Archive: February, 2010
Neighborhood Watch finds fashionable folk all across the city. This time around, our Neighborhood Watchers travel to West Philly, where neither was born, nor raised.
|Photos | Josh Middleton and Julia West
Brittany J. (21) says her fashion sense is driven by how she wakes up feeling in the morning and on this day she was happy and excited. She bought most of her apparel at stores like Urban Outfitters, but it doesn't matter where it comes from as long as you have a vision and we think Brittany's is 20/20 even though she says the glasses aren't helping at all. "They're not real, they're fashion."
|Photos | Josh Middleton and Julia West|
We have to admit, Laura F.'s (26) look is borderline hot mess but she pulls the mish mash off like an Olympic champion. Hailing from London, she says there is a distinct difference between the outrageous fashions she grew up with and the more toned-own style she sees in West Philly. When hunting for something different than what you'd find on the racks at the Gap she usually turns to eBay, which is where she found that awesome acid washed jacket and the kitty cat shirt that was unfortunately covered by three other layers and a strand of pearls.
|Photos | Josh Middleton and Julia West|
As a philosophy major Ross L. (22), has profound insight into fashion. "I have a hatred of modern fashion, which is a vile slovenly lack of discern," he says. He puts to good use these dusty duds that scream thrift store bargain rack and is able to mix contemporary pieces tight slacks and department store coat with grandpa vintage all the rest to pull together a bewildered philosophy professor look that is only missing a pipe.
|Photos | Josh Middleton and Julia West|
With all of our artsy fartsy finds, Tiffani A. (27) entered the scene with a touch of sass to slap us back into reality. "I'm all about enhancing yourself dye, contacts, extensions, whatever," she says. It may sound like a superficial opinion, but we found nothing fake about this sweet, beautiful girl who finds inspiration from urban music stars like Kelis. And we always love a girl who's confident enough to strike a pose. "When you look good, you feel good," she says.
|Photos | Josh Middleton and Julia West|
Yusan H. (25), a biochemistry and physics student, doesn't let a monotonous sounding grad program interfere with her artistic sense of style. Her individualism sets her apart from her days spent with microscopes and Petri dishes but her scientific knowledge comes into play when experimenting with this eclectic mix of local, handmade and designer goods. She picked up the blue glasses at Reward (55 North 2nd St.) according to her, the best boutique in Philadelphia the scarf is from Etsy designer Yokoo and her jacket is by Ann-Sofie Back, a designer for Cheap Monday. Yusan you win our Favorite Fashion of the Week Award.
|Sebastian Bach before he got fat.|
How could you not love this story about Sebastian Bach coming to the rescue of everyone's fave bat shit genius Axl Rose (please don't argue, who doesn't have a jonesin' for some Guns at sometime or another?).
Apparently at a super secret, exclusive Guns 'N' Roses show, some guy flicked a switchblade, as if his name was Ponyboy Curtis, and headed toward the stage. According to the NY Post, Bach, formerly of Skid Row and Gilmore Girls and currently of Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp with local boy Jay McCarroll, said "Nobody is getting anywhere near my man Axl Rose with a knife," and took care of the sitch. Seriously, dude was gonna try to knife Axl Rose? Get in line, sistah, I think Slash wants it more.
Bach to the rescue! Although, no one could save Bach himself from a fate worse than death: Hair Metal Casualty.
As a tribute to Bach (and some might say, in further proof of his badassery ... okay, I would say that), here's a video of the golden-locked frontman singing Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" on an episode of Gilmore Girls.
h/t Spike Eskin
We like American Idol. Too much.
Tommy Button: Let me make it easy for you.
Guys: Big Mike (not really, though), Casey James, Aaron Kelly, Lee Dewyze, Todrick Hall
Girls: Didi Benami, Katelyn Epperly
Molly Eichel: My verdict? Casey James, Todrick Hall and Didi Benami (although, girly needs to keep the tears in check) are the only ones who make it past semis, only because of the tragedy that is Big Mike and his dismissal from the show (once again, a giant fuck you to the Idol producers). Also: Todrick Hall, how did I not know you are hilarious? Loved it when you asked those white girls if they would marry you. "Would your parents be okay with it? Do they know that I'm black?"
TB: "But wait," you say, "that's only 7 people. I thought they put 24 through." You're right, my friend. They do. But American Idol wants us to sweat the next 24 hours out while we wait for the rest of the list. These mind games are too much for someone with such a weak brain to begin with. But it does leave me with not much to say. I can't complain about who didn't get in (because they still might), and so far there haven't been any real shockers of who didn't get in (but there still might be, as teased last night). Although Jessica Furney was pretty taken aback.
ME: I like how she blames her group for giving her the boot, but considering she was the only one who actually got praise, I'm pretty sure she only got kicked off 'cause she sucked ass. Sweetheart, impassioned pleas only work when you're pretty, because your heaving bosom distracts from why you were terrible in the first place. Tommy and I know from firsthand experience. His knockers are huge.
TB: The only souls we can mourn are those poor bastards in Room 2. One of which is Mary Powers, who I was not broken up out seeing leave. But seeing Llyod Thomas, that big weepy teddy bear, get sent home is the type of thing that gets me all teary-eyed, ya know, if I cried in the first place. I can't say I didn't see it coming. Off the stage he had a personality that was big and bold, yet he never really found his footing while performing. I was sad to see Hope Johnson, as well. But another one who never really hit her stride in time. Like most of the finer things in life she has to mature some before reaching her zenith.
ME: Farewell Crazy Eyes Powers. Bring the Turbo Bitch act back to the Bennigan's I've decided you work out. But Hope wasn't ready. Go back to the trailer park, sweetie, and maybe next year she can be one of those flashback success stories, like Angela Martin is this year. By the way, I still love Angela. And because Prison Matt got kicked off and Angie missed last year's Hollywood week because she was in the clink, I will heretofore refer to her as Prison Angela. On the topic of people I have major boners for, I would vote for Haley Vaughn for president. Especially if GangDad Andrew Garcia was her running mate and Crystal Bowersox was her secretary of state.
TB: All in all, a waste of time. Besides Ellen's bits here and there like when she kept leading Katelyn Epperly on, there weren't too many highlights for me.
ME: There were a couple bright spots. I like the way that Ellen and Kara's relationship is developing, even though I still hate Kara as much as Randy loves wearing those black skinny jeans with the gold rhinestoned-lined pockets (considering how ludicrous he looked in them, I'm going to say a lot). When Casey James walked in, Ellen said, "Oh look, he has his hair down for you." To which Kara replied, "Oh, nice!" Keep the laughs coming ladies.
TB: Still, Idol should have just waited until tonight to give us the Top 24, not this seven bullshit. Quit teasing me, guys, seriously.
Discounting the Kevin Smith oeuvre, South Jersey isn't an epicenter of indie film. But new owner Mark Bell, a native of the area, says the east coast makes sense for a site such as Film Threat. Why be in Hollywood, embroiled in the studio system, when independent film is happening everywhere?
"You don't necessarily think of South Jersey or Philadelphia as a film mecca." says Bell. "But I think any city has the opportunity."
Bell's move brings the site closer to fellow Film Threat writer Matthew Sorrento, another South Jersey-ite who pulls double duty as a professor at Camden County College and Rutgers-Camden.
Film Threat was founded as a print magazine in 1985, but went online only in 1996. Bell worked at the site for five years, including a tenure as the site's editor-in-chief, but left to live in New Zealand to be with his now-wife. A week after moving back to the States, Bell attended this year's Sundance Film Festival, where he ran into site owner Chris Gore. The site had been down for a month and Gore made it clear that there was strong chance it would not come back. In a shit-or-get-off-the-pot moment, Bell made a deal with Gore to buy the site for six figures, according to Variety. "I decided the day I made the offer to do this," says Bell, "and Chris went with it."
While the site isn't functional yet, Bell plans to relaunch it next week; he says all he has to do is "flip the switch." Bell's vision for Film Threat is a reversion back to its origin. "I see Film Threat going back to where it was in the beginning, to bring the audience to movies they didn't know existed," Bell says. "Film Threat was created because there was a lack of focus on cinema that was outside of the mainstream. I want to let people know they have options."
Check back next week and we'll let you know when Film Threat (filmthreat.com) goes live.
Remember when we told you about J.J. Tiziou and the Mural Arts Program's proposed massive airport mural? The 50,000 square foot mural featuring dancers of all stripes will adorn the facade of the airport's parking lots facing I-95. Above is a rendering of what the mural should look like. But now J.J. and MAP need you.
They're currently seeking dancers pros and amateurs, solos and pairs to be photographed for the mural. Just fill out an application before this Friday, February 19 at 5 p.m. After that, 60 participants will be selected, but the site says only about 25 of the 130 dancers images taken will be used. The shoots take place from March 5-7, but there's flexibility time-wise in the application.
Here's a video of Tiziou's preliminary work on the mural:
Fore more info, check out howphillymoves.com.
|Courtesy of handmadeinpa.net.|
Every Tuesday, Critical Mass pokes around the art blog world so you don't have to.
Handmade in PA gives a nod to crochet artiste Angela Davidson. Her googly-eyed monsters may make a great gift for your niece or can add a bit of kitschy pizzazz to any humdrum room. Perfect for those who are afraid of soulless stuffed things coming to life and eating your brains. Pick up your own at Angela's Etsy shop.
Local artist Todd Marrone has stuck his Toddy Marronecock on a bunch of the Exit Skateshop's merchandise. Come to the opening reception of Custom Cruisers and get first pick of his one-of-a-kind funny-face skateboards.
Philly print-makers Hot Dog City make maps and tables pretty enough to frame. PW Style's a fan, but the whimsical depiction of Philly as an island-unto-itself may make a cartographer cringe.
McJawn got its hands on some pics of the soon to be released remake of an old friend POLAROID CAMERAS! Pulled back from the brink of demise, the classic camera has been rehashed to look even more dated than before. Expect hipsters to rejoice.
Have a hard time wearing the same thing in a month? Imagine wearing the same thing everyday. Green Philly gives a shout-out to sustainable fashion with "The Uniform Project" a video chronicling 356 days in the same dress.
Paleo Poop is fossilized dinosaur poop, imported from Canada by Doylestown native Michael McGrail. I went through a dinosaur phase just like everyone else, but I'm not sure what my nine-year-old self would think about dinosaur poop fossils. But, as a mature twentysomething, it's hilarious.
Each piece comes in a four-once Paleo Poop tin, and is around 66 million years old so says the certificiate of authenticity that comes in the tin. The stuff's not for sale online, though, so you'll have to hit up the Academy gift shop to get your own. Your friends will be brown with envy (sorry...).
$30, Academy Shop, Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 215-299-1186
During a week when Philadelphia was covered in snow up to its waist, there was still good music to be found around the city. The only problem was getting there. A wrong turn led to an urban off-road excursion. This momentary delay kept me from the first few minutes of Phantogram's set at Kung Fu Necktie, but once inside I was fortunate enough to shimmy my way past a few already drunk twenty-somethings to get a spot right next to the stage.
The night began in the same way as their set a week earlier opening for Minus the Bear, but this was a much better atmosphere: The smell of my neighbor's armpit resting on my shoulder at the Croc Rock was replaced by the slightly less pungent odor of fresh air well, fresh bar air. I looked around and saw thick rimmed glasses, cardigans, ironic t-shirts of kittens with eye patches and not so ironic fedoras.
Opener "As Far As I Can See" sounds like something straight out of the Underground Hip Hop Field Manual: a sample that's so obscure not even you know where you got it, and a beat that lays just right. Throw in some phased guitar and have a pretty woman sing overtop and you get a nice, neat pile of something different. I suppose this is what happens when two musicians are left in upstate New York with a pile of My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth and Madlib. In the end you get Phantogram. It should be expected.
"Let Me Go" uses a similar formula but executes it differently. The guitar and drums, along with a light horn sample, create a swirling loop that churns and sweeps you up underneath Sarah Barthel's spacious vocals.
Every once in a while, the band really let their roots shine through. The shoegazey chorus on "You are the Ocean" previewed the build-up that is "All Dried Up," their best of the night. Throughout the course of the song there isn't one snare hit, just a constant expanse of sound as Barthel's voice swells with the music. On the album, the song drags if you don't aren't already attached to it. But if you see it live, the Barthel's emotion, coupled with guitarist Josh Carter's intensity, the pulsating strobe lights and trippy images being projected behind the band creates such an experience of awe that next time you see them in a club near you, you'll be inexplicably be singing along to a song you've only heard once before.
As Far As I Can See
Let Me Go
Mouthful of Diamonds
Running from the Cops
You Are the Ocean
All Dried Up
Make a Fist
Turn it Off
When I'm Small
|Photo | John Vettese
|Dr. Dog playing a secret show as Meth Beach at Johnny Brenda's
Dr. Dog drummer Eric Slick's mom (aw!) sent us a Daily Pennsylvanian piece about Doc Dog hooking up with CP Artist of the Year Kurt Vile for a show at the Rotunda, put together by Social Planning and Events Committee's Jazz and Grooves. It's all happening March 2 at the Rotunda. The event isn't up on their calendar yet but we'll give you the details when we have them.
Go 'head: Try and tell me that your voice doesn't rise at least an octave while watching this preview.
All together now...
Babies hits theaters May 7, 2010.
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