Weekend Picks: Zola Jesus at Union Transfer, Scud Mountain Boys at Johnny Brenda's, "Portlandia: The Tour" at The Troc - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

Photo by Angel Ceballos

Zola Jesus (Nika Roza Danilova) has her fair share of musical talents, but her voice—the result of years’ worth of operatic training—is easily her greatest asset. It’s led to her unique sound and her success, including her most recent album Conastus. Earlier this month, Danilova lent her vocals to Orbital for a track on the British electronic duo’s new album Wonky. Danilova, who’s never been one to shy away from the dark, brings her gothic edge to “New France,” wailing in a way only one with voice training can. Orbital plays Danilova’s rich voice over electronic beats to create an echoing effect. If “New France” and the success Danilova’s had on her individual work are any indication, maybe more artists should be trying to feature Zola Jesus’s opera-trained voice. Zola Jesus performs with Talk Normal and Meg Baird at Union Transfer this Friday at 8 pm. Tickets to the all-ages show are $13. —Nicole Soll

Also Playing: The Lindsey Buckingham Appreciation Society + Pete Donnelly at Johnny Brenda’s (8:00 p.m., 21+, $10); Less Than Jake + Plow United, Samiam, Flatfoot 56 at The Trocadero (7 p.m., all ages, $18–$20); Suzie Brown + Barnaby Bright, Brittany Ann at Milkboy Philly (9:30 p.m., 21+, $12); Tea Leaf Green + Ha Ha Tonka at World Cafe Live (8 p.m., all ages, $19-$29)

Fifteen years is a long time for a hiatus, but the Scud Mountain Boys refuse to let time steal their passion for performing. The band’s alternative-rock style is laced with some country-sounding riffs and farm-raised lyrics in songs such as “Silo,” but the southern influence is not overwhelming. The group disbanded after their main songwriter, Joe Pernice, left to pursue his other, more successful band, The Pernice Brothers. Regardless, it will be interesting for long-time fans and concert-goers to see if the Boys perform the way they were once known for: sitting around a table as if they were home. Scud Mountain Boys perform with John Brodeur at Johnny Brenda’s at 9:30 p.m.; tickets to the 21+ show are $15-$17. —Lisa Henderson

Also Playing: Black Thought’s GrassROOTS Charity Party featuring Black Thought + Questlove, Money Making Jam Boys, Nikki Jean at Sigma Sound Studios (8 p.m., $30–$40); Joe Louis Walker at Warmdaddy’s (7:30 p.m and 10 p.m., 21+, $20); WXPN Welcomes the Northern Liberties Winter Music Fest featuring The Extraordinaires + Dangerous Ponies, Conversations With Enemies, Arrah And The Ferns, Break It Up, City Rain at The Fire (7 p.m., 21+, $10); George Clinton And Parliament Funkadelic at Keswick Theatre (8 p.m., all ages, $29–$45)

For the cast of the IFC television show Portlandia, it only takes two to replicate an entirely separate world that exists right here in the states. Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s senseless characters are clearly modeled after people the pair has chanced upon in the Pacific Northwest. But how well does that world translate to the stage? This live adaptation could be hit or miss, as both seasons of Portlandia were filmed on-site in Portland, which essentially casts the city itself acts as a third character. If on stage these two can pull off what they do on set, it’s likely this won’t be our last chance to see them in action. Portlandia: The Tour begins at 8 p.m. & 10:30 p.m. at The Trocadero; tickets to the early show are SOLD OUT, tickets to the later show are $30. —Lisa Henderson

Also Playing: William Fitzsimmons + Denison Witmer at World Cafe Live (7:30 p.m., all ages, $20–$30); Thick Shakes + The World At Large at The Level Room (8 p.m., 21+, $6)

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