Weekend music picks: We need RAS Day more than ever this year; Also, J. Cole

OUR TOP PICKS

Friday: RAS Day at Empire. In 2013, the city of Austin declared Aug. 29 Riders Against the Storm Day, and every year since the husband/wife hip-hop crew has hosted a get down to mark the occasion. Over the years it’s grown into a celebration of soulful music, spiritual healing and, perhaps most importantly, blackness. In a city that struggles to reconcile our tolerant view of ourselves with a stark lack of diversity in the entertainment industry, it’s a crucial event in the annual calendar. Plans to expand to two days this year faltered, and the group ended up dropping the family festival at Kenny Dorham’s Backyard on Saturday this year, but they’ve still stacked the lineup for the Friday night party. And emcees Chaka and Qi Dada treat their work as a spiritual calling. Uplifting the masses is always on their agenda, and this year our aching souls need them more than ever. Featured artists include Maroon 5 keyboardist PJ Morton, who’s been making waves this year with his soulful solo act, and jazz experimentalist Raul Midón from New York. $20. 6 p.m. 606 E. Seventh St. empireatx.com. — D.S.S.

READ MORE: Austin’s Riders Against the Storm create progressive hip-hop

Saturday: J. Cole, Anderson.Paak at Erwin Center. Your girlfriend’s favorite sentimental sing-song rapper is back to promote his latest collection of heart-on-sleeve rhymes, “4 Your Eyez Only.” Like most hip-hop in 2017, the album takes place in the valley of the shadow of death. At times the record feels dirge-like, but early reports indicate the tour is actually a celebration of life. Last year’s insanely charismatic, funky rap breakout, Anderson.Paak, opens. $29.50-$125.50. 8 p.m. 1701 Red River St. uterwincenter.com. — D.S.S.

Saturday: Peter Holsapple, Kathy Valentine at Townsend. As co-leader of North Carolina band the dB’s in the 1980s, Holsapple was at the forefront of shaping alternative rock music of the era, so much so that he ended up as R.E.M.’s touring sideman for a couple of years. The 1990s found him filling a similar role with Hootie & the Blowfish, but he’s always continued to do his own music, both solo and in collaboration with Chris Stamey and his other dB’s cohorts. He’s rarely toured in the past decade, so this is kind of a big deal — enough so that former Go-Go’s/current Bluebonnets guitarist Kathy Valentine signed on to open the show. $10. 8 p.m. 718 Congress Ave. the townsendaustin.com. — P.B.

Saturday: Project ATX6 kickoff at Yeti Flagship. Next month Project ATX6, a documentary film and cultural export project, takes off on an international jaunt to Germany and France with six Austin artists. They’ll be back in town briefly in October before heading back out for festival appearances in Toronto and Japan. This afternoon event presents four of the six artists, including Austin360 August Artist of the Month Mobley, who kicks the party off. Little Mazarn, Taylor Wilkins of Otis the Destroyer and Acey Monaro of Go Fever will also perform. Free. 2:30 p.m. doors. 220 S. Congress Ave. projectatx6.com. — D.S.S.

RELATED: Mobley’s pop packs a meaningful punch

Sunday: Brownout with GZA at Empire. Austin360 June Artists of the Month Brownout are the city’s greatest shape-shifting sonic collective. After three years and two albums spent playing classic metal covers as Brown Sabbath, they released their first collection of original material since 2012, the excellent EP “Over the Covers” earlier this summer. Now they’re back to playing breakbeats, backing GZA, the Genius from Wu-Tang Clan, in a set that will certainly be “Nuthing ta (expletive) With.” $18-$50. 6 p.m. doors. 606 E. 7th St. empireatx.com. — D.S.S.

RELATED: Brownout returns to pre-Sabbath roots

Riders Against the Storm plays a Daybreaker party at Whole Foods. They host RAS Day on Friday. Laura Skelding/For American-Statesman

ALSO PLAYING

Friday-Saturday

Blasters, Clownvis Presley at Continental Club

Mike Flanigin Trio with Jimmie Vaughan & George Rains at C-Boy’s

Friday

Australian Pink Floyd Show at ACL Live

Split Lip Rayfield, Clyde & Clem’s Whiskey Business at White Horse

Betty Who at Vulcan Gas Company

Milligan Vaughan Project, Eve & the Exiles at Threadgill’s

Quiet Company at Waterloo Records

Monte Warden & the Dangerous Few at Townsend

KP & the Boom Boom at Geraldine’s

Rebecca Loebe at Radio Coffee & Beer

South Austin Moonlighters at One-2-One Bar

Saturday

Austin Originals Benefit with Asleep at the Wheel at ACL Live

Quiet Company EP release, Darkbird, MCG, Buttercup, Criminal Birds at Barracuda

Max Baca y los Texmaniacs, Brave Combo, Gulf Coast Playboys at Antone’s

Susan Gibson & Terri Hendrix, Bobby Whitlock & CoCo Carmel at Saxon Pub

Eric Tessmer, Swimming With Bears, Selfless Lovers at Mohawk outdoor

Lola & the Huntsmen album release, Love & Chaos, Viva Scott Davis at Mohawk indoor

Moving Panoramas, Missing Pages, Lochness Mobsters, Pretty Tuff at Hotel Vegas

Sunny Sweeney, Dan Adams at Stubb’s indoor

Ephraim Owens Quintet at Elephant Room

Albert & Gage at Donn’s Depot

Dale Watson at Broken Spoke

Water & Rust at One-2-One Bar

Elijah Ford & the Bloom at Geraldine’s

Ramsay Midwood, Silo Road at Sam’s Town Point

Sunday

Foreigner, Cheap Trick, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin at Austin360 Amphitheater

Pure Prairie League at One World Theatre

Tres Oui, William Matheny, Jana Horn, Lo Country at Sidewinder

Dale Watson, Wagoneers, Hilary York at C-Boy’s

Jackie Venson, Girling at Ernie’s on the Lake

George Ensle at Hill’s Cafe

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