Sharks!

Sharks!

Summer of the Shark
Sharks!  land in the 570

 

Ever since Jaws first swam its way into the public consciousness, people the world over have been both fascinated and frightened by the very concept of sharks. Every time someone is attacked by a shark, it becomes instant national news, despite the fact that, according to Everhart Museum curator Nezka Pfeifer, “You have a greater chance of being hit by a falling coconut and dying than being attacked and killed by a shark.” As human beings, we generally fear what we do not understand and Sharks!, a new exhibit at the Everhart Museum, Scranton, seeks to dispel that fear by educating the public on the importance of these magnificent creatures in the oceanic food chain in a fun and exciting way.
Sharks! is the brainchild of acclaimed shark scientist Alessandro De Maddalena, who spends most of his time photographing and researching sharks in the Simon’s Town, South Africa area. After amassing a large collection of great white shark photographs, he contacted the museum to see if they were interested in exhibiting his photos. Given the relative popularity of sharks in popular culture (Jaws, Shark Week, Sharknado), the museum decided not only to exhibit his photographs, but also to branch out and showcase as many facets of the subject matter as possible. The Everhart brought out a handful of items it had in its collection and worked with the Burke Museum at the University of Washington in Seattle in order to feature a few cultural artifacts from the university’s ethnographic collection that use shark skin and shark teeth. After contacting a few other artists who feature sharks in their work, the museum reached out to the University of Scranton in order to procure a dissection of one of the dogfish sharks the university uses for its comparative biology classes. Finally, the museum reached out to the community to showcase the work of our younger artists in a companion exhibit entitled Shiver of Sharks, which offers an imaginative glance into the things sharks do when people aren’t looking.
While the photography focuses on great white sharks, the exhibit tries to show how important all of the 500 or so species of shark are in their role as top predators of the ocean’s ecosystems, which rely on sharks to police the fish and mammalian population. Strangely enough, more than 100 species of shark are currently critically endangered. Due to the frightening nature of their predatory role, the plight of the endangered shark doesn’t get a lot of press — after all, it’s hard to imagine anything being able to harm an apex predator and, if the movies have taught us anything, they have taught us that sharks are notoriously bloodthirsty and hard to kill. The truth, of course, is that only about 75 shark attacks occur yearly worldwide and that many sharks are critically endangered due to the prevalence of shark fin soup in Asia — its preparation involves cutting off the still-living shark’s fin and then releasing it back into the ocean to die wounded and helpless, and the phenomenon known as “bycatch,” which is when a marine species is unintentionally caught while fishermen hunt a target species. (The most famous case of this would be how dolphins are often caught in tuna nets.) While sharks are often vilified and demonized in popular culture (Sharknado 2 is set to premiere on July 31), the truth is that sharks perform a much-needed service to the world’s oceans, preventing the oceans from being overrun by their prey. Even Peter Benchley, the author of Jaws and the co-writer of its film adaptation, became an ocean advocate and spent the years since the film’s debut working with ocean conservationists to explain how important sharks are to world’s ecosystems. While the exhibit plays upon the interest generated by Jaws and the like, it seeks to dispel some of the common misconceptions created in film and television over the last few decades.
Since the exhibit’s debut on July 5, the biggest fans of the exhibit have been children. Perhaps because they haven’t yet been exposed to Jaws and its offspring, children are fascinated by sharks and seem to lack the fear many of their adult counterparts have for the creatures. Their fascination with all things shark is showcased in Shiver of Sharks, which features the work of local art teachers and students from the region. Shiver of Sharks asked its artists the question, “What do sharks do when humans aren’t around,” and the results are creative, humorous, and engaging. The exhibit offers a local, imaginative take on the lives of these majestic creatures, and it offers a nice bit of fun for the whole family.
All in all, Sharks! is an immersive, informative exhibit that is definitely worth your time; it will challenge your preconceptions and may even cause you to rethink that intense fear you feel every time you get into the water.
— tom salitsky

 

PHOTOS of the exhibit BY TOM BONOMO
Sharks! and Shiver of Sharks are on exhibit now through Sept. 8 at the Everhart Museum, 1901 Mulberry St., Scranton. Adult admission is $7, student and senior admission is $5, admission for children between six and 12 is $3 and admission for children under five and for Everhart members is free.
For more information on the work of Alessandro De Maddalena, visit alessandrodemaddalena.com/uk/. For more information on the Everhart Museum, visit everhart-museum.org or call (570) 346-7186.

 

Looking Back: Jaws

Looking Back: Jaws

Here’s to STILL Swimming with Bow-Legged Women
A Critic Looks back at Jaws

 

Talk about sharks. If you ever want to feel even more cynical about the flimflam, snakeoil-peddling, business side of H’Wood, read Peter Biskind’s expertly written, venom-tongued, warts-n-all tell-all Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-And Rock ‘N Roll Generation Saved Hollywood, which chronicles what’s possibly the most fertile decade — creatively and financially — for the Big 7 film studios (take it from me, a guy who turned down a mail room job at New Line Cinema because spending any time in their Beverly Hills offices made The Day of the Locusts look like a plucky Disney princess story). The subject of the book, 70s films and filmmakers, is my favorite period in filmmaking history, a stretch that just happened to birth the modern blockbuster with a certain 1975 classic called Jaws, pretty much a horror movie featuring a great white shark as the monster. Biskind’s book chronicles the epic production of this film in great acerbic detail. Here, I’ll provide some bullet points along with my recollections of a recent screening, which left me with the opinion that film’s first bona fide summer popcorn blockbuster still possesses as thrilling and entertaining a bite as it did nearly 40 years ago.
• Based on Peter Benchley’s 1974 novel of the same name, the property was already a massive hit before it hit the screen. According to The New York Times, the book spent 40 weeks on their bestseller list and went on to sell 20 million copies. It was only a matter of time before H’Wood came knocking. In this case, the rights got snagged in 1973 by Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown before the book was even published. Though he would never again see the success of his debut novel, the author would go on to get several other titles published, pretty much all of them nautically-themed — The Deep (about sunken treasure), The Island (about pirates), The Beast (about a giant squid) and White Shark (about … well, you know). Even when he wasn’t turning out books, Benchley wrote articles on oceanographic and sea life conservation up to his death in 2006. My friend Dan recollected meeting the author during a research outing for one of these pieces. While in the Navy, Dan was working on a nuclear submarine that played host to Benchley one day while it was docked in Groton, Connecticut. The author sat next to my friend in the galley and asked what he did. Electrical engineering, it turned out. When Benchley remarked that he wrote Jaws, Dan simply looked unimpressed. After all, considering the context of handling the complex wiring that powered America’s deadliest line of defense, writing beach reading just didn’t come close in terms of important jobs. Dan stood up, cleared his breakfast tray and got back to work while Benchley just sat there. But I digress.
• Meanwhile, back in 1974, production on Jaws commenced. Numerous screenwriters and drafts came and went before a serviceable script surfaced. The captain of this ship, director Steven Spielberg, smartly wanted most of Benchley’s meandering subplots deep sixed in order to focus solely on, well, Jaws himself. Streamlined, the existing story played out like this: A police chief (Roy Scheider), marine biologist (Richard Dreyfuss) and seasoned fisherman (Robert Shaw) set out to stop a gigantic great white that’s threatening the island town of Amity during its busiest tourist season — short, sweet, shark.
•  Principal photography began in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts in May … only the shark didn’t work. That is, the mechanical rubber shark built by Universal Studio technicians kept breaking down. My friend Aaron Fiore played a young George Lucas in an award-winning short comedy called Courage & Stupidity, which presented the plight of then-unproven director Spielberg (played by Todd Wall) to overcome the problem of making a shark film with no shark just as the studio bosses were moving in to shut down production and fire the director. Writer/director Darin Beckstead may’ve fictionalized much of the goings on, but the general behind-the-scenes story remains true by all accounts, firing and all. No one thought that Jaws would be a hit, its crew included. On set, crew members even nicknamed the production Flaws.
•  Regardless of the legendary technical problems that plagued the production, however, the production also boasted a soon-to-be legendary talent who still would’ve been on a superstar trajectory whether the mechanical shark worked or not. Indeed, the path to Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T., The Color Purple, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan and Lincoln may’ve been different without Jaws, but I’d like to argue that this director was always bound for greatness. Spielberg cut his teeth on television (Rod Serling’s Night Gallery, Marcus Welby, M.D.) and already had a few flicks under his belt (Duel, Sugarland Express), but consider that his landmark filmmaking touchstones were already in full effect in Jaws: framing ordinary people in extraordinary situations; maintaining humanity and morals while facing inhuman terror; finding humor even in the most horrific of moments; zoom-in close ups of his star’s awe-struck faces. It’s all there, along with soon-to-be frequent collaborators John Williams (giving us an unforgettable — admit it, it’s playing in your head right now — score) and Richard Dreyfuss (giving us a quirky career-making performance). Roy Scheider, who Spielberg admired in another 70s classic called The French Connection, brings an authentic feel to the lead character, “Police Chief Brody,” which grounds the drama all the more. Luckily, the script developed the players beyond caricatures. Perhaps, no character evinces this more than Robert Shaw’s “Quint,” who turns from a salty son of a sea cook into a tortured survivor with one speech that gets burned into your mind forever from the first time you hear it. More on that later, however.
And yes, the rubber mechanical shark looked a bit dodgy. It looked dodgy back then as well, however, which is why Spielberg hid it away until nearly the end of the film … well, that and the fact that it luckily kept breaking, that is. Regardless of any early setbacks, all aspects of his production — from letter perfect performances to expertly written dialogue to a powerful score to masterful direction — amounts to a ridiculously exhilarating scaremaker of the highest order — then, now and for years to come. Granted, Jaws didn’t invent the genre. In fact, the film employs a Hitchcockian style of suspense in building up to a slowburn reveal of the actual shark. At its heart, the film remains a first-rate monster movie that often baits its audience from the creature’s underwater point of view in the tradition of Universal horror classic, The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Indeed, Spieldberg knew his film history which is a major reason why he became a part of film history.
•  Jaws went on to become the highest-grossing film in history until Star Wars stormed the box office in 1977. It also bagged Academy Awards for film editing, best score and sound. Perhaps its greatest accomplishment remains the fact that it is regarded by many as one of the greatest films of all time, this critic included. The fact that this well weathered all-time classic remains the “Quint-essential” shark film despite many imitators, however, stands testament to the fact that Jaws holds up beautifully in an age of photo-realistic computer effects.
•  When talk came of Jaws 2, Spielberg initially wanted nothing to do with the inevitable sequel. At one point during pre-production of the film, however, he reportedly entertained one possibility. What if they made it a prequel based solely on Quint’s searing USS Indianapolis speech, a chilling first-hand account of hundreds of sailors getting picked off by sharks in icy waters following their vessel getting torpedoed that was written by writer/director John Milius (Conan the Barbarian, Red Dawn)? The sharks at Universal, of course, said “no.” Perhaps, this muted prequel idea remains one of H’Wood’s greatest unfulfilled coulda-beens. Without this follow-up, we’ll just have to make do with the scary near perfection of Jaws. Lucky us.

Up Close: Ryan Cooper

Up Close: Ryan Cooper

Up Close & Personal

Always Sailing Ahead

Ryan Cooper reiterates the unpredictable nature of uncovering up-and-coming and innovative lure for Cooper’s Seafood. He and his family have striven for three generations to magnetize crowds into their restaurant’s seats. Over the years, they have cultivated their franchise both at their original location in Scranton and their second location in Pittston. Outside expansion consisted of various unique, creative venues, such as their lighthouse bar, pirate ship, dock and cabana. Inside, a wealth of community, family and cultural history continuously splashes across every wall, enlivening customer experience while dining. Cooper’s caters both on its location and off, assisting in weddings, family celebrations, corporate breakfasts or lunches and even private parties. Meet Ryan Cooper …

What was life like before Coopers?
For me, there was no life before Cooper’s. I’ve worked here since I was around 13 years old and throughout my years at school. I went to St. Ann’s before attending Riverside High School and, later, the University of Scranton. I never veered from desiring to be a part of the family business in some way or another. I stayed in Scranton my whole life to be around it. I think it was bred in me. Even when I went to college I majored in restaurant management, because that’s what I knew I wanted to do. I just love it! I’m delighted to be working with such great people where my work is always enjoyable.

Tell us what it’s like having the restaurant as a family business.
It’s 99.9 percent awesome. It really is. Growing up, it was frustrating at times when I had plans and craved to go out on the weekends and something would come up at the restaurant, and my dad would tell me I wasn’t going out despite my plans. For instance, if the dishwasher called off, then I wasn’t going anywhere until the dishes were done. When it came down to it, it was instilled in me that the family restaurant needed to be taken care of first. With the exception of some family in New York, everyone in my family is pretty much here. It’s nice to be so close-knit. We’re all involved in one way or another with the business.

What gave your family the idea to start up Cooper’s Seafood?
My grandpa started Cooper’s in 1948 after World War II. His brother, Frank, invented a machine to make braided rugs back in the 40s. Frank had a rug mill that made him a multi-millionaire. He used the extra money he had to invest to buy this building and open Cooper’s Seafood. Yet, Frank didn’t want to run it. So, he asked my grandpa to do so, while my grandfather was still working for him. In the 70s, my dad and his brothers came into the picture and bought the business from my grandpa. It’s been a continuous family enterprise since the very beginning.

Talk about your role and typical workday with the business.
When I was younger, my day at the restaurant could be filled with washing dishes or hanging up coats when we used to have a coat check. Right now, my day starts at about 7 a.m. On a normal day, I can spend about 12 hours here. I do everything from checking the beer, making lists for the beer, making sure the beer is tapped and trapped, assuring that the bar tenders know what beer is coming in, buying beer, taking beer inventory and changing menus and bottle menus. Then I take care of any Internet and computer-related business, which falls under my reign. I will handle emails, answering customer questions or other email correspondence. After this, I log into Facebook to respond to any other questions presented to the company. Then I will come down to fix anything that breaks or find somebody that can when I can’t. Truthfully, we all do everything. I don’t have one specific job. One day the bookkeeper’s computer might crash and need fixing and the next day there might be a light bulb out in the gift shop that requires changing. When we get new equipment, such as TVs and the like, I’ll set them up. When it comes to live entertainment, I am in charge of booking bands. Further, I customized an app, proprietary to all of our beers, which allows customers to search through our 500 bottles of beer for the drink they are looking for or something similar to it as well. Essentially, it’s Amazon for beer!

What motivated your family to establish the restaurant in both Scranton and Pittston?
We started out by opening here in Scranton first because we are from here, and we still live in the area. Pittston came about after Scranton. It’s been maybe 20 years that we have been there and we owe a huge amount of our success to being successful in Scranton. Back when the economy was booming, there were three-hour waits just to get dinner at our Scranton location. So, due to this achievement and many calls we received about setting up in other areas, we added on to the business. And we still get these calls about three to four times a month with opportunities to open other restaurants in brand-new locations — from Florida to Hawaii. We have customers even inquire about starting up in other areas nearer to them. But Pittston was a good fix, since it was still close enough that our family could manage and run it ourselves. We can drive down there about three times a week to take care of the same things that we do here.

Tell us what customers will experience at Cooper’s, including the various, popular seafood dishes that they can choose from.
Customers can expect freshness when it comes to our food. We don’t buy anything that is processed and nothing goes to waste. We actually donate all of our food scraps to a local pig farmer who tells us his pigs eat the best food in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Our main staples are shrimp and our crab dip. Right now, our biggest seller is our crabby pretzel, which is pretzel covered in crabmeat and cheese sauce, then baked. It’s huge on our deck. Also, we do different specials every day. We have $2.99 clams on Sunday and Monday all day and we sell thousands and thousands of orders in just a couple of days. As far as dinners go, lobsters are probably the biggest. Everyone wants lobster, shrimp and crab. It’s hard for me to say exactly what the most popular dish is myself, because I eat something new here every day and absolutely love it. As far as other experiences not concerning food, customers can enjoy the live entertainment we request to come in on weekends and the bike nights we hold on Tuesdays in Pittston.

What’s your secret that keeps customers coming in?
Well, our crab bisque is our biggest seller that keeps customers coming in. But that’s not too much of a secret. Everyone knows about it. I like to think our customer service is our key ingredient that keeps customers coming back. We have had many servers here for more than 25 years. They have been with us forever. I remember some of them from when I was 10 years old and they are still here today working with us. Therefore, I truly believe the secret is the good people who are working here. When you have good people in a restaurant, then customers are going to enjoy a good experience. And it’s the same notion with our food. We buy good product, so we are putting out good product. We always strive to move forward. When you get stagnant, you’re done. We try to keep our customers from getting bored by coming up with the next big thing to continue to attract their interest.

Is there something specific about Cooper’s that you find most exhilarating?
I’m a beer guy, so I love the beer selection we have here. And I enjoy coming in every day to tap, trap, braid, check and taste it. I like to pair the beers with food and prepare it for various beer events. I believe it was 1977 when my dad decided he was going to do an international beer list. In the 70s, there were no craft beers, small breweries selling beer in the states, whereas now there are tons. So, we did international back in the day — 30 beers from Germany, 10 from Australia, five beers from Korea and 10 from Russia. We had about 150 bottles back then. And that was a ton at that time. No one else was doing this kind of stuff. It was new and exciting and we became known for it. Now, of course, times have changed with craft beers now available. People no longer desire the import beer. They want beer from the little breweries that are located in the United States. We aim to get special brewery beers that are very rare to get, even in Pennsylvania.

Cooper’s has had famous guests stop in. Could you tell us a few who have? And what it was like having them come here?
Sure. President Clinton and Hillary Clinton are probably two of the most well-known. It was surreal witnessing a week of surveillance, snipers on the roof, secret service, the kitchen food had to be served to a food tester first and every beer had to be drunk first before going to President Clinton. President Eisenhower was here in the 50s. Derek Jeter recently came in maybe four or five times when he was with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and he was very sociable. Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod) was here and he was awesome and very professional. Most of The Office cast was here, so we were able to meet them. They were all amazingly fun to be around. They even used footage that their film crew shot here as a scene in one of their episodes. So, that was very exciting for us. Brian O’Halloran, who plays “Dante” on Clerks, came in and he was very friendly. When I was younger some famous wrestlers stopped in — Hulk Hogan, Junkyard Dog and André the Giant. Having them come into the restaurant was loads of fun. They acted like they were putting on one of their shows. Really, it was delightful to see.
— katelyn english

 

Even more:

You cannot help but notice the creative uniqueness of your different venues. Share a little bit with us on how Cooper’s developed the lighthouse bar, pirate ship, cabana, etc.
For us it has always been about moving forward. It all started at our Scranton location when my grandpa began at the train station. He actually took the bar that was closing across the street, literally lifted it off the ground and walked it over to be a part of Cooper’s. It is the bar currently in the old room right now. We call it the old, original bar, which is the train station that contained just a bar and small kitchen. Then it went from the old bar, one room with a train encircling it, to having a dinning room with a 50-foot whale. After that we put the rail room on and then the ship came, the lighthouse bar and the dock later on. We added the deck to help with bigger crowds. When remodeling the bathrooms, themed after The Beatles and Elvis Presley, we decided to put a gift shop in where we now sell T-shirts and knick-knacks. The gift shop created an awkward box and that was when we had to ask ourselves what else would go with a ship — a lighthouse. Then the cabana, at our Pittston location, came from me. I thought it up, in large part, because I am a huge Jimmy Buffett fan and also because we knew we lost out on the deck here when it rains. Thus, we made the cabana an outdoor bar with a roof. The bar and chairs are made out of real bamboo. And it’s great. With all of our venues want customers to feel like they are on vacation at both location.

What direction do you see Cooper’s going in the near future with everything it has already accomplished thus far?
We have been blessed with success and we hope to do so by always finding the next thing. We will continue to do as much charity work as we can and we have worked with Make-A-Wish Foundation and similar organizations. We are working on party events and have the Boston Sam Adams Clam Bake coming up. We have been doing more weddings and stuff like that with our catering, which has really blossomed lately. But you never know. What is nice about a family business is that you get to make your own decisions. Perhaps one day we may look into another location, sell franchise and stuff, or add our own brewery somewhere where we can do our own micro brew. These are all possibilities and we will have to consider restrictions as well before making any final decisions.

Headphones

Headphones

Assorted declarations from editor Tom Graham

 

Give Us moe.!!!
moe. is stopping by the 570 once again to treat audiences to a summer night full of jamming and dancing. The band lights up the Sherman Summer Stage at Mount Airy Casino Resort on Friday, July 18, at 8 p.m. Tickets for the rain or shine event are $28.
From modest beginnings in a Buffalo basement over two decades ago to today’s multifaceted success, the members of moe. are still doing what they have always done — jam and entertain their devoted fans. moe.’s line-up of Rob Derhak (bass, vocals), Chuck Garvey (guitar, vocals) and Al Schnier (guitar, keyboards, vocals) have played together in the group for more than 20 years with the later additions of drummer Vinnie Amico and percussionist and multi-instrumentalist Jim Loughlin. moe. released its newest studio album, No Guts, No Glory, earlier this year. The band tapped Dave Aron to produce the 11-track release.

EC17HEAD_2_WEBLonestar Under the Stars
Lonestar, the award-winning, multi-platinum country music quartet with crossover smash hits like “Amazed,” “I’m Already There’’ and “Come Cryin’ to Me,” will headline the 2014 Misericordia University Under the Stars Summer Arts Festival on Saturday, July 19 in support of its studio album, Life As We Know It.
Lonestar is engaged in a more than 90-city tour in support of its first album with original lead singer Richie McDonald since the group produced Mountains’in 2006. With McDonald, other founding members Michael Britt (lead guitar, backing vocals), Keech Rainwater (drums) and Dean Sams (keyboards) will perform their classic hits, as well as new songs such as “With My Eyes Open’’ and “Just the Rain.’’
Tickets for Lonestar are $380 for a festival table that seats six, $35 for amphitheater seating and $20 for lawn seating. Call the Misericordia University Box Office at (570) 674-6719 to purchase tickets.

EC17HEAD_4_WEBMight As Well Jump and Party Down
Local drummer/promoter A.J. Jump is celebrating his 30th birthday on Saturday, July 19 with a great lineup of local bands (including several projects he’s involved in) at River Street Jazz Cafe, Plains. Acts to appear include Abstract Peoples, Indigo Moon Brass Band, DJ Hersh, Coal Town Rounders, Charles Havira, King Radio and Robb Brown. Over the last 10 years, Jump has performed and recorded with such acts as Osiris, Black Lung Brothers, The Five Percent, Ends With Disaster, MiZ, Underground Saints and more.

 

 

 

Here’s what’s in my headphones this week: Wye Oak Shriek (Merge Records) 2014.

Jewish Food Festival

Jewish Food Festival

Food, Funny and Jewish Bluegrass
The Jewish Food Festival finds a home at Nay Aug Park

 

The Jewish Food Festival will be held outdoors for the first time, on Sunday, July 13. The air in Nay Aug Park, Scranton will tease your nose with the savory aromas of corned beef on rye, stuffed cabbage, knishes, kreplach and kugel mingling with sweet tooth-tickling chocolate babka, rogelach, apple strudel and sugar kichel.
Laible Blu, described as “Jewish bluegrass,” will provide the soundtrack for the afternoon.
MODI, a New-York-via-Israel comedian, will end the festival with laughter.
But the headlining act is the food.
The Jewish Food Festival features Jewish food, Israeli food and kosher grill items. Rabbi Benny Rapoport, co-director of the Jewish Community Center in Clarks Summit, said part of the fun of Jewish food is the diversity.
“Jewish food is enjoyed by people of all walks of life, particularly the Israeli food,” Rapoport said. “That’s part of the beauty of Jewish food is how it’s drawn on different cultures. And that’s why we have American barbeque, after all, we are Americans and who doesn’t love a good, delicious hot dog with toppings and onions and sauerkraut? It’s all good stuff.”
Rapoport explained that Jewish cuisine is diverse due to immigration patterns.
“The Jewish people have been around so many different places and have wandered from place to place always looking for opportunities to have freedom of religious practice and for many centuries Jews were in the Middle East,” said Rapoport. “And then they went to Europe. And then the bulk of the Jewish world came to the Lower East Side, so that’s when all the smoked meats, pickled meats, salted meats became very popular.”
Rapoport said even the popular knish is a product of past socio-economic reality, explaining that a knish — a piece of dough usually filled with potatoes or buckwheat kasha — was a way to make a meal out of something simple.
“So you’re leaving the house, you’re going on a journey, you’re a peddler, you don’t have time to start cutting and prepping, so you just take this knish,” he said. “It’s a fast, filling, simple snack, which has become cliché or an icon. It’s a symbol of Jewish food.”
The food at the festival will be kosher, which is difficult to find in our area, according to Rapoport. “It is quite complex and for the truth of the matter, this is a rarity when (those who keep kosher) can go to a festival where everything is top-level kosher and top-level delicious.”
Comedian MODI, born Mordechai Rosenfeld, moved to the United States at age 7. He worked as an investment banker until his coworkers encouraged him to try stand-up comedy. According to the comedian’s website, The Hollywood Reporter named him “one of the top 10 comedians in New York City,” while the New York Times called him “the next Jackie Mason.”
“The more opportunities we have to build bridges, unite communities, to express our commonalities and to experience other people’s cultures, I think this is the way we not only bring people together, but that’s how we reach out community, when people come and say ‘wow, look what Scranton has in the summer! It’s amazing. It’s a great place to come visit. It’s a great place to live,’” said Rapoport.
“We have a lot of plans for this property to create a wonderful space for the community at large. We want to put trails, bike rentals, a snow sled park. There is so much we want to do over time. We have to do it in small stages, to really raise up our whole community — Jew and non-Jew alike.”
The center hosts various events during the year, which are meant to provoke thought and create community discussions. Rapoport encourages education and said the center will house 2,000 books for adults and children. Last year, it sponsored a lecture on Islam. Admission was free and Rapoport said about 180 people attended. “In a way, we’re all different, but we’re all the same-different,” explained Rapoport.
“In other words, we all have the same similarities, but we call it something else. The Italian community, Irish-Catholic community, Jewish community, the African-American community — we all have our differences, but we’re all the same in that we all are different than the ‘lily white.’ … E Pluribus Unum is on the coin and it means ‘out of many one.’ It’s not that equality — and people think equality is important because it means we’re all the same — no, equality means within our diversity, we can truly become one. An orchestra, not everyone is playing the violin. Someone is playing the violin, someone is playing the oboe, the clarinet and in their own unique way, together make a beautiful symphony.”
To Rapoport, food is the great unifier.
— kimberly m. aquilina

You can go for the food, you can go for the music, you can go for the jokes — or go for the whole festival. Concessions open at 3 p.m. and will close at about 6 p.m., Rabbi Rapoport said. Attendees will need to purchase concession tickets because the food stands won’t accept cash. The comedy show will take place under the tent across from the Everhart Museum from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the comedy show cost $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Call (570) 587-3300 or visit jewishfoodfest.com or facebook.com/#jewishfoodfest for more information.

Gasoline

Gasoline

Make: Audi
Model: R8 Coupe
Year: 2011
Owner: Josh Bohanon
Specs: Ibis White, 4.2 V8 quattro, 6 speed manual, black leather interior, piano black accents and Titanium 19-inch rims.

20 Warped Years

20 Warped Years

 

Vans Warped Tour Returns to the Pavilion at Montage Mountain

 

Vans Warped Tour 2014 is celebrating 20 years the only way it knows how — by enjoying yet another cross-country trek and delivering a diverse dose of wild acts to music lovers. The world-famous music and lifestyle festival tour of the summer hits the 570 for its annual visit to The Pavilion at Montage Mountain on Wednesday, July 9. The all-day music marathon on the mountain kicks off at 11 a.m.
 

The Protomen

The Protomen

This year’s performers include Aaron West and The Roaring 20s, Bayside, Beebs And Her Money Makers, Bowling For Soup, Crown The Empire, Cute Is What We Aim For, Every Time I Die, Falling In Reverse, Less Than Jake, Lionize, Mayday Parade, MC Chris, Motionless In White, Saves The Day, The Protomen, We Are The In Crowd, We The Kings, Yellowcard and more. (See full line-up in the sidebar).
 
The tour is best known for introducing up-and-coming artists to wider audiences, as well as showcasing major established acts. The festival features a diverse selection of artists based in multiple genres, including punk, metal, indie, rock, hip-hop, rap, electronic dance music (EDM), reggae and pop music. Warped is also known for its traditionally low ticket prices (since the start, tickets for the all-day event do not exceed $40).
 
It all began in 1995 when concert production veteran Kevin Lyman founded the tour. Soon after, Warped was introducing music fans to then featured acts such as No Doubt, Eminem, Katy Perry, Blink 182, Black Eyed Peas, Sublime and My Chemical Romance among hundreds of others. The tour brought punk rock/skate/action sports culture into the national spotlight, with unique attractions, including Vans skating competitions featuring professional and amateur skaters competing for prizes, Reverse Daycare (where kids can check in with their parents while they relax in an air-conditioned lounge) and the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands, a stage featuring both local contest winners and national acts.
 
EC03WARPED_3_WEBVans Warped Tour also champions many different charitable causes during its summer trek and is the first tour to use groundbreaking environmental concepts every year on the road. The tour continues to implement these concepts known as Warped Eco Initiatives (WEI) which include the use of biodiesel fuel for touring trucks, buses and generators and the implementation of environmentally-friendly catering for the artists and crew. A solar-powered sound system is used on the “Kevin Says Stage” and vanswarpedtour.com provides public transportation and carpool social media app options for fans to connect before every show.
 
Since its inception, the tour has traveled throughout the world giving many diverse acts their first large international exposure to Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. The tour annually reaches more than 600,000 fans in more than 40 cities in North America each summer.

 
If you go:
What: Vans Warped Tour 2014
Where: The Pavilion at Montage Mountain
When: Wednesday, July 9. Show: 11 a.m.
Tickets: $35 plus applicable fees at ticketmaster.com and The Pavilion at Montage Box Office.
 

Lionize

Lionize

Warped Tour Line-up

(subject to change)
 
A Lot Like Birds, A Skylit Drive, Aaron West and The Roaring 20s, Air Dubai, Anthony Raneri, Antiserum, Attila, Bad Rabbits, Bayside, Beartooth, Beebs And Her Money Makers, Blackbird, Blameshift, Born Of Osiris, Bowling For Soup, Breathe Carolina, Brian Marquis, Candy Hearts, Captain Capa, Chelsea Grin, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!, Close Your Eyes, Courage My Love, Crizzly, Crown The Empire, Cute Is What We Aim For, Dangerkids, DJ Nicola Bear, DJ Scout, Echosmith, Elder Brother, Enter Shikari, Every Time I Die, Falling In Reverse, For All Those Sleeping, For Today, Four Year Strong, Front Porch Step, Get Scared, Ghost Town, Heart To Heart, Hunter Valentine, I Fight Dragons, Ice Nine Kills, Icon For Hire, Issues, Justina Valentine, K. Flay, Less Than Jake, Lionize, Marmozets, Mayday Parade, MC Chris, Mike Herrera, Mixtapes, Mod Sun, Motionless In White, Neck Deep, Nick Santino, NiT GriT, Of Mice And Men, Pacific Dub, Parkway Drive, Pj Bond, Plague Vendor, Pvris, Real Friends, Rob Lynch, Saves The Day, Scare Don’t Fear, SECRETS, Shiragirl, State Champs, Stray From The Path, Survive This!, Teenage Bottlerocket, Terror, The Color Morale, The Devil Wears Prada, The Ghost Inside, The Maine, The Protomen, The Ready Set, The Story So Far, The Summer Set, The Word Alive, TheCityShakeUp, This Wild Life, Vanna, Volumes, Watsky, Wax, We Are The In Crowd, We The Kings, Wind In Sails and Yellowcard.

Sounds: Lady Survivors part two

Sounds: Lady Survivors part two

LILY ALLEN — Sheezus
THE GOOD: British indie bad girl Lily Allen is back after a five-year hiatus.
THE BAD: Too many shifts in direction and changes in attitude.
THE NITTY GRITTY: What made Allen’s first two albums so enjoyable was their musical diversity and sense of fun. Alright, Still (2006) was colored with infectious bits of reggae and ska. It’s Not Me, It’s You (2009) turned up the electronics but kept the pure melodic drive intact. Allen was having the time of her life taking the piss out of smug celebrities and crappy boyfriends. We had just as much fun listening. But perhaps the greatest thing about both albums was that they sounded distinctly British.
Now Sheezus is kind of — forgive me — boring. Allen still gets in more than a few good lyrical jabs, but too much of this album feels like she’s trying to guarantee a hit on the radio … American radio. Blech! Sheezus has its moments, but nothing that demands repeated listens. Maybe next time.
BUY IT?: Meh … whatever.
 
 
EC03SOUNDS_1_WEBNATALIE MERCHANT — Natalie Merchant
THE GOOD: Ex-10,000 Maniacs frontwoman and singer/songwriter Natalie Merchant returns with her first album of all new material in more than a decade.
THE BAD: No complaints.
THE NITTY GRITTY: After doing an acoustic covers record and a children’s concept album, Merchant is getting back to the stuff that made her departure from the Maniacs so much easier to take two decades ago. She remains a consummate songstress. Her voice is still rich and full; her style always compelling. The songs themselves usually tell an exquisite story or at least set a vivid scene.
On this self-titled effort, Merchant brings together all the best elements from her first three solo outings. The folk and pop flavorings of Tigerlily (1995) and Ophelia (1998) come to light during homespun tracks such as “Maggie Said” and “Texas.” The grittier soulful elements from 2001’s Motherland return during simmering Hammond organ tinged tunes like “Go Down Moses” and “It’s A-Coming.”
BUY IT?: Sure. Merchant has crafted a collection of songs that never falters.
 
 
EC03SOUNDS_2_WEBLYKKE LI — I Never Learn
THE GOOD: On her third outing, Swedish songstress Lykke Li finds inspiration within her tumultuous personal life and a change of scenery.
THE BAD: Nine songs in 33 minutes leave us wanting more. However, this is a grand case of quality over quantity. There isn’t an ounce of fat on this record.
THE NITTY GRITTY: Li suffered a bitter break-up and moved from her native country to Los Angeles right before the whole writing process began. Look at the song titles and you know exactly where she’s coming from this time — “Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone,” “Never Gonna Love Again ” and “Heart of Steel,” the title cut. Li turned her heartbreak into extremely accomplished songs.
That’s the record’s greatest strength – the songs. While I Never Learn is probably Li’s least exciting set sonically (the woman and long-time producer Bjorn Yttling keep the arrangements straight forward and tight), this group of songs is easily her finest yet.
BUY IT?: Oh yes.
 
Mike Evans is a super cool radio guy who doesn’t mess around when it comes to music. Sounds appears weekly in electric city and diamond city. Email mevans@timesshamrock.com.

Fireworks in The 570

Fireworks in The 570

Explosions in the Sky
 
Independence Day Celebration w/fireworks, July 3. The Tunkhannock Rotary Club sponsors this annual celebration featuring entertainment after 7 p.m., food vendors, fireworks and more. Bring blankets or lawn chairs. Tunkhannock High School, Tunkhannock. Free admission; donations welcome. (570) 831-5233 or tunkhannockrotary.org.
 
Fireworks Display, July 3. Rain date: July 5. Harman-Geist Stadium, Hazleton. (570) 459-3221.
 
Independence Day Fireworks, July 3. Rain date: July 5. Wright Township Park, Mountain Top. (570) 474-9067.
 
American Freedom Festival, thru July 5. This annual Independence Day celebration features a culinary midway of food vendors, children’s carnival rides and live music throughout the day. Fireworks will begin at dusk. Dansbury Park, East Stroudsburg. Free. (570) 421-6591 or eastburgalliance.com.
 
Independence Day Celebration w/fireworks, July 3, 5 p.m. Enjoy music by Moonlight on the Poconos Big Band, The Dixieland All-Stars, The Crystal Band, as well as children’s games, fireworks shot off Irving Cliff and more. Bring your own chairs or blankets. Refreshments available for purchase. Central Park, Honesdale. Free. (570) 253-3855.
 
Philharmonic & Fireworks, July 3, 3:30 p.m. Enjoy music, vendors and fireworks in downtown Scranton after 4 p.m. The Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic is scheduled to perform at 7:30 p.m. Courthouse Square, Scranton. (570) 963-6800 or lackawannacounty.org.
 
Fourth of July Fireworks, July 4. Celebrate the holiday with fireworks following the RailRiders game against the Buffalo Bisons. PNC Field (Lackwanna County Stadium), Moosic. (570) 969-2255 or swbyankees.com.
 
Fourth of July Celebration, July 4. Enjoy live music and fireworks at dusk. Also find food vendors. Rain date: July 5. Bloomsburg Town Park, Bloomsburg. Free. (570) 389-1947 or bloomsburgpa.org.
 
An Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration, July 4. Food vendors, amusements and rides open at noon. The Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic will present its annual Independence Day concert at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks display begins at dusk. Bring your own blankets or chairs. Kirby Park, Kingston. Free. (570) 208-4240 or wilkes-barre.pa.us.
 
Lake Wallenpaupack Fourth of July Fireworks, July 4. The bleachers open to spectators at 7 p.m. Rain date: July 5. Wallenpaupack Area High School, Hawley. (570) 226-4557 or lakeregioncc.com.
 
Independence Day Celebration w/fireworks, July 4. Includes 5K and 10K runs, patriotic parade, 130 arts and crafts exhibitors, a barbecue, food vendors and fireworks at dusk. Montrose Village Green, Montrose. (570) 525-3672 or EMFOA.org.
 
Fireworks Display, July 4. Lake Ariel, Lake Ariel. lakearielfireco.com.

PHOTO BY JAKE DANNA STEVENS/ TIMES-TRIBUNE

PHOTO BY JAKE DANNA STEVENS/ TIMES-TRIBUNE


 
Fireworks Display, July 4. The Rotary Club of the Abingtons hosts this annual celebration. Food and beverage will be available for purchase after 5 p.m. Also enjoy live music. Raindate: July 5. Bring your own seating. Parking donation of $5 will be used to defray event costs. Abington Heights Middle School, Clarks Summit. Free. (570) 586-1281.
 
Independence Day Celebration w/fireworks, July 5. In addition to fireworks, enjoy music, food vendors, games and more in this annual event benefitting the Shawnee Volunteer Fire Company. Shawnee Mountain Ski Area, Shawnee-On-Delaware. $10/car load. (570) 421-7231 or shawneemt.com.
 
Fireworks Extravaganza, July 5. Gates open at 6 p.m. This annual event is sponsored by The Minisink Lions of North Pocono. Live music, food and refreshments for sale. Live music by The Poets starts art 7 p.m. Rain date: July 6. North Pocono Middle School, Moscow.
 
Fireworks Display, July 5. Skytop Lodge, Skytop. (800) 345-7759 or skytop.com.
 
Family Day Celebration, July 5, 6:30 p.m. The Jessup 21st Century Association’s 18th annual Independence Day festival features performances, live music, face painting and food stands offering hot dogs, wimpies, popcorn, ice cream, pierogies, pizza and more. Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. Bring your own blanket or lawn chairs. Veteran’s Memorial Field, Jessup. Donations accepted at the gates.
 
Celebrate Freedom, July 6. Peckville Assembly of God, Peckville. Fireworks at dusk. peckvilleag.org.
 
Dalton Fire Company Carnival, July 8-12. Enjoy pay-one-price rides and daily entertainment. The Fireman’s Parade will be held Friday at 7 p.m. Fireworks begin at 10 p.m. Saturday. Midway by Otto’s Amusements. Dalton Fire Company, Dalton.
 
Fireworks Celebration, July 10 at 9:30 p.m., during Party on the Patio featuring Tramps Like Us, A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen. Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Wilkes-Barre. (570) 831-2100 or mohegansunpocono.com.
 
Fireworks Display, July 11. Blakely Borough Recreational Complex, Peckville. (570) 383-3352.
 
Fireworks Display, July 12. Island Park, Schuylkill Haven. (570) 385-2841 or havenislandpark.com.
 
Covington Fireman’s Picnic, July 12-15. Rides by S&S Amusements, food stands and more. Enjoy a Fireman’s Parade on Thursday at 7 p.m. followed by music . Fireworks will be launched on Saturday. Covington Fire, Rescue & EMS, Station 14, Daleville. (570) 842-4130 or covingtonfirerescue.freeservers.com.
 

World Cup Crazy

World Cup Crazy

World Cup Crazy

Soccer Madness Strikes the 570

 

The FIFA World Cup is taking over the 570. If you’re a sports fan, the World Cup is your wedding night. If you aren’t a sports fan, you still might catch the bouquet.
Eight groups consisting of four countries each compete to become the world champion in the biggest international sport. Americans are typically not known for their love of the other “football,” but the atmosphere at Ale Mary’s, on Franklin Street, Scranton, tells another story.
Kristen Andrews, director of marketing at Ale Mary’s, has been a soccer fan her whole life and is excited by the momentum soccer has in Scranton. “I think we’re kind of not used to that in the United States,” said Andrews. “We’re used to doing things first and everyone else picks up on it, but it’s the opposite way. We love American football here, so soccer isn’t as popular — but soccer is a safer sport, it’s a family-friendly sport and it’s a sport for all ages. It’s everything America loves.”
Ale Mary’s is setting itself up to be the soccer bar in the area. Andrews said the new establishment was approached by Soccer Plus, a soccer gear store in Clarks Summit, The Electric City Shock, our area’s semi-professional soccer team and Upper 90s Soccer Academy and decided to go in full-volume.
“We really get it,” Andrews said. “We’re not light of heart. We’re in this.”
The local crowd that the World Cup has drawn is certainly not for the light of heart. Andrews said that the busiest hour of the viewing party for the United States versus Ghana game was busier than the bar’s busiest hour on Scranton’s St. Patrick’s  Parade Day. Ale Mary’s was in full swing long before the United States versus Portugal game started. The bar even had an outdoor grill which featured some soccer-inspired items, like the “Jürgen Burger,” topped with sauerkraut and American cheese and the “Jozy Altidore Dog,” with pulled “hamstrings” (pulled pork).
For those not in the soccer-know, Andrews said the simplicity of soccer makes it a very easy game to follow.
“On the surface, it’s pretty simple to understand, unlike American football, which is more complicated to get the hang of. I feel like it’s a user-friendly sport,” said Andrews. “That’s their team, that’s our team, that’s their goal, that’s our goal. We don’t want them to get anything in our goal and we want to get a ton of stuff in their goal. You might not understand off-sides and all these other little intricate fouls and all that, but it’s easy to follow and that makes it a very watchable game.”
Patrons seem to agree. Jesse Werkheiser, of Scranton, said he didn’t come to watch the game — he came to watch the fans. “I saw how much fun it was last Monday and I wanted to come back. Frank wanted to come with me,” he said, patting his pug.
Alan Sheridan, founder of the Scranton chapter of The American Outlaws, a national fan-based organization, said his new HQ is Ale Mary’s. “Any time there is any U.S. soccer playing, you can expect the American Outlaws at Ale Mary’s,” said Sheridan.
EC26FEATURE_1_WEBThere are opportunities to see live soccer in action on a local level, as well. The Electric City Shock is an official amateur team, sponsored primarily by Dickson City Hyundai. According to James Bell, the founder and head coach of the Electric City Shock, the team is the first at the semi-professional level in this area. “There have been a couple of people who have tried before to bring this type of soccer to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area, but they didn’t have funds, or facilities, or personnel or what-have-you,” said Bell. “Our program offers the highest level of amateur soccer in the country and in our city. Plus, it gives the kids, the youth players in this area, the opportunity to see something at the professional level and strive to be that good,” Bell said.
Soccer is global and Americans are now joining the ranks of football fanatics in a big way. According to a press release from ArtsQuest, 35,000 people attended the FIFA World Cup SoccerFest and Viewing Party, a two-weekend long event at The Steel Stacks, a concert venue in Bethlehem Discover Lehigh Valley President Michael Stershic said, “Many of these fans were from outside of the area and brought a different market segment to Lehigh Valley and SteelStacks. The excitement that SoccerFest generated for Bethlehem in particular was amazing.”
According to ArtsQuest, 8,000 attended the viewing party for the United States versus Ghana game and 10,000 gathered to watch the United States versus Portugal.
There are also many opportunities to cheer on the U.S. with fellow fans in the 570.
There will be a World Cup Viewing Party at Lucky’s Sporthouse in Wilkes-Barre for the final game on Sunday, July 13. The sports bar will donate 15 percent of checks to the South Wilkes-Barre Skyhawks Youth Soccer Club when customers present a flier.
Ale Mary’s in downtown Scranton will host the United States versus Germany game which starts at noon on Thursday, June 26. The bar and gastropub will open at 11 a.m. and will offer food and drink specials as well as selling its “I Believe” T-shirts. As the United States progresses in the World Cup, Andrews says the public can expect more fun.
— kimberly m. aquilina

 

The ugly side of “The beautiful game”

Regarding controversy in international soccer, James Bell, founder and head coach of the Electric City Shock, said the biggest issue may be “hooliganism.” When asked to compare World Cup discord to the issues surrounding the Olympics in Sochi, Russia, this year, Bell said laughing “There is no underground soccer mafia. In Europe, they have these things called ‘firms’ and that’s just a group of people who follow a certain team. Sometimes they get rowdy and they fight other teams’ firms.”
Bell said that nationalism in soccer is a gray area. “It doesn’t matter where you’re from, or what country you live in, ethnicity, race or religion. That’s the beautiful thing about the game. There’s no bias toward anything.”
These comments sound inspiring, but racism and homophobia in soccer have been making international news. In 2011, the Washington Post reported that while playing for the Honduran national team, Osman Chávez and his teammates boycotted the national media after disparaging comments were made on the media websites. In May, HBO’s Real Sports, hosted by Bryant Gumbel, explored racism in European football.
FIFA has called this World Cup “the anti-racism World Cup.” FIFA has Anti-Discrimination Days during the season. There is even a Twitter campaign #SayNoToRacism. According to CBS Interactive, Jeff Webb, head of FIFA’s anti-racism taskforce said, “None of us, I don’t think any of us, have got it right — perhaps in the last 10 or 15 years to be honest with you.”
In 2011, FIFA president Sepp Blatter stunned the soccer world with his see-no-evil commentary toward racism in the game. Blatter told CNN, “There is no racism, there is maybe one of the players towards the other, he has a word or a gesture which is not the correct one, but also the one who is affected by that, he should say ‘it’s a game, we are in a game.’”
Later, Blatter issued a statement via FIFA’s official website stating that his comments were misunderstood: “I would like to make it very clear, I am committed to the fight against racism and any type of discrimination in football and in society.”
FIFA has been stepping up by sanctioning players and teams for discrimination and derogatory comments. According to CBS Interactive, in 2013, FIFA sanctioned Bulgaria, Hungary, Ukraine and Peru by either taking away home games or forcing the teams to play for empty stadiums.
Bell said he thinks that FIFA is making the right moves. “There will always be racism out there, especially in soccer, since every ethnicity participates. FIFA has a no-tolerance policy on the topic. Strict rules have been put into place and enforced. Some countries still struggle with the issue, but on the global scale it’s quite controlled.” — ka

The Buzz of Fuzz Fest

The Buzz of Fuzz Fest

92.1’s Fuzz Fest 2014 takes place at The Pavilion at Montage Mountain, Scranton, this Sunday, June 22. Last year’s inaugural Fuzz Fest event featured headliners The Dirty Heads and Robert DeLong and brought a crowd of more than 2,600 out to rock the mountain. With an even bigger headliner at this year’s show in Cage The Elephant, plus a huge supporting act like KONGOS, Fuzz Fest 2014 seems primed to be an even bigger party than the first time around. Other acts on the bill include Skaters, Brick and Mortar, Northern Faces, The Unlikely Candidates and Graces Downfall.
Here’s what you’ll need to know …

 

EC19FUZZFEST_1_WEBCage The Elephant
From: Bowling Green, Kentucky,
Formed in 2006
Members: Matt Shultz (vocals), Brad Shultz (guitar), Daniel Tichenor (bass) and Jared Champion (drums) and Nick Bockrath (lead guitar).
Releases: Cage the Elephant, Thank You, Happy Birthday and Melophobia.
You might know them from songs such as: “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked,” “Back Against the Wall,” “Shake Me Down,” and “Spiderhead.”
The group has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, Lollapalooza in Chicago, Bonnaroo Music Festival, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Coachella and the Glastonbury Festival.
They supported bands like Silversun Pickups, Manchester Orchestra and Stone Temple Pilots as well as Foo Fighters.
Rolling Stone’s Reader’s Poll voted them “Best New Artist of 2011”.
For more information, visit cagetheelephant.com.

 

EC19FUZZFEST_8_WEBKongos
From: London, South Africa and Phoenix, Arizona.
Members: Dylan Kongos (bass, vocals), Daniel Kongos (guitar, vocals), Jesse Kongos (drums and percussion, vocals) and Johnny Kongos (accordion, keyboard, vocals).
Releases: Kongos and Lunatic.
You might know them from songs such as: “I’m Only Joking” and “Come with Me Now.”
For more information, visit kongos.com.

 

 

 

© Meredith TruaxBrick and Mortar
From: Toms River, New Jersey
Formed in 2008
Members: Brandon Asraf (bass guitar, vocals) and John Tacon (drums, electronic samples, vocals).
Releases: 7 Years in the Mystic Room and Bangs EP
You might know them from songs such as: “Heatstroke,” “Move to the Ocean” and “Locked In A Cage.”
For more information, visit facebook.com/BrickAndMortarOfficial.

 

EC19FUZZFEST_11_WEBNorthern Faces
From: New York
Members: Bryan Shortell (vocals, guitar), Marco Testa (vocals, guitar), Matt Ippolito (bass) and Mike Ryan (drums).
Releases: Album coming soon
You might know them from songs such as: “Under My Skin.”
For more information, visit facebook.com/northernfaces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EC19FUZZFEST_10_WEBSkaters
From: New York City, New York
Formed in 2012
Members: Michael Ian Cummings (vocals), Noah Rubin (drums), Joshua Hubbard (guitar) and Dan Burke (bass).
Releases: Schemers EP and Manhattan.
You might know them from songs such as: “Miss Teen Massachusetts,” “Deadbolt,” “I Wanna Dance (But Don’t Know How)” and “Armed.”
For more information, visit skatersnyc.com.

 

EC19FUZZFEST_5_WEBThe Unlikely Candidates
From: Fort Worth, Texas
Formed in 2008.
Members: Kyle Morris (vocals), Cole Male (guitar), Kevin Goddard (drums), Brenton Carney (lead guitar) and Jared Hornbeek (bass).
You might know them from songs such as: “Follow My Feet.”
For more information, visit theunlikelycandidates.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EC19FUZZFEST_12_WEBGraces Downfall
From: Scranton, Pennsylvania
Members: Kenneth Norton (vocals), Mark Yanish (guitar) Grant Williams (bass) and Jamey Fisk (drums).
Releases: Always The Victim and Resplendent Indignity .
Appeared at 92.1’s 2013 Fuzz Fest (The Dirty Heads, Robert Delong) and The 2013 Vans Warped Tour (The Used, Reel Big Fish, Motion City Soundtrack).
In 2012 Graces Downfall was Voted “Best Local Original Band” in Electric City’s Best Of 2012 Readers’ Poll.
For more information, visit gracesdownfall.net.

 

Tickets on sale and available at LiveNation.com, Ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster outlets, The Pavilion Box Office or by phone at (800) 745-3000. All tickets will be general admission, $18 plus applicable fees and will be available at the venue on the day of the show. Doors to the venue open at 3 p.m. and show starts at 4:05 p.m.

Heritage Bike Tour & Festival

Heritage Bike Tour & Festival

Fifth Annual Heritage Explorer Bike Tour & Festival

There are very few things that are not forgotten in this world: each and every day, people forget who they are, what they are doing and why they are doing it, but, for some reason, once a person figures out the balance and coordination required to ride a bicycle, it seems to stick with them for life.
While I’m sure there are a host of neurological reasons for this phenomenon, I’d like to believe it is also linked to what, for many of us, riding a bike represents: that first sweet taste of independence and self-reliance tempered by the knowledge that practice and technology can help us transcend our limitations.
Compared to many of nature’s creatures, human beings are slow. We can’t run very fast or very far without wearing ourselves out and learning to ride a bike teaches us that we do not have to be defined by those limits, that, if we persevere, we can learn to move faster and travel farther.
Riding a bike is fun. It allows us to take in the natural beauty of the world around us at our own pace while simultaneously getting us where we need to be and it’s a killer low-impact cardiovascular workout to boot. For these reasons and more, you should visit the fifth annual Heritage Explorer Bike Tour and Festival this Saturday at the Blakely Borough Recreational Complex in Peckville.
Now in its fifth year, the Heritage Explorer Bike Tour and Festival has come a long way in a short time. According to Owen Worozbyt, the director of community engagement for Lackawanna Heritage Valley (LHV) and a committee member of the bike tour, the LHV applied to Leadership Lackawanna in 2010 to develop a bike tour program for Father’s Day weekend.
“The first year, they were expecting about 80 cyclists and ended up with more than 300,” Worozbyt said. “From 2011 to this year, it’s been primarily a volunteer committee — some people did remain from the Leadership Lackawanna group, but now it’s primarily a group of people who are all about cycling and promoting the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail.”
The ride is a non-competitive, family-friendly event that allows riders to enjoy the trail at their own pace. Riders have a choice of four out-and-back routes of 5, 11, 22 and 44 miles, which provide something for cyclists of all ages and skill levels. The routes begin (and end) at the Blakely Borough Recreational Complex and they proceed north on the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail and along quiet neighborhood streets. The 44-mile Union Dale Pusher also uses the Ontario and Western (O&W) Rail-Trail and the Delaware and Hudson (D&H) Rail-Trail into the Endless Mountains, which gives cyclists a taste of the natural beauty of our region. Each route features station stops hosted by community organizations which provide water, snacks and fun activities for participants.
“In Archbald, the Gravity Slope Colliery people will be talking about the history of mining in the Archbald area,” Worozbyt said. “In Jermyn, the Shade Tree Commission will talk about Jermyn and, in Carbondale, the Y.M.C.A. will talk about the history of the city. Each stop has its own unique group that will talk about their location, which is great because a lot of the cyclists are from outside the area, from places like the Lehigh Valley, the Southern Tier of New York, or the Harrisburg area and they aren’t familiar with the Lackawanna Valley. We try to provide a learning experience and, each year, we try to add a little to it. This year, cyclists will ride on six miles of trail that we opened last year that were not part of the tour, which is something we’re excited about.”
The ride is a rain or shine event and all of the trails feature wide pathways, packed gravel surfaces and gentle inclines that are generally under four percent grade. All riders must wear a helmet and mountain bikes and hybrid bikes are strongly encouraged for the ride as road bikes are not suitable for portions of the trail. Registration will start at 7 a.m. and the ride itself will begin at 8 a.m.
EC12BIKE_1_WEBFollowing the ride, the Heritage Explorer Bike Tour Festival will kick off at 10 a.m. at the Blakely Borough Recreational Complex. Curiously enough, the festival was not originally a component of the ride and grew organically from popular demand. “When the event started, it was just a bike ride, but, what we saw was that everybody wanted to hang out afterward and there was nothing going on,” Worozbyt said. “So, in 2011, we introduced the festival, where we featured activities for kids and music and entertainment and, each year, it continues to grow.”
Entertainment will be provided by West Scranton’s own Asialena Bonitz and North Carolina’s Holy Ghost Tent Revival, a guitar and horn ensemble that delivers a fast-paced, horn-driven rock experience. According to Kevin Williams, who contributes bass and vocals to the group, it’s an exciting time to see the band as the record they are about to release is a major step forward. “It’s definitely a more groove-oriented sound: the older music was a little more spastic and all over the place, with constant starting and stopping, while the new stuff finds the groove and stays there.” The band is currently in the midst of a Kickstarter fundraiser to help release their new record, which was recorded in Philadelphia by Bill Moriarty.
The festival features local food vendors and a free lunch for all riders courtesy of Keystone College. It will also feature family-friendly activities throughout the day, including a children’s fun run for children ages 5-10 hosted by the Scranton Running Company, a mini-golf course set-up by Penn State Master Gardeners and additional activities hosted by the Lackawanna County Conservation District and the Boy Scouts of America.

The Heritage Explorer Bike Tour and Festival will take place on Saturday, June 14, at the Blakely Borough Recreational Complex, 100 Keystone Ave., Peckville. Registration begins at 7 a.m. and the ride begins at 8 a.m. The festival begins at 10 a.m. and will run until 3 p.m. For more information on the tour and festival, visit lhva.org/heritage-explorer-bike-tour. For more information on the Lackawanna Heritage Valley, visit lhva.org. For more information on Holy Ghost Tent Revival, visit holyghosttentrevival.com.

by tom salitsky

Schedule

7 a.m. Registration opens. Music from DJ Payday.
8 a.m. Riders depart
10 a.m. Festival begins
11:30 a.m. — 12:45 p.m. Holy Ghost Tent Revival
Noon Kids Fun Run, sponsored by Scranton Running Company
1 — 2:30 p.m. Asialena Bonitz
2:30 p.m. Raffle drawing

Dad Gadgets

Dad Gadgets

Father’s Day is here yet again and it seems like only 365 or so days ago, we were contemplating what to give dear old dad for his annual 24 hours in the spotlight. Look no further than these unique gift ideas which will surely brighten dad’s action-packed day …

EC12DADGADGETS_1_WEBGo HD!
Is dad still lugging around a camcorder or fumbling and bumbling to open the proper app on his smartphone? The $180 Creative Vado HD offers excellent low-light performance, simple exposure controls and a surprisingly good wide-angle lens in a pocket-friendly package that’s easy for him to whip it out and capture life’s special moments.
Available at creative.com/myvado.

EC12DADGADGETS_4_WEBIn the Woods with Earl
If dad is going out into the deep woods to get away from it all, an iPhone or Android isn’t going to do him much good in certain spots. Designed specifically for the way out there places in the world, the Earl Backcountry Survival Tablet’s motion, force and orientation sensors give precise location, direction and elevation. Internal weather sensors provide accurate forecasts and a built-in two-way radio keeps him connected (it even lets him call for help if he is in need of assistance). Earl can also find tunes to keep the dad rocking out to some good music while he’s out in the middle of nowhere.
Available at meetearl.com.

EC12DADGADGETS_2_WEBGrill Assault
The Tactical Chef Apron now comes in a special Tactical DAD Apron edition. Let him keep the spatulas, BBQ forks, tongs, brushes, thermometers, spices, plates and a cold drink close by. Featuring a front and back removable hook-and-loop patches (CHEF and DAD), two large pouches and three smaller pouches — perfect for storing condiments, grilling utensils, salt/pepper and his phone.
Available at thinkgeek.com.

EC12DADGADGETS_7_WEBOn the Record
What if dad loves high tech gadgets, but also appreciates the classic things in life, such as the sweet sound of vinyl? Now he can have the best of both worlds with his new DIY Gramophone Kit. He can use the bamboo stylus to play records or he can use the metal stylus to record his own records. The kit has a variable speed control, allowing it to play SPs, EPs and LPs.
Available at japantrendshop.com/gakken-premium-gramophone-p-796.html?a_aid=e86670aa.

The Call Me Gloves
These touchscreen winter gloves allow the wearer to wirelessly use their cell phone calls by assuming the universal “call me” hand gesture. A speaker inside the left thumb and a microphone inside the left pinkie let wearers simply hold the thumb to the ear and the pinkie to the mouth and yap away. The gloves pair wirelessly with a cell phone via Bluetooth. Buttons on the left cuff are used while wearing the right glove to answer or disconnect a call. The battery lasts for 12 hours of talk time and recharges in 30 minutes with a USB adapter.
Available at hammacher.com.

EC12DADGADGETS_5_WEBPet Yourself prank
You already scored your dad some great gifts — now it’s time to test and tackle his sense of humor. Watch him uncomfortably squirm in his seat while you gift him a unique (fake) machine that pets your pets so you don’t have to — a gift that scratches the family dog in all the right spots and leaves dad scratching his head.
Available at prankpack.com/products/pet-petter.
—tom graham