Archive: September, 2009
I've never been brave enough to abandon society (and regular meals, heat/AC and bathing) completely and go train-hopping for an extended period of time. I've met many people who have, though, and they're some of the wisest, most exciting people I know. And I did do it once ' only from Cumberland, Md. to somewhere in Ohio, but still. The nervousness, the joy of getting away with it, the sky as you've never seen it before at night, the ability to travel cheaply ' it was a thrill.
Amelia Merrik has documented her train-hopping adventures ' or her time of "of being a dirty kidd," as she she says ' in an exhibit titled "A Photographic Journey of Riding Freight Trains Across America." It's going up today, Sept. 11 at Benna's Caf' (Eighth and Warton streets, 215-334-1502). There'll be an opening exhibit from 7 to 9 p.m., and Merrik will be there. Talk to her if you can. I'd be shocked if she didn't have a million wild yarns to tell.
One of the few places where you can satiate your desire to say things like Daddy-O and spell words with a K that are traditionally designated as C-words by the English language, the Hotrod Hoedown and Rock 'n' Roll Rumble celebrates it's 10th anniversary this weekend at Adventureland Park. Expect, as always, a Klassic Kar show (see?), vendors, arts, fashion, bands, burlesque and drive-in movies. Not to mention pin-up worthy girls with bright red lipstick and pompadoured dudes. Check out their promo vid below and go after the jump to see a list of twangerrific bands playing this year's fest.
Subject to changes
7:30 pm - FULL BLOWN CHERRY
9 pm - MR UNLOVED
11 am - SHARKSKINS
12:30 pm - BILLY D. LIGHT TRIO
1:30 pm - ULTRAKINGS
3 pm - MOTOR MORONS
4:30 pm - JET WESTON
6 pm - T>B>A
7:30 pm - ARKHAMS
8:30 - OLD CITY SIDESHOW
9 pm - HELL CAT BURLESQUE
9:30 - REVIVAL PREACHERS
noon - GAS HOUSE GORILLAS
2:30 pm - TWEED SCHADE + THE SUGAR DADDIES
Fri., Sept. 11-Sun., Sept 13, Adventureland Park, 6401 Hulmeville Rd., Bensalem, PA, myspace.com/hotrodhoedown.
Then let's listen to Dinosaur Jr. together and snuggle. Just kidding. You should, however, consider signing up for tonight's Shmitten Kitten Mix Tape Speed Dating event, for which TOO MANY WOMEN HAVE REGISTERED and not enough dudes have. Sez SK blogger Anna Goldfarb: "we have A TON of girls signed up, but we need more guys." Um, what? The opposite of a sausage party? In this town? Yup. Go get 'em, tiger. And if you haven't read the Agenda pick on Mix Tape Dating in this week's paper, here are the deets:
Each of the four events takes place in a different Philly bar or restaurant, and has a unique '90s music theme, like alternative, grunge or emo. (Singles can suggest songs from that genre when they sign up.) Goldfarb hopes that hearing old favorites like Teenage Fanclub and Smashing Pumpkins will not only bring comfort to participants, but also help provide a built-in mutual interest from which attraction can spark.
Each person will meet with 10 to 20 other singles, only for a minute and a half. To avoid the painful crutch of talking about the weather, Goldfarb has provided questions to ask each other, such as "What's the worst bathroom in Philly?" ("I really bond with guys over complaining about stuff," she says.) An exit survey will help uncover any love matches, whose names will then be drawn from a hat, with winners getting a $25 gift card to Cantina for a first date.
It starts at 7 p.m. (actual speed dating at 7:45 p.m. on the dot) at the Khyber (56 S. Second St., 215-238,5888), and costs $5-$8. The music will include songs by Dinosaur Jr. (woo!), Teenage Fanclub, Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, Pixies, Weezer (really? would have put that in the Emo category, but whatevs) and more.
I've been hearing great things about Black Dynamite since its Sundance premiere ' it's just one of those good time movies. This trailer is steeped in big ups to blaxploitation. We're just talking about the trailer here, not even the feature length itself. It's looking and pacing has a Dolemite-y feel to it. I'm also pumped to see Arsenio Hall (who, according to me, should be in more movies because I love Coming to America) and Reno 911's Cedric Yarbrough, pimped to the nines with a fu manchu and some bitchin' sideburns.
Black Dynamite opens in theaters October 16.
|Matthew Sweet and Susana Hoffs:
Unrefined, unrehearsed, unabashedly fun.
"We've only played some of these songs together ' less than once," admitted a sheepish Susannah Hoffs midway through an amiably low-key World Cafe Live set with Matthew Sweet last night.
It kinda showed. There were way more flubs and false starts than you'd expect from a pair of pedigreed power-pop pros playing a bunch of songs they've ostensibly loved for their entire lives ' but then it's not like anybody was complaining. The set wasn't far from a glorified sing-along: a trio of semi-obscure has-beens (Hoffs and Sweet, a.k.a. Sid 'n' Susie, with additional guitarist Paul Chastain joining them for good measure) on stage with three acoustic guitars and a couple bottles of wine, bantering their way through a bunch of under-rehearsed renditions of other people's songs.
But it was amateurish in the best possible way. The duo's love for this material ' mostly familiar tunes plucked from their two albums of classic pop/rock covers (2006's Under The Covers, Vol. 1: The Sixties and a just-released follow-up from the '70s) ' was infectious. It didn't hurt that Hoffs, at an amazingly well-preserved 50-years-old, looks (and sounds) just as stunning as she did in her heyday as the Bangles' head heartthrob. She only grew more endearing the more girlishly flustered she became (she seemed to be holding up a lyric sheet about half the time, which she insisted vehemently was because of her stage fright, and not because she didn't know the songs.) Or that Sweet's adoring cult of fans (count me in) was clearly well represented in the audience. This was clearly a crowd of power-pop geeks ' there were half-joking shouted requests not just for Sweet and Bangles "covers" but also for songs by Chastain's all-but-forgotten '90s band Velvet Crush.
The lengthy encore portion of the show began with a Q&A session (i.e. more banter) on topics including Howard Stern, a forthcoming Bangles record currently being recorded at Sweet's house, Sweet's penchant for Vibram FiveFingers shoes and the possibility of an '80s installment (The Dbs, Let's Active, and Marshall Crenshaw were all mentioned as potential inclusions.) They finished up with a quick sweep back through the '70s (an obscure number from the soundtrack to Beyond the Valley of the Dolls) and '60s (the better-known but very welcome "To Sir With Love," which made me wish they'd seen fit to include some more soul-inflected material on the albums; Hoffs certainly has the pipes for it) before closing the show in the '80s and '90s with a Bangles medley and a nugget from Girlfriend, Sweet's 1991 masterpiece. They satisfied the fans by finally turning to their own material, perhaps offering a de facto preview of volumes 3 and 4, and also reminding us that they've got more than a few classics under their own belts.
I've Seen All Good People/Your Move (Yes)
Willin' (Little Feat)
Second Hand News (Fleetwood Mac)
You're So Vain (Carly Simon)
(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love and Understanding (Elvis Costello)
Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young)
Different Drum (Stone Poneys)
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (Neil Young)
She May Call You Up (The Left Banke)
Hello It's Me (Todd Rundgren)
Couldn't I Just Tell You (Todd Rundgren)
All The Young Dudes (Mott The Hoople)
And Your Bird Can Sing (The Beatles)
Baby Blue (Badfinger)
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (Bob Dylan)
Maggie May (Rod Stewart)
Back Of A Car (Big Star)
In The Long Run (The Carrie Nations)
To Sir With Love (Lulu)
In Your Room/Manic Monday (The Bangles)
I've Been Waiting (Matthew Sweet)
Like all Netflix subscribers, I got an e-mail this morning about the 70th anniversary of the Wizard of Oz, inviting me to a public concert (featuring our main man Questlove, among others) and an outdoor screening of the '39 classic in NYC. For non-Netflixers/people not as elite as I am, here's the e-mail:
|Click to enlarge|
Furthermore, for those that can't make it to the screening, Netflix is streaming Oz all day on October 3. I've been a Netflix member for something like six-odd years and this is the first time that I've seen community building in an offsite way.
The sociologist Ray Oldenburg writes a lot of about informal social gatherings. His most famous contribution to shit-I-learned-in-college is the idea of a third place ' a spot that's not home or work that gives you a sense of self and fosters creativity. When I was in college (probably learning about Ray Oldenburg), I scraped together beer money by logging hours at Two Boots Video on Third & A in the East Village. It had look-how-quirky-we-are! decor (actually, you can see it right here) and it always smelled like the still-comforting combination of pizza and Windex. There was a select customer base that would often come in just to shoot the shit ' the hot dad who liked to talk about aliens, the tatted-up flamer who taught me how to like foreign films, Motorcycle Man who looked like he could rip your spine out through your mouth but would always rent romantic comedies for his Biker Babe girlfriend.
The video store was one of their third places. They didn't need to pay $3.50 for a new release that was already probably scratched to hell; they could have just gotten Netflix. But they wanted to talk about how awesome movies are. Even though Two Boots was cut in half after I quit to get a real job, this community ' this third place ' was the reason the little video store that could survived Blockbuster, the superior Kim's Video on Saint Mark's and OnDemand cable.
Netflix has always lacked this third place idea. You can make friends, see their picks and see recommendations, but it's one of the few parts of the site that's confusing to navigate and not user-friendly. But with an event like this, Netflix is trying to cover that niche, giving movie lovers ' both casual and geektastic ' a place to meet and talk is an interesting community-building step. Surely inspired by Tweet-ups Meet Ups, I think this is a diabolically genius idea from Netflix's marketing team that branches this third place with their somewhat intangible product in a way that they can't do otherwise. I wonder what Oldenburg would think. It doesn't fit his description to a T, but with traditional third places ' video stores, record stores, etc. ' struggling or closing due to the advent of the Internet, these events are like the next evolutionary step.
Would I go? Probably not. But I may talk about it with my video store clerk later.
Once upon a hippy dippy shit time, I dropped into a.k.a. music regularly just to pick up a copy of Arthur Magazine. It wasn't that they were doing amazing journalism; but they did turn me on to new bands regularly, and were just fascinating in the fact that they were so fringe and weird, and yet still survived making a print product. Unfortunately, they stopped surviving in that incarnation ' and appear to have went completely online. The staff (which is mostly just editor Jay Babcock) relocated from L.A. to New York City, too. The upside of all this? They're holding events. One of which is in Philly.
It's a workshop on making terrariums hosted by our very own fanciful plants geek Lord Whimsy, and will also feature a reading about "the wonders of terrariums," an exploration of various containers and plants, and a visit from Babcock. It goes down on Sun., Sept. 13 at 3 p.m. at 2037 Frankford Ave., for $10-$12. You can register in advance by e-mailing email@example.com.
After getting a good look at Brian Sanders, the JUNK performer starring in Urban Scuba who also graced the front page of City Paper last week, I couldn't help but want more ' he's darn handsome, and looks like a pretty fun guy, too. Luckily, our associate Web editor Neal Santos posted some extras on his Web site. Here's what he said about the shoot:
A lot went into the making of this week's cover, including diving into the Logan Fountain with performer/dancer/choreographer Brian Sanders of JUNK. The cover was decided for its representation of Life Arts / Fringe as a whole: somewhat in your face, wet, awkward and fun. The inspiration for Saunders on the cover also comes from his Urban Scuba show.
To light him in all the shots, I used two Speedlights set up wirelessly. One aimed above for overall light and one closely aimed to the side (held by my wonderful Art Director/Assistant).
Click the jump to see more photos.
Movies-meet-music blog The Playlist has been keeping us updated on the trials and tribulations of Spike Jonze's Where The Wild Things Are, which opens nationwide October 16. In addition to the adaptation, Jonze also made a doc about Wild Things author/illustrator Maurice Sendak, who loves our fair city so much, he donated many of his archives to the Rosenbach (keep reading for more on that), as any good Philadelphian should know and have seen.
The documentary, called Tell me Anything You Want, premieres on HBO two days before the movie on Wednesday, October 14. To go along with their massive (and illuminating) profile of Jonze (read it if you have a couple hours to kill), the New York Times has a short clip from the film, which I can't embed, so bounce on over there and give the Grey Lady some page views.
Seizing on the zeitgeist of Jonze's upcoming film, the Rosenbach is pumping up their Sendak pimpage with talks, tours and galleries that explore all things Sendak. Check out their schedule after the jump, but before that, take a gander at the trailer one more time:
' Wild Things Days
September ' October, 2009
The Rosenbach celebrates Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are and the release of the film adaptation with talks, tours and activities for audiences of all ages.
' Exhibition: Too Many Thoughts to Chew: A Sendak Stew
September 16, 2009 ' January 17, 2010
Dig into an exhibition about food, eating, and being eaten in the illustrations of Maurice Sendak. Too Many Thoughts to Chew: A Sendak Stew presents 40 original Sendak illustrations that show how food brings families together, helps children forge new friendships, and nourishes us emotionally and intellectually. The exhibition is appropriate for families and kids of all ages.
' Exhibition: And it's still hot: Where the Wild Things Are
September 30 ' October 25, 2009
This fall, as Hollywood transforms a children's classic into a live action film, celebrate Maurice Sendak's Caldecott-winning picture book, Where the Wild Things Are, with the exhibition And it's still hot: Where the Wild Things Are. Find out how Sendak created Max, the Wild Things, and their exotic land while viewing the original watercolors, sketches, and manuscripts for the book. Visitors can also see posters, drawings, and advertisements that reveal the life of the Wild Things outside the book, and discover why this story is still hot after almost fifty years in print.
' Hands-On Tour: 'Flaming maniacs:' Sendak and His Literary Inspirations
Wednesday, September 9 at 3:00pm
Maurice Sendak chose the Rosenbach as the home for his artwork in part because it was also the home of 'people I love, artists I love.' Lewis Carroll, Charles Dickens, William Blake, and Herman Melville are just a few of those artists and writers that visitors will see up close in this Hands-On Tour about the literature that Sendak loves. Visitors can safely handle pieces from the Rosenbach's Sendak collection alongside his favorite literature and discuss a variety of diverting questions: what do Sendak and his heroes have in common? Why does Sendak call Blake a 'flaming maniac?' And just what is a Steam Man of the Prairies? Discover what Sendak is like as a collector, as a reader, and as an artist. This tour is led by Patrick Rodgers, Traveling Exhibitions Coordinator, and consulting curator of There's a Mystery There: Sendak on Sendak.
' Hands-On Tour: Wild Things
Wednesday, September 23; Wednesday, October 14; Sunday, October 18; Friday, October 23
All tours will be held at 3:00pm
Get a new perspective on an old favorite with this rumpus through Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. On this tour, audiences will re-discover Sendak's world-famous creations, the Wild Things, and his mischievous hero, Max, by safely handling original artifacts from the Sendak collection. Examine manuscripts of the story from Sendak's old notebooks, pass around original drawings of the beastly Wild Things, listen to the Wild Things sing in an opera from 1979, and follow the life of the Wild Things outside of the book. The tour will also feature an exclusive look at photos of Sendak's family ' those aunts and uncles who inspired the Wild Things ' and a hand-written draft of Where the Wild Horses Are, Sendak's earliest version of the story. This tour is led by Patrick Rodgers and appropriate for ages 8 and up.
' Gallery Talk: Maurice, Max and the Wild Things
Thursday, October 8 at 6pm
Join Patrick Rodgers, curator of the A Sendak Stew exhibition, and follow in the huge footsteps of Maurice Sendak's Wild Things during this gallery talk about their origins, their impact, and their ravenous appetite! Explore original artwork and manuscripts from Where the Wild Things Are and listen to interviews with Sendak describing his relationship to these famous beasts.
' Wild Things Family Day
Saturday, October 17 between 12 ' 4pm
Spend an afternoon with the family taking part in a variety of 'Wild' activities geared towards kids of all ages. Create Wild Things-inspired crafts, take a spin through the Rosenbach's Sendak galleries with a family gallery guide or just settle down with a snack and a copy of your favorite Sendak book!
Holy George Clooney, Batman! If this isn't the Silver Fox's year, I don't know what is. So far, loyal Trailer! readers, we've parsed Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox, with Clooney as the titular character (verdict: excited for the stop-motion animation, love Roald Dahl adaptations, worried about the voice talent) and Grant Heslov's The Men Who Stare at Goats (verdict: classic Coen Bros. Clooney, lovin' the supporting cast). And now we have the teaser for Up in the Air, the follow-up from Juno director Jason Reitman, who I think hasn't made a great movie yet but has a James L. Brooks affability to his style of filmmaking. Could this be his Terms of Endearment? The trailer is vague so lemme illuminate you plotwise: Clooney essentially plays a professional fire-r. He goes from company to company and figures out who can go and who can stay (think the two Bobs from Office Space). He lives out of suitcase, has very few personal attachments and his main goal in life is to hit something like ten million frequent flyer miles. That is, until he meets Vera Farmiga's character and falls in love and what not.
Since this is fest season (that glorious time before studios get really down and dirty with award season theatrical releases), I've heard bits of buzz from early trades and all signs to this movie being excellent. Out of his three films coming out like now, this is surely the one that will garner Clooney some sort of award season support considering that the Oscars hate joy and love sad things. Reitman has talked about how this started as a comedy but, as the cultural winds changed in that everyone and their mothers were economically fucked, it began to take on a more serious tone. And that's what worries me. As I've said before, I think Juno missed the mark because it lacked an emotional center and, while I've blamed that on screenwriter Diablo Cody, I'm not entirely sure that Reitman is mature enough as a director to take on the delicate dramedy genre.
But look at that cast! Jason Bateman and J.K. Simmons (who were recently seen together in Mike Judge's Extract)! Danny McBride! Zach Galifinakis! (And Sam Elliot, who you don't see in the trailer but I secretly wish would narrate my life, a la The Big Lebowski). But I'm most interested in this Anna Kendrick girl, who plays a young exec biting at Clooney's heels. I'm sure Reitman had his pick of young, attractive, higher profile actresses but went with the chick who (despite a successful theater career) is best known for having the most boring part in Twilight. What gives?
So what do you all think? Lukewarm pap or genre-busting classic? If George Clooney and Cary Grant had a charisma-off, who would win?
Up in the Air opens in theaters December 4, 2009.
UPDATE: Since the powers that be decided to take down the trailer, here's a scene between Clooney and Farmiga.
- 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