August 5-11, 2004
Sometimes I have to reach inside to find some light out there in IceLand. A cynical prick has to move beyond wise-assed weariness to see beyond the jaded shades (or shadiness) of dumbo clubfucks and pricey restaubars just to feel something. Could be as simple as flipping a switch the new lights along the Parkway bubbling up from Moore College, Franklin Institute, the statues. Or a voice, a local one, lifted in God-gifted song. "Don't thank me, thank Him," said Jill Scott, acknowledging her gift while wigglingly wailing through Friday night's sold-out TLA show. It wasn't just that Scott (who hasn't toured in eons but has a new CD, Beautifully Human, due out soon) and her skintight band wowed the crowd with glorious choc-caramel jazz-soul. It's that her soaring, gospel-glomming vocals took the cliche of "voice-as-instrument" into a whole 'nother stratosphere with inventive, winding turns and verbal re-routings that were awesome in Olympian power. Through weighty lyrics geared toward commitments to love and community ("I came to bring truth," she said between songs. "Too heavy for you?"), "Bedda at Home" and "Whatever" became improvisational jams of instrumental and vocal grace that never lost sight of their achingly melodic start-point. Light like this gives a miserable me hope. Now, back to being an asshole. Sunday's news conference on terror alerts by the N.J. governor's office gives us the quote o' the week: "The state is not orange but we're going to implement orange protocol." Everyone's so Wallpaper*. Like Bart "Marshall Applewhite" Blatstein, who held a stroll during the weekend for the Heaven's Gate-like members of his Liberties Walk. If he buys you Nikes, you suckers better run. Rumor o' the week: First we heard Tin Angel which books an eclectic folk-world-jazz mix with tons of support from WXPN would move from such to just-jazz in the wake of the Oct. 1 opening of the multiroom World Café (at 3025 Walnut; it'll house 'XPN's corporate offices, too). Not true. The Angel's fall schedule sticks to their mix. Now we hear area promoters (not necessarily who you think!) are trying to squeeze World Café by buying up top folk/softcore acts for 2004 and early 2005. Dag. At least the Café's tentatively booked Shawn Colvin. (Is that good?) Warning: Don't fuck with listener-supported radio peeps. I once saw muffin-headed X-scribers turn over Damien Rice's car for ending a show early. Sike! After I mentioned membership-only Tribecca going rawk last week, they tested the waters July 31 with two new parties on one night: a new raunch 'n' roll monthly "Starfucker" and a new weekly "Metal Shop" with DJ Octo-Pussy. Look too for Joe "Hilliard" Lekkas and Tempe to do some bitchin' live booking. WHOWHATWHERE: Fat Joe was spotted leaning back at Shampoo. Tim and Thomas Ian Nicholas (American Pie) stopped at Glam as part of their (ugh) Friendster-sponsored tour to promote their movie, L.A. D.J. a film with its own "Hottie of the Week!" Web site. The boys of the poorly/aptly named Without a Paddle, Philly's Seth Green and Matthew Lillard, were out and about for its Riverview screening. Host-with-mostest David Carroll helped Philly Gay and Lesbian Film Fest-ers end their 10th anniversary by bringing PGLFF award winner Ryan Kelly Berkowitz (Dorian Blues), Jonah Blechman (This Boy's Life), Andersen Gabrych (Another Gay Movie) and TLA's Rich Wolff and Thom Cardwell to Bar Noir till the wee earlies. Carroll's hosting a "Welcome Continental Mid-Town" bash for colleague/competitor Stephen Starr's crew and the Rit-Row biz community at Bar Noir on Aug. 9 with risque National Anthem songstress Erica Schiff doing her thing. (P.S.: While members of way-closed Opus 251's staff head for Cont2, 251 at the Art Alliance gets a new boarder in Le Jardin in September). Life beyond The Tipping Point: Roots maneuverer Rahzel did his human beatbox for Björk's instrumentless and due-August Medulla CD. Cool night with a purpose: Five Spot's new first-Thursday "EPK" with Mike Brand of Lafayette Hill Studios. The Aug. 5 affair features bands that, upon playing, find Brand filming/taping their performance for their own burned-there electronic press kits. Dennis Rambo's branching out. After debuting his six-and four-stringed ways with Bayen Butler's wicked folk act mere weeks ago (they do so again at NXNW on Aug. 7), Rambo hooked up with Ben Edwards' "badass, stripped-down" (Rambo's words) Soulamite at Tritone Aug. 8. This just in (and ewww) from Elisabeth A. Colbath, Esquire: "Remember mentioning the South Philly kid who chewed on a bloody Band-Aid while eating at the Grand King Buffet on Snyder Aveune? We were on trial all week and the jury returned with their verdict in less than an hour: $3.5 million for minor plaintiff Anastasia Roberts and $500,000 for the parents' psychological expenses. Lead counsel was Paul Czech. I sat second chair. The judge was Gary DiVito." The judge's representatives confirmed the verdict and Grand King Buffet plans to appeal. Leos like big b-day bashes. While fashionista Betty Thompson's birthday took up the Bonsall Street block party, promoter Jamaican Dave will surely get serenaded by Beenie Man at Aug. 6's "Earthday Celebration" at Electric Factory.