The live music options in New Orleans this week include two alternative pop-rock bands, a old-time alt-country band, and a piano-playing singer-songwriter.

Old Crow Medicine Show

8:30 Thursday, Orpheum Theater, $36-$55

Old Crow Medicine Show is built for busking; acoustic-stringed instruments and a repertoire of old-time, high-lonesome Appalachian music are well-suited for street corners. But the band has progressed to theaters and festivals around the globe, thanks in part to the hit “Wagon Wheel.” Frontman Ketch Secor wrote “Wagon Wheel” based on a mumbled song fragment he heard on an old Bob Dylan bootleg; he and Dylan are both credited as co-writers for “Wagon Wheel,” which became a country hit for Darius Rucker and is performed by many Americana and country acts. Indicative of Secor’s Dylan obsession, Old Crow Medicine Show’s latest album for Columbia Nashville is “50 Years of Blonde on Blonde,” a live recreation of Dylan’s 1966 classic “Blonde on Blonde.” Shows on the band’s current tour feature two full sets with an intermission and encores, and include a complete performance of “50 Years of Blonde on Blonde.”


8 p.m. Monday, Orpheum Theater, $46.50-$74.50

Named for a computer keystroke, British band Alt-J made a splash with its 2012 debut album of artfully assembled alt-rock, "An Awesome Wave." It sold more than a million copies worldwide and won the prestigious Mercury Prize in Great Britain. The band slimmed down from a quartet to a trio before recording the 2014 follow-up, "This Is All Yours." On it, guitarist Joe Newman, keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton and drummer Thom Green referenced everything from Miley Cyrus to Radiohead, acoustic instruments to hip-hop beats. "This Is All Yours" turned up on numerous lists of the best albums of 2014. The band released its third album, “Relaxer,” in June. NoMBE opens for Alt-J at the Orpheum on Monday.

The Shins

8 p.m. Tuesday, Civic Theatre, sold out.

That singer, guitarist and songwriter James Mercer is the primary creative force of Portland, Oregon-based indie-pop band The Shins was made clear when he fired his bandmates prior to the release of the 2012 album “Port of Morrow.” Having rebuilt the band to his specifications, and influenced by his Broken Bells collaboration with producer Danger Mouse, Mercer released the Shins’ fifth album, “Heartworms,” in March. His fondness for ‘60s pop bands is apparent in the album’s arrangements and production, including the Beach Boys-esque backing vocals buried in the busy “Name For You.” BAIO opens the Shins’ sold-out show at the Civic.

Tori Amos

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Mahalia Jackson Theatre for the Performing Arts, $40-$55

Tori Amos announced herself with the 1992 album “Little Earthquakes,” an exploration of stark emotions informed by a range of personal experiences, not all of them good. The subsequent “Under the Pink” and “Boys for Pele” further reinforced how strikingly original Amos is as a pop artist not content to rely on standard clichés. She released her 15th studio album, “Native Invader,” in September. Inspired in part by a trip through the Great Smoky Mountains, home to her Native American ancestors, as well as the 2016 presidential election and a stroke suffered by Amos’ mother, “Native Invader” poetically explores various ecological and political themes. She’ll alternate between an acoustic piano and electric keyboards during a solo show at the Mahalia Jackson Theater on Tuesday.

Other noteworthy shows


Bassist Rufus Reid teams up with pianist Ellis Marsalis and drummer Herlin Riley at Snug Harbor.


After a three-year hiatus, the “This is NOLA” series resumes at the Joy Theater. A joint endeavor between the Joy and Winter Circle Productions, the series showcases contemporary New Orleans creativity in multiple genres. Friday’s event features Stoop Kids, Roar!, Sexy Dex & the Fresh and DJ Kathi, plus visual artists and street food. Admission is free; RSVP at for priority entry.

Boris brings its “Dear/25th Anniversary” tour to One Eyed Jacks.


“Harvest the Music,” a benefit for the Second Harvest food bank and the Tipitina’s Foundation, presents Dumpstaphunk and Sexual Thunder at Tipitina’s.

Cajun-pop singer/fiddler Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys team up with the Mia Kylie Band at Rock 'N' Bowl.

Electronic music producer GRiZ hits up the Orpheum Theater.


Cindy Wilson of the B-52’s performs at Gasa Gasa.

Catch Grizzly Bear at the Civic Theatre.

New Orleans drummer Shannon Powell powers his trio at Snug Harbor.

Bruce Daigrepont hosts a Cajun fais do-do at Rock ‘N’ Bowl starting at 5:30 p.m.


Hip-hop poet Noname headlines Tipitina’s.

Primus plugs in at the Civic Theatre.


Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes perform their “The Big Awesome” album as part of a monthlong Wednesday residency at the Maple Leaf.

Follow Keith Spera on Twitter, @KeithSpera.

Keith Spera writes about music, culture and his kids.