Thursday, Oct. 6
1. SistaStrings: After spending much of the year on tour as part of either Brandi Carlile's or Allison Russell's band, Milwaukee's classical/folk/jazz sibling duo reunites with hometown pal Peter Mulvey to promote their new collaborative record, "Love Is the Only Thing," for Ani DiFranco's label. Monique and Chauntee Ross got a cool shoutout during Carlile's IMAX live broadcast last week when a viewer sent in a question about SistaStrings, giving them some camera time and a speaking part. The duo will rejoin Carlile's tour later this month at New York's fabled Madison Square Garden. (7:30 p.m. Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Av. S., Mpls., $17-$22, thecedar.org)
Also: DaniLeigh, who at 18 was hired by Prince to direct his video of "Breakfast Can Wait," showcases her skills as a singer/rapper nearly a decade later (7 p.m. Varsity Theater, $25); Germany's industrial rock vets KMFDM are back at it (8 p.m. Cabooze, $33).
Friday, Oct. 7
2. Chris Stapleton: His electrifying set opening for George Strait at U.S. Bank Stadium last fall just whet appetites for a full-blown Stapleton concert. The award-grabbing singer-songwriter-guitarist crafts songs of depth and soul, while musically embracing everything from stone country and Southern soul to hard rock and heavy blues with equal authority. There are two compelling openers: blues-rock rabble-rouser Elle King, whose "Drunk (And I Don't Wanna Go Home)" duet with Miranda Lambert went to No. 1 on the country charts, and Morgan Wade, whose debut, the heavy issues-oriented "Reckless," was one of the best country albums of 2021. (7 p.m. Xcel Energy Center, 199 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, $85 and up, ticketmaster.com)
3. Minnesota Orchestra: Presenting more works by composers of color has been a stated goal for most of our local classical music presenters, but, for the Minnesota Orchestra's "Listening Project," the music is also recorded for release. Six Black composers will have works performed by conductor Kensho Watanabe and the orchestra: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Eleanor Alberga, Hale Smith, Adolphus Hailstork, Margaret Bonds and Florence Price. Soloing on two of them will be bass-baritone Christopher Humbert Jr. (8 p.m. Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., $12-$32, minnesotaorchestra.org.)
4. The Head and the Heart: On this year's "Every Shade of Blue," this Seattle ensemble aims for more of a produced alt-pop sound than heard on its early rustic folk-rock records that made the group Twin Cities radio favorites in the 2010s with "Lost in My Mind." The long-winded new album features 16 soul-searching selections including the hit "Virginia (Wind in the Night)," about how relationships with people and places evolve, and the harmony-laden "Love Me Still" and "Shut Up." Opening is Shakey Graves, who commendably reflects the hip eclectic sounds of his hometown of Austin, Texas. (7:30 the Armory, 500 S. 6th St., Mpls., $42.50 and up, ticketmaster.com)
5. The Heavy Heavy: Like a modern and more psychedelically rocky version of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham — minus the personal contempt, hopefully — Georgie Fuller and Will Turner front this buzz-generating quintet from Brighton, England, with soaring 1+1=3 vocal harmonies and ample lyrical drama. The infectious single "Miles and Miles" and the accompanying EP, "Life and Life Only," are making the band's first U.S. headlining trek one of fall's bigger club tours. (8:30 p.m. 7th St. Entry, 701 1st Av. N., Mpls., $15, axs.com)
Also: Always a powerful live band under the cool leadership of songwriter Ellie Roswell, British rockers Wolf Alice are making up for lost COVID time touring behind the stormy 2021 album "Blue Weekend" (8 p.m. the Fillmore, $30); two North Texas acts who became unforeseeable alt-rock hitmakers in the '90s, the Toadies of "Possum Kingdom" fame and "Psychobilly Freakout" king the Rev. Horton Heat, are making up pandemic-delayed co-headlining dates (8 p.m. First Avenue, $30);
Saturday, Oct. 8
6. Cigarettes After Sex: Blending Beach House-style ethereal pop and fellow Texans Explosions in the Sky's starry-night-like guitar work, this El Paso band turned into a cultish favorite and go-to TikTok and YouTube pick during the pandemic following the release of its second album, "Cry." Taylor Swift is among the group's devoted followers. After a busy summer of festival gigs and international dates, the band is hitting U.S. clubs probably for the last time before bumping up to bigger venues. (9 p.m. First Avenue, 701 1st Av. N., Mpls., $25, axs.com)
7. Surly Darkness Day: Music and beer intermingle wickedly in this beloved October festival, which makes an overdue return to its host brewery after overcoming the dark days of COVID and archaic Minnesota liquor laws. Thirteen metal and punk bands are on the lineup, all in the black-hearted, hard-thrashing vein of Surly's limited-edition Darkness, an intense Imperial stout, including Southern Cali '90s vets Face to Face (the headliners), Celtic bangers Flatfoot 56, Radkey and local mainstays Impaler, Dumpster Juice and the Black Widows. (11 a.m.-11 p.m. Surly Brewery, 520 Malcolm Ave S., Mpls., free, surlybrewing.com)
Also: What started as a basement project and became a collective of Toronto indie-rockers with past members including Feist, Broken Social Scene is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its enduring album "You Forgot It in People" with kindred local openers Poliça (8 p.m. Palace Theatre, $35-$55); Cate Fierro, who has been featured in several Twin Cities tribute shows, offers her own music with Josh Stigen to celebrate the releases of their new album, "Reflections," which was recorded on the Joyful Noise yacht in St. Paul (8 p.m. Crooners, $25-$35); country-tinged singer-songwriter Kelsey Waldon has cut an encouraging album, "No Regular Dog," produced by Shooter Jennings for the John Prine-launched Oh Boy Records (9 p.m. Turf Club, $15-$20); hushed and serene, Iron & Wine-flavored indie-folk duo Collapsing Stars, led by Twin Cities songwriter Justin Wayne Nelson, promotes its new album "Chapter" with Jillian Rae (7 p.m. Icehouse, $12-$15); one of the most enduring names in electronic dance music, Dutch DJ/producer Armin van Buuren returns (8 p.m. the Armory, $45-$70); local indie-rock vets like Ryan Rupprecht and Steve McPherson head up a live tribute to songs from MTV's old underground show "120 Minutes" (10 p.m. 331 Club, free).
Sunday, Oct. 9
8. Joe Satriani: The guitar hero is prolific (he's issued 19 solo albums) and influential (Steve Vai, Kirk Hammett and Charlie Hunter are among his students). He's toured with Mick Jagger, Deep Purple and Chickenfoot, the supergroup fronted by Sammy Hagar. He founded the G3 Tour, in which he performs with two other guitar stars (Robert Fripp, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Steve Lukather have been among his cohorts). Right now he's touring with his own band, in support of this year's "The Elephants From Mars," which may be his best effort in two decades. Of course, there is some furious shredding but also pensive moments, ethnic explorations, celestial funk and mind-expanding jazz fusion. (8 p.m. State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., $34.50-$89.50, ticketmaster.com)
Also: Superorganism is a London-based collective with an American singer recruited on the internet that makes colorful, quirky but hit-and-miss hyperpop (8 p.m. Varsity Theater, $22 and up); wildly innovative, experimental, young British band Black Midi jumps from the Entry to the Mainroom touting its third album, "Hellfire" (8:30 p.m. First Avenue, $25); Ohio folk music vet David Wilcox returns to the Cedar Cultural Center (7:30 p.m., $27-$32); Florida thrashers Trivium head up a big metal bill that includes Between the Buried & Me and Whitechapel (8 p.m. Myth, $35); veteran New Zealand jazz pianist Alan Broadbent, who has been Diana Krall's conductor for orchestra performances, brings his trio, featuring bassist Harvie S (5:30 & 7:30 p.m. Crooners, $25-$35); Chicago-reared singer-songwriter John Splithoff has an appealing soulfulness that recalls Amos Lee and John Mayer (7 p.m. the Dakota, $25-$35).
Monday, Oct. 10
Arizona's great borderland music experimentalists Calexico have been consistently putting out elegant and inspired albums and live shows for 25 years and have added another fine, desert-swept LP to the mix, "El Mirador" (8 p.m. Fine Line, $30); Aaron Bruno and his arty, electro-punk Los Angeles band Awolnation are touring behind a 10th anniversary edition of their debut album as well as a new covers record (7 p.m. the Fillmore, $35); local cabaret singers/dancers Nadine Dubois and Karen Vieno Paurus are putting on their "Sirens Show" with guitarist Robert Bell (7 p.m. Bryant-Lake Bowl, $15); West Indian-rooted New York folk artist AHI, with special guest Anthony D'Amato, plays an intimate set at the Dakota (7 p.m., $20-$25).
Tuesday, Oct. 11
9. Lizzo: A decade since first bursting onto the stage at 7th St. Entry and the Triple Rock, the irrepressible hip-hop megastar returns to her former hometown on her first U.S. arena-headlining tour. Last year's vibrant Treasure Island amphitheater show proved she's ready for big venues. Her latest hit, "About Damn Time," and the rest of her fun, hopeful new album "Special" remind us she's just as the title says. Ohio rapper Latto, who won the first season of "The Rap Game," opens. (8 p.m. Xcel Energy Center, 199 W. Kellogg Blvd., Mpls., $65-$195, ticketmaster.com)
Also: Thankfully not canceled due to visa issues like fellow Tuareg desert-blues band Tinariwen a night earlier, South Algeria's Imarhan is on its first U.S. tour in four years promoting a new album (7:30 p.m. Cedar Cultural Center, $18-$23).
Wednesday, Oct. 12
10. Manhattan Transfer: This Grammy-winning jazz vocal institution is celebrating its 50th anniversary — and final extensive tour. The quartet made jazzy vocal harmonies cool again, by reimagining "Birdland," "Route 66" and other tunes into hits again. With original members Alan Paul and Janis Siegel and longtimer Cheryl Bentyne plus Trist Curless (who replaced the late founder Tim Hauser in 2014), we get to be among the first to say goodbye, in the fourth show on the tour. (7:30 p.m. State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., $44 and up, ticketmaster.com)
Classical music writer Rob Hubbard contributed to this column.