Last year's Roots Picnic was an epic event featuring some of the best talent in many genres. This year's looks to be just as diverse. Hip-hop will be well-represented in Philly-based WrittenHouse, who will kick things off on the second stage with West Chester's Asher Roth. Holding down the hip-hop side on the main stage will be Ohio singer/rapper Kid Cudi, Philadelphia native Santigold and Los Angeles-based abstract rapper Busdriver. The Roots will take the main stage twice. Alternative, post and classic rock acts include Brooklyn-based TV On The Radio, Ohio duo the Black Keys and Elevator Fight, a Philadelphia band featuring Zoe Kravitz. Three of our best party DJs will spin: King Britt, Dozia and Dave P. And one of the greatest hip-hop albums of the 20th century will be recalled as Public Enemy, the Roots and Brooklyn's Antibalas perform "It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back."
Festival Pier, N. Columbus Blvd. & Spring Garden St., noon tomorrow, $47.50 advance, $51 at the door, 215-569-9400.
- James Johnson
While more contained than the arts center's usual June festival ("on hiatus"), the outdoor, afternoon Appel Farm benefit concert will burst to the brim with high-quality talent. And the event, billed "With a Little Help From My Friends," benefits the Rising Young Artist Camp Scholarship Fund. (You did know Appel Farm runs an overnight camp, right?) Come out, come out for deep thinker John Gorka, sunny side up Livingston Taylor, gently harmonious Guggenheim Grotto, dynamic duo the Kennedys, sisterly act the Nields, harp-pinging singer/songwriter Gillian Grassie plus hometown faves Phil Roy, Vance Gilbert, Jeffrey Gaines and Grey Eye Glances.
Appel Farm, 457 Shirley Road, Elmer, N.J., 2-6 p.m. Sunday. Lawn seating $28.50 (ages 17 and under free), tented seating $45 (ages 17 and under, $20), 800-394-8478, www.appelfarm.org.
- Jonathan Takiff
If you like the DIY, every-girl simplicity of Kimya Dawson and Mirah, then check out Tender Forever and Annah., two smart women who specialize in airy laptop folk that's a perfect summer soundtrack. Both will be performing tomorrow at Space 1026. Tender Forever is French native Melanie Valera, who's collaborated with Mirah, the Blow and K Records impresario Calvin Johnson. She likes to cover Justin Timberlake's "My Love." Annah. hails from Oakland, Calif., and her looped instrumentation often includes kitchen utensils and gas masks. Opening is poignant, Casio-toting trio Maple Rabbit, back in Philadelphia after one member moved to Los Angeles.
Space 1026, 1026 Arch St., 8-11 p.m. tomorrow, $5, all ages, 215-574-7630.
- Sara Sherr
Putting three of jazz's most exuberant bass virtuosos on stage together will lead inevitably to a display of low-end pyrotechnics. When they made their first stop in town last summer, S.M.V. more than delivered on that promise. The skull-rattling supergroup of Return To Forever's Stanley Clarke, ex-Miles Davis sideman Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten of the Flecktones had no problem showing off, and the Keswick crowd responded with equal enthusiasm. The gig resembled the most demonstrative of old-fashioned tent revival shows, only here the object of worship has four strings and an amplifier. Almost a year later, the road-tested trio should be only more acrobatic.
Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave., Glenside, 8 p.m. Wednesday, $44.50, 215-572-7650, www.keswicktheatre.com.
- Shaun Brady
For its chamber opera debut at the Perelman Theater, the Opera Company of Philadelphia has chosen Benjamin Britten's "The Rape of Lucretia," a brilliant score for eight singers and 12 musicians. The story, set around 500 B.C., concerns an Etruscan woman whose unassailable virtue aids her husband's political career until a rival general attacks her, which leads her to suicide. The dream cast here includes mezzo Tamara Mumford in the title role and superstar company favorites William Burden, tenor, and baritone Nathan Gunn. David Hayes is the conductor in this new production, with direction by Will Kerley and sets and costumes by Nicholas Vaughn. This premiere anticipates a whole repertoire of chamber works adding to the annual collaborative productions between the company and Curtis at the Perelman.
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Broad and Spruce streets, 8 p.m. tonight and June 12, 2:30 p.m. Sunday and June 14, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, $30-$119, 215-893-1999, www.operaphilly.com.
- Tom Di Nardo