Archive: March, 2010
Okay. I'm a SXSW noob. So I gotta ask: Is every night this nuts or was everything just amped up by a St. Patrick's Day contact high? There was a distinct Mardi Gras (without the riots) vibe, with traffic blocked and the streets overrun with drunken revelers. Didn't see any boobs, but I did watch a guy get decked outside a pizza truck. Made me homesick for Second Street. Yeah, I also went to some shows, thanks to my magic lanyard.
I haven't been a Big Star fan as long as a lot of people I know, but I was still bummed to hear Alex Chilton had passed away. Big Star was supposed to play here on Saturday. Looking to switch the mood, I headed over to a place called Esther's Follies where Comedy Central was putting on a quick showcase of stand-ups, each doing 10-15 minutes sets. Doug Benson was funny and told pot jokes. Hannibal Burress was funny and delivered the line of the night: "Don't talk to me like you don't have a handlebar mustache." It's possible you had to be there. Maria Bamford was kinda brilliant and Todd Barry was funny in his usual, awkward way.
|Photos | Patrick Rapa
|Doug Benson likes pot.
After that I headed over to the Relapse showcase at a big, vaguely communist-themed club called Red 7. The second Trash Talk played their first adrenaline rush riff, bald dudes and bald dude sympathizers decided to clear the area by pushing unsuspecting crowd members around. A kind of mosh pit was formed. So people still do that.
In the adjoining outdoor patio, comedian Brian Posehn took forever to take the stage then did a short set that was funny and weird. He praised Relapse out the ass, though, as the metal label is putting out his next comedy CD. Then good old Voivod came on right away and rocked crazy loud. Three songs in and you kinda got the point.
From there I made my way to the big, unexpectedly empty-ish Galaxy Room to see Everybody Was In the French Resistance... Now, a fun and infectious Art Brut offshoot. According to crowdwalking singer Eddie Argos, every song had a backstory concerning revisionism and plagiarism. Great way to end the night.
|Everybody Was In The French Resistance ... Now
|A Celebration of Blackness, 2006, letterpress poster|
Bringing you more Philagrafika 2010 coverage.
Since first gaining international recognition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in '94, Carl Pope has used his art to examine pressing social issues. Incorporating marketing slogans, literary texts, famous quotations and other text, he constructs eye-catching letterpress broadsides and posters. Previous examples of his large-scale work includes "The Bad Air Smells of Roses" and "A Celebration of Blackness," both of which examine the modern conception of "blackness." In addition to viewing art as an impetus for social change, Pope believes art plays a central role in creating communities.
Developing his projects in relation to specific locations, he will be collaborating with graphic designer Mari Hulick, Mural Arts ARTWORKS, and 23 small businesses in North Central Philadelphia for Philagrafika. With these collaborators, Pope will be constructing billboards for the businesses to encourage economic prosperity and community visibility. You can find the exact locations of each here. He is also exhibiting at the Crane Arts Building (1400 N. American St., 215-232-3203).
City Paper: What are your artistic influences?
Carl Pope: My biggest influence without a doubt is my high school photography teacher. My high school photography teacher, Donna Hostettler, continues to be a major influence in my work. She believes that art is an effective tool for individual and collective transformation. Her primary example was how photojournalism changed popular opinion about the Vietnam War. It was the horrific images mediated on the television and through the print media that shifted general public's thoughts and feelings about the war.
City Paper: How did you come up with the idea to use marketing slogans, literary quotations, etc in your work?
CP: I love text, fonts and type. I found myself becoming more interested in writing and began producing what I call "writing projects," where the text and writing was a very prominent aspect of the work. When I made the trophy collection The Greatest Hits of the New York City Police Department for the "Black Male" exhibition at the Whitney Museum in 1994, I began to glimpse the possibilities of playing with narrative structure through the collection of various kinds of phrases, quotes, titles, slogans, quips, recipes, etc.
The recent billboards campaigns I am doing are a logical leap from the realizations gleaned from my poster work.
City Paper: What commentary on language and social interaction do you hope to portray in your work?
CP: I find that individuals and groups tend to read things informed or inspired by past readings in the continuation of whatever narratives they endorse. As a visual artist, how can I inspire viewers to experience epiphany in their reading of text and images on their own terms or intervene in the development of certain kinds of narrative trajectories? With the poster installation, "The Bad Air," I am experimenting with a narrative structure for viewers to read through or enter "architecturally." I am working to create meaningful and engaging narrative/visual constructions that match the ways we "read" the world around us. Yes, objects are also read as text especially in our information age. The various ways in which we look are the ways in which we read. I use language in my artistic practice that considers the ways we read when we drive, shop or put something or someone under surveillance.
City Paper: Can you describe your exhibit for the Philagrafika festival?
CP: I have more than one exhibit for the festival. I am showing two separate installations of the poster installation, "The Bad Air Smelled of Roses," at Crane Arts ... and in the gallery exhibition of "The Wall: Remixed" at Mural Arts.
My largest contribution to Philagrafika festival is a collaborative public art project called "The Wall Remixed: The North Philadelphia Small Business Advertising Campaign" (NPSBAC), which is collaboration with graphic designer Mari Hulick. It is a part of a larger project called "The Wall: Remixed" by Homer Jackson. Mari Hulick and I enrolled 23 small businesses and non-profit organizations to participate in a free billboard campaign to celebrate the North Central Philadelphia community and to encourage economic opportunities for ... participating businesses.
Homer Jackson's "The Wall: Remixed" project heightens community awareness of the social "safety net " of business and organizations in the North Central Philadelphia area. Mari Hulick and I collaborated with the youth involved the Mural Arts ARTWORKS educational outreach program and the participating businesses to create a series of billboards to make this safety net visible to the North Philly community. Mari and I found it very important to involve the children's drawing in the making of the communal safety net. That is why the drawings are so visible in the billboard designs.
City Paper: How do you feel art contributes to the public sphere?
CP: In the public sphere, a thing does not exist if it is not represented physically in public space. There are many things about our culture that are no longer in the public sphere in the real sense. They exist as concepts in the collective imagination or in the virtual space of the World Wide Web. Public art has the potential to introduce/reintroduce creative innovations, strategies and trends into mainstream culture. My billboards introduce/reintroduce the presence and the potential of the individual back into the public sphere. In my billboards, I help provide the billboard space to individuals who do not have normal access to it. The billboard space becomes a microphone of sorts in which people can express themselves.
In the past, quotes were the primary means of expression. With (NPSBAC), Mari and I are facilitating the billboard space as a canvas for children and businesses to visualize, map and broadcast the resources in their community.
|Emily's almost there ... almost.|
We sent admittedly shy Emily Currier to Annie A-Bomb's Philadelphia School of Burlesque at the Walking Fish Theatre to learn about the vaudevillian art form. Each week, she'll file a report of her progress from the tasseled and bedazzled frontlines. Catch up on Emily's first and second adventures.
In preparation for my third burlesque class, I did something I haven't done since getting ready for my first boy-girl dance in sixth grade: I practiced my dance moves in front of a mirror. To get the appropriate tassel twirling-effect in full planetary rotation, I basically had to do jumping jacks. Any potential sex appeal was immediately negated by the profuse sweating. I then made a trip the neighborhood hardware store for some embellishments to my costume (you'll have to wait to find out what!). The cashier checking me out (in a couple of ways) tried to flirt with me through his mouth full of pizza. Oh, dear shop-keep, if only you knew what I was going to use these materials for.
In class on Tuesday we are christened with our new burlesque names: Lyzzy Bordyn, Ruby Cheex, and, well, still just Emily. I forgot to complete all of my homework assignments, apparently, by not coming up with a sassy name. Sometime during middle school, I got a chain e-mail revealing the steps to discovering your porn star name, something about combining your first pet's name and the street you grew up on. While "Frisky Ridge" is ripe with porn star connotations, it may not have the proper playful subtly for burlesque.
Stripped down to our panties and stockings, we watch as Anna demonstrates several ways to get even more naked by removing our stockings. My thighs stick uncomfortably to the chair as Anna shows us how to take off our stockings with two hands, two fingers and even our toes. After the demo comes the moment I've been dreading: our burlesque routine premieres. Lyzzy Bordyn and Ruby Cheex, along with their well thought out names, have been dreaming about and planning for their burlesque debuts for years. I never in a million years expected to be stripping in front of a live studio audience, putting me at something of a disadvantage.
"It's like you're wiping former lovers off your face," says Ruby Cheex during part of my routine. When I stare at her a shock and incomplete understanding, she replies casually, "What, you've never had it end up on your face?"
I've made the rookie mistake of choosing a really sexy song for my burlesque debut. While the other two girls have playful routines and well-formed characters, I choreographed the bulk of my half-hearted routine after several glasses of wine one night. With my background in theater, I can get into the fun of playing dress up and making up a character, but I am having trouble justifying my character's motivations for suddenly taking off all her clothes and twirling her titties around. More than that, I have a pesky habit of getting violently ill when I'm nervous. Before any first date or public speaking, I have to down half a bottle of Tums and chase it with ginger ale. I'm not sure if projectile vomiting is a fitting grand finale for my burlesque act.
Next Week's Adventure: My burlesque debut! / Emily spends time with her friend vodka
We like American Idol. Too much.
Molly Eichel: Clearly when i think processed pop star a la Idol, I think the Rolling Stones, who were this week's theme because Exile on Main Street is super old, or something. God, the Stones will do anything to make a buck. Although, it forces a lot of the contestants to change up the arrangement.
Tommy Button: Girls were able to sex it up more than the guys were which is why they were able to keep their heads above water. Makes sense though. The closest person on that stage resembling Mick Jagger was Didi Benami.
ME: Didi was on last night with "Play with Fire." Loved the arrangement, loved the 'tude. great performance. She looked like she was about to cut a bitch during that song.
TB: When Didi is safe this week it won't just be because America has a strong affinity for pretty white girls. She was actually, pretty good. And Seacrest went for the shoulder grab this time!!! BARE shoulder grab!!! Then, after the song, Seacrest touched the lower back.
ME: Seacrest: What a stud. You're right, T-Bone, they're so in love. But tonight, I really feel in love with Siobhan Magnus, who did a crazy good version of "Paint it Black," complete with ending banshee wail. The arrangement was over the top, the screaming was indulgent, but she's so weird it fit. Also: Love the new look.
TB: I was onboard till that squeal at the end. I'm sure she was just trying to make a moment or some bullshit like that but seriously, it was a little too much. I really want to like Siobhan but every time she opens her mouth I become the most uncomfortable I've ever been around a person in my TV before. I've only spent a weekend in Cape Cod before, maybe that's what people there are just like.
ME: The only boy I really felt earned his salt was Aaron Kelly doing "Angie," an overwrought song that I love unapologetically. At first, I was annoyed Aaron chose it, but he made it into a nice little country ballad. Along with Didi, Siobahn and Powersox, Aaron was the only person who really made the Stones his own. Still, I wish this had gone Also: Why hasn't it been brought up that Aaron Kelly's mom is named KELLY KELLY. I didn't think that actually happened!
TB: Pretty sure Ellen pointed this out, but Aaron is turning into more and more of a lesbian with each week. That said, Aaron was pretty good but I don't think he gets to go home as the best guy of the night. I'll hand it to him, hes giving it his all trying to come out of that shell or closet or whatever but his performance was off. Every time he gets on stage I feel like he's reaching big and just coming up short. I don't think it was any better than Casey James, and that was just so-so. But you gotta give Casey some slack, apparently he's part r-word. That's what his mom says anyway.
ME: Depsite his mom's claims of brain damage, I wasn't feeling Casey last night. It was a pretty contrived version of "It's All Over Now" and he coulda done better with something like "Angie" or even a Seger-esque rock out to "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll." Kara praised his soul, but I thought that was rather soulless. He wasn't the worst of the night. That clearly goes to Tim Urban. "Under My Thumb" is not some lovey-dovey song. It's a vengeful song full of bile. It just doesn't sound like it. So good job Tim Urban for ruining the rhythm and melody of one of the best songs ever written. For the record, I no longer thing Tim is cute. Sigh, where is Alex Lambert?!
TB: We totally agree on worst. Pussy cover of a kick ass song. No girl will ever be under Tim Urban's thumb unless he's stabbing her to death. That smile is one of a sociopath. And the way he laughs when he gets upset. Tell me that kid is not crazy.
ME: I'm also going to continue to hate on Lacey Brown for giving the Tim Urban pussy treatment to "Ruby Tuesday." She took all of the sadness out of this song, especially in second verse and at the end of the chorus. Her outfit was atrocious. She needs to pray to Jesus for a miracle, or at least to be more than a subpar Nikki McKibben.
TB: Good thing I finished my cigarette before that was over otherwise I would have put it out on myself just to distract me.
ME: Then there's a sea of mediocrity to wade through: Big Mike doesn't know how to move onstage and that's becoming a problem.
TB: If he didn't run around everywhere like a cat with it's head in a bag he might be able to hold some better notes. I always want Andrew Garcia to be good, but he's never as good as I want.
ME: Just like I want Paige Miles to stop pretending she has white girl voice and let it loose. I think Paige needs a good ol' fashioned banging and she'll loosen up. Katie Stevens, on the other hand, could get fucked two way from Sunday and she'd still wouldn't be able to connect to a song.
TB: Katie should be watching this episode on the family TV in Connecticut. She took what might be her last shot and just kind of dabbled around. Just like Lee Dewyze. As far as lame guys go, Lee Dewyze is cream of the crop. Take that which ever way you'd like.
ME: I didn't think it was possible to take all of the sex out of "Beast of Burden," but it's apparently possible. Then there's our girl Powersox, who did "You Can't Always Get What You Want." See, this is why she's so good: She changed the arrangment she retained the song's structure.
TB: It gets rough every week trying to come up with other things to talk about regarding Powersox besides how awesome she is.
Chopping block: Paige Miles. It should be Katie but she's younger than Paige, with a bigger fanbase. With Lilly Scott gone, the vote will swing toward Crystal and Didi. leaving Pagie in the dust. Sayonara, sweetheart.
Philly-based dubstepper Starkey (aka PJ Geissinger) posted a new mix tape on venerable Brit music mag NME's site for your downloading pleasure. Our main DJ Nights man Gair "Dev 79" Marking named Starkey's Starkbass mix on his 2009 Best of Dance/Electronica list. Here's what he said:
10 Various Artists
Starkbass ( DJ Mix by Starkey)
It seems I listened to a lot of DJ mixes in '09: The lure is you get to experience songs in ways you may not have imagined and also get exposed to tracks you may not have heard otherwise. My boy on the streets, Starkey, dropped this bleeding-edge chunk of bass action, with some real heated numbers in the mix from Joker, Pacheko and Raffertie, among others.
Starkey occupies an intriguing no man's land. Having once plied his wears in notably bouncier territories he's discovered a distinctly svelter, sheeny synth-centric approach for his second album on Planet Mu and in doing so he's quickly garnering props as the most plausible mediating force between the scene's opposing armies.
That post also has a link to his single "Stars (Slugabed did a remix)." You can see the full tracklist for the mix after the jump. Starkey's new album hits April 19.
- Starkey ft. Cerebral Vortex & Buddy Leezle "Club Games" (planet mu)
- Starkey "OK Luv" (planet mu)
- Starkey "Millennia" (planet mu)
- Tayo meets Acid Rockers ft. Pupajim "Vampayaa (Starkey remix)" (cool & deadly)
- Swindle "Airmiles" (planet mu)
- Grems ft. Foreign Beggars "Brokabilly" (dub)
- Mensah "Pulse 80's" (hench)
- Kingdom "DPM / Juke Ya Girl Remix (Extended)" (dub)
- Starkey "Capsule" (planet mu)
- Numan "Skull Crusher (Bombaman remix)" (slit jockey)
- DNAEBEATS ft. NastyNasty "Aqua Bubble Hash" (seclusiasis)
- Rudi Zygadlo "Resealable Friendship (Slugabed's Special Friends Deepest Holes remix)" (planet mu)
- EPROM "Humanoid VIP" (dub)
- Starkey "Spacecraft" (planet mu)
- Kaiser "Lost in an Analogue Dream" (slit jockey)
- 8Bitch "G41" (slit jockey)
- Starkey ft. Anneka "Stars" (planet mu)
New Hampshire-by-way-of Philly resident Robin McDowell has us wrapped around her little finger. First the UPenn fine arts grad popped up at Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (which happens to be our favorite First Friday hang) to present her February exhibit, "The Farm" (through March 21, AITA, 116 N. Third St., 215-922-2600, artintheage.com). And now, on her Ornament and Crime blog, there's this:
|You're Gonna Have an Awesome Night.
|Sammi Won't Do the Dishes.
Basically we're stalking her now, because how awesome are these prints? Meal Ticket master/CP Food+Web master/master of The Situation Drew Lazor wants one of these Surf + Turf numbers, like, NOW. Luckily for him they're only $12 on Etsy.
Neighborhood Watch finds fashionable folk all across the city. This week: The glory of spring and winter purgatory.
Don't let Nancy V. (59 and proud, thank you) catch you looking fugly. She's got a fashion police badge and she ain't afraid to flash it unless she's at work where her colleagues have forbidden her to slap a bitch with her fashion fines. She wasn't afraid to lay a little on us, though: 1.) Women over 40 shouldn't wear leggings or white go-go boots, 2.) Men shouldn't wear sandals with suits and 3.) God forbid, never wear socks with sandals. We're apt to heed any advice from Ms. Nancy. She bought that funky, one-of-a-kind jacket (that pretty much speaks for itself) 10 years ago and it will definitely be making a statement for centuries to come.
|PHOTOS | Josh Middleton and Julia West|
We passed Savannah R. (27) in South Philly on a gloriously sunny afternoon. She refers to her frolic-y get-up as, "my official coming of spring outfit," because she was finally able to free her florals that were stuffed in winter storage. This aspiring fashion blogger gets props for expertly blending a combination of winter and spring pieces from a grab bag of different retailers. Her purchases came from eBay (boots), thrift stores (dress), major retailers (jacket, bag) and NYC street vendors (scarf).
These roommates, (L-R) Victoria S. (23), Alaina C. (21) and Kate A. (23), were taking Geoff (7 in doggy years) for a stroll through Bella Vista. They say their hodge podge style is influenced by one another because they're always wearing each other's clothes. We like that they are capable of pulling off individual looks, despite the fact they're working with a mostly shared wardrobe. We see a Cyndi Lauper circa "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," some NYC street fashion and even a little Pippi Longstocking peeking through. Can you guess which is which?
Vincent O. (20) was peddling through Queen Village on a food delivery when we hailed him down for a snapshot. We were smitten by his large brimmed camo hat and the burst of blue in his spring jacket. He says he received everything he was wearing through gifting and friendly hand-me-downs, but he makes everything his own in the way he cuffs those jeans, halfway zips his jacket and represents his Pocono hometown with a local company's logo on the face of his hat.
|Van the Man with the Band
The City Paper offices are right next to the Plough and the Stars and their St. Patrick's Day-themed tunes are making me wish that drinking on the job was more socially acceptable. Since I have a couple hours to kill before I can order my first pint, I'm making a St. Pat's Day soundtrack to tide me over.
I'm definitely going with Van "Belfast Cowboy" Morrison's "Tura Lura Lura (That's an Irish Lullaby)" from The Last Waltz.
But what else? There are some clear favorites: The Pogues (obvi), Dropkick Murphys/Flogging Molly/Irish-themed-but-not-technically-Irish punk bands, etc. Then there are the bands don't sound Irish but are and double as some of my fave drinking tunes: Thin Lizzy, the Undertones, Stiff Little Fingers.
Gimme some suggestions and we can build a massive St. Pat's playlist.
Just no U2, please.
Here's my next choice:
Now it's your turn.
While we jumped the gun by announcing that the PUFF Movie House would be taking over the Piazza at Schmidts earlier this year, we just got word that the partnership is now official. Beginning April 2, the PUFF boys will start screening movies at the NoLibs complex with some musical accompaniment from Philly music stalwart Chuck Treece. After the outdoor screening, they'll play the play the film in a more theatrical setting. Word is they will hold court until October 31 and it's all free.
The first film on the April 2 docket is a Mind of the Demon: The Larry Linkogle Story, about the rise and fall of the freestyle motocross legend, which premiered at this year's Slamdance Film Fest. An even bigger get is Tom DiCillo's Johnny Depp-narrated Doors doc When You're Strange, premiering on April 9. DiCillo will also reportedly be in attendance.
Also on the schedule are Eve's Necklace, a feature-length movie with no actors, only mannequins (a director's dream?) on April 16 and My Big Break, a documentary by Tony Zierra that chronicles the rise (and subsequent fall) of his roommates: Wes Bentley (American Beauty), Brad Rowe (Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss, looking like Brad Pitt) and Chad Lingberg (October Sky, The Fast and the Furious). Big Break technically got its Philly-area premiere at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute, but the film has since been precut to add word on Bentley's heroin addiction.
PUFF, which is associated with the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival, seeks to bring a film fest vibe to the city year-round. In January and February, they held a series of screenings at its Media Bureau (725 N. Front St.) homebase consisting of movies that played the festival circuit but simply didn't have the backing for a full-scale theatrical release.
Check citypaper.net/repfilm for the schedule every week. We'll post more when we have more details.
Every Tuesday, Critical Mass pokes around the art blog world so you don't have to.
Urban's got the deets on Alex Queral's phonebook sculptures, shown previously at Projects Gallery. Queral carves out familiar faces, such as Pee Wee's plucky facade and Dangerfield's googly eyes. It sure beats using the phonebook as a booster seat for your short friends.
Irish Philadelphia offers other ways to celebrate Wednesday's holiday, in case you're still reeling from last weekend's pub-crawl. Toast to dead countrymen at Laurel Hill Cemetery, enjoy some folk dancing at the Irish center, or take in Solas' annual St. Pat's concert at the World CafÃ©. Don't forget to wear your green.
Zoo with Roy believes the best choice for a little holiday, would be with Halladay. While the site is truly a tribute to the Doc, it also has a penchant for what else zoo analogies. Four words: Enjoy the polar bears.
Turns out the Teamsters may have been playing favorites when dealing out those local film set stints. The Inquirer reports that in response to the alleged favoritism, an outside trustee will now be doling out the gigs. This may hurt my chances of getting on the set of Unbreakable 2.
I've got to give a link-out to another round-up, one that involves my favorite guilty pleasure Craigslist's missed connections. Phillyist found the oddest current posting, but I still can't help, but hope, that one of them may be about me.
- Arts Events
- First Person Fest
- Last Chance
- On the Fringe
- Philly Artists
- The Curator
- Visual Art
- Arts News
- Artist Profile
- Arts Preview
- Street Art
- Been There, Done That
- Big Ups
- LOL With It
- Critical Mass
- Friday Fill-in
- Ice Cubes
- In Memoriam
- Just Do It
- Just Opened
- Art Phag
- Film Fest
- Movie Review
- On set
- 10 Track Mind
- Album Review
- Concert Review
- Local Support
- Now Hear This
- One Track Mind
- Philly Bands
- Somebody Else Was There
- The Showdown
- concert photos
- DJ Nights Blogged
- Night Watch
- Now See This
- Poetic License
- Printed Matter
- What We Heart
- Idol Hands
- Mad Men
- True Blood
- Useless Lost Recaps
- Couch Potato
- Shore Trash
- Turned ONN
- Video Games
- Free Online Game
- PlayStation 2
- The 1-Upper
- Web Junk
- CAGE MATCH
- Free Online Toy
- Weekend Omnibus