Calendar: May 25-31

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted May. 25, 2011

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Wednesday, May 25

Summer Grand Slam
The second annual Summer Grand Slam and BBQ is yet another way to get in on the story-telling mania hitting Philly like a ton of encyclopedias. Past winners of Story Slams, held at L’Etage and World Cafe Live, will meet and battle for the title of “Best Storyteller in Philadelphia.” In case you’ve been living under the sea for the past few years, a story slam is a competition in which contestants are given a theme and are expected to form a story around it, audience members serve as judge. Those that carry the most interesting story and tell it in the most entertaining way get the win. This year’s slam will serve up tasty barbecue from Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse and  beer courtesy of Victory Brewing Company. America’s Got Talent contestant, and “Philadelphia’s Funniest” winner, Doogie Horner will play emcee and the sweet, catchy sounds of Astoria’s The Yes Team will soundtrack the raconteurs as they compete. -Abigail Bruley

6pm. $15-$30. Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N. American St. 215.922.1695.

Thursday, May 26

Oppose And Propose: Lessons From Movement for a New Society
Between the 1950s and the 1980s, West Philadelphia experienced the same problems afflicting other urban areas: poverty, crime and racism. Still, it was home to many, including a small cadre of activists who had been involved in civil rights. They called themselves Movement for a New Society, and in 1971 they settled into 19 group homes in the neighborhood now known as University City. Members experimented with communal living, consensus decision-making and radical feminism. Deeply suspicious of all leadership, they lived as if the society they envisioned were already here. Among other accomplishments, MNS published books, organized town watches and established the Mariposa Food Co-op. More significantly, they were instrumental in training organizers for the national anti-nuclear movement. The members’ names may be largely unknown, but, according to historian Andrew Cornell, their legacy has had a profound impact on the post-Seattle global justice movement. Cornell is in town to discuss his book on the subject; expect MNS veterans to offer their analysis. -Raymond Simon

7pm. Free. Wooden Shoe Books, 704 South St. 215.413.0999.

Weird Hot
After slipping through a gauntlet of lush drones in album opener “Aboriginal Sin,” Shawn Kilroy’s new band Weird Hot brings the promised hot and weird on title track “Casimir”: it’s all Scott Walker vocal drama, echo chamber piano and brushed percussion glittered up with synthesized squibbles and bloops. So what’s “casimir?” We’re not sure if Kilroy is referencing the battle cry or quantum theory effect, but it doesn’t matter. We’re digging how bombastic, jagged dance-y tracks like “Girls Like the Waitress” squeeze dark and groovy disco ribbons out of shameful little shards of desire. The show is double-duty vinyl release party with Gemini Wolf playing songs from Inifinite Sand Dunes, an album described by the band as one side full of “tales of resource wars and the psychosis born out of maximum exposure and minimal emotions” and the other “subconscious valleys of the first side through an instrumental story of spacey krautrock, broken beats, autoharp, evaporated samples and hazy analog synthesizers.” I mean? Yes. -Tara Murtha

8pm. $10. With Gemini Wolf + Warm Ghost. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684.
Friday, May 27

Spring Jazz Festival 
A night out and a chance to build up good Karma, too. This year, Philadelphia sax legend Larry McKenna and his quartet will be performing at the Spring Jazz Festival to raise money for the Philadelphia Unemployment Project. The organization has been working since 1975 to organize support and help local unemployed and low-wage workers. PUP has helped Philadelphians by preventing foreclosures, creating public jobs and expanding access to health care. Representative from PUP will be on hand to school you on all the good they do for our fair city. There will also be a meet-and-greet with Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie. Enjoy a great evening under the stars and get to know a fantastic local cause. -Brenda Hillegas

6-10pm. $50. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St. 215.563.3980.

Sundrops Music & Arts Festival
Derek Dorsey of The Fire has organized yet another excuse for you to spend Memorial Day weekend in Philly and not down the shore with heathens: a first-annual three-day festival with a roster that’s a who’s who of the certain slice of the local indie kind-of-folkie-but-not-really scene. The fest kicks off Friday night, with Sisters 3 straight off their CD release and North Lawrence Midnight Singers, among others. Starting at 3 p.m. on Saturday, 12 bands including Ron Gallo of Toy Soldiers and Girls Rock Philly alum Attia Taylor will play outside on two stages, one right outside The Fire and
another next door in the parking lot of Trios Trattoria. The vintage and handmade craft crew will be out in full force. Saturday’s night show features Drink Up Buttercup among a slew of others. Sunday fun day rounds out with bands like Illinois and Doylestown native Damien DeRose, who performs under the name Peasant. Though surprisingly overlooked in local media, Peasant’s elegant and earthy tunes have been featured and praised on the likes of NPR, LaundroMatinee and Daytrotter. -T.M.

8pm. $10. Through Sun., May 29. The Fire, 412 W. Girard Ave. 267.671.9298.

In A Daughter’s Eyes
Mumia Abu-Jamal is probably the most well-known death row inmate in the world. He was infamously convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981. Building on Mumia’s story, InterAct Theatre’s new production tells the fictional story of two daughters: one the daughter of an incarcerated Black Panther, the other the daughter of the white police officer he allegedly killed 20 years earlier. The play takes a deeper look at the cycle of racism and distrust that arose from his case and applies it to the two daughters’ genuine desire to find common ground in the midst of their families’ fallout. InterAct Theatre is renowned for presenting contemporary plays that explore the controversial social, political and cultural issues of our time; In A Daughter’s Eyes seems sure not to deviate from the trend. -Trishula Patel

Through June 19. 8pm. $32. The Adrienne, 2030 Sansom St. 215.568.8079.

Saturday, May 28

Being Impossible
If the last puppet show you saw was Mr. Rodgers’ creepy-ass Neighborhood of Make-Believe, perhaps it’s time you experience Puppet Uprising’s equally creepy, theatrical puppet mayhem. Their latest multimedia production tells the tale of Oz, a student who has been assigned to take a journey to the sun and bring back proof of his trip. In addition to puppets, the show will include unreleased music by noise rock duo Lightening Bolt, a video collaboration with folk songstress Becky Clark, and artwork by Kevin Hooyman. There will also be an opening act by PuppeTyranny, a collective of musicians, performers and puppeteers from Kensington who mix animation, live music, trapeze, stilting and normal acting into their shows. Just last year they took Philly by storm with their production of Julius Caesar and their fascinating “mouth puppetry.” Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like—they put small figurines and miniature objects in their mouths. -Nicole Finkbinker

8pm. $5-$10. Space 1026, 1026 Arch St. 215.574.7630.

Black Doll Sale
The first and only known museum to celebrate the beauty and history of black dolls, The Philadelphia Doll Museum will host its 22nd annual show and sale alongside Dark Images. Though black-doll-making dates back to ancient Africa, it was only recently that artists and creators were recognized in larger doll circles as more than folk artists. This year, attendees can enjoy appearances from intriguing and renowned artists such as Patricia Cobb, Goldie Wilson, Fannie Robinson, Daisy Carr and Adrene Bracey. Plus, Paula “Oneeki” Whaley will show off a special collection of her latest paper dolls made from colorful tissue paper and clay. All day there will be opportunities to win door prizes, raffles and even compete in a doll puzzle contest to celebrate the “Sophisticated Doll” theme at this year’s event. A labor of historical necessity and love, the show and sale are dedicated to promoting awareness and celebration of an art form long awaiting its claim. -Lauren Gordon

Sat., May 28. 10am-5pm. $5-$7. Mitten Hall, Temple University, Broad and Berks sts. 215.787.0220.

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