PW's Weekend Picks: Nov. 29-Dec. 1

By PW Staff
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Friday, November 29

Record Store Day’s Back to Black Friday
Since 2007, Record Store Day has been observed on the third Saturday of each April to “celebrate the unique culture of a record store and the special role these independently owned stores play in their community.” This year’s event, Record Store Day’s Back to Black Friday, is different. This one’s “more of a special release date than a one-day ‘holiday,’” according to the RSD website. On the busiest shopping day of the year, we can certainly think of worse things—like facing a crowded mall—than getting some new vinyl for yourself or some of the cooler clan on your gift list.

Black Friday, a term actually coined in Philly, has largely been a day when retailers lower prices to get ready for the Christmas shopping season. RSD’s Black Friday is meant, instead, to showcase limited edition records from a number of artists from all across the musical spectrum. And whoa, what beloved artists they’ve got on deck for 2013: Among the vinyl on sale is classic work by Bob Dylan, Jethro Tull, Chocolate Milk, Flaming Lips, Dawes, Tegan and Sara, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, U2—even Nas. Check in with the shop nearest you to see who’s selling what.

Speaking of local retailers, there are at least eight independent record stores in Philadelphia participating in Record Store Day’s Back to Black Friday. Get your Black Friday shopping on at AKA Music (27 N. Second St.), Digital Ferret (732 S. Fourth St.), Jaz Sound (15 S. 11th St.), Long in the Tooth (2027 Sansom St.), Sit and Spin (1346 S. Ninth St.), Main Street Music (4444 Main St.), Repo Records (538 South St.) or Hideaway Music (8612 Germantown Ave.). And pick up that Tull jammie for your boss. / RANDY LOBASSO

Various stores in Philadelphia and the suburbs.

No Reservations
Imagine if Jesus was born today. No room at the inn? Pull up your smartphone and use Kayak to find the nearest, and cheapest, hotel. Emergency delivery? Just Google “How to deliver a baby,” then, of course, snap hundreds of photos and Instagram maybe just the blessed one’s hand so you can sell the full-on photo shoot to Us Weekly or People. Wise men show up with gifts of frankincense, myrrh and gold? Make sure you get a gift receipt. Well, maybe not for the gold.

While the idea is a bit absurd, its creator, Josh Piven is a brilliant local humorist—seek out 1999’s The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook for proof. In the last 14 years, he’s had the acute pleasure of watching our culture become overrun by celebrity, Twitter, digital saturation and ever-connectedness. With No Reservations, he’s turning a Christmas theater experience into a bizarro post-modern comedy full of humorous takes on the many issues the holidays are steeped in but with a twist—and that twist is our reality TV-numbed existence.

Factoring in TMZ, Fox News and The Daily Show, it’s a performance with unexpected characters (other than an about-to-pop pregnant woman): a self-obsessed reporter, a washed up Idol star, a super-Christian carpenter and a big-time TV producer. They’ll take on issues like feminism and same-sex marriage, plus financial and housing crises (and do it all with status updates, hastags, selfies and BuzzFeed lists). / BILL CHENEVERT

Through Sun., Dec. 15. Various times. $25. The Adrienne Skybox, 2030 Sansom St. 215.567.2848.

Face | Book: Phonebook Portraits
Cuban-born University of Washington grad Alex Queral’s third solo exhibition displays famous faces superimposed onto phonebook pages as a means of exploring “the duality of the recognizable and the anonymous in modern society.” Through Dec. 21. Projects Gallery, 629 N. Second St. 267.303.9652.
The Main Squeeze
Five-piece experimental group the Main Squeeze is set to shake up Philly tonight with a unique blend of funk, rock, jazz and electronica. The band released its self-titled debut album last year. 9pm. $6-$10. With New Pony + Chaos Thompson. North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar St. 215.787.0488.
Black Friday Adoption
Forget about the department stores and their enticing sales. The Animal Care & Control Team of Philadelphia (ACCT) is holding a special adoption event with sale prices on all dogs and cats in addition to fee-waived adoptions on black animals. (But remember: Only adopt an animal during the holiday season if you’re ready to care for it for years to come.) 8am. ACCT Philly, 111 W. Hunting Park Ave. 267.385.3800.

Everything Went Black Friday
If you’re one of those people who likes to recover from Thanksgiving chaos by drinking copious amounts of alcohol,  Memphis Taproom is the place to be on Black Friday. Indulge yourself with one of many dark beers, and enjoy the lunch menu until 3pm. 11am. Memphis Taproom, 2331 E. Cumberland St. 215.425.4460.

Hands Across Veronica
Look on as Veronica and Aubrey navigate their way through weight loss and relationship troubles in Walking Fish Theatre’s latest play, directed by Naked Feet Productions founder Hannah Tsapatoris MacLeod. Through Nov. 30. 8pm. $20. Walking Fish Theatre, 2509 Frankford Ave. 215.427.9255.

Jean Plough: Heart and Soul
Philly’s own Jean Plough shows off her recent abstract expressionist paintings, which she describes as involving “the awkwardness of corny and kitsch,” partly inspired by meditative concepts. Through Dec. 8. Twenty-Two Gallery, 236 S. 22nd St.

Dinosaurs Unearthed 
State-of-the-art, life-size, animatronic replicas of our prehistoric pals take over Drexel’s campus. The exhibition features scientifically accurate depictions, as well as skeletons, skulls and other primordial artifacts. 10am. $3-$5. Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. 1900 Ben Franklin Parkway. 215.299.1000.

Saturday, November 30

Kulu Mele: Let the Roots Show
Since boundlessly birthed in the Bronx, rap music and hip-hop culture have spread across the globe, influencing as many musical traditions as they drew upon to begin with. Iconic contributions like Afrika Bambaataa’s raucous “Planet Rock” and Manu Dibango’s seminal “Soul Makossa” utilized the definitive power of African rhythms as they melded their way onto hip-hop’s sonic foundation. Still, audiences seldom get a chance to see a direct correlation between those pioneering 12-inch records away from the turntables and mixer.

Let the Roots Show, the latest work by Kùlú Mèlé, Philly’s premiere drum and dance troupe, combines the energetic rhythms of its awe-inspiring drum corps with explosive physical expression. It draws from the music and movement elements of Haitian, Cuban, Nigerian, Guinean and Ghanaian cultures, bringing the subversive riches of African dance to life. In particular, Let the Roots Show focuses on the influences of African rhythms within modern urban music. Emmy Award-nominated Jeffrey Page, a University of the Arts graduate, brings a new element to the mix via his show-stopping choreography. He’s worked with stars like Beyonce, Will Smith, So You Think You Can Dance? and other TV and stage productions.

Indeed, Kùlú Mèlé’s mission to preserve and present the artistic grandeur of Africa and its diaspora is in capable hands tonight. And the legacy of first-rate Philadelphia-based music, dance and performance art continues. / KENNEDY ALLEN

Through Sun., Dec. 1. Various times. $12-$25. Painted Bride Arts Center, 230 Vine St. 215.925.9914.

Peanut Butter Lovesicle
This family band from Pennsylvania may be unfortunately named, but they thrive on high-octane shows. The trio draws from ‘70s blues rock and ‘90s pop to craft simple, catchy anthems that hit hard. 8pm. $10. With Man On a Mountain. Legendary Dobbs, 304 South St. 215.501.7288.

A Philadelphia Tribute to The Last Waltz
Legendary roots rockers the Band played their last show together—with the original lineup, anyway—on Thanksgiving in 1976, a concert immortalized in Martin Scorsese’s documentary The Last Waltz. This show pays homage to that night; featuring Toy Soldiers and John Francis. 9pm. $20-$100. The Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.6888.

Heather Riley: Interact
Riley’s current exhibition is a collection of paintings and drawings made with found objects; the pieces focus on consumer culture and industrialization. Through Dec. 1. 3rd Street Gallery, 58 N. Second St. 215.625.0993.

Juvenile in Justice
This art exhibition is inspired by Richard Ross’ award-winning photography book of the same name, documenting the conditions at more than 250 juvenile justice facilities across the nation. Ross and others will display work aimed at inspiring reform and encouraging the implementation of art education programs. Through Dec. 12. Crane Arts, 1400 N. American St. 215.232.3203.

Beru Revue
Beru Revue were a local rock favorite in the ‘80s, producing danceable tunes with ska and new wave influence. They reunited in 2006, and the stage presence of front man Bob Beru is enough to fuel a new generation of fans. 8pm. $20-$22. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
This hour-long adaptation uses original and traditional songs to spruce up Ebenezer Scrooge’s Christmas Eve redemption. 11am. $18-$20. Through Dec. 22. Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St. 215.574.3550.

Sunday, December 1

People sometimes ask me how I could consider NOFX my favorite band. While there’s no obvious answer, there’s certainly a history and science behind it.

My ‘90s were spent at the Warped Tour and playing in proto-typical teenage punk and ska bands, heading out to see groups like Rancid, Pennywise, the Queers and Bouncing Souls on weekends. After I moved to Philly for college, those same bands kept me rapt, continuing to play old favorites and releasing new music—music that never stood up to their respective 1994-to-1999 heydays, mind you, but still kicked ass. When NOFX rocked the TLA in 2011, they hadn’t seemingly missed a beat (even though the banter had become less “Let’s party” and more “Jesus, we’re old, aren’t we?”) I’d expected NOFX’s audience to be teens, but they weren’t. No, it was all people like me who remember them from the good ol’ days and can’t help coming back for more. Same thing happened when I saw Lagwagon last spring, Rancid this summer and the Queers over Labor Day Weekend.

As far as the science, did you know that, according to This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin, during ages 10 to 14, our musical tastes are essentially sealed because of developing neural pathways? That’s why I like NOFX and you, hopefully, like NOFX, too. I mean, you would if you were cool and old. And you’re cool, right? / R.L.

8pm. $26. With the F.U.’s + Implants. Theater of Living Arts, 334 South St. 215.922.2599.

Day With(out) Art
Day With(out) Art began in 1989 as a national day of action and mourning in response to the AIDS crisis. Join more than 8,000 organizations nationwide in a campaign to draw attention to the work of artists living with HIV/AIDS. 11am. Free. Institute of Contemporary Art, 118 S. 36th St. 215.898.7108.

18th Annual Peace Around the World: Passport to Cultures
Penn Museum hosts this multicultural celebration where visitors are given itineraries to visit Brazil, Cameroon, Kenya, India, Pakistan and other nations. The afternoon affair features lectures, storytelling, yoga and music workshops, plus face painting, balloon art and free treats for children. 1pm. Free. Penn Museum, 3260 South St. 215.898.2680.

Sister Robert Anne’s Cabaret Class
Part of the Nunsense series of musical comedies, Sister Robert Anne treats the audience as her class, delivering hilarious stories and show-stopping numbers. Recommended for fans of cabaret or those still spiteful of their Catholic school education. 2pm. $35. Society Hill Playhouse, 507 S. Eighth St.

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