They identify with the "No Depression" Americana music movement, but there's little that's depressing about the Avett Brothers. With strummy banjo often their lead instrument and cheery harmonizing as their natural vocal preference, this North Carolina trio will have you smiling even when they're suffering "Paranoia in Bb Major" or gently detailing "All My Mistakes" - tunes from their delightful new album, "Emotionalism."
I hear the rootsiness of the Everly Brothers, the quirky folk punk of Violent Femmes and Jonathan Richman, plus a nice nod or two to "Rubber Soul"-era Beatles and "Wild Horses"-riding Rolling Stones in the Brothers' folk/bluegrass/acoustic rock amalgam. This is backporch music with the backbone to work in even a big rock hall like the Troc, where the guys will perform tonight in the company of homegrown acoustic eccentric Langhorne Slim. Oh, and if you feel like buying the Avetts' disc, there'll be a Philadelphia-only, limited-edition on sale, designed by front man Scott Avett, to mark this record release party.
Trocadero, 10th and Arch, 8 tonight, $22, $29 with limited-edition CD, 215-922-LIVE, www.thetroc.com.
- Jonathan Takiff
Even though the dance-punk trend is about seven years old and kind of played-out, !!! (pronounced chk-chk-chk) is anything but retread. The sprightly Sacramento ensemble can fill any dance floor with addictive chants, rolling bass lines and rhythms that are part Talking Heads and part King Sunny Ade. Their third effort, "Myth Takes" (Warp), moves in interesting new directions that never betray the groove. Opening is Holy F-k, a like-minded improvisational electronic group from Toronto.
Fillmore at the TLA, 334 South St., 8 p.m. Thursday, $16-$18, 215-922-1011, www.livenation.com.
- Damon C. Williams
Any discussion of reggae royalty usually opens with the late Bob Marley, his wife, Rita, and sons Ziggy, Stephen, Julian, Ky-Mani, Rohan and Damian, and daughters Stephanie and Cedella.
When Stephen and Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley take the stage tomorrow, fans will be treated to the authentic Marley soundscape that blends wailing acoustic reggae with touches of the harder dancehall sound.
Damian scored a massive crossover hit with 2005's "Welcome to Jamrock" and its colossal eponymous single, which still gets major airplay. Older sibling Stephen started off with Ziggy & the Melody Makers and has lent his musical support to a number of Marley-related releases. Somalian rapper K'naan joins in for this set.
Fillmore at the TLA, 334 South St., 8 p.m. tomorrow, $23, $25 day of, 215-922-1011, www.livenation.com.
- Damon C. Williams
Sometimes two people are just meant to find each other. That may or may not be true in romance, but it certainly seems to be the case for improvising musicians. Violist/violinist Tanya Kalmanovitch and pianist Myra Melford met at the 2003 Guelph International Jazz Festival in Ontario, Canada, and something obviously clicked. Four years later, they've released their first duo CD, "Heart Mountain."
Canadian-born Kalmanovitch and Chicagoan Melford came to jazz via classical music, hence the elegance of their duet work. But though the two dance an elegant pas de deux, their spins accelerate along the edge of the stage with risky abandon.
Rose Recital Hall, Fisher-Bennett Hall, Room 419, University of Pennsylvania, 34th and Walnut streets, 8 p.m. Tuesday, $10, www.arsnovaworkshop.com.
- Shaun Brady
For the Philadelphia Orchestra's last program of the season, music director Christoph Eschenbach has invited celebrated German baritone Matthias Goerne to perform. The unusual program features eight Schubert songs, plus Beethoven's "Egmont" Overture (replacing a new work by Oliver Knussen, rescheduled for the 2008-2009 season) and Brahms' First Symphony. The orchestra departs on its American tour soon, but Eschenbach and Goerne play a recital before leaving town. (See listings.)
Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 2 p.m. today and 8 p.m. tomorrow, $10-$84, 215-893-1999, www.philorch.org.