Calendar: Feb. 22-28

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Feb. 22, 2012

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Wednesday, Feb. 22

Life After Life
While serving 36 years of a life sentence in Graterford prison for being an accomplice to a North Philadelphia second-degree murder, Tyrone Werts earned a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University, worked as a tutor to help others earn their GEDs, became heavily involved with Temple University’s nationally renowned Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, and established the Lifers’ Public Safety Initiative (PSI) with other incarcerated men. PSI was created to propose solutions to violent crime in prisons and communities. For the first time since former-Gov. Rendell broke with Pennsylvania’s “life means life” policy to commute Werts’ sentence, resulting in his 2010 release, Werts will speak to the public as a free man about his experience and accomplishments, and will share in a dialogue about the evolving meaning of “justice,” the short falls of the criminal justice system and new methods for addressing crime. Werts will be joined by Barb Toews, restorative justice practitioner/educator and Paul J. Hetznecker, civil rights and criminal defense attorney, both of whom collaborated with Werts during his incarceration. -Emma Eisenberg

7:30pm. Free. Haverford College, 370 Lancaster Ave., Haverford.

Saul Williams
One of the most agile, dynamic and heralded figures in New York’s mid-’90s slam poetry scene, Saul Williams burst into the mainstream consciousness in the award-winning 1998 drama Slam, in which he starred opposite fellow poet Sonja Sohn (later Detective Griggs on The Wire). Williams was a force to be reckoned with, and he brought that fire to his burgeoning music career, crafting a jugular-slicing industrial hip-hop that reached its zenith with 2007’s incredible Trent Reznor-abetted The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust. Four years later, and approaching 40, Williams has softened and gone semi-pop with his new Volcanic Sunlight, which frequently sounds like a smoother, slightly funkier TV on the Radio. It’s a perfectly decent album, but we sure hope some of that blistering, experimental zeal of old rears its head tonight. -Michael Alan Goldberg

8pm. $15-$27. With CX Kidtronik. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St.

Godard’s Contempt
French auteur Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt (1963) is a film about making a film. Upon first viewing, I didn’t really “get it.” However, DVD bonus features revealed the meaning of a car crash scene where, following an accident, two bodies lean in opposite directions. For various reasons, that’s impossible. Given the impact and stuff, both bodies must lean in the same direction. This is Godard’s way, experts claim, of revealing to the audience that film has the capacity to misrepresent the real world and the power to create new worlds. Figure the rest out for yourself at tonight’s screening. -Elliott Sharp

7pm. Free. International House, 3701 Chestnut St. 215.387.5125.

Food Swap
Support self-sufficiency and community building while stocking up and diversifying your pantry with delicious homemade treats. Part silent auction, part marketplace, the global food-swapping movement has landed in Philly. Register to trade your foraged, homemade or homegrown produce, breads, jams, cakes  or other edibles at the Philly Swappers’ second event. Or come as a nonswapping guest to observe the festivities. Come hungry—there will be pre-swap potluck appetizers and plenty of sampling to be done. -Heather Taddonio

9pm. Free. Philadelphia Horticultural Society, 100 N. 20th St.

Books Through Bars
Many prisoners wish to use their time behind bars to learn how to better themselves once they’re released. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough educational materials to help them do that. Books Through Bars was founded to help solve this problem. Dock Street Brewery will be hosting Books Through Bar’s Dictionary Fund Benefit, an event created to provide dictionaries to inmates; the dictionary is the single most requested book by incarcerated people. For a $10 donation, attendees receive a slice of pizza (there will also be vegan options) and a beer, and the opportunity to provide an inmate with a dictionary. If you can’t donate $10, dictionary donations are certainly welcome.  -Sydney Scott

8:30pm. $10. Dock Street Brewery, 701 S. 50th St. 215.726.2337.

Thursday, Feb. 23

Algernon Cadwallader
Algernon Cadwallader sound like Cap’n Jazz. Listeners know this, YouTube knows this (dig up AC’s “Second-Rate Machines” and Cap’n’s “Planet Shhh” should be recommended), and the band undoubtedly know this. Tim Kinsella’s beloved group have been invoked so often that AC vocalist/bassist Peter Helmis once used an interview to tongue-in-cheekily introduce his act as “a DIY band from Pennsylvania. We sound like Cap’n Jazz.” To be fair, the basement-bred Philly group (who crib their moniker from a notable early resident of Yardley) genuinely do resemble Cap’n Jazz and bands of their ilk. “Springing Leaks,” off last year’s Parrot Flies, sports the tenderest of hearts, shouted vocals that are nigh unintelligible but fun anyhow, and that brand of hopelessly starry-eyed guitar lines that made 1990s post-hardcore and emo treasures. To throw new comparisons into the mix, AC also sound like they could be from New Jersey circa ’97, as the three-piece play with the persistence and rawness of Lifetime and Thursday. -Reyan Ali

8pm. With Teenage Cool Kids. Pilam, 3914 Spruce St.

Big River
Beyond the actors’ friends and family, audiences don’t typically flock to a university production because of the show’s cast, which is usually comprised entirely of student performers. However, University of Arts’ staging of Big River is no ordinary production. A musical adaptation of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn featuring Roger Miller’s tuneful country-bluegrass score, UArts’ production may be the first University show in Philly to feature a Tony Award-nominated actor. Forrest McClendon, who received a Tony nom for his terrific performance in Scottsboro Boys, reprised the role in Philadelphia Theatre Company’s recently concluded staging of Scottsboro and his magical performance stole the show. For director Frank Anzalone’s concert presentation of River, McClendon stars as the runaway slave Jim while fellow Barrymore Award winner Ben Dibble (who, like McClendon, is an adjunct faculty member at UArts) struts his considerable talent as the wily con man known as Duke. -J. Cooper Robb

8pm. $10-$20. Arts Bank Theater, 601 S. Broad St. 215.717.6450.

Friday, Feb. 24

Party at Clear
Business innovates in the face of an increasingly discerning public. The Nextlevel Wireless store (where the Clear Wireless store used to be) definitely agrees. Since the neon-accented interior design is far more suited for a dance party than retail, the Nextlevel folks are opening their doors for all all-out bash. Bring your drink/food, enjoy the fog machine and talk shit while playing the X-box or Playstation hooked up to big screens. You know, the simple things. -Brad Forbes

9pm. Free. Clear, 4327 Main St. 267.498.7046.

A Wilhelm Scream
Heavy metal shredding and punk rock aren’t two tastes that tend to taste great together, but A Wilhelm Scream make the combination work with enviable panache. The New Bedford, Mass.-bred five-piece, who have been kicking around in some form for at least 13 years, tread similar territory to their heroes in Propagandhi by teaming chunky-sounding guitars with satisfying hooks and punk’s bullet-like exactness. Lyrically, their arcane verses usually hit their target, though an occasional song feels like a word salad prepared just because it sounds cool and vaguely deep. AWS haven’t issued a full-length since 2007’s Career Suicide (they’ve been teasing one for ages), so in lieu of an up-to-date recommendation, dig up Mute Print, their underrated and ridiculously on-point debut. “Famous Friends and Fashion Drunks” alone could exhaust a repeat button. -R.A.

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