Calendar: June 16-22

What to do in Philly this week.

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Jun. 15, 2010

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Wednesday, June 16

Tom Spiker’s Mobile Pleasure Lounge
Guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Tom Spiker is a Wilmington native and Philly resident since 2000, a close associate of experimental groove-jazz stalwarts (and Ornette Coleman alums) Jamaaladeen Tacuma and G. Calvin Weston. His Mobile Pleasure Lounge, an adventure in “live improvised film scoring,” rummages through such delights as Blacula and the odd elderly exercise video (“more fartsy, less artsy, if you will,” Spiker notes). He’ll share this Avant Ascension bill with Rafiq Bhatia, born in North Carolina to East African immigrants of Indian descent, an impressive twentysomething guitarist who is fundraising for a debut album that features the likes of star pianist Vijay Iyer and drum legend Billy Hart. -David R. Adler

9:30pm. $5. With Rafiq Bhatia Collective, Test Kitchen. Tritone, 1508 South St. 215.545.0475.

Ontological status of fictional characters aside, two events occurred in Dublin on June 16, 1904: Ulysses’ protagonist, Leopold Bloom, strolled the city transforming modern literature, and James Joyce went on a date with Nora Barnacle, whom he finally married 27 years later. Since 1954, Joyceans have celebrated the date, known as Bloomsday, by tracing Leopold and other characters’ footsteps around the Irish capital. Bloomsday is no joke in Philly either, where the Rosenbach Museum & Library has been home to Joyce’s original manuscript since 1924. Joyce junkies and philistines alike will be able to get their fix, as the Rosenbach is hosting a day of activities celebrating the role of food, feasting, and fine dining in the novel. The streets will be blocked off, refreshments served, Ulysses-related exhibits viewable, and roughly 75 notable local Joyce-freaks—including free-jazz legend Dave Burrell, Monk’s founder Fergie Carey, and Nobel Prize winner Baruch Samuel Blumberg—will be reading passages from the book. -Elliott Sharp

Noon. Free. Rosenbach Museum, 2008 Delancey Pl.

Thursday, June 17

Mates of State
It’s hard not to have a crush on one or both Mates of State—singer/drummer Jason Hammel and singer/keyboardist Kori Gardner, the husband-and-wife duo that’s made buoyant and swoonworthy indie-pop for 13 years now. The Mates have crushes of their own; we’re talking about Crushes, a new covers album that’s one of the more interesting and eclectic such projects we’ve heard. Tunes by Tom Waits, the Mars Volta, Belle & Sebastian, Fleetwood Mac, Daniel Johnston and Nick Cave, among others, get the Mates of State treatment. Expect a healthy dose of those sonic crushes tonight, and perhaps some new material destined for the Mates’ next album. -Michael Alan Goldberg

8pm. $14-$16. With Todd Barry + Suckers. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St. 215.563.3980.

Orphée et Eurydice
You may remember delightful Romanian mezzo-soprano Ruxandra Donose from her very feminine turns in the title roles of past Philadelphia Opera productions of The Italian Girl in Algiers and Cinderella, but this season she’s wearing the pants in Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice. Donose is no stranger to “pants” roles (that is, roles originally written for castrati, which are sung by women now that castrating boys with nice prepubescent singing voices is no longer an OK thing to do); she made her Royal Opera debut as Sesto in Giulio Cesare and her debuts at both Paris National Opera and the Met as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro. The opera, which was written to be seen on a small scale (no deafening Valkyries here), will be performed in an appropriately intimate venue in the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center. -Emily Guendelsberger

Through June 25. 7:30pm (time varies). $15-$130. Perelman Theater, Broad and Spruce sts. 215.893.1018.

Whisky Classic
Cowboys drink whiskey. Hunter S. Thompson drank whiskey. Johnny Cash drank whiskey. There is no better way to develop a taste for it than trial by fire—with no escape route. The Philadelphia Whisky Classic allows you to sample more than 100 varieties of whiskey and single-malt scotch while cruising around the Delaware on the Spirit of Philadelphia. Even better: The hooch is poured by distillery managers and master blenders from Scotland, Ireland, Canada and Japan. (They feed you, too. Be prepared to choose chicken, fish or pasta from the buffet.) While the admission price for Philadelphia’s largest whiskey tasting is a little steep, you have to consider it an investment in your street cred. Drinking whiskey makes you look at least 45 percent more badass. Put on your fanciest going-out gear and swill a drink that’s older than you. -Erica Palan

6pm. $85-$115. Spirit of Philadelphia,
401 S. Columbus Blvd.

Friday, June 18


Cellist Claudio Peña, clarinetist Gustavo Hunt and drummer Gabriel Spiller are FinDelMundo from Buenos Aires, and what an array of sounds they get from their seemingly straightforward acoustic instruments. This is a group that sees no problem veering from romantic melody and driving tango-derived rhythm to abstract soundscaping in a single piece. They share this Bowerbird bill with Nu Directions Chamber Brass, which mixes graceful semi-classical tones with rock-and-soul snarl, and the Renamers, a first-time free improv summit featuring Dave Champion on harmonized trombone, Helena Espvall on cello, Tara Burke on organ, Wilbo Wright on bass and Mia Bosna on hand percussion. -D.R.A.

8pm. Free. With Nu Directions Chamber Brass + the Renamers. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St. 215.573.3234.

Sugar Rush: Queer Prom
We sure wish that Constance McMillen had Sugar Rush. Actually, we wish her school just let her bring her girlfriend to the prom. Philly kids get Sugar Rush: The Prom of the Decade, the 15th annual “alternative prom” for LGBTQ kids between 15 and 20 years old. Samantha Martinez, youth coordinator for the Gay and Lesbian Latino Aids Education Initiative (one of the sponsors, along with COLOURS, Philly Pride and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children), says she expects about 300 high school kids to attend this year’s prom. “A lot of youth opt out of going to their own with their same-sex partner, so they prefer to come to this prom, but it’s not meant to be in competition to their own school prom. It’s just another activity for them to do,” she says. Advance tickets can be bought at the headquarters of COLOURS (near PAFA at Broad and Arch) and GALAEI (12th and Chestnut), and at Gayborhood bookstore Giovanni’s Room (12th and Pine). -Tara Murtha

8pm. $15-$20. Gershman Y, 401 S. Broad St. 215.851.1822

Toiling In Obscurity
Jaime Fountaine bitches on her blog about not getting any press love for an event series she titled Toiling in Obscurity. We know, we know. But let’s join hands in a trust fall. Two years into the quarterly series, Toiling is like a dive-bar version of First Person Arts salons of sorts that zigzags between literature and comedy. The upcoming showcase features performances by Fountaine, graphic designer-turned-stand-up comedian Doogie Horner; Lee Klein, ex-editor of the much-loved; Steve Manheart, Jeremy Eric Tenenbaum, and (sometime PW scribe) Becca Trabin with music by Tinmouth. -Tara Murtha

7pm. Free. The Dive, 947 E. Passyunk Ave. 215.465.5505.

Saturday, June 19

Bordello Ball
Did you know that part of the Delaware Valley was settled as “New Sweden,” a colony established in 1638 by the first wave of Swedish Americans? You would if you went to the American Swedish Historical Museum. You’d also learn that the sexy Swedes have contributed more to American society than bikini teams, meatballs, gummy fish, Jake Gyllenhaal and cheap, stylish furniture, though, truth be told, these items alone are worth endless celebration. In any case, the Bordello Ball, their annual fundraiser, is the perfect opportunity to check it out. Presented by EgoPo, the Ball will feature a cabaret performance, a torch singer, a wine bar, French bistro stations and live auctions. At press time, Gyllenhaal was not included. -Tara Murtha

5pm. $50. American Swedish Historical Museum, 1900 Pattison Ave. 215.389.1776.

Damien Jurado
Right now there’s something like 3.7 million dudes with acoustic guitars criss-crossing the nation and strumming for anyone who’ll listen. But if we had to pick only one such singer-songwriter to listen to for the rest of our lives, we’d easily choose Damien Jurado. For 15 years now, the Seattle native has been crafting some of the most brilliant and affecting songs we’ve ever heard; character sketches and personal ruminations alike that cut to the heart of the human experience and stick with you long after the last chord has been struck. The tunes on Jurado’s latest, Saint Bartlett, not only are no exception, they’re among the best of his sterling career. -M.A.G.

8pm. $10-$12. With Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684.

Summer Solstice Festival
The longest day of the year will be marked with 15 hours of nonstop artists and entertainment from Philadelphia and beyond. Start the day with an afternoon visit to the zoo station to see live animals, then watch the sun rise at the end of the night while embracing your inner hippie (there’s a reason this is so stereotypically popular with hippies; don’t knock it till you’ve tried it). Spend the hours in between jumping around to Philadelphia’s indie-rock Toy Soldiers, a New Orleans-style brass band or electro-hip-hop The ReBel Yell. First Person Arts will be importing their storytelling competition (a la The Moth), and a ukulele orchestra is making an appearance about half an hour after Bob & Barbara’s drag show begins. Stay an hour or two, or rock ’n’ roll all night. -Brenda Hillegas

3pm. $10. Kimmel Center, 260 S. Broad St. 215.634.7400.

Islamic Heritage Festival with Freeway
 If you’re a Philadelphian not of the faith, you might perceive the Muslims you see around the city as ‘those guys with the beards’ or ‘those women in black.’ This weekend, the Cultural Preservation & Information Council will give non-Muslims a chance to learn more and Muslims a chance to celebrate at the 18th Annual Islamic Heritage Festival and Parade, America’s largest Muslim festival. Following a prayer service on Friday, the big event on Saturday will be a parade from 5th and Market to Penn’s Landing, later followed by a performance by one of the Illadelph’s premier flame-spitters: Freeway of Rocafella Records fame. Philly’s illest drill teams and marching bands will light up the streets with furious drum patterns and soulful dance on the way to the main event, which will have games, food, vendors, art and all the rest of the things one might expect at a summer festival. The whole community is encouraged to attend this celebration of togetherness and tranquility; it’s going down rain or shine, so come on out! -Ryan Smith

Parade starts at 1pm, festival at 2pm. Free. Penn’s Landing, Delaware Ave. & Chestnut St. 215.222.0520. 

Sunday, June 20

Ceremony emerged in the mid-’00s from San Francisco’s punk scene with a turbo-charged, aggressively alienated sound. Punknews called their debut, Violence Violence, “a modern hardcore masterpiece,” and AbsolutePunk described the follow-up, Still Nothing Moves You, as “a nearly nonstop blistering ride.” Yet even as tours with Converge and AFI solidified the band’s hardcore credentials, Ceremony began to diverge from the formula. Its new album, Rohnert Park, out this month on Bridge Nine, includes group singing, tape samples and one surprisingly personal, vulnerable song about the time singer Ross Farrar couldn’t save a neighbor’s life. It’s the sound of a band moving aggressively against the grain, and really, what’s more punk than that? -Jennifer Kelly

3pm. $10. With Skin Like Iron. Barbary, 951 N. Frankford. 215.425.2005.

Monday, June 21

Stanley Clarke + Hiromi
Along with the late Jaco Pastorius, Philly native Stanley Clarke did much to revolutionize the electric bass, first as a member of the ’70s fusion-god ensemble Return to Forever. He came to the Keswick in 2008 with S.M.V., a co-led unit with fellow bass guitar honchos Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten. This time he’s touring on the strength of his new Stanley Clarke Band CD, featuring drummer Ronald Bruner, Jr. and two young keyboardists: Ruslan Sirota and Hiromi Uehara. The virtuosic Hiromi, who recorded with Clarke and Return to Forever drummer Lenny White in 2009 (Jazz in the Garden), is sufficiently hot to share name billing. -D.R.A.

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1. Emaleigh said... on Jun 15, 2010 at 03:41PM

“Attention Bloomsday fans! New rain location for Wednesday's Rosenbach Museum & Library Bloomsday celebration. Bloomsday will now be held at The Trinity Center at 22nd & Spruce from 12-7pm. See you there!

PS: Mayor Michael Nutter will join us at 3:15 p.m.”


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