Friday, October 4
Abel Tesfaye grew up listening to a plethora of music: hip-hop, post-punk, indie rock, soul, et al. So it sort of makes sense that the Canadian-born artist and producer’s first project, the Weeknd, is a bunch of R&B-style tracks with a certain flavor that could turn discriminating writers from publications like The New York Times into serious fans, right alongside countless lovers of the wide range o’ genres Tesfaye absorbed as a kid like a dry sponge.
Hitting the ground running in 2010, the then-20-year-old linked up with Jeremy Rose for some in-studio magic-making, resulting in songs that were eventually uploaded to the Internet and discovered—and appreciated—by cats like rapper and fellow Canadian Drake. That initial lovefest set in motion a millions-times-downloaded musical adventure; the next year, the Weeknd dropped three mixtapes, practically back-to-back—House of Balloons, Thursday and Echoes of Silence, respectively—nabbing the press-averse singer-songwriter tons of well-deserved word-of-mouth notoriety. Pitchfork called Trilogy, his 2012 compilation album revisiting his finest mixtape output, “some of the best music of the young decade,” declaring the LP would be heard for years to come, and “will be one of those records that will be viewed as a turning point when we look at the 2010s as a whole.” Time and talent have indeed marched on with Kiss Land, his well-received latest, released last month. And Tesfaye’s clear, falsetto strains over haunting downbeats could make even this skeptical scribe a true believer. / RANDY LOBASSO
8pm. $45. With Banks + Anna Lunoe. Susquehanna Bank Center, 1 Harbour Blvd., Camden, NJ. 856.365.1300. susquehanna.net
Wil Wheaton vs. Paul and Storm
Once upon a time, in a galaxy exactly like our own, nerds, geeks, dorks and dweebs were viciously oppressed. Publicly shamed for their passion for Golden Age comics and shunned for the 56 binders of Magic: The Gathering cards wedged under their beds, nerds had grown accustomed to being misunderstood. But in an age of superhero movies grossing millions of dollars and commercialized Green Lantern shirts, we are oppressed no longer. There is nothing more comforting than finding like-minded people who rejoice in the same things you do. Fortunately, local nerds have a fantastic night in which to revel this week.
Paul and Storm (aka Paul Sabourin and Greg “Storm” DiCostanzo) have achieved both international and Internet acclaim for their geek-oriented music and comedy. Beginning in the professional a cappella band Da Vinci’s Notebook, the duo has been collaborating for nearly 20 years, making songs like “Write Like the Wind”—an appeal to author George R. R. Martin to swiftly complete his renowned A Song of Fire and Ice series for fear of holding up production of its televised counterpart Game of Thrones—that promise to thrill audiences who appreciate not only the musical vibe, but the lyrical references. Coupled with nerd media staples like Adam Savage (MythBusters), actor James Urbaniak (voice of Dr. Venture on The Venture Bros.), singer-songwriter Jonathan Coulton and Felicia Day, Paul and Storm’s performances have won over web and live traditional audiences alike.
The duo are currently touring with actor-turned-blogger Wil Wheaton (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Stand By Me, Eureka), and together, they spin Wheaton’s tale of meeting science-fiction icon William Shatner into a piece entitled “William F*cking Shatner.” Other songs in their repertoire include “The Captain’s Wife’s Lament,” a tune released in response to International Talk Like a Pirate Day, and “Frogger! The Frogger Musical!” Whether you’re a Trekker or into Star Wars, whether your game is World of Warcraft or Dungeons & Dragons, these guys have been, and always shall be, your friend. Now you know—and knowing is half the battle! The other half is going to the concert. / KENNEDY ALLEN
8pm. $25. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. philly.worldcafelive.com
Not only does Chicago-based DJ Sound Remedy take infectiously catchy pop songs like Ellie Goulding’s “Hanging On” and Lana Del Rey’s “Videogames” and somehow manage to make them even catchier, this all-encompassing DJ will also have you dancing to Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” and Nirvana’s “All Apologies” like you never thought you would. 9pm. $16-$20. With Victor Niglio. The Blockley, 3801 Chestnut St. 215.222.1234. theblockley.com
With Spike Lee’s American remake on the horizon, don’t miss your chance to see the original Korean version in all its subtitled glory. Oldboy, originally filmed by the critically-acclaimed Park Chan-wook, tells the riveting tale of a Seoul businessman who mysteriously winds up behind bars, later to find he’s been framed as his wife’s killer. 7pm. $7-$9. International House, 3701 Chestnut St. 215.387.5125. ihousephilly.org
The Gravediggers’ Ball
Get your fill of upscale ghoulishness at this year’s Gravediggers’ Ball. The fundraiser, in its ninth season, helps to support Philadelphia’s nationally-recognized historic landmark Laurel Hill Cemetery. 7pm. $175. Crystal Tea Room, 100 E. Penn Square. 215.627.5100. gravediggersball.weebly.com
The Grateful Dead has risen from its 1995 grave through lyricist Robert Hunter: Nearly 50 years after he began writing for the legendary rock band, the prolific artist is hitting the road solo and taking some new songs along with him. 8pm. $29-$45. Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave. Glenside. 215.572.7650. keswicktheatre.com
Mario Ybarra Jr.
Inspired by his former street crew from the ‘90s, California-based artist Ybarra is set to debut his latest mixed-media installation, including colorful street-art style wallpaper, sketchbooks and jackets. 6pm. Free. Fabric Workshop and Museum, 1214 Arch St. fabricworkshopandmuseum.org
Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam
Bring the family to this four-day extravaganza, chock full of 12-foot-tall, 10,000-pound, four-wheeled performers as they barrel, soar and smash through a stadium-sized obstacle course. 7:30pm. $25-$70. Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St. monsterjam.com
National Taco Day at Le Viet
Celebrate National Taco Day—a real, actual holiday—with class by shoveling two-for-$7 tacos with a Vietnamese twist into your mouth at South Philly’s Le Viet. The discounted plates will be served all day, with Corona and margarita specials to boot. 11am. Le Viet, 1019 S. 11th St. 215.463.1570. levietrestaurant.com
Saturday, October 5
70x7 The Meal, Act XXXIV
Lucy and Jorge Orta are a ridiculously cool artistic twosome who’ll be helping the Mural Arts Program usher in a big anniversary: It was this month 30 years ago that Mural Arts started weaving its way into our city’s essential fabric. To help celebrate it, they’re attempting something that, to lots of people, will just sound annoying and crazy: Shutting down Market Street between Fifth and Sixth streets for five hours to hold one ginormous dinner for 900 invited guests on a two-block-long communal table. But the Ortas just want to engage the public in a discussion on food and consumption, and they’re doing it big with 70x7 The Meal, Act XXXIV, a work of public art staged as an early supper, curated by award-winning chef Marc Vetri.
A browse through the Orta portfolio, and it becomes pretty clear: These two are fascinated by the intersections of nature, economy, industry, consumerism and, well, awareness of the fact that we all hum along in a giant albeit delicate ecosystem. Seated along a massive dinner table nestled inside the Independence National Historic Park, the Paris-based artists hope to nurture conversations about creating a healthier food system, both for us and for the environment. Whatever the nature of this delicious collaboration, we’re happy to see MAP making friends, spreading their mission and beautifying our great city. / Bill Chenevert
4:30pm. Independence National Historical Park, between Chestnut and Arch streets and Fifth and Sixth streets. 215.685.0750. muralarts.org
NYC Art Extravaganza Day Trip
A bus ride into the heart of New York, a MOMA tour and dinner, all for $90? Not bad. Rising bright and early will give you the chance to join students and faculty from the Cheltenham Center for the Arts in exploring the museum, then kick back at the East of Eighth Restaurant & Bar. 9am. $90. Cheltenham Center for the Arts, 439 Ashbourne Rd. 215.379.4660. cheltenhamarts.org
This discussion brings together some of Philadelphia’s brightest minds in an effort to share thoughts and ideas in the technology, entertainment and design fields. Speakers include media arts professor Frank J. Lee, Encore.org founder/CEO Marc Freedman and NASA mission specialist Paul Richards. 8am. $30-70. Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut St. 215.300.8315. tedxdrexelu.com
Calendar: March 25-April 1
PW's 2015 Philly Spring Guide