The Rundown | Sept. 17-24

Our weekly curated list of things to consider in Philadelphia, inside and out

The Districts
Check out The Districts, apart of this year’s Philadelphia Music Festival, a three-day event kicking off Thursday, Sept. 24. | Image: Shervin Lainez

How we’re watching Philly Music Fest

Philly Music Fest will hold an all-virtual LIVEstream music festival Sept. 24-25, with performers actually performing live on stage at Ardmore Music Hall. The event will be broadcast live on WXPN, and the video of the performances will be available at NPR Music Live Sessions. The livestream can also be accessed through the Philly Music Fest website and Ardmore Music Hall’s website. For more info, visit phillymusicfest.com, but here’s who’s scheduled to perform.

Thursday, Sept. 24

Catch Japanese Breakfast, a household name among the indie rock contingent; Zeek Burse, who has performed at the Firefly Festival 2018, SXSW 2018 and 2019 and at WXPN’s XPoNential Festival in 2019; Pennsylvania’s own rockers The Districts; and Arnetta Johnson & Sunny, where you’ll hear “That Trumpet Chic” who is poised to intersect a new young musical audience and the sage jazz aficionados to a hot new musical experience.

Friday, Sept. 25

Arnetta Johnson & Sunny will be back for another show. Also performing are Nashville’s Langhorne Slim, who has numerous albums and national TV appearances to his credit; Mt. Joy, which started off as a rekindling of shared musical ambitions between Philadelphia high school friends but now has appeared at festivals such as Bonnaroo, Newport Folk Festival, Lollapalooza and Made In America; Philly’s Arthur Thomas and the Funkitorium, which, only after about a year together, already has won acclaim across the board; and Philly-based indie rockers Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. ​

Donate, please

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Philly Music Fest will donate all festival proceeds, which in 2020 will come from in-stream donations by viewers. Last year, it donated $40,000 to music education programs such as Rock to the Future, Girls Rock Philly, Settlement Music School, Musicopia, Live Connections, and Play on Philly. Earlier in 2020, Philly Music Fest established a Micro-Grant Program and deployed more than 330 micro-grants to artists struggling with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Celebrate all things Mexican courtesy of Cafe Ynez’ Baja Bash. | Image provided

Things online and in-person taking place soon

As the city begins to reopen, some events are staying virtual, while others are taking place with actual people seeing actual people face-to-face, or mask-to-mask. Here are a few that caught our attention.

Digital StorySlam

Philly’s premiere nonprofit, storytelling organization First Person Arts, joins in on the fun of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival on Sept. 22 as it will be teaming up with Da Vinci Art Alliance to provide festival-goers with a digital StorySlam experience titled, “Mother Of Invention.” This project, conceived long before COVID-19 struck the United States, has grown to truly embody its name. In this new “virtual” normal, First Person Arts and Da Vinci Art Alliance will push the boundaries and create an interactive storytelling event utilizing both the spoken word and the visual arts. Firstpersonarts.org

Game Night

Who’s always up for a challenge? History buffs, culture lovers, or anyone with a competitive streak will love going up against contenders in this interactive evening packed with a virtual tour of Penn Museum’s collections plus fun chats, polls, and quizzes – with prizes! Face the challenge solo or with a group to enjoy game night with the Penn Museum. $10 Per Household. Sept. 17, 8pm | penn.museum

#DoBoth

After the riotous success of the event in Philadelphia, NYC, New Orleans, Montreal and Boston, burlesque producers HoneyTree EvilEye and Shay Au Lait are bringing #DoBoth to your living room! The Philadelphia-based show that combines lightning talks and burlesque – by the same performers – is back to break the monotony of staying at home with a night of education and titillation. The cast for “Get You a Babe Who Can Do Both” includes renowned Philadelphia performers Sophie Sucre, Mxstress Lilith, and HoneyTree EvilEye, as well as Baltimore’s Shay Au Lait. The event will be hosted by the award-winning Philly-based emcee, Flirt Vonnegut. The show will take place Saturday Sept. 19 at 9 pm on Zoom. See Eventbrite.com and burlesqueadelphia.com for details.

Jazz Philadelphia Summit

Such luminaries on the national jazz scene – Christian McBride, Orrin Evans (both Philadelphians), Terri Lyne Carrington and Emmet Cohen – will participate in the third annual Jazz Philadelphia Summit on Oct. 9  and 10, which is virtual this year. Regional and national arts innovators will honor the city’s jazz scene, get inspired about how musicians, presenters and educators have pivoted during the pandemic, and discuss innovations around the future of jazz education and performance in Philadelphia and beyond. Sessions will be held from 10:30 until 4:30 on Friday and 11 until 4:30 on Saturday, with evening “Chill” sessions in the evening. RSVP is required and pay-what-you-wish tickets are available through the Jazz Philadelphia website at jazzphiladelphia.org.

Baja Bash

Jet Wine Bar, Philadelphia’s “global vineyard,” and sister restaurant, Café Ynez, Point Breeze’s Mexico City-inspired diner, are hosting Baja Bash: A Taste of Mexico, a celebration of Mexican cuisine and culture in the Jet Wine Garden with empanadas, margaritas, Mexican wine and more from Thursday, Sept. 17 to Sunday, Sept. 20. They are partnering for a four-day long pop-up in the beautiful Jet Wine Garden, boasting Mexican fare from Café Ynez Executive Chef JC Piña, Mexican beer and cocktails with hand-squeezed juices, plus special Mexican wines by the glass or bottle. jetwinebar.com, cafeynez.com

Art collection

Philadelphia-based artist Eva Sturtz has unveiled a collection of her work that includes the beginnings of an exciting series, “Folding in on Myself,” as well as earlier pieces that inspired this creative direction. These pieces are bold and skillfully rendered behind closed door depictions of private moments. Her series explores the existence we lead in our most intimate spaces as we all endure these unprecedented times of isolation and confinement. Sturtz’s show is mounted at Subculture Hair Studio, 525 S. 4th St. STE L-02, Philadelphia, and runs through Oct. 31.

The Philly POPS plan to take Philadelphia to a galaxy far, far away and so much more with the announcement of its 2021-22 season this week. | Image: Brian McGowan

Shows we’re looking forward to from the Philly POPS

The Philly POPS has announced its new lineup for the 2021–2022 season, featuring eight exciting shows, including all-new programs and returning fan-favorite guest artists. Visit phillypops.org for all of the details, but here are a few shows we’re especially excited about.

SINATRA: A Man and His Music

SINATRA: A Man and his Music will feature Sinatra at the Sands, the iconic 1966 album with the Chairman, the Count Basie Orchestra, and the incandescent talent of Quincy Jones as music director, conductor, and arranger. Returning favorite, vocalist Michael Andrew, brings Sinatra’s swagger and style back to the stage. Swing along to your favorites, “Night and Day,” “All of Me” and “Fly Me to the Moon.” September 2021

POPS Rocks ABBA: Mamma Mia! And More…

Mamma Mia – it’s time to get your dancing shoes on again! Hear the POPS’ signature sound on the hits of one of the greatest-selling bands of all time, ABBA. The sensational Finnish vocal group Rajaton brings their boundless energy to the POPS for a night of ABBA’s best – boogie along to “Dancing Queen,” “Gimme Gimme Gimme” and “Chiquitita.” October 2021

A Philly POPS Christmas: Spectacular Sounds of the Season

All the glitter and warmth of Philly’s favorite holiday tradition is back for another dazzling season. Returning from last year’s incredible holiday program, David Charles Abell brings the explosive, jaw-dropping talent of Hamilton star Mandy Gonzalez back for her fourth Christmas with the POPS. Also featured in this year’s show will be Broadway’s Jordan Donica. December 2021 

Dancin’ In The Streets: The Music of Motown

Experience the magic of Motown. This program features smash hits made famous by artists like Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops, Martha Reeves, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, The Temptations, and the one and only Stevie Wonder. Songs include “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Reach Out I’ll Be There,” “Dancing In The Street,” “I Heard it Through The Grapevine,” “My Girl,” “Superstition” and more. February 2022

POPS Rocks: Let It Be

The Beatles changed the rock and roll landscape forever, and the POPS is back to celebrate their final studio release Let it Be. The program features hits including “Across the Universe,” “The Long and Winding Road” and of course, “Let it Be” from this iconic album. In addition, the POPS will play from the Revolver song book. March 2022

Star Wars: A Galaxy of Music

The force is strong! The Philly POPS sets a course for a galaxy far, far away with the music that changed cinema forever. And POPS favorite Stuart Chafetz is back to conduct pieces from each of these iconic films. Get goosebumps from the “Main Theme” of that very first blockbuster film. Thrill to the suspense of the “Duel of the Fates.” John Williams’ soaring scores are rich with unforgettable themes, reminiscent of galactic landscapes. May 2022 

Come see the beauty of Earth and more (virtually) during the upcoming Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival, Sept. 23-27. | Image: Andreas Gluckhorn

How we’re attending the Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival

The Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival showcases exceptional new films that celebrate the beauty of the earth, explore challenges facing our planet, and entertain, inform, and inspire personal action. This year the festival is in a virtual format and takes place Sept. 23-27. Here are some of the feature films we’re most excited to see, but head over to philaenvirofilmfest.org for all of the details, films, tickets, times, etc.

Modified

In this visual celebration of food and family, the filmmaker and her mother embark on a very personal and poignant investigative journey to find out why genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not labeled on food products in the United States and Canada, despite being labeled in 64 countries around the world. Through their shared love of food, the extent to which the agribusiness industry controls our food policies is revealed, making a strong case for a more transparent and sustainable food system. 

The Great Green Wall

The effects of climate change on Africa’s Sahel region are devastating. Yet hope lies in the Great Green Wall – an ambitious project to grow an 8,000-km “wall” of trees stretching across the entire continent to fight back against runaway climate change, severe resource scarcity and mass migration. Executive Producer Fernando Meirelles (Academy Award-nominated director of “City of God” and “The Two Popes”) and Malian musician Inna Modja take us on an epic journey from Senegal to Djibouti gathering stories and sharing songs with those on the frontline of the fight to save their land and their ways of life. 

Microplastic Madness

Brooklyn fifth-graders take on the roles of citizen scientists, community leaders and advocates, taking a deep dive into the root causes of plastic pollution. They take action to rid their school cafeteria of single-use plastic, leading to city-wide action and a youth-led “plastic free” movement. An inspirational and optimistic take on the local and global plastic pollution crisis as told through a refreshing urban youth point of view with a powerful “take action” message.

Overload: America’s Toxic Love Story

Before starting a family, Soozie Eastman, daughter of an industrial chemical distributor, embarks on a journey to find out the levels of toxins in her body and explore what might be done to reduce them. She finds out that hundreds of synthetic toxins are now found in every baby born in America and the government and chemical corporations are doing little to protect citizens and consumers. With guidance from world-renowned physicians and environmental leaders, interviews with scientists and politicians, and stories of everyday Americans, she uncovers how we got to be so overloaded with chemicals and if there is anything we can do to take control of our exposure.

Public Trust

The powerful new documentary from executive producer Robert Redford and Patagonia features journalists, land historians, tribal leaders, and government whistleblowers fighting for the protection and preservation of America’s public lands. With a focus on the destruction of the Boundary Waters Wilderness in Minnesota, the downsizing of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, and the wholesale appropriation of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, director David Garrett Byars tells the powerful story of citizens who are fighting back to protect this sacred land.

Sea of Shadows

This action-adventure thriller illustrates how Mexican cartels and the Chinese mafia have declared war on the Sea of Cortez, one of the world’s most beautiful ecosystems, for money and greed, resulting in the possible extinction of the vaquita, the smallest whale on earth. Environmental activists, marine biologists, the Mexican navy, and undercover investigators join forces on a desperate mission to expose this illegal, multi-million-dollar trade ring and save the vaquita from almost certain extinction.

  • Eugene Zenyatta was raised on old-time Memphis 'rasslin' and strongly prefers the company of dogs to people. His greatest heartbreak came in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Classic.