Wed., August 13
PW’s Concerts in the Park
With summer winding down, there’s still plenty of time to enjoy Philadelphia’s parks; this month, Philadelphia Weekly makes it easy to do just that while simultaneously enjoying great music and benefiting the hungry.
For nearly a quarter century, PW has been hosting its annual, free “Concerts in the Park” series each summer, and this year, the event returns to Rittenhouse Square for two consecutive Wednesdays: Aug. 13 and 20. Tonight, Philly’s ladies are taking center stage with a festive night featuring all female-led acts. Headlining the concert is Divers, the rock quartet fronted by ethereal former Weeds vocalist-guitarist Emily Ana Zeitlyn. Once described as a combination of Leonard Cohen and PJ Harvey, Divers blends classic rock with contemporary zeal. Before Divers rattles the benches there in Rittenhouse, local favorites Katie Frank and the Pheromones open. Philadelphians might remember Frank from her days honing her voice at Legendary Dobbs’ open-mic shows. Since then, the Temple alum has made a name for herself perfecting good ol’ timey country-tinged rock-pop leading the Pheromones. Guaranteeing a Philly-flavored fete, DJ Lisa Love, one of the first female deejays on a major Philadelphia radio station, spins from the start of the evening and between sets.
Since that’s sure to get your parks-and-recreation motor humming, come back for Week Two. Pablo Batista and his mighty Mambo Syndicate will have attendees on their feet, fusing ancient rhythms, Afro-Cuban beats and jazz into something that could only be described as unstoppable, at least as far as your legs are concerned. To get the night going, Worldtown Sound System, a collective blending dance and world music, live instruments and turntable magic, will create an auditory mosaic you’ll revel in. Dancing is a given this night, and the legendary DJ Cash Money is planning to start everything just right. He, too, will spin again between acts.
To sate everyone’s appetite for community: the people at KIND, everyone’s favorite (nutritious) nut bar, are helping out by offering preferred viewing for anyone who brings at least three canned goods to benefit Philly-area organization Philabundance. If you’re generous (with your cans) and 21 years or older, you get both preferred viewing and entrance to the bangin’ VIP area. All told, it’s going to be one heck of a good time. // JOSH KRUGER
Wed., Aug 13 + Wed., Aug. 20, 6pm. Free. Rittenhouse Square Park, Walnut Street between 18th and 20th sts. philadelphiaweekly.com
Cultural fusion takes the stage with local Afro-Cuban and West African drumming group Leana Song. The musicians perform in a style that combines Yoruba, the traditional language of Nigeria and Benin, with modern folk and jazz instruments. 5pm. $10. Penn Museum, 3260 South St. 215.898.4000. penn.museum
Bringing independent movies to neighborhoods throughout the city, Street Movies! will spark discussion in North Philadelphia with the screenings of Them That Do: Lisa Barkley, The Story of An Egg, Creation Story and Pull of Gravity. A lawn chair is all you need to enjoy the show. 7:45pm. Free. Philadelphia Urban Creators, N. 11th St. 215.222.4201. scribe.org
Thursday, August 14
MilkBoy’s Third Anniversary
If you want to get technical, the MilkBoy name has been around much longer than three years. It got its start in the ‘90s as a North Philly recording studio before franchising a coupla eateries across greater Philadelphia. While the since-closed shops in Ardmore and Bryn Mawr may not have fared so well (and the since-relocated studio has), the restaurant-bar combo in the heart of Center City has also turned out to be one of Philly’s best new music venues, and it will be devoting the better part of the weekend to celebrating its third birthday—with three nights of free shows.
The festivities kick off on Thursday with a headlining performance courtesy of the crew in Black Landlord, led by the dapper wordsmith Maxx. Fusing Motown-era instrumentation with a ‘90s hip-hop lyrical sensibility, the resulting throwback cocktail is a must for fans of alt-rap. Friday’s show is sure to attract an entirely different crowd, with a set by long-forgotten pop-punk outfit The Ataris, who achieved minor success back in ’03 with their album So Long, Astoria and its lead single “In This Diary,” for which they are currently in the midst of a slightly belated 10-year anniversary tour. Capping off the soiree on Saturday is the eclectic icing on the cake that is The Lawsuits, another group of proud locals (and PW “Concerts in the Park” veterans), who last year dropped their latest LP, Cool Cool Cool, a collection of dreamy chamber folk ballads that set their sights on bleeding the heart dry. // JAKE ABBATE
Through Sat., Aug. 16. 8pm. Free. With ILL Doots, Thee Idea Men, Cheerleader, Alright Junior, Strap, Mo Lowda & The Humble + Our Griffins. MilkBoy Philadelphia, 1100 Chestnut St. 215.925.6455. milkboyphilly.com
A Foul-Mouthed Game Show
Nothing unites comedians like celebration of colorful language, which is exactly what they’ll be doing at “CURSES!” hosted by Alex Grubard. Special guests Mike Rainey, Hillary Rea and Trey Galon will participate in profanity-laden games. A prize bag will be awarded to the participant with the greatest grasp on cussing like a sailor. 8pm. $5. PhilaMOCA , 531 N. 12th St. philamoca.org
Queer Books Pop-Up Shop
Queer Books will be bringing their diverse selection of literature to Awesome Fest, just in time for the free outdoor screening of classic drag musical Shanks! The books and DVDs will be accompanied by jewelry and gifts for Awesome Fest-goers, so stock up on the gay-themed material. 8pm. Free. Clark Park, 4400 Baltimore Ave. queerbooksphilly.squarespace.com
An Evening with Bill Cosby
After the sports cuts at Temple University last fall, many former team members, supporters and followers spoke out in defense of the men’s gymnastics team—one of the seven teams originally discontinued by the university. Bill Cosby joins the discussion with the Temple and Philadelphia community as the gymnasts prepare to return as a club team. 7:30pm. $175-$500. Independence Visitors Center, 1 North Independence Mall W.
Night Market, the city’s premier street food festival, unites top tier ethnic and regional restaurants and food trucks in different parts of the city. This month, the Food Trust sets up shop on Lancaster Avenue with delicious eats and visual and performing artists to boot. 6pm. Free. Lancaster Ave. 35th to 39th sts. thefoodtrust.org/night-market
Friday, August 15
Award-winning director Alex Gibney is known for his heavy-hitting documentaries—Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Taxi to the Dark Side, Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks and nearly two dozen notable others. His latest, Finding Fela, comes on the heels of the successful Broadway musical Fela!, and it’s a close look at the life of an icon whose groundbreaking approach to music brought about a global awareness of the hardships of his beloved people.
The socio-political climate of Nigeria in the ‘70s and ‘80s spawned far more than violence and unrest; world-renowned composer, musician and activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti combined elements of jazz, funk, psychedelic rock and traditional Yoruban rhythms to create the explosive genre now known as Afrobeat. With a range of powerful lyrics focusing on everything from love to war, Kuti and his army of talented musicians suffered through the injustices of a brutal dictatorship to bring the world a new form of expression. His poignant music infuriated the Nigerian government to the point of deadly retaliation.
Gibney’s film—playing for a limited, week-long release in selected Landmark Theatres—focuses on the widespread acceptance of Fela’s courageous, passionate movement, underscoring the importance of reaching oppressed people around the world by giving them a voice through music. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget. // KENNEDY ALLEN
Through Thurs., Aug. 21. Various times. $7.75-$10. Ritz at the Bourse, 400 Ranstead St. 215.440.1181. findingfela.com
MIND & BODY
Yoga in the Cemetery
Form a deep connection with your mind and body, and restore your inner peace at this one-hour yoga session with instructor Emily Golombs. Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced yogi, all are welcome at this unique program that will enhance your alignment, strength and balance. 6:30pm. $20. Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Ave. 215.228.8200. thelaurelhillcemetery.org
Hang On with Aaron Nevins
Tonight’s edition of Aaron Nevins’ live, interactive talk show features appearances by Late Night With Seth Meyers writer Alison Agosti, comedian The Legendary Wid, and a standup performance by 2014 Philly’s Phunniest finalist Chris Stenta. A sure-to-be-hilarious panel discussion between Chip Chantry, Kelsey McLaughlin and Alejandro Morales is also on deck. 8pm. Free. The Adrienne Theater, 2030 Sansom St. 215.567.2848. hangon.brownpapertickets.com
The AIDS Law Project’s 15th annual Summer Movie Party
The Secret Cinema presents a night of food, fun and Funny Face, the 1957 musical starring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire. The annual summer movie party for the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania is hosted by Richard Barrios, author of Dangerous Rhythm: Why Musicals Matter. 6pm. $20. William Way Community Center, 1315 Spruce St. 215.587.9377. thesecretcinema.com
Crane Arts: Begin Where You Are
The works of two dozen Philly-based artists will gather in the Icebox Project Space at Crane Arts for what aims to represent a “complicated and contemplative dialogue.” The exhibit transcends both generations and artistic disciplines. 6pm. Free. Crane Arts, 1400 N. American St. 215.232.3203. cranearts.com
Saturday, August 16
Boasting an enviable collection of vintage clothing, furniture, and jewelry, collectibles, antiques and a vast array of baked goods, this refreshing take on the flea market is a local favorite. The pop-up retail event features anywhere from 40 to 60 vendors selling the cream of the secondhand crop. 10am. Free. McCall Schoolyard, 325 S. 7th St. franklinflea.com
The Philadelphia Craft Beer & Lobster Festival
Enjoy a juicy one-lb. lobster, craft brew samples and plenty of lobster-based sides at this second annual festival hosted by Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House. 1pm. $40-45. Doc Magrogan’s, 3432 Sansom St. 215.382.3474. docmagrogans.com
Festival of India
Celebrate Indian Independence Day at Penn’s Landing with a little help from the Council of Indian Organizations. Broaden your horizons and open your mind to India’s multifaceted art, music, dance and cuisine. 1pm. Free. Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. 215.922.2386. delawareriverwaterfront.com
The Philly Cup Series 2014
Philly’s premiere inner city skateboarding competition hits the five major parks this year, from Grey’s Ferry all the way to Paine’s. All proceeds go toward building and maintaining new parks for the city’s rich skating community. Noon. Free. Whitehall Skatepark, Torresdale Ave. and Wakeling St. 215.222.4300. franklinspaine.com
1st Annual Lung Love Run/Walk Philadelphia
Help raise awareness and support in battling lung cancer with this inaugural (and untimed) event. Registration also gets you an all-day pass to browse the zoo with your family and friends. 8am. $25-$30. Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 West Girard Ave. 215.243.1100. lungloverunwalkphiladelphia.kintera.org
The Pancakes and Booze Art Show
This underground art show features more than 75 new artists, live body painting, an all-you-can-eat pancake bar and much more. 8pm. $5. Underground Arts, 1200
Callowhill St. undergroundarts.org
Sunday, August 17
Alex G is 21-year-old Alex Giannascoli, a Philadelphia native who’s been making his own records since he was 12. He’s not to be confused, by any means, with Alex G on YouTube, this milquetoast chile who sounds like Ingrid Michaelson and has found miraculous Internet stardom, so don’t be surprised if you find some instances where Sandy Alex G gets used for our guy—like on Facebook and Bandcamp.
Giannascoli saw his first label release in June, a great full-length called DSU, with its record cover that rings of acid and Tobacco, plus American Football—meaning the bands, at least the latter two. “On this record, as well as my other stuff, I usually am influenced by my relationships and experiences with people,” he says in his press release. “I think plenty of personal obstacles have shaped my music, but nothing I would like to share.” Gasp. Could it be? A 21-year-old who wants to internalize his conflicts and turn em’ into art? Well, his art’s good. It sounds like a beautiful concoction of acoustic Pink Floyd, electrified Blind Melon and as-you’d-assume Pavement, with songs that are one to five minutes in length.
Alex G and his bandmates are currently touring with Elvis Depressedly, label-mates from Brooklyn’s Orchid Tapes, and they’ve even been asked to open some future dates up for Gardens & Villa. That’s pretty huge. They’ll be bringing their shoegaze sludge to The Fire as a pseudo-record release/homecoming show. You should go. // BILL CHENEVERT
7pm. $10. With Elvis Depressedly, Cold Foamers + Snoozer. The Fire, 412 W. Girard Ave. 267.671.9298. thefirephilly.com
CrabFest at City Tap House
City Tap House partners with Carton Brewery to host their Annual Crabfest. Enjoy live music on the patio with TJ King and the Atomic Bomb as you indulge in all-you-can-eat blue Maryland crabs paired with white peach sangria, or choose from a selection of 10 Carton draughts. 1pm. $35. City tap House, 3925 Walnut St. citytaphouse.com
The Book of Mormon
The South Park creators’ acclaimed satire of Mormonism, praised by everyone from Jon Stewart to the New York Times, continues its run at the Forrest Theatre. The show has won nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical. 1pm & 6:30pm. $67-$277. Through Sept. 14. Forrest Theatre, 1114 Walnut St. 215.923.1515. forrest-theatre.com
Monday, August 18
Philadelphia’s 92.5 XTU hosts an outdoor concert featuring country singer Brett Eldredge. Proceeds benefit the zoo’s mission to connect people with wildlife and inspire action for the animals and habitats around the world. 7pm. $55-$85. Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 W. Girard Ave. philadelphiazoo.org
Five neighborhood Fringe artists present free previews of their 2014 Fringe Fest performances. These short excerpts, performed every Monday night in August, include theater, dance, music and visual arts. 7pm. Free. FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Blvd. 215.413.1318. fringearts.com
Tuesday, August 19
Echo & the Bunnymen
Despite a fleeting three-year breakup in the ‘90s, Echo & the Bunnymen have managed to outlast the vast majority of their British post-punk contemporaries (The Smiths, Bauhaus, etc.) and are back this year with a brand new album, Meteorites, released in June. Frontman Ian McCulloch has called this record “more edgy than anything I’ve ever done.” 8pm. $29. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100. utphilly.com
Sour Fest at Devil’s Den
Create your own sour beer, and learn brewing techniques from beer expert Don Russell, aka Joe Sixpack. Appetizers and six 6-oz. pours of sour beers included. 7pm. $35. Devil’s Den, 1148 S. 11th St. devilsdenphilly.com
Wednesday, August 20
BrainSpunk Theater’s Christopher King brings us the story of Tyl Eulenspiegel (aka Crazyface) on a journey across Europe with magical substances, spies and a long-lost brother out to kill him. 7:30pm. $25. The Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N. American St. brainspunktheater.com
Suited for Space
The spacesuit and its complex inner workings will be deconstructed at this exhibit featuring a behind-the-scenes look at the design and development and how the suit enables astronauts to survive and move in space. Through Nov. 14. Free. Chemical Heritage, 315 Chestnut St. chemheritage.org
Out of Town
Mean Girls with Tina Fey
Celebrate the 10th anniversary of “fetch” with the screenwriter herself, the always-hilarious Tina Fey, as she raises money for a new sound system for Upper Darby Summer Stage. Fey will host a Q&A following the screening. Sat., Aug. 16, 7:30pm. $40-$100. Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, 601 N. Lansdowne Ave. Drexel Hill. 610.622.1189.
The 2nd annual Rockabilly Rumble features live music, flea markets, beer gardens and barbeque. The indoor/outdoor event offers fun for the whole family and swinging and dancing late into the night with live entertainment provided by Tommy Conwell, the Bullets, Citizens Band Radio and more. Sun., Aug. 17, 1pm. $10-$25. World Café Live, 500 N. Market St., Wilmington, Del. worldcafelive.com
The annual beading and jewelry-making event returns with more than 100 workshops and classes for all skill levels. Learn the newest jewelry design techniques, and shop for beads and jewelry making supplies at the Shopping Expo. Wed., Aug. 20, 7:30am. $15. Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Ave., Oaks. beadfest.com
Taste of the Quarter
The seventh annual Tropicana event provides guests with a smorgasbord of delicious samples in an exciting, festival-inspired setting. All dining options are from The Quarter, a historic portion of Tropicana houses reminiscent of the lavish Old Havana. Indulging in appetizers, main courses, desserts and coffee will also benefit United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. Mon., Aug. 18, 6pm. $25-$30. The Quarter at Tropicana, 2831 Boardwalk. Atlantic City, N.J. 800.745.3000. tropicana.net
Cirque Du Soleil: Varekai
The astoundingly lithe acrobats and performers of Cirque Du Soleil bring audiences an ethereal performance with Varekai, the story of a young man’s journey into an extraordinary world via parachute. The mythical beings and whimsical imagery are given life by the talent on stage, making the viewing experience as magical as the plot lines. Wed., Aug. 20, 7:30pm. $30-$165. Through Aug. 24. Boardwalk Hall, 2301 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, N.J. boardwalkhall.com
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PW's 2015 Philly Spring Guide