Akin to Craig Finn writing about the Twin Cities — but on a small-town level — frontman Will Sheff fixated on the city of his youth, Meriden, N.H., while writing Okkervil River’s charming new album, “The Silver Gymnasium.” The record shows off the lush but lively Americana arrangements of the acclaimed Austin, Texas-based folk-rock band as well as the writing skills Sheff honed at Macalester College in St. Paul. The dude gets around. Virginian opener Matthew E. White featured members of Megafaun and Bon Iver on his recent album. (9 p.m. Fri., First Avenue, $17-$20.) Chris Riemenschneider


Distortion-orchestrating Irish band My Bloody Valentine wowed fans with its gorgeously whirring, note-bending 1991 album “Loveless” and subsequent touring that brought it to First Ave in ’93 — but then the quartet vanished. Guitarist/bandleader Kevin Shields finally resurfaced with reunion dates in 2009 and then finished off long-gestating recordings as “m b v,” a nine-song collection that the quartet self-released to deserved acclaim in February. After 2013 fest dates all over the globe, the band kicks off a short U.S. jaunt with opener Variety Lights, led by Mercury Rev’s David Baker. (7:30 p.m. Fri., Roy Wilkins Auditorium, $35.) Riemenschneider


How cool was New York’s Living Colour when it dropped its debut, “Vivid,” in 1988? Well, Mick Jagger produced two tracks. The single “Cult of Personality” became a huge hit on MTV, which celebrated the New York quartet as the first successful black rock band. Living Colour won a Grammy and created a new hybrid — funk/ punk/metal. Now they are presenting the 25-year-old album in concert along with other tunes from their catalog. (9 p.m. Fri., Mill City Nights, $25.) Jon Bream


After doing backup vocals and arranging for David Bowie and Bette Midler, the late Luther Vandross became one of the biggest post-disco R&B stars of the 1980s and ’90s. “Never Too Much,” “If Only for One Night,” “Give Me the Reason” and other Vandross faves will be part of a tribute by a lineup of Twin Cities all-stars including Fred Steele, Kennedy Barber, James “Jay Bee” Brown and Erica West. (9:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Bunkers, $10.) Bream


Ricky Skaggs is a little bit bluegrass ’n’ country and Bruce Hornsby is a little bit rock ’n’ jazz. Together, with Skaggs’ band, Kentucky Thunder, they make magical, organic music, whether covering bluegrass standards, Hornsby originals, or Rick James’ “Super Freak.” On the virtuosic duo’s new live album, “Cluck Ol Hen,” the piano man’s stint with the Grateful Dead is apparent. (7:30 p.m. Sat., Burnsville Performing Arts Center, $53-$60.) Bream


Working under the moniker Toro y Moi, South Carolinian ambient pop maestro Chaz Bundick — you can see why he uses a surname — is taking a victory lap for a breakout year that saw him break away from the “chillwave” artistic tag. His third album, “Anything in Return,” boasts Frank Ocean/Prince-like confessional synth-pop that’s lyrically downbeat but rhythmically upbeat and sexy. Los Angeles DJ duo Classixx opens. (9 p.m. Sat., First Avenue, $20-$22.) Riemenschneider


A funky-jazzy all-star band from New Orleans featuring members of the Radiators, Neville Brothers and Dirty Dozen Brass Band, the Usual Suspects will add a couple more stars — Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett from Little Feat — for a tribute to the late Little Feat leader Lowell George. This should be a special evening. Put on your dancing shoes. (9 p.m. Sat., Cabooze, $25.) Bream


FIDLAR is as obnoxious and juvenile as it is rowdy and electrifying. The band of second-generation Los Angeles punks — two of them are actually sons of a guy from T.S.O.L. — play boozy, grimy, high-adrenaline roar-rock with song titles such as “Wake, Bake and Skate” and “Cocaine,” the latter of which is used for a new video starring “Parks & Rec’s” Nick Offerman and his urine. The band name is an acronym taken from skater circles that, as you can probably guess, can’t be repeated here. Local garage-rockers France Camp and Frankie Teardrop open. (9 p.m. Sat., 7th Street Entry, $13-$15.) Riemenschneider


Lindi Ortega hails from Toronto and toured as Killers frontman Brandon Flowers’ backup singer on his 2011 solo tour, but she sounds right at home as a flaming country bellower in her adopted hometown of Nashville on her latest album, “Cigarettes and Truckstops.” Her voice has a sweet Kasey Chambers/Iris DeMent-style warble, but her songs carry a darker, rockier edge that won her favor with Social Distortion fans as their opener this summer. Ex-Juliana Theory singer Brett Detar opens. (8:30 p.m. Sun., Icehouse, $15.) Riemenschneider


An undiscovered classic soul man in the goosebump-inducing vein of Charles Bradley, 62-year-old North Carolina singer Lee Fields flirted with success as a singer for four decades and found a younger by hooking up with a hip Brooklyn label, Truth & Soul Records, and the label’s house horn-driven band the Expressions. Fields has more of a James Brown-style gravelly howl than Bradley, and he’s a great interpreter, evidenced by the must-hear version of the Stones’ “Moonlight Mile” on his latest album, “Faithful Man.” One of the Twin Cities’ own funk and soul all-stars, Sonny Knight, opens. (7:30 p.m. Sun., Cedar Cultural Center, all ages, $12-$15.) Riemenschneider


Long an original and iconoclast, Rickie Lee Jones delivered one of the most striking and challenging covers albums with last year’s “The Devil You Know.” She strips “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Only Love Can Break Your Heart,” “The Weight” and other rock classics to their very essence. Slow, sparse and mostly spoken, her approach gets listeners to rethink the meaning of overly familiar songs — and Jones as an interpreter. (8 p.m. Mon.-Tue., Dakota Jazz Club, $45-$60.) Bream


A king of the reggae sub-genre known as dub, and one of Britain’s more prolific record producers, Mad Professor is known for his collaborations with Lee “Scratch” Perry, Sly & Robbie and Pato Banton, and his reputation as a remix master for the likes of Sade, the Beastie Boys, Depeche Mode and Massive Attack. Big sounds, small room from the man who promises to “dub you crazy.” See Saturday’s Variety for an interview. (8 p.m. Mon., 7th Street Entry, $15.) Tom Surowicz


Philly singer/songwriter Amos Lee went to Nashville to record his fifth studio album, “Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song.” Thanks to the voices of Alison Krauss and Patty Griffin and the dobro of Jerry Douglas, this collection sounds twangier than anything Lee’s done but it’s still the kind of rustic folk that has made him beloved by Twin Cities audiences. Jazzy Texas thrush Kat Edmonson opens. Read an interview with Lee in Sunday’s Variety section. (7:30 p.m. Wed., State Theatre, $40-$50.) Bream


Since singer Max Cavalera left in 1997 on his way to forming Soulfly, Brazil’s influential thrash-metal band Sepultura has issued more albums with Ohio-bred replacement frontman Derrick Green, counting the new one (and 13th overall), “The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart.” Slipknot drummer/co-leader Joe Jordinson’s other band, Scar the Martyr, opens along with Unearth and three more. (5:30 p.m. Thu., Studio B at the Skyway Theatre, $25.) Riemenschneider



On their second album, “Pioneer,” the Band Perry seemed to join Miranda Lambert’s Don’t Mess With Me Club. Kimberly Perry, the lead singer in this sibling trio, sings “I’ll go to heaven or I’ll go to hell/ before I’ll see you with someone else” in “Better Dig Two,” the album opener and the group’s second No. 1 country hit. “Done,” the second track and second single, makes it clear what she thinks about the relationship. “Pioneer” is a confident step forward from the bluegrassy folk-pop of “If I Die Young,” the smash tune that won 2011 CMA Awards for best single and song, and got them the best new artist prize as well. (8 p.m. Sat., Treasure Island Casino, $58-$68.) Bream


The son of country star Rhett Akins, Thomas Rhett has compiled an impressive résumé co-writing such hits as Lee Brice’s “Parking Lot Party” and Florida Georgia Line’s “Round Here.” So it’s no surprise that Rhett’s debut, “It Goes Like This,” released this week, is filled with currently fashionable bro-country. The mid-tempo romantic pitch “It Goes Like This” is Rhett’s big solo hit, but the noisy “All-American Middle Class White Boy” and the groove-oriented, rap-styled “Front Porch Junkies” might be the big winners in concert. (8 p.m. Sun., Mill City Nights, $20-$45.) Bream


Pianist and composer Lynne Arriale has a flair for transforming unlikely material and making it seem perfectly fitted to modern jazz. Whether penned by Sting, Trent Reznor, Keith Richards, English composer William Walton or even Randy Bachman, Arriale makes it work — she’s not just a pianist, but an alchemist. Arriale has put together some terrific trios, but lately she’s been working in quartets with guest horn players (trumpeter Randy Brecker on “Nuance,” saxophonist Bill McHenry on the new “Convergence”). In a jazz-education benefit dubbed “Youth, Joy and Jazz,” Arriale will be backed by local worthies Gordy Johnson (bass) and Dave Schmalenberger (drums) after an opening set by the teen talents of the Dakota Combo. (7 p.m. Sun., Dakota Jazz Club, $50. ) Surowicz


Last seen collaborating with the great Bela Fleck, Marcus Roberts is back in the more accustomed piano trio format — what, no banjo? — with longtime partners Rodney Jordan (bass) and Jason Marsalis (drums). Since becoming his own boss with the J-Master Music label, Roberts has released albums celebrating New Orleans, Harlem, ragtime and Christmas. His latest is a new version of his excellent blues suite “Deep in the Shed,” first issued in 1990. (7 & 9 p.m. Wed., Dakota, $25-$35.) Surowicz


The brilliant, Guggenheim-winning, Chicago jazz artist Patricia Barber explores the breakup of a romantic relationship on this year’s “Smash,” another sterling effort and her first collection of new material in seven years. An abstract pianist, deliciously seductive singer and literate poet, she delivers these songs with her signature braininess and riveting subtlety — even “Scream,” which ends with the title word screamed by an alto voice with discomforting quietness. Barber will be accompanied by guitarist John Kregor, bassist Patrick Mulcahy and drummer Makaya McCraven. (7 & 9 p.m. Thu., Dakota, $25-$30.) Bream


Blues and soul singer Shemekia Copeland wowed a Minnesota Zoo crowd this summer, offering an opening set for James Hunter that earned two standing ovations, and no doubt some new fans. Still a youngster by blues standards at 34, Copeland never disappoints in person. She’s got a razor-sharp band, and a hip modern song bag well-tailored to her estimable vocal strengths. (8 p.m. Fri., Dakota, $30.) Surowicz


Gospel legends and White House favorites the Blind Boys of Alabama may surprise old fans with the company that they keep on the new album “I’ll Find a Way.” The album was produced by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, and features guest appearances by Americana songstress Patty Griffin, rock experimentalists Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards and Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond and New England folkie Sam Amidon. Twin Cities drummer J.T. Bates is part of the supporting cast and the Blind Boys cover a song by Duluth bluesman Charlie Parr. My Brightest Diamond opens their West Bank show. (7:30 p.m. Thu., Cedar Cultural Center, $30-$35.) Surowicz