August 29, 2014
>>> 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.
>>> 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.
>>> 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!
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 Winterbottom — The 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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
>>> 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.
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]
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.
The office of City Controller Alan Butkovitz issued a press release today urging Philadelphia School District Superintendent Dr. William Hite to stop jealously guarding his precious art collection. Or something like that. According to the letter, Philadelphia schools currently possess up to $4 Million dollars in rare artwork that is not accounted for or available for public viewing. Butkovitz, who is expected to be a candidate in next year’s mayoral election, has been an outspoken advocate for transparent and accountable tracking of the city’s art collections, and offers numerous ideas as to how to partner with local organizations to find suitable venues for these works. Considering the recent debate surrounding funding for Philadelphia schools and their expected lack of resources for the coming year, Dr. Hite might be interested in Butkovitz’s proposed plan for “generating much needed new revenues.” He might also want to focus on the much more pressing issues on his plate, as might Butkovitz, if he ever wants to be elected mayor.
Aaron Kreider, a Philadelphia activist and statistician, has created a block-by-block map of racial segregation and income inequality in the United States. JusticeMap.org was born while Kreider was working for the Energy Justice Network, mapping nuclear energy facilities around residential neighborhoods. JusticeMap, however, is Kreider’s independent project, funded by a $10,000 grant from the Sunlight Foundation. A current resident of West Philadelphia, Kreider points out that he lives not far from a senior facility run by Catholics that comes up, anomalously, as plurality white. It makes sense that it took a Philadelphian to find these discrepancies glaring enough to want to collect in one place their appearances across the country.
State House Republicans are about to introduce a new bill that would decriminalize the transportation of alcohol purchased out of state to Pennsylvania, CBS Philly reports. Citing a recent incident in which an attorney sold fine wines to friends in his Chester County home and was accused of bootlegging as evidence of the current law’s antiquity and potential harmfulness, the bill represents Republicans’ further efforts toward liquor privatization, approached from another angle. Apparently, the bill is not likely to pass, maybe (but probably not) thanks to ridiculous advertising campaigns from opponents of liquor privatization, maybe thanks to Governor Corbett’s inability to present liquor privatization to the public as a political issue without being a total sexist. However, if it does, those of you who are tired of buying your beer at the same spot you buy your Chinese food will at least have the option of making the drive to New Jersey.
David A. Naples of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania wants to make a point: elections are theatrical media spectacles that rely on money and exposure and have nothing to do with politics. To make this point, he has launched his own write-in campaign for Governor of Pennsylvania on Facebook. Governor Dave, as he calls himself, will accept no campaign contributions, hire no staff, and participate in no advertisements smearing or supporting him. He will only accept page likes and shares. Does he expect to win? No. What does he expect? To raise awareness about the extent to which political influence is a function of wealth and support from the wealthy.
The cause is noble, sure, but it’s also basically designed to fail. Dave is going to have a hard time proving that political candidates can’t get any exposure or votes without money or public endorsements if he doesn’t have any, uh, money or public endorsements. He also doesn’t have any experience as a politician, although he does have a law degree. Admittedly, Dave is asking us a tough question, at least those of us who are so distraught about this coming gubernatorial election that we’ve been saying for weeks now that we’ll take whatever we can get (as long as it’s not Corbett). The question is: will we, actually?
It’s confirmed: this weekend’s Made In America festival will be your first and last chance ever to see J. Cole and Pissed Jeans on the same bill (as long as you’re willing to make the commute). You should be similarly excited to see hometown heroes Nothing alongside Adderall Admiral Danny Brown. In fact, pretty much everyone on this bill should be getting you hype except Kings Of Leon. Man, only Budweiser. Can’t wait for Kanye’s Rocky impression.
August 26, 2014
This past 1st of May saw the publication of On The Run: Fugitive Life In An American City, Princeton-educated sociologist Alice Goffman’s account of six years spent living on Sixth Street among black families under constant watch by the police. A book about a young grad student from an academic family witnessing the hardships of black residents of a major American city could go horribly wrong in all kinds of ways, but readers from Malcolm Gladwell to Cornel West are insisting that this one doesn’t. Chronicling the lives of, primarily, young men who either dabble in criminal activity or don’t and are regularly afraid of and subject to harassment from cops regardless, On the Run is receiving overwhelmingly positive attention for its careful investigation of the effects that Philadelphia’s law enforcement and justice infrastructures have had on these lives in recent years. Philadelphia natives, whether they read Philebrity or not, are already aware of these structural flaws and insufficiencies, but if any book is receiving national attention for its nuanced presentation of these flaws and insufficiencies and its ability to successfully relay what they look like, how they work, and how they’re making people in our city’s black communities feel, it’s probably worth picking up.
A new City of Philadelphia report confirmed last week what we’ve always known but refused to acknowledge was coming: Mayor Michael Nutter, along with fifty-one other US mayors, has come out in support of the Comcast-Time Warner merger. In his letter to the FCC, Nutter claims that the merger will be responsible for, among other things, “increased investment in existing Comcast markets.” To which we say “No shit.”
Unlike Nutter, the people at Netflix are worried (and have been for some time) that increased investment in existing Comcast markets will pose a threat to net neutrality. To insist again on this point, Netflix sent the FCC a petition yesterday asserting that “The combined entity’s control over its interconnection arrangements … would allow it to insert itself into the heart of all internet commerce.” Comcast have responded to such statements from Netflix in the past by suggesting that Netflix only opposes the merger because it threatens their business. To which we say, “No shit, but it doesn’t fucking matter.” If another corporation wants to limit your corporation’s power because it wants more power for itself, that doesn’t mean your corporation is better, it just means the other corporation is as shitty as yours.
Okayafrica reports that Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 are coming to Philadelphia’s Union Transfer September 8th with DJ Rich Medina to “reshape Fela’s politically-charged afrobeat for the modern ear.” This news comes not long after the release of Finding Fela, the Fela documentary about which we were damn excited. It’s fitting that we’re hearing about the show from Okayafrica, the African music blog of ?uestlove‘s Okayplayer, because ?uestlove has long been an outspoken Fela devotee and made a notable appearance in the aforementioned documentary.
We’re also lucky to have the chance now to finally write something about Okayafrica, because the project is a big deal and super important and we dropped the ball on throwing them a huge shoutout when they launched in 2010. The mission of Okayafrica is to give due exposure in America and elsewhere to the African New Wave, the millennial outpouring of new music and culture of all forms from Africa. Their stores of reviews, interviews, features and regular series are exhaustive and all-encompassing, and they have to be, because their project, upon which no other outlet has so successfully embarked, is a massive one. But however great the work, they’re definitely doing it.
Philadelphia’s own Matt Teacher, the author, previously, of The Home Distiller’s Handbook, will release his second alcohol-themed book on Cider Mill Press this fall: The Spirit of Gin: A Stirring Miscellany of the New Gin Revival. Teacher is an avowed gin expert and his new gin jawn is a combination travelogue/recipe-book that catalogues one man’s experiences of drinking gin the world over for decades. Complete with a foreword from Arrigo Cipriani of the historic Harry’s bar, the book is expected to contribute handsomely to the sweeping cocktail revival. Ask us, the cocktail never died, but that doesn’t mean we won’t take any excuse to down a few more. At the very least there should be at least one solid hangover story in there. If we’re lucky, there’ll be at least one solid hangover cure.