Just a quick word to pass on from our neighbors and cohorts up front here at AKA Music: AKA is now your exclusive, open-daily box office for all things R5 Productions, including Union Transfer. (Note: UT box office is still open Fridays, Saturdays, and on the evenings of show nights.) Come on by for any R5 tickets you’re looking for, available with no surcharge (tickets are cash only) and in very close proximity to a wide array of totally heavy-looking vinyl Krautrock reissues, plus all your new faves on wax and (something called a) compact disc. The more you know!
… Like Horace: The people at ArtPlace America, as their name suggests, give grants to art in places in America. It’s pretty simple. And while they were handing out a total of $15.2 million to 54 projects “using the arts to transform 44 communities” across the U.S., they dropped some dough in Philadelphia.
According to a press release, ArtPlace American awarded $1,195,150 in grants in Philadelphia, the most grant dollars of any community. The recipients and details of said grants can be found after the jump. (more…)
So it turns out it’s not only things that happen at the Convention Center that are losing money, but the venue itself: According to Axis Philly, the $1.3 billion expanded Convention Center will come close to its goal of of “several dozen” major conventions this year, but then “the numbers drop off until 2016, when only eight are booked … fewer than what the center had before it expanded.” What does that mean, by the numbers?
While conventioneers will pump $510 million into the local economy this year, the number will decline to $230 million three years from now, according to estimates from the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, which books conventions into the center. While hotels will get 340,000 convention hotel nights this year, the number is projected to decline to 237,000 nights in 2016 …
Last week, members of the region’s hotel association went to Harrisburg to sound the alarm with legislators. Their message: bookings are behind even pre-expansion levels, and declining use of their hotels will mean fewer industry jobs. It will also mean that revenue from the 15.2 percent tax levied on hotel rooms will decline — revenue that is used to underwrite the center’s losses and pay off the bonds that were floated to build it.”
If you’re an Airbnb host, you must make sure of the following:
[...]you have all necessary permissions to offer your accommodations, including ensuring that your hosting activity (i) will not breach any agreements you have entered into with any third parties (such as any agreements or rules with a landlord or HOA) and (ii) will (a) be in compliance with all applicable laws, Tax requirements, and rules and regulations that may apply to your Accommodations, including, but not limited to, zoning laws and laws governing rentals of residential and other properties and (b) will not conflict with the rights of third parties
Then again, this will all depend on how the City views services like Airbnb, if in fact it’s taking a look at all.
Hailing from the UK and bearing a torch for all that is gloriously, libertaingly stupid, The Darkness do real work in The Industry Of Human Happiness every time they plug in. For if you cannot find something to love in them, chances are, you cannot find something to love within yourself, which, as it happens, is they very thing they came to help you with. So it is with open heart, good intentions and possibly stuffed trousers that they play for the people of Philadelphia tonight at the Troc, and in the interest of paying it forward, we’ve got some tickets to give you for this. To enter to win, email ihopeiwin[at]philebrity[dot]com with “NOTHING’S GONNA STOP US” 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 pick winners at 4pm, so enter now, and believe in a thing called Love. Above, the Thom Lessner/Ted Passon-directed video for “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us.”
When we have these moments of darkness and sheer terror that all of you polite and well-adjusted transplants may in fact be simply colonizing Philadelphia on behalf of the Midwest; when it seems that Philly’s sheer, epic weirdness, which was once all we had, is in danger; when we feel like we simply cannot bear the John Krasinski-ness of you all, often, we suddenly remember Isaiah Zagar, and heave a sigh of relief. You could say that a straight line of mid-Atlantic East Coast Freak runs directly from Walt Whitman to Zagar, only in Zagar’s case, there’s a bit of Henry Darger/Howard Finster-level compulsion to cover this entire city in broken mirrors, teacups and wild color. Look at The Piazza and tell us: Who would we be to try and stop him? For the last seven years, Zagar has been quiet toiling on a sequel, if you will, to his now-world-famous Magic Gardens; it’s the nearly-completed Magic Garage, if you will, tucked away on Watkins Street, and Passyunk Post has a whole suite of pics. To view them is to engage your own shitballs crazy divinity, which is your God-given gift as a Philadelphian. Don’t ever take it for granted.
The liquor tax increase is part of a plan to raise money for the school district and is expected to bring in about $22 million (a separate cigarette tax is estimated to bring in $45 million, but that won’t kick in for a bit). So … good? Bad? BAD? If you fall on the bad-idea-side of this thing, which many probably do, there’s a petition over here you can sign. It’s worth noting that a petition with a planned number of signatures set at 500 is unlikely to make a difference, but according to the petition’s author:
This petition is important because most Philadelphia area liquor licensed establishments will be forced to absorb this additional 5% tax increase into their own costs, any additional increase in the ‘liquor-by-the-drink’ tax will most certainly jeopardize the livelihoods and businesses of thousands of hard working hospitality industry workers and business people.”
Some of you probably read that and thought, “Shit, that’s lame.” Others — a group we’re guessing is more in the majority — thought, “Sweet, so my drink price might not increase.” Just about the only thing we’re sure of with this tax is that the first group of people will think that second group of people are a bunch of dicks.
In April, Hennessy Youngman dropped a mixtape on the world that would change us — and mankind — forever: CVS Bangers. And like every great monster movie, there is now a sequel: CVS Bangers, Volume Two. A truly deep, soul-searching look on the meaning of wandering lost through an interchangable chain pharmacy while the sweet, sweet soft rock of the ’80s pipes through busted speakers, it’s also a throwdown club banger, complete with air horns and more drops than Batman: The Ride. But it is more, so much more. It is the soundtrack to our internal twerking while we pursue Kleenex and life’s greatest mysteries alike. We’re only 15 minutes into this 105 minute mix and we don’t care if we ever find either.
In other Hennessy news, Jayson Musson, the man behind the magic, received the Silver Star Alumni Award from his alma mater, University of the Arts , last week at UArts’ 135th Commencement. He graduated from the school in ’02 with a BFA in Photography and was recongnized for not only his “Art Thoughtz“ but his newest work using Coogi/Cosby sweaters to relfect on African American pop-culture to and earlier work such as the series, Too Black for BET. Well done, sir.
Look, this news is probably gonna bum you out, so if you’re already having a rough morning — it is Monday after all — you might want to stop reading now. But if you’re feeling great and nothing can bring you down, continue on: According to the Institute for Safe Families’ Philadelphia Adverse Childhood Experiences Task Force, many of us are screwed up later in life because of how we grow up, but it’s not the ways you think. For example, “in a representative sample of nearly 2,000 city residents … ‘One in three grew up in households where there was physical abuse … One in three grew up in households where somebody was using drugs or alcohol. More than one in three, 40 percent, say that when they were growing up, they witnessed somebody getting shot, stabbed or beaten,’” according to ISF Director Martha Davis. You can see how that all screws people up mentally, but physically? According to Newsworks, “Large studies have shown a link between a high ACE score, and increased rates of heart disease, cancer and mental illness.”
So what can we do about it? Well, that is the bummer part. Without sweeping cultural and social changes, this isn’t going to be fixed (or even slightly alleviated) over night. But we guess it’s good to know about. Sure, that’s it.
Hey, wake up: THERE’S AN ELECTION TOMORROW. And while we know that the placement of said election and the decidedly unsexy races contained therein will insure that not many of you will vote — even those among you who have, at other times, been very politically engaged indeed — please, absolutely, do make it a point to vote.
Unsexy though it may be, there are actually some matters of consequence on the ballot (check out tomorrow’s sample ballot here). Not least among them is the battle for City Controller — which, if you’ve been following the races, you know has turned into something of a white-knuckle, clenched-teeth blood feud between incumbent Alan Butkovitz and progressive comer Bret Mandel. Though neither of these guys makes our heart sing — Butkovitz is a little too old-school in the bad way for our taste, and there is something distinctly Tracy Flick about Mandel — but if we had to decide (and oh, crap, we do), we’d go with Mandel, using the age-old Philadelphia logic that at any given time in this city over the last 50 years, it’s as fine an idea as any to fire anyone and everyone in City Hall and just start over. Elsewhere in the race, DA Seth Williams and GOP DA candidate Daniel Alvarez will run uncontested in a contest that even Alvarez would have to admit is cute; as in, it’s cute that they even have that.
The rest of tomorrow’s election is about judges, really: And in the various races for Common Pleas judges — many will run; six will win — we’d be remiss if we did not mention our good friend Conor Corcoran. Regular readers of this site will recognize Conor from his stint here as our legal correspondent, but that’s about .01% of his résumé. Over the years, Conor has represented everything from intellectual property cases to criminal offenses; through it all, we’ve known him to be both fair-minded and tough. A Jesuit education has insured for him that social justice is always high on his list of priorities, but as we said, he’s no softie, either. We’re loath to tell you who to vote for, but if you vote — and please make sure you do — all we ask is that you consider our good friend. Or, at the very least, consider someone.
If you make a Venn diagram of the things Gov. Tom Corbett has messed up, and the things college kids like, it would be a circle. Education? Weed and having jobs? Add to that the fact that people don’t generally like having their shit messed up for them, and you can see why the Gov isn’t the most popular man on campus. So, it was only obvious that he give the commencement address at Millersville University this weekend.
While giving said commencement (so far, we can’t find a transcript of Corbett’s speech, so let’s just assume it was something like this), a dozen or so students reportedly flipped their chairs around and turned their backs on Corbett. Some staff wore pins that said “I Support Public Education.” Then again, some didn’t care, with one business administration major (of course) from West Chester (of course) saying, “You’re not going to remember in 10 years who you’re commencement speaker is. It’s not Oprah. It’s not Seth MacFarlane.”
There were many losers in this situation: The people having the sit and listen to Corbett speak, the people who are just graduating into gigantic student loan debt and faced trouble in their schooling due to Corbett’s education cuts, people with eyes and ears. But there could be only one winner, and she has been found:
As Corbett stepped to the microphone, about a dozen students turned their chairs away from the stage. Early in his speech, the governor asked the graduates to stand. A few dozen more remained seated. When it became clear Corbett wanted them to wave to their parents in the stadium, some stood, some waved from their seats, some sat motionless. One student had “Game of Loans” written on her mortarboard.”
Hosted by Mike Missanelli and airing on PHL17 every Saturday night at 11, Philly Pheud is a Family Feud-style game show in which choads from the suburbs try to prove to one another that they live here, in the process making us feel more superior than we really have a right to.
>>> Ex-Pearls & Brass drummer/present-day dark crooner Daughn Gibson just leaked “You Don’t Fade,” the second teaser off Me Moan, his Sub Pop debut, out July 8th. You can catch Gibson here in Philly with (the fairly brilliant) Hiss Golden Messenger on August 16th at Johnny Brenda’s.
>>> XPoNential Music Festival just announced some additions to its lineup across the river from Friday, July 26 through Sunday, July 28. Among them: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Districts, Kat Edmonson, Red Baraat, and ex-Philadelphian Matt Pond. [XPN]
Hey, did you know that the people who hold public office are disproportionately male? Yes, you probably did. But did you know that Pennsylvania is especially dude-centric when it comes to elected officials? According to a well-written, well-researched, and real-deal informative piece from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette‘s Kate Giammarise:
The Pennsylvania Legislature can seem at times very much a man’s world, with only 17.8 percent of the state’s General Assembly (37 of 203 House members and 8 of 50 senators) composed of women, according to figures compiled by Chatham University’s Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics … Nationally, the state ranks 39th in terms of women legislators, according to the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University.
Of the state’s 20 federal elected officials (two senators and 18 members of the House of Representatives), just one, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, is a woman.”
The whole article is a must-read, delving into the reasons women aren’t serving in office in PA, why they aren’t running in the first place, and a whole lot more. Read the whole thing over here.
The Philadelphia Flower Show, the annual celebration of LOOK AT ALL OF THE PRETTY STUFF, usually pulls in about $1 million for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and a variety of “urban ‘greening’ programs.” This year, however, the flower show actually lost $1.2 million, and it’s all Sheena Parveen’s fault.
According to The Inquirer, “PHS president Drew Becher … accuses [local TV news stations] of ‘hyping up’ a major snowstorm during Flower Show week that never materialized.” If you’re having trouble remembering that, it’s because it happened about five times this winter. Becher claims the “relentless” snow drumbeat caused canceled tour buses, canceled plans to visit, and decreased ticket and merchandise sales. And Becher’s right … to an extent. We’ve all seen local news when a snow storm is possibly on the horizon. They always open something like this:
Tonight, there are two dead after an overnight shooting, we air an investigative report into what’s really in our drinking water, and a hero saves a dozen children from certain death after a school bus crashes into a river. But first, our top story: SNOW? MAYBE?”
So yeah, we get that it probably hurt, but when your main draw is “look at all the pretty colors” and “Hey, that lady is dressed like the Queen of England,” it may not take much for people to cancel their plans.