Archive for January, 2006

In the round

Last night I attended an “In The Round” show at the Tin Angel. Local music promoter David Wannop puts these evenings together every so often, and if you can survive his painfully pun-y introductions of the performers, the music is typically terrific. Each musician plays one song, and when the sequence is complete, the first one goes back up to do another song. I like this format because it constantly stays fresh. It’s hard for the performers to really get into a groove though, because they can only do one song before it’s time for them to sit down again.

First up was Mia Johnson. She has a rich, if sometimes gravely voice and plays a driving guitar. David Cope, the second in the line up said of her, “You sounded like you were from Detroit in that song.” I’d love to see her do a full set, I really enjoyed her songwriting style.

David Cope, the second in the lineup, looks like Jackson Browne and sounds like Cat Stevens, which was a pairing I liked a whole lot. I didn’t love his songs, but according to his website Lenny Kravitz is about to produce a record for him, so maybe he’s better when he’s allowed a full set of music.

Number three was Amanda Kaletsky. She was the most vocally gifted of the performers on stage last night. Her voice soars and grounds itself again with grace. She’s a little poppier than I go for, but I could easily hear her music playing on one of the teen soaps on the WB.

The last performer in the cycle was Joao McDowell. I didn’t like him at all, but a friend I was with, who’s taste is often in line with my own, leaned over to me after one of his songs and whispered, “he’s yummy.” If you like some with a jazzy, latin flavor, you’d probably go for his stuff.

I took pictures of the performers, which I had intended to post with this, but movable type isn’t cooperating at the moment, so no pictures. They weren’t that good, anyway.

Gearing up for the REAL season…

I’ve been gearing up for Phillies season by chattering at ANYONE who is willing to listen. And by “gearing up” I totally mean “having inane conversations on AIM and wasting dates talking about the trades because those are way more interesting than any other chitchat anyone else could possibly come up with”.

With that in mind, I offer you this snippet (that will probably not thrill your employer) to get you in the mood and hype you up for one of the better parts of the season…the Phanatic!

Cory: Wanna see a guy get hit in the nuts by the Phanatic with the hot dog bazooka?
Suz: yes
Cory: http://www.prestonandsteve.com/video/71.mov
Suz: Why the hell do you even have to ask?
Cory: Good point.
Suz: Quote? On the MetBlog?
Cory: Sure!
Suz: Who’s the fat guy?
Cory: Caseyboy.

Cannot wait for Opening Day.

Shirin Ebadi, human rights activist

Shirin Ebadi, a lawyer and human right’s activist in Iran and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, is giving a free and open to the public speech at Lehigh University’s Packard Auditorium on Monday at 7:45. A bit of a drive, granted, but may be worth it if you’re interested…

Her talk is entitled “Islam, Human Rights and Democracy”.

Program information

She published an article two weeks ago in the LA Times arguing that the US and UN should support nuclear transparency in Iran instead of isolating it with sanctions. The article is likely the skeleton on which her speech will be based.

Link to article

Woodsmoke

Walking home tonight through Rittenhouse Square and up 19th Street, I felt like I was time traveling, or even just traveling to a different area of the country. The air was permeated with the scent of woodsmoke. Someone, or many someones had the right idea, it’s the perfect night for a fire. It was a lovely respite from the normal, mostly foul smells of Center City.

Graffiti-Bombed Bathrooms

Yesterday the City Paper ran an article entitled “Top 5 Graffiti-Bombed Bathrooms” and then listed their winners, which were:

1. Sugar Mom’s
2. McGlinchey’s
3. The Khyber
4. Good Dog
5. Tattooed Mom’s

I’d like to amend this list, or at least offer up some alternatives, because I do believe I’ve been in all these bathrooms at one time or another, and they don’t strike me as some of the worst. Personally, I believe that the bathrooms at Bob and Barbara’s and Doobies are far worse. Anyone care to weigh in on this deeply contentious topic?

Gym Tax?

Yes you read that right the State of Pennslyvania, more specifically, the Pennsylvania Legislature

…are seriously considering charging people sales tax when they join a gym.

According the the same news story 61% of Pennsylvanians are overweight. This tax will be a 6% tax on gym memberships!

So the thought behind this is to tax the ones that are trying to stay healthy. Healthy living by more people should lower health care costs since more people will be healthy. If 61% of Pennsylvanians are overweight shouldn’t the state try to encourage better health rather than taxing it?

By my math skills 61% is more than 39% which are the non overweight people. I am guessing gym membership is lower than the 39%. So why not tax the non gym members? Tax the unhealthy? Tax the overweight? You could make a lot more money that way, and then you’d encourage folks to join a gym, or to lose weight.

I hate taxes, especially when they make Zero sense.

Oh and this tax is lumped with a few other taxes that really seem like they all belong together…

tanning salons, tattoo parlors, limousine rides, as well as books and music downloaded from the Internet.

Let’s fight back, lets tax the State Legislature for their stupidity.

Right hand turns soon to be permitted off Chestnut Street

If you look closely, you will see signs on Chestnut between 18th and Broad that prohibit right turns onto 17th and 15th streets. They are remnants of a project from the 80’s and 90’s to turn Chestnut into a bus and pedestrian mall that failed miserably, and killed many businesses on that stretch of the street. The thing is, no one pays attention to these signs these days. I live on Chestnut, and I regularly see cars turning, and I admit to having been guilty of it myself over the years. So, I’m glad to see that the city if finally catching up with what we’ve all been doing for years now.

Chestnut St. right-turn ban may end [Inquirer]

Open Call For Politicians

I saw an interesting story on c|net news this morning. Apparently more and more prominent politicians are coming forward with their own blogs. The story goes on to question whether they are up for getting feedback.

And that led me to wonder….what if we had a local politician or two on our crack staff here at Metblogs? It’s something I’d like to see happen, and it’s something that would be great PR for almost any administration.

So what about it, folk? Would you log on to Metblogs just to see what Mayor Street wrote in his illicit diary? I would.

And I suspect I’m not alone.

There will be no Ben Station.

A few days ago, Marisa mentioned the proposal to rename 30th St Station to “Ben Station”.

Turns out, that proposal has been dropped as of yesterday. The PEW Charitable Trust was spearheading the plan, which was to rename the station this year in honor of Mr. Franklin’s 300th birthday. (As a tangent, if we wanted to honor the dude, wouldn’t it be more respectful to name it Franklin Station instead? Ben is just so…casual. It’s the name of the General Manager at WEXP, not one of the most famous men Philadelphia has ever produced.)

Anyway, the press release was more than vague (“Pew’s two-paragraph statement gave no reason for its change of mind, and a spokesperson at the trust declined to elaborate.”) and comments were not given from any other parties that may or may not have been involved, including the forever dubious Mayor John Street’s office.

After reading through this article on Philly.com, I’m left with a few questions. Why was this kept such a secret from the people who live here? Why was this done so far under the table? Why the fuck did the PEW Charitable Trust think that they had ANY right at all to change our history?

It’s all just shameful. And thank fuck it’s gone.

Jan Bulis Single-handedly Defeats Flyers

Montreal forward Jan Bulis scored four goals while Flyers mustered only three, dropping the game to the Canadiens 5-3. Robert Esche played horrible letting up five goals on 15 shots. And the Flyers despite gaining the lead twice in the game allowed Bulis to get the Canadiens back in the game and eventually win it. There was not much in the way of bright spots but Simon Gagne scored his 34th goal of the year and Petr Nedved assisted on a second period power-play goal giving him three points in his first three games with the team. The Flyers were without defensemen Kim Johnsson and Joni Pitkanen again last night. The Flyers play Tampa Bay on Saturday.

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