Sat., Dec. 22
It’s been a decade now since the Clash’s Joe Strummer died suddenly of a heart attack at age 50. Strummerville, the charity set up by Strummer’s friends to help struggling musicians in developed and Third World countries, celebrates a somewhat happier anniversary, marking 10 years since its founding. Strummer, ever the global a-go-go musical omnivore, would have liked this year’s lineup, with its slots for I Yahn I Arkestra’s psychedelic reggae and Blayer Pointdujour and the Rockers Galore’s percussive hybrid of Haitian compas and hometown hip-hop. The one-time Joe Ely collaborator might’ve also relished country rockers Betty Iron Thumbs and the Cold Roses, and he’d certainly be impressed by one punk band so dedicated that it changed its name from the Relay to the Future Unwritten just to match a Strummer documentary. —J.K.
8pm. $10. With I Yahn I Arkestra, Blayer Pointdujour and the Rockers Galore, Betty Iron Thumbs, Cold Roses, the Future Unwritten, the Successful Failures + Split Red. North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar St. northstarbar.com
Dave Matthews Band
After starting 21 years ago and creating their first mega-hit album 16 years ago with Crash, the Dave Matthews Band continue to flourish. Fresh evidence: September’s Away From the World, the jam band/soft rock titans’ eighth record, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, handily keeping the top spot out of reach from new releases by country outfit Little Big Town and that pesky old gnat Bob Dylan. The Charlottesville, Va.-rooted DMB have been in the news for reasons positive (their massive listener base), negative (the unexpected death of saxophonist LeRoi Moore in 2008) and ludicrous (that time their tour bus driver poured liquid waste onto a Chicago River tourist vessel), but their long-term popularity remains unquestionable. Humanity as we know it may be wiped out soon after these words touch print, but fear not: DMB will not only be able to survive Armageddon, but somehow continue to sell shit-tons of records. —Reyan Ali
7pm. $40-$85. With the Lumineers. Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St. 215.336.3600. wellsfargocenterphilly.com
As usual, there’s no shortage of A Christmas Carol productions to choose from on area stages. But Charles Dickens’ classic isn’t the only story featuring yuletide ghosts. Four perpetually youthful spirits return to earth from their heavenly abode in Stuart Ross’ musical revue Plaid Tidings. Tidings is a sequel to Ross’ monster hit Forever Plaid which followed the exploits of the preppy 1950s boy band the Plaids, who, after being killed in a car accident, return to earth for a final chance to perform a host of hit songs from the era of ultra clean-cut guy groups. In Plaid Tidings, the heavenly foursome return to earth at the urging of Rosemary Clooney to bring a little light to a dark, cruel world. Cleverly amusing and genuinely sweet, the production stars a talented cast of pitch-perfect performers, including Barrymore Award-winner and 11th Hour Theatre Company co-founder Michael Philip O’Brien. —J.C.R.
2:30pm and 7:30pm. $35-$45. Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St. walnutstreettheatre.org
Sun., Dec. 23
A Banner Year at the Ol’ Bender House
Before you spend the holiday with your family, Philly’s longest running and consistently active sketch troupe Secret Pants invites you to spend an evening with them for a festive showcase of both wit and tit. They’ll be joined onstage by recent PW cover girls ManiPedi, new SNL-style sketch show The Specific Jawns and the troupe Camp Woods—who will actually be coming off a two-week retirement just for the occasion. Randi Warhol will cap off the night with a burlesque showcase featuring the live, comedic musical stylings of local love-birds Emily and Micah McGraw. If you’re really lucky, you might even get to meet the Incredible Imbroglione, whose illusions are so mind-blowing that he recently scored Secret Pants the nomination for “Best Sketch” in the 2013 WitOut Awards for Philadelphia Comedy. —N.F.
9pm. $10. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. johnnybrendas.com
Mon., Dec. 24
Moo Shu Jew Show
We know stereotyping is wrong. Really, we do. Nonetheless, we’ve all heard the one about Jewish people on Christmas, flocking to Chinese restaurants and movie theaters. Now in it’s fifth year, Cory Kahaney’s Moo Shu Jew Show is back to both embrace and poke fun at this idea. The night brings together two things everyone loves: food and laughs. First order of business is dinner, which is culled from a diverse menu put together specifically for the event. Set to fit most tastes and diets, it ranges from classic meat dishes to vegetarian options. Once that’s all taken care of, it’s on to the entertainment, which consists of comedians Ross Bennett, Lenny Marcus and Joel Chasnoff. These three have impressive resumes, including satellite radio, HBO, and NPR respectively, so the performances should be nothing short of hilarious. Ticket price includes everything but booze, so make sure to bring some extra cash for the bar. —Anthony Trivelli
6pm. $69-$80. Ocean Harbor, 1023 Race St. 215.574.1398. mooshujewshow.com
Tues., Dec. 25
Jon Solomon’s 24-Hour Holiday Radio Show
Jon Solomon’s annual Christmas broadcast, now in its 24th year, is a present to music lovers who enjoy hearing Kris Kringle rock out indie-style. Beginning at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, the longtime DJ will barricade himself in the WPRB studio fortified with tea and homemade soup so that he can share 24 hours of seasonal songs by alternative, punk and hip-hop artists. Solomon’s deep archive ensures that listeners won’t hear Yuletide chestnuts, unless a version is so awful, it demands airplay. The genial host labors year-round to bring listeners unexpected delights, including “Santa Claus” by the Sonics, a garage band that once ruled Tacoma’s roller-rink circuit, and Teddy Vann’s funky “Santa Claus is a Black Man.” Listeners play a big role in how the show unfolds, phoning in requests and tweeting encouragement, but the last few hours run on pure adrenaline. In between fist-pumping Xmas anthems and a block of Christmas carols courtesy of Mancunian Scrooge Mark E. Smith, Solomon will have a special guest: his daughter, who likes to sing along. Tune in to enjoy the fun. —R.S.
6pm. Free. 103.3 FM WPRB. 609.258.1033. wprb.com
Gabriel García Márquez, 1927-2014
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