POP/ROCK

A mutual admiration between two eras of artful pop music led to FFS, a melding of Scotland’s ’00s dance-rock stars Franz Ferdinand and Los Angeles’ cult-loved ’70s psychedelic pioneers Sparks. The two acts paired up and made one of this year’s most acclaimed rock albums, “FFS,” loaded with grandiose, Bowie-esque songs that are at once madcap yet accessible. They’re playing many of the new songs on tour alongside a handful of their own individual tunes. L.A. quartet the Intelligence opens with DJ Jake Rudh. (9 p.m. Fri., First Avenue, $35-$40.) Chris Riemenschneider

Rock Hall of Famer Leon Russell takes his distinctive blend of gospel/blues/rock to the suburbs. The 73-year-old piano man on countless famous records was the subject of Les Blank’s documentary “A Poem Is a Naked Person,” shot in 1974 but not released until this year. Opening is journeyman blues-rocker Corey Stevens. (8:15 p.m. Fri., Medina Entertainment Center, $31.67-$40.26.) Jon Bream

Titus Andronicus have always put on ambitious, over-the-top live shows, and now the explosive New Jersey punk idealists have the album to match: “The Most Lamentable Tragedy,” a harrowing 29-track, double-disc rock opera with a narrative arc about a troubled, angry soul who meets his doppelgänger. Or something like that. While frontman Patrick Stickles sorts out his opus for us in concert, the rest of us can appreciate his band’s straight-ahead raw power. Chapel Hill, N.C., duo Spider Bags and Brooklyn psyche-rockers Baked open. (9 p.m. Fri., Triple Rock, sold out.) Riemenschneider

Touring solo, Americana ace Hayes Carll is road-testing some new songs that he plans to record for his fifth album, with producer Joe Henry. ­Carrl’s “KMAG YOYO” was a wonderfully crafted winner, but it’s been nearly five years since the barroom poet and honky-tonk hero released it. He’s overdue. Nashville singer-songwriter Aubrie Sellers opens. (8 p.m. Fri. Cedar Cultural Center, $20.) Bream

After putting on some of the richest shoegazer-style whir-rock performances in town since the My Bloody Valentine reunion tour came around, the Joy Formidable is returning for a mere $3 advance cover charge, which comes courtesy of show sponsor Red Bull. The Welsh trio, led by pint-size fireball Ritzy Bryan, has been cooped up in the studio for a full year working on its third album and is apparently ready to blow off steam. No energy drink required here. Locals Murder Shoes and Verskotzi open. (9 p.m. Fri., Turf Club, $3-$10.) Riemenschneider

After participating in the triumphant Big Star Third performance last week at First Avenue, Ken Stringfellow, of Posies fame, is back with another tribute show — to Willie Nelson’s 1975 classic “Red Headed Stranger” album. He’s teaming up with ex-Minneapolitan Holly Muñoz — billed as simply the Holly & Ken Road Show — to perform their “Indie Country Opera” as well as material from Muñoz’s new sophomore disc, “#2 Record.” (8 p.m. Fri., Yoga Garden, 1229 NE. Tyler St. No. 140, Mpls., $20.) Bream 

The annual “Forever, for Always, for Love” tribute to Luther Vandross has gone on for 11 years now for good reason: It’s pretty special. Not only do you get to hear one of Vandross’ former backup singers in Patty Lacy of the Sounds of Blackness, but Ray Covington does a first-rate version of Vandross. The other Twin Cities singers, including Jay Bee and Erica West, do justice to the romantic R&B material that the late Luther created in the ’80s and ’90s. (9:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Bunkers, $10.) Bream

Chvrches sold out First Avenue in 2013 even before its full-length debut was released, and the Scottish synth-pop trio of “Mother We Share” hitmaking notoriety proved surprisingly adept at playing big rooms even then. Two years later, siren-voiced singer Lauren Mayberry and her bandmates move up to a bigger room promoting a slicker, bouncier new album, “Every Open Eye.” Australian trio Mansionair opens. (7:30 p.m. Sat., Myth, all ages, $31.) Riemenschneider

For her Me Myself I Tour, veteran singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading is touring solo for the first time in her four-decades-plus career. The rich-voiced singer will revisit “Love and Affection,” “Drop the Pilot” and “Me Myself I” accompanied by photos and her acoustic guitar. (8 p.m. Sat., Hopkins Center for the Arts, $54.) Bream

Riding high on the classical and R&B charts with its Universal Music Classics debut “Stereotypes” — an unprecedented crossover in Billboard history — Black Violin at first sounds like something of a novelty act: Classical violins set to hip-hop beats with even a little rapping thrown in. The Florida duo is anything but a joke, though. Its classically trained dueling bowers are masterful players, and their unique mash-up of styles works a lot better than you’d think. They’re as liable to be seen at the BET Awards as a PBS pledge drive. (7 & 9 p.m. Sat., the Dakota, $35-$40.) Riemenschneider

Brooding electro-pop hitmaker Tove Lo sings about sex, drugs and booze, which makes her seem like Sweden’s answer to Ke$ha. Lo’s explicit dance- and sex-inducing “Talking Body” and pot-loving, escapist “Habits (Stay High)” have been radio mainstays, which explains why her gig is sold out. If you don’t get in, the 26-year-old newcomer will return for KDWB’s Jingle Ball on Dec. 7 in St. Paul. (7 p.m. Sat., First Avenue, sold out.) Bream

After giving Sam Smith his first big break via the 2013 single “Latch,” British dance music duo Disclosure is also well on its way to major pop crossover success. Surrey-reared brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence — who play instruments and sometimes even sing in addition to manning electronic gear — just issued what’s bound to be this year’s biggest dance album, “Caracal,” featuring guest appearances by Lorde, Miguel, the Weeknd and, yep, Mr. Smith. Their jubilant, non-glowsticky brand of house music is a welcome throwback and should spark quite an electric dance party even in the worst music venue in town. (7 p.m. Tue., Roy Wilkins Auditorium, $35.) ­Riemenschneider

String Cheese Incident, the Colorado jam band that’s equal parts bluegrass and jazz, kicks off its fall tour with a two-nighter. Last year, the group offered its first studio album in nine years, “Song in My Head,” produced by Jerry Harrison. But maybe more fitting, SCI has just dropped the second installment from its live archives — “Rhythm of the Road: Volume 2, Live in Las Vegas,” a three-disc set recorded in 2001. Groovy stuff. (8 p.m. Wed.-Thu., Skyway Theatre, $49.50.) Bream

Savoy Brown, the British blues trio best known for the 1981 hit “Run to Me,” is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a tour and a new album, “Devil to Pay.” The group, which has had more than 60 members over the years, still features founding frontman/guitarist Kim Simmonds, who sounds suitably blowzy on the new disc. (7:30 p.m. Wed. Famous Dave’s, $12.) Bream

All the hip kids have been waiting for years for DIIV (pronounced “dive”) to release a follow-up to its 2012 debut, “Oshin.” The quintet has been a recurrent, critically and commercially reliable live band, especially around its native Brooklyn. Word is DIIV has become poppier and punkier than the dreamy pop-rock guitar mesh of “Oshin.” But the new single (“Dopamine”) and live tracks (“Dust”) feel like the same old successful seduction, even with the vocals of frontman Zachary Cole Smith more prominent in the mix. (7:30 p.m. Wed., Turf Club, $15.) Britt Robson

COUNTRY

Last month on “The Today Show,” Kenny Rogers announced that he was going to undertake his farewell world tour beginning in 2016, but no details and dates have been announced. So it’s not clear when the Gambler will fold ’em for the final time in the Twin Cities. But count on the 77-year-old graybeard, who has been touring for 57 up-and-down years, to deliver “Lucille,” “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” and “Islands in the Stream.” (8 p.m. Sat., Mystic Lake, $44-$55.) Bream

Musically, Dan + Shay sounds like Keith Urban fronting Rascal Flatts. Yes, Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney have a sweet, pretty, harmony-loving pop sound. They have created enough attention with such tunes as “Nothin’ Like You” to earn a nomination for vocal duo of the year in next month’s CMA Awards. Opening is “Love Me Like You Mean It” hitmaker Kelsea Ballerini, who showed skills and spunk in her Minnesota State Fair debut. (8 p.m. Thu., Mill City Nights, $29.50-$45.) Bream

IRISH

The Gloaming is well-named: There is a spectral beauty to their music that calms and sharpens the senses, like being out in twilight or deepening dusk. It is music influenced by centuries-old Irish songs, hushed by its morphing into more contemporary “new classical” and jazz genres. Each of the five players is an adventurous star in these realms, with fiddler Martin Hayes the linchpin who joins vocalist Iarla Ó Lionáird with guitarist Dennis Cahill, and pianist Thomas “Doveman” Bartlett with Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, who plays a variation of a viola and a Norwegian hardanger fiddle. (8 p.m. Fri., Walker Art Center, $31-$35.) Robson

 

HIP-HOP

The Underachievers are a rap duo from Flatbush, Brooklyn, who came to prominence after Flying Lotus caught one of their trippy videos and released a couple of mixtapes on his Brainfeeder label. Their latest, “Evermore: The Art of Duality,” finds AK and Issa Gold rapping with a strong, traditional East Coast flow about their love and respect for various drugs and their ability to control their usage for positive purposes. (6 p.m. Wed., First Avenue, $18, all ages.) Robson

Chance the Rapper was one of the main-stage standouts at last year’s Soundset festival, proving that the vibrant oddball nature of his acclaimed 2013 album “Acid Rap” wasn’t just an in-studio trademark. The Chicago wiz kid — now 22 and soon to become a father — just kicked off his so-called Family Matters Tour at last weekend’s Austin City Limits Festival, featuring a jazz-flavored live band called Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment and openers D.R.A.M., Metro Boomin and Towkio. (7:30 p.m. Thu., Myth, all ages, $40-$45.) ­Riemenschneider

 

R&B

Hiatus Kaiyote vocalist Nai Palm delivers soulful mushmouth and slinky phrasing like the second coming of early Erykah Badu. Palm and the other three members of the group roam so relentlessly that describing their music amounts to a quasi-comical style salad — from Latin to funk to trip-hop and folk-punk, all glossed with rich soul. They fell in with Questlove, and with Q-Tip, whose verse on “Nakamarra” earned the group a Grammy nomination for best R&B performance in 2013. The kicker is that Hiatus Kaiyote is white, from Melbourne, Australia. This is the group’s second trip through town this year in support of its panoramic follow-up, “Choose Your Weapon.” (7:30 p.m. Wed., Fine Line, $15-$18.) Robson

 

BLUES

The community spirit that runs through the local blues scene will come to life again at the ninth annual Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame ceremony, presented by the nonprofit Minnesota Blues Society. Among this year’s honorees and performers are Big George Jackson, John Beach, Donald “Hye Pockets” Robertson, Harold Tremblay, Jacquie Maddox and Lady J Griot, while Willie Walker and Scott Ives are also set to appear. (12:30 p.m. Sun., Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, $10 donation.) Riemenschneider

 

JAZZ

Amina Figarova is a composer and pianist from Azerbaijan, but her love of America and jazz are dominant in her music. Her “September Suite” is an evocative tribute to those who died in the 9/ 11 attacks. (Figarova was visiting friends near the World Trade Center that day.) More recently, her 2012 album “Twelve” documents her relocation from Rotterdam to New York City. It’s sophisticated and yet melodic and lyrical, and she’ll be accompanied by the sextet that recorded it. (7 p.m. Thu., Dakota, $25.) Robson

 

CLASSICAL

How many singers did Bach use in his choral music? Some evidence suggests as few as one for each voice part, and that is the approach taken by Englishman Paul McCreesh, one of the world’s leading choral practitioners. He brings eight of his expert Gabrieli Consort singers to the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra for three performances of Bach’s monumental “St. Matthew Passion.” McCreesh’s recording of the work is rivetingly dramatic, and the music is among Bach’s finest. An unmissable highlight of the Twin Cities classical season. (7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., Ordway Center, $15-$53, 651-291-1144 or thespco.org) Terry Blain

Ever wondered what a classical concert might sound like before you buy a ticket? At the St. Paul Classical Music Crawl you can find out free of charge, as virtually every classical ensemble active in the Twin Cities gives 15-minute concerts at a range of venues, including Union Depot, Studio Z and Nautilus Music-Theater. Opera, chamber music, songs, choirs and orchestras all feature in this toothsome taster menu, and guided tours with hosts from Classical MPR are also offered. (Noon-8 p.m. Sat., various locations, saintpaulclassical.com) Blain

For nearly half a century, the name Nobuko Imai has been synonymous with excellence in viola playing — she has arguably done more than any other musician in the past century to gain her instrument greater public recognition. Imai adds luster to the season-opening concert of the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota, joining four of the ensemble’s regular soloists for the Second String Quintets of Mozart and Mendelssohn. The U.S. premiere of Japanese composer Yoshiro Irino’s Sonata for Viola Solo is added for good measure. (4 p.m. Sun., Sundin Hall, Hamline University, St. Paul, $15-$25, 651-450-0527 or ­chambermusicmn.org) Blain