September 2, 2014

MP3 Of The Moment: STS, “How Philly Use To Sound”

Since this year saw the return of classic New York City hip-hop in Ratking and the return of classic Compton hip-hop in Schoolboy Q, Philly is lucky to have STS (Sugar Tongue Slim), without whom we might not have taken this opportunity to remember our own storied tradition in hip hop. While STS’s “How Philly Use To Sound” is no shorter on originality of voice than the Ratking or Schoolboy singles that jump to mind in comparison, it’s definitely unique in that it’s a true throwback. Because, as Slim states, “A jam session don’t jam without a drum and guitar,” there is a backing band on this track that includes DJ Jazzy Jeff, whose scratching exemplifies “how Philly use to sound” in a way that only The Roots, whose sound this backing band is clearly hoping to approximate, could match. If you were worried that the tidal wave of ’90s nostalgia might hit every nook and cranny of popular culture except Philly hip-hop, worry no more. Catch STS with RJD2 and Marian Hill on September 27th at Underground Arts.

Your Handy Guide To All Things David Lynch In Philly This Month

Since posting an update every time another event connected to the Lynch appearances in Philly has proven to be more inconvenient than convenient for us and probably you as well, we decided to collect everything here so that you only have to refresh one link while you’re planning your weeks-long Lynch extravaganza.

First, here’s the entire program for the series of exhibitions and appearances at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Here is the program of screenings for the Bryn Mawr Film Institute’s A Celebration of David Lynch.

Here is the information for the conversation with David Lynch at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Here is the information for the David Lynch Selects series of screenings at International House of Philadelphia.

Here is the information for The Philadelphia Film Society’s David Lynch Revisited: A Retrospective Film Series.

Here is the information for PhilaMOCA (Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art)’s Eraserhood Forever exhibit.

And here is the video of David Lynch’s Ice Bucket Challenge:

The Week Ahead In Comedy: David Lynch And Other People Of Interest

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Before David Lynch is named the Patron Saint of the Philadelphia Film Community, he still has to clear a few more confirmed miracles. You can witness some of his more obscure work at David Lynch 101 at PhilaMOCA. This curated collection of commercials, short films, music videos and other rarities will leave even the most schooled David Lynch fan saying, “Huh?” Wednesday at 7:30, $10.

People of Interest returns to the Adrienne Theater on Thursday at 10:30. Host Ryan T. Barlow sits down with comedians and plays hardball with them to answer the burning: What character are you supposed to be? Fans of NPR-style news and chat shows will get a kick out of this clever twist on a familiar format. People who explicitly do NOT like NPR-style news and chat shows will probably even like it more, since it’s sort of making fun of NPR. People who haven’t yet made up their minds about whether or not they like NPR may do well to check this show out as part of their research on the topic. This month, Ryan will be joined by Wendy Lenhart, Andrew Coppola, Joe Coughlin, and Ralph Andracchio. $8 in advance, $10 at the door.

On Friday Night, the Adrienne hosts the single most important event for fans of Canadians, Rap music and TapouT clothing: 3 Non-Threatening Males with Marty Topps, Tim Gilbert and James Hartnett. Marty Topps is the world’s (universe’s?) foremost authority on rapping tributes to the MMA-fighting clothing brand TapouT. Having won awards at comedy festivals in Montreal and Toronto, Marty brings his performance that must be seen to be believed to Philadelphia for one night only. He will be joined by Tim and James, two juggernauts of comedy in their own right. 9PM, $10 in advance, $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.



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Noontime Nuggetz: The Hooters, “Boys Of Summer”

The unapologetic tears this brings out is us is only slightly ameliorated by the fact that it’s going to be friggin’ 90 degrees all week and we never have to go back to school ever again. Even so. Feelings.

Right Now In The People’s Republic Of Comcast: The Worst Company In America (Again)

USSRCASTAn excellent piece over at Salon confirms what we’ve been affirming here for years now: Comcast is the worst company in America. Bringing together Consumerist’s Worst Companies In America Poll, fan pages devoted entirely to hating on Comcast including comcastmustdie.com and the quite popular I Hate Comcast page on Facebook, and the single most cringeworthy customer service phone call ever recorded and likely ever made, the article makes a strong and serious case for Comcast as the dark overlord that reigns above even Walmart. What makes the article most valuable is its concise description of Comcast’s remarkable ability to be shitty on the largest and the smallest scales simultaneously by ruining your day with a terrible one-on-one interaction and ruining your life with its monopolistic scope too vast for you to escape. Hopefully, this article is one more step toward either revolution or an eternity of embittered class-consciousness.



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DEP Announces That Fracking Has Definitely Been Fracking Up PA Water

ClimateProgress has the rundown on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection‘s recent announcement that fracking in PA has contaminated water in 22 counties 243 times. This is a first for the DEP, who in the past have taken a lot of flak for failure to report on the negative effects of fracking. Evidence of contamination of clean water due to fracking has already surfaced in West Virginia, so this news is not unique and should come as no surprise. It should inspire you to reconsider if you are still holding on to any support for Governor Corbett’s proposed frack-friendly budget. Although, if you do still support the budget, you probably are Tom Corbett.

As We Move Towards The Fall, Comedian Chris O’Connor Would Like To Remind You That There Are #NoSavesies [NSFW]

As part of Philly’s ongoing Phone It In Youtube comedy video challenge thing, Philly comic Chris O’Connor submits this expletive-laden satire on the only-in-Philly “savesies” phenomenon. We say “satire” because in real life, fisticuffs and spitting would have broken out around the 0:59 mark.

The Attorney General’s Office Won’t Share Their Porn With The Press, But They Will Share It Among The Staff

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After months of silence, the office of Attorney General Kathleen Kane has decided not to honor a Right To Know Law Request from the Tribune-Review, citing a stay issued by an unidentified justice. When we posted about Kane’s investigation into now-Governor/then-AG Tom Corbett‘s investigation into Jerry Sandusky, the Penn State football coordinator convicted of serial sexual assault, we were wondering whether Kane would uncover any evidence of shady dealings. The Tribune-Review, however, were not looking for evidence of shady dealings so much as of shady sharing.

If we’re being too vague, let us be blunt: Apparently, while investigating Sandusky, members of Corbett’s staff were regularly sharing sexually explicit emails and links to sexually explicit content. Sources have indicated that the content depicted sexual acts between consenting adults, which means that while in violation of AG office policy, the sharing of the content was entirely legal. Of course, this also means the content was entirely impertinent to Sandusky’s case.

As one would expect in the event that a Right to Know Law Request is denied, the case and the writing about it offer more questions than answers. Evidence seems to suggest that there were definitely some emails circulating around the office during the investigation and that those emails definitely contained some porn. What’s less clear is how sharing porn during investigation into a sexual assailant can be defended as professional or even funny. What’s even less clear is why Kane is trying to cover this up. Corbett’s campaign is already dead in the water. This could be his last chance to leave office in total public disgrace. Maybe he’s saving the big scandal for early November? Here’s hoping.

Watch: Kanye West’s Philly #MadeInAmerica Set


Without a doubt, the appearance of none other than Kanye West was the Bud Light Lime on top of the Bud Light Chelada that was this weekend’s big Budweiser commercial on the Parkway. Being strictly Miller Lite drinkers, we self-segregated and ate Bubba Burgers at home. But it turns out that the joke may well have been on us, as tongues are currently wagging that Saturday night’s Yeezy set may well have been his best show of the year. While it’s still live, check it out for yourself. (And side note to Miller Lite: You’re slackin’! Look alive over there and next summer, at least rent out the Please Touch Museum or something!)

Can You Imagine A Day When You Could Not Face Arrest For Shopping At Total Wine?

One lonely Philadelphia Republican is daring to dream. PA House Liquor Control Committee chairman Rep. John Taylor is introducing a bill that would make legal something so many of us do that is currently (and has been since forever) illegal: Buying booze across state lines and then bringing it into PA/Philly. The language of Taylor’s bill indicates that this is a bill directed towards “decriminalizing” an already existing behavior of residents — as crazy as the concept is that this is something that would need to be “decriminalized” — and not, say, bar/restaurants, who presumably will need to buy their booze in PA until we, as citizens of this faccacta state, finally rise up and burn every state store to the ground. Don’t tread on my booze! Ooh, can we stop at Guitar Center?

August 29, 2014

This Weekend: Farewell, Summer Of Meh!


FRIDAY:

>>> Can it be? The end already? Was that anything? It felt like… something. No matter: The only times are new times, and if you’re stuck here in town, you have two choices: Squeeze the last bit of summer out before everything goes crazy again on Tuesday morning, or taste a bit of a performance-heavy fall. Wait: Why not do both? Bold and strong and cheap as hell, Five Dollar Comedy Week rages on, and we’ve got your preview here.

>>> Woe betide the local band who takes a gig on Labor Day Weekend, but for those of us stuck around here, damn it might feel good to stand in a loud little room with Delco Pacers / Family Vacation / Those People at Bourbon & Branch.

SATURDAY:

>>> Looking to get outside? PHAIR Open Air Market is at Headhouse Square, and Art Star Pop Up Market is at Spruce Street Harbor Park.

>>> There’s a great little homespun DIY concert thing on the Parkway called Made In America that you might wanna check out. There hasn’t been a lot of press on it or anything, but we bet it’s gonna be one of those things that people might be talking about.

>>> Yo yo yo it’s Lil’ Sean Day at PhilaMOCA. Who is Lil’ Sean? Sean is this kid (seriously, he’s a child) who lives on the same block as PhilaMOCA and is always hanging around; by all accounts, he’s a cool lil’ dude. So cool, in fact, that PhilaMOCA gave him his own whole day to curate at the space! So what’s gonna be? It’s gonna be COOL ASS SHIT FOR LIL’S AND GROWNS ALIKE! There’ll be the unveiling of PhilaMOCA’s new mural; a world premiere of Undercover Cops, a short film directed, written, and starring Lil’ Sean; and a buncha bands like Mumblr, Langor, and not least, A LIVE PERFORMANCE OF REGGAE DOG!!! AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! ONCE MORE BEFORE THE SUMMER’S OVER, LET’S DO THIS!

>>> Ahem. Elsewhere, the 8-piece horn funk thing called the Stooges Brass Band play the Brooklyn Brewery Summer Concert Part 3 at City Tap House.

SUNDAY:

>>> Once more with feeling: Made In America!

>>> Here is our oddball pick: Among the things we have learned in the back seats of Ubers, most useful among them is the fact that there is a radio station called Old School 100.3 and it pretty much rules. And as it turns out, there is an Old School 100.3 Labor Day Weekend Moonlight Cruise, hosted by DJ Touchtone and Lady B., and you know what? BOATS > UBERS.

>>> And hey, here’s the Making Time Rad-B-Q at Bamboo Bar with your original recipe Making Time crew. Remember: No condoms in the pool. We know it sounds counterintuitive, but remember: Somebody has to clean that thing.

>>> And glide into the holiday with Polido Social Club at Morgan’s Pier; or do the Sunday night at the 700 with DJ Jeremy Grites thing. Happy Labor Day, y’all!

Film Sweat: You Must Be Trippin’

RECOMMENDED: The Trip to Italy is the reunion of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, whose 2010 film, The Trip, took an English-style take on a comedic improv style already familiar to fans of Larry David here in the States. But in the duo’s hands — aided by the very able director Michael WinterbottomThe Trip proved something else: A great study in friendship whose comedic mileage wasn’t even near close to being fully exploited. And so we’ve got The Trip to Italy, a beautiful, hilarious gift to devoted Coogan obsessives (raises hand) as well as food nerds alike.

ALSO NEW IN THEATERS THIS WEEK: A Summer’s Tale, part three of Eric Rohmer‘s “4 Seasons-Cycle,” being shown in the U.S. for the first time (it was made in 1996); As Above/So Below, a horror flick set in the catacombs of Paris with Ben Feldman, aka Ginsberg from Mad Men; and Life Of Crime, an adaptation of Elmore Leonard‘s war-of-the-roses potboiler, with an ensemble cast featuring Jennifer Aniston, Tim Robbins, Isla Fisher, Mos Def, Will Forte, and John Hawkes.

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.

August 28, 2014

Ars Nova Workshop Announces 15th Season

Ars Nova Workshop, the concert series that’s been bringing the newest and zaniest in avant-garde jazz to Philadelphia for almost fifteen years, including, just this past summer, Uri Caine and Nels Cline, among others, has announced its 15th season. You can look forward in the coming weeks to a performance from Bill Frisell and Sam Amidon, the Philadelphia premiere of John Zorn’s Psychomagia, and a series showcasing the reigning titans of Norwegian improvised music. Between the FringeArts fest, the events accompanying David Lynch’s stay in Philly, the four upcoming exhibits at ICA, and whatever else we’re forgetting to mention, the only thing we hadn’t seen up until now on the Philly arts community’s fall menu was wailing horns. Thank god Ars Nova’s here to fill that great, great void.

Fairmount Sustainable Designer Develops Green Yelp

MilkCrate Philly (not to be confused with the music cataloguing app or the café/record store in Fishtown) is a new mobile app company founded and headed by Morgan Berman of Fairmount. The app presents a searchable database of sustainable businesses in Philadelphia. Founded this year, the company is about a quarter of the way to reaching the $20,000 goal of their indiegogo campaign, and Berman plans to capitalize on new revenue streams to the tune of a quarter million by next year. To our knowledge, Berman has not yet released any statements addressing questions as to whether there will be reviews on Milkcrate as ridiculous as these.

Poll Finds Corbett Is Probably Going To Lose, Earth Is Probably Going To Continue To Orbit Sun

A poll conducted by The Daily News and Franklin & Marshall College, to be released today, has found that Democrat Tom Wolf stands far ahead of incumbent Tom Corbett in the race for governor of Pennsylvania. The data suggests that voters are not coming out in support of Corbett because of his efforts in the public education arena, and that Corbett’s campaign ads against Wolf are not effective. We have not received any information yet as to whether the Franklin & Marshall poll finds voters in agreement that the Earth is round, that the sky is blue, or that boats are cool.

If you’ve seen any of Corbett’s ads decrying Wolf for such offenses as selling cabinets in Delaware or driving a Jeep, you know that they are as ineffective as they are inconclusive. If you’ve paid any attention to the debate surrounding school funding, you know that Corbett has done nothing to bring in the new money that the schools so desperately need. If you’re not aware of any of the above, maybe you’re a part of the small minority that favors Corbett over Wolf. You might also be a part of the small minority that continues to believe the Earth is flat.

Barrymore Nominees Announced, Maybe This Year You’ll Care

In the past, we’ve sounded off on the announcement of the Barrymore nominees with little more than flippant disinterest. Usually the names on the list are either predictable or unrecognizable. This year, however, we’re keeping an eye out for any of the companies presenting work at the upcoming FringeArts festival that promises to be truly mind-blowing, and we’re… not seeing much, actually. Ceremony October 27th at 7 PM at The Merriam Theater, afterparty in the Kimmel Center Commonwealth Plaza. Buy tickets here.

Everything You Never Wanted To Know About The 215/267 NPA Overlay, Including The Definition Of “NPA Overlay”

If you’ve taken any shit for your 267 phone number from your friends who claim to be Philly OG because they have a 215 area code, fear not, because we’re here to restore your dignity. We did a little digging into the records of the NANPA (North American Numbering Plan Administration — yes, there is an entire federal office that regulates area codes) and the Pennsylvania PUC (Public Utilities Commission) and found the truth: for at least the next five years or so, new Philadelphia and Southeastern Pennsylvania phone numbers will continue to be distributed with either a 215 or a 267 area code.

The area code 215 is one of the original area codes put in service in 1947. At the time, 215 served the entire Southeast Pennsylvania NPA (Numbering Plan Area). In 1999, due to growth in the area and the threat of exhaustion of the 215 area code — that is, the possibility that the phone companies might run out of numbers — the area code 267 was introduced to “overlay” the area. An NPA overlay is implemented when a new area code must be introduced to concurrently serve an NPA that is already served by one or more other area codes. The entire point of an overlay is to prevent the exhaustion of an area code; in this case, area code 215. So, if the person giving you shit for your 267 phone number is your grandmother, then she might have the right, because she probably is more OG Philly than you are. But 267 has been around long enough that you can have a 267 phone number even if you’ve lived here your whole life.

Also, you don’t have a 267 area code because you have a cell phone. There is only one instance of a “service-specific” overlay serving only subscribers to mobile phone service, that instance being area code 917 in New York. Phone numbers continue to be distributed to new subscribers to mobile service in Southeastern Pennsylvania with either a 215 or a 267 area code.

But wait, there’s more! Since the 215/267 overlay, in the run up to new projected exhaustion dates, the FCC has regularly called for “Thousand Block Pooling”, the process by which phone companies recall unused phone numbers and redistribute them to other phone companies, so there are more phone numbers available and the exhaustion of a certain area code can be put off for longer.

The 215/267 overlay — that means both area codes, 215 and 267 — is next projected to exhaust in the third quarter of 2018, before which the FCC will probably call for further pooling. So whether your area code is 215 or 267, it’s probably safe for the time being.

You can learn more about the above at the NANPA and PPUC websites. But you might want to just take our word for it.

August 27, 2014

This Evening: Reigning Sound, Reigning Kings Of The Road

>>> Reigning Sound, the vehicle of Greg Cartwright, who has been touring like a workhorse for most of the millennium under either his own name or any of at least a half dozen others, will be at Underground Arts tonight with The Whips and The GTVs. It hasn’t been hard to catch Cartwright on the road in recent years, but this tour is his first supporting a new Reigning Sound LP in five years. Noisey premiered the above video, the first for the new record Shattered, back in July, and it perfectly captures both the band’s touring spirit and Cartwright’s Dylan-via-Doug Martsch earnestness. An earnestness that will surely outweigh that of Josh Groban.

>>> Elsewhere: The Polyphonic Spree at the Prince Music Theater and Tattoo Money with Corina Corina and others at The Grape Room.

Held Over Due To Popular Acclaim: Spruce Street Harbor Park To Stay Open Through Sept. 28

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You love it, your sis loves it, your mom loves it, your boss loves, hey, nobody doesn’t love it! And so, due to overwhelming demand, Spruce Street Harbor Park will be extending its season through Sunday, September 28. The park, which was conceptualized by Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, Interface Studios, Digsau, and Groundswell Design Group, has been seeing an estimated 35,000 people per week since it opened in June, with that number being significantly higher during holiday week/weekends. Once SSHD wraps up, DRWC will begin work on an expanded Waterfront Winterfest project for the winter.

[Photo: Matt Stanley/DRWC]

“What You’ll Wanna Do Is Get On At Jefferson Station, Ride Past Verizon Station, And Then Get Off At Bill Gray Station”

Technical.ly Philly is reporting that, while no one was looking, SEPTA might have just sold naming rights to Market East Station, thereby making it something called “Jefferson Station” soon. Add this to the megaburn that would be Verizon getting to rename Suburban Station after itself right under Comcast’s headquarters and the soon-to-be rechristened “William H. Gray III 30th Street Station”, and you’ve basically got a New Philadelphia where only assholes know how to get around.