Sunday, July 27, 2008

Reflections on the Bar Crawl 2008

If you mark time in increments of bar crawls, we might all just live forever. Sadly we can't, but we can make up for it by getting incredibly inebriated. This years bar crawl expanded, stretched, and blew apart the very fabric of the Tour De Philly (maybe I am exaggerating a little bit...).

Like last year, founder Tom McCabe found somewhere else he would rather be. I can say he wasn't forgotten, but it would be a lie, he was forgotten pretty quick. In Tom's absence new recruits stepped up. Jess Kaestle arrived with a lovely black eye that she received from Friday's Warped Tour. Also joining us this year was Hiro Nizami. Hiro has moved to the state from the Great White North and we are all thankful. Along the way we picked up some more people and added to the frenzy.

Jose Pistolas on 15th Street was the first bar on the stop. Pistolas is a great beer bar. I started my night with a nice Belgian beer called “La Chouffe”. It had a wonderful and complex flavor, lots of stuff going on after the first sip. I am not one to normally sip and savor beer, but I made an exception. The food at Pistolas left something to be desired. Many of my friends found the meat in the burritos to be dry. I found that too much guacamole was put in my burrito (I hate guacamole and didn't even see it as an ingredient).

We left Pistolas around 6:30 PM and made our way over to McGillins on 13th and Drury. McGillins is a weekly staple for me. Wednesday night happy hours are almost always spent there (unless Drew and his hipster ways overpowers me). The beer is cheap, the wait staff is consistent, and the bar is sufficiently dark. No I did not savor my beverages here, it was time for chugging. McGillins brought in an interesting crowd for us to comment on. From the rather large woman that wore a silver shirt (making her a living disco ball), to the dude that thought he was an urban cowboy, to the scared beer tourists that probably wanted to “see the oldest bar in Philadelphia”.

We departed McGillins for the Irish Pub on 11th around 8 PM. Once we got into the bar, I knew it was time to leave. I knew that if we stayed there long the Tour would have ended there, so Gorcka and I went across the street to Moriarty's and snagged a table. The conversion was a great call. Moriarty's food, booze, and atmosphere were the best of the night. Lots of sexually charged jokes were made by me to Tee, and like always, it was awesome. Handsome Paul also joined us at Moriarty's which was also awesome. After terrifying some of the people sitting outside our window, we decided to go to what we thought was our last bar.

We arrived at the Last Vegas Lounge around 11:30. The bar smelled like cat piss, so we finished one drink and then got the hell out of there. Not wanting to end the night on a sour cat piss note, we went next door to Jones for a final nightcap. The pleasant decor and lighting made Jones an appropriate place to end the evening. The girls finished their bug juice drinks and we said our goodbyes. Heading over to 8th and Market to take the PATCO line home.

So we didn't almost get into a fight or piss in public, but I have to say I had a really good time regardless. I want to thank everyone that came out this year, I am glad you could make it, and I hope it was worth your time and those hard earned dollars. Until next year!

Official TDP Website:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Event Review: The Dark Knight – Opening Night

This is not a review of the movie “The Dark Knight”; if you want to read one check out the billion or so that is out on the internet or a newspaper right now. This is a review of the experience of going to the midnight showing of “The Dark Knight”. Let me be quite up front... I did not find the experience enjoyable. Before I get heat from the fanboys, let me state that I am a fanboy. I have read the last 20 years of Batman, Nightwing, Robin, Birds of Prey, and Gotham Central comics... so yeah I understand the concept of a respectable Batman movie, but you guys give comics a bad name.

I got to the theater 90 minutes early, there was already a line, but my friend Frank and his family were already there and snagged us seats. I am going to do this numerically and chronologically:

1.People Dressing Up: It was funny a few years ago when Star Wars came out, but it is pretty lame now (actually it was pretty lame back then too).
2.Bringing a Computer to the theater: I noticed that the people dressing up seemed to be together in a large group – at least twenty strong... they brought a laptop. WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU NEED A LAPTOP FOR!?! There was no internet access in the theater. They were playing with Microsoft Word clip art – they passed the laptop back and forth making captions. Of course they had a mac because these were the typical uber-pretentious neo-nerds that think there every opinion is the right one because some jock shoved their head in a toilet 10 years ago
3.Reverence of the Source Material: Just because you read the comics doesn't mean you have more of a right to be in the theater. As stated, I read comics; my friend Frank who has a baby and one on the way doesn't have time, but I respect his opinions about films more than just about anyone.
4.Holding Seats: A few of my friends went to get pop corn around 11:30 (they left sweaters and personal effects on the seats), some fat assed woman comes into the isle and I politely tell her that the seats are taken. “Are they in the theater?!” she belched. I furrow my brow and give her my death stare... “Yes.” She repeats her question, louder. “Yes - they are getting pop corn.” - I say this with a growl. Her friends comment to her to walk away as she beings to verbally molest people right next to me. Get a clue, come early for an event movie if you want a seat and don't bother people holding seats.
5.Clapping: Once the previews hit, people started clapping for every trailer. I don't think you should clap at a movie unless someone on the creative team is present. The audience geeked out for the Watchman trailer – okay, I overlooked this one – then they clapped for a Disney movie and I just wanted to punch anyone.
6.Sit Down Comedy Routines: I love the people who sit there waiting for their chance to make a snarky comment and then shocked when the theater tells them to shut the hell up. But once that situation starts, it takes 10 minutes for everyone to shut up.
7.The Parking Lot: This isn't anyone's fault but it took 30 minutes to get out of the parking lot which sucked.

Fanboys... remember that you have a penis. Don't let that overheated laptop battery shrink your balls. Show some self respect and act like a man.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Concert Review: The Avett Brothers @ Bottle & Cork

Concert Review: The Avett Brothers @ Bottle & Cork
Concert Date: 7.10.2008

The first time I heard The Avett Brothers, I knew they were channeling a very strong and different energy than most bands. Their music respects the music of America from centuries past and yet they make it modern without comprising its core. I had seen youtube clips of the band and knew that their live act was all energy and I was excited to see it. The boys from North Carolina did not disappoint.

The band got on stage around 10:15 PM and immediately got the crowd going with a new song (sorry I didn't know the title), but then they kicked into what I am assuming to be their most well know song "Die, Die, Die". It was excellent, but the best part was they had a cello player that came in from the back that looked like the Japanese wrestler The Great Muta and actually played a cello like I think Muta would have played. This guy was fucking awesome.

A recurring theme throughout the night was Scott Avett breaking banjo strings, I think he was up to 15 or 20 by the end of the night. It didn't stop him at all. The band just kept belting out songs. I am guessing the band put in some newer material (that they didn't announce) or I just didn't know the songs, but they had a different tone, it was like Alt-Country New Wave and a synthesizer was thrown into the mix, the songs were good, I don't know if it fit in with their overall theme and presentation, but tunes were good and a little change was okay.

If you noticed in the last few concert write ups I make it a point to discuss the location and the crowd. We have been very lucky the last year with venues and crowds, our luck ran out in Delaware. The tickets said the show starts at 8 PM. The band didn't get on until 10. I don't think it was the bands fault as I did some reading and that is common place at the location, they just wanted to sell booze because it is a bar first and concert venue 50th. The Bottle & Cork concert area is outdoors and quite dirty. I have been to a ton of shows in Philadelphia's concert pier and that place was 20 times cleaner than the concert area of B&C. It was disgusting. The crowd certainly added to the filth. I have never seen so many people under 30 smoking in my life. All these cute girls walking around and talking with cigarettes hanging from their hands - they all looked like babies smoking. Anyway....

The band sounded great and the concert was fully energy the whole night. If you want to see some old time style music with a modern flare and high energy performance, see the Avett Brothers.

The Avett Brothers: Official Site
Youtube Performance: Performance Link
Bottle & Cork: Bottle & Cork