Things to Do in Philadelphia This Weekend
Watch a movie, listen to some local bands, support your favorite book shop, etc.
As the quarantine continues, you may find you need a little social distancing from TV news and Facebook. It’s good to stay informed but, you know, there’s a limit. So here, in this space usually reserved for suggestions of places to go, are some recommendations of things to do when you’re not supposed to go anywhere.
At the intersection of pop culture and nerdery you’ll find Philadelphia funny man Chris Cummins in an E.T. shirt handing out Archie comics. This weekend he hosts another live weird livestream/DJ set. Last week he led viewers through an old, weird Star Trek choose-your-own adventure book. No idea what he’s got cooking this time.
Friday, 8 p.m., free.
Obviously, best-selling, Hugo-award-winning sci-fi superstar author N.K. Jemisin can’t tour behind her new “glorious fantasy,” The City We Became. The price of this virtual reading — “hosted” by Main Point Books of Wayne, PA — includes a copy of the new one plus a signed nameplate sent to your home. Jemisin got the New Yorker treatment in January.
Friday, 6:30-8 p.m., $32.
Cabin Fever Live
Germantown’s Phase Five Records presents a live (streamed) concert featuring quick performances by Thanny & Tracey, Carman Bryant, Douglas Payne, Tony Shoshyn Gilmore, Melanie Marikka Hunter, DJ Dr Love, DJ Wells and King’s Puppets.
Friday, 7:30 p.m., free.
The Philly singer-songwriter celebrates the release of his new record, a description of the inaccuracies between the iris and the mind. As evidenced by his Bandcamp his previous releases, Fausnacht is a skilled performer of rustic acoustic blues and folk. Lovely stuff.
Friday, 7-8 p.m., free.
Drew Nugent & the Midnight Society
Nugent and co. perform old favorites from the roaring ’20s. “Piano tunes, trumpet, and tweed abound while you enjoy your virtual cocktail hour from home.”
Friday, 9-11 p.m., $5.
Cabaret Sauvignon: Quarantine Edition
Lili St Queer performs “the home edition” of her fun, funny piano cabaret party.
Friday, 6-8 p.m., free.
Making Time X Klip Transcendental Social Distancing™ Experience
For decades, the Philly DJ/party planner Dave P. has made it his business to gather strangers together in close quarters to dance and sweat. Obviously, that’s off the table right now, but this virtual iteration of his popular, long-running Making Time series — in which Mr. P. and Ricardo Rivera of Klip Collective livestream from Brooklyn for a long, long time on Saturday night — should be something else.
Saturday, 9 p.m.-2 a.m., free.
Veteran singer-songwriters Ben Arnold and Matt Muir are going live on Sunday afternoon.
Sunday, 1:30-2:30 p.m., free.
He’s not local, but who cares. The Death Cab for Cutie frontman has been performing casual live streams nightly. The sets are usually just under an hour and have included interesting covers along with Death Cab and Postal Service favorites.
Daily, 7 p.m., free.
For the most up-to-date non-local livestream info, I’ve been keeping an eye on this page at Brooklyn Vegan.
Reading is a useful distraction right now. I’m currently working my way through Rebecca Makkai’s excellent 2019 novel The Great Believers. Highly recommended. If you’re looking at your bookshelf and not finding something that fits your mood, you do have options:
As you might imagine, independent book shops are suffering right now (and it’s hard to imagine they were rolling in cash before all this). There is something you can do about it. While Queen Village’s Brickbat Books’ brick-and-mortar location is locked down, their Instagram is buzzing. Individual books are being posted all day long and if you see something you like you can write in to claim it. Then they’ll either flat-rate ship it to you or come up with a plan for you to pick it up.
The longstanding Book Trader in Old City, meanwhile, is encouraging you to purchase books and gift cards
to help support the shop and its staff until they can open their doors.
Same goes for Harriet’s on East Girard Avenue, which just opened in January. If you can, buy a gift card or place an order to support them, or whichever local book shop is your favorite.
Maintained by UPenn, the Online Books Page is a running list of books and short stories available for free on the web. You can also check out Project Gutenberg, the HathiTrust Digital Library, Librivox and of course Archive.org. And then there’s the free eBooks subreddit, if you’re feeling frugal and adventurous.
Movies & TV (aka non-live streams)
CBS All Access
The, uh, under-popular major network streaming service is now offering one free month to see if they can hook ya when you got nowhere else to go. CBS All Access’s original programming includes Picard, Star Trek Discovery and Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone.
Full Movies on YouTube
Just a useful rundown of free, streaming movies.