Calendar: June 8-14

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 2 | Posted Jun. 8, 2011

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Wednesday, June 8

In Verse
In the fall of 2008, a motley group initiated a project to examine the effects of the Great Recession and Hurricane Katrina on ordinary Americans. Its ranks included a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, a contributing producer for public radio’s Studio 360, and a commercial photographer, among others. Rather than dispatch reporters to scrutinize credit default swaps, they went themselves and sat in the kitchens of people like the upstate New Yorkers depicted in Women of Troy, men and women who’d struggled with severe underemployment long before it ever troubled the middle class. And instead of unearthing FEMA planning documents, they visited a Gulf Coast homeowner who continues to tithe despite struggling to make mortgage payments on her mildewing house. “I have to remind myself: too blessed to be stressed,” she says in Congregation. That’s only one of many surprising, hopeful moments in these subjective, impressionistic and ambitious multimedia works. After the screening, producer Lu Olkowski will field questions from the audience. -Raymond Simon

Wed., June 8. 7pm. $5-$10. Scribe Video Center, 4212 Chestnut St. 215.222.4201.

Zoe Keating
Cellist Zoe Keating has been a force, albeit mostly unheralded, in indie-rock for well over a decade. For several years, she was “second chair” in the Victorian-themed goth-cello outfit Rasputina, and she’s added her four-stringed flair (and arranging skills) to tracks by DJ Shadow, John Vanderslice, Amanda Palmer and numerous others. Lately, however, she’s placed herself firmly in the spotlight with her recent acclaimed solo album, Into the Trees. It’s a mix of classical textures and avant-garde experimentation (a la Kronos Quartet) given a cinematic spin. Live, Keating loops herself via foot-controlled laptop (and occasionally adds beats) to create a virtual string ensemble that’s hypnotic, odd and often quite moving. -Michael Alan Goldberg

9:30pm. $19-$27. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400.

Bike-In Movie
Picture this: You and your sweetie (or sweet group of friends) sitting in lawn chairs on a rooftop munching on wood-fired oven pizza as a movie is projected in front of you, all without having to separate more than a few feet from your real true love—a certain sleek aluminum frame with wheels that don’t quit. The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is about to make your dreams come true with a city twist on the drive-in movie. The feature, Breaking Away, deals with such universal themes as romancing an older and unattainable woman, fantasizing about joining a professional Italian cycling team and being unsure of what to do with your life. Highlights: townies versus college boys, high-speed bike chases, early Dennis Quaid. The event includes a short biking film pre-show and treats from host Whole Foods. Bike parking available on the first floor if you need a little break from the ol’ ball and chain. -Emma Eisenberg

8pm. Free. Whole Foods Market, top parking deck, 10th and South sts. 215.242.9253.

Thursday, June 9

Thao & Mirah
Less than a minute into Thao & Mirah’s self-titled LP, released last month, you know summer has arrived. First track “Eleven” features a guest spot by tUnE-YarDs (Merrill Garbus) and fills you with the sticky, bouncy, hyperactive energy of that first summer block party—all knees, elbows, dancing, noise and pure elation. The San Francisco-based artists put their solo careers on hold to record an album together in the spirit of their strong friendship, and the excitement and joy of that process is immediately audible on a track like “Eleven” which begins with the lyrics “when love is love, don’t let it go away.” And it doesn’t get much more optimistic than the anthemic chorus of “Teeth”: “This time I swear: more hope, less fail.” The jazzy horns and funked-out bassline of “Rubies and Rocks” demand you shake your hips in a sweaty speak-easy on a humid June evening be sure to stretch before catering to their wishes. Bonus: $1 from each ticket sold tonight will be donated to local domestic violence shelters and childhood sexual abuse prevention programs. -Darren White

8pm. $14-$15. With Bobby + Led to Sea. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St. 215.563.3980.

SoLow Festival
This city is bursting with creative ingenuity. Unfortunately, until there’s a boom in our economy, most of it will go undiscovered. Now in its second year, this 11-day grassroots art event gives local up-and-coming artists the opportunity to produce experimental projects without any financial risk. More than a dozen will perform throughout the festival in private homes and other nontraditional venues across the city. This includes a piece by No Face Performance Group that combines live improvised music, movement and instillation performance and Caitlin Hellerer’s “Belle of the Ball,” a dance piece set in her very own kitchen. While normally you might be hesitant to shell out cash for something deemed “experimental,” the audience is only asked to pay as much as they can afford and/or think the show is worth ($10 bucks max). Plus, with 100 percent of the revenue going straight into the performers’ pockets, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’ve helped feed a local starving artist. -Nicole Finkbiner

9pm. $1-$10. Through June 19.  Ninth & Mifflin sts. 267.207.4488.

Friday, June 10

Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
Kentucky multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Ricky Skaggs (mandolin, fiddle, guitar, banjo) played on stage with bluegrass legend Bill Monroe when he was only six years old, and one year later he threw down with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs on Martha White’s celebrated country music variety television show. While still a teenager, he hooked up with banjo-master Dr. Ralph Stanley, who asked him to join his band, the Clinch Mountain Boys. Across his career he’s worked with Emmylou Harris and Jack White’s Raconteurs, but his main creative outlet since the late-90s has been Kentucky Thunder, a eight-time Grammy winning, hard-picking bluegrass sextet. Tonight they’ll be raising hell in Bethlehem, Pa. -Elliott Sharp

7:30pm. $45-55. With the Wallace Brothers. Musikfest Café, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem. 610.332.1300.

Moe Brooker
Ignore summer’s vivid outdoor vistas and opt instead for an afternoon spent in the dimly lit depths of a La Salle University basement. Why? Because within that basement hides a jubilant celebration of light and color. “Intention and Improvisation” is an arrangement of interrelated abstract paintings by Moe Brooker, a veteran Philly artist with a fresh artistic vision. As an art affectionato with roots in the inner-city, Brooker draws on a seemingly disparate array of cultural influences to produce a one-of-a-kind affect. His urban roots exposed him to Jazz and graffiti, two art forms that embrace spontaneous acts of creativity. This spontaneity (or “Improvisation”) is guided by an “Intention” that dates back to the days of impressionism—the urge to explore the interaction of light and color. The unification of these two seeming opposites is what powers this uninhibited exploration of what Brooker calls “the joy of the human spirit.” -Carl A. O’Donnell

Through June 13. Free. La Salle University, 1900 W. Olney Ave.

Saturday, June 11

Wax Apple
When Marcel Duchamp scribbled “R. Mutt” onto a found porcelain urinal in 1917, he laid the foundational questions that would follow conceptual art for the next century. His ready-made Fountain forced audiences to think about the processes that allow art to become “art”: Whether production can triumph over materiality, and most importantly for Duchamp and his fellow Dadaist, how location and subsequent reception creates a work of art. “Wax Apple” seeks to pick up these questions and provide a multitude of visual answers through works that aim to unite the dichotomies of conceptual art. These concept-based works provide equal importance to the production of art and its physical embodiment in the form of color, composition and medium. The show includes work by a whopping 16 artists including the almost 3-D, colored-blocked paintings of Sam Falls and the mixed-media work of Robin Cameron. -D.W.

Through July 17. Free. Bodega, 253 N. Third St. 215.440.0711.

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Comments 1 - 2 of 2
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1. Rhenda Fearrington said... on Jun 8, 2011 at 12:24PM

“As a patron of the Philadelphia Jazz Community, invariably I encounter at least five people per week who inquire, "Where Is The Band?" They are referring to the Jazz Bands, Quartets, Trios, Jazz Singers, i.e. Jazz Clubs in general!!! And there is NOTHING general about it as Philadelphia is replete with Venues that offer Jazz, but RARELY do you see them advertised in any Philadelphia-based publications, in so much as these publications advertise the "Cultural Arts of the City." I always manage to find these bands, in so much as I do not live in the City of Philadelphia!! Please, PW start covering the Jazz Scene. Set the standard, be the Leaders, level the playing field, raise the Bar!!!! I have loved PW, but don't read it as much if at all, because there is no "sustained commitment" of including the Jazz performances that are happening EVERY SINGLE DAY in Philadelphia. This needs to change.”

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2. Anonymous said... on Jun 8, 2011 at 10:16PM

“I couldn't agree more. At least in terms of musicianship, and many often times the amount of raw emotion and excitement in the music, the jazz scene offers some of the best music out there and on a nightly basis these guys take "the stage" in dark corners of backlit bars and clubs all over town. I mean in no way to diminish what these artists are bringing to the table, but I would at least like to see Philly's burgeoning jazz scene represented at least a little. One of my favorite guides to what is happening is Check it out! You won't be dissatisfied.
-Trumpet guy”


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