Calendar: Dec. 29-Jan. 4

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Dec. 29, 2010

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Wednesday, Dec. 29

Andrew Lipke
While we (and Andrew Lipke himself, we imagine) are still waiting for the world at large to discover one of Philadelphia’s most talented singer/musicians and pull him away to greater fame and fortune, we’re fortunate to have Lipke playing around town on a fairly regular basis until that day comes. He’s been dividing his time between his sterling acoustic singer-songwriter career—where his soaring, emotive voice really has a chance to shine—and Philly’s Get the Led Out, the nation’s most popular Led Zep tribute band, for which he plays keyboards and guitar. Tonight, Lipke’s joined by his excellent backing band the Prospects, as well as acclaimed local folksters Hezekiah Jones and Chris Kasper, who’ll play opening sets and then jam with Lipke at the end. -Michael Alan Goldberg

8pm. $19.50-$29.50. With Hezekiah Jones + Chris Kasper. Sellersville Theater, Main and Temple sts., Sellersville. 215.257.5808. st94.com

The Understudy
In Theresa Rebeck’s three-person show, The Understudy, literary paranoia meets stage politics as the audience gets a behind-the-scenes view of the fictional production of a newly discovered play by German author Franz Kafka. The plot revolves around a movie star playing the lead role in the play, who gets into a vicious psychological battle with his usurping understudy—needless to say, Kafka-esque antics ensue. The play is fresh from the off-Broadway circuit, and the Wilma’s production will be the first time any work by playwright Theresa Rebeck has been produced in Philadelphia. Rebeck, a Pulitzer finalist, will be visiting the production on Jan. 16 and leading a conversation with the audience after the Sunday matinee. There will be a variety of behind-the-scenes discussions, receptions and even wine tastings on some evenings of the show; check out the calendar at the Wilma’s website for details. -Emily Crawford

7:30pm. $20-$36. The Wilma Theater, Broad & Spruce sts. 215.546.7824. wilmatheater.org

Thursday, Dec. 30

Weird Things in a Jar Day
From Ripley’s Believe it or Not to the neo-carnival revival, the love for showcasing freaks of nature is longstanding. Taxidermy is a passion among the hipster set, and now the Victorian “cabinetist” is the preferred identity label for each trendsetter with a collection of baby teeth and squirrel skulls in an Adidas box. The Academy of Natural Sciences celebrates the devotion to strange beasts and antiquated scientific study with its Weird Things in a Jar Day. Pulled from the depths of the Academy’s vaults are vast amounts of animal oddities, baffling creatures that look like the progeny of Cthulhu culled by scientists for more than two centuries or Wednesday Addams’s show-and-tell of family pets—arthropods pickled in arsenic and gruesome mollusks in formaldehyde cocktails. Visitors can ogle brined peculiarities and gain perspective on the importance of preservation in taxonomy and developments in zoological science. -Micaela Hester

10am. Free with admission. Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. 215.299.1060. ansp.org

Drink Up Buttercup
Drink Up Buttercup are a movie street scene rich in detail and activity, made to seem spontaneously chaotic while meticulously orchestrated. The bright whirling melodies suggest a careening carnival sweeping anyone nearby up in its bustling energy. Like a love child of the Flaming Lips and Sgt. Pepper’s, the Philly quartet’s psychedelica bubbles with playful experimentation, sudden bursts of instrumentation and abundant wonder particularly apparent in the soaring harmonies. Their ragged shambling gait imbues everything with a lively vibrancy as though muttering “light as a feather” might enable them to take off. After all the buzz that greeted this year’s debut LP Born and Thrown On a Hook, I wouldn’t bet against it. -Chris Parker

10pm. John & Peter’s, 96 S. Main St., New Hope. 215.862.5981. johnandpeters.com

Friday, Dec. 31

Reggie & the Full Effect
The oft-comic side project of James Dewees (Coalesce, Get Up Kids), Reggie’s notable for its stylistic roulette. Though Dewees has a penchant for first wave emo/punk-pop, albums also feature tracks from faux alter-ego bands Fluxuation (an ’80s darkwave imitator) and English-challenged Finnish Metal act Common Denominator, who recall Rammstein. After 2005’s dispiritingly dark divorce album, Songs Not To Get Married To, Dewees released 2008’s Last Stop: Crappy Town, whose title captures the bitter mood and frequent forays into screamo. The lost playfulness significantly diminishes the enjoyment, as Dewees demands we share his pain. Some jocularity has returned, though Dewees declares this a one-time reunion show, promising lots of special guests. -C.P.

9pm. $24.99. Theater of the Living Arts, 334 South St. 215.922.1011. livenation.com

DJ Jazzy Jeff
N ew Year’s Eve’s a time for wiping the slate clean, and nothing guarantees a fresh start like consuming copious amounts of booze while dancing to the sounds of West Philadelphia native, innovative turntablist and hip-hop legend DJ Jazzy Jeff. The three-time Grammy winner—um, “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” “Summertime,” and “I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson,” maybe you’ve heard them?—will spin tunes all night at the Blockley, where 85 bucks will get you two hours at the buffet and access to the open bar until last call. If you haven’t kept up with his post-Fresh Prince discography, Jazz’s two most recent albums may shine some light on what you’ll be hearing as you sip your way to tabula rasa: 2007’s Return of the Magnificent featured guest appearances by Method Man, Big Daddy Kane and De La Soul’s Posdnous, while 2009’s He’s The King, I’m The DJ was a mixtape tribute to Michael Jackson. -Elliott Sharp

8pm. $85. Blockley Pourhouse, 38th & Chestnut sts. theblockley.com

Making Time NYE
It was a decade ago that local barista Dave P. hatched the idea for Making Time—the sweaty, boozy, sexy, dance-gasmy party series that’s become a Philly staple—and found a happy home for it at Transit. For several years, Making Time and R5 Productions teamed up for annual jam-packed New Year’s Eve blowouts at Transit that were the stuff of legend: Mega soundsystems, crazy lights, beautiful people swimming in champagne, confetti and balloons all night long like
Ibiza-on-the-Delaware. Making Time’s New Year’s freakouts have moved around to different venues in recent years, but the party returns to the site where it all began to put the wraps on 2010. Transit’s now known as Club 90 Degrees, but it’s still got those same three floors to host the epic madness, including all-night open bar, lasers, video projections, confetti cannons and deafening tunes from DJs Dave P., Sammy Slice, Broadzilla, Rock Tits, Pink Skull and others. Plus an afterparty that’ll last until the sun rises on 2011. -Michael Alan Goldberg

9pm. $40. 90 Degrees, 600 Spring Garden St. 215.625.4797. igetrvng.com

Saturday, Jan. 1

Pecha Kucha
Pecha Kucha is a presentation mode invented by architects. Sounds enthralling, right? But wait until you hear the details … 20 images! Each shown for 20 brief seconds! Presenters left in the dust! Pronounced “peh CHAK cha,” Pecha Kucha is Japanese for “chit-chat,” hence the rapid-fire style of sharing ideas. Originally devised to keep architects from rambling on forever about their work, Pecha Kucha nights have become a new type of community gathering—part lecture, part gathering, part creative work. Studio 34, the ever-versatile yoga center/art gallery/all-purpose space of West Philly, will be hosting their seventh Pecha Kucha; locals will be presenting its six minutes and 40 seconds’ worth on everything from podcasts to urban goats (really, like the hoofed animals). -Emily Crawford

7:30pm. $5. Studio 34, 4522 Baltimore Ave. 215.387.3434. studio34yoga.com

Drive-By Truckers
DBT OG Mike “The Stroker Ace” Cooley may have recently collapsed from exhaustion and dehydration while on tour, but everything’s gonna be just fine. They canceled a few dates and are determined to make 2011 a banner year with a slew of shows to celebrate the release of 11th album Go-Go Boots (ATO Records, Feb. 15), the sonic sequel to this year’s smash The Big To Do. “It’s a very different DBT album,” says co-founder and guitarist Patterson Hood in the Go-Go Boots preview video. “It’s our most Muscle Shoals sounding album. The town where half of us grew up is famous for so many classic records, so many inhabiting that mythical intersection where soul music and country met.” Hood, son of bassist David Hood of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, points out that the sound is literally in his DNA. Spooky! Can their tight musicianship, smarter lyrics and grand ambitions save modern country music? Probably not. But they should definitely keep trying. -Tara Murtha

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1. Brad said... on Jan 4, 2011 at 01:23PM

“Thanks for the writeup on Pecha Kucha Night at Studio 34. Emily Crawford did a nice job capturing the flavor of the event (and the venue as well).”

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