This Texas singer-songwriter is the king of the independent country scene. He's so big that he released two albums simultaneously this month — "Mercy," a traditional country effort, and "None the Wiser," a hard-rock collection from his side project, Caned by Nod. Jinks is so big that despite never having a radio hit, he's headlining two nights this weekend at the 8,400-capacity Armory. A journeyman singer with two previous bestselling albums to his name, Jinks knows how to write a classic lonesome country song as evidenced by "Dying Isn't Cheap" and "I Don't Trust My Memories Anymore" on "Mercy." Randy Rogers Band opens. (7 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 500 S. 6th St. Mpls., $45 and up, ticketmaster.com)
'Let the Crows Come'
The crows are coming home this weekend when Ragamala Dance Company founding member Ashwini Ramaswamy brings back a work she premiered in 2019. "Let the Crows Come" harnesses movement vocabulary from the Bharatanatyam tradition that is then re-interpreted on the bodies of performers from different dance backgrounds. Collaborating on the piece are dancer/choreographers Alanna Morris-Van Tassel and Berit Alhgren, who transform the solo into marvelous new avenues. It's all set to a shifting original sound score that similarly grounds itself in South Indian instrumentation and rhythm before moving into Western and electronic directions. (7:30 p.m. Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., Cowles Center, 528 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., $20-30, $15 for stream, 612-206-3600, thecowlescenter.org)
Thanksgiving hasn't arrived yet, but the first snow of the season beckons for the holidays to begin. "Night Trains," an annual exhibit at Twin City Model Railroad Museum, turns down the lights for a quaint winter wonderland in the mythical town of Matlin. The layout is set with vintage trains, miniature Christmas lights and decorations. Due to COVID precautions, limited advance tickets are on sale in two-hour time blocks. (3 & 5 p.m. Saturdays through Feb. 26. $15, ages 4 and under free. 668 Transfer Road, St. Paul. 651-647-9628. tcmrm.org)
When Frederic Rzewski died in June, the world lost a fascinating modern artist, a composer known for epic piano works, boundary-bursting instrumental pieces and deriving inspiration from leftist movements. He wrote four works for Zeitgeist, the Twin Cities' foremost new music ensemble, which will celebrate his life and work with two concerts full of his music, including the improvisation-fueled "Les Moutons de Panurge" on Friday and guest percussionist Allen Otte performing "The Fall of the Empire" on Saturday. (7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Studio Z, 275 E. 4th St., St. Paul, $10-$15, zeitgeistnewmusic.org)
One of the Twin Cities' great bands-that-almost-clicked before frontwoman Reba Fritz abruptly veered away from possible rock stardom in the early '90s, Muskellunge reunited during the pandemic to record its first album of this millennium, and now it's playing its first show back. Fittingly titled "In a Mess, In a State, a Second Too Late," the record sounds like a welcome flashback to the alt-rock era the band left behind, with echoes of Hole and Throwing Muses alongside Fritz's own uniquely aloof but introspective style. Fellow shoulda-beens the Hang Ups top off the release party lineup. (8 p.m. Fri., Hook & Ladder, 3010 Minnehaha Av. S., $15-$20, thehookmpls.com.)
'Another Miracle on Christmas Lake'
It's a rare play that requires a sequel, much less a holiday play. "A Christmas Carol Again" just wouldn't make much sense. But Yellow Tree Theatre audiences have enjoyed Jessica Lind Peterson's "Miracle on Christmas Lake" so much that it inspired this followup, in which four wacky friends scheme to get Hollywood to come to their small town to shoot a remake of "It's a Wonderful Life." (7:30 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 2 & 7:30 p.m. Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Ends Jan. 2, 320 5th Av. S., Osseo, $27-$37, yellowtreetheatre.com)
MCAD art sale
Minneapolis College of Art and Design's annual art sale — a place where collectors spot emerging talent — will stay online this year, offering affordable art from students and recent graduates. Now in its 24th year, the sale includes a variety of media, including paintings, prints, furniture, toys, clothing, photos and more. Pieces are priced at $1,500 or less, and all proceeds go to individual artists or an MCAD scholarship fund. Since beginning in 1997, it has generated more than $3 million for artists. (Opens 8 a.m. Fri., with VIP access earlier. mcad.edu/artsale)
Ike Reilly Assassination
The Thanksgiving eve in Minneapolis tradition continues for the singer-songwriter from Libertyville, Ill. The feisty wordsmith comes armed with trenchant new songs from the splendid "Because the Angels," released last month. The rootsy record is delightfully Dylanesque, with vivid characters, social and political commentary, and just a little more twang than we've heard from Reilly before. Highlight: the pedal-steel-kissed "The Muhammad Ali Museum," where Reilly went looking for inspiration. Opening are two of Minnesota's emerging new forces — Monica LaPlante and Mae Simpson. (7:30 p.m. Wed., First Avenue, 701 1st Av. N., Mpls., $22-$25, first-avenue.com)
Trademark Theater and the Playwrights' Center team up for a first look at a new work from writer/actor JuCoby Johnson. An apocalyptic play about money, family and secrets, "5" is set during a 24-hour period when two friends must decide if they're willing to sell their convenience store. The cast of the free reading, which will be performed on Zoom, includes Mikell Sapp, Audrey Park and Aimee K. Bryant. Preregistration is advised. (7 p.m. Mon., online, pwcenter.org)
Shake & Holla Tour
One of the cooler lineups of bands from Down South is convening south of the Twin Cities in Red Wing. Masterful grit-groovers the North Mississippi Allstars, led by Black Crowes alum and renowned sideman Luther Dickinson, will be joined by fellow Mississippi blues heir Cedric Burnside (RL's grandson) as well as New Orleans' resilient second-line funk troupe Rebirth Brass Band. (7:30 p.m. Sat., Sheldon Theatre, 443 W. 3rd St., Red Wing, $30-$49, sheldontheatre.org)