Perhaps a bigger weekend for football than music with the start of the NFL playoffs, but some shows still stand out. Two decades since the Sheila Divine broke out of Boston with an anthemic alt-rock dynamic that nodded to ’80s post-punk, the band fronted by Aaron Perrino returns in fine form to the Sinclair on Friday night (following a 1 p.m. acoustic performance for indie617 Sessions at Great Scott). British country-rock guitar sharpshooter Albert Lee plays Fall River’s Narrows Center for the Arts with his band the same night. On Saturday, buff rapper Ja Rule (pictured), who forged his own fame at the dawn of the aughts with “Holla Holla” and “Always on Time,” gets busy at House of Blues — with great local openers in STL GLD and Cliff Notez. New York blues-rocker Popa Chubby and his band hit the Center for the Arts in Natick that same night. And Sunday brings the Southern folk-rock troubadour Steve Forbert to City Winery for a 2 p.m. matinee.