Franz Nicolay: On his own, the dashing, moustached Hold Steady keyboardist/singer proves a commanding, theatrical storyteller and soundscapist. David Dondero also gets a shot. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St. 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, $8, 215-291-4919, www.kungfunecktie.com.
John Bryne Band: Former front guy of Patrick's Head mixes rootsy rock and Irish music. Citizens Band Radio tunes in first. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 9 p.m. tomorrow, $13/$18, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com.
Clay Aiken: The season 2 "American Idol" runner-up has totally embraced the "Tried and True" with his classic pop-belter nature, putting his strong tenor to "Unchained Melody," "Misty," "What Kind of Fool Am I?" and "Mack the Knife." Good then; still is today. Keswick Theatre, Easton Road and Keswick Avenue, Glenside, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, $39.50 & $49.50, 215-572-7650, www.keswicktheatre.com.
The Scene Aesthetic: Sweet-voiced folk-pop duo charms and chimes like a male Indigo Girls. A perfect first date destination, and a natural for teen TV show scoring placements! You'll also get He Is We, Carter Hulsley, Plug In Stereo and Somersault Sunday. The Barbary, 951 Frankford Ave., 5 p.m. Sunday, $10/$12 (all ages), 215-634-7400, www.r5productions.com.
Mountain Heart: The beats of their rock, blues and country hearts could steal yours. With the Blueroots. Sellersville Theater, Main and Temple streets, Sellersville, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, $29.50, 215-257-5808, www.st94.com.
Winter Greens Tour: Pop/reggae bands Rebelution and Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad jam so nice, they're playing twice, with the Green on first. TLA, 334 South St., 8:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, $20, $17.50 (two-day pass, in advance), 800-745-3000, www.livenation.com.
James Hunter Band: Funny how Brits often give more props to classic American styles than "natives" do. The fabulous Mr. Hunter is steeped in the finger-popping cool of soul stompers like Jackie Wilson and Jimmy Witherspoon, and serves the masters with fresh, original material as good as the sources. Kindred spirit Jesse Dee (from Boston!) opens with his solid, time-warped fare. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, $25-$48 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com.
Jonathan Richman: Love him or not, you gotta admit there is only one Jonathan Richman, the adenoidal boy/man proto-punker rocker who laid down "Roadrunner," "That Summer Feeling" and "I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar." Clueless, maybe, but loving it! First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., 8 p.m. Tuesday, $17.50 215-821-7575, www.r5productions.com.
Danko Jones: While ever thinking bad thoughts, this party hearty rocker's got no remorse, no regrets, from his "nights in Satan's service." You, too, Brutus? With punk rockers the Rumblers. North Star Bar, 27th and Poplar streets, 8 p.m. Tuesday, $10, 215-787-0488, www.northstarbar.com.
Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys: Cajun swamp rock vets are integrating fresh sounds on their just dropped "Grand Isle" album and likely in their concerts - all to the good. Get ready to dance. Sellersville Theater, Main and Temple streets, Sellersville, 8 p.m. Tuesday, $19.50, 215-257-5808, www.st94.com. (For more spicy Louisiana music at this venue, try Marc Broussard Monday or Dr. John doing two shows Thursday.)
Bon Jovi: New Jersey's other big gift to heartland rock (and some of Philly's best friends) bring it all back home. Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St., 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, $16.50-$146.50, 215-336-3600, www.comcasttix.com.
Jim Boggia: Rid yourself of the February blahs with the sunny, warm and willing tunes of Philly's most accomplished "old school" pop rocker. Sweetening the deal, the taut and witty Tracy Bonham sings and saws (on violin) and one-named Bleu chomps on his crunchy nuggets. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., 8 p.m. Wednesday, $18/$20, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafe.live.com.
Peter Nero and the Philly Pops: On Feb. 3, 1959, a legendary Iowa plane crash took away Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper (Jiles Perry Richardson). It has been called "The Day the Music Died," but not with Nero and his hot forces on the case, celebrating this upbeat era as a dance party. Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center, 8 p.m. Wednesday and March 4, 3 p.m. March 5-6, $29-$110, 215-893-1999, www.phillypops.org.
Song Circle: Look who's gathered round to trade new tunes and tales: Eric Bazilian, Toby Lightman, Ben Shannon, Lizanne Knott and Amanda Penecale. Upstairs at World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., 8 p.m. Wednesday, $10, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com.
Carolina Chocolate Drops: A surprising hit at rock festivals, these fearless young talents do a terrific job reviving black minstrel/string band music from a bygone time. Birdie Busch and the Great Unknown perform, too. TLA, 334 South St., 8 p.m. Thursday $16/$19, 800-745-3000, www.livenation.com.
The City Music Project: Dance-beat indie-rock duo with electronic and live instrumentation celebrates the release of their "Visual-Audio" album on a bill with electonic duo City Rain and eclectic spinners Les Professionnels. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., 9 p.m. Thursday, $15 and $12 (students), 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com.
Marnie Stern: Avant pop savior attacks and conquers with her crazed calliope of clang. And yet, mathematical, my dear Watson. Kindred spirits Tera Melos set off bombs, too. First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., 8 p.m. Thursday, $12, 215-821-7575, www.r5productions.com.
Kem: Detroit-based singer's most recent work, "Intimacy: Album III," quickly rose to the No. 2 spot on the Billboard 200 when it was released in August. Fellow soul singers Ledisi and Musiq Soulchild will join him tonight for what is sure to be a fantastic show. Tower Theater, 19 S. 69th St., Upper Darby, 8 tonight, $49.50 and $69.50, 610-352-2887.
Mutlu: Blending R&B, funk, soul, reggae and Brazilian sounds, this Philly-based singer/songwriter is working on a follow up to his 2008 debut, "Livin' It." Also performing will be Kuf Knotz and Deep River. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., 6:30 tonight, $21 and $31, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com.
Mighty: DJ Dirty's monthly party is kicking it old school tonight with classic Motown, Stax and Polydor. Plus special guest DJ Brendan Bring Em. Silk City, 435 Spring Garden St., 10 tonight, $5, 21-plus, 215-592-8838, www.silkcityphilly.com.
Wednesday Night Reggae Sessions: Monthly party features some of the city's best dub, roots and culture and dancehall DJs. You can expect to hear great sets from Solomonic Sound System, Ital Sound and Rascul Int'l. Silk City, 435 Spring Garden St., 10 p.m. Wednesday, $5, 21-plus, 215-592-8838, www.silkcityphilly.com.
The Attic: DJ Foxx Boogie and the Get Free Movement celebrate the two-year anniversary of this monthly hip-hop party. With ciphers, b-boy circles and a fantastic selection of old-school and underground hits, the event shows no signs of stopping. Tattooed Mom, 530 South St., 10 p.m. Thursday, no cover, 21-plus, 215-238-9880, www.myspace.com/tattooed_mom.
Creepoid: The psych band's first Philly show since selling out Kung Fu Necktie for their "Horse Heaven" record release party. They play with the similar-minded Vandelles, Invisible Days and Lux Perpetua. Tritone, 1508 South St., 9 tonight, $5, 215-545-0475, www.tritonebar.com
One Piece Fest: Anti-folk and comic book artist Jeffrey Lewis headlines a bill of those who choose to fly solo: The Dead Milkmen's Joe Jack Talcum, Gull, Spoonboy and Mike Bell. Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Arts, 7 tonight, $8, all ages, 267-519-9651, www.philamoca.com.
Two Piece Fest: The Unstoppable Japanther Machine, Sunny Ali & the Kid, Slutever, Best Friends and Hulk Smash are just some of the duos performing at the 22-band event. The Ox, 2nd and Oxford streets, 2 to 11 p.m. tomorrow, $8, all ages, www.myspace.com/theoxphiladelphia.
AMP It Up: East Coast all-ages music summit is an evening of panels (yours truly is on one), speakers, training, networking and live music designed for staff, volunteers, allies and fans of all-ages music venues and youth music organizations. Includes a keynote speech by Ian MacKaye of Dischord Records/Fugazi/Minor Threat and sets by Slutever and SGNLS. Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St., 5 to 11:30 p.m. tomorrow, $5-15, 215-573-3234, all ages, www.therotunda.org.
D.R.I.: Otherwise known as Dirty Rotten Imbeciles, the hardcore/thrash metal road warriors rock the Troc with Paths 2 Glory, the Heels and Live Set Disaster. Trocadero, 10th and Arch streets, 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, $16.50-$18, all ages, 215-922-LIVE, www.thetroc.com.
Tragedy: Metal Bee Gees tribute plays with Rad Bromance (a male Lady Gaga tribute), and new Philly Go-Go's tribute band Lust2Love. North Star Bar, 27th and Poplar streets, 9 p.m. tomorrow $10, 215-787-0488, www.northstarbar.com.
Rigor Mortis Revue: Burlesque troupe hosts a costume party for all things outer space with rockabilly band Young Werewolves. El Bar, 1356 N. Front St., 9 p.m. tomorrow, $3-$5, 215-634-6430, http://theyoungwerewolves.
Meg Baird: Espers' singer/songwriter/guitarist plays the Folkadelphia Concert Series with Arborea, a Maine duo who specialize in psychedelia and backwater folk. Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 1 p.m. Sunday, $7, 215-739-9684, www.johnnybrendas.com.
3 Piece Fest: A celebration of trios including Algernon Cadwallader, Party Photographers, Black Kites, and more. Danger Danger Gallery, 5013 Baltimore Avenue, 7 p.m. Sunday, $8, all ages, dangerdangergallery.com.
Pete Donnelly: Founding member of the Figgs as well as the Candy Butchers and the Terry Adams Rock and Roll Quartet kicks off his monthly residency, where he will preview songs from his upcoming release, "When You Come Home." M Room, 15 W. Girard Ave., 8 p.m. Tuesday, $5, 215-739-5577, mroomphilly.com.
Purling Hiss: The latest buzz band is the lo-fi psych side project from Birds of Maya guitarist Mike Polizze. Watery Love and DJ Mental Feelings are also on the bill. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 8 p.m. Thursday, $8, 215-291-4919, kungfunecktie.com.
Kevin Hays: This undersung pianist counts three albums for Blue Note among his releases. He'll lead his decade-old trio featuring bassist Doug Weiss and drummer Bill Stewart. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th Street & Ben Franklin Parkway, 5:45 and 7:15 tonight, free with regular museum admission of $16, 215-763-8100, philamuseum.org.
Blindspot: Local presenting organizations Bowerbird and Ladybird offer a festival of music and dance based around the historic Christ Church's pipe organ. Performers include Sun Ra Arkestra leader Marshall Allen and keyboardist Farid Barron, minimalist pioneer Tony Conrad and conceptual artists/Man Man co-founders the Dufala Brothers. Through March 6. Ticket prices vary. Christ Church & Christ Church Neighborhood House, 2nd Street above Market, www.blindspot2011.org.
Dan Blacksberg Trio: Local trombonist leads his inventive band with bassist Matt Engle and drummer Mike Szekely. Also on the bill: the trio of trumpeter Joe Moffett and guitarists Nick Millevoi and Alban Bailly; and experimental vocal pieces with coloratura soprano Bonnie Lander and composer/musicians David Smooke and Erik Spangler. Highwire Gallery, 2040 Frankford Ave., 8 tonight, $6, www.museumfire.com/events.
Ralph Peterson's Unity Project: The drum great's organ group pays homage to the legacy of Larry Young while keeping its focus on the future rather than the past. Philadelphia Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Square, 8 tonight, $25, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bootsie Barnes/Larry McKenna: Philly's two greatest tenors continue their long-running collaboration at the helm of their organ quartet. Chris' Jazz Café, 1421 Sansom St., 8 & 10 p.m. tonight, $15, 215-568-3131, www.chrisjazzcafe.com.
Christian McBride: Probably the leading bassist of his generation, McBride celebrates Black History Month with the first performance of his suite "The Movement, Revisited" in his native West Philly. The piece pays homage to Civil Rights icons Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. , Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali with a new movement honoring the election of Barack Obama, with the University of Pennsylvania's New Spirit of Penn Gospel Choir and the Penn Jazz Ensemble. Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 3680 Walnut St., 8 p.m. tomorrow, $20-$40, 215-898-3900, www.AnnenbergCenter.org.
Marc Copland: Philly-born, NYC-based pianist, a master of harmonic intricacy and hushed elegance, leads a fantastic quartet featuring triomates Doug Weiss and Bill Stewart (who have a busy weekend here) and guest trumpeter Tim Hagans, a longtime collaborator. Chris' Jazz Cafe, 1421 Sansom St., 8 & 10 p.m. tomorrow, $20-$22, 215-568-3131, www.chrisjazzcafe.com.
Korey Riker: The saxophonist, whose work with the Roots, John Legend, Jill Scott and other soul artists shows in his groove-heavy compositions, celebrates the release of his debut CD, "Prehumous," with a fantastic group of locals: bassist Nimrod Speaks, keyboardist Luke O'Reilly and drummer Justin Faulkner. Chris' Jazz Café, 1421 Sansom St., 11:30 p.m. tomorrow, $10, 215-568-3131, www.chrisjazzcafe.com.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: It's a homecoming and a going-away celebration for Philly native Judith Jamison, who's in her final season as artistic director. The program includes "Revelations," Ailey's stirring signature work about the African-American experience, told through dance set to slave spirituals, gospel and blues. Academy of Music, Broad & Locust streets, 2 and 8 p.m. tomorrow, 2 p.m. Sunday, $26- $72, 215-893-1999, www.kimmelcenter.org
Pilobolus: Amazing troupe combines astonishing human architecture, agility, visual effects and humor in an unforgettable, undefinable blend. They'll present three new works - "Redline," "The transformation" and "Hapless Hooligan in 'Still Moving' " - sending audiences out in amazed glee. Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut St., 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. March 4-5 and 2 p.m. March 5-6, $34-$58, 215-898-3900, www.annenbergcenter.org.
Philadelphia Orchestra: Charles Dutoit returns, leading Berlioz' Overture to "Beatrice and Benedict" and Tchaikovsky's evergreen Fifth Symphony. His soloist is the Siberian-born violinist Vadim Repin, who will play the American premiere of Scotsman James McMillan's Violin Concerto. Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Broad and Spruce streets, 2 p.m. today and 8 p.m. tomorrow, $39-$125, 215-893-1999, www.philorch.org
Main Line Symphony Orchestra: Continuing the ensemble's 65th season, Philadelphia Orchestra bassist Henry Scott conducts Prokofiev's brilliant "Lieutenant Kije" Suite, composed for a lost film, plus Beethoven's Third Symphony, the famous "Eroica." Scott's section leader, the eminent bassist Harold Robinson, is the soloist in the Double Bass Concerto by longtime Boston Symphony conductor Serge Koussevitzky. Valley
Forge Middle School, 105 W. Walker Road, Wayne, 8 tonight, $15, 610-688-0235, www.mlso.org.
Miro String Quartet members & Shai Wosner: Pianist Wosner is featured in this program, performing Mozart's K.475 Fantasy and two of his Preludes and Fugues after Bach. He'll join with the string players for Piano Quartets by Mozart (K.493) and the Op. 87 by Dvorak. Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 8 tonight, $23, 215-569-8080, www.pcmsconcerts.org.
Liebesfreud: Fine chamber ensemble performs the Schubert B-Flat Trio, offering a perfect way to wind down the work week. Philadelphia Art Alliance, 251 S. 18th St., 5:30 tonight, free, 215-545-4302, www.philartalliance.org.
Temple University Wind Symphony: Arthur Chodoroff leads the band in Nelhybel's Prelude and Fugue, Wagner's "Trauersinfonie," Schmitt's "Dionysiaques," Morton Gould's Fourth Symphony and an arrangement of Ravel's famous "Bolero." Lew Klein Hall, Baptist Temple, Broad Street and Polett Walk, 7:30 tonight, free, 215-204-7600, www.temple.edu/boyer.
"Iphegenie in Tauride" Metropolitan Opera Live-in-HD presentation of Gluck's elegant opera, telling the story of the Greek myth, features mezzo Susan Graham and the indefatigable tenor Placido Domingo, with tenor Paul Groves. Patrick Summers conducts, with staging by Stephen Wadsworth. At eight area movie theaters, 1 p.m. tomorrow, $24, www.fathomevents.com.
Academy of Vocal Arts: Richard Strauss' lush "Arabella," the tale of a self-assured Viennese woman from a financially troubled family who won't settle for less than love, is a perfect match for these superb young singers. Luke Housner will conduct from the keyboard, with direction by David Gately. Helen Corning Warden Theater, 1920 Spruce St., 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and Tuesday, $50, 215-735-1685, www.avaopera.org.
Joan Lippincott: Famous organist, Curtis graduate and Bach specialist performs on the Fred J. Cooper memorial instrument: Bach's C Minor Passacaglia and Liszt's Prelude and Fugue on B-A-C-H, plus Mozart's K.608 Fantasy, Alain's Three Dances and works by Ned Rorem and Aaron Copland. Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center, 3 p.m. tomorrow, $19-$28, 215-893-1999, www.kimmelcenter.org.
Curtis Institute students: Cellist Sarah Rommel performs the Second Suite by Reger and Ligeti's solo Sonata, then teams with pianist Jungeun Kim for the A Major Sonata by Franck. Ballroom at Longwood Gardens, Route 1, Kennett Square, 1 p.m. Sunday, free with $18 Gardens admission, 610-388-1000, www.longwoodgardens.org.
Philadelphia Orchestra: Rebroadcast in HD of the weekend concert features Charles Dutoit leading Berlioz' Overture to "Beatrice and Benedict," Tchaikovsky's evergreen Fifth Symphony and James McMillan's Violin Concerto, with Vadim Repin as soloist. Bryn Mawr Film Institute, 824 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, 2 p.m. Sunday, $20, 610-527-4008, www.brynmawrfilm.org.
Curtis Institute children's concert: Prokofiev's beloved "Peter and the Wolf," arranged for woodwind quintet and narrator, is geared for kids 5 and over and features interaction with the performers. Field Concert Hall, Curtis Institute of Music, 1726 Locust St., 2 and 4 p.m. $5 for adults, free for children under 12, 215-893-7902, www.curtis.edu.
Philadelphia Orchestra chamber musicians: Performing two Second String Quartets by composers whose Concertos are being played by the Orchestra: "Why is this Night Different" by James MacMillan and "The Edelman Quartet" by Jonathan Leshnoff. The wrap is the gorgeous Sixth String Quartet by Dvorak, subtitled the "American." Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 3 p.m. Sunday, $23-$32, 215-893-1999, www.philorch.org.
Peter Stumpf: Outstanding cellist, onetime Philadelphia Orchestra member and now principal in the Los Angeles Philharmonic, returns with a program of four solo cello pieces: Britten's Suite, Dutilleux' "Trois Strophes sur le nom de Sacher" and Sonatas by Ligeti and Kodaly. Settlement Music School, 4th and Queen streets, 3 p.m. Sunday, $16.50, 215-569-8080, www.pcmsconcerts.org.
Philadelphia Trio: Veteran ensemble made up of pianist Elizabeth Keller, violinist Barbara Sonies and cellist Deborah Reeder continues their season with three powerful Trios. They've programmed works by Beethoven, the Op. 70 ("Ghost"), Dvorak (Op. 26) and the busy local composer Jennifer Higdon. Main Line Unitarian Church, 816 Valley Forge Road, Devon, 3 p.m. Sunday, $15, 610-664-0346.
Pennsylvania Girl Choir: The Motet Choir and Troubadors perform plainsong, classical and contemporary songs plus spirituals, under the leadership of Mark Anderson. First Presbyterian Church in Germantown, 35 W. Chelten Ave., 3 p.m. Sunday, free-will offering, 215-849-1762, www.pagirlchoir.org.
Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra: Geoff McDonald conducts Mozart's Overture to "The Abduction from the Seraglio," Haydn's Symphony No. 100 (the "Military"), Mendelssohn's "The Hebrides" Overture and Beethoven's Second Symphony. Science Center, Montgomery County Community College, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, 3 p.m. Sunday, $10, 215-641-6518, www.pyos.org.
Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia: Alan Harler leads this eminent chorus in a sublime program, with Maurice Durufle's sumptuous 1947 Requiem the major piece. But the bill also includes a newly commissioned work by Rollo Dilworth and Leonard Bernstein's "The Lark," written as incidental music in 1955 for a play about Joan of Arc. First Baptist Church of Philadelphia, 123 S. 17th St., 4 p.m. Sunday, $25, 215-735-9922, mcchorus.org.
Wister String Quartet: On the bill, Respighi's "Il Tramonto" ("The Sunset") with Cantor Elizabeth Shammash as mezzo soloist, four Tangos, Louis Gesensway's Five Russian Pieces, Barber's revered String Quartet and Falla's "Dance Espagnole." Cellist Lloyd Smith, who arranged the Falla, is recovering from surgery and Brook Speltz steps in. Teferet Bet Israel, 1920 Skippack Pike, Blue Bell, 4 p.m. Sunday, $15, 610-275-8797, extension 144.
Joyce DiDonato: Deservedly one of the most famous mezzo-sopranos on the planet, this Academy of Vocal Arts alumna became even more celebrated after breaking her leg in "The Barber of Seville" in London, then finishing the run in a wheelchair. For this visit, accompanied by pianist David Zobel, she's singing arias by Haydn, Rossini, Chaminade and Hahn, plus three Italian love songs. Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 8 p.m. Monday, $23, 215-569-8080, www.pcmsconcerts.org.
Ysaye String Quartet: Paris-based musicians, who formed their ensemble back in 1984, have scheduled three major Quartets: Mozart's K.387, Faure's Op. 121 and Brahms' Op. 51/1. American Philosophical Society, 427 Chestnut St., 8 p.m. Tuesday, $23, 215-569-8080, pcmsconcerts.org.
Philadelphia Orchestra: Charles Dutoit has championed the outstanding "Beyond the Score" programs, illuminating major repertory works. Richard Strauss' rampaging, autobiographical "Ein Heldenleben" ("A Hero's Life"), will receive a treatment with host Gerard McBurney, actor Alex Bechtel, soprano Kirsten MacKinnon and pianist Mikael Eliasen, all before a complete performance. Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center, 7 p.m. Thursday, $15-$45, 215-893-1999, philorch.org.
Andreas Haefliger: Swiss-born pianist, who scored recently soloing in a Bartok Concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra, is taking over for the ill Nelson Friere. He'll perform Mozart's K.330 Sonata and K.540 Adagio, two sections from Liszt's "Years of Pilgrimage" and his arrangement of Wagner's "Liebestod," ending with the mighty final D.960 Piano Sonata by Schubert. Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center, 8 p.m. Thursday, $23, 215-569-8080, pcmsconcerts.org.