When local jewelry designer and vintage connoisseur, Chelsea Pearce first opened her awesome Fabric Row boutique, Moon & Arrow last fall, I immediately went to check it out. I then documented my glowing first impressions on this here blog. Back then, I had no idea that the store was only a pop-up so by the time I went to retrieve the umbrella I left there, the place was empty and Bus Stop Boutique was moving in.
I’ve spent the past year wondering whatever happened to Chelsea and morning the loss of yet another great local indie boutique. Or at least that was until about three weeks ago when I happened to spot an even bigger storefront at 4th & Fitzwater Sts. being renovated with the Moon & Arrow sign the window.
Tomorrow will officially marks the boutique’s resurrection and to celebrate, all are welcome to stop by and enjoy drinks, food and tunes from 6-10 p.m. Guests who make a purchase during the bash will receive a free custom-made screen-printed tote bag and while I’ve yet to see the new digs myself, I assure you it won’t be hard to find something you like.
Creating a unique shopping atmosphere with all sorts of eclectic pieces of décor—from terrariums housed in recycled fish tanks to hanging air plant sculptures stuffed with turkey feathers and horsehair—the new location boasts an even larger stock of vintage housewares as well as men’s and women’s clothing and accessories, all curated by Pearce herself. Meanwhile, Moon & Arrow’s Bohemian-chic jewelry can be found draped from antique mirrors or meticulously arranged on shelves alongside chucks of quartz.
Perhaps a pretty good indication that boutique is here to stay, Moon & Arrow has recently partnered with the local founders of Territory Hard Goods, offering retail presence to their supply of “rediscovered” vintage furnishings and home accents. Having found success on Etsy as well as through sales on sites like Fab.com and HauteLook.com, THG will now run their upholstering studio, workshop and office in the same space.
Yeah, she’s the other Knowles girl. Beyonce’s lil’ sister has been living in the shadow of her big-deal big sister. And after a few years of seeming a touch lost, it looks like she’s finally found her way and is picking up steam. This week she put out an excellent EP – True is seven songs that have a lot of class, artistry and intrigue. Four years ago she gave us Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams, a retro-pop number. At the time, it kind of captured a lot of the charm behind a growing trend of ’60s soul revivalism. But at the same time, it was just that – it was almost like a concept record. It didn’t have the timelessness that True has. And with a new announcement, tickets are on sale TODAY and she’ll be here in two weeks time.
The success story of this EP is already written on the wall with “Losing You.” Man, it’s good. And the video is so damn charming and well-done. The looks, the dancing, the styling, the light – it’s all just right. Seeing her perform it in Philadelphia is worth the price of admission alone.
If you’re like us, the mere mention of Conor Oberst makes you cringe just a little bit. Now, once upon a time, those two EXCELLENT records, Digital Ash in a Digital Urn and I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning, made Bright Eyes a favorite of 2005. But sometimes those records feel like a flash in the pan – so much of the rest of his catalogue sounds like whiny drivel. There’s something about his voice. It has a unique tenor, no? But it’s malleable and sometimes he uses that tool for good. Screaming, punk-flavored metallic good. Seriously, almost ten years ago he had a punk band called Desaparecidos that rips. Desaparecidos is a spanish word for someone who has disappeared, presumably killed by the military or police. Doesn’t really roll off the tongue, but it doesn’t matter once you hear them play.
Today, he announced that they’d play a string of shows and Union Transfer’s on the list. Nine dates and Philly’s got one. On February 23rd, they’ll make their way up from Atlanta, Georgia before finishing the mini-tour in Boston and New York.
The entire gang—Briana, Madonna, Shannon, Aubrie and Kait—will be performing at the Philly Improv Theater (407 Bainbridge St.) on Friday at 10 p.m. and if you thought their mugs were adorable on last week’s cover, just wait till you see them up close. Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door and sharing the bill is the long-form improv group, Apocalips, another local crew of funny females.
With that much comedic talent and estrogen under one tiny roof, I wouldn’t be surprised if a few heads exploded. And speaking of heads exploding, as a special treat, the troupe will be patching up their handmade food costumes for yet another round of “Food Fight.” (If Shannon comes packing the same punches as she did during Sketchfest, this could very well be the final round.)
Anyway, having originally compiled a rather extensive list of “Things You Absolutely Do Not Need To Know About ManiPedi,” I figured I’d share a few of the factoids that didn’t make the cut to hold you over till their show….
#1. The group has written/performed a total of six different sketches in which someone dies or is about to die.
#2. To make Shannon’s shrimp costume for “Food Fight,” Kait—who designs many of their costumes and show flyers—laboriously sewed foam to several pieces of cardboard with a giant needle until her hands were sore. This wasn’t entirely in vain since that’s the only food costume that’s been able to withstand the many beatings.
#3. Thanks to Madonna, Aurbie and Shannon are both addicted RuPaul’s Drag Race.
#4. Briana rocks out to show tunes in her car—even with the windows down.
#5. All five members have taken various improv and sketch classes in the city while Aubrie and Madonna are currently enrolled in a “Sketch 101” course at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater in NYC.
#6. Kait is always assigned the “cuckoo bird” roles. In fact, if she’s on stage, she’s probably screaming most of her dialogue.
#7. During the interview process, the group and I killed four bottles of wine.
#8. Aubrie is terrified of masks—the stupider, the scarier.
#9. The photo featured on the cover was taken mere seconds after all five ladies simultaneously lost their composure, laughing through their teeth till their faces were red.
#10. Since the story ran, the gals have reached dog #13 in the “Underdog Challenge,” and at this pace, they might be able to clear all 22 in another week.
Be sure to stick around after their show for Sketch Up Or Shut Up, the only free sketch comedy open mic in town. And if you want to make an entire weekend of it, consider stopping by PHIT on Sunday when Canadian actor and comedian Kevin McDonald from The Kids in the Hall will be appearing as a special guest with PHIT’s esteemed instructors in The Deans show (7 p.m., $10-$12). Afterwards, he’ll even be doing a brief Q&A with the audience.
See what we did there? See, Free used to be a Roc soldier, a Jay-Z asset. But now, as an individual who’s choosing his own path, following his own chi and calling all the shots, it shows and it sounds real good. There’s ferocity here. The new record, out yesterday, earned a solid XL rating from XXL (Hey, so did Meek Mill). Out of curiosity, we browsed through a few pages of reviews to see how often an XL gets bestowed and it’s not as frequent as Larges, but a rare Medium (2 out of 60) must feel like a punch in the gut.
Free expertly used some guest spots. And normally a solo emcee who enlists a long list of guests means they need help, but here he uses em’ just right. The opening track’s got our girl Marsha Ambrosius on it, followed by a beautiful Vivian Green spot, plus Suzann Christine on “Wonder Tape,” Musiq Souldchild, less-than-amazing moments from Neef Buck and Wale, and a stunning turnout from Nikki Jean. There’s something that really works about the force and energy that Free brings, tempered by a chill, composed female vocal. It’s a hip-hop trope that works for a reason. When ladies sing the hook, it just sounds good.
It’s easy to feel pride for our city and for Freeway when you listen to this one. And for that we salute you, Free. You done good. Here’s an Amazon link, plus it’s on Spotify and iTunes.
To make sure the women of Philadelphia get what they really want this Christmas, TownHome Jewelry & Boutique has put together a rather genius two-part shopping event, targeting both the givers and the receivers out there.
First up, tomorrow (Wednesday) night, ladies are invited to come and peruse the boutique’s selection of designer adornments while enjoying wine and light bites from Rouge as well as a hot coco station. Whether it’s one of Heather B. Moore’s simple yet elegant customizable pendant necklaces or a unique, environmentally friendly bangle from Me&Row, there’s bound to be something that catches your eye.
Once you’ve decided which piece(s) you’d like to find under the tree, be sure to tell your beau (or leave hints) because on Dec. 11, the Rittenhouse treasure chest will be hosting a boys-only night featuring whisky cocktails from Whistlepig, and fare from Chef Marc Ventri.
So as not to discriminate, guests at both events will be entitled to a special 15 percent discount. In other words, single ladies can go ahead and buy their own damn bling.
Both events will be held from 5:30-8 p.m. at TownHome’s headquarters at 1616 Walnut St.
Rihanna’s Unapologetic’s going to be a divider in the world of diva fanatics. Some of us love her. And, more and more, it seems like there’s a growing camp of anti-Rihanna pop music fans out there that are skeptical of the bad girl and Jay-Z associate. See, she’s one of those pretty young things that seems to have a pretty big team. She executive produced this one, her seventh, and enlisted a small army of writers and producers to put out this one only a year after last year’s Talk That Talk. Critics are calling it rushed. And it doesn’t help that one of the album’s strongest tracks, “Nobody’s Business,” is a duet with former (maybe current?) flame, Chris Brown, a man who beat her and the subsequent fallout has made him a public enemy. In fact, it could be said that this record is all about Brown – many of the songs have to do with a clandestine love, doomed lust and hopeless romanticism.
Philly bartender, movie-maker and blogger, Cristof Lombard, recently ripped it up and gave the record a D+. The mixed reviews continue to pour in and they’re worth considering. It’s a murky record, no doubt. “Diamonds” is a pretty huge hit already and the whole record’s set to debut at the top of Billboard’s Top 200. But could that be due to the fact that she’s one of the only young pop stars to have a fairly regular pattern of behavior: she’s an expert Instagrammer, smokes weed, tours, and hangs out with a camp. No Britney-style breakdowns or years-long waits for records – no DUIs to speak of, no public live performance gaffes, no arrests. But EVERYONE knows about her getting beat up and this slow, painful unfurling of the back-and-forth between the two (both in terms of their careers and their personal lives). Maybe THAT’s enough to get people to buy her new record; they’re too curious about the dirty details it may let loose.
There are a couple tracks that are just awful: the dubstep ones. They fall right in the middle, one after the other – “Jump” promisingly uses a refrain from Ginuwine’s “Pony” before it falls into dubstep purgatory, and the David Guetta-produced “Right Now” feels like a Skrillex imitation. But the heartfelt one-two punch that follows are a couple tracks that might be two of her strongest in her entire catalogue: “What Now” and the duet with Mikky Ekko, “Stay.” Admittedly, when you’re a fan, it’s hard to objectively deem a record a piece of crap or a not-as-great-as-you’d-hoped. The weirdness of the whole Chris Brown situation makes it that much more difficult to firmly critique it. Clearly, she’s loved him and might still – but folks who’re red with rage with Brown for what he did to her don’t seem willing to allow for any kind of nuance in their own dissolution as a couple or lack thereof. It comes with the territory of a tabloid-fueled social media and internet age.
But it sure makes for compelling bar and dinner conversation, doesn’t it? We’re planning on paying her a visit when she kicks off her early Diamonds tour stop at Wells Fargo on Thursday, March 14th .