Critical Mass 1.0
|Jay's winning design.|
Re-capping Project Runway, fashionably on-time.
In week two of the show that makes and breaks designer dreams, the cast was taken to a farm and greeted by Big G Tim Gunn and the models of the runway. Tim, as per usual, was in a suit (would he be caught dead in anything else?) but the models were all wearing potato sacks, which did nothing for their figures. The challenge this week was to create a party look with burlap.
In an attempt to switch things up a bit, the models got to choose their designers. Model Alexis ditched her old designer Mila to work with the always stunning, always charming, and forever near to my heart Anthony. Scandalous, I know. Mila, of course, was salty about the whole swap and dug herself a little grave when she told Anthony that switching designers was Alexis' loss. When she tried to put the claws away Anthony just replied, "That's okay, I left my feelings in Atlanta." Then in the confession booth he told the world, "Mila can kiss me and my entire family's asses." That's right sister.
To add insult to injury, the models doubled as the clients, which means they had input into the design and proves that just because you look good in clothes doesn't mean you should design them. This is a classic Runway ploy: Designers have to find the balance between their own vision and that of their clients. Gunn gave Jesus some serious advice that the kid decided to completely disregard, which ProjRun regulars know is a terrible idea. Jesus was trying to sneak burlap into his garment instead of showcasing it as the main fabric, sewing yard after yard of ribbon over the burlap, creating a lame-o green and brown dress that was later called matronly, and rightfully so. The zipper in the back was exposed, too, though that was hardly a concern after seeing what Ping's dress exposed on her model.
That's right: Batshit crazy Ping made some atrocious dress that left the model's ass cheeks hanging out. Yes, the boxy skirt didn't do much more for the model's shape than an unaltered potato sack. However, you can't deny that Ping, in all her weirdness, is creating pieces that are edgy and provocative.
Anthony, King of Southern Sass, dyed his burlap red and made a beautiful dress that had a fitted bodice and a skirt that was draped just enough to add some puff, but not enough to throw off the whole body shape, like his dress from last week. Ben also created a dress in red with one flirty off-the-shoulder sleeve, a high waist, and a tulip skirt but it gave the model a bit of prego-tummy. Emilio's dress couldn't have fit the model any better the man knows how a woman's body should be dressed. I'm nervous, though, because the pattern of the dress is a little too similar to last week's, with the collage of multiple fabrics coming together to create one big, happy fabric. Let's just hope that he doesn't keep on this track, because it'll get real boring real fast.
Jay won this week with a dress that had a slim-fitting frayed top and a bottom reminiscent of a tutu. The skirt was made from burlap that he dyed, cut, frayed and added ribbon to in order to make it look like it was made from feathers. Jay left everything a bit rough around the edges, but the man was working with burlap. He really made that potato sack transform without completely losing the raw material.
Then, of course, there was a loser. It should have been Jesus packing his bags to head back home, but instead it was PA native Pamela. Okay, yes, her dress looked a little like something you could pick up at Rave or DEB circa 1998, but at least she followed the challenge, unlike Mr. Jesus. She dyed her burlap to look like faded denim, and unfortunately succeeded. Then she added some brown suede detail vertically in the front, and some zig-zag lacing that made the whole thing just scream trash. But did she follow the challenge? Did she do a killer job dying the fabric to look exactly like she wanted it to? And did she allow her material to be seen rather than hiding it under some putrid green ribbon? Poor, poor Pamela should have been given one more chance. The Drexel teacher said after losing that she would go home and continue teaching. It would be pretty sad if you lost ProjRun and went home to do nothing with your life but mourn the two weeks you spent on the show. Seriously, girl, you got a bum deal, but you just got to move on with your life. Project Runway is only the world to some people. Let it go.
|photo from Frankie Negron's photostream|
At Concilio's 7th & Fairmount home, the music will be non-stop this Sunday, with groups playing bachata and jibaro and more lending their support to a radiothon due to air on la Mega (1340 AM) and Rumba (1480 AM). As of right now the schedule looks like this:
11 a.m. Carmelito y su Banda Swing
noon Marino de Jesus y Comando 7
1 p.m. El hijo de Lola
2:30 p.m. Jimmy George
3 p.m. Nieves y su banda jibara
3:30 p.m. Reynaldo y el Grupo Muevete
4 p.m. Ruby Pulgar
4:30 p.m. Mickey Rivera y su Conjunto Sonido Tipico
5 p.m. M.G. "Tu negro canela"
6 p.m. Willie Willie
7 p.m. Joseph de la Bachata
8 p.m. Grupo Option
9 p.m. Chuckie Santos
9:30 p.m. Carlos David
Confirmada la participacion de Frankie Negrón.
Yes, that's Grammy winning Frankie Negrón, but my informant has yet to reveal what time he'll be there. Stop by 705 N. Franklin and dance to the bands in person. Or call and make a donation while the music churns through your radio. Donation info after the jump.
DONATION CALLS will be received at 215-627-1160.
DIRECT DEPOSITS can be made at PNC Bank
Account Name Unidos Por Haiti
Account Number 8602607754
Not much of a dancer but love to listen? How about volunteering? Concilio will sign you up with helpers from over 20 local organizations, call them at 215-627-3100..
We like American Idol. Too much.
Tommy Button: I think it goes without saying that Florida is the worst state in the nation. Florida is essentially the worst parts of New Jersey and the worst parts of the South mashed up in the shape of an old man's lumpy penis. I mean, that's where Cougar Town is set. And while flaccid is an appropriate description of the Orlando auditions, there were a few bright spots.
Molly Eichel: Those are some strong words, Tommy. I take umbrage so you better watch yo'self. I like Cougar Town. But, yes, Florida is Redneck Eden and Orlando is its Tree of Trash.
TB: My two favorite go to the men. Seth Rollins that ol' teddy bear was such a big sweetheart and his voice was absolutely lovely. He made me wanna hug the TV. Fuck it. I'm not ashamed. I did hug the TV. But it might be his hugability that could lose it. The guy is huge but has no edge, like I feel like I could boss him around if I didn't love him so much. Believe it or not, there are actually people who would take advantage of this guy. Nice guy's finish last, Seth.
ME: By 'no edge,' do you mean fat? America doesn't like fat Idols, save for Reuben Studdard but that's all part of the Barry White-persona. And he's not famous anymore proving that no one gives a shit. Part of the reason I like American Idol is that it's purportedly at meritocracy you'll go far if you work hard and have the talent. But what it really reveals is that its not a meritocracy at all no matter what, Americans still want their celebs to be pretty to look at. Shed the pounds, Sethster, and you might have your shot at an Idol title.
TB: But really, the star for me was Prison Matt (aka Matthew Lawrence), so-called because he went to fucking prison. Probably, Juvee, seeing that he was 15 when he tried to rob a bank with a BB gun. I don't know if he's from Florida but the kind of people who try robbing banks with BB guns tend to end up there at some point. But I forgive his bonehead crime. He served his time and now he wants to make right and audition for American Idol. The system works!!
ME: Yes! Prison Matt! Maybe Matt and Angela Martin can get together and talk about their time in lock-up. Plus, everyone time Simon starts talking shit, he can go all Road House on his ass and say, "I used to fuck guys like you in prison," which I'm personally really looking forward to. Matt stayed perfectly in his range with Ray LaMontagne's "Trouble" but I think he should try some Sam Cooke; there are very few people who can do Master Cooke justice. He had my favorite voice, beating out the super smooth Jermaine Purifoy.
TB: In true Idol fashion, the show kicked off with maybe the most ridiculous person on the show thus far Theo Glinton. He had mirrors and feathers slapped to his face with body glitter and sang "Something to Talk About" a song I've only heard one other person besides Bonnie Raitt do justice to.
ME: I kind of thought he looked like a gayer version of a character in the third Mad Max movie. Welcome to the Thunderdome!
TB: If he hadn't looked so fucking nuts, he actually would of just been regular, karaoke bad. Instead, we got uncomfortable. And shock. Boy, was he shocked. Good thing his "assistant" was there to help Ryan Seacrest wipe the sparkly tears from his feathers. Speaking of shock:
ME: Prison Matt should give him some tips on handle to himself in the clink.
TB: Surprisingly enough, one of my favorite fuck ups actually got in!! The Splits Guy!! First of all, gotta love anybody with a bunch of stripper friends. And I'm only saying that because everyone knows all strippers are paying their way through grad school and dolling out single after single is ensuring our future by creating the next generation of doctors and lawyers. Cornelius Edwards wasn't my favorite and I'm pretty sure he only got to Hollywood because now he's out a pair of pants and those thing are priceless. I once knew a guy who traveled all through Europe using only Levis as currency. But as long as Mr. Splits does a chair dance in Hollywood, I'll be set. After that, I'm good.
ME: I was disappointed that they let through this douche:
Seriously, Jay Stone, you want to have the same gimmick as Blake Lewis? Blake Lewis who is most likely coming to a state fair near you? Sigh. But I secretly loved the DeSimone Sisters of Cherry Hill, NJ, especially because Kara sniffed out their Jerz. At first glance of these Old City regulars, I had Blondie pegged as the one to go through and uglier brunette sister as the one crying home to Mama. I ended up preferring Brownie, though, but that may be because she picked "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" and I have an undying love for Whitney Houston.
In which Tommy and Molly judge guest judge Kristin Chenowith
TB: The fact that basically the whole judges table was hungover the entire episode is fantastic. They got hammered in Miami, then arrived hours late on their private jet. I'm glad to see these guys riding the wave. Normally, if this were a show like So You Think You Can Dance? which is way more difficult to type than American Idol I would bitch about how disrespectful this was to the fans, how wasteful and elitist, blah, blah, blah. But I woulda killed to be in that conga line.
ME: I liked that they admitted it too. There was entirely no point in saying, "Yeah, we went out, partied, did blow off Randy's ass and were late for work the next day." But they did it anyway, maybe simply to prove that their lives are considerably better than ours.
TB: Kristin Chenoweth was just little ball of adorable.
ME: Agreed! She's just so cute and seemed like she was having such a good time. Dare I say it? Fave guest judge so far.
TB: But I gotta be wary of anyone who appears to like Kara so much. She didn't do much on the show besides gab with Kara then got "called back to New York" (which is code for "Florida is shitty") the second day so she wasn't even there. But she was on Glee, another fine Fox program, and I love me some Glee. And if you'd like me to advertise your product, I take checks.
|Photo | John Vettese|
It starts out quiet as a mouse, fingerplucked acoustic guitar and brush beats on the drums. But as we'll learn, it's best not to let the mellow mood set the bar for your expectations of Andy Cabic and Vetiver. During the nomadic five piece's hour-long, very-sold-out set at Kung Fu Necktie last night, they ever-so-gradually built up the pace, pulling heavily at first from last year's Tight Knit. The ringing triangle on "Sister" was the initial crowd pleaser, a jaunty midtempo rhythm and pretty melody masking melancholic lyrics. Then there was the pepped up '60s pop of "Everyday," the acoustic guitar bouncing and drummer Otto Hauser bringing up the beat. Dude is totally the backbone of this band, going from an understated economy of percussion on the quieter moments, to a more emphatic beat the rousing 12-bar guitar jam "You May Be Blue" from the band's 2006 record To Find Me Gone. By the concluding cover of The Dead's "Don't Ease Me In," the sticks were hitting fast and fierce, Cabic was leaping and strutting, and the crowd seemed to forget that the night started on such a tender, tranquil note.
|Photo | John Vettese|
|Photo | John Vettese|
|Photo | John Vettese|
|Photo | John Vettese|
|Photo | John Vettese|
|Photo | John Vettese|
|Photo | John Vettese|
|Photo | John Vettese|
|Photo | John Vettese|
A note on the opener, Meg Baird. My friend Dan turned to me during a break between songs and said "Funniest comment I heard from back there," gesturing to the logjam of yapping heads at the bar (Seriously, people? Talking over Meg Baird? WTF.), "Some guy said 'She looks very inexperienced.'" We shared a hearty laugh at this as Baird went into a rendition of "The Pearl," the sensual, surreal love-and-death mediatation from Espers III (and her standout moment on the record). She tours the world, has collaborated with some of the best musicians of the past 50 years, got to sit in on a set at Carnegie Hall ... but yeah, inexperienced, sure. What, good yapper, are you interpreting as inexperience? Is it because Baird sits onstage very erect, clutching the guitar tightly as she nimbly plucks its strings? Is it because her facial expression remains fixed while she plays? You think she's nervous, is that what it is? No, dude. That's called focus. Listen to her Baird never hits a wrong note. She never plays out of tune. She nails each song, every time.
|Photo | John Vettese|
Goddamn, everyone wants a piece of the City Paper pie. Recently, Danny DeVito was seen lovingly reading a CP in an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Now, freelancer extraordinaire Natalie Hope McDonald finds this shot of City Paper from an episode of thirtysomething, the Philly-set hour-long dramedy from the producing team of Marshall Herskovitz (an Lower Merion High School alum) and Edward Zwick (they would later go on to produce My So-Called Life and Once and Again, as well as move into film). It's from the second season, which was released on DVD on Tuesday. For those keeping score at home, here's the episode info, courtesy of NHM:
Season 2, episode 2
"In Re: The Marriage of Weston"
Original airdate: 12/31/88
YouTube user Phaseshifter2 is apparently really into thirtysomething and has the episode up online. Here's the first part:
With Jersey Shore ending its altogether-too-brief run on MTV this Thursday, questions still remain about whathefuggdisisawlaboud: What does means to be a "guido" or "guidette"? Was the program the insult to Italian-Americans it was said to be, or is it merely shining a light on a subculture that's literally always been at my back door? Why wasn't there any Philadelphia-based "guidos" or "guidettes" included, or might there be for the second season (if there is one)?
A lot of these questions might be something you could ask Sammi Sweetheart or Ronnie â the sole Jersey Shore couple â when they hit McFadden's (461 North 3rd St.) around 11 p.m. this Friday, January 22. I say might because the 1000-plus capactiy venue is nearly sold out, according to booker/promoter Kevin J. Baxter, the boss of Johnny Knockout Entertainment. "We did events with Flo Rida when his song "Low"went number one, and parties with Jamie Foxx and Sean Paul before, but this Jersey Shore party is selling harder and faster than all of them," says Baxter of the $10 tickets to see the tanned duo.
Though he wouldn't comment on rumors that Snooki (aka Nicole Polizzi) would be stopping to visit her pals (not as a paid performer but as a hang), Baxter did mention that Michael Lohan (Lindsay Lohan's dad, who we hear knows Snooki's pop) is invited along, with Frank Stallone, Hailey Glassman (ex-paramour of Jon Gosselin), Philly guy Mike Manning (The Real World DC) and Derick Mcintosh (One Tree Hill). It's a B-list extravaganza worthy of a hero (sandwich) welcome.
More Jersey Shore stuff can be found at the bottom of this week's Icepack online. GTL, yo.
We like American Idol. Too much.
Tommy Button: The Windy City sure did blow last night.
Molly Eichel: Rim shot! But, seriously. It sucked. 13 golden tickets? C'mon, Chicago, step it up.
TB: Last night's episode peaked at the first audition Broken Home Girl. I mean, it's not like I haven't heard that story before not me, of course, my parents have been married forever, which is why I'm so well-adjusted it was because she was actually pretty good. And she's got this woman scorned thing going on that might really play in her favor further up the road. I also just love scorned women because, really? Who doesn't like a challenge.
ME: Really? I thought Katelyn Epperly was mediocre. She was totally adorable but she had White Girl Singing Voice, where she tries to sound deep and soulful but can't pull it off because her voice is just naturally thinner and reedier. She's gone in Hollywood week unless she has some crazy musical chops and can pull out some ridic instrumentation, a la Wonder Bread's rendition of "Heartless" from last season.
But it was Angela Martin who made it to Hollywood twice before only be royally fucked with God's dice playing that caught my attention. She's got a sob story that beats out any run of the mill divorce: retarded daughter, murdered father, traffic violations! I'm already setting my DVR to her upcoming made-for-TV movie.
TB: The 16 year old, Taylor Momsen weirdo who got through, I'm not really a fan. She's only worth mentioning because of her hairstylin' family. Molly, roll the clip.
ME: Must I? Charity Vance also got hardcore White Girl Voice. Although she sounds better in lower register than previous White Girl. Although, my AI viewing party (Note to Idol Handsies: Tommy and I, gasp, don't actually watch together) also referred to her as Taylor Momsen girl. Maybe she also hates Haiti.
TB: John Park was surprisingly good. I like the wild card air he has about him. I don't think he'll win. He'll probably make it up until America gets to vote, then he'll sulk back to his strict parents. I mean, it took over 200 years for America to elect a black man president, American Idol's only in it's 9th season. I don't think an Asian is gonna win for at least another 300 seasons.
ME: Anoop Desai from last season was Indian and he got freakishly far on his Peter Gallagher eyebrows alone. Maybe America's ready. YES WE CAN ... choose and Asian-American Idol.
TB: But Park is also, worth mentioning because of Shania Twain (see judging table.) The only really terrible person was Gomer Pile but I'm pretty sure he was a fake. People like that who are for real tend to bring along their diabetic mother. Nevertheless, HI-larious.
ME: When Brian Krause came on, I was first, like, 'No. No. American Idol, making fun of products of incest is even too mean for you!" But then he said he was going to sing a Tiny Tim... The only other weirdo worth mentioning was boob flexer Amy Lang who went from slapworthy obnoxious to kind of hilarious all the way back to slapworthy obnoxious.
Although, I bet all of her super gay friends love her. Redefines the term fag hag.
In which Tommy and Molly judge guest judge Shania Twain
TB: Shania Twain was just OK, but she made up for it with he sexual harassment of now resident Asian, John Park. Any woman who can make that many penis jokes in a row is fine by me.
ME: Shania would've done better for herself if she didn't play with her blouse the entire time. She looked like a nervous teenager when the hot college kid is around. I wanted a little more sass from Shania. Alas, no.
|Octopus Hat, $34,
Our Yellow House
If you still haven't made a donation to the Red Cross or any number of other relief organizations in the name of helping post-quake Haiti, there is, of course, still plenty of time, and still plenty of people who desperately need all the financial help they can get.
Etsy's jumped on board with Hearts for Haiti, a fundraising shop where 100 percent of the post-Paypal-fee proceeds go directly to Doctors Without Borders, which has been working in Haiti for 19 years and operates three emergency hospitals in Port-au-Prince.
|Haiti relief pendant,
$18, Olivia Moon
Some details from the site:
This is an Etsy collective of donated items from hundreds of Etsy shops to raise money to rebuild Haiti. 100 percent of the proceeds from this shop (minus Etsy fees and Paypal fees) go directly to Doctors Without Borders in bi-monthly increments.
All items include seller-donated free shipping (most worldwide, see individual listing); because the need is SO great, we want you to buy and help support Etsians helping Haiti. The theme for the next few weeks is on heart items, but we have more than just that. Please ... know that your purchase in this shop not only gets you a great Etsy item but it also helps alleviate the needs in Haiti.
So far the little shop that could has raised more than $6,000 but it still has a long road ahead. If you're an Etsy artist who'd like to donate to the shop, e-mail email@example.com for more information; if you're a shopper, click here and spoil yourself, your friends and your family totally guilt-free.
I've included a few of my favorite products in this post; click on the image to visit the site. Tons and tons of baby stuff, jewelry and Haiti relief-themed crafts, but poke around for a few minutes and you'll discover a vast array of goods, from paintings and prints to pins and buttons, costing anywhere from $250 to $1.50. Happy hunting.
I've got the hardcore hots for New Yorker writer Tad Friend, who focuses on the entertainment industry and often writes their Letters from California. Friend's writing is funny and high-minded without being pretentious. He's one of the few New Yorker writers that can cover supposedly low culture without condescending to it. His piece about suicides at the Golden Gate Bridge also inspired the Sleater-Kinney song "Jumpers" and the excellently haunting doc, The Bridge. Is it hot in here or is it just Tad?
Friend will be at the Kelly Writers House tomorrow, Wednesday, January 20, most likely pimping his memoir Cheerful Money: Me, My Family and the Last Days of Wasp Splendor, and on WHYY's Radio Times tomorrow morning at 11 a.m.
Got some time on your hands? Read Friend's piece on Nikki Finke, blog goddess/Wicked Witch of the West Coast (depending on your perspective), who runs Deadline Hollywood Daily:
A combination town crier and volcano god, Finke evokes in her readers both anxiety and respect. One top studio executive says, "Nikki's blog you have to check, and the others you have to delete from your in-box. She's very, very, very accurate, extraordinarily soyou have a supposedly private conversation with two other people, and it's on her site within an hour." She usually posts five to ten stories a day, some of them just press releases or minutiae about elections at the Writers Guild, but many of them transfixing: anonymously sourced accounts of clandestine negotiations; photos of newly fired executives with red X's slapped across them (after she'd broken the news of their impending demise); boasts of "TOLDJA!" when something happens that she predicted, or, anyway, half predicted; and helpful career advice ("Stick it where the sun don't shine, you asswipe," she recently counselled a CBS publicist).
Tad Friend, 6 p.m., free, Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk, 215-746-POEM
|"Baltimore, you forgot my birthday?
I feel like Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles,
but with no promise of Jake Ryan."
Ever year on Edgar Allan Poe's birthday that would be today, January 19 some random Baltimore-ian leaves a birthday offering of a bottle of cognac and roses on the author's original grave site. But, as the Baltimore Sun reports:
This is the first time since Jan. 19, 1949 that the person, whose identity is unknown, failed to arrive, said Jeff Jerome, curator of the Edgar Allan Poe House.
"I was very annoyed," he said.
Ahem, is Baltimore losing their Poe touch?
To Poe's descendants: Philadelphians would be more than happy to give Poe'boy his birthday offering but cognac is on the expensive side. Think he'd be cool with a Lager?
Suck it, Charm City. Give us back our Poe!
RELATED: We're Taking Poe Back
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