Archive: September, 2011
Sweden has been a hub of contemporary furniture design for over 50 years. But when it comes to the goods, few actually consider the craftsman. For this exhibit, Swedish furniture and home good designers will have their sleek-yet-functional works spotlighted. Each artist — all female — has been featured in Gallery Pascale, Stockholm’s first design-exclusive gallery; but more recently in 17 Swedish Designers, the book by gallery owner, Pascale Cottard-Olsson. Pieces range from glassware like vases and other decorative housewares to modern furniture and even woven textile installations. Think upscale Ikea.
Opening reception Sun. Sept. 18, 4:30-6 p.m., through Jan. 29, free, American Swedish Historical Museum, 1900 Pattison Ave., 215-389-1776, americanswedish.org.
For more than 15 years, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens has been a creative force behind the city’s artistic experience. This weekend, Isaiah Zagar’s intricate visual and architectural landmark will get the celebration it deserves. For one night, the mosaic maze will be turned into a soiree in honor of the interactive art. Magic Beyond the Gardens will feature live music, Indonesian dance performances and even a fiery sideshow performance. Beau Monde, Whole Foods and Jim's Steaks will provide a spread as varied as the Garden’s walls while folks from the Philly-famous Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction pour Root and Snap cocktails. If that isn't enough for one night, a silent auction will tout prizes such as a night’s stay at the LED-certified Hotel Palomar.
Sat., Sept. 17, 6-10 p.m., $75-$125, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, 1020 South St., 215-733-0390, phillymagicgardens.org.
Gap Year (Knopf, July 5) balances a coming-of-age story with a coming-to-terms tale. Sarah Bird’s novel follows a teenage girl and her mother; while Aubrey struggles to leave the nest, her mother, Cam, struggles to let her go. Chapters alternate between the women’s first-person perspectives, giving readers a glimpse into two minds as they clash over Aubrey’s future. Cam is certain her daughter’s adult life should begin with college. Aubrey, on the other hand, has very little interest in the idea — and perhaps it’s rebellion that drives her to open a food-cart business with her boyfriend instead.
In a clever move, Bird sets Aubrey’s chapters months before her mother’s. We immediately see Cam’s frustrations, but only gradually learn why Aubrey has drifted away from her. Aubrey’s shift away from childhood interests, away from college, and towards a boy and a business thus become a sort of mystery that unfolds throughout the novel. All the while, in Cam’s chapters, we’re seeing the fallout from Aubrey’s life changes as they take their toll on her mother.
An intriguing setup makes for an enjoyable and at times funny read. But unfortunately neither Aubrey nor her mother has the depth to make this a particularly memorable novel. The plot is nothing we haven’t seen before: Parent suffocates child with attention, child begins to blossom; child decides she can’t stand parent. Cam deals with her stresses predictably. She spends most of the novel treading water in a sea of worry. Aubrey’s plot offers us more of a storyline, but Aubrey remains the familiar sullen teenager whose mom will just never understand her. The only one who really gets her is her new football-star boyfriend. Although he could have any girl he wants, he becomes obsessed with Aubrey for reasons that are never made clear. The two develop their own private world, population: two. Sounds a lot like Twilight, a book Bird mocks throughout.
Devoted poet/avid concert-goer/nerd-grrrl extraordinaire Jane Cassady's weekly horoscopes run in this space every Friday morning.
Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): You are rich with epiphanies and new songs. Turn the epiphanies into resolutions and follow them. Turn the songs into mixes, place them in headphones, and walk fast.
Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): “Now, as you breathe in, say to yourself, 'I have arrived.' And as you breathe out, 'I am home.'” (Laura Randall)
Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): You may find your inbox full of offers. Say yes to most of them, especially the party invitations, no matter whose. Show up with wine and flowers for the host and/or hostess. Go ahead and celebrate.
Feastival 2011 at Pier 9 on Columbus Boulevard was a fabulous hit and a sweaty mess as thousands gathered wearing far too much clothing to celebrate/charity-ate the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe. Lots of aerials from Brian Sanders’ crew and circus folk from Montreal’s 7 Fingers mingled with hosts Stephen Starr, Michael Solomonov, Audrey Claire Taichman and the night’s arts honoree Edward G. Rendell for his role in Philly’s cultural community. As for the food and drink, we loved ?uest Loves Food’s fried chicken, the voluminous array of pates (those faux “cherries” dipped in pistachio crumbs were the bomb) and the smoked tequila martini. Or three. You bring that tequila back next year and I’ll fund Nick Stuccio on any thing he wants.
Philadelphia live hip-hop trio The Trees — really, the most effervescent positive gospel-tinged thing — just got a big boost for their just out eponymous CD. Erykah Badu got a copy rom Tree branch Stone Kawala’s ex-girlfriend (Badu’s dog sitter — life is weird, huh) and was wildly enthusiastic. “The Trees are very talented and I love this album,” Badu was heard to have said.
Hit the friends-and-fam opening of Tashan, the greatly anticipated new Indian restaurant and very spacious lounge over the weekend. Why do we love Munish Narula’s 777 S. Broad hot spot? One reason is that I’ve never witnessed such elegant modern use of black and deep dark brown woods so beautifully. The lounge is separate and spacious, perfect for hanging and listening to DJs. Plus the zestful mod Indian fare — lamb shanks, scallops, crab dishes and pork tenderloins delicately cooked and with Indian sauces on the side of each dish — honestly it was just perfect. Wow.
One-time Main Line dweller David Koechner (well, he spent time here filming Tenure) is doing stand up this weekend at Helium Comedy Club (Sept. 15-17). If you don’t know him from that little seen film, he’s the bald character actor/comedian in Anchorman and other rude fare. Like the just out A Good, Old Fashioned Orgy.
Speaking of comedians coming here, Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Richard Lewis will appear Sept. 22 at the Crystal Tea Room for the benefit of drug and alcohol programs. More info here.
We’ve got the hookup on two pairs of tickets to see Lupe Fiasco at the Mann Center on Saturday and we want you to have them.
To win, email email@example.com with the correct answer to the question below:
Question: Lupe is also the lead singer/producer of an alternative rock band. What’s the name of that band?
Sat., Sept. 17, 7:30 p.m., $29.50-$48.50, with Big Sean, Miguel & Tinie Tempah, Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 5201 Parkside Ave., 215-878-0400, manncenter.org.
Philly's adopted wildchild Patty Crash — born in Iceland — has been seen hanging out with The Roots and Nikki Jean, but on her own she makes brash pop-punk. I feel dumb for sleeping on her sound. This is my new favorite thing. Watch this weird like commercial for a Danger Danger appearance two years ago.
Also playing Popped: Shins, The Hold Steady, Pains of Being Pure of Hearts, Girl Talk, Black Thought and more. Fri. and Sat., Sept. 23 and 24, Single-day tickets $59.50, both days $110, FDR Park, near Broad and Pattison, poppedphiladelphia.com.
In today's art-tastic City Paper, A.D. Amorosi fills us in on the Quay Brothers' latest film, Through the Weeping Glass, which gets its world-première screening a week from today at the Mütter Museum. An appropriate setting, indeed, given that the film's all about the curiosities inside the walls of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.
The Sept. 22 screening has been sold out for a while now, but we got our hands on a pair of tickets that we'll give away to one lucky reader.
All you have to do is come up with a haiku about the Mütter. (Hint: "formaldehyde-soaked fetus" is seven syllables!)
You've got all weekend to submit entries to firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comments below; the winner will be announced Monday, Sept. 19, at noon.
Our resident DJ on his most boogie-worthy pick of the week.
Oh, the inanity! Deer Head is off the wall. It’s also highly recommended if you're into well-crafted short-form comedic theater. Director Josh McIlvain has a gift for creating improbable situations that keep getting more absurd, then end with a well-placed punch line. He uses spare, well-chosen props and sharp acting to draw you into outrageous scenarios played out by kooky characters. A lover’s duel unlike anything you’ve seen before and an inspired spoof on genealogy and prejudice are among the gems here. Bravo to the entire cast for making these whackjobs so worth watching.
Through Sept. 17, $15, Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine St., MORE INFO HERE.
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