Archive: June, 2011
Brian Nagele, the Philly2Night entrepreneur who took over the Appoliniare space in the Piazza several weeks ago for his own hipster devices, has finally re-branded the former Italian restaurant. “Our new name will be Kings Oak,” says Nagele. “That’s taken from my experiences with location-based apps that would always say I was located on Kings Oak Lane when standing in the Piazza. Not sure if Second was actually called Kings Oak Lane at one time, but I liked the sound of it.” We like it too.
If you were as shocked as I was that singer Chris Brown took home so many trophies at the BET Awards, here’s one you may have missed: The Diplo-written and produced Chris Brown song “Look At Me Now” won Best Collaboration and Best Video (see it here). Congratulate Dip when you see him spinning at Voyeur on July 3 for The Roots’ pre-Welcome America bash.
Italian Market brunch sensation, Sabrina’s, just got an additional location at Drexel University’s Ross Commons building on 34th. Good for them. Speaking of Itals, there was no way in heck I could have made it to last week’s press-and-pals opening of Serafina’s, Rittenhouse’s hearty new Italian bistro created by owners Fabio Granato and Vittorio Assaf. These same owners of the three New York City Serafinas were still buzzing around when I sat down with friends for dinner on Friday. Not only was the early seating crazy bustling (you got to get in there early for the lobster and the tuna tartars, the pasta and caviar dish and the pizza selection) so was the venue’s publicist Kelly Boyd. Had she been there since Tuesday? She looked fresh as a daisy. That’s dedication. The place was so mobbed I think it was Assaf who was helping to bus outside tables. Double the dedication. Love Serafina’s for that. Plus as I was walking out the door Mark Bee (Silk City) and Mark Vetri (on a bike, in a helmet, in a lemon t-shirt from his Alex’s Lemonade Stand Great Chefs event) were hanging outside. Guess I wasn’t the only guy who missed the VIP party.
Now, you can’t walk down 18th without something going on this week. David Fields opening his kitchen, a.kitchen at AKA Rittenhouse Square, during happy hour on Tuesday, with chef Bryan Sikora. You knew it was happening but it was still a lively and swank surprise to finally see the space blossom.
CP's Brian Wilensky is on a mission to hit up every karaoke haunt in town — and then share all the mellifluous details.
There was a different sort of buzz in the air at National Mechanics Tuesday night when I walked for karaoke. Looking around, it seemed like everyone was chipper and ready for something to happen.
“Tighten Up” by the Black Keys was the first selection I heard, which led me to believe that I might be hearing newer radio hits instead of run-of-the-mill karaoke classics. For the most part, it panned out like that, but soon after Jude took on Bill Withers' soulful classic, “Ain’t No Sunshine,” along with a faint hum from fans at the bar. Next was “Rolling in the Deep,” by Adele, which is well on its way to becoming a standard — it's been popping up in karaoke queues a lot lately.
Some surprising mid- and late-'90s alternative rock hits even showed up, but it seemed appropriate for the crowd of mostly twentysomethings. Kaitlyn casted a few devious stares during her rendition of Marcy Playground’s “Sex and Candy.” The Toadies’ “Possum Kingdom” and New Order’s “Regret” were a bit more surprising.
It’s a little-told fact that many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were big music fans. Of course there was Ben Franklin and his ‘glass armonica,’ but did you know that Francis Lightfoot Lee is a distant relative of Canadian troubadour Gordon Lightfoot? Or that Edward Rutledge was the first person to refer to a fife solo as “bitchin’?” To best commemorate their legacy, head out to one of the many celebratory musical events that will be taking place throughout the city.
The weekend’s flagship concert event is the culmination of the city-wide Welcome America festivities. With an eclectic lineup curated by local treasure Questlove, the evening features sets from funky favorites Earth, Wind And Fire, singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, Master of Smooth Michael McDonald, British soulstress Estelle and DJ Jazzy Jeff. Additionally, The Roots will augment their own set by serving as the backing band for most of the other acts. Questlove’s vision of collaboration (perhaps even musical unification) seems right on point for Independence Day. The night will also feature local connections in the form of a local band-populated side stage and a tribute to Philadelphia International Records. 7 p.m., free, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 20th St. & Eakins Oval.
For an experience that’s slightly more intimate, head to Kung Fu Necktie for an evening of giddy psychedelia and punk rock. Outsider pop artist Justin “Nobunny” Champlin puts on a show that’s at once utterly repulsive and impossibly engaging. From the deeply unsettling visage of his bunny mask to his ever-changing array of improvised clothes and protective gear, Nobunny whips the crowd into a ruckus that could be considered patriotic. It’s the American dream, really. In what other country could you gallivant around in a bunny mask and not get strange looks? Well, not too many strange looks, anyway. w/ TV Ghost, Joe Jack Talcum & The Pussy Dogs, 5 p.m., $10, Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 215-291-4919.
Summer is the season for amusement parks. To get you geared up, we offer this breakdown of the best parks in the area. Throw your hands up and scream!
Best for the Kiddies: Dutch Wonderland Nothing reminds you of childhood like a trip to Dutch Wonderland, a family-oriented park in Dutch Country that features train rides, performances, and kid-friendly roller coasters. The Double Splash Flume (a two-drop flume complete with mid-drop snapshot) and the Kingdom Coaster (formerly the Sky Princess, a sturdy wooden coaster with retro personality) are personal highlights. And a ride on the Pipeline Plunge — an extensive set of slide tunnels (one of which is pitch-black) — is a great way to cool off during the scorching summer heat. Younger visitors will enjoy tamer rides (such as the Flying Trapeze) and tired moms and dads will love the extensive train system worming its way through the park. Through August 28, 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m., $34, 2249 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster, Pa., 717-291-1888, dutchwonderland.com.
Best Two-in-One Park: Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom This badboy boasts some incredible and legendary coasters: Steel Force (a huge metal coaster that plummets 205 feet at 75 mph) and Hydra (an exhilarating ride for those who enjoy making loops 100 feet in the air) are among the most iconic rides on the East Coast. But the park — especially the Wildwater Kingdom side — also has amusements for less-adventurous visitors. The Aqua Racer (a water slide racecourse) and the Jumpin’ Jack Splash (an extensive luge-style slide) are just a few among the many rides everyone in the family can enjoy. Through August, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. $40, 3830 Dorney Park Road, Allentown, Pa, 610-395-3724, dorneypark.com.
Battle of the Bios is back in full force this Thursday at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. Bridging biography and performance art, the competition invites writers and artists to bare their souls in storytelling form. The winners are audience-selected, and a $100 grand prize is up for the taking. Admission includes beer and refreshments and entry to the Magic Garden’s latest exhibit
Emcee and drag personality Nueva Gabor (aka Lance Pawling) says pieces for competition aren’t limited to straightforward stories, but anything “autobiographically inspired." Those interested in performing should take a hint from the local celeb, who got "her" start with the Dumpsta Players in 2001. When crafting characters and creating costumes (his last costume will be made almost entirely of paper), she says she pulls from life experiences "as much as [she] can."
Thu., June 30, 7-9 p.m., $8-10, Philadelphia's Magic Gardens, 1020 South St., 215-733-0390, philadelphiasmagicgardens.org.
WHO: Brendan Bring’em & MC Elixir
WHAT: What better way to jump off your Fourth of July weekend than partying on a boat under the stars? Urban Socialite, LBS, Hardwork Ent. and Ciroc are bringing you another not-to-miss affair. An open food buffet guest DJs and drink specials will set the night off while the LBS fam gives you slamming music to assure the sounds and atmosphere will be on point!
WHEN & WHERE: Fri., July 1, 10 p.m.-2 a.m., call for price, Moshulu, 401 S. Columbus Blvd., 215-923-2500, moshulu.com.
WHY: It’s a three-day weekend, so don't be afraid to go hard!
Urban Adventures, a global organization which originated in Australia, began giving tours in Philadelphia in 2009. In April of 2010, they joined forces with the local organization Awfully Nice Tours to develop the South Philly, River to River and Essence of South Philly tours, and more recently added the Italian Market, Philly on Tap and Historic District to the list. According to Awfully Nice Tours owner Andy Maunder, each excursion is “eco-friendly, green-friendly and gives you a real feeling about what Philadelphia is all about.”
To check one out for myself, I recently chose to go along on the Italian Market tour, which began on South Street and ended with a cheesesteak — two of my favorite things. Blake Snyder, my tour guide, did a phenomenal job sharing the history of the art and architecture of the South Philly area, particularly the colorful murals of Isaiah Zagar. Blake led us through the neighborhood of Bella Vista and into the Ninth Street Market, where we explored and sampled local delicatessens such as Sarcone’s Bakery, Claudio’s and Di Bruno Brothers. Though the area is most famously referred to as the Italian Market, he also proved the diversity of the neighborhood by taking us to taste a homemade Mexican tortilla and he pointed out the live poultry at an Asian store. The tour was delicious and informative — a great way to better acquaint yourself with the city.
Each week, Emily Apisa puts together a rundown of book-centric events that’ll keep you “lit” like a firecracker all week long.
[ Wednesday ]
➤ The Help
In less than two months Kathryn Stockett’s The Help will be projected onto silver screens across the country. If you haven’t read it, I’d suggest you pick it up before trailers and movie reviews suck all the fun out of getting to know the characters that Stockett has crafted so well. Snippets of humor and real human connection help ease the pain of racism faced by the housekeepers in pre-Civil Rights Movement Mississippi. Wed., June 29, all day, free, your couch or front stoop.
[ Thursday ]
➤ Book Release Party
Sarah Rose Etter is celebrating the launch of her chapbook Tongue Party with readings, dancing and sweets for all. The two-part book uses simple prose to convey complicated ideas and has received acclaim from various outlets and blogs, such as this one. In the very first story, Koala Tide, Etter captures a little girl’s hope and utter disappointment in a bizarre, yet completely grounded narration. Thu., June 30, 6:30 p.m., free, Ladder 15, 1528 Sansom St., 215-964-9755.
[ Friday ]
Odetta never thought a big girl like her could grow up to become the next Marian Anderson. So in her early twenties, she fell into folk singing, only to rock souls across the country for the next six decades.
Thank the heavens she did. Odetta's sound didn't only endear her to typical folk fans. Her music inspired a new generation of folk artists from all backgrounds, and her voice became a symbol of the Civil Rights Movement. The uniting force of her sound is evident when you look at her biggest champions — people like Bob Dylan, Maya Angelou, and Joan Baez.
One country boy who loved him some Odetta was Johnny Cash. This appearance on his variety show comes from 1969. The icons share some adorable banter and sing a duet but before, that Odetta lays down the law on her own. As Americans, we have a lot to celebrate. Gotta love collaborations like these that remind us of that. Happy early Fourth of July, everybody.
- BLACK MUSIC MONTH (NEW SCHOOL): Gordon Voidwell
- BLACK MUSIC MONTH (OLD SCHOOL): Jay-Z
- BLACK MUSIC MONTH (NEW SCHOOL): Mateo
- BLACK MUSIC MONTH (OLD SCHOOL): Whitney Houston
- BLACK MUSIC MONTH (NEW SCHOOL): Sgt. Sass
- BLACK MUSIC MONTH (OLD SCHOOL): Heatwave
- CONCERT REVIEW: Aloe Blacc @ World Cafe Live
- CONCERT REVIEW: The Roots Picnic
Kelsey McGlynn embarks on a hood-specific summertime boutique crawl. This week, she peruses Old City.
Lost & Found, 133 N. Third St., 215-928-1311
When I walked into Lost & Found, the colorful display of scarves and handbags immediately captured my gaze. I was greeted warmly by Jenny, an L&F employee, who explained, “We are a true boutique, we have everything you need.” And they did! The store is filled with a fabulous selection of user-friendly clothing and accessories at great prices.
This one-stop shop features an impressive array of both women’s and men’s clothing, accessories and jewelry. Lost & Found has a vintage-meets-modern style that exhibits colorful, trendy merchandise.
- 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