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XPN Weekend Arts Crawl…Fourth of July Weekend in the place of America’s birth!

courtesy of Fort Mifflin
courtesy of Fort Mifflin

At historic Fort Mifflin’s Freedom Blast! the American flag is raised at 10:15 Saturday to kick off a day of readings of the Declaration of Independence, cannon and gun demonstrations and tours of the forts casemates (storage areas built into hills)  guided by Revolutionary War era living history soldiers and civilians in authentic dress.  The fort is one of Philadelphia’s gems, and you get an added boost of anachronism with the planes flying overhead to land at the Philadelphia Airport.

courtesy of http://www.visitphilly.com/events/philadelphia/july-4th-festival-concert-and-fireworks/
courtesy of http://www.visitphilly.com/events/philadelphia/july-4th-festival-concert-and-fireworks/

The Wawa Welcome America festival, which began earlier this week, gets underway at 10 am Friday with the Celebration of Freedom ceremony on the steps of Independence Hall, made extra special this year since it’s the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board Supreme Court decision paving the way for integration and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

This is followed by a parade through Historic Philadelphia, ringing of the Liberty Bell, and the annual celebration on the Ben Franklin Parkway from noon on ending with the big free concert, this year featuring The Roots, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Ed Sheeran, Nicki Minaj, Aloe Blacc and Vicci Martinez, and culminating as always with fireworks over the Philadelphia Museum of Art!

Historic Philadelphia hosts many other holiday events…

At the Independence Visitor Center Friday, Betsy Ross teams up with the Termini Brothers Bakery to produce the nation’s biggest flag made entirely of red, white and blue cupcakes!

Betsy will be in two places at once because she’ll also be at the iconic Betsy Ross House for Betsy’s Independence Day Bash, complete with a children’s naturalization ceremony and ceremonial bell ringing.

Also Friday Colonial reenactors are encamped at 6th and Market Streets and will perform cannon drills, and John Adams is available for a chat at the Historic Philadelphia Center.

Saturday such luminaries as Martha Washington, Baron Von Steuben, Thomas Jefferson and Octavious Cotto, who was a major in the Union Army in the Civil War and later registered black voters in Philadelphia, will be at Historic Philadelphia sites…and there are many activities for the kids.

one of Will Brown's photos
one of Will Brown’s photos

Aside from 4th of July celebrations, other events are happening this weekend…

The annual Super Scooper All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival is all weekend at Penn’s Landing.  The admission fee goes toward funding childhood leukemia research.

The Awesome Fest presents a free outdoor 20th anniversary screening of The Crow Saturday at Liberty Lands on North American Street in Philadelphia.  This 1994 American supernatural action film was based on James O’Barr’s 1989 comic book and tells the story of a rock musician who is revived from the dead to avenge his murder and that of his fiancée.  Rochelle Davis, who appears as Sarah in the movie, will be there!

Arch Street’s Fabric Workshop and Museum has been exhibiting photography by Ray Metzger, Will Brown, and David Graham. Brown captures still street photos, Metzger is well known for his black-and-white city-scapes, and Graham’s landscape work has been described as “bizarre” and “vibrant.”  The exhibits stay up through the end of the summer.

Spiritual Strivings:A Celebration of African American Works on Paper is at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts  It presents two collections. There are 70 works from the expansive Harmon & Harriet Kelley collection that spans the 20th century and is considered the preeminent collection of its kind (through October 12th)…and Eldzier Cortor:Theme and Variations from a living artist in his 90s who has just made a generous gift of his work to PAFA (through August 31st).

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Toy Soldiers at Johnny Brenda’s, Marco Benevento at Blockley, Suicidal Tendencies at Electric Factory, Andrew Gray at Kennett Flash

toysoldiers.croppedPhiladelphia’s Toy Soldiers will be bringing their roots rock-inspired music to Johnny Brenda’s tonight as a debut for the band’s documentary The Maybe Trails. The documentary, shot by Seth Klinger, follows the band as they travel across the U.S.  The film’s soundtrack was done entirely by Toy Soldiers, and as the event page on Johnny Brenda’s says, will have glimpses of songs that will be on their upcoming album.  Beginning their band as a two-piece, since then, Toy Soldiers has expanded and reduced in size to its current status as a five-piece, while at its most having ten members. They have six releases on their bandcamp as of now, more than enough to have a great time listening to their medley of blaring, heartfelt, and upbeat tunes. Tickets and information for the show with Holy Ghost Tent Revival and the showing of the documentary The Maybe Trails can be found here. Below, watch the trailer for Toy Soldiers’ documentary, as well as a HotBox Session for their song “Throw Me Down”.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Port St. Willow at Kung Fu Necktie, Divine Hand Ensemble at PhilaMOCA for Tuesday Tune Out, XPN Welcomes Mike “Slo Mo” Brenner to World Cafe Live

portstwillow_15april2011-9Portland’s Port St. Willow will be playing at the Kung Fu Necktie tonight. The band, formed by Nick Principe, has one release thus far – Even // Listen, released in November of 2010 – and has also been apart of Weathervane’s Shaking Through, where the band recorded their song named “Stay Even”. Primarily funneled through the musical talents of Principe, the sound bursts through with a heightened depth of melody. Although they have not released anything since their EP, they created quite an impact with “Stay Even” and the bright sound they created will join them on stage. Tickets and information for the 21 and up show with Our Griffins and Ben Seretan can be found here. Below, watch Port St. Willow’s recording experience with Shaking Through.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: XPN’s Big Day Out at World Cafe Live, The Black Angels at Union Transfer

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese

Tonights is XPN’s Big Day Out at World Cafe Live, featuring a number of live musicians, auctions and imbibing. Starting at 2 p.m., the afternoon will feature beer and whiskey tasting from various areas such as California and New England with brands such as Dogfish, Troegs, Otter Creek, and many more. Accompanying the tasting will be live performances from musicians such as Lianne La Havas, and a hobnobbing with celebrity guests which include the folk band Good Old War, Alec Ounsworth from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Tad Kubler from The Hold Steady and others. There will also be an auction for prizes, including a meet-and-greet with Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, a week vacation at Johnny Cash’s house in Jamaica, to name a few. (Those alone should be incentive enough.)  Tickets and information about XPN’s 21+ Big Day Out can be found here. Below, watch Lianne La Havas performing at Free at Noon last fall.

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