Thursday, Sept. 28
1. Radio K's 30th Birthday: Still one of the liveliest and most innovative outlets on the Twin Cities FM dial, the University of Minnesota's student-run station is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a lineup of local acts as eclectic, cool and communal as its on-air brand. The globally flavored hip-hop/R&B collective Ozone Creations with producer/rapper Obi Original heads up the party, also featuring funky young jazz star L.A. Buckner and his band Big Homie, Low singer Alan Sparhawk's new funk group Derecho Rhythm Section, bluegrassy pickers Buffalo Galaxy and fuzz-rock blasters Bugsy. (7:30 p.m., First Avenue, 701 1st Av. N., Mpls., $15, axs.com)
Also: Riders in the Sky, who have been putting western into country music since 1977, are tumbling into town with a new album "Throw a Saddle on a Star" (7 p.m. the Dakota, $40-$50); Roy Hargrove-inspired, hip-hop-infused Brooklyn-via-Seattle drummer and vocalist Kassa Overall, who served a stint with Jon Batiste on Stephen Colbert's late-night show, is promoting his new Warp Records release "Animals" with multi-platform local opener Xina (8 p.m. Icehouse, $18-$28); New Orleans-infused blues/R&B groovers the Butanes now play every Thursday at Shaw's (7 p.m., free).
Friday, Sept. 29
2. Journey North Opera Company: Their productions put women front and center, and the area premiere of "Dark Sisters" should provide a powerful opportunity to do so. With a libretto by Stephen Karam — author of the Tony-winning play, "The Humans" — Nico Muhly's opera chronicles a woman's attempt to escape from a polygamist Mormon sect after their compound has been raided by the federal government and the children taken away. (7:30 p.m. Fri. and Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Av. S., Mpls., $25-$40, journeynorthopera.com)
Also: Cannon Falls native and well-established Nashville twang-pop singer Caitlyn Smith is back for the third appearance in her Minnesota Residency series, this one a whole-shebang performance with her band promoting her new album "High & Low" (8 p.m. First Avenue, $25); a reputable singer/songwriter on the side from his drummer duties with Bon Iver, S. Carey has teamed up with UW-Eau Claire classmate and now renowned jazz trumpeter John Raymond for an adventurous album, "Shadowlands," which they're promoting with a tour that opens here (7:30 p.m. Cedar Cultural Center, $27); Wandering Eye, a Ween tribute band featuring members of Low and Trampled by Turtles, pairs up with the Devo cover act Revo (8 p.m. Hook & Ladder Theater, $15).
Saturday, Sept. 30
3. The Pharcyde: Details are a little hazy (no pun), but there's clearly a reason for '90s hip-hop fans to get excited over a rare and low-buck Twin Cities appearance by the influential Los Angeles quartet of "Passin' Me By" and "Runnin'" fame. Still three-quarters original, the rap group is booked to headline the fourth annual Legacy Cup THC Festival, a trade show and family picnic of sorts for cannabis businesses, which obviously has added momentum this year following Minnesota's changed laws. Slug of Atmosphere is serving as the host, and his old cohort DJ Abilities will also perform along with Heatbox. (11 a.m.-7 p.m. Surly Brewing Festival Field, 520 Malcolm Av. SE, Mpls., $4.20, eventhi.io)
Also: Popular contemporary Christian star Lauren Daigle made her move for crossover success with this year's 23-song self-titled album featuring Jon Batiste, Natalie Hemby and Gary Clark Jr. (7 p.m. Target Center, $39.50 and up); after rebounding from a recent cancer fight, metal hero Dave Mustaine is back out with Megadeth (8 p.m. Mystic Lake Casino Showroom, $135); on her just-released "Nobody Owns You, " "One of Us" hitmaker Joan Osborne gives advice to her daughter in the title track and to herself in "I Should've Danced More" (7 p.m. the Dakota, $65-$80); Danny Hutton is keeping Three Dog Night alive to bring "Joy to the World" and "One Is the Loneliest Number" (8 p.m. State Theatre, $35 and up); developing his own Bon Iver-like cult following as a tender indie-folk innovator, Gregory Alan Isakov moves up to the Palace Theatre touting his new LP "Appaloosa Bones" with Damien Jurado (7:30 p.m, $40-$80); San Francisco's semi-notorious psyche-rock revivalists Brian Jonestown Massacre are still at it (8 p.m. Varsity Theater, $25-$40); Buffalo, N.Y., jam-rock vets moe. return to the Mainroom (8:30 p.m. First Avenue, $35); punk legend Mike Watt of the Minutemen co-anchors the new trio MSSV with free-form guitar wiz Mike Baggetta and longtime Tom Waits drummer Stephen Hodges (9 p.m. Turf Club, $20).
Sunday, Oct. 1
4. Ringo Starr: After COVID-19 forced the Beatles drummer to twice cut his tour short last fall, he's back on the road with the 15th iteration of His All-Starr Band. Starr gets help from his friends from previous tours including Toto's Steve Lukather, Men at Work's Colin Hay and Edgar Winter. Expect plenty of peace signs from Ringo and a nostalgic jukebox full of hits from the Beatles to the Average White Band. (8 p.m. Mystic Lake Showroom, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd. NW, Prior Lake, $130 and up, ticketmaster.com)
5. Ray LaMontagne: With just minimal radio play, touring and other industry backing in recent years, the sandy-voiced New Englander of "You Are the Best Thing" and "Trouble" fame has continued to grow in cult-loved stature as his romantic, elegant records play in the background at dinner parties like modern-day Van Morrison classics. He's continuing his Just Passing Through Tour, a stripped-down, mostly acoustic affair like his well-received 2020 album "Monovision." (7:30 p.m. State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., resale tickets only, ticketmaster.com)
6. Chappell Roan: Tapped to open the first leg of Olivia Rodrigo's upcoming arena tour, this flaming-redheaded, fiery voiced, Missouri synth-pop singer is already on the verge of breakout status with her debut album, "The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess." Songs like "Hot to Go!" and "Red Wine Supernova" have gone viral with her Benatar-meets-Blondie rocker voice, ultra-catchy choruses and the sharp blend of snarky and tender lyrics that will make her a perfect Rodrigo opener. (6 p.m. First Avenue, 701 1st Av. N., Mpls., all ages, $31, axs.com)
7. The Ariel Quartet with Orion Weiss: The Schubert Club opens its Music in the Park Series season with this renowned, 20-year-old Israeli string quartet, which formed while the musicians were in middle school and has received the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award. After a collection of movements by various composers that they call "American Dream," they'll be joined by pianist Orion Weiss for Dmitri Shostakovich's powerful Piano Quintet in G minor. (4 p.m. , St. Anthony Park United Church of Christ, 2129 Commonwealth Av., St. Paul, $23-$33, schubert.org)
Also: Seattle's chart-topping rapper Macklemore of "Can't Hold Us" and "Thrift Shop" fame is on the road spreading positive vibes in songs like "Chant" and "No Bad Days" from his new solo album, "Ben" (7:30 p.m. the Armory, resale tickets only); adventurous Chicago jazz vocalist Kurt Elling, a Gustavus Adolphus grad, has teamed with avant-garde guitarist Charlie Hunter for a second album, the jazzy, spacey, bluesy "Superblue: The Iridescent Spree" (7 p.m. Parkway Theater, $33-$79); Clannad, the Irish band started by the Brennan siblings in 1970, is on its farewell tour (8 p.m. Fitzgerald Theater, $35); the last of the Alley Series behind HiFi Hair & Records features the tribute bands Belfast Cowboys, Jailbreak and new all-star all-female group Favourite Girl (2-5 p.m., free).
Monday, Oct. 2
8. Nick Cave: Australia's great master of poetic doom-and-gloom rock 'n' roll has gradually been working his way through/back from the tragic death of his teenage son, which informed his 2019 album with the Bad Seeds and his "Conversations" storyteller solo appearance last time in town. This time, he's amping things up just a little bit more with accompaniment from Radiohead bassist Colin Greenwood and a deep dive into his catalog. (8 p.m. State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., resale tickets only, ticketmaster.com)
Also: Versatile Grammy-winning trumpeter Randy Brecker, who has played with everyone from Art Blakey to Bruce Springsteen, joins the JazzMN Orchestra (7:30 p.m. Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, $44); two-time winner of the Native American Music Awards' artist of the year trophy from the Taos Pueblo in New Mexico, Robert Mirabal performs with the Rare Tribal Mob Trio (7:30 p.m. Cedar Cultural Center, $22-$27).
Tuesday, Oct. 3
9. Peter Gabriel: It's been a minute since the two-time Rock Hall of Famer and human-rights champion has released an album or toured. He's doing both this year, presenting an evening of new and old music accompanied by cutting-edge visuals and a large band including his longtime mates bassist Tony Levin, guitarist David Rhodes, and drummer Manu Katché. Reports indicate half of the two-set night is devoted to songs from the forthcoming "i/o," Gabriel's first album of new material since 2002. Meanwhile, the "Sledgehammer" hitmaker has been dropping new songs on every full moon this year. (8 p.m. Xcel Energy Center, 199 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, $55-$750, ticketmaster.com)
Also: Influential, whirly British shoegaze band Slowdive is back for its first local gig in five years and a well-received new album, "Everything Is Alive" (7:30 p.m. Palace Theatre, $35-$50); trenchant Texas songwriting great Rodney Crowell returns, behind last year's Jeff Tweedy-produced "The Chicago Sessions" (7:30 p.m. Parkway Theater, $49-$79); Chicago-reared wife/husband duo the Handsome Family offer up more moody-cool alt-twang on the new album "Hollow" (7:30 p.m. Cedar Cultural Center, $22-$27).
Wednesday, Oct. 4
10. Bobby Rush: A month short of his 90th birthday, the Mississippi bluesman is not only still performing but he's still recording. This summer's "All My Love for You" is a more polished, full band effort — with some slick slide guitar and harmonica solos by Rush — than 2020's Grammy-winning "Rawer Than Raw." It's less risque but it's romantic in a Rush kind of way. In other words, it's blues with a wink and a smile. In "TV Mama," he sings of a "big hip woman, prettiest thing you've ever seen … my TV mama, the one with the big wide screen." (7 p.m. the Dakota, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., $40-$45, dakotacooks.com)
Also: Jazz guitar giant Pat Metheny, the only artist to win Grammys in 10 different categories, is touting his new solo album, "Dream Box," on his first-ever solo tour (7:30 p.m. Ordway, $60-$105); fun Chicago indie-rock trio Dehd's girl-group-y 2022 single "Bad Love" remains a staple at the Current (8 p.m. Amsterdam Bar, $21); between opening gigs with Eric Clapton and the Steve Miller Band, Kansas City blues and rockabilly revivalist Samantha Fish is playing solo dates based off the PBS documentary "Love Letters" (8 p.m. Fine Line, $35-$50).
Classical critic Rob Hubbard contributed to this column.