Considering the possible confusion with a certain vice presidential candidate, Twin Cities pop-rocker Ryan Paul picked the perfect time to drop his personal moniker and debut a new act, Sleep Study. The year-old group's long-gestating debut album, "Nothing Can Destroy" -- co-produced with the Honeydogs' Adam Levy -- has a classic and sophisticated Brit-rock sheen, from the T. Rex-y glam-pop of the opener "Flower Girl" to several songs that recall Robyn Hitchcock to, yes, ample "Revolver"-style Beatles majesty. But no Radiohead, refreshingly. Expect to see this one on many local critics' year-end lists. Prissy Clerks, the Small Cities and Hannah Von Der Hoff all open the release party. (9 p.m. Fri., 7th Street Entry. $5.) Chris Riemenschneider

Three of the Twin Cities' most innovative and lyrically provocative hip-hop acts -- Kill the Vultures, No Bird Sing and Kristoff Krane -- are teaming up with a few other associates to debut an artists' collective dubbed F to I to X. Part label and part all-star group, it was originally envisioned by their pal Eyedea before his death. Though it's not really a tribute to him, it's a good one nonetheless. Look for individual sets by all three acts and plenty of collaborations, too, including the debut of their semi-eponymous first single, "Fix," (10 p.m. Fri., Triple Rock. $5.) Riemenschneider

Los Angeles blues-rock powerhouse Janiva Magness was sick and not in command of her full voice in March when she came to the Dakota Jazz Club to promote her new CD, "Stronger for It." The singer, who spent her musical salad days in St. Paul, contributes three originals for the first time. She sets the standard with the opener, "There It Is," a snarling blues-rock adios that Bonnie Raitt would be proud of. "I Won't Cry" is filled with the kind of seething pain associated with Bettye LaVette. Magness also shows exemplary taste in picking tunes, including gems from Tom Waits, Ike Turner, Gladys Knight, Grace Potter and Ray Wylie Hubbard. If you dig Raitt, check out Magness. (8 p.m. Fri., Dakota, $20.) Jon Bream

In one of the odder bookings of the month, the Rich Lewis Trio plays a two-night stand, minus the vacationing Lewis. The guitarist/singer will be replaced by another ex-Explodo Boy: funky, always-underrated pianist John Beach. The band's rhythm section, lifelong friends Dan Schoenbauer (electric bass) and Kory Badertscher (drums), are looking forward to this cool curveball of a gig. (7 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Erte, 323 13th Av. NE., Mpls.) Tom Surowicz

The third annual West Bank Music Festival is about half as eclectic as the neighborhood it represents -- which is still saying something. Indie-rap maestro Astronautalis heads up the outdoor main stage (8:30 p.m.) with breakout rapper MaLLy (7), breakneck roar-rock duo Bloodnstuff (5:45) and electronic crankers Wiping Out Thousands (4:30). The show then splinters into nine surrounding clubs, with highlights including the Nomad's noise fest with Birthday Suits, Koal Skodiak and Seawhores, the Cedar's Latin dance party with Malamanya, the Acadia's punkabilly bash with L'Assassins and Sex Rays and a blues-punk throwdown at Palmer's with Poverty Hash. (4:30 Sat., 329 Cedar Av. S., Mpls. Wristbands $5 on site before 10 p.m., $10 after.) Riemenschneider

After selling out First Ave this spring, Minnesota's second-hottest bluegrass-branded string band is stepping up and out with its Pert Near Sandstone Backyard Bonfire. Sure, the "yard" is actually a parking lot and the only "fire" will be in the performances (hopefully), but there's still a familial summer vibe in the lineup of string pickers. Trampled by Turtles' electric offshoot, Dead Man Winter, will also perform along with ukulele rockers Lucy Michelle & the Velvet Lapelles, vintage country harmonizers the Cactus Blossoms and more bluegrassy bands the Pistol Whippin' Party Penguins, Sans Souci Quartet and Farmhouse Band. (4 p.m. Sat., Cabooze Plaza. $20-$25.) There's also an after-party inside led by the Boys N' the Barrels (10:45 p.m., $5.) Riemenschneider

In December, the newish, impressively tight Mickey Hart Band played a few familiar Grateful Dead tunes but leaned on new material (some by St. Paul-bred keyboardist Ben Yonas) with psychedelic lyrics (some by Dead collaborator Robert Hunter) and far-out musical trips. What else would you expect from the trippy Dead drummer and his seven younger musical pals who call their new album "Mysterium Tremendum"? (7:30 p.m. Tue., Cedar Cultural Center, $47.) Bream

Touring in support of the first-rate "Slipstream," her first album in seven years, Bonnie Raitt will make her seventh appearance at the Minnesota State Fair. The Twin Cities is always an emotional place for her because her late brother, sound engineer Steve Raitt, lived here for three decades. Opening for Raitt will be fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Mavis Staples, who always gets soul-stirring on "I'll Take You There" and "Respect Yourself." Read an interview with Raitt in Sunday's Variety. (7:30 p.m. Thu., State Fair grandstand, $34.50-$44.50.) Bream

Not just Oldiesville, the Leinie's Bandshell lineup at the Minnesota State Fair kicks off this year with a modern favorite, Dawes. The L.A. quartet has earned ample Current and Cities 97 radio play and packed First Avenue over the past three years with its rousing, spirited, soulful twang-rock songs . Fans of the Band or BoDeans alike are likely to dig these guys. (8:30 p.m. Thu & next Fri., Leinie's Bandshell, free with fair admission.) Riemenschneider

Indiana quintet Murder by Death often sound as bleak as their name suggests, especially with frontman Adam Turla's deep, Nick Cave-meets-Warren Zevon baritone voice and desolate songwriting style leading the way. However, the group also boasts very lively Irish baroque country-rock arrangements that will probably be more electrifying than ever on their upcoming album for Bloodshot Records, "Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon," produced by John Congleton (Explosions in the Sky, St. Vincent) and featuring Okkervil River multi-instrumentalist Scott Brackett as a new member. Wild labelmates Ha Ha Tonka open. (9 p.m. Thu., Triple Rock. $14.) Riemenschneider


The mighty Spinners' heyday was the early 1970s when Philippe Wynne was the featured singer. But he wasn't the lead voice on all the hits; "I'll Be Around" and "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love" featured Bobbie Smith, one of two original Spinners still with this long-lived Detroit vocal group (Henry Fambrough is the other). The slick quintet will dust off "Mighty Love," "Rubberband Man" and other soul classics. (7 & 9 p.m. Tue.-Wed., Dakota Jazz Club, $45-$70.) Bream


Still full of energy, 72-year-old Guitar Shorty has been at the blues biz for a long time. But he keeps his material relevant. "Please Mr. President, lay some stimulus on me," he belts out on his latest Alligator Records CD, "Bare Knuckle," which is full of fiery guitar licks. Always an animated live performer, Shorty once inspired his in-law Jimi Hendrix with his onstage antics. (9 p.m. Fri., Famous Dave's Uptown, $6.) Surowicz

"House" star Hugh Laurie's latest role is New Orleans bluesman. On last year's Joe Henry-produced album "Let Them Talk," the arrangements and band are terrific, and Laurie's piano playing is impressive (love the boogie woogie reading of "Swanee River"). His vocals are inconsistent, as he seems to be playing the part of a bluesman in various styles. When Dr. John does the vocal honors on "After You've Gone," you know who's the real deal. Word is that Dr. House has New Orleans studio players, billed as the Copper Bottom Band, on tour. (8 p.m. Sat., Pantages, $42.50-$52.50.) Bream

Details were still coming together at press time, but expectations were high for a fundraiser/tribute to Big Walter Smith, who passed away last month at 82 after 40-plus years of fostering the Twin Cities blues scene. His longstanding band, the Groove Merchants, will be there along with fellow vet Jimi "Prime Time" Smith, who has been filling in for him at shows. Walter had innumerable musician friends, big and small, so no telling who might join in. The show will also include a silent auction. Proceeds go toward his funeral expenses. (2-8 p.m. Sun., Wilebski's Blues Saloon, $20 suggested donation.) Riemenschneider


What is the Del McCoury Band -- one of the best bluegrass bands of the past two decades -- doing in a jazz club? Despite its moniker, the Dakota Jazz Club always serves a diverse musical menu, plus McCoury made his latest album, 2011's "American Legacies," with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. It's a mashup of jazz and bluegrass on a collection of originals, standards ("I'll Fly Away") and covers ("Jambalaya"). (7 & 9 p.m. Sun., Dakota, $45-$60.) Bream


Burnsville's ninth annual Art & All That Jazz Festival has nabbed a prestigious headliner: five-time Grammy winner Randy Brecker. The versatile trumpeter has a milelong résumé: studio work with everyone from Steely Dan to Frank Zappa to Charles Mingus; charter membership in Blood, Sweat & Tears and Larry Coryell's Eleventh House; two tours of duty with the seminal Horace Silver Quintet, and many groups co-starring his late brother, Michael Brecker. At 66, Brecker claims to have fresh worlds yet to conquer. He'll top off an all-day event -- also featuring the Super Pilots, Charanga Tropical, Erin Schwab and the Hot Swing Combo and the Dakota Combo -- with an 8 p.m set, and you can't beat the price: It's a freebie. (Noon-10 p.m. Sat., Nicollet Commons Park, 126th St. & Nicollet Av. S., Burnsville. burnsvilleartjazz.com) Surowicz

Bill Lang is probably the only Twin Cities jazz musician ever profiled in the food section of the New York Times (see "Sauté Briefly, and Adjust the Saxophone" at startribune.com/a1630). Despite that surprise exposure, Lang has been conspicuously absent from the club scene in recent years. A powerful tenor player whose compositions are arresting and frequently inspired, this longtime bright light of the avant-jazz scene returns with his potent trio -- featuring bassist Brock Thorson and drummer Alden Ikeda -- and guest composer/keyboardist Carei Thomas for a night of well-scripted "out" jazz with a keen sense of play. (7:30 p.m. Tue., Black Dog Cafe, no cover.) Surowicz