What to do in Philly this week...
On their rustic and unassuming debut album, North Hills, California quartet Dawes delivers long-haired-and-bearded indie country-rock that draws from the Band/CSNY/CCR/Springsteen canon and adds a ghostly, quasi-gospel feel (particularly in the stellar vocal harmonies) that will likely appeal to followers of Fleet Foxes, My Morning Jacket, and the like. Sure, you’ve heard this kinda thing before, but when you’re feeling mellow, wishing it was August and you were sitting on a back porch somewhere in the South, and have a couple beers (or something more, ahem, herbal) in your system, Dawes’ sound is absolutely ideal. Be sure to arrive early for a set by Rilo Kiley/Bright Eyes drummer-gone-solo Jason Boesel. Michael Alan Goldberg
9pm. $10-$12. With Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons + Jason Boesel. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. www.johnnybrendas.com
Georgia Anne Muldrow and Declaime aka Dudley Perkins
Is there a couple out there more made for each other than Georgia Anne Muldrow and Dudley Perkins (who occasionally goes by his rap name, Declaime)? They were once single, Afro-licious artists on the West Coast, indie-rap label Stones Throw, where they each released albums of hippy-dippy funk and hip-hop. It was only a matter of time before they found each other, shacked up and began making music (and children) together. After joining forces as G&D for the 2007 effort Message Uni Versa, they've produced and released their own solo albums as well as another recent collaborative effort, SomeOthaShip, also the name of their record label. Muldrow and Perkins are living proof that even the most eccentric pairing can create some fascinating results. Craig D. Lindsey
8:30 p.m. With Aquil, Electric Lady, DJ Junior and Lil' Dave. The Arts Garage, 1533 Ridge Ave.
The History of Neon in Philadelphia
The neon outside Geno’s Steaks is so bright that you could probably see it from space. But outside of this small pocket at Ninth and Passyunk, neon doesn’t burn as bright as it used to across the city. It wasn’t always that way—time was, classic neon signs from McGillin’s Old Ale House to Levis Hotdog to the Trolley Car Diner illuminated the city with retro flair. But a movement is afoot to revive some of the city’s iconic pieces, such as the recently restored Reading Terminal Market neon, and the new home of the Center for Architecture displays 13 of the city’s vintage signs. At this talk, Neon Museum of Philadelphia founder Len Davidson explores the history of these important native landmarks, and what can be done to keep them from flickering out. Jeffrey Barg
6pm. $5-$10. Center for Architecture, 1218 Arch St. 215.569.3186. www.aiaphiladelphia.org
Destination Hip-Hop Presents: Access Granted: The Remix
Considering that UPenn’s Destination Hip-Hip, also known as DH2, is literally the only hip-hop dance troupe at the city’s only Ivy League university, you’d think the group would have had a more welcoming reception during its proverbial salad days, way back in September 1999. But the reality wasn’t so simple: Due to a serious lack of available performance space on the UPenn campus, the troupe was originally relegated to holding practices in a former dining hall. And yet more than a decade later, DH2 is still going hard, and still attempting to educate its audience by “focus[ing] on increasing awareness of the history and evolution of hip-hop,” according to the DH2 website. For the troupe’s upcoming two-day performance, attendees can expect to encounter everything from underground to mainstream hip-hop dance, with even a touch of reggae- and soca-influenced dance thrown in for good measure. Dan Eldridge
8pm. Annenberg Center, Harold Prince Theater, 3680 Walnut St. 215.898.3900. pennpresents.org
Beats Brews & BBQ: Sixth Annual Beer Festival
Although the Philly snowpocalypse has made dreams of sitting in the backyard with friends drinking brews, cooking up chicken and ribs, and listening to some good tunes in the warm sun seem as far away as ever, you can at least get a tantalizing taste of those seemingly faraway months at Beats, Brews, and BBQ, World Café Live’s sixth annual beer tasting event. On hand all afternoon will be dozens of booths where brewers like Dock Street, Yards, Barbarian Bavarian, Magic Hat, Sly Fox, and lots more will let you sample their concoctions, which will be paired up with quality eats from Tommy Gunns American Barbeque (whose hickory/pecanwood smoked ribs are absolutely ridiculous). On top of that, you’ll get bar-band rock and blues from the Bob Lowery Band and a souvenir pilsner glass to take home. After today, maybe the summer won’t feel quite so distant. Michael Alan Goldberg
1 p.m., $20-$60. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. www.worldcafelive.com
Raw Onion: To the Rescue!!
Paintings of soups cans; movies based on videogames; Master of Puppets arranged for four cellos. Taking low art and dressing it up in the media of high art is nothing new. The novelty of Raw Onion, a collection of opinion columns from The Onion performed as monologues, lies in the fact that its source material doesn’t suck (This Would be the Best Mental Hospital Ever If Elliot Gould Weren’t Hiding In the Toilet is vastly more entertaining than the glorified Duckhunt that was House of the Dead) and the people putting it on don’t suck (they’re called The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium, and the name alone is better than anything Andy Warhol ever did). Given those factors, the show should contain a few million fewer units of suckage than the Super Mario movie. The icing on the flourless, suckless chocolate cake is that the proceeds benefit the IRC’s next production, Tennessee Williams’ rarely-performed “slapstick tragedy” The Gnadiges Fraulein. 6pm and 8pm. $20. L’Étage Cabaret. 624 South 6th Street. 215.285.0472. www.idiopathicridiculopathyconsortium.org
Back in Philly after their late January gig with the sprawling Circulasione Totale Orchestra, bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love will join Swedish/Norwegian brethren Magnus Broo (trumpet), Fredrik Ljungkvist (reeds) and Håvard Wiik (piano) in the winning quintet known as Atomic. Often credited with a raw sound that defies the placid, ethereal “Nordic jazz” stereotype, these cats can still do lyrical when they want to. Their compositions, well documented on the Jazzland discs Happy New Ears! and Retrograde, are marked by chamber-like nuance and an authoritative sense of swing. And yes, a rawness that makes the subtleties all the more confounding and seductive. David R. Adler
8pm. $12. International House, 3701 Chestnut St. 215.895.6546 www.arsnovaworkshop.org
Austin’s Balmorhea crafts intricate jazz-classical-folk blurring compositions out of all natural materials like banjo, guitar, strings, piano and occasional percussion. Rob Lowe (not that Rob Lowe) and Michael Muller contemplated the pioneer west in their last outing, All Is Wild, All Is Silent. Pitchfork’s Grayson Currin observed that “the album's closing third… is perfect, steadily winding through radiant acoustic tones.” The follow-up, Constellations, turns from history to astronomy. Its “Bowsprit” meditates on navigating by the stars. The song swirls upward on exuberant, billowing strings yet is grounded in the old-fashioned rigors of banjo plucking, as if the infinite could only be guessed at through careful calculation of sines and cosines. Jennifer Kelly
8 p.m. $13. With Efterklang. First Unitarian Sanctuary. 2125 Chestnut Street. 866.468.7619. www.r5productions.com
PW's Weekend Picks: May 24-26
Calendar: May 22-29
PW's Weekend Picks: May 17-19