June 25, 2004 |
Secret Cinema's Jay Schwartz switches from film to music tonight with two bands from New York City. The up-and-coming Blue Sparks are a cross between the Feelies and Blondie. Brand-new Yarn Mask includes singer/bassist Luis Mayo, a onetime Philadelphia resident and Spanish expatriate who played with Distortions Records' Dave Brown in Drug Emporium in the mid-'90s. Between sets, Schwartz will spin post-punk, garage and other eclectic nuggets from his formidable record collection (9 tonight, Tritone, 1508 South St., 215-545-0475, $6, www.voicenet.
April 2, 2004 |
Yarn isn't a painting medium, but "yarn paintings" seems the most accurate way to describe the vivid, eye-dazzling images being shown at the University of Pennsylvania's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. The 31 "paintings" come from the Huichol Indian culture of west-central Mexico, specifically from artist-shaman Jos? Ben?tez S?nchez. S?nchez "paints" by pressing lengths of colored yarn into boards coated with beeswax. It sounds naively hobbyist, but the intricate detail and finish that S?nchez achieves with this technique are amazing.
August 25, 2003 |
During my years as a knitaholic, I worked in three yarn stores simultaneously. I wrote patterns, sold the yarns that reproduced the newest Calvin Klein or Adrienne Vittadini, and worked with customers who ran in for a few minutes during lunch or between business meetings, briefcase in one hand, knitting bag in the other. At night, finally having a chance to pick up my own needles, I'd sit on the edge of my bed unable to stop the mantra of, "Just one more row" from going round in my brain, finally falling asleep with the colors I was working with imprinted into my eyelids.
August 12, 2003 |
RAY MATERSON did 7 1/2 years in the joint one stitch at a time. Embroidered his way through the squinting darkness that is a maximum security prison. Used blue thread from unraveled socks, used brown thread from frayed shoelaces, used swatches of gray cotton/polyester boxer shorts as background. Used a needle borrowed from a sympathetic guard, used skills he didn't know he had. Focused on baseball because it reminded him of his childhood, before booze and drugs warped his life, before a carjacking (with a toy gun)
March 30, 2003 |
The meeting-room chairs were arranged in an oval, but MainLine Knitting Guild members were too busy to sit. They stood and conversed in small groups and pulled material samples of various styles, colors and textures from bags overstuffed with yarns, patterns and needlecraft items. Sharing a new twist on an old stitch and helping a friend know when to "rip it all out" and start again brings artisans of needlework together, said Lisa Stuart, club president. "We never go anywhere without our needles, except on an airplane these days," Stuart joked.
October 25, 2001 |
It was a twisted and treacherous Walter Mitty fantasy built around a lack of self-esteem, severe depression and alcoholism. It included stories about the CIA and narco-terrorists, the Mossad and the Russian mob, attempts to sell nuclear weapons and surreptitious meetings in area strip clubs. Ultimately, Len Jenoff said, it led to murder. Jenoff, 56, ended his third and final day on the witness stand yesterday in the capital murder trial of Rabbi Fred J. Neulander, insisting, as he had from the start, that he killed the rabbi's wife, Carol, in exchange for a promised payment of $30,000 from the rabbi.
May 5, 2001
Purists repeatedly debunk the Betsy Ross legend. They insist that Betsy was not the creator of the first United States flag, that the Betsy Ross House probably isn't the one she really lived in (although they concede she lived somewhere on the 200 block of Arch Street) and that those bones in the courtyard could be someone else's. To the debunkers: Stifle it. Not only is the Betsy Ross House a tourist attraction, it's long been a field-trip destination for school kids.
April 6, 2001 |
Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet, learning about Kurds and Kuwait. Along came a spider who sat down beside her - and then kidnapped the U.S. senator's preteen daughter from her exclusive prep school, demanding not only ransom but also the attention of criminal profiler Alex Ross. Along Came a Spider is a movie that exists principally for Morgan Freeman to reprise his role as forensic detective Alex Ross, previously seen in the 1997 cat-and-mouse Kiss the Girls. This is not a bad thing, for those fans of detective yarns and of Freeman.
February 15, 2001 |
Mark Twain supposedly observed: "When I was a boy of 14, my fatherwas so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when Igot to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in sevenyears. " Now, another famous humorist has stepped up with the revelation that hisparents are not only smart, but funny and talented, and have a heck of a storyto tell. Yet it took Teller, the silent half of the magician duo Penn & Teller, manyyears to learn what unique lives his parents, Philadelphians Joe and IreneTeller, have led. Now he's put his appreciation down in the book "When I'm Dead All This WillBe Yours," titled for the phrase Joe once felicitously uttered while leadinghis millionaire son through the dusty odds and ends in the Tellers' rowhousebasement.
July 14, 2000 |
Bruno Dumont's L'Humanite defies the laws of physics by filling an empty space with a vacuum. An understandably controversial prize-winner at Cannes, L'Humanite dawdles along for 148 minutes. When a director allots himself such a generous canvas, it's reasonable to expect that his characters will emerge with more dimension and vividness than usual. While Dumont's movie has its striking scenes, it is doomed to a sense of lethargy and inertia by the kind of people it ponders and the context in which they are placed.