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MUSIC | Intensus’ monster mashup

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30 YEARS OF INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM

July 21 - July 27, 2011 #1364 |

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šStories from a city full of holes


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cpstaff We made this

Publisher Nancy Stuski Editor in Chief Theresa Everline Senior Editor Patrick Rapa News Editor Isaiah Thompson Associate Editor and Web Editor Drew Lazor Arts & Movies Editor/Copy Chief Carolyn Huckabay Associate Editor Josh Middleton Staff Writers Holly Otterbein, Daniel Denvir Assistant Copy Editor Carolyn Wyman Contributors Sam Adams, A.D. Amorosi, Janet Anderson, Rodney Anonymous, Mary Armstrong, Nancy Armstrong, Justin Bauer, Shaun Brady, Peter Burwasser, Anthony Campisi, Mark Cofta, Felicia D’Ambrosio, Jesse Delaney, Adam Erace, M.J. Fine, David Anthony Fox, Cindy Fuchs, K. Ross Hoffman, Deni Kasrel, Gary M. Kramer, Gair Marking, Robert McCormick, Andrew Milner, Michael Pelusi, Nathaniel Popkin, Robin Rice, Lee Stabert, Andrew Thompson, Tom Tomorrow, Char Vandermeer, John Vettese, Bruce Walsh, Julia West Editorial Interns Darren Ankrom, Emily Apisa, Megan Augustin, Diana Campeggio, Matt Cantor, Ryan Carey, Peter Chawaga, Clare Foran, Khoury Johnson, Jessica Leung, Esther Martin, Martin Martinez, Kelsey McGlynn, Grace Ortelere, Cassie Owens, Andy Polhamus, Nicole Rossi, Eric Schuman, Christopher Seybert, Anjali Tsui, Brian Wilensky, Dylan Williams Associate Web Editor/Staff Photographer Neal Santos Production Director Michael Polimeno Editorial Art Director Reseca Peskin Senior Editorial Designer Alyssa Grenning Senior Designer Evan M. Lopez Designer Alicia Solsman Contributing Photographers Jessica Kourkounis, Mark Stehle Contributing Illustrators Jonathan Bartlett, Ryan Casey, Don Haring Jr., Thomas Pitilli, Matthew Smith Human Resources Ron Scully (ext. 210) Accounts Receivable Coordinator Tricia Bradley (ext. 232) Circulation Director Mark Burkert (ext. 239) Advertising Director Eileen Pursley (ext. 257) Senior Account Managers Nick Cavanaugh (ext. 260), Kevin Gallagher (ext. 250), Sharon MacWilliams (ext. 262), Stephan Sitzai (ext. 258) Account Managers Sara Carano (ext. 228), Chris Scartelli (ext. 215), Donald Snyder (ext. 213) Business Development Manager Nicholas Forte (ext. 237) Office Coordinator/Adult Advertising Sales Alexis Pierce (ext. 234) Founder & Editor Emeritus Bruce Schimmel

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contents Nobody lives here anymore

Naked City ...................................................................................7 Cover Story ..............................................................................10 Movie Shorts ...........................................................................24 The Agenda .............................................................................27 What’s Cooking .....................................................................36 Cover illustration by evan m. loPez design by reseCa Peskin


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CP’s Quality-o-Life-o-Meter

[ + 1] While introducing his successor, Cardinal

Rigali apologized “for any weaknesses on my part in representing Christ and the church.” He continued, “Also, I probably shouldn’t have allegedly covered up for all those child rapists, whom I will see in hell, when I get there.”

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thebellcurve

city

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the

[ + 2 ] Michael Vick appears before Congress

to endorse a bill that makes it a crime to attend dogfights and cockfights. Says Vick afterward, “I’ll let you know what heaven’s like, Cardinal Rigatoni!”

[ -4 ]

[0]

[ -1 ]

According to the Pennsylvania Game Com­ mission, about 10,000 bats were killed by the state’s wind turbines last year. “That’s cool,” says bat spiritual leader Lord Rasmus Fanglesnout. “You guys just keep on build­ ing your giant sky blenders. See where that gets you.” Alleged Philly mobster “Bent Finger” Lou Monacello is released from federal prison. “I’m gonna celebrate with this guy!” he proclaims. “No, not that guy, this guy!”

POINT GUARDS: Kids play basketball at a homemade hoop in the street near Express Ur-Self. neal santos

[ reclamation ]

[ -2 ]

An off­duty police officer is suspected of drunken driving following a car accident. The silver lining: Nobody did anything racist during the entire incident.

[0]

Since the mid­May launch of the Give Re­ spect/Get Respect campaign, the city has stopped 600 cyclists for traffic violations. “Oh, sorry officer. I must have forgotten the rules I studied for my bicyclist’s license test, which I took at the DNMV at the corner of Fuck You and Go Solve A Murder.”

long-abandoned building at 16th and Oakdale, in the heart of North Philly, is the humble epicenter of a renaissance. Down a cramped flight of stairs sits Express Ur-Self Incorporated, a high-tech basement recording studio owned by Terry Starks, a former prisoner bearing four gunshot wounds. Express Ur-Self offers young people something else to do in a neighborhood that suffers more murders than any other in Philadelphia — this year, the 22nd Police District has been the site of 28 killings and 111 shootings as of July 17. It is also the operations center for a group of men trying to keep black youth away from violence and prison. On a recent afternoon at the studio, as house band Press4tyme (gospel, R&B, rap and soul) wound down a practice session, other musicians stopped by to visit, including local singer VIP and a young DJ from the neighborhood. “If I ain’t have no way to record, I would be doing the stuff I used to do,” said Deejay DaSinger, 19. Row houses in every direction are boarded up and interspersed by vacant lots, and almost every wood-affixed door and window is emblazoned with a spray-painted elegy: “RIP G-Bull” or “In Loving Memory of Andi 5000,” the latter marking the spot in front of an empty lot where a fleeing 19-year-old named Albert Purnell was

[ + 1 ] A North Philly man drives himself to the

hospital after getting shot. Meanwhile in Chestnut Hill, a mid­level consultant really pushes himself on the treadmill.

[ + 1 ] Yards Brewing Co. becomes the first brew­ ery in the state to get all of its electricity from wind power. And you gotta try their Bat Blood Stout.

This week’s total: -2 | Last week’s total: -9

Safe Haven In North Philly, a group has created a small oasis amid the killings. By Daniel Denvir

A

shot and killed by police in May. They claimed, contrary to witness accounts, that he pulled a .357 magnum. “We don’t want more teddy bears,” says Atiba Kwesi, aka Jesse Johnson, released 19 months ago after 27 years behind bars for armed robbery. “You see that? R.I.P. That’s the slogan in our community.” These men are not exactly a Kiwanis Club composite sketch: three former prisoners, age 25 to 51, and Gunnery Sgt. Jamal Robinson, a Marine. But thanks to their presence, drug dealers have left the block, and a homemade wooden basketball hoop that kids are taking shots on has been built along the street — right where Purnell was killed. “We’re geared to getting the violence down. Our building is like the rec center for the community,” says Starks. But, he says, “We’re not getting much help from the city,” with most funds going to what Starks calls politically connected “poverty pimps” rather than neighborhoods. Block captain Eartha Jennings is thrilled to see the men at work. She needs the backup. For example, she has been fighting since September to keep the burnt-out house at 1546 Oakdale boarded up. According to the Mayor’s Office, it took Licensing & Inspections 77 days to board it up, and then another 85 days after Jennings called to have the boards reapplied after they were torn off. “L&I responded quickly and thoroughly to both requests,” says Nutter spokeswoman Katie Martin, noting that city rules require a first inspection, a second inspection and finally the clean-and-seal.

“I would be doing the stuff I used to do.”

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A rumor spreads on the web that the city will soon issue fines to pedestrians who “text while they walk without looking ahead” that is later proven false. But not before Stu Bykofsky declares citizen’s arrest on a dozen people and puts their phones in the stocks.




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WE BUY STERLING SILVER FLATWARE Spoons, Forks, Knives, & Pieces Wolf Jewelers 737 Walnut St.Phila. Pa. 19106. 215-925-3025

 Safe Haven

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“I want to give them a playground instead of making them feel like they’re in Beirut.” “Look at the danger the kids play in,” sighs Robinson. Years ago, an off-duty policeman gave him a Marines recruiting card while he was dealing drugs, setting him on a new path. He points to piles of rubble littering vacant lots and clogging a small alley: wood, glass, couches, mattresses and a white car that has sat in the grass for an estimated seven years. “It’s just an eyesore for those people who are trying to work to maintain their homes,” says Jennings, exasperated. And the city tells her there is nothing to do about that white car. “And they wonder why we’re angry,” laughs Kwesi. The fire-hazard alley is on a block already hit by three fires this year, but the Mayor’s Office says that L&I “cannot clean up the alley” because it is “private property.” Jennings can request a cleanup, though it “will be billed to the homeowners.” It’s unclear how the many absent or nonexistent homeowners figure into this. Cars speeding down 16th Street make street basketball a dangerous game. But with no park nearby, this is a relative oasis: a corner free of gunslingers. Even better would be using the empty lot to build a court.

“There are, like, eight to 10 gang cliques” between the corner and the closest park near 15th and Dauphin, says Kwesi. “I want to give them a playground instead of making them feel like they’re in Beirut.” Brandon Jones, 25, who just finished serving four years for attempted murder, says there are at least 20 drug corners nearby. “I used to cop there,” says Jones, who bought drugs wholesale in the neighborhood to deal in Montgomery County. “We better know where they are.” Starks puts on “Education Over Incarceration,” a musical collaboration between Michael Ta’Bon and neighborhood kids that asks: “Uncle Sam, is your plan to arrest the whole nation?” “We’re out here doing battle,” says Kwesi. “We don’t have guns. We don’t have bulletproof vests.” “We don’t have life insurance policies,” says Johnson. Kwesi interjects: “But we’ve got community support.” (daniel.denvir@citypaper.net)


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šStories from a city full of holes

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š5)&63#"/("3%&/4%*-&.." For “about 25, maybe close to 30” years, James Cruell grew vegetables — collard greens, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, turnips — in a vacant lot just up the street from his Strawberry Mansion home. But a few months ago, Cruell was kicked out of his garden, and for the first time in decades, the lot has gone fallow. James Cruell, or “Mr. James,” as he’s known to all in the neighborhood, is 89 years old. (“If I can live four-and-a-half more months, I’ll be 90!”) He learned to $0/5*/6&%0/"%+"$&/51"(&


The city’s enthusiasm for gardens is tempered by concerns of market value. rights urban gardeners do and don’t have, especially when it comes to using vacant land and whether or when the city is willing to stick up for urban farmers. Indeed, it’s become quite the point of contention. Among the many goals set forth in Mayor Michael Nutter’s Greenworks plan to make Philly the “greenest city in America” is to “bring local food within 10 minutes of 75 percent of the population.” The plan goes on to note, “Vacant city-owned land presents an opportunity to create new commercial agriculture ventures and new community gardens in the city.” The administration, it would seem, is prourban farmer. But it also favors getting “fair-market” value for city-owned vacant land — something many farmers can’t afford — and is reluctant to preclude that land from being sold. The result, so far, has been something of a stalemate. “We want to support urban gardens,” emphasizes John Carpenter, deputy executive director for the Redevelopment Authority. “We also want urban gardens to be maintained — many times, people coalesce around the idea of creating a garden … but not all of those stick.” Indeed, in a 2008 report on urban gardening in Philadelphia, Penn professor Dominic Vitiello found a 50 percent decline in the number of urban gardens, which Vitiello attributed in part to the diminishing culture of older residents who had grown up in rural settings, but also to reduced assistance from the city. Particularly vulnerable, Vitiello noted,

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š-"/%(0&46/"$$06/5&%'03 To hold land is to have power. Vernon Marks knew that well. Starting in the mid’80s, Marks, a World War II veteran and bail bondsman who worked as chief of staff for former Fifth District Councilman Cecil B. Moore, a neighborhood hero, began to acquire vacant property from the city’s redevelopment authority for two neighborhood housing organizations of his own creation, the Strawberry Mansion Citizens Participation Council (SMCPC) and the Strawberry Mansion Housing Coalition (the exact difference between the two isn’t clear, and they have often been conflated in the press). Marks’ organizations received a couple dozen properties conveyed in the mid-’80s, and another dozen or so in the ’90s, via City Council’s Vacant Property Review Committee, of which Marks was head. Some of those were sold at low cost to individuals; others became part of larger housing projects, including 49 new units of affordable rental housing in 19 buildings known as the Mansion Courts. Marks’ work was not without critical scrutiny. In 1994, shortly after the completion of the first Mansion Court project, a federal grand jury subpoenaed the records of SMCPC and Mansion Development Corp., which had partnered in the Mansion Court project and which was formed in 1990 by now-Councilman Darrell Clarke, then an aide to former mayor John Street, and his business partner, Anthony Rhaney. Clarke, according to a 1994 Inquirer article about the subpoena, had sold his interest in the company to Rhaney years earlier. The same article cited a series of letters to housing officials from another area developer who claimed that Marks had “urged other city officials to cut off funding” for his firm when he didn’t “immediately pay a share of profits” to the SMCPC. $0/5*/6&%0/1"(&

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farm in South Carolina, moving to Philly in 1964, soon after buying the small house in which he now lives alone, since his wife passed away several years ago. Cruell doesn’t own the parcels in which he created his decades-old garden. But he figured no one would mind: The surrounding blocks are a Swiss cheese of vacant lots and abandoned properties. What’s more, some years ago “a lady from the city” padlocked the lot and, like some bureaucratic fairy godmother, left Cruell with his own key. That worked fine — until this year, when, Cruell says, a woman approached him in the garden and told him it was her property and that he’d have to leave. Whether she had a right to isn’t clear: Cruell and other neighbors identify the woman as the occupant of a house at the end of the block, until recently a church, and which, they nervously say, is rumored to become a “motorcycle club.” (The house has been painted, ominously, in a coat of dark black.) City Paper was unable to speak with anyone at the house. But according to city records, the house in question remains the property of the pastor of the former church; records do not indicate any recent change in ownership of the several lots that comprised the garden, three of which belong (contiguously) to the city. Cruell, of course, didn’t know any of that when he was asked to leave — nor did he know to whom he could turn. He isn’t the only one who feels a bit in the dark when it comes to knowing what

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STRAWBERRY MANSION

are “the large number of single-tender gardens on lots in neighborhoods with an abundance of vacant land … owned by people other than the gardeners” — farmers, that is, like Cruell, many of whom were once supported by state and city programs that have since been cut. As a result, many urban farmers have become lost in the system, says Amy Laura Cahn, who will be heading up a new initiative by the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia to provide pro bono legal assistance to urban farmers. “Had he had access to legal support or community support years ago, he probably would have figured out how to access this land,” Cahn says. The city, of course, has priorities to balance. In the midst of the first tentative growth in decades, the Nutter administration — and, for that matter, some City Council members — is being cautious when it comes to gardens and urban farms. What formal agreements the city made in the recent past have tended to be yearto-year, which, many urban farmers say, makes long-term investment too risky. Community gardens like the Eastwick Community Garden, whose 15-year lease with the Redevelopment Authority was recently replaced with a year-to-year lease, and Mill Creek Farm in West Philadelphia, whose lease is threatened by development interests, are fighting for their continued existence with unclear support from the city. Smaller farmers say they’ve gotten nowhere when it comes to acquiring or borrowing land. “I basically got the impression that they weren’t interested in letting people farm,” says Josh Johnson, who tried with a few others to start a quarter-acre container farm in Kensington. Brewerytown’s Marathon Farm, a nonprofit entity established by Marathon Grill CEO (and multithousand-dollar campaign donor to Nutter) Cary Borish, is the only major farming effort to have obtained significant vacant land from the city for farming so far under Nutter. The little guys are still waiting for the administration to announce a comprehensive policy on urban gardening — a decision that appears to have drifted into the vortex of the city’s overhaul of its vacant land policy. According to sources in City Hall, a draft has been circulating that changes the city’s old standard, oneyear garden agreement with a much larger and more complicated agreement — but it’s still a one-year lease. Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez has introduced a resolution calling for hearings on the city’s urban garden policies. Nothing’s been scheduled yet, but we may see such a hearing this fall, and urban farm activists are already getting ready in anticipation. Waiting, too, is James Cruell of Strawberry Mansion: not for any hearing but, hopefully, to plant again next spring.

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Four years later, SMHC re-emerged — on paper. Marks claimed no improper behavior, and charges were never brought. If Marks was pushy, it was for the good of the neighborhood, says Lenora JacksonEvans, who worked under Marks before he passed away in late 1999, leaving, she says, a gaping hole in the neighborhood’s leadership: “He was the godfather of North Philly,” she says. When Marks died, his organization pretty much went with him: “We all went our separate ways after that,” JacksonEvans says. But the organization didn’t stop dealing in real estate. Four years later, Strawberry Mansion Housing Coalition (SMHC) re-emerged — on paper, at least — as the “partner” in a new development headed up by Pennrose Properties to restore a pair of historic but severely dilapidated apartment buildings facing Fairmount Park as the new Vernon House apartments, named for Marks. SMHC had acquired two properties key to that renovation — along with four others — in 1998, shortly before Marks passed away, and which SMHC now conveyed for a nominal cost to the project developers. But with Marks gone, what was SMHC? By the account of Jackson-Evans, the “group” was, essentially, herself and Anthony Rhaney, who’d worked under Marks — “just me and him” — lacking a board, members, an office or, according to IRS records, official nonprofit status. Jackson-Evans claims Rhaney made the decisions and handled the Vernon House deal. (City Paper made several unsuccessful attempts to reach Rhaney for comment on this story; Arthur Haywood, whose name

appears as “Assistant Secretary” in an earlier sale of properties authorized by Rhaney, said he was briefly SMHC’s lawyer but declined to comment further.) It’s hard to imagine in some neighborhoods — Society Hill comes to mind — that just a couple of people, operating apparently without a board of directors or other oversight mechanism, might become a city-recognized partner in a major development plan. But the passing away of Marks and, indeed, of a whole generation of community leaders left a vacuum of leadership, say not a few Strawberry Mansion residents with whom City Paper spoke: “There were people who kept us informed as to what was going on — we don’t have that anymore,” is how Lena Whitehead, a committee person in the 28th Ward for 30 years, put it. SMHC owned the needed properties — and, whatever it had turned into, the entity became, on paper at least, a community partner in the venture. Rhaney’s signature appears on the documents deeding SMHC’s properties to the development partnership, an entity called Vernon House Housing Partnership LP, which, according to documents reviewed by City Paper, included a company called Antco Development LLC, owned by Rhaney. According to Office of Housing and Community Development spokesman Paul Chrystie, the partnership received about $1.2 million in total subsidies from the city’s Redevelopment Authority (RDA) for the project. Fifth District Councilman Clarke says he had nothing to do with former business

partner Rhaney’s involvement in the project (Clarke would, however, appear at its ribbon-cutting): “I don’t steer [developers] toward any organization,” he told City Paper. Regarding a 2002 letter, signed by Rhaney and Pennrose CEO Richard Barnhart and addressed to then-RDA chief Herbert Wetzel that says “Councilman Darrell Clarke has urged us to formulate this proposal” and to “contact Anthony Rhaney or Councilman Clarke directly,” Clarke says he recalls no such conversations. The project itself was, by many accounts, a good one: The renovated Vernon House apartments, nestled between run-down rowhomes, are handsome and represent the last official legacy of Marks’ old organization. It was not, however, the last transaction the seemingly defunct Strawberry Mansion organizations engaged in. In 2004, just months after SMHC had partnered with Vernon House, the coalition (whose documents Rhaney had signed that year as “president”) deeded two properties on 33rd Street to Rhaney, for $1 each, according to the deed — authorized by Jackson-Evans, who now signed as “director.” Jackson-Evans, at the time a notary public, says simply that she signed documents when Rhaney asked her to. Two years later, according city records, Rhaney resold those two properties — to Jimmie Moore, a longtime Municipal Court judge, who recently retired and is running for Congress against incumbent Bob Brady. In a statement emailed to City Paper, Moore acknowledged ownership of the (rather dilapidated) houses, but says he bought them for $70,000 each, not the $1 that appears on the two recorded deeds giving him title to those properties, both of which carry the signature of Anthony Rhaney and the notary stamp of Jackson-Evans. A spokesman for Moore says that Moore did not buy the property from Rhaney, but from an SMHC board member whose name he can’t recall, and that the $1 figure is “not true.” “Now that I am a retired Philadelphia Municipal Court judge,” Moore adds in the statement, “I have more time to work to turn these properties into a jewel in the community.” Several months later, in 2007, SMCPC deeded (this time, with Jackson-Evans’ signature) two adjacent Fairmount properties on the 800 block of North 20th Street to the INM Group LLC, signed for by one Kirby Ames for $1,000. It was resold for $115,000 less than a month later. The SMCPC still owns (nominally, at least) more than a dozen properties, mostly vacant lots scattered around the neighborhood. Those parcels with higher values seem to have been sold off to private owners. Meanwhile, two new neighborhood organizations, the Strawberry Mansion Neighborhood Action Center and the Strawberry Mansion Community Development Committee — the former headed by Jackson-Evans, the latter by Tonnetta Graham — seem to have become the go-to organizations for new local development, of which there is much these days. Graham says her organization hopes eventually to own its own properties, as did Marks’ group. To hold land, after all, is to have power. ±*4"*")5)0.140/

š%&7&-01&348)0%0/µ5%&7&-01 No matter how good a developer’s proposals, the extension of land, grants and aid by the state or city is ultimately an act of faith — in other words, a gamble. In many ways, Kenny Gamble has proven to be a good exemplar of his surname. The R&B superstar millionaire, who hails from Philly’s Point Breeze neighborhood — or rather, his Universal Companies nonprofit and various other enterprises are based there — has received scores of properties from the city for nominal fees and has delivered on most of them, redeveloping hundreds of units throughout South Philly into freshly usable housing. But not every bet the city’s placed on Gamble has paid off so well. Take, for example, the Royal Theater on South Street, Philadelphia’s first black-run theater, which opened in 1920 and served as the center of African-American entertainment and culture in the city. Scheduled to be demolished after decades of neglect, the theater and surrounding properties were purchased at the last minute by the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia for $370,000 in 1998. And then, in 2000, Gamble’s Universal stepped in. He bought the Royal himself, vowing to make the area into an “18-hour economic district” and to restore $0/5*/6&%0/1"(&


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Not every bet on Gamble has paid off so well. the Royal into â&#x20AC;&#x153;an entertainment facility that will have the best live music you can find.â&#x20AC;? The city, sharing his jubilation, approved an additional $300,000 to help Gamble restore the theater â&#x20AC;&#x201D; work he estimated would begin â&#x20AC;&#x153;in about a year,â&#x20AC;? according to a 2000 Inquirer article. That, of course, was more than 10 years ago. And while South Street indeed began to revitalize during the ensuing decade, the Royal Theater remained, and still remains, a shell. When asked about the building in 2007 by Philadelphia magazine, Universal CEO Rahim Islam said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We bought it to preserve it,â&#x20AC;? emphasis on â&#x20AC;&#x153;preserve.â&#x20AC;? Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been little said about the theater since, but much about Gamble: In January, Gambleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s company was awarded a $500,000 â&#x20AC;&#x153;Promise Neighborhoodsâ&#x20AC;? grant to transform Point Breeze into a â&#x20AC;&#x153;cradle-to-careerâ&#x20AC;? service district. Observers are split between optimism and skepticism over whether Gamble is the man for the job. Some point to the quiet morphing of the plan for the Royal from restoration to preservation as a reason for questions. But prominent as that example might be, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not the only case in which properties belonging to Gamble and the various companies he controls have remained vacant â&#x20AC;&#x201D; for decades, in some cases, according to records reviewed by City Paper. Take for example, 1521 South St., a barren, empty lot separated from the street by a shoddy wooden fence, which Gamble himself acquired more than 20 years ago, in 1990; or 1442 and 1444 South St., a similar, double-wide vacant lot heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s owned since 1998; or 1505 Christian St., a rubblefilled lot wedged between two rowhomes, which Gamble has owned since 1991; or the overgrown jungle at 600 S. 13th St. (Universal executives did not return several phone calls seeking comment.) The Royal, meanwhile, has received renewed attention. On his way out of office, former Gov. Ed Rendell awarded Gamble a whopping $31 million grant from the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Projects program for renewed work on the Royal Theater and the planned South Street entertainment complex. In a neighborhood meeting, Universal officials recently presented their new plans for the theater: market-rate residential units, a plan considerably different from the commercial

entertainment district Gamble spoke of a decade ago, and which flies in the face of the desire of groups like the South Street West Business Association to maintain the corridor as a commercial strip. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had a number of developers come in where thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vacant land, and they want to do 100 percent residential,â&#x20AC;? says business association secretary Marcus Iannozzi, because residential projects generally turn quicker profits. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But a lot of things weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been able to do [for South Street] are because of our standing as a commercial corridor.â&#x20AC;? The vacant lots owned by Kenny Gamble and his companies, though, pale compared to the vast stretches of Brewerytown held by Westrum Byberry, a company owned by developer John Westrum, and which acquired some 16 acres starting in 2004 from the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Redevelopment Authority for a massive project subsidized with $1.2 million in Neighborhood Transformation Initiative funding under then-Mayor John Street. One piece of that project was completed in 2005 at 31st and Thompson streets: Brewerytown Square, a grid of townhouses whose suburban-style uniformity looks particularly odd surrounded, as it is, by Brewerytownâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s crumbling rowhomes, empty factories and weedy lots â&#x20AC;&#x201D; no small portion of which are owned by Westrum. Indeed, the very company sponsored to alleviate blight in the neighborhood has become, in the intervening time, one of the larger owners of vacant property in the city. Across the street from the new townhouses stretches a long field of nothing. And beside the bright-red signs declaring the lot â&#x20AC;&#x153;almost sold out!â&#x20AC;? there are few indications that the expansive lot, or any other of Westrumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s extensive holdings, are going to be developed anytime soon. (An email and call to Westrum seeking comment were not returned by press time.) Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a particularly bitter pill to swallow for Ellis Ferrell, president of the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club, an organization of African-American horse aficionados whose presence in the neighborhood dates back, Ferrell says, 100 years. The club once attracted scads of neighborhood kids and other curious visitors â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and maintained a headquarters on Westrumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s now-empty land until it was razed by the Redevelopment Authority preceding the

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8*5)065"45"(& conveyance of that lot to Westrum.â&#x20AC;&#x153;When we had 5FOZFBSTBHP UIF3PZBM that land, it was something positive for kids,â&#x20AC;? said 5IFBUFSXBTHPJOHUPCF Ferrell, speaking from the remnants of the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s SFTUPSFEJOUPBOFOUFSUBJO stables on Fletcher Street in nearby Strawberry NFOUGBDJMJUZ CVUUIFMBUFTU Mansion â&#x20AC;&#x201D; another vacant parcel the club is desQMBOTDBMMGPSNBSLFUSBUF perately trying to claim by squatterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rights. SFTJEFOUJBMVOJUT*UTUJMMTJUT The Redevelopment Authority, meanwhile, FNQUZPO4PVUI4USFFU which conveyed much of the Brewerytown land to Westrum in the first place, â&#x20AC;&#x153;is aware that not all the parcels have been developed and it is in discussions with Westrum regarding how best to move forward,â&#x20AC;? according to spokesman Paul Chrystie. Âą*4"*")5)0.140/ ,3*45&/.04#36$,&3 "/%"/5)0/:$".1*4*

Â&#x161;*5Âľ4)"3%50,/088)0.5053645  The city owns about a quarter of the vacant land in Philadelphia, and many of these properties have been and will be auctioned off to developers who do zilch with them. Thanks to â&#x20AC;&#x153;councilmanic prerogative,â&#x20AC;? the vagaries of bureaucracy and the complex machinations of the powerful, the Somebodies always have an edge over the Nobodies. But now, a movement is afoot to put an end to that status quo. For months, members of the Campaign to Take Back Vacant Land â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a hodgepodge coalition of neighborhood groups, disabled-rights organizations, an HIV/AIDS bloc and a janitors union â&#x20AC;&#x201D; have been showing up en masse at community events in matching yellow T-shirts that spell out their cause. During the primary election, they were ubiquitous, attending every forum and forcing City Council candidates to sign on to their idea. They want the city to release some of its vacant properties, not to the developer $0/5*/6&%0/1"(&


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The city presents an “in­ surmountable barrier.” who can write the biggest check, but to community groups who have a vested interest in improving their neighborhoods. They don’t just want gifts from the city, though. The idea is more ambitious than that. The campaign wants to create something called a “community land trust,” an independent nonprofit that would serve as a holding pen for land obtained for low or nominal cost. This land would be disposed of not by the city’s bureaucracy but by a board of residents, civic groups and neighborhood organizations like CDCs (and perhaps elected officials), with communities’ best interests in mind. Even if housing prices rise, the trust could, in effect, shield or control gentrification — by selling and renting their properties cheaply enough to create “permanent affordability,” as Nora Lichtash, executive director of the Women’s Community Revitalization Project, puts it. Members of the trust could choose whether a property would be best suited for some-

thing other than what the free market might have decided: low-income housing, maybe, or an urban farm. Hundreds of land trusts exist throughout the country. Two recently written bills — one in the state, another in the city — could have an impact on the coalition’s dream of creating dozens of land trusts peppered throughout Philadelphia. Rep. John Taylor has penned a bill that would give local governments the authority to create something called a “land bank.” Different than a land trust, the land bank would empower a single governmental agency to acquire, manage and sell off vacant, city-owned property, a task 17 city agencies currently perform. According to Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez — whose district contains substantial vacant land — this setup has led to so much confusion that “much of my office’s time and resources are diverted toward walking people through these various procedures.” She describes residents’

climbing an “insurmountable barrier” of bureaucracy. In June, in anticipation of Taylor’s bill passing — and, perhaps, to prod the Nutter administration, whose comprehensive plan for vacant land policy has yet to materialize — Quiñones-Sánchez and Councilman Bill Green introduced legislation that calls for community meetings for residents to weigh in on what a potential land bank in Philly might look like. That sets the stage for what promises to be a lively series of meetings this fall, as the Coalition to Take Back Vacant Land will do everything it can to pressure politicians, in the case that Philadelphia does establish a land bank, to make sure land trusts get as much control over it or property from it as possible: “It would be a huge loss if a land bank gave the majority of its property to the highest bidder,” says Lichtash. Of course, that’s assuming Taylor’s bill even passes against opposition from groups ranging from real estate agents to advocates for low-income residents to free-market enthusiasts. Kim Shindle, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors, worries that land banks could saddle cities with extra costs. Other critics, like members of Community Legal Services, worry Taylor’s bill doesn’t protect poor people facing foreclosure. Likewise, community land trusts are hardly foolproof. They give control to neighborhood groups like community development corporations, which might be great or not for a community, depending on what you think of that CDC. Council members, at least, are elected. Not so your local CDC. What’s more, CDCs have been known to hoard and sit on land themselves. Even more dire, a land trust could falter and go bust, as did Manos Unidas, an infamous Philadelphia land trust in the ’90s that went belly-up when homeowners defaulted on their loans and administrators failed to inform the board about its financial troubles. Which model poses the greater benefit — or the greater threat — to the longterm health of communities is exactly what the city is going to have to decide over the next few years. ±)0--:055&3#&*/


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icepack By A.D. Amorosi

➤ WHY’S PITTSBURGH HAVING all the fun?

First they get The Dark Knight Rises with all that rope-swinging Batman action. Now One Shot, starring its co-producer Tom Cruise as a cop-turnedvigilante, hits Pitt for filming this fall. Why not the city that loves you back? “It does seem that Pittsburgh is way busier than we are right now and the reason is not one single answer,” says Philly Film Office doyenne Sharon Pinkenson, days after being spied at Table 31 with homegirl Kim Delaney. She mentions how Philly lost World War Z to Glasgow, Scotland, due to a lack of tax credit dollars. And The Bourne Legacy opted for NYC when soundstages built for Universal’s canceled The Dark Tower needed to be put to use. “Pittsburgh’s union rates, hotel rates and other costs are generally lower than Philadelphia’s,” says Pinkenson. “But these things are cyclical and will turn around.” Yay us. Pinkenson even reminded me that Sunday was the first day of principal photography for the indie flick Backwards, starring James Van der Beek (that’s why he was spied at Twenty Manning) and writer/producer Sarah Thomas. And we have $60 million in tax credits for this fiscal year. And Philly’s tracking big studio films and TV series, “one of which may start shooting as early as October with preproduction this summer.” All right. In other film-related news, ex-Philly writer Josh Olson — screenwriter for A History of Violence, Village Voice contributor notorious for I Will Not Read Your Fucking Script — is rumored to have nailed a series of his own devising for FX. ➤ Mark Coates closed Bebe’s, his St. Louis BBQ salon in the Italian Market, years back, and we’re still missing him. It’ll be nice to see Coates get an I-Market reprieve with a Bebe pop-up at Ninth Street’s Wishing Well July 24. We spied the menu. Brisket looks best. ➤ Star of stage, screen and steaks, Tony Luke Jr. has the No. 1 R&B song at cdbaby.com: “Right Here,” a blue-eyed soulster co-produced by Pretty Poison’s Whey Cooler. “I want to show people they can never give up, no matter what their goal is,” says Luke. ➤ Jazz has come to The Twilight at 20th and Bainbridge now that Eddie Jones continues Philly’s organ jam session tradition there, starting July 21. ➤ City Paper cover girl Marcy Wagman and her legal eagle partner Andy Hurwitz’s law firm just welcomed ex-Rykodisc-local Paul Dickman — “attorney extraordinaire and generally incredibly wonderful person,” claims Wagman — to the firm. Meanwhile Hurwitz is busy with his Ropeadope label; after three months in the studio, singer Kate Foust’s country cosmopolitan-pop band Lady drops Me, You in October, the same month the glam-rustic Toy Soldiers release Get Through the Time. ➤ More Ice? Citypaper.net/icepack. (a_amorosi@citypaper.net)

GLUT THE MAW OF METAL: Eli Litwin recorded all of Intensus’ music before bringing in eight different singers to write and scream the lyrics. Mark Stehle

[ jazz/metal ]

Some Kind of monSter Mad drummer Eli Litwin builds a blunt, beautiful abomination. By Shaun Brady

H

ow can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe,” asks Mary Shelley’s Dr. Frankenstein at the first sight of his newborn creation, “or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavored to form?” like the good doctor, Eli litwin toiled for two whole years on his own monster, the self-titled debut of his solo project Intensus, released earlier this month via Metal Blade Records. Where his fictional predecessor recoiled in horror at the unnatural ugliness of his creation, litwin beams with well-earned pride over his own. The album is at once a thing of beauty and a blunt force trauma, a patchwork of spontaneous creation and piledriver intensity that is too busy bludgeoning you to show its scars. “The idea was to make this really off-the-wall music that sounds like it was really intricately composed and rehearsed and seems so chaotic,” litwin explains, “but it was built in this Frankenstein way.” The secret lab in this case was North Jersey’s Backroom Studios, run by litwin’s Knife the Glitter bandmate Kevin Antreassian. During one marathon session in late 2008, litwin improvised 16 drum tracks, face-melting outbursts of maniac blast beats and doomsludge intensity, with the intention of creating “an experimental free-grind album. I just played the entire album start to finish in one take, kind of like a free improv solo drum set metal performance.”

Over the following year he then went back and recorded guitar and bass tracks, each either improvised or written immediately before recording. The only other instrumentalists are guitarists Jason Herrmann (Tetsuo) and Alex Nagle (Satanized), who previously played with litwin in the bands Burden and Normal love, respectively, and who contribute appropriate shredding on two tracks. Once the music was finalized, he enlisted eight singers to supply the “really intense metal screaming that I myself cannot do.” Each singer was tasked with writing their own lyrics, with litwin giving them complete freedom. Some approached the assignment as they would their own music while others took very different paths. Between the Buried and Me’s Tommy Rogers, the only vocalist who didn’t record at Backroom under litwin’s supervision, turned in two tracks of nightmarish shrieking, growling and extreme vocal effects; Jesse Korman of The Number Twelve looks like you lent his frantic bark to some atypical subjects. “The song ‘Time Killer Shitter’ is a bunch of random facts from a bathroom reader,” litwin admits. “The lyrics for his other song, ‘Colon Cleanse your Sins,’ are the directions for an enema.” Intensus was born as a hybrid of the two equally, well, intense forms of music to which litwin has applied his intricate, pummeling drum style over the years. “I’d grown up playing metal for a long time,” he says. “Then I went to Temple to study jazz, and after graduating I

A patchwork of spontaneous creation and piledriver intensity.

>>> continued on page 20


the naked city | feature

[ thundering forth from the steppes ] ➤ pop/rock

In his intro to The Believer’s 2011 Music Issue and its accompanying compilation, editor Ross Simonini points out that “modern classical” is impossible to define, and distinguishing between songwriters and composers is an antiquated notion. Which is basically an excuse to let Owen Pallett, Dan Deacon and other Pitchforkers try something more artsy, ambitious, pretentious and/or dull. This mix’s finest moments are subtle scene-setters. The rest is beeping, droning, humming, clashing, annoying, my —Patrick Rapa god it won’t stop.

Toy saxophone? Check. Impenetrable yet catchy lyrics, like “I’m sick of these secondstory Sleestaks/ Breathing on my dice” and “Though there are millions of cephalophores that wander through this world/ You’ve got something extra going on”? Check. Musical tributes to obscure locales like Canajoharie, N.Y.? Check. Yep, the two Johns are back together for They Might Be Giants’ first album for grown-ups in four years (and their 22nd overall), and Join Us (Idlewild) proves they haven’t regressed. “Judy Is Your Viet Nam,” for example, summarizes a dysfunctional romance in a succinct 1:26. —Andrew Milner

➤ rock/pop The South London-based SBTRKT isn’t quite as reductionistic in his approach to production as he is about spelling, but his eponymous first LP (Young Turks) is frankly straightforward, even workmanlike, in its pursuit of palatable yet fully contemporary electronic pop. Enlisting a bevy of future-soul vocalists, and drawing more on twostep and smooth R&B than dubstep’s jaggeder edge, this set is friendlier (and livelier) than James Blake but just as gently majestic, even if its coloring stays mainly within the lines. —K. Ross Hoffman

flickpick

The Red Keys The polish of his tonality is a thing of wonder. ➤ THE SOvIETS dIdn’T make very good trac-

➤ rock/pop Arriving, in suitably leisurely fashion, two years after the much-buzzed “summer of chillwave” he was instrumental in touching off, Ernest Greene’s luxuriantly lush full-length debut as Washed Out comes across as resolutely classicist (or, said otherwise, impeccably generic). Within and Without (Sub Pop) delivers all the requisite fluttery warmth and thrumming daydream grooves, slightly shellacked of their wobbly analog charm. It’s not that this is boring — at least, not in a bad way — but there’s such a thing as being too well-washed. —K. Ross Hoffman

[ movie review ]

Tabloid [ B ] ALTHOUGH IT’S MORE like an extended episode of his TV series First Person

19

tors, but they sure knew how to turn out pianists. Actually, the mighty Russian school of pianism was born prior to the October Revolution, beginning with the legendary Rubinstein brothers, Anton and Nikolai, and the most famous Russian pianist of them all, Vladimir Horowitz, who was also pre-Red. But the Soviets embraced music and dance as their pre-eminent means of cultural propaganda, and so a steady stream of incredible musicians came thundering forth from the steppes. The biggest wave came after end of WWII, starting sensationally with Emil Gilels, who then famously announced, “Wait until you hear Richter.” Sure enough, steely-fingered Sviatoslav Richter came to dominate the classical music world of the second half of the 20th century. And on and on they came; Ashkenazy, Berman, Davidovich, Pletnev, Berezovsky, Feltsman, et al. The music-making machine went on to the very end of the Evil Empire, producing one of our finest current pianists, Evgeny Kissin, who was playing extraordinarily elegant Chopin as a 12-year-old in 1984. And then there were the ones who never left. A large number of Russian artists stayed behind the Iron Curtain, for any number of reasons; travel was restricted by the government, but some simply did not seek wider fame, content to be pampered as honored artists of the people. Fortunately, many of these musicians made recordings, so we can have a tantalizing taste of careers that could have been. Perhaps the most amazing of these lost artists was Grigory Ginzburg (1904 to 1961). We have only a handful of recordings, but they are enough to establish him as one of the most remarkable pianists in recorded history. Some have suggested that his Liszt playing is a throwback to the composer himself, but who can know? It is certainly more Romantic than we are used to hearing today, with tremendous flair and very dynamic rhythmic phrasing.The polish of his tonality is a thing of wonder. Ginzburg’s specialty was the operatic transcription. Here is where he really gives contemporary players a lesson. When he played Mozart and Verdi, you could hear the individual roles with distinct characterization. And so what is the lesson to be learned? If you want to be a really good pianist, listen to really good singers. (p_burwasser@citypaper.net)

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than a proper feature, Errol Morris’ Tabloid is an eye-popping gloss on a truly fantastic story. Or, to be more precise, stories, since the pivotal events in what became known as “The Case of the Manacled Mormon” are still very much in doubt. Either the story’s villain or its victim, Joyce McKinney was a busty Wyoming beauty queen who fell for a Mormon missionary named Kirk Anderson and followed him to England. In a cottage in Devon, they had sex: Anderson told the papers he was chained and raped; McKinney says he simply needed help overcoming his hang-ups. The case was never resolved, and Anderson appears only in vintage photos, but McKinney’s account meets vigorous opposition from the tabloid reporters who covered her story, digging up a sordid past that becomes increasingly difficult to square with the charismatic, emotionally fragile woman pinned to a gray backdrop by Morris’ camera. McKinney’s story grows stranger the more the movie delves into it, and it’s easy to discern the root of Morris’ fascination. But the movie’s failure to separate fact from fiction becomes nettlesome after a while. McKinney’s story is far less consequential than the Holocaust or the war in Vietnam, but considering the tens of thousands of words Morris has churned out on The New York Times’ website on the positioning of cannonballs in vintage war photos, his willingness to abandon McKinney’s story to the vicissitudes of postmodernism carries with it an undercurrent of condescension. Whether or not McKinney actually intends to file legal action or she’s just generating controversy to boost her public profile, she’s not wrong to fault the film’s approach. With its cutesy cut-out graphics and mockemphatic headlines, Tabloid sends up the hysteria of supermarket-rag coverage, but that’s also the fuel that keeps it running. —Sam Adams

Tabloid fails to separate fact from fiction.

GRAY MATTER: Joyce McKinney is either the villain or the victim in Errol Morris’ Tabloid, a documentation of an affair gone wrong.

suitespot Peter Burwasser on classical

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Litwin was a regular in the experimental/ improv scene.

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started getting into free improv, which Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d never really known about.â&#x20AC;? He became a regular presence on the improv and experimental scene fostered by Bowerbird, bringing his heavy metal ferocity to bear but leavening it with the subtlety and sparseness of improvisation. He formed the ongoing duo Gun Muffs with saxophonist David Fishkin, joined with drummer Pete Angevine and a rotating third as Bring It Inside, occupies the drum chair for gypsy-punk-jazz trio Inzinzac and, crucially, co-founded the inexplicable, ever-evolving Normal Love. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Playing these shows where people were improvising freely,â&#x20AC;? he says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;there would be these moments of tension that gave me the same kind of fist-clenching feeling that I get from listening to death metal. â&#x20AC;Ś I decided that I needed to merge the two.â&#x20AC;? Anyone who has grown up on metal could anticipate Litwinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s thrill at getting the call from Metal Blade, one of the genreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most important labels for nearly 30 years, with a hand in discovering or promoting everyone from Metallica to Slayer to King Diamond to The Black Dahlia Murder. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cannibal Corpse was one of the first metal bands that I ever listened to in, like, the sixth grade,â&#x20AC;? Litwin says of the labelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best-selling band. Litwin cites mathcore bands Dillinger Escape Plan and Meshuggah, metal pioneers Death, and the hardcore/metal/ hip-hop mash-up of Candiria as definite influences on his solo project along with the music heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been making in the metal and avant-garde worlds. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Intensus takes elements from all of my different projects, distills them all into one thing, and adds some other stuff,â&#x20AC;? Litwin says. Playing the material live would require the Herculean task of relearning music played once years before, but a sequel is in the works. Litwinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also recorded a lo-fi black metal album â&#x20AC;&#x153;as a stylistic exerciseâ&#x20AC;?on his laptop, and would like to assemble a group to play a combo of metal and free improv. â&#x20AC;&#x153;At this point Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been exposed to so much music that I love for different reasons, I really need to feed all of those musical desires,â&#x20AC;? he says. (s_brady@citypaper.net) For more information, visit elilitwin.com.


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case not closed ➤ IN THE ART WORLD, last fall felt like the mid-’80s.

Bowing to condemnation from conservative politicians and religious groups, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., removed David Wojnarowicz’s video A Fire In My Belly from “Hide/ Seek,” its survey of gay and lesbian depictions in portraiture. The issue at hand: In his piece reacting to the AIDS epidemic and the loss of his partner, the artist included some 11 seconds of ants swarming on top of a crucifix. This prompted the inevitable reaction: The Warhol Foundation, as well as other private benefactors, said they would no longer provide funding to the National Portrait Gallery or the Smithsonian writ large. Seems these debates spark every decade when provocative artists and social conservatives mix — Chris Ofili’s elephantdung Virgin Mary in 1999, Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ in 1987, Robert Mapplethorpe just about whenever his work is shown. Many of these names crop up in “Unsettled: Photography and Politics in Contemporary art,” something of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s official response to the Fire controversy. It brings together work addressing a spectrum of social issues through photography — feminism, race relations, gay activism and AIDS — but since its April opening, it hasn’t made much of a peep. No large-scale boycotts, no sniping word wars in the media. A placard at the main entryway warns of the extreme nature of the images contained within, cautioning parents to view the work first before allowing their children to see it, but doing so, it is not immediately evident where this extremity lies. upon entering the gallery, a pair of Nan Goldin nudes are immediately visible on the opposite wall — one involving a male figure tied up in a dank bedroom. A strong opening stroke, but hardly worthy of a disclaimer. But wait — this exhibit is smartly curated, favoring photos that might not overtly take the offensive, that might seem abstract or innocuous on first glance, but leave a lingering discomfort the more time you spend with them. Of the issues it aims to address, gay activism and AIDS get perhaps the largest showcase. A stretch of the back is dedicated to Wojnarowicz’s Sex Series, a collection of photomontages rendered in haunting negative, juxtaposing large square stock photos of trains and buildings with small circular inset images (many depicting sex acts in detail). Some of these pieces don’t draw a clear connection between, say, the cityscape and the man fellating his partner, but others make it painfully evident. Untitled (Train) matches a rail scene with free-associative insets of riot police at an ACT-uP protest, news clippings about a gay couple brutally attacked in Manhattan, and microscopic images of white blood cells depleted by HIV/AIDS. (Wojnarowicz himself died of AIDS-related complications in 1992.) For those who did not live through it, it can be difficult to comprehend how terrifying the epidemic truly was — but these images go a long way toward conveying that feeling. likewise, Peter Hujar’s grainy 1970s shots of deserted New york City docks and the men who met there after dark is a powerful representation of how alienating and alone it was to be gay during this era. A group clad in Halloween costumes poses with open beer cans and exasperated faces in one image; in another, a lone male looks from his car with a pensive gaze. Hujar’s studio work, hung nearby, shows male models delighting in their own nudity — one sucks his big toe with a quizzical face, another rides a zebra in a faux-dramatic pose. These images are playful and enjoyable, but the scenes

PHIlADElPHIA MuSEuM OF ART

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that stick with you are the nighttime streets. In the realm of race relations and racism, the exhibit showcases Serrano’s Klansman (Great Titan of the Invisable Empire). The imposing profile of a man in KKK regalia takes up almost an entire floor-to-ceiling pillar. It isn’t overtly graphic or explicit by any stretch. It’s actually kind of a beautiful portrait, were it possible to view the image with neutrality. But this isn’t a possibility — and the fear struck by the menacing gaze of this actual Klansman (Serrano did not hire models for this series) is as palpable as the fear the artist is said to have found in his subjects, whom he discovered were largely poor, rural and timid. Portraits by Carrie Mae Weems use placement of text alongside images to confront stereotypes. Black Woman with Chicken is a square image of, well, a black woman holding fried chicken, and her face seems to say she’s not thrilled with being placed in this box. Images from Weems’ Colored People series are informal portraits hand-dyed to play off colloquialisms for skin tones in the black community — Blue Black Boy (pictured) is an underwater tint, Golden Yella Girl is a sunburst, and you’re left puzzling over what it means. Feminism is the exhibit’s stated topic that feels the most shortchanged; short of Barbara Kruger’s Untitled (We are your circumstantial evidence), a monumental Pop Art collage of fashion imagery, “unsettled” shows photographers like Goldin and Zoe leonard addressing women’s issues at the same time as they address any number of other concerns — poverty, say, or drug addiction. The feminist movement here isn’t tackled with the focus of its counterparts. But while “unsettled” studies intolerance and confrontation, the most fascinating battle line the exhibit reveals is wholly internal. A Mapplethorpe image on display comes from his controversial Black Book series, a stunning shot of the muscular back and buttocks of a model. In the exhibit notes, it points out that Weems was one of many voices calling Mapplethorpe out for objectifying black men through this work, and the further racist undertones it carried. Even within the art world, it seems, there is misunderstanding, disunity and division. (j_vettese@citypaper.net)

Images leave a lingering discomfort.

 “Unsettled” runs through summer 2011. For more info, visit philamuseum.org.


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Films are graded by City PaPer critics a-F.

Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest

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Beats Rhymes & Life: the tRaveLs Of a tRiBe CaLLed Quest|B+

SCREEN GEMS PRESENTS A CASTLE ROCK ENTERTAINMENT/ZUCKER/OLIVE BRIDGE ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCTION A WILL GLUCK FILM “FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS” PATRICIA CLARKSON JENNA ELFMAN BRYAN GREENBERG EXECUTIVE WITH RICHARD JENKINS AND WOODY HARRELSON SUPERVISIONMUSICBY WENDE CROWLEY PRODUCER GLENN S. GAINOR STORY BY HARLEY PEYTON AND KEITH MERRYMAN & DAVID A. NEWMAN SCREENPLAY BY KEITH MERRYMAN & DAVID A. NEWMAN AND WILL GLUCK PRODUCED BY MARTIN SHAFER LIZ GLOTZER JERRY ZUCKER JANET ZUCKER WILL GLUCK DIRECTED BY WILL GLUCK

As a native New yorker and a devout hip-hop head, Michael Rapaport could’ve easily set his Big Apple Rap Masturba-Tron™ to auto-jerk and let it run for the duration of his documentary on A Tribe Called Quest. But it turns out the actor and first-time director’s admiration for the influential ’90s act doesn’t cloud his sometimes-klutzy but altogether sincere and captivating examination of Tribe’s innovation — and eventual implosion. Following Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and onagain/off-again member Jarobi (Rapaport, like everyone else, is unable to explain to us what latter dude actually did for the group) from the come-up days in Queens to their major-label success, stepping back in spells to catch the scope of the artsy, kente-clothed Native Tongues movement. Nonstop headbutting between Tip and Phife — over control freakitude, disrespect, musical direction and pretty much any other topic you can name — led to Tribe’s disbandment, but rather than predictably dwell on the surliness of the creative class, Rapaport instead depicts his subjects as people first and rappers second. He’s not always successful — and, as with many music docs, you leave wanting more first-hand insight from the artists and less repetitive praise from secondhand subjects — but the glimpses he provides into the difficult private life of Phife, a Type 1 diabetic, are reason enough to watch. —Drew Lazor (Ritz East)

CaptaiN ameRiCa: the fiRst aveNgeR

starts friday, july 22

check local listings for theaters and showtimes

Read Drew Lazor’s review at citypaper.net/movies. (Pearl, UA 69th St., UA Riverview)

fRieNds with BeNefits Read Carolyn Huckabay’s review at citypaper.net/movies. (UA Riverview)

LOve, etC.|C+ love is a many-splendor’d thing, but Jill Andresevic’s doc has room for only five subjects, ranging from a pair of enamored 18-year-olds to a husband-and-wife songwriting team who’ve been married nearly a half-century. The movie’s subjects, introduced via their New york subway stop, share an address but not much else; they don’t have enough in common to illuminate each others’ experiences, nor are they divergent enough to cover anything like the full spectrum. The movie covers just enough territory to make its omissions glaring, like the fact that the only nonhetero subject (theater director Scott Ellis) is romantically unattached, searching instead to adopt a child as a single parent. Andresevic is relentless about packaging each story as a tidy little arc, laying the seeds of future discord in the lives of an Indian couple on their way to the altar. It’s enough to elicit coos and jeers, as well as the occasional shock of recognition, but you’d see as much in an afternoon of people-watching. —Sam Adams (Ritz at the Bourse)

the maN whO feLL tO eaRth|B In which David Bowie plays a visitor from Planet WTF. Nicolas Roeg’s 1970s feature, whose 35th anniversary rerelease occasions the first Philadelphia screening of its original cut, is science fiction through an opium haze, gauzy and disjointed to a sometimes grating extent. Bowie’s Tommy Newton comes seeking water for his dried-up planet, insinuating himself into American society as an inventor of visionary trinkets, revolutionary enough to transform the marketplace without causing too many ripples in society


tabloid|B Read Sam Adamsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; review on p. 19. (Ritz Five)

 coNtiNuiNg a better liFe|B The story of Carlos (DemiĂĄn Bichir) could not be more timely or timeless. A Mexican immigrant in East l.A., heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s made a point of keeping his head down and working hard, all to keep his u.S.-born son luis (JosĂŠ JuliĂĄn) safe. When his employer sells his landscaping business, it means a chance to move to another neighborhood and ensure that luis wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t fall

in with a gang. As he gazes out the city bus window, you see the filmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unresolved dilemma: Carlos understands how heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seen, how heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s feared and reviled, and all he wants is to live free of judgment. When Chris Weitzâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s film keeps that focus, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s poignant. But itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just as often overly conventional, as if not to frighten anyone away. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;C.F. (Ritz Five)

carS 2|B Turning out a sequel to its worst movie might not be the best way for Pixar to celebrate its silver anniversary. But Carsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; second lap wisely trades the tepid Americana for a tangier takeoff on globe-hopping spy adventures. In some ways, the Cars movies are Pixarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most culturally savvy, replete with automotive versions of real-life figures. But theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re also its laziest, letting cheap puns sub for real jokes. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;S.A. (UA 69th St., UA Riverview)

[ movie shorts ]

harry Potter aNd the deathly hallowS: Part 2|B+ With lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) in possession of the powerful â&#x20AC;&#x153;Elder Wandâ&#x20AC;? and our hero (Daniel Radcliffe) on a frantic search for the last of the Horcruxes (erstwhile fragments of lVâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s soul that allow for his sprightly, demonic demeanor), most Part 2 scenes are building blocks for the climactic Battle of Hogwarts, where the two factions finally dance, blowing up a shitload of Scots Baronial architecture in the process. Though there are snack-size portions of the youthful, magic-charged mischief that four-time Potter director David yates is so good at staging, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s simply no time for Hermione and Ron (Emma Watson and Rupert Grint) to shoegaze or for Harry

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COLUMBIA PICTURES AND METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER PICTURES PRESENT A BROKENMUSICROAD/HEY EDDIE/HAPPY MADISON PRODUCTION MUSIC KEVI N JAMES â&#x20AC;&#x153; Z OOKEEPERâ&#x20AC;? ROSARI O DAWSON SUPERVISION BY MICHAEL DILBECK BY RUPERT GREGSON-WILLIAMS EXECUTIVE PRODUCED PRODUCERS BARRYBERNARDI JEFF SUSSMAN CHARLES NEWIRTH JENNIFER EATZ BY TODD GARNER KEVIN JAMES ADAM SANDLER JACK GIARRAPUTO WALT BECKER STORY SCREENPLAY DIRECTED BY JAY SCHERICK & DAVID RONN BY NICK BAKAY & ROCK REUBEN & KEVIN JAMES AND JAY SCHERICK & DAVID RONN BY FRANK CORACI A FILM BY FRANK CORACI

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;AN EMOTIONALLY POWERFUL TALE

SNow Flower aNd the Secret FaN|CBorn into families of different classes during the early 19th century, Snow Flower (Gianna Jun) and lily (li Bing Bing) are subjected to the agony of foot binding and also assigned to each other as laotong (sworn sisters for life). As they are married and move away (all the while writing secret letters to each other on paper fans), Wayne Wangâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it be exciting to communicate with a chimp and learn what it was thinking?â&#x20AC;? The question posed by professor Herb Terrace of Columbia university is an enduring one. But if it once impelled the sorts of â&#x20AC;&#x153;experimentsâ&#x20AC;? conducted on subjects like Nim Chimpsky during the 1970s, now it also raises moral and political concerns â&#x20AC;&#x201D; for instance, how does â&#x20AC;&#x153;scienceâ&#x20AC;? work, to whose benefit and to whose irreparable detriment? James Marshâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s documentary asks these questions in persistent yet subtle ways, telling the story of Nim and the many humans whose lives he touched and who shaped his, as they bumbled and assumed and sometimes downright abused him. Following his violent removal from his mother, the chimp is transferred from one circumstance to another â&#x20AC;&#x201D; including a family headed by Terraceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s former lover and student; a set of dedicated but ultimately clueless graduate students; and a lab conducting brutal experiments on chimpanzees, before at last he was retired to an animal sanctuary in Texas, well-intentioned but ill-equipped for simian refugees. Fragmented and complex, by turns antic and profound, the movie exposes the intersections of human ambition and failure, insight and arrogance, regret and ignorance. That it does so by contrasting interviews and images, showing how neither register can tell whole stories, makes it a documentary about documentary aspirations and limits, as well. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Cindy Fuchs (Ritz at the Bourse)

conceit, that Sophia has written the manuscript version of the earlier tale, and Nina is reading it, their bond reinforced by this mutual imagining. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;C.F. (Ritz Five)

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film cuts back and forth between their stories and those of two other girls, Sophia (also played by Jun) and Nina (li Bing Bing again), best friends separated by class, circumstances and betrayals occurring in the present day. While the film, adapted from lisa Seeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s novel, recalls the thematic concerns of Wangâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Joy Luck Club, its unwieldy transitions, grim melodrama and tedious caricatures (see Sophiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aunt, played by Vivian Wu) detract from what may have been emotional, moral and political detail. As families jockey for social and financial standings in both eras, the girls are buffeted, prostituted and beaten down. If their friendships are not always smooth, they are repeatedly tragic and selfless: One girl believes sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a burden and so withdraws purposefully, another feels betrayed or briefly prideful, and so makes a terrible decision. The film labors, as well, under its literary

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at large. He picks up a small retinue along way, including awestruck motel maid Candy Clark and frog-eyed lawyer Buck Henry, as well as scientist Rip Torn, but by Roegâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own admission, the filmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plot is just a â&#x20AC;&#x153;shellâ&#x20AC;? to fill with human, and inhuman, behavior, which often shoots off at several unpredictable angles at once. Henryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mouth sprouts a saliva bubble midconversation, and a kabuki performance and rough sex are intercut to no end outweighing the sheer distraction of the patent flourish. There are those, naturally, who prize such sideways leaps for their sheer daring, but for the rest, the novelty wears off fast. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;S.A. (Ritz at the Bourse)


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to sulk â&#x20AC;&#x201D; yates is too busy marching the kids through the thickets of death, remorse and salvation, a candid, intermittently maudlin journey that should spark empathy in superfans and front-runners alike. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;D.L. (Pearl, Roxy, UA 69th St., UA Riverview)

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Midnight in Paris|B+ No filmmaker has been so self-aware and yet so trapped by his own neuroses as Woody Allen. Midnight in Paris is his latest auto-diagnosis, recognizing his chronic discontent and romanticization of an ideal other time, other place. That would be 1920s Paris, which screenwriter Gil (Owen Wilson) pines for as his own gilded age. Despite his role as chronicler of modern intellectual life, Allen has never shied away from leavening his films with fantasy, and the latest iteration results in his best film in recent memory. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Shaun Brady (Ritz Five)

the tree of Life|ATerrence Malickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s phenomenal,

phenomenological The Tree of Life tells the story of Jack, whose father (Brad Pitt) drills his three sons ceaselessly on his version of proper behavior. His wife (Jessica Chastain) is a less defined presence, powerfully emotive but hazily sketched. The opening narration lays out a struggle between the principles of grace (formative, forgiving, divine) and nature (earthly, destructive), attributes which sync loosely with the parents themselves. Malickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reach extends far beyond the confines of time and place, to the edges of the universe and the dawn of life. There hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t been anything like The Tree of Life in years, and until Malick makes another movie, there wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;S.A. (Ritz at the Bourse)

the triP|B+ Road trips offer freedom of exploration, unscheduled days â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and the occasionally hellish confinement of being trapped in a tiny space with another person. Comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon swerve between both

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aLso PLaying Bad Teacher | BUA 69th St., UA Riverview Beginners | BRitz Five Bridesmaids | AUA Riverview green LanTern | C UA Riverview horriBLe Bosses | C+ Pearl, Roxy, UA 69th St., UA Riverview Transformers: dark of The moon | D Pearl, UA 69th St., UA Riverview For full movie reviews and showtimes, go to citypaper.net/movies.

extremes while traveling through the British countryside, carping at each other, riffing on inane comic concepts and sinking into self-absorbed silences. In short, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just like any long car trip â&#x20AC;&#x201D; with the added neuroses of two professional comedians. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;S.B. (Ritz East)

(Kevin James) wants to marry Stephanie (leslie Bibb), a fashion designer, in the first place. So when she dumps him â&#x20AC;&#x201D; cruelly â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the premise becomes even fuzzier. The animals under his care, so it seems, want to help him win her back. Voiced by celebrities, these creatures come up with a series of terrible ideas. While it wants to be Night at the Museum meets Dr. Dolittle, Zookeeper is relentlessly stupid and badly put together. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;C.F. (Pearl, UA 69th St., UA Riverview)

rePertory fiLM

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unclear why zookeeper Griffin

rocky V (1990, u.S., 104): â&#x20AC;&#x153;Time to

put some hustle behind this muscle.â&#x20AC;? Wed., July 27, 8 p.m., free.

internationaL house 3701 Chestnut St., 215-387-5125, ihousephilly.org. the Big Uneasy (2010, u.S., 98 min.): â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mockumentarianâ&#x20AC;? Harry Shearer will attend this screening of his doc that uncovers the truth behind the flooding of New Orleans. Thu., July 22, 7 p.m., $8.

awesoMe fest Piazza at Schmidts, Second and Hancock streets, theawesomefest.com. Orbit: A look at our solar system, with each planet represented by its own short film. Sun., July 24, 7:30 p.m., free.

fiLMadePhia cLassics Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Ave., 215-236-3300, filmadelphia.org. 12 Monkeys (1995, u.S., 129 min.): Eastern State Penitentiary plays an asylum in this thriller about a man-made disease that nearly wipes out all human life. Wed., July 27, sundown, $10.

indie fiLM series

ZookeePer|F

[ movie shorts ]

Headhouse Market, Second and Pine streets, 215-625-7988, southstreet.com.

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Mugshots coffeehouse and cafe 2100 Fairmount Ave., 267-514-7145, mugshotscoffeehouse.com. the Princess and the Frog (2009, u.S., 97 min.): Disneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first animation featuring a black princess. Fri., July 22, 7 p.m., free. the Shaggy dog (1959, u.S., 104 min.): A boy is caught in a magic spell that turns him into a sheepdog at random times. Woof. Mon., July 25, 7 p.m., free.

secret cineMa Institute of Contemporary Art, 118 S. 36th St., 215-898-7108, mugshotscoffeehouse.com. art for artâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sake: This selection of shorties about art includes two rare TV documentaries, Art of the Sixties (1968) and What I Did on My Summer Vacation (1966). Wed., July 27, 9 p.m., $7.

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lisTings@ciTypaper.neT | July 21 - July 27

the agenda

[ swinging, twanging, romping, stomping ]

the naked city | feature | a&e

agenda

the

food | classifieds

BOYS & GIRLS CLUB: Philly’s John & Brittany play World Café Live on Thursday.

The Agenda is our selective guide to what’s going on in the city this week. For comprehensive event listings, visit citypaper.net/listings. iF yOu Want tO Be liSted:

Thursday

7.21 [ theater ]

ShakeSpeare in Clark park

Through July 24, 7 p.m., free, Clark Park, 43rd Street and Chester Avenue, 215-462-2115, shakespeareinclarkpark.org.

[ jazz ]

 Ca Caw Free improv doesn’t always

—Shaun Brady Thu., July 21, 7 p.m., with Hope and Feathers and Split Red (acoustic), Green Line Café, 4426 Locust St., 215222-0799, greenlinecafe.com.

[ rock/pop ]

John & Brittany Philly’s John Faye has fronted the swinging, twanging Caulfields and the romping, stomping IKE. But as a newly

minted label boss (It Keeps Evolving) and guitarist and melody writer, he’s truly come into his own with John & Brittany. She’s Brittany Rotondo, a North Philly lass possessed of a vicious lyrical streak, a garish set of pipes and her own keen sense of punk-soul melody and guitar heroics. Not only did the pair put one of their brashest collaborative tracks, “last Act” on IKE’s Tie the Knot with All That You Got, John & Brittany came up with an eponymous EP’s worth of sturdy material such as the sultry but pugnacious “Cigarillo.” Good stuff. They’ve got a full CD in the offing, two new players (drummer Jay Miraglia, bassist Mike Vivas) and a showcase for the EP that’ll highlight opening acts Southwork, Matt McAndrew and lizbeth Rose. And damned if IKE isn’t headlining. —a.d. amorosi Thu., July 21, 7 p.m., $18-$23, with IKE, Southwork, Matt McAndrew and Lizbeth Rose, World Café Live, 3025 Walnut St., 215-222-1400, worldcafelive.com.

Friday

7.22 [ visual art ]

 aphrodite Gallery The suggestion of sex plastered across a screen doesn’t have to be constrained to advertising agencies or soft-core porn. Visual sex can be a captivating and triumphant form of art. To prove it, Passional’s Aphrodite Gallery in South Philly is hosting an erotic photo show. The quaint third-floor room on top of the sex and fetish emporium will hold the kinky treasures of 11 accomplished and up-and-coming photographers. The span of erotic art fans from recent graduate Amber Kirylak’s colorful latexpainted bodies to David Swift’s reverent vintage nudism to high-fashion photographer

Andrew Kist’s take on fetishism. Gary Neal will be adding a masculine aesthetic to the female-heavy landscape, while the well-known Italian Robert Neroni creates “bodyscapes” from the curves and twists in female forms. Aphrodite Gallery seems most excited, however, about full-time erotic artist lisolette Gilcrest, whose work is on permanent exhibit at the Kinsey Research Center. If you’re hoping to spice up your bedroom walls, all pieces will be for sale, ranging in price from $50 to $800. The show runs till the end of August, but show up during the opening reception to meet the eyes behind the erotic lens. —Meg augustin Opening reception Fri., July 22, 7 p.m., free, through Aug. 31, Aphrodite Gallery, 620 S. Fifth St., 215-923-1398, aphroditegallery.us.

[ musical comedy ]

 tim minChin He’s a crazy-haired, eyeliner-

27

Shakespeare in Clark Park’s sixth annual free production in West Philly’s bowl-shaped gathering place is Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Pig Iron Theatre’s Alex Torra, who

—Mark Cofta

have to be full-throttle and aggressive, and from the scant evidence available thus far (essentially, a couple of youTube vids), this newly formed trio works together in a far softer, more subtle fashion. Keyboardist landon Knoblock, saxophonist/clarinetist Oscar Noriega and drummer Jeff Davis are all rising stars on the NyC jazz scene, only very recently joining forces for the first time. They certainly can build up the intensity, but all three know how to unleash the noise sparingly while exploring less-traveled byways.

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Submit information by email (listings@citypaper.net) to Josh Middleton or enter them yourself at citypaper.net/submit-event with the following details: date, time, address of venue, telephone number and admission price. Incomplete submissions will not be considered, and listings information will not be accepted over the phone.

staged SCP’s 2009 romp The Comedy of Errors. “I tend to stray from conceptual worlds that are solidly ground in a time period,” says Torra. “For Much Ado, I was particularly taken by the clothing silhouettes of the early 1950s, World War I and II uSO performances, and lawn parties.” He blends these to “create a world unto itself, that looks familiar but is governed by its own theatrical rules.” Co-artistic directors Maria Möller and Marla Burkholder like their outdoor Bard brisk, so this Much Ado runs a sleek 90 minutes without intermission, with the setting sun lighting the play’s happy finale.


a&e | feature | the naked city the agenda classifieds | food

wearing, joke-spitting ivorytickler whose comedic palate has a craving for the raw and rude. Oh, and heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Australian. But just because his bits are about ginger prejudice, intimate moments with inflatable dolls or pope-bashing doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean you should count him out of musical legitimacy. He recently wrote the score and lyrics to Matilda: The Musical, based on Roald Dahlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1988 book. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not exactly new on the scene, either. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s released four CDs and three DVDs, one featuring him with a 55-piece orchestra, and been featured on Conan and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. This weekend heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bringing it to Philly, so get ready to laugh. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Brian Wilensky Fri., July 22, 7 p.m., $31.50, TLA, 334 South St., 215-922-1011, livenation.com.

Saturday

7.23 [ walk/tour ]

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 Urban Farm bike ToUr Urban farms are popping up around Philly like springtime poppies. Nestled among brick façades and parking lots, these farms reinvent green space. Introducing you to the finest our city has to offer is the sixth annual Weaverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Way Urban Farm Bike Tour. Hop on Phillyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most

beloved form of transportation for a fast-paced tour or enjoy a more leisurely ride through the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s urban markets. Each farm will showcase its finest and freshest while giving you a little local farming know-how. Both rides will end at Weaver Wayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own co-op, where grilled veggies and a beer list will be offered. Whether youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in it for the ride or the free food, make sure to strap on an extra-large bike basket â&#x20AC;&#x201D; youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re gonna need it. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Meg Augustin

[ the agenda ]

[ festival ]

 Gazela sUmmer FesTival For eight days this month, the tall ship Gazela will play host not to a couple dozen salty sailors, but an arts and music festival featuring live performances, workshops and goods

Sat., July 23, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., $25$30, Weavers Way Co-op, 1011 E. Washington Lane, weaversway.coop.

[ world/jazz ]

 Cyro bapTisTaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s banqUeT oF The spiriTs Brazilian-born percussionist Cyro Baptista has become the go-to guy for musicians from across the spectrum who want to dabble or dive into the â&#x20AC;&#x153;world musicâ&#x20AC;? thing and appreciate inventiveness on top of authenticity. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s popped up alongside names as diverse as John Zorn, Yo-Yo Ma, Sting, Jay-Z and Laurie Anderson, and that list could trail onto the next page. But Baptistaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own projects turn his globe-spanning rhythms to even more experimental purposes. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll share this outdoor bill with the great percussionist Adam Rudolph, in duo with multi-instrumentalist Joseph Bowie. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Shaun Brady Sat., July 23, 6 p.m., free, behind the Walnut Street Free Library, 40th and Walnut streets, universitycity.org.

made by local artists and artisans like stonewear designer Nick â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ottoâ&#x20AC;? Brown and jewelry purveyors Concrete Polish. Performers and merchants like the Naughty Nautical Nite cabaret and Lilithâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Apothecary make up just a fraction of the festivalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s roster. And the 110-year-old, 177-foot-long Gazela offers an unusual, historic environment for visitors. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be a pretty intimate space,â&#x20AC;? says event organizer and Random Tea Room owner Rebecca Goldschmidt. As a volunteer aboard the Gazela, she has sailed from Philadelphia to Brooklyn. In her time running the tearoom in NoLibs, sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s met a host of artists and entrepreneurs in need of an outlet. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m giving them a really lovely

&

INVITE YOU AND A GUEST TO SEE

          

www.citypaper.net/win

No purchase necessary. Limited number of passes available. Each pass admits two. winners will be selected on or about 7/26/11. Employees of promotional partners not eligible. THIS FILM IS RATED PG-13.

IN SELECT THEATRES FRIDAY, JULY 29TH


queerbait Josh Middleton on the LGBTQ scene

Have an upcoming LGBTQ event? Give it here. E-mail listings@citypaper.net.

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Performance artist Alexander Kacala lives to sing. He’s loaned his voice to a variety of local music theater productions, including Walnut Street Theatre’s Fiddler on the Roof and several shows at New Candlelight in Delaware — but he didn’t feel like he was tapping into the heart of his talent until he did it dressed as a woman. “I was singing and people weren’t paying attention,” he says, “and then I put on a dress and they were.” His alter ego, Tammy Faymous, is unlike most of the drag personalities you’ll see around town. He models himself after more avant-garde types like Martha Graham Cracker and, instead of lip-syncing some run-of-the-mill pop tune, the reigning Mz. South Philly Fabulous belts songs by artists who don’t typically get airtime in everyday drag performances, like Muse and Patti Smith. Also indicative of his out-of-the-box persona, he likes to spread the gay by performing in not-so-queer venues like the Barbary, where he’s about to host the second installment of his monthly party, Qream. “It’s important to do [gay] events all over the city,” he says. “It’s an excuse for someone who doesn’t leave the Gayborhood to experience a younger, edgier, punkier crowd.” A monthly performance and dance party hybrid, Qream features oppositesex impersonators who revel in jaw-dropping, sexuality-warping antics. This time around, Kacala’s sharing the bill with Roxxy Glamour, Crocadill Dupree and drag king Oscar Wildchilde to celebrate the 57th birthday of Needles Jones, a self-proclaimed “drag pariah” who can take responsibility for paving the way for this new crop of gender-bending shit-stirrers. “On pussyfaggot. net, he’s listed as performing with a needle still in his arm from shooting up backstage,” laughs Kacala. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Tue., July 26, 11:30 p.m. (doors open at 9 p.m.), $3-$5, Barbary, 951 Frankford Ave., 215-6347400, facebook.com/thebarbary. (josh.middleton@citypaper.net)

FROM 7-MIDNIGHT!

the agenda

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the naked city | feature | a&e

[ the agenda ]

A Brew with a View

Happy Hour Mon - Fri 5-7 pM Half off all Craft Taps $3 Wine $4 Vodka Martinis & Gin ‘n Tonics $2.50 - $5.50 pub Snacks 1345 Locust Street Philadelphia, PA 19107 215-546-4090 visit us at: perchpub.com

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29


a&e | feature | the naked city the agenda classifieds | food

FREE 

tix and info: 215.928.0978 . www.tinangel.com 20 south 2nd street, phila

COMING UP: Kim Richey 9/23, Andrew Lipke 9/24, Brian McCann (Great Big Sea) 9/26 WED 7/27 8:00

Tim Williams & the Delicate Few

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Dallin Applebaum

THU 7/28 8:00

Adam Ezra (with band) Cabinet

FRI 7/29 7:30

SAT 7/30 7:30

SAT 7/30 10:30

FRI 8/5 7:30

Cliff Hillis

James Popik

Adam Crossley

Mike Viola

Richard Bush & the Peace Creeps

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FRI 8/19 8:30 The Quixote Project The Sons of Linus Hidden River Construction

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JD Malone & The Experts Rodger Delany

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â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Andy Polhamus

Wednesday

[ think tank ]

 Public integrity Forum Whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s funds that magically disappear or trading cash for policy, political scandal and corruption sometimes seep into otherwise healthy democracies. Fortunately, says Philadelphians for Ethical Leadership founder A. Benjamin Mannes, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a way for everyone to help. For this forum, he has invited City Controller Alan Butkovitz, FBI Special Agent John Roberts and District Attorneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office Chief of Special Investigations Patrick Blessington to discuss what counts as public corruption, why it happens and how to help eradicate it. According to

Wed., July 27, 6:30 p.m., free, Free Library, Central Branch, 1901 Vine St., 202-413-2367, freelibrary.org.

[ folk/bluegrass/rock ]

 the Devil makes three Cut bluegrass, rockabilly and traditional folk with some bourbon and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got yourself

The Devil Makes Three. Their latest, 2009â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, Do Wrong Right, had plenty of raucous tunes about beating the law and

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â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Darren Ankrom

food | classifieds

7.27

Mannes, the issue is no longer your fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hee-haw public corruption; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s swelled to something much larger, and the time to act is now. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not just about some politician putting money in his own pocket,â&#x20AC;? he explains. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s become something where entire budgets are collapsing, and the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s services are being deprived from its citizens.â&#x20AC;?

the agenda

July 23-30, $5-$25, Pennâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Landing, Walnut Street and Columbus Avenue, gazelasummerfestival.org.

[ the agenda ]

the naked city | feature | a&e

and buoyant pedestal for their art and culture for us to enjoy and share,â&#x20AC;? says Goldschmidt. And donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t worry, dress is pegleg optional.


a&e | feature | the naked city the agenda classifieds | food

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THURSDAY

Wired 96.5 on the Main Floor House Music on The Roof Thursday Birthday - bottle of champagne and cake on the house!

FRiDAY

Hip Hop on the Main Floor House Music on The Roof

other country-fried stories. And they do it with only acoustic guitar, banjo, upright bass and the pipes momma gave â&#x20AC;&#x2122;em. Find another band that can sew a groove tighter than the stitch of your pocket and the next round is on the house. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Brian Wilensky Wed., July 27, 8 p.m., $12, with Brad Hinton Band, Johnny Brendaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 877-435-9849, johnnybrendas.com.

[ classical ]

 RUSSIAN NATIONAL ORCHESTRA The Mann closes its vibrant summer orchestra series with a bang. Several of them, actually. That would be the annual fireworks and Tchaikovsky extravaganza, only this year it will be presented by a band from the composerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s land, the excellent Russian National Orchestra. This will be the third in a series of concerts by the Russians, and all feature glitzy sideshows (it is summer, after all), including a hi-def nature film narrated live by Jane Pauley, The Blue Planet, and a program of Russian favor-

w/ OCD: Moosh & Twist, Fortune Family, Odysy 9 p.m | 18+ | $15/$17 Sat. 7/23

Furthur After Party

feat. Splintered Sunlight 9 p.m | 21+ | $6/$8

SUNDAY

Fat Tuesdays

House Music on the Main Floor Q102 on The Roof

MONDAY

Latin Night/Free Lessons On the Main Floor Mixed Music on The Roof

TUESDAY

Hip Hop on the Main Floor w/Strength Dance Competition/ Pole Dancing Oldies Music on The Roof

WEDNESDAY

Tues. 7/26 with

Brass Heaven

$3 Hurricanes/$5 Pitchers/$1 Shots 8 p.m. | 21+| $8 Wed. 7/27

BioDiesel,

Aron Magner(Disco Biscuits) with Damn Right! 9 p.m. | 21+ | $10/$13

Continuation of Center City Sips 5p-7p Hip Hop on the Roof & Main Floor

Upcoming Shows: 7/29: Freeway, Ms. Jade 7/30: WXPN Welcomes: American Babies 7/31: Zoogma w/ Beam & Deem

116 S.18 th Street 215-568-1020

QE!EBPQKRQ TTTQEB?IL@HIBV@LJ

www.vangoloungeandskybar.com

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Peter Burwasser Wed., July 27, 8:30 p.m., Thu.-Fri., July 28-29, 8 p.m.; $10-$49.50, Mann Center, 5201 Parkside Ave., 215-8931999, manncenter.org.

[ festival ]

 BLACK WOMENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S ARTS FESTIVAL Soul sisters neednâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t worry â&#x20AC;&#x201D; thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to be enough R-E-S-P-E-C-T dished out at

[ the agenda ]

heating up with a bounty of eclectic performances, including a reading from Kola Boofâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s The Sexy Part of the Bible and a show by the Liberty City Kings drag and burlesque troupe. For all â&#x20AC;&#x153;self-identified black women,â&#x20AC;? says BWAF director Cassandre Xavier (pictured), the festival will be every bit as spiritually rejuvenating as the theme suggests. But donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let the moniker fool you: Xavier insists â&#x20AC;&#x153;you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to be blackâ&#x20AC;? to get down with this artsy crowd. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Khoury Johnson July 27-31, various times and prices, Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St., 215-4369702, bwafphilly.org.

this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Black Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Art Festival to satisfy any boiling artistic buildup. And, with â&#x20AC;&#x153;healing and joyâ&#x20AC;? as this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s theme, BWAF is taking its multidisciplinary art show to new, sensually soothing heights. Now in its eighth year, the festivalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

More on:

citypaper.net FOR COMPREHENSIVE EVENT LISTINGS, VISIT C I T Y PA P E R . N E T / L I S T I N G S .

Fri. 7/22

The White Panda

SATURDAY

House Music on the Main Floor Hip Hop on The Roof

ites accompanied by live Cirque de Soleil-style acrobats. Maybe they should try this at Verizon Hall next year.

Sat, July 23rd Bartender Jessie is back from LA! Guest bartending,come in and visit! Tues, July 26th, 8pm, No Cover SMILE . New Record Party w/ Wil H & Steady Eddie and Friends -spinning,BLUES & RHYTHM,ROCK & ROLL, PSYCH,GARAGE,SURF & SOUL Drink Specials 8-11pm Sat, July 30th 9:30pm $5 BLOW UP A GO GO! With the Biters, Gold Crowns and Rocks Off DJs Dan Kishbaugh,Erick Kohlhofer & Bill Coburn Sat, August 6th, 9pm, $5 The Slotcars,The Tricky Dicks, Johnie 3,Murderburgers and The Prozacs! Every Tuesday, 8pm King of the Hill Pool Tournament Wed Nite Open Mic â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Original Musicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 9pm w/ Dave Robins or Abe the Rockstarr Happy Hour Mondays-Fridays 5-7pm $2.50 Kenzinger Pints & More! Beer of the Month Narragansettâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Summer Ale FREE WI-FI

~MONDAY~ WING NIGHT... $0.35 Wings $2 Yuenglings ALL DAY! $3 Smithwicks and $2 Wells 10-12am ~TUESDAY~ $5 Burgers $3 Victory Pints ALL DAY! $2 Well Drinks and $5 Layered Pints 10pm-12am Manayunkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Best Pub Quiz Starts @ 9pm ~WEDNESDAY~ $6 Beer Infused Mussel Bowls $3 Rotating Craft Beer Pints (ALL DAY) $2 Blue Moons and $2 U-Call Its10-12 am ~THURSDAY~ $2 Miller Lite ALL DAY ½ Price Drinks (All Drinks) 9-11pm ½ Price Irish Craic Nachos ~FRIDAY~ $9.99 Fish and Chips New Friday Happy Hour $1 High Life and $3 Jameson and Ginger from 6-8pm Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in the Box Promotion 7-10pm. Buy an Irish Pint and win. $3 Coors Lights ALL DAY! ~SATURDAY~ DJâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s @ 10pm $3 Miller High Life ALL DAY $9.99 Boxyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Skillet Brunch til 3pm ~SUNDAY~ Skillet Brunch until 3 pm. $9.99 Celtic Cuisine $3 Bloody Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Mary ALL DAY $ 3 Stella Pints & $4 Guinness Pints 9-11 p.m


the naked city | feature | a&e

up Therapy Bar

THURSDAY 7/21 MO $$ NO PROBLEMS FRIDAY 7/22 MIGHTY #suares DJ ULTRAVIOLET HANDSOME SAM SATURDAY 7/23 DJ DEEJAY SUNDAY 7/24 SUNDAE PM

4(523$!9 &2)$!9

TUESDAY 7/26, 6PM-MIDNIGHT Soul Station

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WEDNESDAY 7/26 6pm - Dinner and jazz led by Francis Cacnio 9pm - The Jolly Beggars

STAND UP, FALL DOWN. COMEDY

DJ APT ONE

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WEDNESDAY 7/27 RICKY RADIO

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SUNDAY 7/24, 8PM Open Mic hosted by Boywonder

THE STICK UP

FABIAN AKILLES THOMPSON

9Th & ChRISTIAN

EVERYDAY 5-7PM. FREE PIZZA $2 BEER OF THE WEEK $2 WELL DRINKS

MONDAY 7/25, 9PM Open Jam hosted by Tony Catastrophe

TONY RODGERS LIVE PRESENTS:

DOWNSTAIRS

(!009(/52

SATURDAY 7/23, 10PM Bam!

DJs LEE JONES & DIRTY GUEST DJ ALIX ALVAREZ

ON The CORNeR Of

PRISM PARTEA MAGIC HAT WACKO PBC FLEUR DE LEHIGH VICTORY HOPDEVIL

FRIDAY 7/22, 10PM Yo Mommas Big Fat Booty Band LP Stiles, Highkick

FRIDAY 7/29 HACIENDA

MADCHESTER IN PHILLY DJs RED BOY, NICK CAIN AND BRIAN ROSS

215.625.0855 117 Chestnut St.Philadelphia, PA triumphbrewing.com facebook.com/triumpholdcity

food | classifieds

FREE AIR CONDITIONING!

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THURS 7/21, 9PM Trains and Taxis

the agenda

Gro

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Old School Limbo in the Biz: Mikey Ears & DJ Butch Mayo

Monday Monday

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SaSo: Sabrina, Sophia & DJ Jay M

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21

lOWBEEZY & DIRTY SOUTH JOE NO COVER

22

FRI THE ORIGINAl INDIE BRIT POP DANCE PARTY

WedneSdayS WedneSdayS

SAT

ThurSdayS ThurSdayS

SUN

Summertime: DJs Adrian Hardy and Manny Romano

MIKE Z, DAVE PAK, JEFF C

23

ANNIVERSARY EDITION

24

Drug Bunny Cabaret: Live Acts & DJâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

FridayS

Juke Box Hero: Drink Specials all Night Long

SaTurdayS SaTurdayS

Hang & Hide in the City: DJ Bruce

No Cover Happy Hour 5-7 Daily

KEVIN C & â&#x20AC;&#x153;STEADYâ&#x20AC;? EDDIE AUSTIN DOllAR DRINKS TIll 11 NO COVER MON 25

TIGERBEATS INDIE DANCE PARTY, NO COVER TUE

26

DRAG AT ITS FINEST. HOSTED BY EMIlY D. NO COVER WED

27

11 S. 21st St (@ Ludlow)

Friday July 22nd 9pm/ $7 r&B â&#x20AC;&#x153;in the Cutâ&#x20AC;? Wednesday July 27Th 7:30pm / free first 30 peopLe in Get a free CD! DanGerBirD w/ Jim mCmonaGLe from f.o.D. thee noseBLeeDs eroDe anD Disappear CirCLe the City Thursday July 28Th 9pm / Cover tBa Da Cave raDio presents: Friday July 29Th 9pm / $20 a moment with purpLe 42nd & Chester Avenue university City 215.222.1255 MillCreekphilly.CoM

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Thursday July 21sT 9pm / $7 DisasteraDio math the BanD P H I L A D E L P H I A C I T Y PA P E R | J U L Y 2 1 - J U L Y 2 7 , 2 0 1 1 | C I T Y PA P E R . N E T |

Hold-em Poker

THU


the agenda | a&e | feature | the naked city food classifieds J u l y 2 1 - J u l y 2 7 , 2 0 1 1 | C i t y Pa P e r . n e t

34 | P h i l a d e l P h i a C i t y Pa P e r |

f&d

foodanddrink

portioncontrol By Drew Lazor

numbers game ➤ A few yeArs ago, I was visiting family in

the Philippines, a nation of 94 million people who all seem to drink only one brand of beer: the 121year-old San Miguel. It made me wonder: Where can one find the big-name American macros on the archipelago? They enjoy huge presences in other countries, so how about here? Do Filipinos ever drink beer that’s not San Miguel? “Yeah, they do,” my cousin Louie snorted when I asked him that same question. “San Miguel Light.” I thought of this exchange when I heard Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) was applying for trademarks of American area codes — including Philly’s 215. AB InBev confirms to CP that they applied for 15 area-code trademarks in May, but refuses to elaborate on their plans. Beer-industry types speculate that the applications are rooted in AB InBev’s March acquisition of Chicago’s Goose Island Brewery, which produces a beer called 312 Urban Wheat Ale. Though it’s too early to tell, the move certainly stinks like it’s the first step in a Bud-backed launch of faux-local beers meant to compete with regional craft breweries. Not everyone in Philly views it this way. “I highly doubt we will ever see a 215 beer,” says Yards’ Steve Mashington, who believes the trademark is nothing more than a business move to prevent established local breweries from using area codes on new products. “The big breweries have been trying for a while now to get craft drinkers to stray away from locals with a variety of gimmicks.” Even if a 215-branded beer from AB InBev does hit our market, Philadelphia Brewing Co.’s Bill Barton is not stressing, either. Along with wife Nancy, he founded PBC in 2007 and says that it’s enjoyed a 30 percent uptick in production each year. “They can call themselves that all they want,” says Barton. “[Philly drinkers are] not stupid. They know where their beer comes from.” That right there is the 215’s high-ABV ace in the hole — like those San Miguel-loyal Filipino boozers, this drinking community is one that’s fond of local products and fiscally rude to Big Beer, as evidenced by the expansion of Philly’s craft-beer reputation on both the regional and national planes. “Philadelphia is the greatest beer-drinking city in the world. It’s no wonder that breweries fight for the attention of the drinkers here,” says Sly Fox brewmaster Brian O’Reilly, who jokes that he’s developing a “not too delicious” ale called 610.“I think that there are too many genuine players in our local market for anyone to fake being a locally brewed beer.” (drew.lazor@citypaper.net)

DON’T BE SHELLFISH: Mussels, served in a vibrant carrot broth flavored with garlic and ginger, are a standout specialty at Fare. neal santos

[ review ]

fare to middling Overly focused on health food ethos, Fare needs to up its flavor game. By Adam Erace Fare | 2028 Fairmount Ave., 267-639-3063, farerestaurant.com. Dinner

served Sun.-Thu., 5-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 5-11 p.m. Appetizers, $6-$10; entrées, $12-$20; desserts, $4.50-$6.

C

hairs matter. Especially when your sister is a chiropractor. That’s why Robert Amar took his time getting the seats just right at Fare, the Fairmount restaurant where he serves as both general manager and consigliere to the owners, Savvas Navrosidis, David Orphanides and Andy Siegel. After four rounds of prototype testing, the foursome settled on chairs with black frames like nerd-chic glasses, reclined just a whisper, fitted with butt and back More on: cushions upholstered in vanilla fabric made from post-consumer recycled material. I hereby proclaim these the Most Comfortable Chairs in Philly. I should have stolen six for my dining room. From the carpet (recycled polyester) to the pendant lights (repurposed traffic signals) lining a bar that pours biodynamic wines and carrot-juice cocktails, Fare has been built with eco-friendly intentions, and green is a great color for this airy 70-seat space facing Eastern State Penitentiary. The menu follows suit, ripe with organic, local, seasonal. But while Fare spends its days deep in soil,

citypaper.net

when the artsy crowd floods the white-and-silver dining room, the restaurant gets that dirt off its shoulder. The sexy mirrors, inlaid with curves of river rock and mosaic glass, gleam. Every reclaimedwood surface preens for your attention. The chairs stand up straight, eager to cradle some asses. Based on appearance, Fare seems dedicated to sybaritic pursuits, but dish by dish, the restaurant revealed itself to be as sensible and ascetic as a JCPenney pantsuit. “I feel like I’m at a fancier Fuel,” my dinner companion said, referencing the local healthyfood mini-chain as she prodded a puck of cashew “cheese” aside a tuft of sunflower sprouts. Mentally, I was ill-prepared. If only I’d known most of the desserts are gluten-free, my thoughts on cold cherry-pecan quinoa pudding might have been warmer. (The strawberry johnnycake was better, albeit more cookie than cake.) If only I’d known the kitchen eschews white flour, I wouldn’t have scratched my head at the grainy wholewheat slices stuck in the bowl of olive-oilmore food and braised artichokes, an out-of-character drink coverage choice for the bruschetta their presence at c i t y p a p e r . n e t / seems to suggest. If only I’d known the light m e a lt i c k e t. use of salt is intentional, I wouldn’t have gotten so salty over the perfectly seared scallops’ under-seasoned fairway of pea purée. Maybe I should have done some more digital pre-dinner reconnaissance on Fare’s blog, full of posts you’ll find peachy or preachy depending on which side of the organics fence you’re on. Here, chef Tim Bellew says flat, “I cook with minimal salt, allowing you to add your own.” But there was no shaker on my black-walnut table. >>> continued on adjacent page


 Fare to Middling <<< continued from previous page

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Keeping prices affordable doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t come without restrictions.

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For more information call 215-271-9300

Or come in and see us!

35

775 SOUTH FRONT STREET PHILADELPHIA, PA 19147

P H I L A D E L P H I A C I T Y PA P E R | J U L Y 2 1 - J U L Y 2 7 , 2 0 1 1 | C I T Y PA P E R . N E T |

In another post, Amar writes about defining Fareâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cuisine in the early stages: â&#x20AC;&#x153;For Tim, there was only one word, Healthy.â&#x20AC;? If only Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d known Bellewâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s definition of â&#x20AC;&#x153;healthyâ&#x20AC;? is more rigorous than most, I could have calibrated my expectations appropriately. Those oil-braised artichokes were just awful, utterly bland and as excessively greased as a Margate sea hag. Acid. Herbage. Salt. The tender thistles needed it all; it was as if Bellewâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s station had been burglarized of its mise. Greased peas, a valiant freshening effort, resisted capture, ricocheting around my plate like ball bearings in a heated game of Crossfire. Not everything was this bad. In fact, some of the items Bellew whips up on such a restrictive dietary budget are downright magic. Sure, the sunflower sprouts werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the best choice as a principal salad green â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the slender shoots slipped through the tines of my fork like garter snakes through a picket fence â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but the cashew â&#x20AC;&#x153;cheeseâ&#x20AC;?? Liked it. Made from cashew milk injected with probiotics, it had the tang and texture of chevre, with the residual nutty butteriness of gouda and a hint of floral spice from a roll in crushed pink peppercorns. Despite a topping of distractingly orange-y gremolata, the aforementioned scallops were the most pristine Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had lately, so fresh they shone with a pearlescent coral tint. Mussels spread their shells in an unexpected carrot broth charged with garlic and ginger. That broth was so sick, I would have even used the crunchy wheat bread to sop it up. Instead, I settled for a spoon â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and later regretted it. Our server, bored at best and surly at worst, ignored the dirty utensil, as well as other soiled cutlery and dishes. Between disappearances, our water ran dry. I needed some to extinguish the burn of cumin, rubbed heavy on a Lancaster pork tenderloin. Better too spicy than bland. Marinated in yogurt spiced with mint, ginger and mombasa pepper, pan-roasted chicken thighs (also local) crackled with flavor, too. Served with brown rice and the same side of warmed zucchini/squash slaw, they felt more like something a competent home cook would make for dinner than what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be served in a restaurant. Maybe thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the point? With check averages at $28 a head, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Whole Foods is who weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re competing with,â&#x20AC;? says Amar. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Unless you want the pleasure of shopping and cooking, why would you eat at home?â&#x20AC;? Keeping the price point affordable â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the menu tops out at $20 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t come without restrictions. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fare isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a chef-driven restaurant,â&#x20AC;? explains Bellew. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nothing new, nothing over-the-top. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m hiring people not for their creativity but for their technical abilities. We want to get this formula down and repeat it with consistency.â&#x20AC;? Consistency is admirable, but discouraging creativity? Striving for formulaic? No amount of â&#x20AC;&#x153;healthyâ&#x20AC;? food makes that easy to digest. (adam.erace@citypaper.net)

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the naked city | feature | a&e | the agenda

[ food & drink ]


classifieds

food

the agenda | a&e | feature | the naked city

[ food & drink ] MIDDLE EASTERN & LEBANESE CUISINE SINCE 1986

feedingfrenzy

Mediterranean Cuisine .Open 7 days a week

By Drew Lazor

Hummus, Kibeh, Kabob, Grape Leaves, Falafel, and Seafood specialty

gracetavern.com

616 S. 2nd Street 215.925.4950 www.cedarsrestaurant.com

attention

CraBlover

Looking for a true Crab House? it’s just 25 minutes from Philadelphia in burlington, nJ ➤ NOW SEATING

We are a true crab house since 1961 serving blues from Maryland & new Jersey snow, Dungeness, king and best of all We are direct importers of Jumbo up to monsters pacific blues from the West coast of baJa california (they are sweeter & heavier then their american cousins)

Sawatdee | This friendly Thai BYOB (the name’s

native tongue for “hello”) opened two weeks back at 15th and South. Chef/owner Tony Inchote, along with his wife, Noy, are going with a traditional menu, built around the always-popular curries as well plenty of seafood, noodle and rice plates. Check them out for lunch, where you can get a soup, salad or app and entrée for the ludicrously cheap price of $9.95. Opening hours: Mon.-Thu., 11 a.m.10 p.m.; Fri., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat., 4-11 p.m.; Sun., 4-10 p.m. 1501 South St., 215-790-1299.

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a.kitchen | Since opening three weeks ago, operator

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crabeatery.com 4494 Rt. 130, Burlington, NJ 08016, (609) 387-3700

36 | P H I L A D E L P H I A C I T Y PA P E R |

J U L Y 2 1 - J U L Y 2 7 , 2 0 1 1 | C I T Y PA P E R . N E T

City Paper Choice Award Winner

Zagat Rated

Fine Indian Cuisine

CheCk out the exCiting new Changes at Minar

including new entrees, appetizers, breads, $9.95 Lunch Buffet and $12.95 Dinner Buffet. Monday – Friday. 11:30am – 9:00pm Saturday. 12:30pm to 9:00pm Free delivery available for lunch & dinner ($15 min – limited area) Order online at grubhub.com We Accept Like Us Facebook.com/minarpalace

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David Fields’ restaurant in the AKA Rittenhouse Square has pulled the trigger on three square meals a day. A cozy, modern space on the 18th Street strip that seems poised to take over the Restaurant Row mantle, the eatery serves dinner nightly, plus breakfast and lunch during the week and brunch on the weekends. Chef Bryan Sikora, whose Django and Talula’s Table reputations precede him, is working off a menu of mid-size, mid-price plates. Look out for his Spanish mackerel escabeche with preserved lemon and harissa; chorizo-stuffed calamari with tomato fondue; or quail stuffed with Italian sausage and mushrooms. Breakfast and lunch weekdays, 7-11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.3:30 p.m.; Dinner Sun.-Thu., 5-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 5-11 p.m.; brunch Sat.-Sun., 8 a.m.-4 p.m. AKA Rittenhouse Square, 135 S. 18th St., 215-825-7030, akitchenphilly.com. ➤ LITTLE VITTLES

If you want to try Scott Dogs, South Philly Tap Room chef Scott Schroeder’s new hot dog cart, drop by Silicon Gallery (139 N. Third St.) between 1 and 6 p.m. this Saturday, July 23. He’ll be serving visitors to illustrator/blogger Hawk Krall’s hot dog print art show. ➤ Opa (1311 Sansom St.) is now open for lunch weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. ➤ Steven Cook and Michael Solomonov (Zahav, Percy Street) have sold Xochitl (408 S. Second St.) to restaurateurs Peter Leontaras and Demetri Pappas, who’ve retained the same staff (including chef Lucio Palazzo and GM Sergio Ruiz) and feel; there are plans, however, to renovate the downstairs lounge as well as introduce a new bar menu. Got A Tip? Please send restaurant news to drew.lazor@citypaper.net

or call 215-735-8444, ext. 218.


HORSE-FACE

I sound like a love song or something but I want you to be mine, let me cook food for you in the am and at night, let me finish your sentences let me suck you dry until you can’t enjoy yourself anymore! I am just ready to start this journey with you! And if you would be mine that would be great. I love the fact that you are and I are just joined as one. I feel like putting my spell on you just because I want you in my life forever. And I know that you are the one for me, I just want you! Is this possible!

You still think you’re going to become a model? They don’t wear horse blankets on runways dumb ass! Your problems started when you spent more time sucking off relatives than you did reading books as a child. That’s why you’re capable of gulping multiple loads at once but you don’t know who the fuck Betsy Ross is. Stupid bitch!

BEST FRIEND!

I AM SO IN LOVE Umm...you know how I feel...I am desperately in love with you...I love the way that you touch

one of the best summers of your life! I think and could compare this to the movie 9 & 1/2 weeks! You rocked my world and then you and I seperated from each other. I don’t know what to make of it. You and fat Regina I hope the both of you are happy but she will never be better than me! NEVER!

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT! When I seen you in the Greater Northeast AA meeting last week. I was stunned by the presence of you’re beauty. I loved your face, your hair, your eyes, your hands Chrissy. You look like you are

I consider you my best friend we fight and then one of us apolgizes then all is good again. You are just a good-good person and if ever you and I wanted to be together I would drop everything that I could and just be with you! I don’t understand the other areas that you say prohibit us from moving this shit further. Why can’t we just try? I love you so much, and honestly before I didn’t want any children, but I would love to have your baby! I know that I would be a good mom and you are already a good father! Wow, I really can’t believe that I am saying this but, I really can’t wait until we can make it!

STAY AWAY FROM MY SISTER Jerk,stay away from my sister.You are just a big fat trash with some cash. If I know you ever use your dirty fat hands touch my sister again,I will tell your wife right away.Who do you think you were? You think own a restaurant,make good money,so you can buy people,can lie to anybody? We are not idiots.Gee,what kind of family could raise up a man like you? Shame on you and your parents! They should just wake up from grave and kill you. Your age is almost old as my father’s. Are you out of mind? Don’t you feel insane? I wish your wife will divorce you soon!!! You only deserve a whore.

DEAREST PEP-PEP I want the world to know how lucky I feel to share my life with you. I love you for giving me nices for hours on end and for being the manly man that you are. I love you for taking care of me throughout my illness and for being the best “dad” to that big dummy of ours. You are the only one for me. Happy five year anniversary, my sweet. I look forward to exploring the universe with you forever and ever. Love always, Your Tender Snow Bunny.

SUMMER BULLSHIT! I am probably one of those people that hate summer time. I hate the summer. It makes me sick because it is just alittle too much sweating going on. I love to sweat but it depends what I am doing... especially if it is something kinky that is a good thing...bring that on...but other than that...I hate it. How dare your stupid ass say that I am negative because I don’t like summer, who gives a flying fuck what the hell you think, and how is that being negative. People like what they like! I hate and I am being negative now, that your breath stinks, how about that! Bitch!

DON’T MISS ME!

THINKING ABOUT IT!

GREEN MONSTER me and we lay around and giggle and eat. It is so pleasing that I know that if I ask you something you will give me an answer. I love the way that you are caring in your own way. You make me feel like liquid gold or something! I am always happy to see you and I hope that you are happy when you see me. I think that you are because the last time you kissed me and I felt like I was going to melt. I love you and I always will. forever your girl!

KEEP PLAYING

LOVE AT FIRST WORD Sweetheart, I remember seeing your first words on-line and getting right then and there some essence of your soul that is so utterly endearing. Our meeting was inevitable. We find each other lifetime after lifetime. And now that we’ve found each other once again, what will we do? What can we do? Even

✚ To place your FREE ad (100 word limit), go to citypaper.net/ILUIHU and follow the prompts. ADS ALSO APPEAR AT CITYPAPER.NET/lovehate. City Paper has the right to re-publish “I Love You, I Hate You”™ ads at the publisher’s discretion. This includes re-purposing the ads for online publication, or for any other ancillary publishing projects.

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I keep playing this song over and over and I drift into another world. I can’t stop thinking about us together. But, I know that you have someone and I think no as a matter of fact I know that she doesn’t do you like I do you, and I know that was

Italian. I love your complexion, the way you smile. The 4 sexiest things on a woman are your hair, your eyes, your hands and your feet. You have all four of them. I wish I could just hug you. This isn’t a sexual thing. You are a princess and you will be treated like one with love! You are amazing just the way that you are. Don’t change a thing sweetie. With Love?

This goes to my neighbor, you stupid ass bitch you think that everyone is sleeping with your boyfriend! News flash whore, everyone is sleeping with your boyfriend. He doesn’t want to marry you and you know that he doesn’t he is just a piece of crap! You both fight over and over but it is dumb because you keep putting up with it like a fool. I hate when I see your face, I just want to slap the bullshit out of you or shake you whichever one comes first. I just don’t like hearing what your fat girlfriend has to keep complaining about day in day out. It gets alittle sickning if you ask me! He is a cheater and your an asshole, good luck on your move to another city, what the fuck do you think that he is going to do down there! You dumb bitch!

P H I L A D E L P H I A C I T Y PA P E R | J U L Y 2 1 - J U L Y 2 7 , 2 0 1 1 | C I T Y PA P E R . N E T |

You told me that you missed me but you were gone that damn long! What the fuck is that about... I think that you are become obsessed with me or something. Just because you did something for me around the house and you eat pussy like a champ doesn’t mean that you and I need to be together. You should really find someone that is on your speed. Because I am not on you speed and You know it, you just don’t want to believe it. Please believe it because it is so true! PS: If you are reading this good, and if you call and I don’t answer you know why...it is not fucking necessary that we talk everyday!

If each of you could realize that you are responsible for your own fate, I how ever am not... the trouble and chaos in your life-”relationship” is created solely by you and your significant other. I might appear to have the ability to control others actions, or behaviors - I am me, good or bad, this is me. I am confused, maybe even a little hurt by all of your actions, I’ve done nothing but be hospitable to each of you.. Nothing but try to enjoy this adventure. On another note I don’t really give a _________ about your problems! Or your jealousy B/C I know and deep down you know, that I will reach the top, that while I appreciated the fun times, you have all been a stepping stone, entertainment. And soon enough when each of you get bored and the hard times start to roll in, I wont be there and you’ll have to grow the fuck up and handle it like an adult-you know you love me! Xoxo

when we cannot be together, I am always with you. Remember the ‘French afternoon’ we became lovers? Of course. And every lovemaking, every kiss that will not end, gaze into your eyes, feel of your body on mine, since, leaves us hungry for our next time together. How ironic that ‘all’ we do is make love when I want so much to just sleep with you, walk in the ‘hood, grocery shop, read to you, gaze at art, watch the sun set on a whole day spent with you. How mundane a cloak my yearning wears... Are the songs right? Will Love Find a Way? I hope so. Finding you now has made all that’s been difficult in my life so far, that much more worthwhile. This love only grows, baby. You know I love you always.

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27 31

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By Matt Jones

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Refuse to share Unlock, to poets Direction of some race goals Approximately Inventory stock, in adventure games Not big on gadgetry, slangily Actorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s indicators Capital on a fjord Carded at the door Like some lingerie Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance author Robert The Far Side critter Echo location Pre-1917 ruler Former German president Johannes ___ Iranian ruler Kiplingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rikki-Tikki-___ Take a little drink Heat source? Exhibition stuff â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ___ in â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;!â&#x20AC;? Way back when â&#x20AC;&#x153;___ arigato, Mr. Roboto...â&#x20AC;? Half-___ latte Org. with a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Leading to Readingâ&#x20AC;? program Massive Brit. lexicon Stimulating They may bind

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45

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46 | P h i l a d e l P h i a C i t y Pa P e r |

J u l y 2 1 - J u l y 2 7 , 2 0 1 1 | C i t y Pa P e r . n e t

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the naked city | feature | a&e | the agenda | food

apartment marketplace

Y“o“wss½ RK ;soqw ;†q} K”¡ …“w  9”u ’ë“w ²Äëïlœ}7 olq7 »×…Ä«’רÍïÄ( azrœ††r <s“ ç ;X E†”s œss}¡ R† Us“½ <†s [† ;soqw½ (ë먒…먒ëçÂ


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FREE DRINKING SMARTPHONE APP!!!

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THE EL BAR

Tues, July 26th, 8pm, No Cover SMILE New Record Party w/ Wil H & Steady Eddie and Friends -spinning, BLUES & RHYTHM, ROCK & ROLL, PSYCH, GARAGE, SURF & SOUL Drink Specials 8-11pm

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RODS, RATS, RUST+RACE

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Philadelphia City Paper, July 21st, 2011