Archive: July, 2011
When I was little I had some odd notions about what I wanted to be when I grew up. Instead of a ballerina, I wanted to be a professional LEGO builder. Instead of a teacher, I wanted to get paid to draw Marvin the Martian. And, of course, I wanted to be Indiana Jones, or at least Short Round. At five feet tall, I may have more luck as the latter, but there is hope in the world for Indiana wannabees — and his name is Charles Brewer Carias.
The dentist-turned-explorer has done pretty much everything possible, and seemingly impossible, in his native Venezuela. The son of a British diplomat, Carias was raised in European, upper-crust circles. Yet, his Victorian upbringing didn’t stop him from getting his hands dirty. A trained dentist for 20 years, he has used his schooling to help the Yekuana tribe, whose language he speaks fluently. Carias has trekked in the most foreign landscapes of Venezuela, discovering the world’s largest sinkholes on a mountain top and the largest quartzite cave. In his over 200 treks he has had over 30 plants and animal species named after him and has written six books.
Soon the senior will embark on a trip to El Dorado, but before he leaves you can catch him right here in Philly as he discusses his life and discoveries. Hosted by British group The Adventurists and backed by Hendrick’s Gin, the Union League will have the honor of presenting this legendary man. So while you might not have had the chance to become the firefighter or astronaut that you had wanted to be, meet one man that continues to outdo his childhood dreams.
Sat.,July 9, 4-9 p.m., The Union League, 140 S. Broad St., theadventurists.com/events/afternoon-tea.
Devoted poet/avid concert-goer/nerd-grrrl extraordinaire Jane Cassady's weekly horoscopes run in this space every Friday morning.
Cancer (June 22-July 23): Like Nancy Botwin, Weeds' drug-dealing former housewife protagonist, you can never resist the stormy pull of curiosity — tell her not to look in the tunnel, and down she goes, all the way to Mexico. You can follow paths the way Nancy does, though not so darkly, and maybe not in such high heels.
Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): It is surprisingly fun to spend your day off editing, or checking for clerical errors, or checking off any number of sensible to-do list boxes. Just be sure you do something nice and impractical afterward, like making a kite out of neckties, blowing candy bubbles or picking out new sparkly shoes.
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): “There’s a blush for won’t, a blush for shan’t, / a blush for having done it: / There’s a blush for thought, a blush for naught, / and a blush for just begun it.” (John Keats) Collect blushes like ribbons and make a pretty nest.
Pop the collar on your polo and head over to National Mechanics tomorrow night for a showdown like no other — Philadelphia’s first Broetry Slam.
No, not poetry. Broetry.
Participants will be asked to read their work in front of a live audience and a panel of judges, including the author of Broetry: Poetry for Dudes (Quirk Books, July 5), Brian McGackin. Just be sure the theme is bro-specific (ideas: beer, girls, lacrosse and all-around frattiness) before taking the mic.
Prizes will be awarded for the best performances, with the grand prize-winner earning the title of “Broet Laureate.” Even better: The winning poem, along with a video of its delivery, will be published on quirkbooks.com and geekadelphia.com.
Broetry Slam, Fri., July 8, 8-11 p.m., free, National Mechanics, 22 S. Third St., nationalmechanics.com.
The twelve long years of no Soundgarden are coming to a close. Next Wednesday, the reunited grunge-era stoner-rock gods will be playing @ the Festival Pier. The following night, they'll tear down the Borgatta. If you're reading this, I sure hope you already have tickets!
I've been keeping a close eye on their setlists (courtesy of www.setlist.fm), and I'm happy to report that — while their sets from the most recent five nights of their current tour are somewhat uniform — Cornell and company have a really good handle on what their best songs are. Take a look at this set from this Tuesday night in Ottawa:
"Searching With My Good Eye Closed'
"Let Me Drow"
"Jesus Christ Pose"
"The Day I Tried to Live"
"Blow Up the Outside World"
"Fell on Black Days"
"Burden in My Hand"
"Black Hole Sun"
"Beyond the Wheel"
"Slaves & Bulldozers"
The only really important song in their catalog that has been missing is "Pretty Noose." In fact, songs from Down on the Upside are somewhat under represented in general (with the exceptions, of course, of "Burden in my Hand" and "Blow up the Outside World," which you're pretty much guaranteed to hear). Other classics that aren't listed above, but you have a decent chance of hearing include "4th of July," "Room a Thousand Years Wide" and "Face Pollution."
To get you in the mood, here's a live performance of "Beyond the Wheel," recorded in Seattle about a year ago, just after the reunion announcement was made.
- POP PHILOSOPHY: Casey ra se ra
- 10-TRACK MIND: A stupid dead kitty and the stupid life it led
- THE SHOWDOWN: The most surprising of all
- City Paper's music section
ICEPACK ILLUSTRATED: El Malito in his Captain America Undies, Pauly D and Joe Piscopo with Smoking Joe
The last time I happened onto a performance from El Malito — Philly’s Puerto Rican hustler of electro-hip hop and not the Mexican gangster wanted for murder — he was at Rogue’s Gallery with DJ Starkey and he was taking down his pants during “Platypus” to reveal Captain America underwear. Oh my. You can see that here if you so choose. Movie product tie in or not — and by overwhelming demand — El Malito’s next appearance at Rogue’s is this Friday July 8 with special guest Shawn Kilroy, another performer who may very well drop his drawers if you ask nicely.
July is Adena Halpern’s month. The Philly-raised scribbler that I interviewed last year (see here) was a writer on the Jen Aniston/Kevin Spacey/Charlie Day comedy Horrible Bosses which opens this week as well as the author of a new novel, Pinch Me, that’s due out next week. Brava.
In March 1981, Cyndy Drue interviewed Bono for her KYW-TV The Rock N’ Roll Show. In anticipation of U2’s show at the Linc on July 14, Drue and Bono’s first ever American TV appearance will air on Larry Kane’s Voice of Reason show on the Comcast Network at 9:30 p.m. on July 10. I’ll have more from Drue next week about that 1981 show at the Bijou U2 was in town for.
Goldstar Park is where the South Philly Food Co-Op sets up camp for the next several Thursdays starting July 7 at 7 p.m. Aloha.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Cuba Libre’s 10th anniversary this month. I stopped by the three-tier Old City emporium of Cuban delicacies and found a new menu produced by executive chef and partner Guillermo Pernot exceptional as always. Not only has the king of the ceviche produced four new raw and marinated faves (try the big eye tuna) Pernot is doing a truffle and citrus marinated octopus to die for and a different Hemingway-inspired fish item (I had the marlin) throughout July. Plus Pernot’s filled the mezzanine with a gallery’s worth of photos that he snapped during his last trip to Cuba. Look too for new signage to go up on the front of Cuba Libre any day. “After 10 years, it’s about time we got something up so that people knew we were here,” laughs CL co-owner Larry Cohen who has been scouting new Cuba Libre locations in Atlanta and Boston.
I was 13 in 1995, living in New York, watching the Knicks in the playoffs. The game was interrupted to show an aerial view of a white Ford Bronco driving down a highway. Borrring!! Little did I know that during the next year or two, the most popular thing for adults to put on TV was going to be a trial. I was soon to learn the real meaning of boring. Those particular proceedings meant nothing to me, because I didn't know (or care) about O.J. Simpson.
Now I turn on the TV and I see Casey Anthony. Another individual who means nothing to me, and I have to wonder why is she on TV? Quite frankly, for a few days leading up to Fourth of July, Anthony was the news.
And yet she wasn't. She was ON the news but everybody knows that she wasn't news. "Massive Dust Storm Envelops Phoenix" is news. "President Obama Signs a Such and Such" is news. Casey Anthony is reality TV. It's rubbernecking on some trial with one or two unusual lies — enough to really only get a handful of people curious about it. But all it would take is six or seven people in Center City standing and pointing at Love Park to make you go, "Hey, what's going on over there, I should check it out." And then you get there and say, "Oh, that? Who gives a ****?" but it's too late because nothing draws a crowd like a crowd.
Each week, Emily Apisa puts together a rundown of book-centric events that’ll keep you “lit” like a firecracker all week long.
Wednesday: The cover and title of Karen White’s The Beach Trees might imply that the book is simply a breezy read suitable for sufside perusal, but White goes deeper here. She intertwines stories from the past and the present slowly unraveling a family’s secrets in post-Katrina Mississippi. White will be signing copies of her book at this author event. Wed., July 6, 7 p.m., free, Barnes & Noble (Downtown), 1805 Walnut St., 215-665-0716.
Thursday: Sapphire became a household name when the movie adaptation of her novel Push depicted a cruel reality faced by the underprivileged and unloved. In her newest book, Sapphire tells the story of Precious’s child. In The Kid, orphanages pass Abdul Jones around the country and he finds solace in his own thoughts. At this event, Sapphire will read excerpts from the brutal reality she created for Abdul Jones to face. Thu., July 7, 7:30 p.m., free, Free Library of Philadelphia (Central Branch), 1901 Vine St., 215-567-4341.
Friday: Panoramic Poetry gives a voice to Philly’s aspiring and established poets. The event hosted every second and third Friday is emceed by Crucial who says, “Poetry is me, and I am definitely poetry.” Featured readers must register in advance. Fri., July 8, 7:30, $5-7, October Gallery, 6353 Greene St., 215-629-3939.
CP reporter Andy Polhamus set his iPod to shuffle. This is where it led him ...
1. Stiff Little Fingers – “Barbed Wire Love” This punk classic is a tongue-in-cheek love song about a romance that occurs on the battlefield. Whether it’s heterosexual or not is up to you, but the line “the device in your pants was out of sight” should serve as a hint.
2. Bouncing Souls – “K8 Is Great” While listening to this song, I realized that my high school ska band accidentally stole the chords from at least four Bouncing Souls songs when I was 15. Woops. But it’s appropriate, really; "K8 Is Great" is a ‘90s anthem about growing up and falling in line.
3. Ann Beretta - “Not Invited” From the Richmond, Va. pop punk outfit’s final album, Not Invited is sort of a poor man’s “Sugar, We’re Going Down.” And I mean that in the best possible way. Ann Beretta walked the line between the emo-influenced punk that overtook the alternative charts in the early 2000s and its more straightforward cousin from fifteen years ago way before Fall Out Boy ruined it for everybody.
4. Weather Report – “Teen Town” From the seminal jazz fusion album Heavy Weather comes a sax- and bass-driven instrumental that’s half Sanford and Son, half bong hit. And any Weather Report fan will tell you that this is perfect driving music. Try it on your way home from work today, sans bong.
Neighborhood Watch usually looks for Philly’s most fashionable. This week, however, Diana and Kelsey look for fashionistas while Fourth of Julying at the Shore.
Michaela sports her Fourth of July best
Michaela (18) was celebrating the Fourth outside of her rustic beach home in Avalon, New Jersey. This proud patriot was sporting a truly American outfit. Her blue and white striped dress was from Forever 21, her red bow and sandals were from American Apparel and her blue vintage earrings were from a local Philly thrift store.
This summer, Michaela is on the hunt for the perfect romper. When shopping she looks for the “three C's: comfy, cute and casual.” She also favors funky headbands and hair accessories.
Michaela told us that if her style were a summer getaway spot, it would be “a laidback and classy Grecian getaway with a Mediterranean panache.” She likes to pair boyfriend fit sweaters with tight fitting skirts, the perfect comfortable combo of transitional day to nightwear.
Wednesday: Combining the past and future can make for a great movie plot, but The Mutaytor do it with music. Part electronic dance symphony, part rollicking ragtime troupe, the group fuses pounding synthesizers with traditional acoustical instruments for a whimsically anachronistic sound. In addition to their music, The Mutaytor features a variety of circus-esque performance artists, often including trapeze, fire dancing and contortion. It’s a multisensory experience several disparate centuries in the making. w/ EZ Almighty & Coyote, 9 p.m., $8-$10, The Blockley, 3801 Chestnut St., 215-222-1234.
Thursday: Every musical instrument has, make that needs a champion. I don’t mean someone who plays it better than anyone else (though that is often the case), but someone to show off the device’s capabilities and encourage others to try playing it for themselves. For the ukulele, the virtuosic Jake Shimabukuro is that champion. Originally a viral video sensation, the Hawaiian musician has become an international sensation. His renditions of well-known rock and pop songs are breathtaking, and his original compositions demonstrate the ukulele’s often overlooked range. w/ Ilo Ferreira, 7:30 p.m., $32-$45, World Café Live, 30th St. & Walnut St., 215-222-1400.
Friday: Reggae-sweetened rock is something that’s guaranteed to bring a smile to any face. The New Connection continue the legacy of bands like The Police and latter-day Specials by crafting a tasteful yet fun mix of the tropically smooth and the jaggedly punk. With their reputation rising thanks to a newly released album, The New Connection is a local band to keep an eye and ear on. w/ Spring Standards, Lightninging & Evergreen, 9 p.m., $10, North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar St., 215-787-0488.
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