Wednesday, July 31
Inside the Reporter’s Notebook
Philadelphia Business Journal editor in chief Craig Ey interviews National Constitution Center president/CEO Jeffrey Rosen. The discussion will cover a wide array of topics, from running the center to the recent NSA scandals. 8am. $60. Hard Rock Cafe, 1113-31 Market St. 215.238.1000. bizjournals.com/philadelphia/event/92971
July Films at the Fish: Bodies
In this 2012 Steven Saylor thriller, a young reporter becomes obsessed with the strange behavior of the woman in the adjacent apartment. 8pm. $7. Walking Fish Theatre, 2509 Frankford Ave. 215.427.9255. walkingfishtheatre.com
Lyrically Fit: Exponent Entertainment Experience
A platoon of opening acts including Milton McCauley II and Royce Castro kick off this hip-hop showcase ahead of top-billed crew the Four Horsemen (Reed Dollaz, Kre Forch, Chink Da Great and Hollowman). DJ Soulbuck will be spinning all night, and Jawnzap7 is your host for a night of drink specials, good music and dope MCs on the balcony. 9:30pm. $5-$10. The Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.6888. thetroc.com
Thursday, August 1
Scribe Video Center’s “Street Movies!”
Urban Tree Connection hosts the first in this outstanding summer series in West Philly with a combination of short film screenings and live performances, all in the great outdoors. In an effort to bring communities together and proactively address issues of environmentalism and education, Scribe Video Center’s teamed up with UTC, PECO and the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority’s Fund for Art and Civic Engagement (FACE) for a series of Philly-wide free nights of entertainment that pack a serious philanthropic punch. The particular batch of films being shown tonight circle around the theme of the importance of education and the accomplishment of seeing it all the way through—an ever-important topic in a city like ours, with its shriveling pool of educational resources.
Emceed by Dyana Williams, beloved poetess extrordinaire Ursula Rucker is set for opening-act duties; with her longtime guitar hero and collaborator, Tim Motzer, and a slew of powerful shorts, this’ll be a stellar, family-friendly open-air evening of culture. Rucker’s thought-provoking, soulful stanzas will get brains humming before the projection screens light up. You’ll get inspired by Madeleine Bair and Betty Bastidas’ Can’t Hold Me Back, which follows Fernando Parraz Jr.’s journey to being the first in his family to get a diploma in down-and-out southwest Detroit. An Emmy-nominated animated short by the Rauch Brothers called Facundo The Great will plaster a smile across your face. And Mai Iskander’s Garbage Dreams will floor you with the story of the nearly 60,000 Zaballeen (Arabic for “garbage people”) on the outskirts of Cairo, who recycle nearly 80 percent of their own waste. / B.C.
7:45pm. Free. The Memorial Garden, 536 N. 54th St. 215.222.4201. scribe.org
Philadelphia Podcast Festival
The debut Philly Podcast Festival has it all covered, from fun to learning. Catch 12 great local podcasts during three nights of live episode recordings, or take in a workshop and panel discussion describing the benefits/uses of independent media. 7pm. $12-$50. Through Aug. 3. PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th St. 267.519.9651. philamoca.org
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Back in 2005, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah were one of the first pop groups to gain a significant amount of their success from Internet support. Since then, in between a myriad of side projects, they’ve released three albums, including their latest: 2011’s Hysterical. Released more than four years after its predecessor, the album cut back on experimentation and focused on solid indie rock songwriting. 8pm. $15. With Needlepoints and the Homophones. Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South St. 215.922.2599. tlaphilly.com
The Two Noble Kinsmen
Shakespeare retold Chaucer, and now Aaron Cromie retells Shakespeare in this classic tale of two prisoners of war who are driven out of home and country by an untimely conflict. Their brotherly love shifts to mortal hatred when they both fall in love with the same woman. Ain’t it the way. 7pm. Free. Through Aug. 18. Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, 2111 Sansom St. 215.496.9722. phillyshakespeare.org
Screenings Under the Stars: The Avengers
Catch an outdoor showing of 2012’s rockingest superhero flick on the big screen amidst the beautiful backdrop of the waterfront. Make sure you arrive a little before dusk so you can secure a good seat, as they fill up quick! 8:30pm. Free. Great Plaza at Penns Landing, Columbus Boulevard between Market and Walnut sts. 215.922.2386. delawareriverevents.com
Friday, August 2
Stemming from West Windsor, N.J., Matt Wong—who turns 16 on Aug. 1—is one of those performers who either inspires listeners or makes ‘em all kinds of jealous. Since picking up the guitar at age six, this kid has managed to essentially master the instrument as a performer, composer and teacher. Now the enterprising youngster’s taken that show on the road and is bringing his chops to the discerning Legendary Dobbs audience.
In the most teen-guitar-prodigy sort of way, Wong has taken on fingerstyle as his technique du jour. Such way of playing, he says, allows him to simultaneously perform the bass and guitar alone, melody and rhythm parts, while throwing a little percussion in for good measure. “It’s basically, I’m taking all the parts of the band ... and just playing them all together,” he says, describing his style as a jazz, country and blues melting-pot. The junior at West Windsor Plainsboro High School South is also an aspiring producer, and he put out his 2011 LP Fly Me to the Moon all by himself—at the ripe ol’ age of 14. (And what did you do today?) He’s sort of like a one-man band without the goofy tambourine strapped to his foot or bass drum used as a backpack.
Wong’s concert repertoire includes both originals and classic tunes you may recognize, including, he says, a host of Beatles songs and “The Entertainer” by Janis Joplin. Sounds appropriate, as you’ll be both awed and entertained. / TESS MUMFORD
8pm. $10. With Grace Bernicker + Hold Your Own. The Legendary Dobbs, 304 South Street. 215.501.7288. dobbsphilly.com
London-based quartet the Vaccines have been compared to everyone from the Strokes to the Jesus and Mary Chain, though their own brand of indie rock is full of unique charms. Their sophomore record, 2012’s Come of Age, was recorded in both Belgium, and their native country and combines smart-ass lyrics with simplistic melodies. 8:30pm. $20. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100. utphilly.com
Dog Days of Summer
Gravers Lane Gallery hosts an ode to man’s best friend with a collection of paintings, sculptures and other unique depictions of adorable pups. Featured artists include Rick & Val Beck, Rachel Bliss and Mark Chatterly. Through Sept. 1. Gravers Lane Gallery, 8405 Germantown Ave. 215.247.1603. graverslanegallery.com
All of Philly Bloco’s 20-plus members are bringing their mashup of samba, funk and reggae to World Cafe Live. Get ready to dance! 9pm. $15. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. philly.worldcafelive.com
CHF First Friday: Some Like It Cold
There’s no better time during the year to enjoy a mouth-watering ice cream cone than during the sweltering hot summer months, a fact the Chemical Heritage Foundation takes to heart with this month’s First Friday. Visitors will learn how advancements in science have helped yield different varieties of everyone’s favorite frozen delicacy. Bonus: Enjoy free samples courtesy of Pop’s Water Ice, Weckerly’s Ice Cream and Zsa’s Gourmet Ice Cream. 5pm. Free. Chemical Heritage Foundation, 315 Chestnut St. 215.925.2222. chemheritage.org
Upstairs Downstairs Tour
No time machine necessary. The Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion will present an insight into the lives and times of Victorian-era woman of various socio-economic levels. Guests will be treated to champagne and receive an authentic Victorian recipe. 7pm. $20. Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, 200 W. Tulpehocken St. 215.438.1861. ebenezermaxwellmansion.org
First Friday at Philadelphia Theatre Company
The Philadelphia Theatre Company rings in its inaugural First Friday celebration with performances by fire-belly-dancing collective Lux Arati and local DJ Big Jawn. Hedy Sirico, Emily Schnall and others will also be on hand to show off their art. 5pm. Free. Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 S. Broad St. 215.985.0420. philadelphiatheatrecompany.org
Movies Under the Stars
Channeling the good-natured spirit of a drive-in theater (without the carbon emissions, of course), the Betsy Ross House will kick off its trilogy of outdoor horror film screenings—complemented by a tour of the venue—with 1958’s The Screaming Skull. 5:30pm. $5. Betsy Ross House, 239 Arch St. 215.629.4026. historicphiladelphia.org
Saturday, August 3
Bounce TV Summer Music Festival
In the early days of the ‘70s, the group Raw Soul was—like its singer, Frankie Beverly—born in Philadelphia. They gigged and released a few singles before Beverly ended up leaving Philly to create one of the most iconic catalogues in R&B history. Sure, he was raised and informed by folks like Gamble and Huff (of Philadelphia International Records), but his real idol was Marvin Gaye, and Beverly fled to San Francisco to put down musical roots. Thankfully, it was Gaye himself who was so impressed by Beverly that he went to the label execs he knew and demanded, “Listen to this guy.” They did, and in 1977, after the band underwent a Gaye-suggested name change, Capitol pressed Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly. It went gold. And it featured the damn fine “Happy Feelin’s,” a tune that built Beverly’s career and will surely be on the setlist at Saturday night’s Bounce TV Summer Music Festival.
Beverly is to Maze what George Clinton is to Parliament-Funkadelic: The band has seen loads of lineup changes and personnel fluxes, but it’s always been his vision. And what amazing vision it is. For over 30 years, Maze has build one killer collection of funk-R&B hybrid smashes that are as fresh today as they were upon their release: “Joy and Pain,” “Southern Girl,” “We Are One,” “I Wanna Be With You” and “Golden Time of Day,” to name a few.
Adding to the legendary nature of this night, Beverly and Maze will be supported by the Isley Brothers. That’s right: The guys who gave us classics like “It’s Your Thing,” “Summer Breeze,” “Footsteps in the Dark” and the super-sexy “Between The Sheets” will open it up tonight with some soulful, old-school flavor. In fact, the two acts together are surely responsible for heaps of grooves that’ve been sampled by hip-hop acts over the last 20 years, a nod to the heavy influence of their flawless attention to hooks, melodies, emotionally-deep delivery and timelessness. / BILL CHENEVERT
Sat., Aug. 3, 7pm. $29.75-$150.75. With Kem. The Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 5201 Parkside Ave. 215.546.7900. manncenter.org
Low Cut Connie
Local rockers Low Cut Connie are centered around the musical partnership between Jersey guy Adam Weiner and British-born Dan Finnemore. If all you’ve heard of them is the vaguely unhelpful tag, “indie band” their second (and most recent) LP, last year’s Call Me Sylvia, is a good place to start piecing together just who these guys really are. Its lead single, the fast-paced, beer-soaked rocker, “Boozophilia,” is not only an ode to Philadelphia, but a standout moment on the record, fortified by a music video that features Weiner’s inadvertent Jerry Lee Lewis impersonation before an adoring, shirtless crowd. The pounding, piano-led, groove finds the guys sounding more like Bachman Turner Overdrive on “Takin’ Care of Business” than anything going on today, as they seem to inhabit a specific niche of nuts-and-bolts rock n’ roll.
Low Cut Connie may not be changing the world anytime soon, but they’re fun as hell to listen to. So when you see their poster herald “a new boogie for all mankind” behind an illustration of a burning piano, they don’t necessarily mean new per se—rather, more of a return to some genuinely good times. / ANTHONY TRIVELLI
8pm. $10. With Shark Tape, James & the Apostles + DJ Dan Connie. Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St. undergroundarts.org
Project Twenty1 Launch Event
Project Twenty1, a nonprofit which helps to foster budding filmmakers and animators, hosts a launch party for its annual 21 Day Filmmaking Competition, which challenges aspiring directors to create short films in—you guessed it—21 days. 6pm. Free. Mixed Plate, 216 South St. projecttwenty1.com
Flea, Food and Fun
Check out some truly righteous deals at Mt. Airy Presbyterian Church’s flea market, where clothing, furniture, crafts, books and baked goods promise an afternoon of good hunting. Add live music and, for thrifters, this could be a truly religious experience. Noon. Free. Mt. Airy Presbyterian Church, 13 E. Mt. Pleasant Ave. mtairypres.org
Fishtown’s Reanimator Coffee Roastery hosts an all-night party, which includes Latin BBQ, free beer and a dancefloor. Now you don’t have to leave the party to get your drunk food. 4pm. $10-$25. Reanimator Coffee Roastery Warehouse, 1722 N. Palethorp St. reanimatorcoffee.com
The African Cultural Alliance of North America presents the sixth annual African Festival; catch a sampling of everything from Afropop to reggae, enjoy authentic food, and watch breathtaking dance performances. 2pm. Free. Penn’s Landing, 121 Columbus Blvd. delawareriverwaterfront.com
‘80s Live Music Dance Party!
Take it back to an age where Boy George ruled the radio, and Phoebe Cates was hot. Eighties cover band Weird Science will be rocking out all night long, so throw on some neon, and get over to World Cafe. 8:30pm. $25-$39. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. worldcafelive.com
Halos for Hope
Help raise money for a good cause—and get the chance to look badass in a gown or tuxedo. Halos for Hope features live music by Urban Guerrilla Orchestra, an open bar and a silent auction to support Bebashi: Transition to Hope and the Urban Angel Foundation. 8pm. $30-$100. PAFA, 118 N. Broad St. pafa.org
Since hosting a radio show on NYU’s student station 10 years ago, Tim Sweeney has gone on to become one of N.Y.C.’s most talked-about DJs. With a style that refuses to leave out any genre, he is sure to keep the music bumping all night. 10pm. $5. Dolphin Tavern, 1539 S. Broad St. dolphinphilly.com
Sweet Like Chocolate
Exploring the poetic influence of the everlasting Song of Solomon, this lyrical event brings poetry, dance and music to the stage as artists explore the connection between ancient and modern forms of passion. 7pm. $12. CEC Meeting House Theater, 3500 Lancaster Ave. cecarts.org
Sunday, August 4
2nd Street Festival and Block Party
North Second Street will be closed off in order to fill the entire area with workshops, art, food, beer gardens and other eclectic merchandise vendors. The neighborhood block party is going all out for its fifth year, with four music and event stages programmed by the Philadelphia Folksong Society. Noon. Free. N. Second Street, Germantown and Green. 2ndstfestival.org
Hoop Dance Class at the Oval
Have a fun-filled afternoon with J-Hoop, aka Jennifer Alvarez, and her Jr. Hoop Troupe as they perform choreographed hoop dance routines, give hoop dancing instructions and hold hula hooping contests. Noon. Free. Eakins Oval, 26th St. and the Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. phila.gov/parksandrecreation
Monday, August 5
Puppet Festival (r)Evolution
Some may say there are few things in life creepier than puppets. They may. Which, of course, isn’t to say puppets aren’t entertaining in their own sort of way—after all, Saw could not have become a nearly half billion-dollar franchise without the masochists among us looking for a scare. And Sesame Street wouldn’t have worked with literal elephants, giant-sized canaries and diseased garbage-can creatures.
Hordes of individuals and arts companies from around the country engaged in and entranced by the art of puppetry will converge on Swarthmore College’s campus in Philly’s ‘burbs for the six-day Puppet Festival (r)Evolution, a first-of-its-kind national festival of American puppeteers. While including dozens of presentations at the school and its surrounding theaters, Puppet Festival (r)Evolution is as much a convention as it is a series of delightfully imaginative shows, talks on puppetry with its masters—including Joseph Jonah Therrien and the People’s Puppets of Occupy Wall Street, along with Avenue Q’s Rick Lyon and the Lyon Puppets—and some choice puppet films. For actual puppeteers, there are special events, including the National Puppet Slam, hosted by Beau Brown; dozens of hands-on workshops and an awards ceremony celebrating the best and brightest innovators in puppet design, direction and performance.
In other words, there’ll be lots and lots of puppets. Everywhere. And even the ones that are borderline scary will also be undoubtedly cool. It’s OK to be interested. / T.M.
Through Sat., Aug. 10. Various prices and times. Swarthmore College, 500 College Ave., Swarthmore. 267.240.3679. puppetfestivalrevolution.org
A mouthwatering night of burger tasting starts at Village Whiskey, then moseys to Rouge and Butcher and Singer to taste three Best of Philly-winning burgers. Leading the tasty tour is FooBooz founder Art Etchells. 5:30pm. $60. Village Whiskey, 118 S. 20th St. philadelphia.foobooz.com
Black Violin at Mann Center
Eliminate the thought that classical music and hip-hop can’t create a perfect harmony, and be amazed by the sounds of two talented violinists, a DJ and percussionist who are paving the way for a new genre of music. 11am. Free. Sold out. Mann Center, 5201 Parkside Ave. 215.878.0400. manncenter.org
Tuesday, August 6
Bartram’s Garden Cleanup
Give back by joining the United By Blue cleanup at this historic site along the Schuylkill River. There will be prizes available during the cleaning and a free post-cleanup meal. 5:30pm. Free. Bartram’s Garden, 5400 Lindbergh Blvd. 215.642.0693. unitedbyblue.com
For its 14th exhibition, the gallery at FJORD is featuring the work of local painters Natessa Amin and Sarah Pater and sculptor Sean Gerstley in an attempt to understand the artistic implications of rules and rituals. Through Sept 1. FJORD Gallery, 2419 Frankford Ave. 215.837.2980. fjordspace.com
Wednesday, August 7
Contextualizing Jazz in Philadelphia: An Evening of Documentaries
Head over to International House for a documentary double-header featuring two jazz greats: John Coltrane and Sun Ra, innovators who both spent their evolutionary years in Philadelphia and shaped the landscape of jazz music.
Perhaps the coolest saxophonist in jazz history, “Trane” Coltrane moved to Philly at age 16 to study music theory, residing in Brewerytown from 1952 to 1958. The North Carolina native also honed his complex sound in northwest Philadelphia, working with Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk. The short film Coltrane’s Philadelphia will premier this evening, featuring interviews with artists who worked with the master of the blue note during his time here, alongside historic footage of the city that helped inspire his incomparable music.
In the late ‘60s, Sun Ra relocated his eclectic, afro-futuristic Arkestra from New York to Germantown, where the band spent the majority of their years together. It was on Morton Street that Sun Ra and the Arkestra perfected their avant-garde free form sound, gained worldwide publicity and based their operations for West Coast and European tours. Robert Mugge’s 1980 documentary Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise includes interviews and rehearsal footage of the Arkestra, as well as a performance on the roof of the International House itself.
Following the screenings, former Philadelphia Inquirer music critic Tom Moon will lead a Q&A session with members of the Coltrane’s Philadelphia production team. / DREW O’MEARA
7pm. Free. International House, 3701 Chestnut St. 215.387.5125. ihousephilly.org
Heroes and Heroines of the Mythic Age
Learn more about Greek mythology’s greatest hero, Heracles—according to the real legend, not Disney’s rendition—and Atalanta, who fell in love with a man because he brought her apples, in this interactive, time-traveling presentation. 11am. Free. Penn Museum, 3260 South St. 215.898.4000. penn.museum
Find out how movies like Gumby, Chicken Run and other clay-animated, stop-motion films were made with a lesson by the gurus from the Clay Studio, where you’ll sculpt characters of your own and bring a short claymation to life through an iPad. 10am. Free. The Oval, 26th St. and the Ben Franklin Pkwy. phila.gov/theoval
What to do if you can’t be in Philly
104th Wildwoods Baby Parade
Attention, Toddlers & Tiaras irony-watcher! An annual tradition since 1909, this year’s baby parade is open to all children ages 12 and under, and participants will be awarded most original, best costume and cutest baby boy/girl. Wed., July 31, 6pm. Free. Wildwood Boardwalk, Wildwood, N.J. 609.729.4000. wildwoodsnj.com
Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody
Round up your girlfriends for a night out: The book that everyone and her mother (or particularly risqué grandmother) has been fingering is coming to the stage for a night of parody that’ll have you in stitches, whether you’re a fan of the book or not. Fri., Aug 2, 9pm. $35.49. Golden Nugget Showroom, 1 Castle Blvd., Atlantic City, N.J. goldennugget.com/atlanticcity
Even if you don’t have one yourself, check out a variety of modified luxury and tuner cars on the East Coast, chat with the owners, and enjoy the company of fellow tuner-car enthusiasts. Sat., Aug. 3, noon. $20. Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Ave., Oaks,. 484.754.3976. phillyexpocenter.com
Rascal Flatts + Journey
Best-selling country group Rascal Flatts, who’ve sold more than 21 million albums and earned Country Music Awards, People’s Choice Awards and more, are on tour with classic rock band Journey, producer of dozens of Top 40 singles including the anthem “Don’t Stop Believin’” (which is now stuck in your head for the rest of the day). Ever wonder what happened to Cassadee Pope, winner of NBC’s The Voice last season? Catch her on tour with the country/classic rock megaduo. Sun., Aug 4, 6:30pm. $69.50-$171.55. Boardwalk Hall, Georgia and Mississippi aves. Atlantic City, N.J. boardwalkhall.com
Compiled by Lauren Arute, Nicole Bonaccorso, Jake Abbate, Anthony Trivelli, Drew O’Meara and Max Ufberg
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PW's 2015 Philly Spring Guide