Calendar: Sept. 29-Oct. 5

By PW Staff
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Wednesday, Sept. 29

Banned Books
Hide your kids, hide your wife! In honor of Banned Books Week, local luminaries help the Free Library and the American Civil Liberties Union defend the First Amendment by delivering selections from their favorite literary lightning rods and flashlight reads. Folkie John Wesley Harding and authors Greg Frost and Merrie Jones will be celebrating the steamy, the violent, the politicized and everything else that gets panty-bunching parents and conservative whack-jobs bent out of shape. Judy Blume’s teens will explore their sexuality; Winston will rail against Big Brother; Atticus Finch will defend Tom Robinson and Heather will have two mommies—you know, horrible, degenerate things that erode America’s moral fiber and compromise the sanctity of marriage. Just leave your children at home so they don’t learn to accept others and value the written word. -Lauren Smith

7:30pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. 215.686.5414. freelibrary.org

The Books

The Books’ new album The Way Out is filled with sonic landscapes dotted with shuddering gongs, synth renditions of folk melodies, dial tones of telephones and vocal samples from old self-help cassette tapes. And once again, it becomes clear that the Books are not making music to dance to, sleep to, make out to, or do anything to. It’s its own beast, a mashup of sounds and emotions that defy any genre or preconceived notions about music. Since the release of their first album in 2002, the Books have shown to be masters of artful cacophony, dichotomy and non sequitors—the spoken-word samples of love letters, religious sermons, life narratives and scientific lectures are buoyed by interplay between rhythm, dynamics, harmonies and dissonance—and their live shows come with full visuals from old VHS tapes. -Katherine Silkaitis

7:30pm. $18. With the Black Heart Procession. Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.6888. thetroc.com

Thursday, Sept. 30

InLiquid Benefit
What’s a better deal than art? Seriously. It makes life a lot more interesting, and it requires, like, a nail to mount it with. Lucky for us, InLiquid’s hosting its annual silent auction, placing works from hundreds of local artists and businesses on the bidding block. Given the current age of spiritual waste etc., Keith Sharp’s trippy image of an ivy threshold to the unknown might just stretch your mind right. But whether you’re stirred by the surreal or a Marc Jacobs clutch, you can keep the object of your awe and spare your conscience grief. Catered by Vieux Carre Absinthe, this silent benefit is bound to get a little loud. Cause digging deep, whether into pockets or souls, should be thoroughly rewarded. -Sharon Margolis

5:30pm. $40-$50. Ice Box, Crane Arts Building, 1400 N. American St. 215.235.3405. inliquid.com/benefit2010

Rogue Wave
Rogue Wave honcho Zach Rogue has made a career of turning lemons into lemonade, shit into fertilizer, or whatever idiom you prefer. After losing his dot-com job and enduring personal hardships in the early ’00s, he channeled that despair into the California indie-rock outfit’s moody, compelling 2002 debut Out of the Shadow. Less than two years ago, Rogue was laid up for several months with serious back issues that threatened his livelihood, but from his bed he crafted a batch of upbeat, misery-defying, hook-laden indie-pop songs for the band’s latest gem, Permalight. He’s better now, and given how great Rogue Wave was at the Mann two summers ago, opening for Death Cab for Cutie, we anticipate a tremendous show this evening. -Michael Alan Goldberg

7:30pm. $25. With Midlake. Theater of the  Living Arts, 334 South St. 215.922.1011. livenation.com

Friday, Oct. 1

Video Game Gore
Pixelated carnage has come a long way since Donkey Kong hurled his first barrel and that intrepid Jump Man, and the Autumn Society’s latest gallery showing chronicles that bloody, button-mashed history with Video Game Gore. Local artists re-imagine the grisliest, spine-busting finishers of their latch-key youths in a showcase celebrating first person shooters, arcade fighters and sidescrolling slobberknockers. Whether you like your interactive atrocity rendered in 8, 16, 32, 64-bit or beyond, you’ll likely find a snapshot of virtual brutality vivid enough to transport you to those halcyon days of callused, Cheetos-powdered fingers, scrounging down to depths of your pockets for one more quarter.  Stock up on health packs, save your progress, and get ready to feel anemic. -Paul Montgomery

6pm. Free. Brave New Worlds, 42 N. Second St. 215.925.6525. bravenewworldscomics.com

Connie’s Ric Rac Re-opening
When Connie initially named her shop on Ninth Street the ‘Ric Rac,’ what she really meant was ‘bric-a-brac,’ an assortment of fascinating junk. Decades later, with the Ric Rac reopened as a performance space run by her musician son and her comedian other son, the venue stays true to the concept with stage acts that run the gamut. Following a hiatus, Connie’s is bringing comedy back to the market with a show featuring members of 6th Borough, who have co-opted a ukulele player for their act, as well as something surely salacious from club owner Frank Tartaglia. On top of the entertainment, Connie’s promises to feed you chicken in its most popular and least healthy form: It’s free, and it’s fried. -Abdullah Saeed

8pm. $10. Connie’s Ric Rac, 1132 S. Ninth St. 215.279.7587. conniesricrac.com

Teenage Fanclub

Beloved by everyone from the late John Peel and Kurt Cobain to Liam Gallagher, Teenage Fanclub have spent 20 years now as Glasgow’s prime purveyors of good vibes and gentle bonhomie. That’s pretty much two decades of single mindedly pursuing a template they’ve honed to near-perfection—that of glorious chiming guitars a la Big Star, Buffalo Springfield and the Byrds, and celestial melodies intertwined with harmonic arrangements that would have put the young Brian Wilson to shame. They’ve become a little more reflective, almost autumnal and melancholic in outlook of late, as befits a band now firmly into their middle years. But their fans adore them and so they should, for the Fanclub continue to go onwards and ever upwards, a band who make music to love and fall in love to. Just having them around makes the world a better place. -Neil Ferguson

8pm. $18.50-$21. With the Radar Brothers. Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.6888. thetroc.com

Otello
The Opera Company of Philadelphia opens their 35th season tonight with Verdi’s debatably greatest opera, Otello, an adaptation of the Shakespeare tale of jealousy, racism and manipulation. Tenor Clifton Forbis, of the Met, La Scala and the Opéra National de Paris, stars in the demanding lead role (a marathon he’s well known for performing) as the Moorish general of the Venetian army who (SPOILER ALERT) is manipulated into strangling his innocent wife Desdemona and destroying his life by a nasty guy named Iago. The plot is certainly a downer (“God is cruel and man was created in his image,” sings Iago in “Credo in un Dio crudel,” and that’s a pretty good encapsulation of the tone), but the music is some of Verdi’s most beautiful and difficult—and the opera still has those supercheap tickets available so you can get your culture on for the price of a couple frappucinos. -Emily Guendelsberger

8pm. $8-$195. Through Oct. 15. Academy of Music, Broad and Locust sts. 215.893.1018. operaphila.org

Saturday, Oct. 2

Amir ElSaffar’s Two Rivers
The new Painted Bride season revs up with Amir ElSaffar, an Iraqi-American trumpeter whose music in recent years has also emphasized his singing and santoor playing. ElSaffar’s 2007 release Two Rivers was deep stuff: an energized, personal hybrid of jazz and Iraqi maqam, featuring horns and rhythm section as well as the non-Western oud and buzuq. Lately he’s delved into Azerbaijani mugham vocalizing (the as yet unrecorded Within/Between); explored a synthesis of maqam and Persian dastgah with Iranian-American saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh (Radif Suite); and played some straight-up trumpet with Danilo Perez’s  21st-Century Dizzy project. This week he revisits the Two Rivers concept with the premiere of a new extended work. -David R. Adler

8pm. $25. Painted Bride, 230 Vine St. 215.925.9914. paintedbride.org

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