The Great Unknown
Ask the boys of the Great Unknown what kind of music they play and they’ll respond with sighs and shy smiles. “That’s like asking me what kind of person I am,” says frontman Todd Henkin who anchors the band’s sound on guitar, harmonica and lead vocals. With song titles like “Decomposers and Producers” and “hEaRt rHYthm LuV sOUnd,” these West Philly friends and housemates pay tribute to the band’s recent tour in which they put to music the original words of kids in under-resourced schools. Think messing around on your guitar in your best friend’s basement if your best friend’s basement were stocked with homebrewed beer, decorated with vintage Christmas lights relocated to the woods, and filled with the laughing voices of children. Catchy melodies, delicate lyrics, and the contagious whimsy of the experience they offer up will make you want to move right in. -Emma Eisenberg
7pm. $8. With the Spinning Leaves + the End of America. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St. 215.291.4919. kungfunecktie.com
Art For the Cash Poor
Embrace it: You’re the type to shell out on a great (or several cheap) bottles of wine or a life changing meal so inevitably your apartment is decorated with college leftovers and meaningless crap from Target. Search the couch and collect that IOU from your roommate cause this week more than 120 artists will be selling their goods for under $199 (lots priced under $100). Check out Bernadette Dye’s kooky photos, Veronica Hanssens’ lithographed stationary, Kara Jane Howland’s tiny acrylic paintings and Mark Weldon Gaines earthy ceramics. With live local music and food from the Dapper Dog, Little Baby’s Ice Cream and more, this art party knows how to appeal to the art-challenged. Meet the artists pick up some hand painted jewelry, clothing and abstract paintings to fit your unique or not-yet-crafted style. -Cristina Perachio
Noon-6pm. Free. The Crane Arts Building, 1400 N. American St. inliquid.org
Sunday, June 12
Through Philadelphia they’ll be marching, with an artillery of fire crackers and rainbow flags waving proudly in the air. The city’s gay community is having its annual PrideDay Parade this Sunday; their legions of soldiers will be storming through the Gayborhood and won’t be taking any prisoners. No, that’s not right. You’ll definitely live through this, and it is sure to be a good time. The parade starts at 13th and Locust streets, winds through the Gayborhood and ends at Penn’s Landing. There, special guests will perform, including Aisha Tyler (Archer, Talk Soup) and the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Choir. Keep an eye out for the Ben Franklin Bridge this weekend, too. Ole’ Benny will be outfitted with rainbow lights in honor of Gay Pride Day. -Alexis Sachdev
Noon. 13th and Locust sts. $10 admission to Penn’s Landing. phillypride.org
Philly’s own Yoruban New Year celebration is upon us. Can’t you just smell the spiced meats and vittles wafting and African percussion grooving throughout the South Street area? Can’t you see the vast array hard-to-come-by Afro-centric gear, art and knick-knacks just waiting to be added to your personal collection? If you can’t, 1) Where have you been for the past 36 years? and 2) Come out to the procession to the Schuylkill, lend your voice to some oriki and offer your praises to goddess, Oshun. After she accepts the offerings presented, hit the streets and partake in the eats, culture and congregation synonymous with Mother Africa. There will be two stages of live entertainment on the South Street and Grays Ferry stages mostly consisting of lively dance ensembles and live bands. NBC-10’s Renee Chenault-Fattah will be honored with the Osun Award and a there will be a performance by hip-hop’s original braggadocious baller/game-spitter and most prominent deportee, The Ruler, Slick Rick. -Ryan K. Smith
10am-8pm. Free. 21st and 23rd sts. 215.732.8510. odundefestival.org
It’s been nearly 30 years since Mattel introduced Masters of the Universe and almost 50 years since G.I. Joe invaded toy aisles. If you spent the past few decades in your basement with fine-tipped paint brushes and a battalion of retro action figures housed in a climate-controlled glass case, the 21st century is screaming, “Thundercats, Ho!” and beckoning you to Ultracon 2011. The retro toy and comic show features all the classic Marvel and DC favorites (no Hellboy or Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers here, kids), and several special guests, including pro-wrestler “The Patriot” and comic artists Will Torres, Will Olmo and Richard Hoffman. Dust off your light saber and enter the costume contest for a chance to win a vintage MoTU action figure or cash prizes. And don’t let the name fool you—Ultracon isn’t here to destroy your Autobots. -A.S.
10am. $5. Sheraton Hotel, 6 Industrial Way East, Eatontown, N.J. amazingtoyshows.com
Monday, June 13
Fronted by powerhouse singer-guitarist Lauren Larson—with blond hair whipping and Fender axe flailing, she’s as manic a ball of energy as it gets—Texas trio Ume (pronouced “oooo-may”) takes Sonic Youth’s prettier, more melodic moments, impales them with shards of post-punk guitar, douses them in shoegazery noise, then runs them over with a muscle-car rhythm section. With her remarkably versatile voice, Larson can pull you in with a coquettish coo (think Nina Persson of the Cardigans, or maybe that chick from Blonde Redhead) then bloody you up with a vicious snarl (think a wounded, cornered wolf, or maybe old-school Karen O). Expect to be slayed by anything Ume plays from their killer Sunshower EP (and hopefully some new stuff) tonight, and to leave believing they’re indie-rock superstars-in-waiting. -M.A.G.
8pm. $10. With House Bat + Night Sins. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St. kungfunecktie.com
Tuesday, June 14
Middle, Tenn.’s Those Darlins broke through in 2008 with “Wild One” from their eponymous debut. “I may be a little darling gal of yours/ That’s when I’m straight and sober, and both feet are on the floor/ But sometimes when the booze grabs a hold of me/ I get the devil in my eyes and I’m running wild and free,” sang front-women Jessi, Nikki and Kelley Darlin with the reckless growl and self-confident swagger of Calamity Jane and Loretta Lynn. The country outfit released Screws Get Loose earlier this year, continuing their punk-meets-twang path while destroying gender stereotypes along the way. “I just wanna run and play in the dirt with you/ You just wanna stick it in,” Jessi sings on the Phil Spector-esque “Be Your Bro.” Prepare for a helluva show and maybe, if you’re lucky, a black-eye. -E.S.
9pm. $12. With Natural Child + Tin Horses. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. johnnybrendas.com
Calendar: Sept. 2-9