Archive: June, 2012
ICEPACK ILLUSTRATED: Cuban chefs, gay film fest boozing, drunken popsicles, Godly movie makers, Fifty Shades of Prensky
When Cuba Libre co-owner/chef Guillermo Pernot held his Pop-Up Paladar on Tuesday he didn’t just forge a tasty authentic meal of olive-raising paste, crab-meat-stuffed corn-pasta cannelloni and picked cod-n-lamb tongue. Pernot gave Cuban chef Alain Rivera Santana of Havana’s Doctor Café his first shot at cooking outside his homeland. (Pernot did a Paladar with Chef Lucio in January and will hold another in October with Chef Angel Rafael Roque Gomez). To an audience including members of the cultural tour that Pernot led throughout Cuba in April (with their photos on the walls) Rivera said that the most exciting thing about coming here was learning that not all of us were bad (he should stay longer!), that the pop culturalism of our streets was dizzying and that the variety of food stuffs and spices in Philly was amazing. After telling me how much different Rivera was from Lucio (“night and day in their methodology”), Pernot revealed that Cuba Libre specially built a charcoal grilling oven like the one Rivera uses in Havana for their swell smoky grilled yellowfish tuna with ruby red grapefruit. Hot cha.
Thom Cardwell gave Icepack the exclusive on the dates (July 12-26) for the gay/lesbian/trans QFEST film extravaganza months ago. They announced its honorees — actor David W. Ross, director Rose Troche, activist Ellen Ratner. Why not have a party with the fest’s first-ever Q-Challenge Rockstar Bartender Competition hosted by Fox 29 fox Mike Jerrick where barkeeps win Madonna’s M.D.N.A. tour tix? That’s June 26 at North Shore’s Havana Room with yours truly and his blogging missus Glamorosi judging.
Last week I mentioned that Philly party planner Lindsay Furman was a new bad girl on NBC’s Love in the Wild. She wasn’t so bad but she did get dropped from the outdoor matchmaking show as did Manayunk’s Jenny Blatt. Too many bugs anyhoo.
Theresa Rose, Renee Archawski and Sandy Upton are three of the newest names added to Nick Stuccio’s Live Arts Festival and venue. Whee.
Krautrocking and crucial — that’s Philly’s Arc in Round who drop their eponymous debut album, June 23 at Johnny Brenda’s with Pet Milk and Tadoma in the haus. Arc in Round features guests Kurt Vile and Pattern Is Movement.
EaterPhilly came up with a sad but interesting notion: Could ex-Top Chef Jen Carroll be taking her Concrete Blonde concept elsewhere? I heard that the location she was readying for the ex-Marathon spot at 13th and Chestnut fell through because investors couldn’t agree on money. Carroll mentioned to me at Marc Vetri’s Great Chefs event that she had new cool investors — but for what city? Stay tuned.
As a Godly man, I can recommend June 26’s Ritz East (7 p.m.) screening of NJ filmmaker/New Testament scholar Rob Orlando’s A Polite Bribe (The Paul Story). The documentary about the life and teachings of Christ’s main-man Paul won’t be out until autumn so this preview is truly cool. Whether you believe or not is between y’all and Paul but the film is great and learned men agree.
Speaking of Jesus and Mary, the noisy Chain held by the Brothers Reid just announced a rare booking at Philly’s Union Transfer for Sept. with tix selling shortly.
?uestlove, Philly pal Will Smith and Jay Z will take the Tony Award-winning Fela! musical off the road and put it back on Broadway for a summer run. The three are producers and not just some guys muscling in on the AfroBeat action.
Mr. and Mrs. Prensky, Jen and chef Mitch hold a kinky Fifty Shades of Grey dinner at Supper on South St. June 23, taking the Masked Ball sex scene and re-doing the book’s decadent menu.
WHOWHATWHERE: Lots of celebs hit the local radio stations this week. Australian sensation Cher Lloyd visited with DJ Maxwell at the Saturday Night Online iHeart Radio Performance Theater in Bala, with soul-pop singer Kimbra, pop-punks Silversun Pickups and sweet hardcore goofs Circa Survive hitting up Radio 104.5 FM’s studios. The Circa cats even got to hang with fan/photog Scott Weiner’s daughter Mariel Weiner who shares a b-day with me, her godfather. Philadelphia Style publisher John Colabelli, whose next Style party is a private 4th of July weekend one at MIXX in the Borgata with John Oates and ?uestlove, was the main attraction at last week’s opening of The Latham Hotel, its new swank rooms and handsomely appointed restaurant. Columnist Stu Bykofsky and his new goatee were at the Latham cork-popping as were lawyers such as Chuck Peruto Jr., Justin Wineburgh and Lauren O’Dorisio, the very new wife of Colabelli. Congrats.
According to A Tribe Called Quest front man, Q-Tip, Industry Rule #4,080 is “record company people are shady.” Originally heard on the group's classic Check the Rhime, the statement has resonated with many musicians over the years, encapsulating the frustration of trying to make it in a music industry that seems to be based more on greed and profit than objective talent. Aspiring artists are often forced to choose between their own creative vision and the pre-packaged image into which record companies attempt to mold them.
As the music industry continues to shift with the rise of online file-sharing, it seems high time we revisit Q's Rule #4,080 and assess the current state of industry affairs. Philly's own Mural Arts Program has asked several key industry figures to join in a panel discussion. Among them are Marc Byers (Rockstar Entertainment) and CHOPS, producer for new-school hip-hoppers like Young Jeezy and Lil Wayne. These musical vets will reflect on their own experiences of sinking and floating in the waves of industry bureaucracy and provide advice for those just getting into to the bizz. This free event will be held at 327 South St., from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Devoted poet/avid concert-goer/nerd-grrrl extraordinaire Jane Cassady’s weekly horoscopes run in this space every Friday morning.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): Find yourself some grown-up coloring pages and go to town on them. Do this in front of the TV if you want. Embellish your pages with stickers and stamp pads and hang them up someplace where you need to be reminded to trust your creativity.
Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): My wife recently wrote a Zombie Apocalypse Horoscope and may well be a guest horoscopist come Halloween time. I don’t know much about zombies, but I know you should never box yourself in in a basement, and don’t board up the windows. What’s coming for you is coming for you, turn and face it.
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): Today, even if none of the libraries were open, you ran into your old nemesis, and ate a shameful amount of cookies, no matter. Tomorrow you’ll get a good playlist in your inbox, you’ll go on a firefly walk with your love, you’ll watch a dumb movie. Life is always mostly awesome.
Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): The stars never grew out of drawing hearts in the corners of notebook pages, and neither should you. You can even indulge in the creepy/cute eighth-grade-girl thing of writing your crush’s name over and over. Go ahead, be ridiculous and smitten.
You may recall that we were looking for a skilled haikusmith deserving of a pair of tickets to Sunday’s Bonnie Prince Billy show at the Troc. Well, the results are in and these baffling 17 syllables won our hearts:
I taste a darkness.
It is filtered by my ‘stache.
Stout, dark English stout.
Here are two runners up we also like. They don’t win anything.
In 2011, Danny Brown released XXX, a triple reference to his age, the adult nature of his lyrics and illegal substances. The album captured all three and then some, inviting listeners a glimpse of Detroit. As a rapper, he’s ribald, hilarious and undeniably skillful. I had a chance to chat with Brown, who opens for Childish Gambino at Penn’s Landing on Friday, about his comedic edge.
City Paper: One of the things that sets your style apart is your sense of humor. I’ve heard you’re a fan of standup. Who are your favorite comedians of all time?
Danny Brown: Probably like Richard Pryor, Martin Lawrence, Louis C.K. That’s about it.
CP: What makes you want to inject humor into your rap?
DB: I talk about a lot of serious situations so why not disguise it in humor? [When it’s] so fucked up, you rather make the person laugh than make people feel, you know, way more fucked up about the situation than anything.
CP: Is that something you’ve always done or was there a turning point where you decided to go more the comedic route?
The death of someone you know, love or just read about is always a good opportunity to promote oneself. You can make yourself look humble or sympathetic while staying on PR point. That’s what our old pal Damon Feldman has done to an extent with the still-being-investigated passage of Rodney King. Now, for the record, Feldman wouldn’t be the only person in history to do as much — more than a few members of the Jackson family found time to promote themselves during Michael Jackson’s post-mortem. Feldman, the promoter/curator of Celebrity Boxing (pillows, oversized gloves), apparently was the one of the last people to have spoken to the legendary beating victim on Saturday afternoon. Feldman told TMZ that King was in a good mood (reportedly King was drinking and smoking weed that day so perhaps that accounts for his high spirits) and how the pair were to discuss another celebrity bout with baseball-er Jose Canseco that would be announced during a June 29 press conference. King has fought for Feldman on several occasions and wound up befriending the local promoter.
Since the time of King’s death, he has appeared on cable news outlets talking about his bud. But without missing a beat, Feldman has gone into full promotion mode on his next big project — a wishful grudge match with Damon Feldman offering Drake and Chris Brown three one-minute rounds to settle their beef. (Damon has sent out notes for a potential date if Drake and Brown take him up on the cash offer, Sat., Aug. 25, at Los Angeles’ Staples Center). Then there’s Feldman’s June 22/23 bout starring Octomom (who has troubles of her own this week, keeping a house) battling someone named Shelia from Wired 96.5’s morning show and Michael “Lindsay’s dad” Lohan as the event’s referee. While the fight occurs this Saturday in King of Prussia, a press conference featuring Lohan and Octo takes places at the Fox & the Hound in the same neighborhood. Since Feldman and Lohan have pillow fought in the past it’s all good clean fun even if you do feel grimy just by knowing this goes on.
In the ongoing fight for environmental rights, activists have tried the standard approaches of tree-hugging, leafletting and lobbying. These tactics get a little dull — and trees aren't exactly the cuddliest of beings — so the folks behind the Mysterious Rabbit Puppet Army (MRPA) have devised a new strategy: puppet theater!
Blending the key ingredients of humor, activism and puppetry, MRPA presents a new take on Don Quixote. Their unique adaptation provides a much-needed critique of the controversial concepts of “green technology” and “green capitalism,” exploring the possibilities and limitations of corporations' commitment to “environmental responsibility."
Co-sponsored by the radical Earth First Journal, this is puppetry with a purpose, a theatrical way of sparking dialogue about the aspects of environmental destruction hidden under layers of corporate jargon. As their mission statement explains, “Our goal in this tour is to use art to ... brainstorm with our audiences how we can fight back against the destruction of the planet.” Be part of the planet-saving tomorrow at Wooden Shoe Books (704 South St.). Free and open to earth-friendly people everywhere.
Yesterday University City unveiled The Dirt Factory, its new trash-to-treasure composting facility that will convert organic neighborhood waste into compost with the help of fallen leaves, worms and a high-capacity Earth Tub system. The facility will be open for drop-off every Wednesday from 5 to 6 p.m., and UCD and the Pedal Co-op will also provide collection services for bagged leaves, wood chips and other organic material. The Factory held a party for its grand opening, filling the air with bluegrass music and the scents of locally sponsored refreshments, and we took some photos.
Beyond the scars and battle wounds, sour memories and recurring nightmares that often mark a soldier's return to civilian life, many servicemen and women choose to voluntarily mark themselves with another kind of physical reminder: a tattoo. Whether it's a memorial to a fallen friend or the insignia of a specific platoon, tats serve as a permanent reminder of service long after the battle has ended.
In his new book, documentary photographer Kyle Cassidy chronicles the stories of these inked veterans with full-color portraits and often surprising details about the meaning behind their tattoos. Following the long-standing tradition of donning war paint during battle, contemporary military life is full of image-filled ritual, providing vivid inspiration for bodily art. While the standard eagles and anchors abound, many soldiers have chosen to elaborate on existing scars or depict a specific scene or portrait from the frontlines. With 20-plus years of photography under his belt, Cassidy has shot everyone from goths and metalheads to scholars and politicians.
For those unfamiliar with his past work, War Paint: Tattoo Culture and the Armed Forces exemplifies Cassidy's continued commitment to unveiling facets of American Culture often misrepresented by the mainstream media. Join him tomorrow at Moonstone Arts Center (110A S. 13th St.) for a free discussion about the book.
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