Calendar: July 14-20

What to do in Philly this week.

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jul. 13, 2010

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Wednesday, July 14

On Fillmore
Last week, Wilco’s Nels Cline came to town with a solo project. Now it’s the drummer’s turn. Glenn Kotche’s works have an abstract, percussive quality reminiscent of Steve Reich, making him a natural fit for modern-classical collaborators like the Kronos Quartet and Bang on a Can. On Fillmore, Kotche’s duo project with acoustic bassist Darin Gray is dark and spacey, with an alluring mallet-and-strings mix that’s well-documented on their latest release, Extended Vacation. That and a couple of recent soundtracks have put Kotche and Gray in frequent touch despite busy careers apart, so catch them while they’re on a roll. Rachel Grimes opens with poetic solo piano. -David R. Adler

8pm. $15. With Rachel Grimes. Philadelphia Art Alliance, 251 S. 18th St. 215.545.4302. arsnovaworkshop.org

Fishing in Brooklyn

Literal fishing in Brooklyn probably requires some bureaucratic hopscotch and about a gallon of disinfectant. But LaTonia Phipps’ autobiographical one-woman show, while it is inspired by a memory of fishing with her mother in Prospect Park, is more concerned with proverbial fishing. Protagonist Tia Lite casts her line into the pond of memory, but she isn’t hooking guppies and goldfish. She’s tangling with some nasty, toothy eels: the death of her mother, her sexuality, her identity as an Afro-Latina. Swirling from Brooklyn to Ghana, Jamaica to Costa Rica and back, Fishing in Brooklyn explores the memories and music of the Afro-Latin diaspora: West African drums, Caribbean marimbas and borough beats. Tia’s encounters with the women of her past—both ancestors and role models—help her reclaim her cultural heritage and her mother’s memory. What she ultimately catches in this trawl is nothing less than her alma, her soul. -Lauren Smith

7pm. $5-$10. Also on Thurs., 6pm and 8:30pm. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St. 215.573.3234. therotunda.org


Thursday, July 15

Murder City Devils
These Seattle garage-punks didn’t play Philly for a decade—much of that span was spent split up—but now the sextet is back for the second time in five months. Guess that “temporary reunion,” started in 2006, is going pretty well. Theirs is a welcome return, and while time appears to have healed all wounds, the Devils certainly haven’t gone soft: Their shows remain loud, raw, fiery and unpredictable. Granted, they probably won’t leap into the crowd to brawl with fans or punch each other onstage, so if it’s a danger-spectacle you’re hoping for, you may be disappointed. But if you wanna hear them rip through the songs like the good old days, you’re probably in luck. -Michael Alan Goldberg

8pm. $23-$25. With Silverghost. The Note, 142 E. Market St., West Chester. thenotewc.com

Friday, July 16

Kid Sister
By the time Chicago’s Kid Sister released her debut album Ultraviolet last year, she was already one of the coolest new kids on the block, with ties to Kanye West and his label. While her tunes aren’t necessarily groundbreaking, her adrenaline-fueled songs show more creativity than the majority of Top 40 hits. And though there’s a lot of repetition, there’s also a surprising number of beat changes and unexpected bridges, not to mention discernible melodies. And she’s flat-out fun. From the slow, edgy beats of her breakout hit “Pro Nails” to the rave-provoking, synth-soaked anthem “Right Hand Hi,” she melds Spank Rock and Amanda Blank with ’90s hip-hop divas like Salt-n-Pepa and En Vogue. -Katherine Silkaitis

8pm. $15. With Gang. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. johnnybrendas.com

Best of 2009 Ottawa Animation Festival
Treat your eyes and remind yourself what it’s like to watch cartoons on something bigger than a laptop screen. The venerable Ottawa International Animation Festival has been lauding the best in animation since 1976. 2009’s 15 picks, from one to 11 minutes, cover topics like space, sex and Madagascar. Techniques range from the flowing, computer-animated splatters of Michal Socha’s "Chick" to Eric Dyer's 3-D animation and digital video combo “The Bellow’s March;” each frame in veteran cartoon-creator Marv Newland’s “Postalolio” was hand-painted onto a postcard and sent through the mail before the animation process. Unlike the random string of links that constitute the average YouTube black hole, these films carefully selected for your pleasure. -Alexandra Jones

7pm. $6-$8. International House, 3710 Chestnut St. 215.387.5125. ihousephilly.org

Heartless Bastards
Heartless Bastards’ Erika Wennerstrom’s voice is hard and rough as unfinished oak. Its flinty, weathered tone complements the swaggering sinew of their roots-based sound. The Bastards’ first two albums grind out bruising garage-blues built on brash strokes of distortion and pliant melody. A move from Dayton to Austin in ’07 saw Wennerstrom completely overhauling the quartet’s lineup and approach for last year’s The Mountain. Electric guitars are downplayed in favor of acoustic instrumentation (violin, banjo, mandolin) serving old-timey Americana ache. Her voice aspires to a lithe torch-country waver revealing previously unwitnessed finesse. It’s a departure that retains prior efforts’ arid, lumbering sway while increasing dynamics and subtlety at the expense of power. -Chris Parker

9pm. $14-$16. With the Builders and the Butchers + Peter Wolf Crier. North Star Bar, 27th and Poplar sts. 215.787.0488. northstarbar.com

Magic Gardens
New York artist Cynthia Berkshire is comin’ to town to present an in-progress performance of “IRIS Gets Ready for Her Date.” Humorous and disturbing, the piece tells the story of a woman named Iris dealing with the ever-present dilemma of female self-expression, armed with a flashlight, boxes of tissues and a pile of bras. There's a Q&A with the artist after the performance; one might ask about the artist’s backgrounds in ballet, theater, video art and graphic design, which combine, Megazord-like, in her multi-genre performances. ICA, a sponsor, will host a workshop by Berkshire that day at 2 p.m. In it, the artist will use movement, writing, props, and storytelling, to guide participants in expressing thoughts and feelings about women’s bodies. -Pia Crawford-Silva

8pm. $10. Magic Gardens, 1020 South St. 215.733.0390. phillymagicgardens.org

Saturday, July 17

POP Festival
No, not that kind of pop. This isn’t a festival for Ke$ha wannabes to showcase their, uh, talents—it’s an annual fundraiser for the Philadelphia Orchard Project, a nonprofit organized in 2007 whose mission is to plant orchards throughout Philly in order to beautify the city, provide healthy food and foster community food security. You won’t see any lip-synching during performances by five local bands: The Mean, Betty Iron Thumbs, The Weeds, Elder Brother and Balkan burners the West Philadelphia Orchestra. All proceeds go to the Philadelphia Orchard Project, but thanks to donations from Philadelphia Brewing Company (free beer!) and neighborhood associations, festival entry is suggested-donation only. A cheap outdoor music festival that helps Philly go more green beats Britney any day.  -Chaia Werger

3pm. $15. Liberty Lands Park, Third and Wildey sts. phillyorchards.org

Bob Log III
The stage is more powerful than any drug, which is probably why we afford musicians such a wide normative berth. Suggesting a woman ride your knee, clap her tits or dip her boob in your scotch doesn’t work nearly as well without a guitar in your hand. Even if that wasn’t Log’s intent in starting his one-man band a dozen years ago, he’s taken advantage of the power. Singing through a phone receiver connected to his motorcycle helmet and clad in what appears to be one of Evel Knievel’s old jumpsuits, the irreverent Log delivers skuzzy, ramshackle blues like a developmentally challenged, bus-station Jon Spencer. It’s raw but effective, and like any crank, he’s highly entertaining. -C.P.

9:30pm. $10. With Molly Gene One Whoaman Band + Mondo Topless. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. johnnybrendas.com

Brown Bear Festival
Remember January, with the almost unfathomable devastation and the millions of displaced people in Haiti? Yeah, us too. Ditto the organizers of the Brown Bear Festival in Clark Park, which, in its second year, is dedicated to a grab bag of Haiti aid organizations. Confirmed acts for this year’s lineup include funky jazz-rock fusion peoples Big Unkle, the blues of Moka, hard rockers Surgeon and Twenty 30 and is hosted by DJ K.L. Diablo (also known as Keith Souders, vocalist from back-in-the-day West Philly band Trained Attack Dogs). Expect speakers from foundations like Doctors Without Borders to keep you updated on the progress in Haiti between sets. Hang all day, then cool off at the afterparty at the Tiberino Museum, also hosted by DJ Diablo. -Tara Murtha

11:30am. Free. Clark Park, 43rd St. and Chester Ave. 215.437.2081. brownbearfestival.com

Sunday, July 18

Augmented Fourthtet
Bassist Dave Kaczorowski and drummer Adrian Valosin formed a tight unit for many years as the rhythm section for trumpeter Herb Robertson. Joined by reedsman Dan Peterson and guitarist Ed Ricart, they formed Augmented Fourthtet as an outlet for their loose, improvisation-friendly compositions. Navigating between structure and free-form experimentation, the quartet occasionally launches into canonical pieces by jazz masters Albert Ayler, Henry Threadgill and Andrew Hill. On this night, Ricart’s position will be taken by Philly-based pianist and electronicist Matt Mitchell who, having just returned from recent tours with Claudia Quintet and Tim Berne’s Los Totopos, is one of the rising stars of our local jazz scene. -Elliott Sharp

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