The Calendar: March 3 - 9

What to do in Philly in this week.

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Mar. 3, 2010

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March 3

Bob Mould
Except for Hüsker Dü and his DJ/club alter-ego Blowoff, I’ve seen singer-guitarist Bob Mould live in virtually all of his musical incarnations—solo electric (at JC Dobbs circa 1990’s Black Sheets of Rain), solo acoustic with his ’90s
alt-rock trio Sugar, and, lately, with his Bob Mould Band, a blistering combo that includes Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty. Without fail they’ve all been incredible shows, even if his recorded output over the past couple decades has been hit-or-miss. Fortunately, Mould’s recent Life and Times is one of his better solo offerings. Whether or not he brings a backing band tonight, he’ll most certainly play a career-spanning set that includes plenty of Hüsker classics. -Michael Alan Goldberg

8pm. $25-$35. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400.

Melvin Van Peebles

Melvin Van Peebles is the godfather of black cinema, and is still pushing his creative limits even as he pushes 78-years-old. The director of 1971’s swaggeringly awesome Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song returns to Philly this week to promote his first graphic novel. It’s an illustrated retelling of his last film, Confessions of a Ex-Doofus-ItchyFooted Mutha, the tale of an over-sexed ghetto Odysseus in search of love in all the wrong places. And with it, Peebles adds “illustrator” to his insane litany of roles—director, actor, Broadway producer, musician and novelist (in two languages). If there was a white artist as important, unclassifiable and uncompromising as this still making great stuff in his eighth decade, he’d be blown nightly
on Charlie Rose. But no fear: You get to hear
the man speak uncensored at the closing ceremony for Temple’s Oscar Micheaux Film Festival, chatting about whatever he damn pleases. -Tom Cowell

6pm. Free. Ritter Hall, Temple University, N. 13th St. and W. Montgomery Ave.

Taryn Simon

Taryn Simon has seen shit you wouldn’t even believe. For her 2007 project, “An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar,” The New York Times Magazine photog and Guggenheim fellow talked her way into a variety of top-secret, peeping previously unseen items, including the cryopreservation unit holding the bodies of the mother and first wife of cryonics pioneer, Robert Ettinger, as well as a Braille issue of Playboy created by the National Archives (it seems some folks really do read it just for the articles). Her quietly courageous works, which range from quirky and fun to deadly serious and sad, confront the divide between those with and without the privilege of access. Simon speaks tonight at the College of Physicians where she’ll show slides from her project. Hang out afterward for a reception and hope some of her creativity rubs off on you. -Erica Palan

6:30pm. Free. College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 19 S. 22nd St. 215.563.3737.

March 4

Sondre Lerche
Armed with instantly catchy acoustic and electric guitar melodies and thoughtful lyrics, 27-year-old Norwegian sensation Sondre Lerche is certainly easy on the ears. “Wait till you hear the refrain on my Heartbeat Radio,” he emanates on the ultra-fun title track on his most recent album. There’s no denying Lerche’s flair for the infectious chorus hook, but there’s a certain freshness in his evolved, varied vocal phrasing and instrumentation that often includes an assortment of strings, horns and keys behind his exuberant guitars. Some of Lerche’s finest songwriting came back in 2007 on the acoustic-heavy Dan In Real Life soundtrack, most notably on the yearning masterpiece “My Hands Are Shaking.” -Kevin Brosky

9pm. $20. With JBM. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684.

Stories Behind the Species: Animals at Risk
Mass extinctions have happened from time to time (ever hear of dinosaurs?), but the elevated rates of extinction (100 to 1,000 times higher than the anticipated natural rate) we’re seeing these days, are, for the first time in history, our fault. We’re really screwing the pooch right now, and soon we’re going to kill it and all the pooches like it. Saint Joseph’s University biology professor Dr. Scott McRobert’s lecture, then, may serve two purposes. His discussion of the current causes of extinction and threats to animals and ecosystems should be a warning for Homo sapiens to treat the rest of the animal kingdom (and don’t forget plants!) a little better. McRobert is bringing along some endangered animals from his lab, which might be the last chance to see them in the flesh if we don’t shape up. -M.S.

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

March 5

Under the banner of his own just-established label, RJ’s Electrical Connections, Philly DJ/producer supreme RJD2—the man behind the Mad Men theme—is back with his fourth proper LP, The Colossus. It’s a “career overview” of sorts—filled with killer breakbeats, horn-heavy heist-flick grooves, darkly textured hip-hop, psychedelic pop and more. With a full band in tow and a few gadgets at the ready (including a rotating belt sampler/sequencer thingy he recently showed us), RJ’s well able to inject spirit and spontaneity into tunes old and new in the live setting, certainly better than most beatmakers and turntablists out there. -M.A.G.

8pm. $15. With Break Science + Happy Chichester. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St. 866.468.7619.

Indie Comic Release Party
Local cartoonist Box Brown stops by Brave New Worlds to celebrate the release of his new book, Everything Dies, a six-part comic anthology about the ongoing struggle between man and his maker. Brown chronicles the lives of battered disciples throughout history, from the Alpha to the Omega and Job’s countless trials between. Both here and in his regularly syndicated web comic Bellen!, Brown plucks simple truths from everyday chaos and anxiety. Charles Schulz famously equated happiness to a warm puppy. For Brown, a cat sprawled on his desk might inspire existentialist insight or profound ennui. But like agonizing over a Buddhist koan for the better part of an afternoon, it’s all good grief in the end. These are pure comics, simple gestures with a lot to say. Brown’s original artwork will remain on display in the Brave New Worlds lobby through March.  -Paul F. Montgomery

6-9pm. Free. Brave New Worlds, 45 N. Second St. 215.925.6525.

March 6

Justin Townes Earle + Joe Pug
Nashville country-folk crooner Justin Townes Earle sings of deep heartache (“Ain’t been the same since I lost my pretty Angeline”) in his distinctivly deep drawl. Earle’s intimate acoustic ballads float sweetly through the air, making for a good late-night soundtrack that would please both his dad (Steve Earle) and namesake (Townes Van Zandt). Folkster Joe Pug’s “Hymn 101” is a masterful acoustic ode even Dylan could appreciate. "And I've come to be untroubled in my seaking/And I've come to see that nothing is for naught/I've come to reach out blind/To reach forward and behind/For the more I seek, the more I'm sought," he sings. Both songwriters make the occasional use of the swelling country slide guitar and stick true to their roots. -Kevin Brosky

9pm. $12. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684.

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