Comedian and actor Aziz Ansari returns to Philadelphia this week after filming his last special, “Buried Alive,” at the Kimmel’s Merriam Theater in 2013. This time he’s moving to a much bigger venue, the Wells Fargo Center, on Friday, September 26th. We caught up with him this week via an email chat to see what to expect from this latest go round, titled simply Aziz Ansari: Live!
Photo by Lucas Michael
A couple years back, you added a few extra shows to the last leg of your tour—one of which was here in Philly, where you ended up filming your most recent special, “Buried Alive.” Anything particular about this city that drew you back, or was the Kimmel Center just really, really telegenic?
The first shows I did there were really fun. I loved the crowd, and the Kimmel Center is a really beautiful theater. As soon I as saw it, I knew it was a contender for a place to film a special. I knew if we could come back and do it again and film it, I’d be happy with the special. And I was.
Given your penchant for experiencing the hometown cuisine of every city you hit, where are you excited to eat once you cross to our side of the Ben Franklin Bridge?
I honestly don’t want to say the places, because what if the Aziz murderer is reading this?!
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Philly jam giants Disco Biscuits (DB) might have taken a summer off from their 14-year-strong electronica festival Camp Bisco. But commitment to their fledgling hometown annual run City Bisco has hardly stalled. Adding a third day and two new venues to this year’s chapter, the party’s only on the up and up.
For unfamiliar ears, the Biscuits’ claim to fame is their trademark trance fusion—a genre-bending hybrid of jam, electronica and psychedelia that opened countless doors for likeminded torchbearers of The Grateful Dead and Phish.
Where last year’s City Bisco lineup favored hip-hop legends Big Boi, Method Man and Redman, this year’s supporting acts complement a return to the roots for the hometown heroes.
The Biscuits will have the stage to themselves for night one, a sold-out show on Thursday, September 24th at the Trocadero (because Thursdays are contractually reserved for throwing back to the 90s at this point).
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Photo by Matt Stanley
Spruce Street Harbor Park officially closes on Sunday, September 28th, but, as you can probably imagine, it’s not leaving without a big ol’ bash.
The weekend-long closing festivities climax with a free concert on Saturday night by Philly bands Bardo Pond, Spacin’, and Needle Points.
The show starts 7 p.m. and will go until 10 p.m. More information here.
Besides that, there is a whole weekend schedule of events to celebrate the park’s departure—everything from circus performers to photo-booth antics to pumpkin-carving contests. Check out the full lineup below:
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The Philadelphia FringeFest continues this weekend.
Here’s our Friday-Saturday-Sunday fun-time list of events in the Philly region: we’re loving how art-centric this September weekend is shaping up.
It was 1993 in Paris, and curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and artists Christian Boltanski and Bertrand Lavier asked each other: what if there was an exhibition that never ended, that constantly reinvented itself each time it was presented? From this conversation, "do it" was born, an exhibition that began with twelve artists proposing artwork based on written instructions–which could be interpreted differently each time they were carried out. "Since then, hundreds of artists have been invited to submit instructions, and "do it" has taken place all over the world from Austria to Australia, from Thailand to Uruguay, from Canada to Iceland, giving new meaning to the concept of an exhibition in progress." The Galleries at Moore will host an opening reception for the Philadelphia exhibition of "do it" this Friday evening. The reception will offer light refreshments and feature performances from Philly-based artists Kate Watson-Wallace and Helen Hale. The event is free and open to the public. More information is available here. Friday, September 12th, 6 p.m.- 8 p.m., The Galleries at Moore, 20th Street and The Parkway.
For all of you Pinterest and Etsy addicts: head to the Craft Phila fair this weekend to get your fix and check out talented, independent artists display their visual art, crafts, and fashion wares. You can peruse a plethora of handmade goods set up steps away from the Liberty Bell–everything from photography to jewelry–in a broad range of styles and prices. Admission to the fair is free. For more information, head here. Saturday, September 13th, 10 a.m.- 7 p.m. & Sunday, September 14th, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., 6th & Chestnut/Market Streets.
The Doylestown Arts Festival is back for its 23rd year, with two days of over 150 juried artists and vendors with goods on display, live entertainment from a variety of musicians, a food court with plenty of delicious vendors, bike races, and tons of activities spanning the entire downtown area. More information about the festival, including a schedule and map, can be found here. Admission is free. Saturday, September 13th & Sunday, September 14th, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., State, Main, Oakland, & Hamilton Streets, Doylestown, PA.
The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) will open the much-hyped new David Lynch exhibit, called “The Unified Field,” this weekend. The exhibition will feature, among other things, 90 of Lynch’s drawings and paintings from 1965 to present, and some early short films, including 1967′s Six Men Getting Sick. - Josh Middleton. The exhibit will run through January 11th. More information is available here. Saturday, September 13th, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., $8-15 or free for members, PAFA Historic Landmark Building, 118 N. Broad Street.
Wallow in those hazy indian summer vibes this Saturday at Johnny Brenda's 6th annual Pils Picnic, an end-of-season celebration and nod to delicious local pilsners. There will be picnic fare for all (deviled eggs and cold fried chicken!) and plenty of brews on tap, including Troeg's Sunshine Pils, Sly Fox 2nd Street Keller Pils, and Neshaminy Trauger Pils. Plus, DJ Das Haas will be spinning a solid mix of classic R&B and doo-wop jams. Saturday, September 13th, 12 p.m., 21+, Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Avenue.
We know the Radio 104.5 Block Party shows have stirred up some serious tomfoolery this season–but the final concert in the summer series features acts worth the push-and-shove. Grouplove (pictured), Sir Sly, Wolf Gang, Vance Joy, and Brick + Mortar will take the stage at (the new and improved) Festival Pier on Saturday. Though the show is free, you will need a printed ticket to gain access to the venue. For more information, click here. Saturday, September 13th, 3 p.m., Festival Pier, 601 N. Columbus Blvd.
If you're not up for small talk with the colorful crowds flocking to Fringe Festival shows this weekend, but still want to revel in the artsy-ness, check out "Mirroring Sky." Inspired by the poetry of Wallace Stevens and the streets of our city, the self-guided soundscape is essentially a romantic stroll for one through Philly's pathways, enhanced by a special app for your smart phone. It's the perfect Fringe fix for introverts and the socially awkward. If you're craving group interaction, there will be a free guided tour of the production this Saturday. You can RSVP here. Saturday, September 13th, 6:30 p.m., Rittenhouse Square, 18th & Walnut Streets.
From 7 Show To See This Week: Stop me if you've heard this before: White male rapper makes a name for himself from a quick wit and serious freestlying skills. Battling an unfortunate cliche, Andy Bothwell has made a name for himself with his poignant lyrics and popular free styles at shows. One time at a Philly show he went in for three minutes about WaWa and dinosaurs at the crowd's request. If that isn't worth a listen then I don't know what else would convince you. Sunday, September 14th, 6:30 p.m., $12, The Barbary, 951 Frankford Avenue.
This memorial event, which honors the life of Jessica Beth Schwartz, raises funs to provide pediatric transplant recipients with college scholarships. Guests at Urban Saloon can expect to hear the sounds of The Sermon! and Brian La Pann, and will have the opportunity to take part in a silent auction. Tickets, which are $40.00, include open bar can be purchased by clicking here. Sunday, September 14, 1 p.m.-4 p.m., Urban Saloon, 2120 Fairmount Avenue.
Additional reporting by Bryan Buttler.