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Naked City ...................................................................................4 Top 21 Albums of 2012.......................................................8 Arts & Entertainment.........................................................14 The Agenda ..............................................................................24 Food & Drink ...........................................................................37 COVER PHOTOGRAPH BY NEAL SANTOS DESIGN BY RESECA PESKIN

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the thebellcurve CP’s Quality-o-Life-o-Meter

[ + 1 ] Police arrest the younger of the two brothers involved in an argument about the Sixers that ended in one of them firing a gun into a crowded subway car they’d just left. Fifty percent? That’s better than the Sixers’ free-throw percentage. (Please don’t shoot us.)


Marijuana activists smoke pot on Independence Mall. And now they’re inactivists. (Sorry. That seemed so funny when we wrote it last night.)


The renovated Hard Rock Cafe on Market Street now includes a Philadelphia Room, featuring memorabilia from Joan Jett, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes and more. Our most poignant restaurant-chain tribute since Checkers. Or Hooters. Or Clap Your Hands Say Yogurt.

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United Steelworkers Local 10-1 awards Rep. Bob Brady the first annual Bob Brady Working Class Hero Award. But on the way home, Bob Brady accidentally drops the trophy in a lake when he stops to bark at another Bob Brady with a trophy. It turns out to be his reflection. Sad Bob Brady.

[ -3 ]

A 5-year-old girl accidentally shoots herself in the foot with her father’s gun in Kensington. This never would have happened if her foot had a firearm to defend itself.


Peter Nero and the Philly Pops perform a “classical” version of “Gangnam Style” at the Kimmel Center. Sadly, no one in the audience knew the song, or how to use their phones to look it up.

[ -1 ]

Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore’s guitar, valued at $20,000, is stolen from a Philadelphia hotel. And all of a sudden the Hard Rock’s got an Elder Statesmen of Post-Punk/Noise-Rock Room.

[ + 3 ] A new city website allows you to dis-

pute parking tickets online. “The site will be up soon enough,” says Parking Authority spokesperson. “We just want to check our Myspace and look up what ‘Gangbang Smile’ or whatever it’s called is all about.”

This week’s total: 0 | Last week’s total: +3

TOP TANK: Thin Tham, an ethnic-Chinese refugee from Vietnam, deals in koi and other ornamental fish at his shop, Giant Aquarium, at Seventh and Tasker. NEAL SANTOS

[ curiosities ]

A FISH STORY A specialist in aquatic exotica, swept in on a neighborhood-wide sea change, makes a splash in South Philly. By Daniel Denvir


hin Tham, a 46-year-old refugee from Vietnam, pounds a glass tank to rouse his arapaima gigas from the deep. A specimen, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish, makes its way upward. Tham keeps two of these waterborne mammoths, native to the rivers and lakes of the Amazon rainforest, at his Giant Aquarium in South Philly. The second stays close to the bottom, unmoved by the percussive summons. “I guess he’s not hungry.” But when he is, says Tham, “he eats everything. They’re not picky.” Each fish is about 5 feet long, though they can grow as large as 9 feet. They’re six years old — just like the Giant Aquarium, a popular oddity at Seventh and Tasker. In the wild, arapaima sometimes eat birds that stray too close to the water, according to National Geographic. In South Philly, one leapt out of the water and burst through the drywall above its 3,000-gallon tank, landing on the floor. Tham had to wait a number of minutes, until the thing was tired, before he could safely pick it up. Small buildings sometimes contain powerful wonders in Philadelphia. So it is with this one-time lumberyard and sign shop, an underground landmark that attracts serious collectors and wide-eyed neighborhood kids alike to a block that’s seen an influx of Southeast Asian and Mexican immigrants, bringing with them busi-

nesses like a convenience store hawking arroz con leche, or rice pudding, and a live poultry shop (with signage noting that food stamps are accepted). The shop is a bridge between the hardcore fish enthusiasm that’s widespread in Asia and hobbyists from throughout the region, and exemplifies the transformation of this corner of South Philly from heavily white to polyglot diversity. Giant Aquarium would not stand out in Hong Kong, where Tham spent much of his childhood. The city is home to the enormous Goldfish Market, or Goldfish Street, an entire district dedicated to the sale of exotic fish and pets. Tham — whose family fled Vietnam (by way of China, the Philippines and Hong Kong) along with hundreds of thousands of other ethnic Chinese in the late 1970s as war broke out between China and Vietnam — has introduced the Asian fascination to South Philly. In Tham’s native Cantonese, the language commonly spoken in Hong Kong and by most of Vietnam’s Chinese minority, the word “goldfish” refers not just to the ordinary carp that I solemnly buried in my childhood backyard, but to ornamental fish in general. That includes the giant arapaima, which Tham keeps for show. “Nobody’s going to buy that,” he admits. He does sell koi, which reside in a pond built into the floor. The koi, whose mouths continuously gape skyward, recognize regular visitors: “Every time they see you, they’ll just come up to you.” As a cat makes frustrated rounds up and down the aisles, innumerable delicacies just out of reach, Tham surveys his inventory.

It leapt out of its tank, through the drywall.

>>> continued on page 6

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[ a million stories ]

✚ FREE(FORM) SPEECH If the three-minute testimony allowed to any interested member of the public at City Council meetings can be regarded as an art form, then Robert Taylor is Philly’s most prolific artist — and one who’s not afraid to test the limits of the genre. Taylor, president of Transport Workers Union Local 700 for the past 25 years and a Libertarian, has stepped up to the podium some 24 times this year, quoting liberally from thinkers like Thomas Jefferson and Mahatma Gandhi as he takes on the legislative proposals of the day — along with whatever happens to be on his mind. His address at Council’s final meeting of the fall session, on Dec. 13, was typical: Taylor testified regarding a bill authorizing the city’s director of finance to transfer nearly $2 million in appropriations within the Water Fund. “I don’t oppose the bill itself,” Taylor began, “but I do oppose anything that may funnel any fluoride into our water supply.” He went on to quote a Harvard University study suggesting overexposure to fluoride may adversely affect neurological development in children, to ask that the fluoride content of Philly’s water supply be reduced to zero and to offer informational DVDs to each member of Council. The bill passed. Most often, Taylor’s testimonial muse is parking — specifically, the residential-permit-parking regulations frequently enacted by Council ordinance. Taylor says these ordinances are imposed too lightly, even though they can “lead to a loss of liberty.” He became interested in the parking issue in March 2011, when 32 traffic-ticket delinquents were arrested in a single night.“If you’re going to arrest people — I don’t care if it’s parking regulations or whatever — that, to me, makes it a serious event,” Taylor says. What he wants is a transparent process. The bills are supposed

to require signatures from at least 51 percent of residents on a given block, but Taylor points out that those petitions aren’t posted online and there’s no clear appeals process. First District Councilman Mark Squilla recently introduced a bill that would require signatures from 70 percent of residents, but Taylor says that proposal misses the point. “If there’s no way for the public to examine … the process,” Taylor says, “it doesn’t matter what the percentage is.” Beyond any specific proposal, though, Taylor says City Council members are simply too concerned with unanimity, rather than having an “honest debate.” Council members, he adds, “like harmony too much. But liberty — freedom — is supposed to be an animated contest.” —Jared Brey

✚ TRADING MICHAEL VICK Has anyone really gained from the post-prison comeback of Michael Vick? Before he was hurt, Vick was playing miserably. The Eagles themselves are slightly worse. Andy Reid, who put his neck on the line to hire Vick and has now shifted him out of the starting lineup, is probably searching Craigslist for new jobs. But private-equity investors? They stand to make millions. In a little-noticed deal, a group of private-equity funds snatched up more than $7 million of Vick’s debts in bankruptcy, making them his largest creditors. The story of this remnant of the $130 million that once made Vick the richest player in the NFL is the tale of an obscure corner of the finance market, in which investors comb through bankruptcy records to evaluate the likelihood of profiting on the debt of insolvent companies and individuals. “There’s a lot of risk,” says Andrew Gottesman, who runs >>> continued on page 7

Liberty Tokin’ PAUL GENTILE

By Daniel Denvir

BYE, BABETTE ³ 2013 WILL MARK the first time since 1985

that progressive firebrand Babette Josephs has not represented Center City’s 182nd House District in Harrisburg. She lost to Brian Sims, the first openly gay person ever elected to the state legislature, in April’s Democratic primary. The race turned ugly fast: Sims challenged Josephs just two years after serving as her campaign treasurer; Josephs sent out a flier accusing Sims of being a toady-in-themaking for Gov. Tom Corbett. I am optimistic that Harrisburg has gained a new voice for justice and equality, but I am certain that it has lost one of its loudest and most persistent. Babette, most often called by just her first name, was the ranking Democrat on the House State Government Committee. She was at her finest going toe-to-toe with Republican committee chairman Daryl Metcalfe, the legislature’s most profoundly right-wing creature. Babette was, by contrast, less hostile to compromise than her caricature. Unlike Metcalfe, she gave the other party’s bills a hearing when Democrats ruled the House, and won plaudits from her committee’s minority chairman, Centre County Republican Rep. Kerry Benninghoff. He calls Babette a friend. “She was pretty tolerant of questions, and even questions when she knew they were filibustering,” Benninghoff told me. “Her respect for process supersedes her partisan viewpoint.” Metcalfe has ushered in a new reign of partisan hostility, going so far as to ask the sergeant-atarms to eject Babette from a committee meeting. In October, Metcalfe goaded her to lead the committee in the Pledge of Allegiance. She bravely declined, citing her First Amendment rights and “the fact that I really think it’s a prayer. I don’t pray in public.” Babette never says the Pledge, noting that the words “under God” were added only in 1954 at the height of McCarthyite anti-Communist hysteria. The story, picked up by Glenn Beck’s site, went viral. “I’m glad that she’s retiring,” Metcalfe told Harrisburg’s ABC 27. I trust that Sims, though different in temperament, will make Metcalfe eat his words. The problem with Pennsylvania Republicans — as with the GOP at large — is not that they’re loud, but that they are often wrong. When Democrats are in the right, they need to make their case loud and clear. Babette has never forgotten that. You’ll hear more from Babette, who is exploring the idea of building bipartisan rural-urban alliances around food and farm issues. And she hasn’t ruled out running for office again either. “Don’t stick a fork in me,” she told me on Monday. “I am not done.” ✚ Send feedback to

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[ the naked city ]

 A Fish Story

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“People who are really into fish, they talk about this store.” most of his stock is of Asian descent. And so is much of his clientele. “They always have the feng shui. Like, good-luck stuff.” Particularly, arowana, also known as dragon fish, are believed to bring good fortune. but Tham doesn’t buy it. “To me it’s just a fish. Some people believe it.” many shoppers favor the startling varieties of flowerhorns. The fish are bred in Singapore, Thailand and malaysia to have large bumps on their foreheads — some subtle, others like protruding golf balls or elvis Presley pompadours. Fish with unique cranial features are, Tham admits, a luxury — some are priced at up to $500 each. (“The bigger the horn, the more expensive,” he notes.) The recession has hurt business. “You have no money, but still you need to go eat. ... Only if you have extra money do you spend on this kind of hobby.” Other fish stores in the area, he says, have closed. “If you’re a pet store, it’s OK. … but only fish, you have a major hit. A lot of wholesale places, they go out of business, too.” In Asia, fish sellers have reportedly done a brisk recession-era business among those seeking auspicious ornamental specimens. but Americans, says Tham, are “just not into it like the Asians.”

Some are into it, though. “I’ve had fish a long time,” says James dockery, 59, an AfricanAmerican bank employee from eastwick who has a 125-gallon tank at home. He stoops to inspect a tank near the floor. The shop is “kind of like a boutique, and the rest of the stores are all generic. … People who are really into fish, you know, they talk about this store.” One middle-aged Asian man rushes in, announcing, “my fish is sick!” He heads straight to a back aisle before paying for his antibiotics and leaving. Just as often, though, foot traffic includes kids like Shane, 16, who arrives with a group of other white South Philly teens from the neighborhood, all there to sightsee. “my little brother told me about it,” says Shane, sporting a well-manicured mustache and a track suit. It may not be the Adventure Aquarium in camden, but, as he notes, “Lot of cool fishes in here.” (

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convicted felon coming off a good year

✚ CHALK WITH ME In recent weeks, students at Temple, Villanova and St. Joe’s have noticed a mysterious URL scrawled in chalk on campus sidewalks. Visiting leads to more questions than answers. “I have done much research in composing this. And I have done my best to ensure, that all information is indeed fact,” reads the unsigned introduction. A downloadable sermon incorporates Mary Shelley, Jesus and The Hulk, building up to the thesis that “pro wrestling is real.” “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson are paralleled with George Bush and Barack Obama, respectively. There’s also some Book of Revelation/apocalyptic stuff in the mix. It was hard to tell whether this was a satirical art project or the work of somebody who genuinely believes every word. “I’d say it’s half and

half,” says Philadelphia666’s author Will Harrison, who lives in Pittsburgh. “Obviously, it’s kind of crazy to compare two wrestlers to two presidents.”

originally I had way too much information. Now the piece is centered on Washington, D.C., the mirror and Frankenstein. … I’m not sure where it gets complex for people.”

His overall message, he says, is that we are living in important times. Global warming, nuclear arms, religious fanaticism — things like that have put us a historical crossroads. While he has no specific instructions for readers of his site, he

does hope to inspire them. First, he needs some readers. “When I first started out,

I was just handing out pieces of paper to people, but a lot of

It builds up to a thesis: “Pro wrestling is real.” people, they just walk by you and ignore you.” He’s had better luck writing the URL on sidewalks. He’s done it in Pittsburgh and at Penn State, and noticed an increase in web traffic. He had a few days off, so he drove to Phillyarea colleges to do the same. “I think Dec. 21 and 22 are going to be normal days,” he says, as opposed to apocalyptic ones. “I don’t think at all that it’s too late,” he says. “I think maybe there has to be a change from within. That’s one of the reasons I wrote the piece, maybe to unite us, sort of.” —Patrick Rapa

✚ CORRECTION Last week’s story on legal actions against Philly police [“Fuzzy Math”], incorrectly stated that the number of complaints against officers grows by 300 to 325 each year. In fact, that figure reflects roughly the total number of cases filed annually.

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with the Eagles. A bankruptcy plan was in place, but Vick had yet to score his six-year, $100 million contract. His future was far from certain. What does someone pay for that kind of debt? The documents don’t spell it out, and both companies declined to comment. Records indicate that the funds have received about 48 percent of their claim as of the summer. While there is a robust trade in claims of businesses in Chapter 11, individuals in Chapter 11, like Vick, are so rare that nobody could say what Vick’s debt was worth.“I’ve traded claims at 90-plus cents, and traded claims at 5 cents,” Gottesman says. So, what’s it like to watch football with such a huge bet on the line? Gottesman says it may be best not to watch:“I’d argue that being a football fan hurts your analysis.” —Dan Kelley

The point of the site, he says, is to tell a story and get people thinking. “I’ve had a couple people tell me it can be hard to follow. I’ve been doing this for a year. I’ve done a lot of cutting out because

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an exchange for bankruptcy claims for SecondMarket, a New York-based investment company. But there’s a potentially large upside. Investors, he notes, “don’t get involved in too many things that aren’t lucrative.” Vick’s debt didn’t trade on SecondMarket’s exchange. Shortly after Vick pled guilty to dog-fighting charges, the Atlanta Falcons sued to recoup a portion of his signing bonus. A bankruptcy court ruled Vick owed the Falcons $6.5 million. The Falcons sold their claim to Austin, Texas-based Fulcrum Investments, which then sold it to funds controlled by Fortress Investment Group. Claims for $875,000 in Vick’s debt to another claimant also were sold to Fortress. The market for bankruptcy claims is a fairly large one, says Georgetown law professor Adam Levitin, but it is little known and little understood. Levitin says buyers in Chapter 13 cases (limited to individuals owing less than $1.5 million) typically buy credit-card debt at between 10 cents and 15 cents on the dollar. At the time of the transactions, Vick was a

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✚ a million stories

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“Left Alone,” and it’s probably true — but there’s so much pleasure in the attempt.


—Jess Bergman

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YEAH, Frank took the top spot on our list like he did on everybody else’s. Ran away with it, too, scoring one-and-a-half times the points Fiona did. What’s that about points? We do this every year: Critics and other music dorks give me top 10 lists. I pop them into a spreadsheet and assign points to each album based on things like where a voter ranked it and where I rank the voter as a human.Then we run the usual Indie-Rock Snob Protocols (check Mountain Goats levels, insert Sleater-Kinney offshoots to taste, delete anything Rodney Anonymous likes, etc.). Eventually, a master list is printed out and given to our least reliable intern for safekeeping.A couple weeks later, we track the kid down (this time we found the little guy working merch for Zed’s Dead) and ask him or her to recite it from memory. And, hooray, that’s the list you see before you now. We take this thing so seriously, you guys. —Patrick Rapa

FRANK OCEAN Channel Orange (Def Jam)

An artfully lit gallery tour led by a staff of indefinite emotions, Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange sits atop 2012’s sonic heap both for what it is and what it isn’t. Ocean’s widely publicized Tumblr admission that he once loved a man has branded him as the progressive poster-crooner of a genre long characterized by hetero virility, but the album makes romantic subtlety fundamental, better stocked with hat-switching stories than pot-stirring social statement. That said, it’s still thoroughly personal, and Ocean’s touch with the pen distills his most obtuse neuroses into melody-swelled poetry. He slips disaffected wealth on for size via “Super Rich Kids” and the sauntering “Sweet Life.” The deliberately choppy Far East brushstrokes of “Monks” paint the tale of an eager fan he fell for on tour. The nearly 10-minute “Pyramids” sees Ocean seasoning a tale of screwed-up love with esoteric imagery and futuristic funk. And on the unbelievable “Bad Religion,” he unloads on a captive cabbie, half-channeling Prince as he achingly reveals the super-charged

truth to a complete stranger (“Taxi driver/ I swear I’ve got three lives/ Balanced on my head like steak knives/ I can’t tell you the truth, about my disguise”). Those quick to dismiss Ocean’s infamous sexual revelation as salesmanship probably haven’t listened to this record cover to cover. He can stunt all he wants as long as he keeps sounding like this. —Drew Lazor




The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do (Epic) Fiona Apple made a few headlines in 2012. From the emotional letter she hand-wrote about her dog’s tour-canceling illness to the wacky NYMag profile in which she babbled about mirror neurons and Maya Angelou, it’s clear Apple’s eccentricity diminished little during the seven years since Extraordinary Machine. It’s a testament to the brilliance of her new cumbersomely titled release that none of these peculiarities overshadowed the year’s biggest Apple story: her triumphant reemergence. The Idler Wheel … is by no means an easily digestible album. It’s replete with minor chords, unusual percussion and sometimes-jarring samples, like the screaming of children at play in the gut-wrenching “Werewolf.” Ultimately, though, this sonic challenge rewards rather than alienates, Apple’s go-for-broke vocals soaring over each sparse and occasionally dissonant arrangement. “I’m hard/ Too hard to know,” she sings on




Good Kid: M.A.A.D City (Aftermath) Kendrick Lamar said we should wait 10 years before calling Good Kid: M.A.A.D City a “classic.” I don’t know anyone with that kind of patience. This Compton, Calif., rapper can barely sheathe his desire to master the flow of the legends that came before — to the point where it’s starting to get weird. Check out “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe”— nobody’s crafted such commanding, Andre 3000-esque, Silly Putty soliloquies since, well, Andre 3000. But only Lamar can give us monologues from the mind of his 10th-grade self, struggling to find faith while the forces of lust and violence envelop him. Perhaps this album wouldn’t be so impactful, or important, if hip-hop weren’t in the same damn boat. Good Kid: M.A.A.D City is a cry for salvation. It’s also an angel-dust trip. Amazing. —Cassie Owens

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Elizabeth Morris daydreams in her driftwood Aussie accent (weathered a bit, perhaps, by life in London). “And I wonder if you would wanna go there with me, when I’m finished over here, if you’re not finished with me.” So much of Allo Darlin’s second record is about wanderlust tainted with homesickness and the awful bliss of longing — some real Grecian Urn-type stuff. Europe is also a bewitching, guitar-first, indie-pop masterpiece about the healing power of meaningful music. The Silver Jews and the Maytals get namechecks.Wilco and Billy Bragg have to settle for overt allusions. “A record is not just a record, records can hold memories,” Morris insists on “My Sweet Friend.” It’s easy to ponder the memories this record is soundtracking right now, as well as the allusions that await. —Patrick Rapa


The Lion’s Roar (Wichita)




Celebration Rock (Polyvinyl) Kicking off with the staccato of a long strand of cheap Chinatown firecrackers, Celebration Rock revels in the fact that this band is still alive despite its best efforts to kill itself. Having convinced themselves they were going nowhere musically and tired of DIY toil, the Vancouver duo of Brian King and David Prowse called it quits in 2008 after releasing two EPs and shelving their first fulllength album, Post-Nothing (which was eventually released to serious acclaim in 2009). Emerging from Canadian obscurity on the back of a very positive Pitchfork review, Japandroids took off on a two-year, barnstorming tour that eventually left the duo as breathless as its sound. Celebration Rock is all about living in the moment, its frantic pace conjuring images of youthful indiscretion and parties raging well beyond the small hours. There’s a tinge of melancholy here, though, almost as if this is a band eulogizing its moment, having pulled out of its swan dive but ready to burn out at any second. —Dominic Mercier


ALLO DARLIN’ Europe (Slumberland)

“Tallulah” is perfect. A gently strummed ukulele, an easygoing melody, a pair of once-and-maybefuture lovers casting letters across a continental divide, leaving the important things unsaid but not unsung: “St. Kilda, Coolangatta, Bondi Beach and Coogee Bay — I like the sound of their names,”





TAME IMPALA Lonerism (Modular)

Innerspeaker, Tame Impala’s 2010 debut, led most of us to slap a retro-rock sticker on the >>> continued on page 10


“Stranger in India, I’m gonna be creepin’ on you so hard. You’re seducin’ Tibetan pop stars, and wreckin’ motor-cars.”

FRANCES QUINLAN’S GOT a way with words. The singer-guitarist aims for that sweet spot on the beautiful/mysterious X-Y axis. There’s humor and creative self-loathing, songs about love and grief. There’s thoughtfulness and recklessness. There are conspicuously memorable phrases that feel like references, but Google usually disagrees. The Stranger in India was an HOP ALONG | Get Disowned (HOT GREEN) 1843 book on gardening or something. (Is that relevant? I don’t know.) Wherever “creepin’ on you so hard” came from, it’s all hers now. Get Disowned — Hop Along’s brilliant first album as a full band (before that it was Quinlan’s bedroom-pop solo project) — is a tornadic swirl of elegant non sequiturs. You don’t always know what she means, but you know she means it. And it’s not just what she says, it’s the way she says it. Quinlan’s voice is not classically lovely — Franz Nicolay compared it to “a feral Rilo Kiley.” It’s gritty and passionate. It’s always bolting past its natural breaking points, and coloring outside the melody with smart-alecky abandon. On the title track, she starts singing “meteor, make me young” like an Are You There God? prayer, but soon she’s belting it out like an indie-rock Nina Simone. Other lines let the heartbreak perch, deadpan, a centerpiece you can’t see past. “There are some parents whose children long for divorce,” she repeats with an odd, heavenly joy on the folkish, mood-swinging “Diamond Mine.” Musically, Hop Along is similarly mischievous. Quinlan has found zealous co-conspirators in bassist Tyler Long and drummer Mark Quinlan (her brother). The three are equally adept at thundering punk and stargazing folk, and even the detours into experimental cacophony are catchy. However counterintuitive, it all fits together. Ultimately, that may be what willed Hop Along to victory in the Local Artist of the Year battle royale. This band did it their way, creating a cohesive and confident rock album that defies you to accept it (and maybe doesn’t care if you do). “Everybody is a little hard to love sometimes,” Quinlan shrugs on “No Good Al Joad.” “You are my favorite, because you’re a long shot.” —Patrick Rapa

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Even at their most elemental level, First Aid Kit’s Söderberg sisters are riveting. Their high, tight harmonies dominate, whether accompanied by Klara’s guitar or Johanna’s keyboard or autoharp, and their songs swell with that elusive combination of innocence and world-weariness that comes nearly exclusively from artists in their teens and 20s — and rarely, at that. But with The Lion’s Roar, their second full-length, the young Swedes have raised their game by enlisting Saddle Creek überproducer Mike Mogis, who knows when to flesh out the songs with strings, steel and whatever else works, and when to leave the Söderbergs alone. “Emmylou” is an alt-country charmer, “This Old Routine” is warm and wise, and the title track is grave and magical. Mogis’ Bright Eyes bandmates pop up on the album-closing “King of the World,” along with the Felice Brothers, and if that sounds like your kind of party, you won’t regret a moment of The Lion’s Roar. —M.J. Fine

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

multi-layered Aussie quartet. With Lonerism, the road-tested boys from Perth (they killed a sold-out Philly show this November) proved they’re capable of outputting a personality that stresses the seams of the psych-sound box. The album sprints, but not in a straight line; sounds new, old and never-before-heard dance in the supple space bookended by the turret-timed electronic march of opener “Be Above It” and the Fab Four-inflected ivory of closing track “Sun’s Coming Up.”

singer Frankie Lymon — to fill out his latest darkly comic diorama. And he adds for the first time a horn section, lending a brassy burst of hope to the recipe.


—Drew Lazor





GRIZZLY BEAR Shields (Warp)

In the tiny universe of psychedelic indie rock, this was Grizzly Bear’s year (so says the City Paper electorate). A sonic exploration with less texture but more mechanics than 2009 beaut Veckatimest, Shields is a rock album we want to see live. We open with the convoluted “Sleeping Ute,” where a touch of stereophonic, arpeggiated synthesizer doesn’t distract from crunchy guitar hooks or Ed Droste’s haunting vocals. The band strips “The Hunt” down until the notes just drip, while the deep, moody cello and drums in “What’s Wrong” deconstruct into a dark jazz ditty. Shields is accessible experimentation. We’ve never frowned upon that.

King Tuff (Sub Pop)

Tramp (Jagjaguwar)

Twins (Drag City)

Heading into his sixthsolo album in four years and his third release in 2012 alone, potential burnout loomed for Ty Segall. Instead, Twins once again delivered the fuzzed-out bliss of his garage-glam hybrid sound, tying the appealing spaciness of Hair — April’s collaboration with White Fence — to the all-in rock of Ty Segall Band’s Slaughterhouse. Twins is a brawnier heir to The Slider, trading T. Rex’s sleazy ’70s sheen for Segall’s distorted guitar detonations without forgetting the value of pop delivered in perfect, three-minute blasts. Curveballs like the pseudo-rustic backing vocals that open “The Hill” hint that Segall remains interested in expanding his sound, a sign that rock’s new most prolific artist is in no danger of running out of gas.

It’s that voice: a dusky, haunted alto that’s also warm and comforting. It’s the outlook and heartbroken, heart-on-the-sleeve universal truisms: “You’re the reason why I’ll move to the city or why I’ll need to leave.” It’s the sound: ballads with rattling urgency, rock ’n’ roll with honesty and sensitivity. It’s the songs: instantly familiar, like you’ve been singing “Serpents” or “Leonard” forever, but nonetheless fresh and fiercely captivating. With her third LP, Tramp, New York’s Sharon Van Etten not only crafted a moving, bracing collection of songs, she proved herself a major artist and songwriting talent for anybody who didn’t already believe.


—Bob McCormick

Mr. M (Merge)



Transcendental Youth (Merge) In a year that’s been tragically punctuated by troubled kids doing unspeakable things, The Mountain Goats released an album that cuts to the existential angst and disorientation of that precarious age when we make the transition to maturity and responsibility. “I am just a broken machine, and I do things that I don’t really mean,” sings John Darnielle on “Cry for Judas,” a plea for mercy when rage seems the only reasonable response. Darnielle employs, as he’s wont to do, a cast of wayward characters — from high school thrill-seekers to died-young





With drooling guitars and whiny-wonderful vocals, King Tuff’s self-titled second album is all about the party anthems (please see track one: “Anthem”). We’re talking cheap beers, ripping bong hits and jumping-up-and-down bedroom dancing. Stony Jewish-dude frontman Kyle Thomas makes the kind of rock ’n’ roll that just begs for a yell-along, regardless of whether you know all of the lyrics to “Alone & Stoned” or “Keep On Movin’.” The whole thing is hazy and heartfelt with a little bit of loneliness and alienation mixed in, because there’s some of that at every party. —Caroline Russock

—John Vettese

—Brian James Kirk







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—David Faris

—Brian Howard


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of the album’s overlooked, slow-burning gem, “Irene” — “It’s a strange paradise.”


BEACH HOUSE Bloom (Sub Pop)

In their follow-up to 2010 sensation Teen Dream, Baltimore-based duo Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally opt for dream-pop fine-tuning rather than showy stylistic departure. They ask unanswerable questions, then surround them with swirling super storms of hypnotic melodies and Legrand’s layered, androgynous vocals. Mourning a “right place at the wrong time” relationship on the stunning “Other People,” Legrand asks, searchingly, “Was it ever quite enough?” While “drifting in and out” on “Myth,” a lover’s plea is “help me to name it.” The duo’s artfully inscrutable lyrics allow you to believe that “it” could be just about anything — loss, disappointment, desire. The only way to describe how Bloom will haunt you is with the chorus


JOHN K. SAMSON Provincial (Epitaph/Anti)

Many — though not all — of the characters inhabiting Provincial are in transit or en route, literally and/or figuratively. It renders the album title slightly ironic. This wandering theme might speak to the Winnipeg-based musician’s almost-20-year career in the biz, in indie-folk band The Weakerthans and, before that, with punk rockers Propaghandi. More likely, though, it’s a device that enables Samson to do what he does best as a songwriter: capture melancholy and longing with a sympathetic and detailed eye. The music — a more muted version of The Weakerthans’ brand of folky rock — lets the characters shine. From an adulterous schoolteacher to a lonely grad student to an underrated hockey great (Flyers legend Reggie “The Riverton Rifle” Leach) — their stories ache palpably on this subtle yet triumphant album. —Michael Pelusi

The first words out of Kurt Wagner’s mouth are “Don’t know what the fuck they talk about,” and he never really gets his bearings through the remainder of Lambchop’s morosely gorgeous 11th album. Swathing Wagner’s wounded, choked whisper in lush arrangements, Mr. M is a countrypolitan jukebox that hasn’t quite made it uptown, whose easy listening exposes rough edges, whose throwback soul suffers an uneasy swagger.The album is set in the wrongest hour of twilight, the moment when awful decisions are made that could have been averted by crashing a few minutes earlier or staying in bed a few minutes longer. Not that things are likely to get much better: “I was a big prick back then,”Wagner croons, at once apologetic and nostalgic. —Shaun Brady

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icepack By A.D. Amorosi

³ IF THERE’S A MAYAN apocalypse this weekend, glad to have known you, sorry I said those things about your hair, clothes and mom. And, oops — if we’re still here and thriving, you’re a jackoff for having bought tix to end-of-world parties at McFadden’s and Johnny Utah’s,though I dare say doomsday events at Penn Museum, PhilaMOCA and 12 Steps Down (!?) are fine ways to celebrate the M-pocalypse. (See the Agenda section for more on a few of those.) ³Know what’s definitely ending? Renegade, playing Johnny Brenda’s on Dec. 22. The damn-near-hardcore act with Punk Rock Boot Camp boss Brian Adoff,Little Baby’s Ice Cream guy Jeff Ziga, several Hail Social members and Daily News-ie Dan Gross claim that they’re truly retiring after this holiday’s grand finale. Should they stay or should they go, now? Tell them Saturday. ³ One-time Anastasi Seafood dude and my greyhound Django’s best friend John DiMarco, together with his cousin Steve DiMarco,just opened a Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, a link in the chain of legendary Midwestern ’50s-themed eateries. “I just got back from Kansas a couple of weeks ago and have been working to get Freddy’s open,” says DiMarco, who flew there to snag a franchise. The DiMarcos’ Freddy’s is in Broomall. Django gives it three bells. ³ Think Philly comic Kevin Hart is funny? You should try Crown Royal Maple (yeesh), one of the label’s four whiskeys he’ll be signing bottles of at Second and Girard’s state store Dec. 20 at 2 p.m. That night, he’ll hit up the Wells Fargo Center for a Crown Royal-sponsored gig. ³ This week, Philly’s Artsploitation Films — which, led by a co-founder of TLA Entertainment, Ray Murray,focuses on releasing “intriguing, unsettling, unpredictable and provocative films from around the world” — gets its first big DVD release with the controversial Indian thrash-metal/hip-hop drama Gandu. (Hindi slang for “asshole.”) Bengali filmmaker Kaushik “Q” Mukherjee’s film is banned in his homeland due to its graphic everything. ³ Oaks, Pa.’s MVD Entertainment, headed up by Clint Weiler, has its first self-made movie coming Feb. 19: Bath Salt Zombies. Co-written and co-produced by Weiler, the locally filmed, druggy gore-flick features Philly’s Combat Crisis on the soundtrack. Trailers at ³ Tommy Joyner,owner of MilkBoy Studio on North Seventh Street, says his B room was used by Miley Cyrus during her July-August session while working on new material for her upcoming album with producers Oren Yoel (Asher Roth) and Stacey Barthe (Rihanna,Britney Spears). She has not, as was rumored in the blogosphere, returned for more Milk sessions since. ³Merry Christmas. More ice at (

A FEATHER IN HIS CAP: Aubie Merrylees, right, in his breakout performance as leading man Dorante in Lantern’s The Liar. MARK GARVIN

[ theater ]

THE BARRYLESS AWARDS Awards for extremely specific onstage achievements. By Mark Cofta, David Fox, Deni Kasrel and Emily Guendelsberger


he future of the Barrymore Awards is up in the air since the Theatre Alliance disbanded this year — but Best Actress is so played out, anyway. Can’t we get some more interesting categories? As the stage breaks between fall and spring, City Paper’s theater and dance writers bring you the Barryless Awards — a bit more specific, a lot less carefully calculated.

³ BREAKOUT PERFORMANCE: Aubie Merrylees as Dorante (The Liar, Lantern Theater Company, Nov. 1-Dec. 9) Merrylees has been a versatile ensemble member around town, but he hit the big time with a masterful comic performance as a swashbuckling ladies’ man in an adaptation of Le Menteur. —DF

³ BREAKOUT PERFORMANCE BY A MINOR: Vincent Crocilla as Winthrop (The Music Man, Walnut Street Theatre, Nov. 6-Jan. 6) The Walnut’s production of the classic musical had strong leads, but tiny Crocilla stole the show, turning “Gary, Indiana” into a positively Idina Menzelian, gravity-defying moment. —DF

³ ACHIEVEMENT IN TOUGHNESS/DÉJÀ VU: Peter Andrew Danzig (The Drowsy Chaperone, Villanova Theatre, Nov. 6-Dec. 2)

Danzig played “Robert Martin” in spite of debilitating kidney stones — just like the real Robert Martin, co-author and star of The Drowsy Chaperone on Broadway. —MC

³ BEST MUSICAL SEEN SEATED NEXT TO A LARGE DOG: Less Miserable (Beaumont Warehouse, July 6-7) This DIY version of Les Mis (name presumably tweaked to avoid copyright trouble) staged in a West Philly warehouse was crowded, stiflingly hot and sometimes a bit out of tune (plus, our seatmate was a panting Husky). But it was more in tune with the pro-proletariat, revolutionary themes than any mirror-polished, big-theater production (or movie) could hope to be. —EG

Singing despite kidney stones.


Republican Theater Festival (Nov. 12-14) Director Cara Blouin’s controversial roster of original one-act plays was created to express points of view seldom encountered in American theater — her idea being that theater people, tending more to the left than average, were imposing their liberal views on audiences that might think differently. Unfortunately, this actually materialized as a parade of left-wing stereotypes that made us want to cry foul — Blouin made her point that it’s no fun to be the butt of someone else’s joke, but the key words there are “no fun.” —MC

³ MOST FUN INCORPORATION OF LEFT-RIGHT POLITICS: Maria Moller as William F. Buckley and Rob Wetherington as Noam >>> continued on page 16

the naked city | feature

[ angrily making out at any moment ] ³ satire tion manual How to Be Black (released in January) includes the two elements most essential to writing a readable book about race in America: humor and bluntness. Readers will rightly laugh as much as they bristle at this comedian/Onion veteran/black man’s unpredictable world view and biting wit, and at —Patrick Rapa the end they’ll all be black people, too.

Wriggling into the crawl-spaces where people keep their gutbeliefs, Jon Ronson’s compendium of essays Lost at Sea (released in October) finds the mysteries at the heart of motivations. We learn of the students in the Christmas-every-day town of North Pole, Alaska, who planned to shoot up their school, and end with the parents who suspect a cover-up in the way their daughter disappeared from a Disney cruise. His matter-of-factness is not like other observers’: No clinical assessments here in the unknotting of each puzzling set of events, but a warm, eyebrows-raised welcome for every tangle and kink. —Juliet Fletcher

³ literature

³ thriller

After a moment of battlefield heroism is caught on tape, the surviving soldiers of Bravo Squad are shipped back from Afghanistan for a whirlwind, morale-inflating tour of the U.S.A. in Ben Fountain’s biting debut novel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (released in May). What they find is a country full of people they no longer understand: the well-meaning citizens who express gratitude via Fox News buzzwords, the pro athletes who envy the soldiers’ license to kill, the business-casual patriots who want to co-opt their story. Beyoncé’s in there, too. Like Slaughterhouse 5, Billy points the finger at a culture willing to send kids off to war so long as we can —Patrick Rapa change the channel when the news is bad.

Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl (released in

Baratunde Thurston’s memoir/instruc-


June) is the story of a crime and how the media reacts, and an examination of what’s worse: prison or marriage. A young wife goes missing on the morning of her fifth wedding anniversary. Her husband Nick is the obvious suspect. We see everything through Nick’s eyes and Amy’s diary entries, but soon discover both are unreliable (albeit incredibly entertaining). Thrillers are not usually this witty, but then, Gone Girl is not your usual foray into noir. —Kristin McGonigle

By Mary Armstrong


ATOMIC DUO Broadsides | ( T H E A T O M I C D U O . C O M )


Now more than ever we need topical songs, the ones that sing loud and long about the elephant in the room — the stuff Atomic Duo specializes in. Silas Lowe and Mark Rubin, mandolin and guitar respectively, write and sing in the old country style about broken hearts and empty wallets. GUY DAVIS

[ movie review ]

The Adventures of Fishy Waters | ( S M O K E Y D O K E )


Hypnotized by the human voice.

ERIC BIBB Deeper in the Well | ( S T O N Y P L A I N )


Carrying on in his father Leon’s footsteps, Eric Bibb writes songs that are by turns plaintive and encouraging, accompanied by his acoustic guitar and a diverse group of roots players hailing from Appalachia to Louisiana. SUSAN WATTS Hartsklap | ( S E L F - R E L E A S E D )


Fourth-generation klezmer musician Susan Watts carries on her family’s heritage with subtle virtuosity. Her Ella-style scatting in Yiddish (“Joseph, Joseph”) keeps the material fresh and alive, but still indisputably klez.



This is border music at its best, sung in Spanish and English just like it gets mixed up in the dance >>> continued on page 18


to be one of those Oscar winners presented as evidence of the Academy’s middlebrow preference for competence and accents over innovation or risk. Tom Hooper’s directorial penchants for staring at his actors’ faces as they speak and taking the occasional whirl around the room with a wide-angle lens were sufficient for a stagy biopic about a stuttering royal and his vocal coach. Unfortunately, those seem to be the only tricks in his bag, and they’re hardly enough to sustain a sweeping 160-minute musical set in 19th-century France. Hooper seems hypnotized by the human voice; any time one of his actors opens their mouth to speak, he’s compelled to shove his camera close into their face and stare in immobile awe until they finish. The effect becomes numbing, especially given the musical’s nonstop singing, much of which begins to run together into an indistinguishable muddle for the uninitiated. Hooper’s decision to film the cast singing live rather than lip-syncing to playback does capture more immediate, emotional performances from most of the cast (Russell Crowe has the physical presence for Javert, but belts every line in a husky monotone, brow furrowed as if struggling to remember the next line). But some of the big numbers are show-stoppers in the negative sense. Anne Hathaway’s wrenching rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” is performed in a single, uninterrupted closeup against an inky blackness — Susan Boyle’s game-show performance was more visually interesting. In the rare moments without dialogue, Hooper’s fish-eye scans the grime-covered alleyways, a reminder that there is a world outside Hugh Jackman’s face. His rare stabs at actual production numbers, like the clumsy Richard Lester-isms of a comic piece featuring Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter, suggest that artlessness may be preferable. —Shaun Brady

An actor, a brilliant guitarist and the son of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, Guy Davis was born and built to make The Adventures of Fishy Waters.This concept album — centered around a wily, fictional bluesman — explores Southern African-American life in the early 20th century and calls on Davis to expertly reproduce a number of early styles.

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[ C- ] FROM THE MOMENT its envelope was opened, The King’s Speech was destined

FANTINE SPELL: Get used to looking at this mug. In Les Misérables, director Tom Hooper shoves the camera in his actors’ faces until they stop singing their songs — and there are a lot of songs.


the agenda | food | classifieds

³ essays/journalism


[ biblio-scope 2012 ]

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


[ arts & entertainment ]

By Mark Cofta


Lemmon and Matthau — Dave and Aaron? Yup. Though the names might be less familiar than those classic comedy duos, their silent play, Dave & Aaron Go to Work, is that great. This five-years-in-the-making show by the titular performers, scenic designer Dave Jadico and puppet designer Aaron Cromie (with near-constant original accompaniment by Alex Bechtel), is a heartwarming story, an innovative experiment in puppetry, physical comedy and clowning. It’s also a tight, witty piece of writing — there’s no dialogue, but great use is made of the comic possibilities of the unspoken word. Jadico and Cromie play the archetypal odd couple: Dave the slim, fastidious neatnik; Aaron the large, lumbering slob. They share a tiny apartment, shown in a perfectly choreographed morning routine, then seek work in the want ads, with each new job an excuse for a vaudevillian misadventure: As librarians, they concoct a clever but flawed method of putting books on impossibly high shelves. As zoologists, they inadvertently lose a huge lizard, a sly puppet cleverly manipulated by both performers. Their stint as power-line repairmen proves shocking.

The segments are punctuated by projections of the newspaper ads (“Librarians Wanted: Shushing a Must”) and postdebacle headlines, cherries on a sweet sundae. After yet another crushing failure, the team splits. But though the two are hapless together, they’re hopeless apart. Their inevitable reunion requires even more hilariously disastrous employment. Director Lee Ann Etzold’s production never rushes or pushes, resulting in gentle, measured performance that feels refreshingly old-fashioned. Every element is executed with loving care and detail, from Katherine Fritz’s witty costumes and Cromie’s adorable puppets to Dominic Chacon’s artful lighting and Jadico’s surprise-filled set. This airy confection is a must-see. ( ✚ Through Dec. 31, $28-$38, Plays &

Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey St., 215-592-9560,

✚ The Barryless Awards

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They might start angrily making out at any moment. Chomsky (Chomsky vs. Buckley, 1969, Sept. 7-8) To counteract the somewhat dry, hyperintellectual transcript of the famed 1969 Chomsky/ Buckley debate that served as script, this Fringe play was set in the living room of director Bruce Walsh, and Moller and Wetherington played the dialogue with an utterly charming vibe of sexual tension, as if they might start angrily making out at any moment. (An interlude in which the two dance while glaring at each other was particularly delightful.) —EG

³ BEST-KEPT SECRET: Bryn Mawr/Haverford Theater Program Director Mark Lord’s small bi-college program at Bryn Mawr College never fails to astound — if you can find out what they’re doing, and when. Anyone who enjoys Fringe-y fare like Pig Iron and New Paradise Laboratories should keep an eye out for next semester’s as-yet-unannounced production. —MC

³ CLOSE THE PLAY, TOUR THE SCENERY AWARD: David P. Gordon (Freud’s Last Session,

Arden Theatre, Oct. 25-Dec. 23) Amid the turgid oversimplication of the imag-

ined conversation between Freud and C.S. Lewis, there was at least visual relief in Gordon’s yummy re-creation of the good doctor’s study. —DF

³ THE NEXT GENERATION AWARD: SoMoS (Merián Soto Performance Practice, Oct. 12) The large crowd gathered in a North Philly parking lot to watch an experimental dance piece included plenty of youngsters, who happily stood still and watched, seemingly spellbound by the abstract tableaus of dancers manipulating large branches in ultra-slow motion. —DK


Bortolussi (Red-Eye to Havre de Grace, Live Arts Festival, Sept. 7-16) For her exquisite portrayal of Edgar Allan Poe’s deceased wife Virginia, Bortulussi created and performed imaginative, supple movements that hit notes of the surreal and the sublime with exceptional ease. —DK

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2-4 YEARS OLD, POODLE/SHIH TZU MIX Hi there! I’m Perry Winkle, a lovely lady who’s dreaming of a home for the holidays. I’m a 2-4 year old female poodle/shih tzu mix who was rescued by PAWS from the city’s animal control shelter. I know I’ll make a great family dog: I get along with other pets and I love to romp and play. I can even be your running partner! Come meet me today at PAWS’ Adoption Center at 2nd and Arch Streets.

Located on the corner of 2nd and Arch.

All PAWS animals are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped before adoption. For more information, call 215-238-9901 ext. 30 or email

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Check out City Paper’s

a&e blog

✚ Top Roots <<< continued from page 15

arts, music, movies, mayhem

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[ arts & entertainment ]

halls. “El Paso” gets that accordion bounce then segues into western swing with the all-star-studded “San Antonio Rose.” For pure conjunto, try “Viva Seguin,” with Max Baca’s bajo sexto chasing David Farias’ frisky squeezebox all over the fretboard. THE TIME JUMPERS The Time Jumpers | ( R O U N D E R )


Beyond hot instrumentals by these legendary Nashville jammers, icons like Vince Gill, Ranger Doug and Dawn Sears add sweet vocals to a collection of tracks suitable for dancing, from cheekto-cheek (“Faint of Heart”) to jitterbug (“Outskirts of Town”) to two-step (“Yodel Blues”). DAVID OLNEY Body of Evidence | ( D E A D B E E T )


What will it take for Olney to shake that “underrated story-spinner” status? He continues to write songs that must be savored; there are no wasted words or images. Olney rocks some of the tragedies hard, then switches to lighter and more softly accompanied stuff, making the stories all the sadder.


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Slipstream | ( R E D W I N G )


When Bonnie Raitt scored a lifetime achievement award from the Americana Music Association this year, there was a momentary pause. Was this the edge of retirement? Hardly. Raitt’s singing and guitar playing, both electric and acoustic, are as juicy as ever. She continues to rock without hesitation, and talk about soulful — she can turn Loudon Wainwright’s folky lyrics to R&B.

PETER OSTROUSHKO The Mando Chronicles | ( R E D H O U S E )

Visit the Pennsylvania Farm Show by Train This Trips by Train excursion takes you to the PA Farm Show. Enjoy family, fun and farming at the largest indoor agricultural exposition in the country! With nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 exhibits, and some of the best farm fresh food anywhere, it’s a great trip for the whole family! Discounted package available at

JAN 5-12, 2013 | HARRISBURG Amtrak is a registered service mark of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation.


Peter Ostroushko’s most widespread fame has come via A Prairie Home Companion, but he’s been working all possible approaches to mandolin for decades. This set of three CDs celebrates a world of acoustic instrumentals, featuring Ostroushko and a phone book of stars tackling everything from Brazilian dance tunes to Bach sonatas to Paganini minuets to a tarantella, then back to the Ukrainian tunes of Ostroushko’s youth.

NUALA KENNEDY Noble Stranger | ( C O M P A S S )


Celtic flute made Kennedy’s rep, but it shares the spotlight with her singing of contemporary originals in a voice as high and sweet as her chosen instrument. She’s setting the pattern for 21st-century Celtic music. (

TOP PHILLY GAY MOMENTS OF 2012 To celebrate the opening of the Philly Radical Faeries exhibit (think a trunk full of drag, lots of mood lighting and a Maypole) at the William Way Center in January, local faeries donned glittery sombreros and a taffeta-laden five-person dress and paraded down Broad Street. They even tried to dazzle their way into the Union League, which, you can imagine, didn’t go over so well.

³ IT’S BRITTANY, BITCH RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Mimi Imfurst may think her sparkly poop doesn’t stink when she waltzes into Philly from NYC every week to host Voyeur’s Dollhouse Revue, but she was put in her place while guest-judging this year’s Mr. Gay Philly pageant. After Imfurst turned a quick intro into a plug for all the fabulous things she’s doing, emcee and local drag icon Brittany Lynn grabbed her mic and told the on-the-plump-side queen to “Have a few seats.”


³ PGMC TURNS 30 The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus may be inching over the proverbial hill, but this 90-man-strong gaggle of songbirds can still tweet prettier than any flock of spring chickens.

³ EXTREME UNCLES MAKEOVER A blink-and-you’ll-miss-it remodeling sesh this summer turned haggard Gayborhood mainstay Uncles into a must-do weekend-bar-crawl destination. With a slick new wall of windows, “electronic bathrooms” and a juice extractor for fresh-juice cocktails, the space has gotten so pretty they should probably change the name to Aunties.

³ BARBARA GOT HER WAY In October, the corner of 13th and Locust streets was proclaimed “Barbara Gittings Way.” Named for the late Philadelphia resident known as the “Mother of the LGBT Rights Movement,” the dedication adds sentimentality to a sliver of the Gayborhood most commonly known as a great

Gays may have more anti-aging secrets than Betty Crocker has recipes, but the truth is — are you sitting? — we get old just like everyone else. Thankfully, we’ll soon have a place to retire with other aging queer brothers and sisters. In November local and state politicians broke ground on what will become Philly’s first LGBT senior housing center, the John C. Anderson Apartments. Keep slathering on that face cream, though; the building isn’t slated to be completed until the end of 2013.


A mere month from being sworn in as the state’s first openly gay legislator, Philly’s Brian Sims was beat to the punch when G.O.P.

Imagine lots of mood lighting and a Maypole. state Rep. Mike Fleck pulled a bitch move and outed himself in the Huntingdon Daily News. Oh well, at least Sims — a buff former NCAA football captain — can still claim to be the state’s hottest openly gay legislator.

³ NEW YEAR’S GAY For the first time in 100 years, the Philadelphia Mummers — a largely male group that’s made a New Year’s tradition of flitting down Broad Street in heels and boas — have announced they’re inviting a legion of Philadelphia drag queens to form the parade’s first-ever “Drag Brigade.” All we have to say is, those OG Mummers better step up their game. ( ✚ Special thanks to our nominating committee: Chip Alfred, Paul Blore, Alexander Kacala, Gary M. Kramer, Ian Morrison, Lance Pawling, Rich Rubin and Bruce Yelk.

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In April, 1,700 fans packed the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Grand Stair Hall to see an Art After 5 performance by hairy cabaret legend Martha Graham Cracker. Evening-programs producer Sara Moyn calls it a huge night for the weekly event, which usually draws crowds of around 800. “He’s such a Philadelphia icon. It was amazing to have him in our space.”


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place to score a hooker.


From the sentimental to the downright catty. By Josh Middleton

[ arts & entertainment ]

the naked city | feature

[ queer bait ]

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THE GUILT TRIP|D Casting Seth Rogen as a neurotic inventor and Barbra Streisand as his nagging mother and sticking them in a tiny car for a road trip through the South sounds like a formula for fish-out-of-water comedy. Don’t be fooled, though: The Guilt Trip is as much a fantasy for mothers as The Hobbit is for their sons. Streisand’s character is a wish-fulfillment vehicle for moms who want to see their smothering pay off in their grown sons’ successes, or to have a suave cowboy fall rapturously in love with them as they devour a 4-pound steak, or — well, to be Barbra Streisand. The bickering duo pulls off the road at a strip club, the Grand Canyon and the Vegas strip, but screenwriter Dan Fogelman is so intent on making the story family-friendly (so you can suffer comfortably next to your grandmother) that the setting hardly matters. Nothing in the outside world matters in the vacuum created by this all-consuming mother’s love — Rogen may as well be driving his rental car across the moon. That is, if there were room on its craters for nearconstant product placement: Rogen’s cross-country trek is undertaken to pitch his cleaning product to companies like Kmart and QVC, while scanning every billboard along the way. It’s like watching an adaptation of the Sunday coupon supplements. —Shaun Brady (UA Riverview) THE IMPOSSIBLE|D Meticulously crafted and essentially obscene, J.A.



Bayona’s quasi-docudrama follows a British family vacationing in Thailand in the immediate aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Bayona stages the impact, which pulls doctor Naomi Watts away from husband Ewan McGregor and their three sons, with deafening immediacy. It’s effectively nerve-jangling — especially for parents — but the film treats its story of survival like an amusement-park ride, sticking close to its protagonists and reducing the native Thai victims to background color. (That the family this story is based on spoke Spanish, not English, adds insult to injury.) It’s a tremendous achievement, especially considering that the water effects were achieved without CGI, but it serves no purpose other than putting viewers through the wringer and, eventually, making them feel better again. —Sam Adams (Ritz Five)






A haiku: Uh, that’s slang for a handjob, right? As in: “Tom Cruise gives great Jack Reachers.” (Not reviewed) (Pearl)




MONSTERS, INC. 3D A haiku: Children are too dumb to know that Billy Crystal is the real monster. (Not reviewed) (Franklin Mills, Franklin Theatre, Pearl, UA Riverview)











RUST AND BONE|B Tilling the fertile stretches of land that exist between oddly inspiring and just plain odd, Jacques Audiard’s tale of chapped love is dubious in design but uplifting in execution. Based on characters created by Canadian author Craig






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A haiku: French Canadian clowns make a film about French Canadian clowns. (Not reviewed) (UA Riverview)



Django Unchained



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Davidson, the French auteur’s latest exploration of a young man making his way through trying, violent times stands out in setting and circumstance. Fleeing a bad relationship in Belgium, Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) crashes at the Antibes apartment of his mostly estranged sister Anna (Corinne Masiero) with his young son Sam (Armand Verdure) in tow. A bouncer gig at a local club puts him in front of Stéphanie (Marion Cotillard), a sullen killer-whale trainer who’s unhappy with her everyday — and that’s before a freak work disaster results in the loss of both her legs. Looking to get back into the ring, trained kickboxer Ali begins taking on underground brawls, while Stéphanie, who’s grown attached to her friend’s tender, sexual side but can’t thaw his chilly comportment, fights from the inside out. Schoenaerts and Cotillard turn in ingenious performances, with both characters’ emotional impenetrability made more stark by the paradisal French Riviera. Audiard lightly falters in his over-establishment of Cotillard as damaged, but it remains a beautiful movie with a beautiful message. —Drew Lazor (Ritz Five)

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THIS IS 40|BKinda-sorta spinning off Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann’s Knocked Up characters, Judd Apatow’s This Is 40 finds the couple approaching the big 4-0 — or, in Mann’s case, the third instance of the big 3-8 — with predictable if well-drawn anxieties. Their dream businesses — her vintage clothing shop, his retro-focused record label — range from marginal success to money pits, their daughters feud constantly and their sex life is dulled by overfamiliarity. (When you’re asking your wife to check out your anal blemishes, the magic is gone.) Apatow is great, sometimes uncomfortably so, with minor details, like the way Rudd keeps sneaking off to the crapper for some iPad time, or how Mann sneaks the occasional cigarette and hides the evidence from her kids. But the movie is a mess, sprawling and disorganized, with performances too emphatic to exist in such a nebulous world. (Mann is a particular offender.) Considering that the screen family overlaps Apatow’s own by 75 percent — Mann is his reallife wife and her daughters are played by Maude and Iris Apatow — This Is 40 could have been wildly confessional, like a screen version of Louie. Instead, it’s glib and unrevealing, engrossing in moments but frustrating over the long haul. —SA (Franklin Mills, Pearl)

 CHRISTMAS OPENINGS DJANGO UNCHAINED|C+ Fans have been waiting for Quentin

Tarantino’s spaghetti-Western-flavored take on the antebellum South, and the waiting doesn’t end even when the movie starts. For half its (substantial) length, Django Unchained dithers and doodles, introducing Christoph Waltz as a roving bounty hunter and Jaime Foxx as the titular slave he frees to help him track down his prey. (Tarantino, ever the cheeky monkey, names Waltz’s character Dr. King.) The loosely strung collection of anecdotes that comprises the film’s opening movement hits rock bottom with a flatfooted sequence in which a passel of horse-riding Klansmen, including Don Johnson and Jonah Hill, grouses about the size of the eyeholes in their homemade hoods: It’s not only the worst scene in the movie, but the worst of Tarantino’s career. The farting around stops, by design, with the introduction of Leonardo DiCaprio’s daintily brutal slavemaster, but when he has a runaway slave ripped into pieces, the movie splits, too. Although there’s plenty of gunplay, including the juiciest bullet hits in recent memory, Django’s highlight is a tense negotiation between Waltz and DiCaprio, with Foxx’s enslaved bride (Kerry Washington) as the object of sale. Tarantino doesn’t shirk from the ugliness of slavery, casting Samuel L. Jackson as a sadistic house negro who delights in doing his master’s work, but his confrontations are toothless. —SA (Franklin Mills, UA Grant, UA Riverview)

LES MISÉRABLES|CRead Shaun Brady’s review on p. 15. (Franklin Mills, UA Grant, UA Riverview)

ANY DAY NOW|C+ Touching on current hot-button issues but set in a time when they were far less common currency, Travis Fine’s film pairs drag queen Alan Cumming and prosecutor Garret Dillahunt as the would-be foster parents to a boy with Down Syndrome (Isaac Leyva). Cumming’s dreadful attempt at a Queens drawl grates (especially for viewers of The Good Wife, who know that he can nail standard American), but it’s a rare treat to see him act without tongue in cheek, wholly committing himself to the role of a fey queen who suddenly finds something worth taking seriously. The movie’s broad take on the state of same-sex custody battles circa 1979 leans more heavily on evolving prejudices than the nature of the law, but it still evokes strong reactions with regard to how much — and how little — society has since changed. —SA (Ritz at the Bourse)

ARGO |B+ Also directing, Ben Affleck takes the lead as a CIA ex-filtration expert whose job is to smuggle a half-dozen American embassy workers out of locked-down Tehran in 1979, a largely unknown offshoot of the contemporary hostage crisis. The plan is for Affleck to enter the country as the second-rung producer of a Hollywood sci-fi movie looking to shoot in Iran, a ruse that involves generating ample publicity for the bogus production. There are soft in-jokes about the parallel prevalence of bullshit in the movie industry and covert intelligence — lots of scenes with men in pointy-collared shirts

PARENTAL GUIDANCE A haiku: More Billy Crystal? Sorry kids, but there is no Santa Claus or God. (Not reviewed) (Franklin Mills, UA Grant, UA Riverview)

 CONTINUING ANNA KARENINA|B While playwright Tom Stoppard does provide an effective winnowing of Tolstoy’s 1,000-page tome into a two-hour film, it’s director Joe Wright who’s responsible for the cleverly irreverent decision to play the whole thing in an abandoned theater, emphasizing the artificiality of the period drama through the use of stage props, painted backdrops and choreography. The approach is surprisingly less stagy than the typical costume drama, as Wright uses the theatrical world as a doorway into a heightened reality, allowing the wings and the catwalks over the stage to become settings or using a model train for the story’s many journeys. —SB (Ritz at the Bourse)

and scruffy beards involved in tense dialogue exchanges. Divorce it from awards-season hype, and Argo holds up: There’s no need to pretend it’s something it’s not, when what it is works just fine. —SA (UA Riverview)

THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE|AKen Burns’ The Central Park Five zeroes in on the notorious 1989 rape of a jogger in Central Park, and its aftermath. The outcry that greeted the crime and the subsequent wrongful imprisonment of five black and Latino teenagers become vehicles for an examination of not just the specific circumstances of late-’80s NYC, but broader questions of justice,

racial tension and media complicity. What emerges from the film is a picture of five young boys caught at the crossroads of a crime-weary city, beleaguered politicians and police, and a lurid tabloid press, all feeding on the fear and prejudices of the public. The story is enthralling, enraging and ultimately moving, though the lingering emotion is one of disparities left unresolved. —SB (Ritz at the Bourse)


[ movie shorts ]

gorgeous, as is to be expected, but the getting there feels endless and riddled with tangents. Worst of all, the 48-frames-per-second format robs Middle-earth of its magic. The you-arethere clarity is a constant reminder that these are actors romping around New Zealand in costumes wielding

A haiku: Actors you never heard of get murdered in this apparent sequel. (Not reviewed) (UA Riverview)

DEADFALL|CAfter robbing a tribal casino in the far north, brother-sister stickup artists Addison (Eric Bana) and Liza (Olivia Wilde) get into a blizzard-aided car crash that totals their ride and toasts their wheelman. Forced to gun down a state trooper to escape with the cash, Addison, the more cunning of the siblings, disappears into the storm, telling Liza to meet him at the Canadian border. Cue Jay (Charlie Hunnam), a pugilistic ex-con who scoops up Liza and brings her back to meet his parents (Kris Kristofferson and Sissy Spacek) for Thanksgiving. Bana, Deadfall’s main bursar of bloodshed and other creepo activity, is a sinister delight, but he can’t carry his co-stars, all of whom are limited by a script far too fixated on familial ennui. —DL (Ritz at the Bourse)

HITCHCOCK|C Director Sacha Gervasi falls into the typical biopic trap of allowing the most salacious details of Alfred Hitchcock’s life to eclipse those facets that made him worthy of attention in the first place. Here, it’s the great director’s marital strife, which leads to scenes of Sir Anthony Hopkins squirrelled away with a cache of 8-by-10 glossies of blonde starlets while his wife (Helen Mirren) is wooed by an ambitious screenwriter played by Danny Huston. John J. McLaughlin’s screenplay relies on the audience’s hindsight, striving for laughs from boorish studio executives and puritanical censors being proved wrong by future events. Liberties with its title character aside, Hitchcock can’t avoid reminding viewers that they could be watching a better film, one great enough to forgive its director his inadequacies. —SB (Ritz Five) THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY|BThe Hobbit is a 300-page children’s book, and the nearly three-hour Unexpected Journey covers only about its first hundred pages. The set pieces are thrillingly staged and the scenery

prop weapons. There are moments that hearken back to the best of the original trilogy, but for the most part it all feels like prologue. As what little story there is unfolds, it’s hard to believe that when the trilogy finally plays out, this entire film won’t seem largely unnecessary. —SB (Franklin Mills, Pearl, Tuttleman IMAX, UA Riverview)

HYDE PARK ON HUDSON|D In order to call Hyde Park on Hudson one of the year’s worst movies, one must first stipulate that it is, in fact, a movie. Given that the film centers on the proposition of a sexual relationship between Franklin Roosevelt (Bill Murray) and his distant cousin Daisy Suckley (Laura Linney), that it is awful is no surprise. Although Olivia Williams graces a fine few scenes as Eleanor Roosevelt, Daisy is given the key role in soothing tensions with the visiting king and queen of England. Hyde Park ends with a nostalgic nod to the days when public figures’ private lives were kept that way — an astonishing hypocrisy given that the film is devoted to exposing just that. —SA (Ritz East)

KILLING THEM SOFTLY|AAfter two dim hoods (Scott McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn) knock off a card game run by the distrustful Markie (Ray Liotta), string-pullers set up hitman Jackie (Brad Pitt) with a nameless suit (Richard Jenkins) to suss out the next step. Morose middle managers both, the two are nearly parental in their disapproval of the talent above and below them. Their groans about “public angles” and “corporate mentalities” could easily describe the doldrums of a glum cubicle job. Scored at its best with thematic political jabber and at its worst with too-obvious cuts, it’s a movie seasoned by attitudes — the mourn-


Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart’s surrealist courtship, both on- and off-screen, rightly dominates Twilight discussion, but the final installment of the most weirdly fascinating franchise in a decade belongs to Michael Sheen. A talented actor with a taste for macabre cheese, the Englishman violates the boundaries of scientific reason with the amount of fun he has as Aro. It’s foolish to expect anything other than galumphing out of our two leads, a realization that

824 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, 610527-9898, A Muppet Christmas Carol (1992, U.S., 85 min.): “A blue, furry Charles Dickens who hangs out with a rat?” “Absolutely!” Sat., Dec. 22, 11 a.m., $5. Buzkashi Boys (2012, Afghanistan, 27 min.): This award-winning short film follows two kids from Afghani slums who dream of playing the grisliest version of polo you’ve ever seen. A Q&A with the director follows the screening. Sat., Dec. 22, 11:30 a.m., free.

CINÉMATHÈQUE INTERNATIONALE African American Museum, 701 Arch St., 215-574-0380, cinemathequeip. com. Night Catches Us (2010, U.S., 90 min.): This drama from hometown director Tanya Hamilton explores racial tensions in 1970s Philly. The soundtrack’s by — who else? — The Roots. See p. 24 for more. Thu., Dec. 20, 6 p.m., $8.

SKYFALL|ADirector Sam Mendes goes for broke from minute one, initiating us into the chase as Bond and babely agent Eve (Naomie Harris) pursue chaos-bringer Patrice (Ola Rapace) through the alleys of Istanbul. Patrice has gotten hold of a drive containing the identities of every undercover MI6 agent in the world, intel the ever-dissatisfied M (Judi Dench) would like to have back. While well-paced, Skyfall falters when it tries to convince us that the public has the clout to hold an agency like MI6 accountable for its sins. Such clandestine orgs will always be fueled by secrecy, which Mendes remembers in his overhauls of time-tested


puts performances both good (Sheen, Billy Burke) and godawful (everyone else, especially freaking Taylor Lautner) into clearest focus. Instead of exhausting yourself screaming about how much The Twilight Saga sucks — and it does suck, so, so much — tolerate it for what it is (junk food) and cherish it for what it isn’t (taken seriously). —DL (Pearl, UA Riverview)

 REPERTORY FILM AMBLER THEATER 108 E. Butler Ave., Ambler, 215-345-

COLONIAL THEATRE 227 Bridge St., Phoenixville, 610917-1228, A Christmas Story (1983, U.S., 94 min.): Plugged in your leg lamp yet? Sat., Dec. 22, 2 p.m., $5. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946, U.S., 130 min.) Theft, desperation, suicide — you know, all the makings of an American holiday classic. Sat., Dec. 22, 4:30 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 23, 2 p.m. $8. Joel Hodgson: Riffing Myself: After a “one-man keynote address,” the Mystery Science Theater 3000 co-creator will present the MST3K

[ movie shorts ]

episode Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1991, U.S., 90 min.), in which Hodgson and the ’bots rip on the legendarily terrible animated flick about Kris Kringle and his close encounters of the third kind. Sat., Dec. 22, 8 p.m., $11-$15.

COUNTY THEATER 20 E. State St., Doylestown, 215-3456789, The Polar Express (2004, U.S., 100 min.): Beware the uncanny valley! Sat., Dec. 22, 10:30 a.m., $5.

FRIENDS OF THE PHILADELPHIA CITY INSTITUTE LIBRARY Free Library, Philadelphia City Institute Branch, 1905 Locust St., 215-685-6621, Harold and Maude (1971, U.S., 91 min.): May-December love at its best. Wed., Dec. 26, 2 p.m., free.

PHILAMOCA 531 N. 12th St., 267-519-9651, The Last Man on Earth (1964, Italy/U.S., 86 min.): Vincent Price stars in this proto-I Am Legend. Screening includes live snark from the silly-ass dude from the We Hate Movies podcast. See p. 26 for more. Sun., Dec. 23, 9 p.m., $10.

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Thursday, December 27 FOR SCREENING PASSES, LOG ON TO WWW.GOFOBO.COM/RSVP AND ENTER THE FOLLOWING CODE CITYRCEH THIS FILM IS RATED R for LANGUAGE, SEXUAL CONTENT and DRUGS/ALCOHOL USE. Theater is overbooked to ensure a full house. Arrive early. Tickets received through this promotion do not guarantee admission. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, except for members of the reviewing press. Must be at least 17 years of age to attend this screening. Anti-piracy security will be in place at this screening. By attending you agree to comply with all security requirements. All federal, state and local regulations apply. Paramount Pictures, Philadelphia City Paper and their affiliates accept no responsibility or liability in connection with any loss or accident incurred in connection with the use of this prize. Tickets cannot be exchanged, transferred, or redeemed for cash, in whole or in part. Void where prohibited by law.



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Daniel Day-Lewis’ Great Emancipator is not a stentorian orator but a sly, self-amusing raconteur, an expert horse trader who doles out patronage jobs in exchange for congressional yeas. Forced to mollify his party’s ideological purists while dragging dissenters across the aisle, Lincoln employs every means at his disposal, including some that tarnish his copper-bright image. As always, director Steven Spielberg has a tendency to underline twice when once would do, but DayLewis runs with the movie’s pedantic bent, enhancing one argument with a

On provisional release from a mental hospital after administering a beatdown to his estranged wife’s lover, Bradley Cooper moves back with his mother (Jacki Weaver) and father (Robert De Niro). Cooper’s jittery mannerisms quickly wear thin, but he’s balanced by a policeman’s widow (Jennifer Lawrence) whose no-nonsense bluntness brings him back to Earth. The movie settles into a wellworn rut once the two start training for a ballroom-dance contest, cruising toward a resolution it never earns, but it tries so hard to please it almost can’t help but succeed. It’s clever and cute and never lets you forget it, and winning in spite of how much it insists on it. —SA (UA Riverview)


7855, Elf (2003, U.S., 97 min.): Will Ferrell’s ridiculous holiday romp about an elf out of water is kind of like The Jerk, but with less race and more reindeer. Sat., Dec. 22, 10:30 a.m., $4.

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Ang Lee inflates Yann Martel’s bestselling allegorical adventure yarn into an often stunning 3-D epic that thrusts gauzy New Age syllogisms and lavish writerly conceits directly into the viewer’s lap. The film was conceived for 3-D and the results can be breathtaking, but Lee never makes the case for the format as essential to artistic expression. Lee’s films tend to stand or fall based on their balance between sumptuous visuals and weighty ideas; the reach for profundity here occasionally results in sluggish pacing and awkward performances, but the one-size-fits-all spirituality is frothy enough not to overburden the thrill of tiger attacks and man-eating islands. —SB (UA Riverview)


double-0 tropes. Craig’s job description hasn’t changed, but he’s been visibly invigorated by his new co-workers. —DL (Pearl, UA Riverview)



Euclidean theorem. The painstaking detail that goes into tracking the 13th amendment’s path toward approval is at its core an impassioned defense of representative democracy, with all its flaws intact. It’s like the most eloquent episode of Schoolhouse Rock ever made. —SA (Ritz Five)

the naked city | feature

ful ache of a former great who’s drunk himself dead (James Gandolfini), the kiddish nonchalance of a reprobate (Slaine) scolded for pocketing a paltry tip off a coffee-shop table. But it’s director Andrew Dominik’s ambitious and artful insistence that gangsters deal with the same bureaucracy as us white-hats that keeps the pistol from jamming. —DL (UA Riverview)

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[ suckling at the teat of a lioness ]

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LOVELY RITA: Rita Ora plays the Trocadero tonight.

The Agenda is our selective guide to what’s going on in the city this week. For comprehensive event listings, visit IF YOU WANT TO BE LISTED:

Submit information by email ( to Caroline Russock or enter it yourself at 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.


12.20 [ pop ]

✚ RITA ORA Jaws dropped in the crowd at Made in America — was that Beyoncé just striding through the masses without a care in the world? No. That wasn’t Destiny’s favorite Child, but her British pop-doppelganger Rita Ora. (Truly weird was

seeing the real Bey standing next to Ora and the guy who signed her to Roc Nation, JayZ). There are sonic similarities between Beyoncé and Ora: the coolly trembling vocals, the love of complex rhythmic interplay and funky breaks. But Ora’s got a darker streak, one that led her first hit “R.I.P.” to chart-topping success, one that runs like black water through her debut album, Ora. Torrid new tunes such as “Facemelt” and “Uneasy” are coldly distant, in opposition to Ora’s brighter party hits like “Roc the Life.” —A.D. Amorosi Thu., Dec. 20, 8 p.m., $27, the Trocadero, 1003 Arch St., 215-9226888,

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✚ THE EARLY ADVENTURES OF SANTA CLAUS From B. Someday Productions and Walking Fish Burlesque comes a distinctly

adult reboot of The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, an oft-neglected children’s book by L. Frank Baum. In this fantastical account of Kris Kringle’s origin, he’s discovered as an infant in the Forest of Burzee by the great Woodsman Ak, suckles at the teat of an anthropomorphic lioness, and is raised by a motley crew of fairies, sprites and wood nymphs. Of course, this adaptation isn’t just about the plot: The Early Adventures of Santa Claus might be your only opportunity this holiday season to see a whip-toting Father Christmas in a pair of red-velvet booty shorts. —Jess Bergman Through Dec. 31, 8 p.m., $18, Walking Fish Theatre, 2509 Frankford Ave., 215-427-9255,

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overwhelmed and dispirited by the seasonal grind — the crowded malls, the blinking lights, the endless Claymation specials — can take comfort in tonight’s discussion of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the Free Library of Philadelphia as we near the end of their celebration of the 200th anniversary of the author’s birth. This edition of the Dickens Literary Salon focuses on the tactful, quiet and nostalgic Yuletide traditions that were popular in the Victorian era and from which the 1843 novel drew inspiration. The author hoped his famously grumpy protagonist’s metamorphosis into a kindhearted and cheerful man would inspire people whose humanity and Christmas spirit he felt had been compromised by the grind of the Industrial Revolution. —Elizabeth Gunto

[ comedy ]

[ film ]



Standup comedy innovator Jess Carpenter devotes his third-Thursday-of-every-month Comedian Deconstruction show to a “Girls Girls Girls” lineup tonight. Jeannine Luby assumes Carpenter’s hosting duties, introducing Philly-based comedy club vets Erin Mulvill and Mary Radzinski, rising comic Nicole Yates and standup virgin Cecily Chapman. Carpenter’s unique Comedian Deconstruction concept isn’t as painful as it sounds: His house improv group, Bed Savage, will create a spontaneous storystyle improv based on each comedian’s stand-up set. Guest improv team “Kristen and Amie, Amie and Kristen” will join in the mayhem. Add cheap tickets and L’Etage’s bar, and you’ve got a constructive night out.

The 2010 drama Night Catches Us tells the story of a former Black Panther dealing with race and violence when he returns to his old North Philly neighborhood in 1976. Following a screening of the film, director/writer Tanya Hamilton will hold a Q&A discussing the movie’s themes and the Black Power movement in the city. The talk will be co-hosted by Mike D, the founder of Reelblack, a local production company that also screens films to showcase and promote African-American cinema. The film, which stars Anthony Mackie and Kerry Washington, was scored by local hip-hop legends The Roots and even features Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter in a minor role. —David Spelman

—Mark Cofta Thu., Dec. 20, 6:30 p.m., free, Rare Book Department, Free Library, 1901 Vine St., 215-686-5322,

Thu., Dec. 20, 8 p.m., $5, L’Etage, 624 S. Sixth St., 215-592-0656,

Thu., Dec. 20, 6 p.m., $8, African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch St., 215-574-0380,

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Fri 12/21 8:30

Sat 12/22 7:30

Laura Mann and Friends Sat 12/22 10:30

Graham Alexander Thur 12-27 8:00

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Shannon Pelcher, Diana Mino w/ Chelsea Mitchell Fri 12/28 7:30

Murali Coryell

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Sat 12/29 7:30

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Mike Doughty Wed 1/09 8:00

Matt Duke w/Michael Pearshall Dan Montgomery w/ Dayna Kurtz Sat 1/12 7:30

Ashley Leone w/John Dutton Sun 1/13 7:00

Dala w/Sultans of String Tues 1/15 8:00

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Gillian Grassie w/ Andrew Lipke

—David Spelman Thu., Dec. 20-Fri., Dec. 21, 7 p.m., $10, PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th St., 267-5199651,


12.21 [ dj nights ]

✚ DJSC The world is ending and you want to party till you puke?



—Gair “dev79” Marking Fri., Dec. 21, 10 p.m., $5, Fluid, 613 S. Fourth St., 215-629-3686,

✚ CIRQUE SKELETIQUE Phantasmagoria was a big hit with the 18th-century theater crowd, who thought using a “magic lantern” to project nightmare images of skeletons and demons onto smoke and screens was pretty nifty. Cirque Skeletique takes the old practice further, bringing the shadows and nightmares to life. The area circus uses movement, narrative and music to tell the story of a society on the brink of apocalypse and forced to face its “darker inclinations.” The show is an esoteric, neurotic adventure swinging between the subconscious and the conscious, featuring aerial acrobatics, contortion, sword swallowing, stilt walking, belly dancing and fire. Ever-chang-







and Paul T spin the sounds of Depeche Mode, Joy Division, the Smiths and the Cure — that’s where the DJSC acronym comes from, incidentally — and all related side projects of those bands. Dance the pain away to some classic sounds.

[ circus ]


Seven Days a Week. ½ OFF ALL DRAFTS! Kitchen open till 1am every night. Open 5pm-2am 7days a week. CHECK OUT OUR UPSTAIRS: Pool Table, Darts, Video Games!

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Corner of 10th and Watkins . 1712 South 10th 215-339-0175 .



ing Philadelphia collective Antique Matter will provide the music; those who come for the apocalypse are invited to stay after the show for a DJ and dance party. —Nikki Black Fri., Dec. 21, 9 p.m., $10-$12, RUBA Club, 414 Green St., 215-627-9831,

[ heading for venus ]

✚ THE FINAL COUNTDOWN Get ready to cue up that enduring classic by one-hitwonder Europe, because the countdown to world’s end has arrived. Seeing as how the Penn Museum is currently home to “Maya 2012: Lords of Time” (a title that admittedly sounds much more like a video game than an academic museum exhibition), it is the obvious place for a party, and they’re hosting an endof-the-world bash complete with themed cocktails, a DJ set by MTV’s own DJ Skribble and some gravity-defying acrobatics by Cirque-tacular, because why not? And never fear: On the off chance we don’t all die when the clock strikes midnight, the party will rage on. —Jess Bergman Fri., Dec. 21, 9 p.m., $40, Penn Museum, 3260 South St., 215-8984000,

[ rock/pop/folk ]

✚ NORWEGIAN ARMS “Tired of Being Cold” — yeah, that sounds like a song somebody would write during a yearlong exile in Siberia. But most of Norwegian Arms’ debut album, Wolf Like a Stray Dog — written while singer/mandolinist Brendan K O S T YA F O M I N

There are many options for celebrating the screeching halt of the Mayan Calendar, which several dozen people think will cause the world to end this Friday. (At least it’s a party night?) If you’re into films and panels, try PhilaMOCA’s three-day series of apocalypse-related programming. Thursday, there’s a discussion of Lars von Trier’s Melancholia and a MST3K-style screening and dissection of The Last Man on Earth done by the guys from the We Hate Movies podcast. Friday there’s a panel of film professors discussing “The End of the World, Again: The Apocalypse in Media, Science and Culture” followed by a party, complete with a live

Well, here’s how you should rock it out like Kirsten Dunst in Melancholia. Taking command of Fluid on the third Friday of each month, John D


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performance from cyber-glam rockers S.T.A.R.W.O.O.D., a local band whose prog-y electronic music sounds like it could be from the future, and a goodbye toast that will be made as a New Year’s Eve-style countdown clock ticks away.


[ apocalypse now ]

Mulvihill was in Tomsk, Russia, on a Fulbright Scholarship — is counterintuitively sunny and upbeat. This Philly band specializes in oddball song titles to fit their “weirdo-

[ the agenda ]

folk” sound. “She Lives in a Secret Town” is a rootsy little pop tune with lightly spacey accents. “And Then I Found Myself in the Taiga” cascades with thin strings and reverberating vocals. “At the Formerly British Council Supported English Centre” has a jaunty, rhythmic Vampire Weekend thing going on. This Friday’s release party doubles as an end-of-the-Mayan calendar/world party, and the weirdo folks at Little Baby’s Ice Cream will be around serving up some sort of apocalypse flavor. —Patrick Rapa Fri., Dec. 21, 9:15 p.m., $10, with Mister Not Pavement, Laser Background, Night Panther and DJ Eddie Austin, Johnny Brenda’s 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 215-739-9684,

[ end of the world ]

✚ WINTER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION/ END OF MAYAN CALENDAR JAM Finally, if you’re looking to usher in the Armageddon with some peace, dignity and new-age vibes, hit the Rotunda for an all-day cultural event with the Indigenous Peoples Heritage Society. In addition to talks by visiting Clan Mothers, there will be music and dance performances, documentary screenings, an Islamic fashion show and even a vendor fair selling everything from holistic beverages and crystal wands to Reiki sessions. —Jess Bergman Fri., Dec. 21, noon-midnight, $10, The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St., 215-573-3253,

[ bluegrass ]

✚ TONY TRISCHKA Any devoted bluegrass listener old enough to remember the ’80s will no doubt recall banjo great Tony Trischka’s days in Skyline, a group that made a name for itself playing funk music with bluegrass instruments. Though they disbanded in 1988, the old boys — Barry Mitterhoff (mandolin), Danny Weiss (guitar) and Larry

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Waite’s British ’70s glam band, these Babies got their start at a party in Brooklyn that was attended by Kevin Morby (of Woods), Cassie Ramone (from Vivian Girls) and Justin Sullivan (of Bossy) — no way is that glam. Instead, their union is languid, clumpy and soft while still remaining rockist — a lofi affair just barely scratched by Ramone and Morby’s

the agenda

concert. Show host Gene Shay says to expect old hits and some holiday-spirit-inspiring selections from Trischka’s legendary Christmas show.

[ the agenda ]

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Cohen (bass) — will join the influential picker on stage again for this special reunion

—Mary Armstrong Fri., Dec. 21, 8 p.m., $20-$25, The PSALM Salon, 5841 Overbrook Ave., 215-477-7578,


12.22 [ rock/pop ]

✚ THE BABIES Not to be confused with John

back-and-forth vocals and nearly nonexistent noisy guitars. In particular, the band’s psychedelically rootsy second album, this year’s Cry Along with The Babies, is gentle, creepy and, in a really weird way, like a passive-aggressive

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----------------------------------------FRIDAY 12.21


----------------------------------------SATURDAY 12.22 DJ DEEJAY

----------------------------------------WEDNESDAY 12.26





----------------------------------------FRIDAY 12.28 MIGHTY#holiday w. DIRTY & DEL

----------------------------------------NEW YEAR’S EVE




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Tues, Dec, 25th 10pm Free FAMILY SPIN DJ PARTY With DJ PEZ (aka bartender Victor Perez) AND FRIENDS Sat, Dec 29th, 10pm, FREE ‘RAUNCHY’ DJ PARTY Liz Lixx, Bud Bomb and Swingin Lord Tombeat, spinning Punk & Roll and Twang & Soul LE BUS Sandwiches & MOSHE’S Vegan Sandwiches And Salads Now Delivered Fresh Daily! OPEN XMAS DAY AT NOON Happy Hour Mon-Fri 5-7pm Beer of the Month WEYERBACHER WINTER ALE booking: contact jasper OPEN EVERY DAY – 11 AM 1356 NORTH FRONT ST. 215-634-6430

LIBERTIES 705 N. 2nd Street

Philadelphia PA 19123 Wednesday Quizo Night 8:00pm The Red Room Upstairs at Liberties Friday DJ’s Dev79 & Co. Saturday Matpat & DJ Bruce

NEW YEAR’S EVE NO COVER Facebook : The Red Room For Updates 215-238-0660

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Fri, Dec 21st, 9pm Donations @ Door END OF THE WORLD PARTY! Sun Cinema’s Album Release Featuring Flanimal and DJ ADUB

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â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and maybe grab a little somethinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;-somethinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; for those on your list, too.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;A.D. Amorosi Sat., Dec. 22, 7:30 p.m., $10, Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 215-2914919,

Sat., Dec. 22, noon-7 p.m., $2 suggested donation, 2424 Studios, 2424 E. York St., 267-861-0290,



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[ holiday radio marathon ]

â&#x153;&#x161; 24-HOUR HOLIDAY RADIO SHOW ON WPRB Every year, my buddy Jon Solomon â&#x20AC;&#x201D; lifelong DJ at Princetonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s community-supported radio station and the perennial runner-up in the Best Christmas Jew Pageant â&#x20AC;&#x201D; settles in for a long winterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sacrifice: 24 straight hours on the air, playing holiday music and slowly going insane. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re talking 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve until 6 p.m. on Christmas Day. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re talking 25 years heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been doing this. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re talking the usual Jingle-Drummer playlist plus a ton of screwy stuff you probably wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hear anywhere else like â&#x20AC;&#x153;Zoomah the Santa Claus From Mars,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Christmas Massacre of Charlie Brownâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;What Sweet Child Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Mine Is This?â&#x20AC;? And then thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the superrare stuff. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m always taken

18-minute sound collage I was impressed by.â&#x20AC;? And itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not just the music. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Like last year, I plan on debuting a number of original â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Christmas storiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; recorded by bands, comedians, listeners and others I admire during the program. Hopefully everyone gets their pieces in on time.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Patrick Rapa Mon.-Tue., Dec. 24-25, 6 p.m.-6 p.m., WPRB 103.3 FM,

More on:




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529 E. GIRARD AVE. 215.425.4600

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says Julie Raboczi, the boss lady behind the whole thing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a shopping event,â&#x20AC;? she adds. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll get to scope out handmade jewelry, fine art and home goods piled to the ceiling. Fill your arms with treasures from Sweet Jane Vintage, As the Crow Flies and Seam Poets


with songs written or created with the show in mind,â&#x20AC;? says Solomon. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Philadelphiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s The Novenas wrote a liâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;l number about the marathon I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wait for everyone to hear, and another listener created an

the agenda

Have a phobia of last-minute holiday shopping? Lucky for you, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an easy cure: the annual Philadelphia Independent Crafterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Market. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s go-round offers live music, free beer and nearly 50 vendors. But besides the jams and libations, what makes this any different from the half-dozen like-minded fairs, like Go West! and the Punk Rock Flea Market, that pepper the city each December? â&#x20AC;&#x153;No disrespect to any of them, but this is the funnest one,â&#x20AC;?


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Julia West

[ shopping spree ]


[ the agenda ]

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version of Xâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Wild Gift with a country twang. Bet you didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see that coming.

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NEW YEARâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S EVE PARTY December 31, 2012 â&#x20AC;˘ 9pm-2am

$64.95 per person Includes taxes and gratuity 4 Hour Top-Shelf Open Bar

28 draft beers â&#x20AC;˘ 50 bottled beers Great selection of vodkas, Irish whiskeys, bourbons and tequilas

Non-Stop Hot and Cold Butlered Hors dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;oeuvres and Sumptuous Desserts

;/93G=C@ @3A3@D/B7=<A


Space is limited and we are selling tickets at a fast rate! Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss out on a fabulous New Years Eve party in the perfect setting.

MORIARTYâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S PUB 1116 Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19107 215.627.7676

Sliders â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Crab, BBQ Pork, Beef Filet Mini Quiche, Mango Shrimp Philly Cheesesteak Eggrolls Mini Beef Wellington, Pigs in a Blanket Spanokopita, Chicken Sate, Antipasto Skewers Scallops wrapped in Bacon Raspberry Brie in Filo, Empanadas Chicken Cordon Blue, Mini Corned Beef Specials Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget our sumptuous Desserts! All 3 ď&#x192;&#x;oors decorated with hundreds of balloons and streamers with party hats and noisemakers for all.

Access to four bars on all three ď&#x192;&#x;oors

with your own table. Large parties are welcome!

DJ Dancing & Champagne Toast at Midnight 18 ď&#x192;&#x;at screen TVs

watch the ball drop on Times Square

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New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Eve Bash A la carte special menu Open Bar option 10-1 $60 includes tax and tip Music

*AS5A=NÂ&#x160;O>NQJ?DOP=NPEJC=P =I bottomless Bloody Marys & Mimosas $16

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Place your catering orders now! Now open everyday for lunch!


miseenplace By Caroline Russock



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³ WE’VE ONLY GOT a few days left. Yes, folks,

IT’S ELECTRIC: An earthy-sweet beet pasta is tossed with pork belly, greens and royal trumpet mushrooms. NEAL SANTOS

[ review ]

A REAL HOOT Red Owl Tavern comes to roost on Independence Mall. By Adam Erace RED OWL TAVERN | 433 Chestnut St., 215-923-2267, redowltavern.

com. Breakfast served Mon.-Sun., 7 a.m.-10:30 a.m.; lunch Mon.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; brunch Sat.-Sun., 8 a.m.-3 p.m.; dinner Mon.-Thu., 5-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 5-11 p.m.; Sun., 5-9 p.m. Breakfast, $5-$16; lunch, $7-$21; dinner, $7-$24.


hen you ask a server what a beer is like, “I don’t really drink beer, but ...” is not how you want the answer to start. “It’s dark” is not the way you want it to finish. The brew in question: Brekle’s Brown from Anchor Steam, one of the interesting beers More on: flowing from the well-stocked — is that a bottle of Pappy I spy? — bar at Red Owl Tavern. The two-month-old, bustling American brasserie sits a musket’s shot from Independence Hall on the ground floor of the Kimpton’s boho-glam Hotel Monaco. Unlike the hotel lobby, whose teal armoires, peacock statues, velvet sofas and print wallpaper suggest an eccentric European aunt, Red Owl wears a more dignified uniform of worn barn wood, old brick, loft windows and lamps rigged to an industrial pulley system that snakes across the two-story ceiling, fitting for a restaurant hoping to dovetail with the current obsession with all things vintage

and artisanal. With bookcases of pickles, a full-time butcher and chocolate bitters and juniper-syrup cocktails, Red Owl appears to back up its talk with its walk. But when the staff can’t describe a beer or accurately articulate which part of the cow the unusual Denver steak is cut from or pronounces “linguica” so it rhymes with “chicken tikka,” you’ve got to wonder if it’s all window dressing. “Part of the chuck,” the Denver steak hides “near the belly,” by the way, before it hits the grill and then a plate dressed with crispy zucchini chips and grainy, brick-red romesco that gets its edge from a three-week-fermented Worcestershire sauce. That info comes courtesy of Kimpton ace Guillermo Tellez, who moved from Starr Restaurants to the boutique-hotel brand in 2009 to open Square 1682 at the Palomar. I ate there once and can’t say I liked it very much; the food had that party-pleasing hotel stink. Red Owl showed better — much better. MORE FOOD AND The urban-homesteading theme might be DRINK COVERAGE laid on as thick as the pomade on the locks AT C I T Y P A P E R . N E T / of the bar’s beer-swilling stockbrokers, M E A LT I C K E T. and the Denver steak might be about as tough as you’d expect grilled chuck to be — it should be sliced like a flank instead of presented whole — but mostly this noisy barn blends seamlessly into the local dining landscape. In Philly, where the hotel restaurant is treated either like a golden calf (Lacroix, Prime Rib) or an unwanted stepchild (everywhere else), that’s impressive. “I’m going back to basics,” Tellez says, and if basics means magenta fettuccine tinted with pickled beet juice, I’m down. >>> continued on page 38

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according to the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, the world will come to an end on Dec. 21, 2012. Of course, this means all those Christmas gifts you bought are pretty much useless. And those bottles of Champagne chilling for New Year’s Eve? Better pop ’em now. But there’s no need to get all bent out of shape over this impending Armageddon. Look at it as the perfect opportunity for all of us to live out our deathrow last-meal fantasies — and there are a few restaurants and bars around town that are more than happy to help. On Thursday, Dec. 20, a mere day before the end of it all, chef Jason Cichonski of Ela (627 S. Third St.) is putting together a penultimate, seven-course prix fixe that includes all the truffles, caviar and Champagne you’d expect. The menu begins with bacon panna cotta with herbs and caviar followed by a scallop crudo with Champagne and celery root. Up next is seared foie gras with verjus, huckleberry and pumpernickel toast, then tagliatelle with white truffle and pumpkin. Lobster is paired with coconut rice, black garlic and saffron, and a dry-aged rib eye is coming with cippolini onions and black trumpet mushrooms. And dessert? Mayan chocolate, of course. After all, those guys are the ones who hipped us to the doomy date. This decidedly decadent dinner runs $150 a person with an optional upgrade that gets you a ticket to the “Maya 2012: Lords of Time” exhibit at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, which you could theoretically use on Friday. (See Agenda p. 26) If you’re not in the market to clean out your savings for one last blow out meal, the Pepper Mill Café at the Penn Museum (3260 South St.) is featuring a Mayan-inspired menu for the duration of the exhibit (or until the end of the world). The rotating menu includes chili-and-chocolate-crusted flank steak, chiles rellenos with spicy black beans and bittersweet chocolate, Yucatan hot chocolate and plenty of Mexican beers. Speaking of beer, if you’d prefer to while away your last hours on earth with beer in hand, Resurrection Ale House (2425 Grays Ferry Ave.) is going to pour doomsday-appropriate brews like Dogfish Head Theobroma, a chocolate beer brewed with Aztec cocoa, chiles and annatto, and — perhaps most apropos of all — Unibroue’s La Fin du Monde. (

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[ food & drink ]

✚ A Real Hoot <<< continued from page 37

This noisy barn blends seamlessly into the local dining landscape.




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Flipped with beet cream, greens, royal trumpet mushrooms and specks of pork belly, the al dente pink pasta resonated with an earthy sweetness more subtle than its electric hue would suggest. More beets graced the house pickle plate, a jar of sweet, cold, cider-brined veggies (rutabaga, carrots, green and wax beans among them) paired with savory, room-temp eggplant spread and brittle fennel-and-cumin lavash crackers. Also pickled: lamb’s tongue. Tellez slices the muscle into meltingly tender petals, then drapes them over trenches of jellied beef marrow glistening in seared and roasted canoe-cut bones, the MVP of Red Owl’s menu. The linguica, Tellez’s sausage of the week, delivered a concerto of fragrant spices (coriander, cumin, fennel, chile) against a Merlot-washed backdrop of house-ground pork. The plump link sat on a plank of smoky grilled sourdough, topped with sticky fennel marmalade and zippy arugula tossed in mustard vinaigrette, an openfaced sausage sandwich. Pot pie struck another homey chord, with roasted tender white- and dark-meat chicken and veggies cooked in its drippings beneath a flaky puffpastry cap. Moving from chicken to sour cherry, pies also inform Red Owl’s dessert menu, recipes courtesy of Tellez’s pastry-chef wife, Leslie. The secret to her buttery, golden dough encasing those sweet, tangy West Chester cherries from summer’s harvest: vodka, promoter of moister, more tender crusts. Pumpkin pie lacked the support of that crust and tasted like a Thanksgiving leftover forgotten in the back of the fridge. And I’d have preferred a toasted slice of freshly baked banana bread to Red Owl’s banana bread made into bread pudding, pressed, cut into a thick square and deep-fried. Save that for boardwalks and county fairs. Those desserts weren’t the only things Red Owl could improve. Wild inconsistencies in portions swept across the meal; the Denver steak was the size of an iPhone, while the plate of beet pasta was so confusingly huge I had to look around to see if I was at Maggiano’s. Attention to plating would help, too. The pot pie needed a dish underneath to catch the drippy gravy and flyaway pastry flakes. The marrow needed a spoon. From the bar, the excellent New Amsterdam Sour recast the gin sour with genever, egg white and red wine to frothy, bracing effect, but Amontillado sherry and chocolate bitters took the Buffalo Trace-based Spanish Old Fashioned to the candy shop. Red Owl’s bartenders also mix a Scottish Old Fashioned with Famous Grouse Scotch, as well as a classic with Wild Turkey 101, while the “Pick Your Poison” lets whiskey aficionados choose their favorite from the bar’s thoughtfully curated selection of brown booze. Go ahead and order another round. There’s a room waiting for you upstairs. (

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Fresh Produce


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Morton Salt Originally $ 1.29 Sale $ 0.79

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2842 ST. Vincent Street, Philadelphia, Pa 19149 TEL: 215-333-2628 Fax: 215-333-2808 YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD INTERNATIONAL STORE


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

everything pets pets/livestock Please be aware Possession of exotic/wild animals may be restricted in some areas.

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

D E C E M B E R 2 0 - D E C E M B E R 2 6 , 2 0 1 2 | C I T Y PA P E R . N E T

PERSIAN KITTENS - CFA Reg. Call for details 609-731-4956 Siamese Kittens m/f applehead, purebred, Health Guar. $400 610-692-6408

BEAGLE PUPS - AKC, ready now, shots/wormed. Call 267-872-9802 Boxer AKC PUPS 1 fem brindle ready by 12/24. $700. Call Eddie at 856-534-9010 Boxer puppies, AKC, fawn & white family raised, shots $600 (570)739-1517 BOXER Puppies For Sales $650 CKC Registered. Shots and Dewormed. Ready 12/21. Call 570-269-9913. CHIHUAHUA M. 3 mth, hse trained, very sml. $350 215-425-1897 Cockapoo puppies exotic colors. Shots and wormed. Call (215)821-4767

Dob. Pups - AKC, black/rust, 3M & 3F, s/w, ready for Christmas. 717-808-3632 English Bulldog AKC Champion Sired Puppies!! 3F/2M $2,200. 717-437-0102 English Bulldog Puppies AKC $1800.00 shts/wrm champ bloodlines610.287.9680 ENGLISH BULLDOG PUPS - AKC, shots, home raised, $2,200. 610- 287-9680 German Shepherd Pup, AKC, Female all cream, rdy now $500. 215.338.2617 German Shepherd Pup AKC (MAKE Offer) Call 215-964-8955 or 267-738-2744 Golden Ret AKC Puppies OFA $750 Happy, healthy, socialized 717-368-0244 Greater Swiss Mountain Dog pups, AKC, 9 wks, parents onsite, vet checked, shots, wormed, OFA, $1200 (717)442-5648 JACK RUSSELL Mix Adorable, 10 weeks, search Tina etc at $225. Call 717-672-1992 LAB puppy, black male, all shots, AKC, del. Avail, $500, 570-996-3261


merchandise market

Labrador Retriever Puppies AKC $700. 609-932-6574 Maltese Puppies AKC $999.00 717-573-2257 Morkie Pups, beautiful small, avail Dec. 20th, shots, health guar, trained, Call 302-562-0762 Pekingese Pups 8wks M&F shots vet checked $395-$495. 215-579-1922 POODLE PUPS - Miniature, males, apricot, 1st shots, dewormed, $375 firm. Call 215-437-1581. Rottweiler ACA puppies, vet checked, up to date on shots and wormer, German blood lines, 10/7/12 birth, well socialized, Females $650. Males $775. Ben (717)989-8094, Rottweiler Pups, 8wks AKC, 1M, $1000 OBO. Call (717)380-2602 Shih Tzu Male / Female Puppies ACA registered, shots. 267-797-0579 Shih Tzu Pups, ACA, Beautiful, Top Quality, S&W, $350. 610-286-9076. Standard Poodles, ACA, family raised, var colors, $900 and up (717)983-0122 Weimaraner pup, male, AKC, silver/gray, all shots, house broken, $700, delivery avail, 570-996-3261 YORKIE PUPPIES : small, ready after holidays. Reserve yours now! 717-336-4398 Yorkie Pups 1/M 2/F Vet ckd, S&W Ready Dec. 22nd $475/ea 856-563-0351 Yorkie Pups - ACA, beautiful tea cups, S/W, health guar., $575 610.286.9076 YORKIE PUPS - AKC 9 weeks, shots, beautiful little M., $975, 215-824-3541 Yorkshire ACA, family raised, ready for a new home Dec 8th. Vet checked, shots and wormed, starting at $600. Call 610-241-0680 Yorkshire Terrier, AKC, mini champions and pedigree, small male, doll baby face, $1500. 215-355-5123

Generous Reward!

LOST DOG, small black & white Male Shih tzu near 71st & City Line. Owner grieving. 215-477-7813

BRAZILIAN FLOORING 3/4", beautiful, $2.75 sf (215) 365-5826 Diabetic Test Strips Needed pay up to $25/box. Most brands. 610-453-2525 MODEL TRAIN Vintage Lionel, HO, G & N gauge. New in box. Modestly priced. 215-886-9391. Pinball machines, arcade games Perfect Holiday gifts. Many avail. 215.783.0823

BD a Memory Foam Mattress/Bx spring & New Queen cost $1400, sell $299; King cost $1700 sell $399 610-952-0033 BED: New Queen Pillow Top Set $150. twin, full, king avail. Del avl 215-355-3878 Refrigerators, washers, dryers, stoves, freezers. Refurbished $159 and up. Guaranteed. Delivery avail. Call 610-469-6107

Yamaha Clavinova 2008 hardly used! Price negotiable, (610)803-1424 33&45 RECORDS HIGHER $ Really Paid


33 & 45 Records Absolute Higher $


Books -Trains -Magazines -Toys Dolls - Model Kits 610-639-0563 I Buy Anything Old...Except People! antiques-collectables, Al 215-698-0787 I Buy Guitars & All Musical Instruments-609-457-5501 Rob JUNK CARS WANTED We buy Junk Cars. Up to $300 215-888-8662 Lionel/Am Flyer/Trains/Hot Whls $$$$ Aurora TJet/AFX Toy Car 215-396-1903

jobs PLUMBER Desires Position/Work Bath & Kitchen Cosmetics. 215-329-0138

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jobs Veterinary Technician BRYN MAWR

Veterinary Hospital is seeking an experienced Veterinary Technician. We are a busy small animal practice focused on excellent client relations and quality medicine. Competitive salary based upon experience. If you are a team player who is interested in a fast paced environment, please fax resume to: 610-527-3070

Digital Communications & Marketing Specialist Saint Joseph’s Preparatory School Philadelphia

St. Joseph’s Preparatory School, a Catholic, Jesuit, college preparatory school, serving nearly 1,000 young men, is seeking qualified applicants for the full-time position of Digital Communications & Marketing Specialist to work in the Development Office. For full job posting please visit

apartment marketplace Charming & Bright 1br carriage house $1,375+ w/glass doors to priv. garden, nwly renov. S/S & granite kitch w/ orig. brick flrs, skylight, washer, dryer, tile & granite bath, avail now. 215-545-6677

1xx S. 58th St. 2BR 600+utils 2mo sec dep +1mo rent 215-242-6910

50th & Baltimore 1 BR $500+utils 2nd floor, 3 mo. deposit (215)237-4737

apartment marketplace 6522 Belmar St. SW 1BR $725 inc elec, gas, water. Nice reno, secure, 1st flr, hw flrs, fireplace, deck, appli, 814393-1872

7020 Greenway Ave. 2BR $775 incls. heat & water, fridge. 267-600-9569

40th & Cambridge 1br $495/mo. Free heat call text Scott 215.222.2435 4xx N. 59th St 2BR $600+ recently renov., near transp. 215.877.2120 512 N. 54th St. 1BR $600 New carpets. 267-709-2704 / 912-5942 5137 Irving St 2nd flr 1br $625+utils newly renov., 610-869-3663 54th & Thompson 2 lg BR $625. h/d flrs, remod kit, lg deck 215-870-4475

60xx Larchwood 1br apt $625 heat, hot water inc. 215.747.9429 62nd & Market 2BR/1BA $600 2nd floor. Call (215) 820-3607 902 N 41st 1br 2nd flr $600 Lrg apt, 1st mo + security, 215-292-4145 Parkside Area 1br- 6br $700-$1,600. Newly renov, new kitch. & bath, hdwd flrs, Section 8 OK. Call 267-324-3197

1727 Memorial Ave. 1BR/1BA $800 3rd flr first & last mo. rent $100 sec. deposit $40 application fee. 215-820-7132 47xx Woodland Ave, 3rd floor 1BR $640/1 person, $700/2 person + ht & util Non smk/drug, gd credit 215-222-6060

7xx Atwood Rd. 1br/1ba $650 3rd floor. includes heat. 610-348-1196 Apartment Homes $650-$925 215.740.4900 City Line Area 2br Apts beautiful, Holiday Special, 215.681.1723

Balwynne Park 2BR $850+utils W/D, C/A, W/W. Call 215-219-6409

53rd & Montgomery Ave. 2br $700+util Nice apt, $2100 move in. 484.278.4025

16th & Lehigh Studio $525 All utils. incl. Call 215-416-6538 35xx N. 11th St Studio $440+utils newly remodeled. Call (215) 917-1091 501x Whitaker Ave. 1BR $565+ elec. & gas, 2mo. sec. dep., h/w flrs, just painted, pvt. entrance. Call 215-820-2219 Broad & Allegheny 1BR $550+ utils Living room, kitch & bath,215-748-1383 Broad & Erie Ave. 2BR $340 every 2 weeks. $995 move in. Near transportation & shops. Call 215-498-9149 Temple 1BR/1BA $550 Please call 267-528-9250

1,2, 3, 4 Bedroom FURNISHED APTS LAUNDRY-PARKING 215-223-7000 Cecil B Moore & 20th 3&4br apts $900-$1200 Call 215-520-7752 Temple Hosp area 1-2 br $560 water incl Broad & Allegheny. 215-336-4299

Temple U Campus - Efficiency $550 & up. Furnished & Unfurnished, Utilities included, Weekly/Monthly Call John at 215-236-1612 or 302-345-6334

48xx N. Broad St 2 & 3BR $900 Sec 8 OK, 2nd flr, 610-623-0497 Broad & Windrim 1BR Newly renov., must see. 215-885-1700

Front & Olney clean 2BR Must See! Sec. 8 ok. Call 267-254-8446 Upper Olney 1BR/1BA $585 5729-31 N. 3rd St. Newly renovated incl. gas & water. 24 hr. security! Must see! 215-914-0859

Nicetown 1BR $700 recently renov, must see (610)275-1184

147 Manheim St 1BR $525 & $700 Move in Special, $800! 215-317-3785

1 BR & 2 BR Apts $725-$835 spacious, great loc., upgraded, heat incl, PHA vouchers accepted 215-966-9371 Seymour & Greene 1br $560-$700 incl. heat & water. Call 610-287-9857

66xx Blakemore St 1BR Euro style $525+utils, 1st/last/sec. 215.849.8581 Beechwood St 3br very clean, 1 mo rent & dep. 215.424.5870

4630 Penn St. 1br & 2br $500 & $625 w/w, close to transp. Call 267-235-5952 4840 Oxford Ave Studio, 1Br, 2Br Ldry, 24/7 cam lic#214340 215.525.5800 50xx F St. 1BR $650+ 2 mo sec, Sec 8 OK, no pets 215.539.7866 Frankford Apt/Effic./Rooms, nr bus & El, $300 sec, $90 wk & up 215.526.1455

1320 Orthodox St. Studio, $500+utils 3rd flr call 908-656-0633 1613 Dyre St 1br $525+elec near transp., 215-637-1786 after 4pm 3306 Keswick Circle 2BR/1BA $850+utils Laminate floors, laundry on site, fridge, W/D incl. Good credit only. 215-605-0171 48xx Longshore 1br $595 incl. heat 48xx Longshore Effic $550 incl. heat 1st, last & security, Call (215)287-2044 Academy & Grant 2br $790+ 2nd floor, wall-to-wall carpets, C/A, off street parking. Call 856-346-0747 BENSALEM 1br $800/mo. + utils. CA, W/D, avail now. 215-669-8688 Bustleton & Grant nice 2br $890 prvt balcony w/garden view 215.943.0370

20th & Allegheny: Furn. Luxury Rooms. Free utils, cable, heat. 267-331-5382 22nd & Diamond St. - Large room w/ pvt ba, $210 every 2 wks + elect. near transp., $450 move in. 215-498-9149 25th & Clearfield, Hunting Park & Castor, 55th & Media, 15th & Federal. Share Kitch. & Bath, $350 & up, no securi ty deposit, SSI OK. Call 215-758-7572

28xx N. 25th St, Clean House, Spacious rms, kitch, liv rm access, 215-740-9833 33rd St. & Ridge Ave. $100-125/wk. Large renovated furn. rms near Fairmount Park & bus depot. 215-317-2708 38xx N. 15th: Lg furn rm, 1 week free, $100/wk, $300 sec, 267-809-7866 49xx Arch St Lg Rooms $85-$125/wk w/Cable, remod Kitchen 215-870-4475 66th and Haverford $150/wk priv bath, kitch and enterence. $600 moves you in. (267)408-3426

Hunt. Pk. 4xx N Broad: priv. rm, priv ba, new ren $475/mo 215-747-9429 Logan/WP/NP private entry, furnished, $85- $115/wk. also effic’y. 609-526-5411 North Phila - Phoenix Recovery Center Is accepting residents. We are an ATR approved facility. Call 215-225-4791 N. Phila: clean, modern rms, use of kit, no drugs,reasonable rent. 215-232-2268 N. Phila Furn, Priv Ent $75 & up No drugs, SSI ok. 215-763-5565 N. Philly $100/wk, spacious rm, kitch en, bath, SSI ok, 267-516-6235 Olney and N Phila. $75 and up furn, kit privs, coin-op, crpt. 516-527-0186 Richmond furn room, use of kitch, $100/wk Proof of income 215-634-1139 SW,N,W Movein Special! $90- $125/wk Clean furn rms SSI ok 215-220-8877 SW Phila: 65th & Lindbergh, 61st and Girard, private bath $550/month. Call 215-290-8702 West Phila - Room for rent, $90-$125 /wk. Call 267-269-4490 ask for Hakim W Phila rooms for rent $300-$375/mo. 41xx Girard Ave, 215-758-5120

homes for rent 1628 S. 18th St. 6 bedrooms 2 bath Hardwood floors, call (215)760-5230

19xx S. Salford 3br/1ba $700+utils $2100 move in fee. 267-249-6645 62nd & Woodland 3BR House Sec 8 ok. Must See. 215-885-1700 8xx S. 56th St. 4br $850+utils $1,700 to move in. Call 484-433-5764 Elmwood area 2/3br modern, sec. 8 ok, Call 215-726-8817

7xx S 59th St. 3br/1.5ba large corner property, W/D, 215.879.1962 Belmont Ave 3BR/1BA $850 New reno, new carpet, 267-349-4910 W. Philly, 2BR, 1 BA, $700/ mo. Newly Renovated. 267-977-0947

980 N. 66th Street 3br/1.5ba $995 215.740.4900

HOUSE w/APT FOR RENT! 53xx W. Montgomery Av 4BR house w/ full kit & w/d plus 1br apt w/full kit & w/d, garage, both for $1750mo. 267-688-0894

Junk Cars & Trucks Wanted, $400, Call 856-365-2021

A1 PRICES FOR JUNK CARS FREE TOW ING , Call (215) 726-9053 53XX N. 16th St Lge 4BR/2BA $1,400 (Negotiable) 2 full bath, garage, hwd flr Utils. Rare Rose Mgmt co. 215-324-4424

56xx Mascher St. 3BR/1BA $900+utils New carpets, sec. 8 ok. 215-740-4629 12xx E. Chelten Ave 4BR/1BA $900+ utilities. Section 8 ok. (267) 303-0133 9xx E. Stafford St. 3br/1ba $850 Renovated, avail. now. 215-531-4996 PHILADELPHIA 4br/1.5ba $850 + utilities. Call 267-250-9822 71xx Stenton Ave 2BR/1.5BA $1000+utils Half finished bsmnt. Call 215-242-0719 3492 Weikel St. 2BR/1BA $600 per month. Please call (215)816-0919 21xx East Lehigh 4br $800 renov, sec 8 ok. (267)303-0133 Kensington 3BR/1BA $750 p/m 7XX E. Willard St. Freshly painted, nice hse, grt block, rdy to move 267-210-5810

4140 Claridge St. 2br/1ba Adams Ave. 3br/1ba Call 267-991-2825

$800 $875

40xx Ormond 3BR $875 5xx 56th Ave. 4BR $1000 Please Call Pan 267-287-3175 54xx Torresdale Ave. 3br $795+ Section ok, no pets, Call 215-539-7866 TACONY 2br/1.5ba $950 All appliances. Sec 8 OK. 267-337-3923

DARBY: S. 7th St. 3br Sec. 8 OK Twin, Lrg LR, DR, EIK, near elem. schools, fenced yard. 267-767-9122 Upper Darby 2BR section 8 ok, close to trans 610.459.3990 Upper Darby 3BR/1BA $1,000/mo. W/D, fully renov., sec. 8 ok. 917.755.0727 Yeadon House 3BR/1BA $1,000 Move In Specials. Water and alarm system included. 215-815-8028.

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LEXUS GX-470 2005 $23,000 81K mi., black ext., grey leather, new tires, 1 owner, mint cond. 609.915.8645


low cost cars & trucks Buick Lesabre 1997 $1,995 New inspec., radials. Call 610-667-4829 Chevy Cavalier 1995 $1,195 auto., 36MPG, new insp. 215.620.9383 Chrysler Sebring Convert. 2004 $4,895 39K, touring, gorgeous. 610-524-8835 Ford Contour GL 1997 $1,250 4 door, loaded, clean. 215-280-4825 Ford Windstar 1998 $1,500 all pwr, new insp. runs new 215.620.9383 Hyundai Elantra GLS 2000 $1450 4door, auto, loaded. 215-280-4825 Mercedes C280 1997 $2,350 4dr, 30 MPG, Loaded, A/T, 215-626-4187 Nissan Maxima 1998 $2,300 Auto., 150K miles. 215-881-3004 Pontiac Grand Prix 2002 $1,199 3.8L, auto., dual exhaust. 267-825-2315 Pontiac Grand Prix GT2 2004 $3,975 Black, leather, roof, clean. 215-592-0448 Toyota Solara SE 2001 $2,995 2 dr, auto, gorgeous. Call 610-524-8835

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A1 Nice, well maintained rms, N. & W. Phila. $85-$125/wk. Call 610-667-9675 Broad & Olney lg deluxe furn priv ba priv ent $145wk sec $200 215.572.8833 Delaware Co. New renov, close to trans. $100/wk 1st wk FREE, 267-628-7454

Germantown - Large furnished and unfurnished rooms, $100-$150, close to train and XH Bus. Call 215-514-8173

ALL CASH for JUNK CARS: $300 $3,000. Free towing. (302) 250-5096

P H I L A D E L P H I A C I T Y PA P E R | D E C E M B E R 2 0 - D E C E M B E R 2 6 , 2 0 1 2 | C I T Y PA P E R . N E T |

Clifton Heights beautiful 1 and 2 BR Holiday Special, 215-681-1723 Darby Efficiency $600 utils inc., w/d, private parking 484-469-0753 UPPER DARBY 2br/1ba $575+utils New flrs., kit., paint. 610-909-8957 YEADON Area Beautiful 1 and 2 BR Holiday Special 215-681-1723

GERMANTOWN - Furnished room, cable, newly renovated, use of kitchen and bathroom. $100/wk. Call 267-428-4212

26xx North 17th St. 4BR/2BA $1350 Newly renov house with beaut. kitch incl refrig, gas stove, dishwasher, microwave and garbage disposal. elec security. carpeted w/attractive tile. prewired w laundry connections. Central Air/Heat. Sec 8 ok. (215) 840-5827 and see it first!!



20xx 65th Ave. 1BR $595 Yard, renov, sec. 8 ok. 267-992-3233 66xx N. 13th St. 1br/1ba $550+ utils 3rd flr Call for appointment 215-885-8271 6801 N. 17th St. sm. 1BR $550-$600+ $800 Move in Special, 215-317-3785

East Oaklane - Female Rooming House. Clean, spacious BR avail. 267-235-8707 Frankford / Northeast, Newly renov, nicely furnished, A/C, W/D, cable, clean, safe & secure. Call (267) 253-7764 Germantown Area: NICE, Cozy Rooms Private entry, no drugs (267)988-5890

12XX SELTZER ST 3BR row, $700 porch, Sec. 8 OK! 215-593-4259 BREWERYTOWN 27th & Girard Lg 2br, rear yard, Sec 8 OK will accept 1 & 2Br vouchers $700/mo 215-681-8018

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

apartment marketplace

billboard [ C I T Y PA P E R ]

DECEMBER 20 - DECEMBER 26, 2012 CALL 215-735-8444

LE BUS SANDWICHES ATTHE EL BAR!?!?! It’s true! They’re here and delivered daily! 1356 North Front Street 215-634-6430

Village Belle Restaurant and Bar It’s chilly outside, stop in to try our new winter beers Book your holiday parties now! Let us do all the Cooking and Cleaning. Gift Certificates Available 757 South Front St Corner of Fitzwater Street in Queens Village 215-551-2200


City Paper is very pleased to bring you our very first smartphone app! Just go to and click our martini glass icon to find out more, or type in ‘Happy Hours in the app store, android marketplace, or blackberry app world. Click the orange martini icon and get drinking. No matter where you go or when you go, you can find the nearest happy hours to you with a single click! You can even sort through bars by preference or neighborhood.


TOP PRICES PAID. No collection too small or large! We buy everything! Call Jon at 215-805-8001 or e-mail

17 Rotating Drafts Close to 200 Bottles

STUDY GUITAR W/ THE BEST David Joel Guitar Studio All Styles All Levels. Former Berklee faculty member. Masters Degree with 27 yrs. teaching experience. 215.831.8640






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Philadelphia Eddies 621 Tattoo Haven 621 South 4th St (Middle of Tattoo Row) 215-922-7384 Open 7 Days



200+ steel boned corsets in stock size S-8XL Men’s/Women’s RubberLeather-Kilts! Buy one corset/kilt take 2nd 20% off thru 12/31 Free parking @ meters Saturdays thru 12/31 PASSIONAL Boutique 704 S. 5th St. Noon-10PM, 7 days a week




$2 OFF ALL DRAFTS $3 WELL DRINKS $5 HAPPY HOUR MENU Only at the Abbaye 637 N. 3rd Street (215) 627-6711


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Voted “Top 50 Pizzas in the Country” Ristorante Napoletano True wood-fired Neapolitan Pizza BYOB 8500 Henry Ave. (Andora Shopping Center) 215-621-6134 full menu at

Only a FEW DAYS LEFT to get the COOLEST GIFTS for YOUR GOOFY PALS (or ViceVersa)! Freaks, Wild Women, Wierdos, The Cool & The Crazy ALL SHOP @ the BIZARRE BAZAAR! 720 south 5th st., Philly


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TUES-THURS 5-10, FRI-SAT 5-11,

LUNCH, SAT 11-4,

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757 south front street, at fitzwater 215-551-2200

Philadelphia City Paper, December 20th, 2012  

Philadelphia's Trusted News and Entertainment Source

Philadelphia City Paper, December 20th, 2012  

Philadelphia's Trusted News and Entertainment Source