Philadelphia Film + Music Festival Recap

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The 2nd Annual Philadelphia Film + Music Festival took place this past weekend (Sept 22-25, 2011) mostly in and around Northern Liberties and Fishtown areas (Venues: The Skybox @2424 Studios, Invincible Pictures Sound Stages, M Room, The El Bar, Penn's Landing, The Fire, Murph's Bar, Kung Fu Necktie, The Ukie Club, Girard Fest, Tracadero Theater, World Cafe Live, TLA on South Street, North Star Bar)

Organizers: Joseph Lekkas, Isaac Friese & David Grasso, managed to put together a Sh*# load of bands to perform all weekend! Some performances started as early as 11am and some started as late as 1am.

I requested a press pass before finding out how many venues there would be, how late it was going to go and how few movie events were scheduled. So, suffice it to say, I really didn't make a dent in the festival, but I gave it a poke.

I made it to the Heineken sponsored opening night party at 2424 Studios around 10:30pm, like a hip clubber- right, it was only because I was coming from the PFS preview screening of Moneyball (Moneyball commentary to come) and I left the party at 11:30pm

 Adam Thompson & Janel Sterbentz
 I felt this couple totally represented the music fest type, kinda rock chic, so I yelled to them over the super loud rock/rap group - Philadelphia Slick "What are you planning to see during the festival?" I couldn't hear their reply, so I told them to point on the festival program guide, Janel's fingers jabbed at Viva Voce, the 5pm band at the Ukie Club Outdoor Stage and to the film, Meet Me on South Street:The Story of JC Dobbs.

Friday, went to the screening of Sound It Out. It was shown on a TV in the Green Room at Invincible Pictures, because of one of those pesky PAL (EU) vs NTSC (USA) formatting issues. There were all of 10 of us at the screening, so the downloaded version on the small screen worked just fine.

The film was about the last surviving vinyl record store in the UK, located in Teesside, North East England.  A worthy subject, however, I felt the doc needed major editing, a far more interesting store owner and a bit more of a hook; somehow interviewing the store patrons wasn't enough to keep the piece from falling flat.

The next film, shown on the big screen, and well attended, was Color Me Obsessed: The Replacements. Color me clueless, as I've never heard of The Replacements. However, according to filmmaker Gorman Bechard and the 15 - 20 people interviewed, which included George Wendt (Norm from Cheers) and The Goo Goo Dolls, this was the quintessential, singular, mother of all, underground punk scene bands of the 80's and early 90's. These 4 hooligans were unpredictable, unprofessional and unholy, all things a great rock band should be. Their music? From all accounts, truly stellar cuts. I'll have to take their word for it, because the film was music-less. Bechard said he wanted this to be a complete homage to the band, more of a reminiscence, so no song clips, no interviews with the remaining band members and not even any pictures of The Replacements until the last frame of the doc. Embedded below is an except of the Q & A with Gorman Bechard.

Saturday, had intentions of checking out at least a few of the Festival Pier, Live Nation line up of bands, however, dress shopping for a fast approaching wedding I'm in, took precedence. Success! Found the perfect, sexy, early fall, outdoor wedding, stomach camouflaging gown just in time to head to Murph's Bar for the 8pm Singer Songwriter Evening.
Christian Bitto
First up was Christian Bitto, who I enjoyed talking to at the bar after his set. In fact, I said to him, you seem like such a jovial fellow, yet your music is so melancholy, and he replied, "that's why, I put all my angst and sadness into my music, so I don't have to carry it around with me".

Sarah Donner
Second singer/songwriter was Sarah Donner who has a wonderfully clear voice and immediately likable presence and upbeat quirky songs.

I didn't stay for the following two performers; I decided to check out The M Room down the way - big mistake, stepped into an almost pitch black, stinking hot, funky smelling room, with heavy metal playing at a deafening volume - not my scene at all!
Sunday went to the Ukie Club which has a large outdoor space, plenty of room for the stage, vendor booths and food trucks.

Arrived in the middle of the WigWams set. Click the thumbnail for a sound clip, I posted to twitpic during the performance.

@phillyfmfest Wigwams performance Ukie Club. on Twitpic

These lovely, young ladies were serving up the BBQ platters. I had already eaten, but they let me sample a wing with the secret sauce- tasty!  They don't have a name for their catering business yet, at this point they just do neighborhood events.

  Tyson Bees food truck was serving up tacos, got this pic, but no samples here.

James  Singewald
I've noticed this artist at other outdoor festivals. I really like his photographs of Philly's buildings in beautiful decay.

And that wraps up my Phil F/M Fest Recap. What did you hear and see during the festival? Feel free to make a comment!

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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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