POP/ROCK

After an impressive return to form at the same venue back in May touting the mixed-bag album “Kintsugi,” Death Cab for Cutie is back at Northrop to headline the second of Go 96.3 FM’s Snow Show concerts. Ben Gibbard’s Seattle area band features a new guitarist and additional keyboardist but the same old burning-and-yearning vibe that made them ’00s dorm-room rock gods. They will be joined by Bethany Cosentino’s great California-loving fuzz-pop group Best Coast and cheery, slick San Franciscoans Panic Is Perfect. (7 p.m. Fri., Northrop, $19.63-$47.50.) Chris Riemenschneider

– especially on “O, Death” and “Man of Constant Sorrow” – at the Cedar Cultural Center in early 2014. But he was mostly a figurehead with his grandson, Nathan Stanley, dominating the lead vocals and conversation with the Clinch Mountain Boys. Nonetheless, it’s worth honoring this 88-year-old bluegrass giant one more time. (8 p.m. Fri., Cedar Cultural Center, $50.) Jon Bream

In this world of social media, you can’t keep a secret no matter how hard the New Standards try. The jazzy/loungey Twin Cities trio doesn’t like to advertise the special guests for its annual holiday show, but we’ve learned that they include Minneapolis soul man Maurice Jacox and New York cabaret darling Nellie McKay. Both have sparkled in guest slots in previous holiday extravaganzas — the New Standards are always one of the highlights of the holiday season. This time around McKay has recorded a new single with the New Standards called “Weed: It’s All I Want for Christmas.” And the trio might offer a taste of its new album, “Decade,” which will be available at these ninth annual gigs. (8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., State Theatre, $25-$100.) Bream

Twin Cities piano princess Lorie Line has released another holiday album, “Christmas in the City,” which is the theme of her annual yule tour. She used to play about a dozen shows in downtown Minneapolis but now she’s branching out with three gigs in Burnsville, two downtown and a bunch in places like Watertown, Mankato, Pine City and St. Joseph. For her always dolled-up holiday extravaganza, Line will be accompanied by her Fab 5, two of whom are on their first tour with her, as is vocalist Tyler Wasberg. (7:30 p.m. Fri. and 3 & 7:30 p.m. Sat., Ames Center, Burnsville, $49.) Bream

Already a singer/songwriter with a known flair for personal revelation, St. Louis Park’s folky Americana mainstay Dan Israel takes his deep-digging introspection to a new low level on his 13th(!) album, “Dan.” Songs like “Moving Day” and “You Don’t Love Me Anymore” are as overtly about divorce as ESPN is about sports. “I followed that rainbow to the ground,” Israel sings in the latter gem. There’s plenty of gold at album’s end, though, plus lots of sharp hooks and some of Israel’s richest song arrangements yet, with key support from pianist James Tyler O’Neill and guest vocalists such as Katie Gearty, Bethany Larson and Andra Suchy. He’ll have a big crew with him for the release party. (10 p.m. Fri., 331 Club, free.) Riemenschneider

You’re probably never going to see Patti Smith, Janet Jackson, Sheryl Crow and the Lunachicks on the same concert bill, but you can hear fun live interpretations of their music at the third installment of the Girl Germs Live Tribute to Women. Dark Dark Dark and Anonymous Choir leader Nona Marie is doing the honors on Smith, Caroline Smith and Lizzo accomplice Mina Moore will try on Ms. Jackson, burgeoning pop-rockers Bad Bad Hats of “Midway” 89.3 the Current rotation wants to have some fun with Crow, and raw teen-punk trio Bruise Violet — who were a blast at last weekend’s Replacements tribute — will revive the New York sleaze-punk tunes of the Lunachicks. And because fellas are invited to pay their respects, too, Mark Ritsema’s psychedelic pop band Suzie will also she-bop to Cyndi Lauper classics. Extra fun. (10 p.m. Sat., Turf Club, $10-$12.) Riemenschneider

With Andrew Carson’s abused drums and a roar of Kyle Werstein’s glorious guitar work for its walloping opening, Fury Things’ full-length debut “VHS” might be a record you turn down at first, but you’ll be cranking it back up a song or two later. The throwback Twin Cities power trio — which pulled off a killer Hüsker Dü tribute set last weekend at First Ave but more closely echoes the likes of Sebadoh and No Age — recorded the album in an acrylic warehouse, upping the volume, intensity, songwriting and production quality from their prior buzz-making EPs. They raised up a lineup to match for their release party, with Kitten Forever, Strange Relations and Alpha Consumer. Seriously four of the best local rock bands of recent years to celebrate one of the best records of this year. (10 p.m. Sat., Triple Rock, $5-$7.) Riemenschneider

Donna the Buffalo is a jam-band with folk and Americana underpinnings, a crew that indulges their inner Grateful Dead on the Pete Seeger side, carving long, threaded, Mobius-strip riffs like tasty apple peels, with a down-home bent and community-friendly lyrics. The leaders of the quintet are Tara Nevins — on vocals, fiddle, scrub board, guitar and accordion — and guitarist and lead vocalist Jeb Puryear. The auspicious opener is bluegrass-folk guitarist Peter Rowan, a masterful picker and songsmith who has written tunes with the likes of Bill Monroe and been nominated for more than a fistful of Grammys. (7 p.m. Sat., Dakota, $35-$45.) Britt Robson

Denver-bred composer and multi-instrumentalist Paul Fonfara performed in the original lineup of DeVotchKa and toured behind the likes of Jim White and 16 Horsepower. Since moving to Minnesota, he has fronted his own DeVotchKa-like, eclectic orchestral-folk band, the Painted Saints. He earned a Minnesota Artist’s Initiative grant to compose a score for a BBC documentary on the Russian clown Slava, which he titled “Seven Secrets of Snow” and is now debuting live. The show will include an opening set by Jim White, who recorded some cult-loved albums for David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label, and then a closing dance party with the Brass Messengers. (8 p.m. Sat., Cedar Cultural Center, $12-$15.) Riemenschneider

After gaining attention from cultish record-collector types worldwide for their triple-LP “Three” in 2012, Minneapolis’ hazy, heady, droning psychedelic rock wizards the Flavor Crystals have scaled back to just a double-LP follow-up, “The Shiver of the Flavor Crystals.” But they didn’t cut down on musical grandiosity or elaborate packaging. Songs like “Mirror of the Mind” and (get this!) “Billy Dee Williams’ Parking Spot” unfold beautifully over crescendoing guitars and slow-building grooves. The physical LP set from local label Mpls. Ltd. includes splattered colored vinyl and interchangeable sleeve art. Their release party also features Chatham Rising, Dead Gurus and Bug Fix, a new band with the Birthday Suits’ Hideo Takahashi and Red Pens’ Howard Hamilton. (10 p.m. Sat., Kitty Cat Klub, $5.) Riemenschneider

Brought to you by Red Bull Records — yep, the energy-drink maker’s label — Awolnation’s second album “Run” offers a sugary blend of giddy pop hooks and manly techno-rock beats, like an unlikely mash-up of Nine Inch Nails and Nate Ruess’ band Fun. Singer/songwriter Aaron Bruno and his Los Angeles crew first broke via YouTube with their 2011 single “Sail” and are breezing into modern-rock radio playlists with the new tracks “I Am” and “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf).” They head up the annual 93X Nutcracker show with punky British rockers the Struts. (7 p.m. Sun., Myth, all ages, $30.) Riemenschneider

Due to their name and lineage, Graveyard is often miscast as a doom or death metal outfit. But the Swedish quartet — some of whom were originally joined with members of Witchcraft to form Norrsken — are mostly a psychedelic boogie band with a credible facility for both slow and crunchy blues. Their latest, “Innocence & Decadence,” moves even further from their once weird blend of Black Sabbath and Black Oak Arkansas, into classic, guitar-driven, blues-rock. And founding guitarist and vocalist Truls Morck (love the name) is back as the bassist. (8 p.m. Sun., Fine Line, $17-$20.) Robson

School’s out for the holidays. Well, not yet. But Alice Cooper is coming to sing “School’s Out,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and “Eighteen” and drag out all his ghoulish theatrics that landed him in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in the hearts of baby boomers still in touch with their teenage selves. He rocked the house at the State Theatre for two nights in 2013, and he lands back there on a rare night off from the never-ending Mötley Crüe farewell tour. (7 p.m. Sun. State Theatre, $53.50 & $63.50.) Bream

She’s quite idiosyncratic in a good way and he’s kind of weathered and worldly in a good way. Nellie McKay, the New York cabaret eclectic, and J.D. Souther, who wrote big hits for the Eagles and plays a recurring role on ABC’s “Nashville,” did a song together at Mountain Stage radio show earlier this year. Now they’ll team up for an entire evening. Well, she plays first, then he does a set and they’ll close by doing some stuff together. (7 p.m. Sun. Dakota, $45-$70.) Bream

OK, we didn’t get any of the big knockers like One Direction, the Weeknd or 5 Seconds of Summer. No, Calvin Harris, the DJ, producer, singer and ex-BF of Taylor Swift, headlines KDWB’s annual Jingle Ball, which is part of the iHeartRadio holiday tour of 11 cities (other cities have those aforementioned hot hitmakers as headliners). The lineup for this strikingly efficient Twin Cities show also features current radio faves Demi Lovato, Fall Out Boy, Nick Jonas, Zedd, Shawn Mendes, Charlie Puth, Tove Lo, R. City, Hailee Steinfeld, Becky G and DNCE. (7:30 p.m. Mon., Xcel Energy Center, $38.50-$153.50.) Bream

No, really, they mean it this time: Mötley Crüe is beating the farewell-tour horse for the third and presumably final time in Minnesota. The Minneapolis date was a late addition in lieu of a canceled Grand Forks date, and it falls just three weeks before the “Home Sweet Home” and “Girls, Girls, Girls” hitmakers ride off into the Sunset Strip annals with four final shows at Staples Center in their native Los Angeles. The previous two local gigs were stronger than their previous decade of shows, but Vince Neil’s voice has been shot since the ’90s and seems extra questionable at the tail end of this long farewell. The ever-reliable Alice Cooper once again opens after headlining the State two nights earlier. (7 p.m. Tue., Target Center, $20-$125.) Riemenschneider

One of the most inventive yet accessible new local acts of late, Bones & Beeker is the brainchild of Brother Ali’s former DJ and jazz musician Brandon “BK-One” Kelly and falsetto-gifted singer/guitarist Anthony Newes. Their eponymous debut album blends sweet, sunny harmonies and sexy love songs over a thick bed of Afro-Caribbean, Latin and ’70s soft-funk beats and samples. Things could get even more interesting in concert, where they will be joined by Poliça bassist Chris Bierden and ex-Atmosphere guitarist Nate Collis. Openers are Mina Moore and Kwey. (10 p.m. Thu., Icehouse, $10-$12.) Riemenschneider

It’s been more than two years since the release of their only full length record, and quite a while since they opened for the Rolling Stones, but between their boy-band sex appeal and their ’80s-inflected dance-pop hooks, The 1975 remain a popular concert draw. There’s nothing special about their sonic attack — midlevel bands from INXS to M83 have done the same — but it’s a durably enjoyable sound, and the Manchester quartet have the stage presence to maximize it. Perhaps before the inevitable renditions of “Chocolate” and “Sex” they’ll throw in some new material. (6 p.m. Thu., First Avenue, all ages, sold out.) Robson

 

HIP-HOP

Two of the Twin Cities’ most revered and controversial rappers, I Self Devine and Muja Messiah have been circling each other for years and finally came together under their common horoscope sign, Sagittarius. Their joint effort, “9th House,” is a zodiac-themed collection that finds them trading verses over beats from three of their favorite producers, J. Hard, M¥K and Orko Eloheim. The album is more playful and less heated than a lot of the MCs’ best-known work, with lots of cosmic psychedelic soul grooves. But there’s still plenty of topical and poignant lyricism to chew on. Red Lake Nation rapper Baby Shel opens the release party. (10 p.m. Wed., Icehouse, $9.) Riemenschneider

 

JAZZ

Winning the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition is an exalted achievement on the résumé of Jamison Ross, who captured the prize in 2012 — as a drummer. This year, his debut album, “Jamison,” features him primarily as a singer, perhaps the biggest ambush in that vein since guitarist George Benson sang “This Masquerade” on the album “Breezin’.” Ross has the filigreed voice and jazz/R&B blend that put Benson on the pop charts, but a closer parallel may be Grady Tate, who kept time for the funky jazz flow of Wes Montgomery and Jimmy Smith and whose “Sack Full of Dreams” is covered on “Jamison.” (7 p.m. Tue., Dakota, $20.) Robson

Ramsey Lewis has been playing Christmas carols since almost before Christmas was cool. Two releases in the 1960s were bestsellers because Lewis neither pandered nor tarted up the material beyond recognition. The urbane pianist simply laid the holiday songs into his customary template of toe-tapping blues, gospel and smooth improvisation, like “The In Crowd” or “Wade in the Water.” Be it the soulful “Merry Christmas Baby,” the buoyant “Winter Wonderland,” or Lewis’ bluesy original, “Eggnog,” originally played on celesta, it is a winning combination — and un-muddled by a string section for this quartet performances. (7 & 9 p.m. Wed.-Thu., Dakota, $30-$50.) Robson

 

CLASSICAL

Ariana Kim was raised in the Twin Cities, and though mainly active nowadays in New York City and at Cornell University, she returns to home base for a concert marking the release of “Routes of Evanescence,” her debut CD as a solo violinist. Kim’s choice of repertoire is pioneering, featuring no fewer than six American women composers, with two world premiere recordings. Excerpts from the disc can be heard at Kim’s St. Paul recital, where she’s partnered with Lithuanian pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute and acclaimed mandolinist Jennifer Curtis. (4 p.m. Sun., Sundin Music Hall, Hamline University, St. Paul; $15-$25, 651-450-0527, chambermusicmn.org) Terry Blain