Rap, country and an unusual heavy metal guitar hero are among the week’s offerings:
8 p.m. Wednesday
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St.
In a gimmick the members of Kiss likely appreciate, the progressive avant-heavy metal guitarist known as Buckethead has appeared in public throughout his entire career wearing an expressionless white mask a la Michael Myers in the “Halloween” horror films and a KFC-inspired bucket atop his head. Born Brian Patrick Carroll, Buckethead has released dozens of albums on his own and in collaboration with other unorthodox musicians. He also spent several years in the early 2000s as Guns N’ Roses’ lead guitarist, and is featured throughout the “Chinese Democracy” album. Not surprisingly, Buckethead seems to function best while doing his own thing, which generally involves shredding electric guitars with dexterity and speed while hidden behind his mask and bucket.
9 p.m. Saturday
Orpheum Theater, 129 Roosevelt Way
Tickets: $35 to $100
Rapper Kevin Gates came of age in Baton Rouge, where he went about the business of giving himself something to rap about via various stints in prison. A series of mixtapes and an affiliation with the management division of Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment brought him national attention, as did his grim, confessional lyrics and melodic sensibility, as demonstrated in the gold-certified single “I Don’t Get Tired.” In January, Atlantic Records released his first, official major-label album, “Islah,” which sold 112,000 copies its first week of release and peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Gates comes to the Orpheum Theater on Saturday as part of the Plug Project (Music + Digital Literacy), an event sponsored by radio station Power 102.9 to kick off the summer season and promote computer technology as a means for local youth to “develop new social and economic opportunities for themselves.” Young Greatness is also on the bill.
Gogol Bordello and Frank Turner
9 p.m. Sunday
Joy Theater, 1200 Canal St.
Tickets: $34.50 to $42.50
Gogol Bordello is a gleeful collision of international music. Frontman Eugene Hutz, who grew up in Ukraine, formed the band in New York in 1999 with members from Russia, Ethiopia and Ecuador. Flavors from those and other countries are woven into Gogol Bordello’s mix, which often surges with the unbridled abandon of punk rock and may include spaghetti Western-style themes, reggae, mariachi music and classical melodies. Co-headliner Frank Turner is an English folk singer-songwriter on the road with his backing band, the Sleeping Souls. Walter Schreifels is also on the bill.
7 p.m. Saturday
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St.
Tickets: $102 for upstairs balcony general admission; $352 for downstairs general admission with open bar
Country superstar and north Louisiana native Tim McGraw generally headlines arenas and even stadiums. But on Saturday night, he’ll perform to a few hundred people at the House of Blues for a benefit concert hosted by his buddy Drew Brees. The show benefits the Saints quarterback’s Brees Dream Foundation and actor Matthew McConaughey’s Just Keep Livin’ Foundation. Look for McGraw and his band to showcase a succession of hits, possibly including “Humble and Kind,” his most recent No. 1 single in one of contemporary country music’s most enduring careers. The event also features a live auction.
10 p.m. Friday
Tipitina’s, 501 Napoleon Ave.
Tickets: $22 in advance, $25 day of show
After a long wait, fans of rapid-fire New Orleans rapper Mystikal can finally hear him on a pair of new recordings. He’s featured on the new Trinidad James single “Just a Lil Thick (She Juicy),” a sort of thematic descendant of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” and the Treme Brass Band’s “I Got a Big Fat Woman.” More significantly, Mystikal’s got a new single of his own, the appropriately named “Thought It Was Over.” It announces his return to the game after many delays, including the one documented on a 10-minute YouTube video about the making of the “Thought It Was Over” video (the shoot was delayed by the star’s multihour late arrival). On Friday, Mystikal is featured at local rapper Koan’s 504 Summer Jam at Tipitina’s. DJ Skratchmo, KLC the Drum Major, Sean C, Paasky and the Soul Brass Band are also on the bill; Mark Caesar is the evening’s host.
Other noteworthy shows this week:
On Thursday, reggae band Morgan Heritage touches down at the Parish of the House of Blues. Jason Marsalis leads his band at Snug Harbor.
On Friday , Royal Southern Brotherhood, fronted by Cyril Neville, visits Ruby’s Roadhouse in Mandeville. Hammond B3 organistIke Stubblefieldand his trio groove at d.b.a. on Frenchmen Street (they move down a couple doors for a Saturday show at Snug Harbor). Debauche is at the Maple Leaf.
On Saturday, local world beat/reggae/R&B band the Revealersteam up withClyde Bryant & the Allstarsat Tipitina’s. Blues guitarist Little Freddie King plugs in at d.b.a.
On Sunday, Gerard “Bo Jr.” Dollis hosts a Stop the Violence concert at the Carver Theater featuring JamesAndrews, Gaynielle Neville, the Treme Brass Band, Jason Neville, Bo Dollis Jr. & the Wild Magnolias, Dana Richardson, Tonya Boyd Cannon, the Red Hot Brass Band, Gaynell Sorina’s Divine Dance Depot andthe Roots of Music.
Also on Sunday, rapper Ginuwine throws down at Republic New Orleans. Alternative/Gothic rock duo She Wants Revenge celebrates the 10-year anniversary of its self-titled debut album at the House of Blues; the band’s principals reunited after the single “Tear You Apart” experienced a surge of popularity after its inclusion in an episode of “American Horror Story: Hotel.”