Some of us were fortunate enough to see Todd Glass perform about 10 minutes of standup while opening for Louis C.K. at the Merriam Theater back in January. Those who weren’t can get a taste of what they missed, and then some, when the cool, caustic Glass hits Helium Comedy Club through Sat., March 2. He’ll be supported by former Philadelphian/current Bostonian funnyman Blake Wexler and the hilarious, still-local Chip Chantry.
Born and raised around Philly, Glass has an obsessive way about his comedy, talking about the nuances of American culture and his own life that’s more detailed than even some of the most neurotic comedy-circuit dwellers. Opening for C.K., Glass’ target was infomercials—like one for Riddex Plus, a plug-in pest control, in which the voiceover, he noted, asks if you, the viewer and potential customer, are tired of hiring exterminators, aka “strangers coming in your home, spraying poison around your children, food and pets.” He said he’d feel pretty shitty if he were an exterminator watching the commercial.
The renowned comic began doing standup while attending Conestoga High School in Chester County. Having been a contestant on NBC’s Last Comic Standing multiple times, he’s managed to create a name for himself doing the late-night circuit, comedian-centric cable shows like The Sarah Silverman Program, Tosh.0 and Louie, and regularly appearing on podcasts—both his own popular The Todd Glass Show on Chris Hardwick’s Nerdist Network and his peers’ programs, too.
Among the revelations Glass has made over the past decade: He’s both dyslexic and gay. He came out three years ago on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, saying he couldn’t stay silent in public anymore due to a recent trend in suicides amongst LGBT youth. That same year, he also suffered a heart attack. On stage. But he’s fine now—and funnier than ever. / Randy LoBasso
Wed., Feb. 27-Sat., March 2, Various times. $14-$33. Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St. 215.496.9001. heliumcomedyclub.com
Danish indie gloom-rock group Efterklang expands into a six-person orchestral mumblefest in support of their latest. Recently, they’ve also been dabbling in filmmaking, collaborating with Andreas Koefoed on The Ghost of Piramida and with Vincent Moon on An Island. 9:15pm. $12-$14. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. johnnybrendas.com
Year of Proof Lecture:
Recovering the Priceless
Discover how to successfully steal incredibly valuable pieces of art according to Robert K. Wittman, former head of the FBI’s National Art Crime Team. He’ll talk about all the various ways he caught people not as smart as you. 6pm. Free. Penn Museum, 3260 South St. 215.898.2680. penn.museum
Mic Q & Vision Present:
The Collective Hip-Hop Showcase
Check out the Illadelph’s finest undiscovered talent at the Collective, a night devoted to showcasing more than 10 up-and-coming hip-hop artists. 9:30pm. $12. The Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.6888. thetroc.com
Artists Use Maps
Curated by Yulia Tikhonova, this exhibit, featuring paintings, works on paper and sculpture, brings together artists who create unique works of art using the typically cut-and-dry concept of mapping. Through March 31. 6pm. Free. AIGA Philadelphia SPACE, 72 N. Second St. 646.229.3353. aigaphilly.org
A legend of hip-hop touches down in Philly, this time at the Blockley in University City. It wasn’t long ago that a reunited Wu-Tang Clan hit the stage at the Trocadero, but Raekwon the Chef’s obviously a thoroughly accomplished artist in his own right. His 1995 solo debut, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, is now considered iconic.
Raekwon is Corey Woods, a 43-year-old N.Y.C.-born emcee whose tightness with Tony Starks, aka Ghostface Killah, has yielded some of the most brilliant hip-hop of all time. It’s hard to believe, but Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), Wu-Tang’s debut, is almost 20 years old. Their stunning statement from Staten Island basically laid the blueprint for hardcore and mafioso hip-hop for the next two decades. And then two years later, Raekwon’s Cuban Linx cemented fans’ of Wu-Tang’s hopes in main members like the Chef himself, Ghostface, RZA, GZA and Method Man as the future of hip-hop. Check out what the Miami New Times said about Raekwon’s ghetto epics: “Straightforward yet linguistically rich universes not unlike a gangsta Iliad.” Fans begged for a follow-up, and they got it in 2009 with an acclaimed sequel, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. II, which was executive produced by Busta Rhymes, plus boasted spots helmed by Dre and RZA. It topped a bunch of Album of the Year lists. It was a serious accomplishment, a return to the game and a revisiting of the moment that Rae’s ‘95 debut captured, one that galvanized his reputation as one of the most heralded men in his field. Immobilarity (1999) and The Lex Diamond Story (2003) aren’t to be forgotten, but the story of Raekwon as a solo artist is perfectly told via his two Cuban Linx classics.
Rae’s known as the Chef for cookin’ up tasty treats to get your mouth watering, and there’ll definitely be some hefty appetites brought to the Blockley Thursday night. Should be a heady mix of herbal ingredients, and the drink will flow. With four openers and a show that starts at 9 p.m. sharp, we recommend you plan your night accordingly. / Bill Chenevert
Thurs., Feb. 28, 9pm. $20-$22. With Rowboat Casino, Don McCloskey, Storyville + Voss. The Blockley, 38th and Chestnut sts. 215.222.1234. theblockley.com
Featuring a wide selection of sounds that evoke the warped, side-scrolling adventure videogames of the ‘90s, Joel Hamilton’s one-man show will have you partying like it’s 1999. 8pm. $10. North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar St. 215.787.0488. northstarbar.com
Local rockers host a kick-off party before hitting the road on their Party and Pizza Tour and taking a stop by SXSW. 8pm. $5-$8. With Double King and TJ Kong. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St. 215.2914919. kungfunecktie.com
Wrongful execution makes for a powerful story. Maxwell Anderson’s verse drama is based on the still-controversial—and still-open—Sacco-Vanzetti treason case from the 1920s. 8pm. $10-$20. Caplan Studio Theater at the University of the Arts, 320 S. Broad St. uarts.edu
Montana came up under the wing of cult favorite (and currently incarcerated) Max B, but lately he’s been taking over the same airwaves his mentor was blacklisted from. 9pm. $25. With C***X Drugz. Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South St. tlaphilly.com
The James Hunter Six
Full-throated blues will take advantage of World Cafe Live’s acoustics when James Hunter hits Philly, airing out songs from the band’s new album, Minute By Minute. 8pm. $20-$33. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. worldcafelive.com
The Politics of Black Women’s Hair
“Little girl with the press and curl/Age eight I got a Jheri curl/Thirteen I got a relaxer/I was a source of so much laughter/At fifteen when it all broke off/Eighteen and went all natural.” Indeed, the first verse of India.Arie’s Grammy Award-nominated 2006 single, “I Am Not My Hair,” simultaneously offered a telling glimpse at and searing critique of the seemingly-universal rite of passage black girls in America eventually undergo regarding the styling, care and maintenance of their hair. Nevermind how that decision—or those decisions, really, ‘cause it’s a continuum of choices over the long haul—impacts said girl or the complex world in which she’s trying to leave a mark. Nevermind the history—or “hair-story”—behind what makes sisters’ tresses the subject of so much scrutiny and discussion. Nevermind? Not today—and certainly not while progressive women like MSNBC host and longtime scholar Melissa Harris-Perry and her peers explore the topic so brilliantly, both on her eponymous weekend morning show and at events like this day-long symposium, sponsored by University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Africana Studies. Harris-Perry, who moderates a session of fellow black female academics to kick off the day, joins frequent MHP guest and Penn associate professor Dr. Anthea Butler, graduate students and a throng of experts and specialists in probing the societal expectation, personal expression, financial implications and politics of black women’s hair, whether pressed or permed, locked or twisted, braided or weaved. Whether you are your hair or not, ultimately, this day’s all about what’s in your head, black girl—not atop it. / Kenya Beverly
9am. Free. University of Pennsylvania, Claudia Cohen Hall, 249 S. 36th St. africana.sas.upenn.edu
Jamaica’s quintessential ska band has influenced acts such as the Police, the Clash, the Specials and No Doubt. Many of the original members have passed on since forming in 1964, but original alto saxophonist Lester Sterling keeps the torch lit with a fresh lineup of great musicians. 9pm. $15-$17. With Tsunami Rising and the Snails. The Blockley, 3801 Chestnut St. theblockley.com
French band that makes self-proclaimed “sleepwalking tunes.” They currently have two EPs out and are working on their first full length. 9pm. $8-$10. With Cruiser, and the Downtown Club. The North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar St. 215.787.0488. northstarbar.com
The Complete Works of
Fast-paced laughs are the order of the night as three men attempt to perform all of Shakespeare’s 37 plays in less than 97 minutes. 8pm. $25-$30. Through March 23. Eagle Theatre, 208 Vine St. Hammonton, N.J. theeagletheatre.com
Black Horse Motel
Philadelphia-based Black Horse Motel use cellos, banjos, guitars, violas, violins, mandolins and percussion to craft richly layered Americana. This album release party celebrates their first full-length, Red Summer Spirit, dropping tonight. 7:30pm. $8-10. With Hezekiah Jones and the Bailey Hounds. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St. kungfunecktie.com
On Golden Pond
The well-known film starring Henry Fonda and Kathryn Hepburn, is brought to life and adapted for the stage. The play focuses on family issues such as problems at the twilight of a long marriage and turbulent father/daughter relationships. 8pm. $28. Through March 24. Broadway Theatre of Pitman, 43 S. Broadway, Pitman, N.J, 856.384.8381. thebroadwaytheatre.org
Juston Stens &
The Get Real Gang
Juston Stens, the former drummer of Dr. Dog, has been fronting the Get Real Gang for a while now. Their soon-to-be-released album, Share the Road, was recorded during a cross-country motorcycle trip and filmed for a documentary. 9:15pm. $10. With D. Ryan Belski, Lux Perpetua and Visuals by Eye Gate II. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. johnnybrendas.com
Brandy made a name for herself in the ‘90s as an R&B powerhouse with hits like “The Boy is Mine,” the longest running No. 1 female duet of all time. She released her latest, Two Eleven, late last year, which features a new hit single with Chris Brown. 9pm. $35. With Gogo Morrow. Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South St. 215.922.1011. tlaphilly.com
One of Philadelphia’s indie juggernauts, keeping Dr. Dog and Kurt Vile company over on Pitchfork, plays a hometown show this week that’s sure to be a sickening moment in time for Union Transfer. See, something that people tend to say about the band, other than that they’re “wacky,” is that their records don’t really do their performances justice. They’re vicious live. And with their most recent, 2011’s Life Fantastic, they brought in Saddle Creek’s Mike Mogus, and he does a great job of cramming the tons of emotion that Honus Honus (Ryan Kattner) has clearly got bottled up inside him into calm, slightly disturbing, dark piano rock. Sure, there’s a few of those elements in the mix that Man Man audiences have come to know and love: marimbas, saxophones, xylophones, flutes, moogs, pots and pans. None of it is unwelcome on a Man Man stage.
They’re now a proud member of a strong Anti- label’s roster, but four records and eight years ago, they were friends in a band in Philly. With tour opening duties fulfilled for Modest Mouse and Yeasayer, they’ve grown and spread—even done Coachella and Primavera Sound. Their weirdo circus noise rock sound’s also been getting more sophisticated and serious over time. Life Fantastic’s got some stunning lyrics and turns of phrases, but also captures the charm and worldliness of Fools Gold, the Dodos, Beirut, Calexico and Tom Waits. So yeah, there’s a little bit of the macabre spaghetti western in them, but it’s not a boot-stomping, 10-gallon-hat kind of night. More like a battles-in-Mr. Bungle’s-clothes kind of night. / B.C.
8pm. $20-$22. With Murder by Death + Northern Arms. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100. utphilly.com
The Untold Story of
American Super Heroines
Wonder Women! looks at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society’s anxieties about women’s liberation. The film is shown as part of Permanent Wave Philly’s “Create Chaos” residency at Eris Temple, which showcases work and performances based around the theme of chaos and discord from a woman’s perspective. 7pm. Free. Eris Temple, 602 S. 52nd St. 703.507.2803.
Plato’s Porno Cave:
The New World
This is the start to a month-long exhibition of “overwhelming sensual rapture” inspired by Plato’s Republic and his ideas on Utopia. Through the study of several ancient texts, Plato’s Porno Cave creates mythology for the modern world. 8pm. $5-$10. Little Berlin, 2430 Coral St. littleberlin.org
Epic Chic & Red Hot
Sleek: 2nd Annual
Live performances, a raffle, a runway show, dinner and drinks will ensure a good time while you’re helping to aid the fight against Childhood Auto-Inflammatory Disease. Since this gala is set to honor real-life superheroes, dress attire for men is a tux or suit with a superhero shirt on underneath; very Clark Kent chic indeed. 6pm. $200. Ritz Carlton Philadelphia, 10 Avenue of the Arts. stopcaidnow.org
Beach Fossils have come a long way since their humble beginnings as a solo project for Dustin Payseur in 2009. Ditching their previous lo-fi trademark sound, this month’s Clash the Truth was recorded in a studio with live drumming. 9:15pm. $10-$12. With Heavy Medical. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. johnnybrendas.com
This late-career masterpiece of Jules Massenet’s career is based loosely on the famous novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes and inspired by Jacques Le Lorrain’s play Le Chevalier de la Longue Figure. Academy of Vocal Arts Alumnus Burak Bilgili returns to sing the title role. 7:30pm. $10-$60. Academy of Vocal Arts Helen Corning Warden Theater, 1920 Spruce St. 215.735.1685. avaopera.org
Bong Hits For Jesus
BHFJ mixes elements of reggae, blues, funk, punk and hip-hop into one fun musical concoction. Hailing from South Philadelphia and South Jersey, these weed enthusiasts recently released their latest EP, Low Rent Hustlers. 8pm. $13. With the Better Half. Theatre of the Living Arts, 334 South St. 215.922.1011. tlaphilly.com
Getting a story out of your head and onto the screen is a daunting task, but in six hours, J Todd Harris will show you how. Developing a project, pitching a film, financing, production, marketing and distribution will all be covered in this motion-picture workshop. 10am. $99. URBN Center Annex Screening Room, 3401 Filbert St. 215.895.6401. eventbrite.com/event/5196408598
Saint Francis Veterinary Center and the PSPCA Adoption Event
The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is hosting an adoption event for you to come find your new best friend. Check their website for information about adoption fees, donation methods and, of course, the lovable critters who are looking for new homes. 10am. Free. Saint Francis Veterinary Center, 392 Kings Hwy, Woolwich Twp., N.J. 908.895.0785. pspca.org
Calendar: December 17-24
Calendar: Dec. 10-17
PW's Holiday Guide 2014