Newton-John at Taj
If, after all these years, you are still hopelessly devoted to 1970s and '80s pop star Olivia Newton-John, then get to Trump Taj Mahal Saturday. That's where one of music's biggest-selling artists of all time will warble the hits that made her so. (And, yes, it is a bit ironic that AyCee is welcoming an actress whose most famous movie role was that of a girl named Sandy.)
Trump Taj Mahal, Boardwalk at Virginia Avenue, 8 p.m., $58-$19, 800-736-1420, ticketmaster.com.
Future of hip-hop
Three of hip-hop's most promising acts hit Philly this weekend: A$AP Rocky, Danny Brown and ScHoolboy Q. Unlike a lot of rappers, A$AP Rocky knows how to transfer his act to a live setting. Rocky's major-length debut, "LongLiveA$AP," was just delayed for a bit, but this show will feed your Rocky fix.
Electric Factory, 421 N. 7th St., 8 p.m., Sunday, $25-$28, 215-627-1332, electricfactory.info.
Progressive jazz trumpeter/composer Dave Douglas often slips a mellow spiritual into his shows for flavor. But after his dying mother, Emily, requested he play a full set of Protestant hymns at her funeral, Douglas decided to make an album of the spirit stuff. And what a haunting, lyrical beauty "Be Still" is, with gorgeous vocals by Aoife O'Donovan on songs like "High on a Mountain" that he, she and most of the same studio ensemble are now likewise delivering in concert. Keyboardist Uri Caine is a special guest here.
Chris' Jazz Cafe, 1421 Sansom St., 8 and 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, $25-$30, 215-568-3131, chrisjazzcafe.com.
All growl, no bite
Kids will get a kick from the Human Lard Dog and his equally goofy 10-piece Band of Shy. They may look like cartoon characters, but they share solid music and truth: messages like, "You're small, but your heart is tall."
World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., 11 p.m. Saturday, $10 adults, $7 ages 1-12, 215-222-1400, worldcafelive.com.
One of the leading influencers of today's new troubadour scene, Ray LaMontagne, is working acoustic solo with nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.
Tower Theater, 69th and Ludlow streets, 8 p.m. Saturday, $59.50, $49.50, $39.50, 800-745-3000, livenation.com.
"Take the Long Way Home" with Roger Hodgson - longtime voice and songwriter for British prog-rock stars Supertramp.
Keswick Theatre, Easton Road and Keswick Avenue, Glenside, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, $45-$69.50, 215-572-7650, keswicktheatre.com.
Home for the holiday
Nothing like the holidays to bring long-dormant Beru Revue back, reprising its comedic/ vaudevillian rock shenanigans.
World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street, 8 p.m. Saturday, $20-$22, 215-222-1400, worldcafelive.com.
Here's hoping Erin McKeown hauls out material from her 2011 "Anti-Holiday" album, sardonic notions like "Christmas (Love It Or Leave It)."
Tin Angel, 20 S. 2nd St., 7:30 p.m. Sunday, $22. 215-928-0978, tinangel.com.
Bang the drums loudly
. . . And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, who sound almost as cool as their name, return to the First Unitarian Church. The Texas rockers are touring to support their newest album, "Lost Songs."
Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 8:30 p.m. Sunday, $14-$15, 215-739-9684, johnnybrendas.com.
Dylan and Mark
At the outset of his career fronting Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler earned lots of comparisons to Bob Dylan. Now the titans are touring on the same bill, giving new reason to compare and contrast. And they're even doing tunes together!
Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St., 7:30 p.m. Monday, $89.50, $65, $45, 800-745-3000, livenation.com.
No turkeys allowed
Kick-start your Thanksgiving with the globally renowned electronic-dance-music DJ Paul van Dyk.
Soundgarden Hall, Columbus Blvd. at Spring Garden Street, 9 p.m. Wednesday, 800-745-3000, livenation.com.
The Philadelphia Orchestra plays the mightiest of all film scores - Prokofiev's stirring music to Sergei Eisenstein's classic "Alexander Nevsky" - for a screening of the film, memorable for its astonishing depiction of the 1242 battle on the ice in Russia. Stephane Deneve conducts, with the Philadelphia Singers Chorale.
Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce streets, 2 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday, $20-$119, 215-893-1999, philorch.org.
Mozart's final opera, the enigmatic "Magic Flute," is brought to life by the gifted young artists of Curtis Opera Theater. Vinay Parameswaran conducts, with direction by Chas Rader-Shieber.
Prince Music Theater, 1412 Chestnut St., 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, $35, 215-893-7902, curtis.edu.
The brilliant Curtis-trained violinist Leila Josefowicz returns to perform Rossen Milanov's Symphony in C, and no one else but these two would program the virtually unknown Violin Concerto by Bernd Alois Zimmermann. Milanov balances the bill with the familiar Mussorgsky/Ravel "Pictures at an Exhibition."
Gordon Theater at Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts, 3rd and Pearl streets, Camden, 8 p.m. Saturday, $23-$50, 856-963-6683, symphonyinc.org.
Songs from the heart
For 10 years, Lyric Fest has celebrated the infinite world of the art song. This time out, the ensemble and four Latin-American singers offer songs and dances from Spain, Mexico and South America - a bonanza of vocal treats.
Academy of Vocal Arts, 1920 Spruce St., 3 p.m. Sunday, $25, 215-438-1702, lyricfest.org.
Big Rube style
The People Paper's own "Street Gazing" photographer, Reuben "Big Rube" Harley, shows off the sexiest of his street snaps at Rittenhouse's Replica After Dark. It's a safe bet the crowd will be as sexy as the images. (Look sharp and Big Rube might take your picture for the paper.)
Replica, 33 S. 18th St., 6-8 p.m.
Friday, free, 215-567-7107, streetgazing.com.
Corvette heads will need to speed to the Simeone Foundation Museum to catch Doug Fehan, GM's Corvette Racing Manager, along with drivers David Donohue and George Wintersteen, and a display of each generation of 'Vettes, courtesy of Reading's Skyline Drive Racing Club.
Simeone Foundation Museum, 6825-31 Norwitch Drive, noon Saturday, $12 adults, $10 seniors, $8 students, 215-365-7233, simeonemuseum.org.
Every few years, roller derby seems to emerge from obscurity to entertain a new generation of fans with its wrestling-like blend of violence, athleticism and outrageous personalities. Friday, Love City Roller Derby, a banked-track coed league, debuts at a new venue. The inaugural match features the Doomsday Dolls and the Bettie Rages going wheel-to-wheel on the "Green Machine" track, previously used at New York's Madison Square Garden.
Love City Roller Derby Arena, 820 Spring Garden St., 8 p.m., $20, lovecityrollerderby.com.
Need to get into the Christmas spirit? Check the tricked-out gingerbread houses featuring historic sites in Fairmount Park. Some of Philly's finest confectioners created buildings like the Please Touch Museum (Brulee Catering), Laurel Hill Mansion (Bredenbeck's Bakery) and the Fairmount Water Works (Waterworks Restaurant & Lounge) out of delicious Christmas treats.
The Shops at Liberty Place, 16th and Chestnut streets, through Dec. 9, free, parkcharms.com.
- Compiled by Jonathan Takiff, Dan Gross, Molly Eichel and Tom Di Nardo