturbing, dangerous times in which we live.
>>> Not that one ever needs an excuse to go to the good time happy spot that is Ortlieb’s, but there’s more of a reason than ever tonight because Satellite Hearts will show off their post-garage rock gems on a bill that will also feature the ingeniously named Scantron. Midweek blues no more.
>>> Following a 2013 revamp that had the group completely changing things up, Radio Birds are back and, as they say, better than ever. Their newly refined and tightened sound will be front and center at World Cafe Live tonight to illustrate how the group has passed through the fire of rock and returned to the light.
The long-gestating Love Park redesign production is finally breaking ground today. But before the ceremonial shovels hit the dirt, a press conference is being held in which city officials including Mayor Kenney are speaking about the project and the benefits it will have for the city as a whole. The biggest news from all of this is that the ban on skateboarders is officially lifted until Monday, so skate or die Thrasher fans! You can view the presser via Periscope here and, as ever, your Philebripals will have more on this as construction commences.
“Rhythmic waves of expansion and succession.” Form, Design and the City, the above educational film from 1962 that was created by Reynolds Metals Company uses that phrase to explain a then-coming wave of new construction to the city that would dramatically revitalize Philadelphia. (And one that can still be used to describe similar projects in the 21st century). Hosting this nearly hour-long time capsule is Ed Bacon, the still awe-inspiring city planner who shaped the Philly of today. From the video’s YouTube page:
It was during his tenure at the City Planning Commission that Bacon and his staff conceived and implemented numerous large- and small-scale design ideas that shaped today’s Philadelphia. These design concepts became Penn Center, Market East, Penn’s Landing, Society Hill, Independence Mall, and the Far Northeast. The Center City Commuter Connection, a seemingly radical idea at the time, was conceived during the 1950s by Planning Commission staff member, R. Damon Childs, who succeeded Bacon as Executive Director.
Not all of the concepts that Bacon supported materialized. One proposal that he inherited from Robert Mitchell was to encircle Center City with a series of expressways, including the so-called “Crosstown Expressway” (I-695) and the Vine Street Expressway (I-676) linking the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76) with the Delaware Expressway (I-95) via South Street. Three of the four expressways were built; however, the Crosstown Expressway faced significant local opposition and was never built, while a scaled-down expressway was built at Vine Street.
Both a nostalgic look at how we got here and a glimpse at a Philadelphia That Never Was, we recommend you set aside some time to take this film in and marvel at how far we’ve come over the decades.
After we ended our broadcast day yesterday, Kanye West took to Twitter to post the above tweet supporting Bill Cosby. It’s possible that he believes this, and equally so that he is trying to just be controversial to keep his name out there. Or maybe he was just a fan of Fat Albert’s junkyard band like the rest of us. Nevertheless, USA Today has devised the perfect response: