Huffman Road Band at Club Cafe; Improv Hosts Lil Duval (CPs Fri.,1/3/2014)

1) The Huffman Road Band might have folk rock instrumentation and its singer/songwriter Brandon Sensor a tendency towards downer sentiments (even his ode to his home state has the morbid chorus of “bury me in Pennsylvania”), but don’t be mistaken; these guys know how to put on a show. The six-member local band has a big enough sound to fill up a stage, and they have been known to swallow their seriousness for a few minutes to cover “Ice Ice Baby.” With groups like Of Monsters and Men and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes proving the liveliness of large folk rock ensembles, it might be The Huffman Road Band’s time. They play Club Café tonight after opening sets from Porno Tongue and Broke, Stranded, and Ugly. 9 p.m. 56-58 S. 12th St., South Side.

2) Five-foot-two Lil Duval has a pleasing singing voice, reminiscent of Cody Chesnutt’s. It actually comes in handy for his take-no-prisoners standup comedy routine in which he belts out numbers like “B*tch, You Mine: The Stalker’s Anthem.” You might recognize the coolly cynical Duval as an opening act for Cedric the Entertainer or (if you have one of those 700-channel cable packages) as host of MTV2’s Ain’t That America, where he and a panel play viral internet videos and make cracks about them. The Florida-based comedian will be at the Improv for a three-day stint that starts tonight. Maybe he’ll talk about “guy code violations” or all the ways in which “women be crazy.” 8 and 10:15 p.m. 166 E. Bridge St., Homestead.

3) If the end of the holiday season and the prospect of another long, cold Pennsylvania winter makes it seem like you’ll have nothing to celebrate until the brain cell massacre that is St. Patrick’s Day, keep in mind that it’s now prime ski season and Hidden Valley is just 50 miles from the city. The place has gorgeous hills, equipment rentals, lessons for beginners, and a few fine pubs/restaurants on site for post-ski imbibing. Go ahead; give into the temptation to use one of your annual allotment of vacation days on the third day of the new year. One Craighead Dr., Hidden Valley.

4) Every Friday, the entertainment options explode at Arsenal Lanes as the Lawrenceville bowling alley brings in a DJ and a karaoke machine to double as a nightclub. Also, one price gets you all the games you and your friends can play until the 1 a.m. closing time. 9 p.m. 212 44th St.