A Local Rock Potluck and Some More Fair Fare in This Week’s Complete Concert Calendar: Aug. 30-Sept. 5
Pretty much all the music you can hear in the Twin Cities this week.
1:58 PM CDT on August 30, 2022
Hey, how ya liking the new format, with blurbs and what not? Hope this is a useful for you all.
Tuesday, August 30
- Annie Mack @ Schell’s Stage at Schilling Amphitheater, Minnesota State FairAs I gushed last week, the Schell’s State at the Fair has been expertly booked this year. Folk-blues-gospel singer-songwriter Mack sings in a big, yet artfully restrained voice, and her songs bend traditional themes to modern. Her 2001 EP, Testify, captures her at her peak—defiant, unbowed, and, if not exactly hopeful, far from defeated.
Wednesday, August 31
- Low Cut Connie @ Leinie Lodge Bandshell, Minnesota State FairAdam Weiner and his retro team are finally making it to the State Fair. Last year, they pulled out of a Current-sponsored Grandstand show over reasonable concerns about the fair’s COVID policies. While those protocols haven’t changed since last year, the band's been restless to get out on the road, and their songs are just solid enough and their exuberance just corny enough to make them an ideal act for the Leinie Lodge.
Thursday, September 1
- Neko Case, Disq @ First AvenueThe alt-country powerhouse and sometime New Pornographer hasn’t released a full-length of new material since Hell-On in 2018, but it’s been a few crazy years since then, hasn’t it? And she hasn’t exactly been slacking: Earlier this year, Case released a greatest hits collection, Wild Creatures, as one often does usually long before you hit the two-decade mark as a recording musician as she has, and just like the rest of us, she’s got a Substack. So much for the newsier, factual stuff, but you don’t really need me to tell you why she’s worth seeing live. As I said in my unlinkable (thanks, Strib) City Pages review of Hell-On: “Voices this forceful are rarely this cool, so analytical, so untinged with pain—rather than flaunting her power, Case luxuriates in an appreciation of consonants, and the restraint she’s developed over the years is more important than the clarion force, an effect she captures in the line “I’m too much for people, so I gauge / And shout my thoughts at you from a distance.”
Friday, September 2
- CJ Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band @ DakotaCJ’s dad Clifton was the zydeco man, his accordion style defining the upbeat Creole Louisiana genre for listeners in the ’70s. But Chenier the younger, who started playing with his dad at 21, has stepped into those roomy shoes with ease. Since inheriting the Red Hot Louisiana Band in 1987 and taking over lead accordion duties himself, he’s become an ace bandleader in his own right. Pretty irresistible stuff.
- First Avenue Goes to the Fair @ Schell’s Stage Schilling Amphitheater, Minnesota State FairFor two nights, First Ave offers a cheap and easy way to catch up on local music from those of us who can’t hit the clubs every night. Night one highlights include the theatrically rockin’ Meghan Kriedler of Kiss the Tiger. Night two’s highlight is Cindy Lawson, the ’90s indie mainstay (her band the Clams helped break the gender barrier), who has come roaring back this year with her first new music in decades. But everyone here is worth sampling.
Saturday, September 3
- Diana Ross, Naturally 7 @ Grandstand, Minnesota State FairI mean, duh. The queen of Motown would be a central pop and R&B figure even if she’d never sung another note after leaving the Supremes. Instead, she pursued an odd, uneven career path that took in Billie Holiday remakes and disco. She peaked just often enough before she, and Diana, reconquered the charts with the help of the guys in Chic, that it added up to a worthy Act II in retrospect and established her divadom. Her setlist these days mixes these eras neatly, and kicks off with the indelible all-purpose anthem “I’m Coming Out.” No word on how many costume changes she works into the act.
Sunday, September 4
- Water Is Life Festival @ Bayfront Festival ParkLooks as though this distinctive Duluth arts and music festival, spearheaded by longtime indigenous activist Winona LaDuke’s Honor the Earth org, is now an annual event: Congrats on year two, folks. As befits its eco-friendly bent, the lineup leans folkish, but more on the rough and impolite than the genteel side, with Ani Difranco and the Indigo Girls the big veteran names, along with hometown heroes Low providing plenty of electricity. Also onboard are a slew of mostly but not exclusive Minnesotan performers, including Allison Russell, Tia Wood, Dessa, Joe Rainey Sr, Keith Secola, Annie Humphrey, David Huckfelt, Corey Medina, Gaelynn Lea, Thomas X. You don’t need an excuse to hop up to Duluth, especially on the cusp of autumn, but here’s a good one, with politics that are hard to discount: What kind of psycho doesn’t love water?
Monday, September 5
- Nelson Devereux’s Zones Residency @ IcehouseSaxophonist Devereux’s monthlong Icehouse residency closes out tonight with a performance of the material from Zones, his newly released album. With layered sax lines complementing one another, often in repetitive yet varied patterns, the album straddles jazz and ambient without pulling a hamstring.
- Labor Day Patio Picnic Potluck @ Palmer’s Do these folks know how to throw a party or what? Headliners The Real Chuck NORAD have great taste in covers and a knack for personalizing them, tossing John Prine’s “Summer’s End” and Bjork’s “Bachelorette” in alongside Ethiopian jazz great Mulatu Astatke. Also on the bill are ’90s tributeers Fistful of Datas, formerly local noise-rap trailblazer Moodie Black, bedroom popper Larry Wish, and (deep breath) Snailmate, Extraterrrestrials, Controversial New Skinny Pill, Trappistines, and Little Lizard. As for the potluck bit, well, every band is bringing a dish to share. Note: “If weather is dumb the show moves indoors.”
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