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March 23rd, 2012

Go See It This Weekend: Nerds, Gotye, Ground Up, Shut Up and Dance, Frank Wess Quintet, And Nat Baldwin

Ground

Friday, March 23

Nerdist Podcast

Fear not, proud nerds! Since the first event sold out quicker than you can say, “Is Chris Hardwick that guy from Web Soup?” The Nerdist has added an extra show tonight that features uproarious standup comedy and nerdy banter. The usual podcast crew, Jonah Ray of The Soup and Web Soup and Matt Mira of Attack of the Show,  join in on what Hardwick describes as: “A place where we nerds come together and share the nerdery that we find. It’s also my home to various elements of the Nerdist Empire.” Sounds a lot different than being a geek. -Ashley Kole

10:15pm. $29.50. Trocadero. 1003 Arch St. 215.922.6888. thetroc.com

PLUS Ava Luna with Taggart and Like A Fox at Kung Fu Necktie, AND Gotye with Kimbra at the Tower, AND The Brew with Bronze Radio Return and Kensington Sound House at North Star Bar, AND The Modern Art Tour featuring Miniature Tigers with Geographer, The Chain Gang of 1974 and Pretty & Nice at Milkboy.

Saturday, March 24

Critic’s Pick: Ground Up

It’s only March, but there have already been several superb mixtapes dropped by Philadelphia rappers this year: see Asaad’s New Black History Month; Gillie Da Kid’s King Of Philly: Gangsta Grillz; and Gilbere Forte’s Year Of The Dragon, for starters. As of March 6, we added Ground Up’s The Get Up to this stellar list. This 10th tape by MCs Alexander Azar and Malcolm McDowell and producer Bij Lincs is one of the crew’s best. Bij’s slick hands bless most of the tracks, but The Get Up also features productions by recent Roc Nation signee/Chester-based producer Jahlil Beats and local producer/engineer Mike Jerz. Philly rappers Young Chris, Freeway and Reef the Lost Cauze (Reef also performs tonight) spit on a few tracks, but Ground Up’s at its sharpest when Azar and McDowell swap the mic, carefully developing back-and-forth boasts and narratives about Philly, the 20-something life of interchangeable joy/ennui and the never-ending struggles faced by indie artists. – Elliot Sharp

Sat., March 24, 8pm. $10. With Reef the Lost Cauze + Inner City Hustlers. TLA, 334 South St. 215.922.1011. tlaphilly.com

This Is How We Do It
The “This Is How We Do It” monthly dance party celebrates all that is Cross Colors, Bum Equipment and Saved by the Bell. Being touted as the ‘official Nick Carter after-party,’ you can request your favorite ’90s hit by leaving your pick on the event’s Facebook page, and DJ Money Fame Love will keep you happy all night. The little party has graduated in size to the spacious Trocadero with drink specials aplenty; they may even throw some Zima into the mix. Wear your drug-rug, spritz on some CK One and let’s make this thing official. -Abigail Bruley

10:30pm-3am. $5. Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. thetroc.com

Shut Up and Dance
This week, experience original works designed, choreographed and performed by the dancers of the Pennsylvania Ballet. The performance costs $25, but the proceeds will go to MANNA, a local nonprofit that prepares and home-delivers more than 70,000 nutritious meals to individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS, cancer or other life-threatening illnesses each month. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, the one-night-only event guarantees audiences an entirely unique performance every year and features all types of dance—from classical ballet and contemporary dance to hip-hop and swing. -Nicole Finkbiner

8pm. $25-$100. Forrest Theatre, 1114 Walnut St. 215.923.1515. mannapa.org

Frank Wess Quintet
Philly saxophonists know where they’ll be this weekend: hearing 90-year-old Kansas City native Frank Wess, who made his greatest mark with Count Basie’s “New Testament” band from 1953 to 1964. With his flute—just as imposing as his tenor—Wess gave a distinctive sparkle to Neal Hefti’s classic Basie arrangements, helping to carve out a future for postwar big bands on such albums as April In Paris, Atomic Basie and Chairman of the Board. Recent collabs with Hank Jones, Paul Meyers and others show he can still invent blues-drenched melodies for miles. His A-list quintet will feature pianist George Cables, guitarist Roni Ben-Hur, bassist Santi Debriano and drummer Victor Lewis. -David R. Adler

8pm. $25. Chris’ Jazz Café, 1421 Sansom St. 215.568.3131. chrisjazzcafe.com

PLUS Little Baby’s Ice Cream presents: The Frankford Avenue Freeze-Out with Bruce Ice Cream and The Freeze Street Band with ADULT CONTENT and the Comedy Dreamz Adult Contemporary Theatrical Playerz at Johnny Brenda’s, AND Polica with Sweet Lights at Kung Fu (SOLD OUT), AND Psychic TV/PTV3 with Kim Phuc at Johnny Brenda’s (SOLD OUT), AND Dave Mason with Al Stewart at the Keswick, AND A Storm of Light with Mustard Gas & Roses, Magic Circle and Gholas at North Star.


Sunday, March 25

Nat Baldwin
Singer-songwriter and double-bassist Nat Baldwin is probably best known for playing bass in the knotty, lauded Brooklyn indie-rock ensemble Dirty Projectors and doing studio work with Vampire Weekend. But there’s so much more to Mr. Baldwin than just holding down the low end and looking cool. For one thing, he’s a protégé of legendary jazz composer and multi-instrumentalist Anthony Braxton. YOU DON’T GET TO HANG WITH A LEGEND LIKE THAT UNLESS YOU GOT SOME CHOPS, SON! Baldwin can saw his bass with the best of ’em, he has a rich and engaging tenor, and his orchestral pop will make you swoon. Also, he recorded his fourth LP, People Changes, in the wilds of Maine, so he’s got some Bon Iver shit goin’ on. Hellooooo, Grammys! -Michael Alan Goldberg

8pm. $10. With Extra Life. First Unitarian Side Chapel, 2125 Chestnut St. r5productions.com

AND The Last Slice with the Keystone Ska Exchange (an afternoon show) at the Troc, AND The Venetia Fair with Nobody Yet, Dirty Purple, Risk This City, and Can You Forget? at the Troc, AND Son Step with Tigerstype, Banned Books, and United Kingdom at Kung Fu, AND Foxy Shazam with Maniac and Cadaver Dogs at North Star.

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