Category: Art & Ardor

Dr. Dog’s New Album, Streaming Now, Is Named for Their Delco Studio

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The band’s all here: Dr. Dog photographed in Philadelphia by Chris Crisman.

The phenomenally popular rock band Dr. Dog, one of the area’s most successful musical exports, has a new album out — and, so we can’t be accused of burying the lead — it’s streaming right now at RollingStone.com.

The new record, B-Room, was recorded in the band’s Clifton Heights recording studio, also named B-Room. Its construction was, if not a labor of love, certainly laborious.

“We spent pretty much our whole recording budget at Home Depot,” the band’s Scott McMicken told the Inquirer in June. Talking to Rolling Stone, bandmate Toby Leaman said: “This was a straight-up construction project.”

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A Celebration of Fergie’s New Freewall

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Desiree Bender’s The Fawn on the side of Fergie’s

Freewall Philadelphia is a mural project dreamed up by David Guinn, a prolific muralist with the Mural Arts Program who saw something missing in the city’s wall-art scene: a place where non Mural Arts-affiliated artists could use a wall as a canvas without doing something illegal. Hence the side of Fergie’s on Sansom between 12th and 13th — a building that’s now become an outdoor art gallery.

Up now? Desiree Bender’s wheatpaste The Fawn. Next week Freewall holds a celebration and fundraiser for the newest Bender’s wheatpaste, hoping to to match a Knight Foundation grant. More info to come…

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Rocky’s Famous Run Goes Through 10 Neighborhoods

rocky.2.run_The Philly Post’s Dan McQuade decided to puzzle out how far Rocky Balboa ran during his iconic running montage that takes him (and, now, thousands of tourists) up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The answer? Far.

But aside from raw mileage, the number of neighborhoods the Italian Stallion traverses is also impressive, which makes me think there were real estate agents involved in the making of the film.

Come on, Joanne Davidow, ’fess up: Did you orchestrate this whole thing?

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Mural Arts: “Fear Not, It’s a Face Lift”

Photo: Mural Arts' Facebook page

The Mural Arts Program (MAP) knows how much people love the 1987 Keith Haring mural We the Youth at 22nd & Ellsworth. That’s why the city arts organization issued a reassuring heads up on its Facebook page before the beginning of a six- to eight-week restoration, during which there will be scaffolding and workers and other oft-suspicious signs of doom.

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Afternoon Obsession: Doors of Fairmount

Doors of Fairmount Poster

A longtime tourist attraction, the doors of Dublin, likely the inspiration for local artist Allison Ostertag’s Doors of Fairmount poster, are a thing of historical myth. According to some tour guides, Queen Victoria, mourning the death of Prince Albert, ordered for all doors to be painted black. The Irish rebelled by painting theirs vibrant hues.

Less colorful is the most plausible case: residents painted their doors a variety of colors in order to distinguish their homes during a period of strict architectural uniformity. The doors of Dublin have since become a famous characteristic of the city, amassed on posters by American ad agencies since the 1970s.

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Afternoon Obsession: Streets of Philadelphia

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Great American cities often employ tourism campaigns filled with love. There’s “I Heart NY,” of course, on t-shirts, buttons, and cups stacked and spilling out of the numerous tourist shops sprinkled over the state. And the association with love is unavoidable in this city of ardor–between our amorous etymology (Philos and adelphos translate to loving brother) and LOVE sculptures at JFK Plaza and Penn’s College Green. And then there’s the city’s Love Letter campaign, which assures travelers via notebook scribbles that we’ll love you as much as you’ll love us.

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Afternoon Obsession: Shapes of Philadelphia

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London-based graphic designer Yoni Alter taps Philadelphia with a neon wand in his Shapes of Cities series. From the towering Mellon Bank Center to the here puny Clothespin, he draws the cityscape to scale. He crafts other cities as seen from a particular vantage point. A lover of bright colors, popular culture, London, and New York, Yoni extends his heart to Philly, transforming a glass and steel skyline into an industrial kaleidoscope.

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David Guinn Mural Defaced By Graffiti at 13th and Pine

Photo via Jay Wahl's Twitter feed

Photo via Jay Wahl’s Twitter feed

One the best things about this city is the plethora of artwork on its buildings. Some of it is legal (see: the Mural Arts Program) and some of it isn’t (check out StreetsDept.com). Either way, the city’s real estate serves as a lively and expressive canvas.

One of the city’s most-loved muralists is David Guinn, who’s known for becoming the subject of a neighborhood dustup when his “Autumn” mural in Bella Vista was obscured by a new building despite mountains of resident opposition.

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Exquisite: Laura Kicey’s Photos of Former Lace Factory

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Photo: Laura Kicey

“Get out of town,” said Cole Porter. “Don’t fence me in,” he said, also. The guy had serious wanderlust, and when it’s nice out, so do we. This weekend Property photographer Laura Kicey went to the former Scranton Lace Factory for another Abandoned America photo workshop. The photographs she got are absolutely gorgeous, but she also learned a bit about what’s happening to the building–which is more than to the SS United States, the subject of her last extensive photo gallery of this sort.

Though it looks abandoned, the building–which was featured on National Geographic’s Abandoned program–has had some recent good fortune: The current owners, Lace Building Affiliates, who purchased it in 2007, have been granted permission to repurpose it, and they have seriously grand plans.

Property’s Morning Obsession: Art Installation at Fort Mifflin That Will Blow Your Mind

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One of the tree houses built by Neiditz and Webber at Fort Mifflin for the Hidden City Festival. Or was it there before? Photo: Liz Spikol

You’re walking through the woods, along a path that snakes along the Delaware River. Alongside the path are broken, mysterious structures–ruins of buildings, wood and metal industrial tools that are hard to identify, tree houses with ladders that beg you to climb them. See a canvas rope embedded in sand, follow its length, and discover a wooden bridge that traverses the tidal waters of the Delaware–filled with all the things that have washed up on these shores. Can you guess what they are? A tube of lip gloss. A rubber duck. The hull of a boat. And bottles–dozens, maybe hundreds of plastic bottles.

This installation piece rewards curiosity. For hikers who always stay along a marked trail, the gauntlet is thrown: The only way to assuredly discover each and every one of Ben Neidetz and Zach Webber’s surprises is to let your imagination–and that of your kids, if you’ve got some–take flight.

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