Wednesday, May 29
Balcony Bar Buffet: A Benefit for the Phreak N’ Queer Arts & Music Festival
With the passage of Councilman Jim Kenney’s LGBT equality bill earlier this month, Philadelphia officially became the most LGBTQ-friendly city in the country—so LGBTQ folks and the people who love them will have lots to celebrate at this year’s third annual, four-day Phreak N’ Queer Arts & Music Festival in August. Founded by social-worker-by-day, DJ-by-night Kate Gormley, Phreak N’ Queer is inspired by Atlanta’s legendary MondoHomo, the similarly sprawling, queer-radical love affair of music, art and unapologetic politics. After spinning at the party in Georgia, she thought: We need this in Philly. When she put out some feelers, queer Philly responded, FUCK YES, WE DO! And thus, “the illegitimate love child of eight Philly organizers” was born. They’re upping the visual-arts factor this time, with collections spanning across four galleries and an interactive component. This year’s call for submissions from queer/trans musicians, artists and performers just went out, so if that’s you—or the you that stars in your glittery day dreams—now is the time to contact organizers to get on the bill. Among last year’s highlights: a 1950s-themed sock hop featuring a full-on gospel choir and a closing party packed with artists, DJs, musicians, performers and gender-guerilla radicals of all stripes.
But alas, before we raise the roof, they must raise the funds. Enter the Balcony Bar Buffet benefit. Performers include the “patron saint of all that is sweet and sticky,” Miss Mary Wanna, a burlesque performer whose hip-shaking can move the mountains of her native North Carolina. There’s also “post-gender sartorialist” Messapotamia Lefae, performance artist Ruby L.L. Voyager, Ben Storey, Tyler Velasco, Joey Parzanese, Brooks Banker as Golden Delicious, musician-choreographer Sebastian and Lance Pawling as “Alaya Richmin’s surgically removed conjoined fraternal twin, Miss Rhonda Weiss” and more. / Tara Murtha
10pm. $5. The Balcony Bar at the Trocadero Theatre, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.6888. thetroc.com. For info on how to participate at Phreak N’ Queer, go to phreaknqueerfestival.wordpress.com.
Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson, who make up the Uncluded, would seem to be an unlikely pairing. Ace is a hypnotically dense rapper with acclaimed production skills, while Dawson is best known for her time with the folksy Moldy Peaches and her work on the soundtrack for Juno. Somehow, it works. Their debut album, Hokey Fright, was released into the wild this month. 8pm. $18-$20. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. worldcafelive.com
Zeev Weiss: Sepphoris: From Galilean Town to Roman Polis
Sepphoris, also known as Tzippori and several other names, was the capital of the Roman city of Galilee and has been destroyed and repeatedly rebuilt by different cultures over the last 3,000 years. Dr. Zeev Weiss will explain how artifacts from Sepphoris show the change from important Galilean town to sprawling, Roman city. 9am. Free. Hagerty Library, 3300 Market St. 215.895.6388. drexel.edu
Karen S. Davies
The work Davies set up at the Twenty-Two Gallery has a love for uneven geometric shapes and shadowy, abstract landscapes. Her imagination has spawned trees that look like bleached bones of skeletons, splotched and sprawling in the heart of the darkest jungle. Through June 9. Twenty-Two Gallery 236 S. 22nd St. 215.772.1911. twenty-twogallery.com
Thursday, May 30
Fall Out Boy
Back in February, the Fall Out Boy boys announced that they were reuniting (Did you even know they’d separated?), a tour was coming and—surprise!—they had a finished record all prepped, too. Save Rock and Roll surprised fans and nonfans alike in April, with one of their most distinguished collections to date. FOB’s seen its share of phases and mutations, and this latest incarnation is probably their most palatable. They’re not really making pop-punk anymore; they keep it light on the emo and screamo, focusing mostly on big, loud and arena-friendly rock. The first single, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light ‘Em Up),” doesn’t really make a ton of sense, but the video’s dark and creepy in an awesome way, and the soaring chorus is hard to hate.
As they have in the past, they pull in some heavy-hitting producers and guests: Big Sean’s on “The Mighty Fall;” Courtney Love makes a hilarious cameo on “Rat a Tat,” and Elton John shows up on the finale and title track. The LP’s pretty much wowed most critics, so it’s no surprise that fans are flocking to the Electric Factory tonight. Yes, lead singer Patrick Stump’s voice feels eternally angsty, but with this newest one, he’s not consciously channeling emo teen drama. This band’s cultivated a devout fanbase, and those folks will lose their minds tonight, as it seems the newest version of Fall Out Boy might be their best. / Bill Chenevert
8pm. Sold out. With New Politics. Electric Factory, 421 N. Seventh St. electricfactory.info
Ants will definitely be marching tonight at Milkboy. Acting as lead singer and lyricist for his melodic Philly fivesome, Popejoy’s voice seems to swing in pitch from word to word, just like another singer we know whose name is also the name of his band. 9pm. $10. Milkboy, 1100 Chestnut St. 215.925.6455. milkboyphilly.com
The Monochrome Set
A good portion of the population was still wearing onesies (no judgment if you still do) the last time the Monochrome Set graced us with their presence. These post-punk monoliths were empowering figures to bands like the Smiths and Echo & the Bunnymen, so pay your damn respects, ya hooligan, thinking you know best with your iPacks and your jetPods. 8pm. $12-$14. Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art, 531 N. 12th St. 267.519.9651. philamoca.org
Jonathan Goldstein: I’ll Seize the Day Tomorrow
Finally, someone who hates himself more than you do! A master self-deprecator, Goldstein is a New York Times and GQ writer and has penned three dark yet humorous books, one of which is the focus of this lecture. 7:30pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. 215.567.4341. freelibrary.org
Big Sam’s Funk Nation + Orgone
Fat trombone blasts that would sound fitting coming out of a jazz-enthused elephant are a clear sign that the Funk Nation has clambered onto the stage. And while they bring the big band funk we all dearly need to get up, Orgone, the other headliner, has the strong flowing soul to help us all come down. 9pm. $17-$20. The Blockley, 3801 Chestnut St. 215.222.1234. theblockley.com
Friday, May 31
David Uosikkinen’s “In the Pocket Live” Record Release
Since David Uosikkinen first began assembling a supergroup of local musicians three years ago to begin recording new versions of the city’s most classic rock and pop songs, he says, “I’ve had a lot of former Philly musicians living out of town tell me over the phone, ‘Sure, just send me your track, and I’ll lay my stuff down [over it].’ And I’ll say, ‘You know, that’s just not how we’re doing it.’” Uosikkinen, best known as the Hooters’ drummer before launching this new project, dubbed In the Pocket, isn’t being a luddite; to the contrary—in the late ‘90s, he was a key member of the team at MP3.com, helping to pioneer the digital music revolution. He’s just eager to capture the particular ephemeral magic that only comes from musicians bouncing sounds off each other face-to-face in real time.
Leading the band from the back as its drummer, Uosikkinen gets to savor the rich variety of In the Pocket’s rotating lead vocalists. Ben Arnold, for instance, sings their version of Robert Hazard’s “Change Reaction,” while Eric Bazilian fronts “I Ain’t Searchin’” by the American Dream. There’s Tommy Conwell heading up a rendition of The Dovells’ “You Can’t Sit Down,” then Richard Bush doing the Hooters’ “Beat Up Guitar.” Those performances and 10 more show up on the new In the Pocket Live CD, which will be unveiled tonight. And Uosikkinen says this is just the beginning. Here’s hoping they’ll get around someday to covering the rockingest Philly song ever: the Action News theme. / Stephen H. Segal
Beyond the Surface: Environmental Art in Action
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that all good art, music and film can be a major catalyst for change. This conference brings together environmental artists and arts professionals from around the country to discuss ways in which their work can create awareness and restore ecological systems. 9am. $40-$80. The Schuylkill Center, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Rd. 215.484.7300. schuylkillcenter.org
Mount Kimbie, the duo responsible for ushering in the post-dub step genre, formed in 2009 while both members were attending school in London. Aside from their own two albums, they have done remixes for some pretty big names like the Big Pink, Foals and the xx. 8:30pm. $15. With Holy Other (Live) and Vinyl Williams. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100. utphilly.com
The Keeper’s Project
The Keeper’s Project is a full-length dance theater video work conceived and choreographed by Anne-Marie Mulgrew in collaboration with video artist Carmella Vassor Johnson. The project was inspired by Mulgrew’s free workshops for senior citizens that focus on examining family history. Through June 2. $15-$20. Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 North American St. annemariemulgrewdancersco.org
All That Remains
These Massachusetts metal heads formed in 1998 by ex-Shadows Fall singer Phil Labonte and guitarist Oli Herbert. In 2012, they released their sixth record, A War You Cannot Win, which, much like the rest of their cannon, is an eclectic affair, casually genre-hopping in between songs. 7:30pm. $20. With Pop Evil, Seeds of Perdition + Travia. Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.6888. thetroc.com
Her Spirit Was for Dancing
Her Spirit Was for Dancing chronicles the co-existence of Christian and African traditions by taking a look at the death rituals performed for Phyllis Gordon, a 92-year-old Etu member and Yoruba descendant in Jamaica. The film’s director, Morenike Olabunmi, will be available after the screening for a discussion. 7pm. $5. Scribe Video Center, 4212 Chestnut St. 215.222.4201. scribe.org
The Soul Rebels
Leave it to a couple drum majors from prestigious university marching bands to combine elements of hip-hop with a traditional brass band sound to create something radically different. Their latest, but first nationally distributed album, Unlock Your Mind, features a cover of the Eurythmics’ classic “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” with horns replacing the synths. 9pm. $15-$18. The Blockley, 3801 Chestnut St. 215.222.1234. theblockley.com
Saturday, June 1
Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con
While it may not compare to the international Comic-Con in San Diego, for the hordes of sci-fi, gaming, martial arts, anime and comic book fans across Pennsylvania and the Delaware Valley, Wizard World’s annual Philly convention is the ultimate event of the year. And regardless of where your level of interest falls on the nerd spectrum, it always guarantees a good time.
For super fans, the biggest draw of the four-day fest, which begins on Thursday, is the daily lineup of panels, Q&As, lectures and other offbeat happenings, most notably a cosplay fashion show, various costume contests, sci-fi speed dating and, making its Wizard World debut, Super Art Fight, a live art competition featuring pro-wrestling style characters and storytelling, along with improvised commentary. Aside from the usual crew of celebrity guests/panelists—Stan Lee, Lou Ferrigno, Dean Cain and William Shatner—among the biggest stars making an appearance this year are Henry “The Fonz” Winkler; actors Norman Reedus, Jon Bernthal and Michael Rooker from The Walking Dead; Ramones drummer Marky Ramone, X-Men’s Shawn Ashmore, aka Iceman, and a reunion of the Firefly cast. Perhaps even more famous are the classic TV and film vehicles of which guests will have a chance to have their photo taken behind the wheel—from Scooby Doo’s Mystery Machine and The Dukes of Hazzard’s General Lee to the DeLorean and the Batmobile. / Nicole Finkbiner
10am-7pm. $45-$85. Through June 2. Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch St. wizardworld.com
Some Other Kind of Person
Some Other Kind of Person is a relentless tale of misguided American goodwill abroad, featuring a hapless businessman attempting to save an underage sex worker in Cambodia by buying her. Through June 23. 8pm. $22. InterAct Theatre, 2030 Sansom St. 215.568.8077. interacttheatre.org
A Reading with Bill Whiting
Artist Bill Whiting recently released his first book, An Early Work Late in Life: The Art and Life of Danny Allen, a biography written from the standpoints of admirer and lover that includes autobiographical elements. Sometimes funny and sometimes heartbreaking, Whiting’s work is a tribute to a young artist who lived through times that just weren’t ready for him. 5:30pm. Free. Giovanni’s Room, 345 S. 12th St. giovannisroom.com
Community Center Anniversary and Pro Cycling Clinic
Enjoy free health and dental screenings, face painting and Zumba at the UnitedHealthcare Multicultural Center’s anniversary celebration. Sit in on the professional cycling team’s bike clinic, and wish them good luck in the Philly Cycling Classic. Noon. Free. UnitedHealthcare Multicultural Center, 1900 S. Broad St.
This Radiant Boy
This Philly-born power pop quintet have been formally retired since 2006, but are now breaking the hiatus for this one-time-only reunion gig. The group is led by vocalist/guitarist Michael C. Guggino, whose writing style combines a wide range of influences, from ‘60s psychedelic rock to Nirvana. 9pm. $10. With JJL and Dragon City. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. johnnybrendas.com
Manayunk Fit Fest
This all-day festival celebrates Manayunk’s fitness initiative, as well as kicks off their fitness week. Free 30-minute workout classes and on-site health consultations will be available and will serve to highlight some of the 18 fitness-related businesses located in the area. Also taking place is Walk the Wall, which is a family-friendly fundraising event to earn money for local nonprofit groups. 9am. Free. Main St. and Levering St., Levering St. Parking Lot. manayunk.com
Green Night Out: Let’s Make the Rich Pay Their Fair Share
Anne Gemmell, political director of Fight for Philly, presents four ways in which we can place the proper amount of society’s burden on the wealthy. Aside from the discussion, there will be an abundance of food for everyone to enjoy. 6pm. $25. Singapore Restaurant, 1006 Race St. 215.922.3288. fightforphilly.org
Blind Dog Rescue Alliance Beef N’ Beer
The Blind Dog Rescue Alliance Inc. is a nonprofit dedicated to rescuing and rehoming man’s best visually impaired friends. Proceeds will go directly to supporting the veterinary costs of these pups. 6pm. $30-$35. Cannstatter Volksfest-Verein, 9130 Academy Rd. 215.332.0121. blinddogrescue.com
Philly Walk for Animals
Walk with animals for animals at this fundraising event. Participants must register to receive a sponsor packet to accept pledges from friends and family in support of the Humane League of Philadelphia. Bring your companion animal for a walk along the Schuylkill River Banks to the Festival for Animals at Lloyd Hall. 11am. Free. Ethical Society Building, 1906 Rittenhouse Square. thehumaneleague.com
Sunday, June 2
When NBC’s late-night talk-show debacle finally blows over once and for all, with Jimmy Fallon taking over The Tonight Show, Seth Meyers moving to Late Night and Jay Leno deservingly shoved into retirement, you know who’s going to be the real winner? The guy formerly known as “Ross the Intern.”
Giving hope to lowly interns everywhere, Ross Mathews not only managed to go from a coffee-fetcher to a Tonight Show correspondent, but these days, he appears to be on the heels of the one-man media empire that is Ryan Seacrest. In addition to shedding 40 pounds on VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club, serving as one of few male guest hosts on The View and appearing each week as the only tolerable panelist on Chelsea Lately, Mathews has become a regular fixture over on the E! Network, covering the Oscars, the Olympics, even the 2012 presidential election.
Now the undeniably endearing comic is hitting the road to promote his new book, Man Up! Tales of My Delusional Self-Confidence, which traces all the hilarious and embarrassing moments of his journey from a chubby closeted gay kid in a small town to an ambitious super-fan in the big city. It just so happens that this fall, Mathews’ career will have officially come full circle when he serves as writer, co-producer and host of his own “interactive” talk show on E! called Hello Ross. / N.F.
8pm. $30. TLA, 334 South St. 215.922.1011. tlaphilly.com
Emancipation Proclamation Jubilee Celebration Weekend
Abraham Lincoln, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass and more of your favorite Civil War-era figures are traveling 150 years to see you, so you’d better not miss this event. Enjoy re-enactments, a lecture by American Alliance of Museums’ award-winning historian/researcher Phillip Sietz and a museum-quality exhibit about Timbuktu African artifacts. Noon. Free. New Africa Center and Museum, 4243 Lancaster Ave. newafricacenter.com
Manayunk Bike Race
Need $30,000? Compete in the Manayunk Bike Race for a chance to split a $60,000 prize. The race is on again after the event was almost canceled earlier this year. The new course features a start and finish line at the top of the Manayunk Wall on Lyceum Avenue. 8:30am. Kelly Drive through East Falls. facebook.com/ManayunkBikeRace
MM2 Modern Dance Company: Three
If you don’t feel like traveling to Florence, Italy, for this performance, you can view it here in Philadelphia. This work is a compilation of 18 pieces choreographed by the nine company members who will be performing both here and overseas. 2pm. Free. Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 118 N. Broad St. mm2dance.org
Italian Festival and Craft Beer Day
Kick off Philly Beer Week on East Passyunk Avenue with events at Birra, the Bottle Shop, Lucky 13, Noir, the P.O.P.E., Stateside and more. Enjoy shopping discounts in the area, and celebrate Italian National Day with the free festival on East Passyunk between Mifflin and Moore streets. 11am. Along East Passyunk.
Hands (Kill Rock Stars)
The overwhelmingly hypnotic sound of Hands will take you out of your element and into a sea of synth-pop versus rock. The project, which began as a two-piece from Philadelphia, has doubled in members and impact, playing at SXSW, jamming with Maps and Atlases and opening for Deerhoof, Foster the People and Kimbra. 8pm. $8-$10. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St. 215.291.4919. kungfunecktie.com
Monday, June 3
Comedy Sportz: Introduction to Improv
Philly’s premier improv comedy troupe wants to teach you the basics of improvisation: spontaneity, active listening, risk-taking, nonverbal communication and more. “A willingness for silliness” is the only prerequisite for this eight-week course. 7:30pm. The Adrienne, 2030 Sansom St. 877.985.2844.
Suzanne Seesman: Lost Worlds on Television
Local artist Suzanne Seesman creates works in which Western histories of philosophy, education and radicalism are memorialized, criticized, coveted and interrogated. Her latest piece is part play and part installation. Through July 20. Free. Moore College of Art and Design, 1916 Race St. 215.965.4000. moore.edu
The Flobots have been cranking out their own brand of catchy rap rock for more than 13 years, with only minor mainstream success. Think Cake meets Matisyahu with a violin thrown in for good measure. 8pm. $15. With Wheelchair Sports Camp, Kuf Knotz. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. philly.worldcafelive.com
Tuesday, June 4
There’s precious little left to be said about David Sedaris. He’s a great essayist! He’s funny and quirky! He’s to blame for the rise of the Western beta-male! His voice is hilarious! Many a pretentious college student applied for a Master of Fine Arts program falsely believing they’d become the next David Sedaris! They’re now paying off their student loans on a Barnes & Noble salary!
So, in light of Sedaris’ reading/ signing at the University of Pennsylvania bookstore from his latest series of essays, the of-course-he-named-it-that Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, a call-out on social media garnered a few responses on what his local readings are like from those who, unlike me, have attended one before.
“He read a piece he’d written that wasn’t published yet,” says Christina Scordia, who saw him at the Kimmel Center in 2008. “Parts were sad—and touching. The crowd was accustomed to him being funny, so they laughed. He said Philadelphians must really be tough if we could find humor in a story about love lost and loneliness.” Spoken-word artist Andrew Panebianco had a different opinion when he saw Sedaris a few years ago. “I saw him read in ‘07. It was right on the cusp of when he ran out of things to say and started drinking his own bath water.” All that said, expect a full house. / Randy LoBasso
6pm. Free. University of Pennsylvania Bookstore, 3601 Walnut St. 215.898.7595. upenn.bncollege.com
Glow: Living Lights
This exhibit has one specific and awesome focus: bioluminescent organisms, creatures with the incredible ability to produce their own light. Dramatic video, live organisms and rare preserved specimens will enlighten and engage. Through Sept. 29. $13-15. The Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. 215.299.1000. ansp.org
Tomahawk is Faith No More singer Mike Patton’s project, and the influence is obvious. Their latest album, Oddfellows, continues the tradition of varied musical and vocal styles laid over thumping bass with epic, majestic choruses. 8:30pm, $25. With Buke and Gase. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100. utphilly.com
Wednesday, June 5
Soul Collage: Celebrate Pride and Identity with Intuitive Collage Art Making
Celebrate LGBT Month with this expressive art process and class created by Seena Frost. Using magazine cutouts, personal photos, greeting cards and other personal items, learn to make collages that tell the story of you. 7pm. $20. 1315 Spruce St. soulcollage.com
A Perfect Fit: Fashioning Future for Women
At this 12th annual fundraising event, anchorwomen and other media personalities will donate clothing to the Career Wardrobe, a Philadelphia agency dedicated to helping low-income women prepare for a career. 6pm. $100. Crystal Tea Room, 100 E. Penn Square. careerwardrobe.com
Outer Limits: Events Outside Philadelphia
Theatre Horizon Autism Drama Program: Intro to Playwriting
Learn how to create dynamic characters, rich dialogue and engaging story lines through improv and acting exercises. This program is funded in part by the Greater Philadelphia chapter of the Autism Society of America. Sat., May 4, 11:30am. $60-$175. Theatre Horizon, 401 Dekalb St. Norristown.
Cirque Du Soleil: TOTEM
In its dazzling acrobatic style, Cirque Du Soleil tells the story of human evolution from amphibian state to human flight experimentation. TOTEM plays with science, legend and the connection between all species. Through June 23. $50-$130. Camden Waterfront, 1 Cooper St., Camden, N.J. cirquedusoleil.com/totem
Broadway is coming to Broadway ... in Pitman, N.J. Relive some of the best female roles in Broadway history with some of the best voices around, including Jennie Eisenhower and other all-star performers. The live band accompaniment is sure to put stars in your eyes. Through June 2. $20. The Broadway Theatre of Pitman, 43 S. Broadway, Pitman, N.J. thebroadwaytheatre.org
Devon Horse Show and Country Fair
We owe a lot to our horse friends. Somewhere down the line, horses went from wild animals to means of transportation, to military weapon and then to entertainment in competition. The Devon Horse Show is the nation’s oldest and largest outdoor multi-breed competition. The event is accompanied by the Country Fair, featuring live music, food, shopping and, of course, a hat contest. Through June 2. 23 Dorset Rd., Devon-Berwyn. devonhorseshow.net
The SPE@K Project Movie Screening
Tackling serious subjects like dating violence, substance abuse, bullying, mental illness and LGBT homelessness, this project, with local teens in lead roles, presses the issue that we all have voices that need to be heard. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Covenant House AC. Wed., May 29, 6pm. $10. Harrah’s Resort, 777 Harrah’s Blvd., Atlantic City. beunltd.com
Compiled by Nicole Bonaccorso, Michael Brady, Drew O’Meara and Anthony Trivelli.
Calendar: March 25-April 1
PW's 2015 Philly Spring Guide