'Sulimay's' Goes 3D

Everyone’s favorite old timers take it to the stage; Britney Spears non-review review.

By Brian McManus
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Sep. 1, 2009

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It is Written: Germantown rap outfit Writtenhouse wowed at Concerts in the Park.

Photo by michael alan goldberg

It would be both naive and foolish of me to take any credit whatsoever for the success of everyone’s favorite geriatric review crew over at Breakfast at Sulimay’s, the web series that’s become a global phenom.

I wrote about 75-year-old Bill Able, the irascible 66-year-young Ann Bailey, and the wise 84-year-old Joe Walker in early June, and the trio has had a pretty remarkable summer since. They’ve been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, had a handsome two-page write-up in the Inquirer, and have appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman. (One of the previous items is a lie.)


If you’ve managed to stay unaware of what Breakfast at Sulimay’s is bringing, here’s the deal: Bill, Ann and Joe sit in the back of Fishtown diner Sulimay’s while series creator/bonafide genius Marc Brodzik pumps the latest, hottest, most contemporariest music into their ears from something called a computer. The three then give their (brutally) honest opinion about it, and hilarity generally ensues. Ann’s the most blunt. Joe’s the most thoughtful. And Bill just wants it all to end.


A typical review goes like this:


Ann: “This is givin’ me a friggin’ headache. This ain’t music. They call this music?”


Bill (through a huge grin): “I don’t care for it.”


Joe: “Well, if you listen carefully, the focus here—as in much modern music—is on the drummer. Rhythm is the first priority of contemporary music, and that’s certainly the case here, where the drummer seems to be leading the charge on this particular song … we call them cuts, but I know people don’t call them that any more. The problem with this rhythm-first mentality is that it’s to the detriment of the lyrics, and is the exact opposite of a song like, for instance, “Down By the Old Fishin’ Hole” by Gerard Beasley, a singer who came to his peak shortly after the world’s second war.” [Begins to sing “Down By the Old Fishin’ Hole.”]


Sounds like a hoot, doesn’t it? Damn right it does. And if you’ve thought the only thing missing from the Breakfast at Sulimay’s experience is a couple dimensions, you’re in luck. Next Thursday, Sept. 10, the gang are extracting themselves from the back booth and doing their thing live in conjunction with the Philadelphia Corporation for the Aging at the United Way of Southeastern Pa., at 7 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. It starts at noon, and Brodzik will be on hand as well, fielding questions from the gathering masses. You’ll need to register by Sept. 8 to attend by emailing PCA Planner Kate Clark at kclark@pcaphl.org. You’ll also have to bring your own pancakes. Go to pcacares.org for more details.


Last Sunday that vessel of grace, talent and healthy parenting, Britney Spears, graced Philadelphia with her presence, bringing her “Milking This Shit For All It’s Worth” tour to the comfy confines of the Wachovia Center. Naturally, I looked into scoring review tickets. Free review tickets. I was told through Britney’s peoples that it was a “no comp” show, and I’d be needing to purchase tickets should I want to attend and review. Translation: “Britney has enough stress in her life without you writer assholes crapping all over her lifeless, lip-syncing, by-the-numbers shit show. Pay the motherfucking piper!”


Being neither a teenage girl nor the father of one, I chose to stay home. (Although, curiously, the Inquirer did ante up. They do know they’re bankrupt, right?)


And anyway, who needs to actually attend a Britney Spears show to know what happened at a Britney Spears show? Here now, strictly based on her past, are my predictions of what went down at the show I didn’t attend.

1) Britney was scantily clad.


B) Scores of teenage girls screamed.


III) Britney lip-synced. 


4b) Scores of teenage girls screamed some more.


E) Countless Aramark beer servers got sent home early.


X) “Toxic.”


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