May 21, 2015

This Weekend: Time To Sit Back And Unwind

THURSDAY:

>>> David Cronenberg‘s 1986 remake of the 1950s cheesefest The Fly is one of the decade’s best films, taking his carefully crafted body horror oeuvre to the next level. So you can imagine our disdain when we learned that the film will be the focus of tonight’s Mega-Bad Movie Night at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Fortunately, we were relieved to discover that the panelists — including Kennedy Allen of the Black Tribbles podcast — will not be MST3King the movie itself, but rather poking holes in its various scientific inaccuracies. Something we are totally cool with because teleporters would make life so much easier all around.

>>> The final Wine & Wilde event is going down at the Rosenbach, with a talk by Allen Crawford entitled “Oscar Wilde’s Aestheticism” that will be as informative as it is tricky to spell.

>>> Related to the previous event, The Smiths Social is back at the Troc with Morrissey and Marr music from The 18th Pale Descendants. We would go out tonight, but we haven’t got a stitch to wear.

>>> The Urban Geek Drinks: Post-Election Defrag Edition event at Frankford Hall will let you schmooze and discuss politics while drinking huge-ass beers. You approve of at least one of those things at the very least, so go.

>>> Mural Arts’ Off the Wall Ball at the Electric Factory is a fundraising opportunity to give back to the program that has become an integral part of Philly’s cultural landscape.

>>> A screening of the documentary Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, D.C. at Drexel will show how, holy shit, real life sometimes is like Fugazi.

>>> FEELING GOOD: The Sun-Ra Arkestra under the direction of Marshall Allen hits the Ardmore Music Hall. Yes yes yes.

>>> TireFire Readings return to Tattooed Mom, with unmissable words and insights from Jeff Parker, Christian Tebordo, Dan Torday and Jaime Fountaine.

>>> World Party plays World Cafe Live. We’re still trying to figure out “Is It Like Today?”

FRIDAY:

>>> Spruce Street Harbor Park opens for its second year! If you weren’t already sold on the summer hang, you will be thanks to some great new programming and partnerships from the DRWC (sigh, and yes, more hammocks). Kicking things off tonight will be the debut of the Visit Philly Beer Garden Series. Your body will thank you, even if your liver doesn’t. Expect much more on Spruce Street Harbor Park in the now-hopeful days ahead.

>>> Pig Iron Theater Company’s I Promised Myself To Live Faster opens at FringeArts, bringing with it a dazzling, science fiction-tinged effort inspired by the works of Charles Ludlam that appears to be a gloriously gay mash-up of Greek legends and Barbarella camp. Two great tastes that taste beyond great together.

SATURDAY:

>>> The Blue Cross Riverrink Summerfest is now underway as well, bringing with it a brand new roller skating rink that JUST OPENED and a corresponding retro DJ set tonight from a man who knows everything about “Summertime,” Jazzy Jeff. The vibes are everywhere this weekend, aren’t they?

>>> Freak folkers On The Water are celebrating the release of their new effort, Cordelia, with a record release party at PhilaMOCA that will see the band joined by like-minded acts such as Impressionist and Liz and the Lost Boys.

>>> Invisible River’s “Flying River Dance” at Spruce Street Harbor Park does the impossible by bringing real beauty to the Delaware.

>>> Stones Night at Underground Arts will let you get your ya-yas out through performances by Rolling Stones tribute acts Brown Sugar, Nasty Habits (doing Let It Bleed in its entirety) and Dead Flowers.

>>> More tribute acts: The Rent-A-Cops (The Police) and Krush (Rush) are at World Cafe Live. This weekend is weird.

>>> The Art Star Pop Up Shop begins a summer residency at, you guessed it, Spruce Street Harbor Park. Stop on by and get some locally made crafffffftttttttsssss.

>>> Talkin ’bout Pop Musik at The Dolphin with DJ Robert Drake playing those perfect ’80s jams.

SUNDAY:

>>> Punk Rock Flea Market debuts at Spruce Street Harbor Park, where will it will run weekly throughout the summer. That scream you just heard was us losing our goddamned minds with excitement over this.

>>> Or you could just spend Sunday night at the 700 catching up with all of the old heads while DJ Jeremy Grites plays the sweet sounds.

MONDAY

>>> It’s Memorial Day, and you probably aren’t doing anything but eating burgers and/or watching Jaws.

Film Sweat: I Love You Tomorrow, You’re Only A Day Away

Philebs is taking tomorrow off to get an early start on the holiday weekend, so here’s your Film Sweat!

RECOMMENDED: Will Tommorowland be a new franchise-starting blockbuster or is it merely a misguided Objectivist parable? We are hearing reports that suggest both of these things, which kinda just makes us want to see it more. Taking inspiration from the Disneyland attraction and then bouncing off onto weird tangents from there, this seems like a return to the fun George Clooney roles that we have been missing without realizing. Admittedly this could be because of the sheer volume of Over Our Heads-era The Facts of Life we’ve been watching of late, but it’s nice to see George not being all womp womp on screen. Better still is that the film is playing at the Prince Music Theater, which will kick off a nice new phase for the venue now that it is in the hands of the Philadelphia Film Society.

ALSO NEW IN THEATERS THIS WEEK: Janus Films‘ stunning restoration of Satyajit Ray‘s The Apu Trilogy will once again turn attention to how the film is a defining moment in world cinema; In the Name of My Daughter is a French drama about love and betrayal that is set in 1976 and stars Catherine Deneuve; and Poltergeist is a remake of the 1980s Tobe Hooper horror effort that will prove once and for all that Sam Rockwell is no Craig T. Nelson; I’ll See You in My Dreams is an indie ensemble drama that looks ripped right from the 90s, and we mean that as a compliment; Far from the Madding Crowd brings Thomas Hardy‘s literary classic to life with help from the always great Carey Mulligan; and Lambert and Stamp is a must see documentary about the men who made The Who happen.

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.

FYI: New Photography Exhibition Celebrates City Halls Peregrine Falcons

Gah! You see this adorable little fella? He’s one of a family of Peregrine Falcons that calls City Hall tower home. The endangered species will take the spotlight in the new photography exhibition Philadelphia’s City Hall Peregrines. Featuring photographs by Pennsylvania Game Commission volunteers and local falcon fans alike, the show opens on June 1st in the NE corner of the seventh floor of City Hall. (Which sounds like some artistic bureaucracy but totally isn’t). During a press event tomorrow morning, the PA Game Commission’s Art McMorris will band four baby Peregrines, and we are going to try to clear our schedules to see this because ohmygod are these things totes adorbs. So much so that they make us sound like a middle schooler apparently. Still, awwwwww.



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Right Now In The People’s Republic Of Comcast: Fun With The Comcast Shareholders Meeting!

USSRCAST1Earlier today, Comcast held their 2015 Annual Meeting of Shareholders at the Kimmel Center. You can read the dry details of what formal business was tended to here, but what is really interesting are the concerns raised by shareholders. Along with discussions about income inequality, a press release just issued by citizens advocacy group Common Cause reveals how investors and allied organizations attempted to get Comcast to release lobbying details. After the jump you can read the release in full, and learn about some Comcastic inside baseball. Whee! (more…)

Pattern Is Movement Record “Save Me” For Shaking Through, And They Might Just Be Able To Save All Of Us

What’s that Morrissey line about missing someone who just left? That’s how we feel about the long farewell of Philly’s Pattern Is Movement. Since the 22-year-old group made the announcement last month that they were parting ways following a final tour that wraps up at Johnny Brenda’s on June 20th, it has slowly occurred to us what a void is going to be left by their dissolving. That feeling is only growing after watching the above Shaking Through video in which the hirsute duo record part of their song “Save Me” at Old City’s St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. These videos are still a bit too Portlandia for our tastes, but damn it if there aren’t sincere. You can learn more about this episode and the recording process here. We’re going to miss these dudes.

Previously: R.I.P. Pattern Is Movement



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Recommended Reading: Inga Saffron’s Scathing Critique Of The Plans For The Boyd Theatre Space

Eimer Architecture

Eimer Architecture

We’ve been wondering what would be popping up at around the site of the Boyd Theatre in the wake of that iconic building’s demolition and it looks like we are getting our answer…and it’s not ideal. Site owner Pearl Properties have just released proposed construction concepts from Eimer Architecture in advance of a design review with the Historical Commission this coming Tuesday. The Inquirer‘s Inga Saffron broke the news of this architectural wet fart and she is not happy about it one bit. In fact, she has unleashed a torrent of vitriol upon the proposed construction that is as blunt as it is seemingly accurate:

A filing made public Wednesday shows that Pearl plans to replace the Boyd’s exuberant, art deco auditorium – a triumph of Hollywood’s golden age – with a generic, 341-foot-tall apartment tower wrapped in red, white, and gray metal panels. In addition, a bland, three-story commercial building will be wedged between the Boyd’s old marquee facade and the limestone building that occupies the corner of 19th and Chestnut.

It would be an understatement to say that Pearl’s design is no gem. A charmless, bulky stack of rentable units, it does no justice to the memory of the Boyd or, for that matter, to the lively commercial architecture that lines this stretch of Chestnut Street.

Pearl’s 27-story tower, which will back onto Sansom Street, is a plain rectangular slab that has been broken up by baylike setbacks at the corners, and what look like scrims and inset windows on the east-facing facade. Based on drawings prepared by Eimer Architecture, it appears that structure will be wrapped up with metal panels, now the default on developer-built apartment buildings. That isn’t architecture; it’s a colorful form of weatherproofing.

And it just goes on from there. Saffron makes some extremely valid points about the blahness of contemporary design and how a space with such a rich history demands better. There’s understandable anger to be found about this issue, but even more prevalent is the sadness that comes from realizing that the once-great Boyd might have been lost to bring in a replacement that appears to be forgettable at best. We’ll be watching this project develop with great interest, and, apparently, little hope.

And Now, Today’s GOOD NEWS: Neighborhood Bike Works To Create A Bike Education Hub In West Philly

NBWlogoNeighborhood Bike Works — Philly’s organization dedicated to increasing “opportunities for urban youth in underserved neighborhoods in greater Philadelphia by offering educational, recreational, and career-building opportunities through bicycling” — have furthered their mission with a much welcome announcement yesterday that they will be establishing a community shop and bike education hub on Lancaster Avenue. From the press release:

“By this fall, youth will be building bikes, setting out on rides, and acquiring job skills at our new bike education hub near the intersection of the Mantua, Belmont, and Powelton neighborhoods,” said NBW Executive Director Erin DeCou. “Neighborhood Bike Works has always been a neighborhood institution, but with this move we’ll be closer to
more of the communities we serve.”

The organization’s new headquarters will be at 3939 and 3943 Lancaster Avenue. This site, which is actually two side-by-side storefront properties, is one mile from NBW’s current headquarters. Later this summer, NBW will begin moving out of its current headquarters in the basement of St. Mary’s Church on Locust Walk, at the edge of the University of Pennsylvania campus.

NBW uses bikes as a hook to engage Philly youth, ages 8-18, in healthy development. The organization offers a tiered array of classes and events that instill confidence, inspire health and adventure, and build skills for future success. NBW also hosts adult repair classes and “Bike Church.” Bike Church offers open shop hours for anyone in the community interested in getting help fixing their bike or purchasing affordable donated bikes or bike parts.

To help cover the costs of the move and this new initiative, NBW is attempting to raise $15,000. Those interested in getting involved can do so here.

So there you have it: The world is not totally made of shit. Have you got some good news? If so, send it to tips[at]philebrity[dot]com with “GOOD MOTHERFUCKING NEWS!” in the subject header — we’d love to hear about it.

From The Good Morning Files: Fox 29’s Sweet 16 Poop Party Story

FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

On Sunday, a Sweet 16 celebration in Levittown was thrown into chaos when bodily waste apparently fell out of a plane and onto the party. It’s a horrific tale to be sure, and one the FAA is currently investigating. The strangeness of this event didn’t stop Fox 29 from turning the story into an excuse to make some poop jokes (which PhillyMag has ranked here). You can see the resulting piece above, unless you feel like the local news is, er, shitty enough.

May 20, 2015

This Evening: Baby If You Ever Wondered, Wondered Whatever Became Of Me

>>> The Night Terrors: Hot in the City double feature at PhilaMOCA showcases two unjustly forgotten 1980s action flicks — Siege and Enemy Territory (starring WKRP in Cincinatti‘s Gary Frank and “Ghostbusters” singer Ray Parker, Jr. no less). We recommend checking out this low on budget/high on entertainment flicks for an alternative to the usual summer movie fare. (With the exception of the absolutely stellar Mad Max: Fury Road). Presented by the always interesting Low Culture Media.

>>> High Vibes with Data Garden DJs at the Dolphin will make you feel like dancing through sets from DJs Chris Powell, J. Termini and Joe Patitucci. They’re celebrating music from people all over the world, so definitely jump aboard this love train.

While You Were Getting Ready For Work, City Council’s Website Was Getting Hacked

HackersAs voters were saying out with the old, in with the new (Hi Helen Gym!) to City Council last night, nefarious cyber forces not entirely unlike the ones faced by Sandra Bullock in The Net were conspiring against PHLCouncil.com. CBS Philly is reporting that the website was hacked this morning by an “international underground hacking team” who replaced the site’s usual content with alleged information on their group and their religious beliefs. After being locked out of the site for two hours, the site was restored to normal and the following statement was issued:

We have no information on who is behind the hacking. The website software has been updated to address vulnerabilities. To be clear, PHLCouncil.com is hosted separately from the City government’s website. No City information that would be deemed sensitive was ever compromised or accessed. The Police Department and OIT have been informed and are working with City Council to prevent future attacks.

So all’s well that ends well right? Sure. Just as long as this doesn’t become a basis for a CSI: Cyber episode, because that show is grim.

WXPN’s Michaela Majoun To Leave The Airwaves Next Month

michaela-majoun197x150For the past 25 years, Michaela Majoun has hosted the XPN Morning Show, easing listeners into the day in the most soothing, Kasey Chambers-heavy rotating way possible. It seems incomprehensible to imagine WXPN without her, but that’s what we’re all going to have to do because she is leaving on June 30th. From The Key:

I’m leaving to pursue writing,” Majoun says. “I’m working on a couple of things right now. I’m finishing a screenplay to submit for a competition. I’m also working with a historian I recently visited in New Orleans to turn one of her books into a television series.”

Majoun, who also helped break new artists with the Women’s Music Hour during that show’s time on the air and is a staple on Philly’s arts/culture/charity scene (and, according to the Key piece, also worked on Designing Women before coming here, wow) will be a much-missed presence. Whatever the future holds for her we hope it is happy. And pledge drive free, obvs.

Attention Fellow Franklin Fans: The 76ers Get The Third Pick In Next Month’s NBA Draft


With the 76ers dusting themselves off from a poor season (one that had a silver lining in the form of the magnificent Franklin), the team is looking to next month’s NBA Draft to turn their fortunes around. Already luck might be on their side. During last night’s NBA Draft Lottery event, the team landed the third overall pick. We’ll see who they land during the Draft on June 25th at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. In an e-mail released by the team, some interesting sports synchronicities were brought to life:

The Sixers had a 15.6% chance of receiving the #3 pick, with a 46.9% chance of getting a top-three pick.

The 2015 NBA Draft will mark the 4th time in franchise history that the Sixers have had the 3rd selection in the draft.

Will any of this make a lick of difference when the squad returns to the court later this year? And, more importantly, will Franklin be wearing a tux to the Draft? We can’t wait to see!

Make Your Wednesday Afternoon Considerably Spookier With Honus Honus’ Indie Horror Movie Song

The upcoming indie horror film Dig Two Graves has a kooky and altogether ooky local angle as Ryan Kattner (AKA Man Man‘s Honus Honus) co-wrote and performed the film’s “He’s So Evil.” We think of this song as the merging of The Pixies‘ “Silver” and pretty much everything 16 Horsepower ever did, so yeah, we’re into it. Even though it’s way early, this one is already on our Halloween playlists. Mwah hah hah.

Noontime Nuggetz: The 1974 Flyers Stanley Cup Parade Was 40 Years Ago Today

When the Flyers won the Stanley Cup in 1974, the city erupted with such joy that the ensuing celebratory ticker-tape parade (held 40 years ago today) spawned the persistent Philly urban legend that South Broad Street can hold two million people. That estimated number is a bit of an exaggeration for sure, yet one look at the above footage illustrates how mobbed the streets were with supporters of the Broad Street Bullies coming out to see their hockey heroes up close. And dig that WFIL double decker bus!

The Big Band Theory Festival Brings Much-Needed Summer Vibes To South Jersey Next Week

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The Cars famously once sang “summer, summer, summer, it’s like a merry-go-round.” Indeed. And as we are mere days away from the unofficial launch of this seasonal amusement park ride, we are feeling like we want to see people and hear music in an outdoor setting ASAP. That’s where the dubiously named Big Band Theory Festival comes in. We may not know what the fuck “bazinga” means, but we are more than certain that we dig a nice outdoor show. With sets from Ron Gallo, The Lawsuits, Pine Barons,Whaler, The Lazer Jackson, When Ships Collide, and others, this May 30th day of fun will be just that. The location? South Jersey’s increasingly legendary Flying W Airport and Resort. It’s no imaginary Sheryl Crow concert, but it’ll do nicely.

Could November’s Mayoral Race Come Down To Jim Kenney vs. Bill Green?

Twitter_pic_400x400While Jim Kenney was being voted for by Democrats throughout our area yesterday, former city councilman/current School Reform Commission Chairman Bill Green is eying his next move…in the coyest way possible. In a chat with the Daily News‘ John Baer, he vaguely seems to suggest that he still might be mulling running for mayor as an independent candidate:

When I ask about Kenney’s biggest challenges, Green says, “The concept [of writing] about what the Democratic nominee might face is getting a little ahead of itself.”

Long pause.

I regroup. Remembering that Green, in March, changed registration from Democrat to “no affiliation,” I ask, “Uh, maybe I should be asking if you intend to run for mayor.”

“When a majority of a nominee’s own party votes against him, that should not determine the next mayor,” he said. (He turned out to be wrong about that. Kenney got more than 50 percent.)

Beyond that, an additional 22 percent of voters (Republicans and independents) had no say.

Uh-oh. This sounds suspiciously like an independent candidacy in the making.

So, I say, “That sounds suspiciously like an independent candidacy in the making.”

He responds, “That’s all I’m going to say about that.”

Furthering his frustrating will he/won’t he media tour, he also spoke noncommittally to Philly.com, and this interview with CBS Philly has Green stating “I don’t have any plans other than to continue to serve as a commissioner right now.” And this is where things get tricky. Yesterday’s voters let their voices be heard by stating they wanted to see an end to the School Reform Commission. So in the not-too-distant future Green might have some time to kill, making an Independent mayoral run seem likely. If so, the race just got considerably more interesting — not to mention contentious.

This Moment In Optimism: Jim Kenney’s Victory Speech Envisions A Philadelphia Working Together

Barring any unforeseen complications (more on that in a minute), Jim Kenney‘s landslide win in last night’s primary assures his place as next mayor of Philadelphia. In his victory speech last evening, Kenney reiterated the “we’re all in this together” vibe that got his campaign this far. You can see a clip from the speech above, his remarks in their entirety are featured after the jump. (more…)

ICYMI: With Yesterday’s Election Also Came The #PHL2015ROAST!

Good morning Philadelphia! How’s everyone feeling on this post-election Wednesday? Let’s start this day off with some larfs, shall we? In a night that saw Jim Kenney win, Ori Feibush lose and Philly political dynasties fall, we took to Twitter for the first (and almost certainly not last) #PHL2015ROAST. Here’s a rundown of the evening’s festivities:




More after the jump! (more…)

May 19, 2015

This Evening: We Want To Get Loaded And We Want To Have A Good Time

>>> Did you vote? You should vote. Even Spider-Man thinks so. Though, truth be told, we get the “withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy” thing too. Conflicted!

>>> Is it 1991 already? Because Primal Scream is playing the TLA. We’re not complaining one bit about this, trust us. It’s just that this one snuck up on us, and suddenly we are having flashbacks to our Screamadelica days back in high school. So, #bringbaggyback?

>>> Chilean trance rockers Föllakzoid play Johnny Brenda’s tonight and you will be absolutely hypnotized by their musical magic. Their stuff is some Don Draper-omming type bliss (timely reference, bro!) that you won’t want to skip. Say it with us: “I loved it, it was better than Cats, I’m going to see it again and again.”

>>> New York Times columnist David K. Shipler is at Central Library for what we’re guessing will be a rousing and relevant discussion of his just-released book Freedom of Speech: Mightier Than the Sword.

How We Live Now: 227-Inspired Reality Show Wants To Film Your Wacky Apartment Building

Oh the e-mails we get. A reality show production team is looking to create a reality show full of wacky neighbors living — and perhaps even loving? — together. And they want to bring this televisual masterpiece here, even though Three’s Company and Too Close For Comfort (God, how old are we?) aren’t actually accurate examples of viable living arrangements. Dig it:

From the producers of Child Genius and America’s Supernanny, Shed Media has teamed up with Popular Productions to bring you a new concept based around neighborly friendship. This brand-new docu-series inspired by the hit ’80s sitcom 227 is looking for an urban apartment complex with diverse, middle-class neighbors pursuing the American Dream. We are also open to a large extended family living in close proximity within one neighborhood.

Do you live in a building where your neighbors have become your extended family? Are you the owner/manager of a brownstone where the tenants are larger-than-life characters who interact with each other?

We’re looking for urban families and diverse residents from the surrounding areas of Philadelphia, Memphis, and DC living in the same apartment complexes, condos, bungalows, co-ops, communities, brownstones, four-plexes, and walk-ups for an exciting new series about life in the city. This new multicultural project will highlight the daily struggles, triumphs, and real issues of middle-class America. If you live in a place where it takes a village and your neighbors act like one big crazy family, then please contact us ASAP.

Submit your name, age, phone number, email, location and photos of yourself and your home to: tanjacasting@gmail.com

Also share with us what makes living in your building special and different.

Oh Mary indeed. We’re totally thinking that The Piazza is perfect for this. Well maybe not perfect, but certainly deserving. Wonder how flexible the producers are on the middle-class thing?