Sunday, 2/14: El Perro Del Mar, World Cafe Live, $15, All Ages
Sweden’s own Sarah Assbring (yes, Assbring) is El Perro Del Mar, an appropriately sweet n’ salty lo-fi act that is taking the girls-with-pixie-cuts scene by storm. It’s the perfect set up for a night of Valentine’s celebration — her softspoken charm in a fantastically low-lit venue without the inconvenience of having to cross the Schuylkill.
Monday, 2/15: Nite Jewel, Kung Fu Necktie, $11, 21+
Isn’t it awesome that so many girl-groups have been totally SHUTTING IT DOWN lately? Feminism! V-Day! Vagina Monologues! Get in the spirit of the season and go see Nite Jewel. They sound like they were lifted directly out of the late ‘70s and brought here to remind us of just how great those heady days of disco really were.
Wednesday, 2/17: Fucked Up with Kurt Vile and the Violators, The Barbary, $12, 21+
Drawing on a diverse array of punk influences, Fucked Up does an extremely good job of playing music that you want to get (their name) to. The real draw though is their Matador Records compadre and Philly local, Kurt Vile. Though his name suggests some sort of ungodly death metal act, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that his spaced out, beautiful guitar and earnest vocals make for some of the best sad-bro tunes since Elliott Smith.
Wednesday, 2/17: Kings of Convenience, TLA, $22, All Ages
Continuing in the vein of modest lo-fi acts, allow us to present Kings of Convenience. Their Simon and Garfunkel-ian style runs the gamut from dance-y to downright muted, so pretend you’re in a Sofia Coppola movie and take some Polaroids to complete the experience.
Wednesday, 2/17, Pink Skull, Johnny Brenda’s, $10. 21+
If you’re feeling up for a jittery night of filthy dancing, make your way to Fishtown to tweak out with Philadelphia’s Pink Skull, a DJ who is unwilling to let your feet rest. His heavy, squeaky style brings the best of the industrial and electronic worlds together.
Friday, 2/12: Michael & Michael Have Issues Live, Trocadero, $24, All Ages
Comedians Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter take to the stage with all of the misanthropy, jealousy and personal shortcomings that made their show a hit on Comedy Central. Though the long time duo won’t be performing in cutoffs and retro gym socks a la Wet Hot American Summer, the schadenfreude that characterizes their bit will have you in stitches and plotting against your own frenemies.
Now — 2/21: InterAct Theatre Company: City of Numbers — Mixtape of a City, Adrienne Theatre, $25 — $29
Originating with a collaboration between InterAct and the Mural Arts Program, City of Numbers was created by playwright Sean Christopher Lewis as part of an outreach effort in which he interviewed inmates in the program. The show has grown into a poignant and relevant tapestry of stories that connects Philadelphians from convicted murderers to victims’ relatives to Mayor Michael Nutter.
Now — February: Gorky in New York, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, free with museum admission
Though his retrospective may have closed three weeks ago, there is still time to catch Gorky in New York. This collection of writings, drawings and paintings by Arshile Gorky, composed while the Armenian painter was embedded in the New York Avant-Garde of the 1920s, includes everything from Gorky’s early works that referenced the styles of early modernists, to dreamlike and sketchy figurative abstractions.
Now — 4/18: Body Worlds II & the Brain, The Franklin Institute, Students $16.75 — 24.75
Remember that creepy goth kid in your AP Biology class that put the frog dissection on his calendar and got a maniacal glint in his eye when your teacher handed him a scalpel? Gunther von Hagens is that kid grown up, but his morbid fascination with human preservation brought us Body Worlds II, the exhibition that gives viewers a glimpse at every muscle and capillary inside real cadavers.