July 17, 2014

Your Lunchtime Challenge: Follow-Up YouTube Search For “Land Of Little Horses”

As City Paper‘s Emily Guendelsberger continues her reign of weirdo summertime news that you will find somehow essential with this slideshow on Gettysburg’s Land of Little Horses, we’d also like to add: There’s tones of video on YouTube as well. And oh my God. Oh my God.

Dept. Of Sigh: You Can Blame Recent College Grads For Citywide Gentrification

I mean, you knew this, but here’s the data. So many mixed feels. Will consider them over taco lunch.

R.I.P.: Rich Nichols

Philebrity is sadded to learn of the passing of a true legend in Philadelphia music, Rich Nichols. Multiple sources are now reporting the passing of the longtime manager of The Roots. And though Nichols was instrumental in the group’s career, that does not even get close to describing Nichols’ influence on the lives of many, as well as on both hip-hop and R&B. Nichols’ production credits alone from the beginning of ’90s onward tell the story of a major shift in musical consciousness and style. Additionally, Nichols mentored many artists and industry professionals over the years, all of whom attest to his generous spirit. We’ll keep you updated as more news comes. Our thoughts are with Rich’s family and many friends at this time.


And Now, A Short Poem About The FOP Wanting To Probe Barbara Laker & Wendy Ruderman’s “Tainted Justice”

What have facts ever done to thee?
Besides revealing that Philly po-po are dirt-ee, dirt-ee?
This we all knew, for their soot smudges you and me.

And now, however long after the fact,
You smell blood in the water at the papers, for their futures have been fracked.
Still your call for investigation is an ill-advised attack
The shit-genie is out of the bottle, and it will not go back.

From Philebrity’s forthcoming collection of poems, entitled The Lords Of Feibush.

Kanye West Is Totally Pulling A Phil Collins Live Aid Move For Made In America

So take a look at YE now, oh there’s just an YEEZY space
And there’s nothing left here to remind YE,
just the memory of your face
Ooh take a look at YE now, well there’s just an YEEZY space
And YE coming back to YE is against all odds and BUT I’M-A LET YOU FINISH ON THE PLANE

As predicted by our dearly departed contributing editor Jim Adair (he’s not dead, he’s just writing about sports), Kanye West is now playing both the Los Angeles and Philly editions of the Made In America festival on Labor Day Weekend. This, of course, is what is known in the business as a “Phil Collins,” in honor of Phil’s epic move at Live Aid in 1985, where he played in both Philly and London on the same day (courtesy of The Concorde, which sadly no longer exists). But whereas Phil, as we say, did it all in one day, Kanye’s appearances will occur over two consecutive days.

This is not the only way in which Phil Collins is a far superior human being to Kanye West.


If You’re Going To Split California Into 6 States, You Might As Well Split Pennsylvania Into 3


All week, we’ve been scratching our head at this story about the movement currently gathering steam among Californians to split their state into six separate states. Granted, the chances of this ever happening are slim, indeed, but we also couldn’t help but think how PA split, should some sort of subsequent state-splitting fever spread through the land like wildfire.

The answer, of course, is obvious: There’d be a three-way split between Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Pennsyltucky. (Which would go a long way towards explaining things like: how Tom Corbett was ever elected in the first place; Dutch Wonderland; yinzers; and, well, ourselves. How can all of these things come from the same place? Answer: They don’t.) To be sure, a philosophical, political, ethnic and cultural divide has existed in the Keystone State for as long as anyone can remember — longer, in fact, than you may know. Like most folks, we always attributed the concept of “Pennsyltucky” to Bill Clinton advisor James Carville, who famously remarked:

“Between Paoli and Penn Hills, Pennsylvania is Alabama without the blacks. They didn’t film The Deer Hunter there for nothing — the state has the second-highest concentration of NRA members, behind Texas.”

Notice he doesn’t actually utter the word “Pennsyltucky.” History, ever its own revisionist, has popularized a different quote, which goes along the lines of “Pennsylvania is Philly and Pittsburgh with Pennsyltucky in the middle.” That’s a stretch from the original indeed, but also a testament to how much Pennsyltucky actually exists — and has long existed — in the hearts and minds of all Pennsylvanians. Wikipedia makes a case for the Pennsyltucky portmanteau dating back roughly a hundred years, but that’s Wikipedia. For us, the smoking gun of Pennsyltucky entering the popular imagination is this, Jeannie Seely‘s 1972 single, “A Farm in Pennsyltucky”:

To which we can only say: Yeah. She ain’t from around here.

[Image: Wikipedia]

July 16, 2014

This Evening: Fire In The Hole

>>> As previewed in our Week Ahead In Comedy jawn, Chip Chantry hosts Rapid Fire, the new comedy night at Jose Pistola’s, with Tim Butterly, Michael F’in Rainey, Darryl Charles, Mary Radzinski, John Kensil, Christian Alsis, Carl Boccuti, Steve Swan and THE FEED w/ Jim Grammond. Those names might not mean a lot to you, but trust us, this is as solid a Philly indie-type comedy jawn as you’re gonna get.

>>> Elsewhere: The Oval opens! It’s also looking like a far better day to check out the Michael Schulson‘s Independence Beer Garden, which opened yesterday. Plus: Har Mar Superstar / Noun / Modern Hut at the Boot & Saddle.

Readers Fwd: There Are At Least Three “Phases” To Registering For Diner En Blanc (That Xenu Has Told Us About)



This email is NOT a confirmation. You are receiving this email because you previously signed up for the waiting list of Dîner en Blanc – Philadelphia. This spectacular event will take place in on Thursday, August 21, 2014 in an undisclosed location, rain or shine.

Your registration phase will begin tomorrow, Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 10:30am EDT. Here is a list of tips to help you with the registration process:
- Don’t use Internet Explorer. Several people reported problems of not being able to progress past Group Leader selection due to issues with IE. Try using Google Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.
- Make sure your Adobe Flash is up to date.
- Sign up for a PayPal account now and link it to your credit card. During the first year, many people made it through most of the registration process only to be stopped by PayPal who wouldn’t process the credit card.
- If your friend already has a ticket, ask him/her for the name of the Group Leader and Table Leader. That group may be filled by the time you register, but, if there is still space, try to register in that section if you want to be seated in the same area as your friends. Once your registration is complete, groups cannot be changed.

You can find a step-by-step guide on “How to Register for DEB” here: http://philadelphia.dinerenblanc.info/how-to-register-for-deb-593

Remember, your registration phase will begin tomorrow, Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 10:30am EDT. At that time, we ask that you please come back to this e-mail and click on the following link to register:
Direct link: http://philadelphia.dinerenblanc.info/register.php?invite_code=HOST-PH-3-PHILADELPHIA-14-A-TO-S-1405526659-615306373#top
Your code: HOST-PH-3-PHILADELPHIA-14-A-TO-S-1405526659-615306373

This registration code does not guarantee you a place at Le Dîner en Blanc event. Places are limited and therefore will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

To complete your online registration, you will need:
The name and contact information of the person accompanying you (which could always be modified at a later time)
A credit card or PayPal account to finalize the process
Cost is $68.50 total per table (for both you and your guest). This cost includes:
- Your $5 annual membership to become an official member of Le Dîner en Blanc®
- A $5 transaction fee (similar to the fee charged by websites when purchasing concert tickets)
- $29.25/person participation fee. These fees are applied to cover overhead costs, such as photography, entertainment, lighting, associated permits fees, insurance, and security.

… and it actually goes on and on from there! Seriously: Fuck this thing in its fucking stupid face.

You Disappoint Us (Again), Eagles Fans, By Not Turning “ILLEAGLES” Into A Meme (Or Rap Group)

It’s been there for the taking, all week, and you schlubs haven’t done a damned thing with this, so far as we can see. This can only be because of two things: One, you share this worldview (gross, but we wouldn’t put it past you, 610 WIP Nation) or two, you really think that is how it’s spelled.

Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day Is A Thing

nicksHere is our cognitive-dissonant worldview in a nutshell: We loathe, dread and despise the Naked Bike Ride, but at the same time, we’re oddly psyched about Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day. What’s that, you ask? Oh, just a bunch of friends, getting together, hanging out, like you do:

Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day is a family-friendly celebration of the harvest and reflects a variety of pagan, heathen, Wiccan, and other religious beliefs and practices.

Think of it as Day Of A Thousand Stevies. PPPD happens on Saturday, Aug. 30, in Clark Park, of course. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., rain or shine, with all parties concerned claiming credit for the weather in either case.

2nd Street Festival Announces Music Lineup


As we noted a few weeks back, Sunday, August 3rd is day that 2nd Street Festival returns to Northern Liberties. As in previous years, the fest runs all along North Second Street, from Germantown down to Green Street. Expect 150 vendors, and music on multiple stages. Today brings us more news about the beloved fest, most notably, its music lineup:

Black Landlord | DisCanto | The Downtown Shimmy | DRGN King | El Caribefunk | Hennessey Bonfire | Joey Sweeney & the
Long Hair Arkestra | Lovers League | Milton | Mock Suns | Needle Points | New Sound Brass Band | No Good Sister | Pine Barons
| The Hello Strangers | The Late Saints | The Quixote Project | TJ Kong & the Atomic Bomb | Weird Hot

And that’s not all: Beer sponsors Yards, Brooklyn, Flying Fish, Leinenkugel, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Stoudts, and Miller Lite will most likely make sure you do not have to walk more than 50 paces without a chance for more beer. Additionally, the Piazza will be loaded with craft vendors. Festival coordinators expect 40,000+ attendees this year.

[Photo: Danya Henninger]

Candy Coated’s Magic Carpet At Eakins Oval Is The Best Kind Of Throwback


1972: Gene Davis, Franklin’s Footpath [Photo: Life Magazine]


2014: Candy Coated, Magic Carpet [Photo: Association for Public Art]

Last week, we told you all about The Oval, the new summer pop-up park that’s a partnership of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and Fairmount Park Conservancy. Officially opening this evening, The Oval will feature all kinds of programming and hang time, with its centerpiece being artist Candy Coated‘s ambitious Magic Carpet, which sets the stage at street level for all kinds of summertime fun. And as we’ve watched the piece come together on social media over the last week, a nagging sense of familiarity has dogged us: What does this remind us of?

Oh, that’s right: Gene DavisFranklin’s Footpath , done on the same stretch of Parkway in 1972, as seen in the iconic Life Magazine photo above. At the time of its creation, Davis, who worked almost exclusively in bold stripes, and the Parkway together held the honor of being the artist and canvas for what was then the world’s largest painting. Candy Coated’s piece does not bear that distinction (Shandong, China holds that honor now), but it does throw back to an earlier (and for our money, more radical and ambitious) era of public art. And that can’t be a bad thing.

Attn. Questlove: Your Precious Ed Sheeran Has Been Named The UK’s “Most Important Act In Black And Urban Music”


And people are not happy. We’re just gonna let that sit with you for a moment.

This Is Why You Can’t Have Nice Things, Inquirer

ctubsFor those of you still paying attention to the roving brokedown palace intrigue that is the Inky/DN/Philly.com: New owner Gerry Lenfest had to go ahead and kill an Inky piece slamming DN Pulitzer winners Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman, and there was much of the shouting and crying in the halls. And it marks, perhaps, a whole new era of the longtime rivalry between the Inquirer and the Daily News.

What was in the the story? We don’t know. We may never know. Did it set a bad precedent for Lenfest, who like every rich guy turned publisher ever took great pride in announcing to all and sundry that he’d never interfere with editorial? Oh, yes, probably, very much so. But as Ralph Cipriano points out in the post linked above, Lenfest has walked into a babysitting situation no adult should have expected. On background, he reports that Laker and Ruderman’s “Tainted Justice” series — coming to a television set near you, starring Sarah Jessica Parker – has been a thorn in the side of the Inky since before it was even a series. And somehow now, when the chips are down all around, even more so.

The DN/Inky rivalry, meanwhile, is itself a relic of an older time, when the fortunes of both papers were not quite so depleted. And to see it rear its head these days is a stupefying thing indeed. Who has time for this shit? Oh, we know who: The soon-to-be unemployed.

Poll: Choose Your Dream Lineup For A Future Welcome America/#phillyjam



Rumblings: It’s A Tough (Titty) Business

>>> But it’s not without its victories. A federal judge has ruled that dancers at Northeast Philly’s Penthouse Club are entitled to sue for minimum wage, overtime and tips, which they have been denied up until now. So that is what they will most likely do. This is the first time, to our knowledge, that the Penthouse Club has been described as anything other than “totally classy.” [LegalIntelligencer/Post-Gazette]

>>> In more good news, it’s still illegal to kill people in strip clubs. Even in Southwest Philly. [Philly.com]

>>> And finally, how can you not love the stock photography on the Philly Strippers – Philadelphia Stripper Directory Facebook page? [Facebook]

Al Día Rebrands, Casts A Wider Net

aldiaOn Monday, the venerable Philly daily paper en Español Al Día rolled out a whole new website. And in what feels like some sort of object lesson for Philly’s print media en ingles, they’re doing it by casting the widest net possible: “For the first time ever in national news media,” goes their claim, “AL DÍA will publish online content in both English and Spanish.” (They’re quick to add that their pieces will be translated by actual humans, which, for anyone who’s ever done anything at all with Google Translate, is a bigger deal than it sounds like.) So how is it? It’s actually pretty great. Like Newsworks, say, but muy caliente.

New Mural On The Side Of Union Transfer To Be Dedicated Today


Next time you’re on your way to Union Transfer or, uh, traffic court, there’s some new eye candy handy: This mural. Amplify, by Ben Volta and members of Mural Arts’ Restorative Justice Guild program, will be dedicated at noon today at 1026 Spring Garden Street. It’s a gramophone. Can you see it?

[Photo: Steve Weinik]

July 15, 2014

From The Desk Of Birdie Busch: Regarding The Supermoon

Waxing on the Waxing: Birdie Busch here to tell you a little bit about a lot of moon.

Earth, Moon, and Sun all in a line: Just that imagining of the fall-into shift, the syncopation, like a square dance in the sky, makes me pleased. The moon will be at its closest when it happens to be at its fullest, and there you have it, “The Supermoon.” There will be five of them in 2014, with the next one coming on August 10th.

Despite it being as old as time, for some reason, I only heard about it a couple of years ago. I was hanging out in the desert, sitting around a campfire in the starkness of southern Arizona, with a peculiar chandelier looming. Supermoon is a fairly new term, as it’s usually been referred to as a “perigee moon.” Perigee moon doesn’t really pack the punch though, naw whatta mean? Supermoon is so much more, well, super.

Moon songs come around a little more often over time. It’s a right of passage for someone that writes songs. You could treat it like you are roping a steer, or maybe more like gathering wind. A little of both. We confide in the moon with our loneliness, our desires known and also hidden, and go to it when everyone else is reasoning and we want undoing. I wanted to join the moon club. The Supermoon was my keys to the car.

It’s been blamed for causing shipwrecks, earthquakes, and volcanos, but scientists seem to not like to give it too much credit. But it sure feels nice to be able to lay your burdens under its light and watch them glow. And come August and September, you’ll have a few more times to do it, so gather up your friends-’til-the-ends, and find a good watching spot.

– Birdie Busch

Birdie Busch is a Philly singer-songwriter and vibe sherpa; it is completely mystifying to us why she’s not a household name. Her most recent album is Birdie Busch and the Greatest Night.

This Was, Without A Doubt, The Best Photo Taken During Last Night’s Apocalyptic Rain Storm

Michael A. Murphy, you’re on some Robert Doisneau shit! More please!