You’re familiar with the phrase, “BLANK like your life depended on it.”
It’s a line mostly geared toward sports things, and usually tinged with a certain last minute/inning/round/quarter desperation – a sweaty palm and closed throat sensation all Philly teams and/or ballers are both familiar with, and have failed at heartily, miserably, almost always. With that being the case, all Philly teams should, by all rights, be long gone and buried.
This week, I’m using the phrase, “VOTE like your life depended on it,” come May 18, because Philly’s citizens, in their heart-of-hearts, have got to be truly tired of looking at their Citizen apps in fear of how close another “man wielding a gun” report is to their house for the sixth time in a row this week. Whole neighborhoods have got to be drained at the thought of having to line another house with teddy bears and candles. This city of row homes and small, independent businesses has got to be fed up at not being able to report crimes and nuisances ranging from countless, roaring ATVs, to corner muggings, to shops being shoplifted, all without legal recourse.
I know you’re tired, because you’ve told me you’re tired, and yet, you’re happy that holding marijuana isn’t any kind of crime (me too, believe me) and that bail for minor crimes is approachable and reasonable (which is amazingly great). Still, you do not feel safe – at all. So, vote like your life depends on it on May 18, because it does – quite literally.
Flyers fight COVID
By the way, kudos to the Flyers for making their final, regular-season game ticket the other night one worth a COVID-19 vaccine for ticketed fans and employees at Wells Fargo Center, compliments of Penn Medicine. But then, they had to go and make it Johnson & Johnson. Wha-wha. Next time, Gritty, phone Exton, PA’s biopharmaceutical company Immunome, which is working on COVID cocktails. I’ll drink to that.
Done preaching. Let’s talk about how I got invited, through friends, to Philly Milly Meek Mill’s birthday weekend party at LIV in the Fontainebleau down in Miami, Fla. I didn’t go. I left my cabana wear and cocaine in another suitcase a decade ago. That said, I did hear that Tekashi69, Meek’s long-time nemesis, was banned, not only from the club, but like, Florida. Mill’s Meekend was also in celebration of his 1-year-old son Czar’s birthday, so presents all around (cue to phone Sixers owner, billionaire-buddy-to-Meek Michael Rubin for suggestions).
Speaking of birthdays, I see socials saying howdy and sending birthday wishes to Paul Levy’s Center City District for turning 30 this spring, which is nice, and congrats. I thought Center City was older, like 200-plus years older than that. But hey, lie about your age. I won’t stop you.
Music for a price
If you are a vinyl nerd such as I, you peruse Discogs like you check out the obituaries, to see who’s up and who dropped. With that, I can tell you, proudly, that the free jazz funk of North Philly’s The Sounds Of Liberation’s “New Horizons” on the Dogtown Records label went for $7,777. This is the original, 1972 improvisational epic tied to local giants Khan Jamal and Monette Sudler, and not Max Ochester’s Brewerytown Beats’ jam, but still…Dag all over the place.
Speaking of music nerds, Philly’s synth noise punk Sieve, we hardly knew ye. After one truly silly, yet dynamic debut EP, “Three Secrets,” in 2018, and some definitely loud live gigs, they’re knocking it on the head, and calling it quits with the double A-sided single, “Prudence” and “Around,” on Philly’s Ramp Local label. Double dag.
Time to laugh
Just to show you just how open-past-pandemic this city is, at present, Sansom Street’s Helium Comedy Club is starting its prelim rounds for 2021’s Philly’s Phunniest Person competition with its on-stage contests, comedians and audience applause meters running until July 27. Philadelphia born-and-bred-then-gone stand-up comedian Todd Glass (also from “Act Happy” on Netflix) will appear at Helium, May 20 to 22 for something surely wry.
Parks on Tap
Along with its all new, fresh faced, South-to-Christian Trails End Parks on Tap having just popped its pop top (canned beers from Two Locals, Philly’s first Black-owned brewery), Avram Hornik’s FCM Hospitality also opened its PoT at the Fairmount Water Works on Waterworks Drive. That just happens to be one of my very favorite, least appreciated destinations in the city – Schuylkill River scent and all.
The Inquirer LIVE’S new series, Agree to Disagree, opened with a promised “hot-button issue” and a “fast-paced debate” about…cobblestone streets, literally the least-buttoned, slow-paced possible conversation ever.
“Are they a dangerous relic that sprain oodles of ankles every year or a charming historical feature that makes our city unique?” was the principal, and really quaint initial question. With that bold newness as its calling card, Agree to Disagree’s next showcases could be, “Henry Clay’s Whig Party: Dangerous or Essential?,” or “The Key’ to Ben Franklin’s ‘Electric’ Dating Life.” Shocking.
Masked Philly: Patty Jackson
In Icepack’s continuing saga of asking mask-donning local celebrities what they’ve been up to, beyond the pale, during COVID-19 – from lockdown to the current, slow reopening – I reached out this week to the legendary Patty Jackson, the goddess of WDAS 106.3 FM, the princess of the Patty TV podcast (YouTube) and an all around Philly icon.
Jackson, like the rest of the city, went into hard quarantine immediately. Unlike the rest of the city, Jackson still had weekday and Sunday shifts.
“So, I had to learn how to work by myself during COVID because I had to work by myself,” said Jackson, who – by trade – is a trained announcer and voice-over artist – not an engineer.
“No one was allowed to come into our studios, so there was a lot of quick learning on my feet. I became very independent.”
That independence has been an inestimable new trait when it comes to everything from podcasting to producing.
The masks? Jackson didn’t like wearing a face mask at first, but only changed her mind, “when I noticed during the winter that it kept my face really warm.” Whether COVID’s on or not, when winter comes, expect Jackson to be wearing a face mask.
As for whose mask she is wearing: “A childhood friend of mine named Buffy Faith Singleterry started making face masks as a side hustle, and they were lovely. They had my name on it, she made one in memory of my mom. They were just really nice and they were different and I got lots of compliments on it.”
Along with looking for an immediate future (other than winter) where she can look back on this 16-month period of life and laugh (“and say ‘remember when we had to wear face masks?’), Jackson – ever the live event host, is most looking forward to getting on this city’s live stages.
“I’m looking forward to going on a stage and hosting a concert, hosting parties, hosting events and seeing people – something that we just haven’t been able to do during this pandemic. The first time I walk across the stage, I’ll probably skip because I’ll be so happy. I will also look forward to seeing friends and hugging them and family members that I haven’t seen in a long time. I really want to get back to living and enjoying life.” Expect to see her soon, hosting Big Scott’s 13th annual All White Affair with Lady B on July 17 at the Battleship New Jersey. Check bigscott.com for tix.