Calendar: July 25-31

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Jul. 25, 2012

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The King of Falafal competes at the Vendy Awards this week.

Photo by Ryan Strand Greenberg

Wednesday, July 25

Frank Ocean
If Frank Ocean is truly the sensitive-ass R&B singer he portrays himself to be, then Channel ORANGE is his magnum opus. His first official, full-length debut (he first gained attention with last year’s equally superb mixtape, Nostalgia, Ultra), ORANGE has Ocean basically taking a flamethrower to the pimp/playa image many R&B singers create for themselves (see last week’s cover story) to show how vulnerable and emotionally conflicted brothas can be. The most soulful member of the Odd Future crew, Ocean rambles around ORANGE like an aimless, lonely protagonist in a Bret Easton Ellis novel. He tries to find something resembling love and happiness and usually comes up empty, whether he’s hanging with the rich kids, trying to get some affection from a stripper or actually realizing he may just be into dudes. Daring in both its musical composition and lyrical subject matter, Channel ORANGE is the essential soundtrack for guys like Ocean: Club-hopping, bottle-popping brothas who still go home at the end of the night all by themselves. -Craig D. Lindsey

9pm. Sold out. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100.

Monty Python Fest
The fun-loving folks at the County Theater are hosting their third annual celebration of the British comedy troupe in Pythonesque fashion, with trivia, prizes and, yes, SPAM. Fans of the Flying Circus will enjoy screenings of classic sketches from the troupe’s TV show followed by the ’70s low-budget feature, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. A “Knight of the Round Table” level admission grants the attendee a “Python Fest” T-shirt and complimentary “horse.” Coconut halves are provided, along with riding lessons, by the theater’s trained staff. Emphasis will be placed on proper clip-clopping technique, as well as when and where it’s appropriate to gallop. Judges, paying particular attention to goose-step and gait, will be on hand to award prizes for the “Silly Walk” competition. Special events, including trivia, prizes and “gourmet style” SPAM, start at 7 p.m. Film screening starts around 7:30. -Bill Morse

7pm. $10-$15. County Theater, 20 E. State St., Doylestown. 215.345.6789.

The Legend of Zelda: The Symphony of the Goddesses

Since its introduction in the late ’80s, Zelda has spawned 15 video games, as well as its own book series, Saturday morning cartoon, comic book and even a breakfast cereal. But you really know a video game is successful when someone comes up with the idea to turn it into an over-the-top production, equipped with a live four-movement symphony, the Philadelphia Singers Chorale and spectacular visuals. No, seriously. While the symphony performs the game’s thematic, action-packed music—the work of Nintendo composer and sound director Koji Kondo—Zelda’s entire 25-year history will unfold in front of the audience’s eyes during a cinematic video presentation. -Nicole Finkbiner

8:30pm. $19-$95. The Mann Center, 5201 Parkside Ave. 215.878.0400.

King Khan & the Shrines

A smarmy, rowdy mix of James Brown and the Crocodiles, King Khan leads the nine-piece, horn-filled King Khan & the Shrines with psychedelic costumed antics, tight musicianship and potential nudity. Plus, he does it all with a charming smile and an undeniable magnetism usually saved for Voodoo leaders. In the new Shrines video for the groovy single “Bite My Tongue” (their first since 2009), Khan flies around spraying hot sauce on evildoers and battling Jesus, who shoots wine from his eyeballs. “I wanted to show how close Jesus is to Batman,” Khan said. He’s been a cult leader in punk-drenched soul, getting arrested and gathering disciples around the world for 10 years in bands like the Spaceshits, King Khan & BBQ Show (Marc Sultan), Tandoori Knights, the Black Jaspers and the Almighty Defenders (the Black Lips). The new Shrines album is nearly finished, so expect some funky new tunes tonight. -Sean Corbett

8pm. $15. With Hector’s Pets and the Shakes. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave.

Thursday, July 26

Mayan Chowder & Other Tales
For the most part, the Philadelphia theater renaissance has been driven by the city’s huge and talented pool of actors. Lately, however, the area has seen a surge in the number of local playwrights. One of the most unique of these dramatists is Temple University grad Brittany Holdahl. Grey Wolf Productions will showcase five of Holdahl’s short comedies this week at the Shubin Theatre under the title Mayan Chowder & Other Tales (through July 29). Directed by Joseph Nevin and featuring six actors portraying a gaggle of eccentric characters, Holdahl says the goal of her work is simply to make people laugh. Quirky, whimsical, imaginative and endearing, the plays recall the absurd antics of Monty Python and the wonderfully stupid humor of Mel Brooks. Ranging in length from 20 minutes to a brief 600 seconds, the strange scenarios include a young woman impregnated by a guy impersonating a giant bunny; a Campbell’s soup can capable of altering reality; a gassy ghoul hunted by a pair of bickering Ghostbusters; a hungry dragon in search of a human appetizer; and a vegan environmentalist who is appalled to discover that his partner is slaughtering the local groundhog population with an ancient crossbow. -J. Cooper Robb

7pm. $10. Shubin Theatre, 407 Bainbridge St.

Friday, July 27

Come Back, Africa
In the late ’50s, American filmmaker Lionel Rogosin journeyed to Johannesburg, South Africa and told officials he was there to shoot an innocuous travelogue. In truth, he was filming a damning portrait of the Apartheid regime. A quasi-documentary narrative about the cruelties of white law, Come Back, Africa—which premiered in New York soon after the 1960 Sharpeville massacre in which police killed 69 Africans—is thus a blunt political instrument. But it’s so much more. Filmed on the sly with nonprofessional “actors,” Africa is as concerned with polemic as it is with the people themselves. On many occasions, the tragic narrative pauses for street music, and one lengthy hang-out scene starts as a political discussion, veers into a couple of “impromptu” songs from the about-to-explode Miriam Makeeba then goes into a chat about religion. Alive in its own idiosyncratic ways, Rogosin’s low-budget classic is more than just a time capsule curio with a noble axe to grind. -Matt Prigge

7pm. $7-$9. International House, 3701 Chestnut St. 215.387.5125.

Bomba Estéreo
Bomba Estéreo, out of Bogotá, Colombia, electro-shocks the shimmery psychedelics of Cumbia, splicing folkloric traditions with funk, hip-hop and strobe-flashing dance. Started by loop manipulator and bassist Simón Mejía about a decade ago, the group turned iconic when Liliana Saumet joined as frontwoman, extravagantly costumed and constantly mobile, chanting, sputtering, insinuating and shouting staccato Spanish into the mic. The band’s international debut, Blow Up, did just that in 2009, on the strength of fiery, hypnotic grooves like “Fuego” and “Raza.” Two years later, an EP offered “Ponte Bomb,” a pummelling, white-hot Latin remake of Technotronic’s “Pump Up the Jam.” Bomba Estéreo shows often extend into the early hours, so you might want to indulge in another Colombian import—relax, we mean coffee—before you go. Jennifer Kelly

7pm. $15-$17. With El Malito.  World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400.

Saturday, July 28

Roar and Snore
The Philadelphia Zoo is hosting an event that goes above and beyond the standard sleep-under-the-stars lure. All you lions and lionesses with cubs ages 5 to 12 are invited to BYOT (bring your own tent) to the Impala Lawn within the gates of the zoo and sleep amongst animals you wouldn’t want to see on city streets. Fall asleep to the sprawling skyline in perfect view, and wake up to peacocks calling in the sun. Aside from the thrill of camping, families attend an evening chock full of zoo-themed activities, like a nighttime hike around the zoo and a pow-wow with one of the keepers. An evening snack and continental breakfast will be provided. This one’s all booked, but don’t worry, spots are still open for Aug. 18. No scaredy-cats allowed. -Caroline Newton

6:30pm-10am. $52. Philadelphia Zoo, 34th St. and Girard Ave. 215.243.1100.

Hot Club of Detroit

Despite a horrific car accident last year that left bassist Andrew Kratzat and his fiancée both with traumatic brain injuries, the Hot Club of Detroit has thankfully regrouped, readying the release of their fourth album, Junction, next month. This retro fusion/gypsy jazz quintet is inspired by Belgian-born gypsy guitar pioneer Django Reinhardt, who formed the Quintette du Hot Club de France in 1934, named in part for a popular jazz appreciation society there. Several “hot clubs” in the Reinhardt vein have cropped up in other cities, including the Motor City. With Reinhardt’s legacy as their starting point, the Hot Club of Detroit’s sound has evolved to include influences from other jazz greats like Ornette Coleman and Pat Matheny—and this time, they’ve added a female vocalist to the mix. Tonya Pendleton

8pm and 10pm. $20-$22. Chris’ Jazz Café, 1421 Sansom St. 215.568.3131.

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1. Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer said... on Sep 21, 2012 at 01:29AM

“Well its been great to read all the stories in brief on just one blog. All the bands information is really exciting to know. Its really bad to hear that Andrew Kratat and his fiancee met through accident. I would pray for there speedy recovery. I really liked there band songs.”


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