Icepack | May 14-21

With one of the highest case counts of any state, Icepack opines on what he calls the “stupidity” on casino hotels opening their rooms and beachfronts back to the public. | Image provided

With a half-hearted announcement that its casino hotels will take reservations in June, and with its beaches opening sooner, I can proudly say that Atlantic City is still stupider than Philly.

Bravo, New Jersey. You got a break for a minute after Bridgegate – we even gave Bon Jovi respect for a while – but, you’re back in the running, baby. Stay stupid. 

That “open” announcement, against the continued threat of C-19, doesn’t exonerate particular Philadelphians from their own brand of dumb. Yes, it’s a little outside of early summer’s flattened curve, but the NFL released its football schedule for 2020-2021, and our Eagles are scheduled to play preseason games in August, with the real season kicking off Sept. 13 – the Eagles in D.C. against the Redskins (our first season home game? Sept 20, against the Rams) – all, perhaps, in a pre-emptive strike of ridiculousness. Many Philly universities too are announcing back-to-school, live-in-person specials – which also proves how dumb college, from its faculty to its students – can be. Wise up. Wait.


Are you hep to Philadelphia bassist, composer, Kimmel Center Creative Music Program director and collaborator to The Roots Anthony Tidd’s ACT4Music festival ( Its cloud-based venue – conceptualized pre-COVID-19 – is set for artist-curated, from-home, video-live music performances. Though ongoing through time and space, Tidd’s ACT4Music is currently festival-frenetic with showcases from Philly jazz instrumental dawgs such as Eric Northam, curation from radio mavens J. Michael Harrison and more.

“Many Philly universities too are announcing back-to-school, live-in-person specials – which also proves how dumb college, from its faculty to its students – can be.”

Next from M. Night

Hollywood may be on isolated hold, for now, for filming, but producers can dream, can’t they? While Philly auteur M. Night Shyamalan’s locally-lensed “Serpent” season two for Apple TV+ is pandemically chilled for what would have been spring camera work in town, Night just booked a young ensemble cast (Eliza Scanlen, Thomasin McKenzie, Aaron Pierre, Alex Wolff, Vicky Krieps) for his next creepy, crawly the top-secret project as part of his film deal for Universal Pictures.

Moving forward

Remember, two weeks ago, Icepack mentioned that the still-in-reconstruction (from a 2017 fire) Bridget Foy’s sister space, Cry Baby Pasta, had slipped treasured Foy menu items onto Baby’s spaghetti western curbside take-out menu? Foy saw my question as to what was happening with BF’s construction process on South Street during C-19 and sent me this note: “We are ready to gear up and start construction when we get clearance, and it’s safe to move forward. Then we are hoping for a fall opening at this point. We can’t wait to see everyone at 2nd and South. Until then, Cry Baby Pasta is open for delivery and takeout.” 

Since the city and state gave the clearance for outdoor construction to fuel forward, expect to see yellow construction helmets at 2nd & South shortly.

War on Drugs

Las Vegas’ platinum-plated The Killers’ new album, “Imploding the Mirage,” isn’t due until May 29. But I’m hearing that Weyes Blood, K.D. Lang and Philly’s War on Drugs’ Adam Granduciel are all part of the new record’s collaborator guest-starring mix. Yay, that. Outside of WoD, Granduciel has made rare, but choice, appearances on albums by Lo Moon and Sharon Von Etten.

Commonwealth Choir

Not one to let a mean old coronavirus go without working through it, Philly’s odd-lot hard pop Commonwealth Choir is getting ready to drop a flaming new EP in June, “No End,” (on the Know Hope label out of Philly), and, filmed a new wiggy (you’ll see what I mean when you go to) music video for “Light” throughout what looks like Fishtown. With no masks, yet. I get it, though, the unshaven scruff against the mask. I HATE THAT FEELING, bruh.

Skeletor Gung Show

World Café Live’s Live Connections is now combined into a single nonprofit organization with WCL and changed its name and email handle to WCL Education. Got that. It’s a founding member of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) with the C-19 worthy hashtag, #SaveOurStages. Got that. 

The mothership venue, though, is hosting its monthly live Karaoke Gung Show on Instagram Live on Friday, May 15, a Virtual Karaoke Gung Show hosted by Skeletor with a “Quarantine Prom Night” theme. How bad could things be if Skeletor is still allowed to roam free?

QE – Philly style

FINALLY, Season 5 of Netflix’s “Queer Eye,” the one that the Fab 5 filmed in Philly – the “Heroes” season – gets its kickoff announcement on May 15. VINCINT (Philly’s Vincint Cannady who we know from “The Four”) is working on the QE official trailer and a new song, “Be Me,” with a video premiering June 17 after Season 5 is on Netflix, in the heart of Gay Pride month.

Paying respect

The death corner, right? Hey, you pay respect or you die alone. So. Along with having lost Tom “Streets” Sheehy last week (I forgot to mention his WMMR credentials, I know, I know), Philly paid a handful of sad farewells to totems of industry such as Edgar R. Goldenberg – the third-gen of family executives to run the Goldenberg Candy Co. known for its Peanut Chews…PEANUT CHEWS, man – and local theater icon Walter Dallas. Man, there was a time that you couldn’t throw a rock within the sphere of local stages and NOT hit something that Dallas wasn’t aligned with or part of. He’ll be missed. 

One giant you might not know too much about who just passed was Luke A. Marano Sr. of Philadelphia Macaroni Co. fame. If you’ve been paying attention to the business pages (you’re not, I know you), you know that Marano was in the news just last week for having bought out A. Zerega’s Sons of New York. In the packaged pasta world, this would be akin to Chrysler buying Volvo – a big deal.  

That’s been the Marano family way since his dad and granddad opened the business in 1914 and crafted private label macaronis/spaghettis, etc. for the likes of Lipton, manufacturing Ramen noodles, and even devising specialty pasta for Campbell’s Soup in Camden, NJ. Like Noah Cross said of the deceased Hollis Mulwray in “Chinatown,” … “he built this city,” one rigatoni at a time. He will be missed. They all will.

  • A.D. Amarosi's Headshot

    A.D. Amorosi is an award-winning journalist who, along with working for the Philadelphia Weekly, writes regularly for Variety, Jazz Times, Flood and Wax Poetics, and hosts and co-produces his own SoundCloud-charting radio show, Theater in the Round for Pacifica National Public Radio station WPPM 106.5 FM and

More Popular Articles

Upcoming Philly Events