PW's Weekend Picks: July 5-7

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jul. 5, 2013

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Friday, July 5

DMX is one fascinating creature, don’t you think? It was May of ’98 when “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” was released as a single from It’s Dark and Hell is Hot. He wasn’t quite yet 27, and his past was barely his past. Then, he put out Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, with that creepy-ass blood-covered album art, and it went triple platinum. He showed a little bit more humanity with a very solid single, “Slippin’,” right before his 28th birthday. In the video, he shows his mother­-who’s playing cards-his report card, and she waves him away like she’s busy. Earl Simmons, it reads, with a row of A’s, but mama’s not playin’-not with any tired-ass grades anyway. Young X goes into his bedroom and rips it into shreds, packs a bag and escapes through the window.

Fast forward 15 years later, and he’s making headlines for his behavior on Iyanla, Fix My Life, disrespecting former Philly-ite Iyanla Vanzant for trying to help him mend things with his own son. X is a fireball of energy, his speaking so packed with volatility and anger, it’s no surprise he’s made a career out of explosive, raw power. You’d never guess that he’d performed an off-the-cuff a capella rendition of “Merry Christmas Song (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer)” prior to that, nor that it ripped around the Internet nabbing the acclaim it deserved. For this rare opportunity to catch DMX in the act, brace yourself. It won’t be a light-hearted experience. (Bill Chenevert)

9pm. $40-$45. With Chase Allen, Tiani Victoria, I-Know Brasco + DJ Aktive. The Blockley, 3801 Chestnut St. 215.222.1234.

Lantern Album Release 
Proto-metal from the fifth dimension comes flying out of the vortex, looking for a place to party. All they need now is your love of scrums and scuffed-up kicks. 9:15pm. $10. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684.

Body Without Organs 
A display of offbeat visuals and themes from artists Sean Robert FitzGerald and Alex Da Corte will plague the walls with color in this boundless display of abstract art. 6pm. Free. The gallery at FJORD, 2419 Frankford Ave. 215.837.2980.

The Sounds of Tarantino 
Foot fetishists, dialog hounds and B-movie addicts can come together to celebrate the director most in touch with their cinematic needs—through the music used in his films. Themed cocktails, live music and fun movie montages abound! 8pm. $5. Ortlieb’s Lounge, 847 N. Third St. 267.324.3348.

CHF First Friday: Sensing Change Exhibit
The Chemical Heritage Foundation premieres a new exhibit on environmental change, tackling the familiar topic afresh through a series of thought-provoking and peculiar visuals. 5pm. Free. Chemical Heritage Foundation, 315 Chestnut St. 215.925.2222.

Taste of Philadelphia
Food lovers unite for a three-day collaboration of culinary vendors and music that will send your taste buds ablaze. Food trucks will open their windows, and all sorts of little nibblers will be offered to the public for this savory celebration. Noon. Free. Penn’s Landing, 301 S. Columbus Blvd.

Saturday, July 6

Kevin Nealon
Call me crazy, but having witnessed decent amounts of standup comedy over the past year, my conclusion is that B-list comics are always funnier than their A-list counterparts, and usually for obvious reasons: The former’s lustre faded early (if it ever really arrived), so they hone their chops on the road. Kevin Nealon’s never really achieved leading-man status-other than Weeds and the short-lived animated series Glenn Martin, DDS, he’s mostly appeared in Adam Sandler-friend flicks over the years. But his mastery of deadpan, sardonic standup stands near unsurpassed.

His seven-season role as Doug Wilson on Weeds provided its sociopathic comic relief, sealing his small-screen legacy after nine years on Saturday Night Live, where he served as “Weekend Update” newsman for three. But did you know Nealon’s a rabid animal-rights activist? He’s hosted fundraisers for animal protection agency Farm Sanctuary after becoming “aware of what some situations these animals were going through and what went into factory farming and into our foods,” he told Headline News’ Jane Velez-Mitchell earlier this year, “and I also realized how easy it was not to eat meat.” He suggested, while on the show, that companies using confined crates to store their animals “need to change their attitude and how they do things.”

Pretty serious stuff for such a funny guy. Speaking of funny, Nealon admitted during a standup routine that despite his Weeds character, he doesn’t smoke pot. Call me crazy, but I don’t believe that. (Randy LoBasso)

7:30pm and 10pm. $30-$37. Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St. 215.496.9001.

Seventh Annual Philly Phyzz Fest
A day of fun, treats and activities for the whole family to enjoy in celebration of Dr. Philip Syng Physick, Philly native, soda brewer, and the “father of American surgery.” This posthumous birthday party takes place in the Physick House, which happens to be the only free standing federal-style mansion left in Society Hill. 1pm. Party Free, House Tour $5. Physick House, 321 S. Fourth St. 215.925.7866.

Fireworks Dinner Cruise
We know it’s two days late, but true American enthusiasts like to keep the celebration going longer than 48 hours anyway. Spend the evening on the largest outdoor deck in Philadelphia, enjoying a dinner buffet, an illuminated skyline and, of course, the Penn’s Landing fireworks display. 7pm. $84.90. Spirit of Philadelphia, 401 S. Columbus Blvd. 866.455.3866.

Brother JT, The Photon Band
Brother JT has defined the underground aesthetic for more than three decades, and his latest, The Svelteness of Boogietude, sees him expanding his psychedelic sound to include jazz, ballads and the ever glammy stylings of T. Rex. 9:15pm. $10. With JJL, Jeremy Grites, and Mike Kennedy. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684.

Diane Lachman: Color Chords
Muse Gallery’s July exhibition features Diane Lachman’s exploration of the expressive nature of color. A teacher of color theory, Lachman blends hues in the same way disparate tones are harmonized in musical chords. Through July 28. Muse Gallery, 52 N. 2nd St. 215.627.5310.

Once Upon a Nation Storytelling Benches
Ten one-of-a-kind “storytelling benches” have been scattered throughout the Independence Hall area, with each telling riveting tales of our nation’s history in the places where they actually happened. Uniformed storytellers will be on hand at each site to tell free five-minute stories and hand out stars to children who can then place them in their story flag. Blank story flags are available at any bench, and once filled with stars can be redeemed for a History Hero Certificate and a free carousel ride! 11am. Free. Various locations around Independence Hall. 215.629.4026.

Sunday, July 7

The Underground Chic Pop-Up Shop
It’s hard to admit, but there comes a time in every cheap, usually-studded Forever 21 bag’s life when it’s simply far too tattered to carry on-usually after just a few months. Instead of replacing it with another fast-fashion find that will inevitably disintegrate as quickly as its predecessor, stop by the JAG Modern Gallery for the pop-up debut of the Underground Chic’s handbag collection for a more lasting option that’s not only easy on your wallet, but easy on the environment, too.

The sophisticated purses, reminiscent of the iconic Birkin bag sans the exuberant designer price tag, come in a variety of sizes and timeless brights that will go with nearly any getup, whether you’re in the market for an all-in-one bag to stash away everything you need for a night out, a daytime or work-appropriate bag or a clutch. Though the bags appear to be authentic leather at first glance, they’re actually made of a durable, 100 percent RPET (polyester made from recycled plastic bottles) with a crisp, photo-printed image, a much more eco-friendly material than the former.

Ranging from $32 to $125 depending on size, these things would make just as good a gift as they would a personal splurge. No matter your style or age, a bag by the Underground Chic has major potential to be your new go-to. (Lauren Arute)

5pm. Free. JAG Modern Gallery, 1538 Pine St. 215.840.8591.

Bootylicious: Beyoncè Hip-Hop Workshop
Good news for local Beyoncè fans who missed out on Philly Dance Fitness’s sold-out class devoted to the cheeky (pun intended) gyrations of the pop diva and her Destiny’s Child cohorts back in May: the Arts Parlor will play host to another workshop with “all-star trio” Angela, Maya and Deborah at the helm. Participants probably won’t be able to hold a candle to her Super Bowl performance, but at least they’ll have more reason to be excited for B’s headlining slot at the Made In America festival in August. 2pm. $15-$20. Arts Parlor, 1170 S. Broad St. 215.645.2717.

Multi-Family Artist Sidewalk Sale
Leave it to the folks at Eris Temple to organize an entire day of artistic indulgence in West Philly. Visitors will be treated to a sale of assorted trinkets, live music and a barbeque during the first half, followed by a party celebrating the release of Lora Bloom’s Poking Through the Fabric of the Light that Formed Us, the winner of this year’s Blood Pudding Press chapbook contest. Noon-10pm. Free. Eris Temple, 602 S. 52nd St.

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