On a more intimate scale, here's a handful: Richard Lloyd of Television at Milkboy Philly on June 7; former Ween singer Aaron Freeman at World Cafe Live on June 21; Swedish-New Orleanian one-woman band Theresa Andersson at the Tin Angel, June 15; Purling Hiss at Johnny Brenda's on June 26; and Low Cut Connie and Wussy on Aug. 10 at the North Star Bar. Also, there's a new Morgan's Pier spot on the site of the old Rock Lobster, where Bleeding Rainbow will play June 9 and bands will be playing every Saturday.
In its fifth year, the wide-ranging Festival Pier event, hosted by Philadelphia and the world's greatest live hip-hop band, expands to two days, Saturday and Sunday. This year's event has serious old-school hip-hop cred with De La Soul and Rakim, state-of-the-art dance music cred with Diplo, Major Lazer, and a DJ set by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, femme alt-rock cred with Tune-Yards and St. Vincent, and new-school hip-hop cred with Wale and Kid Cudi. Plus, the band that no one dares follow on stage: the Roots themselves. Information: www.livenation.com.
Drake's come a long way since playing Jimmy Brooks on Degrassi: The Next Generation. The sometimes melancholy Canadian hip-hop heartthrob got plenty of respect for his 2011 sophomore release, Take Care, and plenty of not-quite-earned Marvin Gaye comparisons to boot. He's at the Susquehanna Bank Center on June 9, and speculation is running amok that he'll also be added to the Budweiser Made in America lineup on Labor Day weekend. Information: www.livenation.com.
The Icelandic art-rock band Sigur Rós make strangely enveloping ambient music that seems ideally suited to a midsummer night's eve. The band's transfixing new album, Valtari, marks a return after a four-year hiatus, and the group will be 11 members strong for their two dates, July 29 and 30, at the new outdoor Skyline Stage on top of the hill at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. Information: www.manncenter.org.
Jilly from Philly's Summer Block Party is becoming an annual event. This summer, the North Philly R&B singer and poet, still touring behind last year's The Light of the Sun, is bringing it to Fairmount Park June 23, with stylist soul man Kem and Will Smith's better half, DJ Jazzy Jeff, also on the bill. Information: www.manncenter.org.
Ten years apart, Norah Jones has made the two essential albums of her career. Back in 2002, the ingenue debuted with the Grammy-grabbing, mega-million-selling, cool jazz sultry country Come Away With Me, and after tweaking that formula on a series of subsequent releases with mixed results, she's got her groove back with the new Little Broken Hearts. The collaboration with producer Danger Mouse adds synthesizers to the mix and tweaks her sound ever so slightly on her best batch of songs in years. Jones plays the Mann on June 28. Information: www.manncenter.org.
There's a strong lineup for the Appel Farm Music & Arts Festival in Elmer, N.J. Blues powerhouse the Tedeschi Trucks Band, featuring guitarist Susan Tedeschi and her axman husband Derek Trucks, tops the bill, along with modern African American jug band Carolina Chocolate Drops, Laurel Canyon rockers Dawes, country rock songwriting veteran Rodney Crowell, and Nickel Creek fiddle player Sara Watkins. It happens Saturday at Appel Farm. Information: www.appelfarm.org.
Thom Yorke and his Oxford, England, beautiful music-making band are finally winding their way around the U.S. to Camden on their tour behind 2011's The King of Limbs. Their songs are not groundbreaking by Radiohead standards, but it's still a pretty darn good eighth studio album. Expect to be transported June 13 at the Susquehanna Bank Center. Information: www.livenation.com.
Wilco, Avett Brothers, Dr. Dog at the Xponential Music Festival
This year, the WXPN-FM Xponential Music Festival is expanding. There will still be a weekend's worth of action at Wiggins Park in Camden with estimable acts like JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound, JT McPherson, Kathleen Edwards, Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo, and a trio of local bands with militaristic names: the War on Drugs, Work Drugs, and Good Old War. On the Saturday night, however, the fest moves next door to the Susquehanna Bank Center, with Wilco, the Avett Brothers, and Philly's own Dr. Dog headlining. The next night, there's another, less appealing Susq show with Counting Crows. It's scheduled July 20 to 22. Information: www.xpn.org and www.livenation.com.
Firefly Music Festival
Along with Metallica's Orion + More festival in Atlantic City in June and Jay-Z's Made in America fest over Labor Day weekend, the big kahuna rock festival in the area this summer is Firefly, which will be held July 20 to 22 in Dover, Del. Headliners for the three-day camping fest are Jack White, the Killers, and Black Keys, and featured acts include John Legend, Flaming Lips, Bassnectar, and Chiddy Bang. Information: www.fireflyfestival.com.
Made in America
Who knew Jay-Z was such a big Pearl Jam fan? The two-day fest on the Ben Franklin Parkway on Sept. 1 and 2 is said to be curated by he rapper and it features Hova headlining on Night 1 and the Seattle grunge survivors the second. Other acts of note include Skrillex, Santigold, Odd Future, Janelle Monáe, Dirty Projectors, D'Angelo, X, and Passion Pit, with more to come. Information: www.ticketmaster.com.
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
The Boss was just in town, wasn't he? Indeed he was, but this is Philadelphia, where two Bruce Springsteen arena shows just won't do. On Labor Day weekend - Sept. 2 and 3, overlapping with Made in America for one night - BS & the E Street Band's Wrecking Ball tour comes back to town for a Citizens Bank Park stand. Additional general admission field tickets went on sale this week. Information: www.comcastTix.com.
Singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka is a Britisher of Ugandan parentage whose gentle soul stylings have won him wide praise in the United Kingdom and perhaps premature comparisons to Bill Withers and Van Morrison. Hear for yourself at World Cafe Live on June 15. Information: www.worldcafelive.com.
Redheaded slide guitarist Bonnie Raitt is back with the independently released Slipstream, her first album in seven years and her best since her 1970s prime. In this summer season of outdoor shows, she's taking it indoors on a tour of midsize venues that lands at the Academy of Music on June 16. Information: www.ticketphiladelphia.org.
Artfully tortured piano-playing songwriter Fiona Apple tore it up at the Borgata in Atlantic City on a mini-tour in May, and her impossibly long-titled new album, whose first three words are The Idler Wheel . . ., her first in seven years, is due June 19. She plays the Tower Theater on June 27. Information: www.livenation.com.
Operatically inclined, Judy Garland-loving Rufus Wainwright, the scion of the Canadian American first family of folk, played a show at the new Penn Park in University City last month with a high-quality band featuring Teddy Thompson on guitar and dance diva Crystal Waters. He'll be back in town at the Riverstage at the Great Plaza on Penn's Landing on a formidable double bill with Josh Ritter opening on July 25. Information: www.livenation.com.
Frank Ocean is the smooth soul man inside the impolite DIY hip-hop collective Odd Future, the New Orleans-born songwriter and producer who has collaborated with or ghost-written for Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, and Kanye West and Jay-Z. nostalgia, Ultra was one of the seductive surprises of 2011, and Ocean will bring cool breezes to Union Transfer on July 25. Information: www.utphilly.com.
Contact Dan DeLuca at 215-854-5628 or email@example.com, or follow on Twitter @delucadan. Read his blog, "In the Mix," at www.philly.com/inthemix.