August 26, 2014

Researcher Studying Police Killings And Bad Journalism Finds Lots Of Material In Philadelphia

File under “disheartening:” In the wake of the recent events in Ferguson, MO, a lot of attention is finally being paid to the subject of police killing citizens, and the news, from coast to coast, is not great. But sunlight, as they say, can be a great disinfectant. And among the various consciousness-raising efforts that have been getting some media play, one caught our attention: Fatal Encounters, a crowdsourced national database of police killings headed up by D. Brian Burghart of the Reno News & Review. In this post on Gawker last week, Burghart explains the dynamic of his project — how he was spurred into action on the project, how he’s been roadblocked at every opportunity by local and federal beauracracy, how police killings are under-reported as a matter of course, and how, in his estimation, all of this is clearly systemic. And alas, Philly is not much different from the rest of the country in these matters. In fact, he says, it’s completely typical.

Take Philadelphia for example. In Philadelphia, the police generally don’t disclose the names of victims of police violence, and they don’t disclose the names of police officers who kill people. What reporter has time to go to the most dangerous sections of town to try to find someone who knows the name of the victim or the details of a killing? At night, on deadline, are you kidding? So with no victim and no officer, there’s no real story, but the information is known, consumed and mulled over in an ever-darkening cloud of neighborhood anger.

If you drill down to Philly on the map above, you’ll see a particularly high concentration of little red med. That’s not a good thing.

SEPTA Volunteers For The Second Year In A Row To DD Your Trip To The Eagles’ Home Opener

You may remember us posting last year about Miller Lite Free Rides, the joint venture of Miller Lite and SEPTA that allowed you to ride for free to the Eagles’ home opener, saving you the price of two SEPTA tokens as well as a possible lifetime of guilt. Well, sometimes you can get lucky twice. Miller Lite Free Rides is back, encouraging you to get as shitfaced as you want between the hours of 10 AM and 6 PM on Sunday, September 7th. If you want to take advantage of this so far twice-in-a-lifetime opportunity, you can visit or, call 1-800-FREE-RIDES, or text “FREE RIDES” to 90464. Our only question is: where was Miller two weeks ago when we needed a free ride to Williamsport and back for the LLWS opener?

The Whole Foods Yogurt Lawsuit Is Still On The Table, But The Yogurt Is Off The Shelf

0114-greek-yogurt-WXsPqn-mdnWhen we posted a couple of weeks back about a class action lawsuit against Whole Foods in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, (filed by the firm that went after Subway for their eleven-inch “footlongs”), we weren’t sure anything would come of the charges. Whole Foods had been selling 365 Every Day Plain Value Yogurt by advertising a sugar content of 2 grams, proven by testing to be less than %20 of the actual content. The Subway suit was never certified as a class action, and the Greek Yogurt suit, to which we will henceforth refer as “Yogurtgate”, has not come to any conclusion, but Whole Foods seems to have heeded the warning. Check your local store. If you walk the yogurt aisle from one end to the other, eventually you’ll make a troubling discovery: a footlong (or maybe shorter) stretch of empty shelf, where that monstrously unhealthy but oh-so-sweet Greek Yogurt used to sit.


That Guy You Like Is Going To Come Back In Style: PhilaMOCA Lynch Event Series Update

We posted last week about the events at PhilaMOCA scheduled to coincide with The Unified Field, the upcoming David Lynch retrospective at PAFA. The PhilaMOCA series of video screenings, art shows and multimedia performances promised up front to rival the PAFA exhibition in its scope. Now PhilaMOCA’s throwing a cherry on top, complete with tongue-tied stem: The Dreamlife of David L., a French “biopic” about the young Lynch at PAFA, will see its Philadelphia premiere at PhilaMOCA, screening on September 4th, 17th and 24th at 7:30 and 10 PM. While the film draws inspiration from and alludes frequently to details of Lynch’s biography and oeuvre, it is also set in the present day and incorporates unconventional and appropriately Lynchian approaches to narrative. If announcements like this one keep coming, Philadelphians might start to forget that there’s actually another arts festival happening next month.

August 25, 2014

Readers Cameraphone: Shop At Ross For All Of Your Lame Bullying T-Shirt Needs!

While we are often very quick to share and endorse Ross Dress For Less as a source of bargains and basic needs alike, this one gives us pause:

My daughter saw the attached shirt in a department store (Ross Dress For Less) and on her own went up to the counter and asked for them to remove it from the sales floor. Thought it might be worth a look. Anti-bullying!


Say it ain’t so, Ross Dress For Less! Also, I’m looking for a pair of penny loafers to complete my fall look and I would not like to pay more than $39.99 for them. Please don’t give me a swirlie.

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


Happy Birthday To Philly Jazz Legend/Awesome Vibe Sherpa Pat Martino!

Pat Martino, who you people don’t talk about enough, turns 70 today. How cool is Pat? Apparently, he’s so goddamned cool that at some point in the ’80s, he stole Miles Davis’ sunglasses. Rave on, brother, rave on!

The Week Ahead In Comedy: Your Not-Even-Complete Guide To Five Dollar Comedy Week


“What are we worth?” “Five dollars!” “What are we not worth?” “More!”

This is the rallying cry of Five Dollar Comedy Week organizers Aaron Nevins and Kate Banford, who have wrangled 150 local performers to put together 30 shows and workshops at the Shubin Theatre this week. All kinds of comedians — sketch, improv, standup, weirdo — are represented, and at five bucks a pop, each show costs less than an average shame meal at McDonald’s, physically and emotionally. Here’s a sampling of what’s going on, with the exception of every night’s secret midnight shows, which are secret.

This evening at 7pm, the first block of programming kicks off with “Cookblock,” a fake cooking show. Don’t come thinking it’s real. See Chef Elise Thompson-Hall (finalist on “Elise’s Friend Onat’s ‘Chopped’ Themed Birthday Party”) and Dan Vetrano (contributor at parody a cooking show only Dan watches. Elise has seen it and doesn’t care for it. A cooking competition to remember, housed in one of Philadelphia’s most un-kitchen-like theaters. After “Cookblocked”, see cringeworthy and hilarious diary entries brought to life at “Unlocked” at 8pm, followed by an hour of major minority panel hijinks at “Affirmative Chattin’” at 10pm.

Tuesday at 7pm, step inside the fictional world of “Boner and the Noise.” This ode to drive time radio features 98.6 FM The Fever’s legendary morning zoo crew Brett “Boner” D’Angelo, and Steve “The Noise” Noiserowski, as well as tons of special guests and call-ins from listeners in the audience. Featuring: Dan Corkery, Frank Farrell, Maggy Keegan, Caitlin Weigel, Joe Sabatino, Fred Brown, and Jamie Glasheen.

Tuesday at 10pm: The Bit Show! 16 mini-shows in 90 minutes, featuring just about everybody involved in the festival and whatever the cat drags in plus the kitchen sink and maybe total chaos. This is a rare opportunity to witness show concepts that never existed before and may never exist again. Experimental comedy at its experimentali-est.

FDCW-LOGO-medWednesday, leave work early and discover a different calling at “HOW TO BE A MODEL: A Workshop With Andrew Jeffrey Wright.” Do you want to be a model? Of course you do. It’s the most rewarding job in the world. Well, Andrew Jeffrey Wright IS a model and he wants YOU to be a model, too. Learn runway his way! Pose for print and web! Bring a positive attitude and a willingness to learn, and get ready to transcend. 4pm – 5pm

If the whole model thing doesn’t work out for attendees by 10pm Wednesday night, “Science Fair” will provide a chance to flex brain-muscle as well as funny bone. Comedians will conduct experiments and give presentations on some of the great mysteries of science, using knowledge they may or may not have acquired in middle or high school. Hosted by noted comedians/scientists Joe Moore and Roger C Snair, featuring Samantha Russell Craig, Bill Flynn, Briana Kelly, Patrick Reber, Kristen Schier, Bobby Lorello, Meredith Weir, Chris O’Conner, Chris McGrail, and Paul Trigianni.

Thursday at 10pm, “Delinquents Talk Back” promises to be a fuckin’ sweet panel show. It’s all about blazin’, chillin’, and bullshittin’, with your boys James Mascuilli, Joe Murdock, and Chris Stenta. Topics for discussion range from drugs and arrests to drug arrests. Also featuring Delinquent Announcer Jon Lalu.

Friday at 7pm, “Joke The News” is an interactive game show to see who can make the funniest jokes about current events, or whatever the host pulls from the day’s newspaper. The contestants include Chip Chantry, Alex Grubard, Steve Swan and The Audience, using hashtag #JTN. Hosted by Dave Metter. Here’s a chance to see what a newspaper looks like.

Later that Friday night, audiences will get swiped right off their feet at “The Tinder Show” in which similar looking co-hosts Max Barth and Eddie Finn, along with a panel that includes Oliver Yu and Rachel Fogletto, will talk about and play games based on popular dating app Tinder. Online dating, offline, and live. 10pm.

Dearly beloved, gather Saturday the 30th at 10pm in celebration of death, comedy, and panel-based games at “It Had to Be You-logies.” Respects will be paid, and some (un?) lucky people in the audience will have a comedian improvise their eulogy. Says host Nikki Black, “If you miss this show, it’s your funeral.” But then, if you don’t miss this show, it might be your funeral, too. Win, win.

Sunday, August 31st, a group of comedians will convene and write sketches in “exquisite corpse” fashion for (what else?) the “Exquisite Corpse Show,” and later, the supergroup will perform their Frankensketches in front of a live audience, for the first and possibly last time. Hosted by Jacquie Baker and Matt Schmid. That will be followed by “Phone It In,” a screening of short films shot exclusively on phones at 8pm, and later, get stoked for “Battle of the Bands,” because no anything is complete without a battle of the bands.

Get more information about shows and reserve tickets at, and don’t worry about tipping the bartender. All shows are BYO.

– 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 and follow him on twitter @AlleyHandRow.

This Moment In Petitions: Tell Tom Corbett To Stop Being A Cheesy Cheeser Who’s Using Taxpayer Money On His Own (Doomed) Campaign

In the immortal words of Ed Lover: C’mon, son.

Fun With Infographics: Philly Leads The Nation’s Big Cities In Bike Commuting, New Study Says


Click to enlarge.

Last week, the Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia released a new report, entitled “Bike PHL Facts.” It’s the result of a massive data collection effort, both from their own diligent research, as well as U.S. census data. And when it all got crunched together, the Bicycle Coalition discovered something: Philly comes out on top in lots of ways, so much so that they’re making the bold claim that Philly is America’s number one big city when it comes to commuting by bike (with residents of Center City and South Philly leading the charge). Click on the link above to dig deeper.

Q: Would Your Summer Be Complete Without A Scripture-Laden Mayoral Announcement From Milton Street?

A: No, no, it would not. Via the great man’s Facebook:

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Of our multiplicity of blessings, possibly none is greater than hope. It lmparts strength, and courage for discharging responsibilities. To stop the violence in our communities will take endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures.
Don’t be afraid of them, remember the lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your homes. Remember, are correctional system is a business, it’s not about rehabilitation, community safety, reentry, our opportunity in the workforce. It’s a business.
When we talk about stopping the violence, we’re talking about keeping our young people out of prison. Now, were interfering with someone’s investment. We must have the encouragement of the Scriptures to be successful.

We would have gone with Ezekiel 25:17, but hey, do you, Milton.

Watch The Taney Dragons On The Today Show Now, Make Parade Plans For Wednesday Later

Yon Taney Dragons went on the Today show with Matt Lauer this morning, as part of a full press junket they’re in the middle of. This was awesome and cute, but what we’re really stoked for is the parade this Wednesday. Details are still being worked out, but we’ll share them as soon as we get them.

Slideshow: Diner En Noir, 8/21/14

Created with flickr slideshow.

In the great Diner Wars of 2014, we here at Philebrity are proud to have backed Diner En Noir, which went down last Thursday night at Penn Treaty Park. And a good time was had by all, and more than that, too: As a result of the efforts of the event’s creators and over 300 attendees, funds and awareness alike were raised for both Philabundance and the Friends of Penn Treaty Park. We’re waiting on an official tally later this week, but in the meantime, check out the photos above.

[Photos: Gregg Simms]

August 21, 2014

Weekend Picks: No One Is To Blame


>>> Fans of great music/impressive beards owe it to themselves to catch Pattern Is Movement tonight at the final Spruce Street Harbor Park concert of the year. Joining the lads is Moon Bounce, and it’s free. These are all good things.

>>> Diner en Noir. Obvs.

>>> Want to peep on dead hunks but not willing to commit to full-on necrophilia? If so, head on over to Laurel Hill Cemetery for their Hotties of Laurel Hill: Dead, Gone & Extremely Handsome event. Wait, what?


>>> Real talk: Every time we hear Howard Jones‘ “No One Is To Blame” (featured above) we are instantly thrown back into middle school. Count on more nostalgic time travel from the Retro Futura 2014 Tour at the Keswick, featuring Jones alongside of fellow 1980s hitmakers Tom Bailey (the Thompson Twin now gone solo), Katrina (without The Waves), China Crisis (whatever) and Ultravox’s Midge Ure (ohhhhh Viennnnaaaaa).

>>> If the above concert isn’t enough of a time warp for you, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is screening at midnight at Ritz at the Bourse. Features a live “shadowcast” by Philly’s Transylvania Nipple Productions. Yes friends, Rocky Horror is still going strong. Somehow we think The Perks Of Being a Wallflower is to thank/blame.

>>> Oakland, California’s Hieroglyphics comes to TLA, featuring Del the Funky Homosapien (who also founded the hip-hop collective).

>>> The Smiths Social hits the Troc. Expect lots and lots of complaining about World Peace Is None of Your Business.


>>> THE SLEEPER HAS AWAKENED. We’re all really excited about David Lynch‘s PAFA exhibition next month, so we plan on prepping ourselves for that wonderment by catching a screening of Dune at International House. (It’s better than its reputation suggests). Presented by Exhumed Films, the weirdo flick is the second half of a 1984 sci-fi double feature that also includes the equally underrated Star Trek III: The Wrath of Khan. These will be presented in their original 35mm format. Yes.

>>> Office Space and South Park are some of the least sexy things we can think of, so it’s going to be fascinating to see how Miss Rose turns the properties into a Mike Judge/Matt Stone and Trey Parker-themed burlesque show at PhilaMOCA.

>>> The Victoria Freehouse is hosting a Doctor Who premiere party. So, you know, nerds.

>>> Philadelphia Flea Markets invade The Kimmel Center for a day of browsing, shopping and endless Portlandia sketch material.


>>> A Night of Short Films XI at the Troc showcases some great noirish indie shorts from the likes of Philly’s M. Sean McManus and Spain’s Rubin Stein.

>>> It’s a slow Sunday in August. There’s not too much going on, so why not just throw on some Ride or Kitchens of Distinction, sit in air conditioning and so some reading. We’ve been meaning to revisit Vonnegut’s Galapagos, and we just might do that. Maybe you should as well.

Chris Cummins

Happy Trails to KYW’s Harry Donahue

For the past 41 years, Harry Donahue has been as much of a part as KYW Newsradio 1060 as the station’s fake teletype machine sound effects. (Always with the clackety clacketing). With his trademark deep voice and no nonsense approach to reporting the news, Donahue has become that increasingly rare thing: A Philly media treasure. So it hurts that much more that we’re losing him.  On Friday, Donahue will do his last shift at KYW before retiring, checking off one more box on the list of great veteran reporters who are leaving us to deal with the cold news of the day by ourselves. From CBS Philly/KYW:

“When I was hired at KYW, I couldn’t believe it,” Donahue said recently.  “It was, and remains, the preeminent radio station in Philadelphia.  I’ve done what I always wanted to do. To work in my hometown and having been part of this iconic radio station -– it just doesn’t get any better.”

Donahue began waking up the Delaware Valley on KYW Newsradio 35 years ago, and was the primary anchor for coverage of some of the region’s biggest news stories, including the mass conducted by Pope John Paul on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and championship celebrations for both the Phillies and the 76ers.  He covered two Super Bowl appearances by the Eagles. Donahue was also on the air during Philadelphia’s first violent confrontation with the group MOVE and during the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Good luck Harry, and thanks for all your diligent work. You will be missed indeed. Related: We don’t even want to think about the day Jim Gardner retires.

Chris Cummins


The Taney Dragons Loss To Las Vegas Won’t Stop Fans And It Won’t Stop The Taney Dragons

The Taney Dragons suffered a hard loss to their LLWS opponents from Las Vegas Nevada last night, giving up eight runs despite Mo’Ne Davis’ six strikeouts. Mo’Ne also hit a run that fans hoped would begin a rally, but Vegas brought in a pitcher with enough heat to stop the Dragons where they were.

It was tough to watch, but the Dragons were gracious on Twitter, and their followers were not disheartened, retweeting and favoriting by the hundreds. The Dragons aren’t superhuman, and they can’t and won’t win every game, but what is almost supernatural is their ability to draw unanimously positive media attention no matter what they do. You already know how we feel about Mo’Ne Davis, but we are really, really far from being the only ones. Last night’s game on ESPN was the highest-rated in LLWS history, and drew 10 times as many viewers as the Angels/Red Sox game. As history has proven, you can win the popular vote even if you lose the election.

We’re standing firm behind the Dragons, and we urge — demand — that you do as well. They’re playing tonight at 7:30 against Jackie Robinson West from Chicago. If you make it out to the bar to support, you might see us there, screaming and making fools of ourselves. But we’re pretty sure we won’t be alone.

Giovanni’s Room To Reopen As Nonprofit Thrift Store Oct. 10th

You may remember us posting last month about the Giovanni’s Room possibly reopening. The word is in. Philadelphia AIDS Thrift (PAT) will be opening Philadelphia AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room on October 10th. The new store will sell LGBT literature and thrift clothing at the Giovanni’s Room storefront on 12th and Pine stocked with 2,000 LGBT-related titles to sell for proceeds to donate to AIDS Fund. It won’t be the same Giovanni’s Room, but at least they’re not gutting the building and turning it into a Starbucks.

Councilman Bobby Henon “Spinning” Out Of Control

Today’s perfect storm of white idiocy comes to you from Councilman Bobby Henon, who will be “spinning” tonight for Philly Play at T.G.I.Fridays as “DJ Hizzle”. Henon, who, despite the fact that he is an elected public official, obviously has no idea that race is the most pressing issue in the collective public consciousness right now, tweeted the above photo last night to promote the event. Maybe he thought that playing a DJ set at the address “1776 Ben Franklin Pkwy.” would make him look more patriotic? Actually, it just makes him look more retrograde.

Larry Elder Freaks Out At Marc Lamont Hill On CNN And The Whole Thing Is Just Really Sad

University of Pennsylvania alum Marc Lamont Hill appeared opposite conservative radio host Larry Elder yesterday to debate issues in America of race, violence, and (briefly) mental health on CNN, Salon reports. Moderator Brooke Baldwin opened the debate with a question about the mental health of young men of color, asserting that the issue is rarely discussed. Hill offered a perfectly cogent answer, to which Elder responded with a mini-rant about the tendency among black Americans to focus on racism as a predominant issue in America. To watch an American person of color tell American people of color not to worry about racism in America is pretty bizarre, but the world of conservative radio and the people who populate it are pretty bizarre. After Elder becomes defensive and angry with Hill for continuing to try to discuss the problem of racism in the context of violence against unarmed black men, the video becomes harder and harder to watch. Luckily, Hill is used to handling conservative bullshit on the air without losing face:

Noontime Nuggetz: We’re Three For All

They’re no Philadelphia: Get to Know Us or Passion for Fashion — both of which remain the high-water mark for local jingles — but these above ads from KYW’s 1979 3 For All ad campaign feature real Philly folks (as well as the occasional Lena Dunham lookalike) singing brutally off key. There’s some glimpses at places long gone here, as well as a general feel of what the city was like back in ’79. Does anyone know the name of the bar featured in the second clip here? Wherever it is/was, we want to hang there immediately.

Chris Cummins


#dinerenblanc Spot BLOWN! Philly Police Blog Reveals DEB Location, Can’t Cover Tracks Faster Than We Can Follow


We’re not saying for sure, but it looks like Diner en Blanc will be on the gross median strip at Broad and Pine. An anonymous tipper we’re going to have to buy at least a few rounds had the ingenuity to google “diner en blanc broad pine” and found more than we ever could have hoped. Our new heroes @PhillyPolice, who are way better at keeping the city abreast of possible traffic than keeping a secret, put up a traffic advisory for Diner en Blanc yesterday stating “…an event will be held on Broad Street between Pine Street and Chestnut Street.” The post on the Philly Police blog has mysteriously been removed, but if you get your search terms right this language is still on the internet for your eyes, and all eyes, to see. So, if you want, head down to UArts or the Philly DoubleTree Hilton or Sumo Sushi tonight, and you may very well be in or around the vicinity of Diner en Blanc. But no matter where DEB turns out to be, trust us, Diner en Noir will be the move tonight.