Mar 12 | The 27-year-old Oregonian reached peak earworm status with the bluesy R&B single "Put the Gun Down," featured in ads for ABC Family's popular series Pretty Little Liars. ZZ Ward's 2012 debut album Til the Casket Drops updates broken-hearted blue-eyed soul with hip-hop and contemporary R&B — she made her first big waves with mixtapes covering Kendrick Lamar and Tyler, the Creator. Linus Young and The O My's open at 7:30 p.m. at The Parish at House of Blues.
Wed. March 12 | As James Mercer's Shins albums became largely one-man affairs, alt-pop's most gifted melody maker sought collaboration from an unlikely source: beat masher Danger Mouse. Second LP After the Disco (Columbia) delivers exactly what it promises. Au Revoir Simone opens at 8:30 p.m. at the Civic Theatre.
Thu. March 13 | DMX — MC, sometimes actor and potential world champion dog barker — was arrested four times last year, after releasing Undisputed in 2012, his first studio album since 2006. The arrests haven't held X back — an eighth LP is underway with producer Swizz Beatz. At 10 p.m. at The Howlin' Wolf.
Fri. March 14 | On its second record, Electric Balloon (Western Vinyl), Ava Luna anthologizes 30 years of outsider music: free jazz, no wave, post punk and funk punk, cleaning up Dirty Projectors and heading off Talking Heads. The band plays at 4 p.m. at Tulane University's Fridays at the Quad; Krill, Caddywhompus and Native America open at 10 p.m. at Siberia.
Sat. March 15 | The gospel group and longtime New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival favorite celebrates its 75th anniversary with a gala doubling as an album release party and tour kickoff — not too shabby for a group that formed in 1939 and performed at the first-ever Jazz Fest. At 7 p.m. at The Joy Theater.
Sun. March 17 | In February, the Savannah, Ga. trio released the sophomore LP True Love Kills the Fairy Tale (Graveface Records), full of synthesizers, dreamy blips and whispered sing-along melodies. Dreamed opens at 10 p.m. at Circle Bar.