Icepack | March 12-19

Will the coronavirus cancel life as we know it?

Pogues band
Pogues members Spider Stacy and Cait O’Riordan recently joined up with the Lost Bayou Ramblers for a sold out ‘Poguetry’ date at City Winery. | Image: AD Amorosi

In the coming weeks, will I see you out at stops along Philly Wine Week and the opening of Stephen Starr’s new LMNO in Fishtown on Front St? Or will I only bump into you at RiteAid fighting your neighbor for hand sanitizer to ward off coronavirus? 

Is the 24-hour CVS near Cheesesteak Vegas in South Philly the new after-hours hang?

Is Purell the new black?

To go with that accessory, another bigger thought: Will major music festivals such as Delaware’s Firefly cancel for coronavirus fears (and liabilities) ala Ultra in Miami and SXSW in Austin? Could smaller music fests follow suit? Networking conferences? Chefs’ events?

Where’s my Gucci gas mask?

After-hours news

Speaking of something may be after hours, maybe not: Ryan Dorsey, the upper management-partnership nightlifer with previous ties to Recess, North Shore Beach Club and NOTO (no, no!) is the name beyond the stickers appearing on the doors of what was once McFadden’s on N. 3rd. Does the new club (Mr. Ivy) with the spring opening have anything to do, thematically, with Spain’s-ish-smiley faces appearing, bat signal-like on its highest walls? Is there another after-hours license floating around? Anything that ISN’T McFadden’s is fine, quite frankly. Apply here if you want a job www.mrivyphilly.com.

Erasherhood repairs

I’m a bad guy for missing last Friday’s PhilaMOCA benefit at First Unitarian Church in order to aid Moca-man Eric Bressler in making the necessary repairs to re-opening his Erasherhood exhibition-performance space shuttered by L&I for a minor, but pricey, violation (I know he’s based in Los Angeles now, but, you think his landlord, Diplo, could maybe put down that expensive Bolo tie to suit his new cowboy image, and throw Eric a few bucks). BUT. I insist you slip Bressler an envelope in his N. 12th mail slot or hit up his gofundme.com/f/resurrect-philamoca site, now, so that we can get weird sooner than later.

Lousy week for jazz

Speaking of GoFundMe’s, it’s been a lousy week for Philly jazz. First, hometown hero and legendary pianist McCoy Tyner died. Then, we find out just how ill local guitar lion Pat Martino really is when a GoFundMe page described new ailments ranging from a post-touring (in Italy – ugh) virus, lungs lousy with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, the probability of a double lung transplant, physical therapy for problems with the fingers on his left hand. WTF. Martino has already had a hard contract – just read the harrowing “Here and Now! The Autobiography of Pat-Martino” for medical proof. Give up the ducats.

“In the coming weeks, will I see you out at stops along Philly Wine Week and the opening of Stephen Starr’s new LMNO in Fishtown on Front St? Or will I only bump into you at RiteAid fighting your neighbor for hand sanitizer to ward off coronavirus?”

Congrats all around

Let’s duck back to one of my favorite stories, for some happy circumstance here: Ava Graham, the 94-WIP on-air personality and daughter of fellow radio jock AND comedian AND author AND all-around good guy felled BUT NOT DOWNED by his own series of medical problems ably described at https://philadelphiaweekly.com/big-daddy-battles-back/ got engaged to her long-time beau, Bill Matz, as part of the Sadie Hawkins Day tradition of a woman asking a man for his hand in marriage So, congrats there. Also, congrats for getting Big Daddy out of the house for one of his and pal-fellow comedian Joe Conklin’s “Two Funny Guys” stand up/sit down comic affairs on April 25 at the Colonial Theater in Phoenixville.

Bloodhound Gang 

We have not heard from the outrageous King of Prussia-born metal-punk act Bloodhound Gang since its Bam Margera-brethren broke up in 2015. That doesn’t mean they’re not well-loved still. 

Twenty years after its release, the platinum-selling (weird but true) album “Hooray For Boobies” gets an expanded reissue of 11 bonus tracks, including their cover of Black Sheep’s “The Choice Is Yours,” some remixes from Pet Shop Boys and KMFDM, and a double-LP clear vinyl version – all on March 27.

New sports bar 

Sometimes you just can’t take the pigskin out of a man’s hands, mind or business: Jahri Evans, the one-time New Orleans’ Saint with ties to Philly’s Frankford High School, is closing the eatery he opened with his wife Takia – SOMO SoPhi – and is turning it around and making into a sports bar that only sounds like a science fiction character, Venu. OK.

Black Thought

Not just an MC, The Roots co-founder and an occasional stand-up comedian/comic foil to Jimmy Fallon, Philly’s Black Thought is taking part in a stage adaptation of George S. Schuyler’s 1931 novel “Black No More,” at NYC’s Pershing Square Signature Center in October for the New Group company. The thought is not only writing lyrics and musical elements for the play, but he’ll also be making his Off-Broadway acting stage debut. How big of a deal is this? Choreographer Bill T. Jones and screenwriter John Ridley (“12 Years a Slave”) are in on the action.

On Stage

If you wish to see your favorite Philly business professionals in a truly magnificent competitive setting – ACTING – check out March 13’s “Play Brawl” at Suzanne Roberts Theatre to benefit its Philadelphia Theatre Company. Think “Dancing with the Stars” meets Al Pacino doing Henry V … only louder with much more hand movement. Good show.

Jazz giant Marty Grosz was honored recently at his 90th birthday bash at World Cafe Live. | Image: AD Amorosi

WHOWHATWHERE

· Justin Bieber was in town on Friday, hopping along the Rocky steps and dining at Jean Georges. But what was he doing here, for reals? Buying mustache wax and vying for opportunities to join the Philadelphia Beard and Mustache Club? (No muzzies allowed, Biebs). Craving egg toast and caviar in an “Inception”-like setting? Or could he be bugging local promoters about his summer stadium tour’s (Aug. 1, the Linc) rumored soft sales that have promoters around the country buckling him down to smaller arena status?

The Lounge at World Cafe Live played host to my favorite German-expat-turned-Philadelphia-hot-jazz giant Marty Grosz for his 90th birthday bash. Hailed by his usual cronies from the Mermaid Inn in Chestnut Hill, along with fellow jazz-bo Vince Giordano (Vince, by the way, won a Grammy for his participation in the “Boardwalk Empire” soundtrack in 2012), Grosz also celebrated the publication of his autobiography, “It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie: My Life in Jazz,” from Golden Alley Press.

When Pogues members Spider Stacy and Cait O’Riordan joined up with the Lost Bayou Ramblers for a sold-out “Poguetry” date at City Winery last Friday, O’Riordan gave the reason for having donned an orange jumpsuit (“the only color I could wear was Gritty orange in Philadelphia”) before dedicating “I’m a Man You Don’t Meet Every Day” to the Flyers’ furry mascot.

  • A.D. Amarosi's Headshot

    A.D. Amorosi is a Philadelphia-based journalist who, along with Philadelphia Weekly, writes for numerous local, national and international publications including Variety and the Philadelphia Inquirer.