Okay, whether you love David Lynch or hate him (honestly, we’re still divided over here) you’re probably going to agree that at least some of his creative output over the years has really just been downright gross. This post advertising an Eraserhead baby doll is a perfect example. To be clear, though, it’s not the doll we find gross so much as the level of fandom one would have to assume and demonstrate to actually buy one of these things. Like, seriously. Can’t you just watch the movie?
Above, watch conductor Bramwell Tovey discuss Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwinn, and the classic repertoire — in this case, notably, West Side Story and the Gershwinn/DuBose Heyward epic Porgy and Bess, music from which the Philadelphia Orchestra premiered in 1936 — that The Philadelphia Orchestra will reprise tonight at the Verizon Hall.
>>> It looks like the rumor that Luis Guzman of Boogie Nights and Carlito’s Way will have a role in the film can be traced to this article and has yet to be substantiated. But we hope it will be because that guy is the shit.
>>> Although the film is technically a spinoff, and although Sylvester Stallone did not write the script, he will reprise his role as Rocky Balboa, who will train Adonis Creed to be the boxing champion he was born to be.
That’s all for now, but we are for sure going to stay on this, because a lot will definitely come to light before the movie comes out in late 2015/early 2016.
LANTERN PARADE AT CHRISTMAS VILLAGE CANCELLED FOR TOMORROW EVENING, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 11
Philadelphia, PA – Christmas Village in Philadelphia announces that the Lantern Parade and associated performances are CANCELLED for tomorrow evening, Thursday, December 11, 2014, at 5:00pm, in LOVE Park.
Earlier today, LOVE Park was announced as a potential location for protests tomorrow evening. Organizers are concerned with traffic and access to LOVE Park, as well as potential logistical problems of large numbers of people attempting to occupy the same space for different purposes.
Cue lots of white people in the suburbs getting upset and further illustrating why these protests need to keep happening, probably forever.
>>> Meanwhile at Johnny Brenda’s, a nice comedy and music mashup: Oldermost premieres new songs from their forthcoming EP It’s Difficult To Know Anything At All, and comedians Doogie Horner and Chip Chantry round out the bill alongside The Rivals.
What to get for that work friend pollyanna about whom you know nothing except that he/she lives here and has good taste in design? This new map of Philly print from Eyes Habit, which goes for just $20. It’s 25×19″, 3 colors, and hand-screened on 80 lb archival coverstock. Classy, right? Ooh, I can see where I live!
14 years ago, Marah, led by brothers Dave and Serge Bielanko were the great white rock’n'roll hope of this city. Then things got bad. And then they got worse. And while the band — now down to one Bielanko brother (Dave) and whoever else where once there were two plus more — seems to be limping along these days, it wasn’t supposed to be that way. It was supposed to be glorious. And hey, where the hell has Serge been? Anyone who’s wondered might have gotten a shock if they were tuned into the Today show this morning, as one Serge Bielanko re-appeared as a divorce blogger (what?) getting totally low-rent Dr. Phil’d. It was… it was not supposed to be this way. But we are hearing what Serge is saying, and hey we’ve all been there, and not for nothing: This would be a great time for you to make a new album.
Over the past year, Camden Municipal Court has been so backlogged with cases — almost 30,000 more than the previous year — that they’ve had to augment their staff and routinely delay hearings in large numbers. The Camden County Police Department, which assumed management of the city’s policing in May of 2013, is responsible for these numbers. The Department is trying to crack down on city crime by policing more minor offenses in order to bring in more serious offenders. Supposedly, this approach has been successful in some neighborhoods in the past, but it’s also often responsible, obviously, for fear of unnecessarily harsh police activity.
As a result, people in Camden, and in surrounding areas including Philadelphia, are being targeted for some seriously — like, seriously — petty offenses:
For certain violations – obstructing windshields, not maintaining car lights, riding bicycles without bells – more tickets have been written than in a decade … From July through October, the court received 99 cases of riding a bicycle without a bell. From July 2012 to June 2013, there was one.
This unceremonious crackdown has the courts so flooded with activity that they can’t even keep track of it anymore. People are being brought in just so that their information can get lost in the confusion and clutter and they’ll be sent home. At a time when just policing is the issue at the front of every mind, this kind of thing is, to say the least, alarming. Hopefully frustration will mount to the point that it can’t be ignored any longer before the tune changes from “better safe than sorry” to “no one is safe.”
Well, if either baseball or rock music had any hopes left of enduring as fixtures of American culture, those hopes have been dashed by a marketing team that apparently just wants to watch the world burn. If the headline above suggests in any way that we are seriously recommending that you buy this monstrosity for someone as a holiday gift, let us be clear: we are not. Our actual recommendation: take a tip from The New Yorker’s Gift Guide For The Boyfriend Who Has Nothing and buy that special someone a six-pack of Yuengling.
Nooch, the mobile payments app that just launched for iOS, and the venture of Duke grad Cliff Canan, wants to be the mobile payments app that dethrones the reigning Venmo as the premiere money transfer app, and it’s got a lot going for it. First of all, Venmo is a social network, which means that all money shared shows up on a feed that other users can see, and in many cases these payments show up on other social networks like Facebook, where they’re visible to Facebook users who don’t even use Venmo. Cliff makes the good point that “personal payments should be private.” Cliff also seems to have actually taken the time to peruse the somewhat antiquated laws that regulate money transfers, which predate online methods. At 26, Cliff is pretty young, and so is his app, so it remains to be seen whether it will be the next big thing, but based on these stats, we’d bet that Nooch is on its way to being more than just a Jason Mewes catchphrase.
CORRECTION: This article originally claimed that Cliff Canan is a Drexel Grad. We were misinformed. Cliff Canan is a graduate of Duke University. His money transfer app Nooch won a Drexel Startup Competition.
NOTE: We are not sharing the video above for its cheesy narration or its godawful score; we’re sharing it because it’s about a cool new robot that will be operating at Temple University‘s new 210,000 square foot mega-library at the University’s North Philadelphia campus. The robot, called Roobot by students at The University of Missouri-Kansas City, which has already had one for a while, is a mechanized text-retrieval system that will be absolutely essential to the new library. Because it’s going to be that goddamn big. Due to see completion in 2018, the new library is made possible by $50 million in University funds and $140 million more in state aid. Hey, if macro-grants for state of the art libraries are going to be the new thing in Philadelphia, we’re all for it.
Give us just a second here to get this story straight in our heads, because it’s got a few twists. So, Penn protesters crashed Penn president Amy Gutmann‘s holiday party at her private pad yesterday to demonstrate against the shooting of Michael Brown. The protesters, of the groups Student Labor Action Project and Student Organizing Union, were also there to protest Penn’s refusal to pay PILOTs, or payments in lieu of taxes. Gutmann initially joined the protest and spoke against racial violence and insisted, to cheers, that “black lives matter.” She even participated in the four and a half-minute die-in the students staged.
When the conversation turned to PILOTs, Gutmann deflected questions on the matter and grew impatient with the conversation, eventually turning her attention back to her party. When further pressed to comment, she insisted that it was not the right time for the protest (which we’d venture was probably, like, the point?) The students continued to protest and then, after Penn police arrived, but did not encroach on the gathering, eventually left peacefully. Well, we guess the fact remains: in the war against power, you win some, you lose most.
Philadelphia’s student population has already demonstrated its commitment to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and to solidarity with Ferguson, but it’s important to know and to note that this commitment isn’t limited to undergraduates, or to one specific school or group. Just days after a die-in protest at Temple University’s North Philadelphia campus, Temple and Penn medical students are participating in a White Coat Day of Action which will include a four minute and thirty second moment of silence in honor of Michael Brown. The students will wear their White Coats to the corner of Broad and Tioga at 3 PM tomorrow, December 10th. Temple’s press release about the event elaborates on why it’s important for medical students in particular to get involved in this conversation:
We feel it is essential to begin a conversation about our role in addressing the explicit and implicit discrimination and racism in our communities and reflect on the systemic biases embedded in our medical education curriculum, clinical learning environments, and administrative decision-making. We believe these discussions are needed at academic medical centers nationwide.
White Coat demonstrations will be taking place at more than twenty-five other medical schools nationwide. Learn more about this action here.
You guys might remember Scranton/Philly songwriter Pat Finnerty from our obsession with his whole “Reggae Dog” deal last summer. (We still have no idea how “Reggae Dog” did not conquer the airwaves, men’s hearts and the Wildwood boardwalk alike, but what good would grousing do now?) Last month, Finnerty released an EP of new songs under the wholly un-Google-able moniker Full Band. And its leadoff track is a number called “Look At My Phone.” Its lyrics capture perfectly the futility and mental slavery of our digital times:
I stand in my kitchen and I look at my phone
I get in my car and I look at my phone
I go into work and I look at my phone
I get back home and I look at my phone
Look at my phone
Im waitin in line and I look at my phone
Take my phone out of my pocket and I look at my phone
Put my phone back in my pocket when Im done lookin at my phone
Take my phone back out of my pocket and I look at my phone
Look at my phone
Get on a train and I look at my phone
Put the newspaper down and I look at my phone
I see my uncle on the ground and he’s lookin at his phone
Look at my phone
So it is written, so let it be done. I finished this post, and I look at my phone.
If a dream is a wish your heart makes, then Comedy Dreamz is what you’d wish for if you had a very, very cool heart. Tuesday night Rose Luardo and Andrew Jeffrey Wright host the cultural mishmash Comedy Dreamz at the Barbary. One of the most surprising shows in town, comedy pro’s are forecasting a good chance of stand up, sketch, music, dancing, video, and fun. And it’s the only show I can think of that will let you cool off with a dance party immediately following the show! Tuesday, doors at 8:30PM, $5.
I am always telling my friends how much I hate titles, how much I love puppets, how much I’m OK with the holidays and how much I wish someone would do something about it. Well the good folks at Figment Theater have heard my bellyaching prayers and have, unlike my “friends” I usually complain too, decided to do something about it. On Thursday and Friday this week, Figment Theater begins a run of “The Untitled Holiday Puppet Show” their holiday-themed improvised show that will feature puppetry, live performance, music and holiday magic. The short run of seasonal shows kicks off this week and will be featured at Figment leading up to the Holiday Season, so heave-ho the Humbug and enjoy it. Thursday and Friday, 8PM, $10.
One of the hallmarks of the Holiday Season is the abundance of super-talented sketch comedy. On Thursday and Friday this week, you can take part in one of Philadelphia’s greatest Holiday Traditions and catch The Flat Earth’s newest sketch comedy show. I expect that by Saturday all of us will be walking around spouting catch phases from the characters in this show and dressing up like them, so don’t not go and have no idea what we’re all talking about for once. The shows will also feature a twice-in-a-life-time presentation by acclaimed acting coach Charlie Harley who’s methods are a benefit to anyone interested in the performing arts and even some of those who aren’t. Thursday and Friday, 9PM, $10.
– Joe Moore
Joe Moore is the genial jerk who is head writer of sketch group Dog Mountain, host of monthly show Guilty Pleasures and a sketch comedy instructor. Hunt him down on twitter @TheJoeMoore.
At Philly.com, The Associated Press reports that SEPTA will finally be reforming its fare system. Due to be introduced in 2015, SEPTA Key will combine a fare card and a phone app to allow seamless payment options at any kiosk at any station at any time and immediately recognizable transfers between connected trips. The last time we wrote about SEPTA’s new card system, the man who was in charge of the project abruptly retired after thirty years of service to SEPTA, but although his retirement announcement came on April 1st, it wasn’t a sick joke, just another in a series of unfathomable roadblocks prohibiting the completion of this project.
While it wouldn’t surprise anyone here if some unforeseen circumstance arose in the near future sentencing us to further service in token purgatory, it seems to be blowing minds at the AP that it’s taken us this long to update the system. The report opens: “A public transit system that still uses metal tokens and paper transfers – yes, in the 21st century – appears finally to be moving into the era of debit cards and pay-by-cellphone technology.” We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: in the immortal words of Jimmy McNulty, “we’re just happy to be in the 20th century.”
That’s right, as part of his promo campaign for his new movie Top Five, which looks like it might end up being his funniest movie yet by a longshot, Chris Rock will be at the South Philly Tony Luke’s taking photos and, reportedly, making a steak. The event begins at 12:30 and Rock will be appearing from 12:50 to 1:20.
At first, it appeared that better judgment had prevailed in Reading, PA, and that the storied Fugly Xmas Tree had been replaced with a tree that Reading residents could actually stand to look at. But, unfortunately, as the video above demonstrates, the only value that can ever prevail in America is market value.