9pm. $20. Tattooed Mom, 530 South St. 215.238.9880.
Saturday, Oct. 29
Say “hello” to Madison. She’s 13-years-old and she died from a marijuana overdose. She used to live with her billionaire, movie-star, ex-hippie parents—flying around the world in private planes, popping pills on their advice—but now she’s stuck in the fiery depths of hell for eternity. You know what? It’s not bad! There are legions of demons and cool places like Shit Lake and the Great Ocean of Wasted Sperm. She’s bitter and awfully preachy, but earnest. While she was a loner alive, she’s making friends dead. If only she could learn to abandon all hope, and impress Satan, everything would be tops. Thus goes Chuck Palahniuk’s new book, Damned. You know, the guy who wrote Fight Club, Survivor, Choke and nine other books your friends think are hyper-masculine and gimmicky. Well, fuck your friends. Palahniuk’s talking Damned this afternoon at the Free Library. Welcome to hell. -E.S.
2pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. 215.567.4341. freelibrary.org
Martha Graham Cracker
You already know how we here at PW feel about high-octane showman Johnny Showcase. We love him so much, we put him on the cover. He’s just released a new album, Love Is the Message, and it does a servicable job of representing the muscular, fully loaded, squat-thrust theatrics of his live act. We can’t imagine Martha Graham Cracker ever being able to do the same, but not because they’re not capable. No, there’s just no aural substitute for seeing MGC front “man” Dito van Reigersberg dolled up in a sexy dress, all 6’8” of his hairy-as-hell self thrashing about the stage like the dying fish at the end of Faith No More’s “Epic” video. Hag drag at its finest (minus the lip syncing), Reigersberg is the co-founder of the Pig Iron Theatre Company, and as Martha, he gives those theater chops a workout. He is, for our money, the only guy in Philly who can give Showcase a run for his over-the-top money. This pre-Halloween double bill is not to be missed. One serious drawback though: It’ll make you realize the Halloween costume you’ve finally settled on is shit. -Brian McManus
10pm. $12. With Johnny Showcase. Milkboy Coffee, 1100 Chestnut St. milkboyphilly.com
DaM-FunK + Master Blazter
West Coast performer/producer/DJ DaM-FunK pronounces his name as “Dame Funk.” (The “Dam” part comes from his name, Damon Riddick.) However, calling him “Damn Funk” would still be a pretty fair assessment of the guy’s musical talents. He drops serious funk music, the sort you could easily see guys in low riders bumping through their speakers as they bounce up and down the boulevard. And even though the artist’s music has been referred to as “modern funk,” his sound has an obvious old-school foundation, immediately bringing to mind the synthesizer-and-talkbox-crazy stylings of Zapp and Roger Troutman. FunK certainly wants to collaborate with those funkmasters who’ve paved the way for him. His label, Stones Throw, has been already dropping singles he’s produced for Steve Arrington, the former frontman for ’70s funk outfit Slave, that will be part of an upcoming album they’re working on together. Until it drops, you can see FunK spread that funk oh-so-evenly onstage, along with his band, Master Blazter. -Craig D. Lindsey
8pm. Blue Warehouse, Fifth St. and Cecil B. Moore Ave.
Sunday, Oct. 30
Haunted Scavenger Hunt
Everyone likes a good ghost story. But you know what’s better than a ghost story? Confronting an actual ghost! During this 90-minute tour, you’ll feel sudden chills venture to some of the oldest ghost-filled buildings and secret cemeteries in the city with a flashlight while learning a bit about the spirits you’re disturbing. This includes the Hag of Pine Street, the burning bride that haunts City Tavern, the spectral poltergeist of St. Peter’s Church and maybe even the ghost of Ben Franklin himself. Your knowledge of random facts about Philadelphia will also be tested as you compete in teams to answer tricky questions. Whichever team is able to ignore sudden chills and inexplicable rustlings long enough to come up with the correct answers wins. If you don’t believe in ghosts, well, consider this a lovely historical tour of the city that just happens to involve a lot of dead people. -N.F.
5pm. $22. Independence Hall, 520 Chestnut St. 877.946.4868. watsonadventures.com
Monday, Oct. 31
Night of the Living Dead/Zone One
It’s Halloween! But you’re too old to trick-or-treat and, thank God, you don’t have any kids. You need a grown-up, sophisticated option. This is it. The Free Library’s screening Night Of The Living Dead, the late-1960’s zombie film directed by auteur David A. Romero. Like all Romero films, it’s not just about flesh-eating hordes and absurdly squirting blood. It also offers critical commentary on the politics of class and race. The film’s introduced tonight by award-winning author Colson Whitehead (Saag Harbor, John Henry Days), who just wrote a zombie book called Zone One partly inspired by Romero’s classic work. In a post-apocalyptic New York City, Mark Spitz is one of many “sweepers” responsible for eliminating the remaining zombies so a new human colony can begin. As his team descends into zone one—Lower Manhattan—a vicious battle ensues. But it’s not just about zombies. -E.S.
6pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. 215.567.4341. freelibrary.org
Tuesday, Nov. 1
There’s just enough idiosyncrasy and dynamism for Fanfarlo to avoid falling into the rut dug by their inspirational antecedents. Certainly it’s not difficult for symphonic, moody, atmospheric British rock to sound trite following a timeline that extends from ’80s icons the Chameleons UK through the advent of Coldplay, Doves and Snow Patrol. Yet while their 2009 debut, Reservoir, gets quite lush, delicate and dramatic, it never descends into epic self-indulgence. Thankfully the London quintet digested some of Radiohead’s experimental impulses, adding tasteful touches of sputtering electro-noise and odd swooping synths to help ground the pretense accompanying frequent deployment of strings and horns. There’s no valet, but it’s still starched enough you won’t get in without a jacket. -C.P.
9pm. $15. With Steven Vega. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 Frankford Ave. johnnybrendas.com
Nightlife: Cooking Up Couture
Calendar: September 17-24
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