Wednesday, November 27
It’s the Year 1997
DJs Emynd and Bo Bliz promise to play all the bangers from 1997 at this Thanksgiving Eve party at Johnny Brenda’s, because we’re all clamoring to hear Hanson’s “MMMBop” and Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up” one more goddamn time! 9pm. $7. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. johnnybrendas.com
Bold As Love
More than 40 years after his death from a drug overdose, Jimi Hendrix is still regarded in many circles as the best guitarist who ever lived. Among those who back this idea is Eddi Lambert, a guitar virtuoso in his own right. Join him and a handful of skilled N.Y.C. musicians as they perform as Bold As Love—formerly Axis—an incredibly authentic tribute to Hendrix’s legacy. 9pm. $12. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. philly.worldcafelive.com
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
It’s been remade and reimagined countless times, but nothing beats Disney’s 1991 animated songfest. The Tony Award-winning musical makes its return to the Academy of Music with all the familiar characters, songs and sets your inner child knows and loves. Through Dec. 1. Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad St. 215.893.1999. academyofmusic.org
Thursday, November 28
Christmas Village in Philadelphia
Love Park is once again being taken over by an outdoor Christmas market for the holiday season. Visit the many booths offering unique and artisan wares, food and beverages. Through Jan. 1. Love Park, 1500 Arch St. philachristmas.com
Comcast Holiday Spectacular
Let the Comcast Center‘s massive LED screen take you on a sleigh ride through Center City while also showing clips of the Pennsylvania Ballet performing scenes from The Nutcracker and several other performances new for this year. 10am. Free. Through Jan. 1. Comcast Center, 1701 John F. Kennedy Blvd. 215.286.1700
A Longwood Christmas
A Philly-area Christmas tradition, Longwood Gardens has been dazzling yuletide visitors for years. The outdoor gardens and indoor conservatory feature awe-inspiring fauna, all dressed up for the holiday season. The spectacular outdoor lights come on daily at 3:30pm. 9am-10pm. $8-$18. Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Rd., Kennett Square. 610.388.1000. longwoodgardens.org
Friday, November 29
Record Store Day’s Back to Black Friday
Since 2007, Record Store Day has been observed on the third Saturday of each April to “celebrate the unique culture of a record store and the special role these independently owned stores play in their community.” This year’s event, Record Store Day’s Back to Black Friday, is different. This one’s “more of a special release date than a one-day ‘holiday,’” according to the RSD website. On the busiest shopping day of the year, we can certainly think of worse things—like facing a crowded mall—than getting some new vinyl for yourself or some of the cooler clan on your gift list.
Black Friday, a term actually coined in Philly, has largely been a day when retailers lower prices to get ready for the Christmas shopping season. RSD’s Black Friday is meant, instead, to showcase limited edition records from a number of artists from all across the musical spectrum. And whoa, what beloved artists they’ve got on deck for 2013: Among the vinyl on sale is classic work by Bob Dylan, Jethro Tull, Chocolate Milk, Flaming Lips, Dawes, Tegan and Sara, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, U2—even Nas. Check in with the shop nearest you to see who’s selling what.
Speaking of local retailers, there are at least eight independent record stores in Philadelphia participating in Record Store Day’s Back to Black Friday. Get your Black Friday shopping on at AKA Music (27 N. Second St.), Digital Ferret (732 S. Fourth St.), Jaz Sound (15 S. 11th St.), Long in the Tooth (2027 Sansom St.), Sit and Spin (1346 S. Ninth St.), Main Street Music (4444 Main St.), Repo Records (538 South St.) or Hideaway Music (8612 Germantown Ave.). And pick up that Tull jammie for your boss. / RANDY LOBASSO
Various stores in Philadelphia and the suburbs. recordstoreday.com
Imagine if Jesus was born today. No room at the inn? Pull up your smartphone and use Kayak to find the nearest, and cheapest, hotel. Emergency delivery? Just Google “How to deliver a baby,” then, of course, snap hundreds of photos and Instagram maybe just the blessed one’s hand so you can sell the full-on photo shoot to Us Weekly or People. Wise men show up with gifts of frankincense, myrrh and gold? Make sure you get a gift receipt. Well, maybe not for the gold.
While the idea is a bit absurd, its creator, Josh Piven is a brilliant local humorist—seek out 1999’s The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook for proof. In the last 14 years, he’s had the acute pleasure of watching our culture become overrun by celebrity, Twitter, digital saturation and ever-connectedness. With No Reservations, he’s turning a Christmas theater experience into a bizarro post-modern comedy full of humorous takes on the many issues the holidays are steeped in but with a twist—and that twist is our reality TV-numbed existence.
Factoring in TMZ, Fox News and The Daily Show, it’s a performance with unexpected characters (other than an about-to-pop pregnant woman): a self-obsessed reporter, a washed up Idol star, a super-Christian carpenter and a big-time TV producer. They’ll take on issues like feminism and same-sex marriage, plus financial and housing crises (and do it all with status updates, hastags, selfies and BuzzFeed lists). / BILL CHENEVERT
Through Sun., Dec. 15. Various times. $25. The Adrienne Skybox, 2030 Sansom St. 215.567.2848. adriennelive.org
Face | Book: Phonebook Portraits
Cuban-born University of Washington grad Alex Queral’s third solo exhibition displays famous faces superimposed onto phonebook pages as a means of exploring “the duality of the recognizable and the anonymous in modern society.” Through Dec. 21. Projects Gallery, 629 N. Second St. 267.303.9652. projectsgallery.com
The Main Squeeze
Five-piece experimental group the Main Squeeze is set to shake up Philly tonight with a unique blend of funk, rock, jazz and electronica. The band released its self-titled debut album last year. 9pm. $6-$10. With New Pony + Chaos Thompson. North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar St. 215.787.0488. northstarbar.com
Black Friday Adoption
Forget about the department stores and their enticing sales. The Animal Care & Control Team of Philadelphia (ACCT) is holding a special adoption event with sale prices on all dogs and cats in addition to fee-waived adoptions on black animals. (But remember: Only adopt an animal during the holiday season if you’re ready to care for it for years to come.) 8am. ACCT Philly, 111 W. Hunting Park Ave. 267.385.3800. acctphilly.org
Everything Went Black Friday
If you’re one of those people who likes to recover from Thanksgiving chaos by drinking copious amounts of alcohol, Memphis Taproom is the place to be on Black Friday. Indulge yourself with one of many dark beers, and enjoy the lunch menu until 3pm. 11am. Memphis Taproom, 2331 E. Cumberland St. 215.425.4460. memphistaproom.com
Hands Across Veronica
Look on as Veronica and Aubrey navigate their way through weight loss and relationship troubles in Walking Fish Theatre’s latest play, directed by Naked Feet Productions founder Hannah Tsapatoris MacLeod. Through Nov. 30. 8pm. $20. Walking Fish Theatre, 2509 Frankford Ave. 215.427.9255. walkingfishtheatre.com
Jean Plough: Heart and Soul
Philly’s own Jean Plough shows off her recent abstract expressionist paintings, which she describes as involving “the awkwardness of corny and kitsch,” partly inspired by meditative concepts. Through Dec. 8. Twenty-Two Gallery, 236 S. 22nd St. twenty-twogallery.com
State-of-the-art, life-size, animatronic replicas of our prehistoric pals take over Drexel’s campus. The exhibition features scientifically accurate depictions, as well as skeletons, skulls and other primordial artifacts. 10am. $3-$5. Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. 1900 Ben Franklin Parkway. 215.299.1000. ansp.org
Saturday, November 30
Kulu Mele: Let the Roots Show
Since boundlessly birthed in the Bronx, rap music and hip-hop culture have spread across the globe, influencing as many musical traditions as they drew upon to begin with. Iconic contributions like Afrika Bambaataa’s raucous “Planet Rock” and Manu Dibango’s seminal “Soul Makossa” utilized the definitive power of African rhythms as they melded their way onto hip-hop’s sonic foundation. Still, audiences seldom get a chance to see a direct correlation between those pioneering 12-inch records away from the turntables and mixer.
Let the Roots Show, the latest work by Kùlú Mèlé, Philly’s premiere drum and dance troupe, combines the energetic rhythms of its awe-inspiring drum corps with explosive physical expression. It draws from the music and movement elements of Haitian, Cuban, Nigerian, Guinean and Ghanaian cultures, bringing the subversive riches of African dance to life. In particular, Let the Roots Show focuses on the influences of African rhythms within modern urban music. Emmy Award-nominated Jeffrey Page, a University of the Arts graduate, brings a new element to the mix via his show-stopping choreography. He’s worked with stars like Beyonce, Will Smith, So You Think You Can Dance? and other TV and stage productions.
Indeed, Kùlú Mèlé’s mission to preserve and present the artistic grandeur of Africa and its diaspora is in capable hands tonight. And the legacy of first-rate Philadelphia-based music, dance and performance art continues. / KENNEDY ALLEN
Through Sun., Dec. 1. Various times. $12-$25. Painted Bride Arts Center, 230 Vine St. 215.925.9914. paintedbride.org
Peanut Butter Lovesicle
This family band from Pennsylvania may be unfortunately named, but they thrive on high-octane shows. The trio draws from ‘70s blues rock and ‘90s pop to craft simple, catchy anthems that hit hard. 8pm. $10. With Man On a Mountain. Legendary Dobbs, 304 South St. 215.501.7288. dobbsphilly.com
A Philadelphia Tribute to The Last Waltz
Legendary roots rockers the Band played their last show together—with the original lineup, anyway—on Thanksgiving in 1976, a concert immortalized in Martin Scorsese’s documentary The Last Waltz. This show pays homage to that night; featuring Toy Soldiers and John Francis. 9pm. $20-$100. The Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.6888. thetroc.com
Heather Riley: Interact
Riley’s current exhibition is a collection of paintings and drawings made with found objects; the pieces focus on consumer culture and industrialization. Through Dec. 1. 3rd Street Gallery, 58 N. Second St. 215.625.0993. 3rdstreetgallery.com
Juvenile in Justice
This art exhibition is inspired by Richard Ross’ award-winning photography book of the same name, documenting the conditions at more than 250 juvenile justice facilities across the nation. Ross and others will display work aimed at inspiring reform and encouraging the implementation of art education programs. Through Dec. 12. Crane Arts, 1400 N. American St. 215.232.3203. cranearts.com
Beru Revue were a local rock favorite in the ‘80s, producing danceable tunes with ska and new wave influence. They reunited in 2006, and the stage presence of front man Bob Beru is enough to fuel a new generation of fans. 8pm. $20-$22. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. worldcafelive.com
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
This hour-long adaptation uses original and traditional songs to spruce up Ebenezer Scrooge’s Christmas Eve redemption. 11am. $18-$20. Through Dec. 22. Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St. 215.574.3550. walnutstreettheatre.org
Sunday, December 1
People sometimes ask me how I could consider NOFX my favorite band. While there’s no obvious answer, there’s certainly a history and science behind it.
My ‘90s were spent at the Warped Tour and playing in proto-typical teenage punk and ska bands, heading out to see groups like Rancid, Pennywise, the Queers and Bouncing Souls on weekends. After I moved to Philly for college, those same bands kept me rapt, continuing to play old favorites and releasing new music—music that never stood up to their respective 1994-to-1999 heydays, mind you, but still kicked ass. When NOFX rocked the TLA in 2011, they hadn’t seemingly missed a beat (even though the banter had become less “Let’s party” and more “Jesus, we’re old, aren’t we?”) I’d expected NOFX’s audience to be teens, but they weren’t. No, it was all people like me who remember them from the good ol’ days and can’t help coming back for more. Same thing happened when I saw Lagwagon last spring, Rancid this summer and the Queers over Labor Day Weekend.
As far as the science, did you know that, according to This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin, during ages 10 to 14, our musical tastes are essentially sealed because of developing neural pathways? That’s why I like NOFX and you, hopefully, like NOFX, too. I mean, you would if you were cool and old. And you’re cool, right? / R.L.
8pm. $26. With the F.U.’s + Implants. Theater of Living Arts, 334 South St. 215.922.2599. TLAphilly.com
Day With(out) Art
Day With(out) Art began in 1989 as a national day of action and mourning in response to the AIDS crisis. Join more than 8,000 organizations nationwide in a campaign to draw attention to the work of artists living with HIV/AIDS. 11am. Free. Institute of Contemporary Art, 118 S. 36th St. 215.898.7108. icaphila.org
18th Annual Peace Around the World: Passport to Cultures
Penn Museum hosts this multicultural celebration where visitors are given itineraries to visit Brazil, Cameroon, Kenya, India, Pakistan and other nations. The afternoon affair features lectures, storytelling, yoga and music workshops, plus face painting, balloon art and free treats for children. 1pm. Free. Penn Museum, 3260 South St. 215.898.2680. penn.museum
Sister Robert Anne’s Cabaret Class
Part of the Nunsense series of musical comedies, Sister Robert Anne treats the audience as her class, delivering hilarious stories and show-stopping numbers. Recommended for fans of cabaret or those still spiteful of their Catholic school education. 2pm. $35. Society Hill Playhouse, 507 S. Eighth St. societyhillplayhouse.org
Monday, December 2
John McMillian: Beatles vs. Stones
Meticulously crafted pop-star aesthetic did not begin with Miley Cyrus; it’s been an essential facet of music marketing for decades. Two of the most famous bands ever to grace the planet, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, shared the stage and spotlight in the 1960s. Their personas were composed and perfected behind the scenes—the Beatles were clean, lovable, teenage-panic-attack-inducing lads while the Stones were edgy, dangerous bad boys. These contrasting images naturally bred a rivalry at the time, with a clear dichotomy existing between their fan bases. Although talk of friction was dismissed by both bands publicly as a media-created rivalry, there’s no questioning that serious competition between these iconic rock outfits existed.
Georgia State University professor John McMillian, who has penned four books on 1960s America, has immersed himself in this debate. Through exhaustive analysis of primary sources, magazine and newspaper articles and anecdotal evidence, McMillian has produced the definitive guide to the groups’ feud in Beatles vs. Stones. Among its highlights: He asserts that “the Beatles were thugs who were put across as nice blokes, and the Rolling Stones were gentlemen who were made into thugs.”
Tonight, the UPenn Bookstore hosts the Michigan-born and bred McMillian, where he’ll be discussing his most recent release and signing copies. Let it be a real beggar’s banquet. / DANIEL GELB
6pm. Free. University of Pennsylvania Bookstore, 3601 Walnut St. 215.898.7595. upenn.bncollege.com
Doris Kearns Goodwin: The Bully Pulpit
Pulitzer Prize-winning and New York Times bestselling presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin tackles the American Progressive Era in her new historical account The Bully Pulpit. Detailing the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft, Goodwin produces a fresh perspective on the importance of the politics and culture of the Progressive Era. 7:30pm. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. 215.686.5322. libraryphila.tix.com
The Gershman Y’s annual Hanukkah event returns featuring a brand new lineup of chefs, frozen treats and live jazz. Also this year, guests can participate in a tasting of 10 must-try wines under $10 led by PW’s food critic and wine expert Brian Freedman. 4:30pm. $8-$40. Vie, 600 N. Broad St. 215.545.4400. gershmany.org
Tuesday, December 3
The first time I heard MGMT’s “Electric Feel,” I was working the floor at the Club Monaco on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, and the song was on the corporate playlist. It was the winter of 2007-’08, and nobody’d written much—or even really cared—about Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden’s Wesleyan-born pet project. Yes, Oracular Spectacular had just come out, and Spin and Rolling Stone had already stamped their big ugly stamps of approval on it. But like most tidal waves of pop trends, it was just the beginning: They were picking up steam, critically and commercially. Soon I’d look fondly back on those days, feeling like I’d found a fun little indie rock secret.
“Time to Pretend” and “Kids” would help propel Spectacular to gold status in the U.S. and platinum status in the UK and Australia. Naturally, their second record, 2010’s Congratulations, sucked. It was just too weird and indulgent; fans rightfully feared that their psych rock heroes had gone off the rails. Had they done too many drugs? Did they let their little bit of success go to their heads? It didn’t have the catchiness, danceability and joyous ecstatic energy that their debut had.
Luckily, they managed to pretty much fix it with their newest, their self-titled third from this past September. Entertaining fewer bizarre instrumentations and focusing on what they’re good at (weird rocking), it pulled fans like me back into the fold and quelled critics who believed they’d never be as awesome as they once were. Fear no more: This show’s going to be deafeningly rad. / B.C.
8pm. $35. With Kuroma. Electric Factory, 421 N. 7th St. 215.627.1332. electricfactory.info
End of Movember Gala Party
See Philadelphia’s finest growers-for-the-cause as the mustache marathon Movember comes to a close. Sample delicious food and drink specials while voting for your favorite facial hair stylings, all in support of raising awareness and funding for prostate and testicular cancer. 5pm. Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Ave. 215.634.3338.
Rock On Philly’s Bands & Bites
Rock On Philly’s Bands and Bites competition has been whittled down to five remaining acts. Each attendee receives food and drink specials and a ballot to vote for their favorite live performance—with the winning act receiving paid studio recording time. 7:30pm. $10-$13. Hard Rock Cafe, 1131 Market St. rockonphilly.com
Wednesday, December 4
The Jewish alt-rock/reggae star winds down his annual Festival of Light tour with a concert during Hanukkah. Matisyahu’s always-energetic performance will culminate a day long celebration of Judaism presented by Penn Hillel. 7:30pm. $35-$40. The Blockley, 3801 Chestnut. 215.222.1234. theblockley.com
Hooking Up Philly
Give your online dating profile a rest for the night. 3BG Marketing Solutions hosts a speed dating event, featuring radio personality Q Deezy of 107.9FM. Tickets include a free drink and a chance to win dinner for two for you and whoever you pick up in the speed round. 8pm. $20. Infusion Lounge, 16 S. Second St.
Out of Town
The Machine Performs Pink Floyd
For 25 years, the Machine has been the nation’s preeminent Pink Floyd cover band, executing the classic rock anthems with pinpoint accuracy and adding its own collective improvisation. Wed., Nov. 27, 7:30pm. $29-$35. Whitaker Center, 222 Market St., Harrisburg. themachinelive.com
Singin’ In the Rain
The MGM musical classic, penned for the stage by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, is packed to the brim with unforgettable numbers and choreography. The Players Club of Swarthmore’s production features an onstage rainstorm sure to make the title song wet, unique and exciting. Through Dec. 13. $13-$25. Players Club of Swarthmore, 614 Fairview Rd., Swarthmore. 610.328.4271. pcstheater.org
Dorian’s Parlor: The Gilded Festival
Pack your goggles, and celebrate Thanksgiving weekend like its 1890 all over again. Dorian’s Parlor hosts this first annual weekend festival dedicated to the steampunk subculture, featuring live music, fashion shows, literary presentations and much more. Through Dec. 1. $30-$75. Doubletree Valley Forge, 301 W. DeKalb Pike, King of Prussia. gildedfestival.com
The psychic star of TLC’s Long Island Medium, Caputo released her first book, There’s More to Life Than This, last month. Her humorous and frank approach to spiritual communication is sure to entertain. Sat., Nov. 30, 7pm $86-$121. Tropicana, 2831 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, N.J. theresacaputo.com
Compiled by Jake Abbate, Daniel Gelb and Drew O’Meara
Calendar: Sept. 30-Oct. 7