Two of the Twin Cities’ most popular and provocative rappers, Lizzo and Toki Wright, are taking up a cause that’s unfortunately not so popular in hip-hop circles. They’re heading up a benefit for To the Bridge Foundation, a local nonprofit organization started in memory of musician Tony Dolski to assist young people with addiction and mental-health issues. Lizzo recently opened up about her own sobriety challenges and is coming off her other triumphs of 2014, including the international rerelease of her “Lizzobangers” album. Wright will hit the show with producer/partner Big Cats and their band, who earned a high spot on our year-end Twin Cities Critics Tally with their spacey record “Pangaea.” (8:30 p.m. Sat., Varsity Theater, $21.50-$51.50, tothebridgefoundation.com.) Riemenschneider

For eight years running, dexterous Twin Cities rapper Sean Anonymous has celebrated his birthday with gigs that have grown from the defunct Dinkytowner to First Avenue’s main room. He made his name by rocking local and Warped Tour mics with nimble, quick-hit flows, although his relatively slim solo catalog belies his hustle. However, that could change when his full-length debut with producer Dimitry Killstorm drops this spring. With Doomtree’s Mike Mictlan, Hologram Kizzie (aka Psalm One), Commanders Handsome, DJ Name and hosts Phillip Morris and Mark Mallman. (9 p.m. Sat., First Avenue, $8-$12.) Rietmulder


After taking a rare respite from touring and recording while co-leaders Ryan Smith and Kathie Hixon-Smith welcomed their first child, Twin Cities power-popsters the Melismatics used the down time to gather up a collection of outtakes and random recordings for a fun new album on Chicago’s Pravda Records, “The Future Is History.” Tracks range from Ryan’s teenage demos to a new single, “Celebrate Your Heartbeat,” which turned out to be one of their sweetest tunes to date. They’re celebrating the release with a big party in the little room featuring Two Harbors and Stereo Confession. (8:30 p.m. Fri., 7th Street Entry, $8-$10.) Chris Riemenschneider

The 10th annual Tribute to the Last Waltz is such a resounding success that two different singers — Tim Mahoney and Terry Walsh — have been enlisted to sing Van Morrison numbers this year. The show, of course, is a song-by-song re-creation of “The Last Waltz,” the storied 1976 farewell concert by the Band that became a beloved movie directed by Martin Scorsese. Reprising their stellar roles are Pat Hayes as Paul Butterfield and Jared Rush as Dr. John. Other singers include Dan Israel, Chris Castino, Tristina Ward and Kent Militzer. The excellent house band, Big Pink, is led by Rob Hilstrom (as Richard Manuel). Always a treat. Lamont Cranston opens Friday, the Belfast Cowboys on Saturday. (9:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Cabooze, $10-$15.) Jon Bream

Melodic death quartet Pestifere, which released its mournful and pulverizing album “Liminal” in November, headlines a (mostly) headbanger’s ball to celebrate the birthday of In Defence and False guitarist Jimmy Claypool. Also performing are earth-scorching grindcore duo Agitate, post-punk trio Principality featuring Claps frontman Patrick Donohoe and a special guest. (8 p.m. Fri., Triple Rock, $5.) Michael Rietmulder

It’s not often we get to see Kate Bush, Erykah Badu and Marianne Faithfull in Minnesota, so the second installment of the Girl Germs Tribute to Women in Rock is extra welcome for helping fill the void. Omnipresent local siren Aby Wolf — known from singing with Dessa and her own myriad projects — is bold and gifted enough to take on Bush’s songs to headline the show, while feel-good-groove stalwart K. Raydio was a shoo-in choice to do Badu and electropunk band Yoni Yum should have some fun with Faithfull’s material. All the more intriguing are the seemingly unlikely choices of minimalist brat-punk trio Kitten Forever playing an all-Beyoncé set and quirky experimental rockers Alpha Consumer interpreting Aretha Franklin with guest vocalist Debbie Duncan. Sounds weird, but it’s a serious affair spotlighting how seriously lackluster modern music would be without these women’s influence. (8 p.m. Sat., Turf Club, $10.) Riemenschneider

Nearly 35 years since releasing its last album, the reunited Daisy Dillman Band is offering a new CD with a record-release party. Mainstays on the Minnesota scene in the late 1970s and the ’80s (with records on United Artists and RCA), the Dillmans prove on “Radio” that they still have pretty country-rock harmonies and strong lead vocals by Pat Frederick, Stymie Seamans and Steve “Feagan” Solmonson. The lyrics sound more introspectively mellow than, say, bro-country contemporary, with pleasant echoes of the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Grateful Dead and the Eagles. The four original Dillman members (including drummer Dan Flaherty) promise that this isn’t just a one-night reunion. (7 p.m. Sat., Hopkins Center for the Arts, $24.) Bream

During its 25 years, Pittsburgh jam band Rusted Root has opened for some big names (Dave Matthews Band, Santana, the Grateful Dead, Robert Plant/Jimmy Page), released seven studio albums and played thousands of gigs. Frontman Michael Glabicki and singer/percussionist Liz Berlin formed the band after meeting in high school at a rally for students against racism and apartheid. Their songs have featured messages about social issues, religion and love while embracing a tapestry of sounds, including rock, soul, jazz and various kinds of world music. Their latest disc, 2012’s “The Movement,” is a percolating stew of positivity and organic grooves. (7:30 p.m. Sat., Fine Line, $25-$35.) Bream

Movies and music go together like peanut butter and jelly, or ham and cheese, and Dan Newton’s Cafe Accordion Orchestra will prove it once again with “Cinema,” a special program featuring a century’s worth of sounds for celluloid, with the CAO’s take on soundtrack music from the Marx Brothers to James Bond to Quentin Tarantino. Expect film clips, cartoons and always-welcome guest singer Diane Jarvi. (8 p.m. Sat., Cedar Cultural Center, $22-$25.) Tom Surowicz

He’s been an actor (the movie “La Bamba,” the musical “Beatlemania”), an author (“Hollywood Rock: A Guide to Rock ’n’ Roll in the Movies”) and a radio DJ. But Marshall Crenshaw is best known as a creator of indelible power-pop, including the hit “Someday, Someway.” His songs have been covered by Bette Midler, the Gin Blossoms, Ronnie Spector and others. An incurable record collector with exquisite taste, he continues to release new music, launching a subscription service in 2014 for new EPs featuring at least one new original, a cover and a reworking of a Crenshaw oldie. Opening is Kevin Bowe, the well-connected Minneapolis singer-songwriter who has collaborated with Jonny Lang, Etta James, Paul Westerberg and others. (7 p.m. Mon., Dakota, $25) Bream

Duluth native Luke Redfield made a strong impression among local singer/songwriters and spearheaded the great “Minnesota Remembers Vic Chesnutt” album in the early ’00s before returning to life as a free-roaming troubadour, including stays in Colorado and Austin, Texas. The Americana folkie is back in town to kick off a tour with a band behind his new album, “The Cartographer,” which — as the title suggests — chronicles some of his travels but also includes many nods to home, with echoes of home boys Dylan and Mason Jennings. Jeremy Ylvisaker was among the album’s players. North Shore tunesmith Sarah Krueger opens. (9 p.m. Tue., Icehouse, $7.) Riemenschneider

She may have been classically trained at Juilliard, but Morgan James made a splash on Broadway, first in “The Addams Family” and then in “Motown: The Musical” (as Teena Marie). Now the Idaho native is trying to make it as a soul singer promoting her just-released second album, “Hunter.” After an impressive debut showcasing her live cabaret tribute to Nina Simone, James shows her sultry instincts, splendid control and deep emotionalism. She co-wrote several of these modern-soul selections with producer/guitarist Doug Wamble and jazz hero Robert Glasper. A newcomer worth checking out. (7 & 9 p.m. Wed., Dakota, $22-$30.) Bream

Wisconsin native Nika Danilova recorded her first album as Zola Jesus in her apartment while attending the University of Wisconsin in 2009. Last year’s “Taiga,” her fifth album, is the most accessible effort for the electro-goth favorite, who in the past has come across like a cross between Diamanda Galas and Björk. This album would almost qualify as a pop collection, with Danilova’s voice up front and the edges of oddity polished away. Two tracks have received spins on the Current (89.3 FM) — “Dangerous Days” and “Go (Blank Sea)” with its repeated chorus “I go downtown/where they don’t know my name.” (7:30 p.m. Thu., Cedar Cultural Center, $15.) Bream 

Twin Cities-bred pop-punk darling Motion City Soundtrack is a band that enjoys looking back, especially when it makes die-hard fans as giddy as they’ll no doubt be at next week’s shows marking the 10th anniversary of the album “Commit This to Memory.” Produced by Mark Hoppus of Blink-182, the quintet’s sophomore album was the first recorded for Epitaph Records and produced such set list mainstays as “Everything Is Alright,” “Make Out Kids” and “Hold Me Down.” The band will play the record in its entirety at both shows and throw in some random tunes, hopefully including some from the upcoming album with producer John Agnello. Team Spirit and teen-spirited Stereo Confession open. (7 p.m. Thu. & 8 p.m. next Sat., Jan. 17, Varsity Theater, $25-$35.) Riemenschneider


A true sophisticate, Dobet Gnahoré sings in nine languages, blending traditional sounds from her Ivory Coast homeland and other African nations with modern Europop. The 32-year-old daughter of drummer Boni Gnahoré, she’s been around showbiz all her life, and shared in a “best urban/alternative” Grammy award with India.Arie for the song “Palea.” So it’s no surprise that the music on her fine new album, “Na Dre,” is sleek and slick, not folkloric. A splendid singer, Gnahoré also plays congas, thumb piano and guitar and writes message-laden songs meant to help empower African women. (7:30 p.m. Sun., Ordway Music Theater, $45-$20.) Surowicz


Still going strong after 25-plus years, still led by bass trombonist and occasional chart writer Steve Devich, the Cedar Avenue Big Band has called several venues home, starting with the old Dakota Bar & Grill in Bandana Square, and proceeding to O’Gara’s Bar and Grill for 22 years. In recent times the band has found a cozy home at Jazz Central in northeast Minneapolis. No bar, no grill, just swingin’ sounds. If it’s the second Tuesday of the month, the 17-piece-group is happily ensconced playing modern big band music in the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis tradition. (8:30 p.m. Tue., Jazz Central Studios, 407 Central Av. SE., Mpls., 612-729-1799. $10 suggested donation.) Surowicz

With no national jazz acts on the near horizon, it’s a good week to check out up-and-coming hometown talent. The ninth edition of the Dakota Combo is an octet of high-schoolers, some of whom have made a splash playing with their much older elders — such as stand-up bassist Charlie Lincoln, a 12th-grader who has worked in drum legend Eric Kamau Gravatt’s band. The octet trades sets with an all-star quartet of mentors led by dynamic drummer Kevin Washington and featuring Mary Louise Knutson (piano), Solomon Parham (trumpet) and Jeff Bailey (bass). It’s a no-cover show, and a “foodie night” gig with cheap bottles of wine, although the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education folks will be soliciting donations from attendees. (7 p.m. Tue., Dakota Jazz Club, no cover.) Surowicz


The highlight of this week’s St. Paul Chamber Orchestra concert is a musician-led performance of Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony, part of the SPCO’s yearlong Beethoven symphony cycle. Though eclipsed by the Third and Fifth Symphonies, the Fourth is very much a congenial and lighthearted work. The program also features Stravinsky’s playful “Danses concertantes,” a ballet written for 24 solo strings, and John Adams’ iconic “Shaker Loops,” one of the masterpieces of the early minimalist movement. (8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Ordway Center; 2 p.m. Sun., Ted Mann Concert Hall. $12-$42, 651-291-1144, www.thespco.org) Graydon Royce