Archive: May, 2012
Thank you to everybody who submitted to our Santigold ticket giveaway contest. Your haikus were wonderful and your syllables were well accounted for. I’m not sure why, but we care more about syllables than spelling around here. Big props and two tickets to our winner Bill K, whose upfront approach won our hearts. Santigold plays the Troc on Tuesday.
Gimmie them tickets
to the Santigold concert
so I can get laid
And below are the runners up. They don’t win tickets, but we didn’t want their efforts to go unrecognized.
For a lot of people, May 5 provides a great excuse to drink margaritas and eat chips and salsa all day (not that we really need and excuse …). What is ironically less recognized, though, is that Cinco de Mayo also happens to be Climate Impacts Day, the official launch of 350.org’s “Connect the Dots” project. Led by author and environmentalist Bill McKibben, 350.org is a global grassroots movement geared toward growing awareness of and creating solutions for the impacts of climate change.
“Connect the Dots is designed to empower people to highlight the connections between extreme weather and climate change. By making those connections clear and compelling, we will help communicate a call for bold climate action to communities, the media and policy makers at the local, national, and international level.”
This Saturday, Philadelphians can join people in over 100 countries around the world by participating in our hometown event, held at Rittenhouse Square. In conjunction with the weekly farmers market, local environmental groups will have booths set up. Everyone is encouraged to come with thoughts, ideas and stories that connect the dots, and to document these connections through banners and photographs. We’ve all seen firsthand what increased flooding along the Schuylkill and Delaware has done to our local communities. Now's the chance to show the world it’s not OK.
Sat., May 5, 11 a.m., free, Rittenhouse Square, 18th and Walnut streets, climatedots.org.
For 33 years, the City of Philadelphia has closed Broad Street from Somerville Avenue in Fern Rock all the way to the Navy Yard for the 10-mile Broad Street Run. The event is a chance for runners from all over the country to compete for a title and take in the sights of the diverse neighborhoods linked together by one of Philly's main thoroughfares. But 29-year-old barista Matt Fisher isn't your typical contestant. For the classical vocal major with a knack for latte art, running is something reserved for his more athletically inclined roommates. But when a friend forfeited a spot in the race, he opted to be the replacement. With one pair of running shoes and a history of bad knees, Matt proves that the best goal a runner can have is simply proving your own capability. I caught up with him at Shot Tower, where he serves up coffee and espresso to the residents of Queen Village.
City Paper: Are you prepared for the run in terms of equipment?
Matt Fisher: In February 2010 I bought some ... serious running shoes. I think I used them a total of four times. But at the time, it felt like a big-deal purchase. Anyway, a year later I was thinking “Well, I have these shoes, I should just do the Broad Street Run" ... It's a long run but it doesn't have that stigma of like “ooh this is ... a marathon” It seemed like it would be a good race for both the serious runner — somebody who wants to win — and the person who's like “I wanna get in shape. This is a cool Philadelphia experience.”
CP: So when your friend gave up the tickets, you thought "this is my calling?"
MF: Pretty much. My roommate is a runner, so I went downstairs and said “do you think it's possible for me to get up to 10 miles in five to six weeks?” She mentioned how it's slightly downhill so gravity will be working with me. And that pretty much sold me.
Devoted poet/avid concert-goer/nerd-grrrl extraordinaire Jane Cassady’s weekly horoscopes run in this space every Friday morning.
Taurus (April 19-May 18): To the Taurus waking up in a transformed body: Good morning and congratulations. I’ve always said you are a genius at creating yourself, this is just more evidence. So much love, so many wishes and millions of gentle hugs.
Gemini (May 19-June 21): To my brother, who wants to try rock climbing and maybe skydiving someday: I can’t wait to not do that. But if you do, listen closely to the safety lectures. Get hold of the right kinds of carabiners. Hold on tight and do not break yourself.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): A few weeks ago at the Momentum conference, I went to a talk called “Spread Your Legs and Open Your Heart.” The leader prescribed drawing a hot bath for nine nights in a row and running a leaf or stone over your whole body. At first I balked at the first-world-adviceness of all those baths, but go ahead and try it.
Each week, Nina Willbach puts together a rundown of book-centric events. This week: Julia Alvarez, an exhibit on the 2012 Mayan prophecy and a dope talk about med. marijuana!
Thursday, May 3
Are you my mother?
Long before The L Word or Feminist Hulk, Alison Bechdel was poking light-hearted fun at a group she knows all too well: lesbians. Her comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For ran for 25 years, reaching an eager readership through countless newspapers throughout the country. The strip followed a group of crunchy lesbian friends whose main activities involved debating the politics of going vegan and finding new and innovative ways of taking down the patriarchy—joke material that works best from the vantage point of an insider. Since retiring DTWOF, Bechdel has moved on to more lengthy literary endeavors, the most recent of which, Are You My Mother? is a memoir chronicling the troubled and multi-faceted relationship Bedchel had with her mother, who stopped kissing her goodnight at the tender age of seven. With the same sharp humor that made her comics a sub-cultural staple, Bedchel turns what should be a deeply sad tale of motherly neglect into a surprisingly witty psychological quest for answers about the mother-daughter gulf.
7:30 p.m., free, FLP Central Branch, 1901 Vine St., libwww.freelibrary.org
As soon as we saw that Skrillex came in at #100, we knew this list was designed to infuriate. Yeah, the dude can drop the bass and evade a bee, but a great guitarist? Explain yourself, Spinsters:
Look, as far as we know, our asymmetrically coiffed party pal has never held a guitar in his life. But no contemporary musician has a more primal understanding of adrenaline-pumping, pulse-raising, chest-caving bulldozer riffs than dubstep mosh ambassador Skrillex.
Sigh. See how it works? I'm momentarily infuriated. Which means the list did its job. Which is infuriating too. Other adrenaline-pumping, pulse-raising problems with the list?
- #10 is Jam Master Jay. Okay, Wikipedia says he played guitar at some point. But that was Eddie Martinez on "Rock Box." I dunno, maybe the Run D.M.C. DJ was a good guitarist and nobody's posted a video or photo yet. Cmon, Internet.
- Where's The Righteous Brothers? I know they didn't play guitar, but those riffs!
- Slash didn't make the list. C'mon.
- Also: No Randy Rhoads, or Opeth or Mother 13 or Dan Auerbach or Superchunk or Ruthie Morris or Sister Rosetta Tharpe or Jay Reatard. I'm too angfurgrivated to think of more people.
- Okay, a lot of those might be a stretch but snubbing Captain Kirk Douglas of The Roots is lame.
- No Jake E. Lee.
- The intro says that they purposely avoided Eric Clapton, Robert Johnson, Jimi Hendrix and other "obvious" choices to concentrate on a bunch of people you also already know about if you like music. Cool with me. But still they called it "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time." Not "The 100 OTHER Greatest Guitarists of All Time" or "The 100 Good Guitarists We're Forced To Accept Now That The Old Major Label Hierarchy Has Collapsed And We Have To Listen To The Music That Came With The Press Release." When you give it a title like they gave it, you gotta be straight up about things. To quote Sports Night, "Our goal isn't to be cunning, is it?"
Before there was world famous Santigold and the messed-up electro-hop of her long awaited second album Master of My Make-Believe, there was Santi White, a nice girl from Philly’s suburbs who made ska-punk pop that would turn No Doubt green with envy. Read on as you try to think of haikus for our Santigold ticket contest.
City Paper: Is there anything left of the young woman from Mount Airy who I interviewed for CP when she was in Stiffed, the girl from the Sex Sells EP?
Santigold: Of course. It’s however many years later but it’s however many years more experience behind me. I wouldn’t distance myself from her.
CP: Why did you high-tail it from Philly when you did? I know that you were writing for other people. It seems as if you left right before the getting-got-good?
S: I first left in 1993 when I went to college, and was gone for 8 years. I lived and worked in NYC during summers, and officially moved to Brooklyn in ‘96 when I accepted a full-time position at Sony/Epic Records until 2001. I had just written an album for a recording artist named Res, and was gaining critical acclaim as a songwriter. I was feeling shy about the idea of becoming the front woman of my own project, and welcomed the idea of sneaking off to hone my skills as a singer/performer outside NYC, somewhere where people were paying less attention. Plus I had just invested in a dot com that flopped and I was broke.
As Penn students, in the early part of the last decade, Dan Fishback and Sara FitzSimmons and friends used to serenade Philly in the perky, quirky duo called Cheese on Bread. These days Dan’s a solo act up in Brooklyn, and while his sound is now a glorious full-on rock thing — check out the catchy, dirty, gutsy, queergeeky The Mammal Years (self-released) — his lyrics are just as earnest and chaotic as ever. “I could kill you when you get like that / all autistic and shit like a comatose whale all beached on reality / bitchin’ like a rat.” I caught up with Dan over email.
City Paper: Back in the day, people would call Cheese on Bread an “anti-folk” band. Do people still use the term? What are your thoughts on it now?
Dan Fishback: I definitely identified with the anti-folk label, because I was so involved in the NYC anti-folk scene. For years, that was my community. All of my friends were songwriters. That was the word people used to describe us, so we used it too. Nowadays, that scene is so much looser, with so many of my closest friends and collaborators living in other cities, so, as the community gets more diffuse, I come to identify less with the label. Still: I like labels.
It’s weird though — when I click the “anti-folk” tag on bandcamp, there are all these bands I’ve never heard of. It’s like, “Oh wait, is anti-folk a GENRE now?” It always felt like more of a scene. The music was always so diverse. Who knows!
CP: Is C.O.B. still an active band? I know you live in Brooklyn, and Sara FitzSimmons is in L.A…?
DF: And Dibs [Dibson T. Hoffweiler] is in Oakland and Daoud [Daoud Tyler-Ameen] is in DC! It was only for our first year that we all lived in the same city. This month marks our 10-year anniversary. We aren’t really “active,” but we try our darnedest to meet up maybe once a year to play shows and write new songs. We have at least an EP’s worth of new songs, and we definitely intend to record one day, but there are no immediate plans. We played an NYC show for the first time in five years this past January, and I think it re-affirmed our commitment to never break up, ever. It’s too perfect.
It's that simple. Write a haiku about Santigold and send it to email@example.com with the subject "GIMME SANTIGOLD TICKETS." We'll pick our favorites and put you on the list with a plus one. Deadline is Thursday @ 5 p.m.
Also, stay tuned to Critical Mass. We're posting A.D. Amorosi's interview with Santi tomorrow. We'll announce the winning haiku on Friday. And yes, we'll be counting syllables.
Santigold plays Tue., May 8, 8 p.m., $29.50, The Trocadero, 1003 Arch St., 215-922-6888, thetroc.com.
Each week, Michael Gold breezes past those big-name theater companies to turn a spotlight on Philly's indie stages. This week: This week: Two trips to Ireland, a misguided soprano at Center City Theater Works and pay-to-pee bathrooms at Drexel.
She had no rhythm and couldn’t find a pitch, but Florence Foster Jenkins was determined to have a musical career. So she did, packing Carnegie Hall solely due to her lack of talent. It’s not like Madame Flo was fooling anyone (before Auto-Tune, talent was far harder to fake), so much as she truly thought her voice was a gift to the world. Curtis grad April Woodall, whose vocal skills are nothing to be trifled with, plays Flo in Center City Theatre Works’ production of Souvenir. Using narration by Jenkins’ pianist Cosme McMoon (Jeffrey Lesser), the two-man show explores the vulnerability that may lie under Flo’s mistakenly confident exterior.
May 2-19, $14-$22, The Adrienne, 2030 Sansom St., 215-732-3797, centercitytheatreworks.org.
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