Calendar: April 27-May 3

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Apr. 27, 2011

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Wednesday, April 27

The Kills
Frankly, we’re a little surprised that bad-ass, raven-haired singer-guitarist Alison Mosshart has decided to keep on keepin’ on with her minimalist gutter-rock duo the Kills, what with all the success her other band, the Dead Weather (which includes Jack White), has had these past couple of years. We also figured maybe the Kills had run its course after a decade—that Mosshart and singer-guitarist Jamie Hince (plus their trusty drum machine) had exhausted all the sonic avenues their set-up had to offer. But their dark, capricious new Blood Pressures shows they’re not done with the emotional bloodletting just yet. And we’re grateful for at least one more opportunity to experience the menace and primal sexual tension of a Kills live show. -Michael Alan Goldberg

8pm. $16. With Cold Cave + the Entrance Band. Theater of the Living Arts, 334 South St. 215.922.1011. livenation.com

Punk as Poetry, Poetry as Punk
Underground literati Matt Whispers and Richard Wehrenberg Jr., self-publishing poets from the Chicago scene, are on tour reading works informed by their experiences in punk bands and as working sops like you and me. Weaved through their poetry are themes about the conflict between creative impulse and working to survive. Whispers writes a serial poetry zine called Effigy, in its eighth issue, and Wehrenberg is the founder of Monster House Press, which prints chapbooks, the little inexpensive poetry books that give underground poets an avenue to publish, since mainstream publishers rarely give new poets a passing glance. Most of all, the readings will focus on the universal American artists’ dilemma: struggling for a voice, an audience and a living when you’re creative and really, really broke. -Ada Kulesza

7pm. Free. Wooden Shoe Books, 704 South St. 215.413.0999. woodenshoebooks.com

Thursday, April 28

Illinois
Multi-instrumentalist Chris “Arch” Archibald seems to have an endless mental capacity for musical ideas. The Adventures of Kid Catastrophe, from 2009, is the finest example of this. It sees the songwriter plucking a banjo one minute, and crooning over a melancholic piano before laying down hip-hopish backbeats the next. It’s an elusive record that’s fun trying to follow on a bold ride of genre-blurring madness (not to mention, the digital release comes with a short film, chronicling Arch’s relationship with his goldfish). The Bucks County ensemble quietly gave away some free tunes on their Facebook page recently from an upcoming LP titled Lemonade Stand. The band will likely throw a few of them onto the setlist and play them with raucous fervor. -Kevin Brosky

9pm. $10-12. With BC Camplight. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. johnnybrendas.com

Seemed Right at the Time

Those wacky scientists—they used to think the earth was the center of the universe, that living creatures were spontaneously generated from inanimate matter (e.g. mud begat frogs, and scorpions came from basil leaves), and that through alchemy you could turn common metals into gold. No wonder scientists piss off the Insane Clown Posse. This evening, as part of the Philadelphia Science Festival, a half-dozen science scholars from Penn, Drexel, Haverford, the University of Massachusetts and others will team up with performers from the Philly Improv Theater for what promises to be some pretty hilarious sketches to show how and why scientists of the past came to believe, and promulgate, some of the hokiest, most ludicrous theories imaginable. -M.A.G.

5:30pm. Free. Wagner Free Institute, 1700 W. Montgomery Ave. philasciencefestival.org

Friday, April 29

Appleseed Cast
From emo to post-punk to post-rock, Appleseed Cast has managed to weather the genre-storm. Formed in 1997 and based in Lawrence, Kan., the fourpiece have since released six studio albums: their most recent was 2009’s Sagarmatha, which they followed this year with the Middle States EP. While they haven’t earned comparable critical praise, frontman Christopher Crisci holds a noble position alongside fellow indie veterans like Built to Spill’s Doug Martsch and Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus. Much like the town they call home, perhaps they haven’t received proper recognition due to the spotlight’s fixation on the over-hyped coasts. None of this bothers them, though. The music remains urgently orchestral and the sadness epic. -Elliott Sharp

7:30pm. $12. With A Great Big Pile of Leaves + KC Jones. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St. 215.821.7575. r5productions.com

Celebration Paddle
Poor Kate Middleton. Although she’s marrying Prince William today, that’s small consolation for the fact that the royal minders prevented her from racing a dragon boat across the Channel in 2007. The Schuylkill Dragons haven’t forgotten, however. As a wedding gift, they’ll be donning gowns and launching their vessel for a celebratory paddle between the Strawberry Mansion and Columbia Avenue bridges. The event may be tongue-in-cheek, but it is also intended to recruit new members to the team. For a decade, the Dragons have been training women at all skill-levels to participate in this ancient Chinese sport, which requires endurance, strength and teamwork. The rowers, who range in age from their 20s through their 70s, enjoy the camaraderie as much as the competition. So set your straw boater at a rakish angle, spread a picnic on the Schuylkill’s verdant banks, and raise a glass of Pimm’s as these athletes race past. -Raymond Simon

7pm. Free. Schuylkill River, 2200 Kelly Drive. schuylkilldragons.org

Saturday, April 30

PIFA Street Fair
As you round the corner of City Hall this week you will be greeted by a picturesque garden filled with green grass, topiaries, a fountain with living statues and a gigantic ferris wheel. You didn’t fall down the rabbit hole—just into PIFA’s interactive, imaginative Parisian-themed Street Fair. PIFA is ending their month-long fest with a celebration designed to flaunt the innovative ways the city is pushing the boundaries of art and culture. Enjoy a day of artistic expression, music, interactive performances and snacks from more than 40 food vendors. The day ends with an aerial performance by the La Compagnie Transe Express suspended 200 feet in the air. Executive Director Ed Cambrone says the festival will serve to “push people’s imaginations and have them participate in a way that is kind of goose-bump inducing.” -Lauren Gordon

11am-8pm. Free. Avenue of the Arts, Broad St. pifa.org

Flavors of the Avenue
For a while, “grabbing something to eat down on Passyunk” typically meant a cheesesteak from Pat’s or Geno’s. But in recent years—as Philly foodies know well—there’s been an explosion of top-notch restaurants setting up shop alongside some old favorites, making for a dizzying number of meal-time options along the Avenue. Today you get a chance to soak in some East Passyunk attytood between Dickinson and Morris as you sample signature dishes and drinks from 20 establishments, including Plenty, Tre Scalini, Mondial Café, Cantina Los Caballitos, Paradiso, Salt and Pepper, and, of course, Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar. Admission is $30, and it gets you food, wine and beer; If you drop $50 for VIP treatment you get specialty cocktails and first tasting of premium menu items available in limited quantities. There’ll be live music and a craft market on hand, and the whole shebang goes down under the big top, so the Ave will be hoppin’ rain or shine. -M.A.G.

Noon. $30-$50. Various locations, East Passyunk Ave. visiteastpassyunk.com

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