Live music and more, tonight through Thursday, compiled by Tom Di Nardo, Shaun Brady, Sara Sherr, Jonathan Takiff and Damon C. Williams. Plus a rundown of holiday-related events.
Peter Nero and the Philly Pops: "Holiday POPS!" has grown into a 10-performance tradition. This year, the 150-member Pops Festival Chorus, the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir and organist Peter Richard Conte perform seasonal favorites and a final audience sing-along with the orchestra. Special guests are the von Trapp Children, great-grandchildren from the singing family made famous in "The Sound of Music." Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Broad and Spruce streets, 2 p.m. today and tomorrow, $27-$104, 215-893-1999, www.phillypops.org.
Pennsylvania Ballet: Annual extravaganza of Tchaikovsky's evergreen "Nutcracker," with brilliant choreography by legendary George Balanchine and a newly designed production, is a must every holiday season. Academy of Music, Broad and Locust streets, 7 tonight; 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. tomorrow; noon and 4 p.m. Sunday; 7 p.m. Tuesday; noon Wednesday, plus 11 more performances through Dec. 31, $29-$134, 215-893-1999, www.paballet.org.
Piffaro: Our internationally regarded Renaissance Wind Band based its "Christmas in Renaissance France" program of texts and noels on a 16th-century manuscript housed in the Free Library's Rare Book Collection. Claudin de Sermisy's "Missa Voulant honneur" is also included in the evening's exuberant sounds, which feature soprano Laura Heimes and tenor Philip Anderson plus actors Mark Jaster and Sabrina Mandell. Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, 8855 Germantown Ave., 8 tonight; St. Mark's, 1625 Locust St., 8 p.m. tomorrow, $30-$35, 215-235-8469, www.piffaro.com.
Punk Rock Flea Market: If you're looking for last-minute unusual gifts (skateboards, bikes, music, clothes, art, furniture and more), this is worth checking out. Starlight Ballroom/Club Polaris, 460 N. 9th St., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. tomorrow, $3, 267-765-5210, www.r5productions.com.
Tuba Christmas: For over 30 years, in over 200 cities, and for seven seasons at the Kimmel Center, this bash of regional tuba and euphonium players has gathered for holiday favorites. Bring your instrument and a music stand, or just revel in the huge sounds billowing through the space. Commonwealth Plaza at the Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce streets, 12:30 p.m. tomorrow, free, 215-893-1999, www.kimmelcenter.org.
Donetsk Ballet of Ukraine: The company's annual "Nutcracker" production, featuring 18 professional dancers from the Ukraine and 50 students from the local International Ballet Exchange, is again led by artistic director Vadim Pisarev. Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School, 201 E. Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting, 2 and 6:30 p.m. tomorrow, $28, 215-849-7950, www.internationalballet.org.
Beru Revue: This oft-dormant local rock b(r)and turns on the lights and the seasonal charm at a holiday benefit for Project Home. TLA, 334 South St., 8 p.m. tomorrow, $20, 215-922-1011, www.livenation.com.
Delaware Valley Opera Company: Gian Carlo Menotti's classic "Amahl and the Night Visitors," commissioned by NBC in 1951, features Ian Anstee as Amahl, Connie Koppe as his mother, and Tim Oliver, Jack Sariago and Milo Morris as the three wise men on their fabled journey. Joyce Brommer directs the production with piano accompaniment. Roxborough High School, 6498 Ridge Ave., 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, $10, 215-482-5929, www.dvopera.org.
Ledisi: From the opening notes of "I'll Go," a modern extension to the theme of "Go Tell It on the Mountain," Ledisi's new album of seasonal cheer, "It's Christmas," strikes us as unusually thoughtful, sophisticated and oft-times magical. In concert, where this soul-, gospel- and jazz-influenced singer gets to embellish, the approval meter could easily peak past 100. Noel Gourd opens. Keswick Theatre, Easton Road and Keswick Avenue, Glenside, 8 p.m. tomorrow, $35 & $45, 215-572-7650, www.keswicktheatre.com.
Peek-A-Boo Revue: Do leggy girls singing and strutting in barely-there elf outfits imbue you with the holiday spirit? If so, come out for the adults-only Winter Follies, so popular they're doing two shows. Philly's longest running burlesque troupe could even make ugly Christmas sweaters seem sexy. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. tomorrow, $25-35, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com.
Philadelphia Boys Choir and Chorale: Jeffrey Smith leads the young voices in "Hollywood Holiday!", a program of music from movies, plus arrangements of traditional seasonal favorites. Daylesford Abbey, 220 S. Valley Road, Paoli, 8 p.m. tomorrow, $30; and Irvine Auditiorium, 34th and Spruce streets, 3 p.m. Sunday, $25-$50, 215-222-3500.
Brandywine Ballet: Annual presentation of "The Nutcracker" features Koresh Dance Company guest Jae Hoon Lim, as well as Brandywine principals Hannah Telthorster and Jaime Lennon, with choreography by Richard Hoskinson. Philips Memorial Building, West Chester University, South High Street and University Avenue, 2 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday, $20-$35, 610-692-6402, www.brandywineballet.com.
Revival Burlesque's 'Holiday Extravaganza': Includes the Bagladies, a female comedy trio in the spirit of Abbott & Costello, Randi Warhol, Annie A-Bomb and more. Walking Fish Theater, 2509 Frankford Ave., 8 p.m. Sunday, $15, 215-427-WALK www.walkingfishtheatre.com.
'Winter Tidings - A Solstice Showcase': Philadelphia talents celebrate a season of giving (they hope) with a benefit for the music, education, workforce development and mentoring LiveConnections.org. Participants include Andrew Lipke, Hezekiah Jones, Birdie Busch, the Great Unknown, Dana Alexandra, Papertrees, Adrien Reju, Bevin Caulfield, Annachristie Sadler, Chirs Kasper, Levee Drivers and As Human. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., 8 p.m. Sunday, $9 suggested donation. Also, Toys 4 Tots and Winter Clothing Drive contributions gratefully accepted. 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com.
Gary Hoey: Noted guitar shredder heats up his rocking, surfside treatments of seasonal fare from his series of four "Ho! Ho! Hoey" albums. Local blues/rock jamster Little Buddy rides shotgun. Sellersville Theater, Main and Temple streets, Sellersville, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, $19.50, 215-257-5808, www.st94.com.
Eric Mintel: Bucks County-based pianist/composer and his band serve up a "Jazz Christmas" with help from the brassy, classy Wissahickon Camerata. Sellersville Theater, Main and Temple streets, Sellersville, 2 p.m. Sunday, $19.50, students and children $10, 215-257-5808, www.st94.com.
Vox Ama Deus: Baroque ensemble led by Valentin Radu performs works by Marcello, Albinoni, Bach and Pachelbel, plus Corelli's Christmas Concerto and Telemann's Christmas Suite for Strings. St. Paul's, 22 E. Chestnut Hill Ave., 7:30 p.m. tomorrow; and Thomas Great Hall, Bryn Mawr College, 256 N. Merion Ave., Bryn Mawr, 4 p.m. Sunday, $25, 610-688-2800, www.voxamadeus.org.
Oh Come All Ye Earsnake: Philly electro/folk label and collective releases its holiday mix CD, with sets by Paper Masques (members of Zelda Pinwheel and the Teeth), Gemini Wolf, Shawn Kilroy, JSIC, Lillie Ruth Bussey, Carl Franke and others. National Mechanics, 22 S. 3rd St., 9 p.m. Monday, free, 215-701-4883, www.nationalmechanics.com.
Good for the Jews: And on the second night of Hanukkah, your true love may bring you to Rob Tannenbaum (formerly of What I Like About Jew and a VH1 celHEEBrity) and David Fagin (fellow New York quipster and leader of the power pop Rosenbergs). And oi vey, what a night it will be, of winking and self-effacingly funny tunes like "They Tried to Kill Us (We Survived, Let's Eat!)," "Goin' Down to Boca" and "Good to Be a Jew at Christmas." A better gift than underwear and socks, so enjoy! World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., 7:30 p.m. Monday, $19 & $24, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com.
Jewmongous: Sean Altman (the other former half of What I Like About Jew) slings his now-solo Hanukkah holiday hash - more funny stuff for the otherwise disenfranchised and not very Kosher, if truth be known. Shout out for "Reuben the Hook Nosed Reindeer," "Jews for Jesus" and (what else, his name's on the credits, too) "They Tried to Kill Us (We Survived, Let's Eat)." Upstairs at World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, $20-$23, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com.
R5 Holiday Party: The busiest promoters of some of the best shows in town kick back and celebrate. Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Frankford Ave., 8 p.m. Wednesday, free, 215-291-4945, www.kungfunecktie.com.
The Night Before on WXPN: New-wave godfather and Sex Dwarf host Robert Drake takes over the 'XPN airwaves with his own brand of Christmas treats. WXPN-FM 88.5, midnight Wednesday to midnight Thursday, 215-573-WXPN, http://xpn.org.
Jon Solomon's 24-Hour Holiday Radio Show: For 21 years, this WPRB DJ's show has been an institution, playing everything from the Ramones to Sinatra. WPRB-FM 103.3, 6 p.m. Wednesday to 6 p.m. Thursday, 609-258-1033 or 609-258-1233, www.wprb.com.
Oasis: The now calm and collected brothers Gallagher come out swinging their hits, not at each other. Be sure to stay for the amazing encore of "I Am the Walrus." The equally compelling, musically mercurial Ryan Adams & the Cardinals are in the featured slot, and cool dude Matt Costa opens. Susquehanna Bank Center, 1 Harbour Blvd., Camden, 7 tonight, $53.50 & $73.50, 215-222-1400, www.livenation.com.
Rhett Miller: Front guy for the heartland-rocking Old 97's is still looking for Americana with his spare, rough-hewn and emotional music. Joe Pug, a songwriter with a playwright's heart (or is it vice versa?) opens. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., 7:30 tonight, $25-$35, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com.
Blood Feathers: Trip out (genteelly) with these sweetly harmonizing and dramatically embellished melodists, fleshed out in concert by members of Mazarin and Black Stoltzfus. Indie popsters the Oranges Band and the Homophones are also yours to enjoy. Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9 tonight, $10, 215-739-9784, www.johnnybrendas.com.
Milton and the Devils Party: School's out and the profs are celebrating with their sardonic rock originals. Grammar Debate opens, but of course. Upstairs at World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., 9 p.m. tomorrow, $11, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com.
Evan Dando: Noted pop-rock craftsman (formerly of the Lemonheads) tells the truth even when it hurts, then eases the pain with between-song humor. Tin Angel, 20 S. 2nd St., 8 p.m. tomorrow, $20, 215-928-0978, www.tinangel.com.
GWAR: Costumed super titans emphasize the three R's of heavy metal - roar, rock and ridiculousness. With Kingdom of Sorrow and Toxic Holocaust. Electric Factory, 7th and Willow streets, 8 p.m. tomorrow, $20, 215-336-2000, www.livenation.com.
Ace Enders: Singer/guitarist for the emo band Early November does his own thing, with Good Old War, the Morning Light and Skylife sharing the bill. Balcony at the Trocadero, 10th and Arch streets, 7 p.m. tomorrow, $12, 215-922-LIVE, www.thetroc.com.
Life of Agony: Thrash and burn with these angst-laden, hardcore/heavy-metal dudes. Also serving up the beefs - Spoiler NYC, My Mortality and Misery. The Note, 142 E. Market St., West Chester, 8:30 p.m. tomorrow, $20-$22, 800-594-TIXX, www.thenotewc.com.
Nicky Egan: Philly nester aptly describes her sound as "when the birds sang the blues." Devotees of fellow blue-eyed soulsters like Nikka Costa and Toby Lightman will connect with this kindred soul and her good, organ-scorched band. Cliff Hillis and John Ryan open. Tin Angel, 20 S. 2nd st. 7 p.m. Sunday, $8, 215-928-0978, www.tinangel.com.
Do You Remember the Times? Back when Kid N' Play, Doug E. Fresh and Queen Latifah first came out, DJ Gary O was fresh on the scene too. The now-veteran DJ wants to remind folks of those good times. DJ cohorts Jazzy Jo and Mike O assist in this bimonthly affair. North By Northwest, 7165 Germantown Ave., 9 tonight, 25+, $15, 215-248-1000, www.nxnwphl.com.
Vanilla Ice: Who didn't at least nod their head to the cheesy "Ice, Ice, Baby" when it debuted in 1990? Ice's time as the white darling of rap is long gone, but he might be worth checking out to fulfill any guilty pleasures. Crocodile Rock Cafe, 520 W. Hamilton St., Allentown, 6 p.m. tomorrow, 21+, $20, 610-434-4600, www.crocodilerockcafe.com.
Bob Marley Tribute: Relax with like-minded Marley fans to tunes from the reggae giant. The Fire, 412 W. Girard Ave., 9 p.m. Sunday, 21+, $7, 267-671-9298, www.iourecords.com/thefire.
Dangerous Ponies: Chrissy Tashjian of the Bee Team rocks out with her side project. Also: Circles, Upholstery, New York 69, Scurvy and Fun Machine. Danger Danger Gallery, 5013 Baltimore Ave., 8 tonight, $5, all ages, www.myspace.com/dangerdangergallery.
The Stalkers: Glammy New York City newcomers are part of a solid garage bill with the Tough Sh-ts, Love City and the Lusts. Khyber, 56 S. 2nd St., 9 tonight, $8, 215-238-5888, www.thekhyber.com.
Harsh Mellow: Philly hard-psych trio Birds of Maya do their monthly with DJ Joel from Rockt-ts and DJ Mental Feelings. Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front St., 9 tonight, free, 215-291-4945, www.kungfunecktie.com.
Blood Feathers: Members of the Lilys play their first show in ages with Oranges Band and the Homophones. Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9 tonight, $10, 215-739-9684, www.johnnybrendas.com.
Making Time $2 Bill Holiday Party Freakout: A gift for your wallet from the Making Time DJs. Transit, 600 Spring Garden St., 9 tonight, $2, 215-925-8878, www.igetrvng.com.
Turnaround Vs Immediate: Total soul-power party with DJs Gregg Foreman, the Brothers Gieda and Russ Alexander. Barbary, Frankford and Delaware Avenues, 10 tonight, $5, www.myspace.com/thenewbarbary.
Hell Under The El's XXXmas in South Philly: Includes Haley (ex Trashlight Vision guitarist Steve Haley), South Jersey Foghat-meets-Lynyrd Skynrd rockers Son of a Gun, power-pop punkers the National Rifle and Philly old-school punkers the Blessed Muthas. Connie's Ric Rac, 1132 S. 9th St., 8 p.m. tomorrow, $8, all ages, www.myspace.com/hellundertheel.
Prowler: Philly dance-punk band is an unholy mash-up of the Commodores and Modest Mouse. With Reef The Lost Cauze and Dice Raw. Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9 p.m. tomorrow, $10, 215-739-9684, www.johnnybrendas.com.
Surefire Broadcast: Jersey indie-poppers host their record-release party and a Noise for Tots Toy Drive Benefit with Padre Pio (ex Pattern Is Movement), the Laughing Man and Saint Solitude. M Room, 15 W. Girard Ave., 9 p.m. tomorrow, $4 with a toy, $8 without, 215-739-5577, www.themanhattanroom.com.
Skate Night: Skateboarders weekly pays tribute to the late Joe Strummer, who died on this night in 2002. Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front St., 10 p.m. Monday, free, 215-291-4945, www.kungfunecktie.com.
Torched: DJs Brown and Davis and special guests, the cheeky new-wave dance group Sweatheart. Barbary, Frankford and Delaware Avenues, 9 p.m. Tuesday, free, www.myspace.com/thebarbary.
'Singin It Lonesome': Philadelphia Weekly's local music champion Doug Wallen leaves for Australia with a night of classic country sides. Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Frankford Ave., 9 p.m. Tuesday, free, 215-291-4945, www.kungfunecktie.com.
Tim Warfield & Joanna Pascale: A holiday tradition continues, as saxophonist Warfield teams with vocalist Pascale to fill the PMA's Great Stair Hall with swinging stocking stuffers. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th St. & Ben Franklin Pkwy., 5:45 and 7:15 tonight, free with regular museum admission of $14, 215-763-8100, www.philamuseum.org.
Pieces of a Dream: Long-running Philly smooth jazz group pays tribute to another local legend, Grover Washington Jr. The late saxophonist, whose own soul-jazz sound was a precursor to smooth jazz, mentored Pieces of a Dream early in their career. The show will also mark the debut of former WJJZ program director Michael Tozzi's new, Web-based music channel, ijazzglobal.com. Colonial Theatre, 227 Bridge Street., Phoenixville, 8 tonight, $29.50-$39.50 610-917-1228, www.thecolonialtheatre.com.
Sid Simmons: Local legend has made Ortlieb's his home base for years, seemingly as permanent a fixture as the piano he plays. So it's easy to forget his storied history with names like Philly Joe Jones, Benny Golson and James Moody. Now's an ideal time to reacquaint yourself with hometown treasures such as Simmons and his quartet. Tonight, the band will be supplemented by trumpeter Joe Magnarelli. Ortlieb's Jazzhaus, 847 N. 3rd St., 8 tonight and tomorrow, $15, 215-922-1035, www.ortliebsjazzhaus.com.
OK/OK: Brooklyn-based trio of vocalist Kyoko Kitamura, clarinetist Mike McGinnis and guitarist Khabu Doug Young won a trio composition contest sponsored by altoist and big band-leader Bobby Zankel. They'll debut the piece at this week's Sci-Fi Philly session, with Zankel and drummer Edgar Bateman opening (and celebrating their birthdays). Gojjo, 4540 Baltimore Ave., 8 p.m. Sunday, $5, www.scifiphilly.com.
Bonita Glenn and David Lofton: Soprano Glenn has made her mark on the world's stages, and in this recital performs songs by Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber and Richard Strauss, as well as some spirituals. Gifted pianist, conductor and voice coach Lofton will provide his usual sympathetic accompaniment. Van Pelt Auditorium, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 8 tonight, $23, 215-569-8080, pcmsconcerts.org.