Music critics' picks
HIP-HOP Being labeled a "genius" by Jay-Z has paid outrageous dividends for Kanye West, who leveraged the attention to advance from above-par producer, working on hit albums by Jay-Z and others, to moneyed rapper.
Being labeled a "genius" by Jay-Z has paid outrageous dividends for Kanye West, who leveraged the attention to advance from above-par producer, working on hit albums by Jay-Z and others, to moneyed rapper.
West brought back the concept album with his feel-good 2004 debut, "College Dropout," backed by industry-strength cuts "Never Let Me Down," "Through the Wire" and the utterly amazing "Jesus Walks." "Late Registration" sustained West's hot streak and earned him several Grammys in 2005. The Chicago-bred West has continued to produce and create top-shelf music, earning four Grammys this year.
Underated rapper Lupe Fiasco will join West for this leg of West's "Glow in the Dark Tour," as will Caribbean singer Rihanna.
Susquehanna Bank Center, 1 Harbour Blvd., Camden, 7 p.m. tomorrow, $34.50-$100, 215-336-3600, 856-365-1300, www.livenation.com.
- Damon C. Williams
The Dublin-set, Oscar-winning (for best original song) film "Once" has clearly raised awareness of contemporary Irish chamber folk. Stars of that film, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, return Tuesday under their group identity, the Swell Season. And for just this show and one at Radio City Music Hall, they've brought over a guiding light of their musical scene named Fergus O'Farrell and his string-driven, 10-piece band Interference. "Once" viewers will recognize them as the performers of "Gold" in the movie's charming song-swap scene. This wheel-chair bound troubadour's eloquent and lyrical airs (available at www.myspace.com/interferenceireland)have won my heart, and there's a label bidding war to put out Fergie's next album.
Tower Theater, 69th and Ludlow streets, 8 p.m. Tuesday, $32.50 & $37.50, 215-336-2000, www.livenation.com.
- Jonathan Takiff
Fern Knight's singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Margaret Wienk moved to Philadelphia two years ago and was embraced by the burgeoning psych-folk scene that includes the Espers, Jack Rose and Ex Reverie. The quartet's third, self-titled disc for VHF Records is a grab bag of influences - from Renaissance music to folk traditions from France and the British Isles, to very modern guitar distortion rumbling underneath. French musician Colette opens this record-release show with hushed electronics and classical instrumentation.
International House, 3701 Chestnut St., 8 p.m. Sunday, $8-10, 215-895-6542, www.ihousephilly.org.
- Sara Sherr
Vocalist Pearl Williams - she prefers "song stylist," which better captures the sense of emotional drama she lends to a lyric - was raised in the then-fertile jazz community of West Philly alongside many of the music's future greats. She has memories of jamming in the home hair salon of McCoy Tyner's mother before the now-legendary pianist left to join John Coltrane's band.
A group of Williams' peers are paying tribute to her five decades of contributions to the music and its local community. Williams has some health issues that may preclude her performing, but she'll be feted by a vigorous group, including saxophonist Tony Williams, drummer Craig McIver, bassist Mike Boone and pianist Don Wilson, along with any guests who drop in to add their voices in homage to this deserving lady.
LaRose Jazz Club, 5531 Germantown Ave., 3-7 p.m. Sunday, $25 (dinner included), 215-248-4415.
- Shaun Brady
Johann Friedrich Fasch learned his craft at St. Thomas' in Leipzig, eventually refusing to compete for the post of cantor against Johann Sebastian Bach, who greatly admired his work. Though much of Fasch's prolific output is lost, many of his innovative works have been saved. The impressive chamber group Tempesta di Mare will present his large orchestral suite and three concertos, mostly reconstructed from manuscripts damaged in the World War II bombing of Dresden.
Trinity Episcopal Church, Route 320 and College Avenue, Swarthmore, 8 tonight; St. Mark's, 1625 Locust St., 8 p.m. tomorrow; free, 215-755-8776, www.tempestadimare.org.
- Tom Di Nardo