Wednesday, May 15
2013 Ride of Silence
The purpose of this silent group bicycle ride is to honor cyclists killed or injured in motor vehicle related accidents and to raise awareness about the rights of cyclists. The ride begins at the front steps of the Art Museum, circles City Hall before crossing into West Philly, and returns via the Spring Garden Street Bridge. 6:45pm. Art Museum, 2600 Ben Franklin Pkwy. rideofsilence.org
WALKS & TOURS
Fishtown Walking Tour
Before depression and subsequent gentrification, Fishtown figured prominently in Philly’s great industrial age, when it was developed to house workers employed in neighborhood factories. Take a walking tour of this former industrial epicenter. 6pm. $8-$10. Penn Treaty Park, 1341 N. Delaware Ave. preservationalliance.com
The Hush Sound
Indie pop rock favorites the Hush Sound (formerly just the Hush), are back on tour after a four-year hiatus. They released a new EP in March, with a full album expected later this year. 6:30pm. $18. With Genevieve Schatz, Hockey, Lucas Carpenter + River City Extension. Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South St. 215.922.1011. tlaphilly.com
The Lonely Wild
The Lonely Wild’s powerful American folk ballads draw upon western and southern rock to create anthemic and haunting melodies. Catch this up-and-coming L.A.-based quintet at an intimate venue while you still can. 9pm. $10-$12. With Yellow Red Sparks + Metropolis America. Milkboy, 1100 Chestnut St. 215.925.6455. milkboyphilly.com
Thursday, May 16
If songs were weapons, Jersey boy Eric Roberson could be Kill Bill’s Hattori Hanzo, crafting material so swift and sharp, it’s a miracle that satisfied audiences don’t suffer from expertly split eardrums after his stellar shows. And we’re just talking about the songs he keeps to perform himself; Erro’s tracks for other artists—among them Musiq Soulchild, Case, Dwele, Carl Thomas and Vivian Green (including her fantastic “Emotional Rollercoaster”)—serve as further testament to his mastery of all things musical. Seven albums into an independent grind that’s delivered soul-stirring records like the Grammy Award-nominated “A Tale of Two” and “Still,” the dreamy “Picture Perfect,” “Find the Way,” “I Have a Song” and other gems, Roberson’s work with a who’s-who of talent across the spectrum only ensures that his is a voice that isn’t going anywhere. His latest LP, 2011’s impressive Mister Nice Guy, was deemed worthy of several “Best of” albums lists at the year’s end by outlets like NPR, Creative Loafing Atlanta and Soultracks.com, and since then, he’s joined forces with the legendary Fred Hammond, alongside fellow R&B stalwart Dave Hollister and gospel singer Brian Courtney Wilson, to form United Tenors, whose debut album was released in late March to widespread acclaim among the churchy set.
Call Erro doubly blessed. ‘Cause if, on his solo journey, he and his swords-as-songs should encounter God, God will be cut. / Kenya Beverly
8pm. $25. With Algebra + Legacy 215. Underground Arts at the Wolf Building, 1200 Callowhill St. undergroundarts.org
At the age of 17, Kevin Powers enlisted in the Army and later served as a machine-gunner in Mosul and Tal Afar, Iraq. Powers’ award-winning debut novel The Yellow Birds began as an attempt to answer one question: What was it like over there? 7:30pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. freelibrary.org
Werewolves Across America
Werewolves Across America is a portrait of modern DIY music youth culture, a film about those who choose to reject the American dream and live on the fringes of society, in search of something else. A live performance and Q&A session with indie group Viking Moses will be held after the screening. 8pm. $8. PhilaMoca, 531 N. 12th St. philamoca.org
Startup Vendor Fair
Members of the University City Science Center’s Port Business Incubator and the Quorum Strategic Partner Alliance will provide insight into what it takes to start a business, and keep that business running. 4pm. Free. Quorum, 3711 Market St. sciencecenter.org
Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band
Josh Ritter brings his upbeat folk stylings as part of an East Coast tour that is quickly selling out. A former student of the School of Scottish Folk Studies, the Gaelic influence is obvious in his work. 7:30pm. $35. With Felice Brothers. Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.6888. thetroc.com
Spring Trilogy: Part I “An Evening of Blind Dates”
Spring Trilogy is a three-part experiment of spontaneous art-making, featuring 12 performances over three nights. Part of Thirdbird’s ongoing Blind Date series—where musicians and dancers are paired with someone they have never performed with—this evening of improvised entertainment promises to be much better than your last blind date. 8pm. $12-$15. Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N. American St. birdbirdbird.org
Friday, May 17
Tom Jones is the man on so many levels. His most recent, Spirit in the Room, is a stunning achievement from a 72-year-old stud. His 40th LP of covers—nay, let’s call them interpretations—bears the Welsh superstar turning Leonard Cohen, Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan songs into gut-punching, heart-wrenching exorcisms. It’ll be fascinating to watch this legendary entertainer swagger around the stage on South Street tonight. And Jones has had enough panties thrown at him to stock up a Victoria’s Secret outlet. With good reason: Back in the late ‘60s, when he was giving us “What’s New Pussycat?” and “It’s Not Unusual,” Jones wore tight pants and nearly unbuttoned shirts. He moved like a maniac, and his ‘fro game was tight, yet felt so natural and effortless.
In the ‘70s, he gave us “She’s a Lady,” and in the ‘80s, he blew Prince’s “Kiss” up into a million pieces. But just about every song he’s ever carried with that smooth, full-throated baritone larynx is compelling. The beauty of that gift he’s carrying around in his neck is that it’s so capable. You want pop? Bam. A little country? Twang for days. Sad spiritual? Man, that’s dark. Folksy capriciousness? Guess who just bested Joni Mitchell and Donovan.
Jones married his high school sweetheart, but don’t sleep—he’s like the 007 of the British Invasion. He may not tear up the stage like he did on his own TV show or in his endless slew of Vegas shows, but he’s still got that legendary bulge in his throat. / Bill Chenevert
8pm. $50. Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South St. 215.922.1011. tlaphilly.com
The Widow’s Joy: Listening & Talk with Ian Nagoski
Ian Nagoski’s new lecture presents 1910 to 1950 recordings from Eastern European immigrants living in America, whose lives were marked by displacement, tragic circumstance, opportunity and forces of history beyond their control. 8pm. Free. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St. 215.573.3234. therotunda.org
This film looks at how government, industry and trade associations protect and promote the policy of water fluoridation, a policy known to cause harm, especially to small children. The 60-minute documentary aims to open eyes to this problem and encourage change throughout the nation. 7:15pm. Free. Mama’s Wellness Joint, 1100 Pine St. 267.519.9037. mamaswellnessjoint.com
Tangle Movement Arts
Tangle’s seven-woman cast delivers an evening of all-new aerial dance theater, as they mesh traditional circus with dance and live music. 8:30pm. $10-$15. Through May 18. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St. 215.266.6215. tangle-arts.com
Civic Horticulture Conference
This conference examines how the city’s use of horticulture affects residents’ health and lifestyle, and the environment and economy. Leading experts will explain horticulture’s role in creating healthy, vibrant cities. 8am. $75. University of the Arts, 401 S. Broad St. tclf.org
Dubbed “A Titan of the Telecaster,” by Guitar Player magazine, Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Bill Kirchen boasts a career spanning more than 40 years. He’s worked with some pretty famous folk over the years, including Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe and Emmylou Harris. His 2010 release, Word to the Wise, features duets with a wide range of the artists he’s worked with. 8:30pm. $15. Tin Angel, 20 S. Second St. tinangel.com
Lynda Benglis: Everything Flows (1980-2013)
Locks Gallery presents an exhibition dedicated to the ceramic sculpture work of Lynda Benglis, spanning the years 1980 to 1993. An illustrated catalog and essay, written by Anna Chave, will accompany the work. Through June 29. Locks Gallery, 600 Washington Square. locksgallery.com
Morning River Band
These Philadelphia locals specialize in good old country rock music. Their soon-to-be released third album, To Suzie, is full of a traditional Americana sound and lyrics with a little bit of dark humor. “Hangover Blues” finds vocalist Morgan Caulfield lamenting about Jesus’ drinking habits before deciding that he would obviously turn to the sauce if given her lot in life. 9:30pm. $10. Milkboy Philadelphia, 1100 Chestnut St. milkboyphilly.com
The Jobs Project
What do you do? RealLivePeople(in)Motion attempt to find this out by combining contemporary dance with the least likely of all settings: the workplace. Director Gina Hoch-Stall interviewed 25 employed Philadelphians, ranging from CEOs to sanitation workers, and wove the voices into the mix with choreographed segments of labor type stuff. 8pm. $12-$18. Through May 19. The Latvian Society, 531 N. Seventh St. 215.922.9798. rlpim.org
Saturday, May 18
East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention
When Yumy Odom was hospitalized with an arm injury back in 1975, he was able to rectify his boredom and find solace in The Avengers and Silver Surfer comic books. “By 1982, I was creating my own comic characters,” Odom notes in the documentary White Scripts and Black Supermen. “Because even then, there was just a few black comic book characters,” he says, noting that of 1,000 comic characters, about five could be African-American.
Within 15 years of his first bedside taste of superhero fantasy, Odom would be living in Philadelphia—“the city of many national firsts,” he says—showcasing his own fantastic universe of mutants and mythology via his company, First World Komix, and teaching a comic-oriented classroom curriculum to local students. He’d soon put together an annual event, the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention—sort of a Black Comic Con—to examine and explore the images and depictions of blacks in comic books and cartoons. Its 12th iteration, which is open to the public, takes place this weekend.
ECBACC will feature more than 40 exhibitors, and among the noted artists, storytellers and scribes on panels and workshops are Eric Battle, Joe Illidge, Tony Isabella, N. Steven Harris, Michelle Hess, Kamau Mshale and Meki Ra. An opening night reception and awards ceremony at the African-American Museum of Philadelphia kicks it off the night before. / R.L.
11am. Free-$10. The Enterprise Center, 4548 Market St. ecbacc.com
Dance Theatre of Harlem
Former Dance Theatre of Harlem performer Virginia Johnson has revived this boundary-pushing ballet company from an eight-year hiatus with the blessing of founder Arthur Mitchell. This first tour under the new leadership will feature new works and a Balanchine classic. 7:30pm. $55-$80. Through May 19. Annenberg Center, Zellerbach Theatre, 3680 Walnut St. 215.8983.3900. annenbergcenter.org
Italian Market Festival
Experience the annual Procession of Saints, live entertainment, crafts and, oh yeah, food! You’re salivating just thinking about it, aren’t you? 11am. Free. Italian Market, Ninth St. between Federal and Fitzwater sts. 215.278.2903. italianmarketfestival.com
Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby
It’s not about winning or losing the race; it’s about getting there in the craziest contraption you can think of. Come out to the human-powered vehicle float parade to see what people have created, and get your ideas flowing for next year. Noon. Free. East Kensington, Trenton Ave. and Norris St. 215.427.0350. kinetickensington.org
Dance Party at the Pen: A Masquerade
Crumbling cellblocks provide an eerie backdrop to throbbing beats, drinks and very masked and very mysterious patrons. Proceeds go toward maintaining this historical landmark. 9pm. Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Ave. 215.236.3300. easternstate.org/dance
Kurt Vile and the Violators
His latest album, Walkin’ On a Pretty Daze, features a homage to Philly’s many murals on the cover, and if Vile keeps up with these awesome lo-fi triumphs, there might be a nice, surreal portrait of him sprouting up on the side of a building in his hometown soon enough. 8:30pm. With Angel Olsen + Steve Gunn. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100. utphilly.com
With Love: Super Adoption Day 2013
Rescue groups and shelters bring out some of their adoptable little buddies for you to meet, fall in love with and hopefully adopt. Organized by Citizens for a No-Kill Philadelphia, this will not only be the largest event of its kind in Philadelphia history, but one of the biggest adoption events worldwide. There will also be shopping, music, food, refreshments, raffles and prizes. 11am. Free. Walnut Street Plaza, 211 S. Columbus Blvd. phillynokill.org
Camp In For Kids’ Cancer
Join Eagles players, cheerleaders and even their team mascot Swoop as you camp out at The Linc for the night. Set up your own tent, play on the field, meet your favorite athletes, enjoy a cookout-style dinner, tell ghost stories, and go on locker room tours in this event for sports fans of all ages. The money raised will go toward Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and the search for a cure to childhood cancers. 5pm. $75-$150. Lincoln Financial Field, 1020 Pattison Ave. 610.649.3034. alexslemonade.org
4th Annual Book Fair
Featuring local and national artists, publishers and publishing projects, this book fair is Philly’s chance to purchase some of the most innovative image-based publications being created today. Check out the website for a partial, and already huge, list of participants and companies involved. Noon. Free. Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, 1400 N. American St. 215.232.5678. philaphotoarts.org
The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus wants your help in celebrating ABBA, those Swedish folk heroes, by digging out of your closet the bell-bottomest bell-bottoms you possess while attempting the tallest, most ridiculous perm you can afford. The chorus will perform a slew of ABBA’s Billboard-eating hits in appropriate garb, including insane, spangly leotards. 8pm. $30-$55. Prince Music Theatre, 1412 Chestnut St. 215.731.9230. pgmc.org
Sunday, May 19
Baby Loves Disco
Attention, babies of Philadelphia: It’s time to see what those Huggies are really made of. Open to children ages six months to seven years and the adults who care for them, this afternoon dance party turned worldwide phenomenon invites families to break their usual post naptime, pre-dinner routine, ditching the monkey bars for disco balls. No worries: They won’t be playing any of that Barney’s Greatest Hits, Dora The Explorer sing-a-long stuff. Instead, you and your loveable little leech(es) will get to bust a move to a mix of classic disco hits, as well as some of today’s hottest dance jams, all spun by a live DJ. Meanwhile, there will be various playthings scattered throughout the club to keep the kiddies occupied, including bubble machines, egg-shakers, baskets of scarves and a chill-out room with books, puzzles and tents. As the youngsters refuel at a buffet of healthy snacks, adults are welcome to unwind with an afternoon cocktail and socialize with their fellow grown-ups. Sounds a lot better than an afternoon Gymboree class, huh?
In this age of cellphone-toting, Ritalin-fueled baby Einsteins and broke, overworked parents, the goal of BLD is simply to create an environment where children are free to be children, and parents are free to be parents—and without the need for one of those obnoxious kiddie leashes. It was actually first launched in Philly back in 2005 by professional dancer Heather Murphy. Selling out Fluid (R.I.P.) nightclub each month, it quickly caught the attention of former Ropeadope Records honcho Andy Hurwitz, who joined forces with Murphy.
By 2006, through nothing more than good old-fashioned word of mouth, BLD had spread across the country, and now it’s currently held in more than 21 cities, including a presence in both Japan and the U.K. BLD also does two annual tours, traveling everywhere from military bases to children’s hospitals, but they take summers off, so this is the last local party till September. Crawlers get in for free, but anyone who can walk must buy a ticket. No kid? Sorry, no play. / Nicole Finkbiner
Sun., May 19, 2pm. Free-$12. Shampoo, 417 N. Eighth St. 215.922.7500. babylovesdisco.com
Bala Cynwyd Library Grand Re-Opening
For the last year and a half, the Bala Cynwyd Library has been undergoing a dramatic, long-overdue facelift. It’s been renovated, an addition has been put on the main building, and when it re-opens today, it may even exceed visitors’ expectations.
The former space was notorious for its leaky roof, according to the Main Line Media News, and that’s among the many repairs made to the 98-year-old facility, the second of the six Lower Merion Library branches to be renovated in recent years. The upgrade’s $6.7 million budget afforded a self-checkout station and new modern amenities—reading rooms, computer stations and other really cool stuff. A 6,000-square-foot addition in all—and a welcome one. Of course, the actual library will be open during the entire grand re-opening, but during the spring and summer months, Thursday evening and Sunday hours will be suspended, restarting in September.
At Sunday’s re-opening, there’ll be a fun, festive celebration that will begin with Cub Scout Pack 581 raising an American flag on the premises as they get ready for their future years of eventful Webelo scouting. Shortly after, performances by the Lower Merion High School Saxophone Quartet and the Lower Merion High School Jazz Ensemble—both groups way ahead of their time in both style and showmanship—will ensue. And guests are strongly encouraged to come dressed as their favorite literary character, too. / R.L.
1pm. Free. Bala Cynwyd Library, 131 Old Lancaster Road, Bala Cynwyd. lmls.org
WALKS & TOURS
What’s Out There Weekend
Philly is stuffed with idiosyncrasies, many of them expressed in the varied architecture. A series of expert-guided walking tours taking place over the weekend across the city will show and explain the nooks and crannies, hidden in plain sight. Various times and locations. Free. tclf.org/landscapes/wot-weekend-Philly2013
Five Minute Follies Variety Extravaganza
Music, magic and dance will mingle with reckless abandon in a tribute to the haphazard variety shows of yore. Hula hoops will be twirled, and bellies will dance, but your need for a range of entertainment will only be satisfied when you hear that sick banjo solo encore. 3pm. $15-$18. Adrienne Theatre, 2030 Sansom St. fiveminutefollies.com
Now that lead singer Brandon Flowers’ laryngitis has cleared up, the Killers will finally be able to throttle the crowd at the Susquehanna Bank Center with their brand of techno-loving pop-rock. 8pm. $34. Susquehanna Bank Center, 1 Harbour Blvd., Camden, N.J. livenation.com
Monday, May 20
You have a beautiful copy of a copy of a reprint of Warhol’s rendition of “The Last Supper,” but a rhinestone-bedecked frame would really pull it all together. Make it yourself while pleasantly buzzed on wine at this Art Uncorked event. Mosaic frame-making whiz Carol Shelkin will guide your clumsy paws into making a work of art that will surround a work of art. Those rhinestones may not line up perfectly after the first two glasses of red, but you can always claim it was a form of artistic expression. 7pm. $25-$30. Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Ave. 215.247.0948. woodmereartmuseum.org
A San Antonio indie rock outfit with blues undertones cut with off-key harmonies, Last Nighters aim to please, changing momentum track to track on their scatterbrained debut, Animal Room. The songs are tight and show these shriveled lizards from Texas can only go up from here. 8pm. $8. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St. 215.291.4919. kungfunecktie.com
Tuesday, May 21
The Secret Lives of Baked Goods
Jessie Oleson Moore was interested in finding out the secret lives of famous desserts and is now ready to share the history and delicious recipes of these glucose-filled wonders. Oleson is a freelance writer and illustrator who mainly operates out of her Cakespy blog, which is known to cause spontaneous weight gain upon sight. 6pm. Free. Anthropologie, 1801 Walnut St. 215.568.2114
Pomegranates (aka Healing Power)
Originally a more pop-based number, Pomegranates has morphed into Healing Power, a soulful, reverb-filled train of sound. Their latest track, creatively titled “Healing Power,” is funky and fun; if it doesn’t get your goofy feet moving, you must be dead. 8pm. $8-$10. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St. 215.291.4919. kungfunecktie.com
Wednesday, May 22
Paul Kelly’s an Australian songwriter who’s existed primarily under the American pop radar for the past few decades. The outback is his home, and he is, perhaps, one of Australia’s biggest fans. He blends country, folk and rock, and his songwriting is astonishing. Unafraid to borrow, lift and steal, his songs are often born of poems, paintings, bible verses, colloquialisms and just phrases he’s heard from strangers. When people talk about Kelly, they tend to drop three American singer-songwriter names: Bruce Springsteen (probably because of the way he talks about New Jersey), Tom Petty (probably because of his voice) and Nick Lowe (I have no idea why).
Songs like “The Ballad of Queenie and Rover,” from his excellent Stolen Apples, have this amazing storyteller quality to them, and it’s not rocket science; he simply and deftly captures the essence of a powerful moment. In the same 2008 NPR studio session in which he explains that song’s inspiration, he sings “The Foggy Fields of France,” which draws inspiration from an e.e. cummings poem and features a ukelele played by his nephew, Dan Kelly, who’ll join him at the Tin Angel tonight.
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PW's 2015 Philly Spring Guide