Alex Rawls’ picks: Rebirth, Steve Miller and the Jicks

Friday & Saturday

Rebirth Brass Band

The Howlin’ Wolf

907 S Peters St.

10 p.m.

(504) 529-5844

TheHowlinWolf.com

Rebirth has been the New Orleans party soundtrack for years, and they’re playing two nights at The Howlin’ Wolf with Jermaine Quiz opening as part of the club’s series of free Mardi Gras shows. Also performing for free this week are Dumpstaphunk and The Hot 8 Brass Band Sunday night, and George Porter Jr. and The Runnin’ Pardners with Naughty Professor Monday night. Shows start when the parades end.

Thursday

Steve Miller Band

Saenger Theater

1111 Canal St.

8 p.m.

SaengerNOLA.com

For most musicians, time is the enemy. Their songs date badly or their skills deteriorate, so what’s left often requires a forgiving listen from supportive fans. Fortunately for Steve Miller, there’s little he did in 1973 on his “Fly Like an Eagle” album that he can’t do today, and that album remains at the center of his concerts. He didn’t test the limits of his range then so he doesn’t face it now, and the songs remain plain-spoken and direct. Nobody knew what he meant when he sang about the “Pompetous of Love” in “The Joker,” and it doesn’t seem any nuttier 40 years later.

Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks

House of Blues’ Parish

229 Decatur St.

10 p.m.

(504) 310-4999

HouseOfBlues.com

When Stephen Malkmus led indie rock heroes Pavement in the 1990s, it often seemed like the fans cared more about its music than the band did. Pavement roughhoused the songs more than it played them, perhaps as a way of lowering the stakes, but “Slanted and Enchanted” and “Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain” made the band matter anyway. Six albums in to a post-Pavement career, Malkmus has now recorded more music on his own than with the band that made his name, and while he isn’t working any harder being a crowd-pleaser, he’s not daring you to like him either. He is more jam-oriented with The Jicks than Pavement records would have predicted, but the new “Wig Out at Jagbags” is concise by his current standards.