Philadelphia Weekly, September 21, 2010 This weekend, Fleisher Art Memorial makes original artwork and philanthropy affordable for the recession-dogged masses. Offering tiny, anonymously exhibited originals on a first-come-first-served basis, the fourth biennial Dear Fleisher exhibit and sale strips the marquee-name hype and caviar-set exclusivity from the art-buying racket. No blue blood or even positive bank balance are required to own one of these baby originals at $50 apiece, they have miniature prices to match their itty bitty, 4-by-6 inch sizes. That’s about $2 per square inch—a bargain even in real estate. All proceeds will support Fleisher’s arts-education programs. It’s a rare opportunity to purchase an original, decorate your bathroom and fund the arts, all without spiraling into Chapter 11. (Lauren Smith) Sunday, Sept. 26. 1pm. $5. Fleisher Art Memorial, 719 Catharine St. 215.922.3456. fleisher.org
Philadelphia Weekly, September 21, 2010 Dust off your headscarves, practice your flag dance and remember to feed the raccoons—the Edies are back. American aristocrats and Kennedy cousins, the kooky mother-daughter duo of Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale and Edith Bouvier Beale became camp idols with the 1975 release of Grey Gardens, the spooky, sad documentary of their lives in flea-infested East Hampton squalor. Now the cult classic about the craziest of the cat ladies gets a fresh projection as part of the Clay Studio’s Old City Film Series. As these high-society dropouts squabble, rot and dream of cabaret stardom, they expose the moth-eaten underbelly of old money affluence. But Little Edie, prancing around in upside-down skirts and bathing-suit-and-pantyhose ensembles, is unquestionably fabulous—a completely cuckoo fashion plate. -Lauren Smith Thursday, Sept., 23. Dusk. Free. Flagpole Park, 139 N. Second St. 215.925.3453. theclaystudio.org
Philadelphia Weekly, September 21, 2010 Philly Pride busts open closet doors and takes it to the streets to mark National Coming Out Day. Loud, politically-charged, and glitter-spangled, OutFest (Oct. 10, phillypride.org) is an irrepressible, “Here and Queer!” celebration of sexuality and Philly’s incandescent bright LGBTQ culture—a coming-out party on a citywide scale. It’s also a typical street festival with a little Gayboorhood twist. Here, drag races run on pancake makeup and high heels, eating-contest competitors gobble down penis-shaped bagels and the dogs are dyed DayGlo colors. Vendors will be hawking rainbow gear, the thumpa thumpa will be pounding, and the politicians will be schmoozing. Whether you’re part of the acronym or an ally, it’ll be a sparkling good time—and a very beautiful day in the Gayborhood. (Lauren Smith)
Philadelphia Weekly, September 14, 2010 After 20 years and almost as many albums, Over the Rhine’s “aw, shucks” demeanor and workmanlike devotion have worn into a soft patina of modest indie greatness. The married duo of Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist play finely crafted, genre-straddling songs, as unassuming as their Ohio origins. Bergquist bends her smoky voice around jazz-dappled torch songs and sturdy alt-country tunes. She sings like Billie Holiday with a river town lilt: the molasses ooze of her alto conjures up both back porch strumming and basement cabarets. Despite their troubadour-like touring, Detweiler and Bergquist still have their feet deep in Cincinnati soil and their music reflects it: songs like “Nobody Number 1” are salt of the Earth Americana with a little Rust Belt grit. (Lauren Smith) Friday, Sept. 17. 7pm. $25-$40. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. worldcafelive.com Phone by James Stewart on Flickr.
Philadelphia Weekly, August 24, 2010 Finnish cellists Apocalyptica have all the head-banging verve and smoke machine theatrics of a metal band—and all the classical chops of a chamber quartet. The conservatory-trained quartet began as an offbeat Metallica cover band but soon branched out into original material, wrangling some major names in metal and alt rock (Bush’s Gavin Rossdale and Slayer’s Dave Lombardo) into the studio to provide vocals for their string trash. Nonstop touring and YouTube videos of their hair-flipping, “Final Countdown”-esque performances have won the band a cult following both here and in Lapland, and their most recent album Seventh Symphony is already stirring up fervor among the metalheads and overgrown orchestra kids. YoYo Ma never played cello this fiercely—and he didn’t do it shirtless. (Lauren Smith) Saturday, Aug. 28. 8pm. $25-$28. With Dir en Gray + Evaline. Electric Factory, 421 N. Seventh St. 215.627.1332. electricfactory.info Photo by kalavinka on Flickr.
Philadelphia Weekly, August 17, 2010 You probably didn’t see Led Zeppelin live in 1973, and the Piazza, despite all its delusions of grandeur and (telecast) sporting events, is certainly no Madison Square Garden. But for one night we can all indulge in the collective hallucination as the Piazza projects The Song Remains the Same onto the big screen as part of its monthly Rockin’ Reels series. A front-row and behind-the-scenes record of the band’s 1973 MSG stint, the film is a rock and pyrotechnic explosion, full of impressive hair and woozy fantasy sequences (Robert Plant searching for the Holy Grail on horseback?). It’s a trippy time capsule from those heady days when “Stairway to Heaven” was fresh, Plant’s lion’s mane was attractive, and John Bonham had yet to take that infamous vodka breakfast. (Lauren Smith) Thursday, Aug. 19. 7pm. Free. Piazza at Schmidts, N. Second St. and Germantown Ave. 215.467.4603. atthepiazza.com
Philadelphia Weekly, August 16, 2010 (as Lauren Smith) Paul McCartney started his Saturday night show at the Wells Fargo Center (or whatever they’re calling it now) with a warning, slightly touched with irony. “You never know what will happen,” he cautioned—and then launched into a predictable, crowd-pleasing set loaded with Beatles tunes and memory. The audience knew exactly what to expect: A sludge through McCartney’s competent, if somewhat drowsy recent work; a smattering of Wings songs; and a generous helping of the wistful and the iconic, including the inevitable “Hey Jude” sing-a-long and “Yesterday” crowd sway (cell phones up, of course, and God bless the one nostalgic soul who could produce a lighter). And McCartney, like the old pro he is, delivered. He gave the crowd what it wanted, be it grainy nostalgia (footage from A Hard Day’s Night scrambled on the screen during “All My Loving”), ’60s anecdotes (he peppered his stage dialogue with off-hand, first-name references to Jimi and Eric) or, for one sign-waving fan, “Ram On,” a plucky 1971 rarity. He also provided the requisite John and George tributes: “Here Today,”—McCartney’s imagined conversation with the late Lennon—and peace sign held skywards and “Something,” a ukulele-plucking solo that […]
Cover story, Philadelphia Weekly, August 10, 2010 After two years, one lineup shuffle, one Spring Break minivan tour, and countless dorm basement and bar gigs, college wunderkinds Post Post are releasing their second EP, putting a professional sheen on their plucky, pop-dazzled rock. Residents is an earnest, four-track burst of guitar-driven indie, frosted over with ripples of synth and edged with clever, if cryptic, lyrics. If it sounds effortless, it’s a testament to the upstart determination of these twentynothing Bryn Mawr and Haverford students—Michelle Zauner (guitar, lead vocals), Kevin O’Halloran (bass, vocals), Marisa Helgeson (synth, vocals) and Casey Sowa (drums, vocals). They compare the production of the EP to “giving birth,” and lament that some of the EP’s “surrogate mothers” didn’t take the band and their ideas seriously. “I’ve learned that if you’re young and a girl you have to be a bitch to have anyone respect you,” Zauner says. Maybe as a consequence they’re a “really anal band,” obsessively involved in all parts of the EP’s production. They’ve held true to the DIY ethos of 2009’s Meta Meta, a scrappy but winning album recorded with “Garage Band and five mics” over two days in Bryn Mawr’s Multicultural Center. For all the […]
Philadelphia Weekly, August 10, 2010 The Perseid meteor shower—that annual bit of celestial razzle-dazzle that’s nature’s glittery apology for August weather—peaks tonight with estimates of more than a hundred meteors sweeping across the sky per hour. Philly’s lights are enough to curtain the whole show, however, so you have to be enterprising to catch these shooting stars. The Franklin Institute’s Observatory has all the equipment you need for some serious astronomical moonlighting, including star maps and five high-tech telescopes. And their knowledgeable staff can tell Mars from the nearest phone tower, even if you can’t. The evening includes a planetarium show and an educational presentation, but the biggest attraction is space’s own. Don’t miss it straining the wrong direction on your roof with binoculars. (Lauren Smith) 6pm. $5. Joel N. Bloom Observatory at the Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th St. 215.448.1200. fi.edu Photo: The Franklin Institute
Philadelphia Weekly, August 10, 2010 Drag is not just for the boys and neither are dirty calendars. The aptly acronymed LiCK’s drag kings and burlesque queens reclaim titillation from the testosterone set, donning their sailor garb and boas for an evening of bawdy song and dance and gender-bending vamping to celebrate the release of the troupe’s 2011 calendar. Self-described as “uncomfortably moist,” their raunchy variety show doesn’t leave much to the imagination: Cabaret vixens perform the old shimmy and shake in Louise Brooks wigs and lacy lingerie while tuxedoed lads scandalize with their ribald jokes. Remember to pick up their calendar so you can relive Liberty City Kings’ tawdry brand of camp in your kitchen all year long. (Lauren Smith) 8pm. $13. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. myspace.com/libertycitykings Image: Liberty City Kings.