The Calendar: February 3 - February 9

What to do in Philly this week.

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Feb. 2, 2010

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Black Landlord plays Philly Rocks for Haiti.

Wed., Feb. 3

Zine Machine Workshop
Back in the day, and well before I ever imagined actually getting paid to write, I put out two zines filled with rambling handwritten essays, short fiction, band interviews, rudimentary drawings, clip art collages and more. I remember spending many late nights making copies, folding and stapling ’em together, and then either sticking a few copies on the counter of the local record store or mailing them out for trade with other zine-makers who were part of a global underground publishing network. The Internet has made that sort of handmade pursuit nearly as anachronistic as typewriters, card catalogs and, well, record stores. But if you’re interested in keeping the old ways alive, the Zine Machine workshop—featuring presentations by local zine writers and illustrators, art supplies for making your own zine and locally brewed beer (some added inspiration for all you wannabe Bukowskis, perhaps)—may inspire you to turn away from your blog and toward something a bit more tactile. Michael Alan Goldberg
6pm. $8-$10. Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, 1020 South St. 215.733.0390.

The City Real and Imagined: Philadelphia Poems
Poets CA Conrad and Frank Sherlock and photographer Zoe Strauss, three of the more mind-blowing heavyweights of the Philly art scene—not gallery beasts either, we’re talking the real-deal nitty-gritty—bring Conrad and Sherlock’s latest collaboration to life. The City Real & Imagined: Philadelphia Poems, described as “collaborative documentary of both concrete and psychic place,” is a chapbook for anybody who’s freaked out on both Hakim Bey and Dirty Frank’s and is pretty sure language is radical and the city’s guts are best glimpsed in the peripheral. The poets will discuss their approach to the project and show a slideshow of Strauss’ work before clinking flutes to celebrate its publication by Factory Press. Tara Murtha
8pm. Free. Institute of Contemporary Art, 118 S. 36th St. 215.898.7108.

Retribution Gospel Choir
Two albums into this feedback-crusted, amp-fritzing side project, Low’s Alan Sparhawk turns away from Neil Young’s freeform guitar squall to more conventional anthemic arena rock. The tersely named 2, out last month on Sub Pop, pushes Sparhawk’s quiet intensity through a fire hose, giving it enough force to knock down small buildings, but also channels it through the volume-aided hookiness of, er, Kansas and Def Leppard. “Workin’ Hard” may sound like an outtake from your dad’s 1970s hard rock collection—and this is not necessarily a bad thing—but the live show emphasizes the freakier, free-flying guitar sounds that erupt out of “Poor Man’s Daughter” and epic “Electric Guitar.” Jennifer Kelly
8pm. $10. With Midnight Sounds. Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front St.215.291.4919.

Thurs., Feb. 4

If you like Cirque de Soleil, you’ll adore the action adventure Brave, the new, high-velocity work from STREB Extreme Action. More aggressive and fringy than Cirque, the show is comprised of 10 different “action events.” Performers on a constantly rotating stage interact with a host of bizarre contraptions (including a rotating harness designed at MIT) throughout Brave. Each event stresses physicality with dancers pressed like sardines into a small can in the claustrophobia-inducing event “Squirm” and navigating a giant spinning wheel in “Whizzing Gizmo.” A whirlwind of perpetual movement that plays with shifting times and space, in Streb’s work, the plot is secondary. Instead, the thrill is watching the performers’ daring and athleticism as they risk injury (including being beheaded by flying cinder blocks) while performing dangerous, gravity-defying feats that will leave you both terrified and amazed. J. Cooper Robb
7:30pm. $28-$48. Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 3680 Walnut St. 215.898.3900.

Philly Rocks for Haiti
When a travesty as gargantuan as the earthquake in Haiti occurs, it’s hard not to be overcome by the darkness of it all. But overcome we must, and it helps to focus on the outpouring of selflessness a tragedy such as it inspires, the examples of which are all around us. Like this: Philly Rocks for Haiti sees the good folks at WXPN, Philadelphia Folksong Society and the Trocadero put together what, to our mind, is the most diverse and stellar bill of Philly locals ever assembled. The night will feature an acoustic performance by the Rich Little of Led Zeppelin cover acts, Get the Led Out, a countrified acoustic set by Blood Feathers, and the balls out swagger of Philly funksters Black Landlord. Add to that the dance rompin’ good times of Free Energy, the brassy East Euro stomp of West Philadelphia Orchestra, and the fact that every bit of your cover goes to Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia, and that darkness recedes a bit, if only for a little while. Brian McManus
7pm. With Free Energy, Get the Led Out, Blood Feathers, Black Landlord + more. Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.6888.

James Blackshaw
Like Philadelphia’s late, great Jack Rose, 28-year-old British-born James Blackshaw is able to pull nothing short of magic from the strings and wood of his acoustic guitar. An ardent follower of John Fahey—who established the American Primitive Guitar movement in the ’50s and ’60s with his unique fingerstyle approach—Blackshaw’s dexterous, avant-garde approach employs unusual tunings and fuses Western and Eastern melodies and drone, folk, free jazz, and neo-classical ideas into compositions that are wholly spellbinding. We wouldn’t be surprised if Blackshaw offers a tribute of some sort to Rose tonight, as he’s always been one to celebrate his peers and mentors as well his own otherworldly talents. Michael Alan Goldberg
8pm. $12. With Gary Higgins. First Unitarian Church Chapel, 2125 Chestnut St. 866.468.7619.

The Soft Pack
This San Diego quartet rattle and shake like a college kegger, emanating the sophomoric excitement of one who thinks they’ve invented the wheel, with the self-assured indifference to ignore haters who tell them otherwise. Matt Lamkin’s studiously bored vocals suggest Julian Casablanca’s caddish younger brother, while the thick, loaf-like production sounds not like it was forged in their garage, but a bunker. Yet whatever their deficiencies (such as lacking the grapes to stick with their original name, Muslims), there’s plenty to love about the songs. Bassist Matty McLoughlin dominates the mix with vigorous slinky grooves carrying the melody like a 16-wheeler while guitars slash, stab and jangle with the sociopathic joy of Americanized Libertines. Chris Parker
7:30pm. Free. Reward, 55 N. Second Street. 267.773.8675.

Fri., Feb. 5

This Time Tomorrow
Despite your granny’s deepest fears, skateboarders aren’t all juvenile delinquents who ruin Love Park lunch breaks and strolls through Center City. Local filmmaker Chris Mulhern can prove it. Mulhern, who graduated from Temple in 2007, has been logging footage along the East Coast (including shots in Philadelphia) and abroad for three years for his new skate film This Time Tomorrow. Mulhern earned recognition for his editing style and music selections in 2006 when he released Few and Far Between, another film about skateboarders. Tonight’s premiere of Tomorrow showcases what skating can be when it’s not being maligned by stereotypes. Bring your granny and teach her a lesson or two. Greg Adomantis
9pm and 10pm. $3. Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.6888.

The White Lodge
We haven’t yet checked out West Philly’s Younglove’s—the brand-new store right next to Danger Danger Gallery that stocks vintage clothes, vinyl, and music gear. But tonight looks like a good time to swing by and check the joint out, as they’re co-hosting a multi-band bill with Danger Danger. Playing in Younglove’s gallery space is the White Lodge (aka husband-and-wife duo Steven and Emiliana Siciliano, augmented live by as many as three or four other players) who create pastoral, cosmic psychedelia like Pink Floyd playing in the midst of hay bales and grazing cows instead of the ruins of Pompeii. Next door at DDG you’ll find more psych drone, and experimental fun from Prince Rama, Bobo, Mirador, the Love Club and Peace, Loving. M.A.G.
9pm. $5-$10. With Prince Rama, Bobo, Mirador, the Love Club + Peace, Loving. Younglove’s, 5011 Baltimore Ave. 215.472.4727

Sat., Feb. 6


Last year’s doc Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! opened up a new world to junk cinema devotees: the oft-sleazy sex pictures, horrors and assorted crap of Australia’s ’70s and ’80s. And the major discovery from this discovery was director Richard Franklin. A USC student at the same time as George Lucas, Robert Zemeckis and John Carpenter, the Melbourne native is best represented by the two Hithcockian classics that comprise the latest Exhumed Films outing. Patrick (1978) makes cinematic the telekinetic exploits of a fractured, homicidal coma patient who, despite his state, sits upright in bed with his eyes intensely open. Even better, Roadgames (1981), starring Yanks Stacey Keach and Jamie Lee Curtis, utterly and thrillingly milks its “Rear Window in a truck” setup. That Hollywood would (briefly) scoop him up is unsurprising; that one of his projects was the inexplicably non-sacriligeous Psycho II—Franklin was friends with Hitch—completely is. Matt Prigge
8pm. $10. International House, 3701 Chestnut St. 215.387.5125.

Red Hot Valentine’s Social
Most bears hibernate through February.  But not the Liberty Bears—Philly’s foremost social organization for homos of a huskier hue. They invite all burly boys and their admirers (gay or straight) to shake off winter cares at their Red Hot Valentine’s Social, where you can warm up for the most romantic week of the year. Jell-O shots and fuzzy friendship are on offer for this no-cover event at the Bike Stop, and with three floors of hirsute happenings, there’ll be plenty of woof for all. Stop by to brush up on the awesomely inclusive bear philosophy and fashion approach, and recall the immortal lyrics of the great English rock band Saxon: “Denim and leather / Brought us all together.” Tom Cowell
7pm. Free. The Bike Stop, 206 S. Quince St. 215.627.1662.

Josh Rouse
Josh Rouse is a traveler. For years he was content to travel through time, channeling ’60s Beatles melodies and ’70s sex folk through his enormously rich singer/songwriter lens. But of late he’s gone continent-hopping as well, sounding like a latter-period Paul Simon. His latest—El Turista, out next month—continues his Hispanic shift, blending Brazilian music with Spanish lyrics in a surprisingly romantic song cycle. It’s a record of fascinating contradictions, combining Rouse’s baby-voiced singing with some of his most mature songwriting to date. Good to listen to on the road. Jeffrey Barg
8:30pm. $27-$40. With Christina Courtin. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400.

Claudia Acuña
When Claudia Acuña cut her teeth on the New York jazz scene of the ’90s, she found a way to bring her native Chile with her. Singing mainly in Spanish and forging alliances with killer musicians like pianist Jason Lindner, she went about songwriting and arranging on her own terms, connecting organic ensemble work with a flair for larger-than-life melody. En Este Momento, her latest, is partly devoted to the music of Víctor Jara, brutally cut down by the Pinochet regime. This week Acuña leads a tight quintet, showcasing her own work and also honoring Philly-born Billie Holiday with a new look at her 1958 swan song Lady In Satin. David R. Adler
7:30pm. $32-$38. Kimmel Center, 260 S. Broad St. 215.731.3333

Sun., Feb. 7

Art and Misdemeanors
After two years of economic freefall, Fishtown is one of only places in the world where property values have more or less stabilized—due, in part, to young, hip and employed folks who aren’t afraid to plow money into renovating a crumbling rowhouse. They don’t forget their roots. Let us now praise Arctic Splash, whose empty cartons of sugary drink products are the unofficial trash of the neighborhood’s gutters. It’s made in Lehigh Valley, sold in bodegas, contributes to dental and obesity concerns, and ends up in the weeds growing through cracks of vacant parking lots. What Robert Mapplethorpe is to pissing, Justin Coffin is to Arctic Splash. The local photog displays his romantic vision of Fishtown from the perspective of cast-off cartons of iced tea and blue raspberry juice. Peter Crimmins
Through Feb. 28. Free. Bambi Gallery, Piazza at Schmidts, 1001 N. Second St. 267.319.1374.

Mon., Feb. 8

Gaga Dance Classes
Gosh, ever since I saw Lady Gaga perform “Poker Face” on American Idol last year I’ve wanted to learn how to dance like her, and now, thanks to Koresh Dance Company, I can! Oh wait, no … the “Gaga” of which they speak—and will instruct beginning tonight and for the next three weeks—is actually a dance technique developed by Israeli dancer and choreographer (and artistic director of the famed Batsheva Dance Company) Ohad Naharin over the past decade following a severe back injury that forced him to find a new “movement language” for his body. Gaga, which some have described as a cross between modern dance and tai chi, has become popular with both dancers and non-dancers seeking different ways to train. Koresh’s Gaga classes will be taught by Naradin disciple Caroline Boussard, also of the Batsheva Dance Company. Michael Alan Goldberg
6pm. $7. Koresh Dance Company, 2020 Chestnut St. 215.751.0959.

Alberta Cross
Longhaired Brooklynites Alberta Cross list only three influences on their MySpace page: rock, blues and gospel. There’s not a ton of complexity in the quintet’s hypnotic brand of organic, grit-rock, but there are enough blistering guitar hooks, vociferous vocals and entrancing keyboard swells to draw listeners in and keep them tuned in. Their extensive U.S. touring over the past year combined with the recently released debut LP, Broken Side of Time, has generated quite the buzz and drawn comparisons to national rock mainstays like Kings of Leon and the Raconteurs. This will be a rare opportunity to rock out with these guys at a bar before they get too big. Kevin Brosky
8pm. $10-$12. With Hacienda + Josh Olmstead Band. Khyber, 56 S. Second St. 215.238.5888.

The Residents
This long-running avant garde collective has been performing cracked, prog theater since the mid-1960s, often dressed in tuxedos and sporting natty eyeball masks. They’ve recorded scores of albums, with highlights including Hitler obsessed Third Reich ‘N Roll (1976), the John Phillip Sousa/Hank Williams mash up Stars and Hank Forever (1986) and the aptly named Freak Show (1990). Last year’s Ten Little Piggies previewed a clutch of new projects the Residents are considering—a drum ‘n bass experiment, soundtracks and a continuation of the Talking Light storytelling series. Whatever this show turns out to be—and who can tell ahead of time?—it certainly won’t be boring. J.K.
7:30pm. $25-$38. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400.

Tues., Feb. 9

Mountains + Tape
Get your heady, experimental soundscapes in two forms tonight. First, there’s Mountains—the Brooklyn duo of friends-since-middle-school Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp—who’ve taken inspiration from the likes of Christian Fennesz and Brian Eno and make sprawling, lovely, and often quite haunting music with acoustic instruments (guitars, strings, pianos), electronic loops, clicks, glitch/noise and a host of found sounds and field recordings. Then there’s the Swedish trio Tape, who take an approach similar to Mountains in terms of the instruments used, but to more concise (yet equally gorgeous) ends, crafting tunes of a more psych-pop nature that are dreamy and exceptionally inviting. M.A.G.
8pm. $12. First Unitarian Church Chapel, 2125 Chestnut St. 866.468.7619.

Metal As Art Tour
Once upon a time, metal had zilch to do with “art”—unless you were drawing bloody, spike-impaled skulls alongside the Iron Maiden logo on the back of your spiral notebook in third-period social studies class. Somewhere during the past 15 years or so, however, the heaviest of metal cross-pollinated with art-rock, and now we’ve got the “Metal as Art” tour. Proving their monstrous-yet-intricate music is for beard-stroking intellectuals as much as Schlitz-swilling mongoloids are Lancaster grindcore merchants This Or the Apocalypse (we’ll take “this”), French ambient-metal masters Hypno5e, Canadian prog-metalcore quintet Starring Janet Leigh and D.C. melodic shredders Fallen Martyr. M.A.G.
9pm. $10. Khyber, 56 S. Second St. 215.238.5888.

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