Archive: June, 2012
A few things from Philly’s film front this week. Until we get the hard scoop on who’ll hit downtown first, if at all, this summer — Robert DeNiro, Martin Scorsese or Will Smith (as previously mentioned) — this will have to hold us.
Several weeks ago, we mentioned that Dead Man Down’s last days of filming would happen around (not on) June 20. Tuesday in the late night a.m., yellow fliers popped up around the Italian Market and starting this morning, June 21-22, the Colin Farrell/Terrence Howard film’s final sessions will commence in my neighborhood. The yellow signs are all over Washington, Passyunk at Ninth and the Ellsworth/Kimball area between 7th and 11th streets and state that the filming will go from 9 a.m. Thursday to 9 a.m. Friday. It’ll be a scorcher, gents. Farrell’s Irish. Bring sun block. And fans, this should be your last look-see as he’s said his goodbyes to his hotel and sporting club compadres in town. Greater Philly Film doyenne Sharon Pinkenson confirmed that this is the last shoot.
Tonight’s Barakka show promises the full compliment of players: Baris Kaya (vocals/guitar), Roger Mgrdichian (oud), Joseph Tayoun (darbuka/percussion), Jay Mintz (bass), Jimmy Hamilton (drums) and William Tayoun (keyboard). Some of those names seem show up everywhere the rhythms dare to break through the 4/4 wall? Pretty much.
Billy Tayoun explains, “All of us have of us have been playing all our lives. It wasn’t like there was any pressure, they set an example: dad playing oud, mom played piano. We were all just drawn to music. Even in my piano lesson days there was no pressure practice, but there was always encouragement, positive reinforcement… ‘you sound great.’”
Tayoun continues wistfully, “Without the [bygone Old City club] Middle East, for me and Joe and Roger, we would never have been so versatile. It was a place to experience our culture and to play with all kinds of musicians, Greeks, Turkish, Armenian…” all over that interesting part of the world with its compelling rhythms and fondness for quarter tones.
Tonight’s show is different from the ones where that trio of Middle East alums show up and blend into any number of different traditions from around the Med. Tonight the focus will have the taste of trad, but the focus will be on original compositions by Kaya or Mgrdichian. Tayoun explains, “Baris is an extraordinary musician, and what’s funny, he focused on heavy metal in Turkey, he had to come here to appreciate his folk music.” Expect new tunes infused with folk but undeniably modern as well.
Tonight, Wed., June 20, 5 p.m., $5, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 3260 South St., 215-898-4000. More info here.
Spotify recently compiled a list of Philadelphia's top 10 favorite songs for the month of May.
Philadelphia's top 10 in May:
1. "Call Me Maybe" - Carly Rae Jepsen | This ubiquitous little ditty worked its way into our hearts, our introductions, and onto some very unoriginal college grads’ business cards. And we’re eternally grateful for that, Carly Rae. Stay golden.
2. "Somebody That I Used To Know" - Gotye, Kimbra | This song literally sneaks up on you. The pitter-pattering intro in no way prepares you for the tidal wave that is Gotye’s anguish. Somewhere out there, Gotye’s ex feels like an asshole.
3. "Payphone" - Maroon 5, Wiz Khalifa | “All those fairy tales are full of shit / One more fucking love song, I’ll be sick.” Choice words from a band that made a career off love songs for girls with broken smiles. Hmmm.
4. "We Are Young" feat. Janelle Monae – Fun. | Fun.: giving twentysomething-year-olds license to get melodramatic and weepy at bars since 2011.
5. "Wild Ones" feat. Sia - Flo Rida | This song has chart-topping down to a science: feature a female vocalist making vaguely intelligible noises and insert Flo Rida occasionally rapping.
6. "What Makes You Beautiful" - One Direction | One Direction ensures itself a lifetime of good karma with this feel-good number about making someone feel better about themselves.
7. "Boyfriend" - Justin Bieber | In which a baritone Bieber proves he finally started puberty.
8. "Starships" (explicit version) - Nicki Minaj | We are actively seeking someone to decipher the complex imagery of Nicki’s lyrics. Are the starships a metaphor? For what? PLEASE EXPLAIN, NICKI.
9. "Glad You Came" – The Wanted | Did you catch how the last word of each line in the chorus reappears at the beginning of the next? Nifty lyrical footwork, guys! Guys, is that why the song is so good? Good thing — alright, we’ll stop.
10. "Some Nights" - Fun. | As the only band with two singles on the Spotify Top 10 list, Fun. may prove itself as more than just a one-hit wonder. Or it may just prove Spotify’s “Artist Radio” option is really popular among Philadelphians.
“An uneasy truce” may have been the initial headline when the long estranged membership of the Beach Boys (Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine) buried the hatchet of ego and royalties to celebrate 50 years of sunsets — real, fictional, sensual and sad. In reality, once onstage at Camden’s Susquehanna Center on Saturday with 11 other sonically seafaring stalwarts (including Bruce Johnston who joined in 1965 when Wilson stopped touring, David Marks who was a 13-year-old Boy) all animosities amongst the original members seemed to fade into the waves during their long (47 songs?), solidly played set list.
They weren’t always perfect within the wall-of-barbershop-harmonic sound. Love couldn’t hit all the highs of his past and the game-changing “Good Vibrations” fell short of its historic psychedelic mark. Then again, that’s why God gave us ringers like the cats that Wilson’s used for his Pet Sounds/Smile re-enactment ensembles. They filled in most of the highs, dotted the I’s and nobly sang a few leads. Love also, at times, seemed as creakily wooden as most people assumed Wilson would be with his weirdly moving hands and insistent sales pitching for their new album. Wilson, the legendarily damaged composer/introspective Boy genius seemed present, though distanced, throughout the two sets. His chatty baritone voice was stilted but warm during the plaintive blue-eyed-soul of “Sail on Sailor,” the clunky “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Time” and his parts of the complexly rendered “Heroes and Villains,” the heartbreaking “In My Room,” “Sloop John B,” and a devastating take on “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.”
Tonight, the Cocktail Revue will host Sultry Summer Strumpets, one of the few shows you'll see in the city for $5 that's high on class and low on clothing. The show features a sensuous, lust-inducing drag performance from the lovely Oscar Wildchilde (pictured) and other beautiful drag bods like Miss Mary Wanna, Candy Mayhem, Bianca Dupree and Bravissimo Burlesque's Miss Rose. 10 p.m., $5, Rogue's Gallery Bar, 11 S. 21st St., 215-561-1193. Confim on Facebook.
First of all, how amazing/weird is this video?
Okay. Here's the contest:
- Write a haiku about/inspired by Bonnie Prince Billy/Will Oldham/Palace Music.
- Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Put GIMME BONNIE PRINCE BILLY TICKETS in the subject.
- We'll pick our favorite on, like, Thursday afternoon.
- Yes, we count syllables.
Dan Bejar chants the words “I write poetry for myself, I write poetry for myself” on the second track of the most recent Destroyer album. This mantra offers the clearest insight into what makes the band such a singular force in the indie rock world. For over 15 years, Bejar has made a living bucking cultural trends and appropriating canonical lyrics for his own songs. He experimented with MIDI in 2004’s Your Blues and delved into soft jazz territory with the recently released Kaputt. In fact, the only consistent feature in the nine full lengths that make up the Destroyer catalog is Bejar's convention-shirking tendencies. It was immediately apparent that Destroyer’s live show at Union Transfer was going to be on the singer's terms as well.
Early into the set, Bejar sat beside a mic stand that stood less than three feet from the ground. He spent most of the evening from this location, swigging beer bottles and sipping what could only be vodka on the rocks. When it came time to sing, Bejar stood up, casually crooned his lines and sat back down.
What the singer lacked in energy was compensated by his touring band — a seven-member outfit that included a trumpeter and saxophonist. They played a 12-song set that consisted of an eclectic mix of material from the last five Destroyer albums. The energy and proficiency with which the band played made Bejar seem less like a rock star slacking off than a man who wants the spotlight to illuminate other deserving band members. The show’s dynamic was a reminder that Bejar may be the brains behind Destroyer, but his supporting musicians are the backbone.
Radiohead knows how to make an entrance — onto a stage, into a challenging esthetic wholly their own. On Wednesday night at Camden’s Susquehanna Bank Center, Radiohead — anchored by bald bookend drummer, buoyed by fluid bass lines and glitch-house ambience, led by a nervously romantic yet confidently odd crooner — stood before a multi-hued wall of lights made from 14,000 recycled plastic bottles with live moving panels of the band’s faces and designed a quiet riot that no other band could.
During its two hour+ merger of beautifully fractured noise and nuance, Britain’s ultimate alterna-art rock ensemble embraced nothing from its pre-1997 past. While an epic version of “Lucky” from OK Computer drew silent gasps from the crowd, the whooshing “Paranoid Android” — a gently eerie prog-suite that answered the question “what is Major Tom up to now?” — seemed to stun audience members who had missed the track from previous tour set lists. Instead, Radiohead basked in the mix of the gracious and the grotesque that’s been Kid A, King of Limbs and In Rainbows, its most decidedly difficult atmospheric works.
Thom Yorke was ever-the-front man with his operatic yowl Yorke’s during “Nude,” a processed scowl through “Identikit” and a tender angelic whisper through the finale of “True Love Waits” and the twinkling “Everything in its Right Place.” He pushed his voice through loops and grooved like James Brown in space to the crank of cowbells and mooning bass lines.
Yorke bobbed his ponytail, shook his tiny hips and spoke warmly to the audience on that last night of their American tour (and two nights before the tragic pre-show stage collapse in Toronto) thanking them for support and even introducing song titles (“I hope you like this”). But Radiohead was and is always a band and not a back-up for a wiry singer and the most powerful moments of the set illuminated that dynamic daringly.
With its shifting colored-stage acting as Radiohead’s seventh member, they peeled through the airy Pink Floyd-ian rush of “There There (The Boney King of Nowhere),” a multi-drummer tour-de-force if ever there was. “Bloom” started off the night with a unified stage whisper, a code amongst intimates. The grouchy blues of “I Might Be Wrong” and “Bodysnatchers” — two of a few fleeting moments where Jonny Greenwood cranked his guitar to 12 — was a ramshackle roughhouse. And the night’s most sumptuous moment, the ticklish angular “Give up the Ghost” sounded a heavenly interwoven harmony-filled sigh as it sailed mightily into the night sky of New Jersey and its cool breezes.
Every Monday, Brittany Thomas rounds up the week's sure-bet live shows. This week: Rubblebucket, Wintersleep, The Hundreds in the Hands and more.
Monday: The Hundred in the Hands is a disco-punk band from New York. Infectious vocals backed by warbling synths, intense bass and fast, relentless percussion make this boy/girl duo far more than just your average NYC hype band. 8 p.m., $10, Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N Front St., kungfunecktie.com.
- 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