Calendar: August 11-17

What to do in Philly this week.

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Aug. 10, 2010

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Wednesday, August 11

Phosphorescent’s new Here’s To Taking It Easy shows the band conjoining the mournfulness of Pride (2007) with the Southern, booze-soaked vibe of To Willie (2009), their homage to Willie Nelson. The result is a rollicking road album packed with busted hearts, whining steel-guitars, lonesome saloon piano blues and the freight-hopping joy only a true rambler knows. From the getaway car glee of “It’s Hard To Be Humble (When You’re From Alabama)” to the post-bender, sunrise comedown of “The Mermaid Parade,” Phosphorescent have captured the sound of a summer road trip fueled by 20 too many City Wide Specials. Philly’s GANG open this first of PW’s Concerts in the Park series with their oddly danceable mixture of operatic electro-punk. -Elliott Sharp

7pm. Free. With GANG. Rittenhouse Square, 18th and Walnut sts.

Animal Crackers
For all his fabled one-liners, Groucho Marx made it a point never to work blue. That never stopped the Marx Brothers from peppering their films with innuendo-rich quips—comedy with a wink rather than a leer (as Don Draper would put it). But in 1934, the organization that would become the MPAA cracked down on sex, suggestive language and a host of other human tics that should have the right to be represented in film. International House presents the iconic troupe’s second talking picture, 1930’s Animal Crackers, as part of its outdoor series of pre-Hays Code features. Groucho engages in zingy repartee with Margaret Dumont’s stuffy dowager, Chico and Harpo are classic slapstick and Zeppo’s the cute one. Bring a blanket that’s big enough to accommodate inevitable giggle-spasms. -Alexandra Jones

8:30pm. Free. International House, 3701 Chestnut St. 215.387.5125.

Grid Release Party

All right, advocates and lovers of all things green and sustainable: Take notice! Philly’s own Grid magazine, the bible of Philly sustainable living and environmental issues, is throwing a party for the release of its September issue. While you enjoy pizza and beer, pick up a free copy of the magazine and check out stories on green initiatives on local college campuses, Greensgrow Farm and lunchbox recipes, or hang out for a while and talk with the Grid founders and other lovers of sustainability and the green movement. So grab some friends and ride your bikes, take your scooter, or hop aboard SEPTA and get over to West Philly and educate yourself on the world of environmental issues and a better, cleaner way of living. -Sydney Scott

6pm. Dock Street Brewing Company, 701 S. 50th St. 215.726.2337.

Thursday, August 12

Dam-Funk, who in real life goes by the name of Damon Riddick, makes excess work for him. His debut recording, Toeachizown, spanned five LPs or two CDs, 139 minutes of blissed out vamps and killer grooves that seemed, if not exactly concise, exactly the right amount to launch a phenomenon. Live, the Ambassador of Boogie Funk travels with full 1970s space-funk regalia, wielding a Roland midi-keytar from behind heavy shades with Computer Jay on vintage Moog, J1 making beats on live drums and samples and negligee-clad back-up singers in tow. The sound is pure synth-washed decadence, unfolding in endless body-bumping grooves, a la late-1970s Prince or early 1980s Zapp. -Jennifer Kelly

9pm. $10. With Master Blazter. Johnny Brenda’s. 1201 N.Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684.

Perseid Meteor Shower
The Perseid meteor shower—that annual bit of celestial razzle-dazzle that’s nature’s glittery apology for August weather—peaks tonight with estimates of more than a hundred meteors sweeping across the sky per hour. Philly’s lights are enough to curtain the whole show, however, so you have to be enterprising to catch these shooting stars. The Franklin Institute’s Observatory has all the equipment you need for some serious astronomical moonlighting, including star maps and five high-tech telescopes. And their knowledgeable staff can tell Mars from the nearest phone tower, even if you can’t. The evening includes a planetarium show and an educational presentation, but the biggest attraction is space’s own. Don’t miss it straining the wrong direction on your roof with binoculars. -Lauren Smith

6pm. $5. Joel N. Bloom Observatory at the Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th St. 215.448.1200.

Friday, August 13

Public Enemy
Between 1987 and 1991 Public Enemy released a string of four albums that are as potent, brilliant and influential as any artist—hip-hop or otherwise—has ever issued. Perhaps they fell off a bit creatively after that, but they’ll always have that window of greatness to call their own, and now PE appears happy to revisit that era. Last year they tore through It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back with the Roots at the Roots Picnic. Tonight, still-commanding rapper Chuck D and still-hilarious hype man Flavor Flav celebrate the 20th anniversary of Fear of a Black Planet by unleashing that album in its entirety. Welcome (back) to the terrordome! -Michael Alan Goldberg

9pm. $25-$27. Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.LIVE.

Classical Revolution
Trade your elbow-length gloves for cutoffs and put those opera glasses away: Classical Revolution is bringing the music to your favorite hangouts. Just bring yourself (and a bottle or two). This collective of amateur and professional musicians leaves symphony halls behind in favor of more accessible venues like bars and cafes—or in this case, a BYOB art space and bookstore. The evening’s selections seem designed to honor woodwinds: The organization’s Philadelphia chapter will perform Mozart’s lilting Quintet for Clarinet and Strings (K. 581) and Jacques Ibert’s flamenco-flavored “Entr’acte” on flute and guitar. To round out the program, multi-instrumentalist and composer Daniel Peterson works his chilled-out jazz stylings on three kinds of saxophones with an ensemble of vibraphone, bass and drums.  -Alexandra Jones

9pm. $8-$10. Moonstone Arts Center, 110A S. 13th St. 215.735.9598.

Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens
PuppeTyranny! brings its trademark sock and marionette whimsy to J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan prelude, transposing the adventures of Peter from Edwardian London’s posh Kensington Gardens to Philly’s own urban Kensington. The troupe’s ragtag band of actors, musicians, puppeteers and Lost Boys patch together shadows, animation, live music and dance to bring to life the story’s various fantastical characters, including fairy queens and invisible flying goats. Peter is as strange a creature as any: Not yet the boy crocodile hunter of Disney fame, he’s a downy newborn, escaped from his crib and convinced he’s a bird. Baby Peter’s dreamy after-hours adventures in the park are enough to push the old nostalgia button—even if our own childhood idylls involved more tube slides than immortal birds. The show repeats on Saturday. -Lauren Smith

8pm. $5-$10. Emerald Street Urban Farm, 2312 Emerald St. 267.909.2633.

Saturday, August 14

Creature from the Black Lagoon

The Atomic Age was a great time for monster movies. Amid the mutant ants of Them! and the towering radioactive menace of Godzilla appeared the eponymous Creature: A scaly, fish-lipped, amphibious being that came to be known as Gill-Man, a character who’s been elevated to the sci-fi/horror canon alongside Frankenstein’s Monster and Dracula. The Independence Seaport Museum’s “It Sprang from the River!” exhibit highlights the best of flotsam, jetsam and other nautical inspirations (like the Slinky, invented by a Naval engineer and debuted in Philadelphia), and they haven’t forgotten the canny aquatic anthropomorphism of Gill-man. Cheesy cinematic chills are free with admission to the exhibit, and the courageous souls who can brave 79 blood-curdling minutes of rubber-suited horror will receive popcorn and a miniature Slinky. -Alexandra Jones

Sundown. $12. Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Columbus Blvd. 215.413.8655.

Maps & Atlases
The term “math rock” might sound dated and unappealing—equations and formulas and what not—but these Chicago boys are taking their brand of weirdo, earworm rock in a folksy, pop-friendly direction. Where Tortoise border on jammy and boring, Maps & Atlases have crafted a beautiful debut LP of three-minute tunes with Perch Patchwork that each feel like a distinct moment of clarity. Lead singer Dave Davison’s voice lies somewhere between Neutral Milk’s Jeff Mangum and Rush’s Geddy Lee, but the record feels like a hybrid of Dirty Projectors and Grizzly Bear. No formulas necessary to know it’ll be a great show. -Bill Chenevert

7:30pm. $10. With Cults, Laura Stevenson + the Cans. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St. 215.291.4919.

Sunday, August 15

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