Archive for the ‘How to Help’ Category

Books Through Bars Benefit Tonight

Are you sitting around on this Monday morning thinking, “Gee, you know, I haven’t done anything altruistic in a while. And I could really go for some dance music”?

Well then, do I have the event for you!

Check out the Books through Bars Benefit tonight, Monday, June 19th at 7:30pm at the LAVA Space, 4134 Lancaster Ave. It costs $4 + a dictionary* (or $6 if you don’t bring a dictionary) to get in and it benefits Books Through Bars which is a part of LAVA’s ongoing series on Criminal Justice and Prisoner Support.

(on plan-it-x records, from Bloomington/Mississippi)

(local mischeif brew, tour kick off show!)

(matty pop chart, paul baribeau and more, from Michigan/bloomington)

a split set from: The Max Levine Ensemble and Chugga Chugga (both from DC/MD)

*Check your local dollar store for cheap dictionaries

Be an AIDS Activist

This might be late notice for some, but the Wiliam Way Community Center (1315 Spruce Street) is hosting a free conference on AIDS Policy and Activism tomorrow, June 7th from 9 am until 4:30 pm. There is still space if you are interested in registering, and you can do so by calling 215.985.4448 x250 or signing up online.

More information about the conference after the jump…

Seen at the Penrose Dinner


Cocco’s lost again! (Why didn’t anyone get a better dog containment system when she got lost the first time?)

Blocking the Blog: Pakistani Government Gone Wild.

I was going to go to bed. Close the lid on my iBook, knit a few rows on my alpaca lace shawl, set my Mickey Mouse alarm, and snuggle deep under my blankets to drift into sweet dreams. Well, after I gave a last glance at my RSS feeds. Hrm. Snarkmarket has a reference to BoingBoing. I should check BoingBoing to see if this link from Snarkmarket is up yet. Scroll, scroll, scroll. Nope. No link…but huh?

5 days ago, on March 1, the government in Pakistan blocked access to thousands of Blogspot blogs. Not just for writers, but for readers. Sucks to be them, I guess is what most people seem to be thinking about right now. The whole deal doesn’t sound too unusual, all things considered, based on what we’ve been hearing on the news lately about China and government censorship…but Pakistan pretends to be a democracy. China is quite proudly not a democracy, but (let me repeat) the government in Pakistan pretends to be a democracy.

So why are they blocking their citizens from Blogspot?
Shall I catch you up on what’s been going down in Karachi lately?
Bombings at a hotel and the US consulate. Car bombs killing diplomats. Faux pas’ by our President.
Not to mention the strikes and chaos that’s fairly standard in Pakistan.

So we’re here. The government thinks they’ll be made to look BAD or at least NOT IN CONTROL! ::gasp:: What’s the easiest way to make sure none of this news gets out? What’s the easiest way to do long-term damage control and make sure the Western sugar daddies (Hi! That’s us!) think they look happy and stable? Block the words of the people, that’s what! Granted the current blocks have nothing to do with the chaos of the last 5 days, but it is fairly standard for life to be chaotic in the Muslim world and long-term damage control seems to be high on the Pakistani government’s priority list. Everything SHOULD look rosy to the outside world after all!

So now, the Pakistani people are without a voice on ye olde WWW. You know, the World Wide Web. That thing. Their freedom has been taken away, by a militarily dictator who is coddled by the US government and was praised not two days ago for being “a force for freedom and moderation in the Arab world” (Forbes via the AP). If Pakistan is such a force for freedom and moderation, why oh why are they blocking their citizens from Blogspot?


I Interviewed Kyle Justin

Kyle Justin ( talked to me about his gig at the Tin Angel (20 S 2nd Street) on March 1st.

Wanna listen to it? Click here (13:43, 3.14MB)

Want a transcript?



V-Day is a global movement, initiated by Eve Ensler, to stop violence against women and girls. Across the world, groups of performers are putting on productions of The Vagina Monologues to raise awareness (and funds) in order to promote the work of V-Day. In our area, five colleges currently have ongoing campaigns and productions. This week, you can see The Vagina Monologues at both Penn and Temple. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate love than to help support this movement.

Liquid Natural Gas: A new evil

My friend Mike Ewall of ActionPA sent out this action alert tonight about the new liquid natural gas plant the city is all interested in.

One of the reasons I’m actually posting it here is because this is an issue that warrents information. Even if you don’t agree that it’s a problem, you need to be aware of the possible dangers. For example:

GAO, the investigatory arm of Congress, recommended in 1979 that the government prohibit any additional large-scale LNG facilities in or LNG tanker transit through urban areas.

Since 1979, Congress has known that LNG facilities are an urban risk. They are a danger and a very sincere one. Now, think a little more. In 1979, it was unheard of for people to hijack planes and fly them into major targets. In this day and age, it’s possible. It’s been done before. It can be done again. The security slate has changed, and that needs to be taken into consideration before we bring such a huge risk into the Philadelphia area.

The other reason I think this merits some thought is because no one really considers PGW to be all that savvy when it comes to the way they run their business. They are poorly run, lose money, mistreat customers, randomly jerk even city officials around, and have been found violating a good number of state laws about fines and turning gas back on. Investing this much money in such a volatile project just doesn’t seem like a wise investment for them. (Or us, as consumers!)

Consider calling to at least ask for more hearings and more information on the project. Instead of rushing this through City Council and having a ho-hum attitude about it, we need to put serious time and thought into the idea.
Below is Mike’s action alert and in the extended entry is his fact sheet, which can be found in all it’s footnoted glory (because Mike loves his footnotes) here at his website.


The Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) is planning a dangerous liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the city. The facility would bring giant tankers up the Delaware River about three times a month, endangering people up to a mile away, who could be seriously burned in an accident. Costly security requirements could shut down river traffic and bridges and possibly even I-95 and airport traffic during shipments.

It would also increase our addiction to foreign sources of natural gas, leading to future military and economic conflicts.

City Council will be voting tomorrow (Thurs, Feb. 2nd) on a resolution to oppose the planned terminal.

If you get this before 10am Thursday, please take a couple of minutes and call city council. Ask them to support the resolution against PGW’s liquefied natural gas terminal.

The three river-ward city councilmembers (Krajewski, DiCicco and Verna) have sponsored the resolution.

Here is contact info for the Council Members. Call any time and leave a message. The four with stars are the most important to call. Please at least call Goode and Ramos (and if you’re in Blackwell or Miller’s district, call them too).

Council members who represent the whole city:
215-686-3414 Wilson Goode *
215-686-3420 Juan Ramos *
215-686-3452 Jack Kelly
215-686-3450 James Kenney
215-686-3438 Blondell Reynolds Brown
215-686-3440 Frank Rizzo

District Council Members:
215-686-3458 1 Frank DiCicco (sponsor)
215-686-3412 2 Anna Verna (sponsor)
215-686-3418 3 Jannie Blackwell *
215-686-3416 4 Michael Nutter
215-686-3442 5 Darrell Clarke
215-686-3444 6 Joan Krajewski (sponsor)
215-686-3448 7 Richard Mariano
215-686-3424 8 Donna Miller *
215-686-3454 9 Marian Tasco
215-686-3422 10 Brian O’Neill
Find who your district councilperson is at:


Back in the 90’s there was this band called the Caulfields. They were signed to A&M Records and had a few hits. Think “Bigger Than Jesus Now” and “Devil’s Diary.” The chain of events that followed included the disbanding of the Caulfields and the formation of the John Faye Power Trip. It was an apparent typo when someone was writing “Trio” that gave them their awesome band name. Cliff and Dave joined John in this new musical project and enjoyed their own success, but when bassist Joann came on board they couldn’t really refer to themselves by the silly typo anymore, could they? I actually don’t really know the full story behind the name change nor do I purport to know it, but now John, Cliff, Joann, and Dave run around as IKE.

John Shaughnessy is a Jersey guy. Always has been and probably will be for life. I got to know him from an open mic in Collingswood, NJ a couple years ago. Over the past year and a half I’ve been recording his album, and last weekend when he brought over his kick drum to throw into the mixes . . . . Well, each recording session he surpsises and amazes me. He’s a good guy to know and a good musician and songwriter. It’s cool how he can elicit such emotion from songs about smoking, or just hangin’ out at the local convenience store. He was once a drummer in a local Philly band called the Ungrounded. Now as a solo acoustic singer-songwriter he plays here and there, but is definitely now a family man. He introduced me to IKE’s music a few years ago, right around the same time as my buddy Jared Jared (who’d been a John Faye fan since those Caulfield days) started bugging me about them.

Imagine my surprise and excitement to find out that John booked a show with Joh — sorry … gotta use last names here ….

Imagine my surprise and excitement to find that Shaughnessy booked a show with Faye in the tiny Treehouse coffee shop, at the corner of Haddon and Collings in Collingswood, NJ on December 2nd. I was so gosh darn excited to see this that I actually got all pissy at my band for booking a show at the Bucks County Community College the same night.

So I can’t go see two Johns rock out on the tiny green stage of the Treehouse, but I’m sure you could. Be my proxy. For serious, plan to go to the show. You’ll have the time of your life, and it’ll promise to be a blast. That and thee Treehouse has got an EXCELLENT chicken panini sandwich.

Myspaces: JS / JF
Websites: JS / JF / The Treehouse

Smith. Zave Smith.

On Monday I snuck out of work early so I could work with Philly photographer Zave Smith.

Zave Smith is an award winning advertising photographer based in Philadelphia. Between assignments he likes to work with models and actors to produce interesting images for stock photography.

That’s exactly what he was doing on Monday. Stock photography. The theme was an empty office. Zave got practically the whole 10th floor of the Curtis Building at Independence Square West for the afternoon. Dorian the Model came by and it was a general photography-fest starring Zave Smith.


Opportunity to help with a Mural Arts Program Mural

Join the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program to help paint a mural with members of the West Philadelphia community!
No experience neccessary, all are welcome to participate.
Date: Saturday, October 29th
Time: 11:00 AM- 3:00 PM
Location: 39th and Lancaster Avenue

Help paint a mural, Bob for apples, Eat good food and decorate cookies, get your
face painted for Halloween, listen and dance to music, and lots more!!

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