We’ve Got an Especially Good Saturday in Your Complete Concert Calendar: Jan. 23-29
Pretty much all the live music you can catch in the Twin Cities this week.
8:08 AM CST on January 23, 2024
Not to be all rock radio morning show about it, but do you like weekends? If you're one of us Monday-to-Friday-ers who gets all Loverboy about it when the end of the week rolls around, all I can say about this Saturday is: You wanna be in the show? Come on baby, let's go!
And the rest of the week? Not so bad either.
Tuesday, January 23
Wednesday, January 24
- Yellow Ostrich 3rd Annual Winter Shindig Night #3 @ Icehouse—For the third year, Alex Schaff's Yellow Ostrich is hunkering down at Icehouse for a weekly January residency. Max and Jeremy Ylvisaker and Trash Date join Yellow Ostrich for the third week, and for the finale, Aesha Minor and Nat Harvie are on hand.
Thursday, January 25
Friday, January 26
- Drone Not Drones @ Cedar Cultural Center—Once again, it’s time to gather up your bedding and head on down to Cedar-Riverside to immerse yourself in round-the-clock experimental music. Now in its ninth year, Drone Not Drones occupies the Cedar annually for a full 28 hours as dozens of musicians, from Minnesota and elsewhere, demonstrate the range of sounds and styles that can fall under the broader label of “drone music.” Highlights this year include San Antonio ambient performer Claire Rousay, Oakland experimentalist Chuck Johnson with former Minneapolitan Cole Pulice on sax, event inspiration Alan Sparhawk of Low, and pow wow music reinterpreter Joe Rainey, who’ll be collaborating with IOSIS. As always, this event is a fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders, who sadly can really use the support right now. And of course, if you’re not in it for the long haul, you can just pop in for a bit of drone, though you might be tempted to stay longer than you planned.
Saturday, January 27
- Armand Hammer with Quelle Chris @ Fine Line—Is billy woods the absolute best at what he does right now? His rhymes are somehow both allusive and concrete, never crystalizing into a linear narrative but rarely drifting into the ether. With We Buy Diabetic Test Strips, he and his partner in Armand Hammer, Elucid, are responsible for the album title of the year (sorry, Lana), which includes song titles like “Woke Up and Asked Siri How I’m Gonna Die.” The production on a few of these tracks are a little, well, out, as they say in jazz, the rhymes tending toward the abstract, but whenever you get a bit woozy they yank you back in with a line like “Don't invite me to your house, ask me to remove my shoes and your floors ain't clean.” And yet, the Armand Hammer record is probably woods’s second-best album of the year, after maps, a collaboration with producer Kenny Segal. Damn. Recently, woods has swung through here a few times, both solo and with Armand Hammer, playing venues as varied as the Green Room and Dakota. You can’t say you haven’t had plenty of chances to catch him live.
- Gully Boys, Mike Kota, Brunette, Denim Matriarch @ Green Room—Happy birthday, Green Room! The newish Uptown music venue is celebrating its one-year anniversary with a return performance by the band that kicked things off in February 2023, Gully Boys. Also in the house will be singer-songwriter Mike Kota, catchy AF rockers Brunette, and prog quintet Denim Matriarch.
- Digable Planets with Kassa Overall @ Varsity—One of my great “history will prove me right” moments was preferring this spacey, jazzy hip-hop trio to conscious pop-rap chart toppers Arrested Development, and I swear, this was a choice some of us felt we had to make in the ’90s. With their trippy names (Butterfly, Doodlebug, and Ladybug), laidback flow, and cool-jazz samples, the group that released Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space) felt like they lived in a world all their own, or were at least in search of one, yet they also released what’s probably the only great pro-choice rap song. The rhymes and attitude firmed up a bit on Blowout Comb without losing any of their cool. And then that was that. Rap had no shortage of such beautiful dead ends in those days, bursts of creativity that brought forth no stylistic descendents or future echoes. Still, Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler did go on to become the prolific abstract rapper Shabazz Palaces. A nostalgia show, yes (trust, I did not pay $100 to see them in 1994) but nostalgia for a moment that’s easy for the writers of history to overlook.
Sunday, January 28
- Cécile McLorin Salvant @ Dakota—Salvant has been all but universally acclaimed as the most inventive jazz vocalist of her generation, and her grasp of conceptual frameworks is almost as exciting as her technical ability. Her execution matches her ambition. Last year at the Walker, she collaborated with a 13-piece orchestra to perform her work Ogresse: Envisioned, which also included visuals and costumery she had a hand in designing. Also last year, she released Mélusine, a collection of originals and rearranged traditional songs, sung in French, Occitan, English, and Haitian Kreyol; it offered her twist on the old folktale of a woman who becomes half-snake once a week.
Monday, January 29
More from Racket
Drama at Mia: Controversial Termination, ‘Toxic’ Work Environment Allegations
Plus Dean Phillips campaign gets deeply weird, leaked ShotSpotter intel, and how's Lindell holding it together in today's Flyover news roundup.
‘There Is No Room for Hiding’: How Krump Created a Dance Community in Minnesota
The L.A.-born dance style, built around communal support, has a home in Minnesota.
Food & Wine Experience
It’s Friday. It’s Lent. Let’s Talk Fried Fish on This Week’s Open Thread.
Time to talk about whatever you want here at Racket.
Freeloader Friday: 52 Free Things To Do This Weekend
Book sales! A Black-owned business market!