R&B Holiday Benefit Concert
Enjoy a mix of classic holiday tunes as well as originals from more than a handful of R&B artists. The annual holiday showcase sets out to raise money for a different local charity each year. This year’s concert will benefit the families of Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House. — Grace Dickinson
7 p.m. (doors open) Thursday, The Trocadero Balcony, 1003 Arch St., $12 online, $15 at the door, thetroc.com/event
Trolley Tour: A Festive Tradition
Explore the historic mansions of Fairmount Park at their absolute prime. Filled with yuletide decorations galore, Cedar Grove, Woodford, Lemon Hill, Strawberry Mansion, Laurel Hill, and Ormiston are all awaiting visitors for the annual holiday trolley tour. Across four days, tours depart from the Philadelphia Museum of Art and let participants view three of the decked-out houses. — G.D.
Dec. 13-16, trolley departs from and returns to the West Entrance (Anne d’Harnoncourt Drive) of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, $40, $25 for children 12 and under, philamuseum.org/calendarEvents
Dial Code Santa Claus
In this campy, little-known Christmas movie, a child defends his home against a holiday-time intruder. Sound familiar? Dial Code Santa Claus was actually produced a year before Home Alone hit the big screen, and instead of two goonish robbers, the villain in this flick is a very violent Santa. Be prepared for a bit of gore and a load of 1980s nostalgia. — Thea Applebaum Licht
7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th St. $12 ticket. 267-519-9651, www.philamoca.org.
SEPTA Holiday Celebration
Catch a ride on a holiday trolley car and come to see SEPTA’s own kind of beauty contest: the winners of the Holiday Bus Decoration contest, with tinseled and bedazzled vehicles. Crafting for the kids and warm drinks for all will be available. See online for full event schedule and trolley route. — T.A.L.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, University City District, University City Arts League, 4226 Spruce St. and Trolley Car Station, 3940 Baltimore Ave. Trolley rides free for children, $2.50 adults. 215-580-7800, www.iseptaphilly.com.
A Dream Is A Wish: Holiday Princess Concert
Little ones will delight in this live concert sing-along, featuring Cinderella and a whole crew of new young princess. The just-under-60-minute show is filled with over 15 holiday and movie-musical songs, including “A Dream Is a Wish,” “Let It Go,” “Jingle Bells,” “Winter Wonderland,” and more. Afterward, cookies, cider, and photo-ops with all of the princess characters will be available. — G.D.
3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday, Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 S. Broad St, $35, philadelphiatheatrecompany.org
Holiday Art Star Pop Up Market
Snap a photo with Santa in between scoring local gifts for your family and friends at this weekend’s Holiday Art Star Pop Up. The festive market will feature 30 different area vendors and a gift-wrapping station to conveniently put a bow on any purchase you may make. — G.D.
Dec. 15-16, Cherry Street Pier, 121 N. Christopher Columbus Blvd, free, artstarphilly.com
Space 1026 Art Auction
Space 1026 is gearing up to host its last annual art auction in its 11th and Arch Street locale. The building where the artist community has resided for the past 20 years was recently sold, and the collective must now find a new home. Always an incredible opportunity for collectors, both seasoned and new, to score original artwork at affordable prices, the auction on Saturday will also serve as an important fund-raiser for Space 1026, currently in the midst of a GoFundMe campaign to help the community create a future in a place of its own. — G.D.
6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 1026 Arch St., free, space1026.com
Winter Punk Rock Flea Market
Crafters, upcyclers, artists, and vintage salespeople will be in attendance at this year’s Winter Punk Rock Market, and there’s no reason not to stop by. Pick up some holiday gifts for your friends, be they records or handmade footwear, thrifted clothing or artwork, and maybe a few for yourself. — T.A.L.
4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Bok Building, 1901 S. 9th St. $5 adults, free children 12 and under. www.phillyprfm.com.
Elf at The Trocadero
Settle in for a little holiday theater fun this Monday at The Trocadero, screening Elf for its weekly Movie Monday series. Arrive dressed as a character from the film to get a $3 token for the bar. Those who arrive before 7 p.m. will also get $3 for the bar, which can be used on specials like $3 cans of PBR, $5 citywides, and other specials. — G.D.
6:30 p.m. (doors), 8 p.m. (film) Monday, The Trocadero, 1003 Arch St, facebook.com/events/2194665500577603
Dining with the Divas
Spend Sunday night being dazzled by some of Philadelphia’s most fabulous drag queens, set to put on a show to raise money for The Attic Youth Center. All ticket proceeds will go to the local organization, which provides a wide range of supportive programming for LGBTQ youth. Show up ready to laugh, and if able, a small donation in hand. The queens will be collecting toothbrushes, shampoo, socks, art supplies, and other items for the LGBT youth that the Attic serves. Check the event listing on PunchLinePhilly.com to see the full list of items requested for donation. — G.D.
7:30 p.m. Sunday, Punch Line Philly, 33 E. Laurel St, $17, punchlinephilly.com
Phosphorescent is Matthew Houck, the bearded former Brooklynite and now Nashville-based songwriter and bandleader whose new album C’est La Vie is another fine example of his knack for building cascading and enveloping country- and folk-rock song arrangement around his nasally voice. It’s his first album since 2013’s much-loved Muchacho, a record he’ll hopefully revisit on stage, along with his superbly understated 2009 album of Willie Nelson covers, To Willie. — Dan DeLuca
9 p.m. Friday at Theatre of Living Arts, 332 South St. $25. -215-922-1011. tlaphilly.com
Willie Nile / John Eddie
Over a career that spans four decades, Willie Nile has been one of those rockers who has never lost faith in the power of the music to uplift and inspire. Lately he’s been conveying that conviction through some of the best work of his career, including his most recent album, Children of Paradise, and he remains a dynamic live performer. John Eddie comes out of the same tradition, and while he never developed into the next Bruce Springsteen, he has grown into a smart and often witty songwriter in his own right. — Nick Cristiano
With Morgan Pinkstone, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Ardmore Music Hall, 23 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore. $22; $35. 610-649-8389, ardmoremusichall.com.
Chan Marshall, the soulful voiced singer who goes by the stage name Cat Power, has retained an air of alluring mystery about her music over a 20 plus year career in which she was initially dogged by stage fight and has only intermittently recorded. Her new self produced Wanderer is her first album in six years, and its an unhurried affair that plays to Marshall’s sultry strengths, including a surprise cover of Rihanna’s “Stay” and a duet with Lana Del Rey on “Woman.” Opening is Reverend Baron, the skateboarder turned folk guitarist Danny Garcia. — Dan DeLuca
8:30 p.m. Saturday at Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. $35. 215-232-2100. utphilly.com.
The Photon Band
Art DiFuria’s Photon Band was a fixture in the “Psychedelphia” scene in the late ’90s, along with bands such as the Lilys, Bardo Pond, and Mazarin. Enamored with the distorted guitars and clean melodies of ’60s garage and psychedelic rock as well as the effects-laden wall of sound of My Bloody Valentine, the Photon Band could veer quickly from easygoing sweetness to aggressive volume. Although DiFuria now teaches art history in Georgia at the Savannah College of Art and Design, he still releases music as the Photon Band, most recently 2015’s Songs of Rapture and Hatred. On Saturday at Johnny Brenda’s, DiFuria, bassist Jeff Tanner and drummer Patrick Berkery will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the first Photon Band album, All Young in the Soul. — Steve Klinge
9 p.m. Saturday at Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. $12. 215-739-9684, johnnybrendas.com.
The War On Drugs
It hasn’t been a bad year for the War On Drugs, the Philadelphia rock band that started off 2018 by winning a best rock album Grammy for A Deeper Understanding. The Adam Granduciel-led outfit winds down 15 months of touring for that album by inaugurating an annual tradition, with hometown shows at three different venues. It’s branded A Drug-Cember To Remember, with partial proceeds going to the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia. It begins Wednesday at Johnny Brenda’s with Martin Courtney of Real Estate opening, then moves on to Union Transfer with Tim Heidecker, Jeff Zeigler, and Dash Lewis and close it out on Dec. 21 at the Tower Theater with Frances Quinlan of Hop Along. — Dan DeLuca
8 p.m. Wednesday at Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. Sold out. 215-739-9684. johnnybrendas.com. Sold out.
8 p.m. Thursday at Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. Sold out. 215-232-2100. utphilly.com.
8 p.m. Friday at Tower Theater, 69th and Ludlow, Upper Darby. Sold out. 610-352-2887. towerphilly.com
Bebel Gilberto’s Tanto Tempo seemed ubiquitous in 2000, its seamless blend of acoustic bossa nova and electronic production perfect for coffee shop soundtracks. On subsequent albums, Gilberto has toyed with the balance of acoustic and electronic settings, her smooth, comforting alto equally at home in each. She has been quiet since 2014’s Tudo, aside from a live acoustic EP last year. Gilberto has said that her next album, produced by Thomas Bartlett, will be more electronic, but on Wednesday, she will be accompanied by acoustic guitarist Guilherme Monteiro. — S.K.
8 p.m. Wednesday at World Café Live, 3025 Walnut St. $38 advance, $40 day of show. 215-222-1400, worldcafelive.com.
Hiss Golden Messenger
Whether alone or with a group, MC Taylor — the singer-songwriter messenger behind Hiss Golden Messenger — creates a luminescent brand of folk ripe with as much devout emotion as it is filled with bracken and branches. Though he’s been Golden since 2008, Taylor’s last Merge recordings — 2016’s Heart Like a Levee and 2017’s Hallelujah Anyhow — sound as fresh and frank as his when we first met him, as each retain the innocence of an artist’s origin story without the awkwardness. — A.D. Amorosi
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden Street, $20, utphilly.com