David Bowie Diehards Rejoice: Rare Recordings Find Home in Drexel’s Archives

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Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia made its mark on music history in the 1970s when artists recorded hit after hit in its studios. Artists from all genres, like Madonna, Billy Joel, The Jackson 5, Patti LaBelle, and The Roots, recorded at this local institution. In 2005, Drexel University inherited 6,200 of the studio’s master tapes dating from 1968 to 1996, when Sigma began recording digitally.

One of these tapes, labeled “reel 4,” was a recording by none other than David Bowie.

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A Funny Play About Rape Is Happening In Philly This Week

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Starting this weekend, Adrienne Truscott, a native of Linwood, Delaware County, is performing her critically-acclaimed show Adrienne Truscott’s Asking for It: A One-Lady Rape About Comedy Starring Her Pussy And Little Else in Philadelphia, a production of Simpatico Theatre Project.

Yes, it’s a comedy about rape and one that was the underground hit of the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe. Naturally, we had to get the Brooklynite on the phone to find out what the hell she’s up to here. Read more »

IN THE WINGS: A Conversation With Rapture, Blister, Burn Star Krista Apple-Hodge

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 11.32.44 AMMy name is … Krista Apple-Hodge, hyphenated (from Apple) since I married fellow actor Dan Hodge in 2012. We’ve decided that an “Apple-Hodge” sounds like a Colonial American dessert. We’re taking recipe ideas …

I am … incredibly shy, for someone who gets up in front of other people for a living. That’s why I started acting. It was the only thing, in high school, that could get me talking in public.

I grew up … in Springfield, Ohio. Proverbial home of The Simpsons; actual home of a Frank Lloyd Wright house that almost didn’t survive.

How would you describe Rapture, Blister, Burn in one sentence? “A bunch of wily women and one unfortunate man test the limits of feminism and idealism, and things go poorly for everyone.”

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DO THIS?: Philadelphia Has an Alternative Taxidermy Competition

56818_165594550143012_5531263_oThe word “taxidermy” may bring many things to mind: mounted moose heads in log cabins, Psycho, a prized catch-of-the day, bad Steve Carell movies. Not everyone would immediately think of taxidermy as an art form, but they’ve probably never been to the Philadelphia Alternative Taxidermy Competition.

The second-annual competition, which takes place at 7 p.m. Saturday, November 15th, at Keystone Mini Golf and Arcade, will show off created and collected alternative taxidermy. The pieces will be displayed around the course for a live audience and tickets are $12 in advance ($15 at the door). Pathology assistant Nicole Angemi, fine artist Paul Romano, and Mike Zohn, proprietor of New York’s Obscura Antiques will judge the selections.

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Meryl Streep to Play Famously Bad Opera Diva Who Lived in Philly

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Meryl Street will play ear-splitting opera chanteuse Florence Foster Jenkins in “Florence.”

If you’ve never heard of Florence Foster Jenkins, the famous opera singer of the early 20th century, it’s probably because she was famous for being the worst opera singer of the early 20th century. A new generation will learn about the Wilkes-Barre-born superstar in the upcoming biopic, Florence, starring none other than Meryl “Oscar-bait” Streep.

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PHOTOS: The Mudball Costume Party at Clay Studio

The Clay Studio hosted The Mudball, a dance-a-thon and masquerade ball, on Saturday at World Café Live. The Clay Studio, located in Old City, is a nonprofit educational institution, gallery, and studio focused on the ceramic arts. 

The Mudball raised over $20,000 dollars to benefit the Studio’s educational art programs, designed to provide access to the ceramic arts to people of diverse backgrounds. Plus, it served as one of the first costume parties this Halloween season. See what guests were sporting in my slideshow below.



PHOTOS: Harry Potter Festival 2014

This past weekend Chestnut Hill turned into Hogsmeade as the fourth annual Harry Potter Festival transformed Germantown Avenue into the magical world of witches, goblins, and wizards.



Kicking off the weekend on Friday night there was a pub crawl and costume contest. Saturday morning saw the “Hogswarts Express” filled with Harry Potter characters. The trolley arrived at Chestnut Hill West for a 10 a.m. opening ceremony conducted by Professor Albus Dumbledore (Walt Maguire) and Students from Chestnut Hill Colleges’ Mask & Foil Thespian Club dressed as J.K. Rowling’s famed characters. Chestnut Hill college student Dan Lemoine played Harry Potter to a tee for the third year in a row.

After the ceremony the characters and fans, many of who came dressed as Harry Potter characters or at least sported a witches hat or scarf, enjoyed one of the last days of Indian Summer, taking in the sights as well as all the Harry Potter activities that lined the street, like wand-making, dragon fire-breating and face-painting. Chestnut Hill restaurants offered Harry Potter-inspired edibles, like Golden Snitches and butter beer.

Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison’s Papers Find a Home at Princeton

The papers of Toni Morrison | Don Skemer, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections

The papers of Toni Morrison | Don Skemer, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections

During Princeton University‘s “Coming Back: Reconnecting Princeton’s Black Alumni” conference last week, President Christopher L. Eisgruber announced that the papers of Toni Morrison have found a permanent home in the collections of Firestone Library. The collection includes manuscripts and drafts of Morrison’s novels The Bluest Eye, BelovedSong of Solomon and more, and will join other important works in the Manuscript Division of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections.

Morrison served on the Princeton faculty for 17 years from 1989 to 1996. A year before joining the Princeton staff, Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for Beloved and then became the first African American woman to win the Nobel Prize in literature in 1993. At Commencement in 2013, she was awarded an honorary doctoral degree from the University.

An exhibit of the author’s papers, which also includes correspondences, lyrics, lectures, photographs, and more, will be on display now through Monday, November 24th in the Main Gallery of Firestone Library. The manuscript of Morrison’s forthcoming novel is expected to join the collection in the near future.

9 Things to Do in Philly This Week: Oktoberfest at Dilworth Park, Paul Strand at the PMA, a Witch Craft Beer Crawl, and More



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