You can never have too many burlesques around town. This weekend there are two thrillers. With the backdrop of Penn’s Landing’s tall ship Gazela behind them Cabaret Red Light (Melissa Bang-Bang, Annie A-Bomb, Cubby Altobelli, Kimberlie Cruise) take on the tale of the Pirates of Ponzi with pasties, bustiers and live gypsy swing music by the Blazing Cherries from July 17 to 19. Va-va-voom. Further up north at Port Fishington’s Walking Fish Theater — after selling out last weekend’s three night run of the comically campy sci-fi sexy The Thighlight Zone, Aurora VonDyke, Tesla Tease and the rest of the girls and boys will be back for another three-day run July 17-19. Hit both burlesques.
Unless my instincts are wrong, mega-pizza enthusiast Brian Dwyer (we last wrote about his benefit at Johnny Brenda’s where he was vying for a mighty pizza oven) will get the zoning he seeks for the 2313 Frankford address for Pizza Brain. That’s his planned pizza restaurant (that’s where that oven is going), museum and live performance space, and the spot where the Guinness Book of World Records will visit to consider his massive pizza ephemera collection for record status.
ICEPACK ILLUSTRATED: El Malito in his Captain America Undies, Pauly D and Joe Piscopo with Smoking Joe
The last time I happened onto a performance from El Malito — Philly’s Puerto Rican hustler of electro-hip hop and not the Mexican gangster wanted for murder — he was at Rogue’s Gallery with DJ Starkey and he was taking down his pants during “Platypus” to reveal Captain America underwear. Oh my. You can see that here if you so choose. Movie product tie in or not — and by overwhelming demand — El Malito’s next appearance at Rogue’s is this Friday July 8 with special guest Shawn Kilroy, another performer who may very well drop his drawers if you ask nicely.
July is Adena Halpern’s month. The Philly-raised scribbler that I interviewed last year (see here) was a writer on the Jen Aniston/Kevin Spacey/Charlie Day comedy Horrible Bosses which opens this week as well as the author of a new novel, Pinch Me, that’s due out next week. Brava.
In March 1981, Cyndy Drue interviewed Bono for her KYW-TV The Rock N’ Roll Show. In anticipation of U2’s show at the Linc on July 14, Drue and Bono’s first ever American TV appearance will air on Larry Kane’s Voice of Reason show on the Comcast Network at 9:30 p.m. on July 10. I’ll have more from Drue next week about that 1981 show at the Bijou U2 was in town for.
Goldstar Park is where the South Philly Food Co-Op sets up camp for the next several Thursdays starting July 7 at 7 p.m. Aloha.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Cuba Libre’s 10th anniversary this month. I stopped by the three-tier Old City emporium of Cuban delicacies and found a new menu produced by executive chef and partner Guillermo Pernot exceptional as always. Not only has the king of the ceviche produced four new raw and marinated faves (try the big eye tuna) Pernot is doing a truffle and citrus marinated octopus to die for and a different Hemingway-inspired fish item (I had the marlin) throughout July. Plus Pernot’s filled the mezzanine with a gallery’s worth of photos that he snapped during his last trip to Cuba. Look too for new signage to go up on the front of Cuba Libre any day. “After 10 years, it’s about time we got something up so that people knew we were here,” laughs CL co-owner Larry Cohen who has been scouting new Cuba Libre locations in Atlanta and Boston.
Brian Nagele, the Philly2Night entrepreneur who took over the Appoliniare space in the Piazza several weeks ago for his own hipster devices, has finally re-branded the former Italian restaurant. “Our new name will be Kings Oak,” says Nagele. “That’s taken from my experiences with location-based apps that would always say I was located on Kings Oak Lane when standing in the Piazza. Not sure if Second was actually called Kings Oak Lane at one time, but I liked the sound of it.” We like it too.
If you were as shocked as I was that singer Chris Brown took home so many trophies at the BET Awards, here’s one you may have missed: The Diplo-written and produced Chris Brown song “Look At Me Now” won Best Collaboration and Best Video (see it here). Congratulate Dip when you see him spinning at Voyeur on July 3 for The Roots’ pre-Welcome America bash.
Italian Market brunch sensation, Sabrina’s, just got an additional location at Drexel University’s Ross Commons building on 34th. Good for them. Speaking of Itals, there was no way in heck I could have made it to last week’s press-and-pals opening of Serafina’s, Rittenhouse’s hearty new Italian bistro created by owners Fabio Granato and Vittorio Assaf. These same owners of the three New York City Serafinas were still buzzing around when I sat down with friends for dinner on Friday. Not only was the early seating crazy bustling (you got to get in there early for the lobster and the tuna tartars, the pasta and caviar dish and the pizza selection) so was the venue’s publicist Kelly Boyd. Had she been there since Tuesday? She looked fresh as a daisy. That’s dedication. The place was so mobbed I think it was Assaf who was helping to bus outside tables. Double the dedication. Love Serafina’s for that. Plus as I was walking out the door Mark Bee (Silk City) and Mark Vetri (on a bike, in a helmet, in a lemon t-shirt from his Alex’s Lemonade Stand Great Chefs event) were hanging outside. Guess I wasn’t the only guy who missed the VIP party.
Now, you can’t walk down 18th without something going on this week. David Fields opening his kitchen, a.kitchen at AKA Rittenhouse Square, during happy hour on Tuesday, with chef Bryan Sikora. You knew it was happening but it was still a lively and swank surprise to finally see the space blossom.
Octomom Nadya Suleman will be in NJ for a Damon Feldman Celebrity Boxing bout June 29 on at Pennant East (141 Crescent in Bellmawr) where she’ll fight Jen Posner of 102.9 WMGK’s John DeBella Show while wearing soft, large gloves. Oy. Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Kim G is guest ref and you can see the whole sordid affair on battlecam.com if you dare.
Philly DJ/producers Bombé (Tim Shaw) and Mr. Caribbean (Luis Angel Cancel) joined forces for a self-released mix tape based on the premise of dipping the chocolate of James Blake into the peanut butter of Drake. The weird mash-up result is titled James Drake (simple, right?) and Pitchfork liked it enough to give it a 7.6 rating. Couldn’t they have given it an 8?
Claudia Gould, the director of the Institute of Contemporary Art at UPenn, just appointed Alex Klein as the ICA’s new program curator. Klein is an artist from LA and is looking to reconfigure the ICA’s website into a potent extension of the museum. Go, girl. Further up the road, Richard Hodges, the visionary director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, is leaving his post in June of 2012.
Everybody’s talking about how Sept 23-24’s Popped! Fest in FDRPark with Girl Talk, The Shins, Panda Bear, Kreayshawn and Cults is going up against the NoLibs-based Philadelphia Film & Music Festival scheduled for September 22-25. But does no one care about the punk rock Red Bull Riot Fest East date at Festival Pier on Sept. 24 with Descendents, X and CP’s own Rodney Anonymous and his Dead Milkmen? That’s the sleeper sell.
Suzanne Katz made a splash at her son David Katz’s Meme restaurant the other night for the first (but hopefully not last) of their collaborative home-cooked family-style dinners where press from Esquire and the New York Times were in attendance and the lamb tangine was superior. (Meanwhile ex-Times critic Frank Bruni and New York mag’s Adam Platt ate at Marc Vetri’s eponymous restaurant on the night of the Great Chefs event). When talk at Meme came to a photo of the younger Katz with his mom, David said, “See I was good looking even then.”
It’s belly dancing with a twist — modern American tribal-style belly dancing — when Barajagala Tribal Bellydance come to play. The new Philly performance troupe (steady members and student practitioners) uses as much hot house music to dance to as they do traditional music with bits of flamenco in their step. They’ve performed at the Rim Café and other art galleries around town. They’ve got gigs as part of Media, PA’s Wednesday night Dining Under the Stars series where they close off a couple of blocks and all the restaurants open up on the streets. (Seven Stones Café, June 22 and July 20 at 7 p.m., 22 S. Plum St., Media) and Rogue’s Gallery in the Rittenhouse West area on June 23. Shake it.
The AMC cable network and Kevin Smith want to do a reality show about The Secret Stash, the Clerk director’s New Jersey comic book store. They want comix geeks, they want them local and they need them ages 21 to 35. The Hollywood Reporter has sign-up info. Hit it.
The Blockley’s What is Jazz/What is Hip Hop event with Ropeadope on June 18 just got a little more interesting now that Schoolly D is its host and Wyldlyfe’s Chess, Apwat and Ty Ward jumped aboard as singer MCs.
Everyone’s new favorite Greek restaurant in the Gayborhood, Opa, is planning a series of Bacchanalian events for the hot summer. This Thursday is the start of their weekly art-music-fashion event Glendi which just happens to be Greek for “party.” On June 9, Sansom Street between 13th and Juniper will be shut down at 9 p.m. and transformed into a runway with local clothiers Carmelita Couture, Bus Stop Boutique, Priscilla Costa and more hitting the catwalk. Somebody please bring ice scarves for the models, really nice ones.
The dreaded “closed for renovation” hsign can be found this week on the doors and windows at Tweed on 12th off Sansom (we hear it’s a roof repair thing) and Carlucci’s on 10th in the Italian Market area. One space whose worries are gone is that of the Apollinare spot in the Piazza at Schmidts. Brian Nagele, CEO of Philly2Night.com snagged that location (a permanent name is pending) and re-launch in September. Until then he and chef Dayna Russo (formerly with Liberties in Philly and 10th & Willow in Hoboken, NJ) will get things going this week with a Sunday Brunch & Beats party, some minor décor changes and something different from the space’s previous outlook toward Italian fine dining. “The neighborhood is young and energetic, and so are we,” says Nagele. “I’ve been holding out on owning a place for 10 years and finally gave in. Our brick oven pizza will be the focus, plus small plate eclectic items, salads and sandwiches.” Sounds like a party plan.
Back in March, after his concert at First Christ Church with John Zorn at the organ, Bowerbird’s Dustin Hurt told me a secret, that the next B-bird series would be dedicated to Morton Feldman, adventurous experimental composer. That time is now. Hurt’s otherworldly American Sublime series runs June 4-12, features the crème of the avant-garde in Joan LaBarbara, the Either/Or ensemble and Marilyn Nonken, with the highlight being a rare performance of Feldman’s six-hour String Quartet No. 2, which concludes the fest at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral on June 12. Tix.
Speaking of otherworldly, King Britt just sent me this message: “The light at the end of the tunnel is not an illusion… the tunnel is” and this “Firefly” music that he produced, engineered, composed and mixed. Download it. Spooky.
The Keswick Theatre hosts a fundraiser on June 5 for the Philadelphia Folksong Society as the starter event for this August’s 50th Philadelphia Folk Festival. Who’s playing? Only the godfather of flat-picking guitar Doc Watson with David Holt and Tony Trischka.
Hey neighbors with money. South Street’s Jamaican Jerk Hut is allowed to have live music outdoors again after a long battle in the courts that stated that the Hut’s lovely lolling reggae grooves bucked up against your precious vows of near-silence. Ha. You can stuff all your lawyer fees right up your ass. I’ll be there every Friday and Saturday starting at 6 p.m. banging pots. Sue me.
Weird that I ran into Shannon Webber Wednesday morning. I hadn’t seen the Philly punk mistress in some time. First thing she said to me was that she had been to visit the long ailing Philly punk-before-you-were-a-punk Mikey Wild in hospice at 18th and South the night previous. “He’ll be in rock ‘n’ roll heaven soon,” said Webber. She couldn’t have known how soon, as The Mayor of South Street passed away that morning. The outsider artist will be celebrated starting on June 18, 5-8 p.m. at Pageant Soloveev Gallery, 607 Bainbridge St. You can scan City Paper’s back issues for scads of stories that I wrote on Wild, and drop off condolences at the gallery space.
Philly expatriate Johnny Makeup’s adopted father/rent dad Dov Charney of American Apparel fame has his cock all over Gawker.com right now. Whee. See it here.
Queen Village’s house of meatballs Village Belle starts its “Behind Belle’s Bar” series this Thu., May 26, with Emilio Mignucci of DiBruno Bros. slicing cheeses from his shop and chatting about food, life in the Italian Market and whatever else guests are interested in learning about.
Everyone remembers that David Grasso was ready to launch two different House of Blues venues in the Philly area: one at 15th and Chestnut (where he wound up putting a Del Frisco’s Steaks) and one between 16th and 17th on Washington Ave. Eh. They didn’t happen. But that space at Beach and Richmond that he got to book with Live Nation’s backing, all 8,000 square feet, is going to be the House of Blues he always wanted. Live Nation owns the HoB brand, and Grasso got the nightclub zoning variance that Frank DiCicco pushed through before Council’s seasonal session ended. All they need is to finalize the parking arrangement.
My favorite new power couple in Philly is Dean and Christy Bottie Kitagawa. She’s a painter and muralist whose swell new student exhibition made of studies of the Divine Lorraine Hotel are the hit of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and will be on display throughout the spring. Dean is a local restaurant vet (FriSatSun, the Saloon) whose first-ever restaurant Rotisseur (on S. 21st Street, between Chestnut and Sansom) has been soft testing this week with mind toward a Mon., May 23, opening for his menu of cage-free, hormone-free, antibiotic-free rotisserie chicken with veggie sides, all done up with products from local growers and farms in Lancaster. Ask for the succotash as a side and you’ll love me forever. But hey, why a BYOB rotisserie chicken spot? “I’ve seen tons of spaces fail and watched places have headaches with bartenders,” says Kitagawa. “Here, the bell rings and you know the chicken is done.” Along with partner Aaron Matzkin, Christy painted a gorgeous sunny mural on its walls to brighten up the spot.
Clark Maloney has, at one point or another, run every club and restaurant in Philly. He’s probably managed the square footage of space where you are standing. Now the managerial veteran Maloney has a new gig at the Walnut Street after-hours joint, Whisper. Along with being its GM, Maloney is now Whisper’s entertainment director. Maloney is bringing in Jazzy Jeff on May 25 and readying artist-centric after parties in June with Marsha Ambrosius, P Diddy and Ke$ha. Zach Seidman, Whisper’s valued previous EM, is rumored to be doing something similar at Tweed.
When Audrey Claire Taichman isn’t busy planning THE perfect dinner at 20th Street’s Twenty Manning (May 24’s bacon and beer collaboration with Dock Street) she’s tied up with a blog detailing the progress of COOKbook, her due-in-late-summer food lab. Taichman gets blogging help from COOK’s Jackie Baik and Lily Cope.
Guitarist Tim Motzer’s 1k label hosted “Sessions,” a live in-studio web cast on May 18 with bassist Tony Tidd and drummer Jeremy Carlstedt. Think Cream meets Eno. You missed it live so catch it and tons of other Motzer music at 1ksessions.com. Motzer was also the subject of an April article in Guitar Player Magazine on the making of Descending, an album he made with King Crimson’s Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto.
Kraftwork on Girard Avenue celebrated a one year anniversary the other night. I’m not sure which night after the mix of Fegley’s Brews and absinthe ginger ale vodka drinks.
How do we know when Spring is officially here? When DJ Lee Jones says so. His Sundae bash on May 15 celebrates the hot streak in the Shampoo parking lot and at Silk City’s beer garden throughout the entire day.
The Piazza at Schmidts’ newest renter? A casual drive by and an orange sticker reveals that it’s Raw, the Gayborhood sushi haunt that is taking over the much valued ex-Speck space.
When you hit the Third Annual Benefit Cabaret for the Nichole Canuso Dance Company on May 13 at Underground Arts at the Wolf Building, congratulate her for winning $50,000 from the Knight Arts Challenge that she and the likes of Pig Iron, Live Arts, Mighty Writers and Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby got (all to the tune of $2 million+). Ask her for a loan.
Congrats to Lora and Kenny Eris. Last weekend, the long-together (and living in sin, damn them) couple finally tied the knot at the Radio Eris compound in West Philly during which time no avant-garde band in Philly played a gig as every weirdo in the tri-state area was on 52nd Street.
The Art Star Craft Bazaar is at Penn’s Landing this weekend and that means NoLibs’ Erin Waxman and Megan Brewster of Art Star are playing curator to dozens of Etsy denizens and bands picked by Jack McBrearty of The Mural & The Mint. It’ll be sunny out. Buy some sock monkeys.
Speaking of that strip of land where Art Star is, Icepack mentioned months ago that Brown Betty Dessert Boutique was moving from Liberties Walk to 722 N. Second Street. It is true. The old spot closes officially May 15 and reopens at the new place around May 21.
- Arts Events
- First Person Fest
- Last Chance
- On the Fringe
- Philly Artists
- The Curator
- Visual Art
- Arts News
- Artist Profile
- Arts Preview
- Street Art
- Been There, Done That
- Big Ups
- LOL With It
- Critical Mass
- Friday Fill-in
- Ice Cubes
- In Memoriam
- Just Do It
- Just Opened
- Art Phag
- Film Fest
- Movie Review
- On set
- 10 Track Mind
- Album Review
- Concert Review
- Local Support
- Now Hear This
- One Track Mind
- Philly Bands
- Somebody Else Was There
- The Showdown
- concert photos
- DJ Nights Blogged
- Night Watch
- Now See This
- Poetic License
- Printed Matter
- What We Heart
- Idol Hands
- Mad Men
- True Blood
- Useless Lost Recaps
- Couch Potato
- Shore Trash
- Turned ONN
- Video Games
- Free Online Game
- PlayStation 2
- The 1-Upper
- Web Junk
- CAGE MATCH
- Free Online Toy
- Weekend Omnibus