Thomas Nordlund @ Icehouse
It is hard for an atmospheric jazz guitarist to make music that is spacious but not aimless. Thomas Nordlund provides the template for it on his new disc, Miles Left Behind, unfurling lines with a steely confidence and stealthy high-ambition while abetted by an attuned rhythm section and a beautifully understated banjo. This CD release celebration will hopefully reprise the quartet’s slowly explosive grandeur. 9:30 p.m. $8. 2528 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis. More info here. —Britt Robson
Nellie McKay @ Dakota Jazz Club
Singer-songwriter Nellie McKay emerged with her playful piano-pop and vocal jazz in the mid-2000s, delivering her first five albums in seven years. Following 2015’s My Weekly Reader, a covers album of ’60s rock songs as varied as “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” and “Wooden Ships,” McKay is gearing up to release Sister Orchid, preceded by its lead single, a bittersweet rendition of the jazz standard “The Nearness of You.” Also Monday, May 7. 7 p.m. $30/$40. 1010 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis. More info here.—Michael Madden
Complete Monday music listings here.
Alice Glass and Zola Jesus @ Turf Club
Alice Glass’ run leading synth-punks Crystal Castles ended in 2014 after years of alleged abuse by bandmate Ethan Kath. Now working with ex-HEALTH member Jupiter Keyes, she released her jittery debut solo EP in 2016, with an LP expected later this year. Meanwhile, the Wisconsin-bred Zola Jesus seeks to sustain the momentum generated by her goth breakthrough 2017 LP, Okovi. 21+. 6:30 p.m. $20.1601 University Ave., St. Paul. More info here.—Michael Madden
Imarhan @ The Cedar Cultural Center
Imarhan is a Tuareg blues band, which by itself is enough for me. But their minor variations on Saharan rock are bonuses—there’s a choogling thickness and an affinity for wah-wah to the cantering rhythms of the guitars and percussion, and the harmony vocals are passionate enough to blend rather than subserve to the music. Perhaps best of all, the ticket price isn’t as dear as a date with Tinariwen and that brethren from an older generation. 7:30 p.m. $15 ($18 day of show). 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson
Jonathan Kreisberg @ The Dunsmore Room in Crooners
One of the beauties of jazz is the ever-shifting context in which you find the performers. Guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg has been a gem playing alongside organist Dr. Lonnie Smith but here he helms his own trio and it’s got drummer Colin Stranahan, most recently from John Raymond’s Real Feels Trio, and bassist Matt Clohesy, who has played in Maria Schneider’s orchestra and for fiery saxophonists Donnie McCaslin and Eric Alexander. Expect some exquisitely tender standards and brisker moments that throw all three into different hues and new relief. 8:30 p.m. $20. 6161 Highway 65 NE, Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson
Jukebox the Ghost @ Varsity Theater
JTG indulges its notorious Queen fixation right off the bat on its fifth album, Off to the Races. “Jumpstarted” is an extravagant, rococo pop confection more layered than phyllo, more hook-laden than an anglers’ convention, with more abrupt shifts than a ’73 Pinto with a bad clutch, plus quasi-operatic vocals. The ambitious piano trio’s latest wins the trifecta with glorious power pop, innumerable delightful quirks, and ironic lyrics dripping just short of cynicism. And, amazingly, it’s all in precipitous balance. The Greeting Committee opens. 7 p.m. $20-$60. 1308 4th St. SE., Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason
Complete Tuesday music listings here.
Flatbush Zombies @ Palace Theatre
The psych-rap trio Flatbush Zombies are as goofy as they are grim. The lovably deranged, gravel-voiced Meechie Darko is the star, but Zombie Juice and rapper/producer Erick Arc Elliott are integral too. Even with its major features (Bun B, Jadakiss, and, oddly enough, Portugal. The Man), their sophomore album, April’s Vacation in Hell, is as idiosyncratic as its excellent 2016 predecessor, 3001: A Laced Odyssey. With Kirk Knight and Nyck Caution. 18+. 8 p.m. $30-$50. 17 7th Pl. W., St. Paul. More info here.—Michael Madden
Eric B. & Rakim @ Varsity Theater
The archetypal Golden Age rap duo, Eric B. & Rakim released their last LP, Don’t Sweat the Technique, back in 1992, but in the years since the influence of Rakim’s internal rhyming, Eric’s open-eared sampling, and even their ridiculously oversized gold chains has hardly waned in the years since. The two have released little solo material in the past quarter century, but last year, they played a long-overdue reunion show at New York’s Apollo Theater and commenced a U.S. tour this spring. With Yo-Yo. 18+. 8 p.m. $20-$65.33. 1308 4th St. SE., Minneapolis. More info here.—Michael Madden
Complete Wednesday music listings here.
Tony Bennett @ State Theatre
Out of New York, long after leaving his heart in San Francisco, Tony Bennett is a giant on both coasts and around the world. At 91 and still going strong, he’s a marvelous singer, beacon of artistry and class, and an incomparable treasure. Bennett is a master at interpreting songs and imbuing lyrics with distinctive emotional kicks regardless of their familiarity, and nuggets of the Great American Songbook come alive under Bennett’s supple, sophisticated jazz-pop phrasing. Cross-genre and generational collaborations have also kept him vibrant. Daughter Antonia Bennett opens. 7:30 p.m. $74.50-$130. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason
Complete Thursday music listings here.