The animated Chinese thriller Have A Nice Day screens at Ritz East October 20 and 29. (youtube.com)
As always, the Philadelphia Film Festival has put together an impressive lineup of features, documentaries and shorts. It’s a lot to sift through. Here’s the outside scoop on 14 films that look promising.
Too soon? This documentary intertwines the footage of 16 filmmakers — including Philly’s Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce — who were shooting all over the country on election day last year.
(October 21, 7:30 p.m. at Ritz East and October 28, 2:10 p.m. at Ritz East)
At the Drive-In
This documentary tells the story of the Mahoning Drive-In Theatre (in Lehighton, PA — about a two-hour drive from Philly) as its longtime owner/projectionist and a bunch of film buffs work to keep the place going. Read more »
Yumi Zouma plays Johnny Brenda’s on Monday.
Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions @ TLA | Wednesday, October 18
All these years and Hope Sandoval’s still the best in the biz at making shaky, aching rock music. Her voice is warm, distant and insistent, a lighthouse in a sea of oily reverb. But the once-and-future Mazzy Star frontwoman isn’t only interested in songs of searching and wonder, like “Fade Into You.” In recent years, Sandoval’s found a Leonard Cohen-esque sweet spot: spooky, earthly and mysterious:
Rickie Lee Jones @ World Cafe Live | Thursday, October 19
Rickie Lee Jones is rock royalty, known for blues/R&B-tinged hits like “Chuck E.’s In Love,” “Young Blood,” “Coolsville,” “Last Chance Texaco,” “A Lucky Guy,” “Satellites” and on and on. Here’s a recent favorite. Read more »
HOUND celebrates the release of Born Under 76 on Friday at Space 1026.
HOUND @ Space 1026 | Friday, October 20
Philly artist Perry Shall’s pretty well-known in the music world, but not always for his music. He’s designed posters, albums and shirts for the likes of Kurt Vile, Modern Baseball, Dan Auerbach, Best Coast and tons more. Everybody loves him, from Tom Scharpling who had Shall on The Best Show, to Ted Leo who gave him a shout-out from the Union Transfer stage a couple weeks ago. Shall also makes music, of course, with his band HOUND — featuring drummer Chris Wilson (of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists) and bassist Pat Hickey (Purling Hiss) — and their new record, Born Under 76 is a blast. Comparisons to Sword, Sabbath and Hold Steady don’t really do it justice, but I’ll start there and you can tell me how wrong I am. Friday’s release party has lots of comedy on the bill, including Mary Houlihan and “Financial Guru” Greg Gethard.
Radiator Hospital @ First Unitarian Church | Friday, October 20
Radiator Hospital’s kinda the best — a jangly, unsinkable dreamboat of a band. Sam Cook-Parrott’s songs of wonder and longing really hit the spot on a rainy grey day. Where their early stuff was rustic and bedroomy, their new record, Play The Songs You Like, is lush and spacious. Like a living room. Here’s a video where nothing really happens but the song is quite nice: Read more »
Vivian Green plays with Musiq Soulchild and Bilal at the Electric Factory on Friday. (viviangreen.com)
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13
Wyclef Jean @ Stratus Lounge
The Old City club celebrates its fifth anniversary with performances by DJ Menace Cartel and hip-hop superstar Wyclef Jean.
Vimpir-Cuadecuc @ Lightbox Film Center
Pere Portabella’s 1971 film about vampires as a political metaphor, “filmed on the set of Jess Franco’s 1970 cult film Count Dracula starring Christopher Lee.” Also screening is John Smith’s short film The Black Tower (1987). Read more »
Weaves plays Boot & Saddle on Saturday. (Brendan George Ko)
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue @ The Fillmore | Wednesday, October 11
The in-demand jazz artist — who also sings and plays the trumpet — released his first record for the legendary Blue Note, Parking Lot Symphony, label in April.
Andrew W.K. @ TLA | Wednesday, October 11
Enthusiastic party advocate Andrew W.K. says he will release his first album in nine years in March of next year. So get ready, I guess. More importantly, he owns a guitar shaped like a taco. And, like, is that him or a wax statue?… Read more »
Best Coast plays with Paramore at the Tower on Friday. (Janell Shirtcliff)
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6
DesignPhiladelphia @ all over town
The citywide DesignPhiladelphia festival is under way in earnest, with workshops and presentations pertaining to all manner of design (lighting, industrial, graphic, textile) and related areas (urban planning, architecture). On Friday, October 6, for instance, you can take a tour of NextFab — checking out their 3D printing and other cool tech. DesignPhiladelphia continues through October 14.
Terri Fridkin @ MUSE Gallery
First Friday reception for printmaker Terri Fridkin’s colorful Convergence exhibition. Runs through October 29. Read more »
Alvvays plays Union Transfer on Friday.
Herbie Hancock @ Kimmel Center | Wednesday, October 4
Damn, I forgot how weird the video for “Rockit” is. I guess with the synths and the robot voice, the song was deemed “futuristic” by 1983 standards, so video full of kicking, writhing, nodding android parts made sense. All these years later, “Rockit” — which swept the Grammys and the MTV Awards back in the day — remains an uplifting instrumental hip-hop tune but the video is like a house of horrors for our robots companions that do our chores, cook our food and tuck us in at night.
Zakk Sabbath @ Underground Arts | Thursday, October 5
Yeah, it’s a cover band but also that’s Zakk Wylde up there, Bayonne-born guitarlord and Ozzy’s main axeman from ’88 to ’07. (Meaning he’s the dude doing all those shrieking trills on No More Tears.) And the rest of Zakk Sabbath has Ozzy, QOTSA and Danzig stints on their résumés as well. Read more »
A press photo for The Devil and Daniel Johnston. (Jeff Feuerzeig)
It’s natural to wonder and worry about Daniel Johnston. The “outsider” musician with the impish voice and emotionally engaging lyrics — championed over the years by Kurt Cobain, Yo La Tengo, Sonic Youth, Lou Barlow and so many more — has had his share of tough moments: the derailed shows, the hospitalizations, the plane crash… Mental and physical ailments, among them schizophrenia, depression and diabetes, have been a factor in his career, forcing the lo-fi artist to tour only sporadically and release just a fraction of the reported thousands of songs he’s recorded at home over the years.
A recent profile in the New York Times describes a tired but not altogether unhealthy Johnston loping around his house in Texas just before the launch of his current tour, which has him performing with members of Wilco, Built To Spill and others. In Philly he’ll be accompanied by Modern Baseball and The Districts, two of our city’s finest who will likely be granted little if any rehearsal time with the star ahead of time. It sounds rough, but the system has worked in the past; I saw Johnston perform with members of the Capitol Years in 2008 and it was an entrancing if low-energy rock show.
It was altogether more pleasant than the time I saw him play solo at the Khyber years before. Devotees in home-sharpie’d t-shirts shouted over their hero, indie-rock Pharisees who want you to know that they know all the lyrics. They didn’t seem to notice how disgusted Johnston was with their behavior. He was, after all, the star, not their pet. It’s a distinction that gets blurred sometimes, as Johnston has over the years been propped up and hailed as a genius by his more famous friends and fans. In 2013, the A/V Club pondered whether Johnston was “a victim of hipster exploitation.” It can’t be that bad — I doubt anybody’s making much money off of Johnston — but it does qualify as a situation. Read more »
Cabaret — starring John Jarboe and Charissa Hogeland — continues at Arden Theatre Company through October 22. (Ashley LaBonde, Wide Eyed Studios)
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29
Dinosaur Jr. @ Union Transfer
Does J. Mascis have the best strained voice in rock ’n’ roll? When he says he feels the pain of everyone, I believe him. His guitar, however, sounds really free, really unstressed and unburdened. Anyway, here are some Dinosaur Jr. emojis.
Rezz @ Electric Factory
The young Niagara Falls DJ just released her debut album Mass Manipulation, and with it, a 60-page comic book about the time she arrived on Earth from Neptune to entrance us with techno/industrial dance music.
Read more »
Kareem D’Ant is a local queer musician and popular activist on social media. We chat with the outspoken artist about being out in Pennsylvania, his upcoming EP, and how he deals with insane internet trolls.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Kareem David Anthony, but my stage name is Kareem D’Ant or, as some may know me on Twitter, as “The Zesty Queer.” I’m 25 and from Lancaster, Pa., but Philly is like my second home and I look forward to the day I can make it permanent. My primary job is that of a retail worker, but I’m a singer/songwriter, actor and dancer part-time. I also have a YouTube account called “The Miseducation of A Black Gay Guy,” where I provide informative content about LGBTQ issues and matters that affect the black community. On the fun side, I love to eat, read, and love history. I’m also single, so if anybody is looking for a date … I’m free! Read more »