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West Philly couldn't have asked for a more appropriate namesake than percussionist Gregg Mervine's malleable Balkan mash-up collective. Too many people crammed into too small a space, cultural heritages rubbing up against and off on one another — sound familiar, University City? Having established themselves as the best soundtrack for local sweaty gypsy cavorting via their monthly Balkan dance parties at Tritone, the WPO has turned its attentions to capturing that spirit on CD, the release of which it'll be celebrating tonight at the North Star. While a recording can't hope to capture the manic energy of the live act, Mervine has taken a cue from one of his major influences, Charles Mingus, and gathered a set that makes all involved overreach, trading perfection for raw nerves. The 14-strong ensemble, drawn from a variety of scenes, clashes on a collection of Mervine's originals, traditional Klezmer and Macedonian tunes, and contributions from the band.
Thu., Oct. 30, 9 p.m., $10, North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar St., 215-787-0488, northstarbar.com.