Archive: March, 2010
|Courtesy of UArts|
Shay Church's Gray Whales, Reception Broad Street Ministry, 315 S. Broad St. The reception will be held on Thu., April 1 from 2-6 p.m.
mr. Gnome. They're fully equipped with gentle female vocals set against sandpaper guitars, driving drums and chanting choruses. They make songs that are dramatic and playful, and they'll probably put on the funnest show this week. With Pepi Ginsburg, Tristen, and Charles Latham, $8, 7 p.m., North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar St., 215-684-0808. Tuesday: The band City Center encourages fuzz to creep into their music. Instead of gritty, amped up guitars, they use the fuzz to produce a warmth to their storytelling tunes. They also use loops, bells and spastic noises, eliminating consistency and the possiblity of being background music. With Clean Equations and Controlled Storms, $5 - $10, 8 p.m., Danger Danger Gallery, 5013 Baltimore Ave. Wednesday: San Fran babies Citay play their spiraling pop at Kung Fu Necktie tonight. With their dreamy guitar wails, they're songs conjure up thoughts of late '60s classic rock, only Citay has filtered out nearly all of this lame parts of that era, kept a touch of the admittedly enjoyable cheese, and reinvented it into something appropriate for today. At 8 p.m., $10, Kung fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 215-291-4919. Thursday: Atomic Square are subtle. They are just barely too poppy too radio-friendly in some songs. While on other tracks they get more experimental with acid feedback and drifting bass lines. It sounds like they're not certain where they want to go, which could make their show a fun ride or an awkward paradox of pop and experimental. With Glowfriends, Pilot Cloud, and The Defog, $8, 8 p.m., North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar St., 215-684-0808. Friday: Badasses and murderous banshees, Gunslingers will be bruising drums tonight and as their album cover suggests getting blood on the guitars. They boast lightning fast licks, but that doesn 't mean they play songs that barely reach the one minute mark. With touches of black magic and Satanic rituals, they're an evil presence. But play they're albums backwards and it's all rainbows and kittens. With Gentlemen Christ, La Octracina, and This Temper, $8, 9 p.m., The M Room, 215-739-5577. Saturday: Best Coast is the relaxed, female version of Wavves. She makes warm, fuzzy lo-fi made for sunny days and heartbreak. It echos images of the bong hits on beaches with her lyrics of friendships turned relationships turned shit. With Reading Rainbow and Creepoid, $10, 7 p.m., Barbary, 951 Frankford Ave., 215-423-8342. Sunday: The singer of Leopold and His Fiction, Daniel James, has a voice that starts out unassuming, but will eventually grab you and demand attention. The warbley, bluesy and shaken vocals are driven by catchy guitar rhythms and a more than occasional southern rock vibe. At 8 p.m., $8, Khyber, 56 S. 2nd St., 215-238-5888.
This amazing piece of tape art was discovered hanging on Mercer Street Saturday morning. As you can see in this a/v presentation by Flickr user thebluegirl, the officers had a little fun taking the guy down.
|Anthony, Emilio, Jay, Johnathon, Maya, Mila, Seth Aaron
This was by far the saddest week in a mediocre season of ProjRun. Even the judges shunning Mila's hideous, too tight dress wasn't enough to make me crack a smile in this bastardized funeral-isode. New York's most dapper, Tim Gunn, introduced the remaining and certainly by now, exhausted designers to some shnazzy technology that allowed the kids to design their own fabric. The high-tech "from desk to design" color me bad screen was incredibly fancy to say the least. The textiles created, however, were mostly lackluster.
Seth Aaron designed some ridiculous cartoon face grid sequence that he referred to as a British take on pop punk. He took that fabric and made a sharply tailored jacket and pants. It was a bust, yet the judges loved it, as per usual. Yawn, Seth Aaron, yawn. Maya's print was red and orange marks on black fabric. It looked like she closed her eyes and played around on MS Paint. And guess what? The judges loved this one as well. She put together a boring paneled dress that would have been hopeless if it weren't for the ruffly collar she attached. It was somewhere between an hoity toity Elizabethan collar and a roll of papery garland from the dollar store. Then there's was Mila's steaming pile of shit: a floor legnth dress that was so tight and restricting that the model had to take little baby model steps down the runway so as not to fall over. It was mostly white, with a diagonal panel of the fabric she designed. All she did was make different colored vertical lines on a white background. How painterly, Mila, you insufferable idiot. Go home already.
The winner of this challenge was the man who made a print that no one quite understood. Emilio Sosa made a blue, graffiti-inspired fabric that sloppily repeated ESOSA over and over. In place of the "O" was a heart. Each person who looked at it didn't understand that it said E. Sosa. The greatest moment came when TG came in and said he saw it as Seth Aaron, heart, Emilio Sosa. Take that, Em. Your torrid love affair with Seth Aaron was just exposed by none other than Tim Gunn. All that matters is that Emilio, at least in that very moment, felt stupid. It was a passing moment, though, since he won again, making it the second week in a row and his third win of the season. His '40s style dress was interesting enough with the solid black upper back that came around to a black V in the front. Meh.
While it was wonderful to see Mila in the bottom three, the two that accompanied her set things in motion for an unhappy ending. Elimination came down to Anthony and Jonathan. The latter did his usual thing and made something pale with a design that was barely visible, paired with a reverse (meaning worn backwards Criss Cross-style) gold shrug. What? Yeah, for real. This is where things get really, really upsetting. Like some miserable, fat, pockmark-riddled bully on the playground, Michael Kors starts picking on Jonathan's design. Rather than be constructive and tell him what he can do to improve it, Kors just said that the dress looked like a dirty tablecloth. To further insult the man in front of his peers, Kors then called the weird shrug a "disco straitjacket." The model took the shrug off to show the entire dress and when Jonathan helped her get it back on Kors, that meanie, chuckled and said, "Oh, your husband helps you into your straitjacket," and the judges all laugh edabout it. They were like hyenas, all of them, with Michael Kors' jiggly face leading the pack. It was painful to watch. Thankfully Jonathan stood up for himself (which Heidi later commented on, in a negative way) and said that the "dirty tablecloth" comment was "preposterous." Unfortunately, that word was too big for Kors to understand. Jonathan stood strong and made it through one more week, though.
My favorite Sassy Southerner made an uninspired black and purple dress with a peculiar sleeveless shrug-something-or-other. It looked like he was inching away from his flowy femme dresses with this, a piece that was slightly more graphic and edgy with the print. We all knew the day would come when Anthony would need to pack up his bags and head back to Atlanta. It was clear from the beginning that he wasn't going to make it to Bryant Park, but we love him regardless. He left with such tact that you would think he was going back home to teach etiquette school. Anthony left saying, "You don't need to have the crown to be the queen!"
You tell it, sister.
Last Monday, I worked on the photoshoot for this week's Style Issue. By help, I mean I held the photo reflector for a few hours with photog Neal Santos, Shopping Spree goddess Felicia D'Ambrosio, and art department head Reseca Glasser. It was interesting to see what goes into a City Paper photoshoot. You can see outtakes from their work above.
But I didn't really understand the goal of the shoot, what Felicia who also worked on last year's style issue was trying to achieve. I caught up with Felicia this week to get some background on the shoot and Philadelphia's fashion scene.
City Paper: What's the inspiration for the models and the shoot?
Felicia D'Ambrosio: Carrie Collins comes from Philadelphia's bike culture. She dressed Brown [aka Jeff Cuellar], who's very independent-minded, but he works for Urban, so there's an interesting juxtaposition there. Donja Love and Keisha Kay Donja is a little harder, his influences are very diverse; he pulls from high fashion, street style, from hip-hop, from films and television. He's sort of an assimilator of styles. He dressed rapper Ethel Cee for our style issue last year, and I was so impressed by his personal style that I wanted to feature him and have him photographed, because he's just very original. The Topstitch girls [Linda Smyth and Tina Nguyen] are designers, and they have their own stories.
CP: How did you guys come up with the location?
FD'A: Our original idea was to put the seamless backdrop out on the street in the Italian Market. W wanted to make the clothes pop against a white background so they'd be really clear, but we wanted to capture a little of Philadelphia, too. The weather was pretty rough out there, so at the last minute, the weekend before the shoot, Reseca went out and scouted some locations that were indoors but still gave off that Philadelphia feeling. The boxes of produce added a kind of authenticity there.
CP: How would you characterize fashion in Philadelphia?
FD'A: Philadelphia doesn't really have an institutionalized fashion industry like, for example, New York. Our fashion comes from the fact that this is an art school town. We have lots of fashion design programs, we have lots of artists and people that are printers, people who are always kind of making things. So a lot of the style comes up from the street rather than down from the designers. When we do have designers, they tend to be smaller and more independent.
You have lots of people who work for Urban Outfitters, so you have that influence too, where people are working in style but it's a much more organic style than New York. So there's no real authority on fashion in Philly. Vintage has its own trend trajectory, freestyle has its own trajectory and then you have other people who are interpreting high fashion in their own way.
With its commentary on ideas about home, Ses Voyages Sauvages is fittingly, and cleverly, staged in the interior of an apartment. Around 7:45 p.m., a group of people gathered on the porch of the West Philly row house, making small talk while waiting for the doors to open. Had I known how much these people would be part of the performance, I may have made more of an effort to mingle with the crowd of avid theatergoers and performers. This tone of informality and vague awkwardness remained throughout the entire performance, even after we were led up three flights of stairs to the Arctic.
To transform five rooms into different terrains, the set designer made a smart decision in employing materials commonly found around the apartment. The living room was transformed into the Arctic with cardboard boxes painted white and plastic tarps, the kitchen became a mountain range of elaborate papier-mÃ¢chÃ©, and other locales were constructed with fabric and converted furniture. While the scenery was convincingly portrayed, the found materials reminded the audience of the constant presence of home wherever you go.
Though they ran through the storyline twice in the performance, I left Ses Voyages Sauvages wanting a longer engagement in this lucid, poetic world. But, as the actors and occasional plot holes echoed, "Why must you dream your dreams and have them, too?"
RELATED >> Agenda Pick: Ses Voyages Sauvages
|Have a Divine weekend
Friday: Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, Cry-Baby: You know John Waters' work. You love John Waters' work. But now get to know/love the man when he hits up Bryn Mawr College for his presentation of This Filthy World. (Do you think he'll hang with Serial Mom star Kathleen Turner while she's in town playing Molly Ivins? Fingers crossed!). Or go to a tribute for another great storyteller: monologist Spalding Gray. Stories Left To Tell, a tribute put together by Gray's wife, happens all weekend at the Painted Bride.
Saturday: Oyster House hosts a shucking contest tonight for pros and amateurs alike. So either go, or think of how many hilarious ways you can replace with 'fuck' with 'shuck.' Mama Omnibus prefers mothershucker, but get creative with it (maybe post some possibles in the comments below...). Then Gemini Wolf crashes Sugar Town, asking Philly artists to redefine their own songs. If you don't go for that, go for newcomer Attia Taylor, who joins GW
Sunday: Class it up on the cheap by hitting Tony's on Third for this fantasticalismo Trash and Treasures sale, where you can pick up Dior, Versace and some terrible romper-looking contraption (hey, Mama didn't say it was all treasures, did she?) so you can be the fanciest person Hive 76's Linux install class. Aw, screw it, you just wanna see Hot Tub Time Machine, don't you? Rob Corddry wants you to go too.
Final observations from my first SXSW.
|Photos | Patrick Rapa|
|The SXSW swag bag: Here, you recycle this for me.|
People I Felt Kinda Bad For
- The ladies whose job it was to beckon pedestrians into some kind of creative ideas lounge thing sponsored by Zone bars aka Zone Perfect Nutrition Bars aka chocolate covered granola bars. What bland terrors lay within that windowless storefront? I never dared to find out.
- The dude whose personal gimmick was walking around in an apron. Lots of people on Sixth Street made unique fashion/social decisions in the name of personal expression. Kinda like college.
- The people with the "Free Hugs" signs. There were several groups with signs like these. Why is this a meme? (I did appreciate the dude scratching his beard and offering "Free Bugs.")
- The drunk lady I think I gave the wrong directions to by mistake. I hope you made it to Wye Oak. Sorry. I was drunk too.
- The people who stood in that huge line for the Pitchfork show and didn't get into whatever was in there.
- The Virginia photographer who thought her wristband would get her into Best Coast.
- The guy who got into a fight with that chair-stealing psycho at the Hole show.
- The guy working security at the one Superchunk show; that douchebag was a douchebag to you.
- The plastered woman who got off the shuttle when everybody else was getting on. I hope you figured out what hotel you were staying at.
- The people of the future who will one day have to deal with the mass of plastic left behind by 2010 SXSW. All those cups and bottles and lanyards are not worthy of immortality.
|People Love the Cupcake Truck.|
Apparently there was a moment where, like, Bill Murray was outside some indie show handing out $100 bills and Woody Harrelson was running around looking for him...? It's just so weird. I wish I'd have seen that. And, by now you've seen the thing about Bill Murray tending bar. I saw Matthew McConaughey and Nardwuar the Human Serviette at Hole. Saw Eugene Mirman and Bryan Dilworth in the airport.
Bands Whose Shows I Missed But Heard Were Good:
Austin is all about (expensive) walk-and-eat food sold from trucks, windows and booths: $4 bucks for a slice from the pizza truck, $3 for a cupcake from the cupcake truck, $2.50 sodas, etc. Best deal was for pulled pork and/or brisket sandwiches, which can be purchased at every single store/venue/cart. Sweet Texas barbecue.
Wired Hearts Philly
Wired magazine named nine bands that blew them away at this year's SXSW and two Philly bands made the list.
I was a fan before I saw them live but now they are a must-see band for me, up there with The Walkmen and Stephen Malkmus.
I happened into this gig with some friends fairly early one night, and ended up buying a CD-R and a T-shirt despite having no good way to carry the merch (and having not bought a shirt with a logo on it in years). Veteran Philadelphia- and Brooklyn-based band Notekillers is, in one sense of the word, sick.
When Were People Watching Videos?
Apparently there was a vote for Best Video of SXSW. The winner was "Luv Deluxe" by British band Cinnamon Chasers. It's an instrumental ambient-dance-pop-Run Lola Run situation.
Related >>Five Shows That Ruled SXSW 2010
Related >> SXSW Day 1: Mess With Texas
Related >> SXSW Day 2: The Labelmakers
Related >> SXSW Day 4: It Doesn't Have To Be Beautiful
|Photo | Courtesy of Educational Technology Clearinghuse|
|Viking ships are cool!|
Bringing you more Philagrafika 2010 coverage.
OK, Vikings were not the coolest of guys, but Viking ships are awesome.
Critical Mass just got word that, as part of Philagrafika, Dennis McNett and a crew of artists will be building a Viking ship from scratch today in the parking lot across from the Crane Arts Building (1400 N. American St.). The wooden frame is up, but there's still lots of work to do, including covering the ship with wheat pasted-prints. All of this will be taking place between now and 6 p.m., and anyone's welcome to watch.
Then, at 8 p.m., the ship will be paraded around Northern Liberties (!) — most likely between the Crane Arts Building and the Piazza at Schmidts, says Philagrafika's Rebecca Mott.
|Rob Corddry in Hot Tub Time Machine|
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