Tuesday, May 7
This band is mostly Michael Benjamin Lerner, a soft-spoken and slightly nerdy Seattle-ite whose father is a legendary voice artist (think video game Star Fox) and a DJ outta Washington. Lerner’s a musically versatile dude in that he likes to record and conceive his records alone, on demos, using mostly guitar and drums. He was a drummer before he was a guitarist but, without a question, his records are big guitar records. And when it gets going, he channels T Rex and Big Star, and the sound just feels huge. On his critically lauded sophomore LP, 12 Desperate Straight Lines, Lerner continued a trend of working with Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla. But on his spring-released third, Dormarion, Lerner tried something new: The Merge-signee hooked up with Spoon’s drummer, a producer in his own right, Jim Eno, in Austin, Texas. The end result is really fun. As a multi-instrumentalist, Lerner had a little apprehension about collaborating with a drummer and producer he’d never worked with before, but it seems like his instincts paid off. This show’ll channel a lil’ bit of that Spoon indie rock catharsis, but you’ll also get a little Weezer sheen, mixed with a touch of Harlem Shakes ecstasy and even a little like our own locals, the ethereal Swimmers. Even on “Ghost and Creatures,” he hints at a little piano spaceyness you hear in M83 and Sun Airway. Lerner will definitely be accompanied by a full band tonight, as Telekinesis records wouldn’t translate live without an on-stage blowout. / B.C.
9:15pm. $12. With Deep Sea Diver. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford. johnnybrendas.com
The Future of Marriage for Same-Sex Couples
As director of the ACLU’s LGBT and AIDS project, James Esseks oversees cases involving discrimination against the LGBT community. Esseks is currently serving as co-counsel on Windsor v. United States, the case attempting to overturn DOMA. Tonight, Esseks discusses this topical, important case and other pressing matters within the LGBT community. 6:30pm. Free. Moore College of Art, 20th Street and the Parkway. aclupa.org
There is always room for Seattle-based, scummy garage rock tripping on low-quality ‘shrooms. “Puppet on a String” is straight out of a low budget, but solid psychedelic horror movie. All of the teenage characters may die, but the songs live on to maim another day. 8pm. $10. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St.215.491.4919. kungfunecktie.com
Wednesday, May 8
What a Terrific Find! Finds from the Collections!
Alex Pezzati, the senior archivist at the Penn Museum, is excited to show you some of the most interesting artifacts in the collection. Old photos and anecdotes will add seasoning to this already delicious bowl of historical wonder. 6pm. Free. Penn Museum, 3260 South St. 215.898.4000. penn.museum
The Palma Violets are geared toward pubs and pints raised high in inebriated ecstasy. Rounds will be bought, and beer will be spilt, but grandiose, blaring harmonies will rule all. 9pm. $12. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. johnnybrendas.com
Out of Town
The earnest, critical and interactive rock musical will bring its pacifistic, frizzy mop to the Blueberry Capital of the World as a window into the hippie culture of the ‘60s. Armpit hair and leather headbands are not required, but heavily encouraged. Through May 11. $23.50-$28.50. Eagle Theatre, 2 Vine St., Hammonton, N.J. 609.704.5012. theeagletheatre.com
International Barefoot Running Day
Forego those shoe prisons and let toe hair feel the breeze amid wonderful greenery at this international celebration of sub-ankle nakedness. There are routes through the fields for the hardened and callused expert and the fleshy, pink beginner. Sun., May 5, 10am. Free. Black Rock Sanctuary, 953 Black Rock Rd., Phoenixville. 610.344.6000. thebarefootrunners.org
Halloween, Horror, Haunted House & Hearse Convention
A concentrated amount of macabre will seep out of some indomitable chasm and take root for three days in the Expo Center. Gigantic props from haunted houses across the country set the mood as magicians attempt to confound your feeble brain into attending classes that will teach you how to properly apply horror makeup and scare others. May 3-5. Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Ave., Oaks. halloweenshow.com
Amanda McCutchon: Recent Paintings
Amanda McCutchon’s portraits show both the intimate and the mundane—people at work, people laughing, people sitting on stoops. Whatever the atmosphere, each subject seems to be mid-conversation, both offering and concealing their stories from the viewer. Through May 31. Gallery 50, 50 E. Commerce St. Bridgeton, N.J. gallery50.org
Compiled by Michael Brady, Nicole Bonaccorso and Anthony Trivelli.
Calendar: March 25-April 1
PW's 2015 Philly Spring Guide