Critical Mass 1.0
|Courtesy of the Woodie Guthrie Archive|
Don't know what to do tonight? Don't worry, we've got you covered.
In which I pretend that y'all aren't watching the Phillies game '
' Yesterday marked the kickoff of the First Person Festival, that glorious storytelling event that's been running off at the mouth for eight years now. There's a vague shitty-economy-yields-greater-creativity theme to the whole fest, with tonight's Songs for Any Depression event encapsulating it best. Woodie Guthrie's granddaughter, Sarah Lee Guthrie, along with fellow musicians Johnny Irion and Kim and Reggie Harris, will perform several of Woodie's songs that helped people get through Depression 1.0. Also, author Morris Dickstein will do a multimedia presentation about documentary culture in the '30s. It's going down from 8-10 p.m. at the Painted Bride Art Center (230 Vine St., 215-925-9914) for $20. (SPOILER ALERT: Check back later today, when the new issue goes live, for City Paper's extensive coverage of the rest of the First Person Fest.)
' All I really want is GIRLS. This sloppy, sexy, hedonistic band belongs somewhere in the '90s, but I'm glad they're here with us now. They're playing Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St., 215-291-4919) at 8 p.m. for $10.
' Sneakerheads and/or Fugees-heads: Wyclef Jean will be at VILLA (1018 Market St., 215-923-5680) tonight from 4-6 p.m. to promote his brand-new Timberland Earthkeepers' Y'le Haiti collection. Two bucks from every pair will go back to Wyclef's homeland, Haiti.
|Courtesy of Paleface|
Don't know what to do tonight? Don't worry, we've got you covered.
' Dance from the Paleface show at the M Room (15 W. Girard Ave., 215-739-5577) at 8 p.m. to The Very Best show at Johnny Brenda's (1201 N. Frankford Ave., 215-739-9684) at 9 p.m. The total cost will put you out about $18, but jigging from Paleface's scruffy-voiced bluegrass to The Very Best's groovy African pop will put you in that unstoppable dance-party high for hours.
' Eddie Sarfaty, a gay writer and comedian who just released the book Mental: Funny in the Head, has been called the next David Sedaris. Which is kinda like being called the next gay God. He's performing tonight at L'Etage (624 S. 6th St., 215-592-0656) at 8 p.m. for $20.
' It's no mistake that that David Swanson published Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union, a book that criminalizes the Bush administration, in September of this year. He argues that Bush & Co. did such damage to our Constitutional rights that there's still a whole lot of work to be done to get them back, even with President Obama in the house. He'll be reading from his book tonight at Villanova University (800 Lancaster Ave., 610-519-6000) at 7:30 p.m. for free.
|Photo | Mark Stehle|
If your weekend went from celebratory to bleak at the flick of a wrist and a missed pitch, things were worst elsewhere. Rumors ran rampant about a suicide attempt at The Fire (true, according to Fire boss Derek Dorsey who said 'an individual who was not a regular patron at The Fire made a tragic attempt on his life near closing on Saturday night, he died later at the hospital') without any further confirmation. There was an injury to a member of Black Landlord (true, but only bad enough to miss the AfroPunk fest). The least physically painful of the rumors was the one that found 941 Theater in Northern Liberties closed due to violations from an incident last week where the venue had allegedly served alcohol.
941's Doug Sakmann, fresh from setting up a benefit the benefit for his theater/live venue ' which will take place November 21 at the Starlight Ballroom (460 N. 9th St.,' 215-769-1530) ' told me there was beer served and L& I indeed did shut them down. Temporarily of course, unless they can't raise enough money for the violated codes or catch up on the monies missed (not to mention operating expenses like rent or electric). Still, all of November's shows as well as Halloween's gig were canceled.
It's been rumored that 941 had been in danger of closing for a little while due to the costs associated with keeping the facilities up to code and the licenses up to date. But things are tough all over.
'Not wanting to see this happen, before we got shut down we had recently come up with a better business plan and were working on ideas for a fundraiser,' says Sakmann who says that some of 941's permits had expired and that they were in the process of renewal.
'The building is zoned for industrial use so we have to apply for a use permit for commercial zoning variance, which has to be approved by the Northern Liberties Neighborhood association. In order to regulate our operations and approve this, the NLNA sets forth a number of provisions and restrictions including a one year variance at a time that has to be renewed annually, and also regulations on our liquor policy. Not wanting to see another bar in Northern Liberties, the NLNA did not allow us to apply for a liquor license. But we agreed we could occasionally give out beer or liquor at 21+ events as long as we were not charging for the alcohol, similar to a First Friday type event," says Sakmann. "We were unaware however that by charging a cover charge at the door, the Liquor Control Board construes that as technically charging for alcohol, even if it is being given out for free. Apparently in order for us to give out alcohol, the event would have to be totally free, which we did not know and obviously we can not afford to do. So the Liquor Control Board got wind of an event we were doing with free beer and sent in undercover cops. They shut us down due to the beer we were giving out and then saw that our permits were not up to date and slapped further violations on the premises, forcing us to close until our permits are processed again which is at the end of November.'
And now, 941 is not able to do business for a month, in addition to mounting legal fees for processing and expediting the permits. 'If we don't pay the city's expedite fees we wont be able to open until February, keeping the fire security and other aspects of the theater in good standing so we pass inspection when we do reopen along with all of our other weekly and monthly bills associated with running the theater,' says Sakmann. Either way, Sakmann adds, it all adds up to a lot of money ' like $12,000 before the end of the month.
The aforementioned November 21 benefit takes place from noon to 6 p.m. at the Starlight Ballroom. It's still in the planning stages but bands will definitely be on the bill. Previous to that Sakmann says: 'Anyone who wants to lend a hand, donate money or has any ideas on how we can raise more money can contact us at email@example.com.'
RELATED: 941 Theater in danger of closing
Don't know what to do tonight? Don't worry, we've got you covered.
The last time you saw Night Moves, it was a different time. And a different place. But I promise that here, at Critical Mass, is where I'll stay ' forever. Now onto tonight's options '
' If you haven't been to the free Science on Tap series at National Mechanics (22 S. Third St., 215-701-4883), you should go ' it's like a good, toasty conversation with a very intelligent friend. Tonight at 6 p.m., Flashpoint Theatre Co. director Noah Herman, along with several of his actors, will discuss their current show boom. And what does it have to do with science? Sez the press release: "Playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb is a former bio major who examines science through the lens of theatre. The darkly funny play imagines the creation story of the next form of life on Earth."
' Today marks the beginning of J. Karma's (62 N. Third St., 215-627-9625) annual jewelry exchange, in which you give up your gently used shoes, handbags, scarves and jewelry to The Career Wardrobe, and the boutique gives you $10 off your next purchase of $50 or more or $20 off your next purchase of $100 or more. Like a pawn shop, but cuter. J. Karma's open until 7 p.m. today, and the exchange lasts until Nov. 30.
' The Showdown's Catherine Grubb says you should go to tonight's 7:30 p.m. World Caf' Live (3025 Walnut St. 215-222-1400) show to see Heavy. I say go to see local indie act Illinois, despite their confusing name. It'll cost you $10.
On Friday, our True Blood re-capper extraordinaire Kristen Humbert told you about themed pumpkin templates for the fang banger in all of us. Girly was also kind enough to send her own version of Eric Northman, played by the oh-so-beautiful Alexander Skarsg'rd.
|Kristen's Eric||Alexander's Eric|
What do you all think? See some any other excellent pumpkins? My landlord's kids had a pretty sweet Phillies pumpkin, which didn't give off the right karma but was still a stellar job.
Kristen also sent us a pic of her as a Fangtasia regular, but we're really digging her buddy as a dick-tater (rimshot!)
|From right: Hilarious friends, Kristen's True Blood tribute.|
|Photo | Mark Stehle|
|941 Theater's Nick Esposito, Zafer Ulk'c' and Doug Sakmann.|
Back in September, we featured the 941 Theater in our Choice Issue, highlighting their niche-filling ability to give local filmmakers a chance to screen their work:
There's no agenda. In addition to having the cheapest rental rates in the city, 941's setup is tantalizing: A night can start in the venue's considerably roomy lobby and move to the 100-seat screening room, which can also be converted into a 200-capacity concert venue.
But, as reported by Philebrity, L&I is hating on 941 for their free-wheeling ways and have heavily fined the theater and shuttered it for the next month. The Philadelphia Friends of the Projected Arts, the theater's non-profit umbrella company, have a letter up on their site describing the situation and announcing they will hold a fundraiser in order to keep the dream alive. If you are able to donate your time or services, hit them up at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can simply donate your cash via PayPal. We'll give you more info on the fundraiser when we hear about it.
It's a real shame that this has happened. While places like the Ibrahim Theater at International House have done an excellent job with high-brow repertory programming, 941 hosted down, dirtier and frankly sillier fare, which is in no way a slight. In addition, the theater was the homebase for the always-fun Backseat Film Festival, which takes place in March, and served as host to smaller fests like the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival.
But this is really a blow to the independent film community. There are not a lot of places in this city where cash-strapped filmmakers can show their work. As 941-er Nick Esposito pointed out in the Choice piece, giving filmmakers a place to show their work allows them to cover costs and start on their next project.
"Every project people do is theoretically better than the last one," Esposito told me about the importance of the theater's economic model to indie filmmakers. Hopefully, the closure (and eventual re-opening) will signal a fresh beginning for the 941 team and they can apply that sentiment to themselves.
Lacking in pumpkin carving inspiration? Your design doesn't have to suck ' unless you want it to.
I'll be trying my hand at an Eric Northman gourd. I'm worried about getting his unsettling stare just right ' check back to see my progress.
Also, these True Blood paper dolls from Andy are amazing.
Frank Reynolds is a City Paper reader! In the beginning of last night's ep, "The Gang Wrestles for the Troops," the titular gang sits around the bar watching old Hulk Hogan videos while Frank, aka Danny DeVito, flashes Carolyn Huckabay's cover story on trans musician and activist T. Desiree Hines:
She knew that Mississippi would be the death of her.
Which is why, on the morning of August 28, 2001, T. Desiree Hines was leaving. She packed a suitcase full of skirts and dresses, carefully applied her makeup and prepared to take a taxi to Jackson-Evers International Airport, where she'd catch a 6:45 p.m. flight to Washington state by way of Memphis. She'd spent the last 21 years living, uncomfortably, in a male body. She was ready to be a full-time woman.
Leaving the stranglehold of the South may have been the single most significant moment of Desiree's life, but it was only the second most significant moment of that particular morning.
UPDATE: Here's a quick screenshot, courtesy of CP reader Jen Walker/Lucinda Lunacy (thanks!):
Hines is also, coincidentally enough, mentioned in this week's Agenda lead and Art Phag because of her screening of classic horror flick Nosferatu. Unfortunately for those who missed our star turn, Hulu is on an eight-day delay with the episodes, but here's a preview. Along with our solid cameo, it was totally fucked up; one of those eps where by the end, your mouth is agape in horror and you don't burst out laughing until the end credits start to roll. I thoroughly enjoyed. We'll stick up the new episode when Hulu does:
Jordan Reid isn't bitter ' anymore. The actress took to her Web site last week to publicly discuss her role in the development of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, from its nascent stages, as the original Sweet Dee.
A fresh-faced college grad straight off the bus in L.A., Reid knew no one expect old flame Rob McElhenney (aka Mac). They rekindled their romance and started to create a show based around four L.A, TV actors looking for their big break. Miraculously, FX picked up their DIY pilot, which evolved from It's Always Sunny on TV to It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and gave them the cash to turn it into a real TV show. And that's when things went south for Reid:
Around that time, my relationship with Rob began to unravel, and I started to sense that I was on unsteady footing on the set, despite our 'all for one' pact. I was surprised to learn that Rob, Glenn and Charlie had all been made executive producers, while I simply remained the lead actress. I went very quickly from being at the center of the project to standing on the periphery, and'truth? It felt like it had everything in the world to do with my gender. To me, FX felt like a cigar-smoking, whiskey-drinking old boys' club. I was welcome when I was the girlfriend of the creator, and once I wasn't'well'I was persona non grata ' and my role in creating their new pet project was forgotten.
So Reid was booted out in favor of Kaitlin Olson, who married McElhenney last year. Reid says she's gotten over it, but she's still gotta feel burned over the entire thing. Here's what annoys me: She says that she thinks she was squeezed out because of her gender, but she admits that it was her own meekness that prevented her from asking for a showrunner credit, which would have saved her job. More important is the role she would have played on It's Always Sunny. Sweet Dee is an integral reason why the show works. Rather than relegate the lone female to straight man status (like most sitcoms), Sweet Dee/Olson is just a ridiculous as the rest of the boys. Olson is also fantastic at what she does, as evidenced by her freakout scene in "The Waitress is Getting Married," or when she sings "Runaway Train" to the hitchhiker in "The Gang Hits the Road," or this:
h/t Videogum and Caitlin
Did you see the cover of City Paper today?
The story is about the resurgent punk forefathers The Dead Milkmen, written by Rodney Anonymous himself ' with the band's signature smiling dead cow carved into a pumpkin. (Read the story here.) FYI: That wasn't Photoshop, people.
Ryan Keerns carved the pumpkin.
Mark Stehle took the photo.
Reseca Glasser designed the cover.
AND did you see all those amazing shots with the story itself? That was the work of Nina Sabatino ' none other than DM drummer "Dean Clean" Sabatino's sister.
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