Perhaps that deck should read “what’s NOT entertaining me this week,” that being Spring Fling on Tuesday. In recent years, Temple’s mid-April festivities have been quite devoid of anything resembling fun.
This year, Drexel got De La Soul and George Clinton. Who did we get? Two bland-as-bread jam bands, a decent (albeit amateurish) hip-hop crew and a scruffy old ragamuffin with a guitar belting out Hendrix interpretations. “All along the Bell Tower?” Come on!
Granted, we’re a poor state school that doesn’t have the funding Drexel does, but what about Spring Flings past? The Lemonheads, KRS-1, Velocity Girl and Brand Nubian have all graced our campus with their presence over the years. Why we can’t pull that kind of talent anymore, I have no clue.
Fortunately, for those of you in need of a good live music fix after Tuesday’s atrocity, three great shows are coming to town tonight.
At the Khyber, we’ve got the still-going-strong college rock outfit that is Poster Children (2nd & Chestnut, 9 p.m.). Their new DVD release, Zero Star, is an inspiration to any aspiring independent musician. Quirky reenactments of life on the road give an often comical perspective on the band’s D.I.Y. attitude, ranging from driving their own tour van in shifts to sleeping on the living room floors of their fans. Some moments (a psuedo-interview with a belligerent journalist) capture the profundity of their ethic. Others, like a lagging sequence at a midwestern mall, are too B-movie for their own good.
But the real excitement in Zero Star isn’t the mockumentary bits, but the performance clips. Culled from gigs in Chicago and the band’s hometown of Champaign, the set sees them rocking through cuts like “If You See Kay,” and the snappy “Sick of it All” with reckless abandon. If they exhibit half that energy at the Khyber, it will be a hell of a show.
Appearing at the Troc for the City Paper Music Awards Ceremony is the local husband-and-wife duo Kindred (10th and Arch, 7:30 p.m.). Big players in the Philly neo-soul movement, they share a label with Jill Scott and have gigged at Black Lily. The two bring a breadth of musical influence into their own sound, which ranges from mid-tempo grooves to out-and-out funk. Also on the bill are rockers Burning Brides, with Tariq Trotter from the Roots hosting the shindig.
And the RUBA — the most hidden club in Northern Liberties — will host a double bill of experimental jazz with The Way Blue Bucket and Matt Davis (4th and Green, 9 p.m.). Both lean more toward avant-garde jazz sounds, with influences like Sun Ra and Eric Dolphy. Added bonus with this show: Davis is a Temple alum.
John Vettese can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org