With a new steakhouse (Reserve), the Arden planning a new arts center (a March 22 press conference will reveal all), Stephen Starr making over the currently closed Tangerine space and the Berley Brothers' Letitia Street monopoly of The Franklin Fountain and Shane Confectionery, Old City is moving toward changing its rep. Still, the dumb-headed rabble persists in bringing knives to bars, and that's a problem. One idea for reformation: Get rid of Recess. An after-hours snake pit with O.C.'s diabolically loutish crowds at full frenzy? That's like introducing my pals "gasoline can" and "flamethrower." I love after-hours everything — even ran some back in the day, two in Old City. I don't get going until after midnight. But there's something combustible about giving an already juiced-up crowd even more time to get oiled. And Recess? We don't want you to close. Just get out of the line of fire.
"The transition from being a journalist to a musician is a fairly seamless one," says Jessica Bautista, a reporter for the Gloucester County Times whose noise-pop ensemble Sinking Ocean Gods headlines the Troc's Balcony March 21. "As both a print media reporter and a local drummer, I make no money and I make no money." She goes on to paint a pretty humorous picture of that duality by discussing the hours of toil to meet deadlines only to "walk onstage and forget your political correctness, cast your worries of being sued for libel aside, and proceed to be judged by a swarm of faces while you're sweating and hitting circles with sticks, praying that one person out there isn't making Good Charlotte comparisons. It's actually pretty neat." Sinking Ocean Gods is actually pretty neat, too.
Now that occasionally unfriendly but always knowledgeable cocktail-shakers and fiancés Phoebe Esmon and Christian Gaal have left Farmers' Cabinet, a longtime rumor has resurfaced: Is the ink really dry on the Farmers' Cabinet takeover of the Frank Furness building that once housed The Bank and Transit — a spot that was planned to become a brewery, beer hall and tiki bar, with a drink menu designed by Esmon and Gaal? We keep hearing rumors that not everything is swimming on Sixth and Spring Garden.
Vince Valentine, the local comic renowned (or possibly notorious) for the Philly iteration of the Rob Becker one-man show Defending the Caveman, will test out his own upcoming Prince Music Theater solo show (April 18-May 13) with an excerpt on March 19 when he opens for pianist ELEW at Loews Hotel.
Avram Hornik's 4 Corners Management has been hyping an opening (though no date yet) for Ortlieb's Lounge (Jazzhaus no longer) on N. Third. It'll host live music, open mics and comedians. Honk.
Ice gets illustrated at Critical Mass.