- Brian Howard
The Clean, with Times New Viking, perform at 9:15 p.m. Wednesday at Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. Tickets: $15. Information: 215-739-9684, www.johnnybrendas.com.
Simone Felice has found the perfect venue to present songs from his new solo album: He and his band play the First Unitarian Church Side Chapel on Friday night, and his hushed acoustic songs possess a reverential seriousness appropriate for a pew-lined room. Felice was the drummer in the Felice Brothers and the leader of The Duke & The King; he's also a writer of stories and novels. The folk songs on his self-titled record often start with characters - "Bobby Ray," "Stormy-eyed Sarah," "Courtney Love," "Ballad of Sharon Tate" - but turn into meditations on loneliness, commitment, and loss. Although Felice has help on the album - from his brothers, from members of Mumford & Sons, from a children's choir - the focus is on his gentle acoustic guitar strumming and his softly sincere voice, and they should sound all the more freighted in the intimate venue. - Steve Klinge
Simone Felice plays at 8 p.m. Friday at the First Unitarian Church Side Chapel, 2125 Chestnut St. Tickets: $15. Information: 215-821-7575, www.r5productions.com.
Dengue Fever and Omar Souleyman
The combination of L.A.-based, Cambodian-inspired rock group Dengue Fever and Syrian folk-pop singer Omar Souleyman promises to be one of the most-inspired double bills of the year. Dengue Fever began performing covers of '60s Cambodian pop and psychedelic tunes in the early 2000s and started writing original material soon after, performing in both Khmer and English. The band has since released four LPs, all chock-full of jangly rhythms and eerie, ethereal vocals, an unexpected blend of James Bond-esque escapades and Bollywood sentimentality. Souleyman, meanwhile, was singing at weddings in the early 1990s before cassette tapes of his performances garnered him attention domestically and internationally. With modified synth and drum machines, frenetic beats, and impassioned vocals, Souleyman melds the convivial folk songs of the Middle East with Western techno beats.
- Katherine Silkaitis
Dengue Fever and Omar Souleyman perform at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. Tickets: $15. Information: 215-232-2100 or utphilly.com.