Calendar: June 2-8

What to do in Philly this week.

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jun. 1, 2010

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Wednesday, June 2

You have to give U.K. foursome Futureheads some credit for not simply recycling the jumpy, stripped-down, XTC-inspired, post-punk blasts on their utterly brilliant, razor-sharp 2004 self-titled debut on their next couple albums, choosing instead to beef up their sonics, slow things down, turn introspective and otherwise demonstrate their musical growth and range. But if there was any band we would have loved to see give the Ramones treatment to their catalog, it’s Futureheads—that first album was that good. Then again, if they hadn’t diverged from the path, they wouldn’t have been able to issue the ol’  “return to form” album, which is exactly what the urgent and inspired new LP The Chaos is. Welcome back, fellas! -Michael Alan Goldberg

8pm. $13-$14. With the Like. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St. 866.468.7619.

Thursday, June 3

The Peace Creeps
With the A’s, Richard Bush fronted one of Philly’s first and best-loved new-wave bands through three albums and flirtation with major label success. Their “Woman’s Got the Power,” the title track from their 1981 album, was covered by Clarence Clemons and, live, by the Boss himself. But the deal with Arista fell through and it was the Hooters, not the A’s, who became Philly’s power-pop poster child. A couple decades later, Bush’s new band, the Peace Creeps, leans more toward British Invasion guitar blare than 1980s synth pop, with songs like “She Dreams the World” and “Bulletproof” torn from a ragged Byrds/Kinks/Big Star playbook. -Jennifer Kelly

8pm. $10. With Hot Head Show + Bells Bells Bells. Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front Street. 215.291.4919

Friday, June 4

Swim Pony
Should you ever have the opportunity to stroll into the fourth dimension, you might be surprised to find it looks very much like an IKEA waiting room. That is but one of the insights into the dark places of our Universe (and it’s hippy friends, the Multiverse) as put forth by part-theater troupe/part-science experiment Swim Pony. The immersive audience experience turns the micro into the macro, and back again. Audiences begin at the nucleus of the underground space in the Wolf Building, then BANG – fragmented and “pulsed” outward into one of the many rooms where they trip through the vacuum space between stars, enter the TV studio of a show-and-tell scientist, or browse modular furniture. Then the audience is sucked back to the center, and “pulsed” outward again into another room. The artistic director says during any one visit the pulsing audience may only witness about 30% of the prepared material; such are the limits of mortal consciousness inside infinite space. Life is cycling energy: return visits are encouraged. -Peter Crimmins

7pm. $5. Wolf Building, 340 N. 12th St. 847.309.1266.

Matt Davis’ Aerial Photograph
In 2008, guitarist Matt Davis wrote an involved musical love letter to Philadelphia, and the gargantuan effort—a month-by-month suite executed by Davis’ chamber-jazz group Aerial Photograph—landed him on the cover of PW. The topics were far-flung: Davis spoke to addicts, veterans, inmates, kids, seniors and so forth, and wove their actual voices into his pensive, lyrical music. He capped off each month with a handmade limited-edition CD and a gig at Tritone. That chapter is behind him now, and yet the band plays on, if a bit more sporadically. They’re drawing momentum from their latest disc Ways and Means, a compilation of the Philly project’s highlights. -David R. Adler

8pm & 10pm. $12. Chris’ Jazz Cafe, 1421 Sansom St. 215.568.3131

Opera Mustache
Wannabe-nerd kids have been getting their follicles in a bunch throwing mustache parties for the last few years now. Some purchase readymade sticky ‘staches. Others employ the classic sharpie slash to the face while trendy party-throwers with commitment issues scribble mini ‘staches across their fingers then hold the “achoo” pose on a strictly as-needed basis. The Art Museum’s mustache party is innovative however in that it is less about nerds pretending to be cool by pretending to be geeks and more about genuinely clashing high and low culture: Vocalists from the Center City Opera Theater will mingle with guests and hide in unexpected spaces throughout the Great Stair Hall to “evoke the18th-century Italian masquerade ball,” releasing trill explosions of song into the thick of the mustachioed masses like little opera bombs.  Naturally, the Mustache Sisters, Nina Frankel and Aya Kakeda will lead guests through the evening. -Tara Murtha

5pm. Free with admission. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th St. and Ben Franklin Pkwy. 215.763.8100

Saturday, June 5

Artists of the City 40th Anniversary
Every year, Painted Bride showcases local talent done good in the Artists of the City show. This year’s exhibit is special: Instead of the usual annual round-up of Philly-area artists who got the national and international spotlight, it’s honoring all the past curators who have been “instrumental in positioning the Bride as the intersection of culture and creativity.” The switch gives us a chance to see an unlikely array of showstoppers under one roof. Hosted by Greg Giovanni of Brat Productions, the night features performances by Rennie Harris Puremovement, a troupe that has evolved to use hip-hop to deconstruct the genre stereotypes threatening to choke its original essence; the rootsy polyrhythms of Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra; Scott McPheeters of Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers, the dance troupe inspired by Eastern philosophy that recently moved to Philly from NYC; DJ Statik of IllVibe Collective;  the great poet/trumpet player Hannibal Lokumbe; and live painting by Paul Santoleri. -Tara Murtha

7pm. $55. Painted Bride, 230 Vine St. 215.925.9914.

Creatures of the Abyss
Freezing cold, impenetrably black and completely inhospitable: I speak not of the hearts of PPA employees or the souls of Jersey drivers, but of the deepest depths of our oceans. Hostile as they seem to landlubbers, the deep oceans are nevertheless some of the most biologically exciting real estate around. More than 17,000 known species live below the point where sunlight ceases to penetrate, but they’ll get their day in the sun at the new “Creatures of the Abyss” exhibit, which runs through Sept. 6. “Creatures” features full-scale models of exotic sea life, including the damn hell ass king of invertebrates, a 26-foot colossal squid; preserved specimens from the murky depths; the Bioluminescence Theater, showing the light shows some critters use to communicate in utter darkness; virtual rides on Alvin, the world’s first deep-ocean  vehicle; and models of underwater hydrothermal vents, the scalding, toxic cracks in the Earth’s surface that are strangely abundant with life (fill in your own Camden joke). -Matt Soniak

10am-5pm. Free with admission. Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Ben Franklin Pkwy. 215.299.1000.

The Dexateens

The Dexateens initially followed Alabama brethren Verbena and Drive-By Truckers into scabrous southern country-blues rock deeply informed by Sticky Fingers-era Stones. Frontman Elliott McPherson’s twangy vocals sidle with a willowy rasp reminiscent of DBT buddy Patterson Hood, soaked in the grimy, unshaven desperation of kids with skinny T-shirts and blue jeans picking at the shackles of their small-town upbringing. With the excellent 2007 Hood-produced Hardwire Healing, they began making their way from garage to front porch, scaling back the distortion and centering the mix on acoustic guitar. This culminated with last year’s Singlewide, whose ragged grace shines through quieter arrangements that allow its poetic poignancy to speak volumes louder. -Chris Parker

9pm. $8. With the Howlies, Onufrak + the Edison Proposal. M Room, 15 W. Girard Ave. 215.739.5577.

Walk for Animals
There are very few occasions where it’s socially acceptable to put a little sweater and a tiny leash on your rat Randy and walk him around Rittenhouse. The second annual Walk for Animals is one of them. The 2.5-mile walk is open to all manner of furry friends and their human companions. Last year’s brought out ferrets, rats and the expected cats and dogs. After the trek, peruse the Humane League’s adjoining festival, where critters are up for adoption. There will also be plenty of pet merchandise available for purchase. (Seeing as how you just made Randy, whose legs are a half-inch long, walk two and a half miles, the poor dude deserves a treat.) Photographer Jim Sokoloff will be shooting professional portraits of pets and their humans, so make sure Randy wears his fancy sweater. -Erica Palan

2pm. Free. Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq. 484.904.6004.

Sunday, June 6

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