PAPERBOY: Slow-Jamming The Alt-Weeklies

paperboyartthumbnail.jpgBY DAVE ALLEN Like time, news waits for no man. Keeping up with the funny papers has always been an all-day job, even in the pre-Internets era. These days, however, it’s a two-man job. That’s right, these days you need someone to do your reading for you, or risk falling hopelessly behind and, as a result, increasing your chances of dying lonely and somewhat bitter. That’s why every week, PAPERBOY does your alt-weekly reading for you. We pore over those time-consuming cover stories and give you the takeaway, suss out the cover art, warn you off the ink-wasters and steer you towards the gooey center. Why? Because we love you!


CP: Shaun Brady’s knowledge of jazz world shines through as he profiles 18-year-old drumming prodigy Justin Faulkner. The West Philly native inherited the throne in Branford Marsalis‘ quartet not long ago, taking the spot of a jazz legend on his way to a sterling career of his own.

He’s the drummer of choice for actor/singer Terrence Howard, and was recently named one of five jazz cp_2009_08_06.jpgdrummers to watch by critic Ben Ratliff in The New York Times. And at the end of this month, he’ll be heading off to Berklee College of Music in Boston.

But Faulkner is no old-soul misfit; a few minutes earlier, in the Clef Club office, the 18-year-old shone through the professional musician’s facade. Running into friends, he waved off some who were teasing about his outfit — a combo of gray T-shirt, purple sneakers, and yellow sunglasses — while simultaneously fielding text messages.

“I’ve been on the jazz scene since I was 13,” Faulkner says, “so now I’m used to handling myself a certain way. Playing with these guys made me mature a lot faster than some of my friends, which seemed a little weird to them but it helped me out a lot.”

Faulkner’s mentors – teachers from Settlement Music School and pianist Orrin Evans – are pillars of the music community in Philly, and they, along with Marsalis, weigh in on Faulkner’s fast rise and bright future. Apart from the opening rimshot, there’s little description of his sound, but a sense of energy, dedication and respect for his jazz forbears suggests that Faulkner may someday join Philly Joe Jones and Questlove in the pantheon of this city’s drummers.

PW: Set your stomachs to churning. PW lines up 50 food and drink items in the greater Philly area that you have to eat NOW. The timing is especially interesting, coming on the heels of Philly Mag’s recent Best of Philly. Citing Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” the staff calls Philadelphia “an incubator for another kind of omnivore’s dilemma. There are so many delicious things to consume here, the choices can be paralyzing.” They found their way to a thoughtful list loaded with gems, including some killer waffle fries, Vietnamese sandwiches, and some off-beat beer choices.

The good people of Earth Bread + Brewery are serious locavores. When brewing their delicious Alehoof Grut, they use local herbs including the eponymous ale hoof, lending a slight bitter bite that would come from the use of hops in a less imaginative brew house. It really balances out this slightly sour, lambiclike brew. Bonus: The herb also has medicinal qualities that work wonders on that next-morning hangover headache.

pw_cover_8_10_09_1.jpgA beer that staves off hangovers? This could be some kind of Fountain of Youth thing here — quite a discovery.


CP: More video games in Philly? Expect another ‘most unattractive’ rating. The seafood diet: When you see food… oh, you know. Love these: my fave is “September in Queens.” Songwriter, novelist… save some talent for the rest of us!

PW: The first blogger movie star. Race from the start to the finish. Recent developments in Philly photography. Being a musical firebrand ain’t easy.

WINNER: PW gets it. What the list lacks in eloquence (“Tacconelli’s Margarita pizza, bitches!”), it makes up with funky, off-the-radar choices. Kudos.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *