Nobody likes every Philly tradition (cheesesteaks, mumming in blackface, etc.), but I think we can all agree that the Academy Ball and Concert is a good thing. Jan. 26 marks the 56th such event celebrating the 156-year-old Academy of Music (the Ball itself is at the Bellevue, with the Central Committee for the Philly Orchestra pre-Ball bash at Tiffany & Co.). You get to wear white ties and tuxes. Hugh Jackman sings Peter Allen songs. What’s the downside, I ask? Zip. So what’s new? In celebration of the first Academy Anniversary concert, where maestro Eugene Ormandy shared the podium with host Danny Kaye, look for a possible surprise bit between Jackman and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Plus, the president’s reception is going to be even bigger and will take place throughout the Academy (rather than just in the ballroom), to allow for a more open feel and a greater number of attendees. Bully.
We’re big fans of both neuroti-comic Marc Maron’s WTF podcast and Dave Grohl. So imagine our surprise when the two got together on WTF and talked up Philly’s noise-pop act Bleeding Rainbow. Double WTF.
Last Friday, right before one of promoter Boy Wonder’s Hype presentations at Level Room (on the hell-side of Market Street), the club shut down the show. Sorry, Wonder. Sorry, Reckless Dodgers and all the other bands on the bill. We’ve been hearing that Level’s owners aren’t happy with the bookers they’ve brought in (not necessarily just Wonder) and are cutting back on the number of shows they’ll allow. But no, the Level space is by no means for sale. Yet.
Before he becomes the savior of Sixth and South with his newest chef Peter Serpico (at Momofuku, looking at a late March/April opening), Stephen Starr has a lovely introduction planned. Serpico is set to cook with chef Chris Painter at Il Pittore, the Sansom Street Italian eatery Painter co-owns with Starr, on Feb. 19. The collaborative dinner should be worth the wait and the cost.
I’m not long on jams, neither the preserves nor the lengthy wanks of Grateful Dead manqués. Thankfully, Philly’s Joe D’Amico has always been tasteful during his jam-rock excursions, Brothers Past or the rootsy Mason Porter. D’Amico’s got a solo LP, A Short Time’s a Long Time, that he’ll play for you at Kung Fu Necktie Jan. 24. He’ll keep things brief.
I may have occasional issues with local bicyclists (don’t ride on sidewalks, you fux), but that doesn’t mean I want y’all down-in-the-mouth over Lance Armstrong or that the Philly International Cycling Championship just got cancelled. Chin up, cyclers. During the Naked Bike Ride, just pedal faster.
True your tires at citypaper.net/criticalmass.