Banksy Gets Away Again at PhilaMOCA

The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz

Cartoons for Victory @ Van Pelt Library | Thursday, April 21
Warren Bernard comes to the Penn library to talk about his book on World War II comics, Cartoons for Victory. He’s spent years researching and writing about comics and runs the Small Press Expo, an annual festival. This guy knows more about Donald Duck and Little Orphan Annie than most of us will ever know about anything.

Greg Proops @ Helium Comedy Club | April 21-23
Anyone connected with Who’s Line Is It Anyway is A-OK in my book. If you need more convincing, gaze into his eyebrows:

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Concert Review: Thao & the Get Down Stay Down at Underground Arts

Photograph by Chris Sikich

Thao Nguyen at Underground Arts. Photograph by Chris Sikich

Awash in memories personal to her, the crowd and this reviewer, Thao Nguyen, the powerhouse leader behind Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, delivered a stinging set at Underground Arts on Sunday. Playing behind their stellar 2016 release A Man Alive, Thao and company took Philly into Sunday morning with a vengeance. Read more »

Female Anti-Heroes Are Really In Right Now

New Paradise Laboratories is performing O Monsters at FringeArts. Photo by Plate 3

New Paradise Laboratories is performing O Monsters at FringeArts. Photo by Plate 3

Machinal @ Latvian Society of Philadelphia | April 20 to May 8
Feminism! Murder! American Expressionism! EgoPo Classic Theater is putting on the 1928 drama Machinal, inspired by the life of Ruth Snyder, who was executed at Sing Sing Prison for teaming up with her sidepiece to kill her husband. Here’s an unexpected photo of her being electrocuted. Philly theater staple Mary Tuomanen, who looks like an entirely different person in every play, takes on the female anti-hero role.

Mi Voca Su Voca @ SEI Innovation Studio at the Kimmel Center | April 20-22
The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts is highlighting poetry with this one-man show from Edwin Torres, who developed it in part while in residency at the Kimmel’s SEI Innovation Studio. He’ll incorporate “themes ranging from growing up Puerto Rican in New York City to fatherhood to his Nuyo-Futurist evolution.”

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Music Shortlist: 5 Very Different Shows To See This Week

Chris Pureka plays Boot and Saddle on Wednesday. Photo by Mike Grippi

Chris Pureka plays Boot and Saddle on Wednesday. Photo by Mike Grippi

Tokyo Police Club @ Union Transfer | Tuesday, April 19
A decade in, indie/garage pop rockers Tokyo Police Club just kicked off a tour for their newest album, Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness. The new tracks have the group’s usual upbeat sound, even in a breakup anthem like “Not My Girl.” Indian Lakes and Charly Bliss open.

Chris Pureka @ Boot and Saddle | Wednesday, April 20
Singer-songwriter Chris Pureka sounds like she should always be sitting on a low wooden stool in a coffeehouse, acoustic guitar in hand, but Boot and Saddle works as a venue too. She’ll be playing her intimate songs in support of her sixth album, Back in the Ring. Expect to feel feelings during the title track.

Moosh and Twist @ Underground Arts | Thursday, April 21

Oliver

Oliver “Twist” Feighan and DeQuincy “Moosh” Coleman. Photo provided

These Philly kids are growing up before our eyes. High-energy rappers Moosh, aka DeQuincy Coleman, and Oliver “Twist” Feighan headline a Red Bull Sound Select show at Underground Arts. (Full disclosure: I almost called them “spunky.”). Check out their new video here. Philly-based Tunji Ige, New Yorkers Loaf Muzik, and Boston’s Michael Christmas are also on the bill. RSVP to get a $3 ticket, or wait and pay $10. The catch: A ticket doesn’t guarantee entry, so get there early.

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Penn Museum Exhibit Explores Magic in the Ancient World

Tutu - Penn Museum

A limestone plaque of Tutu, a sphinx-like protective god with a human head, lion body, and a snake for a tail. It has been dated between 30 BCE to 624 CE, and was found in Egypt. (Photo: Penn Museum)

The Penn Museum is going to be a little more magical for the next year.

On Friday, the Museum opened a new exhibit, Magic in the Ancient World, that displays magical objects from ancient civilizations of Rome, Greece, the Near East, Mesopotamia and Egypt.

The co-curators are Bob Ousterhout (an Art History professor) and Grant Frame (an associate professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations). They told Philadelphia magazine they wanted to get some of the museum’s items out of storage and on display; many of the items in storage are related to magic. An idea for an exhibition was born. “Magic is sort of an omnipresent idea in the ancient world,” Ousterhout says.

It was developed out of a curatorial seminar, Magic in the Museum, in the 2015 spring semester taught by professors Ousterhout and Frame. Ten students, both grad students and undergraduates, contributed to the selection of objects and the composition of explanatory texts in the booklet. Read more »

A 200-Foot-Long Dragon Walks into Franklin Square

Photo by Sichuan Tianyu

Photo by Sichuan Tianyu

If you’ve walked by Franklin Square in the past few days, you likely noticed the carousel horses have been getting some flashy company. This Friday is the start of the park’s Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival, which will feature 25 lanterns lit up nightly through June 12. These aren’t twinkling tea lights: We’re talking an 18,000-pound, 200-foot-long dragon, a four-story pagoda, and a sleuth of cute/vaguely creepy pandas (am I the only one getting the feeling they want us to come play with them forever and ever?)

Panda Paradise lantern display. Photo by Sichuan Tianyu

The Panda Paradise lantern display. Photo by Sichuan Tianyu

Most of the lanterns were made in Zigong in the Sichuan province of China, and 20 Chinese artists are here installing them and putting on the finishing touches. During the daytime, entry to Franklin Square will be free as usual, but come 6 p.m. you’ll need a ticket to get in to the festival. It’s a little steep, at $17 for adults, $12 for kids (17 and under) and $15 for seniors, but along with the opportunity to see the lit lanterns up close and personal, there will be performances, including a traditional Chinese “face-changing” show, plus vendors selling themed crafts and food.

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Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Record Store Day (which is Saturday)

Tha Carter II gets a double-LP release this Saturday.

Tha Carter II gets a double-LP release this Saturday.

Record Store Day 2016 is this Saturday at participating music stores (all of them, I believe; check out Shoppist’s guide to some of the best local shops here). As usual, the occasion brings with it the hope that you can score new rarities and other assorted curiosities. There’s way more stuff due out than I can possibly list here, but I put together a slideshow of some highlights.



And here are links to the albums in the slideshow (in no order because the universe is chaos):

Concert Review: Bleached Burns Bright at Johnny Brenda’s

Bleached @ Johnny Brenda's [Photo by Chris Sikich]

Bleached @ Johnny Brenda’s [Photo by Chris Sikich]

Southern California took over Johnny Brenda’s Thursday under the guidance of raucous punkers Bleached. Led by sisters Jennifer and Jessica Clavin, along with Micayla Grace and Nick Pillot, the L.A. band wrapped Philly in charmed rock ’n’ roll.

Heavily focused on their 2016 Welcome the Worms, Bleached showed why it is one of the year’s finest. And the choicest cut from the record — “Sour Candy” — popped and sizzled in their vocals and tantalizing guitar riffs. A tightknit band from top to bottom, Jen ditched exchanged her guitar for Pillot’s drumsticks while Grace took her bass into the crowd. They certainly seemed to love Philly and the enthusiastic crowd adored them back.

The evening began with another California act, No Parents. They make punk of a harder and more primal kind than the headliners. Heads banged with glee.

Slideshow below. More photos by Chris Sikich at sikichphotography.com.

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57 Things To Do This Weekend

Prince Rama [Photo by Shawn LaChappelle]

Prince Rama [Photo by Shawn LaChappelle]

Friday, April 15

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Concert Review: The Kills Crush it at Union Transfer

The Kills [Photo by Chris Sikich]

The Kills [Photo by Chris Sikich]

Led by the brilliant pairing of Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince, The Kills delivered a solid set of punk blues to a sold out Union Transfer on Monday.

With their fifth record, Ash & Ice, not due till June, they blasted through a 16-song set of old and brand new — starting with the title track to 2005’s No Wow. Brand new songs like “Heart of a Dog” fit in nicely alongside other works like main set closer “Monkey 23.” Performers that sure know how to dazzle with the minimal of voice, guitar and percussion, The Kills are exhilarating.

Openers Kim and The Created are punk with a heavy quotient of excess. Led by the fierce energy of Kim House, the band unspooled a set of angst and showmanship. Complete with a guitar adorned with lights and the desire to stand over the photo pit, House brought the music as close to the audience as possible and even crowd-surfed and sung in the crowd later in the set. Read more »

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