Archive: June, 2012
Every Friday, Ryan Carey covers the people and events that are giving Philly the giggles.
The third episode of Down The Show — produced by Abigale Bruley and a team of Philly comedians — opens with an introduction by Kids in the Hall funnyman Kevin McDonald. The first sketch features a hilarious '80s-beer-commercial-style music video, in which the brewskies are swapped out for milk. Babes and studs frolic around in the sand and surf, guzzling quarts of 2 percent. Other noteworthy sketches include a commercial for the "My Talking Henry Rollins" doll, which has already made splashes on Philebrity and the Fuck Yeah Henry Rollins Tumblr, and the life doldrums of a baby standup comedian in "Baby Louie."
The centerpiece of the episode is a particularly entertaining sketch called "The Future Of Discourse (pictured above)," which stars members of former Philly sketch group The Sixth Borough Corey Cohen and Jason Messina (the sketch was written by Cohen). Two dudes at an office restroom are yakin' about their latest gadgets, and the dialogue is positively gibberish ... yet eerily familiar.
Christians have Christmas, veterans have Memorial Day and James Joyce fans have Bloomsday. If you're unfamiliar with the mid-June celebration, it's the day Leopold Bloom — the protagonist in Joyce's Ulysses — traversed Dublin on what was to be one of the more epic days ever recorded. Considered one of the first and most thorough examples of modernist literature, Ulysses gained widespread attention for its stream-of-consciousness format, employing puns, parodies and allusions to create 1,000 pages based on a single day in time. The revolutionary novel continues to inspire writers and lit-heads to this day, culminating in annual Bloomsday celebrations worldwide.
If you can't make it to his native Dublin, Philadelphia is a stelar second choice for where to spend the literary holiday: Our own Rosenbach Museum (2008-2010 Delancey Place) proudly holds the original Ulysses manuscript, making it the forerunner in regional Bloomsday festivities. Along with various Joyce-related tours and events happening all week, the museum is holding a all-day reading of Ulysses tomorrow from noon to 7 p.m. BBC host Frank Delaney is this year's featured reader, setting the proper tone for this completely free, fairly nerdy reading extravaganza. Bring your copy of the book, a good pair of reading glasses and join the universal throng of Joyce fans as they pay their respects to the father of modernist lit.
Devoted poet/avid concert-goer/nerd-grrrl extraordinaire Jane Cassady’s weekly horoscopes run in this space every Friday morning.
Gemini (May 19-June 21): “You are encouraged to change your mind,” maybe even sort through all of the things you’ve said “no” to and try a “yes” here and there. Overturn all of your old thought structures like tilling the soil.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): “Tears and laughter are both welcome,” so feel free to emote up a storm this week. Recreational crying is underrated and forced laughter is overused. Be authentic above all else.
Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): “If you’re a YES, say YES. If you’re a NO, say NO.” If you’re a “give me a little quiet when I get home from work” or a “make out with me emphatically and at length,” then say those things too.
The glint of 23-karat gold immediately catches my eye.
Lining one of the first walls of the Fleisher Ollman Gallery (1616 Walnut Street, suite 100) is Kate Abercrombie's 20 Great American Films, a series of small canvases hinting at figures, some familiar and others more esoteric. Is that E.T.? Marilyn Monroe? Someone from some DVD cover lost in the folds of my memory?
This sense of almost-certainty pervades "A Complete Die, etc.," on view through August 14. The focal point, or "vortex," as curator Anthony Campuzano describes it, is the dice collection of Justin Mitchell. Several large cases in the center of the room contain seemingly infinite dies of all shapes, sizes and colors with symbols ranging from numbers to astrological signs to unfamiliar, rune-like marks.
Eight artists here respond to the "multiple components, fractured surfaces and formal elements" of Mitchell's dice collection, Campuzano explains. Mitchell also has a series of lambda prints, with colorful shapes that hover somewhere between the digital and the architectural. They seem at first to be buildings, or walls perhaps, but the more I look the uneasier I feel. What are they?
Moving through the gallery, the paintings, installations and mixed media pieces by John Finneran, Mark Mahosky, Zach Harris, Jessica Mein, Anissa Mack and Karen Kilimnik instill a similar feeling. These works combine mediums of ink, gouache, wood, sheet metal, birch plywood and even arrowheads, in the case of Mack's stark juxapositions of rock and bright acrylic.
Each artist considers color, symmetry and the collection in a manner that is disorienting but also quite enchanting. Like the thrill of anticipation in the moments just after releasing a die, before it is clear where it will settle.
After Real Housewife of New York Ramona Singer freaked out and hauled ass from the photogs at Parx Casino several weeks ago, it’s nice to see the saner side (if that’s what you require from reality stars) of the Bravo network’s lady-centric crew at work, promoting themselves without too much drama.
Real Housewife (NJ division) Teresa Giudice fanned-out and flashed copies of her new New York Times best-seller (!?) Fabulicious! as well as her other (two other in fact, both on the Times’ list) Pulitzer-nominated tomes to a huge crowd at the University Book Store on Wednesday night. She’s no genius but she’s brilliant at figuring out what down-to-earth foodies want to know about home-cooked Italian dishes and how to appeal to viewers of stale-air fare like Celebrity Apprentice.
Meanwhile, ex-Real Housewife (NYC division) Bethenny Frankel debuted her somewhat ribald talk show, Bethenny (Fox 29 weekdays) with a Philly blitz this week that included hanging at Xfinity Live with 95.7 BEN-FM’s Marilyn Russell and Good Day Philadelphia’s Mike Jerrick, co-hosting Jerrick's morning gig and a nosh at Talula's Garden. After having chatted with her about her lecture series and her Skinnygirl drink line in the past, I can attest that this lady’s sharp as a tack with a quick answer for every dumb question and a nearly witty quip (she ain’t Oscar Wilde, kids) for every situation. The talk show isn’t half bad either. Sheesh.
Jose Garces may be busy at the Kimmel Center, readying his work-in-progress restaurant on the first floor for early autumn. But rumor has Jose eyeballing a tony taco-teria for North Broad Street near the Vie/Alla Spina/Route 6 complex. Stay away from Cobra. They ain’t looking for company.
Crooner Eddie Bruce will host the 10th Gary Papa Run for Prostate Cancer, June 17, at Philly’s Museum of Art. “Gary was special,” says Bruce who has done the honors three years running.
Philly event planner Lindsay Furman is now on NBC’s Love in the Wild, dropping into the action last Tuesday after the jungle dating show started weeks previous. Wish Furman would take the host gig from Jenny McCarthy. Too annoying.
Last time we saw Wes Pentz — Philly’s Diplo to you — he was at the Roots Picnic debuting new Major Lazer tracks (like “Bubblebutt”) and whipping off his shirt (Dip needs a workout for that flabalanche he’s having). Catch him debuting his solo EP Express Yourself and talking about it on NPR's All Things Considered here.
Here's a vid from this week's Lunctime Concert Series, a free show in Center City that happens once a week at noon through August 29 (see complete schedule here). This time around, rockabilly outfit Gas Money performed at 1500 Centre Square on Market St. While most attendees were on their lunch break, I talked to quite a few who were straight-up ditching work to enjoy the beautiful day and catch some live tunes.
The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus (PGMC) humbly began with four men singing carols in gay bars. Since then, the organization has grown into the premiere men’s chorus in the Philadelphia region, boasting a roster of over 100 members and myriad milestones. Tomorrow at 8 p.m., PGMC is celebrating three decades of history and achievements with "Legacy: Celebrating 30 Years Towards Harmony," a concert that aims to showcase the best of the group through a variety of songs, at Prince Music Theater (1412 Chesnut St., 215-731-9230).
The artistic director for the event, Joe Buches, explains, “We are always looking to reach new audiences [through] a varied repertoire, it is my goal to have music that will speak to many people.” His eclectic song selection will include choral classics like “Brothers, Sing On” and “Hallelujah, Amen,” as well as contemporary fare from Madonna and the Disney musical Newsies.
Legacy also marks the world premiere of “Raise Our Voice,” a newly commissioned work with lyrics by the Equality Forum's Chip Alfred and music by Michael Djupstrom. Alfred wrote the lyrics after conducting a series of interviews with PGMC members and listening to their stories. It is a piece that “speaks to the history of the Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus and why it was formed” and a testament to why the organization “continues to remain strong after 30 years.”
Every Wednesday, Chris Brown digs into our listings bin and pulls out a little something something to do every day of the week. This week? Bloomsday puppets, Dark Sisters and a make-your-own-Father's-Day-card sesh.
As the Rosenbach's annual Bloomsday festivities descend upon us, reacquaint (or perhaps introduce) yourself to Joyce's seminal classic with "Go Ulysses!". This performance by award-winning outfit Drama of Works features a band of puppets who know the story by heart. Wed., June 13, 6 p.m., $10, Rosenbach Museum & Library, 2008-2010 Delancey Place, 215-732-1600, rosenbach.org.
Local indie rockers The Quelle Source just released a video for "The French Rapture," a song from their 2011 EP of the same name. The band's playing the Goodnight Lights CD release party at Johnny Brenda's (1201 N. Frankford Ave.) Sat., June 16 at 9 p.m. along with "Gothic Americana" folksters The Bailey Hounds.
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