Music critics' picks
HIP-HOP, R&B Canadian hip-hop artist Drake is arguably the biggest new star the genre has seen in some time. Although his first album, "Thank Me Later," won't hit stores until Tuesday, Drake has already made a huge impression. Take his 2009 mixtape "So
Canadian hip-hop artist Drake is arguably the biggest new star the genre has seen in some time. Although his first album, "Thank Me Later," won't hit stores until Tuesday, Drake has already made a huge impression. Take his 2009 mixtape "So Far Gone." Despite being released online for free, the CD version of the mixtape would sell nearly 500,000 copies and make it to No. 6 on the Billboard 200. Having collaborated with industry heavyweights like Lil' Wayne, Jay-Z and Eminem, Drake, at just 23, already has had a more impressive career than many artists who have been at it twice as long. Joining Drake will be Francis and the Lights, an interesting New York-based band that turned more than a few heads locally at last year's Roots Picnic. Led by the animated Francis Farewell Starlite, the band is also featured on Drake's "Thank Me Later." The Lights will shine on their own full-length album due out in July, "It'll Be Better."
TLA, 334 South St., 8 p.m. Wednesday, $45, 215-922-1011.
- James Johnson
POP . . . plus
He moved from California to Australia at 10, and he's been trying to put the cultural pieces back together ever since. First singing and picking on acoustic and slide Dobro guitars, John Butler sounded like a Down-Under G. Love or Jack Johnson. But with his new album, "April Uprising," and latest trio, the hipster's all over the place, at turns funky and finger-pointing on "C'mon Now" (a fave), rocking harder and snotty on the oddly voiced "To Look Like You," or reverting to his old-timey balladeering ways on the banjo-plucked "Ragged Mile." Some think Butler's diluted his personality. I hear a guy stretching to keep things interesting for himself and the gang at a crowded concert plaza. With State Radio and Australian siblings Angus & Julia Stone.
Festival Pier, Columbus Boulevard and Spring Garden Street, 7 p.m. Thursday, $29.50, 800-745-300, www.livenation.com.
- Jonathan Takiff
If you want to be an art collector without breaking the bank, then try In Liquid's Art for the Cash Poor, an annual two-day party where you can buy pieces from local artists for under $199. The music includes the Chuck Treece-led Philly hardcore faves McRad, the rootsy North American Midnight Singers, garage-rockers Knife Show and more. Plus there are raffles from dozens of local galleries and businesses such as 12th Street Gym, the Print Center and Cantina Dos Segundos.
Crane Arts Building, 1400 N. American St., 1 to 6 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday, 215-235-3405, www.inliquid.com.
- Sara Sherr
The annual DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival honoring Wilmington's favorite jazz son, the late trumpet icon Clifford Brown, would be a draw based on the relaxed atmosphere of its outdoor setting in Rodney Square. But the lineup in its 22nd year offers a good reason to haul out the lawn chair each of its five evenings. Swing into gear Tuesday with pianist Champian Fulton's trio and singer/guitarist John Pizzarelli's throwback Swing 7; the next night's Latin, with Cuban-born percussionist Omar Sosa's Afreecanos Quartet and trumpeter/percussionist Jerry Gonzalez's groundbreaking Fort Apache Band. Torch-carriers Ravi Coltrane and Cindy Blackman share a double-bill on Thursday, while bassist Marcus Miller leads a tribute to Miles Davis' "Tutu" album with trumpeter Christian Scott on Friday. It culminates with keyboardist Chick Corea's all-star Freedom Band on Saturday, featuring altoist Kenny Garrett, bassist Christian McBride and legendary drummer Roy Haynes.
Rodney Square, 11th & Market streets, Wilmington, Del., June 14-20, free, 302-576-3095, www.cliffordbrownjazzfest.com.
- Shaun Brady
While Gustav Mahler was at his idyllic Austrian summertime retreat, writing his gigantic Third Symphony, young conductor Bruno Walter visited and marveled at the lakeside scenery. "You need not stand staring at that," said Mahler, "I have already composed it all."
His enormous panorama, inspired by spiritualism and nature, begins with a depiction of summer's entrance, a colossal first movement longer than most symphonies.
Conductor Charles Dutoit, who has led the Philadelphia Orchestra's season with masterful elegance, has chosen this sprawling powerhouse as the season closer. In the fourth movement, mezzo Mihoko Fujimura sings the Nietzchean texts, and the women of the Philadelphia Singers Chorale join in the finale's exultant celebration of abundant love and humanity.
Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce streets, 8 p.m. tonight and tomorrow, $39-$125, 215-893-1999, www.philorch.org.
- Tom Di Nardo