Ani DiFranco relocated from her cold, industrial hometown of Buffalo, N.Y., to hot, soulful New Orleans a few years ago, just in time to start a family there. Not surprisingly, she sounded unusually content on last year's album, "Red Letter Day," but you can bet the always-powerful punk-rock folkie still has some things to vent over and rock out to at this solo gig. Righteous Babe labelmate Anais Mitchell opens. (8 p.m. Fri., Pantages Theatre. $43.) Chris Riemenschneider

The Twin Cities' littlest mega-talent, Mayda furthers her fixation on our second-littlest music star (Prince) and adds her own meaty brand of hip-hop- and R&B-inflamed rock on her second album, "Tusks in Furs." Co-produced with her drummer and mentor, Michael Bland (of Soul Asylum and Prince's NPG lineup), the disc features a cool guest spot by Felix of Heiruspecs and several songs that might make even the most grown-up listeners blush. "My head keeps on talking to my hormones, and my hormones whisper to my hands," she sings in "Tsunami," a hard-hitting romp that could also provide her a nickname. Maria Isa and the Birthday Suits make for perfect yin/yang opening acts for her release party. (8 p.m. Sat., Cedar Cultural Center. All ages. $8-$10.) Riemenschneider

A British band with a moderate, MTV Hive-buoyed buzz stateside, the Horrors are a baby-faced quintet with a grimacing sound, like Bauhaus meshed with Psychedelic Furs. There's not much in the way of innovation on the band's third album for XL Recordings, "Skying," but the lads show a lot of energy and earnestness onstage. Psychedelic Connecticut dance-rock trio the Stepkids open. (9 p.m. Sat., Triple Rock. 18 & older. $15.) Riemenschneider

Liam Finn made a strong first impression with his clever, tape-loop-enabled, one-man-band live show when he hit the States following his 2008 debut, "I'll Be Lightning." The followup record, "FOMO," proves there's a lot more than gimmick to the New Zealand music heir (son of Crowded House's Neil Finn), boasting rich melodic hooks and some seriously evocative songwriting. Marques Toliver opens. (9 p.m. Sat., 7th Street Entry. $12-$14.) Riemenschneider

Toro y Moi's mastermind can be forgiven for being yet another one-man band tritely working under a pseudonym, since his real name is Chaz Bundik. The South Carolina experimentalist was grouped into the so-called chillwave movement with the ambient electronic pop of last year's debut album, "Causers of This." This year's followup LP and a newer EP have more guitar fuzz and upbeat jams but are still pretty boring. The real catch at his show is openers Unknown Mortal Orchestra, a wigged-out, indulgent noise-pop trio led by New Zealander Ruban Nielson. Ava Luna also performs. (9 p.m. Sun., Triple Rock. 18 & older. $15.) Riemenschneider

One of the rare rock duos that works as well onstage as on record, Japandroids certainly did resonate on its last record. A lot of deserved year-end raves were granted the Canadian wall-of-noise-makers' 2009 debut, "Post-Nothing," which sounded a lot like (the five- or six-member) ... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of the Dead. The Vancouver twosome is back on the road after a yearlong break to work on its new record. Fat Possom-signed opening band is already likable because of its name: Bass Drum of Death. (9 p.m. Mon., 7th Street Entry. $10-$12.) Riemenschneider

OMD (or: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark for the more stuck-up fans) is back with its first album in a decade and its original lineup, led by main dudes Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys. The British synth-pop pioneers helped define way too many American youths in the '80s with the "Pretty in Pink" soundtrack hit "If You Leave," but it also has maintained a following among modern dance music fans. (8 p.m. Mon., First Avenue. $25.) Riemenschneider

British buzz boy James Blake seems like the love child of Antony Hegarty and Brian Eno -- only with better hair. In May, he played the quietest show in the history of 7th Street Entry. His electronic soul sound had either a certain stillness or a machine-generated bass that might have invited people to dance if it weren't all so precious. The reaction of the fans was louder than the music. Now the 22-year-old's popularity, if not his sound, demands that he graduate to a bigger club. Expect lots of people going "shushhhh." Chairlift opens. (7 p.m. Wed., First Avenue, $20.) Jon Bream

Powerhouse vocalist Joan Osborne has done her folk-rock-blues thing. (Remember her hit "One of Us"?) She's toured with the Funk Brothers and the Dead. Now, for something completely different, she's dialing it down and doing 12 shows with Dar Williams, a witty, politically inclined singer/songwriter. Both are veterans of the inaugural Lilith Fair in 1997 but never worked together. They will play solo sets and perform as a duo. (7:30 p.m. Wed., Fitzgerald Theater, $32.) Bream

Philadelphia-reared husband/wife blues-punk/twang-rock duo Hymn for Her have a fun story and an equally entertaining live act. They're constantly on the road with a vintage Airstream trailer and baby and dog in tow. The trailer also doubled as the studio for their album. Onstage, they enlist other old-school equipment, including a cigar-box guitar with a bass string and extra bass pickup added. Quirky stuff, but not kitschy. (9 p.m. Wed., Fine Line. $5.) Riemenschneider

Singing "The Star Spangled Banner" before the Vikings-Chargers game on Sept. 11, Colbie Caillat manifested her vocal limitations. She has no vocal power, especially for such a weighty occasion. Her breezy lightweight pop may have won her a Grammy and lots of fans on Cities 97 and KS95, but she's never been commanding in concert. Maybe the more muscular melodies heard on this year's "All of You," her third album, will elevate her sunny California persona onstage. (6 p.m. Thu., First Avenue, $25.) Bream


Minneapolis isn't the only city that Rhymesayers mines for underground hip-hop gold. Grieves & Budo are the latest Seattle-based act to sign with the label that brought us Atmosphere and Brother Ali, following in the footsteps of Grayskul, the Boom Bap Project and Jake One. No wonder, when you hear "Together/Apart," the duo's first full-length for the label. It merits comparison to Atmosphere's über-personal brand of hip-hop, but more the contemplative kind that Slug started writing well into his 30s. Whereas Grieves still very much should be carded in a liquor store. MaLLy opens. (9 p.m. Fri., Varsity Theater. 18 & older. $13.) Riemenschneider

Another out-of-state Rhymesayers recruit, Chicago chemist turned rapper Psalm One heads up a great quartet of hip-hop innovators in support of a new self-released album, "Get in the Van, Vol. 3." The travelogue-like disc features production by Big Quarters' Brandon Allday and recent Big Sean collaborator Exile. She's performing with another empowering female lyricist, Desdamona, plus fellow Chicago native Longshot and fun local trio Tribe & the Big Cats. (9 p.m. Sat., Cause Spirits & Soundbar. $5.) Riemenschneider


Whether playing hallowed standards or his own beautifully crafted and arresting originals, saxophonist Jim Snidero always tries for a warm sound, a spiritual quality and a personal imprint. Snidero's music is firmly rooted in bebop, hard bop and post-bop, yet open to modern twists and tweaks. His fresh CD "Interface," co-starring guitar great Paul Bollenback mostly playing nylon-string acoustic, is by turns meditative, folksy, exotic, hard-swinging and rock-inflected, with Snidero's alto achieving a directness of expression that the best singers might envy. It's a terrific disc, one of 2011's most mature modern jazz statements, and bodes well for this weekend's two-night club visit by the underappreciated NYC-based alto master. (9 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Artists' Quarter. $15.) Tom Surowicz

For all his commanding chops and torrents of incendiary technique, Nachito Herrera's music is often marked by plenty of playfulness. So, letting our favorite adopted Cuban loose on the Walt Disney songbook seems like a great idea -- heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's off to romp he goes! Singers Fred and Billy Steele (of the Steeles and Sounds of Blackness) are Herrera's guests for a special one-nighter with Snow White, Pinocchio, Mary Poppins, Aladdin, Mowgli and the rest of the gang. By the way, Billy Steele has a direct Disney connection, having worked on the score for the animated short film "John Henry." (8 p.m. Fri., Dakota Jazz Club, $15.) Surowicz

The indefatigable Lionel Hampton was a legendary vibes pioneer and a darn good drummer. So Jason Marsalis seems well suited to mount a tribute show in his honor, as a precocious drummer who's now concentrating on vibraphone. In a band representing three generations, Marsalis' esteemed cast of supporting characters is well known but a bit odd. It includes pianist and pop-jazz singing star Diane Schuur; funk and jazz trombone master blaster Fred Wesley, who's at home in any soulful musical context, and always-groovy tenor sax hero Red Holloway, still blowing strong at 84. Will Red bring along his pennywhistle? Will Fred find the link between "Hamp's Boogie Woogie" and "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag"? Will we get some two-finger piano? And will each set close with "Flying Home"? (7 & 9 p.m. Mon.-Tue., Dakota Jazz Club. $40-$50.) Surowicz


Fans of Finns, folk and fiddling won't want to miss this week's double bill of global stars Frigg and local bright lights Kaivama. Frigg is a rousing seven-piece Finnish/Norwegian powerhouse with violins, violins and more violins, sawing away with mad contagious energy. Kaivama, colorfully self-described as "Finnish-American excavators," is the Twin Cities duo of Sara Pajunen and Jonathan Rundman. They recently released a gorgeous, beautifully recorded and packaged self-titled debut CD. It features original tunes that sound deeply traditional ("Cross Country"), and authentic folk songs that seem both timeless and contemporary ("Pirun Polska"). (7:30 p.m. Wed., Cedar Cultural Center, $18-$20.) Surowicz