September 30, 2014
>>> We’re longtime fans of Lantern, the retro-futurist glam punks responsible for Rock ‘N’ Roll Rorschach, a semi-satirical but semi-legit weirdo frenzy of doomy occult worship that comes, surprisingly enough, straight from the hometown. Produced, engineered and mixed by Jeff Ziegler, the album was a big hit locally and beyond for a band already recognized by VICE as the best band in Philadelphia when it dropped in 2013. Now Lantern are back in town with the new Wolf Eyes/Royal Trux supergroup Dan’l Boone? Should be screechy in all the right ways.
>>> Elsewhere: Tennis with Pure Bathing Culture at Underground Arts and Sibling Rivalry at Johnny Brenda’s Downstairs.
There’s not much else we feel we need to say: this Friday to Saturday, The Arden Theatre Company are hosting the Arden Theatre Production Yard Sale, where they will be selling off furniture, props, and costumes that have been used in past Arden productions. We don’t know when or how they were acquired, but apparently among the costume items for sale are a number of Cosby sweaters. We’re told by a source at the Arden that there will be up to twelve Cosby sweaters available. If you’re not wetting yourself with excitement, you obviously still haven’t seen this video.
Philadelphia high school English teacher Rachel Toliver has an illuminating piece up at The New Republic about high school curriculum and how it’s teaching students in Philly, and in America, about race. While Philadelphia high school students are required to take a year-long course on African-American history to graduate, this piece perfectly breaks down why it’s less important to require that high school history classes include topics in African-American history than it is to require that history classes reflect racism as a persistent historical trend. The difference is between emphasizing facts and emphasizing awareness, empathy, and critical discourse:
The issue is less the curriculum than the way it’s sometimes taught. In the class, students study things like African civilizations, the middle passage, and the civil rights movement. “The plight of people of color was given a voice,” was one student’s positive summary. But certain teachers choose to present that content almost as artifacts, rather than as parts of a larger, ongoing narrative of oppression and resilience. Gabrielle Richardson told me that although the course expanded her knowledge of African-American history, “the way it was taught made it seem that racial injustice was a thing of the past. There was no correlation of historic events with current politics or culture. It was taught in a way that isolated the past and the present.” Davis, now a sophomore at Temple University, questioned her class’s treatment of Trayvon Martin’s murder—or rather, the fact that the class didn’t really engage with the tragedy. The class simply “acknowledged that it happened and moved on.”
Thanks to The Fader for this premiere from Nothing, directed by leader Dominic Palermo. If this is what it’s going to be like when Nothing bite the bullet and go all-in for slowcore, we’ll be down.
PhillyMag reprinted an op-ed from The Advocate this weekend about “Finding Sympathy for the Most Hated Woman in America”, the gist of which is that gaybasher Kathryn Knott‘s actions and history of hate don’t justify a backlash from the gay community and its supporters that shows her more vitriol than the two men also charged for their involvement in the attack. Writer Neal Broverman argues that because Knott is “a victim too; of bad parenting, segregation, misinformation, and misogyny,” her actions reflect her place in a larger oppressive system as much as her own capacity to dehumanize others. It is worth noting that, while Kathryn Knott is charged with a terrible crime, she can still be the target of misogyny and disrespect that is unwarranted and inexcusable. However, Broverman seems to argue that even to criticize her actions and her inflammatory statements and beliefs without considering or acknowledging her uniquely privileged and oppressed status is unfair. Just asking, but, at what point do you surrender the right to sympathy? At what point are you entirely accountable for your own actions? Isn’t there a line, and shouldn’t an act of violence like this one sit way beyond it?
Having finally arrived later than anyone else to the party to which we intentionally neglected to invite them, Comcast have appointed a new executive who will possess “broad powers” (seriously, what fresh totalitarian hell is this?) to address the company’s poor customer service record. Charlie Herrin, who only looks almost exactly like Patrick Bateman, has been named Comcast’s senior vice president of customer experience after a fifteen-year run developing the X1 TV Guide. It figures all too well that, after the neverending debacle that has been their customer service history, Comcast still wouldn’t have the sense to bring in an outside hire. Numerous studies of the cable industry suggest that this appointment will have an almost negligible impact on Comcast’s totally soiled customer service reputation, but we could’ve told you that. Oh, wait, we did.
[Image via Gawker]
Well, maybe, but not yet. At least, not officially. The lovely Gawker has a bracket up for the somewhat inspired but more just mean-spirited America’s Ugliest Accent Tournament, and you can bet Hoagiemouth is in the running (specifically for “wooder” as regional nomenclature for the compound H20, in Gawker’s words our “preferred non-Yuengling beverage” but what the fuck do they know?) The tournament kicked off yesterday with Boston up against Baltimore and LA against Chicago, but keep checking back, because our season opener ought to be any day now, with Memphis as our inaugural opponent. Our projection? They don’t stand a chance. A Southern drawl is no match for Northern drool.
September 29, 2014
This fascinating story in Forbes highlights quaint little Lititz, PA. Why Lititz? Over the years, the small town has quietly become host to a naturally-occurring cluster of businesses that service the large-scale concert tour industry — think U2′s giant claw (not the metaphorical one in your iPhone but the actual thing they took on tour a few years back) or Katy Perry’s lights and pyro. It turns out, this is all big business in Lititz — big enough, in fact, that the town is helping out with a new effort to help existing businesses in this industry expand, as well as attract new ones:
The fact that these companies were thriving while the rest of the country was in the midst of a recession was not lost on the town’s leadership. They gave their support for what is poised to become rock n’ roll touring’s most important industry cluster.
The result is a 96-acre campus called Rock Lititz that will house office buildings, a training facility, and shared meeting and recreational spaces. It will be what University of Toronto professor Richard Florida calls a “place-based ecosystem,” a physical hub for creativity, innovation and industry growth. It will enable a variety of businesses that serve the same clients to learn from each other, benefit from economies of scale and innovate.
Well, hey: Rock on, Lititz!
My Favorite Place – Carmen Garden Skating Rink from Hidden City Philadelphia on Vimeo.
In anticipation of their big 3rd Anniversary Party for Hidden City Daily this Friday, the Hidden City peeps have released this clip of Germantown Ave.’s Carmen Garden Skating Rink, which has been rollin’ since the 1930s. Said party is in the same venue, and if you are the kind of monster for whom the very phrase “roller skating party” is somehow not enough enticement, do take a look at this. You may need to readjust your priorities.
If you’ve ever wanted a sketch comedy show to inform your opinions on what it means to be black, then you’d better take a trip to the Adrienne Theater on Thursday and Friday this week. Jonathan Braylock (pictured), a writer, performer, director and actor on UCB’s Lloyd Team “Astronomy Club” will be presenting The Black Experience, a “no-holds-barred journey through the ins and outs of the African American experience.” Jonathan is one of the funniest people in New York City, which is a very large and very funny place, so trust me when I say this show is not to be missed. Thursday/Friday 7:30 PM, $8/$10 in advance.
It’s tough for a monthly comedy showcase to really cash in on the Halloween season when their show is early in the month. It is for this exact reason that Hey We’re Cool will host the “Too Early for a Halloween Show Show” on Thursday at L’Etage. The show will feature material that will most likely not be related to Halloween, written and performed by local sketch comedians Caitlin Weigle, Joe Moore, Quinton Alexander and Emily Moore. There is going to be plenty of time to celebrate Halloween; give yourself off from the month-long Halloween Party Thursday. Thursday 8PM, $5 at the door.
On Thursday, Ryan T. Barlow hosts the who’s who of “who’s who?” at People of Interest at the Adrienne Theater. Ryan will meet with for improvisers for a public-radio style interview with one big catch — none of the performers know what character they are until Ryan introduces them. If you like your entertainment with a little squirming, this show is for you. This month’s guests are Hunter Steffes, Tara Demmy, Anthony Carter, and Lizzie Spellman. Thursday 10:30PM, $8 in advance.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve read something on Yelp and thought, “Oh boy, I sure would never want to meet this person IRL. SMH.” I’ve probably thought that to myself twice already today and I haven’t even gotten out of bed yet. Well, I promise, on Friday I’m going to betray that conventional wisdom and head to The Spiral Bookcase in Manayunk. Local comedian and all around fun guy Gregg Gethard will bring to life “Karl G.” a lovable sad-sack that Gethard has invented in a series of informative and over-sharing Yelp reviews. Gregg/Karl G. will be joined by Chip Chantry, Jaime Fountaine, and Sally Burtnick. Friday, 7PM. Free.
– 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.
Back on September 14th, Sebastian Petsu put on another installment of his Double Decker Music Series, wherein he curates concerts on double decker busses that drive around Philly. It’s an idea so great that we wish it happened nightly. This time around, the DDMS featured Marissa Paternoster of Screaming Females, performing as Noun, and Rat Catching. Paternoster, as you can see/hear, performed the PJ Harvey classic “Dry.” More video from that night here. Petsu says the Double Decker Music Series will return in spring and summer 2015.
Do you like to be angry? (Duh, you’re here. Of course you do.) In that case, bookmark http://politicaladsleuth.com/political-files/dma/504/. There, thanks to a collab between Internet Archive/Sunlight Foundation/Committee of Seventy/University of Delaware, you’ll be able see who is spending what on local TV ad buys as Election Day draws near. And when you do, it is likely that you won’t want to vote for anyone. But please resist that temptation. Disgust does not actually count as a vote. It’s more of a naturally-occurring medical condition.
Over 1,000 people attended the March To End Rape Culture in Center City on Saturday, making it the march’s largest attendance since it began four years ago as the controversially titled Slut-Walk. Marching against a broad spectrum of issues under the umbrella of rape culture — including transphobia, sexualization of rape, street harassment, silencing survivors, consent, and intimate partner violence — the crowd gathered at Thomas Paine Plaza, passing by City Hall en route to Rittenhouse Square, then down Locust St and ending back in Thomas Paine Plaza. Speakers included Tarana Burke (Just Be Inc), Samantha Jo (Trans* Health Conference and Mizzoni Center), Preeti Pathak (PAVE Philly), Qui Alexander (Philly Stands Up!), Amanda Geraci (Take Back the Night) and Robin Strough (WOAR). More photos here.
[Photo: Darragh Dandurand]
1. Nintendo Wii Rocky Boxing.
2. Animated Rocky Saturday morning cartoon.
3. Rocky Edition marshmallow Peeps®.
Philly.com columnist John Featherman went full Byko on anyone and everyone who rushed to judge the alleged/accused Center City gaybashers. Now, on the face of it, there’s nothing wrong with that — in a pile-on like this, it’s always good to have as many facts at hand as possible. However, Featherman is either fucking stupid or fucking nuts. Exhibit A:
I’m asking the Philadelphia LGBT lobby where its sense of morality is when they engage in “slut-shaming” accused – mind you – accused suspects.
Sweet Christ. Buddy, “slut-shaming” doesn’t mean what you think it means. THIS IS WHAT IT MEANS. It relates specifically to a person’s sexuality. You know, like how the accused allegedly beat the fucking crap out of these two dudes in a sick response to their sexuality. Exhibit B:
Taking suspect Kathryn Knott’s Twitter feed and selectively culling through her years of postings to show the ones where she uses anti-gay slurs paints a very biased picture of her – making her out to be bigoted.
OK, again: A little prudence would win the day here. But guess what? If you go on Twitter and make bigoted, stupid statements OVER AND OVER AGAIN, making yourself out to be a privileged hole-where-a-soul-should-go OVER AND OVER AGAIN, and then you don’t delete that shit, EVEN WHEN YOU’VE HAD A WEEK TO LAWYER UP AND YOUR FATHER IS A POLICE CHIEF, how many mulligans do you get before we can say, “OK, you’re a ridiculous bigot.”
It’s too early for this shit.
September 26, 2014
>>> The Lawsuits, DRGN KING, and Tutlie are playing at Johnny Brenda’s to promote Tumbled, the new LP from The Lawsuits, who, if you haven’t heard, are Philly’s new “crown jewel”, bringing state-of-the-art sonic experimentation to the kind of timeless songwriting you can usually only hear on vinyl.
>>> After a season so successful it was extended due to popular demand, it’s finally closing weekend at Spruce Street Harbor Park. There’ll be bands, crafts, food, and weirder miscellany all weekend.
>>> Definitely make it out to ICA for the four exhibits we wrote about last week. This Jayson Musson/Alex Da Corte thing has everyone raving, and it only takes up one room.
>>> You can still grab 2-day passes for City Bisco, which will somehow be culminating at the Mann on Saturday with Giorgio Moroder along for the ride? We didn’t know Bisco had that kind of cred in the EDM world, but what do we know?
>>> We already gave you the heads up yesterday, but PHILALALIA‘s still going strong with indie lit events all weekend.
>>> PUNX: Upstart Fest will be here this weekend. Refer back to our promo for details.
>>> Chalk and Numbers are hitting Ortlieb’s with the Royal Shoals and Glitter. Chalk and Numbers rep you proper, so you should show them the courtesy of repping them just as proper.
>>> The Art-Reach Fall Festival is back, featuring Birdie Busch & The Greatest Night, Commonwealth Choir, and activities hosted by pretty much every gallery in the game.
>>> Man Man are coming home for the 40th Street Summer Series, and you can be sure we’ll be doing our best to get their side of the story about that kid who tried to get them to adopt him.
>>> RJD2 will be at Underground Arts with Marian Hill and STS, who will hopefully make Philly sound how Philly use to sound.
>>> Don’t miss this screening of Paul Strand’s Le Révélateur with live soundtrack by Mary Lattimore & Jeff Zeigler, or all of our shameless plugs for their new album will have been in vain.
>>> Again, PUNX: if you’re not satisfied after Upstart Fest, see GBH with Reagan Youth & Dopestroke at Underground Arts.
>>> Get Real. Comedy you can believe in! at National Mechanics promises to be “a comedy cabaret of skeptic proportions.” We’re not sure what that means, but we think we support it.
>>> Old people: Glenn Tilbrook from Squeeze will be playing at Tin Angel. He doesn’t have the same hair, but now he’s got a pretty sick goatee.
RECOMMENDED: The Skeleton Twins, the new dramedy starring Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig about two twins who reunite after a ten-year silence that ends with Hader’s suicide attempt. Why are we picking this movie? Admit it: you scroll the comedy section on Netflix once a night looking for something that isn’t totally stupid, and then you scroll the Drama section looking for something neither boring nor sentimental, and you never find anything. Movies like this, demanding credible dramatic performances of sketch-comedy veterans with chemistry and timing but not necessarily range and depth, almost always fail. The reviews are claiming so far that this one doesn’t. You be the judge.
ALSO NEW IN THEATERS THIS WEEK:
The Boxtrolls, Simon Pegg’s new stop-motion animated comic adventure, The Equalizer , the new collaboration between Denzel Washington and the director who provoked his best role in Training Day, Hector and the Search for Happiness, Simon Pegg’s new live-action comic adventure, and The Notebook, the foreign WWII drama we almost picked but decided against on the grounds that foreign WWII dramas are always the recommended pick.
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.
[Image via PlanPhilly]
Thanks to this graphic at PlanPhilly, created by Ryan Debold, you now know what neighborhood every claim every mayoral hopeful makes is coming from, which should give clue you in to, as PlanPhilly puts it, “how they see Philadelphia’s built environment, what kinds of neighborhoods they want to create, and other policy-relevant questions,” or, as we put it, “where they buy their steaks.
Councilman Kenyatta Johnson has introduced a bill that would prohibit stores from selling toy guns that resemble real guns. Say whatever you want about Johnson as a politician, but we are interested in writing about this issue as an issue. Sure, it would be better if kids were only able to play with bright red guns that clearly weren’t real, but it’s impossible for any conversation on this issue to avoid the larger issue it illuminates. A lot of people believe that children who play with toy guns will grow into adults who carry real guns, and that these adults who carry real guns will use them to kill people. A lot of people believe that toys are simply toys and will only further emphasize the difference between play and reality. A lot of people believe that the cops are out of control and will shoot anyone whether what they’re holding is a shotgun or a banana. Each of these people has a point, but it’s not quite the point. Yes, we live in a country and a world that glamorizes violence, yes, we are surrounded by gun violence in Philadelphia, and yes, the police forces are becoming so militarized in large cities that the safety of the average citizen is becoming compromised. However, there is only one sure way to address violence, and it is not by limiting factors that might incite violence, and it is not by trying to redirect the psychological development of those who may someday commit violence. It is to make sure that someone who might decide that they want to kill someone will not have the free and immediate option of killing someone. Picking up what we’re putting down? We hope not. Because we’re trying to put down our guns.
Every year, the Philadelphia Film Festival brings you so many exclusive premieres and screenings that you inevitably end up feeling like you’re missing out no matter how much you see. This year, you have the opportunity to kick yourself for double-booking Alejandro González Iñárritu’s anticipated Birdman, Jean-Marc Vallée’s acclaimed Wild, and St. Vincent, the new romp that will see Bill Murray both return to form and embrace veteran status. Also, you’ll have yet another opportunity to plan and then forget to rewatch all of David Lynch’s movies on the big screen. The festival runs October 16th-26th and you can pick up tickets at their website. Check out the full lineup after the jump. (more…)