Amy Rigby, “From Philip Roth to R Zimmerman.” The lead track on ace songwriter Rigby’s superb new album The Old Guys — her first solo project in 13 years! — imagines novelist Roth not too bitterly firing off an email to Bob Dylan on the occasion of the singer’s winning the Nobel Prize for literature that the American Pastoral author never nabbed himself. The song has much to say about the isolated toil of the writer’s life versus nightly gratification of the itinerant rock star, and Rigby had more to add about Roth and his novel The Ghost Writer, in an appreciation published in the Guardian after the novelist’s death at 85 last week.
Break Free Fest. This two-day festival celebrating punk rock bands of color, women, and artists from the LGBT community is expanding in its second year. It kicks off Saturday and continues Sunday, when featured acts include Rare Form, Dissent, Minority Threat, Black Urn, Joe Biden (the band from Maryland, not the former vice president from Delaware). Sunday at the Rotunda.
Wesley Stace’s Cabinet of One. English-born Mount Airy resident Wesley Stace writes novels under his given name and records music (usually) under the Dylan-derived name John Wesley Harding. His new album of covers called Greatest Other People’s Hits includes renditions of songs by Roky Erickson, Conway Twitty, Serge Gainsbourg, and Bruce Springsteen, among others, and the Boss himself turns up on a live duet of “Wreck on the Highway.” Stace’s star-studded Cabinet of Wonders gigs are true variety shows, but this unique solo turn at one of Philadelphia’s most treasured cultural institutions will feature him displaying his various talents all by himself. Wednesday at the Rosenbach Museum.
Haley Heynderickx. This Pacific Northwest guitarist’s last name is a homophone for a six-string legend named Jimi, but she plays in a decidedly quieter, finger-picked style that draws from American Primitive players like John Fahey on her full-length debut, I Need to Start a Garden, which also finds her bopping along quite nicely after the manner of the Velvet Underground on the single “Oom Sha La La.” Wednesday at Boot & Saddle.
KRS-One. Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone. Doesn’t it? Those are the words that Lawrence “Kris” Parker’s nom de rap acronym stands for. The old-school rapper — an early proponent of hip-hop as “edutainment” in the 1980s — headlines a triple bill that includes Tribeca Grand and DJ Touchtone. The latter bills himself as “The World’s No. 1 Blind DJ.” Legendary Philly hip-hop deejay Lady B is the host. Thursday at Ardmore Music Hall.