Start Making Sense/Steppin’ Out Anniversary
Jon Braun, lead singer of Start Making Sense, doesn’t look a whole lot like David Byrne—he’s a bit too rosy-cheeked and healthy looking. But he’s Byrne’s audial doppleganger to an almost creepy extent; the voice is god-given, but the eerily accurate intonation suggests that at some point in his life he was tied to a chair and forced to watch Stop Making Sense for several weeks, Clockwork Orange-style. The Talking Heads cover band is playing the first birthday of ’80s dance party Steppin’ Out, which has the excellent self-descriptor “a time machine back to when it rained beauty and snowed cocaine.” The DJs of which take pride in playing diverse great music of the era vs. the more-standard rotation of “Like A Virgin” Madonna and “Like A Prayer” Madonna, so it’s likely to be a good time even if you think you’ll scream if you hear the opening to goddamn “Thriller” one more goddamn time. -E.G.
10pm. $5. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St. 215.291.4919. kungfunecktie.com
Sugar Town 10th Anniversary
Hard to believe, but it’s already been a decade since Philly’s Sara Sherr—writer, music critic, DJ, teacher, promoter and all-around fabulous gal—started the monthly Sugar Town night at Tritone to spotlight our city’s myriad female musicians and DJs and inspire other creative ladies to follow suit. Tonight, to celebrate the party’s 10th anniversary, 13 local bands (some formed especially for this event) will pay tribute to the female artists who inspired them. Lust 2 Love (featuring members of Philly blog Girl About Town) will play Go-Gos tunes; a quartet of Girls Rock Philly campers will tackle Electrelane; there’ll be an acoustic tribute to Garbage; and other acts will do the B-52’s, Blondie, Hole, Sinead O’Connor, Cyndi Lauper, the Pretenders, and more. -M.A.G.
6pm. $7. Tritone, 1508 South St. 215.545.0475. tritonebar.com
Sunday, Jan. 30
Jesse Malin & The St. Marks Social
In a different lifetime, Jesse Malin was the long-time frontman for glammy N.Y.C. gutter-rockers D Generation, which more or less lifted its steez from the New York Dolls and Johnny Thunders. But around 2000 Malin began to re-invent himself as a sort of alt-country/folk-punk singer-songwriter not unlike his good friend Ryan Adams, issuing a string of engaging solo albums that feature the sort of ragged roots-rock, wry lyrics and sandpaper-voiced spirit that a Replacements fan could easily fall for. These days, with his new-ish band the St. Marks Social and their recently released, anthemic Love It to Life, Malin’s giving Springsteen acolytes like the Gaslight Anthem and the Hold Steady a run for their money. -M.A.G.
9pm. $10. With Hey Angel + the Midnight Beat. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. johnnybrendas.com
Philly Stake II
The folks behind Philly Stake have made it easy to simultaneously get involved with the local-food scene and do some good. They get together roughly a dozen proposals for small-scale, community-centric creative projects or neighborhood improvements, then have the proposers present their plans over dinner, which is made from Philly-area ingredients. Then there’s a vote, and the winner gets the evening’s take. The winner of the first Philly Stake, back in September, was Philly Rooted, the urban-farming org behind West Philly’s Woodland Community Garden and under-the-El Walnut Hill community farm. Tonight, diners will hear a follow-up report on how the money was used, plus decide whether the several hundred bucks raised this time would be best used (among other things) buying bees, launching a writing workshop for veterans, growing indigo and marigold to make dyes or making an bonkers-sounding giant living mushroom sculpture. OK, the mushrooms and growing kits will ultimately go to a good cause. But first they’ll be edible fungal art. -Alexandra Jones
5pm. $10-$20. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St. 215.563.3980. phillystake.org
Monday, Jan. 31
It’s kind of hard to explain Meredith Monk to someone who hasn’t already heard or seen some of her work. You could say she sings like a bird—but that calls up dainty little sopranos who you’ll note do not sound anything like actual birds. Monk could be described that way more literally: ululating, swooping, not particularly attached to human tonality and just wild. It’s called extended vocal technique, and she was one of the first modern musicians to take the voice as an instrument beyond just pretty singing. Though she’s best-known for her voice, Monk is a dancer, a composer, an artist, a musician, a filmmaker, a director and a choreographer; she’s starting off her residency at Bryn Mawr today by attending a screening of biography Inner Voice, and will be performing and talking about her work through Sunday. She was one of the first people to try not sounding like everyone else, and there is seriously nobody else like her. -E.G.
7:30pm. Free. In residence through Feb. 6. Bryn Mawr College, 101 N. Merion Ave., Bryn Mawr. 610.526.5210. brynmawr.edu
Lovers of hazy, spacey psych-rock, shoegaze and slo-core will want to be front and center at KFN tonight to soak up the vibes of this glorious three-band bill. Headlining is San Francisco quintet Young Prisms, whose craggy, reverby guitars and gauzy vocal harmonies find the sweet spot at the intersection of Galaxie 500, the Jesus and Mary Chain, and our very own Kurt Vile. They’re bringing along fellow Bay Area swirl-popsters Melted Toys, who sometimes sound like a more atmospheric, Krautrocky version of the Lightning Seeds. Rounding things out is the Lehigh Valley’s Soars, which uses My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive as a launching pad for their own blissed-out, magnetic explorations. -M.A.G.
$10. With Soars + Melted Toys. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St. kungfunecktie.com
Tuesday, Feb. 1
Ideas in Food
There’s no doubt Stephen Starr’s 15th Philadelphia restaurant, the Dandelion, is one of his most gorgeous. It should be—dude spent $3.5 million rehabbing and redecorating the former shoe store into a cozy English pub with enough taxidermy to make you think you’ve stumbled into Ted Nugent’s living room. Perhaps to stave off the card-carrying Tucker Max and Sex and the City types that are as inevitable at Starr joints as high prices, the pub kicks off its Speaker’s Corner series Tuesday, inviting a special guest once every few months to share their expertise and knowledge with guests. First up are Aki Kamozawa and Alex Talbot of the popular foodie website and recently published book Ideas in Food. At the kickoff, Kamozawa and Talbot will share their unique understanding of the ingredients, techniques and the science of cooking and take questions; lovable old coot Rich Nichols of the Inquirer moderates. -Brian McManus
6pm. Free. The Dandelion, 124 S. 18th St. 215.558.2500. thedandelionpub.com
Calendar: Aug. 26-Sept. 2