After shows at the State Fair and Mystic Lake's amphitheater, country princess Carrie Underwood will finally bring her full arena production to the Twin Cities for the first time -- along with two new hits, the title track and "Good Girl," from this year's "Blown Away" album. Opening is Hunter Hayes, who claimed this week's No. 1 Billboard country singles spot with "Wanted." (7:30 p.m. Thu. Target Center, $46-$66.) Jon Bream


After reviving his post-punk band in 2010, visionary New York art-rocker Michael Gira takes Swans to a whole new level on "The Seer," an expansive new double-disc/quadruple-vinyl set that bounces wildly from droning psychedelica to hair-raising noise to freak-out folk. Low's Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker joined Gira's fray along with Karen O and more guests. California experimenters Xiu Xiu open. (9 p.m. Fri., Fine Line. $22.) Chris Riemenschneider

At 78, Frankie Valli has discovered the fountain of vocal youth. The knockout falsetto remains (unless he's lip-syncing) as he revisits the repertoire that made "The Jersey Boys" possible: "Sherry," "Walk Like a Man" and "Rag Doll." He works with a decidedly younger incarnation of the Four Seasons. Plus he'll reprise his solo hits, including "Grease" and "My Eyes Adored You." (8 p.m. Sat. State, $63.50-$104.) Jon Bream

After a four-year hiatus and a solo album by frontman Kele Okereke, England's Bloc Party has returned to angular post-punk form on its obviously titled fourth album, "Four." The Current is all over this much-anticipated album, spinning the tension-filled "Octopus." Ceremony opens. (7:30 p.m. Sat. First Avenue, $25-$27.) Bream

Ariel Pink is self-consciously and proudly weird. His latest Haunted Graffiti project, "Mature Themes," finds the L.A. lo-fi aficionado exploring sex, Nostradamus and the sound of AM radio. The album is noteworthy if only for a remake of Donny and Joe Emerson's 1979 tune "Baby" (which 89.3 the Current is giving almost Bieber-like love) and "Schnitzel Boogie," which should please your favorite Wisconsinite. (9 p.m. Sat. Fine Line, $15.) Bream

With a peculiar, pesky sonic patchwork that's part Björk electro-static, Grizzly Bear harmony-swirl and Muppet-voiced cutesy/grating, British quartet Alt-J will make its Twin Cities debut just a week after earning a Mercury Prize nomination. The former art students have been in steady rotation at 89.3 the Current for months with their tra-la-la-spiked single "Fitzpleasure," from their debut album "An Awesome Wave." JBM opens. (9 p.m. Sat., Triple Rock. Sold out.) Riemenschneider

With theaters and folk venues as her main haunts nowadays, indie heroine Ani DiFranco makes a welcome return to First Ave, a ghost of rock tours past. The folk-music torch carrier enlisted Pete Seeger to help on her latest album, "Which Side Are You On?," which also incorporates the funky sounds and stellar musicians of her recently adopted hometown, New Orleans. New York acoustic trio Pearl and the Beard opens. (8 p.m. Sun., First Avenue. $36.50.) Riemenschneider

When Olivia Newton-John comes to the Guthrie, which will rank higher: the kitsch or cuteness factor? Will her "Grease" fans outnumber her "Physical" followers or her "Have You Never Been Mellow" believers? It's the Aussie singer's first Twin Cities appearance in 10 years. (7:30 p.m. Mon. Guthrie, $55-$58.) Bream

On its current tour, enduring Canadian prog-rock trio Rush is out to reward hard-core fans with some deep album tracks in the first act, followed by a showcase of its new, 19th full-length, "Clockwork Angels," in all its muscular hard-rock glory. Fireworks, floating video screens and a string section led by David Campbell (Beck's dad) are included. (7:30 p.m. Mon. Target Center, $46-$96.) Bream

Patterson Hood is jumping off the Drive-by Truckers caravan for a solo outing that promises to be more personal and raw than his usual, blissful blare-athons. His new album, "Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance," is partly based on his darkest days before DBT kicked into gear. He brought in a cast of close friends to record it, including his legendary session-bassist dad David Hood, singing partners Kelly Hogan and Will Johnson and a couple of DBT mates, drummer Brad Morgan and keyboardist Jay Gonzalez. The latter two are also in his new touring band, the Downtown Rumblers. Should be a nice little detour. Athens, Ga., openers Hope for Agoldensummer feature two harmonizing singers. (8 p.m. Mon., Fine Line. $20.) Riemenschneider

Los Straitjackets celebrate the return of Minneapolis' own Danny Amis, who was out of commission for a few years, battling multiple myeloma. He's back on the road for select performances, plus he's featured on the rock instrumental band's fine new CD, "Jet Set." Amis wrote five tracks, including the brassy killer opening number, "Crime Scene," and the delectably exotic island reverie "Low Tide." Opening this don't-miss double bill is California's Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys. (7 p.m. Tue., Fine Line, $15.) Tom Surowicz

Although Dillon Francis entered L.A.'s neo-rave scene with his dubstep dabblings, his production work has hardly remained static. After getting turned on to moombahton (an electro-house/reggaeton hybrid), the dapper DJ found he could bring the bpm down while keeping partygoers up with his squeak-and-groove tracks. The Skrillex and Diplo associate, who last played Minneapolis at this summer's Global Dance Festival, is readying a slew of singles and collaborations for scattered fall releases. Flosstradamus, World Class Art Thieves and others open. (10 p.m. Tue. Bar Fly, $17-$20.) Michael Rietmulder

Steve Vai draws a fanatical, ferocious excitement from gear-headed guitar geeks. He's supporting a new album, "The Story of Light," which features "The Voice" finalist Beverly McClellan as a guest singer. She will deliver an opening set and then join Vai's band. (8 p.m. Wed., Mill City Nights. $37.) Riemenschneider

At the ripe old age of 21, Ed Sheeran is well on his way to becoming the James Taylor of the hoodie-clad emo generation. The British soft-rocker -- you might remember him as the guy who sang Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" at the Olympics closing ceremony -- has blown up on the U.K. charts with such über-tender songs as "Lego House" and "The A Team." He's taking off stateside now, too. British band Passenger opens. (7:30 p.m. Wed., State Theatre. $20-$24.) Riemenschneider

The Head and the Heart, Seattle's harmony-loving organic folk-rockers with a bit of a campfire vibe, have made their mark with the radio favorite "Lost in My Mind" and "Honey Come Home." The male/female vocal tension enlivened the group's performance at this summer's Basilica Block Party, where violinist/singer Charity Rose Thielen welcomed her family, mentioning that Mom grew up in Roseville and they used to live in Arden Hills. Blitzen Trapper opens. (8 p.m. Wed. First Avenue, $22.) Bream

The Raveonettes' usual retro noise pop has been toned down by longtime producer Richard Gottehrer (best known for his work with Blondie) on the new "Observator." The first half of the Danish-bred, New York-based duo's sixth album is carefully arranged pretty pop with messages that aren't always pretty. The second half is more familiar fuzz-rock fare. (8 p.m. Wed. Triple Rock, $17.) Bream

Michigan's Greensky Bluegrass is a string-band with country-folk instincts and jam-band tendencies. Last year's "Handguns" has some nifty songs, including "Don't Lie," but also finds the quintet stretching out with some fancy pickin' on such numbers as "All Four." And Greensky has been known to interpret songs by the Beatles, Dylan, Pink Floyd and Prince. (9:30 p.m. Thu. Cabooze, $12.) Bream

Boston's ear-mangling post-punk blasters Mission of Burma have now issued more albums since their 2004 reunion than in their original 1979-84 run, when they influenced the likes of Sonic Youth and R.E.M. They're widely considered to be a better live act now than they were back then, too. Their just-released fourth effort of the new millennium, "Outsound," delivers a classic, unnerving punch. Porcupine opens. (9 p.m. Thu., 400 Bar. $20.) Riemenschneider

Punk icon Henry Rollins' Capitalism Tour finds him working his way across all 50 states to wind up in Washington, D.C., on the eve of the election. He should have plenty to say about the state of the union, alongside tales from his vast international travels of late and maybe a story or two from his old days with Black Flag. (8 p.m. Thu., Fitzgerald Theater. All ages. $25.) Riemenschneider

British folk newcomer Ben Howard, 25, has a softly dramatic voice of the Damien Rice variety and a lush, laid-back acoustic sound befitting the Devonshire countryside where he grew up. He's returning to U.S. clubs following a summer at fests such as Bonnaroo and Sasquatch. (7:30 p.m. Thu., Varsity Theater. Sold out.) Riemenschneider


Kendrick Lamar sounded a little half-baked in the hot afternoon sun at the Soundset festival in May, but a cooler, late-night club date should be more his thing. The Los Angeles rapper certainly has more incentive to shine now. His long-awaited debut album, "Good Kid, mA.A.d City" -- purportedly an ode to his Compton upbringing -- is finally slated to arrive Oct. 22 via his mentor Dr. Dre's Aftermath imprint, with the slow-boiling singles "The Recipe" and "Swimming Pools (Drank)" leading the way. His Top Dawg cohorts Ab Soul and Jay Rock will also perform, and the local wiz kids in Audio Perm open. (10 p.m. Fri., Epic. $30-$40.) Riemenschneider


Bi-coastal saxophonist Bob Sheppard boasts a résumé loaded with household names, including Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock and Stevie Wonder, and he even pops up occasionally as a soloist on TV's "American Idol." He'll stick to straight-ahead modern jazz here. (9 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Artists' Quarter, $15.) Surowicz

Duet partners for four decades, jazz legends Chick Corea and Gary Burton are celebrating the new CD "Hot House," a freewheeling collection of jazz, pop, Broadway and Brazilian standards. The pianist and vibes man offer fresh takes on familiar themes by Bill Evans ("Time Remembered"), Kurt Weill ("My Ship"), the Beatles ("Eleanor Rigby") and Antonio Carlos Jobim ("Once I Loved") plus a Corea original, "Mozart Goes Dancing." (7 & 9 p.m. Wed.-Thu., Dakota Jazz Club, $50-$80.) Surowicz


Romanian brass orchestra Fanfare Ciocarlia is known as the fastest gypsy horn band in all of Eastern Europe. You might have heard their wonderfully wack rendition of "Born to Be Wild" on the soundtrack of "Borat." Fanfare Ciocarlia applies its horns to some other Western favorites: Ellington's "Caravan," John Barry's themes for James Bond flicks, etc. The Brass Messengers open. (7:30 p.m. Wed., Cedar Cultural Center, $18-$20.) Surowicz