Friday, 8 p.m.
421 N. Seventh St.
This Virginia band’s name is an acronym for “Multi-sensory Aesthetic Experience.” That makes them sound like some kind of sonic art installation, but they’re actually a power pop band with sublime melodies and spiritual leanings. Despite an official breakup in 2010, they’ve played several shows since; this tour celebrates the 10th anniversary of their second record, “The Everglow.”
Gustafer Yellowgold’s Show
Saturday, 11:30 a.m.
World Café Live
3025 Walnut St.
Animator, musician and storyteller Gustafer Yellowgold’s smart and whimsical live show is geared toward kids, but not in the way that drives adults bonkers — in fact, he’s opened for both Wilco and the Polyphonic Spree, and many of his fans have long since graduated elementary school. Any kid who digs this guy now will be a totally cool adult.
Friday and Saturday
Helium Comedy Club
2031 Sansom St.
There’s a punchy, old school quality to Mark Normand’s stand-up jokes, which he delivers with a smooth, snarky tone. He’s got no time for political correctness, and loves to push the envelope into over-the-top crude territory. Nonetheless it’s all in good fun—he just seems to love playing the wiseass, and he’s clever enough to pull it off.
Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
2030 Sansom St.
Part of the Philly Improv Theater’s Dynamite Series, a showcase for innovative comedy projects, this show takes a look in on the ongoing lives of a typical Philadelphia family, striving for realism, right down to the actors being the same age as the characters they’re playing — a welcome change from many TV shows, with their 25-year-old “teens.”
Decadent Gourmet Food Tour
Saturdays and Sundays, ongoing
Meet-up location TBA upon ticket purchase
You may have made some dietary New Year’s resolution, but it still feels like 2014, doesn’t it? Seems like a perfect time to take this epicurean food tour, which includes stops at Reading Terminal Market, DiBruno Bros. and Capogiro Gelato. Chocolate cake truffles, top-shelf falafel, gelato and sorbetto, fine cheeses — it’s all here, and it all sounds delicious.
Winter Bird Census
Saturday, 8 a.m.
Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education
8480 Hagy’s Mill Rd.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn the practice of bird watching — or birding, as it’s known — here’s a chance. You’ll be paired with a seasoned vet who knows the subtle differences between calls and colorings while you enjoy a day in the woods and help the Schuylkill Center pick up information on its winter avian residents.
Cirque de la Symphonie
Saturday and Sunday
300 S. Broad St.
This travelling circus company, with acrobats, jugglers and aerialists, will join the Philadelphia Orchestra for a fusion of circus and orchestral music. The performers synchronize their stunts to the live music, which seems like a whole other stunt in and of itself. They’ll be performing to a broad range of selections, from Tchaikovsky to Leonard Bernstein to John Williams.
ETC Performance Series
Saturday and Sunday
Community Education Center
3500 Lancaster Ave.
This concert is an eclectic set of performances in a range of genres, including music, dance, spoken word and performance art — you can never be sure just what you’ll see, except that it will be original. Previous participants have included Meredith Stapleton, Sean Thomas Boyt, Jill Hockett, Holly Maddoc, Reggie “Tapman” Meyers and companies such as Sattriya Dance and Underground DanceWorks.
Anne Canfield: Fugue State
Through January 11
1108 Pine St.
As the title of this show suggests, Anne Canfield’s paintings evoke a perspective somewhere between waking and dreams. Many feature anonymous middle class suburban landscapes, but she depicts this normally banal scenery with a hyper-saturated brightness and boldness that turns the real surreal, calling to mind that mysterious old nursery rhyme that ends with “Life is but a dream.”
David Lynch: The Unified Field
Through January 11
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
118 N. Broad St.
You’ve got nine days left to check out this exhibition of eccentric filmmaker David Lynch’s paintings and drawings, which includes work from his time as a painting student at PAFA. Overall there are about 90 pieces, spanning nearly five decades. Anyone who enjoys his films will find just as much to love and puzzle at here.
‘Lolita: Slave to Entertainment’
Saturday, 2 p.m.
4014 Walnut St.
Looking for a feel-good movie to start your new year? This 2003 documentary isn’t the one. It tells the story of Lolita, the star performing orca whale at the Miami Seaquarium, alleging a violent capture in the wild and ongoing cruel treatment at the hands of her keepers, including social isolation and an oppressively small tank for a creature her size.
3rd Annual Clubhouse 90’s Singalong Spectacular
Saturday, 8 p.m.
1125 S. 13th St.
There’s a sickness going around, affecting especially people between the ages of 25 and 35 — it’s called 90s nostalgia, and there’s no sure-fire cure, but this party might just work. Put on your best (or worst) 90s fashion and sing your heart out to everything from Nirvana to Hootie. Only one rule: “No one is too cool to sing along with anything.”
Pigeon Poetry Slam: Women of the World Qualifier
Friday, 8:30 p.m.
531 N. 12th St.
Come see some badass woman poets duke it out verbally for a chance to compete in the Women of the World Poetry Slam. The featured performer is Porsha Olayiwola, a 2012 runner-up at that competition. Her bio describes her poetic intentions thusly: “to speak, love, praise, and maintain a cypher that is undocumented, uncontrollable and just plain ole dope.”