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Saturday, June 20, 2009 09:12 AM
Postscript - A Strange Encounter
 by Fëanor

As an epilogue to the previous post, I must tell you a short story about a strange event which occurred on the Market Frankford El later that night. After the dance, we walked to the nearest El stop so we could take it across town to PATCO and get home. As we were entering the station, we heard our train pull up downstairs and ran down to catch it. poppy bravely threw herself between the closing doors of the train and had to bodily force them back open again. (You'd think they'd be designed to pop back open automatically at the least sign of there being someone caught between them, but apparently not. In fact, the conductor seemed to be deliberately trying to crush people with those doors; another dude almost got himself stuck at a later stop.) She made it through, probably slightly bruised but otherwise none the worse for wear, and I followed her in. As we sat down, a weird drama immediately began to play itself out right next to us. A sitting man was in a loud shouting match with an elderly homeless man who was walking past him with a cane. The sitting man insisted repeatedly that he had seen the homeless man on the Broad Street Line seven hours earlier begging for change. For some reason he was outraged at the possibility that the homeless man was just riding the SEPTA trains over and over, asking people for money over and over. (But really... so what? What's the big deal?) They kept shouting at each other for a number of stops, and the argument kept getting nastier and more threatening. They exchanged various epithets about each other's black asses. I believe their mothers may have also come into it. Eventually the homeless guy (who was literally standing right next to me at this point) put his hand in his bag and said something about stabbing the other guy. I took a sideways glance into the bag to see if he actually had a weapon in there and didn't see anything except a book and some papers. But it was still pretty scary. poppy and I were looking at each other throughout, making faces and exchanging various comments, trying to decide whether we should escape the train that she had risked her life to board and grab the next one instead. But finally the two men exited the train, coincidentally at the same stop, thankfully without having physically attacked each other or anyone else. We were relieved, and the rest of our journey home went smoothly and without incident.
Tagged (?): Philadelphia (Not), SEPTA (Not)
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Thursday, March 12, 2009 12:17 PM
Late Night Concert-Going
 by Fëanor

Tuesday night, poppy and I headed over to World Cafe Live to have dinner and see Throwing Muses. Poppy's a big fan of the band, and of its lead singer/lead guitarist/mastermind, Kristin Hersh. But I'd never heard of Throwing Muses or Kristin Hersh until I met poppy, and since then, I hadn't really listened to much of their music. So I dumped everything I could find in our iTunes library by Throwing Muses, Kristin Hersh, or her other band, 50 Foot Wave, onto my iPod Monday night and gave myself a crash course during the day on Tuesday. I really enjoyed what I heard, especially from 50 Foot Wave, so I was pretty excited by the time we finally drove on over.

Parking was a bit tricky. We'd been led to believe by the website that there was easy access to a lot, but due to poor directions and even worse signage, it was difficult to find. When we did stumble upon it, we discovered it was very small and already full. There was parking on the street nearby, but it was only for four hours, and we were too early for that to be any good for us. Luckily, poppy remembered another lot down the street from WCL that worked. It was a bit expensive, but at that point I was happy to pay any price to be able to put the car somewhere; parking in the city always makes me really tense.

Our dinner upstairs at WCL got off to a bit of a bad start thanks to the fact that all of the waiters and waitresses were convinced our table was not in their section, but eventually we got some food and drinks and our mood improved considerably. Then it was downstairs to the concert hall to grab our awesome mezzanine seats, get more drinks, and, eventually, dessert! It's the rare concert venue where you can enjoy a great view of the stage while sitting at a table eating chocolate cake.

Three bands played that night, and all three were three-pieces made up of a female lead singer/lead guitarist, a male bassist, and a male drummer. In fact, two of the bands had exactly the same people as the lead singer and bassist! That's because Kristin Hersh's other band, 50 Foot Wave, was the first opener. It's cool when you can open for yourself. Anyway, 50 Foot Wave totally rocked. High-speed punk insanity. The drummer was particularly amazing, but it was just great stuff all around. Next up was the New Jersey band Screaming Females. While they were setting up, a short, boyish woman in a red dress with her bangs completely covering her eyes came on stage with a tackle box. She set the tackle box down and began removing small box-shaped gadgets from it, attaching them to a long board. I quickly learned that she was the lead singer and she was setting up all her guitar effects pedals. And she used the hell out of them, too. Every song was basically just a showcase for her incredible virtuosity on guitar. She was amazing. Blazing hard rock/punk with lots of screaming, and insane guitar solo after insane guitar solo. The whole band looked really young, the lead singer especially, but she was clearly the most talented one on stage. The bassist and drummer certainly weren't bad, but the drummer looked like he was moving in slow motion compared to the guy from 50 Foot Wave, and nothing the two of them did was anywhere near as breath-takingly impressive as the lead singer's guitar antics.

By the time Throwing Muses came on, it was getting pretty late and I was pretty exhausted, but the band eventually managed to wake me back up and get me bobbing in my seat again. Throwing Muses is a bit slower and more thoughtful than the other bands that played, and I'm always going to like the louder and faster stuff better, but I still enjoyed their set. Overall I probably liked 50 Foot Wave's set the best. Regardless, it was a great night, and definitely a change for us; it's pretty rare we go out to a concert together late at night in the city. It was like reliving the irresponsible adolescence I never had!
Tagged (?): Music (Not), Philadelphia (Not)
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Thursday, February 5, 2009 12:48 PM
After reading my last post, you might ask...
 by Fëanor

...why was I in Old City taking pictures of men's rooms last night? Because Old City was the setting for a preview screening of Push that I was attending. My full review will go up on Phillyist tomorrow, but the short version is: great visuals, great ideas, great effects, great action, but a very weak plot.

Before I went to the screening, I stopped at Sonny's Famous Steaks to grab a bite to eat. They make a pretty fine cheesesteak, and plus X-Men: The Last Stand was on the TV, so it was good times.

Before I went to Sonny's, I stopped at Brave New Worlds to buy this week's new comic book releases. I don't normally go to Brave New Worlds, but since I was going to be in Old City anyway, it only made sense to stop there for my comics. But once I got there, I was reminded why I don't normally go there: it's really not a very good comic shop. First of all, they have an extremely limited selection of back issues, trade paperbacks, and hardcovers. Sure, they have a few sets of shelves devoted to back issues, but it's nothing like the vast expanse of long boxes in the back of Fat Jack's. As for their new release section, it's not particularly impressive, either. Just a few shelves stuck all the way in the back corner. I'm not sure I've ever gone there and found a copy of everything on my list for the week. They're always sold out of something. And this time they were sold out of three of the books I wanted. Now admittedly, I got there pretty late in the day, and the other shops I go to are occasionally sold out of stuff. But three books? C'mon, that's ridiculous.

So I'll be swinging by the Fat Jack's in Jersey tonight, if at all possible, to see if they still have copies of my missing books. And I'll be trying my best to avoid going to Brave New Worlds in the future.
Tagged (?): Comic books (Not), Food (Not), Movies (Not), Philadelphia (Not), Shopping (Not), TV (Not), X-Men (Not)
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Thursday, February 5, 2009 11:49 AM
(Last updated on Thursday, February 5, 2009 11:50 AM)
Whatever You Say
 by Fëanor



Saw this surprisingly helpful graffiti in the men's room at Sonny's Famous Steaks in Old City Philadelphia last night. You can't read it because this is a poor quality phone camera pic, but someone continued the sentiment by writing "learn more" underneath.
Tagged (?): Illustrated (Not), Philadelphia (Not), Photography (Not)
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Welcome to the blog of Jim Genzano, writer, web developer, husband, father, and enjoyer of things like the internet, movies, music, games, and books. For a more detailed run-down of who I am and what goes on here, read this.

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