Forty Dollar Fridays at Yards

I am REALLY psyched about this one. I think we’ve got an opportunity to really have some awesome Friday Happy Hours together. And the best part is, it’s all $40 per person…full stop. That covers quizzo, 2 hour open beer bar, an entree, a generous gratuity for your server AND a $4 donation to one of the best charities in Philadelphia, Beyond the Bars. I honestly don’t think you’ll find a deal this great anywhere.

And I’m psyched to work with Yards Brewery. I’m a big fan of Tom Kehoe. Legit good dude who literally built this business out of a garage. (You should listen to our interview with him from last year if you haven’t heard it yet). Three shows in October: the 2nd, 16th, and 30th. All outdoors under a tent, with social distancing, and max team size is 6. Hope to see ya there!

TO RESERVE A TABLE: Make your team’s payment ($40 each) to @jgtquizzo on venmo and put “Yards” in your note. It’s also possible to get a table night of if there are any available but this way you reserve one.

The Friday Five

What I’m Watching: As I told my teams this week, I went deep down a Milli Vanilli wormhole recently, and the highlight of it was this interview that Fab Morvan did a couple of years ago with VladTV. I distinctly remember this as a kid, I mean this story was HUGE. I feel like it was the biggest story between the Challenger exploding and OJ going on the run, that’s how big it was. And Fab and Rob got completely dumped on, and were totally unfairly scapegoated, and the people behind the scenes got away scot free. Rob sadly never recovered. He spiraled into a full blown drug addict and died in 1998. Fab seems like a really chill dude. I’m damn impressed with how he overcame becoming a joke and emerged with his dignity intact. You can follow Fab on Instagram here.

What I’m Listening to: I started listening to some German pop this past week (why not?) and really ended up digging this German rapper/singer named Julian Philipp David, better known as JPD. Reminds me of a German Mac Miller. Check out his song Elena and his song Kapital. I have NO CLUE what he’s saying but that’s the magic of music: good tunes are good tunes. Period. And these sound great.

What Else I’m Listening To: We travel from Germany to Camden, and had the honor of chatting with local trumpeter Arnetta Johnson. She talked to us about going from Camden to Berklee, about performing at halftime of the Super Bowl with Beyonce (!), and how the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement have influenced her playing. As for her music, she calls what she does “disruptive jazz”. You can hear some of it here. And if you’re reading this on Friday, you can see and her tonight at the Philly Music Festival.

Awesome Place I Apparently Helped “Burglarize” This Week: As you guys know, we’ve raised a lot of money for the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign since March. Cheri Honkala is an absolute boss, and she keeps hundreds of people from starving, and keeps a roof over the heads of so many of the city’s families. She’s also a royal pain in City Hall’s ass. This is from a 1997 article in City Limits:

After the city spent millions to build a new convention center next door to a soup kitchen, Cheri led a group of homeless welfare recipients who bedded down for the night on the center’s polished marble floors, Later, she and a gang of homeless people camped out a city housing official’s front lawn. That same year, Cheri issued an arrest warrant for the governor, saying he had committed crimes against the poor. And just recently Cheri had been seen chasing the mayor down a City Hall corridor, engaging him in a rousing shouting match as press photographers snapped away.

Needless to say, the Powers That Be hate her. They proved that once again last Sunday. A small gathering at St Edward’s Church, owned by a shell corp that owes over $89k in back taxes, resulted in Cheri being arrested and charged with two felonies, including “Burglary” which is of course laughable. It’s an abandoned church. What was she going to steal? Pews? You can read about this nonsense here. Great piece by Max Marin. Speaking of which, Billy Penn does a great daily newsletter that I highly suggest everyone read (unlike the pitiful joke that the Inky newsletter is).

Where I’m Shopping: Went for a run one day and stumbled across this amazing thrift/art store in Brewerytown, Search and Rescue Dry Goods. There are few things I like better than thrift stores that follow no rhyme or reason, just an owner who has an eye for…cool shit. And this is one of them. Highly recommend checking it out. 3101 West Glenwood.

Week Two Standings, Scores and Storylines

Here they are, folks. A few interesting notes:

Defending champs Smells Like Quarantine Spirit seems to be picking up where they left off last season, with the third highest average in the game.

Our two leading scoring teams through two weeks are the Underground Bard and the Jawns. We may have seen the game of the year in Week 2, as UB edged the Cool Cats and Kittens, 50-49. Sucks when you score the 2nd most points out of 50 teams…and lose.

By far the biggest shock thus far this season is that after two weeks, the Tuesday Night Quarantine Club is leading their division! If they won their division, I think this would have to eclipse the Miracle on Ice as the greatest upset in sports history. They shocked the Synchronized Trampoline this past week.

The Gattaca Division is definitely our division of doom. Sofa Kingdom, the Jawns, the Covidiots, and Careless Fister are all capable of taking the division, and the Little Kwings certainly have the talent to play spoiler.

Nice to see an old rivalry in action this past week. Sofa Kingdom and Narcotyzing Dysfunction used to square off weekly at the Bards 15 years ago. They met again this past week. The Kingdom cruised to a 43-33 victory.

Boyz II Menehune and Kings of Leon were both in desperate need of a win in a tough Enterprise Division matchup this past week. And the winner was…we don’t know yet. They tied, then both were within one of the tie breaker. We’ll do a 2nd tiebreaker this week.

If anyone feels like venturing out this weekend, I will be hosting quizzo again at Frankford Hall. This is a totally different quiz than the one we do during the week. It’s all outdoors, each team gets their own table, up to 6 players per team. 7 pm Sunday.

Still need team logos for Dobby’s Sock, Cark in a Whig, Drunk Parents, REO Quizzwagon, OK Molly Bloomers, Cerebral Assassins, Alternative Fax Machines, Hydroxychlroquine Latifah, and the Covidiots. I recommend canva. Send them to johnny at johnnygoodtimes dot com. See ya this week!

The Friday Five

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO: We interviewed Greg Seltzer for the Philly Blunt this week. Great interview, super interesting dude. In addition to being a lawyer at Ballard Spahr, he and his wife run the Philly Music Fest. Needless to say, this year it will be virtual.

Greg’s an audiophile, so he refused to do the event if it wasn’t going to sound first class. The guys over at Ardmore Music Hall agreed. And the lineup is great. I had heard of a few (Mt. Joy, Clap Your Hands, The Districts) but I had never heard Langhorne Slim. Man, was I missing out. Hailing from Bucks County, this dude is FANTASTIC. Been listening to songs like this nonstop for the last 24 hours. Just bought one of his albums off of Bandcamp (which as I told you guys before does much better by the artists than streaming platforms). Looking forward to checking out more of his music, and really excited to tune into the Music Fest next week. Now more than ever, folks, support local artists!

WHAT I’M WATCHING: Watched two documentaries this week on Netflix, and I definitely recommend both. One is Capital in the 21st Century, based on a book by Thomas Piketty. It basically argues that if we don’t revamp our version of capitalism to one that aids more people than just the top 1%, we’re headed for a period of non-stop strife and revolution. Heavy stuff. It also dovetailed nicely with the other doc I watched, the Social Dilemma. Holy shit, it’s amazing how terrible Facebook, Google, and Twitter are for our society. I kind of knew that in an abstract sense but this really points out exactly why. It’s another example of simply not being able to afford to continue on our current course.

WHAT WE LEARNED THIS WEEK AT QUIZZO: That a member of one of our quizzo teams has a Hanson tattoo. We will not be divulging any more information about the team or player, but we do ask that you keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

WHAT I’M READING THIS WEEK: Jimi Hendrix died 50 years ago today, and this Daily mail article from last month is worth a read. Somewhat sensationalistic, but it really sounds like Jimi’s friends were more worried about being caught with drugs than they were about him dying. But on this anniversary of his death, let’s celebrate his life too. Here’s a funky jam on the Dick Cavett Show. One of our foremost geniuses of the 20th century. Just sucks that we lost him so young.

WHERE I’M EATING THIS WEEK: Chip Chantry turned me on to this Indonesian restaurant, Jembatan 5, near the Italian Market. Two things you GOTTA get: the coconut shrimp and the stir fried flat noodle. Absolutely fantastic. Highly recommend. And the prices are extremely reasonable. Owned by a family that moved here from Jakarta over 20 years ago. Now more than ever, folks: support local restaurants.

Where should I eat, drink, read and listen to in the coming week? Let me know on twitter.

Quizzo Under the Stars On Sunday

We’ve started doing quizzes each week at Frankford Hall (outdoors, socially distant, quiz is on your phone, teams of up to 6) and it’s been awesome. It’s a beautiful venue, they’ve got great beers on tap, and it’s been really nice to get back in the swing of things. Action starts on Sunday at 7 pm. It’s part of their Oktoberfest Celebration, so I’d expect to get a few questions about Germany, and beer. See ya there!

Greenfest Quizzo on the 27th! (UPDATE!)

Philadelphia’s oldest environmental non-profit, the Clean Air Council, puts on the Philly Greenfest every year. This year it’s gone virtual, and that’s where quizzo comes in. Gonna be hosting a “Green” quiz on Sunday, September 27th at 7 PM (we moved it back a couple of days). It’s free to play, and 50% of the tips go to the Clean Air Council. If you want to join in the fun and help raise money for a terrific organization, just sign up here. On the morning of the 27th, I’ll send a Zoom invite to you which you can then share with your teammates and you’ll meet with Carl on Zoom at 7 pm.

Hope to see ya Sunday!

Week 1 Scores and Standings

Here they are folks, our standings after Week One. And boy was Week 1 a wild one. Boyz II Menehune went down. Sofa Kingdom went down. Expired Walmart Meat went down. And we had some thrillers: Texas City Players Club knocked off Yacht Rock. Quiz Yo! edged Sweet Hats, 33-32. Dobby’s Sock held off Drunk Parents 31-30. (To check our final scores, click on the Weekly Matchups tab at the bottom of the page.)

We move into Week 2 with a new topic: Teen Idols. Gonna be a fun one. Good luck this week!

The Friday Five

Where I’m eating: Goldie. I lost a little piece of my heart when Mama’s Vegetarian closed. Their falafel was fantastic, and the place had that kind of authentic vibe that some places can just create without an interior designer or “theme”. So I put it out on twitter yesterday: where should I get falafel this week? Ryan Godfrey on twitter said Goldie. Great call, the falafel was delicious. And now everyone is telling me I gotta go back for the tehina shake.

What I’m Listening to: American Scandal, a podcast about John D. Rockefeller and the remarkable woman who helped destroy his empire, Ida Tarbell. Also remarkable (and kind of depressing) that I remembered learning plenty about Rockefeller growing up, but never learning anything about the trailblazing woman who had the guts to face off with the most powerful man in America.

What I’m Watching: Tread. It’s a documentary on Netflix about a welder in Colorado who absolutely lost his shit, built an insane tank/bulldozer, and started destroying his entire town. It’s starts pretty slow, but boy does it pick up down the stretch.

What I’m Reading: Every year on 9/11, I read the same thing: this story by Michael Wright of being on the 81st floor of the World Trade Center, and his miraculous escape. I read it every year, and it never stops being one of the most amazing things I’ve ever read. Heartbreaking, horrifying, and inspiring all at once.

What Town I’m Digging: Took a quick trip up to Clinton, NJ last weekend (about 90 minutes north of Philly). Cute little downtown, and wandered around the famous Red Mill there. Came around a corner, and boom! There was a band playing one of my favorite songs, Dublin Blues by Guy Clark, with a spectacular backdrop. Having not really heard live music since March, it hit me like a cool summer breeze. Sat (socially distanced of course), drank some wine, and listened to some damn good music provided by AJ Croix and the Devil’s Right Hand Band.

Where should I eat and drink this coming week? What should I read/watch/listen to? Let me know on twitter.

Divisions and Schedule

Here ya go, folks. You’re split into two conferences (Nerd and Geeks) and each conference consists of 5 teams. The top team in each division will earn an invite to the playoffs…the top 4 teams will get a first round bye. After our 5 division winners, the next 6 teams (wild cards) will be determined by average points (your top 9 scores). Our final wild card team will be determined by scoring the most points among all non-playoff teams in Week 10. So everyone has got something to play for every week. Gonna be a fun season. You can click on “Weekly matchups” at the bottom of the above link to see who you’re up against each week as well. We’ll be unveiling all of the week’s scores each Saturday.

The Friday Five

Place I’m Loving: We’ve been spending a lot of time at Fairmount Park this summer, and it’s been WONDERFUL. Diverse crowds, everyone in a good mood, plenty of room to socially distance and let our kid run and play, that weird wonderful Philly vibe (ie random horse rides next to pickup basketball games), and so many spots have great views of the city.

What I’m Reading: One of my favorite things in the world is the rivalry between Puma and Adidas. Long story short: two brothers in a German town ran a shoe company together, they fell out during WWII, and each started his own company, with a factory on opposite sides of a river in the same town. This from a great 2009 Guardian article on the story:

The enmity has divided the town ever since, determining which pubs its 23,000 citizens drank in, the butchers they frequented, who cut their gravestone and which football team they supported.

“There was a time when you’d have risked the wrath of colleagues and family if, as an employee of one company, you married the employee of the other,” says Klaus-Peter Gäbelein of the local Heritage Association. “Even religion and politics were part of the heady mix. Puma was seen as Catholic and politically conservative, Adidas as Protestant and Social Democratic.

What I’m Listening To: Summer may be ending, but this song called Water Ice by Reef and Ethel Cee is hawwwwt. Love the piano loop. Also, if you want to support local artists by buying their music, do so on Bandcamp. They take really good care of indie artists, unlike pretty much all of the streaming platforms.

What I’m Drinking: Finally broke down and tried my first Frose on Thursday night. Went to Lou Bird’s for it. Really good. Another thing I’ve really grown to enjoy this summer: sitting under an umbrella, having a drink while it rains. Just really relaxing. Highly recommend.

Random Thing I Just Learned About: Chip turned me onto this last weekend…Bobby Darin (above) rapping about getting roughed up by cops in South Philly. Yeah it sounds insane but, but, well, that’s why I like it. The song is Me and Mr. Hohner, and it’s off the extremely funky album Songs from the Big Sur, which is a collection of songs from his two “hippie” albums, as they’re known. I did a little digging, and there’s a fascinating backstory:

“(Robert) Kennedy’s assassination left Darin deeply shaken, and combined with the emotional fallout from his divorce and the discovery that the woman he thought all his life was his sister was actually his mother — not to mention his looming anxiety over the permanent cardiac damage that had resulted from a childhood bout with rheumatic fever — it sent him into a deep existential crisis. He dealt with it by going into seclusion, moving into a 14-foot trailer in Big Sur and cutting off most lines of communication with the outside world. When he returned to Vegas, performing under the name “Bob Darin,” he’d traded in his tux and toupee for all-denim outfits and a mustache, playing a new batch of material that he was writing in Big Sur.”

The result was some great music (I encourage you to listen to the whole album) that went over poorly because crowds wanted to hear him play Splish Splash. Darin claimed to be happy and at peace, but he still needed to find work. So he called his friend Dick Clark and asked for advice. Clark told him he was going through an identity crisis. “Go back and put on the tuxedo and go to work,” Clark told him. “Do what the people expect of you.  They don’t want to see a balding hippie sitting on a stage in Las Vegas.” And so Darin put the tux back on, started doing the classic material, and would remain in demand until his ongoing heart problems slowed him down and, sadly, killed him at age 37 in 1973.