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We’re seeing the return of live music to Philadelphia, sort of
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FROM THE EDITOR
GREAT CONTENT and help us make it. “The New Plague” depicts life in Philadelphia in the age of COVID. Follow artist Raphael Tiberino on Instagram @RaphaelTiberino.
MY VACCINE HESITANCY IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS
t my house, there is definitely a One of my other reasons, initially, for say“household divide” when it comes ing no, was that I didn’t want or need the vacto the COVID vaccine issue. My cine for the same reason I didn’t want or need husband was an early advocate a flu shot. I have never once had the flu, but and enthusiast, whereas I have surely I have been exposed to people who had been a skeptic from it and I’ve just never gotten sick. the start. Not long ago, Our bodies naturally build up imthough, when the vacmunities to these viruses. If COVID is just as or more contagious than cine became readily available to the flu, wouldn’t I have gotten it, all adults, fewer of my friends (and too, by now? some family) could understand why Perhaps some people are averse I was choosing to opt out. to getting the vaccine for health I found myself explaining my reareasons. We need to consider both sons for rejecting the experimental physical and mental health. Maybe vaccine over and over. Explanations someone has a fear of needles? Irled to debates, and, sometimes, rational or not, trypanophobia is a arguments with people I love and real thing from which some 20 perrespect. I have grown tired of this cent of the population suffer. Even fight, but I will defend each person’s the thought of being pricked can right to do what they feel is best for lead to dizziness, fainting, anxiety, their health care. Here’s why: insomnia and panic attacks. The number one reason I’m wary @ RUFFTUFFDH What if you’re pregnant or of the jab is the uncertainty of longbreast-feeding? What if you are imterm side effects. Articles circulated on the internet propagate the idea that mobile and can’t get to a place that distributes vaccines? There are plenty of scenarios where the vaccine is too new, or ineffective, or even deadly. I’m not one to entertain conspiracy someone would not want this, but instead of theories, but when people go around shouting, asking each other, “How was your weekend?” “Trust the science!” they need to remember – we stick our noses into other peoples’ prithat reluctance often comes from valid expe- vate lives and ask them if they’ve been vacciriences. Some 128 men died during the Tuske- nated. What my friend, author and comedian, gee Experiment after the government lied to Bridget Phetasy, recently Tweeted had me in them. Is there any wonder why some in Black stitches: “If anyone asks you if you got the vaccine and marginalized communities might harbor just ask them if they have genital warts.” mistrust?
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STATE OF OUR CITY
New music from Image | Jeremy Messler
Low Cut Connie Low Cut Connie, which recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of their acclaimed livestream show “Tough Cookies,” has announced a new album to commemorate it. The 23-track album, called “Tough Cookies: The Best of The Quarantine Broadcasts,” consists of a small percentage of the 500-plus covers Adam Weiner and guitarist Will Donnelly have performed from Weiner’s South Philly apartment. The album is out May 19.
Sabrina’s Café closed its doors at 910 Christian St., the original Sabrina’s Café in the Italian Market neighborhood, after two decades of making a name for themselves as a staple in the community. But don’t fret too much, as there are plans to soon relocate to an expanded restaurant nearby. “As we continue to serve Philadelphia and South Jersey at our four other locations, Christian Street will forever have a very special place in our family’s hearts,” said co-owner Robert De Abreu. “However, we’re not saying goodbye to South Philadelphia, we’re saying see you soon in a larger space close by.” Learn more at sabrinascafe.com.
The current number of homicide victims year-to-date under Mayor Jim Kenney and District Attorney Larry Krasner’s leadership.
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New digs for Sabrina’s Café
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Billy Strings performs on stage at World Cafe Live, one of the Philly venues eager to get back to live shows. Image | Jay Strausser
MAKIN’ (LIVE) MUSIC A Philly concert venues are ready to get back to normal
fter 14 months of laptop Music Hall, from Connie’s Ric Rac to the Keswick, from the Mann Center live events, Streamyard/ and Franklin Music Hall to South Jazz StageIt gigs, Zoom rockouts, Instagram rap battles, Parlor to Chris’ and TIME in Midtown Village. That means small-scale, Tik Tok jazz jams, and iPhone operas, the real thing day-or-so-long festivals such as West Philly’s Porchfest in June, as well as is quickly popping-up and soaring back to life. Between now and bigger fests such as Hall & Oates’ HoagieNation 2021 in August at autumn, real, face-front-tothe Mann. stage, shoulder-to-shoulder Presently, there are huge concerts are returning. That BY A.D. question marks over annumeans, so far, new, largeAMOROSI al outdoor mini-festivals scale tours (e.g. Bad Bunny, such as The Roots’ Picnic Eric Church, Genesis), and and Jay-Z’s Labor Day soirescheduled events due to ree at the art museum circle, COVID (Roger Waters, Ringo Made in America (the latter three Starr). That means independent venare booked-promoted by Live Naues quickly fashioning schedules they hope aren’t tentative, while slowly tion, the world’s concert corporation and patiently dealing with necessary whose optimism rose, as did its stock’s strengths, during the pandemic, deSave Our Stages/National Independent Venue Association funding and spite its complete lack of staged concerts for the last 14 months). Then Shuttered Venue Operators Grant apagain, Dover, Del.’s Firefly Music plications. That means venues from Festival just announced Sept. 23 to Union Transfer to Sellersville Theatre, from World Café Live to Scottish Rite, 26 dates for the Woodlands. And WXfrom Johnny Brenda’s to Ardmore SEE MUSIC, PAGE 6
PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY | MAY 6 - 13, 2021
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong light up the stage at the Ardmore Music Hall. All around the city and surrounding areas, venues are preparing for the – hopeful – return of live, in-person concerts soon. Image | Jade Frias
MUSIC, FROM PAGE 5 PN-FM’s XPonential Fest on the Camden, N.J., Waterfront may allow its concert slot for Sept. 17 to 19 to be a live showcase, mixed with online performances. All of this back and forth would fell lesser people, but the music biz is a resilient biz. “I know it’s been a stressful journey for all promoters and talent buyers here in Philly...I’m just glad that our rooms are seeing some sort of relief,” said local booker-promoter Marley McNamara. McNamara was talking about the hassles of Save Our Stages cash, which is dedicated to aiding independent venues, supposedly in the area of billions of dollars in relief, but taking its time in doing so. “It’s sad that we had to lose a place like Boot & Saddle to this pandemic, and we’re fortunate to not have lost many more, although that was a major loss.” Locally, nationally and internationally, the business of live music is a beyond-billion-dollar economic engine that needs constant refueling to keep its motors running. And while the pandemic allowed concert corps such as
MAY 6 - 13, 2021 | PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY
Live Nation and AEG, booking-showplace chains such as City Winery, and individual local artists on their Instagram and Facebook pages (e.g. Low Cut Connie, Martha Graham Cracker, Orrin Evans) a chance to strut their stuff, most would agree that it’s time to get to work in front of audiences again. That’s the case even if India and Brazil are experiencing their harshest COVID-19 death waves yet – even if Germany recently reinforced its strictest lockdown policy since the start of the pandemic. And even if massive tours such as Justin Bieber (just the other day) moved its schedule to 2022. If that means masks, social distancing and the fact that still – to date – only 30 percent of the U.S. has been vaccinated, somehow, Philly and its environs is now ready for live music to restart. One delicious indicator that concert life is – and will be on track for 2021 – is that Louis Landro, one of the most familiar and friendly faces on the Philly live music scene, is raring to go. Landro isn’t only a live music lover and an appreciative attendee. He acts, daily and nightly as an audience concierge at venues such as the Tower Theatre and The Mann, the latter where he happened to be back in action
as of last weekend. “It was just so absolutely exhilarating to be back,” said Landro, who worked an Opera Philadelphia event at The Mann, and will again, for Opera Philadelphia’s “The Drama of Tosca” (May 7, 9), as well as the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Hail to the Heroes concert (May 15). “People were appreciative to get out, see each other, talk, socialize. That was wonderful to see and hear. Face it, mentally, as well as economically, we need to get back to the live event – people still need to be responsible when they’re out. Masked. Distanced. But, it was really just so nice to be part of live music again, and in such a pretty environment as the Mann.” Artists such as outlaw country doyen Eric Church know too well the need to get back to stages such as that of the Wells Fargo Center (Oct. 9); not just to drive his, or music-atlarge’s economic engine. Church’s readiness is about getting out of the miserable psychic fugue state Americans find themselves in after too long of a lockdown. “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done by 50 billion miles,” Church told Variety about
being one of the first artists to book new tours in 2021. “Because the target moves every day. Things may adapt. But we’re doing this. We’re going to strap on guitars, gather people together, and we’re going to start to pull people out of this nosedive…Once the vaccine becomes widely available, sometime this month or May, it became a little bit aggressive, but coming into summer, I felt as if we were going to be in a good spot going forward for fall. We could do what a lot of people did, and punt to ’22. But I’ve been as concerned about the country, and our psyche with the lack of music and sports and connection, the isolation...There was an opportunity for us to lead. We took the attitude that we’re going to do this.” Artists such as Church surely didn’t get into the business of singing, songwriting and jamming so to work, additionally, as epidemiologists. “I have been involved in calls with municipalities, state authorities and scientists, all this stuff,” said Church. “I never could see a way for us to test our way into touring. Not for the many people we play to. Maybe five or 10 states, but you’d nev-
er be able to play in 50 states without the vaccine.” Yet, a larger part of the responsibility to both audiences, venue owners, producers and backers, going forward, is on the backs of those same venue operators and bookers. Several venue owners/bookers wouldn’t speak for this story – not because they don’t want publicity for their events. Rather, some are still fussing and fighting to get government loans and grants...Some simply face the very real panic of having to drop, again postpone or drastically reschedule shows and tours as COVID numbers head north during fall and winter months.” “If we had to go through what we went through in 2020 and early 2021, this would be catastrophic to the entire industry on a scale I wouldn’t even try and predict or speak out loud at this point,” said World Café Live General Manager Kerri Park. To some, pushing the restart button on local concerts seemed to be a distant reality, one met with blissful relief and ecstatic enthusiasm upon the recent shifts in April and May. “I did fear a little that this chapter would never end and glanced into other careers I could pivot into with whatever skill sets I have,” said McNamara, who threw bands on the roof of Johnny Brenda’s as early as July 2020. Johnny Brenda’s assistant talent buyer, head showrunner and handler of local and regional booking, is in charge of everything from advancing the shows to settling with the bands each night. “I live there when there’s not a pandemic happening,” she said. In addition to that, McNamara currently promotes and talent-buys for Human Robot Brewing Co.’s summer outdoor concert series at Sunflower Philly, and has been a manager new toursfor emerging Philly acts, most famously, The Districts, during her 15-year tenure in the lovery day.cal music biz. his. We’re Ken Correll, Jake Atkinson and Jimmy people to-Everhart at Human Robot rented the comull peoplemunity-driven Sunflower space (curated by accine be-Melvin Powell) for happy hour events with his monthlive music. Since April’s start, the ticketed essive, butseries has sold out its announced shows, this were goingtogether with the fact that Sunflower had been or fall. Weholding their own events there with a limited nd punt tocapacity. the coun- “Our combined teams make sure that the music andHuman Robot events go off without a hitch on...Therewith CDC guidelines and the spacing-out of We took theeverything,” said McNamara. “I honestly knew that these shows would didn’t getdo well because I know how badly people miss riting andlive music. The response has been enormous. s epidemi-Hence, the sold-out shows. Plus, it’s been a bit overwhelming trying to keep up with all the th munic-inquiries from bands wanting to play. I feel ntists, allbad I can’t give everyone the opportunity. And the great thing about Sunflower is that even a o test oursold-out show looks like it’s half full because people wethere’s so much space to move around and you’d nev-spread out. Normally, in this business, it’s a
FEATURED bummer if your show looks half empty, but post-COVID, that’s a win, baby!” With dates filling up fast for the inside of Johnny Brenda’s (they’re taking holds for fall and winter and announcing shows as they see fit), McNamara welcomes the reopening of all of the city’s rooms, as well as witnessing, firsthand, how seriously venue owners and promoters take CDC guidelines and restrictions. “So, I’m not at all worried about any of these shows getting out-of-hand or overpacked,” she added, before heaping high praise on a local music scene that stayed strong and unified, COVID-19 and beyond. “In a lot of ways, the scene is very close-knit and collaborative. I knew that the people and the venues in our scene would support each other and lean on one another and that’s exactly what happened from what I saw. As far as the musicians go, I’ve been sent some of the best work I’ve heard from our bands over the last year or so and I’m even more pumped to book all these folks again whether it be at Sunflower or later on at JB’s so they can showcase their COVID masterpieces! There’s so much music to be excited about. It’s wild.” Park is used to navigating complex operations, between doling out live music, dealing with musicians, crew and managers, and serving food to the West Philly and university-area communities. With that, being non-operational as a live venue (yet, open as a take-out restaurant) has taken a toll. “It’s forced me to flex new leadership muscles, and I’m fortunate to have retained a team that has handled the ever-changing landscape like champs,” said Park. “There have definitely been dark moments where you wonder if your empty space will ever be full again, but, I am more hopeful by the day we will all get to return to doing what we love the most and watching artists and guests connect in person.” Unlike many venues, when the Small Business Administration successfully opened the SVOG portal in April, World Café Live loggedin, applied with ease, and is currently waiting on approval status and a potential fund disbursement timeline. Most notable is that World Café Live CEO Hal Real was one of Save Our Stages’ prime movers, founders and motivators. “We fought very hard for the original SVOG legislation knowing it would be the lifeline that we – and some many other independent venues – would need to truly plan their re-opening,” said Park. “Without SVOG, it’s a pretty devastating path forward, but we are confident we will receive our grant and are planning our autumn accordingly.” Currently announcing indoor shows in October and beyond, Park claimed that the majority of her talks with Real are conversations around the topics of comfort, safety and distance for audience, venue crew and musician.
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SEE MUSIC, PAGE 8
PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY | MAY 6 - 13, 2021
Sunflower Hill Concerts already are proving to be a popular choice among concert-goers. Image | Birdie Busch
MUSIC, FROM PAGE 7 “It’s important that all stars align and that all parties involved feel safe and comfortable gathering indoors again,” she said. “We’re carefully monitoring situations nationally, following the science, and convening with city officials and our peers to try and navigate the best path forward. We believe there will be a time this year when our staff, artists and guests will be ready to work indoors together again, and we’re making sure our facility and our protocols will positively support those efforts. Not everyone will be ready at the same time, but, the best we can do is use our own comfort as a guide and stay cautiously optimistic.” With that, Park is in a state of amazement at how long and involved even the smallest processes have become. “What’s weird is how much time we now
MAY 6 - 13, 2021 | PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY
The Disco Biscuits perform at the Ardmore Music Hall. The venue’s long-standing live stream studio program helped it weather the pandemic. Image | Jade Frias
spend focusing on announcing shows. That used to be a very fast and small part of my week, and now it’s almost the entire conversation.” Beyond the hassle of belabored work schedules, Park is proud that this local music scene, as competitive as it can be, clings together as would family. “I could not be more in awe of the perseverance of our local independent scene,” she said. “Everyone has done what they could to hold on and to support each other and it’s been incredible to be a part of that journey. The heartbreaking fact of the matter though still remains that most of us have been digging a serious financial hole with zero revenue and negative cash flows for over a year, and SVOG dollars will literally be the determining factor in survival.” Like Sy Sperling, what is most interesting about Chris Perella, is that he not only owns Ardmore Music Hall. He is its head booker,
one who commenced his COVID shutdown not only with massive renovations to his Main Street Ardmore live venue, but with staged, distanced live shows and online gigs. “The fact that we’re talking now for a story about reopening, alone, shows that there is momentum; that people want this,” said Perella. “We’re kicking-up steam fast…thawing after having chilled last year.” A big aid to maintaining the AMH brand was the fact that the venue has long had a live streaming studio program in place for fans outside of the area. The first AMH live stream events that came in February 2021, after its multi-million-dollar renovation, allowed Perella to see what live music would look like in a safe and distanced way. “Having Robert Randolph and the Disco Biscuits play, even to 25 people when we could have done 125 made us decide to re-start our engines.” (Ardmore is in Montgomery County, which forever allowed higher percentages, currently at 25 percent of capacity.) Presently allowed to host 150 people at Ardmore Music Hall, Perella said he had an easier time at the SVOG portal (“no tech errors, no glitches”) than its early April mis-step, and is waiting for his application to be dealt with, and his case and hopeful cash-out, closed. “We keep hearing we’ll get some funding in May, and that it will be divided in buckets depending on how much revenue the venue lost. Within those same buckets, it’s first-come, first-served, in terms of when applications are dealt with.” Money, luckily, wasn’t a problem for Ardmore Music Hall when booking acts, something other venues have had to dip deep into wells of reserves to keep up with, and-or compete for shows. At the start of the pandemic, Perella cancelled around 50 percent of its shows, outright, rather than moving the ball down the field. Yet Perella continued conversations with booking agents last spring, so little ever slowed for Ardmore Music Hall. “Along with planning for our renovations,
and breaking ground, we were unique in the Philly venue-scape in that we never went into full hibernation during the pandemic,” said Perella. “Through debt and other creative means, we were able to proceed with the renovation during downtime, and because we had a pre-existing livestream infrastructure in place before the pandemic, we could keep that going. We re-branded – created new merch for the store. We didn’t furlough every last person, and shut every light off like other venues. Because of that, we retained more overhead, and now, it is in our best interest to start making a dent in the losses of 2020 and 2021 as soon as possible.” Soon as possible means now, considering that AMH has sold out live shows with old faves such as Disco Biscuits, G Love and Chuck Treece this month, with dozens of additional shows following through winter. “A venue that went into full hibernation may very well believe that they should cut their losses, and stay closed, until they can reopen closer to normal. For us, it made sense from the start, to do anything we felt was safe, get our legs under us, give our team some work, and make some money.” Following all regulations that Montgomery County requires – it isn’t exactly Texas, but it is more forgiving. AMH will focus on masks at all times (“even between sips and bites”), spacing and no congregating while still making sure audiences have an intimate good time. “This isn’t dinner – you’re at a show for far longer, many hours, and artists wish to feel as comfortable and safe as audiences,” said Perella. “I think clubs the size of ours will bounce back faster and stronger than large venues because we have to deal with less total bodies, which is different psychologically. Plus, I think there is a real spirit of generosity among audiences to want to support smaller, independent venues after all this mess.”
CELEBRATE MOM’S Mother’s Day is this Sunday, and we’ve rounded up some great deals to mark the holiday weekend Sisterly Love Citywide Food Fair
Sisterly Love Citywide Food Fair is coming back to Center City for a Mother’s Day Weekend pop-up at East Market, 1100 Market St., on Saturday, May 8, from noon to 4pm. Get all your gifts and goodies for mom, grandmom and the whole family from top local female chefs, restaurateurs and entrepreneurs supporting each other during the pandemic at this one-day, outdoor, socially distanced food market. For a full list of dates, locations and vendors, visit Sisterly Love on Instagram at @sisterlylovefoodfair or on Facebook at Sisterly Love Citywide Food Fair.
Sofitel Philadelphia at Rittenhouse Square
Pamper mom with the single, most luxurious brunch in Philadelphia on Mother’s Day. Sofitel Philadelphia at Rittenhouse Square presents a Mother’s Day Family Style Brunch in Liberte Lounge with a selection of appetizers, decadent entrees and the trimmings, a variety of desserts and even a Bloody Mary bar. For $75 per person (plus tax/gratuity), each diner will enjoy a variety of food served at the table, family style. Reservations are now available on OpenTable. Children under 12 are half price. Sunday, May 9, from 12:30pm to 4:30pm. 120 S. 17th St. sofitel-philadelphia.com/happenings. (215) 569-8300
P’unk Burger is giving mom the day off for Mother’s Day! Leave the work to Marlo Dilks, mom of seven daughters, and her team at P’unk Burger as kids eat free all day. One slider meal free for the kids with any purchase of a grown-up size burger or salad. Limit two free one slider meals per order/ address/table. Indoor and outdoor seating available. No reservations required. 1823 Passyunk Ave. punkburger.com. (215) 468-PUNK (7865)
Treat mom to brunch at Amada by James Beard award-winning and Iron Chef Jose Garces. For $40 per person, enjoy numerous offerings. Book now on OpenTable or by calling 215-625-2450. 217-219 Chestnut St. philadelphia.amadarestaurant.com Sunday, May 9, noon to 3pm
The Olde Bar
James Beard award-winning and Iron Chef Jose Garces celebrates Mother’s Day with not one – but two days of a special Mother’s Day Brunch at The Olde Bar, located in the Old City District. Mom can dine in the brand-new library-nook themed dining room with a socially distanced, semi-private dining space for her and her family. Reservations are now available on OpenTable or by calling (215) 253-3777. 125 Walnut theoldebar.com. Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9, from noon to 4pm SEE MOTHER’S DAY, PAGE 10
PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY | MAY 6 - 13, 2021
Hawthornes Beer Cafe and Pivot Coffee Visit Hawthornes for all day Mother’s Day Brunch! Sip celebratory Mom’s Day Palomas, and Mimosas, and show mom some love with brunch favorites and reservations. Book them at opentable.com/ hawthornes, or call ahead at 215-627-3012. Walk-ins always welcome. 738 S 11th St.
East Passyunk Avenue
SliCE - Heart Pizzas for Mom
Love is in the pizza this year! Send mom and grandmom a “pizza” of your heart this year with a heart-shaped pizza available for delivery or pick-up. Customize your pie with her favorite toppings or select one of SliCE’s signature pie combinations. Heart-shaped pies are the same price as traditional pies and are available at all SliCE locations. For more information, call the location directly, visit slicepa.com, follow @slicepa on Twitter and like “SliCE” on Facebook. Citywide delivery for Hearts: 215-463-0868. Fishtown, 431 East Girard Ave., 215-425-1555. Italian Market, 1180 S. 10th St., 215-463-0868 Image | Courtesy of SliCE
MOTHER’S DAY, FROM PAGE 9 Positano Coast
Juno - Free Cocktail for Mom!
On Mother’s Day, all moms get their first cocktail free at Juno when they come for Mother’s Day brunch, lunch or dinner. Make your reservations now on Resy or by calling (267) 6392892. Sunday, May 9, 11am to midnight. 1033 Spring Garden St. junophilly.com Image | Courtesy of Juno
MAY 6 - 13, 2021 | PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY
Treat mom to a special Mother’s Day brunch or dinner at one of the city’s most beautiful outdoor patios, streeteries and sidewalk cafes, plus inside dining. Mother’s Day brunch features bottomless brunch options with a reservation for $24 for mimosas and sangria, plus many food features. For Mother’s Day dinner, look for more features and specials. Reservations are now available through the website, OpenTable or by calling 215-238-0499. Brunch: 11am to 3pm. Dinner 3pm to 9:30pm. 212 Walnut St, 2nd Floor. positanocoast.net
Tio Flores on South Street celebrates Mother’s Day with Moms & Mexican Brunch with Mezcal, Mezcal Cocktails, Paloma Flights and much more. Indoors and outdoors 9am-close with fun Mexican Mezcal pours, Palomas, and brunch bites. Lots of fun specials to celebrate moms.! Call ahead or make a reservation via opentable. 1600 South Street. (267) 687-2220. tioflores.com. Sunday, May 9, 9am to close.
East Passyunk Avenue, home to over 150 independently owned businesses in South Philadelphia, has an array of Mother’s Day festivities in place for a day spent pampering mom. Join Society Hill Dance Academy for flower-themed performances, with the option of socially distanced dancing along, starting at 2pm on Sunday, May 9, and afterward, head over to The Singing Fountain to catch a live opera performance by East Passyunk Opera Project at 4pm. For gift giving, shop from a vast selection of cookbooks, candles, baking tools, and home décor from Occasionette’s Mother’s Day collection. Additionally, Barcelona Wine Bar, Flannel, Ember & Ash, Cantina Los Caballitos, and Pistolas Del Sur will be open for Mother’s Day brunch service on Sunday, May 9 with delicious breakfast and lunch offerings and cocktails, wine, and craft beer. Check out the respective businesses’ websites for more info. 1904 E. Passyunk Avenue. visiteastpassyunk. com
The newly opened Tinto Pintxo Wine Shop and Restaurant is now open for Mother’s Day. Skip the roses this year and show mom you love her with a bouquet of her favorite wines, including four special bundles – red, white, rose and bubbly. 114 S. 20th St. (215) 665-9150. philadelphia.tintorestaurant.com
Art in the Age
Old City’s one-of-a-kind tasting room, home bar supply and bottle shop boasts a truly unique cordial, with a blend of savory and sweet flavors, in Art in the Age’s Black Trumpet Blueberry Cordial. Made with handpicked blueberries from sister distillery, Tamworth Distilling, and foraged black trumpet mushroom – the only cordial (known to them) made with these rich, smokey edible mushrooms – makes this one-of-a-kind spirit perfect for giving this Mother’s Day. 116 N. 3rd St. 215-922-2600. artintheage.com
For the ultimate Mother’s Day splurge, take your mom out for a lunch or dinner at Philadelphia’s most exclusive new restaurant, Steak 48! Typically open for dinner service only, this Mother’s Day, Steak 48 will extend its hours of operation, opening at noon for lunch service in addition to dinner service! steak48.com
Old City’s contemporary French bar and restaurant helmed by Chef Christopher Kearse boasts an elegant three-course prix fixe Mother’s Day brunch menu for $50 per person on Sunday, May 9 from 10am – 3pm. The specialty menu is served with house-made focaccia and beignets with Nutella and jam, available for limited indoor and outdoor dining as well as takeaway. Book reservations via Resy. 233 Chestnut St. 215-6449395. forsythiaphilly.com
Your mom’s favorite for a reason! Make reservations for brunch at Bridget Foy’s. Enjoy pitchers of peach Bellini or mimosas or bloody marys. Offering their regular brunch menu plus additions such as Crab Cake Benedict with spinach and old bay hollandaise. Reservations through Resy. 11am-3pm. 200 South Street. 215-922-1813. bridgetfoys.com
Image | Courtesy of Forsythia
Assembly Rooftop Lounge
Center City’s rooftop lounge with panoramic views of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is taking Mother’s Day to new heights with High Tea on Sunday, May 9 from noon to 2pm. Treat mom to a fun tea party featuring cocktails, mocktails, chef-inspired finger sandwiches and sweeping views of the parkway, priced per person at $40 for the “I’m Not Asking You, I’m Telling You” package or $55 for the “Because I Said So!” package. Reservations are required, and the event is weather permitting with a 90-minute time limit. 1840 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. 215-963-2723 . assemblyrooftop. com
The modern American kitchen located at the intersection of 17th and Sansom streets offers quite the swanky boozy brunch for moms and their loved ones this Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 9 from 9am – 2pm. For $39, imbibing moms will receive a magnum champagne bottle and choice of orange, peach or grapefruit juice. A coursed prix fixe brunch from Executive Chef Mack Horebe is also available for $29 per person. Available for indoor dining at limited capacity. 121 South 17th St. 215-563-5008. square1682. com
Jet Wine Bar
Philadelphia’s “global vineyard” has an elaborate Mother’s Day brunch planned with featured guest chef and “Chopped” champion Gregory Headen crafting a specialty menu served a la carte, as well as sparkling wine and cocktail specials on Sunday, May 9 from 11am – 4pm. Reservations are required and can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, including name, number of guests, phone number, and time requested. 1525 South St. 215-735-1116. jetwinebar.com
Silk City Diner Bar & Lounge
The eclectic Northern Liberties eatery has launched its new brunch program just in time for Mother’s Day. From 11am – 3pm on Sunday, May 9, guests can expect delicious brunch fare such as The Silk Burger and Spicy Chicken Sammy (both served with hand cut fries) and more. Available for limited indoor dining, expanded outdoor seating at their streetery and garden, and takeaway. Book your reservation via Resy today. 435 Spring Garden Street. 215-592-8838. silkcityphilly.com
The Love is Rittenhouse’s favorite brunch destination, perfect for a daytime out on the town with your mother. The Love will be offering brunch from 10am – 2:30pm for dine in, dine outside or takeout. Celebrate with The Love’s signature country-inspired American cuisine. theloverestaurant.com
Image | Courtesy of Bridget Foy’s
Logan Square’s modern American steakhouse is pulling out all the stops for a memorable Mother’s Day celebration with a la carte specials available for brunch and dinner service. Specials include the Seafood Tower with chilled oysters, lobster, shrimp, lump crab, salmon tartare, and mussels ($70 / $138) and more. Available for limited indoor dining and outdoor patio seating on Sunday, May 9 from 9am – 2pm for brunch service, and 4pm – 9pm for dinner service. 1850 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. 215-963-2788. urbanfarmerphiladelphia.com
AKA Rittenhouse Square/a.kitchen
During your stay at AKA Rittenhouse Square, take advantage of Chef Eli Collins’ spectacular and varied brunch menu and enjoy brunch en suite from a.kitchen. For $35 per person (plus tax and gratuity), choose from a two-course brunch menu with your choice of one mimosa or bloody mary included per person. Your meal will be delivered to you in room-service style. Available every Saturday and Sunday at a time of your choosing between 11am and 3pm. Maximum of four people. www. stayaka.com SEE MOTHER’S DAY, PAGE 12
PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY | MAY 6 - 13, 2021
MOTHER’S DAY, FROM PAGE 11 The Twisted Tail
The popular Southerninspired restaurant and bar on Headhouse Square boasts a three-course Mother’s Day brunch served family style, perfect to share with mom, on Sunday, May 9 from 10am – 4pm. The specialty offerings include Beef Tartare, Brioche French Toast, Crab Cake Benedict, and Ricotta Beignets, and are priced at $39 per person with a children’s menu available. Reservations are required and available on OpenTable. 509 S. 2nd St. 215-558-2471. thetwistedtail.com
Image | Courtesy of The Twisted Tail
Garces invites mom and the family to celebrate on Mother’s Day with their full menu and brand-new expanded dining room – with a special Momosa (Cara Cara Mimosa) for $12 featuring Cara Cara oranges, blood orange and sparkling wine. 118 S. 20th St. (215) 665-1088. philadelphia.villagewhiskey.com
The Garden Restaurant Treat mom to brunch among the art at the Barnes Foundation’s light-filled Garden Restaurant. Mother’s Day weekend will feature brunch favorites including avocado toast, ham & brie served on French bread, a classic burger on a brioche bun with hand cut fries, lemon roasted chicken, and more. Admission to the Barnes Foundation not required for entry. opentable. com
The Clay Studio
Check out the Annual Pottery Sale, Friday, May 7, noon – 8pm. Acquire one-of-a-kind artist donations and student work at bargain prices in this annual can’t-miss outdoor event. All proceeds support The Clay Studio’s Equipment Fund. Also catch the Associate & Resident Artists Sale, Saturday, May 8, 11am – 5pm. A wonderful opportunity to see the incredible work being made by their in-house associate and resident artists at this outdoor and social distanced one-day sale. 137-139 N. 2nd Street. 215-925-3453. theclaystudio.org
Kick Axe Philly
National Museum of American Jewish History
Celebrate Revolutionary Women
Talula’s Garden will be offering brunch on Mother’s Day from 10am – 2pm for dine in, dine outside or takeout. With a breathtaking view of Washington Square Park, Talula’s Garden provides the perfect spring-time dining ambiance. Enjoy seasonal farm to table fare including the Spring Harvest Cheese Collection, spring ham & asparagus benedict, lemon “pudding” cake and more. talulasgarden.com
This Mother’s Day, the National Museum of American Jewish History Store is featuring the richly hued, intricate, limited-edition earrings of Israeli designer Ayala Bar. 101 South Independence Mall East. 215-9230262. nmajh.org
Give boring gifts the AXE this year, and give your mom the gift of fun! Use the code “MOM15” for 15 percent off gift vouchers. This promotion will run to May 9. Not valid with other offers. How to purchase: www.kickaxe.com/ gift-cards. Also, use the code “MAMA” for 10 percent off Mother’s Day bookings. Not valid with other offers. Can only be used for bookings on May 9. 232 Market St. How to use: www.kickaxe.com/book
Celebrate inspiring, trailblazing women this Mother’s Day weekend at the Museum of the American Revolution from Friday, May 7 – Monday, May 10, from 10am – 5pm. At the museum and online, discover the diverse women who played vital, often unsung roles on the home front and with armies on campaign during the Revolutionary War. Make your own Mother’s Day card at home inspired by the German art of paper-cutting, and more. On Mother’s Day, take home a free carnation courtesy of the museum to wish a happy Mother’s Day to the revolutionary woman in your life. amrevmuseum. org
Spasso Italian Grill
Dinner service 1-8pm on Mother’s Day. Party trays available for takeout. Order online two days in advance. spassoitaliangrill.com
Mercato and Butcher Bar
Mercato BYOB (1216 Spruce St.) and Butcher Bar (2034 Chestnut St.) are open regular hours on Mother’s Day. Butcher Bar Sunday Brunch at 10:30-3pm, dinner 4-9pm. Mercato on Sunday, 4pm-10pm. Mercatobyob. com. Butcherbarphilly.com
Located at 17th and Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia’s first board game café Thirsty Dice is opening its doors Sunday, May 9 from 10am to 5pm to welcome hungry and thirsty die-hard gamers and their moms to enjoy some safe, screenless quality time together over an infinite variety of board games and delicious brunch fare created especially with mom in mind. The day promises to be kid tested, mother approved and fun for the entire family. Make reservations at OpenTable. Image | Courtesy of Village Whiskey
MAY 6 - 13, 2021 | PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY
POE IN PHILLY
Edgar Allan Poe reached creative peak while living here
ing symptoms of tuberculosis. Poe’s mothvisited Edgar Allan Poe’s house in Philadelphia on a school trip many er-in-law, who was also his aunt, lived with Edgar and Virginia, and the three of them years ago. I revisited the historical moved a couple of times between 1842 and ’44, house in my 20s when I was rereadbefore finally leaving for New York. During ing and enjoying Poe, especially “The that last year or so, Poe began drinking more, Murders on the Rue Morgue,” which is credited as the very first detective and his wife’s illness weighed heavily on him. So things were pretty shaky by the crime story. time he left Philadelphia.” I recently read Scott Peeples’ I asked what significant work “The Man of the Crowd: Edgar AlPoe produced while living in Philalan Poe and the City,” which covers delphia. Poe’s time in Richmond, Baltimore, “It was his creative peak – I think New York, and, of course, Philathat would be hard to argue with. delphia. Peeples, a professor of He wrote and published most of the English at the College of Charlesstories he’s best known for today: ton, also co-edited, with J. Gerald ‘Ligeia,’ ‘The Fall of the House of Kennedy, “The Oxford Handbook Usher,’ ‘The Tell-Tale Heart,’ ‘The of Edgar Allan Poe,” and he wrote Black Cat,’ “The Pit and the Pentwo other books on Poe, as well. dulum,’ ‘The Masque of the Red I reached out to Peeples and Death,’ ‘The Murders in the Rue asked him about Poe’s time in PhilMorgue,’ ‘The Gold-Bug,’ ‘The Man adelphia, which was from 1838 to of the Crowd,’ and more,” Peeples 1844. said. “He wrote a lot of satirical fic“In some ways, it was the most tion as well, and a steady stream of stable period of his adult life,” PeePAULDAVISONCRIME.COM book reviews.” ples replied. Peeples described Poe’s house, That’s not saying much, but still, which is now a national historic Poe lived in the same house for site on Spring Garden Street, as relatively spaabout four of the six years in Philadelphia, which was very unusual for him. And he had cious considering how little money the family steady employment for a few years, as editor had. “It was attached to a much larger house of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine and then owned by his landlord, but Poe’s place was a Graham’s Magazine. He got to know a lot of other writers and editors; he met Charles pretty nice little home on the outskirts. Apparently, the landlord admired Poe as a writDickens when Dickens toured the city. “Poe even came close to launching his own er and didn’t really worry too much about the rent.” magazine, something that he greatly desired,” Peeples said Poe moved to Philadelphia in Peeples said. the wake of the Panic of 1837, as the city was “But he never made a lot of money, and trying to bounce back from a recession. then, in 1842, his wife, Virginia, began show-
Scott Peeples’ ‘The Man of the Crowd: Edgar Allan Poe and the City’ covers Edgar Allan Poe’s time in a number of cities, including Philadelphia. Image | Courtesy of Scott Peeples “Even so, it was growing pretty quickly – not at the speed of New York, but definitely expanding,” Peeples said. “Some impressive new public buildings were going up – Eastern State Penitentiary, the Second Bank of the U.S., the U.S. Mint, the Philadelphia Arcade – but at the same time, back lots were getting filled in with smaller, shoddier houses. It probably felt kind of chaotic, despite the city’s image as the Quaker City with the orderly grid of streets. There were labor disputes and riots, including the burning of Pennsylvania Hall in 1838 by a racist mob, because they had hosted an abolitionist lecture. And the city published a lot of newspapers and magazines, and that was probably the main thing that drew Poe to Philadelphia in the first place.” Peeples said he wrote “Man of the Crowd” to show how much Poe engaged with the
places he lived. “Poe lived an itinerant life – he moved from city to city and within cities very frequently, largely because he was never financially secure. Cities shaped Poe’s life and career, and that was something I wanted to explore.” Peeples said Poe’s work has endured for many reasons. “Poe’s stories are more than creepy – they confront some basic human questions in unsettling ways: What’s it like to be dead? Why am I my own worst enemy? Poe’s posthumous image – to some extent the one I’m implicitly challenging with this book – took on a life of its own, as he sort of became the face of gothic horror in the 20th century, thanks to comic books, movies, and a lot of other adaptations.” Paul Davis’ Crime Beat column appears here each week. You can contact him via pauldavisoncrime.com.
PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY | MAY 6 - 13, 2021
Image | Niek Verlaan
MAY 6 - 13, 2021 | PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY
OLD SCHOOL MURDER Stabbing has become a thing again in Philly
ou never hear about “the nice gossome quaintly old school murder at work. It’s sip” in the same way that no one as if Philly’s bad hombres are taunting Krasever gets “the good cancer.” And ner – soft on violent gun crime prosecutions, yet, there is hidden news, not quite to begin with – and checking in to see if the ready for all-around human conDA is willing to forgo sharpened tungsten, sumption, that benefits from its too. And hey, can we talk about the Mister brightness rather than focus on its Softee stunt pulled by the FOP in front of Larmeanness. ry Krasner’s office at the weekend? The one This time out, I’m talking about where the Philly police union was tryhow Philadelphia Weekly’s still freshing to portray how this Dem DA is soft paint-smelling, recently anointed edon crime (no joke, that), you know, BY A.D. itor-in-chief Jenny DeHuff is exiting like the sweet, bell-ringing ice cream AMOROSI the PW roost next week to become the custard swirl, but, also managed to editor at the 11th Street-based City & throw a weird, creepy dick joke into State PA – 100 percent political coverthe mix just in time for the May 16 age from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, election? And will other pro-Carlos 100 percent of the time – with a multi-media Vega endorsers portray their candidate as outlook. Brava. DeHuff will be missed at the rock hard on crime, long and thick on reduced Weekly, but an all-state, all-news site sounds bails, and stiff on old school justice? Has the bracing. Good on her, and here’s to me torturlocal district attorney’s race turned into Cineing another new ed-in-chief shortly. max worthy porn? That’s a boner. Duh. Oh, and if you really want more rumor Ron Gallo music on the Philly press front, but with no hard I have been wondering this for a minute. topline names on the dotted line to be signed, Philly’s Ron Gallo. The one-time Toy Soldier hear this: A Metro Philly editor or two is prewent solo, left Philly, and is making some of paring to jump ship for another local outlet. the best, soulful-est, quirkiest music of his What’s that about? And if they, too, wind up life on his brand new “Peacemeal” LP. And at City & State PA, the whole scene gets more he’s come back to town for a minute. Which curious, we’ll fear for Pirate Jenny’s life, we’ll is good. I LOVE RON GALLO. But what is double check the Kool-Aid, and we’ll be on the with the outfits – the array of DEVO-like hats look-out for the good cancer. and Monkees’ wool caps, the baggy, short bib Stabbings now a big thing overalls? It is as if he’s impersonating a Super If you paid any attention to the upward moMario Brother and a Marx Brother and Pinocbility of killings in Philly over the weekend, chio all at the same time. If you love Ron Gallo you know that, along with shootings, stabas I do, but am closer to him than I, say somebings are now a big thing. STABBINGS. That’s thing. Do something. Quick.
PHILADELPHIAWEEKLY.COM @PHILLYWEEKLY New Eagles Sure things were weird between Eagles’ front office workers Howie Roseman and Tom Donahoe during last week’s 2021 draft. Were they supposed to be on a date night? Rock hard on crime, long and…hang on. Anyway, welcome to our nine new 2021 draft class rookies, and up-and-coming, fresh-to-Philly QB Jamie Newman. School of Rock concert In a show of confidence, or just a way to get their brats out from their ProTools rigs, Lisa Reilly’s School of Rock students will perform their very first post-quarantine live concert at Race Street Pier May 8 at high noon, behind masks (audience and Image | Courtesy of Tracy Davidson bandmates) and with social distancing. That’s not totally, you know, rock n’ roll, but it is verrrrry close. Cool on them. DePaul’s happening now Months ago, Icepack dropped an early preview that DePaul’s Table was going to happen at 7 East Lancaster Ave. in Ardmore; and that The Bercy’s owners were partnering with local restaurateur Anthony DePaul for a fresh deeee luxe Italian steakhouse in the grand, historic onetime bank building, ye old Haverford Trust. Anyway, DePaul’s is finally happening NOW, and with Mexican exec chef Jose Galicia (late of The Chophouse) at the helm. Look for Chef Galicia in an upcoming Masked Philly – we think he’s going to be a real up-and-comer. Masked Philly: Tracy Davidson In Icepack’s continuing saga of asking mask-donning local celebrities what they’ve been up to, beyond the pale, during COVID-19 – from lockdown to the current, slow reopening – I reached out this week to the legendary Tracy Davidson of NBCUniversal/WCAU, NBC 10 News Today fame. We think we know what Davidson has been up to since we watch her doing her daily, local news reports and see her focused, and dressed up, for her work gig. The at-home Davidson, however, went full-blown pioneer for the pandemic. “Of course I baked a lot of bread in the be-
ginning, she said. “Then I got into woodworking and stripped, sanded, stained and sealed a huge tree trunk from a tree that had to come down in our yard. It’s now an end table. I also was inspired by a rustic sconce on Etsy and thought, ‘I can do that.’ So, I did. I gathered pieces of reclaimed longleaf yellow pine, went to my father’s workshop to plane and cut it, assembled the sconces, stained them and found a few old keys to decorate them. Both projects gave me so much satisfaction.” Dag, Tracy Davidson GOT THINGS DONE. “There was so much we couldn’t do during the pandemic – projects such as these focused my attention on what we could do.” The mask? Davidson wears those designed by Philly artist and philanthropist Dori Desautel Broudy, who does beautiful work, usually on print, canvas and home décor. “When masks became needed, she figured how to collaborate and support other local businesses. For me, her masks spread kindness and love and that’s what I want to personally project by wearing them. And, perhaps the best part – a portion of Dori’s proceeds from her mask sales goes to the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium.” Dr. Ala Stanford’s team has been a total game changer for Philly’s underserved communities, so good on that support. Along with looking forward to singing in church as a crucial aspect of the worship process and creating a shadow box of used masks, Davidson is excited to spend warm weather months with her family. “Like many families, we missed Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Plus, my father passed rather suddenly in March. We were all together briefly, but safely. I cannot wait until I get to spend days on end with my family members and hug my beautiful nieces. I’m also looking forward to my next Lifting Your Voice event in June that I host with Jen Croneberger; always a day of transformation, skill building and support.” (liftingyourvoice.com)
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PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY | MAY 6 - 13, 2021
Philly singer/songwriter Jules Marie was ‘that kid’ – the one who wouldn’t stop singing. Image | Mike Chism Photography - DayToDayStudios
MORE THAN JUST ‘LUCKY’ Philly’s Jules Marie has many stories to tell – good and bad
MAY 6 - 13, 2021 | PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY
ules Marie is a vocalist and songwriter from Philly and the surrounding suburbs who has released seven singles. Her latest release, “LUCKY,” generated almost 20,000 streams in a single week. PW recently caught up with her to talk about her career and music. Talk a little about how you first got into music. Who were some of your early inspirations? I started my music journey at a really young age. I was that kid – the one who wouldn’t stop singing. I was always singing for my family at get togethers and holidays. I would stand on top of the table and perform for them. I started songwriting and writing stories when I was in second grade, and I wrote my first full song when I was eight years old. I was a choir and theater kid pretty much my whole young life. I would have solos in the middle school choir, but I really got more serious as a musician with the start of high school. I was in community theater, the school musicals, and every choir they offered. I had some really great opportunities with those groups. I got to perform the national anthem at the Linc, The B101 Christmas Song Competition (now 101.1 More FM), and I even performed at The Kennedy Center. My favorite artists growing up were people like Nelly Furtado, Macy Gray, Alicia Keys, Whitney Huston, Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Alanis Morissette, Fleetwood Mac, and so many others. I had a lot of car rides back and forth between my mom and dad’s houses. My dad is a huge Frank Sinatra fan, and I think he definitely passed that influence onto me. We spent a lot of our drives together singing all of his songs. I think having an “Uncle Frank” (as my dad calls him) has definitely played a huge role in my voice. I tend to add touches of jazz/blues/soul to all of my music. You kind of grew up all over Pennsylvania, including Philly. What impact has the city had on your music? Are there any local artists who have influenced you? Philly will always have my heart. As much as I love the woods and mountains and all the towns I’ve lived in, something about pulling into the city, no matter what time of day, just makes me feel at home. However, I especially love the city at night. After I turned 18, I can’t even begin to tell you how many nights and gallons of gas I must have spent just driving all around the city – listening to music, windows down. I did some of my best songwriting on those night drives. I really just love our city. It has a vibe like no other. The food, the people, the sports and the concerts have all planted unforgettable memories in my mind. I even had my first busking experience right in center city. A few years ago, this random guy was sitting on the sidewalk outside of iHop playing his guitar and I just walked up and asked to sing with him, he said yes, and we ended up performing
Jules Marie’s latest single, ‘LUCKY,’ garnered almost 20,000 streams in only one week. Image | Mike Chism Photography - DayToDayStudios
file of a beat/instrumental made by my friend an impromptu acoustic version of my first sinJared Stong (also known as Pimp Fried Rice). gle, “Breathe.” We had all kinds of people stop I can normally fill in the words pretty quickly, and listen. A friend of mine took a video of the but sometimes all I have to start is a melody in whole thing, and that video has gotten tons of my head that gets hummed out until the humviews from all over the place, it was even postming becomes words. Each song is unique ed on @The.Viral.Voice on Instagram! and that has been the most exciting part. There are a lot of great musicians in PhilaSeeing the progression of ideas and sounds delphia – amazing studios, and so many venand words all coming together to make someues to perform. I’ve recently met some local Philly musicians over at Obsidian Studios in thing special. I still get as excited when it all comes together as I did when I wrote South Philly. They are all so crazy talmy very first song. The lyrics for all ented! You can definitely expect to see of my songs are very personal. They big things from them/us in the very BY EUGENE are usually based on my experiences, near future. my opinions, or just my general emoHow would you describe your ZENYATTA tions. I always want to write lyrics music? Does it fit into a particular that I feel are genuine and meaninggenre? ful. I have been so happy that I have As young as I am, I have had a pretty cranot been forced to pick a genre. I have so many zy ride in life so far. I feel like I have so many different influences and combinations of stories to share. Both good and bad. I also restyles. Articles written about my music have ally focus on being open and real with people. called me “genre-defying,” and I love that. I I tend to write about how I view the world and have never believed in staying inside a box, how I view the whole journey of life. I’m huand I definitely don’t ever want to be stuck inside one with my music. If you have to put a man. We all are. And I think people can really label on it, my music is everything from R&B/ connect with someone who is willing to share their own real life through their music. Pop, to Rock/Soul/Edge, the occasional counTell us about your latest single, try, and some reviews even say that my songs have hints of rap. I like blurring genre lines “LUCKY.” How did it come together? What’s been the reaction from your fans, with a sound that is uniquely mine. The genre of each song becomes however I’m feeling on and how can people hear it? “LUCKY” was written after one of my “usuthat track, and the delivery of my vocals defial drives” while sitting in my driver’s seat. It nitely differs from song to song. Talk a little about your writing process. actually started on a different beat than the Where do you find the inspiration for your one that you hear released. It would’ve been a much slower paced song if we would’ve gone songs? I write almost all of my songs in the notes with the original version. I wrote “LUCKY” section of my phone. Unless I write on my about realizations I’m having now as an adult about my childhood and growing up to this piano or with live instrumentation from my friend Sam Pappagallo, which has only been point. Time has gone by so fast, and as I look around in life I have been very lucky to “know for a few of my songs, most start with a sound
both the mountains and the city streets” as the lyrics say. The song also talks about the lessons I have learned. I talk about finding your voice, and “using your pain to ignite a flame.” I’m so grateful for the response from my fans and especially from my family. The song was inspired by a lot of my drives to the different places in Pennsylvania that my family lives in. As well as, of course, my drives through the city. My family really has been overwhelmingly supportive of this song. My grandparents actually said it’s one of their favorites! I also definitely have been overwhelmed with the fans’ and fellow musicians’ responses, and the amount of publicity this song has attracted. It has quickly become one of my most played songs, reaching over 20,000 streams on Spotify in just under two weeks. It continues to grow across all platforms. It is available on every streaming platform you can think of, and the video is available on YouTube. What’s ahead for you once the pandemic clears? More time in the studio? Live shows? I have actually been super fortunate to be able to continue to perform during the pandemic. I was invited to be a part of a few outdoor live music events. We had to be very careful, and make sure we were following all the rules, but I was able to get out and perform a few times on Bridge Street in Phoenixville and the beautiful Setter Ridge Vineyards. I currently have a few Pennsylvania and New Jersey performances scheduled toward the end of the summer and into the fall. I am definitely looking to fill up the rest of this summer with as many performances in as many different venues as possible. Including possibly some festivals! I also have been super fortunate to be able to continue working in various studios. Obsidian And Screaming Parrot Studios have both taken the pandemic very seriously and always take all the proper precautions when recording. I plan to continue to work with both and also collaborate with some new artists/friends and their studios. I can’t wait for all the amazing collaborations I have coming, as well as all the new original singles I have in the works. My main goal post-pandemic is to finally finish putting together a tour, and be able to have large-audience concerts and festivals again! Soon! So soon! I’m ready. What are the best ways people can stay current with what you’re doing? I am active daily on Instagram @JulesMarieMusic – instagram.com/julesmariemusic. I also am working on building a website with information about me and my music, photos, and an event schedule. I post pretty frequently on Facebook and Twitter – facebook.com/JulesMarieMusic and mobile.twitter.com/THEJulesMarie. I have videos on YouTube. I do have a TikTok, but I definitely could be better at keeping up with it – vm.tiktok.com.
PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY | MAY 6 - 13, 2021
A NEW HOME FOR CLAY STUDIO South Kensington site set to open this fall
The inaugural exhibition at The Clay Studio’s new building, Making Place Matter, will feature works by a number of artists, including South Kensington-based Kukuli Velarde. Image | John Carlano for En Route
MAY 6 - 13, 2021 | PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY
he Clay Studio’s new “By linking these powerful works that 34,000-square-foot home at 1425 weave together personal history, cultural North American St., in the legacy, and social justice with hands-on exheart of Philadelphia’s South periences with clay, we can inspire transKensington neighborhood, formative experiences in our new space.” will open its doors this fall. PW recently caught up with Martin to Designed by DIGSAU, it will talk about The Clay Studio and the move to be the first-of-its-kind ceramic arts facility the new home. built from the ground up in the U.S. PW: Let’s start with the big news: The inaugural exhibition at the new The opening this fall of The Clay Stubuilding, Making Place Matter, will feature dio’s new home. Talk a little about why works by South Kensington-based artist you’re opening a new place and the relaKukuli Velarde and artists Ibrationship the studio has with the him Said and Molly Hatch. The South Kensington community. show encourages visitors to ex- BY EUGENE JM: After scouring the city for plore the meaning of place. the right location, we determined ZENYATTA that the American Street corridor The new facility will continue to deepen relationships between The in South Kensington would be a Clay Studio and the South Kensgreat home neighborhood. South ington community. Over the last 25 years, Kensington is a multi-ethnic communiThe Clay Studio has engaged and formed ty with a vibrant, longstanding cultural long-lasting relationships within South landscape. Many artists and other arts orKensington through its children-focused ganizations have already found a friendly, Claymobile program. In recent years, educreative, and communal environment in cational programming has expanded in the which to live and work. The Clay Studio neighborhood to include artist-led workwill be a new anchor for the American shops, classes, and discussions to better Street corridor, a culture and arts destinaunderstand culture and place. tion for Philadelphia. The Clay Studio will expand its serAs soon as the location was chosen, we vices and spaces by 67 percent in the new began a serious effort to engage deeply facility, paving the way for unlimited new with the long-term neighbors and culturpossibilities for studio art, arts education, al organizations in the area. In 2018 our and community engagement. Larger classClay & Conversations project invited 50 rooms, state-of-the-art studios, an outdoor neighbors to connect, make art, and talk sculpture garden, a rooftop garden, and with us about their view of the neighborluminous new gallery spaces will meet the hood over a series of four events. That increased demand by students, artists, and same year, Maker Days projects offered visitors. free programming that reached over 500 For Velarde, Said and Hatch, this new residents through local summer festivals space will offer the chance to connect with and culminated with a shared communivisitors on a personal level. Each Making ty dinner. When we open the building this Place Matter artist – Velarde, Said, and fall, the inaugural exhibition will be MakHatch – will hold two-week residencies at ing Place Matter, which we have been planThe Clay Studio, offering audiences direct ning for over a year with a council of local access to the artists in relation to their residents. We are dedicated to making sure work. every person who walks in the door feels “Making Place Matter launches a new welcomed and inspired. era for The Clay Studio,” Executive DirecPW: How will the new space diftor Jennifer Martin said. fer from your current location on
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The Clay Studio’s new home in South Kensington is scheduled to open this fall. Image | Courtesy of The Clay Studio
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North Second Street? What are some of the features in the new building you’re most excited about? JM: I’m excited about it all. We love our current building, but it was not designed as an art space. Going through the process with our architects, DIGSAU, to thoughtfully design each new space for its particular use will allow us to serve even more people on a higher level. There will be designated classrooms for children and youth, to allow our already great children’s programming to continue to grow. This is especially important since we will be in a more residential neighborhood that will allow a robust participation in our new afterschool programming. Our nationally recognized Claymobile, that serves close to 4,000 school children around the city each year, will get an expanded space and move back into our main building. Our current building was too busy to accommodate the kilns and program needs for processing all the kids’ clay projects. Dedicated indoor and outdoor space for gatherings, like free lectures and community meetings, will also cultivate strong relationships with our neighbors. A communal kitchen will allow staff, artists, students, and neighbors to get together and build connections. Well designed artist studios and galleries will allow the highly regarded, professional artists with studios at The Clay Studio all the resources they need. PW: The Clay Studio began in 1974 in Old City as a collective of five artists. It’s now a thriving, and diverse fellowship of artists, teachers and professional staff serving 35,000 people a year. Why has it been so successful? JM: That’s easy – because of the people! The Clay Studio has grown exponentially and with a continued focus on our mission, because of the thousands of people over the last 47 years who have poured their passion for the ceramic art into the organization, and kept evolving
it to serve greater numbers. From a group of friends sharing resources, we have become an organization with many interconnected programs. We started as an internally focused organization and quickly became one dedicated to being a place that welcomes people and offers an outlet for creativity to the community. We strive to serve a wide swath of the local Philadelphia community, while also serving as an internationally recognized center for making and exhibiting the highest quality ceramic art. PW: How did the pandemic and all of its closures affect The Clay Studio? How was it able to not only get through the hard times, but also position itself to expand this fall? JM: Our expansion has been in the works for years. We are lucky that our funding for the capital project was in place before the pandemic. After the initial shutdown, we have been able to operate at 50 percent capacity in the building and we added virtual programming to continue to cultivate our sense of community for those who could not come in person. Our Lunch & Learn series has had over 3,000 attendees over the last 10 months, and our Clay at Home series is available anytime for people who want to work with clay in their own space. The class capacity we are safely allowed to offer in person sells out each term. We are proud to be a place where people can come and express themselves during this difficult year. We look forward to applying the lessons of the last year to make The Clay Studio’s new home even better than we anticipated. PW: What are the best ways for people to stay current with events and activities and even get involved with The Clay Studio? JM: Sign up for our weekly e-blasts and follow us on Instagram. We have virtual programming, workshops, and free lectures online now, as well as limited in-person classes. Visit theclaystudio.org for more info!
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new location. Coleman says galaei “must be con“POP stands for Prioritizing Our People. That name came from a very personal place because I sistently evolving and growing to further meet the was a client that was diagnosed with HIV at a very needs of the community.” She says that the “upyoung age,” says Jorian Rivera Beintick in much-needed protest” in the tidos, who heads up the POP program last few years demonstrates the severat galaei, the Philly organization ity of what people are facing. that is run by and for folks who are The crew at galaei has spent most “Queer and Trans, Black, Indigenous of the pandemic in strategic planning and People of Color,” according to its to rise to the occasion. “These folks mission. have been doing this work since they Rivera Beintidos found that when were actual children,” says Coleman he attended conferences or other of her squad of program leaders. HIV-related events that he felt like “They have been working so hard. he was just a number. Now, as a proTo get to work with these folks – our gram lead at a radical social justice people – is the greatest gift of my life. organization, he can make other folks “We decided to create three main feel more valued than he did. pillars of the organization: Queer ed“We have to prioritize the people ucational services, healing historical that come into our space, instead harm and community wellness,” she @TIMAREE_LEIGH of making them feel a target. Our says, adding that they’ll “do major number one job is to take care of community assessments at the end of them. They are our number one priority when the year to see what we need to add or tweak.” they come into the space and also when they’re One example of the programs is the aforemennot in the space tioned POP, – they’re our which focus on community, our HIV and STI testbrothers, our sising, HIV medicaters,” he says. tions, PreP care, Founded in queer sexuality 1989 by David education, and Acosta, who also even COVID vacserved as execucines. tive director for “We are trya decade, galaei ing to set a miswas first built for sion where we gay and lesbian lead with no AIDS activism myths, no steand education reotypes, no race for the Latin war, nothing. community. DeHIV is a virus spite cultural that we are comstigma and batbating; we are tles for funding, trying to fight an it has survived epidemic,” says and expanded Rivera Beintidos. over the decades, He is joined widening its foon the team cus as a queer of young proLatin@ social gram leaders by justice organizaCorem Coreano. tion. He is head of the Now, under youth program, the leadership delightfully of a new executive director, Ashley Coleman, the named SPLAT, which stands for Student Power organization enters a new phase, complete with a Leadership Activism Together.
“Being a trans folk automatically makes you an activist, even if you don’t call yourself that. Waking up in the morning, walking outside your door – as a trans person – it’s advocacy, it’s resilience. It’s powerful.”
ust be coner meet the at the “upest” in the s the severg. spent most c planning These folks since they The staff at galaei is dedicated to widening the s Coleman group’s focus as a queer Latin@ social justice orgaaders. nization. | Image: Mikael Garner, MGPhotography ng so hard. folks – our of my life. “We cover anything around sexual health edhree mainucation. A lot of the time I’m doing healthy sex: Queer ed-uality workshops in schools,” says Coreano. His g historicalprogram also works on mentorship, helping kids lness,” shefinish school, getting physical activity and even “do majorart and music, with an aim to heal from trauma. t the end of He adds, “I’m a creative. I’m an artist. I found a weak.” lot of my own personal healing through art, so aforemen-I definitely want to enable and uplift other folks POP,through art as well.” focus on Valentina Rosario Jesus leads up the TINGS nd STI test-program, a “first stop hub” for Transgender, InIV medica-tersex, Non-Binary, and Gender non-conforming PreP care,Services. In addition to sexualitybeing an acronym for the tion, andpopulation she serves, RoCOVID vac-sario Jesus points out that “TINGS also a slang word e are try-in the Caribbean for ‘beauset a mis-tiful woman.’” where we The TINGS program with noprovides a variety of as, no ste-sistance, everything from es, no racehelping find a trans-friendnothing.ly dentist, learning makeup s a virusskills, even college prep e are com-and paid internships. ; we are “Our life skills building to fight anis tailored to trans folks and mic,” saysthe things they are looking a Beintidos. for and need to live whatis joinedever they feel their best life he teamis,” she says. oung pro- One of Rosario Jesus’ leaders bytasks is working with orm Coreano.ganizations and businesses to gather new items head of thefor their Essentials Closet, a collection of clothing, program,shoes and other necessities. tfully “Our folks deserve new items,” says Coleman, dent Poweradding “it is really our mission to make sure we’re ethically buying things – that we’re buying QTBI-
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POC if at all possible.” TINGS also conducts educational training for companies and schools to teach trans competency and “basic human decency,” runs an initiative of community support and accountability, and a campaign called Tea & Roses, which celebrates the lives of trans people. “We have grown accustomed to always mourning the loss of trans folks and never highlighting their lives,” says Rosario Jesus, “being a trans folk automatically makes you an activist, even if you don’t call yourself that. Waking up in the morning, walking outside your door – as a trans person – it’s advocacy, it’s resilience. It’s powerful.” The walls of the new galaei space are covered with portraits of such community members. “When you walk into galaei, you actually see yourself,” says Coleman, “You know the people on our walls. You’re home. You’re welcome here.” To reintroduce galaei to the community, an all-day virtual event is being held Saturday, May 15, according to operations manager Mikah Thomas, who says it’ll feature workshops, meet and greets, and the debut of their brand spanking new website, social media and scheduling app. “It’s about what we are doing and what we plan to do,” Thomas says. “We’ve been prioritizing our people.” Have a question for Timaree? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We are trying to set a mission where we lead with no myths, no stereotypes, no race war, nothing.”
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