Archive: May, 2010
Filed Under: Been There, Done That
|Photo | Don Perdue|
|Momix at the Annenberg Center|
CH: Carolyn Huckabay PR: Patrick Rapa ME: Molly Eichel
What We Saw: Caught a Saturday matinee performance of Momix at the Annenberg Center, and was (mostly) blown away. The program, Botanica, was all nature-themed and featured rapid-pace scenes on everything from ocean waves to rose petals to birds. A couple one-trick-centaur moments here and there, but the stegosaurus-skeleton scene blew anything that felt lackluster right out of the water. CH I'd never seen The Wrens before, so I was expecting a sleepy show that was more atmosphere than passion. I was wrong. Terribly, terribly wrong. Drawing mostly from insta-classic Meadowlands, the Wrens pushed their tunes so far, they shifted genres. I haven't seen a band work that in hard and in such collusion since Springsteen and his boys. I wasn't so impressed with handful of new songs they played (!!!) but I also haven't had a chance to listen to that album on repeat for three months straight like I did when I first heard Meadowlands. Shame on you if you missed it. ME Where We Went: Hit up the Trenton Avenue Arts Fest and Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby. Definitley impressed by the offerings, but my favorite has to go to Joe and Andrea's team for no other reason than their mascot is a toothless dog named Lil' Chuck Norris who sat asleep in his team's front basket, unfazed by the crowd and living up to his namesake's badassery. ME What We Read: I started Justin Cronin's The Passage. Fifty pages in and I'm hooked. PR Faithful Been There/Done That readers might be disappointed to learn that I forsook (forsaked?) Colum McCann's Let the Great World Spin which you all said I should read next for Barry Udall's The Lonely Polygamist, about a man who feels utterly alone despite being surrounded by this 28 children and four wives. I couldn't keep my eyes from closing last night, but I still couldn't put it down. Now I'm going to have to put Udall's first novel, The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint, on my list, as well. Don't worry, though: McCann is still on deck. ME What We Watched: I spent the weekend fighting a nasty cold/flu kinda thing, so TV was nice. I watched the Lost finale. I don't think there was much to "get" about this episode. Smoke-Locke-Man-In-Black was defeated thanks to some kind of Superman II device that makes strong bad guys into normal people for a while. I think the sideways reality hammered home the idea that the island is a metaphor for college. You live away from home, you meet weird people, you do weird things, you face the smoking issue head-on, you never admit you're having a good time, you think every little thing is a tragedy, you experience previously unknown levels of fear and joy and confusion, you make friends of enemies, and enemies of friends, and swap significant others in a relatively shallow dating pool, and when it's finally time for the reunion, the one you decide to go to, you realize you missed everybody, and seeing them is enough to overwhelm you with happiness but also a kind of deep-down heartache that can feel like "what the hell were were doing?" or "was that all just a dream?" or "my god we were all so young then." Oh, cold medicine. PR Much like Pat and the rest of the universe I watched Lost last night, and the Jimmy Kimmel show that followed it. (Oh, coffee, I love you. I need you so.) I was pleased (though not till this morning, after some mulling-over/sleeping time) with the ending, particularly that Sideways World had an actual purpose. I'm still unclear about Desmond's role, Eleanor's Sideways involvement, why Mr. Ecko et. al weren't in the church, how the chronology of purgatory works, whether dogs go to heaven, and many other things, but I'm satisfied nonetheless. CH In preparation for an interview that was later canceled, I watched Diddy's "Hello Good Morning" video eight or nine times (TI totally is the Captain of the Cool Kids, btw). It struck me how retro this video is. Who else would drop the cash for helicopters and explosions in this musical climate but Diddy? Like, I was almost sad there was no use of the Hype Williams fish eye lens. ME What We Listened To: Listened, in earnest, to the entirety of The Hold Steady's new album, Heaven Is Whenever, which Patrick Rapa wrote about last week. I hated it. HATED! I'm a live-concert-only lover of Craig Finn and co., since talk-singing, for me, isn't my iPod preference. So you'd think I would love this sing-singy effort. But lines like "I don't want you to settle/ I want you to grow" make me want to barf. CH Speaking of the Puffy One, I can't get enough of his Bad Boy signee Janelle Monae's new album The ArchAndroid. It simultaneously feels both throwback and like nothing I've ever heard before. Here's a woman whose voice is on par with Whitney who doesn't feel the need to belt it on a constant basis. She understands that her voice is just another instrument in her arsenal. God, she's just so good. All I want to do is talk about how good she is. Wanna join me and do just that in the comments? ME
Filed Under: Weekend Omnibus
|Best part of this picture? Newton Buchanan, aka "The Dancin' Creeper," behind Curio's Gong Show host/Chuck Barris for the evening Paul Kuhn.|
Filed Under: ActivismCalling all culture vultures: There are plenty of opportunities in the coming month to support your favorite Philly arts organizations. We're shouting out five such fundraisers right here, but leave a comment to let us know if we've left anything out. In chronological order for easy day-planner planning: PAINTED BRIDE >> For its 40th anniversary shindig, the Painted Bride is recognizing way too many past curators for us to name in this post, but here are a few: choreographer Terry Fox, poet Major Jackson, tabla virtuoso Lenny Seidman (the list really does go on). Artists of the City 2010, hosted by Greg Giovanni, will be held at the Painted Bride on Sat., June 5, at 7 p.m., and will feature performances from Rennie Harris Puremovement, Kun Yang/Lin Dancers and many more; tickets are $55, $20 of which is tax-deductible. P.S., dessert's provided by Franklin Fountain, which may actually be reason enough to get you there. FIRST PERSON ARTS >> On June 13, First Person Arts is sending storyteller extraordinaire Michael McCarry to the 2010 Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest to compete in the first-ever national story slam. (According to FPA, Mike's a "poet turned baseball player turned car salesman, equal parts skeptic and hopeless romantic," which makes him a worthy contender.) But he needs help getting there: FPA's asking for donations to cover the champion Story Slammer's plane ticket and travel expenses, and their goal is $600 by Mon., June 7. Watch a video of Mike kicking D.C.'s ass here, and click here to donate whatever you can. MIRO DANCE THEATRE >> If you're like us and missed last night's Miro Mash Up #3 due to various lame excuses related to season finales of television shows (ahem, Fringe), there's still time to redeem yourself: Mash Up #4 is scheduled for Sat., June 19, 6:30 p.m., at the Kimmel Center. According to Miro's website, it'll feature "best of" performances, plus special guests (I wouldn't be surprised if Toy Soldiers make an appearance); the show's part of the Kimmel's annual all-night Summer Solstice party, so it's kind of the perfect place for a culminating performance. Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased right here. NICHOLE CANUSO DANCE CO. >> Last year's NCDC fundraiser at Johnny Brenda's was a blast a J.J. Tiziou photo booth, silent auction (I may or may not have walked away with a gigantic basket full of Godiva chocolates and massage gift certificates), crazy-weird performances from Canuso and co., and Dito van Reigersberg running around in 6-inch heels. (Work it, girl!) Expect nothing less for the company's Second Annual Benefit Cabaret, to be held at Triumph Brewing Co. on Thu., June 17, 8:30 p.m. More, in fact: Watch for tarot card readings, carnival games and performances from The Mural and the Mint, Charlotte Ford and many, many more. Tickets are $13 ahead of time, $20 at the door or $60 if you want VIP pre-party tix; hook yourself up here. THEATRE EXILE >> Just got word about this one today: Theatre Exile's moving back to the Christ Church Neighborhood House in Old City after patiently waiting two years for renovations, so they're throwing a big bash to celebrate their homecoming. Cabaret of the Exiled, held Wed., June 23, at 8 p.m., will be emceed by none other than Pearce Bunting, and in addition to cabaret performances (by folks like Karen Getz, Dave Jadico, Johnny Showcase and many more), snacks and booze, they'll also host a silent auction (I'm particularly intrigued by the "river house vacation" bit). Tickets run $25-$50 and can be purchased here.
Filed Under: Kaleidoscopic
|Bluegrass cufflinks, $50|
The most eye-catching work I discovered at last weekend's Art Star fest also happens to be the most profane. Asheville, N.C.-based Betsy Carr, proprietress of the Found*ling jewelry line (thefoundling.com), finds simple words in storybooks, dictionaries and maps and pairs them up to create sweet and/or sassy phrase jewelry think "blue grass" cuff links (pictured), "little flash" drop earrings and my personal favorite, "the shit" necklace. Here's to being cocky and precious at the same time.
INTERVIEW with RYAN PHILLIPPE: "I've worked with Clint Eastwood, Robert Altman, Ridley Scott and Chaka from Land of the Lost."
|Phillippe (left) in MacGruber, with Will Forte and Kristin Wiig|
This is the greatest thing I've ever seen in my life.
Thank you, Vulture, thank you.
Filed Under: TVCraig Kilborn, the first host of the Daily Show and former CBS late night fixture, will return to TV after a six-year hiatus with The Kilborn Files, a snarky take on current events and pop cutlure. And guess what, all of five of you Kilborn fans? Philadelphia is one of the test markets for the show, which will air on Fox and replace one of the syndicated sitcoms in the 6:30, 7 or 7:30 p.m. slots, beginning June 28. Variety reports:
"The Kilborn Files" will have the host offer opinions on pop culture and current events. He'll also have guests and a "power panel" that will weigh in on the issues of the day. [snip]Chicha also said the comparisons to "The Daily Show" might be slightly premature. Also, with "The Daily Show" on basic cable, Stewart and his team have more leeway in terms of language and content than Kilborn on Fox's O&Os. "I'm not sure it'll be as political as that," he said. "I don't know if it's going in that direction. It might be less politics and more pop culture."Awesome! A neutered version of The Daily Show? Sigh, cue The Simpsons reruns.
Collectors of pretty things, take note: Every week, 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 stalk on the regular. While shopping in the Gayborhood last week, we stumbled upon Verde (108 S. 13th St., 215-546-8700, verdephiladelphia.com), and holy hell were we impressed. Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran, the women behind BYOBs Bindi and Lolita, opened this gift shop about a year ago, and we lament not coming here sooner. Because wow. Tons of freshly cut flowers, planters, jewelry, accessories, bags, candles, even artisanal Marcie Blaine-brand chocolate basically the perfect one-stop shop for gifts for girls (ahem, June 26, cough cough). Verde's website is pretty basic, so below we're sharing a few items from our favorite brands, all of which have goods for sale at the store (call for price and availability). There's tons more to see, too, so stop by next time you're in the 'hood.
- Vintage Peacock candles by West Third
- Eden perfume with fresh greens, cassis, white iris and bronzed musk by Tokyo Milk
- I Want Candy lacquer set by Butter London
- Artisanal chocolates, made in-house at Verde by Marcie Blaine
- Antique Bird Cage scarf by Snoozer Loser
- Rubber Chicken earrings on sterling-silver ear wires by Maggie Wood Designs
Filed Under: Printed Matter
|Photo | James Haskins|
|David Strathairn stars in the Wilma Theater's production of Leaving|
- A.D. Amorosi examines former Czech Republic President Václav Havel's first new play in 20 years, Leaving, which lands at the Wilma on Wednesday. Its tone is elegiac, but don't let that fool you into thinking this is Havel's swan song.
- CP film critic Cindy Fuchs chats with Alex Gibney, director of the Jack Abramoff documentary Casino Jack and the United States of Money.
- Dance-party impresario Dave P. guest-writes a top-10 list of his favorite moments of Making Time, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this Saturday.
- For this month's edition of Full Exposure, John Vettese reviews Ruth Humpton's photography exhibit at 3rd Street Gallery. The pros: Humpton uses hand-coloring to "bring the scene alive"; the cons: One image "looks like prog rock album art."
- In Aid or Invade, Rodney Anonymous gives Portugal some help despite Ana Moura's "monotonously competent" new album.
- Sam Adams gives Looking for Eric a B+ in this week's Flick Pick. The film, directed by Ken Loach, is a throwback to his best work, "winning stories of working-class life whose politics were integrated rather than smeared on top."
- Movie Shorts on Casino Jack (A), Mother and Child (B-), OSS 117: Lost in Rio (B-), Princess Ka'iulani (C-) and Shrek Forever After (C+)
- Kaleidoscope quick hits on American Idol, Riff-Raff, the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival and Found*ling jewelry
- Arts Picks on Momix, The Screwtape Letters and more
- Music Picks on Visqueen, The Mural and the Mint and more
- Album Reviews on Damien Jurado, David Cross and Kurt Vile, plus an Erykah-centered One Track Mind
- Agenda goodies like Icepack, a Gong Show tribute, tons of Picks, DJ Nights and Josh Middleton's LGBTQ column, Queer Bait.
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