The futuristic dance party of the weekend belongs to the obscenely named Holy F--k, the Toronto group that makes modern-sounding electronic music without the use of samples, instead using all live instruments - double drums, keyboards (both toy and adult) and even odd gadgets like 35 mm film sychnronizers. The band was last in town in 2008, blowing people's minds with M.I.A., who they remixed on "Paper Planes." Over the last three albums, they've tinkered their beautiful noise with nods to Kraftwerk, Daft Punk and Tortoise.
Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9 p.m. Sunday, $12, 215-739-9684, www.johnnybrendas.com.
- Sara Sherr
The Philadelphia Orchestra's "Beyond the Score" programs illuminate classics for both newbies and mavens. In the previous two sessions, musicologist Gerard McBurney has provided excellent narrative and visual complements to major works, allowing the audience to appreciate music at a new level.
The final program spotlights Modest Mussorgsky's popular "Pictures at an Exhibition," inspired in 1874 by 10 paintings and sketches by his friend Viktor Hartmann (only a few have survived). Originally composed for piano, it's usually heard in the brilliant 1922 orchestration by Maurice Ravel, a virtual emblem of inspired scoring. After McBurney's masterful insights into the music's creation, Charles Dutoit will lead the orchestra in a complete performance of this symphonic showpiece.
Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce streets, 7 p.m. Thursday, $10-$39, 215-893-1999, www.philorch.org.
- Tom Di Nardo
Fluid's weekly hip-hop jam, Tastytreats, will continue its celebration of nine years and counting this week with one of the best lineups the party has ever seen. Among the highlights is special guest DJ 9th Wonder, creative mastermind behind some of the best hip-hop albums of the past decade. The North Carolina-based producer has worked with everyone from Little Brother to Jay-Z, and released "Fornever" last month with West Coast vet Murs. While a guest DJ like 9th is more than enough reason to make it out, there's also Mr. Sonny James, aka DJ Statik of Philly's renowned Illvibe Collective, joining resident DJ Mike Nyce behind the wheels of steel. And this will be the official listening party for local rapper Ethel Cee's EP "Dirty Samples." Yameen Allword hosts.
Fluid Night Club, 613 S. 4th St., 9 p.m. tomorrow, $10, 21-plus, 215-629-3686, www.fluidnightclub.com.
- James Johnson
POP . . . plus
Singing/strumming duos aren't the biggest thing these days unless they're wearing big hats under a Nashville skyline. That just makes Guggenheim Grotto more special. While definitely of the brooding, poetic, Irish contempo-folk persuasion, Dubliners Kevin May and Mick Lynch have a new-way sway about them. The nudge is in the production, the curious combining of hard-edged, techy percussion and synths with organic acoustic guitars, piano, fiddle and such that the two summon up on their new edition of reflective, hard-bitten and sometimes joyous fare, "The Universe Is Laughing." GG takes four chances to steal your heart with a month of Thursdays residency commencing this week. Get in early, then share the buzz. Emily Greene opens the first night.
Tin Angel, 20 S. 2nd St., 8:30 p.m. Thursday, $10, 215-928-0978, www.tinangel.com.
- Jonathan Takiff
Improvisation is, of course, the art of spontaneity, but the spur of the moment is often preceded by a lot of preparation. Take the improvising trio led by Danish saxophonist Lotte Anker - the sudden inventions they'll create in Philly next week will be the result of seven years of work together. The trio, with NY-based collaborators pianist Craig Taborn and drummer Gerald Cleaver, was formed for a small European tour in 2003 and has since traveled the world, developing an affinity that leads to music of drive and intensity. Anker has been performing with improvisers in Europe and America for 30 years, and studied with saxophonist Joe Henderson and trombonist/arranger Bob Brookmeyer. Sharing the bill, bassist Michael Formanek's quartet Cautious Optimism.
Philadelphia Art Alliance, 251 S. 18th St., 8 p.m. Wednesday, $12, www.arsnovaworkshop.com.
- Shaun Brady