Fair Foods Fair
Temple University’s Fair Foods Fair features guest speakers, samples of delicious fresh foods, food trucks and more. This is a great opportunity for the community to learn about the vitality of farm-fresh sustainable food. The event’s keynote speaker will be White Dog Cafe owner Judy Wicks. 4pm. Free. Temple University, 1801 Liacouras Walk. temple.edu
Happy Birthday, James Franco!
Rock on Philly throws an early birthday party for James Franco featuring a lineup of bands including Hopscotch Jefferson, An Honest Year, Thee and more. Join in on the fun by entering the contest for best James Franco-inspired outfit. 8pm. $8-$10. Milkboy, 1100 Chestnut St. milkboyphilly.com
Philadanco: Blood, Sweat and Dance
Ulysses Dove was one of Alvin Ailey’s most prominent principal dancer/choreographers. He made visceral magic for the master from 1973 to 1980, coming to Ailey after a spell with the famed Merce Cunningham. After moving from Bennington, Vt. to New York City after college, Dove left an indelible impression on the international dance community, before dying tragically, at the young age of 49, from AIDS. Dove’s demanding, rarely-staged piece Bad Blood, created 30 years ago, is one of four to be performed by the amazing dancers of Philadanco this week. “It’s about relationships,” says Philadanco founder Joan Myers Brown, “but a lot of the lifts are death-defying, and it requires the dancers to have the utmost trust in each other.” Sounds pretty compelling. And it’s a company premiere.
What else is on the night’s program? Philadelphia Experiment, by adored Philly native and world renowned hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris. Plus, we’ll get late local great Gene Hill Sagan’s Suite en Blue and modernist choreographer Donald Byrd’s Bamm. How Philadanco’s vibrant, unparalleled talents will pull off these very different and demanding pieces from four distinct visionaries is about as awe-inspiring as the extreme athleticism and grace that comes with their blend of ballet, hip-hop and contemporary dance. This is a rare opportunity to see some of the best artistry in the city. Don’t miss it. // BILL CHENEVERT
Through Sat., April 19. $29-$46. The Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St. 215.670.2300. kimmelcenter.org
Farm Fest at the Oval
Enjoy three days of farm-themed activities and entertainment at the Oval this week. Each day is filled with fun for all ages with Ask the Gardner workshops, a petting zoo, live bluegrass and folk music, beer gardens, food trucks and more. Through April 19. Eakins Oval, Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.
Through A Lens Darkly
Filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris’ new documentary is a unique examination of the way black photographers have used the camera and their work as a tool for social change. A Q&A discussion will be held with Harris and producer Deborah Willis after the screening. 7:30-8:15pm. Free. Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, 1400 N. American St. 215.232.5678. phillyculture.com
Saturnalia Books hosts its annual poetry reading, featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa. Komunyakaa is the author of several poetry collections, including Chameleon Couch; other Saturnalia authors will also read selections from their work. 6-9pm. Free. The Athenaeum of Philadelphia, 219 S. Sixth St. poets.org
Anne Perry: Death on Blackheath
Critically-acclaimed historical novelist Anne Perry comes to the Free Library to read and discuss her newest novel Death on Blackheath, the newest chapter of her “Charlotte and Thomas Pitt” mystery series. The book is set in luxurious Victorian Britain and weaves a tale of deceit, mystery and murder. 7:30pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. freelibrary.org
Get out those rave pants and glowsticks! Of course, one doesn’t have to be a seasoned club kid to appreciate the majesty of England’s own Carl Cox, but his DJ sets have been known to attract the hardcore rave crew. He’s really only got four proper LPs to his credit, but his latest, 2011’s appropriately titled All Roads Lead to the Dancefloor, is a super-modern take on dance-oriented rave-like sets—long songs, guest vocalists, buildups and releases, a pulsating and constant beat and so on. Dude brings decades of experience to the Electric Factory tonight, though; from BBC DJ slots to massive, undulating festival crowds. Cox isn’t necessarily world famous for his original records, but he’s got a super-long list of compilations and remixes under his belt that’ll no doubt add some muscle to his teeming arsenal tonight.
The two places that come to mind when you think about the legendary Brit’s sweat-saturated sets are Ibiza, where his Space residency’s reigned since 2001 and—though Miami’s the fest’s primary home—the roving Ultra Music Festival. Thank goodness Cox has never been bitten by the vile #EDM bug. While he does make electronic dance music, that even has a faint, distant squeak and skronk, this musical chef’s flavors are way more chill. His spin sessions are sure to bring out the full-on tribal give-them-space rave master and the blissful head-bobber in equal proportion. // B.C.
9pm. $35. With Josh Wink + Nic Fanciulli. Electric Factory, 421 N. Seventh St. 215.627.1332. electricfactory.info
Stephen “Ragga” Marley
Son of the legendary Bob Marley and five-time Grammy award winner Stephen Marley has built an impressive solo career channeling the influence of his father. Marley is set to drop his fourth studio album this summer, and kicks off the supporting tour with tonight’s show. 7pm. $30. Trocadero Theatre, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.6888. thetroc.com
Summer Concert Series
XFINITY Live! kicks off their Summer Concert Series with singer/songwriter and Rock of Love reality star Bret Michaels. Philly rockers LeCompt get the party started with an opening set before the Poison frontman hits the stage. 7pm. $20. XFINITY Live!, 1100 Pattison Ave. 267.443.6419. xfinitylive.com
Lil’ Steph presents RASPUTIN’S ROOM
Philly’s own burlesque queen Lil’ Steph hosts her sumptuous Rasputin’s Room show tonight, featuring burlesque performances by Lulu Lollipop, Goldi Fox and more. 10pm. $10. Ruba, 416 Green St. lilsteph.com
Lydia Davis: Can’t and Won’t
Winner of the 2013 Man Booker International Prize, Lydia Davis will be reading tonight from Can’t and Won’t, her fifth collection of short stories. 7:30pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. freelibrary.org
Doug Fine: We Are All Hemp Bound
If you’ve been, say, reading PW or our Philly Now news blog over the last few years, we bet you know at least one thing: Marijuana has become an important social and political issue to an ever-growing number of people. And, chances are, it’s going to be legal one day. That doesn’t just mean you’re going to be free to walk down the street while sucking in some pungent smoke from your favorite pipe, or that Pennsylvanians who suffer from ills like glaucoma or post-traumatic stress disorder will be able to treat their pain using chemicals extracted from the marijuana plant. It also means an industry that’s remained untapped for almost 100 years—hemp—will grow in Pennsylvania’s verdant countryside once again.
As Doug Fine writes in his new book, Hemp Bound: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution, hemp is among the strongest fibers in the world. It’s nutritious. And many believe it could be used as a source of energy, feeding our homes and our vehicles one day. As it happens, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper, and many of the founding fathers themselves were hemp growers. Pennsylvania, in fact, was colonized as a state for hemp cultivation, and Philadelphia was a main hub in the late 19th century and early 20th century for exports. The problem: When the federal government made marijuana illegal in the 1930s, they took hemp—which contains small traces of THC—with it. Today, you can still buy hemp in stores, but you can’t create it here. Ridiculous, right?
In Hemp Bound, Fine looks at the hemp industry from several angles: the economic impact it will have on the U.S., the ability of the plant to wean industry off fossil fuels, and even its ability to heal farm soils that’ve been “damaged after a century of growing monocultures”—the practice of producing a single crop or plant over a wide area over several years. Tonight, Fine will be reading from the book and answering questions. // RANDY LOBASSO
7:30pm. Free. Free Library of Philadelphia, Central Branch, 1901 Vine St. 215.567.4341. freelibrary.org
The James Hunter Six
It’s been a winding road for English blue-eyed soulster James Hunter. The founder of defunct ‘80s trio Howlin’ Wilf & the Vee-Jays, Hunter toiled for years in London’s small clubs through the ‘90s and early 2000s, his dreams of worldwide success as a musician fading. Despite collaborating with Van Morrison during live performances and in-studio recordings, he hadn’t yet carved out his own firm footing as a solo performer. His gravelly, booming tone and ‘50s-inspired aesthetic remained unknown to audiences outside of the Swinging City.
Then Hunter had a chance meeting with an American on holiday, leading to a conversation with Rounder Records execs, who agreed to release Hunter’s newest collection of jams to a U.S. audience. The result was 2006’s People Gonna Talk, his first stateside solo release, which was showered with praise from major press, baited by Hunter’s bluesy riffs. After nearly giving up on his music career, Hunter found himself nominated for a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album. The Hard Way was his 2008 follow-up, another LP garnering rave reviews.
Today, Hunter is well established in R&B circles, carrying the torch of masters like Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson. He’s brought some old friends around for full-time support, rebranding his act as The James Hunter Six, who debuted with last year’s Minute By Minute. Catch Hunter and his cohorts swoon and croon tonight. // DANIEL GELB
7pm. $20-$33. With Paul Loren. World Cafe Life, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. philly.worldcafelive.com
Memphis Taproom Beer Bash
Memphis Taproom celebrates its sixth anniversary with the unveiling of its newest collaboration beer and the grand reopening of the Beer Garden, featuring a smorgasbord of snacks and suds. Tonight’s party also features the venue’s first movie night on the outdoor big screen. Noon. Memphis Taproom, 2331 E. Cumberland St. memphistaproom.com
Great Lakes Earth Day Clean Up In Clark Park
The Great Lakes Brewing Co. is rewarding volunteers who help plant trees in Clark Park this week with a steady pouring of their delicious suds, including Alberta Clipper, Rye of the Tiger, Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Eliot Ness and Burning River. Local 44 will host an after party for the volunteers. Drink a beer. Hug a tree. Love the earth. Noon. Clark Park, 4398 Chester Ave. 215.222.2337
Sex with Timaree LIVE Variety Show
Sultry sexologist Dr. Timaree Schmit records the newest edition of her popular podcast Sex with Timaree live. Watch Timaree broach taboo subjects and enjoy live performances from a bevy of local burlesque performers. 7pm. $5. Tabu Lounge, 200 S. 12th St. sexwithtimaree.com
Philly Loves Def Jam
DJs Scratch, Mike Nyce and Mr. Sonny James spin three decades of classics in celebration of Def Jam’s 30th birthday. During hip-hop’s infancy, Def Jam started in Rick Rubin’s dorm room. It eventually flourished to record the sounds of Jay Z, Kanye West, DMX, the Beastie Boys and many more. 10pm. $10. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. johnnybrendas.com
Back From Here
Choreographer/director Amy Lynne Barr and her collaborators Ashley Lippolis, Scott McPheeters, Tori Lawrence, Ellie Goudie-Averil and Beau Hancock put on a darkly humorous show about repetitive behavior. The performance also features work by choreographer Chris Masters. 7:30pm. $15. Crane Old School, The White Space, 1417 N. Second St. cranearts.com
Philly Zombie Crawl
Elves? Passé. Unicorns? Too virginal. Vampires? Oh, just piss right off. If you’re going to get together with friends in a big group to dress up as unreal creatures of fantasy, there’s only one way to do it right: zombified. Why do we love evoking the shambling dead so much? Maybe it’s because zombies make a one-stop metaphor for any and every obnoxious goddamned thing that insists on getting in our faces, from tourists in Reading Terminal Market to traffic on the Schuylkill to friends and family urging us to grow up and spawn younglings. Well, this week, we get to turn the tables: The Philly Zombie Crawl returns to the TLA—and this year, there’s a Zombie Emporium to boot. // STEPHEN SEGAL
6pm, $5. Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South St. 215.922.2599. TLAphilly.com
83rd Easter Promenade
Easter hops down Second Street with the Philadelphia Freedom Band. The parade includes best-dressed contests for the kids—and dogs!—and all participants will receive delicious free treats. Famous bunnies will be in attendance, including the Easter Bunny and Mr. and Mrs. Peter Cottontail. An Easter brunch will close out the celebration. 12:30pm. Free. Headhouse Square, 430 South St. southstreet.com/82nd-annual-easter-promenade
Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas with Cass R. Sunstein
Join Harvard professor and former White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator Cass R Sunstein as he sheds light on 11 essays from his debut book Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas. The book features his most infamous, jarring and controversial articles about everything from climate change to why governments should allow same-sex marriage. 6:30pm. Free. National Constitution Center, 525 Arch St. constitutioncenter.org
Free For All Comedy Presents: The Magnificent Seven
Hosted by Aaron Hertzog and Alison Zeidman, Free for All features standup from some of Philly’s funniest, including Christian Alsis, Michelle Biloon Joey Dougherty, Jim Ginty and winner of Philly’s Phunniest David James. 8pm. $7. Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St. bootandsaddlephilly.com
Chicago Underground Duo
The Chicago Underground Duo—that’s cornetist/keyboardist Rob Mazurek and drummer/percussionist Chad Taylor—have got real flair, replete with a sound that’s evocative of a much larger ensemble. For 17 years, the two have worked together in a variety of Mazurek-led ensembles—Chicago Underground Trio (with bass player Noel Kupersmith) and Chicago Underground Quartet (with Kupersmith and guitarist Jeff Parker) among them—as well as separately with their own respective side projects. With roots in the avant-garde realm of improvisatory jazz, Mazurek and Taylor have managed to transcend into a rarified area of conceptualized music, building layer upon tantalizing layer of rich tonality for thrilled audiences.
By blending modern forms of electronica and other synth-heavy genres with a wide tapestry of a robust ethnic folk, the duo’s most recent work, Locus, delves deeper into the world of ambient music and free-form play. It’s clear the men of CUD are incredibly well-trained musicians in their own regard. But by combining the complexity of two virtuosos performing these esoteric arrangements and the actual density of the music itself, the Chicago Underground Duo has bravely set itself apart from its sonic peers, constantly seeking—and finding—new ground to explore in still-yet-undiscovered territories of contemporary jazz. // KENNEDY ALLEN
8:15pm. $15. With Tim Motzer & Bart Miltenberger Duo. Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St. 267.639.4528. bootandsaddlephilly.com
AL DIA News Media’s Annual Diversity Career Fair
Al Dia’s annual career fair features 11 nationally recognized companies, including PGW, Brandywine Realty Trust, the City of Philadelphia Division of Aviation, USDA, SEPTA, GIANT and more. Be ready with 20 copies of your resume (one copy is required for registration at the event) and appropriate dress attire. 10am. Free. Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch St. aldiainc.com
It Ain’t Over ... Till It’s Over
Marlo Thomas is more than That Girl: She is a New York Times bestselling author, Ellis Island Medal of Honor activist/humanitarian, platinum recording artist, best-selling illustrated book writer and more. Join the actress, author and activist as she gives a talk on her new book that features empowering stories about women who have reinvented themselves in extraordinary ways. 7:30pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. freelibrary.org
Young Women’s Initiative
Take part in a night of bowling and networking at the Women’s Way Young Women’s Initiatives Powerful Voice Awards preview party. The evening is aimed at showing how the organization powerfully and positively impacts the greater Philadelphia region by their tackling of grant making, public education and relentlessly advocating for policies that impact the lives of more than 200,000 women and their families. 6pm. $25. North Bowl, 909 N. Second St. northbowlphilly.com
Join fellow history buffs and Shakespeare lovers for a lecture on the fascinating history behind the kings and queens involved in Shakespeare’s plays, and the poetic propaganda in the literature behind them. 7pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. freelibrary.org
Woofin’ Paws Pet Fashion Show
Enroll your pet in the Woofin’ Paws Pet Fashion Show to help benefit the Humane Society of Ocean City. Pets can compete in various categories including best dressed, best tail-wagger, best bathing suit, most patriotic and more. Sat., April 19, 11am. Carey Stadium, Sixth St. off Boardwalk, Ocean City, N.J. ocnj.us
America’s Music: The History of Rock n’ Roll
Ever wonder how rock ‘n’ roll pioneers like Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley were able to take their talents into the mainstream? Professors Michael Billingsley and Robert Smith will demonstrate some of the techniques that helped transition the stripped-down sound of blues into rock. Mon., April 21, 6pm. Free. Camden County College, College Dr., Blackwood, N.J. camdencc.edu
Costumes of Downton Abbey
It’s quite a display: 40 exquisite outfits from the award-winning British drama Downton Abbey. The exhibit, which also includes workshops and lectures about lifestyle during the turbulent time period, features a stunning wedding gown, a harem outfit and a gorgeous scarlet dress. Through Jan. 4. Winterthur Museum, 5105 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, Del. 302.888.4600. winterthur.org