September 11, 2013
It’s been a great summer at Race Street Pier for the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation’s Third Thursday Live and Local series. We’ve been proud to be a media partner for the series, which brought performances from City Rain, Dice Raw, Lushlife, Light Heat, Chris Forsyth, and a whole bunch more. Next week’s event, the last of the year, brings in Chill Moody — who is the closest thing the Philly rap game has to a rising national star right now — Osiris Rex, and the Joe Jordan Experiment. Once again, there will be free beer from Philadelphia Brewing Company. Trust us, you don’t want to miss this.
You’re free tomorrow night, right? If you aren’t you’re gonna want to make yourself free: Barrence Whitfield and The Savages — the R&B, soul, gospel-a-billy workhorses who have opened for Bo Diddley, Tina Turner, George Thorogood, Robert Cray, and Solomon Burke — are playing Milkboy tomorrow night. With a soulful voice that could only come from a man whose birth-name is Barry White, Whitfield and his group reunited (and as most reunions go, not all members were original) this year to release Dig Thy Savage Soul, a funked-up, dance-worthy collection of tunes that are perfect to kick your weekend off a day early. And you know what? We’d love you to be there to see it all in person. To enter to win tickets, email ihopeiwin[at]philebrity[dot]com with “Dig, Savage, Dig” in the subject header. You’ll automatically be subscribed to the forthcoming new Philebrity Reader weekly newsletter and win chances for other exclusive free stuff. We’ll give you all of tonight to enter and pick winners late, so get those emails in.
We’re a few tracks into the Elvis Costello and The Roots collaboration album, and it basically sounds like what you expect an Elvis Costello and The Roots album to sound like. Which is to say it is quite good. Check out the stream here.
Photo by Johanna Austin @ AustinArt.org
Franz Kafka’s The Castle. The fringe site “Features” column lists this as “dark” and “comic.” Director Tina Brock thankfully incorporates no “audience participation” in this story of merciless bureaucracy and tattered internal hellscapes. From the delightfully upbeat Idiopathicridiculopathy Consortium.
Juliet Hope Wayne will be filing daily FringeArts picks and reportage with us for the duration of the Festival. If you’ve got a show you want her to check out, tweet her @juliethopewayne. Do not, under any circumstances, send her or us any more emails.
I saw a highly-engaging fringe show last night called “Catfish” that got some generous grants from the Neutrogena Foundation (interspersed throughout the show there were cute videos of Emma Roberts lathering up her cheeks, like a little bathing chipmunk).
The venue was close to my house, which was good because my truck was on “E” and I had zero dollars. The theater was one of the most comfortable I’ve been to. “Jane’s House” features snack-sized couches that furniture stores now call “chairs.” I could lay across one while watching the large TV screen that projected about half of the content of the show. Jane played a “Good Friend Since 10th Grade French Class” and served me real spaghetti and meatballs, which were extra good cause I was HUN-GRY! As we ate we watched the cable country music channel, which projects photographs of the musicians playing whatever song is on. It also has little fun facts about them:
>>> Shania Twain’s real name is Shania Langhorne Clemons
>>> Keith Urban hates being asked about his hair
>>> Darius Rucker once did a cameo on Touched By An Angel
At some point Jane started changing the TV channels until I yelled for her to stop when I saw a hot dude. I haven’t seen a hot dude since 2005-6, so I wanted to relish the moment. The name of this video installation was “Catfish” and the actor was named Nev Schulman.
The synagogue near my second favorite bar gives out these 3-D type paper glasses every year, and if you wear them and drive around looking at all the Christmas lights, it makes each shiny bulb look like a Star of David (I want a pair that make it look like Nev Schulman is always right next to you, catchin’ the bad guys, understandin’ your pain).
The story of this particular cycle of the play is that Nev, wildly emotionally intelligent, bizarrely attractive, and also a trained ballet dancer — a thinking-girl’s Eric Nies — was once “catfished,” meaning he got tangled into a relationship with someone who wasn’t who they pretended to be on the internet. The level of belief-suspension I had to access was on par with reading a Greek myth, since Nev was living in Manhattan at the time and was no doubt surrounded by hot Real Life Ladies. The idea that this Angel of Astrounding Hotness could be internet-duped made me feel so much better about myself. Catfishing can happen to anyone!
In another act of the piece, two young women named Alisha and Aaliyah clandestinely correspond with each other in a saucy romance. Aaliyah wants to see Alisha face to face, and so Nev and his friend travel across the country to drive this woman 70 blocks to the home of her paramour. As it turns out, it wasn’t a romance at all from Alisha’s perspective, who explains that she sits on her computer and cell phone pretending to be in love with people so they’ll send her money and shit. Nev’s friend isn’t buying it, though. He believes her sociopathic claims are just a front to hide her true feelings and sexuality.
The screen content changed after this and went to a show featuring two women standing at podiums and yelling “bitches!” a lot. It was abrasively unagreeable to me and I immediately wanted to go outside and get away from it.
At this point, a young man named Abraham entered the room. About 19, he was tall and thin and dressed overly warm for the weather. Jane said, “Jul, did you see? He shaved his eyebrows?” The young man showed me he had shaved his eyebrows, head and his left arm. I asked him why and he didn’t give me a straight answer, so I figured it was something metaphorical I would realize later on in the theater piece. Later, “Jane’s Roomate” entered the theater and Jane and him argued about whether or not they liked my hair.
I announced I had to go and Jane gave me leftovers of the spaghetti to take home. I started to walk back to my truck, and heard Jane laughing from the deck as I pulled away.
– Juliet Hope Wayne
Juliet Hope Wayne will be filing daily FringeArts picks and reportage with us for the duration of the Festival. If you’ve got a show you want her to check out, tweet her @juliethopewayne. Do not, under any circumstances, send her or us any more emails. And click here for more Fringe 2013 coverage.
“White riot, I wanna riot, white riot wanna riot with my bros”
On Monday night, as a Youtube party-video group tweeted saying they were coming to University of Delaware, police got wind of it and broke up a frat party where the video series was aiming to go. That’s where things got weird. We’ll let BroBible give you some background here, because somehow BroBible is the voice of reason here:
We’re not entirely sure what happened at the University of Delaware [Monday night], other than the fact that the college party-documentary YouTube channel I’m Shmacked came to Newark on a Monday night and caused an entire college campus to go berzerk. YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram have exploded with pictures and videos of the incident, many of which can be seen right here. According to reports, UDPD got involved along with state and city riot police and a car was apparently burned. The resounding question for those of us far away from the college campus hivemind/mob mentality is ‘why?’”
According to the New York Daily News — who called it a “riot party” which is not a thing — there were no reports of arson or injuries, and Newsworks reports that the president of University of Delaware wrote a strongly worded letter to the student body where he said “This is not only a matter of institutional reputation, but one of personal integrity. Let’s work together to make sure this is an institution where all can feel safe and in which all can take pride.”
And for one day, just one day, Michael Chitwood was in charge of the classier UD.
Chris Cummins, the mad genius behind What’s Dave Kendall Wearing and our own 120 Memories, has got a list up over on Topless Robot of The 15 Nerdiest Places in Philadelphia. It’s not really groundbreaking, but it’s worth a read, even if he missed the obvious #1: Wherever Eric Smith is standing right now.
Dikembe Mutombo is a fascinating man. On top of being one of the greatest defensive centers in NBA history, the dude’s voice is hilarious and he’s one of a small cross-section of people who have hung out with Michael Jackson and Nelson Mandela. Throw Allen Iverson in that mix and he might be the only one. And now, some random dude found a bunch of his stuff.
At a Storage Wars-type auction in Maryland — though we’re sure it was a lot less staged — Adrian Petrus purchased a locker that, as it turns out, belonged to one of Dikembe’s brothers, and in it was a treasure trove of memorabilia. The locker reportedly contained “signed basketballs, shoes, jerseys, trading cards and photos of Dikembe with celebs like Michael Jackson and Nelson Mandela … [it] also contained works of art painted and signed by Mutombo’s brother.” TMZ reports that Petrus reached out to Dikembe to see if wanted to make a deal on some of the items and never heard back. So, it is here where we’d like to as Petrus: Hey, if you just feel like giving some of that stuff away, come and find us.
[h/t The 700 Level]
Diego Jardinero says: Ay dios mio!
Hola señoras y señores: Unfortunately, that’s as far as two years of high school Spanish (and four semesters of mentally suppressed Spanish in college) takes us, but if you’re got more skills with español than we do, maybe you can be Telemundo’s Jim Gardner:
WWSI, the Telemundo station in Philadelphia, is planning on hiring 15 people in preparation for the launch of local newscasts next year.
The station is hiring 15 people in a variety of roles, including reporter, producer, anchor and photographer. WWSI will launch high definition Spanish language newscasts at 6 and 11 p.m. beginning in January.”
WWSI is looking for Spanish-speaking individuals to fill the roles of “reporter, producer, anchor and photographer as well as positions in sales, finance and engineering.” Those people will be on board for the launch of the half-hour newscasts which, because of the language and because of Action News, will naturally be much more suave than anything we’re already got going on.
While eggheads here and here are debating OH MY GOD WHAT DOES IT MEAN about Hillary Clinton‘s Liberty Medal acceptance last night — duhhhhh, of course she’s running, Joel, what the fuck is wrong with you — we need to get to the real issue at hand: WAS HUMA ABEDIN IN PHILLY LAST NIGHT WHILE HER HUSBAND’S ENTIRE LIFE IMPLODED IN A MANNER THAT COULD NOT HAVE BEEN SCRIPTED BETTER IF PHILIP ROTH AND TOM WOLFE HAD A BABY AND THEY NAMED IT CARLOS DANGER?
Now, this isn’t one of those coy questions that we know the answer to and we’re just stringing you along. But it stands to reason that she might have been here. We know this much: She wasn’t on the campaign trail with Anthony Weiner on Monday; she was with Hillz in DC. Because she’s always with Hillz. That is her job. Someone has to feed this family. We also know that she, of course and THANK GOD, was notably absent from the Sydney Leathers Foggy McDonald’s Breakdown that was the Weiner, er, victory party. So was she here? This slideshow is no use for anyone other than Aimee Mann fans. Molly Eichel, didn’t Lexie Braineater call you at dawn to find out the same? Press reps at the National Constitution Center probably have a personal day; they did not pick up the phones. But we hope — and we’ll tell you if we find out — that Huma was indeed here. Because A) she would have been among friends, and friends would seem to be needed right now, and B) we can tell you from experience that Philly is a fantastic place to shake off the death-steam of an ex whom you should have dropped ages ago. We have no idea why they never put this in the “XO XO, Philadelphia” ads, but they should. Love you, Huma. Hope you’re doing alright. It is all uphill from here.
Update: We are told that Huma was not present at the NCC last night. Consider this post, then, a standing invitation, dear. When you’re ready.
Earlier this morning, armed with $50K in checks from John and Dr. Janet Haas and The Maguire Foundation, Mayor Michael Nutter announced the creation of the Philadelphia Educational Supplies Fund. It is what it sounds like: An ongoing fundraising campaign to provide funds to Philly schools for that most basic of needs — school supplies, i.e., pens, pencils, paper, etc. Administered by the United Way, the fund seems to be an attempt to get grassroots support in the middle of a schools crisis manufactured by our governor, Tom Corbett, wherein schools barely had what they need to open when, after much anxiety, they opened earlier this week.
Also announced this morning was a challenge of sorts to the local business community: Mayor Nutter issued a City-wide challenge to the business and philanthropic communities and individuals to raise $500,000 for the Fund by October 15th and $2.5 million over the next five years. (The City of Philadelphia is kicking in $200,000 this year and $1 million over the Five Year Plan to the Fund to kick-off the fundraising efforts.) “Our current education climate requires a different approach to ensure our young people have classrooms equipped to offer them a high-quality education,” Mayor Nutter said. Short of a massive Kickstarter campaign, a new governor or secession from the state of Pennsylvania, this is most likely what that approach is going to look like for a while.
Well if so, put on your leather jacket and your piano tie, because Howl At The Moon is going in on 15th Street where the Bucca di Beppo is so that people can stumble across the street and sing Journey once they’ve been flagged at McGlinchey’s. We give the place two years.
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Dear Bookworms: Wing on over to The 215 Festival — Philly’s longstanding, hard-drinking literary festival, back this year from October 17-20 — for the latest news, including but not limited to:
· how the 215 Fest is setting up camp in a different neighborhood for each of its four days this year
· some of the names attached so far (and we’re sitting on a powder keg of even more authors that we’re waiting to release)
· and, not least, The 215 Festival Benefit & Preview! Friday September 13th 2013!
To be held at the legendary Port Richmond Books, this very fine soiree is going to be a really special night, and would be the literary event of the season if the 215 Fest wasn’t happening. Featuring appearances by: Tom Moon’s Ensemble Novo! Comedian Doogie Horner! Poet Elizabeth Scanlon! Author Sarah Rose Etter! … plus the world-famous TYPE-IN typewriter happening! And so much more. Please: Tell your friends, alert your nerds, affix your elbow patches and do please join us.
September 10, 2013
>>> Hillary Clinton is getting the Liberty Medal at the Constitution Center tonight. There will be Bengazi protests, there will be Syria protests, but there will be no Bill.
>>> At the Free Library, Phillies fan-favorite Jamie Moyer will be on hand to sign copies of Just Tell Me I Can’t: How Jamie Moyer Defied the Radar Gun and Defeated Time.
>>> And in shows, Mayer Hawthorne and Superhumanoids play Union Transfer, The Lift Up and Heyward Howkins play the Khyber upstairs in support of some residency thing, and interestingly, The Rosebuds will hit the stage at Johnny Brenda’s tonight where they’ll play Sade’s 1992 album Love Deluxe in its entirety.
Over at Newsworks, Brian Hickey shares the story of Edward Sheed, a man seen as a courageous hero in his youth, who is now behind bars, convicted of attempted murder:
On Sept. 24, 2002, an 11-year-old boy left McMichael School and walked to the 16th Police District at 39th St. and Lancaster Ave. There, he told narcotics investigators how his afternoons after-school had been going.
His father would leave a halfway house in Center City, drive over to Mantua to pick up his young son and put him to work as his drug-dealing apprentice in Brewerytown. If Doobie resisted, he faced the threat of being thrown in the Schuylkill or getting beat with a belt-wrapped fist.
‘What struck me is when he said, ‘Drug dealers get shot or go to jail. I don’t want to get shot or go to jail,” Special Victims Unit Investigator William Brophy recalled in a Philadelphia Weekly story. ‘This is a bright-eyed, wide-smiled, smart, brave young boy. He wouldn’t strike you as any different than any other child — other than how he was used by his father in his father’s drug organization.’”
Now, years later, Sheed was just sentenced to 30+ years in prison for the near-fatal shooting of Marvin Brown in 2011. There is so much more to the story though, and you’re really doing yourself a disservice if you don’t check out Hickey’s piece and its update here.
Photo by Jacques-Jean Tiziou
Avant-garde theatre, how are we handling Amber Alerts?: Some point near the end of Pay Up, a woman was looking around, worried, and kept saying she couldn’t find her daughter. I don’t think it was part of the play, and so I wondered, what do they do in the case of emergencies? Yelling “this is not part of the play!” in an interactive avant-garde theater piece is like not saying anything in a crowded theater. Even more confusing was that I seemed to be the only person watching the woman. Missing daughters … oy.
Pay Up isn’t a good play to see if you have a toothache. Comments on dehumanizing bureaucracy were already being transmitted from my molar. I got in for free, but other people paid 25 bucks, and once you’re in they give you five one-dollar bills to use to watch scenes being acted-out, but after I ran out of those I was just standing around. Some people used their own money to keep watching scenes, and they also started selling water. They suggested that maybe I could ask someone to pay for me to watch scenes. I said “that’s not my style,” and wondered what to do with my body until they let us exit. I saw someone I knew in the play and waved, forgetting that they were, you know, in a PLAY. They pretended they didn’t see me though. I mean, I realize we were in a play but my big-dumb-oaf of a subconscious doesn’t know that. I couldn’t help but feel a little stung.
This play mirrors the world we’re already wrestling with a little too well. A “free” Busby-Berkely-type dance sequence also drilled the point home that no one is getting what they need, and entertainment provided by The Man is just condescending distraction. The point was, I guess, to disorient you with Big-Brother-enforced nonsense, and deaden your instincts with a rat race. The only part I felt I could lose myself a little in was a “secret” scene in all Spanish, some kind of Telemundo one-act where I felt connected to the highly-emotive, almost cartoonishly passionate actors. Then an “authority figure” shuts it down and they get scolded.
Have you ever had the feeling at the doctor’s office when they are running you through a Beckett-y mill of co-pays and referrals where you just want to bang on the glass window until it smashes? This play feels like that.
Hop on after the jump to read about Juliet’s relief that the actors were … acting, and the Pay Up people’s night-gig (more…)
>>> After being called upon by Ted Leo and Aimee Mann to open their Boot and Saddle kick-off show last night, friend of the Philebs Wesley Stace‘s newest album, Self-Titled, can be heard in its entirety here. [New York Times]
>>> Man Man‘s On Oni Pond was released today, and hey, the reviews are pretty good. [Metacritic]
>>> And here’s Kurt Vile and the Violators covering “Guns of Brixton” for a Clash documentary made by Google or something that we don’t entirely understand. [Pitchfork]
Look, even though some of us doubted him at the beginning of the year, Domonic Brown has (finally) proved himself worthy of the hype, displayed that his potential would not go squandered, and showed all we needed to do was heed the advice of Axl Rose. So it makes sense that the Phillies fan-base has fully embraced Dom Brown as one of our own. So when he steps out wearing the football jersey of a rival of the Eagles, that image is slightly shattered, but if you’re angry about that, you should really shut up. You see, Dom Brown is from Florida — long ago we stopped trying to understand them — and while his options for football fandom in his home state are numerous even if they’re unimpressive, he’s allowed to like whatever team he wants. So the following Instagram comments are more than a little ridiculous:
>>> “Great Philadelphia spirit, not”
>>> “Terrible bro. Ur a Phillie and should be an Eagles fan while your here or at least stay undercover in the closet with ur Cowgirls shame”
>>> “Fuck you”
>>> And our favorite “I do not fuck with you no more”
Brown commented on his own picture after a bunch of those gems above and said “Me and the guys are dying laughing about it,” and we don’t think he’s laughing with you. And before you turn it on us and ask what we’d think of someone on the Eagles was a Mets fan, we’d like to point out that all of us — every single one of us — should feel bad for Mets fans.
If you’re super cranky about it though, here’s when you can heckle him next year.
According to The Inquirer, “Clinton fans are expected to pack Finnigan’s Wake in Northern Liberties to dream of 2016 and watch a live telecast of the former first lady, U.S. senator, and secretary of state accepting the Liberty Medal at the National Constitution Center.” As if that place wasn’t already weird enough, the bros just trying to unwind with a dozen or so Bud Light bottles after a long Tuesday are gonna be part of a weird crowd … a weird crowd that could all be yours.
Last week, we stumbled upon one hell of a rumor: Comcast was planning on bringing some of NBC here, and they would be building two towers around the Comcast Building to handle to influx of jobs/employees. Well, as the internet is never a place to go if you want to hear people backing away from unconfirmed rumors, someone at that Skyscraper website has doubled down:
The Rumors are true!
I called my contact with Liberty Property Trust and as usual he could not tell me much but what he could tell me was there are four towers planned. ACC lot will have two towers, one “significantly taller than Comcast” on the side of the lot closest to 18th. The side of the lot closer to 19th will have a shorter tower. On the Northwest Corner of 19th and Arch will be a third tower, at least 22 floors. A fourth tower is being planned for an unspecified location. Lastly, a glass studio will be built at the corner 18th and JFK.
He also said that not only is Comcast moving NBC jobs to town, but Comcast is in need of more space. He also said there are at least 8 firms in town with several hundred employees and expanding who need more space and there is not enough space currently to accommodate them.”
Luckily, someone we know and trust is on the case as well: PhillySkyline’s Bradley Maule. Over at HiddenCity, Maule mentions that if said tower (or towers) are built, when it comes to the property at 18th and Arch, “one thing is for certain … its architect will be Foster + Partners.” Foster + Partners previously designed Millennium Bridge, Wembley Stadium, France’s Millau Viaduct (the tallest bridge in the world), Commerzbank Tower in Frankfurt (the tallest building in Europe for almost a decade), and more. So, they know size. And with the rumor that whatever is proposed, when it is built, will be “significantly taller” than the Comcast Building, they’re a pretty good fit.