Archive: September, 2011
It all seems so long ago that Icepack got the tip on who was buying Spaghetti Warehouse on Spring Garden and what ties it would have to the Philly entertainment community. Better was the reveal: Four Corners’ Avram Hornik and Mark Fichera, who had attempted to buy the ex-Jumbo Theater spot (now a thrift store near Johnny Brenda’s) along with old friend Sean Agnew of R5 Productions (who we had to track down in Cambodia), would take over the Grasso-owned location and book it in tandem with New York promoters Bowery Presents as Union Transfer. (Check out the impressive first and ever-shifting schedule at utphilly.com.)
Fast forward to opening night: The high, wide space has a ticket window at its front with an immensely large lobby for merchandizing. The chandeliers start there and never stop, not in the first bar and food area, not in the dark wood VIP space watched over by a life-size Jack Daniels statue, not in the dark and regal balcony area bar spotted by stained glass that winds its way into a almost-proscenium seating area fronted by ornately antique brass railings. They certainly don't end on the movable stage-filled main room — and these are grand light fixtures, yet not fussy: the sort that Liberace would have in his summer home in Prague.
The entire spot has an epic modern-meets-Western-banker feel to it — Mr. Drysdale heading up the First National Savings of Deadwood, perhaps? — with some churchiness to the proceedings, too. The VIP area is one large wood, glass and brass bankers’ window with cushy seating filling the tellers space. The kinda-Philly-based act Clap Your Hands Say Yeah was its first headliner, and throughout its sound check each ring and click rang clear — blame that new mega-watt state-of-the-art system — even when UT’s capacity crowd of 1,000 filled (but didn’t stuff to the point of sweating) the room. Bravo, everyone.
Along with Agnew and Fichera, Hornik seemed delighted that UT was finally opening and that all his hurdles had been jumped. Before I could let him rest too happily on his UT laurels, though, I brought up his even-newer acquisition. “Next up is Ortliebs,” he said with a smile, referring the legendary jazz haus on Northern Liberties’ Third Street that he and Fichera took over earlier this year. Stay tuned.
Our resident DJ on his most boogie-worthy pick of the week ...
WHO: Run DMT, Flufftronix, H Mazz, Dirty Dave
WHAT: Flufftronix’s Rad Summer imprint has been rocking with this new party and there's lots of big boom goin' down — including pure fire from Austin DJs Lemiwinks & Parson, the men behind Run DMT. They have a string of dope releases on labels such as Play Me, Heavy Artillery and P5, so they'll be sure to lay it down hard and heavy at this 18-and-up event.
WHEN & WHERE: Thu., Sept. 22, 10 p.m.-2 a.m., $10-$15, Fluid, 613 S. Fourth St., 215-629-0565, fluidnightclub.com.
WHY: You like it when your face melts and ya chest rattles.
To celebrate its 35th anniversary, the African American Museum of Philadelphia (AAMP) is hosting an exhibition called “Mixing Metaphors: The Aesthetic, the Social and the Political in African American Art,” a vibrant on-loan collection consisting of ninety paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, sculptures and mixed-media works by artists like Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden.
Some of the artists have based their work on stories about family life, while others represent ideas about music and love — creating a showcase that’s separated into three thematic sections: Reflections and Likeness, Constructing Place, and Rituals of Existence. Collectively, the categories highlight the African-American experience from pre-Colonial times to the current day — hoping to encourage discussion, while allowing the viewer to reflect on social context.
Check the AAMP’s website for information on other anniversary-related events, including poetry slams, youth art classes and film screenings.
Sept. 22-Dec. 31, free with $10 museum admission, African American Museum of Philadelphia, 701 Arch St., 215-574-0380, aampmuseum.org.
Matt Cantor puts Generation Yers on blast. That doesn't include you, Larry.
Following a study in what our generation can’t stand, it’s time for another installment in the occasional series that examines things our generation adores. This week, we have a psychologically focused edition of Stuff Y People Like. It's based on no data whatsoever. Still, we definitely love:
I have a pair of tickets to give away for both days of Popped!, Friday and Saturday. Wanna go? Write a haiku about Kreayshawn and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org by 4:30 p.m. Write GIMME POPPED! TICKETS in the subject line. Best one wins.
Sports nut Massimo Pulcini rounds up a week of everything Philly sports. Go long!
HOMECOMING FOR VICK CUT SHORT, ENDS IN DISAPPOINTMENT
Vick and the Eagles entered the Georgia Dome in a highly anticipated, nationally televised matchup with the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday night. The game was written up to be Vick’s triumphant return to the city that drafted him in 2001 and as a statement game for the Birds who were trying to solidify themselves as a true contender. The Falcons, on the other hand, were looking to bounce back from an embarrassing week-one loss to Chicago and, for quarterback Matt Ryan, the game was a chance to show that it's him — not Vick — who's the most beloved passer in Atlanta. He would get his in front of the huge number of Falcons fans that donned throwback Vick Atlanta jerseys to the game.
Despite three Vick turnovers earlier in the contest, the Eagles held a lead into the third quarter due to the quarterback’s 242 yards passing and his two touchdown throws to receiver Jeremy Maclin, who hauled in a whopping 13 catches for 171 yards. Philly also benefited from a strong first-half performance by the secondary and pass rush, who contributed two interceptions and four sacks respectively.
However, in a serious turn of events, Vick was hit after a pass and twisted into his own lineman, Todd Herremans. The blow jerked Vick’s head and neck, and he left the field for the locker room in a blood-spitting daze. In relief of No. 7 entered second-year quarterback, Mike Kafka (no relation to the novelist, much to the dismay of Twitter users everywhere. Check #Kafka.), who handed the ball off to Shady McCoy (18 carries for 95 yards and two scores) to make it 31-21 entering the fourth quarter.
Despite the lead, the Eagles hadn’t finished off “Matty Ice,” running back Michael Turner and the Falcons, who fought back with two fourth-quarter scores. Turner busted off a 61-yard scamper and then a three-yard scoring run to put the Falcons ahead 34-31 with 4:48 left to play.
This put all the pressure on Kafka who had to lead the rally due to Vick’s injury. Despite good numbers (seven of nine passing for 72 yards), Kafka couldn’t conjure up the same magic that a Vick-led squad is known to have. The game was over after Maclin dropped a pass on fourth down that hit him in the hands. If caught, the catch would have kept the drive alive.
In contrast to our weekly dude column Man Cave, I Am Woman adds a feminine touch by chronicling the weekend adventures of a single Philadelphia student / socialite.
I spent the weekend unintentionally bonding with my new roommate of less than a month. As anyone has experienced — girl or guy, living with someone new is never an easy task. However if you want to avoid hair-pulling arguments like "who washed the dishes last" early on, I suggest creating moments together that range from incredibly typical to the unexpected.
Throw a Sex and the City Marathon There were no recent breakups that would usually provoke this sort of behavior, but on Sunday we watched most of season three of Sex and the City. The 1998 HBO original featuring four 30-something friends living fabulous yet dramatic lives in New York City grabbed our attention so fast it kept us on the couch for six hours straight.
My roommate — a newbie to the series, with a guilty pleasure for strong dialogue in TV shows, became the perfect candidate. Despite its emotional-rollercoaster storylines, Carrie Bradshaw’s narrative and unbreakable bond to her girlfriends were too relatable to turn off. The question, which one of the four women are you, became an icebreaker in itself (my roommate’s a Carrie and I’m a Miranda, we determined). At the end, it was deciphering what went wrong with Aiden and Carrie’s relationship (the first time around) that brought us to share our own experiences with boys ...
Girl vs. Mouse This weekend a mouse fled across the floor of our apartment. For two girls casually watching a show, this had the potential to turn into a disaster. We decided, thought, that we had enough of this damn creature and it was game on with our furry friend.
We picked up a mousetrap at Rite Aid for about $3 and smothered it with peanut butter. Like fishermen, we set it in the trash room and waited for a bite. When we heard that awful yet reassuring snap — disturbingly resembling the moment the last corn kernel pops in the microwave — we knew it was over for Mr. Squeaker. The disposing of the body showed both of our strength — not only that we can successfully get rid of a rodent, but that we could work together and finish the job.
I'd say we're well on our way to making this work out!
The gays will be out in full force tonight as Cantina Los Caballitos plays host to September’s Queers on the Avenue (QOTA) gathering. For those unfamiliar with QOTA, the event is a monthly occurrence for South Philly LGBTQ residents and their straight allies, held at a different location on E. Passyunk Avenue each month. Cantina, East Passyunk’s notorious prime location for the elusive hipster-gay, will close just for the occasion and offer $4.50 mojitos and margaritas for anyone who opts to join in on the evening’s drinking festivities. The real draw here, however, is that 10 percent of all bar proceeds will go to AIDS Fund in anticipation of the Philly AIDS Walk on Sun., Oct. 16. Kill two birds with one stone by kicking back and having a drink in support of a local restaurant/bar and a prominent cause in the city of Philadelphia.
Tonight, 6-9 p.m., Cantina Los Caballitos, 1651 E. Passyunk Ave., 215-755-3550, cantinaloscaballitos.com.
All good Live Arts/Fringe fests must come to an end, and what finer finale could it have than the last bit of Aeschylus’ trilogy about the doomed House of Atreus at the end of the Trojan War? The only thing better could have been a repeat of its entirety, which had a single run at LA/FF’s beginning.
That said, the Philadelphia Artists’ Collective book-in-hand performance ideal — though a tad distracting at times — was dearly theatrical and sparsely comported (Ministry’s arches and balcony are characters unto themselves) with drums and cymbals littered about the wide stage area for “watchman” Josh Totora to strike.
In short: After a father kills a daughter to appease the gods and the mother kills the dad for killing their daughter the other estranged kids Electra and Orestes, murder the mom to avenge their father’s death. Oh, mom cheated on dad — this really got the goat of Orestes (Robert DaPonte), who seemed to relish killing his mom.
DaPonte had a great sense of sarcastic rage as he dealt with punishment for his matricide before the judge-and-jury that was the aptly catty Furies (Annette Kaplafka, Kate Brennan). But justice isn’t the sort of thing to be trifled with, and Athena (Dana Kreitz) adjudicates the kangaroo court trial with a smile and a verdict amenable to all. Solid stuff.
Thanks so much to everyone who submitted a haiku (or many, many haikus) to our Mütter contest!
The kind folks at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia helped us out in choosing a winner, who'll receive two complimentary tickets to Thursday night's screening of the Quay Brothers' Through the Weeping Glass (which we told you about in our big Fall Arts Guide last week).
The first-place winner, as chosen by the Mütter:
Among bones, grave wax,
and forever twins Mütters
my red basement heart.
Congratulations, CritMass reader Denise!
A second-place shout-out goes to reader Vinney, whose haiku cracked up the pun-lovin' CP staff:
"Dad, can you show me
a two-headed baby corpse?"
"No. Ask your Mütter."
Thanks to everyone who submitted! Winners will be contacted shortly.
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