Joanna Newsom straddles the line between the rock and classical avant gardes: The harpist and vocalist records for Chicago's Drag City label, and her last album, "Ys," was co-produced by the legendary arranger and friend of the Beach Boys Van Dyke Parks. At the same time, she has the world-class chops to perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which will join her and her band at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan. Tickets are $25 to $45 via www.cso.org, or call (312) 294-3000.
Chicago's irascible, inconsolable but always undeniable punk-rock legend Ben Weasel, last heard on disc with the 2007 solo album "These Ones Are Bitter," is performing two beyond-rare solo gigs this weekend at Reggie's Rock Club, 2109 S. State. The all-ages show starts at 6 p.m. Friday with the former Ben Foster topping a lineup that also includes Jetty Boys, the Chinese Telephones and the Repellents; the same openers kick things off on Saturday starting at 5 p.m. Both shows are sold-out. For more information, call (312) 949-0121 or visit www.reggieslive.com.