The Decemberists: The Portland, Ore., indie-folk darlings don’t sound all that folky on their new album, “I’ll Be Your Girl,” a rocky collection offering echoes of ’80s alternative heroes like New Order and the Cure without losing frontman Colin Meloy’s unmistakable, bookish songwriting style. Always a surprisingly compelling live band, the group should have some interesting new flourishes as it settles in for two nights at the Palace as its unofficial tour kickoff. Duluth’s inspirational Gaelynn Lea opens both shows. (8 p.m. Fri. & Sat., Palace Theatre, 17 W. 7th Place, St. Paul, $40, eTix.com.)

 

Dessa: After putting in a few weeks on tour with her new band, the ambidextrous Minneapolis hip-hop star returns for the hometown release party of her adventurous new album, “Chime.” Chicago band MONAKR with singer Matthew Santos will open and serve as her backers. (9 p.m. Fri., First Avenue, sold out.)

 

Renee Austin: In 2005, the Twin Cities answer to Etta James lost her voice after thyroid surgery. After what she called three miracles, the former Blind Pig recording artist eventually regained her interest in music and the ability to sing. In 2015, she made a heart-warming comeback to live performances and now she’s delivered the rebound album, “Songbirds and Angels.” She still has her roadhouse soul sound but there’s no mistaking that her words, whether overtly or not, speak to her love of the Lord. (7 p.m. Sat. Dakota, $20-$25.)

 

Cloud Cult & Minnesota Orchestra: While many rock bands have pulled the orchestra card over the years, few are as suitable for it as the cultishly loved Minnesota/Wisconsin group, whose albums — especially 2016’s “The Seeker” — are laden with dramatic string and horn arrangements. As frontman Craig Minowa continues to ponder the great beyond in his songwriting, he will be joined by the great baton wielder Sarah Hicks as conductor with arrangements from Andy Thompson. Truly the makings of something special. (8 p.m. Sat. & 7 p.m. Sun., Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, $30-$65, minnesotaorchestra.org.)

 

S. Carey: While serving behind the drum kit for Bon Iver, the Eau Claire native and Twin Cities music vet has crafted another quiet, often drummerless record of his own wintery-sounding, landscape-inspired singer/songwriter tunes., “Hundred Acres.” The single “Fools Gold” still pulls at the heart strings after a few thousand plays on 89.3 the Current. A perfect room for his local release party. (8 p.m. Sat., Cedar Cultural Center, all ages, $18.)

 

Erika Wennerstrom: The mighty-voiced Heartless Bastards leader stepped out under her own name with a slightly poppier and twangier new album, “Sweet Unknown,” and a mighty impressive new band with her on tour. (8 p.m. Sun., Turf Club, $15.)

 

Todrick Hall: Best known of late as a judge on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” this Texas-reared choreographer and drag queen first showed off his singing chops as a semi-finalist in the ninth season of “American Idol.” (7:30 p.m. Sun., Varsity Theater, $30.)

 

Built to Spill: Idaho wizard Doug Martsch and his guitar-blazing band stop into one of their favorite venues in advance of a spring tour with the Afghan Whigs. (8 p.m. Sun., First Avenue, $25.)

 

Ana Moura: Fado is the blues of Portugal. One of its finest practitioners is Moura, who has performed with the Rolling Stones and Prince. Last seen at the giant arena tribute to Prince at Xcel Energy Center in 2016, Moura belongs in smaller rooms, as witnessed by her captivating, dramatic Dakota debut in 2013 to promote her triumphant “Desfado” album, produced by Larry Klein, who has worked with Joni Mitchell and Madeleine Peyroux. (7 p.m. Mon. Dakota, Mpls., $45-$65, dakotacooks.com)

 

Robert Earl Keen: A songwriting giant in Texas, Keen has been covered by the Highwaymen (“The Road Goes on Forever”), the Dixie Chicks (“Merry Christmas From the Family”) and many others, but is a charming performer on his own with his wry humor and storyteller-style shows. (7:30 p.m. Thu., Varsity Theater, $35-$50.)

 

Bettye LaVette: Since her reemergence a dozen years ago, this ageless R&B singer has established herself as one of popular music’s foremost interpreters. Remember her doing the Who’s “Love, Reign O’er Me” at Kennedy Center and “A Change Is Gonna Come” at Obama’s inauguration? Now she’s outdone herself on a brilliant journey through Bob Dylan songs on the new album “Things Have Changed.” She inhabits these songs, compelling listeners to find new meaning. And she’s even more potent live. (7 p.m. Thu. Dakota, $45-$50.)