7 Shows to See in Philly This Week: James Taylor, Neutral Milk Hotel, Beck and More



PHOTO: Kurt Vile Mural Restored

Mural Buffed

Last week — to the horror of city art fans — we reported that DJ Lee Mayjahs (aka “The Buffman”) took a paint roller brush to  Steve Powers‘s iconic Kurt Vile mural in Fishtown. After our reporting, Mayjahs reached out full of sympathies, and has since worked to restore the damage. According to Instagrammer @dasheikee, who posted this photo of the repaired mural, Mayjahs covered the mural with interior house paint, which “came completely off with a power wash.” 

Photo by Adjua Fisher.

The Kurt Vile mural, as seen this morning. Photo by Adjua Fisher.

Philadelphians Who Deserve Murals Instead of Kurt Vile

kurt-vile-mural-2

On Saturday, a Philadelphian decided to buff the Kurt Vile mural, causing shrieks of horror from hip Philadelphians and a Philadelphia public art meme.

People have said the reaction is overblown, but (1) it’s good when people discuss and debate public art and (2) of course it is. Literally everything on the Internet, even the most serious issues, can get overblown — there’s no sense complaining about it. But, sure, this isn’t the nose of the Old Man in the Mountain collapsing — the defacer has already apologized and even the artist says you should calm down. ESPO, aka Steve Powers, was similarly undisturbed about psychylustro covering up. “Nobody writing [graffiti] cares and any attempt to make it appear otherwise is click bait,” he told Hidden City (the Buzzfeed of Philadelphia Buildings, I guess) in May.

That is a point to take: Graffiti by its very nature is a transient art form, and murals come and go, too. David Guinn — who has more good murals in the city than anyone — once had four seasons in South Philadelphia. Now there are only three. The enormous Frank Sinatra mural is gone. Both were covered up by new residential construction, which is a better use of space than a mural. This one just disappeared in a more fantastic fashion. (And, obviously, the uproar was so great that it will be fixed up.)

But the mural got me thinking. I have passed the Kurt Vile mural several times where someone comments about how — while it’s cool — the mural is also an ad for his latest album. That’s weird, no? Did we paint a Boyz II Men album in the mid-’90s? (Not that they needed the increased sales.) A mural that’s also an ad is not exactly the end of the world: We have a mural for Jane Seymour’s jewelry line, after all, and a Vile album ad is certainly a better choice than that. But it got me thinking about other Philadelphians who deserve a mural, perhaps ones who aren’t selling anything. Time for some jokes mixed in with real suggestions!

Read more »

Connor Barwin’s Make the World Better Foundation’s Ralph Brooks Park Fundraiser

Connor-Barwin-Ralph-Brooks-Park-01-Ade-Fuqua-Richard-Negrin-City-of-Philadelphia-Jeffrey-Tubbs-Connor-Barwin-940x540

It was only a few weeks ago I was writing about Bud Selig’s visit to Philadelphia and his comments about the Phillies being the most philanthropic team in the MLB. The Philadelphia Eagles aren’t too shabby, either. There’s Brent Celek’s “Take Flight” Foundation for kids’ education, DeMeco Ryan’s Foundation supporting children’s healthy eating, and Todd Herremans Foundation, which raises money for various children’s charities in need.

Now Connor Barwin has started a foundation called the Make the World Better Foundation (MTWB is an acronym for his parents’ names: Margret Thomas and William Barwin). Friday night Barwin hosted a concert at Union Transfer to raise money for Ralph Brooks Park at 20th and Tasker Streets, a park in need of renovation that Barwin would pass on his bike rides to “work” from his Rittenhouse Square residence. Plans were already underway to revitalize the park; they just needed that extra push — including money to meet the goals set out by the organizations that were in place, including Urban Roots, the ACE Mentor Program, and the Philadelphia Water Department.

The major fundraiser to get them over the hurdle was held Friday night at Union Transfer where Connor Barwin hosted a VIP cocktail party were fans could meet their favorite players. Afterward there was a concert where Kurt Vile and the Violators, The Districts and The Tontons played to a sold-out crowd. The artists donated their services to the organization as did the music hall, along with all proceeds from the bar that evening. When the total is tallied, Connor Barwin is going to match it. In no time, the Ralph Brooks Park will be a safe place for kids to play again.

Connor Barwin’s Make The World Better Foundation’s Ralph Brooks Park Fundraiser »

7 Shows to See in Philly This Week: Sharon Van Etten, Music to Make the World Better and the Dad Concert to End All Dad Concerts

You know what the doctor says: A little music every day keeps the blahs away. To help, we round up a concert for every day of this week.



 

Eagles’ Connor Barwin, Kurt Vile Team Up to “Make the World Better”

make the world better philadelphiaEagles Linebacker Connor Barwin’s “Make the World Better” charity project is hosting a concert to raise money for much-needed improvements to Ralph Brooks Park in South Philadelphia. The park was constructed in honor of Ralph Brooks Jr., who, when he was 7 years old in 1988, had his spinal cord severed when he was struck by a bullet in a gang-related incident. While the park was named in his memory, the violence in the area has continued, leaving the park in dilapidating condition. The purpose of the effort is to give kids a safe place to play and have fun.

The concert will be on Friday June, 20th, and will feature local groups Kurt Vile and the Violators and the Districts, and Houston’s The Tontons. All money raised will be used to improve the park, which involves adding a new, state-of-the-art basketball court, safe and well-lit play areas, a large community garden and a mural by local artist Steve Powers.

VIP/Meet and Greet tickets are available, giving you the chance to hang with Barwin and his Eagles teammates LeSean McCoy, DeMeco Ryans, Jason Kelce, Brent Celek, Trent Cole and more. There will also be raffles for Eagles memorabilia, and some of Kurt Vile’s personal pedals and keyboards. Union Transfer has agreed to offer their venue for the concert free of charge and will be donating all bar proceeds from the night. Connor Brown has promised to match the funds raised from the show, doubling the total amount raised. It’s a night not to be missed. Get your tickets here.

 

PHOTOS: Photographic Review of Governors Ball 2014

We sent writers/photographers/brothers Christopher Sarkis Graham and Bryan Armen Graham to Randall’s Island in New York to check out this weekend’s three-day  Governors Ball 2014. Here’s their photographic recap of the day, which kicked off with Philly’s own Kurt Vile:



MORNING TEA: Funny New Tumblr Asks, “Is This Lorde or Kurt Vile?”

lord or kurt vile

It dawned on someone over the weekend that Philly indie rocker Kurt Vile and New Zealand pop star Lorde look an awful lot alike. So they started a Tumblr, “Lorde or Kurt Vile?,” where they collect photos of the two looking especially similar. That long curly hair. The lanky frames. Throw on a pair of dark shades, and sometimes it really is hard to tell them apart. See what you think here.

More morning headlines after the jump

WATCH: Kurt Vile Covers Nine Inch Nails


Kurt Vile covers Nine Inch Nails

The AV Club says:

Kurt Vile didn’t seem the most obvious candidate to cover Nine Inch Nails’ 1989 classic “Down In It,” since Vile isn’t usually one for sharp industrial angles. But he rose to the challenge here, adding some of his own buzzy haze to the song, accompanied by a diminutive keyboard and an iPod. It doesn’t sound like anything on Vile’s recent Wakin On A Pretty Daze, but nonetheless might provide a good introduction to what he’s all about. (Or you could just try Smoke Ring For My Halo.) Enjoy.

Remember, you can see Kurt Vile play in the courtyard at City Hall, tonight at 5:30 p.m.