August 19, 2014

Paul Ryan Book Tour Kicks Off Tomorrow, Right Here In Philly

You may remember Paul Ryan from 2012 Republic presidential ticket fame. Ryan’s book, The Way Forward, recently hit Christian gift shops everywhere. According to the Amazon product description, “The Way Forward challenges conventional thinking, outlines his political vision for 2014 and beyond, and shows how essential conservatism is for the future of our nation.Beginning with a careful analysis of the 2012 election – including a look at the challenge the GOP had in reaching a majority of voters and the prevalence of identity politics – Rya examines the state of the Republican party and dissects its challenges the country to certain ruin.” Cool.

The book tour kicks off at the Philly Union League tomorrow evening and will end at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California.

This Evening: Echo Of The Past

>>> Whether you consider Echo & The Bunnymen the most annoying band of the 80s or the most kind of awesome band of the 80s, you can’t deny that they were one of the bands of the 80s. One of the first bands to be known for playing with a drum machine (assumed by many to be the eponymous Echo), the Bunnymen are responsible for such embarrassing quasi-gems as “The Killing Moon,” “A Promise” and “The Cutter”. If you don’t want to go back to the age of matching sky-high pompadours, we can’t blame you. But if you do, head to Union Transfer tonight. Because after all, without Echo & The Bunnymen, there would probably be no Radiohead. Although, there would also probably be no Coldplay.

>>> Also: The Philadelphia Moth Storyslam is tonight at World Café Live, and The Beta Hi-Fi Emerging Music Festival begins tonight at World Café Live upstairs, featuring Valerie Broussard, Paige Allbritton, Jacqueline Constance, and Vertical Current.

MP3 Of The Moment: Mumblr, “Roach”

Okay, so we already threw Mumblr an MP3 Of The Moment a little over a week ago, but if they’re going to world premiere another banger every ten days or so until their album drops next month, we’re going to have to continue to up them here. While “Philadelphia” was a slightly more overt throwback to that moment we’re all dying to return to now when the cloud of grunge slowly dissipated to reveal the still-grey sky of lo-fi indie, “Roach” looks back with a little more distance. Subtly dream-poppy vocals hang out above the rhythm section’s clean AM indie groove until the guitar cuts it in half with bursts of fuzz that build to a solo worthy of Pavement’s harshest outtake. Thank Philadelphia for the only band that knows that Unwound are way cooler than Modest Mouse, but Modest Mouse are still also cool, kind of.


Temple Faculty Member Sues For Denied Promotions, Has A Pretty Convincing Case

This is a litigious time for Temple. reported yesterday that an academic advisor, Kenneth L. Ruff, is now suing for multiple missed promotions due to racial discrimination based on an ugh-tastic reverse racism paper written by one of his bosses in 2010. The paper in question states: “Therein he wrote ‘I sense that I am always limited by my identity as a white, middle-class male of protestant background. . . . I’m still suspect of my own intentions, aware of my subconscious desire for self-preservation/promotion and the [white] privilege granted to me unwittingly.” Yup, those are real words written by a real academic.

Captain Freeshit: Oh Man, We Are Just Giving These Die Antwoord Tickets Away

When Die Antwoord surfaced in 2009, I have a clear memory of watching the Enter the Ninja video on a Dell desktop in my school library. “I don’t like this at all,” I thought, opening a package of Gushers. I was a senior in high school and I was terrified by a rapping ninja with progeria.

It took the Baby’s on Fire video to win me back. Everyone’s clothes in this video adhere to some next-level pastel aesthetics, especially Yo-Landi’s shirt that says “WHO NEEDS TITS” on the front and “WITH AN ASS LIKE THIS” on the back. I’ve embedded it below for your convenience. It’s probably not safe for work, but I also don’t know where you work.

I think what’s so endearing about Die Antwoord is that for all we know, they could be some kind of Afrikaner Spinal Tap. They’re just so earnest and unapologetically bizarre.

ANYWHO, we’re giving away a pair of tickets to see Die Antwoord live at the Electric Factory’s outdoor stage on September 5th.

To enter to win tickets, email ihopeiwin[at]philebrity[dot]com with “YO-LANDI 5EVA” 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.


Yes, Mo’Ne Davis Really Is The Most Positive Presence In The Media Right Now

Many articles and news segments have appeared recently asserting that Mo’Ne Davis’ consistently stunning performance in the Little League World Series is offering the nation hope at a time when violence at home and abroad are breaking spirits and shattering hearts. While the nation is outraged over the loss of an unarmed young black man to senseless police violence, there is also inspiration and joy to go around thanks to the young black female pitcher with skills as a baseball player that speak beyond her age, race, gender and generation to fix her as a legendary athlete regardless of any classification. Mo’Ne’s supporters at home (Philebrity aggressively among them) are no more vocal than her supporters nation- and worldwide, who now include John Oliver, Rachel Maddow, Lil’ Wayne and Michelle Obama. As The Inquirer reports, academic James B. Peterson, who chairs Lehigh’s Department of Africana Studies, believes that “We need this story right now, to uplift us at a time of great sorrow.”

Mo’Ne’s achievements are not to be dismissed, belittled, or pondered too hastily. She is now the first girl to shut out another team at the World Series of Little League, beyond being one of only eighteen girls to play at the Series in its history. The Taney Dragons’ Series opener was not Mo’Ne’s first shutout. She is now pitching no-hitters regularly. While many compare her skill and success as a pitcher to that of Clayton Kershaw, her 70 MPH fastball invites no comparison. It is her own. As she told the press herself, and as everyone agreed, she throws her fastball like Mo’Ne Davis.

Mo’Ne is also just as inspiring as a media personality as she is as a player, maybe because her media personality is not a media personality. She doesn’t perform in front of television cameras as if she has been groomed for them. She speaks honestly, evenly, and without affect, because she doesn’t need performance or affect. She is confident enough to be who she is, whether she’s feeling playful and ready to meet the attention she is now receiving constantly with life and wit, or she’s indifferent to the attention because she’s more interested in the game. This confidence is natural, but it’s also earned. Mo’Ne is more than aware that she doesn’t have to go out of her way to impress anyone.

Should Mo’Ne’s ability to invigorate and amaze change the way we process everything else that’s causing us so much anger and despair? Yes, and no. The ebb and flow of the news cycle shouldn’t, and won’t, allow us to forget about or ignore the very real tragedy we’ve seen and the larger questions it’s brought forth. Violence can’t be undone, and it can’t be balanced by any kind of victory. But the truth is, we really are happy about Mo’Ne. There’s no denying it and there’s no reason to play it down. Compared to this year’s Little League World Series, The World Cup seems like a distant murmur of excitement that’s already lost its power, which is probably a sentence that’s never been written or spoken before. People are really losing it over this girl, and they really want to see her kill it and kill it and kill it again until she kills it all the way to the top. So let’s watch her do it. Let’s not ignore what’s really hurting us, but let’s not ignore what’s really worth celebrating.

Noontime Nuggetz: Voguing All Over SEPTA

I’m calling it now: this is my all-time favorite Noontime Nug. Philly-based dancer and choreographer, Kemar Jewel, organized a voguing expedition all the Broad Street Line. The mom in me just hopes they wash their hands.

Philly Is A Nexus For Unjust Civil Forfeiture And WHYY Wants To Talk About It

Civil forfeiture is a legal action where private property is seized because the property itself was involved in a crime e.g. houses and rental properties where drugs are sold, usually unbeknownst to the landlord or property owner. Philadelphia is a hot spot for civil forfeiture. WHYY brought together Beth Grossman of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and Lou Rulli, a University of Pennsylvania professor, to discuss the implications of civil forfeiture for communities. Grossman is frustratingly uncritical of the racist and classist implications of the war on drugs, but what can you expect from the District Attorney’s Office?

Pope Francis Will Either Visit Philly Or String Us Along Forever

For the moment, at least — and let’s hold on to this moment for as long as we can, for however sweet it is, who knows how fleeting it may turn out to be — it seems as if Pope Francis, whose attentions we’ve craved and craved and for which we’ve vied and vied, is in fact planning to visit Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families in 2015. Or, at the very least, to continue to tease us with tentative promises in soft Italian. The Super Chill Pope has still not confirmed that he intends to visit, but he has at least acknowledged our invitations and indicated that he is interested in coming to the States to visit Philadelphia and two smaller cities of lesser national regard, New York City and Washington, DC. We don’t know what inspired the Pope to articulate his interest with renewed enthusiasm, or at least clarity, but locals have been speculating for some time that he has been itching to hit up Pat’s Steaks. Perhaps he finally saw the sign, so to speak.

High Schoolers Continue To Threaten To Take Our Jobs

2013 Freshmen Select– Fall Line from Freshmen Select on Vimeo.

If you read our recent piece about the students at The Haverford School who, with the help of the Temple University Apps and Maps Program, developed their own app to map local crime in North Philly, you remember that we hypothesized that it might be high school students leading the charge in the worlds of tech innovation and civic reform in the near future. Apparently we weren’t speaking broadly enough. Partly thanks to support from the Lower Merion School District’s Innovation Center, three recent Philadelphia area high school graduates are seeing success as the co-owners of an independent clothing startup called Freshmen Select. Austen Tom, Mike Robbins and Bryce Williamson are now in college studying accounting (Robbins) and business (Tom, Williamson), but they founded Freshmen Select as their collaborative senior project in high school. The Innovation Center has worked with many prospective startups since its launch, including the comparably successful Ace the Ram Records and Wiz Kid Communications. The first time teenagers make big news by making big money, it comes as a surprise, but it doesn’t take long to get your head around it as a general trend. Kids know what’s new, what’s cool, and what will ultimately sell better than anyone. The children are not our future. They are our present.

August 18, 2014

Today In Men’s Rights: Former Temple Student Manipulates Title IX, Is Generally Gross

An unnamed Temple student who was expelled for sexually assaulting another student in 2012 is suing the university for gender discrimination under Title IX. The lawsuit claims that the student was allowed neither a lawyer, nor an opportunity to cross-examine the woman who brought charges against him. Nevermind the fact that it was a school hearing with a faculty jury and the destructive power-dynamic between victims of sexual assault and their assailants.

Here, presented without comment, is a list of things that are more likely to happen to men than be falsely accused of rape.

Blessed Are The Transparent, For They Shall Inherit Political Office

The’s Andrew Straub dished out some quality insights into PA’s gubernatorial race today. Straub predicts that Corbett could still be re-elected despite his current rock-bottom approval ratings. The race will boil down to which candidate can appear the least shady:

Both campaigns have repeatedly accused the other of transparency failures or “hiding” from issues as the race intensifies in the dog days of summer. It’s must-see political theater, but it has raised legitimate questions about transparency, too.

Wolf’s campaign refuses to release crucial tax information and let’s be honest, he’s too rich not to be hiding something. Corbett’s Education Secretary, Ron Tomalis, made a single phone call each day of his tenure. Records show he also sent a total of 5 emails during his entire tenure. In a misguided defense of Tomalis, Education Secretary Carolyn Dumeresq admitted to ignoring public records ethics by heavily cleaning out her own inbox each day.

In summation: Wolf and Corbett need to act like forthcoming, honest bros because voters like forthcoming, honest bros.

We’d like to take this opportunity to admit that there are over 24,000 unread emails in the inbox. At least you’re aware now.

This Evening: Go Back To The Basement

>>> Now that they’ve returned from their two-year hiatus with the recent EP Further Sky, Basement are coming back to Union Transfer to bring their signature brand of textured emo with guests Superheaven, Pity Sex and Ovlov.

>>> Tonight’s bout of low-key but high-minded indie-folk revelry comes via Erica Russo and The Good Sport, who along with Bevelers will be making your evening at Greenline Cafe just a little more meditative and poignant than usual.

>>> Also, if you missed it last week, you can catch Jay Davidson’s Drunk Piano, the smoking, drinking, cabaret burlesque rager that you can usually only catch on a monthly basis, again tonight at 10 PM at Underground Arts.

The Week Ahead In Comedy: Flat Earth, Dog Mountain, Outer Space


It’s about time Lonely Space Vixens got their time to shine. On Wednesday, The Tressel Inn will be hosting Lonely Space Vixens from Outer Space – a fun filled variety and comedy show that will leave us all wondering, how did those Space Vixens get  to be so lonely? Your hosts for the evening will be Landicosa (Nikki Black) and Ishtar (Libby Reindl). Audience Participation will be encouraged, so bring your thinking cap and they also serve alcohol at the Tressel Inn so bring your booze money. Wednesday, Doors at 8:30PM, $5.

On Thursday and Friday, two goofy-named sketch groups, The Flat Earth and Dog Mountain will go toe-to-toe at the Adrienne Theater for a sketch show battle in which only the audience could possibly win! If you are a fan of pre-writen, rehearsed comedy with a satiric bite and long socks, this show is for you. Besides being funny and handsome, these groups each spent a number of years studying how to name Sketch Groups in an institute in Tibet. Think you could come up with a better group name? Show up and let them know! Thursday/Friday, Doors at 8:30PM, $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

And on Friday at 10:30PM The Adrienne Theater hosts one of Philadelphia’s Top 7 Funniest Game Shows What’s My Line. Host Dave Metter has got a gaggle of bizarrely employed specimens for a panel of some of Philly’s Funniest to try and decipher. This month’s panel is: Molly EichelJim Grammond, Alex Pearlman, and Elise Thomson-Hohl. If you’re the kind of person who prides themselves on your detective, make sure you close your eyes at the start of the round so you can guess along. If you are a normal human who just enjoys laughing and doesn’t need to prove anything to yourself, keep your eyes open. Friday, Show at 10:30PM@10 adv, $12 at the door.

– 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

You Still Have Time To Register For Diner En Noir

As we announced last week, Philebrity is the official media sponsor for Diner En Noir, which will take place Thursday night at a still-undisclosed top-secret location. You still have time to reserve your tickets, but not much time: the reservation period ends Wednesday at 12 PM. You know how we feel about Diner En Blanc, and we hope you feel the same way. If you do, you’ll get decked out in black and join us for a BYOB picnic with DJ Robert Drake, The West Philadelphia Orchestra, and a slew of local vendors. So far nearly 300 have contributed to this event, all of the proceeds of which will go to Philabundance. Open up your black heart, throw on your black duds, and join them.

Captain Freeshit: Win Tickets To See IFC’s The Trip to Italy Before Anyone Else

The Trip to Italy is the sequel to 2010′s The Trip, which is the only movie on Netflix I’ve ever watched in one sitting. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon play food critics on a foodie tour around northern England. The movie is entirely Coogan and Brydon tearing into each other in a Range Rover, from matching twin beds in shared hotel rooms, and at small plate restaurants. The IFC-produced follow-up is more of the same, except in Italy. We’re giving away two tickets to the Ritz Five’s advanced screening this Thursday at 7:30pm.

To enter to win tickets, email ihopeiwin[at]philebrity[dot]com with “TRIP 2 ITALY” 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 will pick winners by tomorrow at 3pm, so you’ll have time to ask a date.

Beanie Sigel Is Out Of Prison And Hopefully About To Revamp New Dawn Of Beans

When Beanie Sigel went to prison on charges of tax evasion, we were sympathetic, but we couldn’t really be outraged. After the strong period during which he unpacked the term “swag” on YouTube and settled his beef with Jay-Z with impressive grace, Beanie made so little effort to fight the charges leveled against him that we suspected that he might have actually been trying to go to jail. We also suspected at that time that his sentencing might interfere with what could have been the dawning of a new era for Beanie, who had just signed to Ruffhouse Records after slowly but steadily gathering more positive attention from the media, or at least from us. Beanie has now been transferred to a reentry facility, where he will be until Dec. 9th, at which point, hopefully, he’ll pick up where he left off. Until then, welcome back, Beans.

Right Now In The People’s Republic Of Comcast: Time Warner Merger May Be Illegal, At Least In California And New York

USSRCASTToday in Monopoly is more than just a Parker Brothers’ game: the Latin Post reports that California and New York states are reviewing the legality of Comcast and Time Warner’s impending merger. Comcast announced their 45 billion dollar bid for Time Warner in February. If it passes anti-Monopoly regulations, the merger would conglomerate 44 million Americans’ internet, media, and broadband access under the same godless corporation. Veritable robber barons!

Worn Stories Book Trailer Features Music From Jeff Zeigler And Mary Lattimore, As Well As Weird Floating Shirts

The track we previewed from Jeff Zeigler and Mary Lattimore‘s new Thrill Jockey release a couple of weeks back in the run-up to their performance at the Kensington Picnic has just resurfaced at The Rumpus, accompanying a book trailer for Worn Stories, the new collection edited by Emily Spivack and featuring John Hodgman, Sasha Frere-Jones and Marina Abramovic. We dug the track in the first place because Zeigler’s production is both totally out there and totally on point, and because Lattimore is making the harp our new favorite instrument. How best to bring out this track’s dreamlike allure? Throw it in a video with a bunch of swirling pajamas in the foreground.

Dead Body Won’t Stop People from Saying Cheese in Front of the Love Statue

photo (1)

On Saturday in Love Park, performance artist Keith Wallace protested Mike Brown’s murder and current police state in Ferguson, MO. Wallace lay beneath the Love sculpture with four bullet wounds in his back and lo, people sidestepped him and took photos with the Love sculpture anyways. While Wallace is obscured in group photos, his body is conspicuous and gory as fuck in the shots where just one person is posing.

Looking at the protest photos is really difficult. Like, who ordered the perfect metaphor for the myth of post-racial America with a side of horrible white people? To see more photos and first-hand accounts of the protest, go to the #callusbyournames tag on Facebook.