Global Roots Festival, Radio K’s Birthday, and a New Queer Pop Hopeful in This Week’s Complete Concert Calendar: Sept. 26-Oct. 2
Pretty much all the live music you can catch in the Twin Cities this week.
12:37 PM CDT on September 26, 2023
October—or, as I like to call it, Rocktober—is just around the corner. The years keep comin' and they don't stop comin', eh?
Tuesday, September 26
- Madalitso Band and Ethiocolor @ Cedar Cultural Center—The Global Roots Festival, always worth checking out, is underway over at the Cedar. For day two they've got Malawi street buskers turned international touring artists the Madalitso Band and the funky Addis Ababa outfit Ethiocolor, led by the charismatic Melaku Belay.
- The Wombats with Red Rum Club @ First Avenue—We've all got that one friend who's married to someone that nobody else can stand, and you're constantly like, "What does she see in him?" That's how I am about the Current and the Wombats.
- Senses Fail @ Varsity Theater—To quote my pal Em, "Let It Enfold You is still full of bangers about killing your girlfriend."
Wednesday, September 27
- La Perla and Waahli @ Cedar Cultural Center—The three-day Global Roots Festival wraps up tonight the Colombian trio La Perla and the Creole rap of Haitian-Canadian artist Waahli, who's also performing a free acoustic set and participating in a Q&A on Tuesday at Alliance Française.
- Psychedelic Furs with Squeeze @ Uptown Theater—"Punk with saxophone" may not be the best definition of "postpunk" but it sure nails the misleadingly named Psychedelic Furs in their brilliant early days. On their first few albums, particularly 1981's Talk Talk Talk, the smoothly snarling Richard Butler struck a jaded pose few of his contemporaries could match, though he soon found it more profitable to project a softer world-weariness. After taking a decade off, Squeeze's Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook have been recording fairly regularly since 2010, though they'll never top their 1978-1982 peak. Such is pop.
Thursday, September 28
- Radio K's 30th Birthday Party @ First Avenue—If this 7,000-word oral history didn’t make it perfectly clear, we’re big fans of Radio K. This here? It’s a birthday bash befitting the nation’s best college radio station. Former City Pages Picked to Click finalists Bugsy open things up with their fuzzy and dramatic indie rock, followed by: Derecho Rhythm Section, a newish band featuring Low's Alan Sparhawk; local psychedelic bluegrassers Buffalo Galaxy; and North Side jazz/gospel/hip-hop/funk powerhouse L.A. Buckner & BiG HOMiE. Headlining is Afro-fusion collective Ozone Creations, an ambitious blend of talents from first-generation Americans Mack OC, Obi Original, Bakarii, Sumer, Ch!nwe, and Breezy 2 Fresh. All told, this crackling, genre-spanning bill is perfectly suited for the radio frequency being celebrated in the Mainroom.
- Kassa Overall with Xina @ Icehouse—One of the most exciting cross-genre jazz players today, drummer Kassa Overall records for Warp, and his beats often reflect the shifting experimental rhythms of that electronic-focused label. The list of guests on his latest, Animals, gives you a sense of how much ground he wants to cover—there are rappers (Danny Brown and Lil B), esteemed improvisers (trumpeter Theo Croker, trombonist Andrae Murchison, and pianist Vijay Iyer, with whom Overall has frequently collaborated), and singers (Nick Hakim, Laura Mvulu). And that’s all in a brisk 35 minutes. The results can be a little unfocused, but they’re never boring, and trying to keep up always repays the effort. (And for what it’s worth, I’m an admirer of his mixtapes with Das Racist’s Kool A.D. as Kool and Kass.) This is the first event in the Novel Stages Fall Series, which endeavors to bring prominent boundary-crossers like Overall to smaller clubs like Icehouse. Future installments will include Roomful of Teeth, My Brightest Diamond, Sen Morimoto, Rafiq Bhatia, and Craig Taborn.
Friday, September 29
Saturday, September 30
- 10th Anniversary Celebration @ Sociable Cider Werks—This multi-day event actually kicks off Wednesday night, and you can get all the details from this week's Event Horizon. But we are strictly concerned with music here, and that arrives on Saturday, with a lineup that includes Gully Boys, Cactus Blossoms, and Eleganza. I'm told there will also be beer.
Sunday, October 1
- Chappell Roan @ First Avenue—Are we still calling people "extra"? If not, please apply appropriate updated slang to this raucous, queer pop hopeful. Her debut album, The Rise and Fall of Midwest Princess, written and recorded with the assistance of Olivia Rodrigo collaborator Dan Nigro, demands your attention and often rewards it. "Karma Is My Kink" has more in common with Ms. Swift than its title; "HOT TO GO!" is a great upbeat spelling lesson. Mean Girls makes her horny, but then again so does most everything, except men, though she gives 'em a shot now and then just to prove her point.
- Kurt Elling and Charlie Hunter @ The Parkway—Vocalist Elling has proven himself equally comfortable with jazz standards and Brill Building pop. Guitarist Hunter earned R&B cred with his contributions to D'Angelo's Voodoo and Frank Ocean's Channel Orange. Their third full-length together, SuperBlue: The Iridescent Spree, is a surprising and soulful mix of new material and well-chosen covers, including the old Schoolhouse Rock! jam "Naughty Number Nine."
Monday, October 2
- Nick Cave @ State Theatre—Brood on, big guy.
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