Calendar: Jan. 19-25

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jan. 18, 2011

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Wednesday, Jan. 19

Giant Mind
Fronted by tender-voiced singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Greg Puglese, Philly quintet Giant Mind soups up its atmospheric, wistfully paced dream-pop with hip-hop-informed beats, soul grooves, and the occasional gritty guitar riff, and still somehow manages not to obliterate the delicate, aching melodies at the heart of the tunes. Even when they bring trumpets and a host of psychedelic textures to the mix, Giant Mind’s songs remain airy and ethereal, yet not without direction or purpose. As Casey Kasem might say, the band keeps its feet on the ground but keeps reaching for the stars. Make sure you arrive early tonight to catch somewhat like-minded ambient indie-pop locals Clean Equations, too. -Michael Alan Goldberg

8pm. $5. With Cozy Galaxies, Secret Mountains + Clean Equations. Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front St.

Portraits of Civil War Heroes
As he began to slowly die, they moved the platform from under him, and that was so destabilizing that it would have to be in the music.” This is how Dave Burrell, one of the most innovative pianists of the post-Coltrane jazz movement, describes his “John Brown: Death,” one of five new suites he’ll perform tonight that were inspired by the Rosenbach’s exhibition The Civil War Begins, running through July. Burrell’s Portraits of Civil War Heroes, sort of a musical sibling to Plutarch’s Lives, sonically articulates the stories of figures like Brown, Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. They may seem an odd choice of subjects, but think about the era for a minute and it’s obvious how significant a time it was in the development of jazz—namely, the evolution of its blues and ragtime foundations. Burrell has worked with fellow pioneers such as Archie Shepp, Sunny Murray, Pharoah Sanders and Roscoe Mitchell; if you miss him tonight, there’s a second chance Saturday afternoon. RSVP required. Elliott Sharp

6pm. $5-10. Rosenbach Museum, 2008-2010 Delancey Pl. 215.732.1600.

Thursday, Jan. 20

Jemeel Moondoc Trio
Many fine if unheralded careers were made during the loft-jazz era in New York, spanning the ’70s to the mid-’80s. Jemeel Moondoc, one of the era’s key alto saxophonists, led the seminal group Muntu and continues to expound his ideas with the Jus Grew Orchestra, among other units. In our day, Moondoc’s aesthetic has found a home at New York’s Vision Festival as well as Philly’s Ars Nova Workshop concert series, which is now beginning its second decade. This week, ANW presents Moondoc in a trio with bassist Hill Greene, a Jus Grew partner, and drummer Chad Taylor, a younger player who first made his mark with the family of bands known as the Chicago Underground. -David R. Adler

8pm. Free. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St. 215.573.3234.

Boom Bap Tourism
Love the performing arts but don’t have much cash? No problem—the Post Op Festival at the Painted Bride, running today through Sunday, is offering a bunch of economy-accomodating pay-what-you-can performances from local dancers, performance artists, actors and people somewhere between those labels. The festival opens with the debut of dance-theater hotshot Makoto Hirano’s one-man show Boom Bap Tourism, a work Hirano describes as a collision of dance, theater, poetry, hip-hop and autobiography about an Asian-American kid growing up on the streets of Chicago. The audience encounters fragments of Hirano’s changing identity, from b-boy to marine to illegal firearms dealer, through a structure of sudden shifts between monologue and slam poetry, drama and dance, past and present. A magnetic performer who warrants your full attention, Hirano gets a hand on Bap from Kickstarter plus some local theater heavyweights like director Sarah Sanford and sound designers Mikaal Sulaiman and Jorge Cousineau (PW’s recent Theater Artist of the Year). Check out the Bride’s website for other performances in the Post Op Festival. -J. Cooper Robb

10:30am and 7pm. Free. Painted Bride, 230 Vine St. 215.925.9914.

PhillyNORML Fundraiser
Carrying a little bit of weed in the Illadelph doesn’t seem quite as nerve-racking since small amounts of marijuana became slightly less illegal a few months ago. D.A. Seth Williams can’t take all the cred, though, you can express your appreciation for the Philly chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML); they were instrumental in getting people caught with small amounts of weed out of the court system and into a diversion program (read: treatment class + fine). You can help them keep fighting the good fight in 2011 at their fundraiser. High Times is a sponsor, and their associate publisher will be speaking, along with activist Diane Fornbacher and PhillyNORML board members. So go ahead, smoke it if you got it—and thank your stars that these days “it” means “less than an ounce of weed, with the possibility of paying $200 and going to a class” rather than “less than an ounce of weed, with the possibility of jail time and having to check ‘yes’ on the felony part of job applications for the rest of your life.” N.S.

8pm. $10. Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front St. 215.291.4919.
Friday, Jan. 21

Pigadilly Circus
Pig Iron Theatre Company, the absurdly fun group behind this year’s Fringe breakout Cankerblossom, promises a jolly good time at its annual cabaret fundraiser. This year’s Anglophilia-themed extravaganza guarantees to be as perfect as the Queen’s English and rowdier than a Parliamentary debate. The daring OBIE-winning troupe is dedicated to eclectic productions that smash the boundaries of genre, and the benefit gala is no exception. While the evening begins with a live auction, this is not a stodgy evening devoted to discreet nods and lifted paddles—the cabaret includes moves by illReality and Gabrielle Revlock, serenades by James Sugg and Johnny Showcase and the Peking-operatic highlight The Monkey King. The royal procession is hosted by Quinn Bauriedel with musical interludes by the rocking and raucous Martha Graham Cracker, whose private performance at Beau Monde is certain to be one of the most sought-after crown jewels up on the auction block. -Micaela Hester

8pm. $25-$75. Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. 215.627.1883.

Joan of Arc
Formed in Chicago in 1995, indie rock stalwarts Joan of Arc still retain the Midwest indie rock/post-punk aesthetic that permeated the area during the decade. Harsh and dissonant melodies are coupled with confessional, earnest lyrics, while their sometimes unconventional and abrasive attitude is supported by their own brand of musical intuition. One moment, lead singer Tim Kinsella is backed only by drum-and-bongo beats, and the next he’s turning out a soaring, uplifting anthemic lullaby. Despite their 15-year tenure, the band’s sound is uniquely identifiable. Their embrace of unlikely syncopated and meandering melodies is still evident, as is their affinity for genre jumping. Songs dominated by softly angular guitar melodies and confessional, sometimes nonsensical, lyrics remain scattered among songs sung in dying, primal screams. -Katherine Silkaitis

9pm. $12. With Soft Circle + Hermit Thrushes. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684.

“You do a lot of what we call the ‘bitch work’,” states Jennifer Wilder, an apprentice tattoo artist featured in Beverly Yuen Thompson’s documentary exploring the impact of tattoos on the lives of heavily-inked women. Tattoos are commonplace nowadays, but Wilder’s comment offers a glimpse of the challenges still faced by women whose tattoos aren’t small, cute, or hidden—everything ranging from unwanted touching to being shunned by their parents. Thompson, a sociologist-cum-documentarian, knows this world intimately: She got her first tattoo at 17 and rocks a Saraswati backpiece. Her video confounds academic expectations, which value books over visuals, much the same way the tattoo enthusiasts she documents counfound traditions of gender and feminine beauty. Proudly displaying their ink and speaking freely about what tattooing means to them, these women are complicated, contradictory and cool. -Raymond Simon

7pm. Free. A-Space, 4722 Baltimore Ave. 215.821.6877.

Saturday, Jan. 22

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