Calendar: Jan. 12-18

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jan. 12, 2011

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Wednesday, Jan. 12

Black Horse Motel
A newish local combo that’s gone through some membership changes of late, Black Horse Motel finally seems to have settled on a lineup. And an engaging sound that on the surface resembles any number of old-timey/Americana outfits employing banjos, harmonica, cello and a generally indie-folk vibe, but which occasionally nods to OK Computer-era Radiohead or Scotland’s Frightened Rabbit with its moody melodies and dramatic sonic arcs. Singer/multi-instrumentalist Andras Szeles’ baritone is rich and comforting, even when his lyrics are troubled, and it blends beautifully with the voices of the two ladies and one gent that round out the foursome. Definitely a Philly band to keep eyes and ears on in 2011. -Michael Alan Goldberg

8pm. $8. With Lion Versus, Fallen Troubadours + City Slides. North Star, 27th and Poplar sts. 215.787.0488.

Marc Maron
After a stalled but cultish career in stand-up and a terminated stint at Air America radio, Marc Maron went rogue with his signature brand of painfully smart, neurotic comedy. Today, he’s still shooting the shit with world-renowned comics (and sometime friends) like Louis C.K. and Sarah Silverman on his wildly successful podcast, “What the Fuck.” Its no-holds-barred interview style is designed less for shock value than for basic human relief, audience included. Tapping the dialect of their suffering, Maron freely swaps stories with his guests and listeners of failed love, the perils of show biz and the darkness of addiction, with the insider knowledge of a comic, and the guaranteed outsider perspective of one mind peering cautiously into another. What emerges is an unscripted humor and vulnerability that’s unlike anything else out there on the airwaves. Don’t miss seeing Maron live, human and finally at the top of his game. -Sharon Margolis

Through Jan. 15. 8pm. $10-$25. Helium, 2031 Sansom St. 215.496.9001.

Italian Video Today + Myth/Memory
Crane Arts’ Second Thursday tonight is a reception for two new exhibits. Showcasing the work of 12 Italian filmmakers, Italian Video Today surveys diverse accounts of social and individual identity. In Lago Morto, Nico Vascellari—lead singer of hardcore punk band Lago Morto—examines the underground youth culture surrounding his band as they perform at 15 locations around the Venice region; in The Empirical Effect, Rosa Barba articulates Italy’s uncertain political climate by drawing parallels between it and Mt. Vesuvius. Offering an expansive portrait of a nation in flux, the 12 films address issues of immigration, colonialism, labor, and bourgeois decadence. In the other exhibit, Myth/Memory, the idea of materials embodying the values of their historical uses is investigated by Philadelphia-based artist Melinda Steffy. Presenting simple materials like tarnished copper, burnt paper and the spice tumeric, the fragmentary textures and pieces tell stories of sustainability, numerology, entropy and improvisation. -Elliott Sharp

Through Feb. 13. 6pm. Free. Crane Arts, 1400 N. American St. 215.232.3203.
Thursday, Jan. 13

Liz Longley
Compared to cities of relative size, Philadelphia has long had a noticeable lack of female Americana-style singer-songwriter superstars. There are some talented lady-folk, don’t get us wrong. But, in a sea of guitar-toting boy bards with beards, you can count the women on one hand. Lately, it seems Liz Longley might be looking to blow up in some of that space. Longley has already won a fistful of acoustic industry awards, such as the 2010 BMI John Lennon Scholarship, the Grand Prize international Acoustic Music Award (among 9,000 entries) among sundry songwriting awards and prestigious folk festival slots. As a recent graduate of Berklee, she has also snagged the endorsement of fellow alum John Mayer and professor Livingston Taylor. With solid songwriting chops and a voice that can leap up high while staying firmly planted in blues, Longley will no doubt graduate into better things. The Tin Angel show kicks off an ambitious four-month string of dates that runs up and down the East Coast. -Tara Murtha

8pm. $10. With Seth Glier. Tin Angel, 20 S. Second St. 215.928.0770.

One Woman’s Proportions

The female point of view in architecture is refreshingly represented in Inhabiting Geometry, an interactive sculpture installation opening tonight from Philadelphia architect Anne Tyng, a reflection of her lifelong relationship with applied mathematics and art. Tyng, who has been a professor at the University of Pennsylvania for more than 27 years, has created an engaging walkthrough of the five platonic shapes—forms which, according to Tyng, are “the only regular forms possible in a three-dimensional space.” The installation, constructed from plywood, focuses on proportions as well as the morphology of geometries in an environment. The ICA’s curation of Tyng’s new work playfully references digital modeld snd physical prototypes. The exhibition also includes a number of publications and drawings by the artist as well as documents of her collaborations with a former lover, Estonian architect Louis Kahn, to form a small but comprehensive retrospective. Also opening is Shary Boyle and Emily Duke: The Illuminations Project, a collection of illustrated correspondence. -Elizabeth D’Ambrosio

Through March 20. 6pm. Free. Institute of Contemporary Art, 18 S. 36th St. 215.898.7108.
Friday, Jan. 14

Five Minute Follies
Do you love madcap variety entertainment but can’t deal with acts that last six, eight, or even—good heavens!—12 minutes? Focus on Five Minute Follies, a collection of olde- and new-timey performances to keep your synapses cocked and ready. Along with singing (jazz and otherwise), poetry and brief drama, illusionist Anthony Salazar will make things dis- and/or appear and Sarah Maccarelli introduces the world to the exotic art of hoop dancing. The tribute to a bygone era of entertainment continues with a radio play from Nebulous Intent, burlesque from White Elephant, short Shakespeare from the Mad Mechanicals and improv from Grandma Hates Technology. True to the title, no act will occupy the stage for longer than the 300 seconds it takes today’s jaded brains to reach for Bejeweled on their smartphone. -Alexandra Jones

8:30pm. $5. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St. 215.573.3234.

Mike Boone & Friends + Alex Clafy Trio
The Philly jazz scene is reeling from the death of piano great Sid Simmons, not to mention the shuttering of his regular haunt Ortlieb’s Jazzhaus. But bassist and longtime Simmons compatriot Mike Boone is keeping the music alive at sessions around town. He’ll headline this month’s Lucky Old Souls showcase with a quartet, featuring Jim Holton on piano, Vince Turnbull on bass and Rob Henderson on drums. Sharing the bill is another bassist and leader, 18-year-old Alex Claffy, a former student of Boone’s, and like Boone adept on both upright and electric bass. Returning home from his undergraduate studies in New York, Claffy will stir it up with keyboardist Jason Matthews and drummer Douglas Marriner. -David R. Adler

9pm. $10. Moonstone Arts Center, 110 S. 13th St. 215.735.9600.

Dr. Zanzibar’s Olde City Sideshow
Most cities have to wait for the circus to come to town, but lucky for us the best part of the big top lives right in the heart of Philly—we’ve got sideshow. Dr. Zanzibar’s Olde City Sideshow pulls back the velvet curtain to reveal spectacles that vividly shackle the imagination between a dream and a nightmare. The disturbing carney fun involves nails, swords and other devices of torture shoved into orifices, creepy-crawlies and balls of fire swallowed with a smile and organ accompaniment that could score a Hammer horror. The troupe of knockout gals and mesmerizing gents are the finest freaks culled from Parisian slums to the valleys of Tibet, if their wickedly funny origin stories are to be believed. Delicate types may want to look away, but summon your bravery with a sudsy pint and peek between your fingers—you don’t want to miss the best part. -Micaela Hester

10pm. National Mechanics, 22 S. Third St. 215.701.4883.

Saturday, Jan. 15

Gloria Gaynor
There is a conspiracy against “I Will Survive.” Nationwide, evil sorority girls have long attempted to hijack the song, trying their beer-bellied damnedest to drag the all-time dance floor ode to women’s lib down to a mediocre closing time track with all the class of beer burps and camera-phone hook-ups. Alas, they have not won. Even Gaynor herself (after her taste for alcohol and pot-flavored snacks lead to Christian evangelism) once tried to pollute the song, swapping out the original lyrics with phrases crediting Jesus for her survival. It was rejected. “I Will Survive” doesn’t belong to the sorority girls and doesn’t even belong to Gloria. The song belongs to lovers with gay and glittery hearts, to us, the karaoke singers, the black sheep who drink too much at family weddings, the fabulous and free. Oh, and then there’s the rest of Gaynor’s catalogue, too. And the Village People. -T.M.

8pm. $49.50-75. With the Village People. Keswick Theatre, 291 North Keswick Ave. 215.572.7650.

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