October 1, 2014
Welcome to October. Spirit, everyone’s fav Halloween superstore, has been revitalizing abandoned strip malls across America for weeks now. It’s time for the rest of us to pop It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown in the VHS player, book tickets to Terror Behind the Walls, get screaming bargains on CVS candy, put ourselves out there again, down an XL pumpkin spice shake at Wawa, and dance the hora at a Werewolf Bar Mitzvah. I am overwhelmed in the best possible way, so I compiled the spooky-scariest parties, movie screenings, and miscellaneous horror happenings around town.
And if you don’t like pumpkin spice, you can GTFO.
>>> CUTN PASTE Goth Prom on Friday, October 3rd. Goth prom, it’s prom for goths. I am in the market for crushed velvet Tripp pants.
>>> International House is screening The Witches on Saturday, October 10th. This movie scared the beejeezus out of me as a kid, so I will probably stay home and marathon Sabrina, the Teenage Witch from the safety of my bed instead.
>>> International House continues to rule Halloween on Saturday, October 11th with a screening of the cult-classic Danish documentary Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages.
>>> Sinners, Scandals, and Suicides at Laurel Hill Cemetery on Sunday, October 12th. Actually, everything on Laurel Hill’s October calendar looks extremely worthwhile.
>>> SISSY HOP Monster Mash A-Go-Go on Thursday, October 16th. Vintage-inspired costumes are strongly encouraged.
>>> Also on Thursday: Bite My Paintings, a discussion about David Lynch with PAFA and the Mutter Museum.
>>> Reconnect with your Harry Potter-phase (or maybe you, like me, never really outgrew it) at the Harry Potter Festival in Chestnut Hill, the weekend of October 17th.
>>> My actual worst nightmare has been commodified into a $200 experience. It’s called Sleepover at the Mutter and it’s really happening on Friday, October 21st.
>>> PhilaMOCA is showing not one, but two, horror films set in Ohio on Wednesday, October 29th. Midwestern ex-pats take note!
>>> CUTN PASTE HALLOqWEENs BALL on Friday, October 31st. How rad is it that Halloween falls on a Friday? It almost makes me wish I were back in middle school, so I could TP my gym teacher’s lawn. Also on Halloween-Halloween: Nosferatu Screening with Live Klezmer Score at PhilaMOCA.
– Maddy Court
>>> It’s been a few years since “I Follow Rivers” and “Dance, Dance, Dance” were on heavy rotation at UrbOuts, so it makes sense that Lykke Li reworked her sound on this spring’s I Never Learn album. The album is darker, but still infinitely remixable. You can hear Lykke Li’s new stuff for yourself tonight at Union Transfer. Mapei, another Swedish singer you’d be remiss not to check out, opens.
>>> The ICA plays host to drag-performer Teena Geist and punk band Littler tonight. Nail art and snacks are provided, and you will be expected to partake. The ICA’s new exhibits will also be open for optimal night-viewing.
MetroPhilly reports that The Franklin’s Paine Skatepark Fund, the nonprofit advocating for the preservation of Philadelphia’s skater culture, are meeting tonight at 6 at their park between Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the Schuylkill River Trail to raise money and awareness for skating as a positive community influence. They’re happy to have the support of Councilman Jim Kenney, who according to fund executive director Josh Dubin, “is on the record as saying that when the new LOVE Park is re-designed in the coming year or two, that he’d like to see a way to preserve some opportunity for skate-able space in the new design because of the park’s importance to global skating culture.” Kenney was the man behind the push for the marijuana decrim bill that Mayor Nutter wasn’t too keen on signing before recently, and now he’s advocating for “skate-able space”? Somebody call Thrasher, because Kenney’s influence on Philly’s public infrastructure is totally critical!
Mayor Nutter is scheduled to sign the Philadelphia marijuana decriminalization bill at 1:30 PM today in his reception room at City Hall. Members of PhillyNORML will also be at City Hall to take questions from the press about this historic victory for our city’s chiller citizens, and probably also about the release they issued today on SB1182, the Senate bill that, sadly, does not represent a comparable victory on the state level. Some day. For now, just keep it in the city.
Okay, so maybe the tunnel costume isn’t necessarily our bag, but still, it’s good to get to know this guy a little better. The first time we heard Mike Fuller slowly intoning the poetic truths of the SEPTA underground, we thought he was a little pretentious at first, and then we thought he was a total freak who was kind of pissing us off, and then we thought… wait, this guy is kind of brilliant. It only took a few lines to convert us. Living in a comfortable space between metaphor and joke, Fuller’s poetry is, well, poetry. One more good reason to ride the trolleys. Which brings us up to one.
Remember when we hinted that there might be a huge party featuring Questlove for the opening of the new Chestnut Uniqlo on October 3rd? Well, guess what? There’s going to be a huge party featuring Questlove for the opening of the new Chestnut Uniqlo on October 4th! At Smith Memorial Park Playground and Playhouse on Saturday, October 4 from 1PM – 6PM, the Philly LOVE FEST will introduce Uniqlo’s new brand campaign, “From Tokyo to Philly,” to Philly, with fun, food, games and Questlove for the whole family! We’ll keep you updated about the H&M bonfire we’ll be hosting to commemorate the event.
You may remember us posting last week about the huge lose-lose that was the recent Flyers Ice Girls/Flyers Ice Guys, uh, “disagreement.” If not, it’s easy to summarize: The Flyers tried to replace the Ice Girls with Ice Guys after the institution of the Ice Girls was exposed as being profoundly exploitative (we can’t really tell you why it was necessary to “expose” this), and the Ice Guys were subsequently booed by the Ice Bros, or, dumbass sexist Flyers fans. What’s most surprising here is not the story, it’s the response from the Flyers, who are now bringing back the Ice Girls for the Flyers home opener because, in their words, “when Flyers fans voice their concerns, we listen.”
Luckily, one life long flyers fan, named Life Long Flyers Fan, has done what proactive people do in this day and age: created a petition on Change.org. The petition urges you to Boycott the Flyers until the Ice Girls are removed for good, and offers a letter that you can sign and send to the Flyers if you wish. It’s a worthy cause, because if there’s anything we hate more than a medieval sexist spectacle, it’s a medieval sexist spectacle to the music of Mötley Crüe.
September 30, 2014
>>> We’re longtime fans of Lantern, the retro-futurist glam punks responsible for Rock ‘N’ Roll Rorschach, a semi-satirical but semi-legit weirdo frenzy of doomy occult worship that comes, surprisingly enough, straight from the hometown. Produced, engineered and mixed by Jeff Ziegler, the album was a big hit locally and beyond for a band already recognized by VICE as the best band in Philadelphia when it dropped in 2013. Now Lantern are back in town with the new Wolf Eyes/Royal Trux supergroup Dan’l Boone? Should be screechy in all the right ways.
>>> Elsewhere: Tennis with Pure Bathing Culture at Underground Arts and Sibling Rivalry at Johnny Brenda’s Downstairs.
There’s not much else we feel we need to say: this Friday to Saturday, The Arden Theatre Company are hosting the Arden Theatre Production Yard Sale, where they will be selling off furniture, props, and costumes that have been used in past Arden productions. We don’t know when or how they were acquired, but apparently among the costume items for sale are a number of Cosby sweaters. We’re told by a source at the Arden that there will be up to twelve Cosby sweaters available. If you’re not wetting yourself with excitement, you obviously still haven’t seen this video.
Philadelphia high school English teacher Rachel Toliver has an illuminating piece up at The New Republic about high school curriculum and how it’s teaching students in Philly, and in America, about race. While Philadelphia high school students are required to take a year-long course on African-American history to graduate, this piece perfectly breaks down why it’s less important to require that high school history classes include topics in African-American history than it is to require that history classes reflect racism as a persistent historical trend. The difference is between emphasizing facts and emphasizing awareness, empathy, and critical discourse:
The issue is less the curriculum than the way it’s sometimes taught. In the class, students study things like African civilizations, the middle passage, and the civil rights movement. “The plight of people of color was given a voice,” was one student’s positive summary. But certain teachers choose to present that content almost as artifacts, rather than as parts of a larger, ongoing narrative of oppression and resilience. Gabrielle Richardson told me that although the course expanded her knowledge of African-American history, “the way it was taught made it seem that racial injustice was a thing of the past. There was no correlation of historic events with current politics or culture. It was taught in a way that isolated the past and the present.” Davis, now a sophomore at Temple University, questioned her class’s treatment of Trayvon Martin’s murder—or rather, the fact that the class didn’t really engage with the tragedy. The class simply “acknowledged that it happened and moved on.”
Thanks to The Fader for this premiere from Nothing, directed by leader Dominic Palermo. If this is what it’s going to be like when Nothing bite the bullet and go all-in for slowcore, we’ll be down.
PhillyMag reprinted an op-ed from The Advocate this weekend about “Finding Sympathy for the Most Hated Woman in America”, the gist of which is that gaybasher Kathryn Knott‘s actions and history of hate don’t justify a backlash from the gay community and its supporters that shows her more vitriol than the two men also charged for their involvement in the attack. Writer Neal Broverman argues that because Knott is “a victim too; of bad parenting, segregation, misinformation, and misogyny,” her actions reflect her place in a larger oppressive system as much as her own capacity to dehumanize others. It is worth noting that, while Kathryn Knott is charged with a terrible crime, she can still be the target of misogyny and disrespect that is unwarranted and inexcusable. However, Broverman seems to argue that even to criticize her actions and her inflammatory statements and beliefs without considering or acknowledging her uniquely privileged and oppressed status is unfair. Just asking, but, at what point do you surrender the right to sympathy? At what point are you entirely accountable for your own actions? Isn’t there a line, and shouldn’t an act of violence like this one sit way beyond it?
Having finally arrived later than anyone else to the party to which we intentionally neglected to invite them, Comcast have appointed a new executive who will possess “broad powers” (seriously, what fresh totalitarian hell is this?) to address the company’s poor customer service record. Charlie Herrin, who only looks almost exactly like Patrick Bateman, has been named Comcast’s senior vice president of customer experience after a fifteen-year run developing the X1 TV Guide. It figures all too well that, after the neverending debacle that has been their customer service history, Comcast still wouldn’t have the sense to bring in an outside hire. Numerous studies of the cable industry suggest that this appointment will have an almost negligible impact on Comcast’s totally soiled customer service reputation, but we could’ve told you that. Oh, wait, we did.
[Image via Gawker]
Well, maybe, but not yet. At least, not officially. The lovely Gawker has a bracket up for the somewhat inspired but more just mean-spirited America’s Ugliest Accent Tournament, and you can bet Hoagiemouth is in the running (specifically for “wooder” as regional nomenclature for the compound H20, in Gawker’s words our “preferred non-Yuengling beverage” but what the fuck do they know?) The tournament kicked off yesterday with Boston up against Baltimore and LA against Chicago, but keep checking back, because our season opener ought to be any day now, with Memphis as our inaugural opponent. Our projection? They don’t stand a chance. A Southern drawl is no match for Northern drool.
September 29, 2014
This fascinating story in Forbes highlights quaint little Lititz, PA. Why Lititz? Over the years, the small town has quietly become host to a naturally-occurring cluster of businesses that service the large-scale concert tour industry — think U2′s giant claw (not the metaphorical one in your iPhone but the actual thing they took on tour a few years back) or Katy Perry’s lights and pyro. It turns out, this is all big business in Lititz — big enough, in fact, that the town is helping out with a new effort to help existing businesses in this industry expand, as well as attract new ones:
The fact that these companies were thriving while the rest of the country was in the midst of a recession was not lost on the town’s leadership. They gave their support for what is poised to become rock n’ roll touring’s most important industry cluster.
The result is a 96-acre campus called Rock Lititz that will house office buildings, a training facility, and shared meeting and recreational spaces. It will be what University of Toronto professor Richard Florida calls a “place-based ecosystem,” a physical hub for creativity, innovation and industry growth. It will enable a variety of businesses that serve the same clients to learn from each other, benefit from economies of scale and innovate.
Well, hey: Rock on, Lititz!
My Favorite Place – Carmen Garden Skating Rink from Hidden City Philadelphia on Vimeo.
In anticipation of their big 3rd Anniversary Party for Hidden City Daily this Friday, the Hidden City peeps have released this clip of Germantown Ave.’s Carmen Garden Skating Rink, which has been rollin’ since the 1930s. Said party is in the same venue, and if you are the kind of monster for whom the very phrase “roller skating party” is somehow not enough enticement, do take a look at this. You may need to readjust your priorities.
If you’ve ever wanted a sketch comedy show to inform your opinions on what it means to be black, then you’d better take a trip to the Adrienne Theater on Thursday and Friday this week. Jonathan Braylock (pictured), a writer, performer, director and actor on UCB’s Lloyd Team “Astronomy Club” will be presenting The Black Experience, a “no-holds-barred journey through the ins and outs of the African American experience.” Jonathan is one of the funniest people in New York City, which is a very large and very funny place, so trust me when I say this show is not to be missed. Thursday/Friday 7:30 PM, $8/$10 in advance.
It’s tough for a monthly comedy showcase to really cash in on the Halloween season when their show is early in the month. It is for this exact reason that Hey We’re Cool will host the “Too Early for a Halloween Show Show” on Thursday at L’Etage. The show will feature material that will most likely not be related to Halloween, written and performed by local sketch comedians Caitlin Weigle, Joe Moore, Quinton Alexander and Emily Moore. There is going to be plenty of time to celebrate Halloween; give yourself off from the month-long Halloween Party Thursday. Thursday 8PM, $5 at the door.
On Thursday, Ryan T. Barlow hosts the who’s who of “who’s who?” at People of Interest at the Adrienne Theater. Ryan will meet with for improvisers for a public-radio style interview with one big catch — none of the performers know what character they are until Ryan introduces them. If you like your entertainment with a little squirming, this show is for you. This month’s guests are Hunter Steffes, Tara Demmy, Anthony Carter, and Lizzie Spellman. Thursday 10:30PM, $8 in advance.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve read something on Yelp and thought, “Oh boy, I sure would never want to meet this person IRL. SMH.” I’ve probably thought that to myself twice already today and I haven’t even gotten out of bed yet. Well, I promise, on Friday I’m going to betray that conventional wisdom and head to The Spiral Bookcase in Manayunk. Local comedian and all around fun guy Gregg Gethard will bring to life “Karl G.” a lovable sad-sack that Gethard has invented in a series of informative and over-sharing Yelp reviews. Gregg/Karl G. will be joined by Chip Chantry, Jaime Fountaine, and Sally Burtnick. Friday, 7PM. Free.
– 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.
Back on September 14th, Sebastian Petsu put on another installment of his Double Decker Music Series, wherein he curates concerts on double decker busses that drive around Philly. It’s an idea so great that we wish it happened nightly. This time around, the DDMS featured Marissa Paternoster of Screaming Females, performing as Noun, and Rat Catching. Paternoster, as you can see/hear, performed the PJ Harvey classic “Dry.” More video from that night here. Petsu says the Double Decker Music Series will return in spring and summer 2015.
Do you like to be angry? (Duh, you’re here. Of course you do.) In that case, bookmark http://politicaladsleuth.com/political-files/dma/504/. There, thanks to a collab between Internet Archive/Sunlight Foundation/Committee of Seventy/University of Delaware, you’ll be able see who is spending what on local TV ad buys as Election Day draws near. And when you do, it is likely that you won’t want to vote for anyone. But please resist that temptation. Disgust does not actually count as a vote. It’s more of a naturally-occurring medical condition.
Over 1,000 people attended the March To End Rape Culture in Center City on Saturday, making it the march’s largest attendance since it began four years ago as the controversially titled Slut-Walk. Marching against a broad spectrum of issues under the umbrella of rape culture — including transphobia, sexualization of rape, street harassment, silencing survivors, consent, and intimate partner violence — the crowd gathered at Thomas Paine Plaza, passing by City Hall en route to Rittenhouse Square, then down Locust St and ending back in Thomas Paine Plaza. Speakers included Tarana Burke (Just Be Inc), Samantha Jo (Trans* Health Conference and Mizzoni Center), Preeti Pathak (PAVE Philly), Qui Alexander (Philly Stands Up!), Amanda Geraci (Take Back the Night) and Robin Strough (WOAR). More photos here.
[Photo: Darragh Dandurand]