Friday, September 26
Lizzo & Caroline Smith First Avenue (also Sat.) The best artists in the game - local, national, international, interstellar, or whatever - aren't bound by genre tags and expectations assigned by critics. Revolutionary stuff comes from within, and that's why both Lizzo and Caroline Smith have thrived. That, and both of 'em can sing and perform their faces off. Lizzo's poetic hip-hop firestorm Lizzobangers and Smith's evolution from folk into soul on Half About Being a Woman stood up as two of 2013's most satisfying pleasures. The albums emerged as a friendship and creative synergy blossomed between two versatile vocalists. After supporting each other onstage in the past, these weekend shows signal their first proper double bill, and it's a chance to air out their new collaboration, "Let 'Em Say." The anthem of empowerment is set to a synth-pop melody that'd cause mass Twin Cities pandemonium if it caused fatal symptoms. Once you hear it, it's impossible to shake. Proceeds for the song benefit Women's Foundation of Minnesota. -Reed Fischer 18+, $16/$20, 7 p.m.
Downtown Music Festival The Skyway Theatre (also Sat.) With Future Islands, Deafheaven, Nosaj Thing, Moon Boots, Bear Hands, and more $76 for both days; 7 p.m.
New Century Sessions: Mark Mallman New Century Theatre $18-$42, 7:30 p.m.
Macy Gray Fine Line Music Cafe 18+, $26.50-$29
Pablo Ziegler Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant $35-$42, 7 p.m.
Billy McLaughlin & Friends with Jeff Arundel Pepito's Parkway Theater $20/$25, 7 p.m.
Blake Mills Amsterdam $23.50, 7:30 p.m.
Freeman with Arc Isis Turf Club $20, 8 p.m.
Lovesick Blues: A Birthday Tribute for Hank Williams & Benefit for Slim Dunlap With Curtiss A & the Cold Cold Hearts, Nate Dungan, Janie Miller, and more Cabooze 18+, $10, 8:30 p.m.
Kat Perkins Mill City Nights 15+, $18/$20, 8 p.m.
Slow Club with Nick Mulvey 7th St. Entry 18+, $12, 8 p.m.
Saturday, September 27
Lady Parts Justice Minnesota: V to Shining V With Lucy Michelle, Mayda, Desdamona, the Prairie Fire Lady Choir, Kate Conner, and more; hosted by Lizz Winstead Amsterdam Free, 7 p.m.
Ab-Soul Fine Line Music Cafe 16+, $25/$28, 8 p.m.
Sebadoh with Grant Hart 7th St. Entry 18+, $16, 8 p.m.
Rauchfest IV With the People Brothers Band, Steez, Frogleg, Mikel Wright & the Wrongs, Circle of Heat, more Harriet Brewing Free, noon-10 p.m.
The Suburbs Cabooze 18+, $15/$20, 8:30 p.m.
Limp Bizkit with Machine Gun Kelly Myth All ages, $39.50, 6:30 p.m.
Paradise Fears with Hollywood Ending and William Beckett Mill City Nights All ages, $13/$15, 6 p.m.
Justin Currie Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant $25, 7 p.m.
Wakey!Wakey! with Ben Fields and Luke Wesley Turf Club $13/$15, 8 p.m.
Paulo Padilha & Group The Cedar Cultural Center $15/$18, 7 p.m.
Sunday, September 28
Lykke Li First Avenue Swedish singer-songwriter Lykke Li grew annoyed with the pop reputation that came with her first two albums. The 28-year-old I Never Learn still has hooks, to be sure, but the songwriting splits the difference between expansive pop (d'oh!) and, well, Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks. "Gunshot" is a skyrocketing testament to her knack for soul-baring, and the gauzy acoustic ballad "Love Me Like I'm Not Made of Stone" shows where her artistry has expanded. No matter which side of the coin we're talking, her bottled-up feelings explode gloriously. -Michael Madden 18+, $30, 7 p.m.
Panda Bear Fine Line Music Cafe Song for song, Panda Bear's solo output rivals his work as experimental rockers Animal Collective's most melodic ear. The details are scarce for his upcoming fourth album, purportedly called Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper. A SoundCloud stream of a recent performance in Austin suggests the work (produced by Spacemen 3's Sonic Boom) is shaping up to be as sprawling as anything he's done since 2007's Person Pitch. -Michael Madden 18+, $25/$40, 7:30 p.m.
Toki Wright & Big Cats (album release) Intermedia Arts All ages, $10, 6 p.m.
Phantom Tails with Eros & Eschaton and Rupert Angeleyes Hexagon Bar Free, 9 p.m.
il sogno del marinaio with Paul Metzger Turf Club $15, 7 p.m.
Fred Eaglesmith Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant $20, 7 p.m.
J Boog with Fortunate Youth, Ease Up, and DJ Arrowhead Cabooze 18+, $13/$15, 7 p.m.
Mount Eerie The Cedar Cultural Center $12/$15, 7 p.m.
Bishop Allen 7th St. Entry 18+, $10, 8 p.m.