NEW MUSIC

While his brother/bandmate Aaron is partnering with Justin Vernon to curate July’s Eaux Claires music fest, Bryce Dessner of indie-mope kingpin band the National has teamed with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music Series and Walker Art Center to produce two nights of innovative classical music and other instrumental pieces. The classically trained guitarist has been a reputable composer almost as long as he’s been a favorite on Pitchfork. He will show off two new pieces for chamber music on Friday with members of the SPCO as well as work by Arcade Fire multi-instrumentalist Richard Reed Parry, who will perform with his new group Quiet River of Dust. Night 2 features “Music for Wood & Strings” and a new piece for “invented instruments” with So Percussion. (8 p.m. Fri. & Sat., McGuire Theater, Walker Art Center, $22-$25 per night or $35-$40 for both.) Riemenschneider

POP/ROCK

The Ting Tings emerged with the catchy hits “That’s Not My Name” and “Shut Up and Let Me Go” on their 2008 debut, but the coed British indie pop duo has failed to become radio mainstays. Neither of their ensuing albums, 2012’s “Sounds From Nowheresville” and last fall’s “Super Critical,” boasts any immediate earworms, but the eclectic pair hasn’t visited in three years. Electro-soul lovebirds Kaneholler opens. (8 p.m. Fri., Fine Line, $20.) Alex Nelson

 

Diamond Rugs might be the best all-star bar band without any big stars since Golden Smog. The loose, rowdy, boozy, rootsy but punky ensemble is anchored by Deer Tick singer John McCauley and ex-Black Lips guitarist Ian St. Pé, with Los Lobos saxophonist/keyboardist Steve Berlin, Dead Confederate T. Hardy Morris and Deer Tick bassist Robbie Crowell. They clearly had a lot of fun together making their new sophomore album, “Cosmetics.” Athens, Ga.-reared, New West-signed openers New Madrid had a good buzz at South by Southwest. Justin Collins also performs. (9 p.m. Fri., Turf Club, $15.) Chris Riemenschneider

 

Since they reunited three years ago, the Mavericks have been thrilling Twin Cities audiences at the State Fair and the Pantages. The forward-looking retro-sounding, Latin-tinged twang-rockers, who made their mark in country music in the 1990s, return with a new album, “Mono,” that will provide more romantic tunes to make women swoon. Raul Malo’s magnificent voice is hard to resist when he’s singing a tango like “All Night Long” or the breezy, ska-tinged “Summertime (When I’m with You).” (8 p.m. Sat., Pantages Theatre, $48.50-$58.50.) Jon Bream

 

Reminiscent of other acoustic roots couples such as Gillian Welch and David Rawlings or the Original Harmony Creek Dippers, the Lowest Pair boasts ex-Minnesotan banjo picker and singer Palmer T. Lee of Boys N’ the Barrels and his bittersweet, down-home-voiced partner Kendl Winter. The couple put out a charmer of a debut last year produced by Trampled by Turtles frontman Dave Simonett, who returned to help helm their more refined, sometimes darker and truly hallowed-sounding second album, “The Sacred Heart Sessions,” recorded at Duluth’s famed church-turned-studio. Simonett also opens this release party. (8 p.m. Sat., Cedar Cultural Center, $12-$15, all ages.) Riemenschneider

 

She is best known for the 1983 MTV smash “Walking on Sunshine” but at heart Katrina Leskanich was a 1970s pop lover, raised on CSNY, the Raspberries and Mama Cass. Those are the kind of sounds reflected on “Blisland,” her 2014 album of originals. Last year, the London-based singer completed her first U.S. tour in 25 years. She’s back with a band that includes Sean Koos and Jimi Bones of the Blackhearts and drummer Kevin Tooley, who has worked with John Cale, Lou Reed and Eric Burdon. Opening are the Flamin’ Oh’s, Robert Wilkinson’s enduring Minnesota rockers, and Beebe Gallini. (8 p.m. Sat., Amsterdam, $12-$15.) Bream

 

If metal dudes cried, a thousand tears would have been shed when Swedish melodic death champs At the Gates disbanded in 1996. Members of the influential bashers turned their attention to other projects, including the Haunted, Disfear and the Great Deceiver. However, none matched the acclaim of At the Gates’ seminal “Slaughter of the Soul” LP. Nearly two decades later, the band returned with its overdue follow-up, “At War With Reality.” The thrash elements of “Slaughter” are subdued, but ominous riffs and melancholic moods make for a darn fine comeback. Opening are rising melodic doom stars Pallbearer, brawny hardcore vets Converge and Vallenfyre, featuring ATG’s Adrian Erlandsson. (7 p.m. Sun., Mill City Nights, $27.50-$45.) Michael Rietmulder

 

For those tired of Dr. Luke and Calvin Harris perpetually topping the charts with overproduced club bangers, Clean Bandit is your saving grace. This British foursome, formed by classically trained musicians, melds modern dance music beats with classical elements borrowed from the likes of Mozart or Shostakovich. The talented outfit scored with last year’s inescapable “Rather Be,” and then delivered an outstanding debut album, “New Eyes,” which featured Twin Cities hero Lizzo on the title track. Australian pop songstress Meg Mac opens. (7:30 p.m. Sun., First Avenue, $20.) Nelson

 

James Hunter has many things going for him: a quick wit, charming British accent, a soulful voice in the spirit of Van Morrison and a saxophone-spiked throwback soul sound in the vein of Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson and the Five Royales (whose songs Hunter always includes in concert). He returns to the Dakota with the James Hunter Six, showcasing tunes from 2013’s “Minute By Minute,” his first made-in-America album, produced by Gabriel Roth of the Dap-Kings. (7 p.m. Mon.-Tue., Dakota, $37-$45.) Bream

 

River City Extension, formed by New Jersey songsmith Joe Michelini, creates catchy Americana with beautiful harmonies. The ever-rotating octet shows traces of everyone from Mumford & Sons to Dirty Projectors, but still projects a sound of its own. Often influenced by literature, Michelini cites Ayn Rand for informing last month’s third album, “Deliverance.” Philadelphia indie rock band Cold Fronts and local electric folk quintet William Within open. (7:30 p.m. Mon., 7th Street Entry, $12-$14.) Nelson

 

London trio Happyness is reviving the finest bits of ’90s slacker rock of Pavement, Yo La Tengo and Sparklehorse. Its 2014 debut album, “Weird Little Birthday,” showed off an ability to nail both low-key ballads for that afternoon malaise and thrashing, fuzzy rock songs for that college-basement fun. It’s sort of a concept album about a boy upset that his birthday lands on Christmas. Local rockers Danger Ron & the Spins and Nancy’s Raygun open. (7:30 p.m. Mon., Turf Club, $10-$12.) Nelson

 

Wand’s amps had barely cooled after its well-received debut album, released on Ty Segall’s Drag City imprint last fall. But the L.A. psych-rockers quickly returned with last month’s “Golem” LP. Inspired by a 1920s silent horror flick, the record roars with apocalyptic guitar contrasted with frontman Cory Hanson’s gentle, psych-pop vocals. Knee-buckling stoner grooves chug with a concrete wall of guitar fuzz, which routinely bends to galactic guitar solos and synthesizer flurries. Michigan surf-psych trio Heaters open. (7 p.m. Tue., 7th Street Entry, $10-$12.) Rietmulder

 

Alt-pop mainstay Guster adds layers of sound on “Evermotion,” its seventh full-length release. Admirers of the Beatles and all things Brit pop, these Boston-launched boys even sprinkle in a taste of Coldplay on “Long Night,” the album opener. Should we credit the band or producer Richard Swift (the Shins, Tennis, Foxygen)? (7:30 p.m. Thu., State Theatre, $34.) Bream