Friday, Oct. 29 — Jedi Mind Tricks with Freeway and Reef the Lost Cause, The Trocadero, $20-22 Philly natives Jedi Mind Tricks aren’t nearly as nerdy as their name would imply. Rappers Vinnie Paz and Jus Allah certainly pepper their rhymes with a healthy dose of sci–fi and fantasy imagery, but the bulk of lyrical content comes straight from the hood over orchestral samples. The trio (which includes producer/DJ Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind), discuss drugs, drinking, violence — and all the standard subjects of gangsta rap, but with an unexpected Muslim twist..
Tuesday, Nov. 2 — Dum Dum Girls with Reading Rainbow and Party Photographers, Johnny Brenda’s, $12 Female–only band Dum Dum Girls began as the bedroom–pop project of Dee Dee Penny, who recruited members of Vivian Girls, the Crystal Stilts and the Crocodiles to form something of a garage–fuzz super group. The L.A.–based foursome sticks to a polished Delia–Deetz–meets–Marianne–Faithful aesthetic; their live shows are as much about spectacle as they are about sound, right down to their matching finger tattoos.
Now – Oct 31 — Sweeney Todd, Tomlinson Theatre, Temple University. $10-25 There certainly aren’t many things worth venturing to North Philly for, but Temple University’s theatrical performances may be one of them. The product of program that pours more money into its shows than almost any Penn PAC group (save perhaps for Wig), Sweeney Todd is sure to be an elaborate production. The story of a jilted barber who slits the throats of his customers and has his girlfriend bake the flesh into pies is a compelling one, and perfect for the Halloween season.
Ongoing — Distort at Works on Paper Gallery, Free Graffiti aficionados will be familiar with the oeuvre of Distort, whose stickers can be viewed even on Penn’s campus. His gallery work riffs on comic art, advertising, and even impressionism. Exploring the urban condition and class relations, Distort’s most recent creations force the viewer to looks at the city with fresh eyes.