Drake might still stand in Kanye West’s shadow as the deepest-thinking mainstream MC in the game, but at least he isn’t standing up Minnesota fans. His tour stop, postponed in October, now comes at the tail end of the U.S. trek behind “Nothing Was the Same,” his widely acclaimed and surprisingly personal and lonesome-sounding third record. Yes, fame and fortune sure can be tough on those sensitive rappers. Toronto’s second-most talked-about resident of the year is earning a lot of good marks for his first major headlining tour. He has sashaying R&B stud Miguel of “Lotus Flower Bomb” fame and Atlanta rapper Future for openers. (7 p.m. Sun., Target Center, $49.75-$79.75.) Riemenschneider


Ranked above Drake’s album on Rolling Stone’s and Spin’s best-of-2013 lists, Chance the Rapper’s “Acid Rap” was actually just a mixtape released without a major push. But it pushed the 20-year-old Chicagoan to a new level. The peculiarly voiced rapper — think: Pee Wee Herman and Twista with some of Frank Ocean’s soulfulness — offered shape-shifting beats and a madcap array of lyrical references, from silly childhood nods to Chuck E. Cheese and Nickelodeon to seriously addressing the ascending murder rate in his hometown. (9 p.m. Mon., First Avenue, $20.) Riemenschneider


Fittingly secretive for a bar that emerged out of Prohibition, the C.C. Club’s 80th anniversary lineup won’t be revealed beforehand. All we know is that there will be six acts playing each of the two nights, and they won’t be all young hipster bands you might see hanging out there nowadays. The south Minneapolis haven has been a watering hole for local musicians going back to the ’60s, so no telling who might want to relive their gory days. It definitely won’t be the guys from that one newly reformed ’80s band, though, if that’s who you’re thinking. (8 p.m. Fri. & Sat., 2600 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., sold out.) Riemenschneider


After playing with stripped-down arrangements before and after the February release of its latest, truly lovelorn album “Love,” Cloud Cult will wind down the year by recording an entirely acoustic live album over three nights. The raw format accentuates the chamber aspect of the Minne-Sconnie septet’s strings and horns alongside frontman Craig Minowa’s ultra-intimate lyricism. Not sure if the painters in the band will use pencils, watercolors or what. (8 p.m. Fri. & Sat., 4 p.m. Sun., Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Av. S., Mpls., sold out.) Riemenschneider


Mason Jennings has been on the road for most of the fall, playing solo gigs behind the release of his warm new album, “Always Been,” but he has invited a few friends to join him for the tour’s two-night finish. That includes the same backing band he employed at the State Fair in August, with Bon Iver drummer Sean Carey, guitar wiz Jacob Hanson and longtime bassist Rob Skoro. It will also include Iowa’s rambling-folkie opener Pieta Brown (who sang on the record) and her maestro partner Bo Ramsey (who produced it). Read an interview with Jennings at startribune.com/music. (7 p.m. Fri. & Sat., First Avenue, $20.) Riemenschneider


Curtiss A bounced back from a minor heart attack (if there is such a thing) in 2011 to look and sound his fittest in years, which obviously bodes well for his biggest gig of the year. The Twin Cities rock vet’s 34th annual John Lennon Tribute requires the stamina of a true rock ’n’ roll workhorse, since it covers a wide swath of the Beatles’ tunes as well as a healthy bevy of the solo stuff — with a George Harrison tune or two thrown in for good measure. Per recent tradition, the show will also feature acts from the latest “Minnesota Beatle Project” charity album, which this year means a song or two from the Suburbs, Cactus Blossoms and Sonny Knight & the Lakers mid-concert while Curt takes a much-deserved break. (7 p.m. Sun., First Avenue, $15.) Riemenschneider


This year’s Jingle Ball could have the most timely “gets” since KDWB landed Kanye West back in — oh, he canceled, remember? Has there been any more-talked-about pop star this year than Miley Cyrus? Her MTV partner in crime, Robin Thicke, will be jingling, too, along with “I Like It” hitmaker Enrique Iglesias, “Whistle” rapper Flo Rida, enduring emo rockers Fall Out Boy, big-voiced Nickelodeon star Ariana Grande, YouTube teen sensation Austin Mahone and “X Factor” girl group Fifth Harmony. (7:30 p.m. Tue., Xcel Energy Center, $38-$153.) Jon Bream


Always an egghead, Stanford grad Vienna Teng, 35, starting working on “Aims,” her first album in four years, while in grad school at the University of Michigan studying sustainability. The old introspective piano popster is now an ambitious musicmaker who makes pretty, passionate electronic music with cascading choirs and sings about such big topics as the Occupy movement. She will be accompanied by multi-instrumentalists Alex Wong and Jordan Hamlin. (7 p.m. Tue., Dakota Jazz Club, $30.) Bream


Regular visitors to the Dakota, Tower of Power is usually the loudest and largest band to play the intimate space — and one of the funkiest. Co-founder Emilio Castillo has his well-drilled horn-driven band spreading the distinctive East Bay greasy funk with as much precision and spirit as when he started TOP 45 years ago. This is the last go-round for stylish vocalist Larry Braggs, who kills it on such ballads as “You’re Still a Young Man.” (7 & 9 p.m. Wed.-Dec. 14, Dakota, $35-$70.) Bream



Rumors abound on what will happen to the cool basement space, but one thing’s for certain — the Artists’ Quarter as we know it, under the direction of drummer Kenny Horst, is a done deal as of Dec. 31. This weekend’s mammoth benefit, organized by singer Lucia Newell, is not a futile attempt to change that course, but rather a fundraiser for Horst and his wife, Dawn, who have kept real jazz alive in St. Paul for decades. Local stars will be out in force, including Jay Young, Dean Magraw, Maud Hixson, visiting dignitary Bill Carrothers, Dave Hagedorn, the Peterson Family, Carole Martin, Dave Karr, Connie Evingson, Tommy O’Donnell, and genial AQ doorman/emcee Davis Wilson, doing his ever-so-hip tribute to Lord Buckley. (5 p.m. Sun., Artists’ Quarter, $10 minimum donation suggested.) Tom Surowicz


The mood should be festive when guitar guru Bill Frisell arrives with his Big Sur Quintet, co-starring Hank Roberts (cello), Eyvind Kang (viola), Jenny Scheinman (violin) and Rudy Royston (drums). Expect sublime Americana chamber jazz, music inspired by the unspoiled natural wonders of California, and recorded beautifully for the revived Okeh Records label. A video about the project on Frisell’s website offers pretty riveting National Geographic-worthy viewing even if you can’t make the gig. (7:30 p.m. Sun., Cedar Cultural Center, $30.) Surowicz


It’s a feast of Bach this month with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. In the first series of concerts, “Masterworks of Bach,” concertmaster Steven Copes solos on the Violin Concerto No. 2 in E. In addition to the Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C, the program includes the 3rd and 5th Brandenburg Concertos. (8 p.m. Fri., Wayzata Community Church, 125 E. Wayzata Blvd., Wayzata; 8 p.m. Sat., St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, 900 Summit Av., St. Paul. $5-$25, 651-291-1144, www.thespco.org) Next week’s program features the remaining Brandenburgs, with a repeat of No. 3. (7 p.m. Thu., Temple Israel, 2324 Emerson Av. S., Mpls.) Beard


Martina McBride, who has one of the most remarkable female voices in country music, will mix holiday chestnuts (her a cappella “O Holy Night” is stunning) with her female-empowering hits (“Independence Day,” “This One’s for the Girls”). (7:30 p.m. Fri. State, $54.50-$64.50.) Bream


The New Standards don’t even have to announce their special guests — and there’s always a parade of them — to sell out their holiday show. In fact, their annual affair has become so popular that Chan Poling, John Munson and Steve Roehm have graduated from the Fitzgerald to the more-than-twice-as-big State Theatre. (8 p.m. Sat. & 6:30 p.m. Sun., $35-$100; also Wed. at Rochester Civic Auditorium, $20, & Dec. 14 at Paramount Theatre, St. Cloud, $20.) Bream


The VocalEssence Chorus and Ensemble Singers are joined for this year’s “Welcome Christmas” concerts by pianist Dan Chouinard and local mariachi band Mariachi Mi Tierra. The centerpiece is a Christmas cantata, “La Fiesta de la Posada,” by jazz legend Dave Brubeck that blends Latin rhythms with American jazz. Beloved carols will complete the program in settings by renowned American composers. (7:30 p.m. Sat., Trinity Lutheran Church, 115 N. 4th St., Stillwater; 4 p.m. Sun., Plymouth Congregational Church, 1919 LaSalle Av., Mpls.; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 12650 Johnny Cake Ridge Rd., Apple Valley; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14, Colonial Church of Edina, 6200 Colonial Way, Edina; 4 p.m. Dec. 15, Plymouth Congregational Church, 1919 LaSalle Av., Mpls., $20-$40, 612-371-5656, www.vocalessence.org) William Randall Beard


For 10 years, the Singers have highlighted music of Minnesota composers. This year’s “What Sweeter Music: Christmas Under the North Star” includes a new memorial commission by conductor Matthew Culloton plus works of Dale Warland, Stephen Paulus, Craig Carnahan, Joshua Shank and F. Melius Christiansen. (7:30 p.m. Sat., St. Olaf Catholic Church, 215 S. 8th St., Mpls.; 3 p.m. Sun., Wayzata Community Church, 125 Wayzata Blvd. E., Wayzata; 2 p.m. Dec. 15, Nativity Catholic Church, 1900 Wellesley Av., St. Paul, $30-$10, 651-917-1948, www.singersmca.org) Beard


For its first-ever holiday concert, One Voice Mixed Chorus celebrates nontraditionally with “A Midnight Queer.” The concert uses the traditional Lessons and Carols format, but the “lessons” are writings by local LGBT writers and spoken-word artists, and the “carols” include music from such diverse traditions as Chanukah, Kwanza, Pagan Solstice, Diwali (Hindu festival of lights) and Mawlid an-Nabi (Sufi birth of Mohammed). (7:30 p.m. Fri., 3 & 7:30 p.m. Sat., First Universalist Church, 3400 Dupont Av. S., Mpls., 651-298-1954, www.ovmc.org) Beard


Two weeks ago, the Minnesota Chorale joined the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra for a performance of Mahler’s Second Symphony. This weekend, MSO returns the favor, accompanying the chorale in a performance of Handel’s “Messiah,” with soprano Maria Jette. (7:30 Fri., Roseville Lutheran Church,1215 W. Roselawn Av., Roseville, free, www.mnchorale.org) Beard


“Nollaig Shona” translates as “Happy Christmas” in Irish/Gaelic, and is also the name of a cool tour featuring four esteemed Celtic musicians: Andrea Beaton, a dazzling fiddler from Cape Breton; Nova Scotia violin master Troy McGillivray, Irish singer and flute player Nuala Kennedy and versatile Canadian Jake Charron, who plays guitar and piano very well. (7 p.m. Sun., Celtic Junction, 836 N. Prior Av., St. Paul. $16. 651-528-7979.) Surowicz


One of the most spirited and enduring Twin Cities holiday traditions is the Grammy-winning Sounds of Blackness’ African-American-flavored take on “The Night Before Christmas.” Surrounded by standout vocalists, director Gary Hines always manages to freshen up this production with au courant references to the likes of Beyoncé and President Obama. For this 35th annual presentation, look for Rudolph the Rappin’ Reindeer, the dancin’ chitlins and some surprises. (7:30 p.m. Mon., Guthrie Theater, $18.50-$37.50.) Bream


Coed jazz quartet Manhattan Transfer is undergoing some temporary personnel changes. Cheryl Bentyne needs a second round of chemotherapy for Hodgkins lymphoma, and founder Tim Hauser is sidelined by spinal surgery, so New York singer Margaret Dorn and Trist Curless, who has worked with Straight No Chaser, Bobby McFerrin and New York Voices, will fill their spots. (7:30 p.m. Wed., Pantages Theatre, $49.50-$59.50.) Bream


Led by flute and tin whistle champ Joanie Madden, and still featuring founding guitarist Mary Coogan, Cherish the Ladies are back to play jigs, reels, airs, and some Celtic Christmas tunes. (7:30 p.m. Thu., Cedar Cultural Center, $30-$35.) Surowicz