Calendar: Nov. 2-8

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Nov. 2, 2011

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Wednesday, Nov. 2

Taste of Philly
Foodies, exult! It is time again for PW’s Taste of Philly event and this thing just keeps getting bigger and badder. The concept is simple: Buy a ticket and then eat the signature dishes and imbibe on trademark cocktails of local businesses ’till your gut’s content. Participating vendors include La Scalas, La Viet, Guinness Black Lager, Slice, Monk’s, Cabot cheese, Jim Beam and literally hundreds more. And you can feel good about yourself as you stuff your face; half of the proceeds benefit the hunger-squashing nonprofit Philabundance and the biomedical research and education center Circle of Hope. Stick around for a preview of Circle of Hope’s latest project “Let Them Eat Cake,” a bakery-arts contest that pits professionals, students and wanna-be bakers against each other in wedding-cake hysteria. -Abigail Bruley

6-9pm. $35. The Crystal Tea Room, 100 Penn Square East. 215.627.5100. philadelphiaweekly.com/food/taste-2011.html

Crooked Fingers
Crooked Fingers auteur Eric Bachmann’s gruff, craggy baritone echoes an age gone by. Their loping Americana lingers in the backwoods, but it’s more cinematic affectation than truly dusty, with dark gothic theatricality and baroque predilections lurking just below the surface. The result is stylized country-folk similar in tone to Tom Waits’ take on vaudevillian swing/cabaret blues—gritty, arty and colorful. Recent releases have seen them add horn-laden orchestrations, drawing them in a roots-soul direction before returning to their initial spare bloozy approach for their sixth and latest album, Breaks in the Armor. -Chris Parker

9:15pm. $12. With Strand of Oaks. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. johnnybrendas.com

Thursday, Nov. 3

Just Dance: Lady Gaga Hip-Hop
If you’re looking to burn off some steam and maybe a few extra pounds, channel Lady Gaga during a 90-minute hip-hop workshop. Two Philly Dance Fitness instructors will have you burning calories as they guide you through intense, nonstop cardio routines set to Gaga’s undeniably infectious hits. They’ll break down the choreography for her “Judas” music video so that you can finally master her erotic futuristic dance moves and creep people out the next time you’re in the club. Dancers of all skill levels, ages 13 and up, are welcomed and prizes will be awarded for the best Gaga-inspired outfit. -Nicole Finkbiner

7pm. $12-$15. The Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine St. 215.569.4060. phillydancefitness.com

Agnostic Front
This Big Apple ’core is as hard, blunt and unforgiving as the streets that birthed it. New York’s answer to Minor Threat and Black Flag, Agnostic Front’s grimy, hard-driving minimalist rumble set the template with 1984’s seminal 15-minute debut album, Victim In Pain. The music’s incipient violence and tough-guy attitude suggests Warriors: The Musical, but it’s less agro pose than an affirmation of unity and steadfastness. Partially derailed by frontman Roger Miret’s incarceration, they were on hiatus for six years before re-emerging in ’97. Time’s only sharpened their chops and hardened their resolve. The last 13 years they’ve released six skintight albums mixing old school punk fury with modern-day production. C.P.

7pm. $13. With Bracewar, Mongoloids, Naysayer, Black Feathers, Good Times. Barbary, 951 Frankford Ave. myspace.com/thenewbarbary

Philadelphia Dumpster Divers

For anyone who hasn’t yet had a chance to see the Miss Rockaway Armada’s fantastical flotilla-turned-exhibition at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, tonight’s event—featuring a lecture by members of the Philadelphia Dumpster Divers—couldn’t possibly be a more ideal opportunity. The art collective known as the Miss Rockaway Armada, for those of you not in the know, constructed a large flotilla of rafts about five years ago in Minneapolis; the group then traveled down the Mississippi River aboard the craft, and even sailed it down the Schuylkill this summer. The exhibition is currently dry docked at the PAA, where it’ll remain on view through the end of the year. As for this evening’s program featuring the Dumpsters Divers collective, it’ll take the “trash-into-treasure” theme one step further, as six members of the group discuss their two decades worth of ecologically-responsible art-making. That’s a lot of trash-talk for just one night, so consider preregistering for the event online or by phone. -Dan Eldridge

7pm. Free. Philadelphia Art Alliance, 251 S. 18th St. 215.545.4302. philaartalliance.org

Opera Karaoke
Tonight, the Center City Opera Company—whose mission is to bring opera to new audiences—sponsors a beer and opera night to commemorate National Opera Week. Bar-goers will have a chance to learn opera’s most famous drinking songs from Maestro Andrew Kurtz and the company’s young artists. CCO’s Eric Brower says, “Our purpose is to appeal to the under-40 crowd and eliminate false perceptions of opera as stuffy music only for the elite or sophisticated.” The sensual beauty of opera music was never meant to be enjoyed only in the theater. In fact, it goes down best with a Heineken. -Laura Goldman

10pm. Free. Giancarlo Lounge, 1508 Spruce St. 215.238.1555. operatheater.org

Friday, Nov. 4

SugarLoaf Crafts
More than 250 top artisans are showcasing their latest creations in jewelry, fashion, home decor and photography this week at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival. Everything from wire, geometric jewelry to hand-painted silk clothing will be on display and for sale. Many of the festival’s new and emerging artists will also offer an inside look on how they craft their unique creations. It’s one-stop shopping for ladies looking to one-up a stylish friend or gents hunting for eccentric artsy decor for their man caves. -Tushara Jewahar

10am-6pm. $7. Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Ave., Oaks. sugarloafcrafts.com

Anthony David

If you aren’t pleased as punch that Anthony David has dropped an album full of new music, then you just don’t appreciate good ol’ indie R&B. The Atlanta soulster’s latest, As Above, So Below, is the first collection of songs he’s released since his 2006 sophomore effort The Red Clay Chronicles. We’ll tell you who must be really glad to see David back on the scene with more tunes: the Obamas. In 2008, Michelle was the first to sign off on him when she said he was on her iPod in a Marie Claire interview. Barack soon followed suit and declared himself a fan on Rickey Smiley’s radio show two years later. If that at least doesn’t make you want to check him out and see what he has to offer, then we just don’t know what the hell else to say. -Craig D. Lindsey 

7:30pm and 10pm. $30. Through Nov. 5. Warmdaddy’s, 1400 S. Columbus Blvd. 215.462.2000. warmdaddys.com

Saturday, Nov. 5

Scratch Acid
David Yow started howling in the early ’80s in Austin, Texas, with Scratch Acid. Americanizing the sound (and the haircuts) of Nick Cave’s Birthday Party, Scratch Acid released two EPs and one album of muscular, nasty, dramatic noise rock before calling it a day in 1987. Those three records—tough and gnarly as anything released on Touch & Go—turned out to the incubator for the Jesus Lizard, formed by Yow and bassist David Wm. Sims in 89. Scratch Acid performed to a few hundred rabid fans in 2006 at the Touch & Go 25th Anniversary Block Party and it seemed like a one-off, a rare treat for fanatics. But because they seem to convince just about every act that’s ever plucked a guitar to get the band back together, the people behind the All Tomorrow’s Parties festivals have convinced them to give it a go. Is it worth checking out? Everyone who knows is at least a little bit curious. -Richie Charles

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