I don’t know if the all rooms were reserved or if every stage got booked and busy, but January — not December — has become the best time for musical homecomings and reunions. New-school Philly MVPs Sun Airway packed Johnny Brenda’s last Saturday with more old friends than a funeral. K&A’s first hit-makers The A’s will cap off a long career with a last-ever show Jan. 26 at Underground Arts. Then there’s Johnny’s Dance Band, who’ll reunite at Dobbs on Jan. 15 in collaboration with George Manney’s Last Minute Jam residency. Throughout the ’70s, JDB and its three old-school members, Tony Juliano, Bobby Lenti and Courtney Colletti, played a brand of hard-balling party music with Springsteen-ian heft. How hefty? Bruce checked them out in 1975 at ye old South Street institution Grendel’s Lair.
Speaking of past pals: At Sun Airway, we ran into Philly’s Daniel “Gravy” Thomas — poet, promoter and one-time good-abs-having frontman of the long-heralded (mostly by me) avant-black-rawk act Phil Moore Browne. PMB ended and Thomas ran away from town for a sec, but now he’s back, married and involved in Shark Graphics design company. Also, he claims he’s got lots of musical and lyrical goodies planned for our area in 2013. So be it.
Word has been going around that Silk City and North Third owner Mark Bee was ready to take on Center City after look-sees into two spaces in which he might open a restaurant: Key West, on Juniper between Walnut and Locust, and The Lincoln at 12th and Locust across from Vedge. He was even seen fiddling with plumbing at the former. Bee claims he was merely doing just that — checking the pipes. “I’m looking to do something downtown, but nothing is happening at those spaces,” he says. We’ve been hearing that Key West doesn’t have all of its for-sale ducks in a row, but that they’re anxious. We’ll be watching.
Electro-clubfucks, you say you want another union of Seclusiasis, Actual Records and Slit Jockey Records after that “Let Your Body Take Control” single Elijah Butterz dropped last year? You’re in luck: The trembling triumvirate joins House of Hearts for the Street Bass jam at Soundgarden Hall Jan. 11.
I love great corner restaurants, and miss Mémé and Adsum (and Tapestry, in that same spot) like hell. But while we’ve known for a sec that Mémé was taken over by Pub & Kitchen folk and that exec chef Robert Marzinsky will turn 2201 Spruce into Fitler Dining Room shortly, we’ve been worried about the closed-up Fifth and Bainbridge spot since its September shuttering. Worry no more: Rob Nydick and Rich Rivera (Belvedere Restaurant Group) posted a liquor application in an attempt to re-open Tapestry. Watch for late Feb.
More Ice at citypaper.net/criticalmass.