Archive: July, 2011
Eleven artists are participating "Urban Ingredients," the about-to-expire exhibit at Dalet Gallery in Old City. These eclectic group of artists are bringing personal elements of urban culture to the exhibit — including sculptures, installations and photographs of city graffiti and bike races. "The central subject of this exhibition is not the urban landscape as a whole," says Dalet artistic director Irena Gobernik, "but rather its components and the unique taste of the urban realities, resulting from their interaction and reflection."
The artists involved include Darejan Adamashvili, Charles Anselmo (Remnants #17, pictured), Ricardo Barros, Elena Drozdova, Anna Fox Ryan, Carl Geisler, Lioudmila Koudinova (Russian Brighton #3, pictured), Renzo Oliva, John Pacovsky, James Pryor and Alexander Valdman.
Through Sat., July 30, 141 N. Second St., 215-923-2424, daletart.com.
“This is our first show at Johnny Brenda’s,” said Pete Bernhard, singer and guitarist of The Devil Makes Three. Later: “We like it here. We’ll be back in Philly.”
It was probably the sold out crowd stomping its feet, clapping its hands and singing along that made Bernhard feel so welcome. Before he took the stage, the crowd was warmed up by the Brad Hinton Band’s bluesy country rock, complete with twangy guitar solos and back up singers.
The Devil Makes Three brought the room to life with their acoustic folk quite literally as the floor felt as if it had a heartbeat from everyone moving with the music. It was clear when the acoustic folk trio played new songs simply because no one sang with them. Everyone seemed to know every word to the other tunes Bernhard, guitarist/banjo playin’ Cooper McBean or upright-bass slappin’ Lucia Turino sang. There was hootin’ and hollerin’ and some of the most aggressive applause for folk music any Philly rock ’n’ roll club has seen, putting a round of Philly lovin’ smiles on the band’s faces throughout the night. The crowd was rowdiest when The Devil Makes Three rocked their ode to J.D., “Old Number Seven,” from 2002’s self-titled release, “Aces and Twos,” off of 2009’s Do Wrong Right and the title track from that same album. All night they were right on cue, playing without the slightest bit of doubt and with the look of having one objective: putting some dents in Johnny Brenda’s’ floor by way of getting everyone to stomp along.
When celebrities write novels, we get nervous. (Looking at you, Snook.) But when dreamy singer-songwriters do it, well, we actually expect quite a bit of lyricism, flow and storytelling. Is Josh Ritter up to the task?
Tonight at the Free Library, Ritter will read from his debut work of fiction, Bright's Passage; it's up to you to decide if he's up to literary snuff.
Lee Stabert hashes the whole thing out for us in this week's Agenda:
Idaho-born musician Josh Ritter has already proven that he can entertain and emote over the course of a five-minute folk song. Now he's gone and done it with a novel: His literary debut, Bright's Passage (Dial, June 28), tells the story of Henry Bright, a troubled WWI veteran shouldering the burden of a dead wife, a newborn child and his fraying mind. He sets out from his childhood home in West Virginia under the advice of an ambiguous voice — he calls it an "angel" — he first encountered in France during the war. The prose is taut, the story crisp, and the moral and spiritual implications wonderfully opaque. As in his music, Ritter's quiet intelligence and eye for detail shine, whether he's describing a country breakfast or the midnight dread of a wartime trench.
In anticipation of tonight's talk, we're giving away a copy to one lucky reader who can answer the following trivia question:
What famous writer named Josh Ritter's The Animal Years his favorite album of 2006?
E-mail your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Josh Ritter reading/signing, Thu., July 28, 7:30 p.m., free, Free Library, Central Branch, 1901 Vine St., 215-567-4341, freelibrary.org.
ICE PACK ILLUSTRATED: Peace Creeps, Jersey Shore, American Babies, new Jose Garces spots and the mysterious Sir Benjamin
You have until July 31 to send Sue Golden of Stiletto Shoes fame (18th and Sansom) video footage of yourself being a workout addict. She’s casting gals and guys for a reality show called Gym Ratsz. Hit gymratsz.com for submission info.
After this Sunday’s brunch, Gardenia at the Philadelphia Art Alliance will close so to ready its new dining concept this fall from the same folk you love at Restaurant Associates. No chef is named as of yet but the culinary ideal will be cas-u-al. and re-designed by Elizabeth Knapp of Knapp Interiors who did Xochitl, Percy Street Barbecue and Zahav.
On Aug. 3, poetess Ursula Rucker and guitarist Tim Motzer kick off Street Movies!, a week of Scribe Film events at Fotterall Square at N. 11th and W. York. Hit up scribe.org for info.
That Dancin’ On Air marathon that aired on WPHL Channel 17 last Saturday was #1 in the 18-49 demos for that night in the Philly viewing area. The only TV show that beat the it was Saturday Night Live. Is that good? Maybe. Then again, what re-run did SNL broadcast? And how far off is a Dance Party USA run?
Amongst the dozens of new venues that open weekly, count in AUX, which is the new performance space aside Vox Populi Gallery. Opening night is July 29 and look for the folk from Little Berlin, Bodega and Tiger Strikes Asteroid to show and tell.
Remember a few weeks ago when we Ice Cubed the fact that Brandy Hartley was leaving her longtime production/promotion role at Johnny Brenda’s after five+ years? Well, she wrote me from vacation with her family to say that she was offered and accepted a job at Ticketfly in San Francisco, an event ticketing platform that provide integrated online services for music venues, festivals, and promoters. “I just received a Masters degree in Information Science from the Rutgers University School of Communication and Information and the job is a great blend of my professional experience at Johnny Brenda’s and my academic training at Rutgers,” says Hartley. “It’s a perfect mix of music, technology, and e-commerce.” Eeee.
WHO: Capital J, Direct Feed, Ghost, Ill Omen, Impaler, Syphonik vs Hidro, Switcha, Product 19, Malphunktion, Data Conversion, Jeff Omega
WHAT: After a brief hiatus, Konkrete Jungle Philly returns to the scene with this party, where they’ve teamed up with Light It Up Productions. and the New Junglist Massive. As always, the main room will feature raging drum 'n’ bass and jungle all night long, while the upstairs lounge will be pumping with house and other four-on-the-floor sounds. Look out for Toronto’s legendary Captial J, who'll do his part to gear this party up to be a raving good time.
WHEN & WHERE: Fri., July 29, 10 p.m.-5 a.m., $10-$15, Play Nightclub, 714 E. Girard Ave., 215-625-7900.
WHY: The party features music in two rooms and it's going until 5 a.m. Duh!
CP's Kelsey McGlynn embarks on a hood-specific summertime boutique crawl.
Adresse, 1706 Locust St., 215-985-3161
When shopping in Rittenhouse, it's easy to overlook Adresse tucked away on Locust between 17th and 18th streets. This high-end boutique features designers such as Valentino, Araks, Jenni Kayne and Ferragamo and a very exclusive atmosphere. The clothing is perfect for both casual and fancy events, and the pieces will last you a long time, which helps soften the blow of the expensive price tags. I was most impressed by the elegant shoe collection. Lining the walls in the backroom, there was a heel for every occasion. The store itself is well-organized, which makes shopping stress-free. For most, it's too pricey for an every-day type of shopping excursion, but it's an ideal hidden gem when your on the lookout for that stand-alone, special-event piece.
Natural hair care products are picking up steam in today's beauty market. To keep you up-to-date on what's out there, City Paper's Cassie Owens is spearheading a weeklong series that highlights locally based natural product manufacturers.
I could write that Steve Duross of Duross & Langel (117 S. 13th St., 215-592-SOAP) is passionate about soap, but that would be a severe understatement. “I have to say, “ he told me, “that the time that I spend in the kitchen making the products — that’s what I love. It’s like that movie Like Water for Chocolate. Like it’s … all my good feelings, good intentions, they’re all happening when I’m up in the kitchen.”
Duross & Langel’s products are not just backed by good intentions. The acumen behind their natural concoctions is profound. Steve Duross is a master soapmaker with a degree in cosmetology. Combining inventive formulas and grass-roots philosophy, it seems that Duross & Langel rarely disappoints. They are a mainstay in Philly’s Best of Yelp and continue to be one of the city’s best-reviewed shopping destinations.
The store embodies a “360-degree approach” to natural soaps and cosmetics. They support the greener, more sustainable options at every turn. They manufacture their products in store using 96 percent botanicals (a very high percentage,) source their ingredients locally and package in bottles and jars made in the tri-state area and bags and boxes made from 100% recycled paper.
The hair care line is really exciting. They offer moisturizing, pH balanced options for an array of hair types. I decided to try the hair mask, and no, I don’t have a single criticism. Anyone looking for products that are equally cosmetically beneficial and environmentally conscious should take a trip to the store.
Today’s giveaway features their coconut lime conditioner. It’s weightless, geared toward every hair type and cool for daily use. A top seller, it has a great scent that’s perfect for summer. To win, email your zaniest hair care story to me at email@example.com by Fri., July 29. We'll announce the winner and post a few of the best stories on Monday. Was it as disastuh? How’d you work it out? We want to know.
The 2010 BBC sitcom Whites is available as a Hulu exclusive, with new (to us) episodes coming every Wednesday. The comedy stars Alan Davies (executive chef of a fancy British hotel), Darren Boyd (the ambitious sous chef) and The IT Crowd's Katherine Parkinson (the restaurant manager). This somewhat dark comedy is probably too dry and slowbuilding to catch on over here as a web exclusive. But if you have the spare attention span, it's worth checking out. There are only a handful of characters so you don't have the learning curve of big ensembles like The Office. The dialogue is witty and usually realistic.
The first two episodes are currently on Hulu, with new ones being released every Wednesday. There are very few secondary characters, like Kiki (the impossibly unintelligent waitress) or Skous (the sous chef's eager assistant).
British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding took the stage at the Electric Factory last night to perform songs off her albums Lights and its follow-up re-release Bright Lights.
Opening act Bag Raiders churned out beat-driven, synth-heavy dance music. They are an electro-pop group made up of Australian DJs Chris Stracey and Jack Glass. Their half-hour set started slow but gained momentum as Stracey danced and kicked his way around the stage, singing to crowd-favorites like “Sunlight” and “Shooting Stars.” At one point, he reached into the audience to pull someone on stage. (Whoever it was that grabbed his hand refused to come up, however.)
Some 45-minutes later, Goulding took the mic in black mini-shorts, a leather jacket and super-high leopard-print platform shoes as the crowd chanted her name. The ethereal-looking bleached blonde singer wasted no time launching into her first song, “Under the Sheets.” After she had finished, she addressed the audience: “It’s great to be here in Philadelphia — I’m honored and humbled to see you all.”
Neighborhood Watch looks for Philly’s most fashionable. This week, while everyone seemed to be taking a heat-induced fashion break, Diana and Kelsey found one young lady who didn't let the boiling temps keep her from bringing the cute.
Annie proves that 100-degree days can be pretty, too
We caught up with Annie (20) walking through City Hall on her way back to work. She was sporting a cardigan from Target that was “under 20 dollars, the best kind of fashion," and a feminine ruffled skirt in cream. She added an Italian touch to her outfit with a beautiful glass necklace from Milan.
Annie told us that she was really into the term ‘high-waisted.’ High-waisted skirts, pants, shorts — she loves it all because the pieces are usually “comfortable and flattering.”
Annie’s fashion secret is “to wear whatever mood you’re in and go with how you feel.” She elaborated by telling us that if you wake up and feel great, dress that way, but that also means you have some days when you don’t look your best, and that’s okay, too. This summer she’s on the prowl for the perfect pashmina to dress up her favorite t-shirts.
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