The weekend's best concerts: May 17-19

The Mountain Goats are at First Ave tonight.

The Mountain Goats are at First Ave tonight. Jeremy Lange

Yes, it's Art-A-Whirl weekend. (Check out our complete schedule here.) But if you prefer the great indoors, here are some other options.

Friday 5.17

Mountain Goats @ First Avenue
Although the title and cover illustration of the Mountain Goats’ new album, In League With Dragons, suggests an immersion in fantasy, it’s dominated as always by John Darnielle’s chief forte: detailed character studies. Darnielle’s disparate focus includes a pitcher’s disintegrating career (“Doc Gooden”), a rocker’s desperate bravado (“Passaic 1975”), and a shady operator’s risky business (“Waylon Jennings Live!”), all linked by fading dreams and lurking tragedy. The shifting music hangs on evocative melodies and Darnielle’s dry vocals, distantly echoing Phil Ochs’. Shana Cleveland opens. 18+. 8 p.m. $30. 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason

Complete Friday music listings here.

Saturday 5.18

Resonance: A Sound Art Marathon @ McGuire Theater, Walker Art Center
Exploring the connections between visual art and sound performance may seem hifalutin, but this nearly all-day series of free gigs, featuring conceptual performers as striking as pianist Craig Taborn and saxophonist Matana Roberts, should make the cerebral stretch feel less esoteric and more exciting. Noon. Free. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson

Rebecca Loebe @ Warming House
Rebecca Loebe already had a growing reputation as a talented songwriter and a couple of albums before a Nirvana cover landed her on TheVoice in 2011. Nearly a decade later, her voice stands out, a marvelous instrument that can be haunting, coy, sly, brittle, or resilient, matching the nuance and scope of, say, Rosanne Cash, along with the insight and wisdom of her lyrics. Loebe’s latest, Give Up Your Ghosts, is deeply reflective of herself and our corrosive culture, offering hard-won perspective but also claiming empowerment, and framing it all in refined blend of folk, pop, country, and blues. 8 p.m. $12. 4001 Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason

Complete Saturday music listings here.

Sunday 5.19

Ruby Boots and Indianola @ Turf Club
Ruby Boots is from Nashville by way of Australia, alt-country with an authentic twang and zest for songwriting, as last year’s Bloodshot disc, Don’t Talk About It best represents. Indianola takes its name from the Mississippi bayou town that was the birthplace of Albert King and the childhood home of B.B. King. There’s more Elvis than mainline blues in their approach, but their hearts, like their taste in geography, is in the right place. 21+. 7 p.m. $12-$14. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul. More infohere.—Britt Robson

Complete Sunday music listings here.