Wednesday, January 22
Gender-Upender! An Art Party
Barbarism, the multimedia project conceived by Sarah Secunda and Rebecca Katharine Hirsch, hosts a performance art party and “rebellious romp” as a companion to its Barbs Coming Out: A Queer Cotillion exhibit, encouraging viewers to explore the concepts of identity and interrelation. 8pm. Free. Fleisher Art Memorial, 719 Catharine St. fleisher.org
Giovanni’s Room 40th Anniversary Program
The country’s oldest LGBT bookstore celebrates four decades of business with family members past and present. Founders Tom Wilson Weinberg and Dan Sherbo will be on hand, as will soon-to-be-retiring current owner Ed Hermance to discuss the store’s future. 7:30pm. Free. William Way Community Center, 1315 Spruce St. 215.732.2220. waygay.org
One Book, One Philadelphia Kick-Off
A joint project of the mayor’s office and the Free Library of Philadelphia, “One Book, One Philadelphia” aims to bring the city’s communities together through the power of reading. This year’s featured book is Iraq vet Kevin Powers’ The Yellow Birds, a finalist for the National Book Award. 7:30pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. 215.686.5322. freelibrary.org
Thursday, January 23
Scott Sigler: Pandemic
The recent onslaught of zombie-apocalypse fiction has been inescapable, to say the least. Movies, TV shows and enough novels to fill an entire section at the bookstore all revolve around some sickness that spreads quickly and transforms large portions of the human population into animated corpses ravenous for raw flesh. Given their sheer numbers, it’s not surprising that so many of these stories are complete crap, hacked out by bandwagon-jumpers to turn a quick buck. There are a few, however, of real, unvarnished quality. Count Scott Sigler’s Pandemic among them.
The conclusion of Sigler’s acclaimed horror trilogy, Pandemic wraps up a tale started in 2008’s Infected and continued with Contagious that same year. The story is told through the eyes of Perry Dawsey, a former Michigan linebacker with an anger problem, and Margaret Montoya, an epidemiologist with the CDC investigating a strange disease that turns seemingly normal people into murderers. This contagion inspires a nightmarish psychosis atypical of the genre, and unlike most others, its origin is not terrestrial: It’s part of an alien plot to invade Earth, starting on the microscopic level.
Fellow notable authors have gone so far as to compare Sigler to Stephen King, praising his deep characterizations and genuine evocation of dread. No stranger to oration (most of his books are available as audio podcasts), Sigler stops in Philly this Thursday as part of a lengthy national tour. / DREW O’MEARA
6pm. Free. University of Pennsylvania Bookstore, 3601 Walnut St. 215.898.6623. upenn.bncollege.com
Rock on Philly: Forget Your Resolution Party!
Most people aren’t exactly great about sticking to their New Year’s resolution—so Milkboy’s latest musical extravaganza encourages us to just go ahead and give up early. Bands slated to perform include Philly’s own Red Means Run and Dayseam, as well as State College-based jam band Memphis Hat. 8pm. $8-$10. Milkboy, 1100 Chestnut St. 215.925.6455. milkboyphilly.com
The Drexel Dance Ensemble’s winter production consists of six student works and premieres by dance faculty, all sharing the common theme of holding onto memories of past life experiences. 8pm. $10. Mandell Theater, 33rd and Chestnut sts. danceboxoffice.com
Pretty Vacant: The Graphic Language of Punk
The punk rock aesthetic is just as ubiquitous and inspiring as the music itself. New York-based collectors will provide a number of posters, fanzines and record sleeves among other memorabilia, and the works of ‘70s graphic artists—such as Barney Bubbles and Malcolm Garrett—will be showcased. 6pm. Free. Moore College of Art & Design, 20th St. and the Ben Franklin Pkwy. 215.965.4000. moore.edu
Friday, January 24
Were you one of those people whose mind was totally blown when you found out the opening guitar riff from Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Spirit” was a rip-off of the Pixies’ “U-Mass,” or were you the type that was all, “I listened to the Pixies before the Pixies were a band?” (As far as I know, those are the only types of Pixies fans; I’ve looked for others.) Either way, the clan perhaps responsible for Nirvana’s rise to superstardom is back—sort of. They’ve recorded new material for the first time in a decade—really, more like two decades—and they’ve done it without legendary bassist Kim Deal, who quit the band in June before the songs, on EPs simply titled EP 1 and EP 2, could be released. They’ve even put out both records themselves, which makes sense given their stark reputation, and they filmed a few accompanying music videos for good measure, too.
So, how does their fresh stuff sound? From really good to downright awful—but, hey, it’s the Pixies. The first song out of the gate on EP 1, “Andro Queen,” probably wasn’t the best to lead with; it’s a reverb-drenched soft rock number that makes you wonder why Frank Black didn’t just release the whole thing under his solo moniker. The same goes for a lot of what follows—it’s mellow, and Black’s voice sounds somewhat off. The final song of the four, “What Goes Boom,” probably sounds the most Pixies-ish, and it’s definitely the tightest. EP 2, on the other hand, is pretty solid. From the first track, Black goes out of his way to make it a hard rock record, something you would have bought and blasted during that sweet period in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s—when Sub Pop was a relative unknown and Gavin Rossdale hadn’t picked up a guitar yet.
The best part? New Pixies music means a new Pixies tour. Theirs began last week in Canada—and sold out in Philly in just a few minutes. / RANDY LOBASSO
8:30pm. Sold out. The Electric Factory, 421 N. Seventh St. 215.627.1332. electricfactory.info
Coffee and Conversation: What You Need to Know About American Politics
When President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion government spending bill on Jan. 17, it was lauded as a sign of progress where there often is none. Spending bills are supposed to be non-controversial, but in the age of Obama, everything is controversial; the mere suggestion of a judicial nominee or cabinet post is a reason to shut down the government and cry about fascism. Congress has reshaped itself so that Republicans and Democrats are more divided by representation than ever. It’s gotten so that during the last national election, Democrats received millions more votes than their Republican counterparts, yet still held only a small proportion of seats in the House.
State legislatures have become carbon copies of one another, taking their cues from bills picked up at the American Legislative Exchange Conference—a group that helps connect lawmakers to lobbyists and corporate interests, which write legislation themselves and simply hand it out to legislators from New Hampshire to Arizona.
And so, we ask ourselves: Does government still even work? That’s the conversation Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse, Senate historian Donald Ritchie and political science professor Richard Valelly will engage in at the National Constitution Center’s next “Coffee and Conversation” talk, entitled “What You Need to Know About American Politics.” It’s sure to be a great primer for politics newbies, yet challenging enough to satiate the wonkiest among us. / R.L.
Noon. Free, but reservations recommended. National Constitution Center, 525 Arch St. 215.409.6700. constitutioncenter.org
Elvis Birthday Bash
Come and celebrate what would have been the King’s 79th birthday with two of his most acclaimed impersonators acting out separate incarnations: Mike Albert will play “Vegas Superstar,” while Scot Bruce will star as “Teen-Idol Elvis.” 8pm. $34.50. Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave. keswicktheatre.com
Art After 5
This week’s installment of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s “Art After 5” series finds Zenia and the Natural Experience taking center stage with their Barbadian-influenced jazz fusion music in tow. 5pm. Free. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th St. and the Ben Franklin Pkwy. 215.763.8100. philamuseum.org
Ishmael Beah: The Radiance of Tomorrow
Ishmael Beah garnered copious praise for A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, his nonfiction account of serving as a child soldier in Sierra Leone. And with the release of his first novel, Radiance of Tomorrow, he draws on his experience to paint a picture of two friends struggling at the end of the country’s civil war. 7:30pm. $7-$15. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. 215.686.5322. freelibrary.org
El Gran Varon: The Latin LGBTQ Community 26 Years Later
As the first song recorded by an established artist to allude to the HIV epidemic, Willie Colon’s “El Gran Varon” marked an important milestone within the community of those living with the disease. The year’s first Tertulia, presented by Raices Culturales Latinoamericanas and GALAEI, examines the impact made by that song and similar media. 7pm. $5-$10. Raices Culturales Latinoamericanas, 1417 N. Second St. 215.425.1390. raicesculturales.org
40th Street Artist-in-Residence Exhibit
The Friends and Neighbors Exhibit asks each of its residents to invite two artists to display their work for Airspace’s annual show meant to address the need for artistic workspaces in the West Philadelphia region. 6pm. Free. Airspace, 4007 Chestsnut St. 40streetair.blogspot.com
Saturday, January 25
The Reverend Horton Heat
Some of the most delicious things in life are the results of combinations. Peanut butter and jelly, cream and sugar, gin and juice—the list goes on, and face it: Blended delights rock. The same can be said about music. After all, mixing the genres of country, surf, punk, big band, swing and rockabilly has resulted in a acts like the Reverend Horton Heat.
Defining their style as “country-fed punkabilly,” the Dallas-based trio—Jim “Reverend Horton” Heath on guitar and lead vocals, Jimbo Wallace on the upright bass and Scott Churilla on drums—have been active since 1985. Their driving music matches well with their signature whimsical lyrics, different from the usual hot rods and switchblades mentioned elsewhere in the genre. Their blistering tunes have been heard in TV and movie projects alike, as well as in popular video games for the better part of 20 years. Guitar Hero II, Hot Wheels Turbo Racing and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 are but a few of the group’s games score credits, and their reach even extends to films like Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls and Bio-Dome.
The group’s new album, Rev, is slated for released this week, perfect timing for their Trocadero show. In fact, their latest single, “Let Me Teach You How To Eat,” features a series of burlesque dancers, which suits the venue’s infamous origins just fine. Bon appetit! / KENNEDY ALLEN
7:30pm. $18-$20. With Nekromantix, THE CREEPSHOW + Deke Dickerson. The Trocadero Theatre, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.6888. thetroc.com
World Culture Day: Chinese New Year Celebration
Celebrate the zodiac year of the horse with music and dance performances, martial and healing arts demonstrations and the popular Grand Finale Lion parade. Aspiring parents, conceive now; children born under the sign of the horse are said to be strong-willed and goal oriented. 11am. University of Pennsylvania Museum, 3260 South St. 215.898.4000. penn.museum
Gabrielle Revlock: Confetti
Local choreographer Gabrielle Revlock takes a lighthearted approach with her newest performance. Featuring a hip-hop dancer, a child and her own mother, Confetti presents a series of quirky, interlocking narratives, surprising audience members with overlapping duets. 8pm. $20-$30. Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut St. 215.898.6702. annenbergcenter.org
Jerry Blavat: Great Voices of the ‘60s
Legendary radio DJ Jerry Blavat, “The Geator with The Heator,” presents an oldies festival featuring Bobby Rydell, Jay Black, Low Cut Connie and more. Before and after the show, DJ Mark the Spark hosts a dance party to turn your old soul up and keep the celebration going. 8pm. $41-$100. Kimmel Center, 1500 Walnut St. kimmelcenter.org
Sunday, January 26
The rigor of touring can take its toll in myriad ways. Often glamorized, endless hours spent in a hot, funky van on roads to Anywhere can sound the death knell for any outfit, no matter how tightly-knit. But few bands can compare tour horror stories with Spanish dance-pop quartet Delorean.
In October 2013, the four-man band was slated to play Mexico City’s Mutek Festival. They received a phone call from men purporting to be hotel security, urging the Barcelona natives to change hotels due to unsafe conditions. The Delorean guys obliged, and what ensued was a hellish, 30-hour hostage scenario: That call actually came allegedly from Los Zetas, said to be one of the most feared and barbaric Mexican drug cartel. Members purportedly of the crime syndicate kidnapped and psychologically manipulated Delorean’s members—and their families—in an attempt to heighten the ransom amount. Thanks to a coordinated effort by local authorities, national police and Interpol, they were rescued and their captors apprehended. In a Facebook post after the horrific ordeal, Delorean claimed that “the threat of death was real.” They postponed their remaining dates tour dates, including the Oct. 22 gig in Philly at the First Unitarian Church.
That drama behind them, Delorean has again hit the road. Apar, their third and most cohesive LP to date, was dropped a month before Mutek and channels their indie rock upbringing. It features carefully measured song craft, straying away from their earlier sample-saturated work. / DANIEL GELB
8pm. $13-$15. With Mas Ysa. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. johnnybrendas.com
Koresh Artist Showcase
Philadelphia’s Koresh Studio offers dance classes and performances in Center City. Tonight’s show celebrates their new location in Rittenhouse, featuring local choreographers and explosive routines. 9pm. $10. Koresh Dance Company, 2002 Rittenhouse Square. 215.751.0959. koreshdance.org
Flyers’ Wives Carnival
This charity fundraiser, organized by players’ and coaches’ wives, gathers a mass of fans to benefit good causes. Activities include interactive games against players, meet and greets, shots-on-goal, a dunk tank and more. 1:30pm. $15-$65. Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St. wellsfargocenterphily.com
Monday, January 27
Career Wardrobe Work It!
Career Wardrobe hosts a networking and makeover workshop aimed at unemployed or underemployed women of Philadelphia. The workshop features one-on-one networking preparation, social media profile help and professional outfit advice and makeovers. 9am. Free. Career Wardrobe, 21 S. 12th St. careerwardrobe.org/workit
Ransom Riggs: Hollow City
Author, filmmaker and photographer Ransom Riggs recently released the second installation of his bestselling Miss Peregrine series, Hollow City. The novel is a mix of young adult fantasy and vintage photography, weaving a tale of eerie young children with strange powers. 7:30pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. freelibrary.org
Tuesday, January 28
Who Got the Jazz: A Tribute to Lee Morgan
The Philadelphia Jazz Project strives to keep Philadelphia’s legacy as a jazz town alive and thriving, bringing great music to local communities through innovative programming. Tonight, PJP joins forces with Veteran Freshman don Yusef Muhammad to launch the monthly “Who Got the Jazz,” a live melding of jazz and hip-hop. Local trumpeter Tony Smith will pay tribute to late, great Philly native Lee Morgan alongside wordsmiths including E-Hos, Tiger Lily and Jacqueline Constance, their interpretations of Morgan’s celebrated repertoire presented with the PJP’s stellar house band.
Born and raised here in the late 1930s, Morgan began displaying musical prowess early, receiving a trumpet for his 13th birthday. By the age of 18, he’d joined Dizzy Gillespie’s band, and, after being signed to the famed Blue Note Records, was featured on John Coltrane’s now-classic Blue Train in 1957. Morgan’s performance and composition proficiency solidified an opportunity to join renowned percussionist Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers, launching him into more commercial success. All in all, the brilliant young Morgan released anywhere between three to five albums a year through various imprints throughout the ‘60s before his shooting death at age 33.
“I have been a part of other projects sponsored by the Philadelphia Jazz Project, and I’m extremely grateful that they are trying to continue this musical legacy,” says musical director Nimrod Speaks, citing Morgan as an artistic influence. “It just helps all around to have an outlet, a performance venue for local artists to continue to pass the torch.” / K.A.
8pm. $10-$12. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. philly.worldcafelive.com
Drama about a deaf man living silently among his family—who talk a lot, but don’t listen very well. It’s not until he falls in love with a young woman on the brink of deafness that he fully appreciates what it means to be understood. 3pm. $59. Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 S. Broad St. 215.985.0420. philadelphiatheatrecompany.org
Louisville, Ky., post-hardcore natives return to Philly for a two-night showcase in advance of the release of their newest record. Tuesday night’s gig features the band playing their forthcoming album Easy Pain in its entirety, with support from locals Fight Amp. 8pm. $12-$15. Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St. bootandsaddlephilly.com
Wednesday, January 29
Clement Layes’ humorous blend of philosophy and dance marks this one-man show. Layes balances a full glass of water on his head throughout the performance while regaling the audience with his take on the absurdities of life. 8pm. $12-$15. Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N. American St. 267.521.2473 birdbirdbird.org
Stories of Trauma and PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder affects millions of Americans, and treatment has been an evolving process throughout the decades. Join a panel of experts as they discuss the causes, effects and treatment solutions for trauma survivors. 7pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. freelibrary.org
Out of Town
Arms and the Man
George Bernard Shaw’s classic war commentary returns to the Players Club stage for the first time since 1956. Premiering originally in the late 1800’s, Arms and the Man details the fallacies of war and humanity through biting comedy. Through Jan. 25. $8-$15. Players Club of Swarthmore, 614 Fairview Rd., Swarthmore. 866.811.4111. pcstheater.org
Greek Winter Feast
For those of the Greek persuasion, or anyone who enjoys the region’s food—this special weekend festival is a treat. Traditional Greek fare will be featured, including gyros, shish-ke-bob, pasticho, baklava and more. Fri., Jan. 24-Sun., Jan. 26. Free. Holy Trinity Church, 7004 Ridge Ave., Egg Harbor Township, N.J. 609.653.8092. holytrinityeggharbor.com
Mike Tyson’s Undisputed Truth
Regardless of your opinion of the man, Mike Tyson’s story is a fascinating one. His travels from extreme poverty to worldwide superstardom include some intriguing life stories. Now, Tyson’s reflective one-man show is directed by Spike Lee. Sat., Jan. 25, 9pm. $65-$105. Caesars, 2100 Pacific Ave, Atlantic City, N.J. caesarsac.com
Tolkien’s Shadow: The Darker Side of Fantasy Literature
This ongoing course hosted by the Center for Civic Leadership and Responsibility takes a look at the darkness in fantasy literature in a modern context. This week’s inaugural class focuses on J.R.R. Tolkien and his fantasy epics. Tues., Jan. 28, 6:30pm. $25. Camden County College, Madison Hall 105, College Drive, Blackwood, N.J. camdencc.edu
Compiled by Jake Abbate, Drew O’Meara and Daniel Gelb.