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I’m Trying Something New With This Week’s Complete Concert Calendar: May 9-15

Pretty much all the live music you can catch in the Twin Cities this week.

Wikipedia; photo provided|

Cornbread Harris, Rebecca Black

I'm always trying to think of ways to make this calendar more useful to you, and so I've decided to add a few more descriptions to each week's post. Not every show I've annotated is recommended (as the words will often make pretty clear), but all of 'em are noteworthy. After all, why should you rely solely on my recommendations. You are (presumably) your own person!

Tuesday, May 9

Radkey with Lunar Moth @ Amsterdam

International Reggae Allstars @ Bunkers

José James Sings Badu @ Dakota

St. Dominic’s Trio @ Driftwood

Half Alive @ Fillmore

Waterparks with HUNNY and Daisy Grenade @ First Avenue

Sean McConnell and Garrison Starr @ Icehouse

Timeless Tuesdays @ Mortimer's

  • KDWB Star Party @ Myth Live—The Star Party is back? That's what it says here, and who am I to doubt my own eyes. Some history: In the years before the Jingle Ball, KDWB would hold a similar all-star event earlier in the spring. Back in the day I saw Vanessa Carlton play "Paint It Black" at a Star Party. I saw Jordan Knight cover Prince. I saw Ja Rule spit one of the wackest freestyles of all time. This lineup is not exactly stellar—the artists performing are Flo Rida, Jax, lovelytheband, and Nicky Youre, two of whom I recognize by name and none of whom I've thought about in years. Hopefully it will at least be a party.

DJ Nanobyte Presents "Byte Nite" @ Palmer's

Brass Lassie @ Parkway

Icon For Hire with Hooked Like Helen @ 7th St Entry

April Conspiracy Series featuring theyself, Druzy Rose @ 331 Club

Worker's Playtime, Jeff Ray @ 331 Club

Trevor McSpadden & Mary Cutrufello @ White Squirrel

Residency, Thy Name is Jeremy @ White Squirrel

Wednesday, May 10

MN Songwriter Showcase hosted by Nick Hensley @ Aster Cafe

Dylan Salfer @ Bunkers

  • Robbie Fulks with Trevor McSpadden @ Cedar Cultural Center—Acerbic alt-country goofball Fulks sets aside the yuks (mostly) on his new album, Bluegrass Vacation, where he's more interested in demonstrating his instrumental bona fides. That doesn't mean he's averse to having a good time—as he points out on the history lesson "Longhair Bluegrass," good times are what drew him to this music in the first place.

Maggie's Wednesdays: Lori Dokken @ Crooners

Billy Childs Quartet feat. Sean Jones @ Dakota

Spiritbox with After the Burial and Intervals @ Fillmore

Obituary with Immolation, Blood Incantation, and Ingrown @ Fine Line

Pearl & the Oysters @ Green Room

The Goddamn Gallows + IV and The Strange Band @ Hook and Ladder

Sway Wild @ Icehouse

Prairie Clamor, RuDeGiRL, Synchromesh @ Mortimer's

Colonel Mustard's Mechanical Animals @ Palmer's

Dreamer Isioma with Amindi @ 7th St Entry

Harold’s House Party on KFAI with Katey Bellville and her S.O.B.s @ 331 Club

Mumblin' Drew @ 331 Club

Apes of the State with Pigeon Pit and Keep for Cheap @ The Treasury

Mon Cher & Laura Hugo @ Underground Music Venue

Lars-Erik Larson & The 2nd Stringers @ White Squirrel

Loss Leader w. Boss’ Daughter, Dingus @ White Squirrel

Thursday, May 11

Jay Bee & the Routine @ Bunkers

  • Iris DeMent with Anna Egge @ Cedar Cultural Center—Iris DeMent goes at her own pace: Workin' on a World, released in February, is only her seventh album in 30 years. It’s also her most cantankerous and politically minded collection of songs since The Way I Should in 1996. No, let me rephrase—The Way I Should was her most cantankerous and politically minded collection of songs until this new album, which is anchored by an eight-minute rant that starts “I'm going down to sing in Texas/Where anybody can carry a gun” and provides support throughout to her allies while preaching from the left end of liberal. It’s not every DeMent fan’s favorite side of her, but I admire her when she's excessive and graceless about her beliefs—it feels like she's pushing herself out of her comfort zone, rather than just being a lazy crank, and that gives the songs a special edge. It’s worth noting that in her lyrics DeMent counts among her heroes not just John Lewis but Rachel Corrie—and if you have to Google that name, that’s why it’s important that she gets her due. 

The Wolverine Trio @ Crooners

Marilyn Mae @ Crooners

Cafe Accordion Orchestra with Diane Jarvi @ Crooners

Ronnie Foster @ Dakota

The Lost Golden Toads, Flowtus, Mean Magic, Tender Years @ Driftwood

  • Bright Eyes with Maya Hawke @ First Avenue—For a guy who was once anointed with the unenviable “Next Dylan” distinction, Conor Oberst has aged with remarkable artistic grace. Now 43, the former boy wonder from Omaha can still turn a phrase with the best of ‘em, but the diary-ripped poetics of his youth are mere memories he’ll faithfully trot out for loyal lifelong fans. On 2020’s Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was, the first Bright Eyes release in almost a decade, Oberst reunited with collaborator Mike Mogis for a comeback album that pulls skillfully from every past iteration of the band, offering country rock, indie folk, orchestral swells, and electronic flourishes. As always, the tracks are undergirded by rock-solid songwriting. And contemporary Bright Eyes is all about fan-service: Last fall the group released companion re-recordings of their two biggest albums (2005's I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning, and Digital Ash in a Digital Urn) featuring stylistic switcheroos—electronic for Awake, folk for Ash. They’re a whole lotta fun, and more re-recordings of classic LPs followed

Colin Bracewell, Silver Warehouse, Present Company @ Green Room

  • Cornbread’s 96th B-Day Party Extravaganza @ Hook and Ladder—Happy birthday to indefatigable pianist James Samuel Harris Jr., who you can still catch every Sunday at Palmer's. He co-wrote and played Augie Garcia's "Hi Yo Silver," generally credited as Minnesota's first rock 'n' roll single, and he's also Jimmy Jam's dad. We're promised "some very special guests" tonight. You only turn 96 once, after all.

Eli Gardiner (Single Release) with Stacy K + Roz @ Icehouse

Cody Steinman Trio and Jam Session @ KJ's Hideaway

Virgin Whores & Guests @ Mortimer's

The Front Porch Swingin' Liquor Pigs @ Palmer's

Pretending @ Pilllar

Matthew Logan Vasquez with Danny Golden and Laamar @ 7th St Entry

Minneapolis Songwriter Round: Dawson Sabah Kimyon, BrianJohnson(BeatALoop), Ry Edwards, Alicia Thao @ 331 Club

UltraBomb with The Bar Stool Preachers @ Turf Club

TIMISAROCKER, Grrrlstomp, Obi Original, and Ghost Kitchen @ Uptown VFW

VISITOR with Paul Metzger @ White Squirrel

Friday, May 12

Danger Pins (Album Release) @ Aster Cafe

Stevie Wonder Tribute @ Bunkers

King Iso @ Cabooze

Marilyn Mae @ Crooners

Jones & Bloom's Culture Zoom @ Crooners

The New Standards @ Crooners

Maggie's Afterglow: Rick Carlson with Judy Vinar @ Crooners

Sophie B. Hawkins @ Dakota

Sun Wave Mountain Cave, the Dissenters, the Disappointments @ Driftwood

Greg Puciato with Escuela Grind, Deaf Club and Trace Amount @ Fine Line

La Clava Orchestra @ Granada

Greg Koch feat. The Koch Marshall Trio @ Green Room

Stealing Dan: The Music of Steely Dan @ Hook and Ladder

Humbird + McKain Lakey @ Icehouse

Debbie Briggs Vintage Jazz @ KJ’s Hideaway

Wild Horses @ KJ's Hideaway

Tisoki @ The Loft

VocalEssence Presents Singing the World Awake @ Ordway

  • Billy Idol with Kelsy Karter & The Heroines @ Palace Theatre—Seems weird to me that Mr. Idol remains such a draw—usually nostalgia acts that can't fill arenas cap out at the First Ave level, or class things up at the Hennepin Theatre Trust joints. Then again, he did play an acoustic show at the Turf in 2015, at The Current's behest, which folks were oddly enthused about.

Supportive Parents, Linus and Loss Leader @ Palmer's

Sammie Jean & The Moonshiners, John Swardson & Bad Blood and The Samuel John Band @ Palmer's

Man or Astro-Man? with Black Widows @ 7th St Entry

Avatar @ Skyway Theatre

Kyle Walker @ Studio B

Lulu & the Shoe, A Sunken Ship Irony @ 331 Club

Rock Band Club Final Performance @ The Treasury

OFF! with Surrogates @ Turf Club

The Motion Mosaic (EP Release) @ Underground Music Venue

The Wood Brothers with Shovels & Rope @ Utepils

Theo Katzman @ Varsity

Sick Eagle with Working, Toivo Band @ White Squirrel

Saturday, May 13

Golden Garters Burlesque Review @ Amsterdam

Bleek & Grimm with John Magnuson Trio @ Aster Cafe

Stevie Wonder Tribute @ Bunkers

  • Minneapolis Afrobeats Dance Party III: Spring Edition @ Cedar Cultural Center—If I was 25 years younger and could dance, here's where I'd be Saturday night. Along with DJ sets from Salif Keita (no, not that one) and King Swank there are performances by Cedar regular Fanaka Nation and the Nigerian-born Beri, aka That Boy Beri, whose website proclaims "This Naija Boy is everyone's delicacy."

Abba-Solutely Fabulous @ Crooners

Marilyn Mae @ Crooners

Maud Hixson Presents The Cole Effect: Songs of Cole Porter @ Crooners

Maggie's Afterglow: Rick Carlson with Arne Fogel @ Crooners

Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band @ Dakota

Fab Hackmasters, the Northmen @ Driftwood

Christy Costello, American Cream and Skulpture @ Dusty's

Emily King with Joseph Solomon @ Fine Line

  • Yves Tumor with Pretty Sick and Nation @ First Avenue—Always intrigued by but never quite enthralled with Yves Tumor, the toast of Pitchfork. I bore down on the Fiona Appleishly titled Praise a Lord Who Chews but Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds), which has been billed as Sean Lee Bowie's big pop move, to discern what I was missing. And despite some memorable melodies, some sharp arrangements, and some apparent brains, Yves Tumor still doesn't quite rock and still doesn't quite groove. But for me it still comes down to vocal presence—some folks got it, and some folks ain't. Soulful, ominous, seductive, enraged—any of these traits would be welcome, and without any of them the music feels more inert than it should.

Malyuun Maanka & Sharma Boy @ Granada

GRRRL SCOUT: May Queer Dance Party @ Hook and Ladder

Gypsy Mania Hot Club @ Icehouse

  • TGNP 23 @ Icehouse—Heckuva lineup for Totally Gross National Product's outdoor day-to-night event (it starts at 3 p.m.). The label shows how broad its range of compatriots has grown by bringing in indie stalwarts Lambchop from Nashville and Naeem (the former Spank Rock) from California, and showcases how it continues to work with innovators with an electro-pow-wow set from Joe Rainey. The night closes with Poliça and Marijuana Deathsquads, neither of whom will be playing anywhere else in town this summer. And that's not everyone involved—there are plenty more acts on the bill, including "a few more names we can’t announce yet."

Burning Blue Rain @ KJ’s Hideaway

Jennifer Lynn & The Groove Revival Presents: The British Invasion @ KJ's Hideaway

Chime @ The Loft

Twang Fest Patio Party 2023 @ Palmer's

Mike Gunther & The Total Crapshoot and Mumblin' Drew @ Palmer's

Shabby Road Orchestra @ Parkway

Brick + Mortar with Jhariah and Pollyanna @ 7th St Entry

M.A.Y., SWEETALK, Alice’s Escape @ 331 Club

voltage controller Vol. 17 @ 331 Club

Field Trip, Kick the Ghost, Bookowski @ The Treasury

The Lil Smokies with Mimi Naja @ Turf Club

Basketball Divorce Court & Friends @ Underground Music Venue

Haute Dish—The Final Episode @ Uptown VFW

  • Luke Combs @ U.S. Bank Stadium—Time passes fast in Nashville these days. At 33, this North Carolina country star is already following up his bestseller Growin’ Up with Gettin' Old. When the new release came out last March, it quickly became Combs’s fourth consecutive No. 1 country album. It’s been preceded by a few new singles, the biggest of which has been the serviceable “Love You Anyway” and the most notable of which is “Joe,” about a decent enough guy with a drinking problem (“when I get half lit, I'm a loaded gun”) who “made a couple wrong turns, did county time,” and, now sober, works at the Texaco. By contemporary Nashville standards, that’s a fairly nuanced character study. Supporting acts on this tour include Riley Green, Flatland Cavalry, Brent Cobb, and most notably Lainey Wilson, who I hope swings through town again and brings the songs from her terrific 2022 album Bell Bottom Country to a smaller venue soon.

Martin Sexton and KT Tunstall @ Varsity

Dan Israel @ White Squirrel

Brandon Evilla with Juniper Fly, Pandelion @ White Squirrel

Sunday, May 14

  • Rebecca Black with Maize @ Amsterdam—Can you believe "Friday" was 12 years ago? (I can.) Congrats to Black for soldiering on after her baptism by ridicule as a teen. Now 25, she's got an intense and largely queer fanbase, and her new album, Let Her Burn, is competent if not transcendent pop, with some hyperpop elements and drum 'n' bass rhythms.

Swing Brunch with Patty & the Buttons @ Aster Cafe

Mama’s Night Out featuring Becky Schlegel & Mother Banjo @ Aster Cafe

Dr. Mambo’s Combo @ Bunkers

Marilyn Mae @ Crooners

Erin and Jay Cabaret: Mother Of A Show! @ Crooners

Soul Women: Cate Fierro and Her Daughters @ Crooners

Mother’s Day Brunch with Southside Aces @ Dakota

Keiko Matsui @ Dakota

Phine Friends, Shotgun Ragtime @ Driftwood

  • Tim Hecker with Dosh @ Fine Line—This Canadian electronic composer's latest, No Highs, is "a beacon of unease against the deluge of false positive corporate ambient currently in vogue," he says. Poor ambient—still fated to prove that it's not New Age after all these years. (I want a "Corporate Ambient Still Sucks" T-shirt.) He's got a point though: His music is denser and more emotionally complex than whatever soothing whooshes Spotify has been algorithming your way. My only complaint is that it's almost too engaging to be classified as ambient. Fans of local electronic music, and the spaces where it overlaps with other genres, need no introduction to opener Martin Dosh.

Mother’s Day Brunch with Minnesota Jazz Chamber Orchestra feat. Courtney Burton @ Granada

Phil Heywood @ Icehouse

Erin Coburn with Ruby Blu @ KJ's Hideaway

Lou Carver, Grant Glad, and Caleb Bell Jones @ Mortimer's

Church of Cornbread: Cornbread Harris and His Band @ Palmer's

Mystery House with Chris Hepola @ Palmer's

room3, FènixDion, Goon Tribune, and RAWTWHYLAH @ 7th St. Entry

Crowded House @ State Theatre

Starry Night, Time Room @ White Squirrel

St. Paul Songwriter Rounds @ White Squirrel

Monday, May 15

Kavyesh Kaviraj Quintet @ Dakota

Lea Kalisch & Jewbalaya @ Hook and Ladder

Original Mind + George Cartwright @ Icehouse

Auto-Tune Karaoke @ Mortimer’s

DJ 'Still Hot Dave' Presents "Hot For The Summer" @ Palmer's

The “Womenfolk Presents” Maya Elena @ 331 Club

The Roe Family Singers @ 331 Club

Matt Arthur Contraption @ 331 Club

Escape From The Zoo with Doom Scroll @ 7th St Entry

The Magic Underground @ Turf Club

Sciurus Sequencia: Jazz and/or Creative Music Series w. Ice Climber, Dead Actresss, Rag Woman @ White Squirrel

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