Long one of America's best live bands and a Minnesota Zoo favorite, Los Lobos return for another outdoor two-night stand. The East Los Angeles band always mixes up its vast repertoire of rock, blues, Mexican, jazz and R&B. Expect a preview of "Tin Can Trust," due Aug. 3. It's a moody, decidedly bluesy collection (dig the instrumental "Do the Murray" and "27 Spanishes" with terrific guitar work), with a hint of the Grateful Dead and Tex Mex. Chester Bay opens Wednesday, Moreland & Arbuckle Thursday. (7:30 p.m. Wed.-Thu. Minnesota Zoo, $37.) (J.B.)

Sort of the kid brother to Rock the Garden, the Walker's Open Exposure concert will be held at the same amphitheater-shaped hill outside the museum -- aka the new Open Field, aka the old Guthrie gravesite -- as part of its teen programming. Kudos to the Walker and its sponsors for filling in this city's gaping hole of cool, safe entertainment for kids. You over-23 old farts are welcome, too. There will be high school bands playing, a mix-tape exchange and an art-making tent along with performances by the new-album-previewing Tapes 'N Tapes, always-hair-raising hip-hop duo Eyedea & Abilities and too-good-to-be-so-young indie-folkers Total Babe. (1-9 p.m. Sun., Walker Art Center. All ages. Free.) (C.R.)

Compared with the similar Basilica bash, Rochester's St. John the Evangelist Block Party -- benefiting community charities -- is less expensive, less crowded and loaded exclusively with Minnesota talent. Friday's lineup offers a great pairing of two beloved, feel-good Americana acts from yesterday and today: the Gear Daddies and Trampled by Turtles. Saturday's show reads like a Current 89.3 hipster-music playlist, with Solid Gold, Retribution Gospel Choir, Rogue Valley, Idle Hands, Roma di Luna, Belfast Cowboys and Unknown Prophets. (5 p.m. Fri., noon Sat., 11 4th Av. SW in Rochester. $25, or $45/two-night, SJBlockparty.org.) (C.R.)

The last time Iowa songwriting hero (and growing recluse) Greg Brown played outdoors in the Twin Cities was a two-night stand at the State Fair in 2007, shows so magical the whir of bugs and sprinkling of rain seemed to be part of his music -- and might have even been conjured out of sidekick Bo Ramsey's guitar. Don't miss this chance to catch these folk/blues/twang music stalwarts outside. And don't shout out annoying song requests, either, as at Brown's last Cedar gig. (7:30 p.m. Fri., Minnesota Zoo amphitheater. $30.) (C.R.)

If Jonny Lang comes out smokin' like he does on his new concert CD, "Live at the Ryman," then people at the Lakefront Jazz and Blues Festival are in for a treat. Joining the hometown hero will be smooth-jazz guitarist Nick Colionne, versatile San Francisco jazz guitarist Joyce Cooling, flashy slide blues guitarist Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials, Twin Cities' own Latin jazz group Salsa del Soul and the Prior Lake High School Jazz Band. Read an interview with Lang at www.startribune.com/music. (1-10:30 p.m. Sat. Lakefront Park, 5000 Kop Pkwy., Prior Lake, free) (J.B.)

Always widely respected, Taj Mahal was asked by Jimmy Fallon to perform "Shine a Light" when "Late Night" did a weeklong tribute to the Rolling Stones in May. Mahal also was a finalist for the Blues Foundation Awards' entertainer of the year in 2010. He's always been a winner at the Minnesota Zoo, whether doing blues, jazz, R&B, folk, island, gospel, Latin, or African music. Here's hoping he does "Fishin' Blues" once again in the Land of 10,000 fishing holes. Opening is Milwaukee singer/songwriter Willy Porter. (7:30 p.m. Sat. Minnesota Zoo, $37.) (J.B.)

Sort of a more electronic Of Montreal -- and actually from Montreal, via New York -- Islands is a theatrical, lyrically outlandish synth-pop/dance-rock ensemble led by former Unicorns frontman Nick Thorburn. Last year's Anti- album, "Vapours," brought back the fun after the previous disc got a little too serious and bloated. Fellow Canadians Gregory Pepper & His Problems open. (7:30 p.m. Sun., Cedar Cultural Center. All ages. $11.) (C.R.)

Topeka, Kansas, acoustic guitarist Andy McKee has been heard on Josh Groban's blockbuster Christmas album ("Noel") and on TV's "Last Call With Carson Daly." A YouTube favorite, he aspires to land in the realm of Michael Hedges and Billy McLaughlin. (7 p.m. Sun. Varsity, $15-$18.) (J.B.)

Jam-band moe. has its own festival (moe.down), cruise (moe.cruise) and now a greatest-hits album ("Smash Hits Vol. 1"). OK, this 21-year-old upstate New York quintet doesn't really have any radio hits, but these guys have a sense of humor and a live reputation that ensures them a spot on many festivals every year. (7:30 p.m. Mon. Minnesota Zoo, $28.) (J.B.)

Liars are a dark and damned but sonically vibrant and shapeshifting electronic/art-punk trio fronted by charismatic, moose-voiced frontman Angus Andrews, who's part Nick Cave, Ian Curtis and Bela Lugosi. The Brooklyn-based group already counts Thom Yorke and Beck as fans and is drumming up acclaim from music bloggers with its fifth album, "Sisterworld," tracks from which could either be curiously fascinating or deadly dull in concert. L.A. artist and noise-dabbler John Wiese opens. (9 p.m. Tue., First Avenue. 18 & older. $10.) (C.R.)

Joan Baez, the grand old lady of folk music at age 69, will bring more than "Diamonds and Rust" to ex-paramour Bob Dylan's home state. Her 2008 album, "Day After Tomorrow," is a brilliant collection of contemporary material written by Patty Griffin, T Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Eliza Gilkyson and Steve Earle, who produced the recording. (7:30 p.m. Tue. Minnesota Zoo, $40.) (J.B.)

Things are as weird as ever with Modest Mouse. Since 2007, the "Float On" hitmakers have put out only stray singles and an outtakes EP. Frontman Isaac Brock recorded a bunch of songs for the new "180º South" soundtrack, but they were under the moniker Ugly Casanova. So no one knows what to expect as the Oregonian alt-rock heroes stop back in town on their way to the Pitchfork Music Fest in Chicago. Johnny Marr is apparently out as the guitarist (at least for now), and Jim Fairchild of Grandaddy is in. Los Angeles openers the Radar Brothers have a new lineup and new Merge album, "The Illustrated Garden." (7:30 p.m. Wed., Orpheum Theatre. $35.) (C.R.)

On what would have been Woody Guthrie's 98th birthday, three of the Twin Cities' finest -- bluesman Tony Glover and folkies Pop Wagner and Charlie Maguire -- will pay tribute by performing songs Guthrie wrote about the Columbia River and the Pacific Northwest on commission from the Department of the Interior in 1941. By the by, Glover met Guthrie in 1962 in a New York hospital. (7:30 p.m. Wed. Ginkgo Coffeehouse, $12-$15.) (J.B.)

Our favorite "Alright Guy" from East Nashville, songwriting ace and rambling raconteur Todd Snider has survived the Music City flooding -- though he recently has been heard underwater on the Cartoon Network's "Squidbillies," voicing the character of Lobster Boy. Snider also wrote the score for a new indie movie called "Homewreckers" and is reportedly working on a book of genuinely tall tales called "Almost Everything I Say Is True." Snider's a knockout live performer, the overachieving slacker with dozens of memorable songs and perfect comic timing. (8 p.m. Wed., Cedar Cultural Center, $24-$26.) (T.S.)

On his fine fifth CD, "So Runs the World Away," Josh Ritter favors a small-sound folk-rock intimacy as he sings about a mummy who falls in love with an archaeologist ("The Curse"), various characters in murder ballads ("Folk Bloodbath") and immigrant vessels (the Leonard Cohen-flavored "Another New World"). An Idaho native who recently moved to New York, Ritter is a splendid songwriter with a sense of adventure, which is why he'll perform with the Minnesota Orchestra, conducted by Sarah Hicks. (7:30 p.m. Thu., Orchestra Hall, $20-$55) (J.B.)


The antithesis of the cookie-cutter female jazz singer, Kendra Shank is a constant revelation. Her repertoire seems boundless -- from Cole Porter oldies to Abbey Lincoln gems, folk tunes and poems of Rumi set to music -- and Shank makes every song new again. Jazz singing at its best is intensely personal, and Shank's brilliant recent CD "Mosaic" is filled with such moments, and swings hard at times, too. Shank is often just as riveting in a club, and she'll have terrific company in St. Paul -- Bryan Nichols (piano), Terry Burns (bass) and Phil Hey (drums). (8:30 & 10:30 p.m., Fri.-Sat., Artists' Quarter, $17.) (T.S.)

Jazz/Americana guitar master Bill Frisell's latest tour presents his Beautiful Dreamers trio, co-starring violist Eyvind Kang and drummer Rudy Royston. They'll have a self-titled debut CD out on the Savoy Jazz label at the end of August, with original songs and covers that are all over the map -- tunes associated with the Carter Family, Benny Goodman, Blind Willie Johnson, Stephen Foster, even Little Anthony & the Imperials. There's simply no pigeonholing Frisell. (7:30 & 9:30 Mon.-Tue., Dakota Jazz Club, $20-$30.) (T.S.)

Bruce Springsteen gave him the summer off, and he decided not to tour with his other boss, Conan O'Brien. That's because he was taking his 15-piece Max Weinberg Big Band on the road to play energetic, horn-propelled music associated with the four B's -- Buddy Rich, Count Basie, the Beatles and, of course, the Boss. There will be no vocals or guitar. Read an interview with drummer/bandleader Weinberg in Sunday's Variety A+E. (7:30 & 9:30 p.m. Wed. Dakota, $28-$45.) (J.B.)


Colorful doesn't begin to describe blueswoman Candye Kane's unique life and career. She's been, in no particular order: a teenage single mother; a stripper, pin-up gal and porn star; a punk and neo-rockabilly singer, part of the fertile early '80s L.A. scene that included X, the Blasters and Los Lobos; an activist fighting for sex workers and the GLBT community; an advice columnist for Gent magazine; and a survivor of pancreatic cancer. Of course, Kane's best known as a bawdy and ballsy jump-blues queen, and in St. Paul she's likely to belt out anything from "Big Fat Mamas Are Back in Style" to Led Zep's "Whole Lotta Love." (9 p.m. Fri., Wilebski's Blues Saloon, $10.) (T.S.)


The Band Perry is a poorly named Alabama trio of two brothers and a sister who perform with an appealing combination of delicacy and spirit. Their "If I Die Young" is making some noise on K102 with its bluegrassy vibe and Kimberly Perry's bright, aggressive voice, which suggests Taylor Swift with a better sense of pitch. The other four songs on the trio's self-titled acoustic EP are equally encouraging; a full-length CD is expected this fall. (8 p.m. Thu. the Rock, $12.) (J.B.)


Sunday: Every year about this time, Twin Cities audiences are reminded that Andrew Litton, now in his eighth season as Sommerfest's artistic director, is not only a capital conductor but also a prodigious pianist. He'll be at the keyboard throughout the first of the current festival's two chamber-music concerts, a night that boasts a superlative program. Also featured: visiting violinist Vadim Gluzman in Prokofiev (the Sonata No. 1, arguably his finest work in any medium), cellist Anthony Ross in Shostakovich, and four more of the Minnesota Orchestra's finest in the undulating, soft-spoken poetry of Gabriel Fauré. (7 p.m. Sun. Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls. Adults $20; kids $12. 612-371-5656 or minnesotaorchestra.org.) (L.F.)

Contributors: Staff critics Jon Bream and Chris Riemenschneider and freelancers Tom Surowicz and Larry Fuchsberg.