Shilpa Ray. New Jersey-bred rock-and-roll songwriter Shilpa Ray's album Door Girl is a scrappy, smartly written concept album of sorts that bears the influence of Lou Reed and Blondie, told from the perspective of a woman — that would be Ray — working the door at a downtown New York rock club. The former leader of Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers brings her band to town with Shawn Kilroy and Lightninging on the bill. Sunday at Kung Fu Necktie.
Rahim AlHaj Trio. Letters from Iraq, the new album on Smithsonian Folkways by oud player Rahim AlHaj, comes in peace. "Music can make us laugh, make us cry, make us march into war," AlHaj, who now lives in New Mexico, writes in the liner notes. "I want to make music that makes us realize peace." Sunday at Crossroads Music at the Calvary Center in West Philadelphia.
Mariah Carey. So all you want for Christmas is to see Mariah Carey sing her always-increasing-in-popularity 1994 hit "All I Want for Christmas"? OK, then you can stay home and watch on demand her new animated movie of the same, which also stars Breanna Yde and Henry Winkler. Or you can see her in the flesh in two local casino appearances: On Monday, she's at the Sands Bethlehem in Bethlehem, Pa, and on Friday — after Thanksgiving, so you are technically allowed to listen to Christmas music — at the Borgata in Atlantic City.
Nikka Costa. Frank Sinatra was her godfather, and she was close buddies with Prince. Isn't that enough to recommend Nikka Costa? The daughter of renowned arranger Don Costa and whirlwind of a live performer's new Nikka & Strings: Underneath and in Between finds her covering Prince, Jeff Buckley, and Marvin Gaye, as well as an arrangement of "Come Rain or Come Shine" that her dad wrote for Sinatra. Tuesday at World Cafe Live.
On a Black Friday. It's a case of inspired cover band naming on a par with the Red Not Chili Peppers. Serious Radiohead fans — is there any other kind? — will know that before making their debut album, Pablo Honey, in 1993, Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, and crew were once a bunch of fresh-faced 1980s wannabe rockers called On a Friday (named after the day they would rehearse). Thus, this tribute band has the right name for the night after Thanksgiving. Friday at Boot & Saddle.