Archive: January, 2010
|©Scott Weiner 2010|
|Ronnie, Sammi Sweetheart and photo bomber party thrower Rocco Notte.|
It's an easy shot to say that a Philly-weekend filled with kids from MTV's Jersey Shore making their first post-show appearance and Pamela Anderson shilling perfume at Rite Aid (to say nothing of the fact that Pammy's PR team asked photogs if they'd use subject-softening ring lenses on her) would be the very height of trash culture and C-list celebrity. So why bother? Why not just enjoy the fruits of so much silliness and dig the pop cultural detritus. Besides, it's not like you had to sit through this stuff.
Then again, maybe you were at McFadden's on Friday night to see Sammi Sweetheart and Ronnie from Jersey Shore. Driving past a seemingly endless sea of fist-pumping guidos, my guess is some of our readers were amongst the 1000+ crew there to see the Jersey Shore schnorrrers. We hear there was lots of throwing up, that Ronnie and Sammi looked likes deer in headlights when the swarm gathered near their VIP table and that tequila-sipping (?) Hailey Glassman and Kate Major two Jon Gosselin exes who got photographed for the first time ever by my bud Scott Weiner and a hat-chewing Michael Lohan hung tough and had a blast even if the guests of honor seemed frightened.
Next day, it was Pamela Anderson plugging her Malibu perfumes (pink and blue) at Rite Aid stores in Narberth and Ardmore. Yes, she was signing bottles of her scent, like the Crit Mass team told you about way back. She was also signing copies of old Playboy mags that lots of boys (well, some old boys) slipped in under the cover of a promise that they'd buy Malibu later. Gents, you promised. Rite Aid in Narberth in the brisk chill of a January afternoon? Life doesn't get sadder does it?
That said, things brightened up when Pam with Heatherette designer Richie Rich hit the 360 Club inside Parx Casino in Bensalem where apparently she drank Dom Perignon and met John Bolaris before heading to Zee Bar at the end of the night.
No vomiting was reported, except maybe for the little bit of water I found in my mouth at the thought of all this.
Thanks to Scott Weiner for braving all of this stuff. Check Icepack every week for more celeb action.
|Chris Koontz | chriskphotography.net
When I attended the final two hours of Brat Productions' 24-hour Bald Soprano, I was hoping for slightly manic actors with their stomachs rambling and feet dragging. Instead, if anything, the actors seemed more finely honed after performing the same one-hour play on loop for the past 22 hours. On the other hand, the audience, a pack of boozed-up Bald Soprano groupies, seemed the most unhinged, with their own Rocky Horror-esque audience interaction.
For an Absurdist play, the actors were almost too rigidly controlled in their portrayals of two suburban couples, the Smiths and the Martins, caught in a social decorum nightmare. In a world where time doesn't exist, comedic timing was imperative to the overall hilarity. Even so, the occasional moments of improvisation or stifled laughter were the highlights of an otherwise tightly wound production.
At the end of each performance, the actors playing the Smiths and Martins switched roles. Each actor brought distinct personality to purposefully generic characters. Still, I felt somewhat betrayed by the switch as if it were a mid-season replacement on a sitcom and couldn't help preferring the original lineup.
As the Martins, Victoria Frings invoked the spirit of Lucille Ball, and Jake Blouch, is his oversize suit, was an endearing nerd. Krista Apple and Bradley K. Wren were particularly delightful, coming apart at the seams in a way that added to their gleeful chemistry. The scene-stealer, though, was the Fire Chief, Nathan Holt, and his Superman whitie-tighties. Doing a demented child routine, Holt pranced around the stage with his butt cheeks creeping further and further into view.
I wish I could've been there for more showings, to see the overall de-evolution of the actors' performances. If being caught in an Absurdist world for a day didn't break them, nothing will.
Legion did not screen in time for critics, but I went anyway.
|Courtesy of Screen Gems|
|Paul Bettany as the Archangel Michael in Legion.|
The second movie in so many weeks that uses the Bible as a story template Denzel Washington's vehicle Book of Eli being the first Legion takes place mainly in a bumblefuck diner off a deserted highway. It may look like a dump, but in actuality it's where the fate of humanity will be decided. God ain't so happy with the way we humans have dealt with his love and is sending an army of angels to kill the unborn child of pregnant waitress Charlie (Friday Night Lights' Adrianne Palicki). Charlie doesn't even want the kid, but her sorta-beau, Jeep (no, seriously, Lucas Black's character is named Jeep), has faith that they can raise the kid together. A betting man would put his money on God in this situation who, going by Christian doctrine, is supposed to be all-knowing/powerful that is, until the Archangel Michael (Paul Bettany, why?) decides that the G-man has it all wrong and humans need saving. Too bad the entire movie isn't Michael kicking angel ass. There needs to be some kind of lull in action, but it kills any momentum the story might have built up. So, what have we learned? All infantry angels are more like zombie/demons, all archangels are British (you would think if God were all about the Crown, the Empire would still exist...) and they could take on any legit action star in the double-machine-gun salute.
[City Paper grade: D+]
It's not that way. It's over here!
I caught, I believe, hour 3 and part of hour 4 of Brat's 24-hour production of The Bald Soprano. I knew it'd be weird, and boy was it, like Monty Python weird, but I didn't expect it to be so damn funny, like Monty Python funny. I recommend checking it out before it wraps up at 8 p.m. Saturday. By morning, the make-up should be running, the actors should be exhausted and the weirdness should be intense.
Lee Jones is a serious fellow when he wants to be. The DJ/promoter behind the successful house music Sundae party has some strict rules about this Sunday's benefit for Haitian relief at Silk City, where 100 percent of the money goes directly to the American Red Cross: No guest list and no coming early before security gets in.
"Come to the Sundae party this week and text Haiti to 90999," says Jones. "You must do this in front of a member of the Silk City or Sundae staff to keep it simple and transparent. Sorry our party, our rules."
Then there's the fact that after months of talking and over a week of 17-hour days prepping this platform, Jones can claim (maybe, he jokes) to be the first party on the planet to have their own iPhone app (don't worry tech heads, he's working on the Droid one next). But you already knew that, 'cause I told you in this week's Icepack.
"I decided to look into an iPhone App sometime in June of 2009. I secretly went into research, development and thought of creative ways to make it an app that people would use everyday. Besides being an online calendar of Sundae events worldwide I looked at it as something of a personal gateway to all the users and a new canvas for the DJs, both global and local, to paint two pictures," says Jones. "One would be public music live from the dance floor sets, which are available on our Web site sundaephiladelphia.com or Sundae.ws. The other would be personal mixes or musical essays from the DJs. In this way, great songs that can't really be played on a packed dance floor can be created and shared on our app. Kind of like a one-on-one between DJ and listener."
For Jones, it's all about access. "The great thing is with the iPhone app the user can get instant access to the program anywhere, anytime," he says. "In fact, the other night while spinning, someone came up to me and asked me if I had any CDs for sale, I saw that he had an iPhone and told him about the app. The look on his face was so worth the amount of time I put into this app."
It's free from the app store and loaded with videos, music and chatter. Apple turned the app live only one day after it was submitted. "Usually it takes three to eight weeks for Apple to approve an app. I think I submitted the app around 7 p.m. on Wednesday and we were live in the App Store on Wednesday by 11 a.m." says Jones. He continued, "Thanks Steve Jobs, never knew you were a house head."
The Sundae newsletter details its most prominent features:
- The home page - you can scroll sideways to view upcoming flyers and some favorite Sundae moments caught on film.
- The mixes can now be viewed by city as well as the master list. Note - not all mixes are in each of the cities and you should look to "all tracks" for special mixes.
- In the party tab you can add photos, comments and tell people thru going what you are up to. The photo options work best if you enable Facebook or Twitter. You will given an option to post to them or not from within the app.
- The Chat feature allows you do just that. You also can use the Geo-tagging feature to see what someone else in your area is doing or saying to.
- The Photos and Videos are pretty straightforward - more photos are hosted on the main website.
- In the news section you can see and comment on what Sundae is doing
- Top Albums is a collection of artist that have worked with us or inspired us, you can purchase their music right from the Itunes store from within the application.
- Traxsource is one of the leading digital downloading sites on the planet and you can find what we are playing and buy it from there
- The Social network tab is where you should give access to Facebook and Twitter. This is a secure method and your passwords are not seen by us. We have created a native system to use their applications.
"So many people always down the scene here and hopefully this small app will be a gateway for them and the world to see how a small little party that started in a tiny Philly club with about 70 people could grow into a global party grounded in the Philly dance scene," Jones says. "This is a new technology and a bold new move for Sundae. I have no idea where we can go with this and that is very exciting. My only regret is that we did not charge for the app it would have been cool to give all proceeds to help those suffering in Haiti."
Let's all give a big Hell Yeah to CP illustrator Ryan Casey, whose blog But You're Like Really Pretty is up for a Bloggie in the Best Kept Secret category, against I Hate My Developer, Effing Dykes, Coal Creek Farm and GeorgiaPellegrini.com. Every Wednesday, Ryan's blond lady alter ego meets a new celebs. And the hilarity begins. To vote for But You're Like Really Pretty, hit up 2010.bloggies.com right quick, 'cause voting closes on Sunday.
Here is some of Casey's work for CP:
|Jay's winning design.|
Re-capping Project Runway, fashionably on-time.
In week two of the show that makes and breaks designer dreams, the cast was taken to a farm and greeted by Big G Tim Gunn and the models of the runway. Tim, as per usual, was in a suit (would he be caught dead in anything else?) but the models were all wearing potato sacks, which did nothing for their figures. The challenge this week was to create a party look with burlap.
In an attempt to switch things up a bit, the models got to choose their designers. Model Alexis ditched her old designer Mila to work with the always stunning, always charming, and forever near to my heart Anthony. Scandalous, I know. Mila, of course, was salty about the whole swap and dug herself a little grave when she told Anthony that switching designers was Alexis' loss. When she tried to put the claws away Anthony just replied, "That's okay, I left my feelings in Atlanta." Then in the confession booth he told the world, "Mila can kiss me and my entire family's asses." That's right sister.
To add insult to injury, the models doubled as the clients, which means they had input into the design and proves that just because you look good in clothes doesn't mean you should design them. This is a classic Runway ploy: Designers have to find the balance between their own vision and that of their clients. Gunn gave Jesus some serious advice that the kid decided to completely disregard, which ProjRun regulars know is a terrible idea. Jesus was trying to sneak burlap into his garment instead of showcasing it as the main fabric, sewing yard after yard of ribbon over the burlap, creating a lame-o green and brown dress that was later called matronly, and rightfully so. The zipper in the back was exposed, too, though that was hardly a concern after seeing what Ping's dress exposed on her model.
That's right: Batshit crazy Ping made some atrocious dress that left the model's ass cheeks hanging out. Yes, the boxy skirt didn't do much more for the model's shape than an unaltered potato sack. However, you can't deny that Ping, in all her weirdness, is creating pieces that are edgy and provocative.
Anthony, King of Southern Sass, dyed his burlap red and made a beautiful dress that had a fitted bodice and a skirt that was draped just enough to add some puff, but not enough to throw off the whole body shape, like his dress from last week. Ben also created a dress in red with one flirty off-the-shoulder sleeve, a high waist, and a tulip skirt but it gave the model a bit of prego-tummy. Emilio's dress couldn't have fit the model any better the man knows how a woman's body should be dressed. I'm nervous, though, because the pattern of the dress is a little too similar to last week's, with the collage of multiple fabrics coming together to create one big, happy fabric. Let's just hope that he doesn't keep on this track, because it'll get real boring real fast.
Jay won this week with a dress that had a slim-fitting frayed top and a bottom reminiscent of a tutu. The skirt was made from burlap that he dyed, cut, frayed and added ribbon to in order to make it look like it was made from feathers. Jay left everything a bit rough around the edges, but the man was working with burlap. He really made that potato sack transform without completely losing the raw material.
Then, of course, there was a loser. It should have been Jesus packing his bags to head back home, but instead it was PA native Pamela. Okay, yes, her dress looked a little like something you could pick up at Rave or DEB circa 1998, but at least she followed the challenge, unlike Mr. Jesus. She dyed her burlap to look like faded denim, and unfortunately succeeded. Then she added some brown suede detail vertically in the front, and some zig-zag lacing that made the whole thing just scream trash. But did she follow the challenge? Did she do a killer job dying the fabric to look exactly like she wanted it to? And did she allow her material to be seen rather than hiding it under some putrid green ribbon? Poor, poor Pamela should have been given one more chance. The Drexel teacher said after losing that she would go home and continue teaching. It would be pretty sad if you lost ProjRun and went home to do nothing with your life but mourn the two weeks you spent on the show. Seriously, girl, you got a bum deal, but you just got to move on with your life. Project Runway is only the world to some people. Let it go.
If I had to make an impromptu list of movies I'm super jazzed about in 2010, Cyrus would be one of them. Directed by mumblecore originators the Duplass brothers (The Puffy Chair, you may also remember Mark from Humpday and the totally enjoyable FX show The League), Cyrus is about a divorcee (John C. Reilly) who falls for Molly (Marisa Tomei), but as their relationship blossoms, it gets complicated by Molly's grown son Cyrus (Jonah Hill) and their frankly creepy relationship.
It's finally a bigger-than-shoestring budget movie for the bros (watch The Puffy Chair if you haven't, it's leagues beyond most mumblecore-white-people-whine-sessions) with a flat-out phenomenal ensemble cast. But I just don't know; it all looks a little conventional and I was hoping for something that seemed less one-note than Tomei and Hill's seemingly Oedipal relationship.
Then again, this is Fox Searchlight, and while they've done a stellar job of releasing big indie as of late Slumdog Millionaire, Juno they're still the big leagues as far as Mark and Jay Duplass are concerned.
Verdict: I'm hoping this is a broad-audience-whitewashing job by Fox Searchlight and Cyrus is more than
just feel good rehash from the studio.
|photo from Frankie Negron's photostream|
At Concilio's 7th & Fairmount home, the music will be non-stop this Sunday, with groups playing bachata and jibaro and more lending their support to a radiothon due to air on la Mega (1340 AM) and Rumba (1480 AM). As of right now the schedule looks like this:
11 a.m. Carmelito y su Banda Swing
noon Marino de Jesus y Comando 7
1 p.m. El hijo de Lola
2:30 p.m. Jimmy George
3 p.m. Nieves y su banda jibara
3:30 p.m. Reynaldo y el Grupo Muevete
4 p.m. Ruby Pulgar
4:30 p.m. Mickey Rivera y su Conjunto Sonido Tipico
5 p.m. M.G. "Tu negro canela"
6 p.m. Willie Willie
7 p.m. Joseph de la Bachata
8 p.m. Grupo Option
9 p.m. Chuckie Santos
9:30 p.m. Carlos David
Confirmada la participacion de Frankie Negrón.
Yes, that's Grammy winning Frankie Negrón, but my informant has yet to reveal what time he'll be there. Stop by 705 N. Franklin and dance to the bands in person. Or call and make a donation while the music churns through your radio. Donation info after the jump.
DONATION CALLS will be received at 215-627-1160.
DIRECT DEPOSITS can be made at PNC Bank
Account Name Unidos Por Haiti
Account Number 8602607754
Not much of a dancer but love to listen? How about volunteering? Concilio will sign you up with helpers from over 20 local organizations, call them at 215-627-3100..
Michael Ruppert begins Chris Smith's documentary by quoting Thomas Jefferson: Every generation needs a new revolution.
And we're long overdue.
Directed by Yes Men helmer Smith, who took cues from Errol Morris' Fog of War, Collapse profiles former LAPD narcotics officer-turned-whistle blower Ruppert. Or rather, it profiles his ideas and prognostications, starting with peak oil, which ripples into other areas of life, like food and transportation. His ideas are startling and in the end, it all seems to come down to a "We're fucked" conclusion.
Smith found Ruppert while researching a screenplay about the CIA's involvement in drug smuggling and figured he was interesting enough to construct an entire documentary around. He's right, to a certain degree. And Smith is smart about trying to justify the subject of his film: Ruppert is asked in various ways to display his credentials so he's not just some crackpot in front of a camera.
Ruppert can hold his own personally, as well. At first he may seem cold discussing society's demise, but when he openly breaks down at the thought of the end of humanity, he's immediately grounded as a subject. And when Ruppert begins to tell stories about how he warned the subscribers of his newsletter, From the Wilderness, of the impending financial collapse two years before it happened, only to see his offices trashed and all of his computers smashed less than two weeks later, you begin to believe him. Get sentimental about what you've got now, because everything is going to look like The Road, eventually.
But that's the problem: It's just him. There's no one to counter Ruppert. His monologue, of sorts, is only broken up by file footage. While Ruppert could simply write his naysayers off as government stooges or mainstream media hacks, it would still lend him an extra degree of credibility if he could take them down.
See the Jan.-Feb. screening schedule of the PUFF Movie House or check citypaper.net/repfilm every Thursday.
Collapse (2009, U.S., 82 min.), Fri.-Sat, Jan. 22-23, 12:10, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 10:30 p.m.; Sun., Jan 24, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 10:30 p.m., $5, PUFF Movie House, Media Bureau, 725 N. Fourth St., 215-592-1242.
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