Dear culture vultures: We scoured the city to bring you the best of what Philly has to offer. Enjoy!
Friday, June 14
Skate Shop/676 Skate Reception
As the Philadelphia School District continues to face a gaping deficit, art education in our public schools could very well soon become obsolete. Thankfully, this city happens to be home to nonprofit art organizations like the Asian Arts Initiative, which is dedicated to providing a creative outlet to local youngsters—opportunities far beyond the usual popsicle-stick houses and macaroni art—through its Youth Arts Workshop (YAW), an arts program for kids in middle and high school. Back in April, the program invited a group of middle school students at Southwark School to design their own skateboards, stickers and T-shirts under the guidance of Seattle-based multi-disciplinary artist and designer Nin Truong, as well as AAI staff members and local teaching artist Nicole Schaller. During field trips and 2-D and 3-D building workshops, the students explored creative economies through art and design, printmaking and skate culture, using their acquired skills and knowledge to ultimately assemble a pop-up “mock skate shop.” Currently filling the storefront window of the YAW space, these kid’s skateboards and apparel are not only an obvious must-see for members of Philly’s skate scene, but for anyone under the impression that art education is expendable. Be sure to keep an eye and ear out for the other exceptional exhibitions and events AAI has in store as it celebrates its 20th anniversary, including the Chinatown North/Callowhill neighborhood festival in September. / N.F.
6pm. Free. Through Sept. 27. Asian Arts Initiative, 1219 Vine St. 215.557.0455. asianartsinitiative.org
The Awesome Fest launches a 10-week citywide film and music festival celebrating everyone’s favorite decade of yesteryear: the 1980s. All 30 of the outdoor film screenings are presented free of charge. The party kicks off with the Psychedelic Furs’ show at the Troc. The British new wave darlings’ sound ranges from bubbly (see: “Heaven”) and menacing (see: “Sister Europe”) to downright infectious (see: “Love My Way”), but never loses its underlying pop sensibility. Through August 17. Various Times. Free. Various Locations. theawesomefest.com
Film Al Fresco
This outdoor film series pairs independent directors with delicious food truck cuisine. The first edition of the film fest features a screening of Jeremy Waltman’s Locomotive, with eats by Foo Truck and Lil’ Pop Shop. The film centers on a musician who left his former band for greener pastures, only to find that he couldn’t replicate his former success. 8pm. Free. Through July 26. Moore College of Art and Design, 20th St. and the Parkway. 215.965.4027. thegalleriesatmoore.org
Laura Antoniou: The Killer Wore Leather
In Laura Antoniou’s latest murder mystery novel, The Killer Wore Leather, one of N.Y.C.’s only “out” detectives, Rebecca Feldblum, is assigned to investigate the murder of a leather/BDSM/fetish ball attendee. As she tallies up all the people who may have had reason to commit the crime, she learns way more than she expected about both the sexual underworld and her own past. 5:30pm. Free. Giovanni’s Room, 345 S. 12th St. giovannisroom.com
Learn how to stretch and mold your own mozzarella at home. This hands-on course also features a taste-testing of several types of Pasta Fillata cheese and wine. 6pm. $50. Valley Shepherd Creamery at Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th St. 908.876.3200. valleyshepherd.com
These Jersey-bred punk-infused indie guys released their third album, Local Business, last year. The record finds the group considerably more introspective than in the past, with the obviously titled “My Eating Disorder,” going in depth to describe singer Patrick Stickles’ battle with mental health and food. 8:30pm. $15. With Little Big League. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100. utphilly.com
The Squidling Brothers host their underground party of outlandish performance art featuring freaks, fire, perverted and disturbed puppets, burlesque, sword swallowing, aerial acrobatics and more. Along with the usual cast of fire performers, dancers and sideshow freaks, Carnivolution will feature local and national touring bands and special guest sideshow performers from across the country. 8pm. $10. Ellen Powell Tiberino Museum, 3819 Hamilton St. 215.386.3784. squidlingbros.com
Saturday, June 15
Rock of Ages
All the stiffly permed, popular hair metal from the ‘80s has been encased in cheese and immortalized in this rock musical. And just like glam metal or Tom Cruise, it comes on strong and never knows when to stop. 8pm. $20-$100. Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St. kimmelcenter.org
Pronounced, “chk chk chk,” this roving, dance-centric, genre-defying coalition has strobe lights and disco balls infused into their skin. The latest EP, THR!!!ER, is a solid chunk of lean funk that will bite down hard when its hooks get a chance to breathe and bleed. 8:30pm. $15. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100. utphilly.com
Time to honor the guy who ignored your pleas for candy past midnight and believes the instructions are wrong when he can’t put together IKEA furniture. Head to the Piazza today to experience 30 vendors ready to provide entertainment for the little folk as poppykins holds all those bags and searches for a bench. 11am. Free. Piazza at Schmidt’s, 1050 N. Hancock St. papapaloozaphilly.com
The neo soul movement may have sputtered out, but Cody ChestnuTT has kept the dim light flickering after a mild absence. His lo-fi productions have so much soul, they scream for absolution. 7pm. $16-$26. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. worldcafelive.com
TuRae’s Birthday Comedy Festival
The three-day celebration of TuRae Gordon, the Philly comic on the rise, will fittingly stuff as much comedy and bombast into the halls of Laff House as possible. The bombast will be supplied solely by Ed Lover, the former host of Yo! MTV Raps!, and emcee of the festival. 7:30pm. $32.50 Laff House Comedy Club, 221 South St. laffhouse.com
An open-air market right off the Schuylkill, filled with all your “creative” friends and that one guy who likes to macramé jean shorts, will take place every Saturday until the end of November. Come check out the weekly changing vendors, and score some unique finds. 10am-5pm. 23rd and Arch sts.
Sunday, June 16
Alie & the Brigades’ Invisible River
Picture this: It’s a warm Sunday evening. You’re lounging in Fairmount Park surrounded by friends and/or family, watching the sun set over the Schuylkill River. Sounds lovely, right? Now, imagine this same scenario, but with a nine-member chorus dancing around colorful sculptures while two bodies dangle from the Strawberry Mansion Bridge in the distance.
That’s exactly what you can expect when the eclectic crew of artists better known as Alie & the Brigade take over the parking lot near the bridge for two unforgettable free public performances of Invisible River. Known for their thought-provoking and highly imaginative works, the Philly-based dance theater company is actually no stranger to the Schuylkill waters, having rallied up 400 people for nighttime canoe rides in the river for a past production.
Featuring a carnival-esque installation from the artists of the Cultural Arts Program at the PDDC, the haunting compositions of local songwriter Elliott Harvey and a series of dance pieces choreographed by founding member Alie Vidich, Invisible River aims to change the audience’s perception of the Schuylkill. Following the show, Vidich will discuss her vision to create an annual performing arts festival advocating for public access to the river, stressing that, on most days, its waters are deemed safe for swimming by the Philadelphia Water Department.
“The idea of humans swimming in bodies of water close to where they live is quite natural,” she says. “It represents how even as humans, we are not that far removed from these natural resources ... it instills a sense of freedom and calmness that you don’t feel in a closed pool.”
Arrive early to enjoy onsite vending from Cosmic Café, and stick around for a dance party hosted by Maggy’s Rooftop Aerial. If you can’t make it out, keep in mind the troupe will be doing it all again on Sunday, June 23, when they’ll be joined by Little Baby’s Ice Cream—and a full moon. / Nicole Finkbiner
8pm. Free. Strawberry Mansion Bridge, Ford Rd. and Kelly Dr. alieandthebrigade.org
People have been celebrating James Joyce’s Ulysses on June 16 for almost 60 years. And the main way they celebrate is by reading all 264,861 words in a marathon of pages. Head to the Rosenbach Museum, home of the original, handwritten Ulysses manuscript, to take part in Leopold Bloom’s descent into the underbelly of Dublin. Noon. Free. Rosenbach Museum and Library, 2008-2010 Delancey Place. 215.732.1600. rosenbach.org
The U.S. Open Experience on Independence Mall
Commemorate the excitement of hosting Tiger, Phil and Rory at our own Merion Golf Club in the 2013 U.S. Open without denting your pocket. Join fellow golf fanatics at the U.S. Open Experience, and enjoy memorabilia, official championship merchandise, a complete replica of the green on Merion’s 14th hole and a Jumbotron with live tournament simulcast. 9am-8pm. Free. Independence Mall. usopen.com
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Calendar: January 14-21