What To Do Tonight

Victor's Picks for Tuesday: Music from Sweden, New Zealand, and a little place called New Jersey

I may not own a single Bon Jovi recording, but do I rock out whenever I’m in the car and “Wanted Dead Or Alive” comes on the radio? Damn straight I do. True, you will have to sit through a few songs from his more recent catalog when he begins his two-night run at the Wachovia Center tonight, but it will all seem worth it when you’ve got a beer in your hand and are screaming “I’ve seen a million faces, and I rocked them all!” The shows were more or less sold out, but a bunch of tickets were recently released, from $12 (yes, twelve bucks!) to $132, but they’re going fast.

If you’re looking for something a bit more, er, modern, you’ll have to head to one of two shows in Fishtown. Johnny Brenda’s hosts Sweden’s Little Dragon ($12), an outfit that tends to lurk in the ambient/soundscape/electronic realm with a few twists here and there and with ethereal vocals by Yukimi Nagano. Go here for a taste and check out this ABC News review of the band’s recent performance in Detroit. But the award for farthest traveled has to go to the psychedelic Surf City and moody one-woman act Bachelorette ($10), here all the way from New Zealand. They’re at Kung Fu Necktie. Man, I can’t even imagine what Fishtown-under-the-El looks like to a Kiwi.

But really your best bet is to come to the monthly First Person Story Slam at L’Etage, which is where I’ll be because I’m hosting it. If you still haven’t been to one of these things, here’s the deal: basically, contestants get on stage and tell 5 minute (or less) true stories about themselves in keeping with a theme (this month it’s “gifts”), and then they are scored, cheered, booed, whatever. When you get there, you can sign up to tell a story or judge, or, if it’s your first time, you can just sit in the corner and drink. While this might not sound like the most raucous night in Philadelphia, you should know that it actually is a great time (don’t hold the inclusion of the word “slam” against it, because in a steel caged death match, the Story Slam would kick the Poetry Slam’s ass every time) and that it sells out (almost) every month, so get there early. Doors at 7:30 p.m. $10.

Finally, if you’re sequestered to the (distant) suburbs, try the Stoudts beer dinner at Downingtown’s Firecreek Restaurant. $65 gets you a four-course meal and lots of beer (including new Karnival Kolsch) from the venerable Adamstown brewery. —Victor Fiorillo

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