From left: Alexi Papadopoulos, Chesire Augusta and Yanni Papadopoulos. Photo by Useless Rebel
When you think heavy metal, what comes to mind is probably a shrieking vocalist hitting all sorts of falsetto notes that shouldn’t be humanly possible. But that’s not Stinking Lizaveta. The veteran West Philly heavy metal trio doesn’t have a singer. Never has.
“It’s not that we’re necessarily against it,” says guitarist Yanni Papadopoulos. “Honestly, we’ve just never really thought much about it.” Read more »
Chris Farren / Adult Mom @ PhilaMOCA Adult Mom is prepping to release their new record, Soft Spots, and all signs point to more sweet indie-pop goodness, only more fleshed-out than their early stuff. Chris Farren (also of the Fake Problems), is usually pretty punky but he wrote a touching and simple song inspired by the untimely passing of comedian Harris Wittels and it hurts so good. I miss him too, man:
Aye Nako @ Everybody Hits Don Giovanni’s angular pop-punk from Jersey is catchy and messy in a Jad Fair-vs.-Home Blitz sorta way. They’re joined by favorite local acts Pinkwash, Ursula and Solarized (hey, that’s Alex Smith’s band).
Dark Web @ Century How about a little hardcore? This Philly band is like Wax Fang beating Bad Religion with a synthesizer and setting free all the broken hearts and tortured metaphors of the world. The show’s a release party for their new tape. Hell yeah, watch this Troma-esque video:
Stitched @ Paradigm Gallery + Studio
Part one of a group exhibition that focuses on “artwork that makes use of embroidery and stitching techniques.” So much cool stuff in this show. See above, and see right. Runs through April 22.
The King and I @ Academy of Music Broadway Philadelphia presents the Rodgers and Hammerstein favorite through April 2. “No elephants? No wonder he is not winning war!”
Trey Songz @ Creep Records Power 99 presents a meet-n-greet with everybody’s favorite dirty (and touching and inspirational) R&B singer. Gotta buy the CD to get in.
Craig Finn @ Main Street Music The Hold Steady frontman plays an intimate show in Manayunk for all the snifflin’ indie kids who bought advance copies of his new solo record, We All Want the Same Things.
Pennsylvania MAGA March/Anti-MAGA Protest @ Independence Hall Anti-Trump supporters and regular Philadelphians gather for polite political discourse and the sharing of ideas in a casual setting. Everybody leaves happy and tired of winning.
Mary Martello and Daniel Fredrick in The Importance of Being Earnest at Walnut Street Theatre. (Photo by Mark Garvin)
How do you like your Earnest? Many modern productions of Oscar Wilde’s beloved, still delectable comedy of manners have, interpretively speaking, gone to town. We’ve seen The Importance of Being Earnest deconstructed and reconstructed, gender-bended and performed in drag. There’s probably even been an earnest Earnest, though that seems off the mark—if there’s one thing everybody can agree on, it’s likely that Importance of Being Earnest should be funny and naughty. But of course, that in itself is a spectrum—so there have been drily acerbic Earnests; also, raucously slapstick ones.
Do you find all this rethinking exhausting? If so, I have good news about the Walnut Street Theatre’s production—it takes a respectful, almost reverent approach. This is also the bad news—the show feels like a museum piece. If some productions of Importance of Being Earnest run aground with too many ideas, this one has scarcely a single original one. Read more »
Laura Michelle Kelly and Jose Llana in The King and I at the Academy of Music.
Bartlett Sher, one of America’s busiest and most accomplished directors, has worked in every medium from straight plays to opera—but he’s won particular acclaim for two classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals that he revived at Lincoln Center. Before The King and I (now onstage at the Academy of Music) came Sher’s revelatory South Pacific. What was notable from the start was Sher’s approach—first and foremost, to fundamentally trust the material. He and his designers gave the show a beautiful frame; he also focused on the acting values inherent in both Hammerstein’s book and Rodgers music. Otherwise, Sher allowed the piece speak for itself, even when it creaked a little with age. Read more »
West Philly’s Alex Smith is a man of many talents. I first encountered him at City Paper where I edited and assigned his pieces on arts and music. Then I realized he was everywhere: writing fiction (alone and with his collective of likeminded visionaries in Metropolarity), making comics, playing music (in Solarized) and more. When I finally read his NSFW sci-fi adventure comic Believers — and heard Metropolarity was up for an award — it seemed like a good excuse to get inside his head.
Believers is a fast-paced and funny action comic. Do you dream of continuing the adventures of Oscar?
Thanks, I like to keep storytelling light but the stakes relatively high. I would love to continue Oscar’s adventures, however my collaborator Jacob Mazer who runs Animal Kingdom is a pretty busy person! It would mostly depend on him because I could not imagine anyone else at this time drawing Oscar, although you never know. Oscar is one of my favorite characters I’ve created because there’s such a vast amount of weird stuff I can pull from in my own life to project onto the page, as well as so many rich possibilities with pulling him into a universe of kooky demigods and space aliens he knows nothing about.
Believers isn’t like most comics — starting with its gay Black stoner main character. Do you see comics culture in general becoming more accepting of new voices and perspectives?Read more »
Tell Me A Story @ Shot Tower Coffee | Wednesday, March 22 Hillary Rea’s series gathers some of the city’s most engaging storytellers to make you laugh, think and maybe cry. Always a good time. This time the topic is Near and Far.
A Tactical Urbanism Guide @ Johnny Brenda’s | Wednesday, March 22
Subtitled “Starting, Scaling & Growing Small Neighborhood Projects,” this program is about “designing, crowdfunding, maintaining, and building political support for citizen-driven public space design and activism.” Read more »
Russian experimentalists Asian Women on the Telephone make a rare appearance this week. (pic via ZaraPaz696/Youtube)
Asian Women on the Telephone @ Philadelphia Record Exchange | Wednesday, March 22 This Russian avant-garde/experimental band is known back home for its bizarre performances and freaky costumes. Their rock sound is moved by odd currents of feedback, throbbing noise, animal vocalizations and a general feeling of asymmetry. A rare treat you may never see again.
Stef Chura @ Boot & Saddle | Wednesday, March 22 Detroit rocker Stef Chura makes catchy, loopy “light grunge” that Lucy Dacus fans might appreciate. A little retro, a little thrift-store chic. Lots to sing along to. It’s a good time. Read more »
Or you could just pay the $2.25. (Clean Air Council)
Anybody who’s sat on a bus in traffic — or watched those creeping dots on the SEPTA app — has surely wondered if they’d have been better off just hoofing it.
But would you? You might have the advantage over a short distance, just by virtue of being smaller and more agile and not having to carry people. But buses have motors and don’t get tired, so the longer the race, the bigger the advantage for the machines, right?
This Wednesday, the Clean Air Council invites you to put it to the test at their annual Race the Bus race against the 21 bus. It’s a 3.1 mile race east through the city during rush hour. Starts at 40th and Chestnut. Ends with a happy hour at Plough & The Stars. Read more »
The Cast of Murder on the Orient Express at McCarter Theatre Center. (Photo by T Charles Erickson)
I’m going to tell you whodunnit, and it’s not a spoiler. Are you ready? It’s film director Sidney Lumet—and what he did, in his 1974 blockbuster movie version, is fundamentally change the nature of Murder on the Orient Express.
Agatha Christie’s original novel—written and set four decades earlier, in a Europe on the brink of war—had moments of humor, but was mostly a mystery with a serious and sinister core, as well as a message about culpability. Lumet reinvented it as a deluxe, star-studded romp, full of sumptuous costumes and décor. Oh, the mystery is still there—but it’s on the back burner, behind a lot of campy humor. Lumet knew what he was doing, certainly—his Murder on the Orient Express initiated a new cottage industry for lavish Christie film adaptations. Read more »
Tennis will attempt to initiate a staring contest with you at Underground Arts on Saturday. (Luca Venter)
FRIDAY, MARCH 17
Fishbone @ Underground Arts The original lineup of this revered funk/punk/reggae/ska band returns. Kinda surprised this one’s not sold out. Kids today.
Coriolanus @ Lantern Theater Says theater critic David Fox: “Every inch of the playing area (including some of the house) is pressed into service in Charles McMahon’s production, and the updated visual world cleverly suggests Road Warrior — with all the visceral impact that implies.” Runs through April 16. Read more »