It almost seems fitting that Black Dice are headlining R5's final show at Vox Populi before the gallery gets bulldozed by the Convention Center. Not because of any significance the Brooklyn noise trio has to the space, but simply because their abrasive electronic buzzes and drones always sound like something degrading to a corrosive end. It could only be more appropriate if the wrecking ball hit midshow.
Fri., Jan. 5, 9 p.m., $11, with Excepter and Sightings, Vox Populi, 1315 Cherry St., 866-468-7619, www.r5productions.com.
He played mandolin onstage with Bill Monroe at age 5; two years later, he was on TV with Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs. And in the years since, the now 52-year-old Ricky Skaggs has conquered both traditional bluegrass and mainstream country having returned to the former, his first love, in recent years. From his stint with Emmylou Harris' Hot Band to his more recent tours with powerhouse band Kentucky Thunder, the 10-time Grammy winner is a musician's musician, pickin' with passion and charming audiences with his unabashed affection for old-time music.
Thu., Jan. 4, 6:30 (sold out) and 9 p.m., $39.50, Sellersville Theater, Main and Temple sts., 215-257-5808, www.st1894.com.
New Yawk don't make bands like Diamond Nights anymore. Unless you go down to Jersey. Dueling guitarists Rob Laakso and Morgan Phalen (the sneering singer with the sweeping falsetto) make you remember what Avenue B in Manhattan's hard-rock scene was like before gentrification: strutting summer anthems like "Destination Diamonds" and "Saturday Fantastic," cheap synth power-poppers like "The Girl's Attractive," rousing rockas like "It's a Shokka" from their dramatic Popsicle CD. If only Eddie Money was alive to see... oh, sorry.
Thu., Jan. 4, 9 p.m., $8, with Cheeseburger, The World Blanket and Kurt Vile, The Khyber, 56 S. Second St., 215-238-5888, www.thekhyber.com.
The second annual Get Rid of Your Winter Blues Festival promises to raise up holiday-weary souls with powerhouse tunes by some of Philly's and NYC's best unsigned acts. Seth Kallen who, at 17, started the local music scene buzzin' a few years ago with the song "Losing Control" is barely in his twenties and has already earned comparisons to everyone from Ryan Adams to Matthew Sweet. Expect a hearty sampling from his poignant, clever new album, Exhibit A. Jon Check will contribute some soul-infused rock and The Undisputed Heavyweights' Casey Shea's potent vocals should turn some heads, too.
Fri., Jan. 5, 7 p.m., $10-$13, World CafÃƒÂ© Live, 3025 Walnut St., 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com.
The good people at R5 are making this a seated show in the Sanctuary as opposed to a standing show in the Church for the same reason that lady in the commercials is already in bed before she sips the NyQuil. There's dreamy and there's dream-inducing. When the Metric frontwoman starts cooing over ghostly strings and gentle beats you will want to be somewhere comfortable.
Sun., Jan. 7, 7:30 p.m., $12, with Tall Firs, First Unitarian Church's Sanctuary, 2125 Chestnut St., 866-468-7619, www.r5productions.com.