Billy Joel hasn’t recorded an album of new pop songs since Bill Clinton’s first year in the White House. The Rock Hall of Famer’s songs — like those of Frankie Valli, Abba and Queen — have been made into a jukebox Broadway musical. After playing one night a month in Madison Square Garden for the past year, the semiretired piano man has hit the road again — without Elton John, his touring partner of late. Joel’s return to Target Center — where he played the arena’s first concert in 1990 — will be his first solo Twin Cities appearance since 2007. (8 p.m. Sat., Target Center, $53.50-$128.50.) Jon Bream

POP/ROCK

When he’s not playing bass in Bob Mould’s steamrolling band, Chicago indie-rock vet Jason Narducy has been cutting poppier and prettier but still semi-punky tracks under the banner of Split Single, which harks backs to his ’90s band Verbow. Last year’s overlooked album “Fragmented World” featured Spoon frontman Britt Daniel on bass and Mould drummer Jon Wurster. Narducy is sneaking up our way with his Chicago-based Split Single touring lineup and hooking up with Mould’s favorite Twin Cities openers of late, Fury Things, who have a new three-song EP that not so coincidentally features a convincing cover of Mould’s classic “New Day Rising.” (9 p.m. Fri., Turf Club, $10.) Chris Riemenschneider

 

Milky Chance is a German duo that has found success with the tune “Stolen Dances,” which reached No. 1 in Austria, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. The mellow groove tune, sort of a mashup of reggae and electronica with distinctive vocals, recalls the international dance-pop of Gotye. The song earned enough U.S. airplay — it peaked at No. 39 on the pop chart — to warrant a U.S. club tour. (8 p.m. Fri., Mill City Nights, sold out.) Jon Bream

 

As if we needed more proof Stephin Merritt is a hard guy to peg, the monotone-voiced visionary behind the Magnetic Fields did not even tour with his band its last time in town. Now he’s coming on a rare 14-city acoustic tour, joined only by longtime bandmate Sam Davol on cello. True to form, the shows have featured a 26-song set list — including plenty from the celebrated 1999 opus “69 Love Songs” — played in alphabetical order each night. So don’t get there late if you love “Andrew in Drag.” Advance Base opens. (8 p.m. Fri., Cedar Cultural Center, all ages, $25.) Riemenschneider

 

After touring with the great Car Sick Cars last year, Twin Cities psychedelic guitar-drone gurus Flavor Crystals are pairing up with another experimental Chinese band, Chui Wan, for what should be a truly one-of-a-kind show dubbed the Minnepsych Fest. The Beijing quartet uses viola in addition to guitars for another kind of otherworldly sound. One of Austin, Texas’ new psych-rock exports, Holy Wave, will also join the hazy fray along with locals Magic Castles. (8 p.m. Mon., Turf Club, $10.) Riemenschneider

 

Last year Chicago changed its long-standing formula for naming its albums. The horn-dominated band inserted “now” in the title “Now: Chicago XXXVI” for its 36th album and 23rd studio project. The sound is a mix of the classic jazz-rock-soul from the early 1970s as well as the schmaltzy adult-pop that returned Chicago to the top of the pop charts in the 1980s. The only real surprises are that the group delves into patriotism on “America” and protest on “Naked in the Garden of Allah.” (7:30 p.m. Tue., State Theatre, $68.50-$130.) Bream

Georgia-bred, Brooklyn-based rocker Torres (aka Mackenzie Scott) already had a strong PJ Harvey vibe going on when she hooked up with Harvey’s regular collaborator Rob Ellis to co-produce her second album, “Splinter,” which arrived last week with Portishead bassist Ian Oliver in tow. Find out what these heavy hitters like about the dark and dramatic singer/songwriter, who also often writes with echoes of Patti Smith. Eau Claire scenester Josh Scott’s ambient new band Aero Flynn opens. (8:30 p.m. Wed., 7th Street Entry, $10-$12.) Riemenschneider

 

Flashbacks aren’t just for baby boomers. How’s this for a Gen X house party: TLC, Nelly and New Kids on the Block. Headliners NKOTB may not be strictly rap ’n’ soul, but they put the fun in such slick slices of R&B as “Step by Step” and “Hangin’ Tough.” TLC, down to a duo after the death of Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes, ruled in the ’90s with “Waterfalls” and “No Scrubs.” Nelly brings the sounds into this century with his singsong-y ’00s hits “Ride Wit Me” and “Hot in Herre.” (7 p.m. Wed., Xcel Energy Center, $29.50-$96.50.) Bream

 

This pick-your-headliner affair could serve as a primer on the depth of the local music scene. Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric has been pared from an octet to a trio-plus-guests over the years, but still roams through rock, funk, blues and electronica (“post-genre”) while coated in a sheen of jazz irreverence, led by Clouser on lead guitar. D/K/O is a trio, comprising the rhythm section from the groups James Patrick Plays and Coloring Time, that works up a cool lather of liquid keyboards and dynamic beats. It’s celebrating its first official release, “Absinthe Referent.” Dosh, as in Martin Dosh, has made a decade-long career out of clever, catchy mixes that are both indie and danceable. Batteryboy is a chamber folk-pop outfit that wears its heart on its sleeve. (8 p.m. Wed., Turf Club, $12.) Britt Robson

Earplugs are a must for this two-night twofer, and helmets might come in handy, too: Toronto power trio Metz and wild-eyed Los Angeles punks FIDLAR are setting up shop and alternating headlining duties for two shows in one packed, puny club. Night 1 finisher Metz just dropped its sophomore effort on Sub Pop, “II,” which sharpened its chaotic sound without softening the Fugazi-meets-Am/Rep sonic blow. Night 2’s closer FIDLAR have yet to put out a record that matches the intense, unhinged energy of its live shows, including several prior Entry stops. But the pimply-young band members have plenty of time to get it right. Locals France Camp and What Tyrants open the respective nights. (9 p.m. next Thu. & Fri., 7th Street Entry, sold out.) Riemenschneider

 

WORLD

Renowned for fostering South America’s nueva canción (“new song”) movement, the Chilean octet Inti-Illimani has been together nearly 50 years. Among those inspired by the group’s indigenous music and progressive politics was Colombian vocalist Karin Stein, founder of the trio Los Llaneros. The two bands will perform separately and together in a concert to benefit the Sol del Illimani school in a vulnerable neighborhood of Santiago, Chile. Students from Blake School will pitch in on pan pipes to back the rich vocal harmonies and flute and violin work of Inti-Illimani, and provide vocal support for the gorgeous harp and cuatro picking at the heart of Los Llaneros’ “cowboy music” from the savannahs of Colombia and Venezuela. It’s a delightful blend of styles from either end of the South American continent. (7:30 p.m. Sun., Cedar Cultural Center, $25-$30.) Britt Robson

 

JAZZ

JoAnn Funk has been a fixture at the St. Paul Hotel for seven years, so it’s fitting that she titled her latest CD with bassist Jeff Brueske “Jazz in the Lobby Bar.” She’s an accomplished pianist and a chameleonic vocalist. She can offer several different voices on the same song. She’s partial to a girlish coquette (the Marilyn Monroe-evoking “Someone to Watch Over Me”) and a breathy balladeer (the country-tinged “Anything You Ask’). But she’s at her best with her more sophisticated vocals on “You Fascinate Me So.” For their CD release party, Funk and Brueske move to the hotel’s ballroom, where they will be joined by saxophonist Pete Whitman, violinist Richard Kriehn and drummer Nathan Norman. (7:30 p.m. Fri., St. Paul Hotel, free.) Bream

 

R&B

A recent Rolling Stone profile of George Clinton indicated that the godfather of funk has made a few changes. He’s eliminated the dreadlocks, crazy clothes and crack habit. He’s cut the size of his band and taken to wearing stylish suits. But he’s just as freaky funky as ever, as demonstrated on last year’s “First Ya Gotta Shake the Gate” — the first Funkadelic album since 1981 — and he’s just as crazy as ever, as evidenced in his 2014 autobiography “Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You?” (9:30 p.m. Sun., Cabooze, $25-$75.) Bream

 

Country

At 82, Willie Nelson has not slowed down. Last year, he released two albums: a duet disc with sister Bobbie Nelson and “Band of Brothers,” a strong collection of nine new originals that debuted at No. 1 on the country chart, his best debut in 28 years. He teamed up with Merle Haggard for the forthcoming album “Django and Jimmie” — and the single “It’s All Going to Pot” (released on 4 /20, of course). Last week, the American music treasure published his second autobiography, “It’s a Long Story: My Life,” co-written with David Ritz, autobiography co-author to the stars, including Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin. Reviews indicate that it’s entertaining but not overly revealing. (8 p.m. Sat., Mystic Lake, sold out.) Bream

 

CLASSICAL

Julie Albers, who will assume the title of principal cello of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra at the start of the 2015-16 season, will play her first big solo spot here since the announcement of her appointment in concerts with the orchestra this weekend. With Thomas Zehetmair conducting, the Colorado-born Albers, who began studying the cello at age 4, will play Saint-Saens’ elegant Cello Concerto No. 1 in A Minor. Zehetmair will also conduct Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G Minor and a recent work by inventive English composer Thomas Ades, Three Studies From Couperin for Chamber Orchestra. (10:30 a.m. & 8 p.m. Fri., 8 p.m. Sat., Ordway Concert Hall, $32-$52. 651-291-1144.) Michael Anthony

 

The Nightingale Trio, three 2012 Yale grads who sing Balkan folk tunes, returns for a weekend of concerts, the highlight of which features guest violinist Sara Pajunen. (2 p.m. Sat., In the Heart of the Beast Theater, 1500 E. Lake St., Mpls.) They also appear with Ethnic Dance Theater in “Mountain Memories.” (7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., E.M. Pearson Theatre, Concordia University, 312 N. Hamline Av., St. Paul, www.nightingaletrio.com). Kristin Tillotson

 

Coloratura, the art of singing short notes at high velocity, is a difficult skill to master. Kansas mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato is one of its leading exponents, and has gleaned a fistful of awards and accolades in a career not yet two decades in the making. In a Schubert Club recital, she’ll include arias by Hasse and Rossini, where sparks are guaranteed to fly vocally. DiDonato does delicacy and sensitivity, too — selections by Handel and Mozart are also featured — and there’ll be plenty of scope for her trademark feistiness in Spanish songs by Obradors and Reynaldo Hahn’s Venezia. (7:30 p.m. Tue., Ordway Music Theater, $16-$70, 651-292-3268 or www.schubert.org) Terry Blain