Live music and more, tonight through Thursday, compiled by Shaun Brady, Tom Di Nardo, James Johnson, Sara Sherr and Jonathan Takiff.
Allison Moorer: Husky-throated Americana singer has evolved to more rocking fare since her "I do's" with Steve Earle. A good thing all around. Tom Hamilton of American Babies opens. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., 7:30 tonight, $27-$37. 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com.
Ari Hest: Talk about underappreciated! Fans of liquid-voiced and sweetly disposed singer/songwriters should really be giving more props to this skillful, superior talent. Sarah Siskind goes first. Tin Angel, 20 S. 2nd St., 7:30 tonight, $16, 215-928-0978, www.tinangel.com.
Slavic Soul Party: Move your gypsy soul, just like days of old. With Prowler. Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9:30 tonight, $10, 215-739-9684, www.johnnybrendas.com.
Eli "Paperboy" Reed: There's always room for another classic soul emulator who sounds and composes as well as Reed. Still, we gotta admit, seeing his pale skin was quite the shocker. Word is the stage revue with his horn-bedecked True Loves band is equally true to the code. With the Sermon and Urban Giants. North Star, 27th and Poplar streets, 9 tonight, $12, 215-787-0488, www.northstarbar.com.
State Street Blues Stroll: 10th annual event takes over 20 pubs and outdoor stages in Media, with imported notables like Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater, the Lonnie Shields Band, Leroy Hawkes & the Hipnotics and the Johnny Defrancesco Power Trio, plus worthy locals like Deb Callahan and Steve Guyger. State Street in Media, starting at 7 p.m. tomorrow (rain or shine), $15, 610- 566-5039, www.statestreetblues.com.
Steve Forbert: Wry and raspy troubadour sings 'em under the stars. Flyers good luck charm Lauren Hart opens - and commiserates. Bryn Mawr Twilight Concerts, Bryn Mawr Gazebo, 9 S. Bryn Mawr Ave., 7 p.m. tomorrow, $10, children 16-and-under free, 610-864-4303, www.
Hamel On Trial: The defense never rests when this clever, comically edged rant-and-roller does his thing. Tin Angel, 20 S. 2nd St., 10:30 p.m. tomorrow, $12, 215-928-0978, www.tinangel.com.
Natalie Merchant: Her years-in-the-gestation and most-intriguing new double album ("Leave Your Sleep") finds Ms. Merchant setting favorite poems to song, most to lovely lullaby effect. So where better should she perform the material than at a poetry conference, where Merchant also chats earlier on a panel discussion? Concert ticket buyers are welcome to attend any/all elements. West Chester University Poetry Conference, Swope Performing Arts Center, 817 S. High St., West Chester, events begin 3:15 p.m. tomorrow, Merchant's panel participation is at 4:30 p.m., performance at 8 p.m. $75, 610-436-2266, www.wcupa.edu.
Dead Meadow: D.C.'s gift to rock psychedelia - inspired by Tolkien and Lovecraft - mows the grass. With Gondola, Serpent Throne. M Room, 15 W. Girard Ave., 9 p.m. tomorrow, $12, 215-739-5577, www.themanhattanroom.com.
Wildflower Records Showcase: Judy Collins is the headliner and also the record company owner. ("Wildflowers" was one of her most successful albums.) Here, she intros new material and plays hits in round-robin fashion with seasoned labelmates Kenny White and Walter Parks. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., 8 p.m. Sunday, $25-$35, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com.
Trashcan Sinatras: Over here, these Scottish jangle-pop rockers are still living up to their song "Obscurity Knocks," not getting much attention for their sweet new album "In the Music." But that doesn't mean you won't enjoy their polished sound, lounge-like (and occasionally coffeehouse-styled) in a good way. The Candles flicker first. Upstairs at World Cafe Live, 8 p.m. Sunday, $18/$20, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com.
Peter Tork & Shoe Suede Blues: After a serious medical scare, the usually jaunty Tork is back on his feet and (dare we say?) ready to monkee around. Tin Angel, 20 S. 2nd St., 7:30 p.m. Sunday, $20, 215-928-0978, www.tinangel.com.
Max Weinberg Big Band: His late-night run with Conan O'Brien over, and his other "Boss" taking another extended leave, the Mighty Max enters "phase three" of his career. It's fronting (a la Buddy Rich or Gene Krupa) a classically configured, brass-heavy 15-piece big band, celebrating nightclub perennials like "Come Fly With Me," "Kansas City" and "This Could Be the Start of Something Big." 'Ya think? World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., 8 p.m. Monday, $35-$50, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com.
Tift Merritt: Americana by reputation, though more pop-rocking than most, Merritt's got a way about her vocals and lyrical turns as intriguing as her name. Jason Collett opens. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, $19-$26, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com.
Blitzen Trapper: Portland, Ore., dudes are into a classic vinyl phase on their latest "Destroyer of the Void" album, oozing warm harmonies and folk rockin' airs that evoke the essence of CS&N, the Byrds, Bobby Weir and Bob Dylan. Moondoggies howl first. Trocadero, 10th and Arch streets, 8 p.m. Tuesday, $15, 215-922-6888, www.thetroc.com.
Imelda May: Sassy, sultry singer goes for a retro-swinging hipster style, akin to Marcia Ball or Nelly McKay fronting some Stray Cats. Jazzbos and garage rockers will feel like dancing. Kindred kitties April Mae and the June Bugs are on first - no (ju)lie! Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9 p.m. Wednesday, $12, 215-739-9684, www.johnnybrendas.com.
Mates of State: The duo of Kori Gardner and Jason Hammet are joined in marriage and musical state of mind, putting forth a joyously quirky, minimalist swirl of vocals, keyboards and drums. Now they're connecting quicker with "Crushes," a set covering the likes of Death Cab for Cutie, Nick Cave, Fleetwood Mac and Tom Waits. Sharing the bill, comedian Todd Barry and yet another Brooklyn buzz band, Suckers. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., 8 p.m. Thursday, $14/$16, 215-821-7575, www.r5productions.com.
Suzy Bogguss: While best known as a fine (and successful) country talent, Suzy has inched closer in recent years to piano-attuned, Carole King-style city- songwriter fare. Expect some of both. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., 7:30 p.m. Thursday, $30-$43, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com.
Earth, Wind & Fire: Hailed by some as the greatest band of all time, the Elements come to the Jersey Shore for what are sure to be two unforgettable shows. Borgata Event Center, One Borgata Way, Atlantic City, N.J., 8 tonight; tomorrow's show is sold out. $56, $66 and $76, 1-866-692-6742, www.theborgata.com.
B-Boy BBQ 2010: One of Philly's best annual hip-hop events makes its triumphant return. On hiatus since 2008, the BBQ is a gathering of graffiti artists, break-dancers, MCs and DJs for a celebration of hip-hop like no other. This year's event features performances form 84, Writtenhouse, Jawnzap7 and more. The Square, 48th Street and Westminster Avenue, 8 a.m.-8:30 p.m. tomorrow, free, all ages.
Electric City CD Release Party: The duo of Mighty Flipside Esq. and DJ Skipmode celebrate the release of their latest project. Also performing, Nico The Beast, Rok Bottom and Kuf Knotz. The Fire, 412 W. Girard Ave., 9 p.m. tomorrow, $7, 21-plus, 267-671-9298, iourecords.com.
Tastytreats: The official afterparty for the B-Boy BBQ has a special guest, D-Nice, joining resident DJ Mike Nyce for what's sure to be a nice cap on a great day. Hosted by Yameen Allworld. Fluid Nightclub, 613 S. 4th St., 10 p.m. tomorrow, $10, 21-plus, 215-629-3686, fluidnightclub.com.
Super Jam Block Party: Before the 100.3 The Beat Super Jam kicks off, you can catch Jon Blu, Serani, Cali Swag District and Gyptian for free. Hosted by Pooch Man and Kendra G. Villa, 1231 N. Broad St., 1 p.m. Sunday, free, 215-235-3020, ruvilla.com.
100.3 The Beat Super Jam: Urban radio station mega-concert features a host of big name hip-hop and R&B acts including Wacka Flocka, Fat Joe, Lloyd Banks and Meek Millz. Ludacris will headline, but keep an eye out for B.o.B., arguably the most exciting artist on the bill. Liacouras Center, 1776 N. Broad St., 4 p.m. Sunday, $35, $49.50 and $75, 215-204-2400, www.liacourascenter.com.
Theotis Joe CD Release Party: Featuring performances Latebloom, Dirt Mansion and Zarinah. Hosted by Nicole Harris and Keturah Caesar of Philly Raw Talent. Silk City, 435 Spring Garden St., 9 p.m. Wednesday, $6, 215-592-8838, silkcityphilly.com.
Eyehategod: New Orleans masters of sludgecore return with grind legends Brutal Truth, Nachtmystium, Black Anvil and Tombs. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., 7 tonight, $20, all ages, 215-821-7575, www.r5productions.com.
Zombie Beach Party: Sex Dwarf's Robert Drake and Dave Ghoul spin music of the undead with surf-rockers the Slotcars, plus zombie makeup stations and free zombie beach photos. Trocadero, 10th and Arch streets, 8 tonight, $10, 215-922-LIVE, www.thetroc.com.
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Benefit: Four unique Philly singer/songwriters perform: Anti Emz, Dani Mari, Jaime Pannone and Lisa Sunshine. Hard Rock Café, 1113 Market St., 9-11 tonight, $5, all ages, 215-238-1000, www.hardrock.com.
Positively Sick On South Street: Jukebox Zero Pete Santa Maria's punk-and-roll monthly features a more roots and rockabilly flavored lineup with Sideshow Prophets, Super Devils and the Sharkskins. The Jukebox Zeros will play tomorrow at JR's with City Sweethearts, Handsome Petes, Brothers Gross and Church of My Love. Tritone, 1508 South St., 9 tonight, $6, 215-545-0475, tritonebar.com. JR's, 22nd Street and Passyunk Avenue, 9 p.m. tomorrow, $5, myspace.com/sickchattelproductions.
Afrojack: Known for cuts like "Ghettoblaster" and "A Msterdam," the Dutch DJ/producer has collaborated with David Guetta, Diplo/Major Lazer and countless others. Dave P and Sammy Slice open. Voyeur, 1221 St. James St., 9 tonight, $5-$10, 215-735-5772, voyeurnightclub.com.
Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School: Art students sketch burlesque dancers with cool tunes as a backdrop. This month's a tribute to comic books to celebrate the Wizard World Philly comic book convention in town. World Café Live, 3025 Walnut St., 3 p.m. tomorrow, $15, 215-222-1400, www.drsketchyphilly.com.
Philly Dyke March: This annual, grass-roots movement welcomes women from all walks of life to bring kids, banners, drums, costumes, bikes for performances by LYFE Dance, Liberty City Kings, Innocence Bello, Gloria Casarez, AnOmali, Danie Ocean, the Attic Youth Poets and more. Kahn Park, 11th and Pine streets, 3 p.m. to 5p.m. tomorrow, free, all ages, http://phillygaycalendar.com.
Defiance Ohio: Punk kids with banjos, harmonicas and hootenanny's as weapons. With Mischief Brew and Mirrors & Wires. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., 3 p.m. tomorrow, $10, all ages, 215-821-7575, www.r5productions.com.
Very Variety: Sgt. Sass, Sisters Sirens, Dumpsta Players, POP! Sketch Comedy for the Gifted, Jaime Fountaine, Doogie Horner, Jess Carpenter and more perform to benefit Philadelphia's LGBT health center, the Mazzoni Center. Upstairs at Tabu, 200 S. 12th St., 7 to 9 p.m. tomorrow, $10, 215-964-9675, mazzonicenter.org.
Friendo: This Women side project (the Canadian one, not the Philly one) is recommended for fans of Sonic Youth and Slint. With Yourself and the Air. Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front St., 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, $10, 215-291-4919, kungfunecktie.com.
Kaiju Big Battel: A live robot battle with performances by Skeletor and Y-Rock's DJ Joey O. Trocadero, 10th and Arch streets, 8 p.m. tomorrow, $11-$18.50, all ages, 215-922-LIVE, www.thetroc.com.
Mini Mansions: Queens of the Stone Age bassist Michael Shuman brings his mellower psych-pop band to the North Star Bar, 27th and Poplar streets, 8 p.m. Monday, $10, 215-684-0808, northstarbar.com,
Jucifer: Glamorous sludge-metal duo returns with Gloominous Doom and Grass. Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front St., 8 p.m. Wednesday, $10, 215-291-4919, kungfunecktie.com.
Jason Anderson: Former K Records artist with a live band. Also: Strand of Oaks and Juniper Tar. Pi Lam, 3914 Spruce St., 8 p.m. Wednesday, $5-7, all ages, jasonandersonswebsite.com.
P-ssed Jeans: This is the band that will give you the summertime blues, in a good way. With Eddy Current Suppression Ring and Pop 1280. Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9 p.m. Thursday, $10, 215-739-9684, johnnybrendas.com.
D.O.A.: Canadian punk vets and hardcore innovators perform "Hardcore 81" in its entirety. With F.O.D., Women (the ones from Philly), and the Prisoners. M Room, 15 W. Girard Ave., 9 p.m. Thursday, $12, 215-739-5577, www.themanhattanroom.com.
The Melvins: Missing link between Black Sabbath and Nirvana relentlessly soldiers on with a double drum attack. Plus: the farewell tour for Isis. TLA, 334 South St., 9 p.m. Thursday, $20, 215-922-1011, livenation.com.
Neil Podgurski: Philly pianist fronts a quartet featuring rising star saxophonist Stacy Dillard. Chris' Jazz Café, 1421 Sansom St., 8 & 10 tonight, $15, 215-568-3131, chrisjazzcafe.com.
Lucky Old Souls: This month's show includes Philly's Brass, Skins & Strings Collective, this time featuring cornetist Jafar Barron, saxophonist Elliott Levin and percussionist Anthony Mohamed; and the premier of drummer Doug Hirlinger's Waveform Razorback, with trombonist Ben Gerstein and keyboardist Matt Mitchell. Moonstone Arts Center, 110 S. 13th St., 2nd Floor, 9 tonight, $8-$10, www.luckyoldsouls.com.
Slavic Soul Party: Brooklyn-based ensemble, led by Matt Moran (whose other identity is as vibraphonist for the Claudia Quintet) brings their Baltic brass-and-percussion dance party to town. Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9 tonight, $10, 215-739-9684, johnnybrendas.com.
Wilsonian's Grain: In-demand saxophonist Steve Wilson, most recently one-seventh of Blue Note Records' 70th-anniversary ensemble, has assembled a fantastic quartet with pianist Orrin Evans, bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Bill Stewart to explore his own songbook as well as a few standards. Chris' Jazz Café, 1421 Sansom St., 8 & 10 p.m. tomorrow, $22, 215-568-3131, www.chrisjazzcafe.com.
Matt Davis Quartet: Guitarist who left Philly last year to study at the Manhattan School of Music returns with a fine lineup of collaborators from both homes: Danish bassist and classmate Richard Andersson, Philly trumpeter John Swana and in-demand Brazilian percussionist Rogerio Boccato. Tritone, 1508 South St., 9:30 p.m. Monday, $5, 215-545-0475, www.tritonebar.com.
Avant Ascension: Monthly avant-garde showcase hosts Indian-American guitarist Rafiq Bhatia, Philly guitarist Tom Spiker's Mobile Pleasure Lounge and Test Kitchen. Tritone, 1508 South St., 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, $5, 215-545-0475, www.tritonebar.com.
Larry Brown Quintet: Pianist leads his straight-ahead Washington, D.C.-area band through songbook classics, jazz standards and tunes from somewhat dustier corners of the jazz repertoire. Chris' Jazz Café, 1421 Sansom St., 8 p.m. Thursday, $12, 215-568-3131, chrisjazzcafe.com.
Pennsylvania Ballet: The company presents one of its signature pieces, the magnificent "Romeo and Juliet" with incomparable music by Serge Prokofiev. The superlative dancing and ravishing score combine for a stirring experience. Beatrice Jona Affron conducts. Academy of Music, Broad and Locust streets, 7:30 tonight and 2 p.m. tomorrow, $24-$129, 215-893-1999, www.paballet.org.
Savoy Company: 110th season of Gilbert and Sullivan evergreens presents "Ruddigore," or "The Witch's Curse." John Burrows conducts the show, with direction by Roberta Morrell. Longwood Gardens, Route 1, Kennett Square, 8:30 tonight and tomorrow, $24, includes Gardens admission, 215-715-3972, www.savoy.com.
Concert Operetta Theater: Enterprising group's ninth season wraps with Oscar Strauss' "The Merry Nibelung," a 1904 spoof of Richard Wagner's epic "Ring" cycle. No wonder riots accompanied the first performances, because the wildly irreverent libretto (sung in English translation) is hip and laugh-out-loud hilarious. With Michael Ashby, Cynthia Cook and Daniel Lickteig. Jose Melendez conducts from the piano. Helen Corning Warden Theater, Academy of Vocal Arts, 1920 Spruce St., 4 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday, $25, 215-389-0648, www.concertoperetta.com.
Timothy Schwarz and Kate Ransom: Local violinists will each perform two Beethoven Violin Sonatas, with piano accompaniment by Bruce Murray. The choices are Nos. 1, 4, 6 and 7. Abington Presbyterian Church, 1802 York Road, Abington, 8 p.m. tomorrow, donation, 215-887-4530, www.apcusa.org.
Sinfonietta Nova: Gail H. Lee leads the ensemble in a tribute to Robert Schumann. The program includes the depiction of the Rhine river with the Third Symphony, dubbed the "Rhenish," and the Konzertstuck for four horns and orchestra, with Rutgers professor Douglas Lundeen and three graduate students as soloists. West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, 346 Clarksville Road, Princeton Junction, N.J., 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, $15, 609-462-4984, www.sinfoniettanova.org.
Philadelphia Boys Choir and Chorale: 42nd spring concert by the 120 voices offers an American songbook, from George M. Cohan's "Yankee Doodle Boy" to Robert S. Cohen's "Into the Light," written for the choir. Jeffrey R. Smith leads the chorus and orchestra in spirituals, jazz, folk and pop tunes, plus musical theater gems. Holy Trinity Church, 1904 Walnut Street, 4 p.m. Sunday, $40, 215-222-3500, www.phillyboyschoir.org.
Philadelphia Orchestra: The Mann Center for the Performing Arts season kicks off with two of the most surefire audience pleasers. Music director Rossen Milanov continues the summer showcasing of Curtis Institute of Music's budding artists. Pianist Haochen Zhang, gold medalist of last years's Van Cliburn Competition, leads off as soloist in the familiar Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1. Beethoven's mighty Ninth Symphony follows, with sopranos Heidi Melton and Katherine Lerner, tenor Kevin Ray and baritone Jonathan Beyer, along with the Philadelphia Singers Chorale, in this transcendent work. Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue, 8 p.m. Tuesday, $35-$50, lawn seats $10, 215-893-1999, manncenter.org.
Philadelphia Orchestra: Conductor Milanov's guest artists are - would you believe - Regis and Joy Philbin, doing the narration in Prokofiev's ebullient "Peter and the Wolf." Speaking of talent, oboist Peter Smith, clarinetist Samuel Caviezel, bassoonist Daniel Matsukawa and hornist Jeffrey Lang will also take center stage for Mozart's Sinfonia concertante, K.297b. Two other knockout punches wrap this family bill: Dukas' "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and Ravel's urgent "Bolero." Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue, 8 p.m. Tuesday, $40-$60, lawn seats $10, 215-893-1999, manncenter.org.
Metropolitan Opera: Replays of the live HD feeds to movie theatres begin with the spectacular version of Verdi's magnificent "Aida." At eight area movie theaters, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, $15, www.fathomevents.com.
Opera Company of Philadelphia: Mezzo Ruxandra Donose and soprano Maureen McKay portray "Orphee et Eurydice" in Gluck's masterful opera of tragic love, done in Berlioz's rare later French version. Corrado Rovaris conducts; direction by Robert Driver; sets by Philippe Amand. Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce streets, 7:30 p.m. Thursday and June 22-23; 2:30 p.m. June 19; and 8 p.m. June 25, $40-$130, 215-893-1999, operaphilly.com.