Archive for February, 2011

February 28th, 2011 by Campus Philly

Band-a-monium

Philadelphia has an awesome music scene, and many of the city’s local bands are gaining or have gained national recognition. Two local favorites are Kevin Anderson & the Stick Em Up Kids and The Electric Boa.

Kevin Anderson & the Stick Em Up Kids

Brainchild of front man Kevin Anderson, Kevin Anderson & the Stick Em Up Kids certainly provide audiences with a unique listening experience. Anderson and his band seamlessly fuse the rhythms of jazz, funk and reggae into their own smooth sound.

Anderson was born and raised in South Philadelphia, where he was first inspired by hip-hop. He was immediately captivated by the rhythmic technique of artists like Arrested Development and A Tribe Called Quest. Even today, he credits hip-hop as the inspiration behind his own unique style.

Anderson made his debut in the Philly music scene with his funk-jazz fusion band Pornofunk, but he soon set out on his own to pursue a solo career.

In 2006, Anderson traveled to Central America and played with some of the region’s most well known artists, including Solon Sirias, a prominent figure known for his work with pop stars Ricky Martin and Shakira.

The Stick Em Up Kids consist of:

Ryan Jarvis (lead guitar), who began playing at aged nine and has developed into a blues-based guitarist. He is most influenced by notable guitarists John Mayer and Jimi Hendrix, and prior to linking up with the Stick Em Up Kids, Jarvis was lead guitarist for two New Jersey bands.

Kjell Benner (bass) has been a fixture in the music industry since his days with Quiet Riot. He has had the opportunity to perform worldwide with several major acts and has lent his talents to recordings by Patti LaBelle and Arlen Roth.

Andrew Owens (drums), Wally Smith (keyboard), and Nate Nato (electronic drums/Electronic FX) are also bandmates.

Though The Roots and G. Love admittedly influenced his style, Anderson has molded a sound uniquely his own. Catchy pop tunes highlight rhythmic jazz riffs, and the jazz is bolstered by funky bass lines—both of which still somehow incorporate smooth reggae. Their newest album Soul Food perfectly encapsulates this sound.

Songs to check out:

“Octopus”

“Night Shift”

The Electric Boa

According to their website, The Electric Boa doesn’t just remind you of all things rock, they are all things rock.

The Electric Boa was formed in 2008, and they built their sound off of classic rock greats, such as David Bowie, Rolling Stones and Cheap Trick.

Led by their monikered front man Higgsy, every line and chord of The Electric Boa is as dramatic and honest as the front man himself.

If you threw Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin into a blender, surely The Electric Boa would be the result. With their rocking guitars, memorable vocals and catchy choruses, this band will have you hooked from the first song you hear. In their newest album, Candy Coated Cyanide, there are a wide variety of sounds, but each song is consistently entertaining.

The Electric Boa consists of front man and lead singer Higgsy, backed by Dalee Thomas (drums and vocals), Morten G.P. (guitar), David James (guitar), and Greg Cornwell (bass).

With their ability to blend raw power with Mick Jagger swagger, The Electric Boa is definitely a band to look out for.

Songs to check out:

“Sissy”

“Terror on the Reservation”

You can contact Stephanie Zrebiec at szrebi01@villanova.edu.

Photo: © http://kevinandersonmusic.com http://www.myspace.com/theelectricboa

February 28th, 2011 by Campus Philly

Endangered Productions: Who is Wright

Violence and pain have a vice-like grip on the lives of many impoverished Philadelphians. Even more regrettably, much of this struggle goes largely unnoticed by the city’s wealthier inhabitants in affluent suburbs.

A group of Villanova undergraduate students have taken matters into their own hands in an attempt to shed light on the harsh realities of everyday life in Philadelphia. Through a short, student-produced documentary called Who is Wright, the students of Endangered Productions turn a story of struggle and adversity into a positive, hopeful message and, ultimately, a story of triumph.

Who is Wright is a student-produced film that elucidates the life of beat artist and rapper Julius Wright. In documenting his daily life, the film reveals the unsettling realities with which many young people in Philadelphia experience.

Wright grew up in South Philly, and he’s been through a lot, including time in jail. Not only is he struggling to overcome his own obstacles, he is trying to make it as a professional rapper. Who is Wright explores this budding artist’s life and whether pursuing his dream is the best path for him to take.

Wright finds comfort in rapping—it is a way for him to release his emotions. A self-proclaimed Lyrical God,” he strives for success and acceptance in the Philadelphia hip-hop community. Wright’s family and friends urge him to let go of his anger and to pursue an education, in case he does not succeed as a rapper. Through this, though, he is still determined to achieve success.

Essentially, Wright is torn between labeling himself a victim of situations that are out of his control, and relentlessly pursing his dreams. The systematic violence in his neighborhood would appear to be an insurmountable obstacle to most—however, Wright is still determined to achieve success.

As much as the city holds him back, it literally provides Wright with an unlimited array of instruments. He uses two pens as his drumsticks and the city as his drum kit, whether it’s on a street sign, a park bench or a trashcan. The work of the Endangered Productions crew reveals that Wright finds his neighborhood both a blessing and a curse. Though crime and violence surround him, he strives to escape negative influences without sacrificing his talent.

The Villanova screening of Who is Wright will be on April 30th at 7 p.m., and another screening will be held on Tuesday, May 3rd at Ritz East Theatre in Old City. Currently, Endangered Productions is in the editing process.

The crew is planning a Benefit Concert on Sunday, March 20th (5-7 p.m., $10) in the Villanova Room at Villanova University. Julius Wright himself will perform along with other Philly artists to raise money for Georgia E. Gregory Interdenominational School of Music (G.E.G.I.S.O.M), which is a music school for young children in North Philadelphia. The school is extremely low on funding, and will be forced to shut its doors without some help from the community, so be sure to stop by!

You can contact Stephanie Zrebiec at szrebi01@villanova.edu.

Photo: © http://www.endangeredproductions.com/wiw.html

February 24th, 2011 by Campus Philly

Philly Phitness

March may come in like a lion and go out like a lamb, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a few warm days making scattered appearances as we anxiously approach spring. These days are just too rare to waste by spending them cooped up indoors.

One great way to appreciate the warm weather is to escape the dull, sterile gym and take your work-out, well, out! Walking, running and jogging are all great forms of cardio exercise, and spending just an hour a day in the fresh-air and sun is proven to boost your mood and increase your energy levels.

The urban landscape of Philadelphia may not seem conducive to outdoor exercise, but if you follow a few safety guidelines, checking out a few of these great, scenic routes will be a fun and healthy experience.

Kelly Drive is a four-mile stretch of road, running along the Schuylkill River from the Philadelphia Museum of Art to the East Falls neighborhood (near Manayunk). Whether you run, walk, jog, bike or rollerblade, this scenic path provides exquisite views of the river, Boathouse Row and the Philadelphia skyline. There are several different routes to take, like the 8-mile loop that crosses the Falls Bridge in East Falls and brings you back to the museum.

If you’re a more experienced runner looking for a challenge, the Schuylkill River Trail runs all the way from Center City to Valley Forge, parallel to Kelly Drive. The trail conveniently ends near the SEPTA Manayunk/Norristown Line Regional Rail, where tired legs can hop a train and ride home whilst relaxing and recuperating.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) Park— often referred to as The Lakes—is a beautiful oasis nestled in South Philadelphia. Fear not, you won’t need a water ski to get around; there’s a paved path that runs all the way around the lakes. It is a relatively short, looped trail, but since the park is a natural wetland and boasts an intriguing collection of native birds, plants and trees, it won’t get repetitive if your work-out requires a few extra laps. Keep your eyes peeled for skateboarders at FDR Skate Park, nestled under I-95. There are also many unique architectural structures, like the gazebo, boathouse and the American Swedish Historical Museum.

FDR park is a little distant, but a short ride on the Broad Street Line takes you to the AT&T stop, which is located at the northeast entrance to the park. Allow the presence of the Philadelphia sports stadiums motivate your quest for fitness glory.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art steps are a major tourist destination for all Rocky fans. Although thousands of people run these stairs every year, only the truly dedicated run them multiple times in a row—like Rocky Balboa did to get in shape for his big fight. Besides being a Philadelphia icon, the steps can actually provide a great incline work out, and help round out a jog or run. If you want to take the Rocky challenge, be sure to properly warm up your muscles first by running some of the trails and paths behind the museum in Fairmount Park. Then, run up and down the stairs as many times as you choose, depending on your fitness needs. Even if you’re at your peak, mix up your repetitions of stairs with jogs around the museum or nearby trails to keep your muscles fresh and loose. Don’t forget to complete your workout with a quick victory dance at the top of the staircase; just throw your arms in the air—you know what to do.

Of course, you may choose to map out your own route along the sidewalks on your campus or along a local track. One important safety tip to remember: avoid running after dark. If you do choose to run in the evening, be sure to wear reflective materials and bright colors. Never run alone, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area. If your chosen path takes you across roads, follow all traffic signals and rules, and stick to roads that have wide sidewalks which are smoothly paved to avoid tripping, turning your ankle or other injuries.

If you’re uncertain about beginning a fitness plan that involves high impact cardio such as running or jogging, consult a recreation specialist or your doctor. Here’s a great website for a quick overview of safety tips divided into a wide array of topics. There are many other great online resources to check out.

Other places to look for running tips and important equipment are running shops. The convenience and large number of these shops make running in Philadelphia a unique and well-rounded experience. Philadelphia Runner has two locations in Philadelphia—one in Center City and one in University City. This shop is a great resource for all your shoe, apparel and equipment needs. It’s also a great place to go for advice or to find running events in the Philadelphia area. Plus, its website includes links to articles that offer great tips and tricks of the trade.

You can contact Emily Heller at emilyheller@temple.edu.

Photo: © http://www.bikeroute.com/NationalMayorsRide2005/Philly/PhillyBiking.html

February 24th, 2011 by Campus Philly

Books, Fun and Food at The Library

Spring semester classes are now in full-swing, and, unfortunately, projects and exams are already upon us—wasn’t it just winter break?

A visit to The Free Library of Philadelphia can be a great way to refresh—or begin—your study routine.

As the song says, You’ve got to have a membership card… The first step to unlocking the library’s many resources is to go online or to a library location and apply for a library card. The card is free, and it gives you access to any of the library’s books, videos, maps, encyclopedias, documents and more. You can even search the card catalogue online, reserve books and access some archived information online, using the code on the back of your card on the library’s advanced website.

There are 54 Philadelphia library branch locations, many of which are a short walk or bike ride from local campuses. La Salle University students can utilize the Logan Branch, Temple University students can access the Ramonita de Rodriguez Branch. Saint Joseph’s University students can check out the Wynnefield Branch, Arcadia University students can stop by the Wadsworth Branch and students of Drexel University or The University of Pennsylvania should visit either the Charles L. Durham Branch or the Walnut Street West Branch.

There are many other branches easily accessible by car or public transportation, so no matter where you are, there’s a library full of untapped resources and literary treasures just around the corner. Look up hours or directions to a location near you here.

You know what they say about all work and no play, so take a study break and check out some of the other things the library has to offer. Most obviously, you should browse its huge collection of popular books, movies and periodicals. The Central Library is the best place to get a wide sample of all that the library has to offer.

Right when you walk through the door, you’re greeted by a square desk covered in flyers and brochures for local events, sites and resources. The staff members are extremely knowledgeable and can certainly help you find a library activity that fits your interests.

If you’re civically minded, stop by Volunteer Services and browse the long list of volunteer opportunities available, or fill out a Volunteer Application.

The Raven Society is the Free Library of Philadelphia’s membership group, and it’s a great way to get even more involved in the library and network with young professionals to engage further in city life. Membership is obtained through a $50 donation in support of the library, and it includes invitations to meetings and events—and, as an added perk, discounts all around town at coffee shops, restaurants, theaters, salons and more.

Even if you’re just looking for a quick snack break, the library has exactly what you need. The H.O.M.E Page Cafe, located at the Central Library, offers a wide array of hot and cold beverages, such as Starbucks organic and fair trade coffee, savory baked goods from Metropolitan Bakery and other light fare. The cafe is operated by youth participating in the Harold A. Honickman Entrepreneurial Program. As a supported employment environment, it helps build the skills of its employees and allows them to earn a livable wage and aims to provide excellent customer service.

The Free Library of Philadelphia truly has something for everyone. It is an amazing resource for students, and it opens up a slew of research opportunities that campus libraries may not have. Professors are likely to be impressed by students who make some extra effort, and, with so many convenient locations, it’s easy to go the extra mile—without having to go a mile. Even if you’re looking to kick back and de-stress from a work-filled semester, the library offers a peaceful atmosphere to read and relax. Or, choose from the many events and blend education and fun.

You can contact Emily Heller at emilyheller@temple.edu.

Photo: © http://www.freelibrary.org/

February 23rd, 2011 by Campus Philly

A West Philly Gastronomical Gem

The current owner and chef of Marigold Kitchen, Robert Halpern, has a mission: to make your dining experience fun, whimsical and fresh.

This moderately-priced restaurant ($30-$50) is a gem of West Philadelphia, located in a converted house at the corner of 45th and Larchwood aves. Its cozy atmosphere, intimate tables and friendly wait-staff combine for the perfect setting to accompany the array of creative meals.

“Whenever people ask us to describe our style, our answer is ‘we don’t really limit ourselves,’” Halpern told Main Line Media News. “We try not to have any rules in the kitchen.”

The Marigold Kitchen’s cuisine leans towards the avant-garde French, but it’s familiar enough to entice conservative or hesitant eaters. A series of unique touches, however, make Marigold a unique gastronomical experience.

One of the restaurant’s signatures is its use of foam in its dishes. Designed in a recently popular cooking style called molecular gastronomy, several plates on the menu are topped with airy flourishes with names like Guinness suds and cinnamon bubbles. The foam’s light taste, however, is secondary to its unique aesthetic appeal.

Marigold also offers unique pre-meal snacks—instead of bread before your meal, you may be served delicate fried parsnips, dusted with chocolate and powdered sugar. Since this summer, the Marigold Kitchen dining experience has been enhanced by a series of amuse bouches. When one waitress was asked about these bite-sized hors-d’oevures, she simply replied that “the chef got bored this summer.”

Here’s to hoping he’s bored more often, because the current series of delicious offerings include fresh yogurt, a pear soda with tapioca pears and foam, a liquid-filled ravioli, tiny scoops of coconut and pineapple sorbet, a cheese-filled cracker and butternut squash bisque served in a cappuccino cup. It’s also a good idea to ask the friendly staff the proper way to eat some dishes (take the ravioli in one bite, and sip the bisque like a drink).

Marigold Kitchen’s menu is also defined by the chef’s use of the freshest ingredients. Halpern uses local Philly farmers markets as often as he can. The online menu is only a sample, as each night’s menu is often based off of recent market purchases.

Last week, the menu included squab, codfish and lamb. For an appetizer, try the Champagne Braised Escargot (crimini mushrooms, fried polenta cake and garlic butter), a deliciously creamy and newcomer-friendly take on the exotic French dish.

The Seared Diver Scallops entree (wilted arugula, assorted mushrooms, sticky rice, pumpkin seed oil and citrus mojo) is perfectly cooked, and the blood oranges served beside the scallops make for an interesting and delicious combination. The Pork, Beans & Beer entree (Berkshire pork tenderloin, white bean puree, Brussels sprouts, cranberry, mustard, pretzel crumbs, and Guinness suds) is one of the most visually appealing, with a whimsical presentation of Brussels sprouts scattered around two perfect cylinders of pork beside prosciutto chips and topped with airy white suds.

For those looking to experience the magic of Marigold Kitchen at a lower price range (about $10-15 per person), its Sunday Brunch, served weekly from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., offers mouth-watering specialties, like chocolate chip Belgian waffles, creme brulee French toast, a yogurt martini or a shrimp, spinach and parmesan omelet.

This creative spread was no quick concoction. Halpern began his career as a waiter in Ithaca, New York, and worked in restaurants across the country, picking up cooking styles and techniques: Southwestern cuisine in Santa Fe, rustic food in Vermont, seafood in Maine and local specialties in Chicago and Arizona. But a Villanova native, Halpern returned to Philadelphia when he wanted his own restaurant, taking over Marigold Kitchen in September 2009.

Marigold Kitchen has been actively running for over 70 years. And, though he follows in the steps of some former Marigold chefs (Solomonov and O’Shea) who now own other local restaurants, Halpern loves where he is right now. He lives in the apartment above his restaurant, where he continues dreaming up unique, fresh and delicious dishes.

You can contact Rachel Taube at rtaube@sas.upenn.edu.

Photo: © http://www.marigoldkitchenbyob.com/

February 23rd, 2011 by Campus Philly

Behind CP's Online Internship Fair

When visualizing becoming an intern, you might picture a helpless college student running back and forth with coffee to impress his demanding superiors. Little work is done in his field of choice, and most internship time is spent serving those higher up.

Internships are rarely like this, however. In fact, many help students begin doing what they love. For example, this blog was written by a Campus Philly intern!

As parents and advisors stress getting an internship early in your college career, the student’s general reaction is one of three:

(1) For some, the thought of balancing the stress of a social life, work and classes is, at times, difficult to manage. Adding an internship to the mix may sound plain overwhelming.

(2) Some students may wonder if it is too early in their college careers for an internship. There’s always plenty of time for that, right?

(3) Other students may want one, but are unsure of how to find one suitable for them.

Although all legitimate concerns, the answers to your problems are a lot simpler that one may think.

Though it may require a good amount of work, an internship can give you better assurance that you’re headed in the right direction career-wise, saving you from added time and stress in the long run. Interning now may save you from entering into a job you never planned for. Many internships will also be flexible to your hectic schedule, leaving plenty of time for college and a social life.

Although many students think there will be loads of time left to decide whether to get an internship, the job market is becoming more competitive. As a result, jobs and internships are often harder to come by. Crucial experience from a company in your field of study can become an important reference for your resume, or it might provide you with a job offer from a company in the future.

Okay, you’re thinking. It all sounds great. But, how can I find a good internship that lets me do more than fetch coffee?

Campus Philly’s Online Internship Fair, of course! The fair is the most comprehensive display of internships around. From Feb. 28th to Mar. 6th, it features some of the best internships in the region, including offers from over 100 companies covering fields from just about all majors. From small start-up companies to the large corporations, Campus Philly can hook you up with just about any kind of internship.

Alethia Calbeck, Campus Philly’s Director of Retention Initiatives believes the virtual fair is a great way for students and regional employers to connect.

We’re unique because our internships are all regional, and we focus on what’s going on around Greater Philadelphia, she said. We’re the most convenient go-to place for students in the area.

With the convenience of searching for internships in your pajamas, it can’t get much easier than Campus Philly’s Online Internship Fair. In fact, there’s no reason to not check out the fair—you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

As your friends complain this summer about dead-end jobs, you can brag to them about doing what you love and having the experience of a lifetime.

Campus Philly always has internships and jobs posted in its career section. Create your Campus Philly account today, and be sure to log-on February 28th to March 6th for the Campus Philly Online Internship Fair!

You can contact Danielle Miess at danielle.miess@temple.edu.

Photo: © http://careers.campusphilly.org/

February 23rd, 2011 by Campus Philly

Behind CP’s Online Internship Fair

When visualizing becoming an intern, you might picture a helpless college student running back and forth with coffee to impress his demanding superiors. Little work is done in his field of choice, and most internship time is spent serving those higher up.

Internships are rarely like this, however. In fact, many help students begin doing what they love. For example, this blog was written by a Campus Philly intern!

As parents and advisors stress getting an internship early in your college career, the student’s general reaction is one of three:

(1)For some, the thought of balancing the stress of a social life, work and classes is, at times, difficult to manage. Adding an internship to the mix may sound plain overwhelming.

(2)Some students may wonder if it is too early in their college careers for an internship. There’s always plenty of time for that, right?

(3)Other students may want one, but are unsure of how to find one suitable for them.

Although all legitimate concerns, the answers to your problems are a lot simpler that one may think.

Though it may require a good amount of work, an internship can give you better assurance that you’re headed in the right direction career-wise, saving you from added time and stress in the long run. Interning now may save you from entering into a job you never planned for. Many internships will also be flexible to your hectic schedule, leaving plenty of time for college and a social life.

Although many students think there will be loads of time left to decide whether to get an internship, the job market is becoming more competitive. As a result, jobs and internships are often harder to come by. Crucial experience from a company in your field of study can become an important reference for your resume, or it might provide you with a job offer from a company in the future.

Okay, you’re thinking. It all sounds great. But, how can I find a good internship that lets me do more than fetch coffee?

Campus Philly’s Online Internship Fair, of course! The fair is the most comprehensive display of internships around. From Feb. 28th to Mar. 6th, it features some of the best internships in the region, including offers from over 100 companies covering fields from just about all majors. From small start-up companies to the large corporations, Campus Philly can hook you up with just about any kind of internship.

Alethia Calbeck, Campus Philly’s Director of Retention Initiatives believes the virtual fair is a great way for students and regional employers to connect.

We’re unique because our internships are all regional, and we focus on what’s going on around Greater Philadelphia, she said. We’re the most convenient go-to place for students in the area.

With the convenience of searching for internships in your pajamas, it can’t get much easier than Campus Philly’s Online Internship Fair. In fact, there’s no reason to not check out the fair—you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

As your friends complain this summer about dead-end jobs, you can brag to them about doing what you love and having the experience of a lifetime.

Campus Philly always has internships and jobs posted in its career section. Create your Campus Philly account today, and be sure to log-on February 28th to March 6th for the Campus Philly Online Internship Fair!

You can contact Danielle Miess at danielle.miess@temple.edu.

Photo:

February 23rd, 2011 by Campus Philly

Get Blasted

Few plays have been labeled both a disgusting piece of filth and a modern masterpiece by some of the same critics over the course of a decade, but Blasted has done just that.

To negative reviewers, the play is horrifying and violent, without a true purpose.

For those who love the play, its violence and depressing plot act as a commentary on humankind and inhumanity—how any of us could easily commit tortuous war crimes.

After the writer of “Blasted, Sarah Kane, committed suicide, many of the original negative reviewers took a second look at the play and changed their tunes. Although certainly graphic and, at times, disturbing, it is not a play to be easily dismissed.

The story was written to attract attention to the largely ignored mass tragedies of genocide and war crimes taking place in Bosnia. As a writer for the Daily Mail said after a second look at the play, “How shrill and silly the 1995 hullabaloo and hysteria seemed last night when ‘Blasted’ returned to the Royal Court. It is, and always was, a play with a fine, moral purpose.

The play made its Philadelphia debut this month at the Adrienne Theater (2030 Samson St.). When director Gregory Scott Campbell read Blasted for the first time, he had no intention of taking on the play, as he had initially decided it was written for shock value. Three years and three readings later, the play stuck with Campbell, and he found himself haunted by its message. It was then he decided he must produce the play.

It wasn’t my goal in the beginning, Campbell said, but casting an African-American man as the role of the soldier shed some light on all the atrocities and genocide going on in Darfur and Congo. No one knows anything about it, just like the Bosnia tragedies.

Although a disturbing piece, Campbell said the play still speaks a very powerful message.

We ignore people if it’s not of our interest, he said. “There is a line in the play where the [the soldier] says ‘no one cares,’ and it is like a politician’s comment. Violence will always find its way in, and it isn’t looked at.

This play is like seeing genocide and a battlefield in a hotel room, Campbell explained. You can’t ignore it.

Even with all the symbolism of the play, Campbell makes it clear there isn’t a particular message he’d like to get out to the audience.

“If there are ideas, people are going to see it, he said. “I want them to see it afterwards in hindsight and not know what to think right away.

Blasted is definitely not for everyone, however. You must be 18 years or over to buy tickets because of its graphic nature.

Campbell said, People who just like musicals and happy plays and those with triggers should not see ‘Blasted.’ Those who do like socially and politically conscious plays and are not easily frightened should. Those who aren’t easily frightened might get frightened anyway, Campbell explained.

Blasted is an experience that will stay with you long after you leave the theater. You’ll likely try to wrap your head around the story before fully understanding its purpose. The play is definitely hard to watch, but those brave enough will leave the theater with a message impossible to ignore.

Blasted is playing at the Adrienne Theater until March 5th. You can buy tickets here. Tickets are generally between $15 and $32.

You can contact Danielle Miess at danielle.miess@temple.edu.

Photo: © http://www.lunatheater.org/order_blasted.htm

February 18th, 2011 by Campus Philly

Rockin’ Celtic Charm

It’s never too early to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day—especially when Flogging Mollyis coming to town!

You’ve probably heard of this popular Celtic-punk band, known for their dynamic live performances and upbeat, creative sound—unique only to them. With a dedicated fanbase and a surprising amount of creative freedom in the studio, this seven-member group might just put on the best show you’ve seen in a good while.

Since 2000, Flogging Molly has released eight singles, four studio albums and four live albums—the most recent, Live at the Greek Theatre, including a special DVD of the group’s phenomenal stage act. Their shows are so popular, in fact, that this live album was released at the demand of fans, who wanted to experience the band’s live energy all the time.

Now, these musical geniuses are blessing our ears with yet another studio album, to be released in May 2011. Written in Detroit last year, this will be Flogging Molly’s first album since 2008. With such a devoted following, fans are certainly anxious for what’s in store. But, what can they expect?

According to a recent feature in Alternative Press, Dennis Casey, the group’s guitarist, says the album focuses on working class people—especially in light of America’s economic struggles. Musically, he continued, “We’ve increased our comfort zone, so to speak, and our circle of sounds.”

Itching to experience the group’s live performance yourself? Lucky for you, Flogging Molly will be hitting the Electric Factorynext Friday, Feb. 25th, at 8 p.m. as part of their annual Green 17 Tour.

For the past seven years, this rock ‘n’ roll-lovin’ group has counted down to Saint Patrick’s Day on this tour, performing one show for each night leading to the “big day.” And what better way to celebrate an Irishman (or Irishwoman)’s favorite holiday than with some Celtic-rock fusion?

Did we mention you’re also guaranteed to hear some of the group’s new material (and, of course, their old hits)? So, come prepared to test run some new songs!

La Salle Universityalum Cory Anotado is one fan that’s excited for Flogging Molly’s stop in Philadelphia. “If there’s any band that does a great show live, it’s Flogging Molly, he said. “It’s super high energy, it’s fun, it’s definitely a jump-around, scream and yell kind of concert. Anyone who goes will have a good time.

Tickets for the 7th Annual Green 17 Tour can be purchased here.

Bummed you won’t be able to make the live show? Don’t worry! Pick up Live at the Greek Theatreand improvise, or wait for the band’s much-anticipated upcoming studio album. We’re sure it won’t disappoint.

You can contact Elisabeth Harby at elisabeth@campusphilly.org.

Photo:

February 17th, 2011 by Campus Philly

A Romantic Valentine’s Day…at Laurel Hill Cemetery!

Spending Valentine’s Day in a cemetery may not seem romantic, but Laurel Hill Cemetery’s Till Death Do Us Part tour proved that recounting the tales of lovers past can warm the heart, even in a windy, cold field of stones.

The tour began with a brief history of the connections between love (romantic and familial) and burial ceremonies. The tour guide, Gwen Kaminski, developed this tour, putting her heart into creating stops that reflect a wide range of different types of love, from romantic to tragic, scandalous to comic.

Some of the stories, like the tale of Henry Morris Naglee are, as Kaminski put it, entertaining for all the wrong reasons. Naglee’s lover, who he spurned following his service in the Civil War, published all his love letters in a book, The Love Life of Brigadier General Henry M. Naglee, which included the couple’s intimate correspondence alongside some rather humiliating self-sketches.

Other stories were deeply romantic, breathing life into the tombs of couples whose final resting places provide an eternal closeness that speaks of love’s ultimate power over death.

The story that inspired the entire tour is the unusual case of Mary Peterson, who insisted that when she died, her heart be cut out and buried alongside her first husband and one true-love, Thomas Howard. The rest of her body is buried with her second husband.

The tour also included many connections to well-known figures, such as the grave of Adrian Balboa, which was donated by Sylvester Stallone and used as a prop in Rocky 6. Ancestors and family members of Amelia Earhart, Drew Barrymore and Edgar Allen Poe proved that the 6 Degrees of Separation theory is at work here at the cemetery.

Part of the magic of the tour was the enormous amount of research and personal reflection Kaminski put into the stories. Many couples came out for the tour, clearly appreciating this unique perspective on love—especially in light of Valentine’s Day. There were also several groups of friends, celebrating a different kind of love.

The tour is very popular among young couples and college students, Kaminski said.

All who were in attendance experienced the true heart and soul of Laurel Hill.

The tour was a reminder that life and love continue, long after death, in the form of stories and history left behind. At a place like Laurel Hill, where tens of thousands of people are interred, a tour that highlights even a few love stories is a great reminder of how many full lives and memories are buried there.

Even withholding the beautiful tales of love, romance, betrayal and scandal, Laurel Hill Cemetery is breathtakingly picturesque. Although, as Kaminski remarked, the events held around the holidays are its most popular, Laurel Hill has been a popular site to explore since it opened. True, many of them were there to mourn their loved ones, but history shows that many in the cemetery’s early days came simply to take a carriage ride and enjoy the beautiful landscape.

The cemetery was designed with the concept of a place apart—a rural setting carrying the peaceful feel of a retreat. The cemetery is still a popular location today, with many visitors coming there each day to study and learn the history of the site, walk, jog, bike or take pictures.

If you’re looking for a more underground look at Philadelphia’s history—pun intended—look no further than Laurel Hill. For history buffs, grab some of the cemetery’s informative literature and spend a day finding the graves of 39 Civil War-era generals (There are also six Titanic passengers on site!).

For those particularly interested in Philadelphia history, keep your eyes peeled for names like Rittenhouse, Elkins, Strawbridge, Wanamaker, Widener, Kalas and more. If you’re more interested in movies and popular culture than history, fear not—Laurel Hill has also been a filming location for movies like Law Abiding Citizen, Transformers 2 and Rocky 6.

Laurel Hill Cemetery is open Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission to the cemetery is always free of charge, although special tours cost extra and generally require a reservation. You can also find a lot of great informational guides and pamphlets, such as maps and brochures, and there is a self-guided cell phone tour available for the north section of the cemetery—the oldest and most historic portion.

Upcoming events at Laurel Hill include the February 19th tour, “The Victorian Celebration of Death,” which will reveal the stories behind some famous people buried during this era. Also, the cemetery is very excited to be celebrating its 175th birthday on February 26th, with an event that will include live music, light food and, of course, a birthday cake! Check herefor information about reserving your tickets.

You can contact Emily Heller at emilyheller@temple.edu.

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