Tonight: Her Space Holiday

Things to do around town tonight.

By Joel Mathis
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted May. 20, 2009

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Her Space Holiday
6:30pm, $12. Barbary.
Despite the irritatingly twee name, HSH are probably nowhere near as passively-aggressively precious as the execrable Belle and Sebastian. Nor are they as keen on dressing up like 7-year-olds as Bis—another substandard British band to which HSH have been inexplicably linked. They do, however, (just like B&S) pander to that vast army of middle-class white kidults possessed with an insatiable appetite for music that sounds a little bit like real pop music but which, on further examination, turns out to be simply not good enough. Which is not to say that Her Space Holiday are rubbish. It’s just that their music bears the same relationship to real pop that Cheese Whiz does to cave-aged coastal cheddar. (Steven Wells)

Also, the atmospheric, folky indie-pop outfit Dead Heart Bloom — which sometimes reminds me of Fleet Foxes, Iron & Wine, and the Zombies all smooshed together — comes to the Khyber (8pm/$8]; the reggae-rific ensemble Easy Star All-Stars (which is perhaps best known for its dub/reggae re-imaginings of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Radiohead’s OK Computer) drop by World Cafe Live [7:30pm/$19-24]; and legendary ska band the English Beat begins its two-night run at the Sellersville Theater [8pm/$33].

As for stuff that's not music...

Science Next: Innovation for the Common Good
The title of this event may sound a bit dry, but given the Bush years we should embrace the forward-thinking approach offered by Penn professor Jonathan Moreno and science reporter Rick Weiss, providing a response akin to what greeted Chewbacca at the end of Star Wars Episode IV. Though Obama signaled a swift reversal by naming Steven Chu secretary of energy and by loosening strictures on stem cell research, there’s still much to be done. Information on energy independence, those troublesome stem cells and global warming will be among the topics presented on behalf of the Center for American Progress, whose aim is to create a dialogue with the public. Let’s hope it catches on.  Brion Shreffler
6pm. Free. University of Pennsylvania Bookstore, 3601 Walnut St. 215.898.7595.

Michael Eric Dyson
Today one of America’s few public intellectuals, Michael Eric Dyson, comes to town to talk about his newest book, Can You Hear Me Now? And oh, Michael, can we hear you. We hear you on the Today Show, on MSNBC, on Real Time With Bill Maher, at Georgetown University, at national forums on race, in web articles, on blogs and now on your new radio show called, not surprisingly, The Michael Eric Dyson Show. You’re one of the most influential black Americans, according to Ebony magazine, and that’s great. Someone needs to challenge Bill Cosby’s pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps talk, find the souls of Marvin Gaye and Tupac Shakur, and examine the impact of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death. It’s just ... there’s so much of you. So yes, Michael, we can hear you now. Loud and clear. Liz Spikol
7:30pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. 215.686.5369.

Ride of Silence
In 2002, a popular Dallas-area endurance cyclist by the name of Larry Schwartz  managed to log more than 26,000 miles on the paved byways of the southern states. But Schwartz’s impressive stats didn’t stop a school bus from hammering him off his bike in May 2003. The incident knocked him unconscious, and he died three days later. Unfortunately, his story is not unique; of the 698 cyclists who died in the U.S. in 2007, more than 90 percent collided with motor vehicles. The annual Ride of Silence, during which bikes travel no faster than 12 miles per hour, was organized by a friend of Schwartz’s as a way to honor those cyclists. Last year, nearly 8,000 riders from 18 countries participated.  Dan Eldridge
7pm. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. 215.327.8315. 

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