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Critic's picks

By Sarah Rodman
Globe Staff / September 11, 2011

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LUPE FIASCO The skilled rapper gave a red-hot performance at this venue last year. This time he’s in town with rising Brooklyn rapper Theophilus London. Sept. 12, 7 p.m. Tickets: $35-$49.50. House of Blues. 800-745-3000.

WHY? This trio traffics in a quirky but captivating mash-up of indie pop and hip-hop that will have you laughing and thinking. Sept. 17, 8 p.m. Tickets: $18. Paramount Center. 617-824-8400.

KIM RICHEY The clarion-voiced, country-inflected singer-songwriter returns to remind folks just how good last year’s “Wreck Your Wheels’’ was. Sept. 21, 8 p.m. Tickets: $25. Club Passim. 617-492-7679.

THE RAPTURE Hot on the heels of the release of their long-awaited fourth album, “In the Grace of Your Love,’’ the dance-punk faves return. Sept. 22, 6 p.m. Tickets: $18. Royale. 800-745-3000.

STEPHEN MALKMUS & THE JICKS Post-Pavement reunion, Malkmus regroups with his solo band to promote their latest album, “Mirror Traffic,’’ which Beck produced. Sept. 24, 6 p.m. Tickets: $20. Royale. 800-745-3000.

STEELY DAN Three shows, three set lists. Wednesday is early stuff with “Dawn of the Dan.’’ Friday is “Takin’ It to the Seats’’ request night. And Saturday features “The Royal Scam’’ in its entirety. Each show will also include a selection of greatest hits. Sept. 28, Sept. 30, and Oct. 1. 8 p.m. Tickets: $48-$198. Citi Wang Theatre. 800-432-7250.

WILD FLAG This rocking super-grrl group features Mary Timony of Helium, Janet Weiss and Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney, and Rebecca Cole of the Minders. Oct. 14, 9 p.m. Tickets: $20. Paradise Rock Club. 800-745-3000.

BUSH If you’ve been pining for “Glycerine,’’ then you’re in luck as the Brit post-grunge rockers reconvene under the leadership of Gavin Rossdale. Oct. 15, 5 p.m. Tickets: $39.50-$49.50. House of Blues. 800-745-3000.

“WEIRD AL’’ YANKOVIC The master parodist continues his wacky spoofing ways. Expect newer tunes that goof on Lady Gaga and Eminem alongside classics like “Eat It.’’ Oct. 15, 8 p.m. Tickets: $29.50-$42.50. Orpheum Theatre. 800-745-3000.

THE JAYHAWKS The Minnesota-spawned roots rockers return with their glorious harmonies and irresistible melodies in support of their latest, “Mockingbird Time.’’ Oct. 18, 8 p.m. Tickets: $25. Paradise 800-745-3000.

CYNDI LAUPER & DR. JOHN Strange bedfellows will make for an interesting night as Lauper continues her blues exploration alongside the pride of New Orleans. Oct. 23, 6 p.m. Tickets:$35-$45. House of Blues. 800-745-3000.

JOHN MELLENCAMP The band is smoking, the arrangements are fresh, and the heartland rocker is in great, irascible form. Oct. 25, 7 p.m. Tickets:$47.50-$125. Citi Wang Theatre. 800-432-7250.

DURAN DURAN The ’80s Brit popsters make another pass in support of the stronger-than-expected “All You Need Is Now.’’ Oct. 28, 8 p.m. Tickets: $48-$125. Citi Wang Theatre. 800-432-7250.

FOO FIGHTERS The veteran rockers are on a roll with a recent documentary and one of the year’s best albums in “Wasting Light.’’ Nov. 16, 7 p.m. Tickets: $32-$57. TD Garden. 800-745-3000.

WATCH THE THRONE: JAY-Z & KANYE WEST When it comes to hip-hop, it doesn’t get any bigger than this. Nov. 21, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $57-$247.50. TD Garden. 800-745-3000.