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Event Pick: The Song Remains The Same

August 17, 2010 by Lauren Van Schaik in 0 comments
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  

Live: Same Old, Same Old with the Cute Beatle

August 16, 2010 by Lauren Van Schaik in 0 comments
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 […]

The Music Issue: Post Post

August 10, 2010 by Lauren Van Schaik in 0 comments
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 […]

Event Pick: Perseid Meteor Shower

August 10, 2010 by Lauren Van Schaik in 0 comments
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 

Event Pick: Liberty City Kings Calendar Release

August 10, 2010 by Lauren Van Schaik in 0 comments
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.

Event Pick: Puppet Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens

August 10, 2010 by Lauren Van Schaik in 0 comments
Philadelphia Weekly, August 10, 2010 PuppeTyranny! brings its trademark sock and marionette whimsy to J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan prelude, transposing the adventures of Peter from Edwardian London’s posh Kensington Gardens to Philly’s own urban Kensington. The troupe’s ragtag band of actors, musicians, puppeteers and Lost Boys patch together shadows, animation, live music and dance to bring to life the story’s various fantastical characters, including fairy queens and invisible flying goats. Peter is as strange a creature as any: Not yet the boy crocodile hunter of Disney fame, he’s a downy newborn, escaped from his crib and convinced he’s a bird. Baby Peter’s dreamy after-hours adventures in the park are enough to push the old nostalgia button—even if our own childhood idylls involved more tube slides than immortal birds. The show repeats on Saturday. (Lauren Smith) 8pm. $5-$10. Emerald Street Urban Farm, 2312 Emerald St. 267.909.2633. puppetuprising.org Image: Puppet Uprising.   

First Friday: Vierkant & Dullaart

August 03, 2010 by Lauren Van Schaik in 0 comments
Philadelphia Weekly, August 3, 2010 The Internet has made any fool with a flip cam and a ukulele an artist. YouTube teems with the masturbatory short films and webcam navel-gazing of the wireless masses, and blogs swarm like locusts. But if the web is an established venue for “art,” it’s been largely untapped as a medium for it. This month at Extra Extra, Constant Dullaart and Artie Vierkant use the Internet as canvas, palette and gallery, warping its iconography and working through and underneath its networks. The two artists—who developed the show together but have never met in person—have been mysterious about the exact content of the exhibit, offering only a bare-bones website (artievierkantconstantdullaart.com) and links to before-the-fact reviews as clues for what to expect. But follow their internet Reese’s trails a bit and hints emerge: Vierkant’s collaged videos and Dullaart’s virtual galleries of Duchampian readymades, links to empty domains and nowhere sites (including, wryly, urinal.org) crawling with parasitic ads and stock photos. Both artists have used the internet as a muse before: Vierkant recreated the histogram curves of video stills in Styrofoam, Dullaart modeled the spin of YouTube’s loading wheel, the creep of the player’s red bar, and the […]

Event Pick: Russian Dolls at Bistrot La Minette

July 20, 2010 by Lauren Van Schaik in 0 comments
Philadelphia Weekly, July 20, 2010 As any self-loathing, college educated American knows, the French just do it better. Art, fashion, kissing, health care, counterintuitive spellings—they have us gauche, HMO-saddled Americans beat. Bistrot La Minette seeks to save us from our cheeseburger gobbling selves with two things the French do really well: food and movies. Every Monday and Thursday this summer the restaurant is redefining the old date formula of dinner and a movie, serving up glorious French dishes and cinema in their garden courtyard. Consider it the bistrot’s noble attempt to rescue modern romance from the clutches of Applebee’s and Twilight. This week’s movie is Russian Dolls, a breezy, pan-European tryst with an effortlessly gorgeous cast of jet-setting Frenchmen. With Chef Peter Woolsey’s menu brimming with classic French delicacies and imported wines and Audrey Tautou, requisite star of all French films, fluttering on the big screen, you can indulge that Euro-envy and pretend for a little while that you’re one of them. (Lauren Smith) Movie at 8:30pm. Free with dinner. Bistrot La Minette, 623 S. Sixth St. 215.925.8000. bistrotlaminette.com

Event Pick: Fishing in Brooklyn

July 13, 2010 by Lauren Van Schaik in 0 comments
Philadelphia Weekly, July 13, 2010 Literal fishing in Brooklyn probably requires some bureaucratic hopscotch and about a gallon of disinfectant. But LaTonia Phipps’ autobiographical one-woman show, while it is inspired by a memory of fishing with her mother in Prospect Park, is more concerned with proverbial fishing. Protagonist Tia Lite casts her line into the pond of memory, but she isn’t hooking guppies and goldfish. She’s tangling with some nasty, toothy eels: the death of her mother, her sexuality, her identity as an Afro-Latina. Swirling from Brooklyn to Ghana, Jamaica to Costa Rica and back, Fishing in Brooklyn explores the memories and music of the Afro-Latin diaspora: West African drums, Caribbean marimbas and borough beats. Tia’s encounters with the women of her past—both ancestors and role models—help her reclaim her cultural heritage and her mother’s memory. What she ultimately catches in this trawl is nothing less than her alma, her soul. (Lauren Smith) 7pm. $5-$10. Also on Thurs., 6pm and 8:30pm. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St. 215.573.3234. therotunda.org

Event Pick: Bastille Day at Eastern State Penitentiary

July 06, 2010 by Lauren Van Schaik in 0 comments
Philadelphia Weekly, July 6, 2010 So exchange rates got the better of your Parisian vacation, and all your plans for revolution have fizzled. Instead of drowning your sorrows in croissants and Godard, join Philadelphia’s sans-culottes and displaced Francophiles in an uprising against Bourbon tyranny and ridiculous wigs in Fairmount’s annual Bastille Day celebration. First build your esprit du corps with French cuisine and crafts supplied by local restaurants and shops, then watch as musket-toting revolutionaries storm the walls of the Bastille (played by Eastern State Penitentiary) to capture a TastyKake-hurling Marie Antoinette and drag her to the guillotine. Regicide is a possibility, but this commemoration of the French Revolution is more Monty Python than Intro to Western Civilization, and more likely to end in champagne at a bar than in a Reign of Terror. At least here there’s no Robespierre… and everyone accepts American dollars. -Lauren Smith 2pm (storming at 5:30). Free. Eastern State Penitentiary, 2124 Fairmount Ave.  215.236.5111. easternstate.org  Photo by Ben Mason on Flickr.