Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
Halfway through Mature Themes, Ariel Pink’s latest release, there’s a song called “Schnitzel Boogie,” which celebrates the Austrian cutlet dish. On paper, that might sound like “Weird Al” Yankovic territory (“schnitzel” is among the top three funniest food names, ahead of “waffles” but behind “whoopie pie”), though it’s actually a slice of Beach Boys-y melodicism. Near the end of the song, Pink repeats the word “schnitzel” endlessly, and while you’re lost in its dreaminess, you forget how ridiculous it all is. But that’s Ariel Pink—he’s strange. Often on his lonesome, Pink has spent years recording hundreds of songs on primitive equipment, inspired by lo-fi prognosticator R. Stevie Moore, who’s been doing the same since the late ‘60s. In 2003, some of Pink’s recordings made it to the hands of fellow weirdos Animal Collective, who signed him to their record label and gave his music a much wider audience. Now with a backing band, Haunted Graffiti, Pink has released numerous albums to great acclaim, including re-issues of his long out-of-print early works, dating back to the mid-‘90s. -Bryan Bierman
9pm. $16-$18. With Phèdre + BODYGUARD. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100. utphilly.com
The Friends of Schuylkill Banks invite you to come and spend an evening enjoying the simplier things in life during a laid-back outdoor fete under the Walnut Street Bridge. Guests will enjoy complimentary food, drinks and sweets from several local sponsors, including Victory Brewing, Little Baby’s Ice Cream, Pitruco, the Dapper Dog, Penn Woods Winery, Pure Sweets and Magner’s Cider. Compete with strangers and friends in fun lawn games or bring a blanket and some chairs and simply watch as the sun sets over the river. Local swingabilly group Delco Nightingale will have you bopping your head and shaking your hips to their rockin’ swing tunes. Proceeds for the event will help FOSB continue to improve and maintain the river banks. -N.F.
5pm. $55. Schuylkill Banks, 2500 Walnut St. friendsofsb.org
Lotus’ fourth full-length album finds the band moving in a decidedly more electronic direction, while staying true to their organic roots. The result is an album worthy of its self-titled status—the band’s singular sound and spirit runs through those 11 road-tested tracks, which are all streaming on their website. The guys got together in Indiana, but now the band is split between Denver and Philly. Their show here in their half-hometown this Saturday is truly going to be special: It’s at FDR Park, a splendid patch of grass that hasn’t hosted a big concert on its grounds since the Beastie Boys co-kicked it live there during 1994’s Lollapalooza. It’ll be great to see Lotus’ impressive and much-talked-about light show in the park. Fellow lightshow enthusiasts Ghostland Observatory are also on this expansive bill, so this thing will truly be a spectacle to behold. -Brian McManus
4pm. $39.50-$75. With Ghostland Observatory, Mimosa, Michal Menert + Sonic Spank. FDR Park, 1500 Pattison Ave. ticketmaster.com
West Philadelphia R&B Fest
At the 7th annual West Philly R&B Fest, live music will be playing, and food offerings from the area will be available to members of the city, regardless of neighborhood. To entertain the little ones, there will be a Kids Zone featuring a moon bounce and other fun activities. Also, West Philly will be bringing out its finest cars from the garage, as the second annual car show takes place. But this fest isn’t all fun and games: The Partnership CDC, which strives to bring affordable home-ownership, financial education and commercial corridor revitalization to the west and southwest parts of the city, will be providing free health screenings and information about neighborhood concerns and community resources. -Fiona Lockyer
12-6pm. Free. 4000 block of Market St.
Sun., Sept. 16
Rock ’n’ Roll Half-Marathon
Once known simply as the Philadelphia Distance Run, this annual 13-mile marathon regularly draws more than 20,000 runners from across the globe, raising millions of dollars for a total of 19 local charities. But while the course has been the site of five World Records over the years, the sidelines are where the real excitement’s at. At every mile along the route, spectators will find local cheerleading squads and dance teams shaking their pom-poms as part of the “Spirit on the Course” competition, as well as themed water stations and an eclectic mix of live music ranging from punk to jazz. That’s right—13 different stages, 13 different bands. Once participants have crossed the finish line, a post run concert will begin with headliner Haley Reinhart. On Friday and Saturday, the marathon will also sponsor a Health & Fitness expo at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. -N.F.
8am. Eakins Oval, between Kelly and Art Museum drives. runrocknroll.competitor.com
Bon Iver’s music plays like the soundtrack to someone’s roller coaster of a love life, reveling in the soaring highs and crushing lows with an uncommon sort of gratitude and appreciation. From the sparse, desperate stories on their acclaimed 2008 debut, For Emma, Forever Ago, to the falsetto-heavy, ambient dream folk of their latest release, 2011’s Bon Iver, Bon Iver, they leave no emotional landmark untouched. In fact, they take the notion of such things to the extreme on Bon Iver, Bon Iver by naming many of the tracks after cities (“Perth,” “Calgary” and “Lisbon, OH” are just a few), as though to denote where monumental experiences have taken place. It is a creative stroke of genius that underscores their continued ability to give their songs dramatic scenery and setting, so that the songs themselves are more than just a collection of words and emotions—they become truly cinematic experiences. -Brian Palmer
7:30pm. $29-$49. With Anais Mitchell. Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 5201 Parkside Ave. 215.878.3305. manncenter.org
One of Anthony Hamilton’s most winning strengths—perhaps the one strength that keeps him going as an in-demand R&B performer—is that when he sings, you actually believe every word. Compare any of his songs to one performed by, say, Trey Songz. While both men’s vocal styles are wildly different, North Carolina native Hamilton has that smoky, church-bred drawl, while Songz belongs in that same whiny, callow-sounding club where Chris Brown, Drake and founding member Usher all have custom-fitted letterman jackets. Hamilton has that seasoned conviction in his performing that guys like Songz sorely lack. (Keep it real: Didn’t you have a “Negro, please!” moment the first time you heard Songz’s hit “Neighbors Know My Name?”) But on the other hand, Hamilton, a former backup singer for D’Angelo, has always been a performer whose music engulfs you with his grown-ass-manliness. He knows people are looking for R&B that’s just as adult as they are, not music that seems to only exist to make bobbleheaded, tramp-stamp-plagued teen girls shriek in delight. There’s a maturity, sophistication and believability in every song this distinguished Southern gentleman drops. He may not be a love face-making panty-wetter like Songz and other cats of his ilk, but Anthony Hamilton is that rare breed of R&B singer: He seduces and stimulates you just by being a gotdamn man. -Craig D. Lindsey
7:30pm. With Estelle. $39.50-$85. Tower Theater, 69th and Ludlow sts., Upper Darby. 610.352.2887. thetowerphilly.com
Mon., Sept. 17
Electric Jungle, the new Philly Fringe production from Found Theater Company, seeks to answer the question: “What does sound do to us?” according to director Phoebe Schaub. Part of the immersive theater movement that changes the relationship between actor and audience and puts theatergoers inside the show, Jungle amplifies the visceral style of theater that has made Found one of the city’s most compelling alternative theater companies. The show explores our responses to sound and music by ushering the audience through three distinctive spaces. The first is an antechamber that Schaub describes as a “sterile white chamber” filled with pre-recorded sound comprised of “text, music, and digital tones.” The two subsequent spaces are a surprise, but we can reveal that they immerse the audience in worlds that represent the evolution of sound from the natural to the technological.Schaub says there is little in the way of dialogue spoken by the actors, but rather the narrative is forged primarily through songs and imagery that take the audience on a journey from a simple sigh to the pulsating rhythm of an amplified five-piece band. -J.C.R.
7pm. $15. Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine St. 215.413.1318. livearts-fringe.org
Tues., Sept. 18
The Rise and Fall of the Clash
Making its debut in Philadelphia, this documentary explores the undiscovered history of punk band the Clash. From their early gigs to their legendary Shea Stadium concert in 1982, The Rise and Fall of the Clash allows the audience to watch the evolution of the British punk icons. Just over 90 minutes, the film features previously unseen footage of the band and interviews with individual band members. While the film recently screened at the CBGC Festival in New York City, this intimate viewing includes special performances by the High Five as well as Blayer Pointdujour & the Rockers Galore. Following the film, there will be a discussion with director Danny Garcia, a longtime fan who co-produced the project with David Mingay. -A.K.
7pm. $10. The Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. thetroc.com
Calendar: April 1-8
Calendar: March 25-April 1
PW's 2015 Philly Spring Guide