What to do in Philly this week.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31
As the prime demo for The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, latchkey kids of the ’80s found a technicolor wet nurse in the House of Mouse. With a 10-year string of animated hits, Disney reclaimed its former glory as the stronghold of cartoon whimsy, a reputation that had gone tarnished since its golden age. Filmadelphia presents Waking Sleeping Beauty, a documentary that chronicles the darkest days of animation, when the studio that produced Snow White and Pinocchio was nearly forced to shut
its doors. Featuring interviews with animation luminaries like Tim Burton, John Lasseter and director Don Hahn, it’s an uncharacteristically candid look at one of the greatest comebacks in Hollywood. One that may need to be repeated today, with Pixar’s emergence in the ’90s unintentionally sparking a decline in hand-drawn animation. Somewhere in a bunker deep beneath the Florida marshlands, the frozen head of Walt Disney rests uneasily. -Paul F. Montgomery
Following in the footsteps of New Orleans trumpet mentors Wynton Marsalis and Terence Blanchard, Christian Scott is nonetheless after something of his own. His new Yesterday You Said Tomorrow includes a cover of Thom Yorke’s “The Eraser” among a set of brooding originals played by a fierce, highly qualified band. Scott can come off as arrogant (he dissed Blanchard recklessly in a recent interview), so good thing his trumpet chops, jazz knowledge and forward-thinking artistry are well in evidence. His body of work—with previous Concord discs Rewind That, Anthem and Live at Newport—is impressive for someone who’ll turn 27 on the day of this Philly gig. -David R. Adler
THURSDAY, APRIL 1
Decades Dance Party
Whether its pinstripes, a mumu, a bomber jacket or a windbreaker you’ve got sitting in the back of your wardrobe, there’s only one place where your throwback outfit will be truly welcomed. Adorn yourself in the traditional garb of any of the last five decades and head to the Arts Garage for Decades Dance Party, an extravaganza traveling back through time. Party organizers, the Humanitarian Dance Project, give nods to each era with a tie-dye booth, break-dance performances and raffle prizes handed out by a squad of roller girls. Among the disco battles, dance offs and crew rivalries, the competition of the night is a silent auction for a trip to Costa Rica. Baltimore DJs Big Snax and Whowe of Medusa Lounge’s We Snackin’ party will be on the ones and twos all night, working in an MJ tribute at prime time.
10pm. $10-$15. Arts Garage, 1533 Ridge Ave. 215.765.2702. oneworldmanyhearts.com
The Chickens slayed on last year’s Skulls Without Borders, the Siltbreeze compilation where this Philly-based noise/punk outfit fuzzily out-maneuvered seasoned vets like Dan Melchior and Sic Alps. The band, formed around FNU Ronnies’ Street Kyle and Michael Beaser, occupies the outlying fringes of the lo-fi movement, their new cassette-only debut out on Fan Death records, home to like-minded Puerto Rico Flowers, Lamps (also on the bill) and Psychedelic Horseshit. “Chicken Den,” the cut that landed on the Skulls comp, stutters maniacally in an echo cave, spasmodic monotone vocals insinuating over rackety drums and staccato bursts of scrubby guitar. It’s unhinged, intense and ever-so-slightly dangerous. Hey, who you callin’ chicken? -Jennifer Kelly
FRIDAY, APRIL 2
Twin Peaks Art Show + Best Pie in Philly Contest
Laura Palmer’s been dead for more than 20 years, but people from Twin Peaks and countless counties over are still talking about it over cobbler and joe. Tonight, folks are getting together gussied up as their favorite characters from David Lynch’s cult series at Piranha Betty’s. There’ll be Agents Dale Cooper, sure, but there might be a hustling Jacques Renaults too. A dancing dwarf might get up on his tip-toes to whisper sweet, backward nothings in your ear as you sway to Shawn Kilroy’s sultry monotone. There’ll also be pie with all varieties of fillings and crusts, each vying for your vote as the best in the city. Some 20 local artists will be displaying their Twin Peaks portraits in “The Black Dog Runs at Night” exhibition. Slip a letter ‘R’ under your fingernail, wrap yourself in plastic, and wriggle over to Fishtown for some pretty pictures and a mean slice of cherry. -P.F.M.
If an older, more jaded Holden Caulfield, and the titular hero of Igby Goes Down had gotten together and formed a group, you would suspect that Vampire Weekend, aka the Whitest Band in Existence, would have been the end result. Their seemingly overnight catapult to fame, via the Ivy League echelons of Columbia University, and the attendant whiff of over-privilege, have sent their countless white, over-educated, over-privileged detractors into a froth-mouthed frenzy of class warfare. Their canny assimilation of Soweto beats 'n’ pieces via Peter Gabriel’s back catalogue is, depending on the side of the cool fence you’re straddling, either a genius move or a musical crime akin to loudly announcing you enjoy kiddy fiddling. Either way, they’re polished, pithy and preppy, with a surfeit of great tunes to boot. So calm the fuck down, and enjoy them before they start playing an enormodome near you. -Neil Ferguson
Band of Skulls + The Whigs
Booming, three-piece UK product Band of Skulls has generated a worthy buzz since the release of last year’s powerful, acclaimed debut Baby Darling Doll Face Honey. Guitarist Russell Marsden trades ferocious vocals with bassist Emma Richardson, who evokes the Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde. One of the often dark, often exuberant record’s finest moments is the confident “I Know What I Am,” on which Richardson’s pulsating bass stomp collides with guitar and drum fury. Athens, GA’s the Whigs are another power rock trio, who blend smatterings of thick, overdriven guitar into an instantly catchy framework. Their newly released third album In The Dark is another batch of tightly wound, uptempo tunes. -Kevin Brosky
SATURDAY, APRIL 3
Pillow Fight Day
Deep inside of you there is an anger that has been burning at the very core of your existence. Do as any other pissed-off person and attack a stranger. Oh, wait? Maybe there’s been a bit too much of that in Philly lately. Instead, try something a little different. Sometime this week, the folks behind the International Pillow Fight will disclose the location where Philadelphians can meet up and smack the shit out of each other. (Last year, it was in Washington Square Park.) Organizers ask that you show up five minutes early. Bring a soft pillow (but not one stuffed with feathers, they don’t want to leave a mess). Please play fair, don’t go after innocent bystanders and don’t be “that guy” by putting bars of soap or bricks in your pillow case. Concealing your weapon until the fight begins is encouraged though and provides the impromptu feel they’re going for. Just think of it as a flash mob with a purpose. -Greg Adomantis
3pm. Free. For more information, visit stealthyelephant.org
Calendar: December 17-24
Calendar: Dec. 10-17
PW's Holiday Guide 2014