Jazz Ghazals, a Disney Snake, and Multiple Australians in This Week’s Compete Concert Calendar: October 10-16
Pretty much all the live music you can catch in the Twin Cities this week
12:45 PM CDT on October 10, 2023
If you want to go hear some live music this week, I have some very good news for you: There will indeed be live music featured in multiple establishments.
Tuesday, October 10
- Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer, and Shahzad Ismaily @ Cedar Cultural CenterThis stylistically varied trio’s appearance at the Cedar is the most anticipated jazz-adjacent event of the fall. Aftab’s melding of South Asian ghazal with Western pop forms has won her an audience beyond “world music” fans (or whatever we’re calling that slice of the marketplace these days). A cerebral composer who practices what he calls “creative music,” Iyer has been bridging genres throughout his career, incorporating Asian music and contemporary Black music, including hip-hop, into jazz. Ismaily is a distinguished multi-instrumentalist who has worked with Laurie Anderson, Tom Waits, and Nels Cline. These three big names teamed up this year for Love in Exile, on which Aftab’s husky anti-grav voice floats over Iyer’s inventive piano figures and synth textures while Ismaily’s supportive bass holds everything together. They don’t exactly groove, but this music isn’t static either; it drifts, probes, and queries. In a live setting it may well be transporting.
- Thank You, I'm Sorry (Album Release), Keep for Cheap, She's Green @ Underground Music VenueRead more about the (mostly) local pop-punk band and their new album, Growing in Strange Places, here.
- The Chats @ Varsity TheaterI checked out these acerbic Aussies' latest album, Get Fucked, because I giggled at this (approving) review of “I’ve Been Drunk in Every Pub in Brisbane” from Pitchfork's Stuart Berman: "Kind of what Wire’s Pink Flag would sound like if all the lyrics were Yelp reviews." The only other tracks I remember vividly is "Panic Attack," which sounds like one, and "The Price of Smokes" (too high!) but that's enough to convince me that their hearts are in the wrong place and they're tickled to be getting away with the nasty din they kick up. Are there countless punk bands out there doing this same exact thing better? Probably. Are there countless punk bands out there doing this same exact thing worse? Absolutely
Wednesday, October 11
- Nellie McKay @ DakotaSeems just like yesterday that McKay emerged as the enfant adorable of self-conscious neo-cabaret with Get Away From Me. (It was 20 damn years ago, actually.) After establishing her songwriting bona fides with a few tartly comic albums, she began showcasing herself as a smart interpreter on her terrific 2009 Doris Day tribute Normal as Blueberry Pie and her only slightly less terrific collection of reinterpreted '60s rock, My Weekly Reader, a few years later. This summer, McKay released her first album of original material in over a decade, Hey Guys, Watch This, a collection so sprightly and lulling on its surface that you'll be compelled to go back and listen again more closely when you hit the closer, the story of a young black woman who wants to be Jeffrey Dahmer (and, sure, President of the United States, why not?) when she grows up.
- Christopher Cross @ FillmoreHe'll make you jump, jump.
- Sir Hiss, Wissota, Beargod, Thysbe @ ROK Music LoungeI don't know much about UK DJ Sir Hiss, but what a great name.
- Bonnie Raitt with Roy Rogers @ State TheatreIf your Raitt familiarity starts with her Grammy-winning 1989 comeback Nick of Time, you’re in for a treat—her run of ’70s albums, where she explored a warmer and folkier version of the blues than was being warped into hard rock and metal elsewhere at the time, stacks up against the work of just about any of your faves, especially the white ones. And if you stopped listening sometime in the ’90s when “Longing in Their Hearts” and its ilk suggested she’d committed the rest of her years to VH1 adult mush, you’re missing out too. In fact Just Like That… (not to be confused with the similarly titled Sex and the City sequel), the 2022 album her tour is named for, is the kind of ace collection of songs that seems so easy to put together till you realize how few others do—plus the usual killer slide guitar and a voice that made her sound mature back when she was a kid.
Thursday, October 12
- Genesis Owusu with Godly the Ruler @ Fine Line"Better run/There's a god/And he's comin' for me" Owusu sings on the opening track of his latest album, Struggler, over a bassline that does indeed sound like it's chasing him. I don't always know what to make of the spiritual battles of a guy who quotes Kafka and the Killers in the same verse, but this Ghanaian-Australian's melange of rap, rock, and funk is always immediately engaging.
Friday, October 13
Saturday, October 14
Sunday, October 15
Monday, October 16
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