Archive: January, 2012
Man Cave is a testosterone-laden Monday feature that highlights the weekend haps of a pop culture-loving Philly dude.
Friday night, the freakadelic Brooklyn folk-rockers Akron/Family invaded The Blockley for a night of avant-garde sing- and dance-alongs. With frequent three-part harmonies and heavy electronics — including both blippy samples and heavy vocal modulation — these jazz folkers seemed to hop back and forth between yesteryear and the distant future. A very enthusiastic crowd was familiar with the music — I was very proud of my fellow Philly music fans for their appreciation of such challenging, and not widely distributed music. Akron/Family is truly blog-rock if I've ever heard it.
City Paper "curator" and art-geek extraordinaire, Courtney Sexton, presents a selection of Philly's must-see gallery exhibits.
With the help of City Paper film critics, Josh Middleton counts down the weekend's six new movie releases, from least- to most-worthy of your precious time and hard-earned dollar bills.
Every Friday, Ryan Carey covers the people and events that are giving Philly the giggles.
Longtime local comedian Alex Pearlman has always been significantly more marginal than a lot of popular Philly-based comedy acts. This is perhaps due to his stream-of-consciousness, catharsis-oriented comedy that’s reminiscent of a young Marc Maron. When he came out publicly on stage in 2004, Philadelphia's comedy scene was much less LGBTQ-friendly than it is now. He's done a lot of stuff over the years that he’d mention with a self-deprecating eye-roll, but comedy is important to him. His love of the craft is infectious, and his use of the stage for a sort of two-way therapy session makes you realize that there's more to comedy than impersonal one-liners. On Wed., Jan. 25, you can see him at his free monthly showcase, Head First at The Dive (947 E. Passyunk Ave.) In the meantime, enjoy this chat I had with him as well as his YouTube video on Tycho Brahe.
City Paper: How would you say you've grown as a comedian over the years?
Alex Pearlman: Nobody wants to hear from you till your 30. I go back and look at my joke book from when I was 20, and it's all these hacky jokes about Bush and Michael J. Fox ... Wait till you have a friend that dies the same day another friend has a baby. Wait till you've been so broke that you can only afford one pack of Ramen a day. You need heartbreak, or to settle something in life. It was easy not to burn out early, because there weren't all that many mics. I didn't push for weekend work. I didn't do too many shows. I just wanted to do my five during the week and come back and work on my personality. It wasn't a strategy; I just sorta fell into it. I started a podcast with a rapper friend of mine [who] helped me refuel my comedy. He accused me [of being] “cocky and offensive." I read him a joke randomly out of my book, and it started: 'I was standing on the Empire State Building looking down at the world.' I realized he might be right.
Since 2007, artists inhabiting the industrial district of Kensington have been making art in the unofficial exhibition space Little Berlin (2430 Coral St.), where they have art and performances that are visceral and community-based. Next up, is "Plato’s Porno Cave: A Dream Exhibition," a showcase of surreal performance art that's inspired by the Greek comic-playwright Aristophanes’ famous speech from Plato’s Symposium.
Aristophanes’ speech tells a story of the original humans, who were made up of three sexes — man-man, woman-woman, and man-woman. They were round, strong and fast beings with eight limbs, two faces and two sets of genitals. One day, after challenging the gods, the humans were punished and each was split in half by the Zeus's lightning. The humans were then left searching for their other halves.
Devoted poet/avid concert-goer/nerd-grrrl extraordinaire Jane Cassady’s weekly horoscopes run in this space every Friday morning.
Aquarius (Jan 21-Feb. 19): Last weekend, I found out that a friend of mine who seems quite mild-mannered has a great knack for tying people up. This week, make a point of discovering these hidden treasures, not just in others, but in yourself.
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): “It is always sad when the awesome people have their hearts compressed by heartbreak. It takes time, which sucks, but hey, at least it's something we have in abundance. What if it took uranium to get over a heartbreak?” (Joseph Prisco) As time helps your griefs peel away, fill yourself up with as many beautiful experiences as you can. If you want, all of those experiences can be books.
Aries (March 21-April 18): When I was in the grocery store the other day, I saw the following tabloid headline: “Adele Finds Love.” All of your torch songs were well spent. What comes next is so much better.
Anyone who has seen Tommy Wiseau's directorial debut, The Room (screening tomorrow at Bryn Mawr Film Institute), can attest to his status in cult film culture. Sure, audiences may mock him and deride his film — along with his accent — but Wiseau is a folk hero to many admirers. On the phone from L.A., the writer/director/producer/star chatted with City Paper about The Room. His answers clarified some things, but obscured others. Wiseau’s style of speaking is not unlike his film — earnest and from the heart, but full of non-sequiturs and fascinating digressions.
City Paper: Oh, hi, Tommy!
Tommy Wiseau: We have half an hour. Ask me what you want. Doesn't mean you'll get what you want. Let's start it and have a groovy time.
CP: OK! I’ve always wondered, why is your film called The Room?
TW: Let me give you background before I respond to your question. A title has a special place in my heart. So that’s why I called it The Room. What I emphasize is: It's not A Room — it's THE Room. It's a special place you have — in your heart or your home. It could be in your basement.
Ignore all the stuff below. It's from last year.
2012 Writing Contest info: Send your short stories! Send your poetry!
Fiction Judge: Duane Swierczynski!
Poetry Judge: Brian Teare!
Deadline EXTENDED to: 5 p.m., Wednesday, March 7! That's still really soon!
Fiction: $5 entry fee per story. Stories should be 3,000 words or less and previously unpublished. No more than three fiction submissions per entrant.
Poetry: $5 entry fee per five poems. No more than 10 poetry submissions per entrant.
Prizes: Winners get all the money (minus the judges’ honorariums), and have their work printed in City Paper. Runners up, also chosen by the judges, get posted online. Hopefully there will be a reading, too.
Eligibility: Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware residents are invited to participate. Employees and regular freelancers for City Paper are ineligible, obvs.
Submitting: All checks should be made payable to City Paper Writing Contest at the address below or via PayPal to email@example.com. Stories should be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed the old-fashioned way to:
City Paper Writing Contest
123 Chestnut St., Third Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19106.
No phone calls please regarding specific entries. Manuscripts will not be returned. Sentient turtle fiction allowed.
Our resident DJ on his most boogie-worthy pick of the week.
WHO: Del, DJ Apt One and DJ Bruce
WHAT: The monthly “The Ball” party is celebrating the release of this special album, with free PBR early in the night. This album of re-edits and remixes had been on pause for a while, but after a number of hurdles it’s finally about to see the light of day. Besides cuts from the release, expect an array of Philly sounds, classic disco, house and lots of funky beats to keep you smiling and grooving all night.
WHEN & WHERE: Fri., Jan. 20, 10 p.m., $6-$8, Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front St., 215-291-4919, kungfunecktie.com.
WHY: The double CD set is a European-only release and this event is one of the only spots stateside you’ll be able to get it.
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