Barry Manilow promises that his Evening of Music and Passion will be "a blown-up version" of the Las Vegas show he has presented to packed houses at the Hilton since February 2005. A consummate entertainer, the piano man writes the songs the whole world sings and sells schmaltzy romanticism like a deli sells chopped liver. Expect many of his '70s and '80s hits as well as the covers of '50s, '60s and '70s tunes that have given the adult-pop icon a resurgence as a recording star. Smooth-jazz keyboardist Brian Culbertson opens. (8 p.m. today, Xcel Energy Center, Kellogg Blvd. & W. 7th St., St. Paul, $9.99-$250) (J.B.)

In many ways it's just another weekend at Lee's, but it happens to be an all-girls weekend, starting with tonight's return engagement with the Dollys. The golden-voiced local starlets -- Kari Shaw, Andra Suchy and Joanna Jahn -- are the local answer to the Dolly Parton/Linda Ronstadt/Emmylou Harris collaborations, offering sweetly harmonized trad-country with a little modern charm. On Saturday, the Roxxy Hall Band hosts its monthly all-female blues/rock/jazz/all-things-boogie jam, going into its 16th year. Throw in the free weekly Monday by local country vet Becky Thompson and her band Old School, and Lee's has its own little Lilith Fair going on. (9 p.m. today & Sat., Lee's Liquor Lounge. $6.) (C.R.)

A band that could fit in next weekend's Best New Bands of 2007 showcase in the First Ave mainroom, City on the Make instead gets its own headlining gig in the Entry this weekend. At least it'll allow the young quartet enough time to fully unfurl its musical freak flag, as heard on the recent debut album "In the Name of Progress." The disc is full of high-energy punk-rock blues stomps that are somehow danceable, laughable and adorable all at once. Imagine Craig Finn covering Muddy Waters, backed by LCD Soundsystem, or at least something that unconventional. Abzorbr, Sector 7G and Adrenaline open. (9 p.m. Sat., 7th Street Entry. $6.) (C.R.)

After closing last year with some solo sets in front of Yonder Mountain String Band, G. Love will kick off his first tour of 2008 in Minneapolis. Of course, he'll be working with his longtime bluesy hip-hop combo, Special Sauce, which includes keyboardist Mark Boyce, who joined in 2006. His first tour with the group was documented on last year's "A Year and a Night," a made-in-Philly concert CD/DVD that truly captures this fun, Philadelphia quartet. Opening are the Wood Brothers, the rootsy blues-folk side project featuring bassist Chris Wood of Medeski, Martin and Wood and his guitar-playing bro Oliver. (9 p.m. Wed. First Avenue, $25.) (J.B.)

When Bon Iver came to town in October, he was still unknown enough to be advertised as "Ben Iver." This time, the Eau Claire-based songwriter (aka Justin Vernon) is a big-name contender on the Current (89.3 FM) and blogs like PitchforkMedia.com, all thanks to a heartbreaking little neo-folk album he recorded by himself in the Wisconsin woods last winter called "For Emma, Forever Ago." Gearing up for the record's proper release next month on Jagjaguwar, he plays a date with local quiet kings the Pines and Roma di Luna before hitting the road with his three-piece band. Read a Bon Iver profile in Sunday's Arts section. (9 p.m. Thu., Turf Club. $5.) (C.R.)


Veteran soul singer Maurice Jacox, whose résumé includes long and fruitful stints with Willie and the Bees, the Soul Tight Committee and the Butanes Soul Revue, plus a rather surprising "Best Jazz Artist" Minnesota Music Award a few years back, gets to show what he can do with blues and ballads as a guest of the popular "Tuesday Night Band" organ combo, anchored by Bill Brown on the B-3. (9 p.m. Tue., Artists' Quarter. $5.) (T.S.)


"The most exasperatingly brainless composition ever put on paper," sniffed George Bernard Shaw of Franz Schubert's "Great" C-Major Symphony in 1892. Today, with the work safely canonized, we can cluck at Shaw's seeming obtuseness. But he sensed the sublime strangeness of this music, and we could do worse than to borrow his ears. This week finds the symphony in the skilled hands of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and conductor Roberto Abbado, whose artistic partnership has been extended through the 2010-11 season; Leon Kirchner's Concerto for Violin, 10 Winds and Percussion shares the bill. (10:30 a.m. today and 8 p.m. Sat., Ordway Center, 345 Washington St., St. Paul. 2 p.m. Sun., Ted Mann Concert Hall, 2128 S. 4th St., Mpls. $11-$59. 651-291-1144 or www.thespco.org.) (L.F.)

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


Now in its 14th year, the Cafe Accordion Orchestra is still one of Dan "Daddy Squeeze" Newton's younger bands, taking a chronological back seat to the Rockin' Pine Cones and Jumbo Ya Ya. But the CAO is definitely the accordion master's most high-profile group, having twice played at Lincoln Center in New York City, turning up regularly on MPR and traveling to Vienna for a prestigious festival in 2005, not to mention a string of well-received CDs. Initially the quintet immersed itself in the romantic music of Parisian bistros of the 1920s to 1950s, but now you're also likely to hear Tex-Mex polkas, Brazilian forro, Colombian cumbia, jazz swing, and soundtrack tunes from the recent CD "Cinema." (8 p.m. Sat., Cedar Cultural Center. $12-$15.) (T.S.)

When last seen in the Twin Cities, Angelique Kidjo lit up Xcel Energy Center opening for Josh Groban. The Benin-born, Brooklyn-based Afro-pop star is a raw, powerful singer, spirited dancer and irresistible showwoman. She does a mean version of the Stones' "Gimme Shelter," which can be heard on 2007's "Djin Djin," a Grammy finalist for best contemporary world-music album. A UNICEF ambassador, Kidjo is an ardent speaker about justice, famine, HIV/AIDS and peace, among other topics. Those issues crop up in her songs and her between-song conversation. (5 p.m. Sun., Ordway Center, $7-$20. 651-224-4222.) (J.B.)


Brother Ali isn't the Midwest's only burgeoning Muslim rapper. Michigan's underground star One Be Lo (aka OneManArmy) converted to Islam after a stint in prison starting at age 18. When he got out, he formed the cult-loved duo Binary Star, whose 2000 album "Masters of the Universe" has become a collector's item. He's hitting the road to promote another solo album, "The R.E.B.I.R.T.H.," and bringing his old pal Senim Silla for the first-ever local performances by Binary Star. The duo's reputation is evidenced by the openers lined up for these gigs, including Carnage, Muja Messiah and Ernie Rhodes. (5 and 10 p.m. today, Triple Rock. Early show all ages. $12.) (C.R.)

When New Orleans rapper Lil Wayne first declared himself "the best rapper alive," most hip-hop fans chuckled. But in 2007, the pint-sized rapper with the croaky delivery made believers out of a lot of people. While his much-anticipated "The Carter III" won't drop until February, he spent the year stealing the spotlight with dozens of guest appearances and tons of mix tapes, the best of which, "Da Drought 3," was hailed by Rolling Stone and Spin as one of the best albums of 2007. On that disc and a slew of others, he displayed a newfound ability for bending the English language to his every whim. While some moments were breathtaking, others showed an artist happily experimenting with his insane genius, even if it seemed, uh, a little insane. Try this one: "I'm probably in the sky, flyin' with the fishes/ Or maybe in the ocean, swimmin' with the pigeons." Yikes. (6 p.m. Sat., Myth, $40-$50. All ages.) (T.H.)