Critic’s picks: Pop music


JAY Z  After a pair of triumphant shows at Fenway Park with Justin Timberlake this past summer, Jay Z comes back to town in support of last year’s “Magna Carta Holy Grail.” Recent set lists suggest the hip-hop heavyweight is culling from a wide swath of his career, too. Jan. 18, 8 p.m. Tickets: $30-$147.50. TD Garden. 800-745-3000,

CATE LE BON  This Welsh singer-songwriter, who’s living in Los Angeles now, has a knack for turning familiar sounds inside out. “Mug Museum,” her overlooked new album, conjures the impressionistic beauty and sprawl of early Velvet Underground while maintaining a contemporary vibe. Jan. 18, 7 p.m. Tickets: $10. Middle East Upstairs, Cambridge. 617-864-3278,

PIXIES  For a band that hasn’t put out a full-length studio album since 1991’s “Trompe le Monde,” the Pixies have generated a lot of buzz lately. In September, the seminal alt-rock group, which took root in Boston, released “EP1,” followed by “EP2” last week, both of which prove the Pixies still rock harder and heavier than bands half their age. They’re also performing without bassist Kim Deal, who departed the lineup last year. Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $43.50-$63.50. Orpheum Theatre. 800-745-3000,

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