Wednesday, March 16
Craft N Cocktails
Jennifer Harrison isn’t the first person in the world to grumble about Pennsylvania’s dearth of decent exotic liqueur. When she came across a book of European mixology, she realized that recipes called for spirits she couldn’t find here—or legally bring over from Jersey. Rather than bow to regret, or succumb to using candy-flavored commercial booze, she began infusing her own blends using local ingredients. Tonight, each shaken and poured libation will have a theme inspired by the season, and you can pay whatever you want for them. That’s right, she asks for nothing but donations, and possibly hugs. Bring a craft to work on and sip side-by-side with fellow artists and left-brainers alike. Harrison claims it’s all in the name of letting creativity flow freely. By creativity, we think she means tipsiness. -Ada Kulesza
6pm. Free, drinks by donation. Square Peg Artery & Salvage, 108 S. 20th St. 215.360.5548. squarepegartery.com
Seattle-via-Texas singer-songwriter Rocky Votolato kicked off his career 15 years ago with the emo outfit Waxwing, then transitioned into a solo career shoehorning his introspective and angry punk ethos into mainly acoustic indie-folk tunes, like the kind found on his breakthrough 2003 gem Suicide Medicine. Through the ’00s, his albums grew more lush and alt-country, and more hopeful in mood, but near the end of the decade, the normally hard-touring Votolato was wracked by depression and anxiety and went into seclusion for more than a year. Fortunately, he pulled himself out of that pit. But his latest album, the phenomenal True Devotion, reflects that period of despair, and, like Suicide Medicine it’s stripped down for maximum impact. -M.A.G.
8pm. $13. With Matt Pond. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St. 866.468.7619.
Thursday, March 17
Archer Spade & Drew Ceccato
Having opened for guitarist Bern Nix last month, the venturesome duo Archer Spade—trombonist Daniel Blacksberg and guitarist Nick Millevoi—return for another mission. Blacksberg is a diligent student of improvised music, holding down klezmer gigs, landing sideman spots with the likes of Anthony Braxton and hatching compelling schemes as a leader (e.g., Bit Heads). Millevoi shreds furiously with his punk-math-jazz trio Many Arms (Palabras Malas, Missing Time) and conceives prickly, evocative music for solo 12-string guitar on his new Black Figure of a Bird. West Coast woodwind specialist Drew Ceccato joins the duo this week for a tribute to Roscoe Mitchell, the prolific composer and co-founder of the Art Ensemble of Chicago. On the program will be Mitchell’s “Marche,” “L-R-G,” “Cards” and “Nonaah.” -David R. Adler
8pm. Free. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St. 215.573.3234. arsnovaworkshop.org
Strictly Funk: The Spectacle, a Circus Cabaret
For fans of modern dance, it doesn’t get much more interesting, exhilarating and full-on sexy than Penn’s Strictly Funk troupe. In action since 1997, the Funksters yank the latest moves from the clubs and streets, merge them with classic hip-hop breaking, popping and locking techniques, and bring in elements of more traditional dance forms (ballet, jazz, flag dancing, etc.) for vibrant performances that often get a little risqué and rowdy—those two-dozen sweaty, undulating, sometimes scantily clad undergrad bodies moving to hip-hop and electronic grooves tend to whip Strictly Funk audiences into a hollerin’ tizzy. Members of the current troupe sport monikers like Strictly Durtay, Strictly F-Bomb, Strictly Stank and Strictly Asian Popstar, and recent performance themes have included “Wet Hot Funk Summer,” “Alice in Funkland” and last fall’s “The Asylum,” replete with straitjackets. Tonight, Strictly Funk’s ladies and gents unveil “The Spectacle,” a circus cabaret-themed extravaganza that should steam up a few windows. -Michael Alan Goldberg
8pm. $10-$12. Iron Gate Theater, 3700 Chestnut St. strictlyfunkdance.com
Friday, March 18
Just got this e-mail from Henry Rollins: “Yeah, I just turned 50, but I’ve got the body of a 23-year-old Olympic athlete and the mind of a thousand-year-old guru. I saw more and did more and thought more before breakfast than you have all year. I’ve got more balls than a Titleist factory and I’m not afraid to haul ’em over to the most hostile countries on earth just so I can come back and do my spoken word shit and tell you pampered Trustafarian crybabies how the world really is, because that’s how bad-ass I am. If you just wanna sit around pretending Charlie Sheen is the real bad-ass, be my guest, but my heart’s been pumping tiger blood since 1961, motherfucker.” -M.A.G.
8pm. $27-$50. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. worldcafelive.com
Porn You Can Salute
The women behind ScrewSmart know that there’s more to porn than fake tits and money shots. These thoughtful sex educators believe that the genre is in the midst of a golden age thanks to a new breed of directors and performers, including Erika Lust, who unapologetically emphasizes the female gaze, and gender-bending stud Buck Angel, who completely confounds the Kinsey scale. To prove the point, this sex-positive collective will screen clips at Philadelphia’s anarchist bookstore. The evening promises something for everyone, from wide-eyed newbies to jaded sensualists. After watching voluptuous cutie April Flores cavort naked, traditional notions of beauty should be difficult to maintain. And men just might have to be more accommodating once their girlfriends have glimpsed Mickey Mod, a boyfriend who bends over. The hostesses ask attendees to come with open minds and encourage them to save the hotness until returning home. -Raymond Simon
7pm. Free. Wooden Shoe Books, 704 South St. 215.413.0999.
Saturday, March 19
Food for Thought
For 30 years, the Philadelphia nonprofit ACHIEVEability has worked to improve the lives of local poverty-stricken families by providing low-cost housing as well as education and parenting support, requiring in return that those in the program maintain full-time employment, attend workshops and enroll in college courses. The’ve had countless success stories, but their mission isn’t cheap. Thus, tonight’s benefit event Food for Thought, which rounds up more than a dozen of Philly’s finest chefs—including Vetri’s Marc Vetri, Zahav’s Michael Solomonov, Osteria’s Jeff Michaud, Barbuzzo’s Marci Turney and others—who’ll whip up some of their signature dishes for you. Hosting the shindig is CNN business correspondent Ali Velshi, and Celebrity Fit Club diet expert Dr. Ian Smith will be on hand as well. Tickets aren’t cheap, but they’ll get you early admission to hang out with the chefs as they prepare their dishes, plus the opportunity to guzzle some especially fine wine, and of course it all goes to a terrific cause. -M.A.G.
6:30pm. $150-$1,000. Urban Outfitters Inc. at the Navy Yard, 5000 S. Broad St. 215.748.8804
Marc Cary Focus Trio
A jazz pianist deserving far wider acclaim, Marc Cary gained distinction as a trusted longtime accompanist to the great Abbey Lincoln. But his gigs have ranged widely, from his early involvement in the go-go scene of his native DC, to his keyboard and production work on Q-Tip’s 2008 release The Renaissance. Though he’s played prominent sideman roles on Stefon Harris’s funk-oriented Urbanus and Sameer Gupta’s Indo-fusion disc Namaskar (which he co-produced), Cary is most notably the leader of a powerful trio with Gupta on drums and David Ewell on bass. They’re documented on Focus, a 2006 studio debut, and two live outings since, showing an unshakable commitment to acoustic swing but also an astute, unforced approach to world music. -D.R.A.
8pm. $20. Chris’ Jazz Cafe, 1421 Sansom St. 215.568.3131. chrisjazzcafe.com
Sunday, March 20
Of the many personae who might show up at Mark Kozelek’s solo show at First Unitarian Church Sanctuary on Sunday night—the solo artist, the Red House Painters frontman, Sun Kil Moon, the Modest Mouse covers master—probably least likely is Larry Fellows, bass player from Stillwater, the fictional band from Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous (and the first of just three screen roles for Kozelek). That’s probably just as well, as Kozelek’s nylon acoustica is particularly well tuned for such a hallowed space. His consistently tenderhearted performances—whether of his own tales of love and loss or of inimitable covers that he patently makes his own—are soft as a bunny, even when he’s banging out his own version of AC/DC. -Jeffrey Barg
Calendar: December 17-24
Calendar: Dec. 10-17
PW's Holiday Guide 2014