>>> The alt-country of The Bailey Hounds, a highlight of the Art Star Craft Bazaar, can be heard at Ortlieb’s Lounge tonight as they open for The Futurebirds along with Blackfoot Gypsies.
>>> In another show temporarily displaced from Johnny Brenda’s, Milkboy will hostPet Milk, Woolen Men, Lame Drivers, and Literature.
>>> And if none of that is your style, there is — of course — that Mozzer karaoke contest you could toss your hat into.
To put it another way than how we were saying it yesterday: For all of our progress, for all of our new life and the casting off of old useless things, our history as Philadelphians is in grave jeopardy. And this is something that we absolutely cannot blame on the transplants; the blame lies squarely with us natives. Consider this City’s proud and beautiful jazz legacy, and then ask yourself: What on Earth have we done with it? Now, this is a big city, and for sure there is churn, and for sure things fall in and out of favor, and jazz in particular made a deal with the devil Academia from which it may not ever be able to escape. But when you consider the large scale of Philadelphia’s involvement with jazz — both in the sheer number of venues that once dotted these streets, and the influence of the players within that resonated all over the world — the degree to which we have let all of that slide is shameful. And we are a smaller, less powerful city for it.
Because it’s not just about the music, you see. It never is. Today, Sun Ra would have turned 99, if indeed he still had any use for Earth time even when he still walked among us. What would he have made of the changes here in the city he called home, from 1968 until his Earth-death in 1993? We don’t know if he was a man given over to anger, but we imagine him being kind of pissed, because so many of those changes, when you get down to the real philosophical meat of the matter — of which he clearly was so fond — so many of those changes are cosmetic and nothing more. The Center City grid and its outlying neighborhoods have been re-invented and largely gentrified, but this has only just pushed the poorest among us to the sides; we’ve treated this city like a child playing with its food. And our schools! Sun Ra was a renaissance man if ever there was one: Scholar, entrepreneur, artist, and on an on, and man who’d reference the filthiest boogie-woogie as easily as he would Shostakovich, who’d cite Buddhism and Freemasonry at the same time. For him, a world in which we could not educate our children to the degree that could empower them to freely draw on all the world of books had to offer — he frequented this city’s libraries habitually — would be a world not worth living in at all. Yet another reason for space to be the place, if you will.
It’s been around 20 years since we even became aware of Sun Ra, of his amazing catalog of music, of his wild brand of thinking that could never be imitated, but continues to inspire all kinds of people, all over the world. And the fact that we can, for a large part and certainly to the degree that anyone could, claim him as ours puts him in a line of free thinkers here in Philly that starts in colonial times and continues to this day (though, to be sure, we wish there was more of it around right now). And he keeps on giving. Just today, reading up on the man, we found this quote from him that we’d never seen before, on the subject of race relations:
Some force is having a good time [manipulating black and white people] and looking, enjoying itself up in a reserved seat, wondering, “I wonder when they’re going to wake up.”
He’s probably still wondering. And we’re still here. We really hope he does come back. We’ve still got an awful lot to talk about.
When the Christmas of the vinyl collector — Record Store Day — was upon us, we were excited to bring some bands your way, including an acoustic set featuring the post-punk, shoegazey goodness of local-guys Restorations. You can see some of that acoustic stuff above (and check out the decidedly not-so-acoustic stuff over here). But they’re packing away the acoustic guitars and bringing the drums back out for a full summer tour in support of Scranton’s The Menzingers that kicks off at the First Unitarian Church this Friday. Also playing in support are Fake Problems and Captain, We’re Sinking!, and hey, we think it’d be cool if you went, so we’re gonna give you some tickets. To enter to win, email ihopeiwin[at]philebrity[dot]com with “LET’S BLOW UP THE SUN” in the subject header. You’ll automatically be subscribed to the forthcoming new Philebrity Reader weekly newsletter and win chances for other exclusive free stuff. We’ll be picking the winner at around 7PM TONIGHT, so get on those emails folks.
Look, we were as bummed as the next guy when Morrissey cancelled his tour dates, including one scheduled for the Tower Theater. But we all know the next best thing to seeing Morrissey is having some drinks and watching (or joining in with) some other people who’ve had some drinks sing songs in the key of Moz. Tonight, to celebrate the Pope of Mope turning 54 years old, you can join others in wishing the Mozzer an Unhappy Birthday at the Standard Tap, where they’ll be hosting a Morrissey Karaoke Contest. Sign ups are at 9PM, singing starts at 10PM and goes until it’s not his birthday anymore. The whole thing is presented by the Tap, Yards Brewing, Exit Skateshop, and Reanimator Coffee who we assume are all sending their best (and probably worst) vocalists. And don’t forget to pick up some flowers for your back pocket. It’ll show commitment to the craft.
In his 36 years as a newscaster at Action News, Rob Jennings has covered some … interesting stories. A particularly insane newsday in 1990 can be seen above, but soon, it’ll all be over for Jennings, who is retiring at the end of July.
Jennings has been the one of the faces of news in this town for a long, long time. In fact, we’d argue that many of you, when you hear the Action News theme, also hear this narration in your head: “Action News. Delaware Valley’s leading news program. With Gary Papa and Rob Jennings.” It dug its way into our brain years ago and it will never leave. Jennings, a 2003 inductee of the Philadelphia Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame, has accomplished many things in his broadcast career. According to a press release, “His career at 6abc has taken him from Three Mile Island to the White House and even into the wild blue yonder, flying with both the Air Force Thunderbirds and The Navy’s Blue Angels,” and if anyone can track down footage of Rob Jennings flying with the blue angels, send it our way.
With Jennings’ pending departure, that leaves Jim Gardner as one of the last remaining old-school newsmen behind a desk and on our televisions. So please, DON’T LET HIM LEAVE. The final part of the press release announcing Jennings’ retirement reads like an OKCupid profile, saying “Rob enjoys oil painting, writing, playing chess and wood working. He has created more than 50 oil paintings. Rob’s lifelong passion is boating, and now he’ll have the time to traverse the Chesapeake.” And that is how we will choose to remember him, traversing the Chesapeake and painting oil paintings. All while wearing a suit, of course.
The Bill of Rights, which according to the image to the right currently has the legibility rating of an old receipt that’s been in your wallet for too long, is coming to Philadelphia. Well, one of a dozen. The National Constitution Center will “display one of the 12 surviving copies of the Bill of Rights starting in fall of 2014. The museum of ‘We the People’ will be the first institution in the Pennsylvania to exhibit this historic document to the general public.” And you can take your time, it’ll be here for three years. Here’s a little history on the actual document that’s coming here:
After being approved by Congress, this rare original copy of the Bill of Rights was signed by Vice President John Adams (president of the Senate) and dispatched by President George Washington to consider for ratification in 1789. The New York Public Library acquired the document in 1896, when John S. Kennedy – a trustee of The New York Public Library – donated it along with other items he purchased from Dr. Thomas Addis Emmet, a noted surgeon and collector of Americana. The Emmet Collection has been accessible to researchers ever since, currently in the Manuscripts and Archives Division. The Library last displayed the document several decades ago, and has never displayed it for an extended period of time for preservation reasons.”
There is so far no word on if that copy of the Constitution that is currently on display will be jealous of all the attention that the Bill of Rights is gonna get, but hey, people are always talkin’ about him anyway. Give someone else a turn.
Let it be known, the King of Prussia Mall will not tolerate your fashionable, anti-cancer stance: According to 6ABC, the family of a woman who had just died of cancer, who were shopping for funeral dresses, were asked to leave the KOP Mall when they first refused to remove their hats which very coyly said “Fuck Cancer” without really saying “Fuck Cancer.”
Firstly, Fuck Cancer. For real. Secondly, the reason for the family’s removal from the mall was given to 6ABC by (Mr.) Mall Manager Robert Hall. He said:
King of Prussia Mall is a proud supporter of breast cancer awareness and other important causes however, the mall is first and foremost a family destination. Certain words and images, whether obvious or suggested, spoken or written on clothing, are considered profane and can offend many people. In keeping with the mall’s Code of Conduct, security approached the women who were first asked respectfully to remove their caps and when they refused, were asked to leave. King of Prussia Mall is dedicated to providing a family-friendly atmosphere for all our shoppers and such profanity is not tolerated.”
But hey, if you guys want that uncensored word on a shirt, head to the mall’s Urban Outfitters. And if you guys need any blacklight posters of sparkly dildos riding unicorns on a rainbow made of pot leaves, head over to Spencer Gifts, the mall’s premier destination for red-faced high schoolers.
Thought you would appreciate this dispatch from DCist on a Phillies fan’s overzealous craiglist post seeking tickets to this weekend’s series:
As a Philly transplant who’s observed the evolution of the Phillies @ Nat’s series phenomenon over the last few years, this definitely hits all the high points: the beer fueled obnoxiousness, the pink-jersey call out, gratuitous cheesesteak reference, and the bemused indifference of the Nat’s crowd.
Or: why I’ll wear my faded Pat Burrell tee this weekend with a tinge of embarrassment.”
>>> The Darkness take a rescheduled show to The Troc tonight, and hey, you might have won tickets! If not, head over there anyway, and get there early for the funtime jams of SWEATHEART.
>>> Over at Milkboy, Dead Confederate, Roadkill Ghost Choir, and Penrose play a show that was originally set for Johnny Brenda’s, but displaced due to a water main break.
>>> And at PhilaMOCA’s Tuesday Tune Out, once again curated by yvynyl, you can catch Neighborhood Choir, Avery Rosewater, and — as always — a surprise film screening.
Just a quick word to pass on from our neighbors and cohorts up front here at AKA Music: AKA is now your exclusive, open-daily box office for all things R5 Productions, including Union Transfer. (Note: UT box office is still open Fridays, Saturdays, and on the evenings of show nights.) Come on by for any R5 tickets you’re looking for, available with no surcharge (tickets are cash only) and in very close proximity to a wide array of totally heavy-looking vinyl Krautrock reissues, plus all your new faves on wax and (something called a) compact disc. The more you know!
… Like Horace: The people at ArtPlace America, as their name suggests, give grants to art in places in America. It’s pretty simple. And while they were handing out a total of $15.2 million to 54 projects “using the arts to transform 44 communities” across the U.S., they dropped some dough in Philadelphia.
According to a press release, ArtPlace American awarded $1,195,150 in grants in Philadelphia, the most grant dollars of any community. The recipients and details of said grants can be found after the jump. (more…)
So it turns out it’s not only things that happen at the Convention Center that are losing money, but the venue itself: According to Axis Philly, the $1.3 billion expanded Convention Center will come close to its goal of of “several dozen” major conventions this year, but then “the numbers drop off until 2016, when only eight are booked … fewer than what the center had before it expanded.” What does that mean, by the numbers?
While conventioneers will pump $510 million into the local economy this year, the number will decline to $230 million three years from now, according to estimates from the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, which books conventions into the center. While hotels will get 340,000 convention hotel nights this year, the number is projected to decline to 237,000 nights in 2016 …
Last week, members of the region’s hotel association went to Harrisburg to sound the alarm with legislators. Their message: bookings are behind even pre-expansion levels, and declining use of their hotels will mean fewer industry jobs. It will also mean that revenue from the 15.2 percent tax levied on hotel rooms will decline — revenue that is used to underwrite the center’s losses and pay off the bonds that were floated to build it.”
If you’re an Airbnb host, you must make sure of the following:
[...]you have all necessary permissions to offer your accommodations, including ensuring that your hosting activity (i) will not breach any agreements you have entered into with any third parties (such as any agreements or rules with a landlord or HOA) and (ii) will (a) be in compliance with all applicable laws, Tax requirements, and rules and regulations that may apply to your Accommodations, including, but not limited to, zoning laws and laws governing rentals of residential and other properties and (b) will not conflict with the rights of third parties
Then again, this will all depend on how the City views services like Airbnb, if in fact it’s taking a look at all.
Hailing from the UK and bearing a torch for all that is gloriously, libertaingly stupid, The Darkness do real work in The Industry Of Human Happiness every time they plug in. For if you cannot find something to love in them, chances are, you cannot find something to love within yourself, which, as it happens, is they very thing they came to help you with. So it is with open heart, good intentions and possibly stuffed trousers that they play for the people of Philadelphia tonight at the Troc, and in the interest of paying it forward, we’ve got some tickets to give you for this. To enter to win, email ihopeiwin[at]philebrity[dot]com with “NOTHING’S GONNA STOP US” in the subject header. You’ll automatically be subscribed to the forthcoming new Philebrity Reader weekly newsletter and win chances for other exclusive free stuff. We’ll pick winners at 4pm, so enter now, and believe in a thing called Love. Above, the Thom Lessner/Ted Passon-directed video for “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us.”
When we have these moments of darkness and sheer terror that all of you polite and well-adjusted transplants may in fact be simply colonizing Philadelphia on behalf of the Midwest; when it seems that Philly’s sheer, epic weirdness, which was once all we had, is in danger; when we feel like we simply cannot bear the John Krasinski-ness of you all, often, we suddenly remember Isaiah Zagar, and heave a sigh of relief. You could say that a straight line of mid-Atlantic East Coast Freak runs directly from Walt Whitman to Zagar, only in Zagar’s case, there’s a bit of Henry Darger/Howard Finster-level compulsion to cover this entire city in broken mirrors, teacups and wild color. Look at The Piazza and tell us: Who would we be to try and stop him? For the last seven years, Zagar has been quiet toiling on a sequel, if you will, to his now-world-famous Magic Gardens; it’s the nearly-completed Magic Garage, if you will, tucked away on Watkins Street, and Passyunk Post has a whole suite of pics. To view them is to engage your own shitballs crazy divinity, which is your God-given gift as a Philadelphian. Don’t ever take it for granted.