This is the season for old friends. Some come to your house with drugs. Some book a Fishtown club and rock out. Some take over strip bars. Yup, that sounds pretty much like the old gang. Take pop blogger Joey Sweeney. Known the cat since yon teenhood; he in jean shorts, me in leather jodhpurs. Now he’s turning 40 and looking back at his life in song, performing a live birthday retrospective show (Dec. 8, Johnny Brenda’s) backed by reunited former bands The Barnabys and The Trouble with Sweeney and current band Arctic Splash. Jojo says it was a dare to himself, a show of emotion linked to reconnecting with musicians of his past. We grow up fast. More on his music on p. 23.
Another pal o’mine, City Paper-adman-turned-actor Sonny Vellozzi — you may know him from such Philly-made classics as Mannequin: On the Move and 10th & Wolf, not to mention his thespian/production gig with the online comedy Finders Keepers — is producing a stripper/slayer flick called Jane, being shot, in part, at Daydreams (5200 Unruh Ave., home of the slow peel). On Dec. 6, they’re having a fundraiser at the club with sassy star Victoria Gates on board. Give till it hurts, gents.
Another onetime CP staffer, Kevin Kernan — now doing graphic design for Drexel — is, as a member of AIGA Philly (the acronym formerly stood for American Institute of Graphic Arts, before they trimmed it to make room for more white space), co-hosting its First Friday fundraiser on Dec. 7. The Prohibition-themed Speakeasy Soirée and Silent Auction at Christ Church Neighborhood House (20 N. American St.) supports design lectures, exhibitions and scholarships. Go get drunk while they talk — Kevin’s a fine host and a fab tippler.
Did you know that WPVI-TV 6 reporter Denise James is the sister of Boots Riley, the soul of the Occupy movement and the voice behind The Coup? Look for a family reunion when Coup hits Underground Arts Dec. 7.
Before you get a look at Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained (out Christmas Day), you’ll want to hear the soundtrack. There’s a new theme from spaghetti-Western slinger and Tarantino mainstay Ennio Morricone, and two Philadelphians get a shot at “Stuck in the Middle With You” eternal fame: John Legend with the new “Who Did That to You?” and the late, great Jim Croce with “I Got a Name.” The latter, according to Tarantino, comes straight from the vinyl, “complete with all the pops and cracks, and the sound of the needle being put down on the record.”
David Neff and his associates have been doing their PR thing 25 years, since before you could tweet. They celebrate the quarter century-mark Dec. 11 at Del Frisco’s. The drinks and the laughs are on him, if you’re invited.
More ice? citypaper.net/criticalmass.