October 21, 2014

Readers Cameraphone: Union Rat Tawt It Taw A Putty Tat!

It did! Outside da gay sportz bar!

Looks like the rat has a new friend. The Fat Cat! There’s something about the unions protesting a gay sports bar that makes me chuckle- every single time I walk by.


And though we have always had our own issues with The Union Rat, we also know that the Rat lives a life of loneliness and degradation. If what our reader here is saying is true, that this new “Cat” and the Rat are indeed “friends,” well, we wish them a lifetime of fun and Pottery Barn. Love truly can conquer all.

Seeing something around town of note? Cameraphone it to: tips[at]philebrity[dot]com.

Guys, C’mon: The Forbes Under 30 Thing May Be Lots Of Things, But “Cool” Isn’t One Of Them

eattherichWe can’t believe it’s us who have to be the ones to say this — Philebrity, for whom the dictum “Real life is not like Fugazi” is a guiding principle — but we have held our tongues as long as we could: The Forbes Under 30 Summit, currently underway in Philly, is not cool, and we wish you’d all stop talking about it like it was. Good for the city in terms of tourism dollars? Sure. Totally. Beneficial in raising the city’s profile as a center for tech and business? In some ways, we hope, at least? But cool? No. Aw hell no. C’mon son.

What was it that gave it away? Was it this Silicon Valley-esque (the TV show, not the actual place, though, sure, both) concert held in the Piazza over the weekend? That shit was like a white man’s overbite recast as a flash mob. Was it the fact that the supposedly business-friendly, business-focused Forbes event featured small businesses fenced right out of the action at the event so concertgoers were forced to purchase food and drink only from festival vendors? Or was it this Inquirer mash note, bearing the headline “Forbes Under 30 fest a big sign Philly is world-class cool?”

It was all of these things, and more. It was Philly’s desperation, which people like Forbes still smell on us like fear pee. It was the confused times we live in, where gentrification has rendered a new populace so drunk on itself it thinks that anything “entrepreneurial” is cool. (GOP, take note of this; these are your future people!) It was the goddamned Piazza. These were the things that tipped us off that this thing was not cool, and we wish we didn’t have to be the ones to break up the party and tell you what Forbes Under 30 really is. You might want to sit down before we tell you what it really is. Are you comfortable? Good. Here it is:

It’s a fucking promotional event for a fucking magazine that is primarily read by fucking assholes. And it may be a lot of things, but it’s not cool. And it doesn’t mean, Philadelphia, that you’re not cool if you maybe had some misgivings about it (even if you went along for the ride anyway). It just means that you’re… easy. I know, right? Who’d-a thunk it?

Noontime Nuggetz: Steve Gunn Live at PhilaMOCA

Ok, so this one’s a little bigger than a nugget, but we figured it was apropos. From the limply hanging ghost costume in the background to the shout-out to Steve Gunn’s dad, the vibe here is as intimate as a Steve Gunn show would have been back in the Inside Llewyn Davis era. And on top of that it’s just damn beautiful.


John Debella’s Antics Hit New Level Of Weirdness For 2014 “Wife Carry”

We’re not sure how best to describe it, but, well, it’s exactly what it sounds like.

The Hannibal Buress Bit On Bill Cosby Is Totally On Point

We show Bill Cosby a lot of appreciation here at Philebrity, because he’s from Philadelphia, and because, in our opinion, he’s a very funny comedian. And because we’re inclined to separate the art from the artist. In some cases, this can be very hard. When Hannibal Buress, who we spoke to recently, and whose point of view we trust, went after Bill Cosby during his show at the Trocadero last week, he wasn’t talking about Bill Cosby’s comedy. He was talking about Bill Cosby’s professed attitude as a public figure toward black communities in America, which are notoriously antiquated and controversial, and which sit in pretty jarring juxtaposition to the numerous allegations that he has sexually assaulted women. Despite the fact that Hannibal’s bit is actually pretty hilarious, it’s also totally serious, and worth taking as such. We don’t want to tell people to stop watching The Cosby Show. At this point, though, it ought to feel pretty weird.


“76er or Faulkner Character” Quiz Actually Virtually Impossible

We’re not sure who’s taking this quiz with any hope of scoring anywhere higher than the 60s, but definitely not us. There are some pretty deep cuts here, and unless you know the 76ers roster as well as you know your times tables (not even close) or you wrote a doctoral thesis on Faulkner (one paper in high school), you’re out of your range here. Quentin Compson, sure, no problem. Jerami Grant, easy enough. But Tobe Sutterfield? Ronald Roberts? We might be missing in action today, folks. We need to hit the library. Or at least dig around on YouTube. Take a crack at the list yourself:

1) Arnett Moultrie
2) Brandon Davies
3) Casper Ware
4) Crawford Gowrie
5) Donald Mahon
6) Elliot Williams
7) Herschell Jones
8) Hollis Thompson
9) Isaac McCaslin
10) Jack Houston
11) JaKarr Sampson
12) Jerami Grant
13) Joe Christmas
14) K.J. McDaniels
15) Quentin Compson
16) Ronald Roberts
17) Sam Caldwell
18) Stu MacCallum
19) Tobe Sutterfield
20) Vladimir K. Ratliff

Governor Corbett Will Sign The Re-Victimization Act If (And Here’s Hoping) It’s The Last Thing He Does

CBS reports that Governor Tom Corbett will be in Philadelphia today to sign the bill that will allow victims of crimes to file a complaint against the criminal or criminals responsible in the event that they seek or are offered the opportunity to speak publicly. According to CBS, “Civil rights groups call the measure vague, overbroad and a violation of constitutionally protected free speech,” which is essentially correct, given “civil rights groups” here can be considered interchangeable with “people possessed of sense and decency” and “vague” with “not substantive enough for a high school social studies paper, let alone the law.” This PhillyNow article makes the useful point that, with an election coming up, Corbett probably wants to limit his detractors’ abilities to be publicly vocal as much as possible. Maybe they’re right. Or maybe Corbett’s so sure he’s going to lose he’s seizing his last chance at a belligerent far-right flameout.

October 20, 2014

In 1982, Philadelphians Were Total Dicks To The Clash

Sad but true. This pic got us going yesterday:

And while we knew that The Clash indeed had played Philly a few times — we would have loved to have been at this gig — we’d somehow forgotten that the pic in question puts them on a date opening for The Who at JFK — Sat, 25 September 1982, to be exact. Old heads will clock the location here being by the gates the long-gone JFK Stadium, and serious Clash fans will recognize this particular image — convertible and boom box — from the footage that’s in the “This Is Radio Clash” (though the look is the same, the footage in that clip is from the BQE, WHY DO I KNOW ALL OF THIS). In any case, how was the gig?

Um, not that great. One fan, David from Malvern, remembered it this way:

The Clash was treated abominably. The crowd started booing immediately after they were introduced. All manner of debris was thrown at the stage. I remember Joe Strummer was hit right between the eyes with an apple. Mick Jones was hit by a soda bottle while in mid-leap. He picked it up and drank from it.

A civic shame though it may be — sometimes I feel this place creep up inside of me in a way that makes me feel there’s not a damned thing in this world that’s decent — you have to hand it to the guy: Strummer 1, Philly 0.

Come to think of it, I’m completely comfortable with that.

The Week Ahead In Comedy: Triple Double Trouble & Other Delights

Funny, they don’t look like murderers, oh wait, no, they totally do:
Triple Double hits the Figment Theater on Friday night.

There are few better ways to get down to a comic’s level than by drinking in a basement. Downstairs from the streets, Medusa Lounge is host to “We Do!,” Tuesday night’s home for underground stand-up and citywide specials. Musical guest Nathan Kalish and the Lastcallers will open this week’s open mic, which is the only show in town to feature a first half and an “intimate half.” Get close. Tuesday, 9:30PM. No cover.

Where will you be the night of the 24th!? An interview with an audience member will fuel an hour of improv comedy from Figment Theater‘s original resident ensemble, Triple Double, this Friday at Figment Theater. According to recent allegations, Triple Double is a “murderer’s row” of improvisers featuring Dan Corkery, Frank Farrell, Brian Rumble, Max Sittenfield, Caitlin Weigel, and Corin Wells. Friday, 9:30PM. $5. Figment Theater, 1219 Vine St, Studio C.

Body parts of all kinds will be convening at The Mütter Museum Sunday, as Hillary Rea’s storytelling series “Tell Me a Story” takes on the theme of — what else? — “Guts.” The featured storytellers will be Nikki Black, Jaime Fountaine, Beth Lander, Steve Lippe, Zeeshan Nayeemuddin, Katie Samson, and Michael Yudell. See and hear what’s inside of people. Sunday, 3pm. Tickets available online.

– Alejandro Morales

Alejandro Morales is one of the six rotating hosts of the award-winning (and later, award-losing) Laughs on Fairmount open mic, every Monday at 8pm at Urban Saloon. See his webseries at thedatesshow.com and follow him on twitter @AlleyHandRow.

[Photo: Erin Pitt]

Noontime Nuggetz: Philly, Meet Dronestagram

Dronestagram is a site that aggregates drone-generated video footage of cities and places all over the world, and this clip of Philly by videographer David Mielcarek just popped up over there. Philly’s lookin’ pretty good in this one, but damn, that Skrillex soundtrack is shite.

Previously: The Drone Video Of The Divine Lorraine Hotel Is Like An Episode of BoardWalk Empire Set In The Future

Monica Lewinsky Just Made People Cry At The Forbes Under 30 Thing

“I was patient zero,” she said, “the first person to have their reputation completely destroyed via the internet.” Daily News reporter Stephanie Farr is live-tweeting the event right now. In other news regarding Forbes Under 30 causing tears in Philly, there’s this whole mess at the Piazza. Then again, is the Piazza actually technically in Philly anymore?

And The First Philly Weed Ticket Goes To…

… PhillyNORML activist and US Marine Corps combat veteran Mike Whiter, who received the City’s first citation for marijuana possession under the new laws this morning at 8:00AM. According to a press release just issued by PhillyNORML, “Whiter negotiated with PPD Chief Inspector Joe Sullivan and Civil Affairs department head Captain Stephen Glenn to engage in the peaceful action. Whiter, an underground medical cannabis patient, walked into the outdoor rotunda at City Hall then lit a marijuana joint. He was issued a $100 ticket for public cannabis smoking.”

Weird Monday, man. Full press release after the jump. (more…)

Happy Marijuana Monday, Philadelphia!

We were going to call it “Relaxed Punishment For Marijuana Possession Monday,” because that is more accurate, but it just didn’t have the same ring to it. In any case, yes, effective today, if you get caught by the Philly po-po with up to 30 grams, or one ounce, of marijuana, you’re looking at a $25 fine. Or at least, that’s what supposed to happen, this is Philly, who knows, you might get choked out, you might get free Eagles tickets. This is the law, but life in this town remains a crap shoot, so let’s not lose our heads here, alright? Even so, we are anxiously awaiting to see who becomes locally famous in the next 24 hours for being the first person in Philly to get a weed ticket. Is Biden in town today?

We’ll Bet You A Dollar That You Didn’t Know That Tom Corbett’s Middle Name Is “Wingett”

Oh, but it is. And in this same Pittsburgh Post-Gazette piece, we also glimpse the Walter Mitty-esque fantasy life of the embattled candidate:

“[It..] gets renewed every day for me, renewed in seeing the people, traveling the state, going into a convenience store or a fast food store, getting coffee here and there, people coming up and saying, ‘Governor, keep doing what you’re doing.’ ”

Now yes, we are partisan as fuck on this one and all, but even so, just at a basic human level, the only scenario in which we can imagine any Pennsylvanian saying “Governor, keep doing what you’re doing” would be if, like, he put an old, nasty creamer into his coffee and he was stirring it, trying to get those clumpy white bits to go away.

Speaking of trying to get clumpy white bits to go away, here is some more Corbett Monday morning guidance:

· Just now on Radio Times With Marty Moss-Coane, after talking with Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner Tom Wolf, Moss-Coane then spoke with GOP Lt. Governor Jim Cawley. Her first line of questioning detailed a months-long effort to get Corbett to make an appearance on the show, only to be rebuffed over and again, even when — last week in fact — Corbett was actually in the WHYY building. Cawley’s answer — “he’s just too darned busy!” — was awkward.

· Meanwhile, false media: He do need it, do he? It would seem so, as Corbett is sticking by some ad campaigns which do not pass the FactCheck.org sniff test. 

· Nevertheless, a new poll has Corbett trailing Wolf by just seven points, which in addition to scaring you enough to actually vote, should also serve as a reminder of how we all wound up here to begin with: Who needs facts when you’ve got Wingett?

The Cover Of Saturday’s Daily News Set A New Benchmark For Daily News-iest

photo (9)

You may not know or not remember that the Daily News actually publishes a paper on Saturdays (ICYMI, the Inquirer publishes a paper on Sundays, but there’s really nothing to see there). Well, they do, and on Saturday, they struck headline/Photoshop/podunk-PA-politics gold with the above “Porn Maze” bonanza. And even if this story about Judge Seamus McCaffery was not worth the price of admission alone, the whole thing still would have been gold, gold, gold. In fact, the Native Americans would have called it… (a-)maize.

October 17, 2014

This Weekend: America Is Ready To Hear What You Have To Say, Philly Freaks


>>> Happy Fall Weekend! You look like you wanna like GET INTO IT, and by “GET INTO IT,” I mean “gorge your brain on some of the wildest, headiest music Philadelphia and its people have to offer and, given our history, yo, that is SAYING SOMETHING.” Allow us to direct you to Steve Gunn/Mary Lattimore &Jeff Zeigler Duo/Spacin’ at PhilaMOCA. We’ve spoken of expat Gunn here before (as well as hosted him at AKA Music) but the guy is coming into his own in a major way with the new Way Out Weather LP, for which tonight’s show is the record release party. It’s not every day that an album full of druggy-ass, crazy American Primitive guitar music enters the Billboard Heatseekers Chart, but, um, that is exactly what just happened for Gunn. What does it mean? What can it mean? It can mean that, pierce the soup skin of this wicked nation, and you will notice that, once again, America is ready to hear what you have to say, Philadelphia. At this point, even those Chuckies and Brides Of Chuckies in the suburbs know: You cannot gaybash the cosmic truth. It is physically impossible.

>>> As noted, the Philadelphia Film Festival is underway. Likewise, John Hodgman at Underground Arts will be a goddamned hoot.

>>> Elsewhere: The 4th Annual Chestnut Hill Harry Potter Festival is a thing that is happening and is not made up; and that Philly DJ Mural Block Party at 13th & Chestnut starts at 6pm, so take off your flats and put on your Reeboks now, Center City office workers!


>>> Ooh it’s gonna be a good day for it, love: Octoberfest at Dilworth Park with Norwegian Arms, Drgn King, Dave P..

>>> And celebrating 40 years of smirking at people who think sculpture is all about that scene in Ghost, The Clay Studio Mudball at World Cafe Live rages hard with Broadzilla DJs and so much more. Just click the link, you’re gonna like the way you look, I guarantee it.

>>> Elsewhere: Rock Tits at The Dolphin; Drive-By Truckers/St. Paul and the Broken Bones at Electric Factory.


>>> Wiz Khalifa and Afrojack play this Forbes Under 30 concert at the Piazza which, to be honest, we do not quite understand. But it’s Wiz so, you know, ask questions later.

>>> And round it all out afterwards with Juston Stens & The Get Real Gang with Zeus at Ortlieb’s.

Philly Film Fest Picks: Opening Weekend

It’s a question worth asking: Where have the great art-y, moody, kind of trippy, semi-smutty films that European countries seemed to export daily in the ’60s and ’70s gone? Is there a modern equivalent? If there is, Peter Strickland‘s The Duke of Burgundy belongs in that column, and is a direct homage to that era in tone, period and apparently (see above), pervy subject matter. Sat, Oct 18, 9:30PM, and Sun, Oct 26, 7:20PM, both at Ritz East.

Love at First Fight, you had me at “French rom-com involving Doomsday preppers in the woods.”Sun, Oct 19, 7:00 PM, and Wed, Oct 22, 5:00 PM, both at Ritz East.

WILD CANARIES Clip – SXSW 2014 from Sophia Takal on Vimeo.

You’re bound to recognize a few faces in Wild Canaries: Lawrence Michael Levine directs and stars in what could be a new genre: The Bored To Death-esque modern-day Brooklyn caper film. It won’t win any awards for originality, but it will go great with that sweater. Sat, Oct 18, 4:20 PM at Ritz Bourse; Thu, Oct 23, 6:00 PM at PFS Roxy Theater.

The 23rd Philadelphia Film Festival is underway through October 26th. Check Philebrity daily for more picks and special screening offers.

Film Sweat: Not Your Cousin Vinny

NOTE: The 2014 Philadelphia Film Festival is currently underway; we’ll have picks for that in a separate post.

RECOMMENDED: Bill Murray is an inspiration to some and an annoyance to others [Ed. -- Who? Who are they? What are their names?], but no matter how you feel about him, there is no denying that he is an American original. You can put him in almost any movie with almost any premise (as evidenced by early novelties like Stripes and Caddyshack as well as more seriously undertaken explorations of character like Where the Buffalo Roam and Broken Flowers — and maybe also Space Jam) and create, if not art, then at least what critics will call, for lack of any more specific word, “screen presence.” St. Vincent is no exception, and Jaeden Lieberher, Murray’s preteen costar, is the same kind of actor. When the two are onscreen together, every line is delivered the same way, and every line is delivered right. The movie is not more creatively or powerfully written or shot than the average major motion picture, but it does offer viewers what they have been going to movies to see for as long as there have been movies: Interesting conversations between people who are interesting to watch. As it turns out, that’s more than enough.

ALSO NEW IN THEATERS THIS WEEK: The Book of Life, a new animated feature from a pretty unlikely source: Producer Guillermo del Toro and director Jorge Gutierrez, who tell a traditional traditional tale in a hackneyed medium (the usual present-day loud, wise-cracky kids’ film), and somehow make it fresh; The Best of Me, another emo adaptation from the works of Nicholas Sparks, the Taylor Swift of Men Who Write Books; and Fury, which would seem to give weight to the growing body evidence that suggests that Brad Pitt forgot that he nailed the whole “rugged military dude” thing in Inglorious Basterds and didn’t really need to do it again.

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.

Join Us This Week All Over South Street For The @215Festival !


Click here to see all of the current 215 Festival events on Facebook.

Longtime readers of the site will know that each October now, our whole worlds go rather enjoyably haywire as we collaborate with other folks on that venerable literary beast, the 215 Festival. Started at the dawn of man, the 215 Fest is a books-and-authors fest like no other: Each year now, we park it in a different part of town, have readings and book talks and social things in bars, bookstores and public squares, and it is some of the deepest, cleanest, brainiest fun you can have in this old town. The 215 Fest is adorably scrappy, has been since its inception, and it’s unique among literary fests in that it’s not anchored to an institution. Rather, it is anchored to the human spirit and in particular the human spirit of the Philadelphian who loves reading and writing. Next week, the 215 Festival will touch down in the Headhouse Square/South Street area, and we’ll have more (much more!) to say about why that is on Monday. But please take a gander at the events (there’s still a few more being added in the coming hours), follow the 215 Fest on Twitter, and plan to join us to see a wide array of Philly writers (and some visitors) doing what they do best. You won’t regret it.

And if you don’t believe us, hell, believe note 215 Fest alumnus/Hizzoner Judge John Hodgman:

See you next week!

First Local Station Switches To All-Xmas Music As MoreFM (Formerly B101) Patiently Picks Its Moment

xmasradioWell, it’s happened: The first station in the country has done the annual “Christmas flip” to all holiday music, and now, it’s merely a waiting game until others around the country follow suit. In this case, it’s residents of the Shore who can tune into Soft AC “Easy 93.1” WEZW of Wildwood Crest, NJ right now and hear your Carpenters and your Johnny Mathis and your Grandmas getting run over by reindeer. This is not the first time WEZW has been the first in the nation to jump the gun, which now gives the station the status of that kid who wakes up on Christmas morning at 3:00 AM only to have to his parents (in this case, THE WORLD) telling him to go back to bed.

Here in Philly, all of this begs the question: When will MoreFM (Formerly B101), Philly’s number one dentist office/convenience store music provider, do its big annual switch? We actually called the station to find out. (And they say that hyperlocal journalism will never survive. HA!) A representative from the station told us, with a sort of pride, that the station never announces ahead of time when the switch will be. One day you’ll just turn it on, and Santa will have commandeered the DJ booth a la Airheads. Even so, apparently the station will begin surveying listeners next on when the switch should be. Over on their Facebook page, listeners are already clamoring for it.