Calendar: Sept. 8-14

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Sep. 7, 2010

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Wednesday, Sept. 8

American Nigga Zoo

Sara “Saartjie” Baartman’s large hips and bottom drew those fascinated by her form to European freak shows, where she was displayed for onlookers to view and grope. Across the ocean in turn-of-the-century America, a young man named Ota Benga was brought from the Congo to be caged and exhibited alongside monkeys. Although time and space separate the two, they are part of the little-known legacy of human expositions. In her play American Nigga Zoo, writer and performance artist Misty Sol re-imagines Benga and Baartman as mother and child, placing them in shared captivity. Set to music and sound installations by Eyekahn and Kungfu Jane with choreography by Charly Brownskin, Sol’s production gives the audience a spectator’s view of a nightmarish reality. -Jazmyn Burton

8pm. Through Sept. 10.  $15-$20. Gallerie Isada, 3320 Collins St. 215.413.1318.

There would be no post-rock without Tortoise. When the instrument-switching, Kraut-loving outfit first emerged 20 years ago, its instrumental seascapes and moody percussive reveries built a bridge between jazz, rock and various flavors of electronic experiment. Over time and six studio albums (most recently, the rough and eclectic Beacons of Ancestorship), the band has honed an astonishing technical proficiency. Live, the difficulty factor becomes immediately apparent, as time signatures mutate and melodic lines skip hop over invisible genre boundaries. Five members­—John McEntire, John Herndon, Dan Bitney, Jeff Parker and Doug McCombs—lob musical no-look passes at one another, in an intricate, infinitely malleable game of collaboration. -Jennifer Kelly

8pm. $22-$35. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400.

Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp (a Philly resident since January) have been creating music as Mountains since the mid-2000s—their first two albums out on the Apestaartje label they founded while studying at the Art Institute of Chicago, their last two released by Thrill Jockey. The duo build floating, mostly improvised soundscapes using processed acoustic instruments, analog electronics, and synthesizers. Haunting and mesmerizing, the emphasis is on exploring the gradual, detailed processes of developing architectural structures with sound. This opening set will feature the two investigating new sonic possibilities for their upcoming album. -Elliott Sharp

8pm. $10. With Balmorhea. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684.

Thursday, Sept. 9

4.48 Psychosis
Playwright Sarah Kane’s cult hit 4.48 Psychosis arrives at the Fringe in a production by Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern.  More a poem than a play in the conventional sense, Psychosis was first staged over a year after Kane killed herself, and was described as a 75-minute suicide note by British critic Michael Billington. There is no plot, just the primal beauty and savage rhythm of Kane’s words. It is an eruption of words and dark humor, intensely painful, visceral and human.  With no clearly defined characters or stage directions, productions vary widely. Little Green Pig’s production features two actors playing three characters, plus a percussionist who provides a soundscape using only what the space provides. It’s said that the will to survive is part of human nature.  In this tough, unrelenting play, the will to die feels equally instinctual. -J. Cooper Robb

Thurs., Sept. 9, 4:48pm. $15. Fleisher Art Memorial, 719 Catharine St. 215.413.1318.

In Alexis Clements’ one-character play, the audience becomes attendees at a “lecture” on effective communication. Katharine, played by Clements, believes she has the formula to engineer a perfect conversation. Using weirdly elegant diagrams and personal anecdotes, she maps out the inner workings of sample conversations. But as the lecture segues into a fourth-wall-shattering Q&A with the audience, her calculations are put to the ultimate test: live people. Katharine's molecular conversation charts are Beautiful Mind-worthy, but it’s reality that she wants to understand, or perhaps control.Clements will remain in character after the play, where wine and cheese will be served as the dialogue continues. -Sharon Margolis

8pm. $10-$15. Philadelphia Ethical Society, 1906 Rittenhouse Sq. 215.413.1318.

Like superheroes joining forces to defeat evil—or at the very least rock the fuck out—Detroit garage-punk quartet Gorevette at their core are the glorious partnership of Nikki Corvette (of legendary late ’70s outfit Nikki and the Corvettes) and Amy Gore of the nearly-as-legendary Gore Gore Girls, which came up in the Motor City along with the White Stripes, Dirtbombs, et al. With bassist Lianna Castillo and drummer Al King providing a sturdy anchor, the foursome rams the girl-group pop of the Shangri-Las into the power-crunch of the Stooges, churning out sweet harmonies and righteous fury at every turn. -Michael Alan Goldberg

8pm. $10. With the Midnight Beat. M Room, 15 W. Girard Ave.

Friday, Sept. 10

Lucinda Childs + Philip Glass
Dance is not a new piece. When the collaboration between composer Philip Glass, conceptual artist Sol LeWitt and choreographer Lucinda Childs first premiered in the late ’70s, its avant-garde minimalism wasn’t exactly praised as innovative genius. Over the years, however, the criticism of Dance has more than softened, and the gossamer exploration of movement has come to be praised as a groundbreaking piece of multimedia art. At this year’s Live Arts Festival, a new crop of dancers move in rhythmic harmony in front of a large-scale projection of the original 1979 cast. In a free pre-show discussion, Childs and Glass will provide insight into their partnership with the late LeWitt and detail how Dance has evolved over the past three decades. -Allison Krumm

6pm discussion, 8pm show. $25. Perelman Theater at Kimmel Center, 260 S. Broad St. 215.413.1318.

Thank God
Georgia/South Carolina-based post-hardcore outfit Thank God are a far cry from chillwave progenitors Toro y Moi and Washed Out, the two acts that caused the recent descent of the vulture-like music press upon the region for the first time since Hootie & The Blowfish. Unlike that scene’s chill-behind-a-laptop aesthetic, front-man Henry Thomas—who oftentimes mercilessly skronks on saxophone—is a beast unleashed, circling his perimeter and taunting audiences like a lion riding the first glorious wave of a rabies buzz. Their sound is 100 percent fist-through-wall rage, but the compositions are demanding, requiring extreme precision to navigate each jagged transition. Ice/Age, their new Exotic Fever LP, is the sonic equivalent of Paul Kersey’s 20th nervous breakdown. -E.S.

7pm. $5. With Pink Coffins, To Tremble + Trophy Wife. Germ Bookstore, 2005 Frankford Ave. 215.423.5002.

Association Of Creative Zoology

Who’s to say that Homer’s chimera never existed? In The Association of Creative Zoology, legends of the Winged Bull of Assyria, the Persian Dragon Azhi Dahaka, the Yali from India and even the jackalope could be real, or so Beauvais Lyons would have you believe. His art display and performance combination—presenting scrupulously drawn lithographs of impossible animal hybrids in a convincing impersonation of an itinerant preacher—is an imaginative take on the controversy about evolution and natural selection, a parody of the “scientific” methods usually used to argue against them. Lyons’ plausible recreation of a 1925 historical display will force you to play Where’s Waldo with the boundary between fact and fiction. -Kenny Thapoung

11am. Free. American Philosophical Society Museum, 105 S. Fifth St. 215.440.3440.

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