Steve Aoki

9 p.m. • Myth • 18-plus • $45-$145

Cake-tossing, crowd-surfing producer Aoki has been the butt of jokes from DJs decrying the commercialized, press-play EDM era. But the polarizing star is laughing all the way to the top of America’s mainstream dance culture. The electro-house hitmaker unveiled the first of his two-part “Neon Future” album shortly before his raucous Zombie Pub Crawl performance last fall, with the second half expected sometime this year. Love him or hate him, the Dim Mak boss’ infectious festi-rave anthems and collaborations with everyone from Waka Flocka to Fall Out Boy have helped push EDM into the pop-culture consciousness. With hard-style/EDM producer Headhunterz, Caked Up, Dirtyphonics and Reid Stefan. Michael Rietmulder


Blackberry Smoke

8:30 p.m. • First Avenue • 18-plus • $25

Blackberry Smoke surprised the music industry last week when it landed at No. 1 on Billboard’s country album chart with its new album, “Holding All the Roses” — a surprise because the Nashville-based quintet sure looks and sounds like a rock band. The members could be cast in a Lynyrd Skynyrd biopic. Musically, they sound like a melding of Joe Walsh, .38 Special and the Georgia Satellites. Their heavy use of fiddle is the only thing overtly twangy. Ah well, they sure beat all the glossy pop acts passing themselves off as country music nowadays. The Temperance Movement and Ben Miller Band open. Chris Riemenschneider


Pert Near Sandstone

8 p.m. Fri. & Sat. • Cedar Cultural Center • $17-$30

Sure, bluegrass music sounds better outdoors on a summer night. Pert Near Sandstone does the best it can in the dead of the cold season with its annual Winter String Gathering, housed in the best indoor space for acoustic music in town and featuring some of the best new bluegrassy acts from around the country that the local pickers could convince to come to Minnesota in winter. This year’s lineup features Austin, Texas, one-man string band Possessed by James on Night One and traditional-flavored Asheville, N.C., quintet Town Mountain on Night Two. C.R.


Cheap Girls

9 p.m. • Turf Club • $10-$12

Similar to how there are no birds in the Eagles and no children in the Get Up Kids, there’s not a single female in this Michigan bar band (no word on how stingy they are). There is a drink-hoisting, Midwestern earnestness to the guitar-driven trio; think the Hold Steady sans Craig Finn’s dynamic lyricism … so just think contemporary Hold Steady. The ’90s alt-rock indebted group has pals in punk circles — Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace produced their 2012 album “Giant Orange — and they sort of evoke a Warped Tour Gin Blossoms. The fourth Cheap Girls full-length, “Famous Graves,” came out last year and features guest vocals from Finn. Restorations, Chris Farren and the Slow Death open. Jay Boller