Jillian Rae: Not much about Jillian Rae’s past as a classical violinist and sidewoman to the Okee Dokee Brothers and Brass Kings foreshadows what’s to come on her second full-length solo album, tellingly titled “I Can’t Be the One You Want Me to Be” and truly transformative. It’s a full-on rock collection with loads of drama and dirt, a little electronic pop and dissonance and ample ‘90s flavor that’s part Ani and Alanis. The Minneapolitan singer recruited the similarly stormy Humbird and Graveyard Club to open the release party. (8 p.m. Fri., Cedar Cultural center, 416 Cedar Av. S., Mpls., $14, all ages, thecedar.org.)

 

John Prine: Neither cancer nor writer’s block has derailed John Prine. The outstanding “Tree of Forgiveness” is his first album of new material in 13 years. This year, he’ll enter the Songwriters Hall of Fame. A trenchant observer of the human condition, the clever wordsmith paints vivid portraits of everyday people in challenging but relatable circumstances. Now mortality is one of those issues. On this tour, Prine is typically singing as many songs from “Forgiveness” as from his landmark 1971 debut. Todd Snider, another clever wordsmith, opens. (8 p.m. Fri. Northrop, Mpls. Sold out.)

 

Aly & AJ: These sisters, who were Disney teen stars and sometimes actresses, have resumed their music career with this month’s “Sanctuary,” an EP of frothy synth pop, but don’t be surprised to hear old faves like “Potential Breakup Song,” and “Like Woah” from the ‘00s. (7:30 p.m. Fri. Varsity, sold out)

 

Gogol Bordello: Urkaine native Eugene Hutz and his nomadic, New York-reared gypsy punk caravan are out celebrating the band’s 20th anniversary this year. While the lineup has changed wildly in that time, the wildness has never gone away. NYC salsa-rock combo Nu Folk Alliance opens. (8 p.m. Fri., Palace Theatre, $35-$50.)

 

The Rembrandts: Minnesota music vet Phil Solem and his bandmate Danny Wilde are giving local fans first dibs on their first album in 18 years, “Via Satellite,” a reminder there was always more to them than the “Friends” TV theme. Classic rocker Little Man opens. Read our interview with Solem at startribune.com/music. (8 p.m. Fri., Parkway Theater, Mpls., $32.)

 

Sass: Loved by the young Radio K tastemakers as much as original fans of the ’90s college-rock they often echo — from Bettie Serveert to Sleater-Kinney — the Minneapolis indie-rock quartet led by ex-Tony Peachka member Stephanie Jo Murck now has a full-length album to its name, “Chew Toy.” Tracks include the stormily heartbroken title track and the fun rager “Spoiled by Rotten,” about a certain info-warring conservative mouthpiece. Gully Boys open the release party. (9 p.m. Fri., 7th St. Entry, $10.)

 

Erik Koskinen: Long regarded as a semi-hidden local treasure, the twangy guitar ace and richly varied songwriting great was uprooted to scenic Ojai, Calif., for the making of his new album, “Burning the Deal.” L.A. area vet Bernie Larsen (Melissa Etheridge, Jackson Browne) produced it with backing from lap/pedal-steel legend Greg Leisz and a couple alumni from Ray LaMontagne’s band. Koskinen’s rich story-driven songs such as “Gun” and “Ordinary Fool” and his swaggering groove are still the hook. He’s got enough great ones now to play an “evening with” release party, no opener. (9 p.m. Sat., Turf Club, 1601 University Av. S., Mpls., $15-$18, eTix.com.)

 

Juice WRLD: Just another teen posting to Soundcloud from his bedroom two years ago, the 20-year-old Illinois rapper has turned into one of the hottest names in hip-hop following last year’s massively streamed single “Lucid Dreams.” He dropped his second album in March, “Death Race to Love,” and is now playing headlining dates between all the big fests, from Lollapalooza in August to Coachella last month, where we found his mopey, airy tunes to be sleep-inducing live. Having a roomful of young fans singing along should liven things up here. (8 p.m. Sat., The Armory, Mpls., sold out.)

 

Sleep: After an intense but tumultuous run in the early-’90s, this sludgy, psychedelic doom-metal trio splintered into the bands High on Fire and Om before being invited to reunite for the All Tomorrow’s Parties festivals. Their comeback came full circle with last year’s blissfully stoned-out, hypnotically hard album “The Sciences” for Jack White’s Third Man Records. Seattle’s Big Business opens. (9 p.m. Sat., First Avenue, $30.)

 

Rex Reed: The longtime critic and celebrity journalist is apparently eschewing an autobiography and instead delivering a one-of-a-kind cabaret show, crammed full of dishy stories and favorite tunes from stage and screen. The acidic Big Apple film critic — once with the New York Times and now at the New York Observer — was, lest we forget, a judge on “The Gong Show” and co-host of “At the Movies.” In his stage act, Reed, 80, will drop more bold-faced names than a vintage Barbara Flanagan column and essay some tunes with the help of pianist Tedd Firth, last seen here with Marilyn Maye. (7 & 9 p.m. Sun. Crooners, $30)

 

Hozier: “Take Me to Church” took this Irish singer-songwriter to the top of pop world five years ago. The pop-soul love song with a strong gospel undercurrent was nominated for Grammy’s song of the year and earned Hozier a devoted following. When the 29-year-old sensitive soul man finally released his second album, “Wasteland, Baby” in March, it debuted at No. 1, but it has yet to produce a song that has gained traction on radio or the pop charts. Still, Hozier’s passionate commitment to soulful, ruminative pop-rock is an appealing combination of familiar and fresh. (8 p.m. Sun. State Theatre, $55-$69.50, sold out)

 

Todd Rundgren: One of rock’s great adventurers is doing something he seldom does: Just play the hits and near-misses, even the ones that were pretty poppy. After last year’s Utopia reunion tour, the wizard and true star is delivering a fan-friendly repertoire — more than two dozen tunes — on his current The Individualist Tour, along with a Q&A with the audience. (7:30 p.m. Mon. Ames Center, $45-$59.50)

 

Morgan James: The Juilliard grad and former Broadway late-comer started her recording career doing tributes (Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell) and then segued seamlessly to soul music. Her second album of original material, 2017’s “Reckless Abandon,” shows her to be a versatile, high-pitched siren still looking for a sound of her own. (7 & 9 p.m. Tue. the Dakota, $25-$35)

 

U.S. Girls & Sweet Spirit: After an awkward Rock the Garden appearance two years ago, Toronto-based American Meg Ryan and her uncategorizable art-pop band U.S. Girls sound more focused and intriguing on last year’s politically rife LP “In a Poem Unlimited.” A more sure thing, Sweet Spirit is the ’70s-flavored, cosmically poppy Austin, Texas-based rock band led by Sabrina Ellis, also known from the punkier group A Giant Dog and her new duo Heart Bones with Sean Tillmann of Har Mar Superstar fame. Tillmann’s ’90s power trio Calvin Krime opens with new songs in tow. (8 p.m. Wed., Turf Club, $15-$17.)

 

Ingrid Chavez: The former Prince protégé and “Graffiti Bridge” ingenue has released “Memories of Flying,” a collection of dreamy, love-obsessed poetry delivered with a breathy, bewitching voice set to moody minimalist music that shows her to be the kind of creative thinker that inspired Prince, Lenny Kravitz and David Sylvian to work with her. Her collaborators on this project include Charles Webster, Ganga, Mashti and Deep Dive Corp. (8 p.m. Thu. Hewing Hotel, $25)

 

Kool Keith: Hip-hop’s O.W. (“original weirdo”) is back performing under his original moniker, after his many forays into such alter-egos as Dr. Octagon, Dr. Doom and Black Elvis. The Bronx vet has a new album coming in June, simply titled “KEITH,” and is doing old and new songs on his Return of the Comet Tour. Local fave Sean Anonymous opens. (8:30 p.m. Thu., Fine Line, $20.)

 

Al Stewart: It’s always the Year of the Cat when this Scottish-born, L.A.-based pop-folk singer comes back to the Dakota. He’ll reprise his 1970s nuggets “Year of the Cat” and “Time Passages” and perhaps share stories about rooming with an unknown Paul Simon in London and performing at the first Glastonbury Festival in 1970. (7 p.m. Thu.-next Fri. the Dakota, $40-$60)