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We Were There: Foxy Shazam at The Met

If there are two words that describe Foxy Shazam, they’re ridiculously awesome - because the six piece indie/glam/pop/rock band’s show last night at The Met was equal parts both of those things. The band isn’t that well known yet (and the crowd was smaller than it should have been) and the single that’s on the radio right now, “I Like It,” is fun, but not exactly indicative of what they’re about. I was expecting a catchy, tongue-in-cheek rock show: and at its core, Foxy Shazam provided that, but there was so much more. The band’s sound is something like an unholy brew of Spinal Tap and Hedwig and the Angry Inch with hints of Queen and The Darkness. Their look is completely over the top in a really good way: skin-tight pleather, denim jackets with gold lace, rhinestone-studded leather, Freddie Mercury moustaches. But what sealed the deal on this being one of this year’s best concerts to date was their commitment on-stage acrobatics. Lead singer Eric Sean Nally tumblesaulted across stage mid-lyric, smoked five cigarettes at once throughout a song, jumped on guitarist Loren Turner’s shoulders in the middle of a solo. Keyboardist Sky White alternately played with his hands and feet, and used the audience as a stand. Backup vocalist Alex Nauth completely stole the show during the band’s finale with his flying rock squats that he pulled off while playing the trumpet. Nally described the band best in one of his hilarious non-sequiters: “If Foxy Shazam were an animal at the zoo, we’d be the one who would bite your head off WITHOUT A SECOND THOUGHT.”   More

Community

Free Physical Exams for Central Falls High School Student Athletes

If you were to ask any recent high school graduate to list the highlights of those four years, chances are they will mention their participation in their school’s sports teams. Whether they were the crushed-on captain of their football team or the self-proclaimed hater of ball sports who found their niche in the cross-country team, many grads look back on their high school team as an antidote to daily stress, a major confidence booster, and as the main focus for social growth throughout their high school career. (The most concrete evidence of this can be found in students’ college essays, in which the focus on sports teams is so rampant that students are advised to use caution when writing about the “hackneyed subject”.)

If sports hold such a crucial presence in the typical high school experience, one would hope that every student could have the opportunity to take advantage of them. Of course, it is not always the case. It was thus with great excitement that Central Falls High School provided free physical exams for its students in a six hour-long session on July 23. Despite the baking heat of the hallways and locker rooms, the group of Central Falls faculty and physicians from the Memorial Hospital of RI and the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University could hardly contain their enthusiasm: thanks to their efforts and those of the several residents and medical students, over 50 Central Falls students will be able to participate in the high school’s sports teams for the first time this fall.

Family physician and lead organizer of the project Dr. Jordan White of the Memorial Hospital of RI was glad to give physical exams to students who would not have otherwise been able to play school sports: “physicals came up as a priority that we as medical providers could potentially help out with,” she explains. The most common roadblocks aspiring players encountered in getting the necessary exam were financial: some …   More

Malcontent

New Perspectives on Providence

The holidays are always one of my favorite times of year, not so much because I like the holidays (which I do), but because it’s around that time that I’m interviewing the individuals featured in our annual “10 to Watch” story, as featured on page 18. These are always interesting people with fascinating, unexpected stories and fresh, compelling ideas to share, but one of the things I like most is getting to see Providence through their eyes.

I’ve spent my whole life in or around this city, and I have the privilege of making a living highlighting its best parts. So, while I may have a deep and abiding love for it, being that much in the thick of things every day makes it easy to lose perspective. Talking with our 10 to Watch always realigns my perspective.

What’s always shocking (though perhaps it shouldn’t be anymore) about this roster of rising stars is that every year, without fail, it turns out that more than half of them are not native Rhode Islanders. Many of them have traveled extensively or lived in many other places – most have at least lived in another major metropolitan area – yet all of them are in Rhode Island simply because the want to be. That’s a very powerful thing.

We are bombarded on a daily basis with information and opinions telling us what a lousy place Providence is: how our economy is crap, our taxes are too high, our schools are lousy, there are no jobs, it’s unsafe, it’s dirty, it’s corrupt, it’s too small, it’ll never be New York or Boston, there are no opportunities. We’ll shout ourselves hoarse trying to make it known how bad off we are. Yet these people are not getting the message. Despite all the warnings and bad press, smart, cosmopolitan, forward thinking, engaged individuals still find Providence a desirable enough place to be that they will not only come here, they will do the work necessary to build a life here – and then make it a more attractive place for others to do the same.

This …   More

Rhode Trips

Learn About Where the Food on Martha's Vineyard Comes From

Most of us know Martha’s Vineyard to be a beautiful island with gorgeous beaches and celebrity guests, but not many know what goes on behind the scenes. The island actually hosts over 42 working farms, 16 oyster cultivators and local artisanal cheese, charcuterie, honey, chocolate, coffee, beer and elixirs of all kinds.

If you’re interested in exploring this unfamiliar side of Martha’s Vineyard, check out the group Farm.Field.Sea, makers of experience that connect sea and soil directly to diners. The group is collaborating with the island’s farmers, food producers and fisherman to inspire people to think differently about the food they eat every day. Take a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard to be a part of Farm.Field.Sea’s Pop-Up conversation and dinner series GATHER, and discuss the island’s unique culinary culture at Martha’s Vineyard Shipyard and Featherstone Center for the Arts. Each dinner has a different theme and provides an intimate space where guests experience an authentic Island feast while learning more about the food on their plate, while benefiting island non-profits.

Be sure to check out the next event on Food and Waste with Doug Rauch, former president of Trader Joe's who helped found Daily Table, on July 27, and the event on Food and Art with Jennifer Rubell, an internationally-renowned artist who creates art using food and drink as the medium, on August 10.   More

Providence Cocktail Week

Announcing the Competitors for the Providence Cocktail Week Cocktail Competition

It's official! We have our line-up of fierce competitors for the Providence Cocktail Week Cocktail Competition Presented by Pernod Ricard and Bottles Fine Wine. On Wednesday, September 25, 12 contestants will square off at Fete for cocktail supremacy. And the best part is, for a mere $10, you get to sample all their drinks – and vote on your favorite. There will also be Pernod Ricard drink specials, live music from the Funky Autocrats, food from the Julians food truck, and your MCs for the evening, our own John Taraborelli and the Rhode Show's Michaela Johnson. Don't miss out. Click here to buy tickets.

Bartender, Bar, Cocktail:

-Meagan Maloney, Bluewater Bar & Grill, "Into the Misty"

-Jennifer Leisenring, Tazza, "Sunrise Sangria"

-Vito Lantz, The Dorrance, "The Down City Sour"

-Justin Erickson, Vanity, "The Bell Toll"

-Silas Axtell, Farmstead, "Nervous Fugitive"

-Lara Pietropaolo, Local 121, "Black Friday"

-Joseph Haggard, The Grange, "Cervantes"

-Jason Lawrence, Providence Fermentery, "Pink Betty"

-Jason Kindness, Malt on Broadway, "September Shrub"

-Juan Isaza, Bravo Brasserie, "Christmas In a Glass"

-Mateo Mancia, representing his own damn self, "The Graveyard Shift"

-Perri Peet, Fete, "Limbic Kalopsia"   More

Fitness

Athletic Underwear Made Locally

Optimal fitness performance requires optimal fitness gear, and undergarments aren't excluded. How often do you wish you had underwear that can stand up to your race-day expectations?

Local fitness apparel company Believe I Am has developed the “I Am Strong” Running Bikini. Visually appealing, leak resistant and made from moisture-wicking fabric by Providence-founded Dear Kate, the form-fitting pink and black bikini set will remind you of your inner strength as you pass that mile marker.

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Profile

Lady Project Profile: Michelle Kwan

Michelle Kwan is an award winning athlete whose educational initiatives encourage and support America's young girls.

In 2006, the two time Olympic medal winner was named the first U.S. public diplomacy envoy by Condoleeza Rice. In 2010, President Obama appointed Michelle to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.

Michelle is currently a senior adviser for public diplomacy and public affairs, serves on the State Department’s Council to Empower Women and Girls through Sports, and is on the Board of Directors of Special Olympics International. She is also a locally based leader living in Providence with her husband, Clay Pell.

Catch Michelle at the Southside Cultural Center April 12 as one of the Lady Project Summit's Keynote speakers. Buy tickets here.   More

Malcontent

If You Can Make it Here...

No less an authority than Frank Sinatra once said of New York City, “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.” (And he was the Chairman of the Board, so he ought to know.) In a sense, he was right: New York City is a big, tough place, and if you can rise to the top in what is essentially the center of the universe, you’ve got to be formidable. However, observing it from another perspective, I believe the Big Apple might be the easiest place to make it.

I’ve always said that our job here at Providence Monthly is, in a way, more diffcult than that of the editorial team at Time Out New York. (Probably our closest analogue in the New York media.) Why? Because we have to fill our magazine every month while drawing upon roughly 1/47th of NYC’s population. For us, population is everything. More people living and working in the city means more stories for us to tell. For our advertisers, it’s more people who might eat at their restaurants or shop at their stores. For you, the reader, it means more people making cool stuff happen all around you. A big population makes certain things easier in a city. (For a good read on the benefits of population density, check out Brian Hull’s “Rebuilding Rhode Island’s Economy, Part 3: Densifying Downtown”)

I once walked by a small bakery in Manhattan that wasn’t much bigger than a large walk-in closet, and sold nothing but tiny cupcakes. With the price of real estate in Manhattan, even a place that small has to be selling quite a lot of tiny cupcakes to survive. In Providence, it would have been out of business in three weeks. Why the difference? Because New York City, bursting to the seams with millions of people, open all hours of the night, full of disposable income and aspirations, has an amazingly voracious appetite for the new, the novel and the oddly specific. With over 8,336,000 people within its five boroughs, the city can sustain almost any niche, cult or subculture. Want to start a radical …   More

Shopping

Shop for a Cause

Fabulocity, an upscale consignment and gift shop, is hosting a shopping event on November 8. That night, 10% of Fabulocity's sales will benefit the American Cancer Society. What better way to feel good about giving yourself a little treat? 6-8pm. 9 Cedar Swamp Road, Smith-field. 231-5900.

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Comedy Show

Comics and Comics Collide on Sunday

Providence might not share the same stand up comedy pedigree with cities like New York, Boston or Chicago, but that lack of brand recognition shouldn’t be confused with a lack of life.

“It’s not as busy as other scenes, but it’s supportive,” says Dan Martin, a local comic and one of the hosts of The Comic’s Corner on 990WBOB.com who’s been working the stand up scene for four years. Adding to that support is Two Comic Minimum, a new show Martin co-hosts with his Comic’s Corner partners Bruce Botelho Jr. and Kenny Nardozza every month at Multiverse Comics on Broadway.

Two Comic Minimum came together after Multiverse’s owner, Brandon Amorin, asked Martin to put on a comedy show for the store’s grand opening. Since then the show has drawn consistent crowds and comics enjoy having the room. It’s small, equally intimate and awkward, and allows for a seemingly infinite number of puns based around the word “comic.” But despite being held in a comic book store, the show doesn’t cater exclusively to the fanboy crowd. In fact the line up tends to be pretty eclectic.

Last month’s show, for instance, saw local comic R.A. Bartlett give a demented critique on of the shop’s collection of vintage Growing Pains and Bo Derek trading cards but not before Gypsy Howling Wolf scathingly dissected race relations and gender roles. “It’s just a straightforward comedy show. There’s no theme or gimmick, we’re just doing comedy at a place,” Martin says.

Two Comic Minimum happens the last Sunday of every month and admission is free with the purchase of two comic books. This month’s show, March 30 at 7pm, will be hosted by Kenny Nardozza, and feature comedians Wes Hazard, Tony Capobianco, Srilatha Rajamani, Guitler Raphael and special guest Matt Kona. 265 Broadway, 223-2112.

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