Twitter, as we all know, is the pinnacle of human rationality and discourse. So it only makes sense that the meeting that structured our country as it is today — the Constitutional Convention — should be recreated on it. We’re sure there was plenty of bickering, name-calling, and #drama at the so-called Philadelphia Convention in 1787, so it fits.
Toldeo, Ohio’s Toby Grytafey had the idea to “Tweet the Debates,” in a way to help educate and inform the Twitter-obsessed public about the ideas and arguments that our Founding Fathers engaged in. There’s just one problem (other than the funding, which is why the Kickstarter exists). People will be playing the roles of “delegates” during the whole process by sending “official tweet[s that] will be linked to the full unedited text of the delegate’s speech on the Tweet the Debates, so people can follow the Twitter play.” And since it all happened here, maybe we should get some Philly delegates in the mix, but so far, none have stepped forward.
As a delegate, your role is important but simple:
The full text of the delegate’s speech will be easily accessible. Because Twitter Actors won’t have to worry about sticking closely to the text, they will have the freedom for creativity in developing their characters. Tweet the Debates is looking for creative people excited about these possibilities, and your Kickstarter support will help us bring more voices into the project.”
The whole thing will take place on Twitter but also be contained in its own web-app, so you can follow along, re-tweet, and send memes to George Washington. Haven’t you always wanted to send a meme to George Washington? More info on the project, the fundraising, and getting involved can be found over here.
Philly’s perfectly Everly-riffic vocal trio Market East have a new record out soon called Children of Summer, and above is the first teaser. Grab it on Bandcamp or Soundclound, and check out the group when they play Milkboy on June 8th (with the jerk who runs this website).
If we had to guess, we’d say the most frequent topic of GOOD NEWS here on the Philebs is non-profits getting a whole bunch of dough. It’s hardly ever a bad thing, and this time is no different. The people at Impact100 Philadelphia — described as “a collective giving organization made up of Philadelphia area women” — have announced the five finalists for their 2013 grants, which total $284,000. Two of those finalists get $100,000 a piece, and the remaining $84,000 is split up between the rest, in a split decided on in what we assume is a Running Man style showdown. 2013′s finalists are:
>>> Arts & Culture: Commonwealth Youthchoirs, Find Your Instrument!
>>> Education: Community Learning Center, Expansion into West Philadelphia
>>> Environment: Urban Tree Connection, Neighborhood Foods
>>> Family: Rebuilding Together Philadelphia, Mantua Block Build
>>> Health & Wellness: Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia, Violence Intervention/Prevention
The Impact100 people will vote at the group’s meeting on June 3rd to decide who gets the hundred grand and who gets the rest. The seemingly random grant amount of $284,000 represents the combined giving of 284 women, and is a 17% grant increase over last year’s amount. The finalists were chosen from 40 full project proposals, which had been whittled down from 127 letters of inquiry. So, these groups aren’t sure how much they’re getting just yet, but any amount is a good amount when you’re doing great work.
So there you have it: The world is not totally made of shit. Have you got some good news? If so, send it to tips[at]philebrity[dot]com with “GOOD MOTHERFUCKING NEWS!” in the subject header — we’d love to hear about it.
We saw a lot of great things over the weekend at the Art Star Craft Bazaar: We told you all about the music yesterday, but we are pleased to report that the vendors (now nearly bird-free) had some really wonderful stuff on offer. But only one item sent us home googling, obsessing and wanting, and it was this: The USB Typewriter. From the mind of Philly’s own Jack Zylkin, a striking array of these babies lined his tent and had plenty of folks going “ooh” and “ahh.” (They/we weren’t the only ones, either: Zylkin’s creation has been hailed in Gizmodo, Boing Boing, WIRED, Engadget, CNET, Martha Stewart, Vanity Fair, the New York Times, and the Financial Times.) A graduate of Drexel Engineering School and a founder of Philadelphia’s first hackerspace, Hive76, Zylkin created a system of magnet-driven sensor panels that, when installed by either him or you (he sells a DIY typewriter conversion kit), allows old-world typewriters — still the most satisfying finger-pound in the word game, if you ask us (that’s what she said) — to become fully functional keyboards for computers, iPads and so on. And while we generally do not go in for these steampunk shenanigans, Zylkin’s typewriters — especially the series he had on display this weekend — are inspired things of beauty.
>>> Over at Johnny Brenda’s, you’ve got your chance to check out some great music and a great show for a great cause. Great. It’s Brat Aid: A Concert Fundraiser to bring in some dough for Brat Productions, who have been putting on great theater since way back in 1996. For the price of admission, you get not only the satisfaction of doing something cool, but some live music from TJ Kong And The Atomic Bomb, some music and performance from The Brat Cabaret, and a set from Brooklyn’s Isadora.
>>> Or you can go see Showgirlsat The Troc. Your call.
You know, sometimes baseball, football, hockey, basketball, soccer, tennis, kronum, arena football, lingerie football, and ultimate frisbee aren’t enough. Sometimes, we just need something a little more. And since the WNBA hasn’t stepped in and set up a team in Philly (note, 87ers is already taken), why not get ourselves a BBA franchise? What’s the BBA you ask? It’s the Bikini Basketball Association, of course.
Welcome the Philadelphia Diamonds, one of the latest teams in a league that could really use a good graphic design intern. They join the Miami Spice, Illinois Heart, Houston Inferno, and Las Vegas Fantasy (whose logo may have been designed by Lisa Frank). Just like the Lingerie Football League, where the competitors don’t actually wear lingerie, the BBA players sport spandex shorts and sports bras. Unlike the LFL however, most of the BBA players have some serious hoops experience. According to the Metro, the team features players who played at Maryland Eastern-Shore, Cheyney, the AAU’s Philadelphia Belles, and more. In fact, they might end up being better than the Sixers, which would take fielding four or five players of real skill and … that’s probably it. The Diamonds will play their first game on June 29th at the Pennsylvania National Guard Armory on Roosevelt Boulevard in the Northeast, because sure. For tickets are more info, keep your eyes peeled over here.
We heard word a little earlier that a verdict had been reached in the Doctor Kermit Gosnell murder trial. The deliberations in the case for the abortion doctor lasted ten days, but it has just been reported that the jury found Gosnell guilty on three counts of first-degree murder. We’ll have more on the rest of the charges as the reports come in.
UPDATE: According to NBC10, Gosnell was also found not guilty on 16 of 227 charges of informed consent charges. He was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, infanticide, conspiracy, and 21 of the 24 counts of performing late-term abortions.
Know this: As we speak, we’re hatching plans for next fall’s 215 Festival. But this Wednesday at the Standard Tap, join us for a mid-year lit fix. Though their styles and topic matter may be different, we think both Portland’s Michael Heald and Philly’s own Nic Esposito have a lot in common. Heald is an essayist of the Dyer/Klosterman mode, who can take up personal history and pop culture as easily and engagingly as he can pieces on running; he also heads up Portland’s DIY Perfect Day Publishing. Esposito is a community-minded urban farmer who spun his own story of fighting blight into the novel Seeds Of Discent; he’s also at the core of Fishtown’s The Head & The Hand Press, which is part publisher and part writer’s workshop. We’ve also added Liz Moore, author of The Words Of Every Song and Heft. Join us for a great evening of reading and socializing, and check back with us tomorrow for an interview with Michael Heald.
Underground Arts decided to throw down an early summer shindig this past Friday. The lineup? Ultra cool and funky bands Night Panther and Body Language, with Vacationer (above) headlining and spreading good vibes.
Nick Offerman is a man who has got it rough. Yes, he’s famous, and yes, he seems to be very happily married to Megan Mullally, and yes, he is one of the most beloved actors on a TV comedy. But show his face to any person on the street as ask, “Who is this?” and you’re likely to hear “Ron Swanson.” There’s nothing wrong with that, and he seems to be perfectly content with his work (and his woodshop), but branching out isn’t a bad idea. With this in mind, he’s heading out on a little stand-up tour, so you can get to know the Nick Offerman behind the mustache. The show will take place at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby on Tuesday, September 3. Opening the whole thing will be Nancy & Beth (wife-of-Offerman Megan Mullally and Stephanie Hunt). And hey, we think you should go. To enter to win, email ihopeiwin[at]philebrity[dot]com with “MEAT TORNADO” 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 pull winners in the next few days, but if you’re really impatient or don’t wanna leave it up to chance, tickets go on sale this Friday.
Do you hate missing Castle because you really don’t care about Castle? Worry no more, Philadelphia. Beginning tomorrow, cable and satellite customers in New York and Philadelphia will be able to watch their local ABC station live on their Apple powered phones and tablets, because the future. According to the New York Times, “ABC will be able to stream all of its stations’ local newscasts [Ed note: MOBILE JIM GARDNER], syndicated talk shows like Katie, and national series like Grey’s Anatomy,” which is, in fact, still on the air. Also according to the Times, “live stream will work anywhere in a local market, the same way an old-fashioned TV antenna would,” which is just plain cool.
According to Mashable, “ABC will have an open preview of Watch ABC for New York and Philadelphia residents running through the end of June. The preview will let anyone in those markets access live content — regardless of their cable subscription status.” So, not only is ABC launching free live TV streaming, but it’s offering it to everyone (for a bit, at least) on Kabletown’s home turf? Gauntlet thrown. Now just get some programming we like, and we’re on board.
State treasure/psychedelic legend Brother JT animated and directed and wrote and performed this homage to the spiritual uniform of Philadelphia, off of his forthcoming album, The Svelteness of Boogietude, out on Thrill Jockey this week. You’ll also be able to see JT at Johnny Brenda’s with The Photon Band in July.
Late Friday night/early Saturday morning, Tom Watson was returning home after DJing and unloading his gear through the Haagen-Dazs ice cream shop at 242 South Street and into his apartment, when he happened upon a robbery in progress. It was an awful case of being somewhere at the wrong time. Watson was shot multiple times and died at the scene. Anyone with information is asked to contact police, and a $20,000 reward has been offered.
Since every mention of Billy Joel‘s name here around this time last year led to a bunch of asinine comments about his “greatest rock star ever” status and how he’s “making a difference,” let’s just get this out of the way right now: Billy Joel, Billy Joel, Billy Joel. Be careful saying that in a mirror though, he’s like Candyman.
Since that’s now out of the way, we can move on to tell you that this year, the Heart and Soul Project is back, bringing decorated pianos to public spaces for anyone to play. This time around, however, there are some slight changes.
From June 6-16, 2013, UCD will present Heart & Soul, an interactive public art exhibition featuring four artist-decorated pianos – this time all in Clark Park, the heart of University City. At once visual art and performance art, Heart & Soul invites musicians of all backgrounds to share their creativity through impromptu public performances. Philadelphia-based artist Joe Burochow, whose work originates from delicate black paper cutouts, was chosen to visually re-interpret the pianos, transforming each into a unique site-specific piece of visual art.”
You can see Burochow’s contribution to last year’s Heart and Soul over here, and we’re excited to see what he comes up with this year. Since it backfired on us last year, let it be said that when you sit down at a piano in Clark Park this summer, we’d like you to play Billy Joel and nothing but Billy Joel. Maybe this time we’ll get an email from Elton.
Well, it’s a coupla years in, but we think we’re finally getting the hang of this Art Star thing. It was a beautiful weekend, and though we are very tired, we did wanna say thank you to a bunch of folks, and share some links. First off, thanks so much to the ladies of Art Star for allowing us to program their music stage again this year, and congrats to them on ten years (ten years!) of Bazaar-ing. And thanks to everyone who came out! And thanks to Dos Equis and Lucha Cartel for hosting us all on Saturday evening! And to Wild Hunt Vintage, who helped us with the merch table! And thanks to Penn’s Landing/DRWC and TRULY thanks to Dominic and Jerry The Sound Guys, who had the bands sounding great AND kept the show running on time!
All served nobly, and a good time was had. You can check our Twitter feed from the weekend to see some pictures, and after the music, check out that playlist one more time! Cheers, everybody! Hope to see ya next year! (more…)
“We have a lot of requests from tourists and people who come into the city that it’s sort of a dead time for them and the carriages are not available.”
Because all summer long, all the live long day (after 3PM), there’s a phone that’s ringing in City Hall, and on the other end of that phone is a fat American in Old City who wants their goddamn horse-drawn carriage ride and is unfazed by those neat-o Segway tours. Sure, dude.
Meanwhile, cue the animal rights activists. Before the air had even been cleared of the fart smell that this whatever initiative is on Friday, the Peace Advocacy Networksent a letter to Squilla requesting that he not only rescind his proposal to extend the operating hours for horse-drawn carriages, but join them in publicly wishing for a ban on the carriages altogether. Now, look: We love steak, but those horses do seem awful sad. And in a perfect world, we’d be rid of them already, but the fact is, these things are part and parcel of Philly’s tourism draw because, as we said, fat Americans love coming here and taking their kids on the carriages so they can (so very slowly) go around these historic streets and explain to their foul children how Ben Franklin really did want them to have so many guns, all the guns, and YAY AMERICA. And if Squilla is anything, he’s, er, a man of the people; and if the Peace Advocacy Network should be wasting its time on anything, it should probably be, you know, matters of peace. So this is what we wanna ask you: