Happy birthday to poet John Milton, who would have been 411 years old today if people lived that long. That would be super weird though.
M4D @ Icehouse
Possibly excepting Tomeka Reid’s appearance on December 23, this is the most anticipated of the five Great Black Mondays staged by vocalist Mankwe Ndosi at Icehouse this month. It’s got Ndosi’s mentor, multi-instrumentalist Douglas Ewart, who helped her gain membership in Chicago’s fabled AACM organization, as well as Douglas Kearney, a spoken-word artist whom Ndosi describes as “like finding I had another brother.” The resounding third and fourth D’s are kindred spirits and longtime local stalwarts Davu Seru on drums and Donald Washington on sax. It’s a rich mix, African and American, hyphenated or not. Featuring the music of Geri Allen on the opening soundtrack. 7 p.m. $15/$20 at the door. 2528 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson
Jingle Ball @ Xcel Energy Center
The lineup for this all-star holiday party schematizes pretty cleanly, not a meeting of pop generations so much as a facedown between star power and the collaborative spirit, in which individual egos (Katy Perry, Camila Cabello) compete with boy bands (5 Seconds of Summer, Why Don’t We, Monsta X). Lauv, who made his name as a hired songwriter for other stars, fits neither category. 6:30 p.m. $26-$301+. 199 W Kellogg Blvd., St Paul. More info here.—Lucas Fagen
Complete Monday concert listings here.
Old 97’s @ Fine Line
The target audience for this show might not be huge, but it’ll be unquestionably hale and hearty: lovers of the alt-country rock and Americana roll of Rhett Miller’s venerable crew mixed with the gusto of the Christmas season. There are nine inimitable originals on Love the Holidays from 2018, along with classic fare such as “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Auld Lang Syne.” Expect further forays into both the band’s back catalog and the Christmas carol songbook. And come early for Miller’s special solo acoustic set. 8 p.m. $30-$50. 18+. 318 First Ave., N., Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson
Complete Tuesday music listings here.
Maria Muldaur & John Jorgenson @ Dakota
This hot duo definitely knows how to swing, promising jazz-infused naughty and nice holiday classics and “gems from the ’20s and ’30s.” Since her long ago nighttime assignation at the oasis, Maria Muldaur has charmed her way through an encyclopedia of American roots music, her dusky voice adding tiers of character to her vintage musical artifacts. Virtuoso guitarist/multi-instrumentalist John Jorgenson has a similarly broad portfolio and even played Django Reinhardt on film. Naughty stuff may come from Muldaur’s recent superb tribute to the great New Orleans singer Blue Lu Barker, Don’t You Feel My Leg. 7 p.m. $35—50. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason
Merkules @ Cabooze
Like many speedy, nattering Eminem acolytes, Merkules has a secret soft side, and the Canadian rapper’s new Special Occasion reveals a tough guy with a heart of gold, fond of childishly whiny ad-libs, grandiose piano chords, and therapeutic venting sessions about his neuroses and career ambitions. His “Shape of You” remix is even grodier than the original. 18+. 7 p.m. $20-$70. 917 Cedar Ave. More info here.—Lucas Fagen
Complete Wednesday music listings here.
Morgan Evans @ Varsity Theater
In the grand tradition of Australian country, Morgan Evans has mastered the form as a synthetic, hooky, covertly erotic pop vehicle, one that abounds with arena drums, ringing guitar figures, goofily hummable tunes, and sly electronic touches like the wah-wah filigrees on “Day Drunk.” His “American” belongs on the same playlist as Taylor Swift’s “London Boy.” 18+. 7 p.m. $25-$42+. 1308 Fourth St. SE. More info here.—Lucas Fagen
Complete Thursday music listings here.