Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Music this week

Live music and more, tonight through Thursday, compiled by Tom Di Nardo, Shaun Brady, Sara Sherr, Jonathan Takiff and Damon C. Williams.


Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds: Last week's cover boy plays his second show in the area, mixing up those many hits (personal and recorded by others) with his favorite '70s singer-songwriter fare by the likes of James Taylor and Jim Croc - the focus of Kenny's revealing new album. Keswick Theatre, Easton Road and Keswick Ave., Glenside, 8 tonight, $55, 215-572-7650,


Rasputina: Goth rock rarely comes as rad or sophisticated as this oddly costumed, musically demanding, go-for-baroque group fronted by singer/cellist Melora Creager. For this sit down (the band and you), they'll feature material from the new "Oh Perilous World" CD which takes dark inspiration from the utterances of Osama Bin Laden and the downfall of Fallujah, with an odd, over-riding theme of Mary Todd Lincoln as Queen of Florida. Trocadero, 10th and Arch Streets, 8 p.m., $16, 215-922-LIVE,

Carsie Blanton: This smart, sly singer/songwriter really jumped out of the talent crowd at the Philly Folk Festival last summer. Great voice, terrific tunes. Lend her your ears! Milkboy Acoustic Cafe, 824 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, 7 tonight, free, 215-527-0690,

The Roches: Nobody swings "The Hallelujah Chorus" and "We Three Kings" like the sisters Maggie, Terre and Suzzy. Special guest: Lucy Wainwright Roche. Sellersville Theater, Main and Temple Streets, Sellersville, 8 tonight, $33, 215-257-5808,

Marah: Philly-rooted rockers have so much holiday spirit, they've put out two albums of seasonal fare ("NY is a Christmas Kind of Town" and "Counting The Days") And for this, their third annual Christmas Extravaganza on South Street, they'll feature both classic and original songs of the season, with help from Adam and Dave's Bloodline and the three piece girl group The Shalitas. The Fillmore at TLA, 334 South St., 9 tonight, $20, 215-336-2000,

Alejandro Escovedo: This singular talent has cut special niches in rock and rootsy Americana music. This time, he's performing in an acoustic quartet setting. Old timey string musician Martha Scanlan opens. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., 7:30 tonight, $22, 215-222-1400,

Jingle Jam: Get it on with Trey Songz, Sammie, Myxx, B5, Playaz Circle, Yung Berg, Lloyd and Crime Family. Liacouris Center, Cecil B. Moore and Broad Sts., 7:30 p.m. tonight, $27-$42, 215-298-4200,

Cake: Airy, playful folk-tinged rockers are always baking up something good. Their latest set "B-Sides and Rarities" even attempts "Strangers in the Night" and Black Sabbath's "War Pigs." And their "Unlimited Sunshine" tour landing at this acoustically sound and comfortable 2,500 seat auditorium also will welcome sets by Oakley Hall, Brazilian Girls, King City and Agent Ribbons. Commerce Bank Arts Center, 519 Hurffvile-Crosskeys Road, Sewell, N.J. 7 p.m. Saturday, $35, 215-336-20000 or 856-256-8660

Fiction Plane: Family ties got this polished, London-based rock trio onto the tour with The Police. Hint: the handsome lead singer/guitarist's name is Joe Sumner. But we're betting these guys will have a lot more fun - and find a more responsive audience - at their own, intimate gig. Surgeon and Clamor share the bill, Khyber, 56 S. 2nd St., 9 p.m. Saturday, $10. 215-238-5888,

Trans-Siberian Orchestra: If you're a fan of grandiose "classical rock" bands of yore, you'll relish the pomp and circumstance of this troupe, singing and telling their own rock opera "legends" of XMAS. Wachovia Center, 3601 S. Broad St. 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, $39.50-$50.50, 215-298-4200,

Hot Tuna: They blew out the longstanding Thanksgiving eve concert tradition this year, but better warmed over Tuna than two week old turkey. Keswick Theatre, Easton Road and Keswick Ave., Glenside. 8 p.m. Saturday, $29-$34, 215-572-7650,

RRIICCEE: Vincent Gallo has won acclaim as an actor, writer and director of films like "Buffalo 66" and "The Brown Bunny." He's also had a musical career going on the side - with solo albums and as part of the no-wave musical group Gray (a collaboration with the late Jean-Michael Basquiat.) Now he's aiming to break on through to the other side with RRIICCEE, an experimental, spontaneous quartet collaboration co-fronted by Erick Erlandson, the former guitarist and founding member of Hole. They don't perform "pre-written" tunes and do not limit themselves to one specic genre, but we hear the stuff will be on the quiet side as RRIICCEE simmers. Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 9 p.m. Sunday, $20, 215-739-9684,

Todd Rundgren: Hello, it's he! This wizard and true star - originally from Upper Darby - has decades of grand and interesting pop rock music to draw upon. Yet given his restless, experimental nature, how can Toddy fail to lay some newbies on us, too? World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 7:30 P.M. Sunday, $35-$40, 215-222-1400,

Crystal Gayle: Country star a-lights with her favorite Christmas faves. Sellersville Theater, Main and Temple Sts., Sellersville, 3 & 7:30 p.m. Sunday, $45, 257-5808,

Michidelphia Pre-Winter Folk Festival: Come out for Hezekiah Jones, Anthony Fiumano, Chris Bathgate, Spinning Leaves, Misty Lyn, Matt Jones, Butane Variations and Jim Roll. The Fire, 412 W. Girard Ave., 8 p.m. Saturday, $7, 267-671-9298,

The Tiger Lillies: Accordian playing Martyn Jacques brings his Brecht/Weill influenced British band to town for a dark, theatrically charged take on the holiday called "Suicide for Christmas." Same night, same stage catch "Our Hollow Earth," a cabaret piece directed by Geoff Sobelle with songs by Bradford Trojan about a nautical cult journeying into the center of our planet. The Fillmore at TLA, 334 South St. 7 p.m. Wedneday, $25, 215-336-2000,

Carbon Leaf: Jam-tastic Virginia quintet have opened for the likes of John Mayer and Dave Matthews, which gives a notion of their kindred, sensitive new age guy nature. Get ready to move and groove, as they're taking out all the seats for this one. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, $15, 215-222-1400,

Straylight Run: Ex-Taking Back Sunday players John Nolan and Shaun Cooper, plus John's sister Michelle DeRosa and drummer Will Noon comprise this popular, piano-centric indie rock band. The Color Fred share the bill. Trocadero, 10th and Arch Sts, 7 p.m. Thursday, $14-$16, 215-922-LIVE.

Wishbone Ash: Who knew this British blues, jazz, folk 'n rock fusing band was still in existence - with original guitarist Andy Powell keeping the name and genre-fusing style alive? Sellersville Theater, Main and Temple Streets, Sellersville, 8 p.m. Thursday, $29.50, 215-257-5808,


Klingon Klez: A futuristic take on an age-old tradition, Philly's Klingon Klez gives a rock, funk, sci-fi twist to Klezmer music. The group is led by Jack Kessler, who sang Jewish liturgical music as a Cantor for 20 years before remaking himself as "the Jewish Sun Ra." Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th St. & Ben Franklin Parkway, 5:45 and 7:15 tonight, free with regular museum admission of $14, 215-763-8100,



Luciana Souza: Brazilian-American singer Luciana Souza has Bossa Nova in her blood, born into a family of composers in Sao Paulo. The music has almost from its beginnings been a North/South American hybrid, but with her latest CD, "The New Bossa Nova," Souza puts the Bossa spin on tunes by songwriters like Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, and Paul Simon. Gordon Theater, Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts, 3rd and Pearl Sts., Camden, 8 p.m. tomorrow, $20, 856-225-2700,

Bill O'Connell & Triple Play: Pianist Bill O'Connell has served as accompanist, arranger and composer with renowned flutist Dave Valentin for 20 years, and now gets the favor returned as Valentin joins him in this trio, completed by percussionist Richie Flores. Chris' Jazz Café, 1421 Sansom St., 8 and 10 p.m. tomorrow, $15, 215-568-3131,

Gerald Veasley: Philly native Veasley is a chameleonic bassist, applying his funky chops in straightahead, fusion and contemporary contexts. The part-time WJJZ DJ will be celebrating the holidays in a smooth jazz mode, though, inviting vocalist Maysa, guitarist Chuck Loeb, pianist Bobby Lyle and saxophonist Kim Waters along for his "Jazzy Christmas Celebration." Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center, Broad & Spruce Sts., 8 p.m. Tuesday, $34-$65, 215-893-1999,

The Engines: A quartet comprised of some of Chicago's most innovative improvisers, The Engines can shift from 0 to 60 – or, sparse, textured sound to hard-driving blowing – in no time flat. The group consists of trombonist Jeb Bishop, saxophonist Dave Rempis, bassist Nate McBride, and drummer Tim Daisy. Philadelphia Art Alliance, 251 S. 18th St., 8 p.m. Tuesday, $12,


Tastytreats: Esteemed DJ Mike Nyce holds down the turntable duties on a weekly basis for this event, but it's a love two-punch combination when Roots DJ ?uestloev shows up, as he is expected to this weekend. Either way, expect to hear those rare breaks and grooves. Fluid Nightclub, 613 S. 4th. St., 11 p.m. tomorrow, $7, 215-629-0565,



The Story of the Wu-Tang Clan: With several internal beefs brewing between the eight members of the history-making rap group, and well ahead of the release of their latest album, "The 8 Diagrams," local filmmaker Mike Dennis brings the world the story of this Staten Island-based super-group. If that's not enough, Dennis will also screen "Chief Rocker Busy Bee: The Architect Vol. 1," for a great double feature. International House, 3701 Chestnut St., 7 p.m. Tuesday, $7, 215-895-6542.


Marian Anderson Prize Recital: Winners of the recent competition show their talents in this free concert. The performers are baritone Jonathan Beyer (first prize), soprano Joyce El-Khoury (second prize), soprano Layla Claire (third prize) and soprano Janinah Burnett (Marian Anderson Legacy Award). Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center, 7:30 p.m., free but tickets required, 215-735-6999,



Handel's "Messiah:" The annual sing-along of the seasonal oratorio, led by Jeffrey Brillhart, features the Singing City Choir, the Northeast High School Concert Choir, the Upper Darby High School Encore Singers, the Fred J. Cooper organ and you. Bring your voice and your score. Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center, 7:30 p.m. tonight, $20, 215-893-1999,

Tempesta di Mare: Alessandro Scarlatti's cantatas and instrumental music are presented in a program titled "Ain't Love Grand" by this splendid baroque ensemble, joined by soprano Clara Rottsolk. Trinity Espiscopal Church, Route 320 and College Avenue in Swarthmore, 8 p.m. tonight, and Old St. Joseph's Church, 321 Willings Alley, 8 p.m. tomorrow, $10-$35, 215-755-8776,

Choral Society of Montgomery County: Louis Scaglione leads the chorus in Haydn's "Missa Sancti Nicolai" and Saint-Saens' "Oratorio de Noel." Montgomery County Community Concert, 340 DeKalb Pike in Blue Bell, 8 p.m. Saturday, $15, 215-641-6518,

Peter Nero and the Philly Pops: "Holiday Pops" has become an annual tradition, expanding to nine performances this season. Nero has invited famed dancers Olga Pavlova and Yevgeni Anfinogenov to the celebration, along with vocalist Lisa Howard, the Pops Festival Chorus and the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir. Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center, 1 p.m. Sunday and 8 p.m. Wednesday plus performances through December 23, $26-$100, 215-893-1999,

Curtis Chamber Orchestra: Joseph Silverstein conducts Faure's elegant suite from "Pelleas et Melisande" and Mozart's final symphonic miracle, the "Jupiter" (No. 41). Alumnus Anthony McGill, now principal clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera, solos. Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center, 3 p.m. Sunday, $22, 215-569-8080,

Germantown Oratorio Choir and Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia: Annual performance of Handel's "Messiah," led by new music director David Daugherty. First Presbyterian Church in Germantown, 25 W. Chelten Avenue, 3 p.m. Sunday, free-will offering, 215-843-8811,

Wister String Quartet: Esteemed local ensemble will offer a program of Russian quartet gems by Rachmaninoff (G Major), Shostakovich (No. 2) and Borodin (No. 2. German Society of Philadelphia, 611 Spring Garden St., 3 p.m. Sunday, $20, 215-627-2332,

Vox Ama Deus: The group's Renaissance Consort performs Renaissance Christmas music by Machaut, Dufay, Des Pres and more. St. Katherine of Siena Church, Lancaster and Aberdeen Avenues in Wayne, 5 p.m. Sunday, $10, 610-688-2800,

Barbara Govatos and Marcantonio Barone: Renowned Philadelphia Orchestra violinist Govatos, performing on her 1619 Amati instrument, and busy local pianist Barone, complete their three-program retrospective of the Beethoven sonatas. They'll perform Op. 30/3, Op. 96 and Op. 47, the famous "Kreutzer" Sonata. Lang Concert Hall at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, free, 610-690-3489.

1807 and Friends: The Wister String Quartet performs the Rachmaninoff G Major and the Second Quartets by both Shostakovich and Borodin. Academy of Vocal Arts, 1920 Spruce Street, 7:30 p.m. Monday, $17, 215-438-4027.

Guarneri String Quartet: This revered ensemble plays two of Beethoven's most famous quartets, the Op. 74 "Harp," and the Op. 130, including the colossal Op. 133 Grosse Fuge. Pennsylvania Convention Center Auditorium, 13th and Cherry Streets, Room 114, 8 p.m. Tuesday, $22.50, 215-569-8080,

Academy Of Vocal Arts: Vocal coach and pianist Ghenady Meirson leads 13 of the Academy's gifted young artists in an evening of Russian art songs from Glinka to works by contemporary composers. Helen Corning Warden Theater, 1920 Spruce St., 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, $23, 215-735-1685,

Monica Groop: The glorious artistry of Finnish soprano returns with songs by Schubert, Schumann, Mahler, Bartok and Grieg, plus cabaret songs by Schoenberg. Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center, 8 p.m. Wednesday, $22.50, 215-569-8080,

Philadelphia Orchestra: Conductor Antonio Pappano, head of at London's Covent Garden opera house and Rome's Santa Cecilia Orchestra, makes his podium debut here in Glinka's Overture to "Russlan and Lyudmila" and Rachmaninoff's resplendent Second Symphony. Macedonian-born pianist Simon Trpceski, who has made a few stunning CDs, also debuts in the virtuosic Prokofiev Third Piano Concerto. 8 p.m. Thursday and Dec. 15 plus 2 p.m. Dec. 14, $38-$113, 215-893-1999,


Puppet Uprising: Looking for unusual holiday gifts and entertainment? This year-end cabaret and cheap art bazaar features puppeteers from around the country and tons of crafts by local vendors. Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St., 7:30 p.m. tonight and tomorrow, free, all ages, 215-573-3234,


The Sword: Heavy stoner metal band from Austin heads up much of the same with the Thin Lizzy-esque Valient Thorr, doom-core group Black Cobra, and Priestbird side project Lapdogs of Satan (the best name on the bill). First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., 7:30 tonight, $12, all ages, 267-765-5210

Pink Reason: One of the loud and proud members of the renewed Siltbreeze stable joins labelmates Psychedelic Horsesh-t, folk chanteuse Tickley Feather, and War on Drugs' Kurt Vile. Copy Gallery, 319 N. 11th St., 9 tonight, $5, all ages, 215-694-8656,

The Dirty Projectors: The beloved lo-fi freak-folk group return with Pattern is Movement and Soft People. Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9 tonight, $10, 215-739-9684,

The Motorettes: These Motown punk cuties rock Amy Winehouse hairdo's and sassy girl group soul. With Thee Minks, Son of a Gun, and Mr. Unloved. The Fire, 412 W. Girard Ave., 9:45 tonight, $7, 267-671-9298,

B.C. Camplight: Philly native, London-loved, City Paper coverboy, and eccentric pop genius joins Audible, Buried Beds, and Girl Friday. Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9 p.m. tomorrow, $8, 215-739-9684,

Whiskey Livin: Part of a punk-and-roll bill at a South Philly diner with The Feathertops, Trainwreck Blues, and The Shock. Diner at the Plaza, Front Street and Snyder Avenue, 9:30 p.m. tomorrow, $5, all ages, 215-755-7899,

For the Girls: The Bawdy Girls' Jenny Balls, The Hellcat Girls Burlesque Troupe, DJ Psydde Delicious, and many others host a Rock & Roll Carnival to benefit Andrea Collins Smith, a mother of six currently battling inflammatory breast cancer. The Barbary, 951 Frankford Ave., 8 p.m. Sunday, $10, 215-426-7100,

We Are Wolves: Yet another wolf band, this one from Montreal with a Suicide-influenced, organ-heavy, electro sound. They're joined by DJ Julian Grefe's Pink Skull. Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 8 p.m. Wednesday, $10, 215-739-9684,

Fern Knight: Margie Wink's magical freak folk group unveils its third album, produced by Greg Weeks of The Espers/Valerie Project. They're joined by White Magic, whose Mira Billotte just appeared on the soundtrack to "I'm Not There." Relay side project Arc in Round opens. Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9 p.m. Thursday, $10, 215-739-9684,