Archive: March, 2010
A concert a day keeps the doctor away.
Monday: Start the week with a banshee streak. Oicho Kabu is all wild screams and calls, maniacal drum banging and fuzzed-out guitars. Plus our girl Pepi Ginsberg is on the bill. With Know Nothing Party, Ryan Power and Pepi Ginsberg, $5-$10, Danger Danger Gallery, 5013 Baltimore Ave.
Tuesday: Is there anyone left who hasn't heard all the buzz surrounding Mayer Hawthorne? You know, the white dude who does sensual and classic R&B? While you might feel heartbroken when he sings "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out," you're going to like what you hear. With Nikki Jean, $15, 8 p.m., First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., 215-563-3980.
Wednesday: The Morning Benders make lovely songs that are epic and striking, but they leave everything soft eough around the edges so you can snuggle up next to it. With Miniature Tigers and The Acrylics, $10, 9 p.m., Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 215-739-9684.
Thursday: Former Black Flag frontman and comically beefy VH1 talking head Henry Rollins shares his wit and wisdom. To add to that list, Rollins is also DJ, an actor, a writer, a comedian, a record publishing company founder, an activist and all-around goofy badass smarty pants. Whatever he has to say it oughta be good. At 7 p.m., $20, First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., 215-563-3980.
Friday: The Honkeys make air guitar-worthy lyric-less surf with dark undertones and a super authentic sound. They're just a touch crazier than old school surf, like men on the verge of melting down. With such speedy guitar pickin' you expect expect a few bloody fingers.
While I stand by what I said about The Honkeys (from Missouri), it was brought to my attention that the band playing the Troc tonight is actually theHonkeys (from the Jerz). These guys are equally worth seeing. They have a fun groove sound that's perfect for some Friday night ass-shakin'. These guys are sharp, too. Their clever lyrics show that they aren't just some tacky jam band, but a surprisingly enjoyable feel good band.
Staurday: If you don't have 150 bones to drop on Yankee fan (too soon?) Jay-Z at the Borgata, then take your broke ass over again to Johnny Brenda's and catch an earful of Philly locals Oh! Pears. If Xiu Xiu and the Arcade fire had themselves a little secret midnight rendezvous, Oh! Pears would be the strange, shy lovechild. With Inlets and The Mural and the Mint, $10, 9 p.m., Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 215-739-9684.
Sunday: Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlesome Bells are tortured, but not in a way that resembles anything close to emo. There is a serious dark tragedy that exists somewhere in the folds of each song. Their work is beautiful with all its ghostly choruses, bass, organ and, duh, bells. With The Hush Now and Tunnels to Tundras, $8, 8 p.m., The Kyhber, 56 S. 2nd St., 215-238-5888.
...But the Mummer's came up empty-handed.
We've been telling you how Philly was all up in the Independent Spirit Awards, with local heroes representin' in a litany of categories. The results are in: Precious, directed by West Philly's Lee Daniels swept the awards with five wins (including a Best Director statuette for Daniels), and Margate's Scott Neustadter took home a Best Screenplay for (500) Days of Summer.
Unfortunately, the most Philly-fied movie of a all, Tom Quin's familial Mummers drama New Year Parade, lost out to Lynn Shelton's considerably more-high profile Humpday in the John Cassavetes award for movies made for less than $500,000.
Daniels faces steeper competition at tonight's Oscars, where prognosticators have all but given the trophy to either The Hurt Locker's Kathryn Bigelow (when Daniels won, he said "Kathryn Bigelow's not here tonight," assuring his win; her picture was up for consideration last year) or Avatar's James Cameron. The Oscars air tonight on ABC, at 8 p.m. EST, although the hardcore among us already have our couch positions at the ready. Got any plans? How about Traverse Arts red carpet extravaganza or the Institute's PJ party?
See the rest of the Indie Spirit winners after the jump.
Best Feature: Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Best Director: Lee Daniels, Precious
Best Male Lead: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
Best Female Lead: Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
Best Supporting Male: Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
Best Supporting Female: Mo'Nique, Precious
Best First Feature: Crazy Heart
Best Screenplay: Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, (500) Days of
Best First Screenplay: Geoffrey Fletcher, Precious
Best Cinematography: A Serious Man
Robert Altman Award: A Serious Man
Best Documentary: Anvil! The Story of Anvil
Best Foreign Film: An Education
John Cassavetes Award (best feature made for under $500,000): Humpday
Acura Someone to Watch Award: Kyle Patrick Alvarez, Easier With Practice
Chaz & Roger Ebert: Truer Than Fiction Award (emerging director of non-fiction features): Bill Ross and Turner Ross, 45365
|From top left: Amy, Anthony, Ben, Emilio, Jay,
Jesse, Jonathan, Maya, Mila and Seth Aaron
With only 10 designers remaining, Emilio reminds us early in this episode that the kids are half way to Bryant Park. Now it's just a matter of beating nine other competitors. Good luck with that one.
This week, the designers met TG and Michael Kors at Kors' SoHo store. Aside from giving his store a little publicity, it isn't clear why Kors was there. All he did was tell the remaining 10 that they were getting their design supplies from a hardware store rather than Mode, Project Runway's fabric store of choice. Oh Michael Kors, this challenge just wouldn't have been the same if you didn't personally deliver the guidelines on the floor of your fancy pants store.
With not a bolt of fabric in sight, the kids had to collect sand paper, copper sheets, keys, screening, industrial duct tape and plastic garbage bags to fashion some sort of wearable clothing. The sewing room turned crazy. It was like suddenly all the art students were in shop class and they weren't sure what the hell they were doing. At this point Jesse confesses, "Not in a mean way, but you kind of hope somebody crashes and burns." No, Jesse, not mean at all.
Jay's crazy trash-bag-turned-leather-pants that shrunk during construction and almost didn't fit the model were magical. It's not even worth the suspense: He won the challenge. Amy and, as much as I hate to admit it, Mila's designs boasted creativity and fashion-forward thinking but Jay's two-piece design with a braided belt was undoubtedly the best. The last time he won, he made a dress from burlap sacks. The man has a gift for shape-shifting some slop material into detailed fashion. Twinsies Mila and Maya made up the remaining parts of this week's top three. There's really no need to even describe Mila's design because you can already guess that it was black and white color blocking. Only this time it was made from paint tray liners. Maya made a very subdued dress to go with a screen and key necklace and a wire jacket that looked like it crawled all spindly-legged out of Tim Burton's dreams.
Remember that whole crashing and burning that Jesse mentioned? Well that came courtesy of Jesse and Emilio this week. When given the challenge, Emilio whined about not being one to make crafts, but rather "sophisticated" clothing. His washer and pink cord design this week could not have been any further from sophisticated if the Queen herself was wearing it. First, E didn't budget and had to leave half of his supplies at the hardware store. Then Tim Gunn expressed concern that the remaining materials were enough to make an entire dress. Gunn warned him that he may end up making a bikini, or a bottomless dress. When Emilio's model hit the runway she was wearing, of all things, a disturbing bikini. Heidi pointed out that it had no pattern and was hard to follow. The thing was atrocious. But the worst part was when Emilio stood in front of the judges and hand fed them some premium bull shit, saying he knew everyone else would be making a dress (well, not this week's winner Jay, honey) and a swimsuit is something you wouldn't expect to see on the runway. Blah, blah, blah. Somehow he managed to fool the judges and they let him hang in the competition for at least one more week.
It was Jesse's sub par design, though, that lost the challenge. The judges couldn't find enough negative adjectives to describe his "Hershey Kiss/dirty vacuum bag/tin man" dress. Still, nothing was as bad as Emilio's poor judgment, tasteless design and attempt to lie his way to next week's challenge. It wouldn't be too far fetched to think that Heidi and her minions see Em as a talented fashion designer on the rise and therefore wanted to give him another chance to prove himself. Jesse's dress was no great feat of fashion, but it wasn't half as ridiculous as Emilio's busted bikini.
Crit Mass hero/friend of Philly Ted Leo has his new album The Brutalist Bricks up on his MySpace page in its entirety. Spend the rest of your oh-so-nice Friday afternoon rocking out.
Teddy and the Pharmacists visit Philly again Wed., April 7 at the First Unitarian Church.
Collectors of pretty things, take note: Every Friday, we're rounding up a what's-what of what we [heart], culled from the scores of design blogs, artist sites and Etsy treasuries we can't help but stalk on the regular.
Here at Coveted HQ, we've got Oscar night on the brain. Apparently, so does everyone else.
Glourious, glourious poster art: We just saw Best Picture-nominated Inglourious Basterds the other day, and while we kinda thought it felt like two separate films (one about lovely, heart-wrenched Shoshanna; the other about kicking Nazi ass and taking names), we're still rooting for the underdog. Last month, L.A.'s Upper Playground Gallery auctioned off 13 amazing Quentin Tarantino-signed Basterds posters with proceeds going toward Haiti relief, and we covet them all. $300 (sold out), upperplayground.com, first spied at bestweekever.tv.
O-82!!!: Here's a fun game for pajama Oscar parties with friends: Oscar Bingo, courtesy of DIY blogger Jessica Jones of How About Orange ... . It's full of hilariously predictable Oscar-night happenings think "George Clooney Seen Sporting a Beard"; "Someone Mentions Haiti"; "Patrick Swayze Appears in Dead Person Montage" in PDF form for easy printing. Good luck! Free, howaboutorange.blogspot.com.
Julie or Julia: We weren't fans of Amy Adams' annoying, cloyingly self-centered portrayal of Julie Powell in Julie & Julia. (Perhaps this is why Meryl Streep's the one who got the Oscar nod.) Adams groupie or not, though, you'll like Etsy artist NOOBOO, who's replicated the Subway token necklace that Julie wore throughout the film. The old-school token (from 1953) hangs inside an antique brass filigree circle ring, upping the ante from the simpler version in the movie. (Alternatively, you could always just read the book.) $50, etsy.com/shop/NOOBOO.
Fantastic Mr. Badger: Die-hard Bill Murray fans would have recognized that voice anywhere, and even though the Wes Anderson mainstay won't win any Academy Awards for his voiceover of a nebbishy attorney, Fantastic Mr. Fox (nominated for Animated Feature Film and Music/Original Score) would've felt incomplete without him there. Illustrator Michael May's Eros Inc. shop on Etsy features sweet, vibrant Mr. Badger, Demolitions Expert prints, plus one of Mr. Fox himself if thieving carnivores are more your scene. $5, etsy.com/shop/erosinc.
PREVIOUSLY >> One of These Things Is Not Like the Others
We like American Idol. Too much.
Tommy Button: The irony of the group performance of "I Gotta Feeling" as an Elimination Night opener was almost too much. No big surprises last night. In fact, if you care to review the record you'll see that I already told you this was gonna happen yesterday.
Molly Eichel: Fish. Barrel. Meet American Idol.
TB: John Park is back to bong rips and N'Sync covers with Purple Haze.
ME: He just didn't have the star power to make it. I thought Todrick Hall was worse, but at least he got zazz. John Park was zazzless.
TB: Jermaine Sellers is trading in his bow tie for a Windsor knot.
ME: Aw, no more inadvertently making yourself out to be a giant douche on live television. Also to bandleader Michael: You're welcome.
TB: Haeley Vaughn FINALLY stopped smiling.
ME: We had high hopes, we had high hopes, we had high apple pie, in the sky up in the hiiiiigh hopes ... that were dashed when she opened your mouth.
TB: Michelle Delamor had to sing Creed for a second time (which is bad for everybody.)
ME: Tommy, I was impressed that you called this one. I thought she was safe and Didi was going home but Jesus must hate Creed as much as the rest of us. I think the bad half-prom dress and jeans combo she wore on Wednesday had something to do with it. Her outfit looked like something Stephanie Seymour would wear in the "November Rain" video. But, once again, I ask, how is Lacey Brown still on this show?
TB: To break the tension, a coked up Danny Gokey even showed up with a little country ditty that gives the impression he's over his dead wife and ready to plow through some strippers.
ME: What!? How could you turn on our boy Totes McGokes. Yeah, he looks like he spent more nights wishing he hadn't done blow off that hooker's ass than not, but he wasn't that bad.
TB: I love the guy and all but somewhere in the subsequent year, Danny seems to have fallen in the wrong crowd. It was probably the advice that damn Randy Travis gave him.
|Evan M. Lopez|
Our main man Sam Adams holds it down at the Ritz Five to moderate a Q&A about The Art of the Steal with director Don Argott and producer Sheena Joyce. Adams is all up in the Barnes doc, authoring last week's cover story on the film. We caught up with Sam at a recent screening and he said that he'll ask questioners to leave their soapboxes at the door. So come prepared with some legit questions, rather than just bullshit proselytizing. That goes for both sides, you friggin' whiners. K?
Art of the Steal panel, Fri.-Sat., March 5-6, 7:25 p.m., Ritz Five, 214 Walnut St., 215-440-1184, ritztheaters.com.
Reviews of Alice in Wonderland were embargoed until after press time. But we went anyway.
On paper, Tim Burton and Lewis Carroll's classic texts shouldn't be this mismatched. Cinema's current master of mainstream macabre has a strong visual sense with a nasty sense of humor and childlike wonder. But Burton doesn't take the time to breathe in all of Carroll's eccentricities a shame considering Burton created a Wonderland that deserves exploration. Unlike so many directors, Burton can dream up his own world out of our own reality (the country-home purgatory of Beetlejuice, the plastic suburbia of Edward Scissorhands). Yet in Alice in Wonderland, he's given all the tools that CGI allows and never lets us have a peek at what's over there, just out of sight. The story is a mash-up of sorts of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (plus a touch of daddy issues), with a now-nubile Alice (Mia Wasikowska) falling down the rabbit hole for the second time, even though she has no recollection of the first. She meets familiar (to us, anyway) faces who tell Alice that the purpose of her return is to wrestle the crown from the humongous-headed Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) by defeating the vicious Jabberwocky, so that her sis, the White Queen (Anne Hathaway), can reclaim her rightful place as ruler. Along the way, Alice meets the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), whose accent switches from Ed Wood to William Wallace depending on his mood and has little do other than creepily leer at our heroine. Burton and screenwriter Linda Woolverton rush through the story, from chase sequence to poorly staged epic battle. As a big-budget actioner, it works. But as an entry into an auteur's filmography, it's disappointing. In the end, Alice feels like an excuse to sell Happy Meal toys.
We like American Idol. Too much.
Molly Eichel: Wow. Mee-dee-okra. There were only two up-to-snuff performances. Everything else wasn't even last-call-on-a-Friday-at-Ray's-worthy. Or worse.
Tommy Button: I really hope Powersox doesn't die this season because she might just be the only one to save the quickly sinking S.S. Idol. Even though the boys were still on the shitty end of the stick last night, everyone showed improvement. The girls, however, were a bit all over the place, running the gamut from two thumbs up to a pair of severed thumbs flushed down the toilet.
ME: To start off, I think Tommy and I can both agree that we are no longer on Team Haeley.
TB: I know I was all about her in the beginning but I would like to take this moment to retract all my positive statements regarding Haeley Vaughn. I've had enough of the fucking Sarlaac. You've devoured your last victim.
ME: I don't think "The Climb" was an awful song choice. She's young, she should have done a young song. But god, who knew that someone could make Miley Cyrus look like motherfucking Maria Callas? On first viewing, I didn't think it was that bad but on second listen, it's horrendous. On a plus side, I now listen to "Party in the U.S.A." with newfound respect.
TB: I can't believe everyone makes such a big deal about waterboarding but things like that are still able to happen. I was pretty sure that was gonna take home the medal for worst song choice but oh, no. Michelle Delamor took the stage with a little bit of Creed, singing "With Arms Wide Open." I don't care how good of a singer you are, Creed is never a good decision. It wasn't a good a decision for music. It wasn't a good decision for America. Fuck. Creed wasn't even a good decision for Scott Stapp. If for some reason she makes it through, I suggest taking a stab at some Nickleback.
ME: Yeah, I mostly hated on Michelle because she took on the leather-pants wearin', God-fearing Creed (without even one Jesus pose! C'mon!) but at least she switched up the arrangement. Lacey Brown, on the other hand, took a simple song to sing (Sixpence None the Richer's "Kiss Me"), sung it like the recorded version and still ended up sounding like she wasn't meant for this competition. Get outta here Brown Nose.
TB: The two aforementioned thumbs (not the severed ones) are referring to Lilly Scott and Powersox.
TB: Far and away the best of the night. Powersox stayed true to her name and didn't play some pity card or half ass the thing, she came out and performed like a serious performer. The show must go on, and by God, it will if Powersox has anything to do with it!
ME: I loved it when she said she was a tough cookie. She was like, "Hospital? Whatevs. Lemme just take this here Creedence Clearwater Revival song AND KILL IT." My friend Charlie put it best: SuperPowersox.
TB: Lilly Scott is in my faves mostly because of her song choice,"A Change Is Gonna Come." It's a perfect song and no one will ever do it like Sam Cooke but Lilly Scott made that song her own and didn't do it half bad, either. And so far, Lilly Scott has remained relatively cool, calm and collected. No freak-outs, awkward chats, or wardrobe snafus. It's like the girl is trying to make my job hard
ME: So many people fail at this song. But I thought the arrangement was perfect for her, showing off her strengths rather than highlighting her weaknesses. But she's just so ... she has a look (peacock ears, silver hair), she's fine on camera but I just believe Powersox more. There's an authenticity about Powersox, a reason to root for her that I just don't see yet in Lilly. Still, amazing performance
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