POP

They've been a musical phenomenon since 1939, spawned at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind, as still active founding members Clarence Fountain and Jimmy Carter can attest. It wasn't until just four years ago, however, that the Blind Boys of Alabama got around to recording their country-gospel-infused versions of classic Christmas tunes, the CD "Go Tell It On the Mountain." Earthy, invigorating and inspiring, the songs have been met with such intense fervor that the harmony group now feels inspired to go out every annum to sing and shout its praises, including their vital treatments of "Joy to the World" and "Silent Night." For this weekend's show they offer a sneak peak of their next themed album release, "Down In New Orleans."

They've been a musical phenomenon since 1939, spawned at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind, as still active founding members Clarence Fountain and Jimmy Carter can attest. It wasn't until just four years ago, however, that the Blind Boys of Alabama got around to recording their country-gospel-infused versions of classic Christmas tunes, the CD "Go Tell It On the Mountain." Earthy, invigorating and inspiring, the songs have been met with such intense fervor that the harmony group now feels inspired to go out every annum to sing and shout its praises, including their vital treatments of "Joy to the World" and "Silent Night." For this weekend's show they offer a sneak peak of their next themed album release, "Down In New Orleans."

Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce Sts., 8 p.m. Sunday, $35, $42, $50 & $60 ($10 rush tickets are also available 2.5 hours before curtain time, limit one ticket per person), 215-893-1999, www.kimmelcenter.org

- Jonathan Takiff

JAZZ

Philadelphia-born pianist Uri Caine is the Buster Keaton of musical subversion - maintaining a respectable, straight-faced frontwhile dashing frantically through genres with an anarchist''s abandon.

Philadelphia-born pianist Uri Caine is the Buster Keaton of musical subversion - maintaining a respectable, straight-faced frontwhile dashing frantically through genres with an anarchist''s abandon.

The latest in a series of radical rethinkings of classical repertoire, "Uri Caine Ensemble Plays Mozart" blows the dust off of centuries of stuffed-shirt respect to uncover the vital irreverence at the heart of this music. The familiar melodies are made immediate again with wailing electric guitars, swinging horns and even scratching turntables. For this hometown performance (presented by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society), Caine will bring a knockout band featuring violinist Joyce Hammann, clarinetist/saxophonist Chris Speed, trumpeter Ralph Alessi, bassist Michael Formanek, and drummer Jim Black.

Gershman Hall at University of the Arts, Broad and Pine Sts., 8 tonight, $22.50, 215-569-8080, www.philadelphiachambermusic.org.

- Shaun Brady

HIP-HOP

At once embracing and dissing his clean-shaven white rapper gimmick, Vanilla Ice - the now hardcore rocker Robert Van Winkle - still performs "Ice, Ice Baby," for the fans who have stuck by him. And who can front on that superbly simplistic, yet sampled-to-death classic tune?

At once embracing and dissing his clean-shaven white rapper gimmick, Vanilla Ice - the now hardcore rocker Robert Van Winkle - still performs "Ice, Ice Baby," for the fans who have stuck by him. And who can front on that superbly simplistic, yet sampled-to-death classic tune?

Crocodile Rock Cafe, 520 W. Hamilton St., Allentown, 6 p.m. tomorrow, $15, 610-434-4600, www.crocodilerockcafe.com.

- Damon Williams

ALTERNATIVE

Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger, of The Fiery Furnaces, could portray a tense, precocious brother and sister team in a Wes Anderson film, writing music as a secret language to each other. And even if you're not in on the secret, it's like a delightful word puzzle trying to figure out their musical journeys, which include punk-blues, prog-rock and even an album recorded by their grandmother. "Widow City," their latest, is held together by Eleanor's warm and accessible singing style, Matthew's whimsical Paul McCartney-ish flourishes and an interesting song called "Philadelphia Grand Jury." MGMT, last seen opening for Of Montreal, opens the show.

Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger, of The Fiery Furnaces, could portray a tense, precocious brother and sister team in a Wes Anderson film, writing music as a secret language to each other. And even if you're not in on the secret, it's like a delightful word puzzle trying to figure out their musical journeys, which include punk-blues, prog-rock and even an album recorded by their grandmother. "Widow City," their latest, is held together by Eleanor's warm and accessible singing style, Matthew's whimsical Paul McCartney-ish flourishes and an interesting song called "Philadelphia Grand Jury." MGMT, last seen opening for Of Montreal, opens the show.

First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., 7:30 p.m. Sunday, $12, 267-765-5210, www.r5productions.

- Sara Sherr

CLASSICAL

Eighty-one years ago, Leopold Stokowski's then-trailblazing Philadelphia Orchestra premiered Edgar Varese's ferocious and rhythmically complex "Ameriques." (He added the ondes martenot, an electronic instrument, when it was invented two years later). Guest conductor James Conlon dares to lead the Philadelphians, and 11 percussionists, in this fascinating 23-minute milestone, along with Ravel's resplendent "La Valse."

Eighty-one years ago, Leopold Stokowski's then-trailblazing Philadelphia Orchestra premiered Edgar Varese's ferocious and rhythmically complex "Ameriques." (He added the , an electronic instrument, when it was invented two years later). Guest conductor James Conlon dares to lead the Philadelphians, and 11 percussionists, in this fascinating 23-minute milestone, along with Ravel's resplendent "La Valse."

Any visit by the daring and intense pianist Helene Grimaud is an event and season highlight. This time, the exciting artist has chosen Beethoven's rampaging Piano Concerto No. 5, the beloved "Emperor."

Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce Streets, 2 p.m. today and 8 p.m. tomorrow, $38-$113, 215-893-1999, www.philorch.org.

- Tom Di Nardo