On August 29th, PhilaMOCA will present a performance by Viper, a band so obsessed with the 1986 Tom Cruise epic Top Gun that they perform its soundtrack — featuring Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone,” Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away,” and The Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” — in its entirety while acting out portions of the film on stage. Yeah, we don’t know either. But better this than Far and Away we suppose. Those who feel the need, the need for speed can buy advance tickets here while the rest of us take a long hard look at ourselves and what 1980s nostalgia has wrought.
Over at City Paper, Patrick Rapa has created a slideshow of zines from his personal collection as a response to both a CP piece about The Soapbox Independent Publishing Center in West Philly and to commemorate July being International Zine Month. This has got us thinking about lazy afternoons spent at Tower Books (aww) on South Street idling through the latest issues of The Morri’Zine, Ben Is Dead, Hitch, Cashiers du Cinemart, Report from the Star Wars Generation and other relics from the long, dark ’90s. We’d say a zine revival is long overdue, but then we remembered that one is already underway via Internet mail order. That’s comforting to know. With the buzz of the 1990s zine explosion long dead, these personal publications have again returned to the fringes of society, right where they belong. Well, there and curled up somewhere with you and your solitude.
Oh hey! We are going to be giving away a pair of tickets to see Brandon Flowers this Thursday at the Electric Factory. We’ll be picking a winner in the AM, which means you still have time to enter. So here’s what to do, at some point between now and midnight tonight, e-mail ihopeiwin[at]philebrity[dot]com with “LONELY TOWN” 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. Good luck!
Before Frank’s Soda was popping with Patti Smyth flavor, its commercials were sun-splashed kisses of happiness packed with the sort of high-intensity beach fun that only exists in ads and early-1980s teen comedies. And you know what? We do need a drink, the color of sun with real orange juice and Frank’s is very probably still the one. The next time you’re in 1981, pick us up a case, okay?
In response to last week’s brief Nicki Minaj/Taylor Swift feud and the ongoing Meek Mill/Drake ghostwriting beef, The New York Times has given us an in-depth breakdown of these most important of issues. Aiming to explore how Minaj and Mill use social media as a soapbox to call out people and/or discuss issues important to them, the piece is a stop-the-world-we-want-to-get-off journey deep into the unforgiving heart of celebrity nothingness. Ahem:
If Drake and Ms. Swift excel at currying favor and finding common ground, Ms. Minaj and Meek Mill have walked bolder, at times lonelier paths. Collecting friends far and wide is not their goal. Ms Minaj has long pointed out what she perceives as mistreatment or hypocrisy in the music business. Meek Mill, one of the last remaining mainstream rappers still loyal to the street rap of the 1990s, has barely tweaked his approach in search of wider acclaim.
Those principles serve as nourishment, and also as weapons — compromise is the enemy. Drake hasn’t replied directly to Meek Mill’s accusations. But in a private message made public on Instagram, he wrote: “I signed up for greatness. This comes with it.” And he has liked an Instagram video that places a magazine cover featuring Skepta (a Drake buddy) in front of one featuring Meek Mill.
Look, clearly we are not above commenting on celebrity culture here, but there was something about this article that gave us the same sort of depressed disdain that Jane had for Grover’s intensely articulated thoughts on Saturday morning cartoons in Kicking and Screaming. We guess what we are trying to say here is that Twitter think pieces make us get where Luddites are coming from. We hear you guys loud and clear right now.
Over the weekend, social media exploded with images of the unofficial above map that appeared on Philly’s Reddit page allegedly showing how the city will be shut down for the Pope’s visit. (In other words, shit is gonna be screwed river to river if this is genuine). Given the increasingindicators that the Pope’s visit is going to significantly impact the city, our gut feeling is that this was created by online trolls to fuel growing worry (well, that and the fact the map features a misspelling of the word “prohibited”). Of course, it could just be possible that this is wishful thinking on our part and this thing is 100% legit, but for now everybody chill until more information presents itself. To paraphrase The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, life’s bad enough as it is without wanting to invent any more of it.
UPDATE: This appears to be the real one, but again, at this point everything is tentative. Stay tuned.
Comedy, comedy, everywhere, but not a drop to drink – unless of course you go to Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar where tonight there will be both plenty of comedy and drinkable drops! Rachel Fogletto and Phyllis Voren host the Funny Females All Woman Comedy Show, a show that is packed to the gills with talent. This month’s show features Joanne Syrigonakis, Hannah Harkness, Natalie Levant, and Victoria DePaul. Monday, 8pm. No cover
On Thursday, treat yourself to a real appetizer sampler at the Philly Improv Theater‘s new Monologues show. If you’re into prepared works but have a hard time keeping track of all the characters, this is the show for you! You can see performers Rick Helpa, Teresa Nutter, Mallory Rhodes, Kristofer Hodge, Joe Pants, Julia Hudson, Charlie Shulman, and Dru Kramcsak deliver their best solo performances, all on one stage! Thursday, 7:30pm. $8 in advance/$10 at the door
The Flat Earth is back! The Flat Earth is back! Philadelphia’s most traveled and exciting sketch comedy group, PHIT House Team The Flat Earth are back for two more shows featuring all new material. This week, they will be joined by sketch duo Jon and Ian, who are presenting Jon and Ian Have Something To Tell You. Having already traveled to be part of international comedy festivals, the Flat Earth-ers, give back to Philly this week, with an all new set. Crazy character, wacky weirdos, strange situations and more! Thursday & Friday 9:30pm. $10 in advance/$12 at the door
Let’s face it, like chocolate, there are two types of humor – milk humor and dark humor. On Friday night, The Comedy Club House above Manayunk’s Gaily’s Crazy Cow Cafe celebrates the darkness of comedy in the Dark Humor Comedy Showcase. You’re going to see something weird, something unusual, but that’s great – after all, it’s still comedy! The new showcase features Craig Haas, Mike Alloy, James Mascuilli, and Joe Murdock. Friday, 9:30pm. $10
>>> The XPoNential Music Festival, the annual celebration of WXPN artists on the Camden Waterfront gets underway. This year, the three-day fest includes sets from Dawes, Calexico, My Morning Jacket, St. Vincent, Buckwheat Zydeco, Gina Chavez, Indigo Girls, Grace Potter, and many more. A complete lineup and tickets can be found here.
>>> But wait, it’s a MUSIC FESTIVAL SOPHIE’S CHOICE! Split between PhilaMOCA and First Unitarian Church, the second OK Fest includes three days of largely locally grown performances from the likes of Frances Quinlan, Blowdryer, Amanda X, Spirit of the Beehive, Lithuania, Girlpool, Quarterbacks, and others. Tickets to this could quite possibly be sold out by the time you read this, so check here for details. Incentive: A portion of the proceeds from the fest will benefit the Attic Youth Center.
>>> This Is Hardcore X hits the Electric Factory. What is hardcore these days? We suppose if you come to this, bands like The Geeks, Cruel Hand and Build and Destroy featured on the bill will show you, because this is, you guessed it, ANOTHER MUSIC FESTIVAL HAPPENING THIS WEEKEND. And there’s not a damn thing wrong with that.
>>> Over at Milkboy, Tommy Stinson is playing, and tonight is breaking our hearts because we can only be in one place at a time.
>>> Yeah, we have never enjoyed anything else they’ve done as much as Turn On the Bright Lights either, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t be checking out Interpol when they pop by Festival Pier tonight. Surprise, sometimes, will come around.
>>> The Franklin Flea returns to Headhouse Square. We think we’ve mustered up the courage enough to tell this one vendor we always see there that $6 is way too much money to be selling \Archie back issues for.
>>> The 40th Street Summer Festival is happening in University City, with performances from Mixed People, Red Summer Strings and Au Jus, plus the usual family activities and maybe, if you’re good, balloon animals.
RECOMMENDED: As a Philadelphia-based blog, we are legally obligated to suggest you see each and every underdog boxing flick that hits theaters. But Southpaw appears to be more than a Rocky wannabe thanks to a plot involving a dead wife, a custody battle, moral ambiguity and a ripped Jake Gyllenhaal. Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker co-star.
ALSO NEW IN THEATERS THIS WEEK: The Adam Sandler/Kevin James/Peter Dinklage (who really should know better) nostalgic wet fart that envisions 1980s video game characters coming to life to destroy us. Think a semi-concussed Independence Day meets Tron with, ugh, Josh Gad thrown in too because sure, why the fuck not?; and Paper Towns is the latest YA adaptation from Fault in Our Stars author John Green about a road trip that changes the lives of a group of teens, one we are guessing that is soundtracked by sensitive indie rockers;
On September 9-12, Dr. Dog‘s long-awaited — and Knight Foundation grant-winning — collaboration with Pig Iron Theatre Company, Swamp Is On will finally be staged. The group has just uploaded a weird quasi-teaser for the project to social media. (The mind-twisting plot synopsis can be found here). Actually, we have enough faith in all the parties involved that we are fine with the mystery and oddball vibe that Swamp Is On is emitting…even if we can’t make heads nor tails of it. Curious? You can get your tickets here.
Actually fuck it, our poll is just as temporary as everything else on this dying planet so let’s see what you picked. Wheeeeeee!
Whoomp there it is. Thanks for voting everybody! We hope to have even more joyous polls for you in the future. Vote for something on the Internet. Have your voice heard in the most meaningless way possible!
We’ll have weekend picks up in a bit, but let us suggest now that you all go DOWN THE SHORE! After watching this mind-bending odyssey back to Wildwood of 1983 we have found ourselves going down a Google hole to explore the tragic fates of such shore mainstays as Zaberer’s and Castle Dracula . These classic Things That Aren’t There Anymore have long vanished, but are only as far away as your memory. Just watch the tram car please.
Even in a universe as chaotic as ours there are some basic truths. When it comes to Philly sports, the most noteworthy of these is that Eagles fans are the worst. The Great Santa Shame aside (an incident that the city will never live down even though it has moved past it long ago), the indisputable fact remains that the most vocal supporters of the Igs tend to be sociopathic, drunk and thieving, and fight-happy . Yes, yes, we realize that not all fans of the teams are E-A-G-L-E-S-chanting maniacs, but don’t get snippy with us, turn some of that righteous indignation towards your fellow Birds watchers. Because this opinion ain’t just ours alone. In a Sports Illustrated list of the “most hated people, places and things in the NFL,” the Eagles’ fan base were named as the “most hated.” The Santa incident is obviously trotted out again, sigh, as are some other old chestnuts:
In 1998, the team installed a jail in the bowels of Veterans Stadium and hired a judge, the delightfully-named Seamus McCaffery, to preside over the rowdiest of an infamous bunch. And in 1999, several of Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin’s teammates were understandably distressed when they thought Eagles fans were booing the future Hall-of-Famer as he lay on the field with the neck injury that ended his career. In truth, the fans were booing Deion Sanders, but the fact that they cheered as Irvin lay on the field motionless tells you all you need to know. Every fanbase is unfortunately defined by the minority who do stupid stuff like this, but it seems that Eagles fans are more defined than any other group.
Hey, don’t kill the messenger. If this shit riles you then you are part of the problem and brought this on yourself. Fly Eagles Fly, asshole.
Clearly listening to a lot of INXS’ Kick of late, Comcast is looking for a new sensation in the form of non-traditional media to build their brand even more, never resting until they loom over every metropolis like a kaiju monster of low customer satisfaction and mysterious bill charges. Wait, don’t they do that already? Anyhow, Business Insider is reporting that Comcast has had preliminary talks with a variety of so-called “new media” companies:
The Comcast subsidiary NBCUniversal has had preliminary talks with several entities including Vice, which makes online video and TV programming, according to the report. Comcast has also had discussions with the online publishers BuzzFeed and Business Insider and has discussed increasing its existing 14% stake in Vox Media, the report said.
Comcast is “exploring” the landscape and considering everything from strategic investments to acquisitions to doing nothing at all, the report said.
In other words this news merits, to paraphrase the title of our favorite song by The Ocean Blue, between something and nothing in terms of what this will ultimately mean. It makes absolute sense for Comcast/NBCUniversal to pursue or at least investigate outlets like Vice and Buzzfeed that have an established reputation as new media leaders. Think of it this way, if large corporations are X-Men, Comcast would be like an evil version of Rogue — trying to absorb the powers of their competitors. That may not be the best analogy, but we were up late last night watching Days of Future Past, so forgive us. The point here is that Comcast is constantly trying to make itself more behemothy, so they will always be weighing their options. Even if nothing comes of it. Nevertheless, we wonder what a possible deal could mean for the future of Buzzfeed articles like this one.
• Mayor Nutterholding his head in exasperation over continued questions about #PopeFence.
• Pat’s and/or Geno’s.
• Everyone you know saying “fuck this shit” and fleeing until September 28th.
• Steve Keeley‘s hair.
• Arctic Splash containers on the street, obvs.
• The Wing Bowl.
• Harry Kalas, Smarty Jones and Jim O’Brien sitting on a cloud overlooking the city and smiling.
• Some sort of Rocky-related bullshit.
• A Lorenzo’s slice draped across the Philly skyline.
• An Isaiah Zagar mosiac featuring Pope Francis high-fiving the Phillie Phanatic made out of plates left over from the closing of Le Bec-Fin.
• A jawn.
WXPN’s Morning Show just launched its latest #FridayMorningMixtape, and it’s a cosmic affair that aims to send your weekend into the stratosphere. We don’t approve of all of the choices herein (“Stairway to Heaven,” really?), and the exclusion of Dewey Cox‘s cover of “Starman” is unforgivable, but those minor gripes aside, this is a pretty, er, stellar collection of space-inspired songs. Here’s to you Kepler-452b!
>>> Are you ready to laugh? Good, because it is still Five Dollar Comedy Week. And the highlight of tonight’s five shows at Plays and Players Theaters has got to be Weeding Out the Stoned, featuring 20 comedians — 19 of which are high. But which one is the sober one? That’s for the audience to figure out, with glory and prizes on the line.