Calendar: 12/28/11-1/3/12

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Dec. 27, 2011

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Wed., Dec. 28

Animal Day
As if you needed another reason to visit America’s oldest natural-history museum and roam the halls of striking wild taxidermy dioramas, titan dinosaur bones and a lush indoor garden swarming with 40 different species of butterflies. Today, you can share your visit with some live animals. Academy naturalists will wander the great halls with you, carrying birds, snakes, owls and a veritable encyclopedia of other animals for 360 degrees of wild-life immersion. The day is part of the museums Wild Weekends series that includes other fascinating programs like “Weird Things in a Jar Day,” all of which are probably meant for kids, but we won’t let that get in the way of our unabashed excitement. - Abigail Bruley

10am-5pm. $12. The Academy of Natural Sciences, 19th St. and Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.

The gentlemen in Lucero have long mastered the delicate art of earnest songwriting. A typical number from the Memphis, Tenn., alt-country/punk outfit is simultaneously sad and hopeful, sounding like an anecdote told from the perspective of a man who might have not made the best decisions in life, but you love deeply anyway just because he’s so humble and genuine. Through this lens, the hardworking, hard-luck act’s lyrics have touched on a variety of subjects: girls, gambling, booze, World War II, beloved indie comic Love and Rockets, motherly love, and a ruined romance between motorcycle riders. The last crucial ingredient is Ben Nichols, the singer/guitarist whose mangled, soulful wail-cum-croon fits the music impossibly well. Really, it’s a blessing to have Lucero around: When things really, really suck and it feels like life can’t inflict any more pain on you, a good sing-along to “Nights Like These” or “Tears Don’t Matter Much” is there to make you feel less alone in the world. - Reyan Ali

8pm. $20. With Lionize. Union Transfer, 1024 Spring Garden St. 215.821.7575.

Thurs., Dec. 29

Anthony Jeselnik
With a debut album titled Shakespeare, you can expect to hear some tragic elements mixed in with the poetic punchlines of Anthony Jeselnik. “If it wasn’t for Romeo and Juliet, I would have totally overreacted when my fiancee killed herself,” deadpans the comedian. “Now, clearly, that’s not a joke for everybody, right? …pretty much just people who read.” Featured on plenty of late-night programs, Jeselnik knows how to make an audience smile. Whether you remember him from his contributions on the Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump, Down and Dirty with Jim Norton, or his 2009 Comedy Central one-man stand-up special, Jeselnik is sure to conclude your year with some laughs as he headlines at Helium Comedy Club through Saturday. - Ashley Kole

8pm. $15. Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St. 215.496.9001.

Fri., Dec. 30

Rickey Smiley and Friends
Most folks know him as the one and only two-time host of BET’s semi-legendary ComicView series, which has birthed careers of some of the hottest black comics to ever hit the stage. He’s also known for his movie roles (i.e. the scrawny, thieving Santa Claus in Friday After Next and alongside Ice Cube, Tracy Morgan and Katt Williams on First Sunday). On his nationally syndicated radio show, The Rickey Smiley Morning Show, his prank calls have also invoked chuckles showing his ability to turn the absurd into logical laughs like posing as a distraught church lady calling Krispy Kreme to get a funeral wreath made of collard greens dunked into the glaze. The crazy part is that he’s done it the clean way and proven that there’s a market for cuss-free comedy. Tonight he headlines with Kevin Hart’s cohorts Spank Horton and Naim Lynn in a show hosted by 107.9 the Beat’s prodigal host Q-Deezy. - Ryan K. Smith

8pm. $35-$55. Tower Theatre, 19 S. 69th St., Upper Darby. 424.644.6032.

The Sideshow
For their last production of 2011, the Sideshow is guaranteeing an awesome night of mayhem. First up, the fully improvised telenovela and Fringe Fest hit, Pasiónes de Pasiónes, featuring Ralph Andracchio, Mike Marbach, Andy Moskowitz (with specials guest Jason Grimley), followed by the improv powerhouses of Medic. Last but not least, five lucky improv students—chosen at random from a hat at the beginning of the show—will get the chance to perform alongside a few surprise local improv vets. If you’re not familiar, the Sideshow is a new weekly comedy showcase that offers new and unique acts an outlet to experiment with their comedic art form and (hopefully) make a few extra bucks. Can’t make it out tonight? Don’t worry—you can catch a new batch of performers pretty much every Friday or Saturday throughout 2012. - Nicole Finkbiner

8pm. $5. The Arts Parlor, 1170 S. Broad St.

Sat., Dec. 31

Bleeding Rainbow, Creepoid, Pink Skull + Slutever
“I’m going through changes,” sang Ozzy on Black Sabbath’s “Changes.” So is Philly pop-unit Reading Rainbow. They began 2011 as a duo with drummer/vocalist Sarah Everton and guitarist/vocalist Rob Garcia, but then they added guitarist Al Creedon. Like De La Soul once professed, “Three is the magic number.” Well, now they’ve changed their name to Bleeding Rainbow. It still invokes the youthful television show, but sounds tougher, like that Misfits song “Bloodfeast.” As 2011 concludes TONIGHT, this show’s the place to celebrate the changes you’ve made, too. You’re an adult now, baby. You can rage all night with seven bands—including Philly’s Creepoid, Pink Skull and Slutever—without getting reamed by the ’rents. And, maybe your duo will become a trio, if ya know what I mean. - Elliott Sharp

8pm. With Eternal Summers, Fire In The Hearts And Minds + Exploding World. The Level Room, 2012 Market St.

Sun., Jan. 1

New Year’s Day Pajama Party
Depending just how well your evening goes, you’re probably going to feel like shit today. But if you’re able to drag your feeble body out of bed without immediately becoming nauseous or dizzy, Tattooed Mom welcomes you to come—as disheveled as you are—and seek comfort in cheap Bloody Mary’s and a free buffet of lucky pork and sauerkraut. Why pork and sauerkraut, you ask? Well, in addition to being good hangover foods, it’s a Pennsylvania Dutch superstition that eating the combo as your first meal on New Year’s Day will bring you good fortunate throughout the year (the pig roots forward to look for its food while chickens and turkeys scratch backward). Once you feel rejuvenated, you can get back to partying with half-off drafts from 5 to 7 p.m. and  then later from 10 to 11. - N.F.

3pm. Free. Tattooed Mom, 530 South St. 215.238.9880.

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