First Avenue, Saturday 8.4

Sharon Van Etten's success has been slowly building over the years, and the promise suggested by her raw early work has finally been realized on her triumphant new record, Tramp. The new collection finds Van Etten once again exploring the heartbreaking highs and lows of relationships, but her voice and songwriting contain a well-earned wisdom and mature poise that authentically informs these stirring songs. Even with contributions from such indie heavyweights as Aaron Dessner (the National), Zach Condon (Beirut), and Matt Barrick (the Walkmen), Van Etten's indomitable spirit consistently shines through on one of the definite standout albums of 2012. And while she frequently injects humor into her concerts to deflect from the raw intensity of her material, Van Etten's still blossoming live show is full of stunning, deeply affecting songs that prove hard to shake. With Tennis. 18+, $17-$19, 6:30 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Erik Thompson

Crosby, Stills & Nash

Orpheum Theatre, Monday 8.6

Global pop partners Amadou & Mariam
Benoit Peverelli
Global pop partners Amadou & Mariam

To a certain degree, any performance by Crosby, Stills and Nash is like Déjá Vu all over again. That's because that 1970 landmark album — with Neil Young also aboard — along with the first CS&N album from the year before essentially provided the soundtrack for a particularly turbulent time of war and an ideologically divided country. The group's close vocal harmonies (stunning when on, but notorious for drifting off-key live), haunting folk-rock melodies, occasional guitar lacerations from Stephen Stills (and Young), and lyrical grapplings with the socio-political upheavals of the era made the band essential listening. The members have carried on through a sometimes fractious relationship, and have a new live album just out, perhaps fueled by David Crosby's prescient "Long Time Gone" lyrics: It's still imperative to speak out against the madness because it remains a long time before the dawn. $62.50-$77.50. 7:30 p.m. 910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.339.7007. —Rick Mason

Oliver Mtukudzi

Loring Park, Monday 8.6

At once a sandpapery singer of danceable pop and a socially conscious minder of Southern African folk traditions, Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi burst onto the world scene in the early '90s. With his band the Black Spirits, he has toured Europe and appeared in the Zimbabwean rock movie Jit, from which Bonnie Raitt lifted one of Tuku's tunes. But he'd been recording since '76, blending Shona mbira pop, soul, reggae, rumba, and South African township jive, later collaborating with South Africa's Steve Dyer on a spate of early-'00s recordings filled with dynamic female back-up singing — check out 2003's Putumayo best-of The Oliver Mtukudzi Collection: The Tuku Years. He performs for free in Loring Park followed by a DJ set from the Current's Jim McGuinn and a screening of the best picture Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis ever made together, 1955's Artists and Models. Free, 7 p.m. Loring Park, Minneapolis; 612.375.7600. —Peter S. Scholtes

The Tallest Man on Earth

First Avenue, Monday 8.6

The Tallest Man on Earth, a.k.a. Swedish singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson, arrived more or less fully formed in 2006 with his self-titled debut EP. Those five songs of evocative guitar-and-pipes trad-folk could have been written at any point in the past century. Since then, Matsson has dropped another EP (2010's Sometimes the Blues Is Just a Passing Bird) and three full-lengths, including this year's great There's No Leaving Now, which takes the 29-year-old's fingerpicked guitar and familiar croaky voice and adds ever-so-gentle drums and electric guitars for extra color. There are reasons to be skeptical of one man's ability to hold an audience's attention, but this Man has long since figured out how to pack some serious punch with his minimal setup. With Strand of Oaks. 18+, $20, 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8388. —Mike Madden

Chiddy Bang

Mill City Nights, Tuesday 8.7

After generating quite a buzz based on a series of mix-tapes and EPs over the last couple of years, Philadelphia hip-hop duo Chiddy Bang have finally released their first proper full-length, Breakfast. It serves up a diverse, playful pop collection that fuses rap with recognizable indie-rock melodies. After opening a string of dates on Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller's Under the Influence of Music tour over the past month, Chiddy Bang start a small headline tour of their own in Minneapolis, and should be road tested and ready by the time they get here. 18+, $22-$25 8 p.m. 111 Fifth St. N., Minneapolis; 612.333.3422. —Erik Thompson

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