Lauryn Hill, S. Carey, the Concretes, and more

Bon Iver drummer turned breakout solo artist S. Carey

Bon Iver drummer turned breakout solo artist S. Carey

S. Carey

Friday 1/14 at Varsity Theater

S. Carey has broken free from being known just as the drummer in Bon Iver, and has become a must-see act in his own right, touring tirelessly in support of his sensational solo debut, All We Grow. Carey's songs are technically precise and artfully restrained, with each subtle layer casting an intricate shadow over his stark but stirring arrangements, while his impassioned live performances have already managed to captivate local audiences. He'll be joined at the Varsity by fellow Eau Claire standouts the Daredevil Christopher Wright, which should make for a relaxed, affable evening of deeply affecting modern folk rock from a collection of truly talented musicians.18+. $13. 8 p.m. 1308 4th St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. —Erik Thompson

Burkina Electric

Friday and Saturday 1/14 and 1/15 at Southern Theater

With members strewn from Ouagadougou to Düsseldorf to Brooklyn, Burkina Electric spans cultures and genres while fusing contemporary electronica and traditional music from the West African nation of Burkina Faso. Intertwining ancient rhythms and scorching club grooves yields aesthetic and visceral gold, as scintillating trad instrumental lines undulate among thunderous dance beats, bubbling electronics, and sci-fi noise while Wende K. Blass's percussive guitar chatters away effusively. Soaring above is the piercing howl and multi-textured resonance of siren-like singer Ma Lingani. Also key are drummer/composer and avant-garde stalwart Lukas Ligeti, son of famed 20th-century composer György Ligeti, and German electronics wiz/new wave/synth pop pioneer Kurt Dahlke, a.k.a. the Pyrolator. Often collaborating with choreographers, BE has a lineup that includes two dancers/singers, and here will work with Minnesota dancers Leah Nelson and Kenna Sarge. $22-$24. 8 p.m. 1420 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.340.1725. —Rick Mason

The Concretes

Friday 1/14 at Triple Rock Social Club

The Concretes have quite a tumultuous history for a buoyant Swedish pop group. After losing their lead singer (who went on to form Taken By Trees) and most of their gear in the midst of a U.S. tour in support of their second record, the band took some much-needed time to regroup and refocus. After an unsteady third album revealed them to be still searching for their sound, the Concretes are back with an upbeat new record, WYWH, that finds vocalist Lisa Milberg growing more assured and the band exploring bolder sonic territories. There are still melodies galore, but mixed in with a moodier, disco-influenced sound that is sure to get the band's longtime fans moving. 18+. $14. 9 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Erik Thompson

Dave King Trucking Company

Saturday 1/15 at the Loring Theater

After celebrating its 90th birthday last month, the Music Box Theatre, long home to the "highly caffeinated comedy" Triple Espresso, has returned to its original name, the Loring Theater, and is kicking off a revival of the building's history by offering up a mix of cinema, theater, music, and variety performances starting with Saturday's show by the Dave King Trucking Company. King, the innovative jazz/rock percussionist, describes his group, which features reedist Chris Speed and guitarist Erik Fratzke, as sounding as "if the great Nashville bands of the '60s and '70s could improvise and were Coltrane fanatics." Opry meets Birdland? Sold. 18+. $12. 7:30 p.m. 1407 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.871.1414. —Nikki Miller

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals

Sunday 1/16 at the Varsity Theater

Pushing up the mercury with a feverish series of provocative cries, blues-textured moans, and high-octane howls, Grace Potter and her roots-rocking Nocturnals get positively overheated "even though it's the middle of winter" on "Hot Summer Night," from the Vermont quintet's eponymous, breakthrough 2010 album. Expect a similarly steamy performance despite Minnesota's January chill when GPN pull into the Varsity. Potter's soulful, sultry pipes, which can whip up a withering hard-rock lather or blistering blues-rock as readily as pop-savvy balladry, have inspired hit-and-miss comparisons to everyone from Bonnie Raitt to Ann Wilson, Janis Joplin, and Tina Turner. Perhaps closest to Raitt, Potter now is setting her own incendiary standards, deftly abetted by the terrific, dual-guitar wielding, Memphis-leaning Nocturnals. 18+. $18.50/$21.50 at the door. 7 p.m. 1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. —Rick Mason

Ms. Lauryn Hill

Tuesday 1/18 at First Avenue

Notoriously reclusive for most of the dozen years since the release of her multiple-Grammy winning blockbuster The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Ms. Lauryn Hill (as she prefers to be called these days) has been easing out of the shadows with a few festival appearances and now a full-fledged tour. Highly revered for her work with the Fugees and the groundbreaking Miseducation (a potent blend of brash lyrics and her singular synthesis of hip hop, soul, R&B, and reggae), Hill is making a return that is still tinged with controversy. It took her four years to follow up Miseducation with the starkly different MTV Unplugged No. 2.0, featuring only herself on acoustic guitar and a strikingly ragged performance. She's rarely been heard from since, and is now the mother of five children with one of Bob Marley's sons, Rohan. Long-simmering rumors of a new album again heated up as she assembled an 11-piece band for the tour, which is focused on both Fugees tracks and her solo material. Some reportedly has been radically rearranged to the point of being virtually unrecognizable, while the aggressive band's approach has been variously characterized as "space metal" and "free jazz." Hill also has been consistently and unapologetically late for performances, reportedly arriving on stage as many as four hours past show time earlier this month in New York. That said, initially disgruntled crowds have joined in on enthusiastic sing-alongs of tunes like "Fu-Gee-La" and "Doo Wop (That Thing)," while the consensus of critics seems to be that the performances, once underway, have been fierce and uncompromising. 18+. $55. 9 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Rick Mason