Friday, June 20
Kurt Vile & the Violators + The Districts
It was July of 1988 when seven-year-old Ralph Brooks, Jr., headed to his grandma’s house at South 20th and Dickinson streets, was struck by a bullet that severed his spine and took his life. Sadly, he’s not alone. A block away, at Tasker, a wall beside the basketball court memorializes a handful of the countless lives claimed by senseless gunfire.
Now the cool part: Connor Barwin, the 27-year-old outside linebacker (#98) for the Eagles, is a big music fan. He’s big on local bands and—now we know—local charitable efforts because his Make The World Better Foundation, WXPN and R5 Productions are teaming up for a philanthropic effort that’ll get the ball moving on a proposed park that will give a welcome relief to Point Breeze’s dearth of safe and funded recreational spaces.
When Philly faves Kurt Vile & The Violators and the Districts, plus a visiting-from-Houston the Tontons take the stage tonight, every single penny of the UT fundraiser’s sales, from tickets to drinks, will go to the proposed Ralph Brooks-inspired park. Even better? Barwin’s going to match what’s raised with a personal check. Pony up for a VIP meet-and-greet ticket to kick it with a nestful of Eagles—LeSean McCoy, DeMeco Ryans, Jason Kelce and Trent Cole among them—before the show.
The project is slated to produce a huge blend of park and farm spaces; a brand new basketball court, tables and benches, fresh planting, fencing and a sick new Steve Powers (aka ESPO) mural will be highlights. It’s all so good: pro athletes who care, a band that’s a local institution paired with hometown young’ns that we love, and a potentially life-changing park that’ll affect so many lives for the better. // BILL CHENEVERT
8:30pm. $25-$300. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100. utphilly.com
Exhumed Films offers its latest pair of screenings with two of John Carpenter’s most underrated films: 1984’s Starman, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and stars Jeff Bridges as an alien who takes the appearance of a woman’s dead husband; and Escape from New York, the 1981 post-apocalyptic thriller starring Kurt Russell. 8pm. $10-$15. International House, 3701 Chestnut St. ihousephilly.org
Uptown Theater Hall of Fame Awards
Aiming to honor local celebrities who have made significant contributions to entertainment and culture, this combination awards ceremony/fundraiser will feature guest appearances by Lady B (one of the first female hip-hop artists), Rep. Bob Brady and former Mayor John Street. 5:30pm. $50-$100. CBS 3/The CW Philly Studios, 1555 Hamilton St. tinyurl.com/uptowntickets
There’s more to geeking out than just Comic Con; this Troc-hosted extravaganza celebrates the gothier side of our fantasy lives, featuring an appearance by James O’Barr (creator of The Crow) and performances by dancer Samantha Diaz, synthpop act Iris and Philly industrial band Carfax Abbey. 9pm. $16.50-$19. The Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.6888. thetroc.com
Saturday, June 21
You probably know Bobby Lee from his role in the 10-year-old stoner gem Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle or his stellar work on Fox’s long-running MADtv. What you probably didn’t know, though, is that Lee, like all other successful artists, works his ass off to make folks laugh touring the country. This week, he’ll be shedding that heinie at Helium Comedy Club.
From his working-class roots—Lee’s dad wanted him to take over the family clothing-store business—to his firsthand insights into the Asian American experience, Lee is able to make you laugh while making you think. He weaves his family background growing up in California into his contemporaneous observations as a member of one of America’s minority communities.
It’s not all heavy; he did once play a blind kung-fu master. Still, probably one of the most incisive characters of Lee’s was Hideki, the “average Asian,” on MADtv. Not only was Hideki bad at ping-pong, but he had a lot of difficulty with origami, too. After all, just because you’re Asian doesn’t mean you’re, well, an Asian stereotype.
Lucky for all of us, nothing’s average about Lee’s comedic talents. And, given that 7 percent of Philadelphia’s population is Asian, it might do everyone well to see why stereotypes exist and, most importantly, why they’re just stereotypes. // JOSH KRUGER
8pm. $21-$33. Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St. 215.496.9001. heliumcomedy.com
Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra
Tonight, the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra teams up with Opera Philadelphia and the School District of Philadelphia for a very special performance of Beethoven’s Symphony 9 to coincide with National Music Day. The performance will be led by Jeri Lynne Johnson. 7pm. Free. The Dell Music Center, 2400 Strawberry Mansion Drive. 215.685.9566. mydelleast.com
Solstice in the City
Jersey lo-fi kings Real Estate kick off summer tonight at the Kimmel Center as a part of Solstice in The City. Hometown legend DJ MR BEST will be spinning tracks at the Commonwealth Plaza for this all-night rager. 8pm. $30. Verizon Hall, 300 S. Broad St. 215.893.1999. kimmelcenter.org
Enjoy a night of otherworldly fun within the confines of Laurel Hill Cemetery, including a performance by REV Theatre Company, music and tarot card readings. All proceeds go toward the preservation of Laurel Hill’s historic infrastructure. 6pm. $35-$50. Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Ave. thelaurelhillcemetery.org
Hello Summer Fashion Exchange
Philly’s largest fashion exchange is here just in time to spruce up that summer wardrobe. The Exchange is simple; ladies are invited to bring 10 unwanted, gently-worn items for trade and leave with 10 new-to-you items. Light refreshments will be served as you find the perfect new summer digs. 11am. $25. First District Plaza, 3801 Market St. vivalamodaworld.com
Clark Park Music and Arts Festival
West Philly’s Clark Park is once again transformed into its annual music and arts festival, featuring live music, food, arts and crafts, children’s events and community activities. Noon. Free. Clark Park, 4398 Chester Ave. clarkparkfest.wordpress.com
Disability Pride Philadelphia
Today marks the 15th anniversary of the landmark Olmstead Decision, which gave individuals with mental disabilities the right to live in the community rather than in institutions. To celebrate, a procession from the Liberty Bell to the National Constitution center will be held, featuring guest speakers and vendors. 11:30am. Free. Liberty Bell, Fifth and Market sts.
Summerfest: Craft Beer and Music Festival
XFINITY Live! hosts their annual craft beer and music festival, featuring unlimited samplings of more than 150 local and national craft beers from 75 different breweries, food stations and live entertainment. 3pm. $25-$60. XFINITY Live!, 1100 Pattison Ave. xfinitylive.com
It’s a Small World at The Oval
Mini Coopers get the star treatment today at The Oval, with an all-day event devoted to the famous cars. Mini of the Main Line will be in attendance to show off the newest lines of cars, and visitors can enjoy live broadcasts of the World Cup, food, drink and a drive-in screening of The Italian Job. Noon. Free. The Oval, 2601 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. phila.gov/ParksandRecreation
Sunday, June 22
Sundae Block Party #195
Ah, West Philly: We’ve finally arrived. My beloved ‘hood can now count itself among the formidable ground on which Lee Jones has forged his legendary Sundae parties for the past 11 years, eight or nine of them internationally, joining booming burgs in France, Puerto Rico and Brazil. The lore began right here in Philly, though, where Jones and Co. debuted at the Art Alliance, an opening night that attracted a whopping 33 revelers. Pioneers, though, is what those initial attendees were, helping to set a dance floor afire that would practically alight the world on its travels. Next month, Sundae hits Sydney, Australia, adding to an admirable history that includes local residencies at Shampoo, Comcast Plaza, the Piazza and Morgan’s Pier before planting in its current Silk City hub.
Before our hero hits the airport again, a festive, all-day, BYOB block party—and do we ever mean party—is taking place at Sundae’s furthest-west local locale. Set to spin are Jones himself, Francisco Collazo, Del and DJ, the gents who’ll not only loan the sweaty afternoon even more heat, but cap off the late-night after-party at Silk City from 10pm to 3am. The main event’s at the former Wall Street International building, so you can’t miss it. Take SEPTA’s 10 trolley, and you’re there in a flash, with a designated driver already built in. Want more info: Check their mobile app (!) or website. // SHEENA LESTER
3pm. Free for age 16 and under-$5. One Art Community Center, 1431-1439 N. 52nd St. 215.477.9255. sundae.ws
Enjoy a fantastic lunch at Fork in the company of four authors, each of whom will read selections from their newest works. Authors Elise Juska, Nomi Eve, Robin Black and Pam Jenoff will join guests at their tables for discussion over lunch, fielding questions and engaging in conversation at this unique author event. 11:30am. $55. Fork, 306 Market St. 215.360.5382. forkrestaurant.com
Fundraiser for the Homeless
We Feed the Homeless Philly presents their annual Black Tie Gala at the Crystal Tea Room, with all proceeds benefitting the city’s homeless. The night features performances by Raheem DeVaughn and Eric Roberson. 5pm. $75-$100. Crystal Tea Room, 100 Penn Square East. wefeedthehomelessphilly.org
MANNA Guac Off
Think you have the best guacamole recipe in the city? Prove it tonight at MANNA’s Guac Off. Anyone can compete, as long as you bring your own avocados. Test your guac-crafting mettle or just come to indulge in the glorious goodness. 1pm. $10-$20. Sonesta Hotel, 1800 Market St. Register at mannapa.org/guacoff
Michael and Janet Jackson Dance Workshop
Philly Dance Fitness pays homage to the world famous Jackson siblings with an original 90-minute dance workshop. Instructors will lead you through the King of Pop’s classics and spice it up with some Janet bangers. 3pm. $25. Arts Parlor, 1170 S. Broad St. phillydancefitness.com
Calendar: March 25-April 1
PW's 2015 Philly Spring Guide