Last week (Sept. 15, 2012) Ghostland Observatory rocked out FDR Park. Just as Big J and I entered the venue, a park that Lotus turned into an outdoor end-of-the-summer celebration, Ghostland Observatory began its set which was one of the best lazer light shows I have ever seen.
This duo puts out more sound than any duo I’ve heard. I was surprised, however, that Aaron Behrens was not in as colorful an outfit as usual, opting for a more subdued, grungy plaid shirt, and not dancing much either during the opening track. However, within ten minutes his plaid shirt was off, black t-in full effect, and he was tramping all over the stage, better than any of the revelers who had come to see his epic dance moves.
However, Thomas Ross Turner was in his trademark cape, as he is the magician, the wizard, the Count of the Synth…he rocks out with his cape out always.
Midway through their set they played Sad Sad City…I wanted to get a beer, and I told Big J, but the music was sooo good man we just had to wait. Ghostland had the whole crowd in the palm of their hand…Behrens screamed out to the crowd, to sing the verse, and the crowd, not entirely familiar with this band, joined in, but tentatively —
Well, I need you
to want me, To hold me, to tell me the truth
Say I need you to want me, To hold me, to tell me the truth, yeah
It was great, the whole crowd singing the chorus, yet not entirely sure of themselves through the tongue-twisty words…no worries…party people. I screamed out the lyrics as loud as I could, hoping to lead the party into the sweet spot. Towards the end of the show, these guys hit this awesome little jam, and I had to capture it. In the middle, you can see Winnie the Pooh dancing on a stick. Pooh Bear loves to party.
Lotus then came on for the final set of the night. They came on at about 8:55, and I told Big J that they would likely play two hours straight, without a set break, and we began to get excited. The FDR Park festival had a perfectly set up beer area, partitioned by low lit christmas lights that made it look slightly sketchy. Even though you could not leave the beer area (because they don’t want old young adults like me selling beer to 20 yr old college dudes at a 5000% mark-up, or even worse, giving it for free to young girls – THINK OF THE CHILDREN), the stage was close and you could see the lights and hear the music perfectly.
The transient energy that Lotus builds upon makes it perfect for a two hour show, no set break. The lack of the break means the energy continues to build, along with the party. The show ended early because of time restrictions, but what a night! Lotus played its homebase with some serious pride, and their fans reacted with the same pleasure!
And for those who wanted the party to go on longer, there were massive amounts of people swimming in fish tanks outside for about a half-an hour after the show, and Chickie’s and Pete’s was still open, serving food and slinging beer until closing time at 2:00AM.
AMON TOBIN AT THE E FACTORY
Only two days later (Sept. 17, 2012) Amon Tobin rocked out the E-Factory. It being CRSN’s bday and all, the Beerman treated him to a birthday night out, with complete access to the upstairs VIP and all!! While the opening act was fairly run-of-the mill dub-step type stuff, that really lacked anything to hook you in, once Amon Tobin started, it was clear why he is one of the premier djs in the world.
Amon Tobin provides a unique experience of transcendence and awareness – with the wonder that if we are here in 2012 both musically and in terms of a visual experience – how much farther can we go? With technology and imagination leading the way, will this look archaic in five years? Ten years? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop? The world may never know…
So the prevailing verdict, from everyone speaking on the matter, is that the Made in America was a huge success. It went off without a hitch; none of that blat blat you get shot by da gun boyeeee which many were cynically expecting from an event smack in the center of Killadelphia. Soon as I get in there, I meet Flagman by Ireland (i.e. the Irish Flag on the Parkway), once we see all these lil’ things walking by in flags, Flagman gets really excited – says – I haven’t seen this many people wearing American flags ever. Momma shoulda known better to drop you off and let you walk around in that alone…
In the end, however, even more impressive than the flag shorts and the hippidy-hop was the temporary feeling of community and hope that reverberated throughout the make-shift village. Once Flagman walks me to his crew, there’s a sense of goodness and universal belonging that Philly has lacked for a long time…I spot a couple of guys dancing to the reverberations of the Dirty Projectors and their dancing is complete revelry, with friends eliciting pure joy.
Throughout the evening, various cats give a quick glimpse of their joyful party-expressionism. For example, J-Dubs, Ellinger, The Man, waltzes up to say hello in passing, in a flag cape, as Captain MadeinAmerica, quickly shooting the breeze with a million dollar smile. “Let me tell you, my friend, this is the best weekend I’ve ever had. I don’t think it can get any better than this.” “Ellinger, you getting into anything good?” “Well, I can’t really get into details if you know what I mean, but don’t worry, I’m in a good state of mind. I don’t have a job, so I figure, shit, might as well have some fun, right?” Suddenly, Miss MadeinAmerica walks up to J-Dubs entreating, I’ve been looking for you, and she a bikini flag strapped to her chest and when I look away for a moment, in the corner of my eye J-Dubs lays his dirty-mind projector between her purple mountains majesty, but that’s just a hallucination, my own mind alteration of what reality is desired to be even if it is not. Mais non Ellinger quickly grabs Miss MadeinAmerica, with a shiteating grin, hot blonde on his side, Ellinger bids farewell and into the crowd, he’s gone…with his Maiden America.
Unfortunately, despite the populist appeal, this is an event for those with money to spend…sadly the thousands of homeless in the city had to enjoy the sounds from outside of the bounds of the festival, but even standing on the outer rungs looking in, despite the heartache of not being in the midst of the shit, still provided an uplift to those around, at least feeling part of something greater than the normal doldrums permit. The entire weekend ran $150 so this event (on Labor Day) was probably not as much for the working man or woman, but at $150 for two days of music, it’s something that a blue-collar type like myself could save up for and afford and therefore enjoy a sense of unsurpassed pride I have ever felt towards my hometown, the City of Brotherly Love. One of Flagman’s friends, a cheesy man from Quebec, with a Velveeta voice, who I will call Gruyere, explains it precisely, “Look I live in Baltimore now. We call Philly big Baltimore. As much as I hate this town, though – it’s beautiful…” He points to the Cira Center. I explain to him the evil lurking below the flashy veneer and synchronized lights of the Cira Center, “Look man, I used to work in that building. It’s rotten on the inside.” “Nonesense, he says.” Disagreeing, just like a Quebec born, French-speaking, Irish American would, “I’m not talking about what’s inside the building…” He’s mumbly, drumbly, hard to understand… “Of course the work that’s inside the building is like that. Shit everywhere. Bigger Baltimore. More shit. Shit fuck football team.” Then, Gruyere’s French Canadian optimism comes out, “Nonetheless, look, it’s beautiful. Look around. Buildings, City Hall and William Penn watching, people crowded around even on the streets outside, no gunshots, magnifique!”
He’s right. The whole night has been perfect. Ever since I parked my car on the Chestnut St. bridge (there’s usually parking there) and began walking along the Schuylkill river bike trail, drinking a Southern Tier Double IPA that I had purchased at the Wegman’s bottle shop on Marlton Pike, NJ, out of a WaWa plastic cup that had been formerly a 36 oz. diet coke, I noticed people everywhere, in colorful shirts, exercising, walking, fishing in boats on the river. It was simply a festive time of coming together. The whole Schuylkill Trail buzzing with excitement, as loud vivacious sounds of the Dirty Projectors washed over our heads like a musical quilt, patched together with harmonies, bass drums, a lone guitar solo. Their harmonies projected sheer brilliance in terms of knowledge of sound and overtones, how the whole becomes more than the sum of its parts, while the crowd eats their sound, with joy, however, not like how America Eats Its Young, with fear and loathing.
Walking to the show on the Schuylkill Trail, You didn’t even notice the whir and buzz of cars on I-76 expressway, cars typically moving upwards of 70 MPH, either those cars were less numerous, understanding for a moment the beauty of rest on Labor Day Weekend, or for a change they weren’t the loudest noise makers along the river walk. The Dirty Projectors were drowning that car-noise-pollution out…Soon I was chugging the crap out of this double IPA, standing next to a trashcan like a homeless guy, so I could get in there as quickly as possible. No one even seemed care or shoot dirty looks to the old young guy choking this high ABV beer down, because ultimately, nobody cared about vagrancy today – c’est la vie, nous sommes tous vagabondes!
The Parkway morphed into the most beautiful of cityscapes – oh city to be not dominated by the automobile. Beginning from the river, cutting in front of the Art Museum, then around the perimeter of the concert, towards the box office of 22nd street – what a beautiful world it would be without the constant clogging and disruption of cars. To walk around the urban environment, not feeling crowded or enclosed on the sidewalk alone, a place to walk in a city as big as the sky above! Without cars, the walkway, the street, had again, become a market, a place to walk, not a place to fear. Without cars the Parkway became a greater community within the communities. People meeting, falling in love. Coming together under the cool summer night. Oh Creation! Things were happening on the inside. A true village! Stuff! Food trucks! Beer! And there is the Flagman waiting by Ireland.
As he acted as a my guide, pointing in the directions of this utopian village, the sounds from the stages continued in waves.
Skrillex’ played a short set, which came from the stage on a hill, north of the main stage. The Thriller from Skriller demonstrated why “Dub Step” is truly amazing. Those of us who appreciate hip hop recognize it as the amalgam of jazz, rock, fusion, reggae. Dub step then adds hip-hop and electronic to the mix, with upwards of 16 tracks on a single song, with all popular music humans know and love coming together. It’s the newest sound, not because it’s all that new, but because it combines everything before it, forces us to dance, forces us to push ourselves farther than ever before, louder, scarier, and if you just face it with a blank slate, you realize you are facing the most advanced music the universe is offering us at this time.
Just when it couldn’t get any better, Skrillex ended and on walked Jay-Z to the main stage.
Jay-Z’ greatness cannot be understood until one sits before the grand reverend of rap. He is the Jigga, Hova, and as you sing H to the Izzo, V to the Izzay, you realize that the hand of Creation has truly blessed this man. His power is the line, his understanding, the word, turning a dark and dangerous urban landscape into an opportunity. Empire State of Mind comes on, and the excitement that Beyonce’ would be on stage soon, followed by the disappointment that Beyonce’ was not on stage…only better justified the excitement a few moments later when Kan-yezzey makes his special appearance before the Philly crowd. I lose my shit…KANYE! KANYE!!! OH MY GOD! KANYEEE! Dr. Blyth Goodlove – my love for the evening and throughout this glorious summer – looks at me with shock and awe, thinking, oh no, this partyboy finally lost his mind. “What is wrong with you?” She mouths to me…No shine blocking goddamit…it’s KANYE! KANYAAAYY! I scream from what might as well be miles from the stage. He can’t hear me over any of the other ridiculous screaming going on. He’s here!
And yes, Kanye was here…for a moment, Kanye wanted to see us. HE came here for US! We didn’t know Kanye was gonna show up, but he did – because THIS WAS THE PLACE TO BE! Kanye came here because he wanted to see us…and this is the power of the party. This is the importance of the party. It let’s everyone feel part of their own movie, their own life, those whom we see on TV and idolize, suddenly they are for the people, with the people, and by the people. Although divided from one another due to distance and status, we all become part and parcel of the same party, same essence.
After all of this greatness, I had to try to at least catch some of the second night – see Pearl Jam, innovators of grunge. Rock and Roll emo. Born from the examples of the legends, like Neil Young, Lou Reed, Jimi, Bowie, and Bruce. In the midst of their amazing set, featuring Jeremy, Alive, all the hits, Eddie Vedder even goes into a monologue spouting some pinko nonsense, championing middle class honest workers. This song is a song about someone who does everything right, raises a family, gets up, goes to work, then he loses his job even though he did everything he was told. Flagman starts joking, “This guy clearly hates Mitt Romney…who loves firing people.” Well, it’s true. Pearl Jam is a bunch of leftists…if the conservatives of the world who supposedly love no taxes and little regulation, and somehow also love Pearl Jam and rock n roll, actually listened closely to the music and knew what these guys were about, they would burn their records and never let their kids listen to this music. The empowerment of the music, its criticism of unchecked consumerism, promotion of populism, these are not songs intended for you to listen to in your Benzos before slashing jobs and making “the difficult decisions” leaving people out of work and desperate. Oh America, who loves rock music so, yet has built a society completely contrary to the views of Pearl Jam and baby Jesus. Outside of Seattle, the views are hated but the music so loved. What’s really going on? What would the world look like if we really turned it into the place championed by those artists whom we truly love and respect as a society. What would be so bad about that?
Eddie Vedder Takes a spill while party-dancing.
ENDING THE WEEKEND WITH THE BOSS
So what better way to end this Labor Day, pinko inspired, yet consumerism driven weekend than with the Boss?
For a long week of partying, awakening, discarding misunderstandings, and facing problems (knowing there is an election on the horizon), the Boss was an appropriate way to end it all.
The Boss’ final show (which ended on Labor Day, 2012) wrapped up possibly the greatest run of partying in Philadelphia since the bicentennial. Somehow, too, Philadelphia, the birthplace of Freedom via a Constitution that legislatively approved slavery, was the appropriate place for the partying to go down. If Madonna was the appetizer on Tuesday, Aug. 28, and Made in America was the entrée on Sat-Sun., then the Boss was the cherry-bomb on top. Since my childhood when the song “Born in the USA,” I have always had a thorough misunderstanding of the Boss. I assumed his music simply promoted mindless cheerleading of U.S. nationalism and jingoism, assuming the song to be a simple anthem. No, “Born in the USA” is not a simple cheer but a mirror, a contradiction that criticizes America as much as it promotes it. The Boss, like everything great about the US, is an enigma, a paradox swimming against the paradigm yet excelling in it – a Jewish Catholic Italian – highly patriotic, yet highly introspective and cynical as well. Nothing the Boss does is simple, and his message runs deeper than the surface. The opposite of a rote cheerleader. When conservatives blast “Born in the USA” from parties or cars, too often they miss the anti-war message, the criticism of the USA as a war machine, a country that will send its homegrown to fight political wars, for the egos of politicians.
After the ironic success of “Born in the USA,” the Boss become more folksy and quiet. The E. Street Band took a hiatus and the songs got slower, so it wasn’t that easy to get turned on to the Boss in the 90’s. So it just passed me by, so I stuck with Prince and Michael from the 80’s and lived my life in blind ignorance. However, ever since the Sopranos, the Jersey Shore, the Jersey Boys, Boardwalk Empire has made the country again appreciate all that is Jersey (including Bon Jovi – oh yea!) and Jersey’s national treasures, the Boss has had a huge renaissance. Add the fact that the E. Street Band is touring with the Boss again, and viola – by ways of a party epiphany, I can see the Boss in a new light – the shining light for which is deserves. The Boss is a legend, playing to the party for nearly 40 years now, and according to his own legend, the Boss brings the same power now as he did 40 years ago, a potency unmatched by any living soul with the exception of Madonna. Certainly, if James Brown were still alive, there might be a male competition.
And when the Boss sings, he doesn’t sing for ideas, he sings for people. We, those lost souls, singing for them/us, repping them/us, telling stories about and for blue collar America, or anyone else who is hardworking – rich, poor, middle class alike – we all feel better because the Boss is there and he understands how hard it is to get out everyday and do it. He means so much to us all simply because he tells our story, and makes it sound manageable, as if we can continue to work hard because he works so hard on stage, and particularly for those people from New Jersey (a place that only the Boss could love, full of day laborers and industry, crowded highways and strip malls, a place to be loved not all of that but because, there are hard working people just trying to make a go of it for their families…this is our hometown.).
The stories, the shared experiences, the spirits, love, and we are in a sense, from Bruce’s hometown, we all have our own Ashbury Park, and we all even have a little bit of New Jersey in us – the attitude, the love for leisure and recreation, the love for the beach. The Boss understands these common threads and he weaves it together thematically on stage as well as any musician. He can touch you from 600 feet away and feel like he is singing to you directly.
In the middle of the show, the Boss started talking of ghosts. We are all touched by and affected by these spirits in the night, in our lives, moving us in ways we can’t possibly be aware of, but there is spirit in everything “even in this guitar” he says.
The Boss then tells a story of the meaning of work, how important it is and how we should be grateful for work – those of us who have it – My father searched for work his entire life and could never find a steady job. Struggled to support his family. And My Mother, says the Boss, was the type who would sleep into the mornings and wake and be caught up by the spirits in her head. She would take me and my sister to the graveyard, and we would look at the names, sometimes laugh at the names unfamiliar, think about who these people are, feel their presence, feel their spirits.
The Boss, like Patron Saint of Labor Day, along with Eddie Vedder, his squire – helped me to understand the importance of work and why it is so tragic when people lose it. They have gone through life, doing the right thing, doing what they are told, simply to survive and support those whom they love. Then, when the plant closes down, to no fault of their own, the whole thing, everything that has been built around them, everything they love – family, life, pride – becomes in jeopardy. How different is that message from the message of those other hacks…My fellow Americans, yes, I enjoy firing people…and why would we want to live in such a place?
Once Badlands comes on, Beerman points out that Eddie Vedder is actually in one of the luxury boxes and dancing away in delight to the Boss. I think to myself – in a David Byrne-type moment – how did I get here – how did I deserve any of this – what have I done to be so lucky…we all need this – we all need a Boss singing to us. We all need it all over the world. This is what we need everywhere – all those places and people that don’t love America – just bring Bruce and the E. Street Band to sing Badlands to them – and all will be well. Take the party to East Africa, take the party to Afghanistan, take it everywhere – so those who have hatred in their hearts can understand that we are all brothers and sisters together. If we can just remember that then we might get through these modern times and truly achieve our potential as humans.
As I am floating in a land of spirits with the E. Street Band as my guide, and Dr. Goodlove by my side, suddenly the stadium lights come on during Dancing in the Dark, a song essential to our collective identity as Americans, meaningful because it is a story of love, youth, and hope. Tears begin flowing before the Boss, a pastor without a cause except for making us dance and love each other, a man who is powered by our collective love. It gets him through the night. At the end of the night, during the encore, he sits down and takes off his black books and tips them upside down and a steady stream of sweat come straight out of the boots. Then he introduces us to the “momma kissing, curphew hating, music loving, Viagra taking, E! Street! Band!” and we have traveled through his world, which is only a take on the world we all know and love, and we all feel grateful for his guidance through the evening. Those before the Boss, come out of the show just a little more hopeful, optimistic, because even though we all have hardship, we just need to keep each other’s back and we’ll be fine.
Leaving Citizens Bank Park, I tell Dr. Goodlove, “You can really understand why Eddie Vedder is a fan of the Boss. Their messages are similar, if they don’t do it in a different manner. Plus the music is so good. The saxophones, the layers, the seemless transitions. It created a fabric of tones I did not expect.” The Boss basically told us the story of Labor Day – we as people need to work – it’s a fact of life – but when we stand by each other through our journey, and not cut each other down or hurt others simply to benefit ourselves, we can all get through it together, and be stronger, and better for it in the end.
So now that the summer is over, what the hell fuck are you waiting for?
Disappointed you didn’t make it to Camp Bisco?
Sorry to hear that. The report though from Corbisco Rhodisco was entirely positive of the experience, as he texted on his way home…
“Bisco was awwwwwwwwsome, you have to come next year…”
Burning Man burned down last Labor Day Weekend. Bud’s MadeinAmerica rocked, but now the keg’s kicked man. So what’s left? Lotus and Ghosland in FDR Park? Amon Tobin two days later? City Bisco (Mann Music Center, Oct. 5 & 6, including Bisco, RJD2, DIPLO, A-TRAK, and much more…), thrown in with a little PGroove fall run, Mitt Romney wins the presidency, then off to int’l waters via Jam Cruise 11…then some ski and hot tub? I can get through the winter quite nicely actually…
So even though I’m no Snoop Dogg myself, i might make all this happen. The real question is who I am gonna take and how am I gonna make this happen?
1. Make the decisions based upon how much money is left in your wallet…
With all the options, it’s hard to make a decision…Since my summer home at the shore zapped my wallet, I have so little time and money… I know, I don’t really care –there’s lots I want to see and more importantly lots (and who) I wanna do — so if I can’t afford it, I’ll get another job. Go into Bankruptcy. Simply getting there is worth it. Just don’t forget to bring the party punch.
2.Don’t worry that the Bruce Spingsteen show is over, there’s still plenty to do now.
Just get your game face on and get ready for the election. Then Christmas. Time to start gigercising in advance of Thanksgiving.
3.&4. Lotus, FDR Park; PGroove East Coast Run; Amon Tobin; Afghan Whigs; City Bisco; Halloween…
Don’t worry little kiddies. You think the year is over? Well, it’s just getting started. This is when things get weird and ghosts start coming out of the woodworks, even theAfghan Whigs.
5. Finally, the quicker you make plans, the more friends you can convince to attend…
This is a lie. Your friends are all idiots. If they don’t know what parties are good for them then go by yourself instead.
6. If all else fails, make a calendar of upcoming local parties, and base your decisions simply on the nights you have free…
This is all crap too. I just copied this list from this dude who loves Bisco and is probably the greatest party boy in Philly right now (or just keep up with the party blog):
9/10 Papa M (of Slint) @ JBs
9/13 Dragonette @ UT
9/14 John K Band @ Blockley
9/15 Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Phèdre, Ferraro @ UT
9/17 Amon Tobin ISAM @ E-Factory
9/18 L I G H T N I N G B O L T @ UT
9/18 Corin Tucker Band (of Sleater-Kinney) @ JBs
9/20 Purity Ring @ Church
9/22 Metric @ Tower
9/25 Twin Shadow, Niki And The Dove @ UT
9/27 Grimes, Elite Gymnastics, Myths @ UT 9/27 David Byrne, St. Vincent @ Tower
9/29 Zammuto (of The Books) @ JBs
10/2 godspeed you black emperor! @ UT
10/3 A N I M A L C O L L E C T I V E @ Mann Center
10/3 Polica @ UT
10/5 Adam Ant @ Troc
10/5-10/6 CITY BISCO @ The Mannnnnnnn
10/11 Jens Lekman @ UT
10/16 Beach House @ UT
10/19 Aussie Pink Floyd @ Tower
10/27 S Q U A R E P U S H E R @ TLA
10/27 Dinosaur Jr @ UT
11/15 DAN DEACON, Height With Friends, Chester Endersby Gwazda, Alan Resnick @ UT
11/16 Yeasayer @ UT
11/18 Conor Oberst @ Kimmel Center
11/29 A John Waters Christmas @ Troc
(REMEMBER, Glowsticks fucking suck. They kill fish and shit. So do plastic bottles, shoelaces, trashbags, plastic swords, styrofoam cups, and other rotten shit like that. Pick up shit that’s not biodegradable. If you eat a banana, I don’t give a fuck about it, compost that shit.)
“Well, there are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,” he said. “All right? There are 47 percent who are with him. Who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they’re entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.”
Oh Boy Mr. Romney, every few days, right when you seem to take the foot out of your mouth it seems to go right back in…
(From the emailed press release issued around 10 PM on 9/11/12) “I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi,” the statement read. “It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”
(That’s baloney. Obama did not provide any sympathy towards the terrorists in Libya who killed Americans…similar towards the lack of sympathy he showed Bin Laden…)
(Following the emailed press release, at a morning press conference on 9/12/12, and after confirmation that ambassador Chris Stevens had been assassinated during an attack in Libya) “The administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our Embassy in Egypt, instead of condemning their actions. It’s never too early for the United States government to condemn acts on Americans and to defend our values.”
“It’s a terrible course for America to stand in apology for our values,” Romney said. “And apology for America’s values is never the right course.”
(What values here are we apologizing for? Is it within our values to insult Muslims? And who is even apologizing? This is soo confusing…)
“Sometimes I have the impression that the whole regulatory attitude of the administration is trying to stop oil and gas and coal — that they don’t want those sources, that instead they want to get those things so expensive and so rare that wind and solar become highly cost-effective and efficient.”
(God forbid solar and wind ever become cost effective and efficient. No…We will all die of cheap energy if that is the case!)
“On federal lands the permitting process to actually drill and get oil or gas is extraordinarily slow. Now, interestingly, on state lands and private lands, state regulators have streamlined their permitting process, their evaluation, their environmental process, safety processes,” he said. “They found a way — because we compete with one another — they found a way to do a job in a more efficient way.”
(Wait, if the permitting process to drill on protected federal lands is slow – that is a bad thing?)
(-Didn’t the Fed. Gov’t give us Deep Water Horizon?)
Here’s the rub with this whole approach. Romney, in his drive to criticize the president, makes some rediculous and hilarious statements. Are we supposed to fear the development of wind and solar energy? Who likely has a bigger stake in these respective energy economies – Obama in wind and solar, or Romney in gas and oil?
Obama has been a staunch supporter of fossil fuels as well as clean energy… Obama recently reiterated support for natural gas industry literally during his convention speech. Despite mounting evidence that hydraulic fracking devastates water resources and that it leaches significant amounts of methane into the environment, Obama still supports it. The current administration also failed to push through the cap and trade bill, which would have been the first federal law to put industry wide limits on pollution. In retrospect, Obama seemed pro-fossil fuels to me…If Romney is offering himself as an alternative to a more pro-energy president, that’s not much of an alternative…
Fourth of July Time Party People, which means it’s the time of the year when WaWa dictates that we should eat hoagies and drink sugary drinks…Festivities kicked off on June 27 as “Wawa Hoagie Day: Stars, Stripes and Hoagies Forever,” feat…ured Hoagie spokesman Mayor Nutter, and a record breaking 4.5 ton hoagie…(yes…even the Fourth of July is for sale these days and the whole 4th week has borderlined on shameless promotion for hoagies, Oscar Meyer “Selects,” Kraft Food’s attempt to appeal to the high end processed meats market, Stoneybrook yogurt giveaways, Kia sunglasses and Dollar Food hand fans. Someone’s got to sponsor this party, and Party Blog does approve of corporate sponsorship when it involves free shwag, especially free sunglasses courtesy of the NBA-Kia Performance tent, or free pictures in front of a cut out of Blake Griffon.
Shake Gryffon and The Boomskulls
DJ Ro Parrish also spun a hell of a set in the blazing heat on Saturday afternoon in the NBA Nation DJ Booth (and we especially enjoyed the focus on Fresh Prince raps – go Sixers)…Party Blog does appreciate Wawa, the NBA, and other corporate sponsorship which helps bring free concerts July 3 and 4 (next year we want a Blue Cross Blue Sheild Dunk Tank) but the silly promos that go with it…well…we can’t help but laugh.
Hey PArtyPeoPle — there is still time to head down to LaFayatte, GA for the weekend and check out the best party of the year, for reals…
Amberland, where time stops for two days until you realize it’s Monday morning and you have to go to work yesterday, and it’s cheaper than burning man. Yes, although it’s not Bonnarroo, and Radio Head is not headlining, you get PGroove, which is pretty damn awesome. Plus the fact that you don’t have to fight 98K plus people for showers and porta-potties, and you have yourself one damn good party…
You will be treated to 2 days and 3 nights of great music and meet some of the nicest revolutionaries you have ever met…Information on the event is here, and if you pre-buy tickets it’s only $75 bucks!!!
Plus there’s this guy…
and these guys…
The key to your door of perception can be found here:
Now that the summer is on the verge – it’s that time of year…Summer Festival Time…time to start planning and / or calling in sick from work with that summer flu so that you can make as many of these as possible. The first great summer festival is upon us, The Hangout Music Fest, located in Gulf Shores Alabama. One of our friends at the PartyBlog – Noodle aka The Organizer is going to be in attendance with his party people and lil bro. Hopefully Noodle will send us some live updates or pictures so those of us lamewads (poor, boring, employed, or otherwise) who cannot attend will at least live vicariously through his party glory.
MAY’s preliminary schedule of the Summer Fests the PartyBlog thinks could change your life for the better and make you more spiritually connected, less of a douchebag, fall in love with nature or somebody else, live more open minded, join the fight for what’s right to party (RIP MCA), or all of the above (check back for PartyBlog’s schedule for the rest of the summer):
1) The Hangout Music Fest – May 18, 19 & 20, Gulf Shores Alabama.
Highlights: The Flaming Lips, Dave, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oakenfold, String Cheese (screw Ticketmaster – you guys rock!), Skrillex, AND MANY MANY MORE…
DOWNSIDE: This festival appears to be SOLD OUT so don’t get on a plane and fly down there and expect to get in. However, if you live close by you can probably hear the music if you sit somewhere on the beach, and maybe you can find a break in the fence and sneak in?
PARTY NOTE: The Bamboozle seems more electronic Friday night…The offerings at this festival are vastly different each night and you can buy either single night passes or weekend passes. UPSIDE. Each night has a different feel in terms of the offerings and you might not like every night depending on your musical tastes. DOWNSIDE. For example, the festivals headliners appear to be more hardcore Friday (Skrillex, Incubus), more alternative Saturday (Foo Fighters, My Chemical Romance) and traditional/mainstream Sunday (headliner Bon Jovi), so do your research and consider whether a three day pass is advisable v. the one night “I’m going to rock my socks off” admission. UPSIDE. The show also offers “late night shows.” DOWNSIDE. These shows have a separate admission cost.
3) Amberland XI, Memorial Day Weekend, Cherokee Farms, GA
The PartyBlog’s favorite music festival returns, featuring six sets by Perpetual Groove. Forget that “PGroove” doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. Amberland is their annual coming out party when “PGroove” for three days, becomes the biggest, baddest band in the U.S. Reunited with their former keyboardist, Matt McDonald, this year is primed to be one for the ages. The theme this year based on Penguins! So you will certainly see many images reflecting that theme. Additionally, there will be costume parties and much hilarity had by all. A description of the event is available here:
At $75 bucks per ticket (still available for a limited time) you can’t beat this deal. Furthermore, this festival really may change your life for the better, make you love nature, realize how tenuous our time on this planet is, and make you want to fight to protect it for a better tomorrow.
4) MORE TO COME IN JUNE…THE BIG ONES IN JUNE ARE WAKARUSA, BONARROO…BIG ONE IN JULY IS CAMP BISCO…AND THERE ARE VARIOUS OTHER ONES THE PARTYBLOG IS LOOKING INTO!!! POST A COMMENT ABOUT WHICH ONES YOU ARE ATTENDING AND WHY!!!
PARTY UPDATE — Yes Party People, tomorrow is the day before Mother’s Day, meaning, if you are in Philadelphia, it is Drunk Saturday Time. Drunk Saturday is the PartyBlog’s favorite bar crawl. Here’s the itinerary from the Organizer himself:
PartyBlog’s Abridged Recount of Drunk Saturday 2011:
Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse is crowded with a mass of humanity in red shirts designed in Phillies colors with the P upside down as a d and the shirt reads drunk saturday. Names and numbers on the back of shirts read “Updog,” “da robbie bears,” a guy much bigger than I am has a shirt that says “Polish Princess.” “Updog” sees me from the other end of the bar waives me over, and greets me with a shot of tequilla. Uhhh…struggling to get it down, as “Updog”polishes it off nicely, wipes his chin and declares, “That’s how it’s done.” The shot stays down and “it gets a litttle crazy,” aka Sully smacks me on the face and yells, “Where the fuck you been Ike?” Ike is my Drunk Saturday name which I acquired last month when I bumped into these guys drinking outside of at Parc Rittenhouse on the first nice day of the year. I was like, okay, I’ll stick around for one but then I have to go to work. Hours later “Noodle,” aka The Organizer had almost made his way through through 8 of the 9 specialty drinks on the cocktail menu but at no. 9, “The Hawaiian Banana” he hits a wall. A large amalgam of half drank wines and beers are spread across the table. For some reason these guys are calling me Ike. “Up dog” aka Aikman is stopping every girl who walks by and sniffing at them and saying, “You smell that?” Most agree out of politeness or the illusion of suggestion, “Yes, something does smell funny…” He says, “You smell that? Up dog, smells like up dog…” They inevitably fall for it, “What’s up dog?” “I don’t know DAWG, what up with you?” Aikman yells at one of the variously scantily clad women as the entire table of starts laughing and once they are gone he yells, “Blue Set BLUE!” because after all, today on the first day of Spring he is called Aikman for a reason due to his uncanny resemblance to Troy Aikman. By now we’ve all forgotten Updog’s tale of traveling that weekend in an airport and getting frisked in the air port security line for having a blade in his bag that he claimed wasn’t there when he packed his suitcase. I suspect that Updog’s tale is a tall one, yet this is the life we lead in corporate America, traveling from town to town, various airports without ever having the chance to rest, and the possibility is there that a blade gets slipped in or that we believe the story in a post-Tyler Durden-esque, post-Sept. 11 world. “Blue Set Blue, I’m gonna get you Ike Reese.” He yells at me. “Why am I Ike Reese?” “Because your tackling is as suspect as your drinking.” Noodle has given up on the last drink and Updog starts pouring everything on the table into Noodle’s “Hawaiian Banana” a poor excuse for a Mai Thai with 99 Bananas added to the mix . “Finish this drink and you can come party with us at the shore house.” The drink is purple and it smells bad, but when partying with new people, hazing is to be expected, no welcomed, because if you’re not getting hazed it means they don’t really like you, or at least, you have to try to impress with stupidity, because if you fail, you may never get another chance. It’s a dominance thing. Although I almost finish it in a swig, it’s too gross, the gag reflex kicks in. Updog continues, See Ike, I knew you couldn’t drink…offer is rescinded.
Zero Chances I’m Sober
Yes, although I have arrived late, Drunk Saturday has started, and I quickly grab a beer from the bartender, who is only serving bud, budlight and lager at the discounted price of three dollars. “Uhhh, do u have any hoppy beers?” “Yeah, she wrly says, we have an ipa.” “Sounds good. Ill take one of those.” “Okay. Three bucks.” Ahh the sweet feeling of belonging, a drunk saturday miracle…Work is done it’s time to party. “Updog” yells at one of the dressed red shirts, tuck your shirt in nerd.
So after 9 pm. An hour past the halfway point of drunk Saturday, 2011, a six dollar Drinker’s burrito and 80 oz of beers in, I’m starting to feel part of the party.
Thriller comes on around 10:30, which has been wildly popular since Micheal’s death, in the crowded bar that is Drinkers, and the whole place has turned into a dance party. I haven’t moved around the bar for hours, but have stayed standing by leaning on my chair and shaking my butt, but it is hard with a broken foot. Two weeks ago, I’d gotten in a fight outside of Encore, a guido nightclub in old city, for calling a guy’s girlfriend mannish. All I had done was ask for a smoke. Instead of being polite, she started yelling expletives at me for wearing a sweater that read “NYC” on the front:
(Outside of Club Encore, Old City, the nicest neighborhood in Philly where people get shot)
Don’t you know this is Philly! Get the Fuck out of here with that shirt! I bet you have never even been to New York! (instead of responding I divert) “Oh clearly someone has a fine grasp of the English language, limited to monosylabic threats and curses…” Hey asshole, go fuck yourself…My brother Zeek who is next to me soon chimes in and tells her to fuck herself instead, which prompts her diminutive boyfriend to step in and say:
“Hey, you guys better cut it out, or else your gonna get your asses kicked. I got all these dudes around here. You fags better go over there.” And he points towards the corner of Second and Chestnut.
(In response) — You fags go over there.
Confused, having heard what he just said, he responds “No, I said you fags go over there…”
“Yes,” I respond, “You, fag, and you, fag,” (pointing to his girlfriend) “go over there.”
(Party Note: PartyBlog is against the “f” word. It is never party appropriate. Thus what ensues.)
He and his friends quickly jump me. Seven guys are tackling me into the street as I go over a trashcan. Stumbling but with superhuman adrenalin-inspired strength I get back to my feet, about to swing, but suddenly cops surround. Not worth continuing the fight due to the risk of detention, all the culprits run away and into the adjacent bar (they are likely regulars, know the bouncers, or sell steroids to the clientele). My shoe is in a pile of trash, left foot hurts, but because of the adrenalin I can still walk on it. The juice of fighting is pumping through my veins and I want to lay chase after these seven Jersey thugs, but neither club will let us in, so my brother Zeek and I go to Buffalo Billiards, hand the bartender bills with traces of scabs and blood from my hands scuffed up from the sidewalk, and the next day my left ankle proves to be fractured.
(PARTY TIP: This is why, partypeople, when partying, be very careful, and remember that Jersey Trash are not like normal human beings, they are like caged up animals and when they get out, these guidos simply look for fights, that is their goal, and this is why drinking at night can be rife with dangers. Be smart, stay coherent, and WALK AWAY FROM FIGHTS!)
(Back to Drunk Saturday)
Drinking is the opposite of time warp. Its like time zap. Time moves faster, not slower, pushing u into the future at light speed, screaming at light speed, and finally u understand the meaning of Drunk Saturday, and why it’s like Christmas for all whom attend. Because there are people in your life that u love, like your mother, or your brother, or maybe some random new drunk friend at the bar. Drunk Saturday is an excuse to get together, everybody just getting together again, and this is why people even meet and start dating on Drunk Saturday, maybe even getting married eventually. Because Drunk Sat not an excuse to party, its an excuse to be alive. This is the day before Mother’s Day, baby, so it’s time to be happy and celebrate life, think about those whom we love, and cherish existence. A young brunette is smirking at me so I hop over on one foot to to talk to her, and make some awkward joke about a sex change operation, or how I’m waiting on mine, or her’s certainly looks better than mine is going to, and she shakes her head, confused, but smiles back politely. Although I’ve totally blown my chances, it’s fine, doesn’t matter. This is Drunk Saturday. You can say whatever you want…The bar is starting to thin out and I realize I haven’t even been upstairs to Noche. I try hobbling up the stairs to Noche on me crutches, but soon Noddle is running down, saying it’s time to go to Kite & Key — across town we go…
With two bars, the Noche-Drinkers establishment makes every other bar in the city with premium real estate look stupid for not having an upstairs. Just as I make it back down the stairs, thinking that this bar is amazing for treating drunk kids like kids with copious amounts of money that will spend it all with just a touch of sensitivity (mainly because when you are injured everyone is nice to you), as I walk outside a guy named “Ben” gets grabbed by the bouncer and thrown on the ground. I hobble over to him, oh too familiar of what happens when someone gets into a fight with a bouncer…
His flip flops are laying on the ground as Ben is livid, screaming, having been pushed down by the bouncer, a man larger than he, who could easily snap his neck if such motivated. The level of calm by the large black bouncer is a subtle insult towards Ben’s loud and angry protest. His buddy Drew quickly comes to the rescue and pulls Ben away. As I balance on my crutches to grab his flippy floppies and crutch towards him, too aware of the repercussions should it escalate, I remind Ben of the Fourth Party Rule – Always be nice to bouncers…they can make or break your party…
Luckily, Ben doesn’t have a broken nose, cracked skull, or worse, just a bit of a scare…he is black out drunk but Drew is talking him down, doing a good job, convincing Ben to walk away and fight another day.
A fine cabby stops for the cripple standing in the middle of the road. I hop in. Hey man, how’s it going? Pretty good. I can’t complain. Yeah man, I feel you…I don’t understand how you deal with drunk people all the time…I couldn’t do it. Yes, it takes patience. Certainly patience. I have only been driving for about a year though. But I don’t mind. I used to work at the Sunoco on Walnut, you know it? I got laid off last year as a manager.
No way, I respond…You know what? I hate Sunoco. My brother Zeek used to date the daughter of their CEO of shipping and then she broke up with him to date my best friend.
Wow. She sounds. Like a bitch.
Yes! She is!
You’re the best man of their wedding!
Hahaha, not really…well she’s not going to marry either of them. She broke my best friend’s heart just recently too, you know that?
“See, they’ll both be better. Everything happens for a reason man. I hated working there. Now I make five times as much driving a cab.”
Confusion got you down on what to do for Cinco de Mayo? Not to worry party people, but Partyboygeezy is here to keep you informed on what’s going on in Partytown, USA this weekend (aka Philly).
May 4 (First Friday) – It is Spring time in Philly, so you know what that means, partypeople – First Fridays are guaranteed to be hopping and good times. Head down to 2nd street and be sure to walk around and enjoy the open galleries, improptu drum circles, and street artists selling their wares outside.
Sunday is the Broad Street Run, so there should be a good party down at the Stadium on Sunday to see the run and to enjoy the basketball playoff game at that same time. Head down around noon to enjoy the festivities or see some sports action at the Xfinity Center (if of course you survive Saturday…)
A few days ago, the U.S. Justice Dept. brought its first arrest in connection with the BP Horizon oil spill that occurred on 4-20, 2010. In connection with the worst off-shore spill in U.S. history, the first arrest is well overdue. However that the arrest was for the deletion of text messages is troubling. Understand that (if true) the deletion of text messages and corresponding coverup by a high level engineer who was part of a team tasked with halting the oil spill is by no means excusable. However, Obstruction of Justice is like tax evasion — if you don’t have the evidence for the actual crime, often times you get ’em for the cover up or the failure to pay taxes. Serious crimes, indeed, yet the convictions are not based upon the ultimate crimes we really care about as a society.
That the worst environmental disaster in this century, and the worst oil spill in the United States’ long history in oil refinery and production, has resulted in just one arrest of a relatively high level employee, yet who is by no means the boss. A senior engineer who deleted text messages from his phone. After 11 deaths, upwards of 70 billion dollars in economic damage, and an intangible amount of environmental damage, a single arrest for a senior engineer who deleted messages from his phone, makes Kurt Mix seem less like a scape goat and more like a scape blue whale.
As noted previously – burning down the house is Party Foul # 1 – and while the rigs’ explosion leveled devastation upon states, families, businesses, the person that is “BP” (because businesses are people) walks free while its low level employee looks at 20 years of jail time, even though Mix likely has little to do with causing or preventing the ultimate explosion. If corporations are people, shouldn’t the corporation be arrested when crimes are committed? Or those responsible for the ultimate criminal negligence?
We have noted a disturbing trend occurring in American society which is that corporate interests and corporations in general are being increasingly granted the privileges of citizenship and the protections of the Constitution yet without the corresponding responsibilities or accountability that goes with citizenship. While corporations increasingly have the right of free speech, free association, and corporate interests play larger roles in political discourse through the “corporate capture doctrine” (aka regulatory capture), the externalities produced by such activities often have a devastating effect on the surrounding communities and economies, who simply are so disbursed or poorly funded that those affected by the harms or delicti simply go overlooked.
The choice therefore, becomes ours as a society – do we simply want to allow certain corporations to continue to unleash harmful consequences onour planet, for short term benefit that may result in poluted lakes, air, streams, rivers, oceans, all of which not only cause various diseases and ailments but are also litterally cooking the planet, or do we promote corporate accountability in a manner that can encourage free enterprise and protect the planet’s future? While the second seems like the logical choice, the argument in favor of the first is that the planet is inevitably moving towards “green” energy sources, and that we are simply “bridging the gap” and we all use energy, so we are all responsible for its damages on the planet.
This argument is simple sophistry, logical trick. We all use energy, yet we all do not profit from it. The devastation of a planet which belongs to all of the natural or human world, to which we owe our lives, should not be encouraged for any reason – even for profit – if for the simple fact that such an approach will do us in at the end.
Economics is called the dismall science because of its basic approach to human nature — essentially that humans act in a “rational way” as first proposed by Adam Smith and his “invisible hand” — dictates humanity’s ultimate downfall because there are not enough materials to go around and eventually humans will eat themselves to death (like the song American Eats Its Young, by Funkadelic).
However, this rule is based simply on the primacy of the dollar, that humans act in ways to promote their short term gain in terms of profitability. In the late 60’s Garrett Hardin pointed out the Tragedy of the Commons, namely that humans frequently act for short term benefit in ways that do not serve the long term interest of the public or even the individual.
Economics, at the end of the day, is simply a social science – it makes certain assumptions as to how humans act, and postulates, through models, what to expect into the future. Modern economics simply presumes that humans act in a way that holds the dollar above all else. While considered a “science,” it is simply a Darwinian social model developed out northern based societies in which humans were often at odds with their environment, and viewed their environment as hostile.
This self-defeating psychological paradox that is the Tragedy of the Commons (i.e. that humans who can effectively look to the future would act in ways that are negative for long term survival) displays how economics truly is the “dismal science.” It envisions a world in which we act for the short term dollar above all else.
The rationale is as follows: namely, that we have to use so many resources to stay alive, and the decision is ultimately based upon the notion that others are taking the resources, so I should too. The lack of a governor leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy – the fear of depletion implies that I must deplete as quickly as possible.
The most recent examples seem to be highlighted in energy policy. Deepwater Horizon’s explosion was facilitated by cost cutting and questionable oversight, and the results from the explosion were devastating. If corporations are people, then corporations should be responsible for their negative effects. They enjoy the benefits of doing business, so they should also have to deal with the burdens. The Tragedy of the Commons, namely that the commons in England were overgrazed because it was in each individual sheppard’s interest to keep their flock as large as possible and graze as much as possible, until the commons became barren, can be avoided through taxation or resource management. Simply, if you enjoy the benefits of labor, you also have to account for the burdens as well.
Horizon is going to take upwards of 20 years (potentially) before it is cleaned up and dealt with, and it is impossible that all of the individuals who were harmed will be fully compensated (if simply they lost their jobs and livelihoods, this psychological damage can never be recouped). Fracking has been proven problematic (see the EPA’s finding in December, 2011, that horizontal hydro-fracking resulted in contamination), mainly because those engaged in the extraction of natural gas do so through using highly toxic chemicals that are pumped directly into the ground and inevitably leach into the ecological systems around the drilling areas. The approach therefore, is simply, create a system in which actors are encouraged to prevent negative consequences or participate in effective oversight.
Here are some approaches:
Create a system of environmental policing whereby state or federal authorities can impose regulatory penalties upon actors that pollute the air, water, or ground. By transferring these costs away from the public at large, the corporate actors are encouraged to do business and extract minerals or other resources responsibly. The EPA has authority over water, yet its powers have been increasingly limited recently, it is exempt from directly regulating horizontal fracking, and conservative / industry favorable politicians, including various Republican presidential candidates, have expressed desire to further limit the EPA’s authority.
Require companies to account for their polution or create limitations to the amount of air polution corporations are permitted to release. The Clean Air Act currently covers polution, as regulated by the EPA, yet it continues to be under attack from industry proponents.
Since corporations are people, those individuals who failed to remedy or take investigatory action should be held criminally liable, such as the individual directors or officers. Sarbanes Oxley, in the wake of the Enron scandal, constructed criminal liability for those engaging in accounting fraud for any publicly traded businesses. Likewise, fraudulent or negligent activity in terms of the environment should be met with criminal consequences.
Create a reward system so that employees (aka “whistleblowers”) who report negligent activity or questionable business practices are encouraged to come forward in ways that can protect the environment. For example, in Pennsylvania, there are no whistleblower laws protecting individual employees who might report violations of good standards or potential polluting activity. In fact, the new laws passed in Pennsylvania prevent doctors from disclosing with the public what potentially harmful chemicals are in fracking fluids.
Ultimately, for humanity to succeed in the long term, we need to recognize that all are responsible for their actions, and that all are equal, in the law, at the party, or otherwise. If corporations are people, it is time for them to hold the same responsibilities as well.