The week's 27 best concerts: Nov. 15-21

St. Vincent performs at the Palace Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 18.

St. Vincent performs at the Palace Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 18. Nedda Afsari

Rounding up the week's best concerts in the Twin Cities.

  • WILCO Nov. 15-17, 6:30 p.m. at Palace Theatre
  • FLYING LOTUS IN 3D Nov. 15, 7:00 p.m. at First Avenue
  • KING CARDINAL Nov. 15, 7:30 p.m. at The Warming House

Blitzen Trapper
Turf Club, Thursday 11.16
Portlandians Blitzen Trapper’s spirited new album, Wild and Reckless, is a simmering confederation of Eric Earley’s vivid storytelling, radiant electric guitar, juicy Americana hooks, and weathered country-rock peppered with modern influences. Earley has called W&R, which was derived from a rock opera with a dystopian perspective and sci-fi twist, “a cross-eyed stepchild to Furr,” the band’s highly regarded 2008 release. Unsettling themes—violence, death, betrayal, corruption—run through the album as Earley reflects on life’s hard lessons, but the songs stand strong on their own, framed by the loping “Rebel,” a tragic tale set to a Crazy Horse vibe, and “Wind Don’t Always Blow,” a noirish, philosophic reckoning that sounds like Dylan and the Band. “No Man’s Land” morphs from an atmospheric swirl of sampled voices into a dark anthem about love’s elusiveness, and the title track is an exuberant but bittersweet rocker haunted, like much of the album, by both the past and future. Lilly Hiatt opens. 21+. 7 p.m. $22.50. 1601 University Ave., St. Paul; 651-647-0486. —Rick Mason

Brother Ali
First Avenue, Thursday 11.16
Minneapolis rapper and Rhymesayers mainstay Brother Ali reemerged as vital as ever this year, releasing his first album since 2012’s Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color. The reassuring new LP, All the Beauty in This Whole Life, contains some of the best songs in Ali’s 20-year career. “Own Light (What Hearts Are For)” is a tribute to human resilience, and “Dear Black Son” is a poignant audio letter, preparing Ali’s child for the unjust inevitabilities he’ll encounter growing up as an African-American male. For a potent dose of Ali’s storytelling ability, there’s “Uncle Usi Taught Me,” which details his experience being detained by TSA agents while returning home from a conference in Iran. That powerful but not preachy lyricism, combined with Atmosphere producer Ant’s warmly layered beats, results in one of the best records in a career that’s already full of them. With Immortal Technique, Sa-Roc, Last Word, and Sol Messiah. 18+. 7 p.m. $20. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. —Michael Madden

  • WHITE REAPER Nov. 16, 7:30 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • ASTRONOMIQUE (SINGLE RELEASE SHOW) Nov. 16, 9:30 p.m. at Icehouse
  • THE CHRIS ROBINSON BROTHERHOOD Nov. 16, 7:00 p.m. at Fine Line Music Cafe
  • ALL THEM WITCHES Nov. 17, 8:00 p.m. at Turf Club
  • SONREAL Nov. 17, 8:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • HEART HAS ITS SEASONS: A GRATEFUL DEAD TRIBUTE Nov. 17, 7:00 p.m. at The Hook and Ladder Theater & Lounge

The Mountain Goats
First Avenue, Saturday 11.18
In recent years, Mountain Goats leader John Darnielle’s two novels (2014’s National Book Award-nominated Wolf in White Van and this year’s Universal Harvester) have garnered as much attention as his music. But the 50-year-old isn’t prioritizing his novelistic ambitions over his songwriting. Not only has he remained relentlessly prolific, but he’s still challenging himself to take his music places it’s never been before. Following 2015’s pro wrestling-inspired Beat the Champ, the latest Mountain Goats LP, May’s Goths, is a loose concept album about those titular social outsiders, set during the 1980s and written with Darnielle’s reliable humor and unrivaled level of detail. Sonically, too, the Mountain Goats switch things up on the album, completely abandoning the acoustic guitar for a full-band mix that’s heavy on keys and horns. Last month, Darnielle followed up the album with Marsh Witch Visions, a stripped-down, Ozzy Osbourne-themed surprise EP. With Mothers. 18+. 8 p.m. $28.50. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. —Michael Madden

St. Vincent
Palace Theatre, Saturday 11.18
It’s hard to argue that rock music is in a static place with artists like St. Vincent around. Since she arrived with her debut album 10 years ago, the multi-instrumentalist born Annie Clark has had a way with turning art-rock experimentation (particularly her twitchy, crunchy guitar riffs) into what are more or less pop songs. Her breakthrough came in 2011 with Strange Mercy, featuring what remains the definitive St. Vincent song, “Cruel,” a perfect marriage of Clark’s pop instincts and idiosyncratic guitar heroics. Clark released a decent full-length with Talking Heads frontman David Byrne in 2012 before returning with her self-titled solo album in 2014. Her latest album, Masseduction, produced by Bleachers' Jack Antonoff, fearlessly explores a futuristic glam-rock realm, and its more stripped down moments are also devastatingly effective. 18+. 8 p.m. $40. 17 W. Seventh Pl., St. Paul; 651-266-8989. —Michael Madden

  • HALSEY Nov. 18, 7:00 p.m. at Xcel Energy Center
  • THE AVANT GARDE Nov. 18, 8:00 p.m. at Amsterdam Bar and Hall
  • JOHN GORKA Nov. 18, 8:00 p.m. at The Cedar Cultural Center

First Avenue, Sunday 11.19
Owing to a long run of guest features on fellow Chicagoans’ songs (not just Chance the Rapper’s Acid Rap fan favorite “Lost,” but also Mick Jenkins’ “Comfortable” and Jamila Woods’ “VRY BLK”), rapper Noname secured a faithful fan base before she ever released a proper project. When Telefone finally arrived in summer 2016, it fulfilled the potential those fans had sensed. The quietly powerful mixtape grows on you; Noname’s verses are conversational yet dense with thoughts on topics including motherhood and her general pursuit of fulfillment. The bright, soulful production, which primarily comes from Saba, Cam O’bi, and Phoelix, is equally subtle and intricate, perfectly complementing Noname’s contemplations. With Arima Ederra. 18+. 7 p.m. $20. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. —Michael Madden

Jim Lauderdale
Cedar Cultural Center, Sunday 11.19
Jim Lauderdale is a Nashville utility player whose songs have shinnied up the country charts for George Strait, Patty Loveless, and the Dixie Chicks, and whose collaborators are as varied as Ralph Stanley, Elvis Costello, Solomon Burke, and the North Mississippi Allstars. His solo career, though, has been a tad overlooked. Nevertheless, Lauderdale’s 29th solo album, London Southern, is another nugget. Recorded in the U.K. with Nick Lowe’s band and producers, LS explores the revolving influences of American roots and British pop, especially the Beatles. Their version of “Act Naturally” is reflected in the jaunty “No Right Way to Be Wrong,” while “This Is a Door” has hints of skiffle, a key Fab Four inspiration, and “If I Can’t Resist,” a blue-eyed soul gem co-written by John Oates, slyly refers to their “Bésame Mucho” cover. 7:30 p.m. $20-$25. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-338-2674. —Rick Mason 

  • THE AVANT GARDE PRESENTS: THE NEW RENAISSANCE PT. II Nov. 19, 6:30 p.m. at Vieux Carre
  • THE ENGLISH BEAT Nov. 19, 7:00 p.m. at Cabooze
  • THE BLOW Nov. 19, 7:00 p.m. at Turf Club
  • TOWER OF POWER Nov. 20-21, 7:00 p.m. at Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
  • LIAM GALLAGHER Nov. 20, 7:00 p.m. at First Avenue
  • ELAGE DIOUF Nov. 20, 7:30 p.m. at The Cedar Cultural Center
  • CARTI BANKX Nov. 21, 7:30 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • U OF M JAZZ ENSEMBLES I & II PRESENT: THE MUSIC OF JOHN HARMON Nov. 21, 7:30 p.m. at Ted Mann Concert Hall