We weren't gonna get through the day without a little Bob, you know. Happy 75th, you sweet ol' so-and-so!
Our regular readers all know that over the last month or so, Philebrity has made some major changes: No more reblogs/all original content, new events calendar, and just a general fix-up-look-sharp vibe. (Oh, and all the ticket giveaways are on Instagram now: follow us!) Well, those changes are ongoing, and here’s where you (maybe, possibly, might) come in, as we are looking for new voices to add into the mix. What kind of voices? Let’s not put too fine a point on it and simply say compelling Philly-based voices with unique stories to tell. You might have seen Randy LoBasso’s piece on why we shouldn’t be calling car crashes “accidents” anymore; or maybe you’ve seen Shawn Kilroy’s occasional poems (we are kind of obsessed with those); or Andrew Chalfen’s piece on the Soda Lobby in Philly. Well, we’re looking to do more of that. This weekend, we’ll be publishing an excerpt from novelist Erik Bader’s new work in progress, and certainly more stuff like that down the line. (And hopefully less and less white men all the time, it’s like Record Store Day in here.) Point is: Have you got a pitch (or already existing piece of work) that you think might be a good look for Philebrity? Well, by all means, query us at email@example.com. Just a line or two, and some sample copy will do.
As the FringeArts Industrial Complex heads into its twenties, a very natural question poses itself: What will the next generation of Fringe-rs look like? The performance team Chelsea & Magda may offer a glimpse. As graduates of the Headlong Performance Institute, they’re very much schooled in the radical touchy-feely freak arts combo platter as practiced by the names that made the Fringe its own thing, like Headlong, yes, but also Pig Iron Theatre and New Paradise Laboratories. But seeing the duo in performance last year at one of HPI’s open workshop nights last year, there’s other, newer stuff going, too — stuff that pushes dance and movement to simultaneously more comedic and intimate places than you might expect.
And it looks like those places will be amply explored in The Shame Symposium, opening on June 9 at FringeArts. "A year ago we became completely excited about shame in performance,” reads their current artists’ statement, which then details just how completely excited they got: The show is now the result of a year of heavy research, experimentation and surveying they’ve done all around shame. (There’s also an adjacent bibliography on the subject of “Girl World/Female Friendship” that includes texts from Rebecca Solnit, Elena Ferrante, Sheila Heti, Toni Morrision and more — which is also a pretty solid summer reading list, if you’re looking for one.) What it all amounts to is a pretty heady mix of performance and movement, present-day feminist thinking, and, in an unlikely turn, some pretty great physical comedy.
Chelsea & Magda’s The Shame Symposium runs from June 9th through the 12th at Fringe Arts. Tickets here.
All through The Great Lemonade Think Piece Storm Of 2016, we had to deal with a private mental tick: Whenever someone was blathering on about Bey, we couldn't help but turn our thoughts to a more uncontroversial (and frankly more satisfying) lemon-flavored work of art: The Lemonanas — in both liquid alcoholic and non-alcoholic frozen form — made by Michael Solomonov (at Zahav and Dizengoff, respectively). The frozen variety is an object of passion not just for the lunchtime line at Dizengoff, but for Solomonov himself.
"The first time I ever had a frozen lemonade was one summer in downtown Jerusalem, inside a corner cafe that serves coffee and frozen lemonana," he told us. "The lemonanas are blended to order. It was a combination of their lime green color from the amount of mint, and the freshly squeezed, acidic kick from the lemons and their sugar – that made it the perfect lemonade and just something else entirely. At Dizengoff, our 'booyakasha' moment with our lemonana comes when we use fresh lemon verbena or fresh lemon thyme, depending on what's best for the season."
Both drinks offer a palate-cleansing tart flavor that is light and summery thanks to that fresh lemon verbena syrup base, but from there, they depart. The boozy Lemonana is buoyed by a healthy shot of bourbon (there's a recipe for this one in the Zahav cookbook, which you should own for this and many other reasons), and the frozen Lemonana is kind of like the adult Slurpee you never knew you needed. Sometimes, we hear, there's even bourbon in the frozen ones. We think we may be ready for this. Life, you see, has given us lemons. It's the least we can do.
If not, these numbers above — spun up in the week after their second full-length, Tired of Tomorrow — certainly have Nothing sniffing around the Billboard charts. And while it's one thing for more mainstream-friendly Philly acts (be they Kurt Vile or The War On Drugs or Meek Mill or The Roots) to show up in the various Billboard horse races, Nothing's appearance there feels like a real victory for the freak side. To say nothing of the fact that, in the new strange reality of the music industry, actual music that actual people listen to actually makes it onto the charts now. Strange days, indeed! But hey: We'll take 'em.
A person who understands these things explains to us that, after being left out of several big multi-city campaigns, "Philadelphia will be a featured story. You'll have the option to add your Philly snaps to the Philly story. I think it may take a half day or a day for the City story to go live on the platform in the LIVE section."
Sadly, though, it won't be one of those face filters where you open your mouth and, like, a neverending hoagie comes out while your eyes go Kenzo/True Blood opioid black. Maybe next time!
If you've ever picked up a guitar at all, and certainly if you have ventured to write a song, over the last 50 years or so, there is a decent chance that you yourself have played one of Bob Dylan's songs. To cover Dylan at one point or another, in public or in private, is almost inevitable for pretty much anyone making rock or roots music. But for the last 10 years, Jon Houlon (of the band John Train) and Kenn Kweder have elevated this simple and oft-repeated act to the status of communal event with their annual Bob Dylan Birthday Bash at Rembrandt's in Fairmount. Tomorrow, the great man turns 75, and of course, Jon and Kenn and many, many of their friends will be there to perform and celebrate. We asked Jon a few questions about the how's and why's of their million dollar bash.Read More