The weekend's best concerts: Oct. 18-20

Makaya McCraven will be at the Walker Art Center’s McGuire Theater on Friday.

Makaya McCraven will be at the Walker Art Center’s McGuire Theater on Friday. David Marques

Looks like a pretty fun weekend for those of you whose bronchial tubes don't feel like they're clogged with glue. 

Friday 10.18

Big K.R.I.T. @ Varsity Theater
Over the past decade, Big K.R.I.T has proven himself one of hip-hop’s solidest and most consistent practitioners of traditional, UGK-style Southern rap. Despite his weakness for inspirational speeches, his rough, clear, stubbornly straightforward verses have a modest, driven gravitas. His new K.R.I.T. Iz Here, a sequel to his 2010 breakthrough mixtape K.R.I.T. Wuz Here, abounds with sweaty, burbling soul grooves. With Rapsody and Domani Harris. 18+. 7 p.m. $27-$45+. 1308 Fourth St. SE. More info here.—Lucas Fagen

Makaya McCraven @ Walker Art Center’s McGuire Theater
Percussionist-composer-mixer McCraven is among the vanguard of the most exciting group of Chicago-based musicians since the original crystallization of the AACM a half-century ago, many of whom will join him for this world premiere multi-media performance. The title is In These Times and deals with the struggles and triumphs of life as a working musician in the 21st century. Among the nine-piece band are Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker, trumpeter Marcus Hill, and harpist Brandee Younger, abetted by audio clips from Duke Ellington and Angela Davis and a video reel. McCraven will later slice, dice, loop, and reverb various part of the gig for another project, but expect what you hear to stand just fine on its own. 7 and 9:30 p.m., $26 (20% off for Walker members). 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson

Complete Friday music listings here.

Saturday 10.19

Miranda Lambert @ Xcel Energy Center
Miranda Lambert’s range impresses. Solo, she’s capable of arena-rock propulsion, dusty folk retro, countrypolitan ache, corny balladry, sadness, glee, and violence. With the Pistol Annies, she’s crafted an efficient, formalized style of collaborative country singing and songwriting, as Lambert, Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley entwine their voices around each other with tight, chirpy, melancholy, comical expertise. Of the songs she’s released so far from her upcoming Wildcard, “It All Comes Out in the Wash” is the cheerful list of finger-wagging homilies, “Mess With My Head” the hot-and-heavy burner, “Locomotive” the gimmicky rocker, “Bluebird” the cutesy tearjerker with surprising emotional resonance, “Way Too Pretty for Prison” a comic revenge song. Where a decade ago she pulled the trigger herself in “Gunpowder and Lead,” now she’s more restrained: “He cheated, he’s a villain/So let’s hire somebody to kill him/Cause we’re way too pretty for prison.” Maturity! With Elle King, Pistol Annies, and Ashley McBryde. 7 p.m. $40.75 and up. 199 W. Kellogg Blvd., St Paul. More info here.—Lucas Fagen

Moodhouse Fest @ Du Nord Craft Spirits
Moodie Black rapper K Death has always been a force for expressing discontent in the Twin Cities, and now she’s focusing that energy into positive social change. Moodhouse Fest hopes to correct the many things popular music festivals get wrong. Going from noon to midnight across two stages, the festival gives a platform to marginalized and underrepresented populations in music. Queer people, women, and people of color—as well as allies—are championed in a dynamic lineup that features Dalek, Ceschi, Ecid, Murf, New Primals, and Lizea Harper among its 21 performers. 12 p.m. -12 a.m. $20/$25. 2610 E 32nd St, Minneapolis. More info here.—Jerard Fagerberg

John Hiatt @ Pantages Theatre
All these years later, John Hiatt, rootsy songsmith extraordinaire, is still trying to figure out that thing called love. His latest, the year-old The Eclipse Sessions, is packed with cleverly crafted songs about relationships in myriad contexts, filtered through a lifetime of reflections, mortality, lingering obsessions, andemotional apathy. The mostly spare music rummages among country, folk, and rock hybrids plus one pure blues, while Hiatt’s underrated vocals range from gritty anguish to comic yelps. Versatile teenage guitarist Yates McKendree wows on every tune. Adam Chaffins opens. 8 p.m. $48.50—$78.50. 710 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason

Galactic @ First Avenue
Although its fundamental foundation is the raucous cauldron of its hometown funk, New Orleans’ Galactic ventures far and wide to add innovative spices to its core gumbo while its live performances are spiked with expansive jams. The band’s muscular scrum of rhythms and horns cosmically expands the concise tunes on albums like its latest, Already Ready Already, which is seamlessly infused with myriad contemporary textures—electronics, hip-hop, R&B, noirish rock. Lavish NOLA singer Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph (ex-American Idol, Tank and the Bangas associate) joins in on this tour. Star Kitchen opens. 18+. $26—$28. 8 p.m. 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason

Complete Saturday music listings here.

Sunday 10.20

Shovels & Rope @ First Avenue
Shovels & Rope could be implements in an Appalachian murder ballad. So Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, the married couple who go by that name, are happy to oblige on By Blood. Except “Pretty Polly” sounds more like a punk Tom Petty than something out of the hills. The duo go rustic elsewhere amidst a generally raw yet eclectic album that ricochets from bluesy stomps to fiddle-and-banjo mountain echoes. Their idiosyncratic approach includes off-kilter vocals that haunt rather than harmonize and enigmatic lyrics that tell twisted tales of outsiders. Mississippi hill country bluesman Cedric Burnside opens. 18+. 6:30 p.m. $25—$28. 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason

Complete Sunday music listings here.