Karaoke Tuesdays at Tavern on Camac
There doesn’t seem to be much middle ground with karaoke—either you love it, or you avoid it like the plague. Witnessing a less-than-self-aware amateur singer belt out “Little Red Corvette” while sloshing a cocktail all over the floor isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time. At Tavern on Camac’s Ascend Lounge, there are a few painful performances, but each week a crop of talented vocalists take the stage. Penny Productions runs the show, and their expansive songbook provides a surprisingly diverse and fun music selection. Add $4 flavored Stoli cocktails to the mix, and you’ve got the recipe for a great night.
Tuesdays, 9pm. Ascend Lounge, Tavern on Camac, 243 S. Camac St. 215.545.0900. tavernoncamac.com
Sunday Drag Show at Tabu Lounge
When Jeff Sotland announced his plans to develop a sports bar for the LGBT and allied communities, some questioned whether the concept would fly. Fast forward several months, and Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar is a certifiable success story—and one of the Gayborhood’s most popular bars. While you can always watch your favorite pro and college teams on the main floor, the upstairs lounge is used for special events and partnerships, illustrating Sotland’s support for many of Philly’s LGBT nonprofits, including the William Way Center and Philadelphia FIGHT. Beginning in mid-January, Tabu is ratcheting up the drama with the debut of Sinful Sundays—a weekly drag show hosted by Isis Brooks D’Shey, featuring established and new gender-bending performers. A $5 cover gets you in the door with a free drink, and happy hour prices are available from 10 p.m. till midnight.
Sundays, 9pm (starting Jan. 23). Tabu Lounge, 200 S. 12th St. tabuphilly.com
Black Banana "Get Together"
Do you remember Philly nightlife in the ’80s and ’90s? Before every club became a lounge, and DJs were replaced by iPods, decadent after-hours parties were the name of the game—and no place did it better than the legendary Black Banana. Located at Third and Race streets, The Black Banana opened in the 1970s, but hit its stride in the ’80s, becoming the stomping ground for those who work hard and play harder. Boundary-breaking DJs, including Robbie Tronco, Josh Wink, and King Britt cut their teeth on Black Banana’s turntables. The hotspot suffered a devastating fire in 1991, and its owner Garrick Melmeck passed away soon after. There has yet to be—and likely never will be—another institution quite as beloved in nightlife. As a tribute to The Black Banana, the folks at Voyeur Nightclub are gearing up for the 2nd Annual Black Banana Anniversary Party. Nine DJs will be spinning classic beats while music videos from the era play in the background. You’re sure to see the old gang reminiscing and dancing to the classic beats that made The Banana famous.
Sun., Jan. 16, 8pm. Voyeur Nightclub, 1221 St. James St. voyeurnightclub.com
Blue Ball Weekend
Our local gay party weekend is returning to its winter roots, and taking up residency during the last weekend in January. At its heart, Blue Ball is a fundraiser and awareness-building event for the Sapphire Fund—a local LGBT non-profit organization. It’s one of the few remaining multi-day circuit events in the country, and features a wide range of day and evening parties. (Check blueballphilly.com for specific times and additional details on each event).
Wed., Jan. 26, Junior Blue. Woody’s, 202 S. 13th St. Blue Ball’s youth event—18 to 21 are welcome for an exclusive dance party.
Thurs., Jan. 27, Blue Ball Weekend Kick-Off. Q Lounge, 1234 Locust St. The official “opening” of Blue Ball weekend with a cocktail party at Q Lounge.
Fri., Jan. 28, “Don’t Ask … Don’t Tell!” Military Party Voyeur Nightclub, 1221 St. James St. Celebrate the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” by suiting up in your favorite military garb and dancing a the night away. Ladies’ Winter Wonderland Ball, T.L.A., 334 South St. This one’s for the women – Philly’s lovely lesbians invade South Street for the “Winter Wonderland Ball”
Sat., Jan. 29. Blue Ball Main Event: “One Weekend. One Community.” Check website for details. The event everyone will be talking about—hot music and hot guys burning the dance floor.
Sun., Jan. 30, Sapphire Brunch, The Pyramid Club, 1735 Market St. A brunch and silent auction. Sunday Tea, Woody’s, 202 S. 13th St. Close out the weekend with one last spin around the dance floor.
Calendar: March 25-April 1
PW's 2015 Philly Spring Guide