Thursday, October 20
The weight band, fronted by Jim Weider who played with the Band from 1985-2000, offers its own brand of Woodstockian Americana (7 pm the Dakota, $35-$50); Japanese guitar innovator miyavi plays a unique slap style (20 p.m. Fine Line, $30-$35); boston rockers Society of Dead Poets ride around town (8 p.m., 7th St. Entry, $17-$20).
Friday October 21
1. Maren Morris: Never one to stick to a musical lane or play by Nashville rules, the feisty country-pop star released another pop bop collab with Zedd this year, “Make You Say,” right in the middle of promoting his own third major label album, “Humble Quest.” The 32-year-old Texan does things her own way, whether it’s touring with her 2-year-old son on the bus or threatening not to attend next month’s CMA Awards (“Humble Quest” is a finalist for the album of the Year) because she would not be comfortable in the same room with conservative social media influencer Brittany Aldean, with whom she falls out after Aldean, the wife of superstar Jason Aldean, made a transphobic joke. Opening is Lone Bellow, the remarkably soulful and harmonizing Americana band from Brooklyn. (8 p.m. The Armory, 500 S. 6th St., Mpls., $52.50 and up, ticketmaster.com)
2. Crazy Broken Asians: Like Minnesota’s answer to the recent Yeah Yeah Yeahs concert with Japanese Breakfast and the Linda Lindas in New York, this playfully titled concert will highlight the seriously rich and grueling crop of Asian American women rocking the music scene in the twin towns. these days. Meghan Kreidler and her punky band Kiss the Tiger – who made a local breakthrough last year with Current-backed single “Hold on to Love” and really their entire “Vicious Kid” album – round out an eclectic lineup that also includes the rocker funk Mayda, hip-hop songwriter Diane, D’Lourdes, Vulgar Tongue and Tekk Nikk. (7:30 p.m. Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Av. S., Mpls., all ages, $15-$20, thecedar.org)
3. Desa: After publishing her new book of poetry (“Tits on the Moon”) and finishing the second season of her BBC-backed science podcast (“Deeply Human”), one of Minneapolis’ most decorated hip-hop stars returns to what she always does best with her new backing band on tours of the Midwest and East Coast and another big gig in her hometown. The word rapper sounds convincingly like a sophisticated adult pop singer on her new single, “Blush,” and she has some stronger songs to highlight from last year’s “Ides” series. Open Mike Eagle opens. (9 p.m., First Avenue, 701 1st Av. N., Mpls., $30, axs.com)
4. Saint-Paul Chamber Orchestra: In addition to music by Antonin Dvorak, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson and Gabriela Ortiz, the SPCO will perform a work it premiered in 1974, “Incident at Wounded Knee” by Louis W. Ballard, narrated by the Minnesota Poet Laureate , Gwen Westerman. It’s part of something like a mini Aboriginal culture festival at the Ordway, with artwork from All My Relations Arts and the Two Rivers Gallery and red cedar flute recitals at 7 p.m. by Bryan Akipah. (11:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., also 8:00 p.m. Saturday Ordway Concert Hall, 345 Washington St., St. Paul; 3:00 p.m. Sunday St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, 900 Stillwater Road, Mahtomedi; $11 to $50, students free; thespco.org.)
Also: A late-discovered soul singer as the late North Carolina great Sharon Jones Lee Fields is touring behind “Sentimental Fool,” a powerful new album made with Jones’ team the Daptones (9 p.m. Fine Line, $20-$40); Minnesota blues/soul queen Annie Mac and his tight band will rock one of St. Paul’s oldest and most ornate buildings for the Landmark Live series (7 p.m. Landmark Center, $20); sidelined Americana rock bad boy/jester ryan adams plays his first show in town since a New York Times expose on his sexually predatory behavior toward young women and at least one underage girl (8 p.m. Orpheum, $25-$90); Chicago native and sometimes Hollywood actor Jake La Botzwho now lives in Rochester, is promoting his sleek and evocative latest blues album, “Hair on Fire” (8 p.m. Hook & Ladder Mission Room, $15-$20).
Saturday October 22
5.Marcus Mumford: After gaining another kind of fame via the TV theme song “Ted Lasso”, the British folk rocker of Mumford & Sons fame has emerged from the COVID lockdown with a solo album that marks another interesting career turning point. Aptly titled “Self-Titled,” the rockier (read: banjo-free) collection alludes to sexual abuse and other personal conflicts in a hopeful tone with guest singers such as Brandi Carlile and Phoebe Bridgers. He plays the record in its entirety on tour, complete with some songs “& Sons” and “New Basement Tapes”. Openers the A’s are a fun new band led by Sylvan Esso’s Amelia Meath and her Mountain Man bandmate Alexandra Sauser-Monnig. (8:00 p.m. Palace Theater, 17 W. 7th Place, St. Paul, $50-$100, axs.com)
6. Charlie Musselwhite: After making recent albums with Ben Harper and Elvin Bishop, the blues veteran returned to his roots this year with “Mississippi Son”, an ode to his native country, to which he recently returned. A renowned harmonica player, he also practices his guitar playing there, performing songs by Charley Patton, John Lee Hooker, the Stanley Brothers and Guy Clark. With her sweet raspy voice and emotional harp, this is an intimate record, illustrated to the original slow blues “In Your Darkest Hour”. (8 p.m. Hopkins Center for the Arts, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins, $53-$68, hopkinsartcenter.com)
7.Tommy James: We heard about Payola back then, but who knew the depth of the Mafia’s involvement in rock ‘n’ roll until James’s revealing 2010 autobiography ‘I, the Mafia and the Music’ ? When Tommy James and the Shondells were tearing up the charts in the ’60s with “Hanky Panky” and “Crimson and Clover,” they were working for Roulette Records and its big-arm boss Morris Levy. James waited until all the directors were dead before writing his expose. Moreover, he finally started collecting the royalties he expected. Performing at the Minnesota State Fair in 2019, James wowed with band harmonies and two versions of “I Think We’re Alone Now.” (8:00 p.m. Medina Entertainment Center, 500 Hwy 55, Medina, $50-$65, eventbrite.com)
Also: Determined Twin Cities rocker Roxxy Hall, who is recovering from ovarian cancer, celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Roxxy Hall Group (7 p.m. Minnesota Music Cafe, $10); the Twin Cities blues-rocker formerly known as Crankshaft, Alex Larson returns from a hiatus to celebrate a new album which is a little more sophisticated and serious than his previous albums, but still a lot of fun, with an opening Red Eye Ruby (8 p.m. Uptown VFW, $15); Nashville-based hippie-soul folk-rock band Judah and the Lion are back touting their fourth album, “Revival” (8:30 p.m. First Ave, $33); New Zealand alternative rock veterans Chills are back in action (8 p.m. Turf Club, $20); Van Morrison-channeling, horned Twin Cities rocking the Belfast Cowboys return to Hook & Ladder (7:30 p.m., $15-$20).
Sunday October 23
8. Kurt Elling: The Gustavus Adolphus-trained, Grammy-winning jazz singer is an inextinguishable musical adventurer. Earlier this year, he toured with avant-garde guitarist Charlie Hunter, exploring funk-jazz. Last year at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Elling collaborated with saxophonist Bob Mintzer and a small combo. This time around, the intellectual singer from Chicago teams up with the JazzMN Orchestra, a big band made up of the best musicians in the Twin Cities under the direction of Pete Whitman. (3 p.m. and 6 p.m., Belvedere tent at Crooners, 6161 Hwy 65 NE, Fridley, $40-$50, croonersmn.com)
9. FenixDion: One of the Twin Cities’ most promising young rock bands, this funky, guitar-heavy sextet offers various echoes of Lenny Kravitz, Oasis and MGMT on their hazy debut album. Versatile frontman Keston Wright has also played dance-pop with Static Panic and country music with Tracey Blake, but he’s having a blast here and opening up as a songwriter with a troubled past. Indie rock veteran Kid Dakota and Goon Tribune open the launch party. (8 p.m., 7th St. Entry, 701 1st Av. N., Mpls., $12-$15, axs.com)
Also: Cosmic soul-funk singer MMYYKKformerly of Astralblak, leads eclectic Minnesota Music Coalition showcase with Indigenous rockers war bonnet and classic crossovers Delphia cello quartet (7 p.m. Ordway, $17-$37); ex-St. Paulite Red Gallagher returns in a benefit for Northeast Seniors Foodshelf (2 p.m. Lilydale Pool & Yacht Club, $10).
Monday October 24
Twin Cities Jazz Bassist chris bates‘ The Low End Theories series continues with guests such as Erik Fratzke and Nathan Hansen (8 p.m., $12).
Tuesday, October 25
10. Carrie Underwood: After continuing her Vegas residency earlier this year and joining Guns N’ Roses on stage in London, the country queen hit the road again last weekend to kick off her Denim & Rhinestones tour, complete with aerial stunts. She just released a new single, “Hate My Heart,” a typically bombastic Underwood song about being upset after a breakup. The singing voice of “Sunday Night Football” brings with her one of Nashville’s brightest stars, CMA’s reigning Best New Artist Jimmie Allen, who last week hosted his own bowling tournament, the Jimmie Allen PBA Challenge. Speaking of the CMA Awards, Underwood is a finalist for three of them this fall, including Entertainer of the Year. (7:30 p.m. Target Center, 600 1st Ave. N., Mpls, $44.50-$155, axs.com)
Also: Called to open Blink-182’s reunion tour next year, the Baltimore punk band Turnstile is on his own headlining tour with his indie-rock sweetheart Postal mail open (7 p.m. the Fillmore, $35 and up, all ages); the California Honeydrops, Oakland’s modern blues band, meet for two nights (8 p.m., also Wednesday, Turf Club, $25); costumed, blood-spitting metal kings GWAR sludge on with Nekrogoblikon and Crobot opening (7 p.m. Skyway Theater, $30); fresh off dates with Seattle pop/rock drama drummer My Chemical Romance Courtney Barns promotes his latest album, “Supernatural” (8 p.m. Fine Line, $20); St. Paul Finger Picking Champion Pat Donohue entertains with the Prairie All Stars (7 p.m. Dakota, $25-$30).
Wednesday October 26
Rockers nominated for Polaris Prize Daniel Romano outfitwhose namesake frontman performed with City & the Colour, are planning tour dates for last year’s album, “Cobra Poems” (8:30 p.m. 7th St. Entry, $15).
Classical critic Rob Hubbard contributed to this column.