Steampunk Circus and Beers Gone a-Rye
Most recently, films like Sherlock Holmes and Van Helsing illustrate the aesthetic movement that’s been picking up some steam—pun intended—by blending the antique with the futuristic. Think cinched corseted waists with tattoos, or iPads made of brass. Steampunk blends the Industrial Revolution with the Information Age. WeMerge magazine takes the concept on an old-fashioned traveling circus, coming to Philly with its bevy of games, artwork and merchandise. They’ve been picking stuff up along the way, displaying and selling them at each stop for one night only, which means steampunk artists in our fair city can also send their works packing with the show. Rumor has it there’s a cash prize for the best steampunk costume, too. Bonus: It’s happening in conjunction with the Institute’s Beers Gone a-Rye, featuring some very special rye crafts and dishes. -Ada Kulesza
2pm. Free. Institute Bar & Gallery, 549 N. 12th St. 267.318.7772. institutebar.com
Sunday, April 10
KT Tunstall remains an enigma. Her gruff breathy vocals lend sinew to the sleek Adult Contemporary pop she generally purveys, while her predilection for electronic embellishment cast her as a more marketable Beth Orton. Though the Scottish singer’s 2004 debut Eye to the Telescope earned a Mercury Prize nomination, it came off as Starbucks folk—slightly edgy songwriter pop for soccer moms and suburban commuters. Her third release, Tiger Suit, struggles mightily to extricate itself from this pigeonhole, variously amping up the guitars or injecting clubby beats like collagen while retaining allegiance to the epic pop sweep of prior albums. It’s schizophrenic but still an intriguing advance from her far-too-pat past. -Chris Parker
8pm. $20. With Jesse Ruben. Theater of the Living Arts, 334 South St. 215.922.1011. livenation.com
Monday, April 11
Halo of Snakes
The spirit of classic aggressive hardcore lives in Philly combo Halo of Snakes, led by scene stalwart Josh Alvarez and featuring members of defunct local acts Hot Cross, Aim of Conrad, Belegost and others. Yet there’s more beyond the shrapnel riffs and in-your-face venom—the Snakes work in Dischord-style melodicism and mathy post-punk, and thick, rumbling stoner/doom-metal textures, too. Somehow they manage to do all of this without coming across like Hatebreed or something. Be sure to arrive early for Brooklyn’s thrashy armageddon-punks Mt. Olympus and Philly hardcore newcomers Distress Signal, who live by the motto “Everything louder than everything else.” -Michael Alan Goldberg
8pm. $8. With Mt. Olympus + Distress Signal. Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front St.
Tuesday, April 12
Toro Y Moi
Chillwave may be little more than a brief blip on the musical landscape, but Toro Y Moi aren’t sticking around to find out. Skilled multi-instrumentalist Chazwick Bundick’s musical project retains Chillwave’s dreamy vibe, but Budnick dramatically augments his musical palette on their latest, Underneath the Pines. The shimmering fuzz and glitchy electronic bleats of last year’s breakthrough debut Causers of This are downplayed or outright absent. Playing every instrument, Budnick guides the fey textural drift through velveteen ’70s soft rock, hypnotically beatific electro-pop and understated psychedelica that veers close to new age thanks to the burbling synths. It’s sleeker and more polished but less distinctive, which might reflect Budnick’s low-key background-hugging aesthetic. -C.P.
7:30pm. $12. With Adventure, Braids. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St. 866.468.7619. r5productions.com
Leah B., the elemental force behind Gender EDGE, isn’t content to settle for just masculine or feminine. The local arts collective she founded, which explores queer and transgender issues, is just one part of her campaign to broaden the experience of what’s possible. It mixes a pinch of punk’s DIY ethos, a dash of Whitman’s barbaric yawp, and a whole heap of fabulousness. The group’s performance-based events feature poetry, personal testimony, zines, and even music—whatever it takes to transform attendees from an audience into a community. Despite a core group of eight members, who shows up for any given event is often unknown until the last minute, adding a bit of spontaneity and risk to the proceedings. On this night, the fiery impresario will be joined by local poet Jane Cassady and spoken-word artist indee. Leah B. promises that it’ll get passionate and opinionated. She encourages you to join in. -R.S.
7pm. Free. Wooden Shoe Books, 704 South St. 215.413.0999. woodenshoebooks.com
Calendar: March 25-April 1
PW's 2015 Philly Spring Guide