November 30, 2007

Brown Recluse Sings FREE SHOW at UPenn’s Pi Lam

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 10:52 pm by Tiffany Yoon

Brown Recluse Sings

Ravens and Vultures


November 29, 2007

A Step in the Right Direction, Recycling in Philadelphia

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 6:41 pm by Tiffany Yoon

So now that Michael Nutter is set up to become Philadelphia’s next mayor (though he’s been called the mayor since he won the primaries) I pose the question, what does he plan to do about cleaning up our city? Literally?

Back in April, the Recycling Alliance of Philadelphia compiled a 5 Point Agenda for all of the Philadelphia mayoral candidates. These five points are as follows:

  1. As Mayor, be the official voice and champion for Philadelphia’s Recycling program. Declare the full implementation of a successful recycling program as a priority of your administration.
  2. Appoint within the first four months of your administration accomplished individuals to the positions of Streets Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner for Sanitation and Recycling Coordinator.
  3. Reorganize and re-task within the first four months the Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC), the Recycling Advisory Committee (RAC) and the Interagency Task Force as oversight groups to the Streets Department on behalf of the Mayor as outline in the law.
  4. Direct the Streets Commissioner, working witht eh SWAC and RAC, to retain expertise to produce a comprehensive integrated solid waste management plan and offer recommendations to the Mayor within the first six months of the administration.
  5. Provide for the financing and implement the plan before the end of the first Mayoral term in office.

The Recycling Alliance of Philadelphia doesn’t mean to treat the mayoral candidates (or now just Michael Nutter) like an idiot, but history of the city/mayor’s inability to get their shit together causes them to spell things out. It’s too soon to say whether Nutter plans on adhering to the 5 Point Agenda that the Recycling Alliance has posed, but there have been rumors of Nutter administering a recycling program through Recycle Bank, a Philadelphia based company.

Recycle Bank is a great recycling program that makes it easy for partakers and beneficial to everyone. Participants of Recycle Bank receive barcoded trash receptacles in which people dispose of their recyclable items. They keep track of how much you recycle through the barcode, and the more you recycle the more benefits you receive. The program gains sponsors that give away coupons/discounts/maybe even free stuff to frequent recyclers. For example, you could gain a 10% coupon to Whole Foods for reaching a recycling quota.

The program is beneficial to the city for the top following reasons:

  • it’s good for the environment
  • the city’s government wouldn’t have to devote as much of its budget to landfills (not LandPhil, ha) with more recycling
  • local businesses (recyclebank sponsors) would benefit, so you’d also be putting more money into the city
  • RecycleBank uses Single Stream Recycling, which makes it much easier for participants. There’s no need to separate the different types of recyclables, they do it for you.

Please, don’t just wait for Nutter to administer RecycleBank’s program. You can go to their website and sign up without the government implementing it.

The only successful recycling that I’ve witnessed in this city is when I find bums rummaging through my garbage… snaggin whatever they can find to reuse. Let’s try to change that.

This video actually has nothing to do with Recycle Bank or Philadelphia, it’s in London, but it gets the recycling message across pretty well. The ultra poppy electronic song will be stuck in your head all day. Enjoy:

More details/Direct Quotes from Nutter Administration/Recycling Bank to come

November 28, 2007

Cancer Benefit for Josh Hutto!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 6:52 pm by rongallo

“Cancer Party” is usually an oxymoron. But, in this case our good friend and fellow Temple student Josh Hutto will be having one to help him fight cancer. If you don’t know Josh, at least you know cancer, and you know we don’t want none uh that!
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
I also believe The Neighborhood Choir will be playing, so it may start a bit earlier.
And yes, all of the money is going to help pay for hospital and treatment bills.
You can listen to the bands playing here, if it will further motivate you to attend:
Toy Soldiers
Holly Billaday
The Neighborhood Choir

Be Thurrrrrrrrr!

November 23, 2007


Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 8:12 pm by berniexltd

Temple Students for Justice in Palestine present: Hip Hop for Palestine Part II!

Last year’s Hip-Hop for Palestine was a thoroughly engaging and inspirational experience – this year’s will be no less! MC’s, activists, students, and community members gathered at The Rotunda in West Philadelphia collectively in support of the Palestinian people’s fight for self-determination and human rights. Sponsored and organized by Temple University’s Students for Justice in Palestine, a diverse array of hip-hop artists, poets, dj’s, and musicians from New York, D.C., Baltimore, Palestine, and elsewhere across the globe performed for an audience of over 300 people on a Wednesday night. This year’s edition will definitely be an event worth coming to – for the music, the people, and the cause!

Baltimore based rapper Son of Nun is one performer who’s still ringing in my head from last year.

[from] “…a Baltimore city high school teacher, organizer, activist, and poet, son of nun (s.o.n.) doesn’t just entertain his crowds he empowers them. s.o.n. has performed at universities, activist conferences, demonstrations, rallies ­ such as the Sorry State of the Union in front of the U.S. Capitol, and at nightclubs in Baltimore, DC, New York, Pennsylvania, and Chicago to name a few. He’s opened for Mr. Lif, Akrobatic, Buck 65, Odd Jobs, Roni Size & Reprazent, and performed with Adam F., Diesel Boy, DJ Die, DJ Krust, and others… s.o.n.’s range extends from hip hop, to spoken word, to drum ‘n’ bass, to freestyling with a live band. An active member and organizer in various social justice movements, s.o.n. brings a fresh, thought provoking, and much needed perspective to an art form plagued with violence, materialism, and sexism… earlier this summer the song “Fight Back” from s.o.n.’s full length cd ­ Blood and Fire – was selected from over 500 submissions to appear on the second volume of the renowned Peace Not War cd compilation with artists such as Anti Flag, Ani DiFranco, The Evens, Sonic Youth, and others to benefit antiwar groups.”

Saturday December 1st. 8PM.

The Rotunda

4014 Walnut St.

Philadelphia, PA

SJP and organizers need help. You can…


Cost: Sliding scale $10-$20
(No one turned away for lack of funds)

We need VOLUNTEERS the night of the event. If you can help, set up, break
down, run tables etc. Please email with VOLUNTEER
in the subject line.

If you would like to RENT A TABLE for $30 to sell product or give out
information Please email with TABLE in the
subject line.

If you have any PICTURES from Palestine please email with PHOTOS in the subject line and

November 19, 2007


Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 5:03 pm by berniexltd

I avoid reading music reviews for the most part. I hate em’. Occasionally a magazine interview or article can gear me into discovering new stuff, but it’s rare that I read something that actually provides an insight beyond redundancies, masturbatory buzz words and terminology that reduce the listening experience into an associative sub-categorization game that wants some solid definition in which to pigeonhole what they hear. How I am any different I don’t know, just that I seldom if ever read music reviews . To quote the poet Kieth Buckley “I have a very expensive pen. I use big words quite often in substitution for semantically equivalent words”.

What I love about experimental music is that it animates the psychology of listening through cathartic abstractions and free association, liberating the unconsciousness in a way that the confines of popular music overlooks. One can define anarchy as “the absence or non-recognition of authority in any given sphere” or “a theoretical social state in which there is no governing person or body of persons, but each individual has absolute liberty (without the implication of disorder)”. To me, noise music is like anarchy in this respect – you can create sounds that employ noise as a device that builds a sonic landscape, negating conventional approaches to structure and order, all while having some semblance of it if not any. Black Dice has gotten better at this since they started going beyond ‘noise for the sake of it’, approaching musicianship with an ensemble of effect pedals and beat machines the way Jackson Pollock would pick up a paintbrush and stare in front of a blank canvas.

In an interview with, when asked if their approach is intentionally post-modern or anti-instrumental, Aaron Warren responded that “…I don’t think we’ve ever talked about stuff in quite academic terms like that, although we are all quite aware of what’s going on culturally – like where we live, and what’s going on in the art world… but I don’t think that we ever talk about things in terms of motivation like that. I don’t think the primary motivation for anyone is to plan a sound and write something out. I think that’s the sort of idea that a third party would choose to contextualize things that way, but for us its just really organic, its just our life, we are thinking about it, talking about, working on stuff everyday. There really is no separation from it at this point…”

Now Brooklyn based, Black Dice emerged from the Rhode Island School of Art and Design in the late 90’s as a noisy-thrash band, who over the course of their career have morphed into flirtations with more psychedelic and trance-like conceptions of noise, prog, and afro-beat align with Boredoms or an off-kilter Brian Eno. Providence, Rhode Island has churned out a scene with some of the most interesting groups to reach my ear drums. From the early days of Talking Heads, to more recently Les Savy Fav, Lightning Bolt, White Mice, and Daughters.

Take a break from your life, get a pair of good headphones, and listen to Black Dice’s latest effort Load Blown. Some of you will hate it. Some of you will love it. Some won’t know what the fuck to think. But that’s all okay. The ambiguity is part of the ride.

Black Dice is playing this Wednesday November 21st at the Vacuum with two of Philly’s most interesting bands as of late – Pissed Jeans and Red Rocket. Even with the looming grandeur of Thanksgiving and familial obligations approaching the next day, this is a show worth pissing off your parents for.

Black Dice (DFA/ Astralwerks)

Pissed Jeans

Red Rocket

The Vacuum

2nd and Tighlman Streets

Philadelphia, PA


November 16, 2007

Heima – a film by Sigur Ros

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 10:19 pm by berniexltd

Last year, in the endless magic hour of the Icelandic summer, Sigur Rós played a series of concerts around their homeland. Combining both the biggest and smallest shows of their career, the entire tour was filmed, and now provides a unique insight into one of the world’s shyest and least understood bands captured live in their natural habitat.

The culmination of more than a year spent promoting their hugely successful ‘Takk…’ album around the world, the Icelandic tour was free to all-comers and went largely unannounced. Playing in deserted fish factories, outsider art follies, far-flung community halls, sylvan fields, darkened caves and the hoofprint of Odin’s horse, Sleipnir*, the band reached an entirely new spectrum of the Icelandic population; young and old, ardent and merely quizzical, entirely by word-of-mouth.

The question of the way Sigur Rós’s music relates to, and is influenced by, their environment has been reduced to a journalistic cliché about glacial majesty and fire and ice, but there is no doubt that the band are inextricably linked to the land in which they were forged. And the decision to film this first-ever Sigur Rós film in Iceland was, in the end, ineluctable.

Shot using a largely Icelandic crew (to minimise Eurovision-style scenic-wonder overload), ‘Heima’ – which means both “at home” and “homeland” – is an attempt to make a film every bit as big, beautiful and unfettered as a Sigur Rós album. As such it was always going to be something of a grand folie, but one, which taking in no fewer than 15 locations around Iceland (including the country’s largest ever concert at the band’s Reykjavik homecoming), is never less than epic in its ambition.

Material from all four of the band’s albums is featured, including many rare and notable moments. Among these are a heart-stopping rendition of the previously unreleased ‘Gitardjamm’, filmed inside a derelict herring oil tank in the far West Fjords; a windblown, one-mic recording of ‘Vaka’, shot at a dam protest camp subsequently drowned by rising water; and first time acoustic versions of such rare live beauties as ‘Staralfur’, ‘Agaetis Byrjun’ and ‘Von’.

Heima – Trailer

A free screening of ‘Heima’ will be shown this Tuesday November 20th at the International House in West Philadelphia. 8PM.

The International House
3700 Chestnut Street (37th & Chestnut)
Philadelphia, PA
FREE ! FREE ! FREE ! (No advanced seating – first come first served.)

November 13, 2007

Battles, please come to Philadelphia… again.

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:23 pm by Tiffany Yoon

A message for Battles Fans.

From their myspace bulletin:

doors at 7 pm
Webster Hall
125 East 11th Street NYC


I’m a little disappointed Braxton, Williams, Stanier, and Konopka didn’t decide to stop in Philadelphia, but then again they’re more than worth a trek to NYC for a night. With their metronomic beats, their music is what our generation needs right now in the midst of rock, indie, prog, and pop. They’re something refreshingly new for our ears and though their lyrics can’t really be understood, the dense layering of simple instrumentation creates its own language for us to interpret. I saw them over the summer at the First Unitarian Church (22nd and Chestnut) with some friends and was almost passing out from the heat and intensity of the show (I swear alcohol held no contribution). If you read this month’s MAGNET (with Jim James from MMJ on the cover, Philadelphia’s own music magazine, it has a fantastic full 3 page spread on the New York prog/math rock band.

They’re also playing with White Williams who I saw open up for Girl Talk and Dan Deacon about two months ago at the Starlight Ballroom. I admit I came late into his set, but with his casual vocals that have been so consistently compared to Beck and his grooves and beats he should complement Battles well.

Chinatown buses leave every hour, New Century/Apex. I also might have room in my car. We could also hitchhike.. I mean, whatever it takes.

Battles – Atlas

Battles – Tonto

White Williams – live @ The FADER/AT&T Sideshow

14 things that you probably Would Not, or, indeed, perhaps Should Not, know about Monster Bobby and his Pipettes (one of which is a bare-faced lie)

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 12:30 am by Tiffany Yoon

The Pipettes and Monster Bobby came back to Philadelphia Wednesday, November 14th at the North Star Bar.

(l-r) Jon, Seb, RiotBecki, Rosay, Gwenno, Bobby, Joe

  1. Monster Bobby is Scottish slang for a particularly large male member, something he swears he did not know when the nickname was coined.
  2. Monster Bobby is terrified of dogs and oh he also hates automobiles. Although, I somehow managed to convince him to get into my car and cart him around Philadelphia for a grand tour. We did end up strolling up and down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway though which he seemed to prefer from my deathtrap of a vehicle. He did scold once when we passed a man with a dog, ha.
  3. Monster Bobby has almost no sense of smell. This is probably a result of him, as he puts it, “smoking like a chimney”
  4. Last time in Philadelphia the Pipettes had a different drummer, Joe Lean. I distinctly remember because he found a box of “Joe’s O’s” at Trader Joe’s on Market and we made some jokes about it. He kept repeating, “Joe’s O’s… Oy, look. It’s Joe’s O’s”. However, he’s left the band to start his own, Joe Lean & Thee Jing Jang Jong, in which Joe’s now the lead singer. Joe and his band are scheduled to have a live session on BBC radio with Zane Lowe this week. The Pipettes new drummer, Jason Adelinia (ex-member of Teasing Lulu) celebrated his birthday, ever so modestly, the night of their show.
  5. Monster Bobby was offered the chance to join MENSA when he was at school but didn’t want to pay the subscription fees.
  6. The yellow sweater vest tanks that Monster Bobby and the rest of the Cassettes that back the three vocalists (RiotBecki, Gwenno, & Rosay) wear during live performances were made by Jon and Seb (bass and keys)’s mum. Each vest is adorned with their initials. However, as I discovered Wednesday, they’ve changed the sweater vests to grey, probably due to the drummer transition with Adelinia.
  7.  Monster Bobby steals most of his best jokes from Steve Martin stand-up records and Woody Allen films and has an unfeasibly large collection of Dr. Who videos.
  8. Monster Bobby’s favorite dish is Pho, the Vietnamese noodle broth soup. He says, “more than any other food in the world”
  9. Monster Bobby played a lot of newer songs this time around, some that he’s been writing on the road. Unfortunately, a lot of his hit singles, such as “I Heard You Moved Away” and songs he’s written on the bus keep getting deleted, or at least the digital samples that he pre-records onto memory discs do. He stressed how painstaking it is to have to recreate a song.
  10. Monster Bobby, if you couldn’t guess, was a bully when he was little. He shared that sometimes he’ll bring an apple on stage with him, taking bites in between songs. Apparently, Nicole Atkins (Brooklyn/New Jersey), one of their tour mates this time around, had eaten an apple he brought on stage during one of their shows. Luckily, he’s grown out of his bully stage, but she’s unaware of the wrath that could have come down upon her as a result.
  11. Monster Bobby used to put up posters for the Socialist Alliance Party in London. He read Marx and Engel’s at the age of 12, and says it’s the closest thing he and his family had to a religion while he grew up. He says he’s less involved these days, but still reads a lot of political philosophy. He also has several large volumes of Lenin’s collected writings in his flat in London.
  12. Monster Bobby and the three ladies of the Pipettes met in a karaoke bar in Stoke-on-Trent. According to Bobby, “they needed someone to sing the Phil Oakey part in ‘Don’t You Want Me Baby’”. This, I was told, is actually a complete bold-faced lie. Bobby thought it would be obvious, because Stoke-on-Trent is a town so commonly found at the butt end of jokes in England. Such as Staines, Skegness, Slough, Taunton, etc. I still felt out of the loop when he shared this. We Americans are left out of the joke. However, the best way he could explain it was, “well kind of like how you Americans make fun of New Jersey”. Ha, well now we get it.
  13. Monster Bobby never goes to hairdressers, “preferring to cut all his own hair off, once a year, with a pair of rusty scissors” I’ve witnessed the results of such a hack job, not too shabby. Speaking of hair, Gwenno, one of the three lead vocalists, dyed her hair red. We went out for a cigarette and it took me a second to realize whom she was. She also had company during the show, a new boyfriend that had flown out and met them in New York, though I’m not entitled to share any more information on the matter.
  14. Monster Bobby, while on tour with the Pipettes, likes to collect the subway maps of every city they enter. Philadelphia, more specifically Septa, for some reason does not provide these on the Broad Street Line (orange). At least, I’ve never been able to find one. I was embarrassed of Septa/our city for an instant when I had to report this to the Pipettes and Bobby.

RiotBecki, Rosay, Gwenno

Be sure to check out the quirky songs and antics of Monster Bobby and the Pipettes (Brighton, England) and Nicole Atkins (Brooklyn/Jersey) this Wednesday, November 14th at the North Star Bar. The Pipettes were scheduled to play under R5 Productions last month, but due to complications with their visas they were forced to reschedule. The Pipettes have also recently released a new record, We Are The Pipettes (Cherrytree). Be sure to check out “Pull Shapes” and “Judy”, just two of some of my favorite tracks off the album.

Here’s a video to enjoy, I don’t particularly like this video, but this way you can at least give the band a listen.

November 12, 2007

Interview: Geoff Rickly of Thursday

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:38 pm by leahpav

[fun fact: he likes to get in fights with microphones]


The crowd at the Fillmore (formerly TLA) on Sunday didn’t really make sense; half underfed looking teenage boys and their heavily eyelinered girlfriends, and half men and women in their early to mid 20s looking as though they couldn’t decide to make fun of or join in on the enthusiastic mosh pit. The only thing these two uneasy factions had in common: they loved the crap out of the band onstage. Despite numerous near breakups, albums deemed “unsuccessful” by the music industry and 10 years of spending way, waaay too much time on a tiny tour bus with the same few people, New Jersey post-hardcore outfit Thursday still sells out venues and inspires the kind of devotion in their fans that their numerous ripoffs can only dream of.

To celebrate 10 years as a band, Thursday put together a DVD entitled “Kill The House Lights”. The DVD features specially taped live performances and a documentary retrospective of the band’s journey from the basements of New Brunswick to becoming one of post-hardcore’s more successful bands.

Fulfilling one of my Top 10 Life Goals when I was 16 (okay, it might be on my current list too), singer and super nice guy Geoff Rickly was able to sit down with me and answer a few questions about the documentary before the show.

Read the rest of this entry »

November 6, 2007

Mumia Who?

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 4:11 pm by berniexltd

“I’m gonna’ help em’ fry the nigger.” These words spewed from the mouth of Judge Albert Sabo, a man who over the course of his career had sentenced more men to death than any other judge in U.S. history (33 in total, 2 of which were white) during the trial of Mumia-Abu Jamal – one of the most celebrated and controversial political prisoners in the world. A renowned journalist from Philadelphia who has been on Pennsylvania’s death row for over 25 years, Abu-Jamal was convicted of killing Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner on December 9, 1981 and sentenced to death in a trial that Amnesty International has declared a “violation of minimum international standards that govern fair trial procedures and the use of the death penalty.”

What motivated this entry was a result of my astonishment that many people, especially young adults in Philadelphia, do not know who Mumia Abu-Jamal is; one of the most celebrated and controversial political prisoners renowned for his vigilant activism. It is all too easy to conform to a sense of apathy and disinterest in the problems of the world as a result of alienation and an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. It’s rather inspiring that for more than a quarter century, Mumia Abu-Jamal has produced some of the most potent and intoxicating sociopolitical commentaries available from a cell about the size of your average bathroom. If Mumia still persists as a thorn in the side of oppression in the face of so much adversity, let alone from a life in prison that would drive many into despair, how is it so difficult for us to educate ourselves and others? To talk about it and make a difference in our own way, to instill a sense of compassion instead of indifference?

It is not my intention to write a diatribe or synopsis of this case’s history or to expel my beliefs of Mumia’s innocence. The evidence and circumstances are so lengthy and astounding, that I feel it would be more prudent to offer a head start for someone who is unaware or skeptical about the case. The fusion of journalism and filmmaking is an incredible tool for understanding. Through literary and visual devices a message can appeal to the senses in a way that when isolated, may or may not be as effective as when combined. This is why I have enclosed several clips from a documentary “Mumia: A Case for Reasonable Doubt.” Although somewhat outdated, it still defines the basics of Mumia’s case and its injustice in a way that is not sensationalized, but in a rather sober and focused approach.

The extent of information regarding the case is so huge that I feel I’d have to write a term paper in order to explain the circumstances in a thorough and convincing context. Rather, I am merely trying to provide those of you who are unaware of Mumia’s case with a template for further research so that maybe it inspires you to be more active, compassionate, and aware. With three police officers murdered in Philadelphia just last week, do we really consider the ramifications which plague our city? The dimensions of society that motivate violence and depravity in Philadelphia are the very things Mumia Abu-Jamal fights against. Learn for yourself. Speak for yourself. Peep it, people.

Mumia Abu-Jamal is currently appealing his conviction before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia on the account of racism and corruption handling his case. If he is granted a new trial, Mumia will have the chance to prove his innocence and attain his freedom. If not, he will be sentenced to die. It is vital to educate yourself and others about the facts of this case, all of which stem from the city whose streets we walk on everyday.




There are a total of 5 parts which make up the documentary in its entirety on Youtube. I recommend watching all of them – there’s no point in only getting some of the facts. If you would like a copy of the dvd, feel free to contact me. Additionaly, I have posted the first segment of another documentary which may provide a more concise yet still informative window into the climate of racism in America which influenced Mumia Abu-Jamal and the Black Liberation movement.

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