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There’s a Big Saddo Dilemma in Your Complete Concert Calendar: August 8-14

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

1:33 PM CDT on August 8, 2023

Photos provided|

Sandra Bernhard, Dua Saleh

Hey there, sad music fans, here's something to make you even sadder: The National and Zach Bryan are playing on the same night this week. To whom shall you weep? Choose wisely.

Tuesday, August 8

Colin Bracewell @ Bryant Square Park

International Reggae All Stars @ Bunkers

Bobby Watson @ Dakota

St. Dominic's Trio @ Driftwood

Karaoke With On Call Entertainment @ Eagles 34

Dave Velk @ Father Hennepin Bluff Park

The Dandy Warhols with Muun Bato @ Fine Line

Philip Labes, Corzine @ Green Room

Cedar Avenue Big Band Open Rehearsal @ Jazz Central

Freda @ Loring Park

Nova Jazz Orchestra @ Minnesota Music Cafe

Scrunchies, Strobobean, IE @ Palmer's

Industrial Strength with DJ Sin @ Terminal Bar

Worker’s Playtime with Scott Keever @ 331 Club

August Conspiracy Series featuring Ghost Kitchen @ 331 Club

Cindy Lee and Freak Heat Waves @ Turf Club

Trevor McSpadden & Mary Cutrufello @ White Squirrel

Desert Islands Presents: "The 5th Anniversary" (Tuesday Night Residency) with Mike Munson @ White Squirrel

Wednesday, August 9

  • The National with the Beths @ ArmoryMatt Berninger is a damn menace. Whether insisting that his soon-to-be ex keep their Afghan Whigs CDs or that his mate’s optimism is driving him even deeper into depression, the moody baritone does what he does best on the National’s latest, First Two Pages of Frankenstein, makes middle-aged male despair not just emotionally affecting but kinda sexy. In some ways, the new National album is a retreat from its predecessor, I Am Easy to Find, which opened up the claustrophobia by incorporating a series of female vocalists. (Guest appearances here from Phoebe Bridgers and Taylor Swift here don’t quite count.) But what justifies Berninger’s melancholy is his writing, which always roots his dejection in some concrete life situation, and a quality in his voice that suggests (to this despairing middle-aged male, anyway) that he’d rather not feel this way. As for show openers the Beths, I’ve waxed euphoric plenty about them in the past

Hannah von der Hoff (August Residency) @ Aster Cafe

Dylan Salfer @ Bunkers

Hassan Shahid and Alicia Thao @ Cedar Cultural Center

Blu Canoe @ The Commons

Maggie's Wednesdays: Linda Peterson and Jason Peterson DeLaire @ Crooners

John Pizzarelli @ Dakota

The Experience and Friends, Mommy Sez No, Casanova Mob @ Driftwood

Miss Shannon @ Eagles 34

Stoop Rooster @ Eagles 34

Disgusting Brothers Organ Trio @ Green Room

Florina (Album Release) + Knifeworld + DJ Gila Man @ Icehouse

Bend in the River Big Band @ Lake Harriet Bandshell

Monique & Xperience @ Minnesota Music Cafe

Colonel Mustard's Mechanical Orchestra @ Palmer's

Phillip Labes @ Pilllar

Karaoke Wednesday @ ROK Music Lounge

Connor McRae Trio @ Schooner Tavern

Diggin Dirt with Dylan Salfer @ 7th St Entry

  • Boz Scaggs @ State TheatreYou know what? I bet a 2023 Boz Scaggs show is pretty enjoyable. I'm not saying he's Bonnie Raitt or nothing—his heyday was even narrower than most '70s pop-soul stars, and now he's pushing 80. But the last album of his I bothered to check out, A Fool to Care, was a real treat. Of course, that was also eight years ago.
  • Zach Bryan @ Target CenterThis 27-year-old Navy vet is the kind of popular phenomenon that heartens music lovers who worry over whether mass success can still occur outside the constrictions of the pop machine. Bryan’s 34-song major label debut, American Heartbreak—two-hours of melodically ambient and vulnerably macho country-folk that never distracts you from more pressing matters with such tawdry concessions to pleasure as radio-friendly hooks or contemporary beats—hit the top 10 on its release in 2022. Sure Billboard’s chart methodology favors overlong albums, but even so this Oklahoma boy’s aesthetic (unrelenting heartland fatalism as singalong mood music) hit home with a not insignificant fan base. Personally, I wish he wouldn’t prove his upstanding downhome decency by regularly presenting himself as the wronged party when it comes to love. But he seems like a good dude, as such things go—his live album is called All My Homies Hate Ticketmaster, and he’s taken steps to protect his fans from jacked up prices.

Freight Train @ Terminal Bar

Harold’s House Party on KFAI with Don Scott and Rosanne Licciardi @ 331 Club

Gigi Amal & the Gemnize @ 331 Club

The Mattson 2 and Paul Cherry with Jaguar Sun @ Turf Club

Vulgar Tongue, BobaBoba, and Tusk @ Underground Music Venue

The Drums with Cold Hart @ Varsity

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

Thursday, August 10

DJ Sci-Fi @ Acadia Cafe

Grant Glad, John Lewis, AJ Scheiber @ Aster Cafe

Myallo @ Bryant Square Park

Jay Bee & the Routine @ Bunkers

Hunker'd Down Big Band @ The Commons

The Laura Caviani Trio @ Crooners

Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ Crooners

RIVER: The Music of Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon @ Crooners

The Experience and Friends @ Driftwood

Mommy Sez No, Casanova Mob @ Driftwood

Interstellar Signals (DJ Night) @ Dusty's

Karaoke with On Call Entertainment @ Eagles 34

LGBTQ+ Twin Cities Latin Dance @ Eagles 34

The Fireroasters @ Eagles 34

Havok and Toxic Holocaust with I AM and Hammerhedd @ Fine Line

Uzzah, Gora Ireke, Lil Orphic @ Green Room

Stillhouse Junkies @ Hook and Ladder

Little Trios @ Icehouse

Cole Diamond + Paisley Fields @ Icehouse

Bok Choy @ Jazz Central

Salsa Del Soul @ Mears Park

Good News Big Band @ Minnehaha Bandstand

Smiling Cowboys @ Minnesota Music Cafe

No Limits: The B Side @ Minnesota Music Cafe

The Front Porch Swingin' Liquor Pigs @ Palmer's

Bebel Gilberto @ Parkway Theater

FREAKOLOGY! Vinyl Night @ ROK Music Lounge

Lolo's Ghost with Edie and the Blaze Kings @ Schooner Tavern

Nicotine Dolls with Adam Bonomo @ 7th St Entry

Minneapolis Songwriter Round: Matty Hertel, Planetless, Monica Livorsi @ 331 Club

Danielle Nicole with Brandon Miller @ Turf Club

Witness with Daycare, Ginger Bones @ White Squirrel

Friday, August 11

The Neighborhood Quartet @ Aster Cafe

Alex Rossi @ Bunkers

  • Lakeside Guitar Festival @ Como Lakeside Pavillion—We’re sure tedious pieces about the death of the guitar exist, considering the recent three-decade affinity for bleepy/bloopy music that persists in popular music. (Confirmed, they do exist.) The noble six-string is alive and well at the Lakeside Guitar Festival, however, a three-day, 17-act celebration of all things shreddable. Friday features Duluth folk institution Charlie Parr; Saturday's headliner is genreless NJ guitar ace Marc Ribot (Minnesota's Last Waltz keeps the party going with a ticketed event afterward); and Ribot will return Sunday for a ticketed afterparty at the Turf with John Medeski, Carrie Rodriguez, and Klezmerson. Throughout the Music Mission-organized event you'll find a guitar pedal swap, silent auction, and, on Saturday morning, a community "strum along/sing a song."

Joel Shapira Presents: The Art of Solo Guitar--A Tribute to Joe Pass @ Crooners

Emil Campbell and the R Factor @ Crooners

Kathleen Johnson Presents Classic Aretha @ Crooners

Maggie's Afterglow: Maurice Jacox and Rick Carlson @ Crooners

The Wreck @ Driftwood

Just the Shameless @ Driftwood

Lady Heat (DJ Night) @ Dusty's

Steve Clarke and the Working Stiffs @ Eagles 34

Jeweler the Band @ Eagles 34

Broadway Rave @ Fine Line

Shred Rave @ First Avenue

Alina Maira (Single Release), LAMAAR, General B & The Wiz, Clay Fulton @ Green Room

Hookstock – Celebrating the Influential Festivals, Artists, and Music of 1969 @ Hook and Ladder

Kevin Gamble Trio @ Icehouse

Noche Chingona @ Icehouse

Rod Harris Jr. @ Jazz Central

Juliet and the Montagues (EP Release) @ KJ’s Hideaway

Tyler Haag Band @ KJ's Hideaway

The Alarmists @ Lake Harriet Bandshell

Remk @ The Loft

The Apple Cellar Trio @ Loring Park

Kung Fu Hippies @ Minnehaha Bandstand

The Original Westside Band @ Minnesota Music Cafe

The Heavy Sixers, Muun Bato, and 5 Cent Reality @ Palmer's

Paul Cerar, The Thirties, and Sparrowhawk @ Palmer's

Figment @ ROK Music Lounge

Sunshine & the Nightwalkers @ Schooner Tavern

Silver Warehouse with The Whips, Walking Phoenix and Airship Caravan @ 7th St Entry

Begreavement @ Studio B

Stay at Home Astronaut, Switching Fields, Dreams of Third Street @ Terminal Bar

Oyster World, Shrimp Olympics, Mr. Zipp @ 331 Club

Chris Pierce with Laura Hugo @ Turf Club

The Rave’N: An Addams Family Ball @ Uptown VFW

Blessthefall @ Varsity

Juliet & the Montagues @ Water Works

Pelicant with Madelyn Waves, Kiernan @ White Squirrel

Saturday, August 12

The Matt Arthur Contraption @ Aster Cafe

Chase and Ovation @ Bunkers

The Birthday Club hosted by Dan Chouinard: Featuring Jennifer Grimm @ Crooners

Billy Peterson Presents: Tom Peterson, Bill Carrothers, and Jay Epstein @ Crooners

Maggie's Afterglow: Maurice Jacox and Rick Carlson @ Crooners

JazzMN Orchestra Presents: A Night of Count Basie feat. Diane Schuur @ Dakota

Fab Hackmasters @ Driftwood

Joseph Walker Band @ Driftwood

Hooker and Company, Thieves for Kings, Submarine Secrets @ Dusty's

Lost Evidence @ Eagles 34

Modern Things, Atomic Lights, Valors, and Littleton @ Eagles 34

CAN'T FEEL MY FACE 2010s Dance Party @ Fine Line

Flip Phone XXL ⏤ Short Shortz A Summer Dance Party starring Marcia Marcia Marcia @ First Avenue

GRRRL SCOUT: August Queer Dance Party @ Hook and Ladder

Gypsy Mania Hot Club @ Icehouse

The Symptones with Oftener and Hyooman @ Icehouse

  • Nershfest @ Inbound BrewCoNershfest was once a collection of friends who, loosely inspired by Bill Nershi of the String Cheese Incident, crafted Spotify playlists to blast from stages in their backyards. Nowadays, the fest has grown into a first-rate Twin Cities block party with live music from local psych-rock standouts Night Moves, Mae Simpson, Arts Fishing Club, Foxgloves, and China Rider. Guests are encouraged to "nosh while you Nersh” at food trucks like KCM Eggrolls, Jamo’s New Zealand Pie Co., and Tacos Los 4 Carnale. Will there be rivers of beer, vendors, a silent disco, and, crucially, "ADDITIONAL FUN"? The titular Nersh, appearing on fest posters as some sort of demonic party animal, wouldn't have it any other way.

Kurt Allen Band @ KJ’s Hideaway

Steve Kenny Quintet Coltrane Show with Owen Walter Quintet @ KJ's Hideaway

And Then There Were Eight @ Lake Harriet Bandshell

Hol! @ The Loft

The Good, the Bad & the Funky @ Minnesota Music Cafe

The Rockford Mules and Little Man @ Mortimer's

VOLK with MüLLET @ Mortimer's

The Slow Death, Loss Leader, Closetalker, and Flintlock @ Palmer's

Kill Palace, Grand Courrier, and Casey Gerald @ Palmer's

  • Sandra Bernhard @ Parkway Theater—Does this count as "music," you wonder? Well, the comic pioneer is performing this event, dubbed "Spring Affair," with "the Sandyland Squad Band," so let's say yes.
  • Pizza Lucé Back to the Block @ Pizza Lucé— After three years off, the Pizza Lucé Block Party is back, just like the name this year says. The long-running block party, which returns for the first time since 2019, is being touted as a celebration of the local pizza chain’s 30th anniversary this year, and it’s presenting a solid lineup of Twin Cities musicians. Among them is Dua Saleh, the charismatic Sudanese-born, St. Paul-raised rapper who, unless we missed something, hasn’t performed locally in a bit. (Appearing on Netflix’s Sex Education might have something to do with that.) Indie poppers Bad Bad Hats, who just celebrated the 10th anniversary of their breakthrough EP, It Hurts, will also perform, as will Vial, who just did a fun cover of Nirvana’s “Territorial Pissings.” Rounding out the announced acts are moody synth-poppers Graveyard Club and friendly local punks Supportive Parents. But wait, there's more: local Afropop collective Obi Original & Ozone Creations, dishy American siblings the Cactus Blossoms, and headliners Morris Day and the Time, who you just might have heard of.

Tiny Daggers @ ROK Music Lounge

Marko & Friends @ Schooner Tavern

poptropicaslutz! with Sophie Powers, @ldrch and 6RIPS @ 7th St Entry

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats @ Surly Festival Field

96 Bitter Beings @ Studio B

Carin León @ Target Center

MEIDAY @ Terminal Bar

Loser Magnet, Floodwater Angel, The Briefly Gorgeous @ 331 Club

voltage controller, EYEDUBS, PAPERBARK @ 331 Club

Doomsday Fest @ The Treasury

The Good Life with Cat Piss @ Turf Club

Ratliff, Omega Niko, Righteous Emcee, Silence until Broken, and Worldwide Chaos @ Underground Music Venue

Malamanya @ Uptown VFW

  • Ed Sheeran @ U.S. Bank StadiumAccording to my 2023 listening log, I have heard Sheeran's latest album, , at least once, but damn if I can say much about it other than that it exists. You, a pessimist: Must not be very good then. Me, an optimist: But if it really sucked I'd remember. (That's title's a minus sign, by the way, completing Ed's math symbols quadrilogy, though I look forward to the rarities compilation, .) He deserved to win his recent lawsuit, I guess, even if it wouldn't have marked the death of human creativity if he'd lost, no matter what IP doomsayers said at the time. I didn't list his "intimate" show at the State on Friday night because it's way sold out. Everything else I've ever thought about Sheeran I covered here.

Lucinda Williams Tribute Matinee with Carolyn Young and West Seventh Band @ White Squirrel

Junior Choir with Splimit, Porcupine @ White Squirrel

Sunday, August 13

The Foxy Grandpas, Fauna Sauna, & The Staboteurs @ Amsterdam

Manchester Orchestra and Jimmy Eat World @ Armory

Swing Brunch with Patty & the Buttons @ Aster Cafe

Thor Leseman with Pine and Fire @ Aster Cafe

Dr. Mambo’s Combo @ Bunkers

Billy Peterson Presents: Tom Peterson, Bill Carrothers, and Jay Epstein @ Crooners

The Big 70s Singalong @ Crooners

Sophia Shorai & Tommy Barbarella @ Dakota

Phine Friends, Shotgun Ragtime @ Driftwood

DJ Jeff Wepplo @ Dusty's

Blue Canyon @ Eagles 34

Twin Cities Country Dancers @ Eagles 34

Karaoke with Reina Starr @ Eagles 34

Pop Evil with Eva Under Fire and Lines of Loyalty @ Fine Line

Oister Boy, Killed By Kiwis, Big Delicious, Lavender Daughter @ Green Room

SWAG @ Hewing Hotel

Red Hot Django Peppers @ Icehouse

Eliza Blue with Elisha Marin and Afterwall @ Icehouse

Ben Varian + Jake Tobin with D'Lakes and Mary Grace @ Icehouse

Kenwood Symphony Orchestra @ Lake Harriet Bandshell

Jewbalaya @ Lake Harriet Bandshell

Maul, Closet Witch, Wanderer @ Mortimer's

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

Mystery House with Chris Hepola and The Real Chuck Norad @ Palmer's

ALEXSUCKS @ 7th St Entry

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats @ Surly Festival Field

The Centuries with Kinda Fonda Wanda & The 241s @ Uptown VFW

Less Than Jake @ Varsity—Let me, Jay, bore you with my two vivid LTJ memories. The first: Sulking around my family’s old cabin on my 13th birthday, depressed in a vague early teenage fashion, and finding slight solace in the Florida ska-punk band’s 1996 CD Losing Streak, which I’d acquired as a sad little b-day gift to myself. The second: Interviewing said band years later as a clueless college journalist; one unnamed member ripped a bong and made out with his girlfriend on the tour bus as I fumbled through one of my first-ever interviews. That’s a roundabout way of saying Less Than Jake, who’ve ridden the third-wave ska movement since ‘92, will be tootin’ and upstrokin’ through every last note of their very fun 1998 album Hello Rockview tonight at the Varsity. Gone is co-founder/drummer/lyricist Vinnie Fiorello, who jumped ship five years ago, though LTJ keeps chugging along, having released their ninth LP, Silver Linings, in 2020. This 25th anniversary celebration of Hello Rockview includes a superb opener in NYC ska greats the Toasters. (Barely-related: I recently enjoyed this “Teens React” video on ska.)

Trench Size Trio @ White Squirrel

St. Paul Songwriter Rounds @ White Squirrel

Neos Neos, Pagan Athletes, Jeff in Leather @ White Squirrel

Monday, August 14

Sona Japarteh @ Cedar Cultural Center

Tommy Castro & The Painkillers @ Dakota

Tango Desperados Practilonga @ Eagles 34

Square Dancing @ Eagles 34

Todd Clauser + John Medeski + JT Bates @ Icehouse

The Zillionaires @ Lake Harriet Bandshell

Auto-Tune Karaoke @ Mortimer’s

B & the Sting @ Nicollet Island

Cowaoke with Ben Moooker @ Palmer's

Hey, ily! with she's green and Haze Gazer @ 7th St Entry

Open Mic @ Terminal Bar

The Roe Family Singers @ 331 Club

Matt Arthur Contraption @ 331 Club

Newgrounds Death Rugby, Weatherday, Bugsy, NATL PARK SRVC @ Underground Music Venue

Jim Gefrow @ Water Works

Mumblin’ Drew’s Oldfangled Orchestrators Monthly Residency @ White Squirrel

Chef Sounds (DJ Night) @ White Squirrel

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