Calendar: Nov. 3-9

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Nov. 3, 2010

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Wednesday, Nov. 3

Deer Tick
Fronted by singer/songwriter/guitarist John McCauley, Rhode Island quintet Deer Tick were basically just another scruffy, country- and blues-infused indie-rock band with a hard-on for Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Neil Young touring the nation incessantly to minor acclaim. And then, last year, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams—not to be outdone by Pitchfork, Spinner or Brooklyn Vegan—flexed his indie-lovin’ muscles and spotlighted McCauley and company on his web series “Bri-Tunes.” Since then, shit’s blowing up for Deer Tick. Fortunately, the band also stepped up their game with this year’s The Black Dirt Sessions, by far their best LP. It’s somber at times, but certainly less po-faced than Williams’ interview. -Michael Alan Goldberg

8pm. $14-$15. With Mark Sultan. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St. 866.468.7619.

Thursday, Nov. 4

PAFA After Dark
Experience your own Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler at PAFA—a much more pleasant (and legal) form of after-hours access than crouching on top of a toilet as the museum closes. Art, cocktails and the jazz-meets-Eastern-Europe sounds of the West Philadelphia Orchestra allow for a relaxing post-work exploit. Once unwound, observe the Narcissus in the Studio exhibit, and lend a naked ear to the “Full Frontal” discussion of three nude self-portraits by featured artists Jane Lund, Diane Edison and John Wilde. If nudity’s not your thing, maybe nerdity is—a second gallery talk on the geekiest topic PAFA could think of covers the history of plastic. (Why? Who knows?) Space 1026 will help you design your own “Nacissus” self-portrait, assembled Exquisite Corpse-style by multiple artists. Finally, delve into the heart of the exposed museum and solve your very own mystery in the Naked at Night scavenger hunt. Clothing on, of course—this may be an adult event, but it’s not that adult. -Allison Krumm

6pm. Free for members, $10 non-members. Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 118 N. Broad St. 215.972.7600.

New York avant-garde collective Zs began as a sextet but have since shrunk to a quartet, with one original member remaining. The mission, however, is largely the same: making music of an inexorable rhythmic and sonic appeal, a commotion of metallic-sounding prepared guitars (Ben Greenberg, Tony Lowe), gritty tenor sax (Sam Hillmer) and pulsing drums (Ian Antonio). They’ve documented their rigorously notated work—something between contemporary chamber music and experimental indie noise—on several EPs and two full-length discs, Arms and New Slaves. This week’s triple bill also features cult-hero guitar shredder Mick Barr and a duo project by alt-jazzers Phillip Greenlief and Trevor Dunn. -David R. Adler

8pm. $8. With Mick Barr + Phillip Greenlief/Trevor Dunn Duo. Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front St. 215.291.4919.

Philly is a perfect backdrop for noir thrillers: dark corners, desolate blocks, burned-out rowhomes, political corruption out the wazoo. It’s no wonder, then, that the genre is catching on here in a mighty way. We’re the birth/deathplace of the Prince of Noir, of course—the exalted-but-somehow-forgotten-by-most David Goodis, and home to a new fold of gifted hardboiled-fiction writers. Dennis Tafoya’s Philly-based Wolves of Fairmount Park was a stunningly strong release this year; ditto Duane Swierzynski’s Expiration Date. That dark duo will be on hand at Philly’s NoirCon this weekend to participate in a panel discussion on Philadelphia noir alongside Philly cop/crime writer Keith Gilman and others. Throughout the conference, loads of workshops and panels will take place to help instruct you how to release your inner Chandler. The conference begins with a screening of To A Pulp, the highly anticipated documentary about Goodis’ life, and the next day king of D.C. crime fiction George Pelecanos will be on hand. There’s food too, though it’s mostly a buffet of glass, nails and gasoline. -Brian McManus

Through Nov. 7. $200. DoubleTree Hotel, 237 S. Broad St. 215.893.1600. 

Friday, Nov. 5

Bottle Rockets
Uncle Tupelo gets all the props for kickstarting the alt-country/Americana movement in the early ’90s, but it’s the St. Louis quartet Bottle Rockets—led by Brian Henneman, a one-time roadie for (and occasional player in) Uncle Tupelo who formed Bottle Rockets in 1992—that deserves just as much credit. But history, and certainly the music industry, isn’t fair, and despite finding a glorious midpoint between Woody Guthrie’s socially conscious folk music and the Replacements’ raucous, drunken punk- and roots-rock, Bottle Rockets continue to claw and scrape for attention and respect. Myriad label woes over the years haven’t helped, but albums like last year’s rippin’ Lean Forward prove the band’s still mighty hungry. Unlike, say, Wilco... -M.A.G.

9pm. $15. North Star Bar, 27th and Poplar sts. 215.787.0488.

Life Rally

The suicides of gay kids have been flooding national headlines, and as you read about tragedy after tragedy, you might wonder “What can I actually do about this?” One option is to show public support en masse—this Friday, for instance, at the Life Rally in Love Park. The gathering is part of the 2010 Soul Symposium, a two-day LGBTQ event sponsored by the William Way Center. Singer/songwriter Ray Boltz, a Christian pop star who came out in 2004 after years of depression and despair in the closet, will be performing during the rally. Boltz certainly has lived the message, as his coming out was rewarded by hate mail and ostracism from many former fans. If you’re upset that being honest about sexuality can be a regrettable or even dangerous thing for you, someone you know, someone you haven’t met yet or someone you’ll never meet, show your face in the crowd and let anyone who might feel trapped know the sheer numbers of people who aren’t going to judge. -Lauren Hodges

8:30pm. Free. Love Park, 15th St. and JFK Blvd.

Saturday, Nov. 6

On their landmark debut, Internal Wrangler, surgically masked Ade Blackburn and Jonathan Hartley did something that very few bands ever accomplish: create a wholly original and distinctive sound. How’d they do it? They polished junk-store keyboards to a finely reverbed gloss. They cranked spasmodically funky jitter-punk to “Voodoo Wop” proportions. They caught the pathos in a world paced by rickety drum machines and rife with mournful organs, but sadly, delicately “free of distortions.” Their sixth and latest album, Bubblegum, veers slightly into a vein of 1960s psychedelia, which should make the pairing with San Francisco’s trippy garage rockers the Fresh & Onlys all the more interesting. -Jennifer Kelly

9:30 p.m. $13-$14.  Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford. 215.739.9684.

South Street Bridge Reopening
Rejoice, Philadelphians! After 23 long months of construction, the South Street Bridge—one of the city’s main interneighborhood arteries—will reopen to bike and pedestrian traffic, with autos allowed later in the evening. It’s a boon to bike commuters, a much easier route between West Philly and Center City and South Philly than the glass-shard gauntlet that is the Gray’s Ferry Bridge. It’s also an ingress point for the Schuylkill River path and one less excuse for your lazy-bones friends who claim they’re too far to come hang out. The project was miraculously finished ahead of schedule, so there really is something to celebrate. Two-legged and two-wheeled traffic can cross the bridge at 2 p.m., or wait an hour to congratulate the Streets Department at the reopening ceremony. -Alexandra Jones

3pm. Free. South Street Bridge, 215.686.5499.

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