Calendar: Dec. 1-7

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Dec. 1, 2010

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Wednesday, Dec. 1

Summer Fiction
Philadelphia singer/songwriter Bill Ricchini has released a few solo albums over the past decade, and his latest project, Summer Fiction, is a continuation of the sunny and nostalgic indie pop he first began creating in a South Philadelphia rowhouse. He’s set to release the project’s self-titled debut album with a celebratory show at Johnny Brenda’s, and if the album’s lush orchestral arrangements give anything away, it promises to be a full stage. Ricchini uses quotidian drums, guitars and keys along with the less common marimba, clarinet, horns and harpsichord for an album that seems both familiar and sophisticated. Ricchini’s soft, soothing vocals are nuanced and compelling as his narratives weave through folk-rock ballads, waltzes and summery Beach Boys pop. -Katherine Silkaitis

8pm. $10. With In Grenada + Yellow Humphrey. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. johnnybrendas.com

Top Chef Premiere at 10 Arts

Jennifer Carroll’s reality-show cooking accomplishments have been a bit overshadowed around these parts since Philly’s Kevin Sbraga won season seven of Top Chef. Her actual cooking accomplishments have been pretty well-recognized, though—Eric Ripert entrusted his former sous chef, now chef de cuisine and a celebrity chef in her own right, with revamping the 10 Arts menu. But while Carroll was eliminated in the finale of Top Chef’s sixth season, she was a big fan favorite and going up against some of the toughest competition in the show’s history, so it seems natural that she’d be asked back for Top Chef All-Stars—and 10 Arts is throwing a party for the premiere. Carroll is putting together a tasting menu of some of her favorite winning dishes from Season 6, including a take on her very first elimination challenge—halibut with black-pepper bourbon sauce. There’s open seating throughout the evening, and leading up to the premiere at 10 p.m., they’ll be showing Season 6 on all their flatscreen TVs. -Allison Krumm

5:30pm. Tasting menu is $75 before tax and gratuity. 10 Arts, 10 S. Broad St. 215.523.8273. 10arts.com

Thursday, Dec. 2

Appropriations/Great Super 8
In this age of digital encroachment upon the cinematic experience, Super 8 film (the low-grade, home-movie film stock of the 1960s and ’70s) has developed a devoted following. Revered by amateurs and auteurs, the cheapness and accessibility of Super 8 film defies the bloated, computer-generated multiplex spectacles; the texture alone has the visual pulp and soul of a bygone era. International House follows up this season’s previous installments of small-scale, personal cinema (Winnipeg Babysitter, the annual Home Movie Day) with Appropriations/Great Super 8, a selection of 13 short films spanning four decades of the Spanish avant-garde, including works by art luminaries Eugènia Balcells and David Reznak. Constructed out of found footage with particular emphasis on Super 8, the evening showcases the experimental manipulations of familiar images, sparking a dialogue between generations of filmmakers. -Micaela Hester

7pm. $8. International House, 3701 Chestnut St., 215.387.5125. ihousephilly.org

Arc in Round
It’s been a long time in the making, but Arc in Round—Philly’s pre-eminent dream-pop/shoegaze outfit—is finally issuing its debut EP, Diagonal Fields, a precursor to a full-length album due early next year. The delay may have had something to do with frontman Jeff Zeigler’s “other” gig as an in-demand local producer/engineer (for Kurt Vile, the War on Drugs, Pink Skull, etc.), but the wait was absolutely worth it. AiR delivers noise and beauty in equal measures, with singer-guitarist Zeigler and keyboardist Mikele Edwards offering splendid vocal harmonies and plenty of swirling atmosphere while drummer Matt Ricchini and bassist Ian Fraser lock into some clever, propulsive rhythms. Tonight, celebrate the EP release with one of the best bands Philly currently has to offer. -Michael Alan Goldberg

9pm. $10. With Golden Ages + Post Post. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. johnnybrendas.com

Friday, Dec. 3

The Nearanight Lectures
Other than that time you drunkenly microwaved a double-decker Moon Pie, it may have been a while since you’ve seen anyone “do science.” (Hypothesis confirmed: Deliciousness levels exceeded!) Back in the Victorian days, before TV and before blogs about cute animals existed, science demos were a form of entertainment and edification alongside scammy seances and vaudeville tours. The Nearanight Lectures are inspired by these sort of sessions, but with a very 21st-century topic: What is humanity’s relationship with science? Why do we do it? How might it affect us? Performer and creator Brett Keyser’s productions seem to run on the tension created by overlapping fact and fiction, media and performance, the facts of history and science with the forward-looking speculation essential to those disciplines—what answers may his lectures hold? -Alexandra Jones

5pm. Free. Chemical Heritage Foundation, 315 Chestnut St. 215.925.2222. chemheritage.org


Little Berlin Art Dash

When the tilt of Earth’s axis inclines back toward the sun and springtime flowers bloom once again, Kensington-based gallery space Little Berlin will be relocating a few blocks north to the Viking Mill building. The new space will allow the artist-run collective to host more exhibitions, screenings, lectures and concerts, and tonight they’re holding the 2nd Annual Art Dash to help fund the upcoming move and expansion. At 6 p.m., the gallery doors will swing open to reveal 50 pieces of art donated by anonymous local artists. While one might expect more sophistication from the art world than Black Friday Wal-Mart shoppers who stampede each other to death like war pigs, great art at blowout prices might justify temporarily abandoning etiquette. There will be no time for smooth, contemplative Kantian aesthetic judgments, as each piece is priced at $25 and will be snagged by the fastest, elbow-throwing bidder. Wear a helmet. -Elliott Sharp

6pm. Free. Little Berlin, 119 W. Montgomery Ave., 610.308.19122. littleberlin.org

Saturday, Dec. 4

Bob Ray’s Down & Dirty Austin Film Tour
Screenings of acclaimed documentary films are generally more exciting when both director and subject are on the run from the law. Drugs, competitive rodent breeding, bone-crushing violence and gross-out cartoons are standard during Bob Ray’s Down & Dirty Austin Film Tour. First there’s Total Badass, which follows Austin denizen Chad Holt as he deals with a felony probation, selling weed, family drama and the difficulties of raising guinea pigs with his girlfriend. Holt and director Bob Ray will be present for a Q&A. The second feature, Hell on Wheels, also directed by Ray, follows the rebirth of roller derby, the gentlest of sports. There’ll also be animated episodes of the filthy CrashToons between features. Hopefully the evening will end without the stars getting arrested. -Alli Katz

8pm. $8-$12. The Skybox, 2424 E. York St. 215.925.7676. crashcamfilms.com

Helena Espvall
In Espers, Helena Espvall runs a thread of cello through traditional folk patterns that glow faintly with 1960s psychedelic colors. Her two-album partnership with Ghost guitarist Masaki Batoh explores a wilder, more untethered side of folk, where pretty melodies disintegrate into exhilarating bursts of noise and improvisation. As a solo artist, however, she’s likely to plug in and freak out, amping her cello like a guitar and bringing in a battery of electronic equipment. Even so, it’s a marriage of past and future, tradition and the wholly new, with Espvall constructing a platform of traditional tunes, then diving off headfirst into squalls and drones of electronic distortion. -Jennifer Kelly

8pm. $5. Highwire Gallery, 2040 Frankford Ave. 215.426.2685

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1. Highwire Gallery said... on Dec 1, 2010 at 10:21AM

“CORRECTION: Helena Espvall is performing at the Highwire Gallery on Saturday, December 4th.”

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