What to do around Philly this week.
The Ozzman finally cometh. Fans will finally get to meet Papa Osbourne in the (wan, wrinkly) flesh when he signs copies of his so-far-halfway-through-amazing autobiography I Am Ozzy. Aside from recounting teenage John “the burglar” Osbourne’s unlikely ascent out of the working-class factory grind, there’re lots of tasty behind-the-scenes Black Sabbath shenanigans involving rock and roll’s holy trinity of alcohol, drugs and groupies, plus offbeat observations on the music industry like: “If you don’t have a sense of humour when you’re in a band, you wind up like Emerson, Lake and Palmer, making eight-disc LPs so you can all have you own three-hour fucking solos. And who wants to listen to that bullocks?” Though decadence has disintegrated his aging bones, he’s still got the balls to call it as he sees it and boy—poisoning a vicar with hash, tearing off his epiglottis, vacuuming six grams of coke with his face to avoid arrest for possession—has he seen plenty. Metal fans, time to meet your maker. Tara Murtha
6:00pm. Free. Borders, 1 S. Broad St. 215.568.7400. borders.com
Led by drummer-percussionist Brian Adler (no relation), the Prana Trio arrives in Philly on the heels of its third release, Singing Image of Fire, featuring music inspired by the poetry of Hafiz, Kabir, Rumi and others. “Trio” is meant loosely—the album involves a total of seven musicians, although the principals are Adler, vocalist Sunny Kim and alternating pianists Carmen Staaf and Frank Carlberg. Combining elements of art song, world music and jazz improv, the band can seem a bit self-serious, and the ethereal vibe is numbing after a point. But skillful playing, sparse and offbeat instrumentation and a smattering of Holdsworthian guitar from Robert Lanzetti provide some fuel. David R. Adler
8pm. $10. Chris’ Jazz Cafe, 1421 Sansom St. 215.568.3131 chrisjazzcafe.com
Building Safer Communities Through Sustainable Land Use
The intersection of safety and land use might seem at first to be a bit of a dry topic, but consider this: In the two years that wundermayor Enrique Peñalosa led the city of Bogotá, Colombia, he set out to rehabilitate more than 1,300 parks, including turning a slum near the presidential palace into a grand park almost five times the size of Rittenhouse Square. In those same two years, crime in the city dropped a staggering 35 percent. So when it comes to building better, safer neighborhoods, land use isn’t just fascinating—it’s essential. This stellar edition of the Urban Sustainability Forum includes Penn’s Charles Branas, Temple’s Caterina Roman, Nilada Ruiz of the Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha, and Blaine Bonham of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. Jeffrey Barg
6pm. Free. Academy of Natural Sciences, 19th St. and the Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. 215.299.1000. safetyandlanduse.eventbrite.com
The knock on most of the so-called “shoegazer” bands of the early ’90s was that they had far more guitar effects pedals than they did tunes; that it’s a lot easier to hide behind sheets of reverb, delay and distortion than it is to write proper verses and catchy choruses. Whether or not you agree—and we don’t, necessarily, because in music there’s as much to be said for atmosphere as there is for structure—New York nü-gazers/dream-popsters Asobi Seksu have shown command of both over the past decade, merging Lush/My Bloody Valentine-style sonic textures with memorable songs. Tonight, the core duo of Yuki Chikudate and James Hanna will prove the latter by playing an all-acoustic set. Michael Alan Goldberg
9pm. $12. With [[[Taco]]]. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St. 866.468.7619. r5productions.com
Brooklyn’s Lights started out as witchy, freak-folky enchantresses, casting spells with high, eerie harmonies and exploring the alchemies of a variety of guitar pedals. Their debut, recorded for the local folk arbiters at Language of Stone, sounded like a will o’ the wisps’ take on Spires—spectral, beckoning and disembodied. Then, in between albums, something happened, and last summer’s Rites took on a decidedly more earthly and hedonistic vibe. There was a Fleetwood Mac cover, a foray into disco and an indefinable aura of good-time physicality. So go on, trip out to the light show, nod off to the ghostly harmonies, but don’t forget to dance. Jennifer Kelly
9pm. $10. With the Entrance Band + the Sunshine Recorder. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford. 215.739.9684. johnnybrendas.com
Whales and Cops + D. Rider
Whales and Cops’ big baroque sound barrels you over with its energy. Like a noisier Ra Ra Riot or Margot & the Nuclear So and Sos bristling with caffeine, their hooks spread like syrup over an array of instrumentation trying to squeeze down a narrow hallway. Certainly the presence of a couple former Man Man members explains the quirky experimentalism, but unlike that act, melodious warmth seems at least as important as eccentricity. Former U.S. Maple guitarist Todd Rittman’s smoky, minimalist, skronky deconstructionist new band D. Rider open. Chris Parker
7:30 pm. $7. With Sexy Thoughts. Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front St. 215.291.4945. kungfunecktie.com
Hams Across America
If you think the Barrymore Awards gala is the most elegant event in Philadelphia theater, think again. For a truly glam bash nothing beats the annual Pig Iron Theatre Company benefit. Part auction, part cabaret, this year’s event is titled Hams Across America. Hosted by company co-founder Quinn Bauriedel, the 2010 benefit features a myriad of talented guest performers including the twirling acrobats from the Philadelphia Circus School, Brooklyn striptease champ Typhoon Sugarpants, the soulful sounds of the sultry Johnny Showcase and Penn’s athletic all-male South Asian dance troupe Dhamaka. Of course, no Pig Iron benefit would be complete without an appearance by the lovely and multi-talented chanteuse Miss Martha Graham Cracker (aka Dito van Reigersberg). As usual, the specifics of Miss Martha’s performance is a secret known only to her closest advisors, but we’re betting it will be memorable. J. Cooper Robb
7pm. $25-$30. Trocadero Theatre, 1003 Arch St. 215.627.1883. pigiron.org
JMML Benefit Show
Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia (JMML) is a rare and especially insidious disease that usually afflicts children under the age of five, with the only treatment being a bone marrow transplant. Even then, there’s only about a 50/50 survival rate. The JMML Foundation exists to not only help find a cure for the disease, but offer tangible financial and emotional support to children and their families suffering through illness. To that end, three of Philly’s finest bands—the dream-poppy East Hundred, nü-wavey the Swimmers, and tender indie-pop sextet Audible—are teaming team up tonight for a JMML Foundation benefit show. Simply put: Great tunes for a great cause. M.A.G.
9pm. $10. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. johnnybrendas.com
Philly NORML 2010 Kickoff Fundraiser
While your average stoner might wake up around noon, grab Billy Bong Thornton for a hit or two, pop open a bag of Sun Chips and park themselves on the couch in front of the Cartoon Network for the remainder of the day, the folks at non-profit lobbying group NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) have been pretty productive over the years. For example, they’ve played a major role in making medical marijuana legal in 14 states, including New Jersey as of a couple weeks ago. The Philly NORML crew hopes to do the same in Pennsylvania—in addition to their long, uphill fight to decriminalize pot. On hand to provide musical entertainment are local acts Agent Moosehead, Psychedelphia, Flux Capacitor, DJ Ginkgo and the Big Dirty. Guest speakers include NORML founder Keith Stroup and Steve Bloom of CelebStoner.com (and former High Times editor). If you’ve never been to the Rotunda, don’t worry about getting directions—you’ll probably be able to smell the gala a mile away. Michael Alan Goldberg
7pm. $5. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St. phillynorml.org
Haiti Relief Information Session
For local filmmaker Dede Maitre and her husband Roosevelt—who she met while filming a documentary about non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Haiti—the earthquake wasn’t a world tragedy as much as a personal one. “My husband hears he lost someone everyday … friends, friends of friends. One friend just called to say his girlfriend was killed. We continue to get difficult news,” says Maitre, adding that Roosevelt’s mother, sister and baby nephew—lost the last time we spoke—were finally found alive. Despite mourning, Maitre’s fighting for relief’s sake. Joined by survivors of the quake and local organization leaders, the evening begins with Jean Marc Phanor, brother of Gilg Phanor, one of the first five Americans to be rescued out of Hotel Montana in Petionville. After he tells his family’s story, Maitre screens film segments of Fishing for the Future and Is God Sleeping? and highlight five critical NGOs working toward a sustainable future for Haiti. There’ll be a mixer after, where interested parties can network and learn more about how to help. T.M.
7pm. Free. Commodore Barry Club, 6815 Emlen St. irishcenter.com
Glass Blown Heart
Hey, Valentine’s Day is coming up. Maybe you delight in the opportunity to shower your significant other with a little extra love. Or maybe you hate Valentine’s Day and think it’s just forced romance that separates you from your hard-earned cash. If you’re in the latter camp, let’s face it—taking a stand and not doing squat for your sweetie doesn’t make you look principled, it makes you look like a cheap, hard-hearted jerk. That said, the best gifts aren’t necessarily the extravagant ones; they’re the ones that showed you put some time and thought in. A hand-made card. A special dinner at home. Or maybe even a glass heart you helped make yourself. That’s where Bernard Katz Glass comes in. The Manayunk glass shop is hosting a just-in-time-for-Valentine’s Day workshop where you’ll be shown the tools of the trade and get to experience glassblowing as you’re assisted by the pros in making your own heart with the colors of your choosing. Be sure to register, as there are limited slots. M.A.G.
10am-5pm. $40. Bernard Katz Glass, 3739 Sharp St. 215.483.4628. katzglassdesign.com
Pretty Things Peep Show
Any idiot can just stand there and take her clothes off for your entertainment (see: dangerous anti-science lunatic Jenny McCarthy). So what makes the Pretty Things Peepshow different? Why should you spend your hard-earned money to see them strip down when you can just coax the clothes off a teenager with booze and ’ludes, move to Europe and win some Oscars? For one thing, the Pretty Things girls have some serious street cred. They’ve gone on tour with Ozzfest and been in a Probot music video, and if it’s good enough for Lemmy, it’s good enough for us. If it isn’t good enough for you, they also do good ol’ fashioned freak show stunts like sword swallowing, fire juggling and the human blockhead. Let’s see you convince some girl to do that in your bedroom. Matt Soniak
11pm. $12. Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.5483. thetroc.com
Kirsten Stewart may have nabbed the Joan Jett part in the upcoming Runaways biopic, but she could take pointers from Camille Escobedo of Beretta 76. Escobedo’s husky smoulder is all rock star tough girl, long black hair slipping devil-may-care over one eye as she slashes out the power chords. Her band, led by guitarist Pete Rydberg, has the hard-ass chutzpah to cover AC/DC, and the hooks to evoke Cheap Trick. They’ve been holed up for months recording the follow-up to 2006’s Black Beauty, so look for some new songs ... though most likely with old-time rock and roll attitude. J.K.
9pm. $10. With the Donuts + the Broken Prayers. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford. 215.739.9684. johnnybrendas.com
Circulasione Totale Orchestra
Circulasione Totale Orchestra’s new three-disc Bandwith, consists of just two pieces (“Yellow Bass & Silver Cornet” in eight sections, “Dancing in St. Johan” in four). “Totale” is right—this 12-piece unit, led by Norwegian free-jazz saxophonist Frode Gjerstad, has held to a maximalist approach since 1984, and Bandwidth is quite the opus, a hellacious blur of electro-tweaking, percussive intrigue and primal wail. A Euro-American supergroup in a sense, the band boasts such names as cornetist Bobby Bradford, drummers Louis Moholo-Moholo and Paal Nilssen-Love, bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and vibraphonist Kevin Norton. Any of these individuals landing in Philly would be news in itself. D.R.A.
8pm. $20. International House, 3701 Chestnut St. 215.895.6546 arsnovaworkshop.org
Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia (JMML) is a rare and particularly brutal disease that typically afflicts toddlers. One of the only effective treatments is a bone marrow transplant, and even then the chance of survival is only about 50%. The JMML Foundation exists to not only help find a cure for the disease, but offer tangible financial [...]
There’s something magical that happens when Atlantic City businessmen start thinking about pageants — and marketing — at the same time. Beloved and cherished traditions that last for decades can be born.
Calendar: March 25-April 1
PW's 2015 Philly Spring Guide