Philadelphia Feeling


Philadelphia was lovely. Well, actually the part of Philadelphia we were in, Fishtown, had “character.” I think that’s the appropriate euphemism. But I and Ron Hogan certainly had a lovely time while we were there, especially at the event, which was nicely attended and went off without a hitch. My compliments to the folks at Germ Books, who, if you happen to be in Philadelphia, have a truly righteous collection of really interesting books.

The image you see here is my Rough Guide publicist Katy Ball standing in front of some WPA-looking public art representing “The Spirit of Transportation.” Mmmmm… WPA art. Katy, incidentally, a superfabulous publicist, despite the fact that that she said the following line: “Wait. Danny Elfman was in a band?” Her excuse, such as it is, is that she’s young. I’ll be sending her this, stat. She’ll thank me for it later.

Also, quick personal note to Chris Lehman: Dude. I just saw your e-mail today. D’oh!

I’d chat more about event and Philly (and will, later), but right now I have to hop in the shower and prepare to meet editors. Have a good friday, all.

6 Comments on “Philadelphia Feeling”

  1. Not to question your choice, but I’m curious – why Boingo Alive and not Anthology? Only reason the question comes to mind is that Alive lacks Weird Science – the one Oingo Boingo song she might have actually heard.

    (Well, that an Goodbye, Goodbye, I suppose. Almost everyone has seen Fast Times at Ridgemont High at some point in their life.)

    (Yes, this is a strange query. Understand that at one point I was a hardcore Elfman junkie. I own every Boingo album, and every Elfman score up to 1995. Along with probably half of everything he’s done from then to now.)

  2. Dude, you meet editors in some strange places (the shower??).

    And by the way, The Spirit of Transportation was sculpted in 1895 – forty years before the WPA. The velvet queueing is new – I don’t remember that in 30th Street Station.


  3. Wait, Danny Elfman was in a band? In _that_ band?

    I’ve been called many things, but “young” is not one of them (lately). Since I recall Oingo Boingo from back in the day, in my defence I was one of those people that didn’t listen to the radio all that much. In the faux Classic Rockers vs. New Wave wars, I was definitely partisan to Rock.

    So, anything that you could pogo to that had synths in it I would have dismissed out of hand, with all the conviction an ignormant teenager can apply.

    I know this probably breaks a lot of hipster rules, but I personally cannot stand anything Elfman has done in terms of soundtracks. I tolerate the theme from the Simpsons, I guess, but the rest leaves me cold.

  4. I didn’t spend much time listening to Oingo Boingo – probably the only song I really remember is Weird Science because of the movie.

    It used to be you could tell a Danny Elfman score as soon as you heard it, but not so much anymore. But his scores are almost always ones you remember – he’s probably second only to John Williams in that regard…

  5. They did a mass renovation of 30th Street station a few years ago…reinstating ‘spirit’ was one of the things they did. Up until a few years ago, a good chunk of the station had fallen into disrepair. In the late 90s, a serious effort was made to turn it back into the landmark it is, instead of the embarassment it had become.

    As for Danny Elfman, I’d argue that their number two most popular song was “Dead Man’s Party”, for both being in a movie “Back to School” and being trudged out every Halloween as one of the few good Halloween party songs. Boingo, overall, is one of the most uneven bands I can think of, ranging from brilliant to cringeworthy to unlistenable, even on the same album.

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