April 27, 2015

Check Out 30th Street Station In The New M. Night Shyamalan Trailer And Wonder…

… yo, is this one the one were he finally says, “Fuck it, I’m gonna do sketch comedy!”

This Evening: Three Speed Fun!


>>> As an addendum to the bike roundup below, do consider this evening Parks, Pedals, and Politics at Llama Tooth, a bike-wonk mixer including:
· The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia talking about IndeGo
· The Friends of the Rail Park talking about the Reading Viaduct project
· Representatives talking about the Spring Garden Street Greenway
· And a representative from the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Transportation & Utilities talking about the City’s long-term vision for sustainable transportation. It’ll be like Making Time for people with those one-pant-leg clippy things.

>> Elsewhere: Motown Mondays at Silk City; and The English Beat plays World Cafe Live.

Your Quick, Only Partially Disheartening Monday Bike Crap Roundup

· While the above is certainly true, it’s also true that, in many areas other than contemporary urban social annoyance levels, Philly bike share program Indego‘s first weekend was likewise a smashing success. While we’ve yet to see any metrics, anecdotally at least, the blue bikes were ubiquitous this weekend; in fact, the only thing we saw more of was bros in cargo shorts, and often they were on the bikes. So, uh, congrats!

· Meanwhile, in only the way that a doddering old fool can, Byko turned a quick around-the-corner commute into an infuriating, revenge-fantasy-inspiring trial of the spirit. Ordinarily, we’d do a BYKO WILL NOT SHUT UP about this, but our ears were bleeding. In times like these, it’s important to remember: We are so close to the end of Boomer Privilege. They will all be dead soon. We just have to hold on.

· Aww Mike Newall. You go, son!

· And finally, maybe you’re new in town. Maybe you’re just a dummy. In either case, BIKE STEALING SEASON IS ON LIKE BONKEY BONG. Here’s how to lock up your bike, and please know that often, it doesn’t even matter. Stay alert, people.


The Week Ahead In Comedy: Montage Of Ecks

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Robert Ecks appearing at Comedy Night at the Dawson Street Pub. Photo: Thom Lessner

If there’s one fun thing to see on a Monday night, it’s free comedy. Tonight you can do just that at Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar for this week’s Funny Females All Woman Comedy Show. Hosted as always by Rachel Fogletto and Phyllis Voren, this month’s show features Randi Lawson, Cecily Chapman, Natelie K. Levant and Carolyn Busa. Monday, 8PM, Free.

There’s some fun junk in the ‘Yunk on Thursday as a new showcase comes to the Dawson Street Pub. The accurately named Comedy Night at the Dawson Street Pub will feature Gregg Gethard, Nicole Yates, Robert Ecks, Bobby Lorello, TJ Hurley and Darryl Charles. Proceeds from the show will go to benefit the Wissahickon Interested Citizen’s Association and the Wissahickon Neighbors Citizen’s Association, so you can have your fun and do something nice for the world. Thursday, 8PM, $5 at the door.

Comedy should be educational, and education should be comical and Steve Gerben is doing something about it. On Friday night at PHIT, Steve will be presenting an investigative talk on Saudi Arabia. You can bet this show will make you laugh AND make you think. The event will be moderated by Chip Chantry. Friday, 9PM, $10 in advance.

If you’re feeling shaggy and can use a laugh, Cut Short Comedy returns to DnA Salon in Northern Liberties on Saturday. This month’s showcase features stand up from Mike Alloy, Joe Bell, Rachel Fogletto and Chris Wood. Show up early and have them take some off the top. Saturday, 9PM, $8 in advance.

– 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.

This Moment On The Main Line: Local Man Would Like To Re-Enact Any Number Of Recent Philip Roth Books


We’ll say it again and again until one day, it is printed on our money: The suburbs are the true heart of American depravity.


Must Read: The Story Behind America’s First Gay Sit-In, Staged At The Address Of What Is Now Little Pete’s

Say what? Via OutHistory.org:


On April 25, 1965, three teenagers staged a sit-in at Dewey’s Restaurant in Center City, Philadelphia (219 South 17th Street). They were protesting the restaurant’s multiple denials of service based on sexual orientation, gender expression, and cultural nonconformity.
Reports at the time referred specifically to the restaurant’s discriminatory denials of service to “homosexuals,” “masculine women,” “feminine men,” and “persons wearing non-conformist clothing.”
After a restaurant manager contacted the police, the three teenagers who staged the sit-in were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct. Clark Polak, a local gay activist, who was the president of the Janus Society and the editor of Drum magazine, offered to help obtain a lawyer for the three protesters. He also was arrested for disorderly conduct.
Over the next five days, Janus Society activists and their supporters, led by Robert L. Sitko, demonstrated outside the restaurant and distributed 1500 fliers to passersby.
On May 2, three patrons staged a second sit-in at Dewey’s after they were denied service. This time, the police made no arrests and the patrons left the restaurant after approximately four hours.
Janus Society activists later reported that the sit-ins and demonstrations were successful in preventing further arrests, ending “indiscriminate denials of service” at the restaurant and showing the “homosexual community” that the Society was “prepared to intercede in helping to solve these problems.”
Drum magazine called it “the first sit-in of its kind in the history of the United States.”

Marc Stein‘s article contains a lot of really fascinating stuff about a piece of Philly history we’d known nothing about. According to Brian Sims, the anniversary isn’t going unnoticed, with 50th Anniversary celebrations in the works. But could this also be yet another reason to #savelittlepetes?

Dept. Of Great Saves: So [Anal-Bead Drexel Prof] You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

It is with chargrin and a promise for further reflection that we realize today that we have run not one but two posts about Drexel University’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law Associate Professor Lisa McElroy (this one, at least, will be a hopefully worthy third). McElroy, whose name you probably won’t remember until we tell you that she’s the prof who accidentally emailed a saucy anal bead clip to her students, took to the pages of the WaPo on Friday for a reflection on her recent journey through Internet infamy. Though some of the passages are redolent of a certain “blame the press” strategy used by corny politicians — arguments like these only hold water if you believe the press to be a moral entity, which is just silly — she does nail two things that really do infuriatingly exist: The great American false sense of piety, as well as our-ever-quickly evaporating privacy:

[..]what’s really fascinating about this story is not that a law professor inadvertently shared a porn link with her students. What’s newsworthy is that, actually, there was nothing newsworthy about it. What happened was, in the grand scheme, pretty trivial. My students are adults. The link was quickly removed. There was nothing illegal in the video. The post occurred in the same two-month period when the movie “Fifty Shades of Grey” grossed almost $570 million worldwide. Yet, because it was porn and I’m a law professor, news organizations spread the story around the world.

Seemingly, private citizens do not have the right to that one simple thing: privacy. In a moment, through no desire of their own, they can become public figures, shamed in headlines for conduct that is unintentional and harmful to no one — except themselves, as the news media exploit them for sport and profit.

As it happens, McElroy’s experience is happing at the same time lots of people are talking about Jon Ronson’s So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, a new book about our currently highly developed appetite and system for delivering such things. It’s so ripped from his pages, in fact, that we’re surprised that McElroy didn’t mention it. Ronson was on the Reply All podcast recently, and it’s worth a listen for anyone following this story or the constant stream of stories like it:

For her part, McElroy makes some great points, and now we all feel bad.

Let The Phillie Phanatic Partying With The “Galapagos Gang” Be Your Monday Moment Of Zen

Yesterday, for the 37th year running, the Phillie Phanatic turned 8. To celebrate, he brought in “some special friends from the Galapagos Islands, the Galapagos Gang”, who are sort of like awesome birthday hallucination replacements for actual Phillies. It may be the only Phillies video you need to watch this year.

April 24, 2015

This Weekend: I Don’t Want The World, I Just Want Your Half


>>> The Cinedelphia Film Festival continues with a double bill of comedic chaos. First up, remember Broomall’s Len Cella of “Jello Makes A Lousy Doorstop” fame? His surreal Moron Movies were once so popular that they were featured on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes. (Ahh, the eighties!). Cella will be on hand for a retrospective on his work moderated by Everything Is Terrible‘s Dimitri Simakis. Later, the Wham City Comedy Tour brings Baltimore’s finest alt-comedy figures for a showcase of Adult Swim-flavored fun.

>>> A great literary event in the suburbs? Knock us over with a feather! Stephanie Yuhas appears to promote her very funny coming-of-age memoir American Goulash at the Barnes and Noble in Neshaminy Mall (a place where we spent entirely too much time during our youth). The book is described as being about “a nerd girl jousting with her Transylvanian family on the battlefields of suburban New Jersey for a chance to grow up authentically awkward and live a so-called normal American life,” but it is relatable to anyone who felt like they were standing on the fringes of life. Delicious stuff, this goulash.

>>> Over at The Pharmacy, Drugstore Cowboys celebrates the release of Racer LeVan‘s new album, Beached, at a party that is made just that much more rad by the inclusion of Dolores, Dulls, Faded Control, and Incredible Drudge. Bonus! There will be something called “alcoholic musical chairs.” INTO IT!

>>> The Karaoke Gung Show returns to the Troc for another round of musical hilarity hosted by Skeletor. We’re hoping he does “Poison” tonight, as that one always, ah, kills.

>>> ART ALERT: Casual Business at Goldilocks Gallery will debut new photographs from Joseph Amsel, Gabriel Angemi, Gab Bonghi, Amy Breesman, Richard Cardoza, Kevin Cook, Mike Flemming, Ryan S. Greenberg, Hannah Gaudite (whose pics of drag queens from Bob and Barbara’s are astonishing), Ian Kiesel, Troy Memis, and Anthony Smyrski.


>>> They Might Be Giants are the TLA. Because you will never get over Flood.

>>> The Go West! Craft Fest will be held at the Woodlands in West Philadelphia bringing with it products from over 100 local artisans, performances by The Green Tambourine, Jay Sand, Silverton, The Philadelphia Women’s Slavic Ensemble, Tangle Movement Arts, and Shakey Lymon and Sean Dorn, as well as numerous tours of the area. If you miss this, there will be more craft stuff tomorrow in South Philly. See below.

>>> Oh hey! There’s a flea market at Hawthrone Park! We’ll be the ones there looking for back issues of Jughead’s Jokes and Divine Lorraine detritus.


>>> Crafty Balboa is back for their April Showers event! We’ve been needing a new Mr. Tea pot, so thanks!

Film Sweat: The Calm Before The Storm

RECOMMENDED: 5 to 7 stars Star Trek‘s Anton Yelchin (who really stands out once he’s off the bridge of the Enterprise) as a New York City would-be novelist who gets romantically involved with older French woman Bérénice Marlohe. The new relationship quickly gets complicated when he discovers that she is married and has no problem sharing details of her affair with others in her life, including her husband and kids. Does the budding romance result in awkwardness aplenty? Oui! (Sorry). The romantic dramedy features fine support from Glenn Close and Frank Langella.

ALSO NEW IN THEATERS THIS WEEK: From Philly’s own Ross Katz comes Adult Beginners, a comedic redemption tale with Nick Kroll playing an entrepreneur who regroups with his sister’s family in the suburbs following a massive professional/personal failure. With Rose Bryne, Bobby Cannavale, Joel McHale and goofball extraordinaire Bobby Moynihan; Dior And I is a documentary chronicling Raf Simons‘ first haute couture collection for Christian Dior, and as such its very existence is whipping every fashionista we know into a frenzy; and The Water Diviner marks Russell Crowe‘s directorial debut in which he also stars as an Australian farmer who goes in search of his missing sons in 1914 Istanbul, in other words, zzz.

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.

At 4PM It Will Probably Be Announced That Paul McCartney Is Playing Here At Some Concert Thing

Hey look! It’s Macca‘s bass! In Philadelphia! THAT’S WHERE YOU ARE TOO! We don’t know what this is all about yet, but we appreciate the synchronicity that comes from Live Nation announcing the deets at the exact time our grandparents will be eating dinner. Check their Twitter then for more information as we will be well into our weekend by that point.

UPDATE: Paul McCartney returns to Philly on June 21st when his Out There tour hits the Wells Fargo center. Tix on sale on Friday, May 1st.

Blow Off Work Early And Head Over To The Philadelphia Art Book Fair

PhilaArtBookFairCurrently happening at The Annex on Filbert and running through tomorrow afternoon, the Philadelphia Art Book Fair is a celebration of photo and art publications, zines, small press items and other types of things that make book lovers salivate. (Think of it as a more literate but equally socially awkward version of Comic Con). The event is a collaboration between the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center and The Print Center, and the groups have assembled a lineup of exhibitors ranging from Dum Dum Zine to Vox Populi — a complete listing of those whose works will be on display can be found here. Excitingly, the Philadelphia Book Fair will also feature programming focusing on issues relevant to independent media makers that will be highlighted by a keynote address by renowned photographer Emmet Gowin. There will be book signings and a party with beer from St. Benjamin’s Brewery as well, and it’s all going on RIGHT NOW! As if you needed an excuse to bail on the rest of your work day.

South Fellini’s Toynbee Tile Shirt Is The Perfect Addition To Your Odd Philly Wardrobe


While browsing through South Fellini’s line of fun Phillycentric shirts we were both pleased and saddened to see that there is now a Toynbee Tile shirt available. Available in color (as seen above) or black and white, the shirt is a sort of postmortem souvenir for the phenomenon it represents — which has lost some steam since the great locally produced documentary Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles answered many of the questions that swirled around the strange asphalt messages when it was released back in 2011. However, tiles still are being placed in Philly and elsewhere, causing much debate about who is responsible for the more recent ones amongst those who obsess over these matters (i.e. us). But one thing enthusiasts can likely agree on is that the original tiler would probably be aghast at his message becoming a fashion commodity…eye-catching though it may be. Resurrect Dead on Planet Jupiter? There or on the front of your T-shirt of choice we suppose.

Angry Vengeful God Is Trying Suck All The Bros Out Of NoLibs Through Giant Potholes

If there’s one way to most accurately describe Northern Liberties these days (and oh man, there are a lot) it’s “under construction.” Everywhere you turn in the area there are old buildings being torn down and condos/apartments going up. We’ll spare you the gentrification rant and how the entire area seems destined to become little more than a Kakfaesque nightmare where the brunch line at Honey’s stretches on for eternity. For now, just let us say this — NoLibs realizes it is under attack and it is fighting back. The above NBC 10 news report is a physical manifestation of all the crybaby entitlement that is going on around those parts right now. (Pro tip: If you aren’t into constant construction and the unpleasantness that comes with all of that, it’s probably best for you to not move to any area where that is pretty much all that goes on…well that and overpriced garden bagels). We feel sympathy for the Northern Liberties oldheads out there for sure. But everybody else needs to chill, you’ll have your antiseptic playground of boring vapidity soon enough. Until then, enjoy all the Awareness Cones and the consequences of your dubious life choices.

Dept. Of Golden Years: The SEPTA Key System Already Works For Elderly Riders


While the rest of us await the eventual arrival of the SEPTA Key system — which will slowly bring Philly’s transportation system into the late-20th century — some savvy elderly riders have already been taking advantage of the new technology. See kids, Betty White isn’t the only senior role model! From Billy Penn:

A major component of SEPTA Key is the ability to read the magnetic strip on the back of driver’s licenses. Anyone age 65 and older can swipe his or her license and get a free ride on the subway, bus and trolley lines. On many of the city’s newly-installed SEPTA Key digital turnstiles this technology is already working.

“Some seniors have found that they have been able to use it,” said Andrew Busch, public information manager for SEPTA. “It’s kind of been a word of mouth thing among customers.”

Busch warns that not all of the turnstiles are fully functional. They might not always read a swiped driver’s license. That’s why SEPTA has not made a formal announcement. If a driver’s license doesn’t scan, seniors can still present their transit ID card, Medicare ID card or Railroad Retirement Annuity card to a station employee.

Take that, millennials! Now only if SEPTA could correlate the data and see how many of these riders are heading to matinees at Walnut Street Theater or getting in line in front of us at Super Fresh with their coupons and checkbooks. Related: Love you grandmom, we’ll call soon!

The Gallery Takes Another Step Towards Ridding Philly Of Its Weird Retail Vibes

GalleryAt yesterday’s City Council meeting, Councilman Mark Squilla introduced a legislative package that, if passed, would pave the way for The Gallery to be yanked from its current state of depressing retail life support and reincarnated into a glistening 21st century shopping destination…or something along those lines. (Have you been there lately? Even the signage seems to be weeping). From The Inquirer:

With a three-word declaration, Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L. Clarke put his strong shoulder behind the planned $325 million remake of the Gallery mall: “I support it.”

His backing gave momentum to the project as it was introduced for consideration Thursday. The package of six bills and one resolution, about 700 pages of legislation, would give the developer a big tax break and get the city out of the mall business, transferring control of the property to the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust.

In a press release, Mayor Nutter also voiced his approval of the proposed bills:

This once-in-a-generation project has the potential to transform Market East, create thousands of jobs, and offer a new shopping and entertainment experience to Philadelphians and visitors to our city,” said Mayor Nutter. “I thank Councilman Squilla for introducing these six bills and one resolution on behalf of the Administration to begin the legislative process and move this project forward.”

An overhaul of the area is a sound move for the future of Market Street to be sure. That said we’re keeping our fingers crossed that whatever the new Gallery turns out to be, urban experiential displays will be kept far from it — because a new retail hub like this would be catnip to those infotaining eyesores.

Previously: The Gallery To Be Reborn As The Fashion Outlets Of Philadelphia?

April 23, 2015

This Evening: Potato Is An Entree?

>>> Songs like “Suddenly Last Summer,” “Only the Lonely,” and “Take the L” are permanently linked to the 1980s from whence they came. This is undeniable. But when The Motels play the Tin Angel tonight it will become apparent that upon further examination that this type of music is completely anachronistic with the music of the era it is associated…and with any time really. What even are these melancholy songs of disappointment and diminishing romance and where do they belong? Our guess: Nowhere and everywhere. Martha Davis‘ soulful vocals are an enigma, completely incongruous with anything else on the pop spectrum — now or way back then. And this is one of many, many reasons why you should seek this show out tonight.

>>> At Tattooed Mom, The Head & The Hand Press will host an evening of readings by Wint Huskey (whose novel Blowin’ It was released by H&H last year), our own Joey Sweeney, and a mixture of song and story from Wesley Stace (who, in another life as John Wesley Harding, anchored one of our all-time favorite episodes of 120 Minutes).

>>> The Philadelphia Film Society‘s Growing Up Baumbach series concludes with a 35mm screening of Noah Baumbach‘s directorial debut Kicking & Screaming. Sorry The Graduate, but this movie will always be our favorite exploration of the emotional paralysis of post-collegiate life. These characters are incredibly relatable, as is their shared problem of figuring out what the hell to do next. Is there a Buzzfeed quiz of What Kicking & Screaming Character Are You? Because we would like to say we are Jane, but we are most likely Otis. And oh man, the airport scene at the end… This is a one-night only event, so you most definitely can’t go tomorrow.

>>> More movie madness! I’ve Always Been Here is a Lynchian mindbender of emotional horror from Philly’s M. Sean McManus (who also directed the new Weird Hot video). The film will be showcased in the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival’s screening of sci-fi and horror shorts, an event that also includes the creepy deconstruction of voyeurism Fisheye, from local director John Rifici.

Salty Tweets About Uber Helmets Are Our New Favorite Tone Poems

We told you earlier today about the launch of Philly’s bike share program, Indego. Uber decided to take a keep your friends close but your enemies closer approach to the competition offered by Indego and offered snazzy Nutcase commuter bike helmets that could be ordered through the app in exchange for a $10 donation to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. Things didn’t exactly go smoothly, as the Twitter hive mind was quick to point out. After the jump, our favorite #uberhelmet tweets! (more…)

Breaking: The Comcast/Time Warner Merger Is Pretty Much Dead

comcast-still-maintain-innocence-after-fcc-verdictGood news everybody! It looks like the Comcast/Time Warner merger is probably not something we’re going to have to worry about and deal with after all. (Smell you later, nationwide monopoly!) From Gawker:

FCC commissioners, feeling the merger wouldn’t be in the public interest, will reportedly order an administrative hearing, a rare move that’s been described as “ a death sentence” because it will very likely stretch out beyond Comcast’s window to close the deal.

“I’d never say anything was 100 percent dead, but this is in the 99 percent category,” Rich Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG in New York, told Bloomberg.

Comcast could choose to the fight the losing battle, but the structure of the deal includes no monetary penalty for walking away, so the company is expected not to throw any more time and money at the acquisition they spent more than a year trying to complete.

“Some Wall Street analysts now expect Comcast will walk away, abandoning 15 months of preparation while blaming the collapse of the merger on a Washington climate led by Democrats that is hostile to business.,” CNN Money reports.

Meanwhile, Gizmodo has some inside baseball on why a proposed hearing is very bad news for Comcast. We really want to get out there and celebrate this, but our folks asked us to come over and call Comcast about why their bill mysteriously jumped up since last month. (Hey Media Mobilizing Project, what time’s the party tonight?) While this is clearly a huge blow for the company, we can’t help but think that there will be some other kind of corporate fuckery coming from them down the line. But let’s live in the now, baby! Yasssss.

WXPN’s Land Of The Lost To Showcase Obscure Philly New Wave Tomorrow Night

Previewing some retro #PhillyLocal music for tomorrow's trip into the #LOTL @wxpnfm 7-11pm wx.pn/listen (Thx JQ!)

A photo posted by DJ Robert Drake (@djrobertdrake) on

Retro Reminder: On the last Friday of every month, WXPN DJ Robert Drake hosts Land of the Lost, a four-hour showcase of new wave favorites and obscurities. It’s always essential listening, this month even moreso as Drake will be showcasing two forgotten compilation LPs with area ties — I’d Rather Be in Philadelphia and You’re Soaking In It: Music from Philadelphia & NY. Released in 1983 and 1988 respectively, these albums showcase tracks from the likes of Bunnydrums, Pretty Poison, Book of Love, Kenn Kweder and other locally-grown/should’ve been huge acts of the era. Tomorrow’s theme will be Drake’s favorite things, with these LPs getting the spotlight in the ten o’clock hour. We’re going to go out on a limb here and say if you love this stuff as much as he (and we) do, they’ll become your favorites too. Forget what Killing Joke says about the eighties, you don’t always have to push and struggle when revisiting the past.