Lots of music to hear this weekend
MUSIC Lady of Mystery
Lady of Mystery
Matching her haunted, tremulous voice to darkly poetic, dramatic songs of the country-rock persuasion, Megan Reilly casts an enchanting spell. There's some sonic kinship to Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris, though Reilly seems more forceful and spirit-shaking. It's an impression enhanced on her new album ("The Well") by the rocking/tremulous guitarists James Mastro and Lenny Kaye and, in her mellower mode, by a fingerpicking/singing John Wesley Harding, whom Reilly's opening for Friday night. That guarantees at least one duet. Reilly and Harding also make an appearance for Record Store Day on Saturday.
Tin Angel, 20 S. 2nd St., 7:30 p.m. Friday, $20, 215-928-0978, tinangel.com. Main Street Music 4444 Main Street, Manayunk, 2-3 p.m. Saturday, 215-487-7732, mainstreetmusicpa.com.
Pop-Up Concert Tour
The slip-sliding, psychedelic rocking Cheers Elephant celebrate a "blue horizon underneath a Philadelphia sun" on their song "6th and Girard." Also to love — their "pop-up concert tour" sponsored by WXPN. First stop is a live Free at Noon broadcast Friday at 88.5 FM. Then Saturday they're making stops at three area disc emporiums for Record Store Day.
Repo Records, 538 South St., 10:45 a.m. Saturday; Main Street Music, 4444 Main St., 1 p.m. Saturday; Siren Music, 25 E.State St., Doylestown, 3:15 p.m. Saturday. xpn.org/concerts-events/ record-store-day.
It's Always Sunny in North Jersey
Verging on a novelty act (and what's wrong with that?) Fountains of Wayne pair super-catchy pop-rock tunes with sardonic character studies of suburbanites gone sour — from a bored, 'shroom-swallowing housewife to a would-be action hero whose only race is to oblivion. James Iha, of Smashing Pumpkins fame, is the opener.
Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., 8:30 p.m. Friday, $30, 215-232-2100, utphilly.com.
You don't have to be a believer to like Needtobreathe. But by the time they're done with you, these Christian-toned adult rockers might make you see the light. Ben Rector starts the show.
Electric Factory, 7th and Willow streets, 9 p.m. Friday, $22.50, 215-627-1332, electricfactory.info.
Phila of Jazz
Drummer/composer/educator Ari Hoenig brings his breezy (yet intricate) jazz-quartet ruminations for hometown aficionados.
Chris Jazz Cafe, 1421 Sansom St., 8 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, $15-$20, 215-568-3131, chrisjazzcafe.com.
It would be unfair to suggest Kina Grannis owes it all to YouTube. The pretty, Asian-American artist writes and delivers melancholy toned, strummy guitar girl-pop that tugs nicely at heart and ears. But no question she's jumped out of the crowd with the viral force of YouTube, pushing Grannis' cause to millions through nifty video versions of "Valentine," "Message From Your Heart" (a contest winner rewarded with Super Bowl exposure) and the adorable, jelly-bean-animated "In Your Arms." Yum. Imaginary Friend opens, invisibly?
TLA, 334 South St., 8 p.m. Saturday, $15, $17 and $20 (VIP), 800-745-3000, livenation.com.
Nuevo flamenco talents Rodrigo y Gabriela are flaunting growth and a really big budget on their latest "Area 52" album and tour. Building extra momentum and fire for the Spanish-guitar slams, the duo engages in a heated give-and-take with wailing horn players, percolating piano, sweeping strings and the slaphappy percussion of the big-band C.U.B.A.
Tower Theater, 69th and Ludlow, 8 p.m. Saturday, $35, $45, $49.50, 800-745-3000, livenation.com.
Lift Me Up
Electronica-infused pop comes in many flavors these days. Chairlift takes a most sophisticated yet accessible approach — almost folky or easy listening, like a new age Thompson Twins. On their latest "Something" album, Jennifer Polachek's vocalizing oozes sensuality and intrigue, enhanced by keyboard sonic dazzle, while partner Patrick Wimberly fills the holes on bass, guitar, piano, percussion and the all-important sequencer. Nite Jewel (aka Ramona Gonzalez) opens in a low-fi, hazy daze.
Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9:15 p.m. Sunday, $13/$14, 215-739-9684, johnnybrendas.com.
Wearing the Green
A perfect capper for Earth Day, the earnest, organic approach of Green River Ordinance offers more of that crunchy organic-lite rock we know and like from Train, Augustana and the Fray. The Texas troupe's fresh set of anthems, "Under Fire," tosses extra country touches on the blaze set by the brothers Geoff and Jamey Ice, Josh Jenkins, Joshua Wilkerson and Denton Hunker. Kindred spirit Graham Colton opens the show here.
World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., 8 p.m. Sunday, $17/$20, 215-222-1400, worldcafelive.com.
It was actually 51 years ago that the Dovells released their hit dance song, "The Bristol Stomp," but the unit's Saturday-night show at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Collingswood, N.J., is part of the single's 50th anniversary tour. Co-headlining with the Overbrook High School-born act is another 1960s chart-topping act, Jay & the Americans.
Scottish Rite Auditorium, 315 White Horse Pike, 8 p.m., $52.50, $42, $37 and $32, 800-736-1420, ticketmaster.com.
My name is Merle
The word "legend" has been overused in show business to the point of meaninglessness. But if anyone deserves to have it applied, it is country titan Merle Haggard, who headlines Saturday at Harrah's Resort Atlantic City.
By any account, Haggard, who just turned 75, helped set the template for country music with his heartfelt, to-the-bone lyrical observations about life and his "outlaw" persona (he actually did time for robbery in the late-'50s at California's San Quentin State Prison).
This rare area gig isn't just for Haggard or country fans, but for anyone with a love of, and appreciation for, American music.
Harrah's, 777 Harrah's Blvd., 9 p.m., $65, $55 and $45, 800-736-1420, ticketmaster.com.
Break out your Harry Potter glasses or your "Where the Wild Things Are" crown and monster PJs for the Please Touch Museum's Annual Storybook Ball. Dress up as your favorite storybook characters to ride the carousel, dance the night away, chow down on kid-friendly cuisine and meet the winners of the museum's 27th Annual Book Award. Proceeds from the evening go to Play Without Boundaries, benefiting children with disabilities.
Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, 6-9 p.m., Saturday, $15, 215-581-3181, pleasetouchmuseum.org.
Mauckingbird Theatre Company, Philadelphia's premier gay theater company, pays tribute to a civil-rights organization that paved the way for groups like theirs to exist. "The Temperamentals," so named for a code word gay men used to refer to themselves, follows the founders of the Mattachine Society, one of the country's first gay-rights organizations. Set during the '50s, "The Temperamentals" isn't strictly political, focusing on the love story between Harry Hay (Matt Tallman) and Viennese refugee and designer Rudi Gernreich (John Jarboe).
Skybox at The Adrienne Theatre, 2030 Sansom St., through April 29, $15-$25, 215-923-8909, mauckingbird.org.
Want to show off that un-ripped ticket stub from Bruce Springsteen's Dec, 31, 1975, Tower Theater gig? Or how about that drum stick Max Weinberg signed for you? Saturday at McFadden's Restaurant & Saloon at Citizens Bank Park, you can do just that as the Philadelphia Springsteen Memories Roadshow sets up shop at the ballpark pub.
The event also features appearances by photographer Art Reilly, who shot the Boss at some of his earliest regional performances, and Lawrence Kirsch, publisher of For You: Original Stories and Photographs by Bruce Springsteen's Legendary Fans. There will also be music from Springsteen tribute band Asbury Fever, beginning at 9 p.m.
Admission is free, but voluntary donations to two Springsteen-supported charities — the Kristen Ann Carr Fund for research and treatment of sarcoma cancers and Philabundance — are requested.
McFadden's, Citizens Bank Park, 6:30 p.m., 215-952-0300, mcfaddensballpark.com/roadshow.
Picnic for a cause
In an effort to create the world record for largest multivenue outdoor picnic, the Nature Conservancy has chosen Clark Park as its outdoor venue. The first 100 picnickers will receive free grub courtesy of Elevation Burger while others are encouraged to bring their own picnicking goodies (Hint: The delicious Desi Chaat House, 501 S. 42nd St., is only a five-minute walk from the park). n
Clark Park, 43rd St. and Chester Ave., noon-4 p.m., Saturday, free, friendsofclarkpark.org
—Compiled by Jonathan Takiff, Molly Eichel and Chuck Darrow.