Wednesday, March 30
One of the founding members of California’s storied Solesides/Quannum hip-hop collective (along with DJ Shadow, Blackalicious, and DJ-turned-journalist Jeff Chang), Bay Area rapper Lyrics Born has straddled the underground/mainstream divide for close to two decades. With his dexterous, gritty and conversational baritone he’ll get experimental and conscious, and deliver a cautionary tale or two, but—as hits like “Callin’ Out” and “I Like It, I Love It,” as well as his fantastic new LP As U Were demonstrate—he also recognizes the value of bringing the bounce and the boom-bap funk. Says LB: “I like to have a good time discussing things that bother me.” -Michael Alan Goldberg
8pm. $13-$16. With Skins & Needles. Blockley Pourhouse, 38th and Chestnut sts. 215.222.1234. 215.222.1234. theblockley.com
Thursday, March 31
2011 Miss Bob & Barbara’s Pageant
Unlike the Queen Mum, Desiree Evergreene knows that royalty must make way for its successors. Since capturing her title, the reigning Miss Bob & Barbara’s has been wowing fans twice weekly at the venerable South Street watering hole, where she belts out Broadway show tunes. But after holding the crown for almost two years, the time has come for her to relinquish it. Of course, this diva won’t just hand her tiara over to any old thing: Five ambitious ladies are vying for the glory. The contestants have been primping and practicing for just this chance and will compete in three categories: evening gowns, talent show and on-stage Q&A. This year’s theme, “An Evening in Greene,” requires the girls to wear an emerald shade, so show your love by ordering a shot of sour apple schnapps to go with that PBR. -Raymond Simon
11pm. $7. Bob & Barbara’s Lounge, 1509 South St. 215.545.4511. phillygaycalendar.com
If the return of Thomas Eakins’ painting “The Gross Clinic” weren’t enough to entice the curious to visit Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for its current exhibit, Anatomy/Academy, tonight the august institution shakes off all vestiges of fustiness by emphasizing the earthy, lusty and just plain weird nature of the human body. The museum’s staying open late and they’ve invited local freaks to join in on the festivities. Contemplate Alice Barber Stephens’ use of chiaroscuro while sipping a delicious cocktail or ponder the irony of Dr. Zanzibar’s Olde City Sideshow performers swallowing swords and eating glass in the midst of an exhibit about dissecting cadavers. DIY collectives the Hacktory and Hive76 will also be on hand to lead everyone in a life-sized game of Operation. -R.S.
6pm. $10-$15. PAFA, Hamilton Building, 128 N. Broad St. 215.972.7600. pafa.org
Friday, April 1
While the term “wearable art” may bring to mind vivid memories of Lady Gaga slinking down the red carpet in slabs of meat and calling it modern art, there are socially acceptable ways of transforming antiques into apparel. This Thursday through Sunday, the Philadelphia Art Alliance will present Artwear, a gathering of local artists who’ve handcrafted a selection of wearable accessories and clothing. More than 25 designers will be featured, including Marsha Drummond of Mona the Mad Hatter, who dreams up extravagant and ornate headpieces crafted of flowers and feathers, and Aimee Eckert’s ‘wearable time travel’—vintage photos restored into jewelry. The sale runs all weekend with guest speakers presenting in the afternoon, including printmaker Doug Bucci’s panel on the process of 3-D printing on Sunday. -Emily Freisher
3-8pm. $10 includes admission all three days plus panels. Through Sun., April 3. Philadelphia Art Alliance, 215 S. 18th St. philartalliance.org
Instant Composers Pool Orchestra
Founded in 1967, this Amsterdam-based tentet still boasts the keen, pranksterish talents of pianist Misha Mengelberg and drummer Han Bennink, the godfathers of Dutch progressive jazz. The group last came to Philly in March ’07; Mengelberg and Bennink returned in January ’08 for a quartet engagement with two like-minded Americans, trumpeter Dave Douglas and bassist Brad Jones. This weekend’s “Composer Portrait,” hosted by Ars Nova Workshop, will allow them to shake off the jet lag, settle into the surroundings and do their thing for three straight nights. All of jazz’s varied languages and methodologies will be fair game. Count on the fine players of the current ICP lineup—cellist Tristan Honsinger, reedist Ab Baars, trombonist Wolter Wierbos, more—to make each gig a new departure. -David R. Adler
8pm. $12. Through April 3. Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N. American St. arsnovaworkshop.org
Black Tie GayBINGO
This bingo event is definitely not the one your grandparents play in Florida. Take your chances at the more formal version of the monthly GayBINGO games this week at the elegant Crystal Tea Room. Hosting and roasting tonight are the divalicious roller skating Bingo Verifying Divas. This 12th annual AIDS Fund fundraiser is sure to entertain, as well as aspire to the nobler cause of having the proceeds donated toward a good cause. Each bingo game will be introduced by a person who’s life has been touched by AIDS, calling the game in honor of a relative lost to the disease. This year’s theme is “Formal, Festive and Fabulous,” so be sure to don your black tie best so as not to be totally out-glammed by the BVDs. Cash prizes will be awarded for each game, and the night also includes dinner, a silent auction and dancing. -Trishula Patel
6:30pm. $150, Crystal Tea Room, 100 Penn Square East. 215.731.9255. aidswalkphilly.org/gaybingo/blacktie.php
Saturday, April 2
Biggest Dodgeball Game EVER!
Life Unchained wants to help people realize their dreams, so they’re having a big-ass event to fund them. Their goal is to get 1,000 players on the turf at the Wells Fargo Center for Philadelphia’s biggest dodgeball game ever: 500 on 500, hurling balls murderously at each other. Proceeds go to the organization that awards 20 grants a year to people with big goals who need a leg-up to get off the ground. Participants will snag goodies, including free Wings tickets and T-shirts. The last person standing on the losing team and 10 players on the winning team will be crowned winners and showered with praise and prizes. Lacking the balls to get whacked in the face? Spectator tickets are $20. There will also be tailgating all day long and a post-game party where losers can nurse their bruised egos over food and beers. -Ada Kulesza
$35. Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St. 443.907.7586. phillydodgeball.com
Those of you who will always associate bassist extraordinaire Mike Watt with punk legends the Minutemen—despite his 25 post-Minutemen years doing FIREHOSE, loads of great (if sometimes abstruse) solo albums, and playing or recording with the Stooges, Banyan and Kelly Clarkson (!)—will be thrilled to hear that Hyphenated-Man, his new album with backing duo Missingmen, is the most Minutemen-ish thing he’s done since the tragic 1985 demise of that band. Thirty songs. Most under two minutes. Noisy punk meets free jazz meets baffling grooves. All of it written on D. Boon’s old Telecaster. Double Nickels on the Dime for a new generation? Could be something like that tonight. -M.A.G.
9pm. $12. With Caterpillar + Split Red. North Star, 27th and Poplar sts. 215.787.0488.
Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir
In 1996, Bill Talen invented the character “Reverend Billy:” the Elvis-haired, hyperventilating televangelist who preaches the gospel of environmentalism and ethical business practices. He started out as a lone performer on the streets of Times Square, but today Reverend Billy’s project has grown to include a gospel choir, nationwide performance tours and his own movie, What Would Jesus Buy? Billy and his choir have dedicated themselves to political change and social action, waging campaigns in defense of the First Amendment and public spaces, encouraging strong local communities, and advocating sustainable consumption practices. Tonight, Reverend Billy and 15 members of his gospel choir will perform their Earthalujah show, which combines music and “preaching” for a bible-thumping good time. Sorta like church—if the pastor were preaching for a safe and healthy environment, local community building and the decline of corporate greed. -Emily Crawford
Calendar: Aug. 26-Sept. 2