The Calendar: April 7- April 13

What to do in Philly this week.

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Apr. 6, 2010

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Wednesday, April 7

A History of Taxidermy

What do the deer heads in Grandpa’s den, all the stuffed critters large and small in the world’s natural history museums and one day, my own lifeless body dressed up in a Batman costume in the foyer of my future widow’s home have in common? They’re all part of the rich history of taxidermy, a subject that renowned mammal ecologist Dr. Pat Morris has made a lifelong hobby from. (His personal collection of historical taxidermy is the largest in the UK.) Morris’ lecture will trace taxidermy from its roots as a side business for 19th-century tanners through its historical and modern uses, from the mundane (Grandpa’s trophy buck display) to the bizarre (creepy old lady selling stuffed possums on the side of a lonely road). Before and after the lecture, be sure to check out works by the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial’s Animal Sculpture students. -Matt Soniak

5:30pm. Free. Wagner Free Institute of Science,
1700 W. Montgomery Ave. 215.763.6529. wagnerfreeinstitute.org

Ted Leo + Obits

If you like smart, sharp, punk-informed rock music by veteran musicians whose passion and power only seem to grow with age, then you really can’t do much better than tonight’s twin bill. Headliner Ted Leo­—inspired equally by the Clash, the Jam, and Thin Lizzy—has been crafting killer tunes since his days fronting D.C. mod-punks Chisel. For the past decade-plus he’s been making jubilant, earnest power-pop with backing band the Pharmacists. And they’re at the top of their game with the fiery new LP The Brutalist Bricks. Openers Obits are led by singer-guitarist Rick Froberg, formerly of Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes, and their soulful garage-punk howls and slashes like a knife fight. -Michael Alan Goldberg

8pm. $14. First Unitarian Church,
2125 Chestnut St. 866.468.7619. r5productions.com

Thursday, April 8

U.S. Air Guitar Regional Championships

 The nation’s air guitar community is still reeling from bombshell news: America’s premier air guitarist, Hot Lixx Hulahan, has retired from professional pretend-plucking. That’s like Federer hanging up his racket, “or the Colonel going vegan” (in the words of Lixx’s agent). But we know what it means for the rest of us: The field for national air guitar champion just blew wide open. Like, wider than your mouth when you wail an air-guitar solo. Anoint a new Philly regional champ this week, and just maybe see our nation’s great white hope for the August world championships in Oulu, Finland. Judging by last year’s event, literally anything could go down. Will Ricky Stinkyfinger repeat his controversial talc-throwing? Will there be another sudden death shred-off between reigning champ Fender Splendor and the terrifying Windhammer? And will that one lady flash her boobs again? Whatever happens, history will happen. -Tom Cowell

Thurs., April 8, 9pm. $10. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215. 739.9684. eventbrite.com/event/555092296

Notekillers

After a brief run in the no-wave late 1970s and early 1980s, Philly’s Notekillers put their noisy, free-jazzing, feedback-jamming mayhem to rest and moved on. David First, the trio’s guitarist, became a leading figure in the avant garde in experimental outfits including Flatland Oscillators, the World Casio Quartet and the Koan Pool. Then in 2001, Thurston Moore slapped “The Zipper” onto a mixtape for Mojo, calling the single “mindblowing” and acknowledging its influence. That set the stage for an Ecstatic Peace compilation, some reunion shows and, this year, the first full-length studio album ever from the resuscitated group. It’s called We’re Here to Help, due this spring from Naction Records. -Jennifer Kelly

8pm. $10. With Martin Bisi, Yeah Clementines + the Empty Shapes. M Room, 15 W. Girard. 215.739.5577. themanhattanroom.com

Jason Mulgrew

There aren’t many authors alive who can make the story of their father diving drunkenly off a Wildwood, N.J., pier at low tide and breaking his neck gut-busting funny, but that’s the kind of Sedaris-like gift native Philadelphian Jason Mulgrew possesses. His new book Everything Is Wrong With Me: A Memoir of An American Childhood Gone, Well, Wrong, is chock full of wild anecdotes Mulgrew is able, somehow, to mine for serious yuks, whether it be his Mummer father being stabbed at the New Year’s parade and being too drunk to care or his own sucking nitrious from a balloon in the Spectrum parking lot outside a Grateful Dead show...at the age of 12. The book is a breezy, hysterical read chock full of the type of stuff that’s earned Mulgrew props at his jasonmulgrew.com blog for years, and which earned him a People magazine “Most Eligible Bachelor” nod, something that still baffles him. Come prepared to laugh. Leave feeling better about yourself. -Brian McManus

6pm. Free. Barnes and Noble, 18th and Walnut sts. 215.665.0716. barnesandnoble.com

Friday, April 9

Film Festival Spring Preview

CineFest 2010 may have been scrapped, but local film enthusiasts will be thrilled that the Philadelphia Film Society will be offering them their seasonal film fix with the Philadelphia Film Festival Spring Preview. It’s an advance look at 11 feature-length films that will screen at the 19th-annual Philadelphia Film Festival slated for the fall. And all of it for free! Among the titles piquing our interest: The Good, the Bad, and the Weird, a stylish and entertaining-looking Korean take on spaghetti westerns; The Joneses, an advertising satire starring Demi Moore and David Duchovny; Harry Brown, a dark thriller starring Michael Caine as an old man pushed too far; and No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson, a searing documentary from the director of Hoop Dreams about the racial firestorm that erupted after the Sixers star’s conviction following a 1993 brawl in a Virginia bowling alley. -Michael Alan Goldberg

Through Sun., April 11. Free (advance tickets required). Prince Music Theatre. 1412 Chestnut St. Visit filmadelphia.org for showtimes and details.

Adam Rudolph’s Moving Pictures

Adam Rudolph describes the percussion and woodwind implements of his musical world as “membranophones,” “idiophones” and “aerophones.” The rhythmic language of his mammoth Go:Organic Orchestra he calls “cyclic verticalism.” This is heady systematized stuff, thick with harmonic abstraction, but it gives forth a visceral, accessible, pan-global jazz groove, by turns meditative and volatile. While Rudolph’s two new discs—Yèyí with reedist Ralph Jones and Towards the Unknown with the legendary Yusef Lateef—are clarion duo statements, his Moving Pictures band swells to include Jones, guitarist Kenny Wessel, bassist Jerome Harris, oud player Brahim Fribgane, trombonist Joe Bowie and cornetist Graham Haynes. Matt Kilmer joins Rudolph on percussion and other ’phones. -David R. Adler

8pm. $12.50-$25. Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine St. 215.925.9914 paintedbride.org


Saturday, April 10

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