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The Velvets: Those long, harsh Duluth winters have stirred up another fun side project from Low’s frontman, Alan Sparhawk, and bassist, Steve Garrington. They formed this Velvet Underground cover band last year with Mark Gartman of Glitteratti and Steven Yasgar of Communist Daughter to a great response, and now they’re bringing it down I-35 for the first time. Two sets, with plenty of deep cuts. (8:30 p.m. Fri., Hook & Ladder Theater, $18.)

Ex Hex: One-time Helium and Wild Flag co-leader Mary Timony has finally issued a second album by her Washington, D.C.-based trio. “It’s Real” is filled with the same kind of choppy, scuzzy but melodic garage-rock that landed their previous Merge Records release, “Rips,” near the top of the 2014 Pazz & Jop Poll. L.A. punk trio Moaning opens. (7:30 p.m. Fri., Turf Club, $18-$20.)

Casting Crowns: Twenty years since he launched his Grammy-winning contemporary Christian band out of a Daytona Beach church where he served as youth pastor, Mark Hall continues leading musical worship services in sports arenas and is touting a new album this time, “Only Jesus,” with openers Zach Williams and Austin French. (7 p.m. Fri., Target Center, $17-$78.)

Todd Snider: The Texas/Oregon country-folk troubadour whittled his music down to just acoustic guitar on the new album “Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3,” recorded in Johnny Cash’s old cabins with echoes of Woody Guthrie and John Prine as the wordsmith combs through the oddities and atrocities of the modern era. (7:30 p.m. Fri., Fitzgerald Theater, $30-$35.)

Kind Country: Offering the kind of rowdy, good-timey, picking-heavy acoustic country you’re more likely to hear at jam-band festivals than the Grand Ole Opry, this Twin Cities-based sextet — including banjo, mandolin, fiddle and pedal-steel — is dropping its third full length album, “Hard Times,” produced by Steve Kaul of the Brass Kings. It’s sure to offer a much-needed spring warm-up in concert. The Wooks and Ginstrings open. (8 p.m. Fri., First Avenue, $15.)

Lucinda Williams: To commemorate the 20th anniversary of her breakthrough “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road,” the Americana queen is performing that pivotal, Grammy-winning 1998 album in its entirety in concert. Even though many of these songs like “Joy” and “Drunken Angel” have been cornerstones in her setlists for years, this time she adds commentary and backstories. She and her band Buick 6 will round out the evening with a handful of choice songs from her rich repertoire. (8 p.m. Sat.-Sun., Fitzgerald Theater, St. Paul, $39.50, etix.com)

Amanda Palmer: Well-known as the indie artist who broke the $1 million crowdsourcing barrier for her 2012 album “Theatre Is Evil,” the former Dresden Dolls cabaret rocker is back with another fan-funded LP, “There Will Be No Intermission,” a heavy, dramatic, personal opus driven largely by piano ballads and produced with St. Vincent cohort John Singleton. The New York native has Upper Midwest ties via her husband, author Neil Gaiman, and is performing at St. Catherine’s University timed to the weekend-long Minnesota Music Summit for aspiring musicians. (7:30 p.m. Sat., O’Shaughnessy, 2004 Randolph Av., St. Paul, $27-$47, eTix.com.)

Champagne Confetti: Two MVP vocalists and arrangers well-known in the Twin Cities music scene, Aby Wolf and Eric Mayson, head up this ambitious, XL-size classical/pop crossover ensemble, which also features members of Fort Wilson Riot, Nooky Jones, the Laurel Strings and Dessa's bands playing new songs written just for the group. This is their debut gig, but their in-studio session from 89.3 the Current is archived for a taste of what to expect. (7:30 p.m. Sat., Parkway Theater, $15-$20.)

Legends of Hip Hop: Perhaps legends in their own minds, these veteran rappers — bounce star Juvenile, Geto Boys member Scarface, “The Ghetto” hitmaker Too Short and DJ Quik of “Born and Raised in Compton” fame — made their names in the ’90s and ’00s. Also with 8 Ball & MJG and Bun B. (8 p.m. Sat. Target Center, $55-$128)

Joshua Redman Quartet: The son of jazz star Dewey Redman, the tenor saxophonist may be best remembered by Minnesotans for the 2015 album “The Bad Plus Joshua Redman.” Last month, the prolific sax man delivered his 16th studio album, “Come What May,” featuring pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Gregory Hutchinson, who have joined him on tour. (8 p.m. Sat., Hopkins Center for the Arts, $37-$42)

Why Don’t We: Newly announced as one of this year’s Minnesota State Fair’s grandstand acts, this perky and ever-percolating boy band is first making a stand at one of Minnesota’s least grand venues as it continues to try to break through as the new New Kids on the Block. The quintet has landed only minor radio hits with “Something Different” and “8 Letters,” the latter the title track of last year’s sophomore album, but it does have a strong internet and live following — especially here in the Twin Cities, which eldest member Jonah Marais, 20, calls home. (6 p.m. Sun., Roy Wilkins Auditorium, 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, $40-$70, ticketmaster.com.)

JD McPherson: The “North Side Girl”-singing, souped-up Oklahoma rocker and his vintage, walloping, rockabilly-flavored band have gone over well in town in repeat First Ave and Turf Club visits, and now they’re rolling into Rochester to play the city’s similarly retro but thriving new music hub. The Heavy Set opens. (8 p.m. Mon., Castle Community, 121 N. Broadway Av., Rochester, $20.)

Girlpool: The Los Angeles duo of Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad has grown from a scrappy, ultra-lo-fi minimalistic act to a much more richly layered and sometimes even shoegazerly fuzz-rock group with their third album for Anti- Records, “What Chaos Is Imaginary.” Buzzing Australian singer/songwriter Hatchie opens. (8 p.m. Tue., Turf Club, $16.)

Billy Bragg: In his fourth decade on the road, the British singer-songwriter has fashioned a special strategy. On what he calls the One Step Forward, Two Steps Back Tour, the sometimes folk, sometimes punk, always politicized singer will explore three different aspects of his career. Opening night is a retrospective of his 35 years of recording. Night 2 revisits his first three kinda punkish albums. On the final night, the repertoire is in a pop vein from Bragg’s second three albums. (8 p.m. Thu.-Sat. Fine Line, Mpls., $40-$55, etix.com)

Oak Ridge Boys: Started in 1940, this long-lived country-gospel harmony quartet has boasted the same lineup pretty much since 1973 (though William Lee Golden dropped out for eight years and returned in ’95). Best known for the playful smash “Elvira,” the Oaks continue to tour and record. They dropped their fourth album of this decade (“17th Avenue Revival”) last year, and sang “Amazing Grace” at George H.W. Bush’s funeral. (8 p.m. Thu., Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, $19-$39)