Calendar: Oct. 6-12

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Oct. 5, 2010

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Wednesday, Oct. 6

Philadelphia Fashion Week
Every year, Philadelphia combats its reputation as a city of fashion neophytes by hosting Philadelphia Fashion Week, a showcase for local designers heating up the scene and already ablaze global fashion houses. It’s easy to talk smack on Philadelphian style because of its, well, sheer visual evidence, but don’t overlook the blessed fiscal realism that’s so absent from New York. The opening night of this year’s Fashion Week (although at Wednesday-Saturday, it’s not quite a week) is all about the blissful convergence of style and accessibility. Eye-popping, candy-coated creations from global powerhouse Carmelita Couture will be showcased alongside beloved Philadelphia street denim purveyor Palmieri, while the “loud, ferocious, and sexy” sounds of Sarah Borrello and Self Help Revolver bring the noise. Art installations and local music acts round out this display of Philly style and innovation with a casual vibe that promises to bring a degree of both fashion and approachability to Philadelphia’s catwalks—and hopefully to its streets. -Claire Noble

6pm. $35-$50. Through Oct. 9. 23rd Street Armory, 22 S. 23rd St. 267.616.4269. philadelphiafashionweek.org 

Ratatat
The mostly instrumental Brooklyn duo Ratatat have seen their brand of dance-y, hip-hop-informed electro-rock—thick with synthesizer lines that zap, burble and soothe; guitars that sway and slice; and beats both off-kilter and propulsive—explode of late. Their myriad champions and associations over the years have helped the cause: Daft Punk, Björk, the Killers and Interpol have taken them along on tours, and collaborations with Kid Cudi and MGMT have gotten Ratatat’s experimental creations into a lot of new ears. So perhaps they’re not quite the kind of band you’d expect to see headlining a place like Electric Factory, but their wonderfully odd, addictive grooves should fill up the room rather nicely. -Michael Alan Goldberg

8pm. $22-$24. Electric Factory, 421 N. Seventh St. electricfactory.info

Thursday, Oct. 7

Carmen
There are some operas to which you just don’t bring a friend who’s never been to one before—La Clemenza di Tito, Dialogues of the Carmelites, pretty much everything by Wagner—lest they, bored or traumatized, refuse to ever be your date to the opera again. La Tragédie de Carmen, being staged by some of the best student musicians in the world at Curtis through Sunday, is not one of them. The story is accessible, all sex, vengeance and hedonism with a surprisingly relatable emotional tone, and it’s full of melodies that even brand-new opera patrons can grab onto like a familiar life preserver in the sea of WTF that opera can sometimes be the first time you see it. Carmen’s ideal if you’re new to opera, or if you’re looking to gradually indoctrinate someone into (eventually) being your date for Wozzeck. -Emily Guendelsberger

7:30pm. $35. Through Oct. 10. Curtis Opera Studio, 1726 Locust St. 215.893.7902. curtis.edu

The Octopus Project
Austin’s Octopus Project spin sprawling psychedelia out of tinny, bubblegum electronics and manic barrages of guitar and drums. The band’s four members are inveterate instrument switchers, sometimes changing axes in the middle of songs. Together they create melodies with a fractal quality, as if even their largest gestures are comprised out of intricate, tiny identically shaped components, arranged in ticking, interlocking mechanical mandalas. Openers STRFKR, from Portland, work a similar vein of ecstatic complexity, celestial synths cresting over inexorable dance rhythms. -Jennifer Kelly

8pm. $10. Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front St. 215.291.4919. kungfunecktie.com

Night Market
Philadelphia food bloggers and culture hounds have been losing their damn minds ever since the Food Trust announced its first-ever Night Market, a vendor-flanked food frenzy reminiscent of the evening bazaars in Marrakech and Istanbul. This much-anticipated street-food market got rained out last week, but now will shut down several blocks of Passyunk to feature the culinary offerings of more than 20 purveyors of prepared food from around the city. While you get your grub on, there’s live music from Attia Taylor, whose lilting voice and eclectic pop offerings will keep pep in your step even after too much Caribbean-style fried fish from Gigi and Big R. If you’re too full for dessert, suck it up, unbutton your jeans and snag some dessert takoyaki from Maru Global. Wash it all down with local Apple Cider from Three Springs Fruit Farm, and spend the next eight hours in a food coma (don’t try to fight it), while visions of Coup de Taco’s red-chicken tacos dance in your head. -Claire Noble

6pm. E. Passyunk Ave. and Tasker St. thefoodtrust.org

Scout Niblett

English-born, Portland, Ore.-based multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Scout Niblett has called upon Steve Albini (Big Black, Shellac) to produce her last four albums. The Calcination of Scout Niblett is the apogee of their seven-year studio relationship, coupling Niblett’s delicate but vengeful songwriting with crushing, gain-heavy guitars reminiscent of the less radio friendly aspects of the grunge aesthetic. By dropping Loretta Lynn’s twang while maintaining her “Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’” fury, and adding muscular, Mudhoney/Melvins-inspired sludge riffs, Niblett’s work rages against the “singer/songwriter” cage many attempt to lock her within. Her vulnerability is transitory and deceptive, for it’s always followed by a joyful slashing. -Elliott Sharp

9pm. With Holy Sons + Ladies Auxiliary. M Room, 15 W. Girard Ave. themanhattanroom.com

Friday, Oct. 8

Celluloid E-motions
When personal experience and cinematic representation intersect, the results can be diverse—personally resonant, painfully close to home, or flat and disappointing—but they are usually emotional in one way or another. In Celluloid E-Motions, Pallabi Chakravorty’s company Courtyard Dancers explore such intersections through performance, incorporating Indian dance, Urdu poetry and Hindi film lyrics into a complex vocabulary of movement and sound. Chakravorty is also a professor of Dance and Anthropology at Swarthmore College, so expect the performances to be full of complex theory and nods to the history of Indian dance, from traditional to contemporary. The dance troupe’s artistic mission is stated as “to dissolve boundaries of east and west, and mind and body, without losing cultural specificity,” so the added element of cinema in Celluloid E-Motions should be particularly apt. -Emily Crawford

7:30pm. $20. Asian Arts Initiative, 1219 Vine St. 215.557.0455. asianartsinitiative.org

Bobby Zankel’s Wonderful Sound 4
Brooklynite Bobby Zankel has called Philly home since 1975, and he’s a chief reason the city should take pride in its jazz scene. He’s not only a fire-spitting alto saxophonist, with a precise yet mercurial style that defies categories, he’s also a composer with a rhythmically charged, somewhat abstract vocabulary honed over the years with the Warriors of the Wonderful Sound. This week’s gig is an opportunity to hear Zankel scale down to a quartet and let that alto sax roam free. He’ll mix it up with the Warriors rhythm section: pianist Tom Lawton, bassist Anthony Tidd and drummer Craig McIver. -David R. Adler

9pm. $8-$10. With Thri. Moonstone Arts Center, 110 S. 13th St. moonstoneartscenter.org

Saturday, Oct. 9

Pierced Arrows
Punk blues took a body blow in 2006, when Fred and Toody Cole put an end to Dead Moon after 20 years. Grizzled since anyone could remember, not just parents but grandparents, it seemed, sadly, that the Coles were finally too old to rock. But not so fast. In 2008, two of them formed a new band, Pierced Arrows, that is just as uncompromising, just as desolately powerful as Dead Moon. “Let It Rain,” from the debut, is a time-battered triumph: weary, weathered and bleakly monumental. This is not your father’s rock ’n’ roll—it’s not even your grandfather’s—but it’s a powerful antidote to the surface-y, trend-obsessed silliness of youth. -J.K.

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1. me said... on Oct 6, 2010 at 01:30PM

“A piece cheering Los Campesinos! in Philadelphia Weekly? Wow, Steven Wells really is dead.”

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