Let’s Get Autumnal With Your Complete Concert Calendar: Sept. 19-25
Pretty much all the live music you can catch in the Twin Cities this week.
9:49 AM CDT on September 19, 2023
No way around it—fall finally arrives this week. Enjoy what many are calling "the best season in Minnesota" and go enjoy some music while you're at it.
Tuesday, September 19
- The Used with Sleeping in Sirens and Dead American @ Fillmore—Did you know that the Used put out a new record this year? Toxic Positivity? I didn’t until I set out to blurb this show, so let’s cue it up now. …OK that’s enough of that! Look, the Used’s biggest hits are behind them—you don’t see a lot of “Bert Is My Homeboy” shirts these days—but as bands who peaked in the mid-aughts go, you could do a lot worse than tracks like “The Worst I’ve Ever Been,” even if they’re more produced and more predictable than the songs that made Bert McCracken & Co. famous. They’re certainly not enough to tarnish the legacy of the Utah screamo pioneers, who had back to back to back bangers between their 2002 self-titled debut, 2004’s In Love and Death, and 2007’s Lies for the Liars. The Used have released new music more or less consistently for the last 20-plus years, and it’s a career most bands of their era would be proud to have—one that’ll no doubt be a lot of fun to celebrate.
- Herb Alpert & Lani Hall @ Ordway—It's rude, I know, to say "Herb Alpert's still alive?" but will you allow "Herb Alpert's still touring?" Well, at 88, he's not just still on the road but sharing the stage with his wife of nearly 50 years, singer Lani Hall. Dude outsold the Beatles in 1966 (along with his Tijuana Brass), founded powerhouse independent label A&M Records, and supplied the beat that Puff sampled for Biggie's "Hypnotize." That's not nothing.
Wednesday, September 20
Thursday, September 21
Friday, September 22
- Clem Snide @ Icehouse—Clem Snide's Eef Barzelay waited about a decade longer than he should have to make the Fleet Foxes record that nobody but producer Scott Avett suspected he had in him. But the two linked up (after Barzelay endured a series of truly harrowing emotional and financial disasters) and, in 2020, Clem Snide released Forever Just Beyond. If Barzelay's slightly nasal quaver is more plainspoken and less prettified than any of Avett’s brothers, something in his timbre suggests a sweetened harmony even when his vocal is unaccompanied. And even his more cosmic musings shade significantly more sardonic than any turn of the twenty-teens’ indie-folkies, none of whom would quip “It’s easy to say you would never sell out/When nobody’s made you an offer” or “You will never make anyone better by shouting them down at the mall.” More than two decades after his first LP, Barzelay can’t resist pulling on loose threads, which is why this works best when the music that’s been tailored to suit him still ain’t a perfect fit.
- Emily Wells @ The Parkway—A minimalist composer with pop affinities, or a tasteful synthpop practitioner with a knack for textured repetition? On her latest, Regards to the End, Wells splits the difference between those identities, as she ruminates on responses to the AIDS crisis as a means of exploring how art can confront climate change.
Saturday, September 23
- Musiq Soulchild @ Dakota—This Philadelphia neo-soul smoothie is more than a quarter-century into his recording career, and the days of R&B smashes like "Halfcrazy" and "Dontchange" are probably behind him. But he still has a gift for basking in pure vocal sensation, and seems willing to try new things. His latest,Victims and Villains, is a collaboration with Hit-Boy, better known as a hip-hop producer. (He's been Nas's go-to partner in the rapper's well-received middle-aged.) On this three-night stand at the Dakota, Musiq will have time to stretch out a little.
- Dua Saleh @ Franconia Sculpture Park—You never need an excuse to take a drive out to the Franconia Sculpture Park, but here’s a great one: Dua Saleh. As part of Franconia’s 27th Annual Art and Artists Celebration, the Twin Cities rapper/R&B singer will perform at the Earthen Amphitheater surrounded by all the site’s weird and wonderful contemporary sculpture art. With three sharp, concise EPs, the Sudanese-born Saleh has crafted a bassy, seductive sound while molding language like the poet they are. They haven’t released new music since the deluxe version of Crossover last year rounded out their clubby 2022 EP (their first without St. Paul production whiz Psymun handling beats), but they’ve been keeping busy, especially with their recurring role as Cal Bowman on Netflix's Sex Education.
- Francis Fest @ Indeed Brewing Company—The gang’s all here at this epic vegan food fest where you can try all kinds of plant-based eats in one spot. Eleven different businesses will be serving up eats, including sweets from cake creators Seymour Munchmore, Revival (try the nachos if they have them), Lyndale Avenue's vegan stoner care Hi Flora!, Plant Bar Cafe, and MN Nice Cream. There will also be over 20 local makers on hand; shop from jewelry artists Larissa Loden, Everyday Ejiji, Ghost Owl, and enjoy music from Monica LaPlante, Carnage the Executioner, and Scrunchies.
Sunday, September 24
- The Postal Service & Death Cab for Cutie @ Armory—Ben Gibbard had himself a helluva 2003. That year his flagship band, Death Cab for Cutie, dropped their O.C.-core indie classic, Transatlanticism, while his side project, the Postal Service, released its first and only LP, Give Up. Tonight, Mr. Gibbard will dangle irresistible millennial catnip by performing both of those records in their entirety. Just take our money, Ben! Transatlanticism holds up as one of Death Cab’s best, an artifact of ‘00s indie-rock perfection that led a generation to question why, exactly, the glove box is called what it’s called. It’s easy to forget how novel the Postal Service origins were in ‘03; the project had Gibbard mailing bleepy/bloopy indie-pop songs across the country to electronic musician Jimmy Tamborello, resulting in an electro-pop masterpiece that blew up so big the USPS called its lawyers. Based on my Instagram reporting, it seems the always wonderful Jenny Lewis will be part of the Postal Service’s live band, which adds yet another pull factor to turn out for this twofer at the Armory. Here’s hoping you’ve climbed the corporate ladder since spinning these albums on your first-gen iPod in high school—ticket prices are decidedly 2023.
- Musiq Soulchild @ Dakota—See Saturday's listings.
Monday, September 25
- Musiq Soulchild @ Dakota—See Saturday's listings.
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