Thursday, May 25
1. Dwight Yoakam: He hasn't released a new album since a 2016 bluegrass collection that included a cover of "Purple Rain" recorded the day Prince died. It doesn't matter if Yoakam doesn't have any new material because the California cowboy with country music's sexiest legs always delivers live. Bolstered by guitarist Eugene Edwards, Yoakam has a winning repertoire that includes his treatments of classics by Elvis Presley, Buck Owens, Johnny Cash and the Carter Family as well as killer originals like "A Thousand Miles from Nowhere," "Guitars, Cadillacs" and "Fast as You." Aaron Lewis, the Staind rocker gone country, opens. Definitely worth the drive to Waite Park. (7 p.m. Ledge Amphitheater, Waite Park, $99-$293, ticketmaster.com)
2. Ondara: After calling off his tour late last year to rethink his approach, the Grammy-nominated Twin Cities strummer formerly known as J.S. Ondara is finally out again playing intimate solo gigs behind "Spanish Villager No. 3." The conceptual album was sung from the standpoint of a graphic novel character he created based on his outsider status as a Kenyan immigrant; local music fans certainly welcomed him once they got a load of his elegant, piercing voice. And his "An Alien in Minneapolis" just won the $50,000 grand prize in the International Songwriting Competition. (7:30 p.m. Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Av. S., Mpls., $23-$27, thecedar.org)
3. Wild Nights at Minnesota Zoo: The first of nine sonically themed, music-driven nights being held every other Thursday at the "new zoo," it's being filed under an "indie-rock" banner this time, ahead of other installments built around hip-hop, world music, blues and new wave/'90s. Pop-rock nice guys Yam Haus are back from a long tour and will be joined by throwback fire-starters Kiss the Tiger, melodic punks Gully Boys and surf-rockers the Swongos, plus DJs and other adult fun all spread out around the zoo grounds, with access to the animal exhibits and walking trails. (6-10 p.m., Minnesota Zoo, 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley, $30-$40, mnzoo.org)
4. St. Paul Chamber Orchestra: SPCO artistic partner Jonathan Cohen was recently named artistic director of Boston's Handel and Haydn Society, America's oldest purveyor of classical concerts and one of its most respected groups when it comes to music of the 18th century and earlier. The conductor-harpsichordist-cellist will lead a one-hour program of music premiered in Paris from the pens of Mozart, Joseph Haydn and Jean-Philippe Rameau. (6 p.m., also 8 p.m. Fri. & Sat., Ordway Concert Hall, 345 Washington St., St. Paul; 3 p.m. Sun., St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, 900 Stillwater Road, Mahtomedi, $11-$50, thespco.org)
5. La Grande Bande: This period-instrument orchestra and chorus from southern Minnesota will give you a sense of what the atmosphere was like when J.S. Bach premiered many of his masterworks in German coffeehouses and beer halls. German restaurants in Arlington, Minn., and Minneapolis will be the setting for Bach's "Coffee Cantata" and some madrigals by Claudio Monteverdi. (7 p.m. Arlington Haus Too, 147 W. Main St., Arlington, 7 p.m. Fri. Black Forest Inn, 1 26th St. E., Mpls., $10-$20, lagrandebande.org)
Also: Folky Guatemalan balladeer Ricardo Arjona has built up a big enough following over 30 years to be filling football stadiums throughout Central and South Americas, and now he's touring arenas in the U.S. (8 p.m. Target Center, $62-$252); Rickie Lee Jones, one of rock's great originals who returns to her jazz roots, wraps up her two-night stand of performing standards from her intimate and excellent new album "Pieces of Treasure" (6:30 & 8:30 p.m. the Dakota); glam-metal vets All the Pretty Horses lead a wild, loud and proud lineup with the Silent Treatment, Butter Boys and Surly Grrly (8 p.m. Turf Club, $12-$15); Minnesota guitarist-singer P.K. Mayo, formerly known as bluesman Paul Mayasich, celebrates his new album, "Simple Search for Truth" (6:30 p.m. Crooners, $25-$35); ace Minneapolis blues groovers the Butanes are back (7 p.m., Shaw's Bar, free).
Friday, May 26
6. Caterwaul: Described as a "gathering of the weirdos" in its inaugural 2022 run, this four-day, 50-plus-band marathon across two Minneapolis venues looks even weirder the second time around. Among this year's experimental/noise-rock/post-punk/hardcore players are: bombastic San Francisco pioneers Flipper, who will be joined by Cows frontman Shannon Selberg; Texas freaks Cherubs; a rare reunion by Los Angeles trio Totimoshi; Detroit grime-makers Child Bite; regional favorites Tongue Party, Vaz and Gay Witch Abortion, and many lovingly curated unknowns. (7 p.m. Fri., 10 p.m. Sat. & Sun., Mortimer's, 2001 Lyndale Av. S.; and noon-10 p.m. Sat., Sun. & Mon., Palmer's Bar, 500 Cedar Av. S., $30-$40/day, $140/four-day, caterwaul.org)
7. Terrace Martin: No indications of what the multi-instrumentalist will do but it will be multigenre and probably hard to classify as anything other than cool. The Los Angeles jazz/hip-hop/R&B music-maker has contributed as a musician and/or producer to projects by Kendrick Lamar, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Snoop Dogg, Robert Glasper, Lalah Hathaway and Thundercat (his cousin), among others. He's recorded several albums under his name (including 2021's "Drones"), and he's a member of the supergroup Dinner Party with Kamasi Washington, Glasper and 9th Wonder (they dropped an album last month and played at Coachella). Fresh from a Dinner Party gig in Berlin, Martin will cook in Minneapolis. (6:30 & 9 p.m., also Sat., the Dakota, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., $25-$35, dakotacooks.com)
Also: It's always the year of the cat with Scottish singer-songwriter Al Stewart, the 1970s star of "Time Passages" fame, who's touring with his band the Empty Pockets (8 p.m. Parkway Theater, sold out); British hardcore punk vets the Subhumans, still led by unmistakable singer Dick Lucas, pair up with local thrashers War/Plague and more (8 p.m. Uptown VFW, $20-$25); Lamont Cranston Band brings its endless Twin Cities boogie outside to the Belvedere tent (7 p.m. Crooners, $25-$45); anthemic Salt Lake City hard-rockers Royal Bliss are out celebrating their 25th anniversary (8:30 p.m. Fine Line, $20-$40); All Terrain Vehicle performs for the Jazz88 Outdoor Summer Jazz series (6 p.m. Icehouse, $5 with reservation); regional jam-band faves Useful Jenkins and Frogleg head up the two-day Harmony Park Family Reunion Campout in southern Minnesota (8 p.m., $85 & up).
Saturday, May 27
The second annual Reggae Summer Splash kicks the Under the Canopy outdoor series into high gear (no pub) by mining the Twin Cities' rich population of Jamaican/Caribbean musicians, represented here in the International Reggae All Stars, Socaholix and Innocent (7 p.m., Hook & Ladder, $15-$20); the wild, experimental noise fest Caterwaul continues all day (Palmer's Bar and Mortimer's); country vets Gary Allan and Tracy Lawrence are also performing down in Mankato (Vetter Stone Amphitheater, $53-$83); the music of Minnesota's own Andrews Sisters of "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" fame will be recreated by the hometown trio of Aimee Lee, Kathy Mueller and Lisa Pallen (4 p.m., also 8 p.m. Sun., Crooners, $30-$40); there probably won't be a lot of Andrew Sisters fans at the thrash-metal doubleheader with European vets Helloween and HammerFall (8 p.m. the Fillmore, $72); fast-rapping "pale kid" Watsky has gone from novelty act to a reputable hip-hop purveyor (7:30 p.m. First Avenue, all ages, $30-$35).
Sunday, May 28
Back in the '80s and '90s, the funky, fun, genre-blending Twin Cities band the Mubbla Buggs did things like put a barber's chair onstage and shave a woman's legs while singing "Haircut." The group reunites (7 p.m. Hook & Ladder, $15-$20); Honky-Tonk Jump pays tribute to Western swing king Bob Wills (4:30 p.m. Crooners, $25-$35); proggy Massachusetts metal band Elder will bring its haze and noise with Ruby the Hatchet (8 p.m. Fine Line, $20-40); rough-hewn, softly soulful Twin Cities Americana tunesmith John Swardson has an "evening with" gig at the Aster Cafe (8 p.m., $15); and the Caterwaul fest mayhem continues (Palmer's and Mortimer's).
Monday, May 29
Beatles Reimagined features four fabulous Twin Cities guitarists — Jeff Perry, Joel Shapira, Tim Sparks and Zacc Harris — interpreting the songs of the Fab Four, with bassist Matt McIntyre and drummer Bob Johnston (7 p.m. the Dakota, $15-$25); Helium for LiftOff, a local group featuring singer Karen Skaja and guitarist Howie Beenken, soars with classic rock and soul (3 p.m. Roseville VFW, free); mellow and poppy locals Maria and the Coins are part of the opening weekend lineup at Lake Harriet Bandshell (5:30 p.m., free).
Tuesday, May 30
8. Janet Jackson: The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer knows how to do it live. On her Together Again Tour this spring, she proclaims "50 years … of me" and proceeds to deliver about 40 songs from her 41-year recording career (that followed her early years on TV). Expect plenty of awe-inspiring ensemble dancing, numerous hits, deep tracks like "Throb" and "Diamonds," and songs she's heretofore not done on tour, like "Damita Jo" and "Girlfriend/Boyfriend." Will Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis join her for her first arena appearance in their hometown since 2015? Opening is rapper and "Fast and Furious" actor Ludacris. "Yeah!" (8 p.m. Tue. Xcel Energy Center, 199 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, $36-$1,700, ticketmaster.com)
9. Alex Lahey: Around tours with the likes of Tegan & Sara and Jimmy Eat World, the poppy but manic Austrailia indie-rocker earned widespread acclaim with 2019's dramatic "The Best of Luck Club," full of romantic misadventures and fun slacker tales. She is back touting her more polished and at times infectious third effort, "The Answer Is Always Yes," full of breakup ire and freshly touted by Pitchfork and NME. Nashville's Liza Anne opens. (8 p.m. 7th St. Entry, 701 1st Av. N., Mpls., $20-$22, axs.com)
Also: David Bazan and his warm-humming Seattle indie-rock band Pedro the Lion are playing their early albums "It's Hard to Find a Friend" and "Control" in full on their current tour (8 p.m. Fine Line, $20-$25)
Wednesday, May 31
10. Buffalo Daughter: This experimentally funky, dance-driven Japanese electro-rock trio got signed to the Beastie Boys' Grand Royal label and toured with Luscious Jackson in the mid-'90s. And it hasn't stopped grooving and growing since then. The Tokyo crew is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its debut album "New Rock." Its recent material still sounds like a wild mix of Can, B-52's and Talking Heads, but, of course, it truly sounds like nothing else. (8 p.m. 7th St. Entry, $15, axs.com)
Also: Former Dum Dum Girls and Vivian Girls fuzz-rocker Frankie Rose is back out with her first album in six years, "Love as Projection" (8 p.m. Turf Club, $15).
Classical critic Rob Hubbard contributed to this column.