On The Record: Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood, Eve, Pinata Protest, Demi Lovato, Bibio, and Wild Nothing
Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood
Sounds like: The nearly 50-year-old Screaming Trees founder teams with a master composer/producer for darkly beautiful and haunting Americana.
Free association: His dusty sadness is a perfect match for Garwood’s ambient score.
For fans of: Quiet Dinosaur Jr. x Nick Cave, Damien Jurado/Seattle grunge, Waits.
(From the Rib/Sony/RED)
Sounds like: The Philly native’s fourth and first in 11 years has seen tons of delays, but now it’s out, and it’s way more bangin’ than anyone’s gonna expect.
Free association: Despite a slew of guests, Eve’s the centerpiece of this hard comeback.
For fans of: Chrisette Michele/Missy Elliot + The Neptunes, Snoop/Pusha T, Philly.
Sounds like: Outstanding Mexi punk from San Antonio, with an accordion-fronted take on traditional conjunto, but spiked with edgy, angry rock flavors.
Free association: Nine songs in 20 minutes, and it’s fresher than tableside guac.
For fans of: Dropkick Murphys + the horchata, “Volver, Volver”, “La Cucaracha.”
Sounds like: Totally mediocre as far as powerhouse pop stars go, with perhaps the most innovation audible in production tricks and vocal manipulation.
Free association: There’s a song called “Made in the USA” about well-built love.
For fans of: Miley Cyrus/Selena Gomez/Hillary Duff, Justin Bieber in a Ford pickup.
Sounds like: Deliriously pretty digital folktronica from the Brit producer who’s explored faster and louder, but here pauses for dreamy and pillowy pastiche.
Free association: A stoner’s dream. Something bothering you? Bliss out for a second.
For fans of: Boards of Canada + Koushik, Caribou/Toro Y Moi, chilling extra hard.
Empty Estate EP
Sounds like: His synthiest yet, Jack Tatum’s a Virginian who polishes down synth-soaked indie pop into gems of simultaneously modern and retro import.
Free association: These kids and their synth machines, they’re gettin’ better every day.
For fans of: Real Estate, Twin Shadow + Youth Lagoon x Neon Indian, cool things.
While I’m generally not a big fan of a lot of the murals in this city (the older ones in particular, which tend to be more creepy than interesting), there’s just something about a giant cat head protruding from a brick wall that I find inherently awesome.
I’m referring to the new mural located at 10th and Hamilton streets by local silk-screening extraordinaire Candy Coated, entitled “One Human’s Trash is Another’s Treasure.”
Created by local silk screener extraordinaire Candy Coated, with assistance from students at the Laura Waring School in Fairmount, this is actually Philly’s first large-scale screen print decoupage mural. As for the adorable feline prominently featured, that’s of course, KATZ!, Candy’s formerly homeless adopted kitten and muse.
Though technically completed a few weeks ago, Mural Arts will be properly introducing the temporary, nature-inspired mural to the public during a dedication ceremony tomorrow afternoon, from 3:30-5 p.m. Those in attendance will not only get to meet the mural’s eccentric creator in the flesh, but they’ll be amongst the first to try Little Baby’s spanking new Candy Coated-inspired vegan ice cream flavor, Jazzmarnier (which has a coconut meat base, with jasmine tea lingerings laced with lavender hints. Yum!).
For those not familiar with Candy’s work, the best way I can think to describe it is Betsy Johnson meets Lisa Frank, but more artsy. Pick up tomorrow’s issue of PW, and you can read all about her current exhibition at the Art Museum’s Perelman Building, aptly dubbed CandyCoated Wonderland.
On The Record: Talib Kweli, Fitz & The Tantrums, Little Boots, Lady Antebellum, Classixx, And Mikal Cronin
Prisoner of Conscious
Sounds like: A really mixed bag from Kweli’s fifth, and not in a pleasant, mixed-nuts kind of way—all over the place, too many guests, not angry enough.
Free association: Let’s be real: Dude’s almost 40. Maybe his venom’s drying out.
For fans of: Tribe/De La/Nas/Mos Def + Busta/Nelly/Miguel, conscious rap.
Fitz & the Tantrums
More Than Just a Dream
Sounds like: The L.A.-born retro and soul-inspired vehicle for Michael Fitzpatrick’s Stax and Motown worship’s sophomore doesn’t pop like their debut.
Free association: Did that whole retro soul thing already have its moment?
For fans of: Mark Ronson + Mayer Hawthorne, Hall & Oates on speed, trends.
Sounds like: The British electro diva’s second is a surprisingly sultry and complex dance music affair, despite its big producers, yielding nuance and depth.
Free association: Which song’ll burn up dancefloors all summer? It’s hard to pick.
For fans of: Annie + La Roux x LCD Soundsystem, Madonna/Robyn, ecstatic dancing.
Sounds like: Harmless, listenable country pop from the Nashville trio; their fifth may not win them awards like Need You Now did, but it’s still an easy listen.
Free association: This is radio country that makes us hate Taylor Swift more.
For fans of: Sugarland/Rascal Flatts x Miranda Lambert, FM twang, Tennessee.
Sounds like: A delicious debut of electronic dance music from L.A. best buds who clearly love some Italo disco, but also R&B, crafty production and beats.
Free association: Blast this on your way to the beach with windows open ASAP.
For fans of: Nico Jaar + Phoenix x Hot Chip, Erasure/Depeche Mode, sick grooves.
Sounds like: Frickin’ excellent solo Merge debut from the Ty Segall team player full of old-school angst, thoughtful lyrics, a little chaos and plenty of noise.
Free association: Believe the hype! One of the best statements of the year.
For fans of: Weezer x Pearl Jam, Toro y Moi + Nirvana, powerhouse garage noise.
When I lived in Brooklyn, I made it to the Flea once. There were bikes of all shades and colors, cool jewelry (I bought some Erica Weiner stuff), furniture that made me daydream of the budget and apartment I’d one day have, oh and food. And drink. Pretty sure I had a bangin’ pink lemonade. I never thought the spot was so organized that it could up and declare a new location. Like Philly. But on June 2nd, a Sunday, the Brooklyn Flea arrives at the Piazza. The five-year-old successful flea market will have its first weekend in the Jared Kushner-bought Bart Blatstein monstrosity in just a few short weeks.
Kushner’s the husband of Ivanka Trump, and he owns the New York Observer. He’s teamed up with Flea co-founder Jonathan Butler and Eric Demby to bring their model to a Philly space, their first moment of expansion. We’re hoping it’s a continuation of a trend; seems like New York’s finally seeing the beauty of our fair city. In the not-too-distant past we’ve seen stuff like 3rd Ward, SuitSupply, Joe Coffee and, wait, is that Uniglo coming to Philadelphia? Man, it’s awesome.
Here’s the rundown on the Philly Flea: It’s a curated shopping and food experience for your Sunday morning and afternoon in Northern Liberties, and it launches on June 2. There are limited spots, a fee, an application process, and the powers that be pick and choose to achieve a blissful mix of art, furniture, vintage, modern, crafty, handmade, prefab and mad food. (Among the vendors slated are Philadelphia Salvage, Three Potato Four, At Home Modern, Peg & Awl and Forage Haberdashery.) Brooklyn Flea’s been a fertile starting place for dozens of businesses looking to start small, build clientele and create a name for itself before moving into a brick-and-mortar location. No doubt that’ll happen in our Philly locale, and it’s exciting to see which startups will get the green light from the Philly Flea team.
The Piazza’s one weird space. But did you know that it can contain nearly 8,000 people? There’s no other space within a short radius of Center City that can so easily and professionally host such an excellent collection of vending tables and tents. There’ve been maybe a dozen businesses that have come and gone since Blatstein cut some deals for cheap rent in the piazza’s youth, a result of a number of factors, no doubt. Personally, I have no desire to dine at a place like Gunner’s Run (again). But when the Flea’s chosen food vendors populate the Brooklyn Philly Flea, they’ll pretty easily become the most solid eats outside of the dependable Bar Ferdinand and El Camino Real that will neighbor the flea (and benefit handily).
It’s just good all around: New York expanding to Philadelphia, sophistication in the form of curated shopping, a thing to do every weekend and a revitalization of one weird, underused space. Starting in June, you’ve got a good reason to head up, if nothing else for a good place to stroll with a coffee in hand and peruse high-to-low-end goods and art. Plus there’s like a 1000-percent guarantee that some cuties’ll be shoppin’ too.
Also, one quick note about the Flea’s June 2 opener: Since it’s the day after the sure-to-be-bangin’ Roots Picnic, call it the official “Roots Family Post Picnic Brunch,” ’cause according to insiders, Questlove and a slew of other dope local DJ are set to rock the Piazza stage.
For anyone attending Art Star’s tenth annual craft extravaganza this weekend, it’s a good idea to have some sort of plan of attack mapped out before entering the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. With 100+ vendors competing for your time and attention, knowing which ones you definitely want to target might make the afternoon a little less overwhelming. So here’s five to consider adding to your must-see list.
Note: I’ve purposely chosen to exclude the local artisans who I’ve now written about numerous times on this here blog. For instance, Joey Five Cents, Penelope Rakov, exit343 designs, Yardsale Press, Phea Jean, BirdQueen Designs, Concrete Polish Jewels, Made with Awesome, Jay McCarroll, etc.
USB Typewriter (#51)
OK, so this is one of the most awesome inventions I’ve seen in a long time. Rather than simply collecting dust as useless piece of décor, now you can finally transform a broken, vintage typewriter into a functional keyboard for your Mac or PC using their easy conversion kit (which only cost about $79!). The USB Typewriter also makes for a perfect keyboard dock for your iPad or tablet.
Whether it’s an accent table, cabinet or candleholder, any one of this Kensington-based company’s handmade rustic, modern furnishings would make for a beautiful addition to your home. They are also all made using reclaimed wood and metals.
Meera Lee Patel (#65)
One of only a few newcomers chosen to take part in this year’s bazaar, the New Jersey artist will be showcasing and selling a wide array of items, from original paintings and illustrated paper goods to hand-sewn tea towels and pillows.
Overall Baby (#37)
What could be more adorable than infants and toddlers in overalls? Infants and toddlers in custom-made overalls with fun textiles and prints. The picture pretty much speaks for itself.
Comfort is paramount when it comes to this New York-based designer’s eccentric line of hand-sewn apparel and accessories. Hopefully, she’ll be bringing along a few of her super cute winter accessories, despite them now being out of season.
Image c/o CBS News.
So everyone’s busting out a full-on “Summer Movie Preview” these days. It’s the first week of May and, well, there’s that Iron Man movie. It nearly set first weekend release records again (holding that top spot is, naturally, that Avengers film). Which is a perfectly appropriate analogy for what summer movies tend to be about: being huge. Effects! Razzle dazzle! Big budgets! Comic-book movies! Remakes! Sequels! Adaptations of Already-Great Pieces of Art That Don’t Need to Be Made into Movies! Of course, there’s a bunch of indie movies that’ll win your hearts this summer. But we’ll get to those in time. For now, let’s just prioritize the ones everyone’s going to go see to beat the heat once it plateaus above 85 degrees.
We’ll do it like this: there are a TON of movies coming out before now and September. We’re not even going to touch August because, well, that feels really far away (and there’s actually a bunch of bullshit hitting screens that month). So for the months of May, June and July, we’ll give you a fairly succinct list in order of how excited we are for it and a tidbit about the film via other sources, like the glorious IMDB (the idea of synopsizing all these mediocre movies makes me nauseous). Plus, some trailers.
The Great Gatsby (May 10)
Before Midnight (May 24): “We meet Jesse and Celine nine years later in Greece. Almost two decades have passed since their first meeting on that train bound for Vienna.”
Now You See Me (May 31): “An FBI agent and an Interpol detective track a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money.”
Star Trek Into Darkness (May 17): “After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction.”
After Earth (May 31): “A crash landing leaves Kitai Raige and his father Cypher stranded on Earth, 1,000 years after events forced humanity’s escape. With Cypher injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help.”
Fast & Furious 6 (May 24): “Agent Hobbs enlists the aid of Dom and team to help bring a rival gang, led by Owen Shaw, to justice. In exchange for clear records, they must put an end to their schemes, no matter how personal the cost.”
The Hangover Part III (May 24): “This time, there’s no wedding. No bachelor party. What could go wrong, right? But when the Wolfpack hits the road, all bets are off.”
Much Ado About Nothing (June 7): “A modern retelling of Shakespeare’s classic comedy about two pairs of lovers with different takes on romance and a way with words.”
World War Z (June 21): “United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself.”
Man of Steel (June 14): “A young journalist is forced to confront his secret extraterrestrial heritage when Earth is invaded by members of his race.”
I’m So Excited (June 28): “When it appears as though the end is in sight, the pilots, flight crew and passengers of a plane heading to Mexico City look to forget the anguish of the moment and face the greatest danger, which we carry within ourselves.”
This Is The End (June 14): “While attending a party at James Franco’s house, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and many other celebrities are faced with the apocalypse.”
White House Down (June 28): “While on a tour of the White House with his young daughter, a Capitol policeman springs into action to save his child and protect the president from a heavily armed group of paramilitary invaders.”
Only God Forgives (July 26): “Julian, a drug-smuggler thriving in Bangkok’s criminal underworld, sees his life get even more complicated when his mother compels him to find and kill whoever is responsible for his brother’s recent death.”
The Lone Ranger (July 5): “Native American warrior Tonto recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid, a man of the law, into a legend of justice.”
Pacific Rim (July 12): “When an alien attack threatens the Earth’s existence, giant robots piloted by humans are deployed to fight off the menace.”
The Wolverine (July 26): “Wolverine makes a voyage to modern-day Japan, where he encounters an enemy from his past that will impact on his future.”
R.I.P.D. (July 12): “A recently slain cop joins a team of undead police officers working for the Rest in Peace Department and tries to find the man who murdered him.”
As some of you may already be aware, the galleries and shops in Old City have recently come together to expand the neighborhood’s iconic First Friday festivities to include an entire weekend of art, shopping and dining.
What you probably weren’t aware of is that they have something extra special in store for the May edition of First Friday Weekends.
Marking the 100th anniversary of the patenting of the zipper, this Saturday, 12 of the neighborhood’s best design and fashion destinations are taking part in a free, zipper-centric fashion show dubbed “ZIP 19106.”
Students from Philadelphia University, along with a few local boutique staffers, will be modeling a variety of clothing, objects and accessories—all featuring zippers—during an energetic runway show narrated by Snyderman-Works Galleries Director Frank Hopson and set to the live tunes of DJ Adub.
Afterwards, the models will mingle with the crowd to give you a closer look at their fashions and answer any questions you may have about where you can find them. Chances are you’re going to be particularly intrigued by Kate Cusack’s intricate, sculptural and surprisingly chic zipper jewelry (see right).
Meanwhile, food and drinks will be provided by several local restaurants, including Art in the Age, Cuba Libre, Wedge + Fig and Pinot. As for the boutiques and stores participating in the show—all of which will all remain open during the event, some offering special sales and spirits—that list includes Franklin Square, Smak Parlour, More Than Old, Three Sirens Boutique, The Geisha House, Sugarcube and US* U.S. Boutique.