Zrooooom to the top of my favorite places to see shows in Philly goes Union Transfer. It was only a few months ago that I was standing in Union Transfer at a Yelp event, screaming to everyone in sight, "How have I not seen a show here?!"
That has all been rectified now, about a handful of times, and I have nothing but good things to say about this place. This is just a dope place to see a show- the sound is consistently great. The venue is nice and spacious; feels part-warehouse, part castle court, to me. Or almost churchy? Well, maybe I just like the vaulted ceilings and rafter beams. I don't know. I do know that upstairs or down, general admission style, I have easily been able to snag a good vantage point for view or for showcasing the moves. I don't know if there's a bad spot in the house.
Ticket prices are typically between $13-$25 to see an excellent variety of bands coming through. So, maybe you are not sure that you're into some band or other, I for one, am all about giving a new (or new to me) band a 15-dolla-or-so chance. Dude, I have taken the 23 bus straight up there in no time from South Philly, on a last minute whim. Bought a ticket at the window and had an even better than usual Thursday night for m'self. I've begun to stalk their calendar.
The many shows that I've seen here have earned The Trocadero a special little place in my heart, next to all that other stuff. I was thinking that today as I was walking by. Upstairs bar, downstairs bar, balcony, the pit...good sound... all lead to a nostalgic thumbs-up.
I haven't seen a show there in a while but I have hit up some Movie Mondays, alright. That's some good three dollar fun, plus beer and popcorn.
I looked up what films are comin up. E.T.! That's the first movie that I ever ever saw in a theater. I was four. I'll always remember that night and the fact that when we got home, I puked. Ahhh the memories. E.T. and beer...just like being four again. Juuuuussssst kiiiddding....Heh.
Also, Hedwig and the Angry Inch?! Midnight movie, you say? On Friday June 10th, you say?? I might have to see about that. I might hafta take that wig down from the shelf.
This is a fun place, the Trocadero is. And let's also bring up the fact that The Trocadero is a cool name. Sounds snazzy.
Maybe it's just that I have a thing for seeing shows in classic old theaters, but I do like the Tower Theatre plenty. Of course, yet again, there is the whole slew of fond memories from many fun shows attached to the sentiment. There's also this point: I seem to favor the places who go for the theater with the "RE" at the end. "Theatre," I like your style.
I was last at the Tower Theatre about two months ago to see a show. It occurred to me that maybe I'm getting old because when the balcony seemed to bounce with dancing people's shaking, I had to fight the urge to scold, "Settle the hell down!" You know, for safety's sake... For real, it was fun. But I did have the moment like that felt a bit on the verge of fist shaking at young whippersnappers.
I think that Tower is beautiful, even in a kind of run-down way. You can still get a sense of the history. I always have a moment or two when I'm there as I look at the intricate moldings, marble and old architecture. I imagine 1920's people watching films or vaudeville acts...and then I think about all the luckies who were able to be there for so many rock shows since the 70's...Classic, amazing stuff. Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars? Are you kiddin me? I have such concert envy for times before I was born.
When the time machine discussion comes up, as it often does...many debate the potential impacts of toying with history. Is it selfish that my first thoughts about it all are, "Oooh I would see me some shows?" (Seriously, don't worry, OK? I'm betting that they'll probably let that guy who wants to go back and warn the world about impending disasters and mass murderers, use the time machine before me.)
If you can swing it, taking the Market-Frankford line to 69th is the easiest way to get to the venue. I also find that it's key when having fun to not have to worry about parking, etc. Coming down the stairs from the station, The Tower Theatre is right there before you. Go see some live music there.
I've never set foot in Bob & Barbara's during the weekend, which I've heard tell can be a whole nutha kinda Pabst/ City Special fueled nightmare. I have, however, haunted Bob & Barbara's on a disproportionate amount of Wednesday nights...just cause we happen to take that route, we stroll by that way...
Wednesday happens to be Jazz Jam night and I don't usually plan on staying to watch the whole thing, but I usually end up doing just that. It's pretty impressive to me how people can just show up, get down with the house band, and sound great; dude with the electric blue plastic trumpet, the little college-y chick with the big voice, the old, the young... all walks.
Well it's not all jazz and city specials that keep me sitting there at the strange, padded red vinyl rail (which is both comfortable and creepy). Surrounded by all the Pabst memorabilia and tschotkes, perhaps I am simply entranced by the 70's vest-wearing bygone image on the wall above me: Rosey Grier offering me a "Cool Blue" Pabst Blue Ribbon from a glass goblet...
Or ehhh...yeah it really could be the cheap city specials... even though *supposedly* I never drink em anymore. Well never and only when I'm there at Bob & Barbara's, I guess, just on odd, jazzy Wednesday nights.
Based on nostalgia alone, a gazillion stars. During my NoVA/DC years, as I call em, I racked up shows here. Shows a-plenty. Saw more shows here than anywhere else in life. SO, I love it. The end. Fun times. Now the end for real.
Nope, gonna ramble instead: We've seen Shane MacGowan here. Popes and Pogues. We've danced all our parts off with George Clinton who was wearing a sheet, with Toots and the Maytalls, with THE James Brown (!), and David Byrne in a kilt... One time David Johansen made a crazy monkey face at me. I've left covered in GWAR blood spray. So, it's been great. I shouldn't go rattlin' on and on...Ah don't get ol' Grandma-Sappy all sentimental and listin' shows...
Sidenote: Their vegan chilli nachos saved my life, many times. That could be a sub-chapter in my "Lotsa Great Shows, sub-chapter, in "During My NoVA/DC Years" chapter in my upcoming memoir.
I have enjoyed shows upstairs and down, right up front, or way in the back, holding up a the wall. It's a good sized club, not too tiny but performances feel intimate like. The sound here is consistently good... Always great acts coming through this place.
I loved being back and seeing some familiar faces, even.
So, a gazillion and five stars
The Starlight Ballroom, during the day and showless, causes me grandiose delusions. These are of the "thinks-she's-a-film-maker" variety.
The lights are on and it's fairly empty though usually during shows it can be so claustrophobic-freak-out-inducing here. When deserted the space feels kinda eerie and you get chance to get a good look at the joint. I sat at the large wooden bar near the take out window and gazed out into the spacious empty room...eyes glaze over into a thoughtful, far away trance...
Now this is when I start saying things about an early 80's coming-of-age movie I'm making. I'm choosing this locale for the odd roller rink bar scenes because this place completely reminds me of a roller rink and outdated 80's nightclub had a baby. The horseshoe shaped banquette booths that line the walls are perfect for when the clique of 80's gangsters, who still wear wide collars, gather for cocktails and business talk and switchblades. This is a really confusing movie.
Ahh the Starlight Ballroom Dance Club is just so reminiscent of times past. Strange times past, I'm betting...or imagining nonsense in my mind.
We ducked in here for a couple o' Heinekens mid Punk Rock Flea Market shopping and we weren't sorry.
Once again I'm comin atcha with another off-hour review. Your grandad and I like to avoid the crowds. Or whatever, we just happened to be in the neighborhood on a lazy Sunday afternoon recently. Cute little restaurants and shops, ya know, stuff to look at... Some people were laying about with their dogs, some people were having drinks...The huge TV was showing a hockey game but since the Flyers are outta it, I sourly shunned watching it.
I appreciate the European style square. I definitely dig that idea. I'm no expert, and maybe it's just that I've been watching a lot of that show, 'House Hunters International' lately, but it feels very Eastern European to me...formerly-communist-Eastern-Europe-like. Am I crazy? It is also quite possible, perhaps, that the buildings surrounding the square simply remind me of those that I'd seen in 2003's foreign feature film, 'Goodbye Lenin.' Nice reference, Kathleen. Very good. That seems like a keen example to which everybody will be able to relate. I need an accompanying slide show for every conversation. It would come in handy, believe me. Mostly what I mean is, the architecture of those buildings, the windows, the look... it feels cold war, baby.
Summer nights, dancing in the grass to live music; these are some of my favorite times in life. The Mann Center is a lovely place for all this to go down. I look forward to it like it wouldn't be Summer in Philly without it. The sound is great in this cool spot, surrounded by trees... and every Summer there is at least one concert that will draw me to this amphitheater in Fairmont Park, to shake it on the lawn.
The Spotted Cat is where it's at. I know that I'm rhyming up front, but take me seriously. We always have a great time going out to hear some music at The Spotted Cat. It's a must-go when we're in town.
Look, you know how when you're visiting a favorite city and when dreaming up your itinerary and you kinda get torn about which haunts to revisit versus experiencing a totally new spot? Well, this is automatic- we gotta go to Frenchman Street and we gotta go to the Spotted Cat. That's the ticket. There's great live music and plenty of quirk and did I mention the music always seems to be good?
This little joint is a real favorite, a must for the music lover. Sorry to sound all travel guide blurby about it, but it just comes so naturally. And also it's true, it's all true. In a city brimming with plenty of music venues, I like it special. Good music and an amiable atmosphere that is so copacetic and music-centric that it overtakes my tendency to get twitchy in close, close quarters.
I can only describe it like this- that there's a tangible sense of a concerted effort to have a good time enjoying music, and good music they gots. That's what I'm saying. It's pretty much the epitome of what I wanna: this is a really great New Orleans music club.
Sau sah ges...
Sausages, sausages, sausages, sausages...
|Port Richmond Polish|
|Hey, here are some good jukeboxes||
Old stompin' grounds re-stomped.
|...all my liiife though some have changed...Some forever, not for better...Some have gone and some remain...All these pizzas have their moments... but these are my favorites.||about a lotta stuff, including ice cream and other frozen goodnesses.|
Like a Country Time Lemonade commercial, but in Philly.
|Here's some stuff:|
|It's Laaaatin. Philly Roast Pork.||The Jersey Shore and around...on the way, or in the vicinity... Mostly Dr. Weird's Hangouts in South Jersey.|
"A Baby-stepper in Action"
Philadelphia, PA, Vereinigte StaatenYelper seit
März 2011Dinge, die ich mag
My best pal, the ron & fez show, sacks of hot nickels, cooking, bill murray, ridiculous rants, music, lotsa lotsa music, mama's medicineHier bin ich häufig anzutreffen
Souf Souf PhillyHeimatort
Bronx, NYWenn ich nicht gerade yelpe, dann ...
I'm reminding people that being vaguely menacing is just "my way."Warum du meine Beiträge unbedingt lesen solltest
I'm on the case.Mein Lieblingsfilm
Every Wes Anderson film, almost every Coen Brothers film, and What About BobIch schwärme gerade für
Young brother runs by the name "Sweet Gherkins"