A$AP Rocky

First Avenue, Saturday 10.13

A triple whammy of buzzing druggy rappers with charismatic stage presence, the LongLiveA$AP tour features A$AP Rocky and his A$AP Mob crew, Detroit foul-mouth Danny Brown, and the perpetually stoned Schoolboy Q of TDE. It's a back-to-back-to-back solid night of some of the freshest sounds in rap today. Rocky's codeine-fueled tributes to Houston's chopped and screwed sound (despite his origins in Harlem) have skyrocketed him to popularity, thanks to hits like "Peso" and "Purple Swag" which netted a $3 million major-label deal on the strength of free mixtape LiveLoveA$AP. The flows and slowed beats are infectious, and coupled with the live energy, they should sound great in the Mainroom. 18+, $25, 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775.Jack Spencer

Beth Orton

Varsity Theater, Wednesday 10.10

After getting her start as stunning guest vocalist for '90s U.K. techno stars like William Orbit and the Chemical Brothers, Beth Orton has had a solo career that's seen her gradually shed synthetic sounds in favor of a more pastoral sonic approach. Released a lengthy six years after the excellent Comfort of Strangers, an interregnum during which the 41-year-old Orton became a wife and mother of two, this year's Sugaring Season sees Orton now opting for a wholly organic sound. Cut largely live over the course of three days working with top-notch producer Tucker Martine, tracks like the orchestral piano ballad "Something More Beautiful" find Orton's soulful and smoky voice as evocative as ever. For this seated Varsity Theater gig she'll be performing in a solo acoustic setting, all the better to shine the spotlight on her stunning windpipes and deceptively dexterous guitar work. With Sam Amidon. 18+, $25-$35, 7 p.m. 1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. —Rob Van Alstyne

Taking Back Sunday

First Avenue, Thursday 10.11

Backlash against gushy, mushy breakup songs seems pretty quaint now. Consequently, an album like Taking Back Sunday's Tell All Your Friends can be remembered with the halo of nostalgia hanging over it. You can call it "emo" and be mostly right — the album is, after all, a punky caricature of girls as malicious heartbreakers — but the grief-stricken boys in TBS are great at couching their venom in gleaming choruses. It's a pity party, sure, but the party is a rager. The band celebrates the 10th birthday of their debut (and best) album with a tour that's centered on playing the whole thing live. You can relive your horrible high school relationships without having to break out the embarrassing photos. With Bayside and Mansions. All ages, $25, 5:30 pm. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775.Ian Traas

Nick Waterhouse

Fine Line Music Cafe, Thursday 10.11

Californian Nick Waterhouse's sweaty sax-driven R&B is so decisively retro in sound that those listening to his debut album without the benefit of liner notes might wrongly assume it was released in 1962 rather than five months ago. Prone to an onstage fashion sense best described as Roy Orbison-meets-Mad Men, it would be all too easy to write off Waterhouse's soul revival act as mere obnoxious kitsch — except the songs are so infectiously catchy. Waterhouse could become the new Winehouse if a bit of Mark Ronson production fairy dust were sprinkled on tunes like the bold and sassy "Is That Clear." Catch him now before a major label inevitably snatches him up, buffs away some of his appealing rawness, and sets him on the path to theater-headlining status. With Allah Las and Mike 2600. 18+, $15, 8 p.m., 318 First Avenue N., Minneapolis 612.338.8100. —Rob Van Alstyne

Frightened Rabbit

Woman's Club Theater, Friday 10.12

Easily sporting the thickest Scottish brogue ever signed to a major label in America, Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison doesn't appear to have let his band's move to Atlantic Records alter their sound at all on their newly released EP, State Hospital. A five-song precursor to a full-length due in early 2013, this appealing appetizer shows the band still intent on pairing pained protagonist vignettes with anthemic folk-rock arrangements. The title track ranks up there with the best of the band's work, with Hutchison breathlessly chronicling the turbulent upbringing of an abused heroine "forced to be brave and born into a grave" and searching for reasons to hold on. With Arc in the Round. All ages, $15-$18 door, 7 p.m., 410 Oak Grove St., Minneapolis; 612.813.5314. —Rob Van Alstyne

Robyn Hitchcock

Dakota, Friday 10.12

Robyn Hitchcock has forged a long career writing intriguing melodic ditties about frogs, squid, eyeballs, trains, eggs, insects, death, sex, and, of course, uncorrected personality traits. Once a member of the influential, jangly psychedelic Soft Boys, Hitchcock has attracted a cult following by mingling absurdities with profundities on ringing pop-rock rooted in the British Invasion and a voice reminiscent of John Lennon's. Hitchcock followed up his ecstatically received 2010 album Propellor Time (which included guests Peter Buck, Johnny Marr, Nick Lowe, and John Paul Jones) with Tromsø, Kaptein, a new collection of tunes issued only on a Norwegian label. Responding via email to a complaint about Tromsø's scarcity, Hitchcock said, "I only play a couple of songs off TK, you could find clips on YouTube, along with all other knowledge since the Romans burned the library at Alexandria. Bloody Romans! My show now stretches from 1980 up to my forthcoming record, Love from London, and for the encores I play a few old songs from my record collection. As it's MPLS I'll eschew Dylan, of course!" $40, 8 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010. —Rick Mason

Zombie Pub Crawl

Midway Stadium and West Bank, Saturday 10.13

Certainly the eighth Zombie Pub Crawl is a brain-devouring event, first and foremost, but the musical portion isn't too far behind. St. Paul's Midway Stadium, a.k.a. Zombie Island, will greet the barks, howls, and wails of the ultimate rap werewolf (and Reading Rainbow theme reviver) DMX. The stadium also hosts rhymer/reality star RiFF RaFF, the semi-sadistic rap talents of Action Bronson, and the locally bred insanity of Marijuana Deathsquads, among others. Yes, Empire Records soundtrack stars the Gin Blossoms, as well as booty-shaking instigators Big Freedia are taking part in the musical offerings at the Cabooze. Combine that with a metal lineup, a.k.a. music for folks who were never alive to begin with, at the Triple Rock led by Exodus. Midway: All ages, Cabooze and Triple Rock: 21+, $40 on the day of the crawl, read the full details at zombiepubcrawl.com. —Reed Fischer

Vince Gill

State Theater, Saturday 10.13

Vince Gill is a legit country superstar with a warehouse full of Grammys and other awards — plus stellar traditionalist credentials. He's also an outstanding guitarist, singer, and songwriter, and sufficiently versatile to convincingly play the gamut from bluegrass to contemporary country. Last year's eclectic Guitar Slinger is a perfect case in point, ranging from the early rock 'n' roll title track to the grand fiddle waltz that wraps things up. Packed in between are a pair of focused country-pop love songs with wife Amy Grant, examples of country soul, gospel, and blues, and a dash of renegade Bakersfield sound. Gill is also a member of the Time Jumpers, an all-star band of Nashville studio aces that just released an eponymous album of brilliantly realized Western swing and trad country, including five new Gill nuggets. This show will feature Gill's eight-piece band, which includes Time Jumpers Billy Taylor on drums and vocalist Dawn Sears. $53.50-$63.50, 8 p.m. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.339.7007. —Rick Mason

Neil Halstead

Bryant Lake Bowl, Sunday 10.14

A critically esteemed veteran in the long line of sad-eyed British troubadours, Neil Halstead has a new solo album, Palindrome Hunches, that can't help but recall anguished forebears like Nick Drake's Pink Moon. The songs were written and recorded after the collapse of his longtime marriage, and the real-life circumstances behind Palindrome's creation come through in the pained weariness with which Halstead delivers admittedly borderline-generic lyrics ("Nothing left to change, you won't be disappointed anymore"), helping them land harder than they have any right to. Halstead's hushed and honeyed voice needs little in the way of ornamentation beyond an acoustic six-string, the occasional violin fill, and some subdued double bass. It's the right instrumental mix for a set of rueful ruminations, and those listeners wishing for a little more sonic variety must be the rare lucky breed who have never had their hearts broken. All ages, $15, 9:30 p.m., 810 West Lake St., Minneapolis; 612.825.8949. —Rob Van Alstyne

Calexico/The Dodos

Fine Line Music Cafe, Tuesday 10.16

Tucson-based Calexico have cultivated a distinctly arid, Southwestern sound. It's a provocative blend of Latin, rock, and country neatly laced with eclectic stuff like jazz, fado, and echoes of spaghetti westerns. The duo of Joey Burns and John Convertino, plus producer Craig Schumacher, traded dust for humidity to record their first album of new songs in four years. Algiers is named for the New Orleans West Bank neighborhood where they set up in an old church. Besides borrowing a classic title ("Fortune Teller") from Benny Spellman, the Crescent City influence comes as a kind of moist, haunted atmosphere that wisps through most of the tracks. In fact, B&C mostly cultivate a noirish intensity that peaks on "Splitter" and the spooky "Maybe on Monday," elsewhere adeptly splicing in mariachi horns, Cuban son, folk, and other elements from their vast repertoire, yet always nurturing that unsettling, bittersweet quality. The Dodos, who will open, conjure their own, noisier intensity, fashioned from the trio's eccentric mash of experimental pop, light metal, and multi-textured percussion. 18+, $20, 8:30 p.m. 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8100. —Rick Mason

Miike Snow

First Avenue, Tuesday 10.16

What separates Swedish electro-pop trio Miike Snow from many of their like-minded peers within modern indie's obsession with '80s-pop pastiche is that they place a premium on clarity. This approach has resulted in not only resistless earworms ("Animal," "Silvia," and "Pretender" chief among them), but also two well-crafted LPs, 2009's self-titled record and this year's Happy to You, that beam with youthful exuberance despite their grownup themes. If the band's First Ave set is anything like their outing at August's Lollapalooza, hip-loosening and fist-raising will abound, resulting in a party in the U.S.A. courtesy of the land of Spotify and easily assembled home furnishings. With Niki and the Dove. 18+, $30, 7:30 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775.Mike Madden

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