Monday: Hailing from the murky catacombs of Gloucester City, The Warhawks bring the rock in a way that'll remind you that rock is, in fact, quite fun. The fellas are currently offering a handful of tunes for download on their website (read: go them right now), and Great Waveriders Of The 20th Century is another proud addition to their budding catalogue. With a twinge of countrified swagger and pop sheen, The Warhawks' music can be compared to a number of other groups', but is best enjoyed on its own countless merits. w/ The Formulary & The Once Was, 8 p.m., free, Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 215-291-4919.
Tuesday: Philadelphia's jazz legacy is one that draws modest attention compared to other genres, but that doesn't mean it's any less impressive. Drummer G. Calvin Weston has played with Ornette Coleman, John Medeski, and several of his own genre-twisting projects. A restless musical spirit, Weston plays funk, soul and jazz with a joyous passion. Later this week, he'll be saluting the music of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, so don't be surprised if you get a sneak peek at this intimate gig. w/ Sonic Mirror, Whatever, The Living Sample & Funkchurch, 8 p.m., $8, Trocadero Balcony, 10th St. & Arch St., 215-922-6888.
Wednesday: Members of fallout psych-combo Bardo Pond have been exploring separate worlds for the past few years, but the group is back with a new self-titled record. Despite their absence, this is the same Bardo Pond you've come to love: thick, densely constructed layers of sonic squall guaranteed to give your innards the shivers. As you're consumed by the swath of noise, you'll find that you're hardly repelled by the aural assault; in fact, it draws you in with a mysterious allure. Also, it freakin' rocks. w/ James Plotkin and Dan Matz & Gods and Queens, 8 p.m., $5, Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 215-291-4919.
Thursday: Who am I kidding? You're going to be far too busy stuffing your face to even think about going to a show tonight. Besides, your family misses you. You should call more often.
Friday: The major label game can be a dangerous one to play. Spunky Scottish songstress KT Tunstallhas deftly navigated the pressures of stardom and continues to come up with sugary-yet-sassy gems. Tunstall's latest, Tiger Suit, adds some synthetic elements to her folk-inspired style, giving the tunes a more modern (but hardly tacky) feel. Knowing the darling soul that Tunstall is, though, expect her to run through some of her best-known older songs, too. And, since she's European, there's a good chance that Tunstall's show won't be affected by any post-Thanksgiving bloat. Can't promise the same for you, though. w/ Hurricane Bells, 9 p.m., $20 - $22, Trocadero, 10th St. & Arch St., 215-922-6888.
Saturday: They sound like they belong on 4AD in 1985, but Soars hail from the Lehigh Valley, present day. Their heavy-but-dreamy sound is inspired by bands who are probably some of your favorites, only it's better because they're local. With their self-titled debut being one of the year's finest offerings from a Philly-area band, Soars are certainly a band to keep an eye (and ear, and another eye and ear) on. The band's chilly sounds are also quite fitting for the season, and might make you forget that you want to be warm. w/ Aunt Dracula, Headless Horseman, Hello from the Children of Planet Earth DJs, 9 p.m., $10, Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 215-739-9684.
Sunday: As the overly-glamorous leader of the increasingly middle-of-the-road Killers, Brandon Flowers has taken his glitzy lifestyle to the masses on his own. While The Killers take a break, Flowers released his solo debut, Flamingo, a gaudy collection of stylish pop tunes. You really don't need me to describe Flowers' music to you, but it's worth noting that it's a far cry from the nu-new wave that got him noticed however many years ago. Flowers is an impeccable showman, though, and if his new tunes don't get you, his arresting stage presence and quirky fashion sense will. w/ Transfer, 8 p.m., $36.40, Electric Factory, 421 N. 7th St., 215-627-1332.
Book signings are such cute events. No, I'm not talking about the one's with real authors at the Free Library, I'm talking about the gently silly ones held at book shoppes around town. The only thing more damned near adorable than the "authors" are the audiences who love them. When Nigella Lawson did her book signing for Nigella's Kitchen at Borders, the place was packed with kitchen witchy types, and Ms. Lawson was sweet as six cupcakes. So hyper was she, it seemed as if Lawson ate those cakes as well. Nothing could've sweetened up Adam Carolla. The thick eyebrow-ed comic hit Borders for his book signing of In 50 Years We'll All Be Chicks. Don't quote me on the exact number of book buyers and signees, but I think it was sixteen. Then again, Jay Mohr had even less when he was in town for his book months before Carolla, so let that be a lesson to comedians writing books. Don't bother with Philly. Gary Dell'Abate, though? He's no comedian and probably doesn't know much about kitchenware but the Howard Stern Show producer's They Call Me Baba Booey was number six on the Times' Best Seller list, and apparently the the local police are digging it, too an area officer got a copy signed when Dell'Abate hit Borders the other day. How silly will Salman Rushdie's visit to Philly be on Nov. 23? Stay tuned.
It's supposed to be like 60 degrees tomorrow, so get out and revel in the warmth while you can. We have a ton of suggestions in our Music, Arts and Agenda section this week, or you could consider some of our bonus tracks below:
1860s Baseball Exhibition & Fair: A few weeks ago I told you about the Mid-Atlantic Vintage Baseball League, now it's time to see them in action. Tomorrow starting at 11:30 a.m., the gents (and one lady!) making up 11 of the 14 teams, including our very own Athlethics, are meeting at Hagy's Field (8470 Hagy's Mill Rd.) to play a game. While they're playing, off-the-field members will walk through the crowds answering questions and explaining the ins and outs of vintage softball. There will also be a table set up displaying authentic softball memorabilia, like equipment and uniforms. And if you start to feel extra adventurous, the players invite spectators onto the field to play in the final three innings. Just don't try pulling any of that batta-batta-swing-batta-batta crap. They didn't do that in the old days. They had class.
Tree Planting in Passyunk: At 8:45 a.m.tomorrow morning the Passyunk Square Civic Association is asking folks to gather at Capitolo Playground (on 9th St. betwn. Federal & Wharton sts.) to help them plant trees around the neighborhood. There will be coffee and snacks provided, but bring a shovel and gloves if you have them. If you don't want to get dirty, there will be plenty of non-digging jobs to get involved in, like stake pounding, mulching, brick laying and fencing.When the job is complete, all tree volunteers can reconvene at Devil's Den (1148 S. 11th St.) for 20 percent-0ff food and drink until 5 p.m. For more information contact organizer Andrew Emma.
Andrew "Hellmouth" Gray hasn't been a performing member of Hoots and Hellmouth since Labor Day, when he started teaching English again in West Philly. But his departure begs many questions. Would the band keep the Hellmouth in their name? Will Gray play at their show tonight at World Cafe Live? And what does the future hold? Turns out the answers are "yes," "yes," and "it's complicated."
I dropped Sean Hoots a line on the road to find out more. He reportsthe show tonight will be not only Gray's last, but the group's first in Philly with the new overall lineup â which features Hoots (of course), mandolinist / crazy guy Rob Berliner (of course), regular bassist / singer Todd Erk and new vocalist / drummer Mike Reilly. Wait, drummer? Yes, yes, Hoots explained all of this in his super-comprehensive response, which touched on the band's Kickstarter fundraising campaign for their next record (now that they're no longer on Drexel's Mad Dragon Records) and the Tumblr you should follow to preview the band's newest songs.
Read below to see what Hoots had to say.
...about Gray's departure: "He was a teacher before the band, and I think he just needed to get back to it. It's what he's built for, for sure. The parting was entirely amicable. We want him to pursue the life that's right for him, and vice versa. No bad blood at all...we still hang out when we're at home."
...about tonight's show: "We're all kinda lookin' at it as his last big blow-out with us, so it'll be super spectacular and meaningful and powerful and fun. It'll likely be the last time we ever perform his tunes on stage (barring any 'reunion' type shows down the line). Whether by tear or sweat, I suspect there won't be a dry eye in the house."
...wait, drums?: "Yup...drums! We still use the stomp boards, of course. And now we also have 4 vocals! The sound is getting more powerful and dynamic. We're touring right now, and the shows have been fiery fun...can't wait to bring it home."
...about the next Hoots and Hellmouth album being the first without Hellmouth: "I'm helming the ship as far as writing goes. Andrew's departure means that I'll be able to showcase a softer/quieter side of my writing, as well...really looking forward to that. We have a whole slew of new tunes both quiet and raucous, and we have plans to record in December with Jim Roll out in Ann Arbor, MI. Should be fun. We just started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for said recording."
...about other unexpected oddities: "I have a whole solo project in the works that'll combine folkish songwriting with R & B vocalizing and electronic beats. Oh yeah! I have a couple solo shows on the books coming up...night before thanksgiving at the Tin Angel and December 4 at Studio 34 in West Philly. Will probably start releasing tunes by January. 2011 is gonna be a year of mucho music from me."
Devoted poet/avid concert-goer/nerd-grrrl extraordinaire Jane Cassady's weekly horoscopes run in this space every Friday morning.Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): I was disappointed last week when Kanye West said he was sorry for saying "George Bush doesn't care about black people" during that Katrina telethon, but nothing can unmake the art of that moment. He can no more apologize for that blurt than Andy Warhol can apologize for a can of soup.
Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): The Thanksgiving assignment from my (Unitarian) church this month is: Write down two blessings a day, one you gave and one you got. Corny advice, but then, the best things in life are often corny ...
Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): Give yourself a sick day, even if you feel fine. Wrap up in blankets and watch a season or two of How I Met Your Mother. Live on apple sauce and soup. Relax.
Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): I highly recommend the anthology Other People's Rejection Letters. It contains, among other things, a notice discharging one Mr. James Hendrix from the military. (You'll never guess what he got caught doing!) Here's to major mishaps that help you survive and make music.
Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): Your favorite movie star will come to you in your dreams if you devote some time to fantasizing. Turn off your headphones on long bus rides and walks to the bank; make your synapses ready like a soft bed, like an invitation.
Aries (March 21-April 18): Last night we were watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I said "This is the Empire Strikes Back of the series," then realized that most of the Potters are like Empire: Always missing pieces, always regrouping, always up against impossible odds, but (like you) always magic.
Taurus (April 19-May 18): My teen assistant at work is writing a paper about what he sees as a New World Order conspiracy within the hip-hop community. When he showed me Kanye's Power video as evidence, I said the following: "The devil isn't the only mythological creature with horns," and "Maybe it's not a fallen angel. Maybe it's just sitting."
Gemini (May 19-June 21): Misguided apologies may be in style, but check your lists anyway any genuine sorries owed? Even maybe to yourself?
Cancer (June 22-July 23): Follow the words of Weezer, from their last good album: "I don't wanna be an old man anymore/ It's been a year or two since I was out on the floor/ Shaking booty, making sweet love all the night/ It's time I got back to the good life."
Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): Last week at the Philly Poetry Slam, the featured poets had a feud going about who's cuter, otters or lions. They even had special hats. Be as cute as that!
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): Elizabeth Bishop said: "I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,/ some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent." Try to mitigate the losing before it comes to that.
Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): Yesterday I got not one but TWO mix CDs from a friend I've never actually met. To make me feel like even more of a millionaire, I recognized almost NONE of the songs. Hope that fate will bring you someone with the music collection not-quite opposite of yours.
Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff with Mayor Michael Nutter
â¤ How dastardly are you that you don't like kittens, cartoon kitties or otherwise? OK, Cartoon Kitties is a tonsorial charity for the City of Hope and HopeCuts' 4th Annual Hair Stylist Competition held Sat., Nov. 20 at Voyeur (email Harry Giordano or call 800-344-8169 for info). But still, kitties; pay up.... But still, kitties; pay up.
â¤ This city's premiere literary mag Philadelphia Stories just gave New Orleans author Allison Alsup its national Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction for "East of the Sierra," a tale about emigrating from China to San Francisco. The story a chapter from her first novel No Place In This World will be published in the print and online editions of Philadelphia Stories' in Winter 2010/2011. Alsup will be flown to Philly to be honored for her work and accept a $2,000 award ... Two thou? I have a story about going to San Francisco.
â¤ Skronky percussive jazz in Philly has a state of the art summit meeting on Tue., Nov. 23 when G. Calvin Weston, The Living Sample and Whatever fusion it up at the Balcony atop the Troc.
Photo | Scott Weiner
â¤ WHOWHATWHERE: I was remiss in telling you that my favorite part of the Jewish American History Museum opening (here) was the meeting of local music moguls Larry Magid (Electric Factory) and Jerry Blavatt (Geator-dom). So, I'm telling you.
â¤Did Mayor Nutter spin at that Mitchell Ness sporting goods/sports wear bash on Wedensday? When asked (at the Gamble/Huff street dedication) the mayor said "no," though there were turn tables set up for Jazzy Jeff at the event and publicists were hoping the Mayor would hit the wheels. Stay tuned.
â¤ Not only was Bam Margera spotted in Atlantic City partying with David Hasslehoff over the weekend (several casino bars), the Bam man was filming a video for his brother's band CKY at The Fire on Tuesday night.
â¤ We're sorry his support didn't help Brandy win Dancing with the Stars but Ray J (pictured right) didn't just talk about his sister when he hit Power 99. Mr. J talked about his upcoming CD, his sex tape with Kim Kardashian, dating Whitney Houston, liking older women and hating cunnilingus.
â¤ Ladies sans Ray J. Power 99 is gearing up for another on-air chat with El Debarge (this week) and a listening party at Sigma Sound with Kayne West on Sat.-Sun., Nov. 21-22.
Photo | Scott Weiner
â¤ After dedicating the Jewish American History Museum on Sunday, VP Joe Biden (pictured right) came back to the area this week for a poli-sci conference at the Marriot Hotel.
â¤ Vincent Gallo hit Ian St. Laurent's Night Train jam at Kung Fu Necktie after his own gig at North Star Bar. And he didn't put a curse of any film critics.
â¤ Joe Piscopo hung at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson's annual men's charity ball at the Prime Rib. Yes, he did his usual retinue of impersonations.
â¤ The press conference for the re-naming of the 300 Block of S. Broad St. as Gamble & Huff Walk was a mess. But Kenneth and Leon looked as smooth as Philadelphia soul itself. â¤ You saw my exclusive photo thing with Babs the other day, right? Streisand and her silver-maned husband James Brolin ate at R2L at Two Liberty Place.
â¤ I'm hearing that New Hope's Supper Club and Cabaret will get a visit from Judy Garland and Liza Minelli okay, re-imagined by impersonators Tommy Femia and Rick Skye for one night only at Bob Egan's space, Fri., Nov. 19.
â¤ Two nights later comedienne Judy Gold starts her two Sunday (Nov. 21 & 28) residency there.
â¤ 611's Nigel Richards the DJ turned realtor is gearing up for a new Luxe line of 611 Lifestyle wear (bags, button down shirts, shoes ) to go with his whack young clubber stuff; you know for when club kids and DJs grow up. He may get a pop-up shop up around the 18th and Walnut St. area before Dec 15. More soon.
There's a preacher in Neptune, N.J who's telling his 1,100 congregants to either delete their Facebook accounts or get the hell heck out of dodge. The motivation behind his plan is that he believes the social networking site ruins relationships by allowing people to get in touch with old flames. The word as to whether or not his flock will follow his orders is still out. Would you do it? I'll admit, I've done my share of Facebook stalking andconsidering that's a phrase I've heard many times beforeI'm sure it's something most people do. But it hasn't necessarily screwed things up in my current relationship. I think I'd tell that pastor to shove it.
Do you have any experience with Facebook and relationships you'd like to share? Feel free to leave a comment as "anonymous" if you'd like. We don't have to know who you are to enjoy some good dish!
The OUTMusic Awardsa celebration of the LGBTQ community's contribution to the music industrywon't happen until next month in New York City, but Philly's getting in on some of the action first. Tonight from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. at Tabu Lounge (200 S. 12th St.), there's going to be a benefit to celebrate the LGBT Academy of Recording Artists (LARA), the show's organizers. Special guests include Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of LARA Deidre Meredith and Philly's own openly trans organist T. Desiree Hines, who will perform in the show next month. Hines says there's a $20 admission fee at the door, but that will afford you an open bar supplied with "vodka cocktails, wine and a little bit of food," she says. "And you get to support a great cause." A portion of the evening's earnings will benefit the Sponsor a Young Person Initiative, a program that aids youth abandoned by their families. See you there, girls and boys!
For more on Desiree's contribution to the OUTMusic Awards, check Queer Bait in this week's issue.
Each Wednesday Critical Mass puts together a rundown of book-centric events that'll keep you "lit" all week long. Read it, honey.
Wednesday: Poet, critic and translator Ammiel Alcalay grew up in a Sephardic Jewish household in Boston. He's best known as a Middle Eastern scholar, and the person who gave voice to the Serbians in American media during the Bosnian War. His latest book,Islanders, is set during the Vietnam War. Alcalay was only in his twenties then, so it's fitting the protagonist of his new book is a young man trying to negotiate a relationship between identity and place. Catch Alcalay putting on his lyrical face for this poetry reading. Tonight, 6 p.m., free, Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk, 215-573-9748.Thursday:Under Their Thumb: How a Nice Boy from Brooklyn Got Mixed Up with The Rolling Stones (and Lived to Tell About It) is Bill German's Almost Famous. As a teenager, German launched an all-about-The Stones magazine called Beggars Banquet that got him access to one of the most beloved rock n' roll bands of all time. Thu., Nov. 18, 7 p.m., free, Wissahickon Valley Public Library, 650 Skippack Pike, Blue Bell, 215-643-1320.
Friday: ...And we're back to Vietnam. But this time, the tone is dark and deadpan as poet-proser Linh Dinh's cast of characters navigate a surreal, war-wrought Saigon. Dinh's meta-fiction has been known to mess with genres and, fair warning, absurdity and confusion are his keystone motifs. For this reading of his novelistic debut, Love Like Hate, Dinh has teamed up with Ocean Vuong, a senior English major at Brooklyn College who was born in Saigon in 1988. Fri., Nov. 19, 7pm, Moonstone Arts Center, 110A S. 13th St., 215,735-9598.Saturday: Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Wooden Shoesince your old place burned down in '97 and you moved to South Street now one year agohappy birthday to you... Stop by the anarchist bookstore's birthday party, nib on some refreshments and shop around with your 10-percent off goodie-bag coupon. Sat., Nov. 20, 4pm, free, Wooden Shoe Books, 704 South St., 215-413-0999.Sunday: In the '60s, Caribbean-American writer, poet and activist Audre Lorde published poetry advocating feminism and lesbian and gay rights. In 1980, she co-founded Kitchen Table, the first publishing platform for "women of color" in America. Pay homage to this brave woman by perusing her poetry at Giovanni's Room, where ad-hoc readings of Lorde's work will be happening all day. If you're already a fan, bring your favorite poems along for show and tell. Sun., Nov. 21, 2pm, free, Giovanni's Room, 1145 Pine St., 215-923-2960.Monday: Three days before your kitchen turns upside down for the holiday, take the young ones to a mellow reading of Thanksgiving stories and a craft-making session that might even yield a festive table decoration. And yes, you should put your child's creation on the table even if it's ugly. Mon., Nov. 22, 6:30pm, free, Barnes and Noble, 911 Haddonfield Road, Cherry Hill, NJ, (856) 486-1492.
Tuesday: Despite the constant threats he's faced since "slandering" Islam in The Satanic Verses, Booker prize winner Salman Rushdie has kept on writing, no-holds-barred. His latest is Luka and the Fire of Life, a fantasy about a 12-year-old boy trying to wake his father up from a sleep coma. Auditorium tickets are sold out, but simulcast tickets are still up for grabs. Tues., Nov. 23, 7:30pm, $6, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine St., 215-686-5322.If you had a reading you'd like covered in Bookish, send it to Daniella at Daniella.Wexler@citypaper.net.
Yes, I went to DC for a concert last night. Here's why:
I've finally made up my mind: when I grow up, I want to be Nick Cave. I'm fully aware that that particular position is currently filled, but it's still a dream worth dreaming. Though commercial success has largely eluded him (mostly for some very obvious reasons), Cave has taken his decades-long career in directions that artists half his age wouldn't dare. After twenty years with dramatic rock titans The Bad Seeds, Cave recruited half of that band for a raw and grimy garage project: Grinderman. With the release of Grinderman 2 in September, the group has become a full-on commitment rather than a thrillingly messy diversion. The Bad Seeds tour plenty (and put on damn great concerts when they do), but Grinderman shows offer a look into Cave's more primal, blues-inflected side.
Photo | Eric Schuman
The other thing about the world of Nick Cave is his devoted fans. I'd guess that most of them want to be Cave when they grow up, too. A mix of revival punks and folks who stole away from the library to see the show, the crowd at DC's 9:30 Club was brimming with excitement over the return of their literate leader. I gathered from several loud conversations that many of the people standing around me also made the trip from Philadelphia (as the tour regrettably skips Philly this time around). No matter, as Cave's fans tend to be good enough sports to go out of their way for a night in his aura.
A well-received opening set from haunting harmonium wailer Shilpa Ray started the night with in an evocative mode. Grinderman took the stage and tore into the first two songs from Grinderman 2, "Mickey Mouse And The Goodbye Man" and "Worm Tamer." By then, Cave had already worked up a sweat and set out to work up the audience. Rushing back and forth between the stage, Cave often found himself perched atop the metal barricade, grasping the head of an equally elated and frightened fan. The tunes from Grinderman 2 have a more composed and developed quality than those from the band's first album, though all the songs held up strongly through the night. Some of Grinderman's highlights, including "Honey Bee (Let's Fly To Mars)" and "Get It On," gave the set an instability as multi-instrumentalist Warren Ellis crafted sheets of distorted low-end noise with his various implements. The rhythm section offers less erratic behavior, but Martyn Casey's unsettling basslines and Jim Sclavunos' thunderous drumming underpin each song with a sinister menace. The band's song "Grinderman," which came during the encore, lurches with particular dread, eventually becoming a deafening freak-out.
Seeing Nick Cave perform is, on its most basic level, incredibly entertaining. When not clutching fans' heads, he's dedicating "Evil" and "Palaces Of Montezuma" to people who catch his eye, sending papers flying from a knocked-over music stand, and making himself laugh when he arrives a rare loss for words. He did most of that when I saw the Bad Seeds a few years ago, but it's just as fun with Grinderman.
Though I do kinda miss the mustache.