Archive: March, 2011
Every Thursday our pop-culture critic, Bianca Brown, gives the catty, smile-with-your-eyes lowdown on cycle 16 of America's Next Top Model.
This week we learned how arbitrary labels in the fashion industry can be. Tyra gave the girls a lesson on well-known models and their niches. Gisele Bundchen is labeled “sexy,” as she has been for years. As far as I can tell, she’s busty, but is tall and thin like other fashion models. She’s recently done ads for Balenciaga where her look is much more artsy, proving the sexy label is more hair curlers and bronzer than anything else. The only thing edgy about Agyness Deyn is her haircut. And the couture example looked like any girl from Victoria’s Secret.
The girls were then given their own archetypes, mostly arbitrarily. Tyra discussed getting trashed on the internet, kooky fans and setting boundaries with them. A challenge meet-n-greet followed, where the girls talked to a bunch of losers with nothing better to do than meet the Cycle 16 ANTM contestants. A middle-aged creep complete with receding hairline showed up, offering to get Monique on a “website” and pointlessly asking Alex out. She kissed him on the cheek after much pleading, which Miss J said is a no-no, as that encourages stalkers. I’ve always wondered where those people find the time to follow someone around a city all day, go to work, and sleep and eat. Kasia won the challenge, and everyone else had to clean up after their adoring fans. Way to save some dough, Tyra.
Kasia went to a hip restaurant with Brittani, Jaclyn, and Miss J, who doled out advice on dealing with the sometimes hostile public. Molly was blue about her weave, which gave her painful rashes. (I hear Sea Breeze is good for that.) Tyra is a weave empress, and doesn’t show sympathy in these situations. But the creature was finally removed.
Monique got upset for mysterious reasons, and felt she was on the verge of a breakdown. Being on reality TV must be irritating. The girls did a mud-enhanced photo shoot with blondes vs. brunettes. After weeks of getting overlooked, Brittani was called first at panel, and Monique went home for being so-so. Next week is some serious drama.
Black Banana bartender-turned-art-teacher Terry Saulin is exhibiting her newest sculptures and drawings at Tiger Strikes Asteroid on April 1, followed by a city-wide Spring Arts Festival re-opening on April 15. Go.
The father and son team of Bob and Brandon Bitros are opening Interstate Draft House in Port Fishington at the old Moe’s spot on E. Palmer Street. Good for foodies who miss Azure (the Bitros owned that) and their familiar family manner. Bad for Moe’s and aficionados of tap room culture like me.
Alex Styer, the trumpeter from the exquisitely funky Experience Kef, has a day job helping to run the Philadelphia Arts Alliance (PAA). This weekend (starting with the a big bash on March 31) he’s pushing the PAA’s show of wearable art, ARTwear and its hand crafted jewelry and accessories show/benefit. ARTwear runs until Sunday and features dozens of craft practitioners along with the event’s curators Bruce Hoffman and my old buddy Doug Bucci, both of whom will hold special presentations throughout the event. Pay in.
Philly’s favorite son of Latino electronica, El Malito, took my advice and is working with my favorite producer of Latino exotica (and the man behind last weekend’s Caravan Fest at Electric Factory) Aaron Levinson. Levinson brought in sampler/DJ Starkey, and the rest will soon be history if I have any say.
Bear with me. As I write this next bit, I think of the line in A Christmas Story where Darren McGavin is opening the large wooden box mailed to him with “fraaa-geee-lay” on the front. As he’s pulling hay from the package, he repeats that he’s won a major award. I like the pride of a guy winning a major award, whether it turns out (as in McGavin’s case) to be a plastic leg-lamp in a fishnet stocking or master chef Georges Perrier gathering two prizes during two culinary events. First he’s getting a gift for 40 years of culinary excellence at the Flavors of Philadelphia fundraiser for the American Liver Foundation (ALF) at the Loews Hotel on April 5, the first time that the ALF foundation has honored anyone at this event. Then during the opening night soiree for the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts on April 7 at the Kimmel, he’ll be honored with the Culinary Visionary Award. After that Perrier will host chef Mathieu Viannay of La Mere Brazier from Lyon, (Perrier’s hometown) for a special menu at Le Bec-Fin April 13-15. Yum.
I’m sitting here with a full copy of the, Life Fantastic in my hand from Philly’s Man Man and it is hurting my head in the very best way. Since Anti (their label) has asked me not to review it quite yet, I will comply. But I must say that “Shameless” is epically long and all twisted up while “Steak Knives” is MM at their vintage vexing best.
Jazz Appreciation Month is coming. Grilled Cheese Month is coming. So is Poetry Month. To celebrate the latter, PhillyCAM is doing April Folly on April 1 with DJ K-Tell, scores of guys with cameras (including City Paper emeritus Bruce Schimmel) capturing footage of the poetry fun at the PhillyCAM studio 232 Vine. If you can’t get there, turn on Comcast 66/966 and Verizon FIOS 29/30 that night to catch the event along with shows like Celebrities in the Basement and The Mike Holla Show.
March 31 and The Marvelous on S. 40th Street — that’s the day and the place where composer/guitarist Nick Millevoi holds his release jam for yet another magically noisy CD, Black Figure of a Bird.
WHOWHATWHERE: Oscar winner Natalie Portman shopped at Joan Shepp on Tuesday because her fiance Benjamin Millepied is choreographing bits of the Pennsylvania Ballet’s “Building on Balanchine,” at the Merriam Theatre. Millepied worked with a bunch of the Pennsylvania Ballet dancers on Black Swan so there. Oscar host Anne Hathaway also stopped at Joan Shepp recently so expect visits from the little girl from True Grit and Helena Bonham Carter shortly. OK. Just deal with the Jersey Shore crew while they’re still in the states. They’ll be heading to Italy in a minute. Jenny “J Woww” Farley and her new beau Roger Matthews hit Whisper last week and The Situation will be at the Wine & Spirits store at Franklin Mills Mall at 5 p.m. then Parx Casino in Bensalem at around 9:30 p.m. Both appearances are for his launch of Devotion Vodka in Pennsylvania. Somebody send me a bottle. Oh, let me tell you about the weekend in Atlantic City. I wasn’t with my photog when he shot Dennis Rodman before his DJ slot (yes, DJ slot) at Dusk where he hung out with boxer Roy Jones Jr., tried to unscrew casino light bulbs and hugged everyone within reach. But the Janet Jackson show at The Borgata and all that stuff that followed it? Sweetness I say. She put on a helluva show of hits. After the Friday show at mur.mur (the Borgata club), Joey Fatone showed up and hung with Samantha Ronson in the DJ booth. (Fatone has been hosting The Price is Right nights in AC and will start filming Mancation in the area next week). The next night, dimpled television host Mario Lopez dined at Bobby Flay Steak and met the Flay-ster himself before catching Jackson’s show and hosting a party at mur.mur. That same night at the Borgata’s MIXX, Janet’s ex Jermaine Dupri spun with Sky Nellor and held court for rapper Busta Rhymes who performed “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See,” and “Pass the Courvoisier, Part II.” Not to be outdone by Jersey that weekend, the action centered on the Ritz-Carlton where Travis Barker (who was on the Wells Fargo bill with Lil Wayne and Nikki Minaj) hung out. Wayne was not to be seen at the hotel and Minaj eventually made her way to Atlantic City for host duties at The Pool at Harrah’s.
Speaking of being on film, Philly’s chamber-noise-pop sensations Creeping Weeds shot a video for the single “Light In The Window” at Johnny Brenda’s from their forthcoming new CD Creeping Weeds. Bravo them. I’d love to tell you where they are playing April 1, but I can’t because the West Philly house that they are playing with is suddenly undergoing heat from the police and are no longer allowed to do shows. So the Weeds is going underground, playing in the basement and in secret. Fans? You just have to figure it out.
Time magazine recently compiled their Top 140 best Twitter feeds, and many are household names: Ashton, Kanye, Bieber, Conan, Colbert, Chelsea, The Onion — even fictional characters like Homer Simpson. They are listed in no particular order, but are available for ranking via your votes. But Time’s list isn’t perfect. Here are seven great accounts that fell under their radar.
1.Charlie Sheen | @charliesheen
For better or worse, the unemployed winner with Adonis DNA has aided March madness in giving the American cubicle workforce something fuel its perpetually dire morale. Whether you love him or you hate him, he’s a self-sustaining dynamo; even if you don’t think he’s worth talking about, the fact that you’re talking about talking about him means that he’s altered the landscape of mass media. And his twitter feed — like Sheen himself, I suspect — seems to be 66.6% schtick and 33.3% genuine batshit. Taking our minds off the economy, the earthquakes, and other sure harbingers of the pre-apocalypse, Sheen himself may very well be one of the four horsemen. But at least he’s wearing a clown suit and keeping us blissfully ignorant as our final generations come of age.
“We must bombard with Warlock Napalm, that traitor and loser whore #DUH-neese POOR-ards. a vile kidnapper and now dog thief. hate. SBW c”
2. Chuck Klosterman | @CKlosterman
This cultural sherpa and collumnist for Spin, Esquire, ESPN and more, has no blog for fans to follow. Therefore, his twitter feed is the closest we can get to this best-selling author of pop manifestos. Klosterman’s tweets are a mix of sports commentary, opinions on trending topics, and (mostly) links and retweets that he has discovered as (often, unexpectedly) relevant. Almost like a Wholphin of Twitter (Wholphin is Dave Eggers’ collection of weird, interesting videos you wouldn’t normally know about), Klosterman finds those quirky nuggets that fall through the cracks, and reminds us that Presbyterians is an anagram for Britney Spears.
“As a writer, I will probably never be selected for the Pro Bowl. But if I was, I feel like I could rush for maybe 60 yards.”
3. Dana Gould | @DanaJGould
This Simpsons writer — called (by Patton Oswalt) the father of alternative comedy — is, quite simply, one of the funniest human beings of all time. And let's be honest, skyping and getting your news are important items, but the internet is fueled by LOLs. Every single one of his tweets is either sheer gold, or an occasional notice about when he’ll be performing in your town — equally valuable.
“America’s concern about radiation levels in Japan has risen dramatically since 1945.”
4. Humble Brag | @Humblebrag
Re-tweets of people who are bragging about something in the form of thinly-veiled self-deprecation — you know, because bragging is only socially acceptable as long as you maintain the appearance of humility.
“RT I’m watching myself on TV right now (which is just an odd experience in and of itself) and I’m taken aback by how much I’m sweating--in HD”
5. Huffington Post | @HuffPostEnt
If you’re a pop-culture junkie — and why wouldn’t you be if you’re putzing around on Twitter all day — then The Huff is a must have Twitter feed. In many ways, Twitter itself is like a continuation of the Huffington Post for web 2.0 (in that, it provides the collective murmur of our cultural feed-bag). In just skimming the Huff’s Twitter feed, I found out that Mariah Carey just had her babies, Amy Adams will play Lois Lane in the next Superman movie, and Tom Hanks will be on 30 Rock — all in about 4 seconds. What that data means in the scheme of things is arguable, but you can’t argue that it’s all available rigt there, on the Huff.
“A year away from the next Batman film, they’re already planning another series reboot. http://huff.to/hqlqME”
6. Lifehacker | @lifehacker
Lifehacker is sort of a modern continuation of the Whole Earth Catalog. Except, now the earth is filled with obstacles beyond, “must build a shelter and must cultivate edible crops”.
“Here’s how to make your Brita water filter better in around five seconds http://t.co/iif84Mf"
7. Anthony Jeselnik | @anthonyjeselnik
This comedian has been making a huge splash in the last few years as a sort of dark, ultra-modern Mitch Hedberg. His word economy is potent, which makes him a natural tweeter (Can’t believe that’s a word now). Additionally, he doesn’t tweet his every thought, he only usually tweets well-crafted jokes. The down side of this is that we only hear from him twice a week or so, but reading all five hundred superb tweets in his back-catalog is likely gonna put a dent in your afternoon. Careful, while they’re not exactly NSFW in the expletive sense, they’re grossly inappropriate in most other senses.
“On Thanksgiving, I visit the hospital and deep fry turkeys for the kids in the burn unit, just to see the looks on their ‘faces.’”
Philly Improv Theatre at the Shubin (407 Bainbridge St.) runs a series of shows called "Found Comedy". PHIT has a great thing going with a recurring set of hilarious shows that sort of write themselves (after just a bit of research finding the subjects).
The first is comedian Brendan Kennedy's "Guilty Pleasures" @ 8 (with underground Philly comedy sensation Roger C. Snair). "Guilty Pleasures" has been cracking up Philly for three years now with awful, un-produced movie and TV scripts--the worst Brendan can possibly find--which are acted out on stage. Here's an [NSFW] video from one of the shows.
"TV Party" @ 9:30, with Paul Triggiani (Secret Pants) and Rob Banewiecz (Meg and Rob), takes a look — Mystery Science Theatre-style — at crappy TV shows from the past. The resident Philly sketchperts exhume ghastly shows that would have hoped for a quiet, un-noticed death and take them to task, because it's one thing to jot down a terrible script idea, it's another thing to be brought a terrible script and go ahead with producing it.
Tickets for each show are $10. For more information visit phillyimprovtheater.com.
Each Wednesday, Emily Apisa puts together a rundown of book-centric events that'll keep you lit all week long.
Wednesday: Professional baseball in the early 20th Century was unwelcoming to black players but, as chronicled in Neil Lanctot’s book Campy: The Two Lives of Roy Campanella, talent and tenacity have etched some black players into baseball history. Lanctot details the life of one of baseball’s most notable catchers with colorful anecdotes from on and off the field.
Wed., March 30, 6 p.m., free, UPenn Bookstore, 3601 Walnut St.
Thursday: Paul Elwork’s first novel explores heavy topics such as death and family secrets through the immature eyes of a 13-year-old girl and her twin brother. The Girl Who Would Speak For the Dead unfolds in 1925 on a Philadelphia estate, and lessons are learned when the siblings experiment with the supernatural and learn the consequences of deception.
Thu., March 31, 6 p.m., free, Downtown Barnes and Noble, 1805 Walnut St.
Friday: The Dead Bards of Philadelphia are hosting an open reading for local poetry enthusiasts. Whether you want to take to the mic to spit your sonnet or just sit back and soak it all in, all are welcome to attend.
Fri., April 1, 7:30 p.m., free, The Spiral Bookcase, 112 Cotton St.
Saturday: Pages are the walls that stand between poets and poetry-lovers. This event will connect the two interdependent communities as two poets not only read their work, but also discuss the poem-writing process, friendships between poets and the life of a poet. Hal Sirowitz, a former Queens, New York Poet Laureate and Howard Nelson, editor of Earth, My Likeness; Nature Poems of Walt Whitman, will be sharing their work and their lives with the audience.
Sat., April 2, 5 p.m., free, Big Blue Marble Bookstore, 551 Carpenter Lane
Sunday: Poetry Ink is an all-day celebration of verse. Over 100 unique voices of varying experience levels will share their poems offering up new perspectives and ideas. Each poet gets three minutes to recite their work while the audience enjoys coffee and potluck desserts. This year is the 15th anniversary of the Poetry Ink, which is a testament to the program’s success.
Sun., April 3, 12 p.m., free, Moonstone Arts Center, 110A S. 13 St.
Monday: Each Monday the Central Library brings in poets to read. This Monday Teresa Leo and Kate Northrop are the featured guests, both of whom are contributing editors to The American Poetry Review. Leo’s biography is tightly woven with the Philadelphia literary scene: she has studied and taught at Temple, worked as Acting Director of the Kelly Writer’s House and worked with the Philadelphia Writer Partnership Program. Northrop’s newest collection, Clean: Poems, blend together the super and supernatural using lyrical verse.
Mon., April 4, 6:30 p.m., free, Central Library, 1901 Vine St.
Yesterday, at about noon, a crowd began to gather at the intersection of Sixth and South. Repo Records had become a sudden hotspot for hardcore Radiohead fans — Radioheadheads? — the kind who check the band’s blog obsessively enough to know that today was their only chance to get the band’s free newspaper. The Universal Sigh is a 12-page tabloid that ties in with the band’s new album, The King of Limbs, released yesterday in physical format. The paper is full of artwork, lyrics, poems and stories; it might be seen as liner notes for an album that many will own only digitally.
Last week, the band sent an email to fans announcing the newspaper and its website, which revealed the details of the project: On March 28 and 29, at noon or 1 p.m., the newspaper would be distributed in cities across the world. Thom Yorke himself handed out the papers at a London record store — the one location in the city where they were available. Philadelphia was lucky enough to have two distribution locations (the other was in University City).
Outside Repo, there were just a few people milling around outside the shop at noon; by 1, when the newspapers were due to appear, there was a line around the corner. We all wondered how the papers were going to materialize; the shop clerk didn’t seem to know. Then, suddenly, two women with canvas paper-route-style bags and a big cardboard box appeared, seemingly out of nowhere. “We were just waiting in the car and watching you guys,” they announced. The crowd converged on them, their eagerness for the newspaper tempered by politeness: All were part of the same community of fans, after all. The distributors took a picture of each recipient holding her or his copy. Those photos have begun to appear in the two Philadelphia sections of theuniversalsigh.com, which is posting photos of fans worldwide. Score one for global community-building.
City Paper intern Matt Cantor set his iPod on shuffle. This is where it led him…
1. Stars, “Midnight Coward,” In Our Bedroom After the War
Stars are experts at bittersweet rock; their songs can induce nostalgia for something that never happened. “Midnight Coward,” reportedly about doubts surrounding a one-night stand, captures those qualities. With vocals introduced immediately over a throbbing beat, it quickly grabs you by the throat — a movie soundtrack kind of song.
2. R.E.M., “Bad Day,” In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003
The song’s apparently been floating around since 1985, but this studio recording emerged as a previously-unreleased tune on In Time, a compilation album. It’s vintage R.E.M.: Michael’s Stipe’s nasal voice riding fuzzy guitars, with a heavy dose of minor chords, all speeding along at a satisfying pace.
3. Death Cab for Cutie, “Little Bribes,” The Open Door EP
This is the first track off the EP that quickly followed Death Cab for Cutie’s dark 2008 album Narrow Stairs. It was an upbeat bunch of songs, very out of character for the band — and I have to admit, I was a little disappointed. When I turn on Death Cab, I want to be pensive, dammit. This toe-tapping tune about Vegas is almost…funny.
4. The Beatles, “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away,” Help!
Compared to much of the Beatles’ work at the time, this song is surprisingly pained: “Why do I even try?/ I can never win.” It marks a turning point for the band — not quite early-Beatles, not quite late. Mid-Beatles, I guess: While it’s still a straightforward pop song, it’s contemplative, acoustic, there’s no cymbal-bashing — and what’s that at the end, jazz flute?
5. Radiohead, “Bangers and Mash,” In Rainbows Disk 2
This is one of the band’s hardest-rocking songs since OK Computer. Though it’s catchy, it’s not particularly moving. Perhaps that’s why it’s a popular live tune but was stuck on the second disc of In Rainbows, meaning it’s not part of the standard-issue album.
6. James Taylor, “Carolina in My Mind,” Greatest Hits
“Carolina in My Mind” appeared on Taylor’s first album, James Taylor, which didn’t make much of a splash. But he must have liked the song, because a new version — the one everyone knows — was released on his 1976 Greatest Hits album. You don’t get much more Taylor-y than this song: It’s relaxed, deeply personal, and it’s got quintessential Taylor finger-picking. He’s a sorely underappreciated guitarist, with a multi-voiced style that’s almost classical.
7. Dexy’s Midnight Runners, “All in All (This One Last Wild Waltz),” Too-Rye-Aye
They’re more than just “Come on Eileen”: These guys play haunting, Celtic-influenced pop, with strings and horns cleanly mixed over punchy bass lines. “All in All” would benefit from being a bit faster, but it showcases Kevin Rowland’s uniquely intense and well-controlled voice. If you like “Come on Eileen” — as who doesn’t? — check out “Let’s Make This Precious,” a better example of the band’s non-Eileen-related work.
8. Coldplay, “Square One,” X&Y
Say what you will about Coldplay — Chris Martin knows how to write a great melodic pop song. “Square One,” however, appears on their weakest album, and it’s a got a little too much ambiance and bombast for its own good. Coldplay are at their best when they’re more intimate — as demonstrated in this song’s tag, which features just Martin’s voice and an acoustic guitar.
9. Local Natives, “Cubism Dream,” Gorilla Manor
Like a lot of Local Natives originals, this song doesn’t seem to go anywhere; there’s a droning quality to it. On the other hand, the band’s got a full, rich sound, and songs like this showcase great voices singing impeccable, original harmonies. They put on one of the best shows I’ve seen in quite a while.
10. The Jam, “Eton Rifles,” Setting Sons
The Jam often sound like the Clash playing Motown songs, and this tune is no exception. With a good beat, “Eton Rifles” manages to be aggressive but poppy, a fun song for an indie club night. It’s very, very English.
WHO: Galapagoose and surprise guests
WHAT: After a brief hiatus, King Britt and company are back with their excellent Saturn Never Sleeps, a hoopla dedicated to the raw, uncut presentation of electronic music. To jump off the new residency they have Australia’s Galapagoose – who'll be demonstrating new equipment and techniques — alongside other special guests (you’ll have to show up to find out just who). And they promise its gonna be monthly from here on out.
WHEN & WHERE: Tue., March 29, 9 p.m.-2 a.m., $5-$8, Silk City, 435 Spring Garden St., 215-592-8838.
WHY: Who doesn’t like early-week chillin’ with boundary pushing music?
Now why do I want to hear a dude rap on top of a recording of himself rapping?
Ok so last Thursday night I rolled up to the Troc to catch the Dipset Reunion show. The Diplomats are definitely my fave rap crew and I was at the big reunion show in NYC this past November. The Philly show was not nearly as much of a production, but it was still mad fun. Jim Jones, Juelz and Cam’ron each did solo sets as well as a group set to close it out. Jimmy was kinda ehh (as usual) and I was a bit disappointed in Juelz as well. I distinctly recall turnin’ to my homegirl Nisey and sayin’ “this sucks, where’s Vado?” Now, four or five years ago, Juelz was my favorite rapper and I woulda punched myself for sayin’ that. But things change. Cam opened up with the track “Killa Cam” and I knew it was gonna be good. For some reason Vado wasn’t able to make the show, which sucked cuz the young slime is nice with it and him and Cam have a great vibe together. Cam’s set and the group set were def the highlights and place was rockin’ with energy. Hometown favorite, Meek Mills made a surprise appearance (Freeway also popped out with the opening act) to amp things up even more. Overall I thought it was a cool show for sure and the crowd seemed pretty satisfied. As a side note, my one beef with pretty much all rap shows these days is the fucking vocals in the beat! Now why do I want to hear a dude rap on top of a recording of himself rapping? It's pretty much the standard these days, but I just don’t get it. Anyway, I can’t wait for the new Diplomats album later this year — Dipset 4 Life!
Last week my landlord scheduled a fire inspection, which means I had to un-plug every extension chord in the man-cave (apparently, extension chords violate the fire code in my neighborhood). As if I’m powering every Prius in Collingswood out of my third floor den, removing them is a somewhat life-altering (and furniture-moving) process. It occurs once a year, and then my ‘cave remains in this poor state until motivation and a spare couple hours coincide (a phenomenon which occurs MAYBE once every three months).
So, for now, I have to move outward for my requisite multi-media entertainment saturation. This weekend it started with Bradley Cooper’s Limitless.
I can’t say this movie was disappointing, because I could tell from the reviews that it was going to be a somewhat shallow treatment of man’s greatest desire — a pill which sheds light on all things and turns your brain into a dual-core supercomputer. I was doomed to see it, since brain-power expansion is a fetish of mine and I could no more easily resist this than Michael Cera could have resisted “Diary of a Wimpy Kid."
Sure enough, Limitless offered up a fast-paced display of the gimmicky quirks available with newfound ingenuity. Unfortunately, there was little to no examination of the philosophical, ethical or ‘big-picture’ implications of such a drug existing. I know this is tantamount to a Star Trek fan complaining that the new Trek film was too action-packed and could have used more inter-galactic diplomacy. But nerdiness is the new testosterone, so deal with it.
On Saturday, I brought the wife up to The Bookstore Speakeasy, a 1920s style pub in Bethlehem. Stepping up to a door with nothing but an address, on the side of a building that resembles... a windowless, abandoned church bingo-hall? Or whatever makes up the bulk of the shady-ass buildings in Bethlehem’s south side. You step down into an oddly-lit foyer the size of a men’s-room with book-shelves everywhere and a dapper young lady asks if you have a reservation (which, you’d better!).
You are then ushered through a black curtain — a portcullis into prohibition. Bartenders with beards and tuxedos are shaking cocktails and hand-smashing large made-to-order ice-cubes designed to neutralize watering down. People are talking and laughing under a low ceiling in a room that is dimly lit with candles and tiny kerosene lamps. I’m not sure there’s a light-bulb in the entire place. In the corner, a man in an old-timey suit is playing piano. Semi-partitioned sections give off the illusion that the place could seat more than 30 — which, I’m almost certain it can’t.
A bluesy swing-jazz band plays entirely un-plugged from 9:30 to 12:30. If you’re not seated near them, it can be tough to hear their upright (aging) piano, upright wooden bass, banjo and mic-less singing over the roar of people having an amazing time and frequent ice-chipping. We got lucky with a rare low-tide in customers to move closer to the band. These mysterious musicians played music that--to my knowledge--really doesn’t exist anymore. A sort of bluegrass swing, it might as well be from the cartoons our parents grew up with. With frequent swaps-out of the banjo for a fiddle or acoustic guitar, they traded solos and bounced from jazz to blues and back. I normally harass musicians for their life story, but I decided to let these prohibition swingers remain a mystery. There’s some odd joy in not knowing. A lesson, perhaps, from Limitless...
- 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