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Yuletide Tunes and Megapop Stars Dominate Your Complete Concert Calendar: December 5-11

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

9:43 AM CST on December 5, 2023

Photos provided|

bugsy, Doja Cat

If Christmastime gets you in a musical mood, the annual celebrations of song are starting to pop up, as you can see below. Still waiting to find out if I'll get review tix for Doja Cat and Ice Spice, btw.

Tuesday, December 5

Mik Cool with Splimit, Rosie, and Ghost Kitchen @ Amsterdam

International Reggae All Stars @ Bunkers

A Blue Christmas with Tim Sparks and Phil Heywood @ Crooners

A Bluegrass Christmas with Monroe Crossing @ Crooners

Jake Shimabukuro with Justin Kawika Young @ Dakota

St. Dominic's Trio @ Driftwood

Karaoke With On Call Entertainment @ Eagles 34

Jensen McRae @ Fine Line

Kevin Gamble Trio @ Green Room

The Interstellar Cowboy Band + Jeremy Ylvisaker/Patrick Horrigan @ Icehouse

Bill Simenson Orchestra @ Jazz Central

The Bluewater Kings Showcase @ Minnesota Music Cafe

62nd Annual Marching Band Indoor Concert @ Northrop

Afro House With DJ Vegan Water and Friends @ Palmer's

1947, Nicotine Addiction @ ROK Music Lounge

CITY TKOVR VOL 9 ⏤ Birds Of Prey @ 7th St Entry

Eptic @ Skyway Theatre

Industrial Strength with DJ Sin @ Terminal Bar

Worker’s Playtime: Mike Munson @ 331 Club

December Conspiracy Series featuring Venus DeMars, Joe Hastings, Chris Perricelli (Little Man) @ 331 Club

The New Havoline Supremes! feat. Mary Cutrufello, Dan Lowinger @ White Squirrel

Caitlin & Alex (Residency) with Art Vandalay @ White Squirrel

Wednesday, December 6

MN Songwriter Showcase hosted by Nick Hensley @ Aster Cafe

Dylan Salfer @ Bunkers

Back Home for the Holidays: Jennifer Eckes and Kevin Werner Hohlstein @ Crooners

Pat Donohue and the Prairie All Stars Christmas Show @ Crooners

Nicholas David @ Dakota

32nd Street Jazz, the Hamm Sammies @ Driftwood

Southside Aces @ Eagles 34

Miss Shannon's Swing Night @ Eagles 34

Candlelight Vivaldi's Four Seasons @ Granada

Zaq Baker Team, Fend, the Briefly Gorgeous @ Green Room

Advance Base + JE Sunde + Walker Rider @ Icehouse

Free Music + Realtree + Lyn Corelle @ Icehouse

The Clark Craig Band @ Minnesota Music Cafe

Whiskey Rock 'n' Roll Club @ Mortimer's

62nd Annual Marching Band Indoor Concert @ Northrop

Karaoke Crime Scene @ Palmer's

Sweettalk @ Pilllar

Open Decks: Presented by Sub:Culture @ ROK Music Lounge

Ken Valdez @ Schooner Tavern

The Dead Century with Amateur Hour and Electric Church @ 7th St Entry

Harold’s House Party on KFAI with Aaron Lee Kaplan and Mikkel Beckmen @ 331 Club

Cole Barnhill with Shea Abshier & The Nighthowlers @ Turf Club

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

Full Catholic, Uncle Jesse’s Comb, Corey Avery, Lus Sangules @ White Squirrel

Thursday, December 7

DJ Vegan Water @ Acadia

Beats Antique Soundsystem with Equanimous @ Amsterdam

Bad Posture Club @ Aster Cafe

Floodwater Angel, NATL PARK SRVC, Baumgardner @ Cloudland

Joel Shapira Presents: We Three Strings @ Crooners

Sue Scott's Island of Discarded Women with Mary Kunesh and Jaspar Lepak @ Crooners

Karla Bonoff & Livingston Taylor @ Dakota

Tango Night, Switchgrass @ Driftwood

Karaoke with On Call Entertainment @ Eagles 34

LGBTQ+ Twin Cities Latin Dance @ Eagles 34

Strange Dust, Adriatic, Anthony Cervantez, CLIFF @ Eagles 34

Lukas Nelson + POTR with Meg McRee @ First Avenue

Candlelight Holiday Special feat. The Nutcracker @ Granada

Derecho Rhythm Section @ Icehouse

Noise Party Vol. V @ Icehouse

Bánh Mì @ Jazz Central

Young Relics @ Minnesota Music Cafe

Dirty Lowdown Fools @ Minnesota Music Cafe

Rejoice and Sing @ Orchestra Hall

Throwback Thursdays with DJ Bootsy Ballins @ Palmer's

My Kid Banana @ ROK Music Lounge

Lolo's Ghost with Mary Strand @ Schooner Tavern

Waldemar with Harlow and Dot Operator @ 7th St Entry

  • Doja Cat with Ice Spice @ Target CenterBad bitches rarely play as nice as Doja Cat did on Planet Her. Mimicking hyperpop, asking “When can we take off all our clothes?,” and making nice with guests as varied as Ariana Grande and Young Thug, the woman born Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini (really, why even bother with a stage name?) embodies a plastic sexuality with cyborg elements but human responses, far from fragile but never engaged in battle bot mode. Doja’s follow up, Scarlet, released in September, has offered the Dionne Warwick-jacking single "Paint the Town Red," the sultry “Attention,” and “Demons,” a braggadocious wink from “the fastest growing bitch on all your apps now.” I suspect plenty in attendance will be just as excited to see Ice Spice, who, with just one juicy EP to her name, has summoned up her own world of slang, a vocabulary for dissing men, rizzing them, and sealing the deal.

¡What!, Minor Setbacks, Ausgang City @ Terminal Bar

NORTHEAST INVITATIONAL: TOUSSAINT MORRISON DAMASCUS @ 331 Club

Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band with The Hooten Hallers @ Turf Club

Drake White & William Clark Green @ Varsity Theater

Tom Waits Birthday Tribute Show @ White Squirrel

The English Beat @ The Women's Club of Minneapolis

Friday, December 8

Dylan Matthew @ Amsterdam

Falling in Reverse with Daughtry + Sleep Theory @ Armory

Billy Johnson, George McKelvey, and Jon Hercher @ Aster Cafe

The Gated Community + Paperbacks @ Aster Cafe

Alex Rossi @ Bunkers

Tim Schumann, Luke Lecheler and Lewis Miller, Nato Coles, Sam McColley @ Cloudland

A Cheeky Christmas: Top of the Naughty List @ Crooners

Wayne Anthony and Friends @ Crooners

Maggie's Afterglow: Colleen Raye and Rick Carlson @ Crooners

Karla Bonoff & Livingston Taylor @ Dakota

Festivus: All Night Party @ Driftwood

The Strolling Clones @ Driftwood

Swingin' on a Star @ Eagles 34

The Last Revel with Kiernan @ Fine Line

The 44th Annual John Lennon Tribute @ First Avenue

Hip Hop Holiday @ The Garage

Psylo, Basketball Divorce Court, Eudaemon, Odd Prospect @ Green Room

Sarah Morris & The Sometimes Elves with Amanda B. Perry @ Hook and Ladder

Reggae Chills ft. Chuck Fenda @ Icehouse

Christian Swenson Quintet @ Jazz Central

Samantha Grimes Band @ KJ's Hideaway

Tommy Bentz Band @ KJ's Hideaway

Late Night Radio @ The Loft

Adictoxaty, Xawaro, Marcianos @ Minnesota Music Cafe

Handel's Messiah @ Orchestra Hall

Southside Food Share Benefit with Wet Denim, Fletcher Coulee, Saffron Dealer, and Kalot @ Palmer's

The Blenders @ Pantages Theatre

Smallfoot @ Pilllar

Figment: Live Painting & House @ ROK Music Lounge

Moonshine Prophets @ Schooner Tavern

  • bugsy (EP Release) with Scarlet Demore, Haze Gazer and 12th House Sun @ 7th St EntryBack in 2020 Bugsy became the last act I ever profiled for Picked to Click, the best-new-band poll that was conducted annually by City Pages for decades. I’m happy to report the grungy, fuzzed-out local rockers have kept leveling up since. (More than I can say for myself as a writer—is “grungy, fuzzed-out” the best I could come up with?) Tonight Bugsy will celebrate the release of their new EP, Now I Spend All of My Time Alone, whose lead single “Recluse” was celebrated last month by Racket music dude Keith Harris. Writes Keith: “This standout track from Bugsy's terrific new EP, Now I Spend All of My Time Alone, starts a little muffled then breaks into a full indie raver as Emily Schoonover vents their story of ‘sweat, spite, & boredom’ over top.” The song has racked up 35,000+ plays on Spotify—nice!—Jay Boller

Taylor's Version: A Swiftie Dance Party @ Studio B

Rank Strangers, Scott Hefte and the Bury ‘Em Deep, Superfloor @ 331 Club

Triple Threat Tribute Night @ Turf Club

VIN, longwinter, TLITO, & Or Does it Explode @ Underground Music Venue

Ondara @ Uptown Theater

Jon Sullivan Band (Album Release) with Mikel Wright & The Wrongs, & New Salty Dog @ Uptown VFW

Lungs, Ulkum, Wilbur @ White Rock Lounge

Northern Hammer, Casey Gerald, Beggars @ White Squirrel

Saturday, December 9

Golden Garters Burlesque @ Amsterdam

LSDream with INZO, Zingara, and Chmura @ Armory

Mary Bue @ Aster Cafe

Swag @ Bunkers

MPLS Afrobeats Dance Party @ Cedar Cultural Center

Mind Harvester, Virgin Whores, Infuriate, Bad Ideas @ Cloudland

Erin Schwab and Jay Fuchs: Naughty and Nice Holidays @ Crooners

Maria Jette and Timothy Lovelace: A Classical(-ish) Christmas @ Crooners

Maggie's Afterglow: Colleen Rae and Rick Carlson @ Crooners

Songs In The Key of Life – A Tribute to the Music of Stevie Wonder @ Dakota

School of Rock, Eden Prairie House Band @ Driftwood

Mary Strand with Ryan from Soul Asylum and Joe from Belfast Cowboys @ Driftwood

Clidesfeld, Cola Horse, Shrimp Olympics @ Dusty's

Sleepyeye, Paul Cerar, Citrine Shandy, Portside Dive @ Eagles 34

Silverteens @ Eagles 34

Shatter, Skimask, Kaldeket, Ruin Dweller @ Eagles 34

  • sapphic factory: queer joy party @ Fine LineI was just having a conversation with a friend about how there aren’t very many “dance clubs” in the Twin Cities these days (yes, we were watching Basic Instinct), and he countered that while there aren’t “clubs” per se, there are lots of groups putting on fun dance nights on a more roving, freewheeling basis. Like this one! (Do y’all think there’s a story there?) This ​​Sapphic Joy Dance Party is a place to “be free to the music of Muna, Fletcher, Phoebe Bridgers, boygenius, Kim Petras, Marina, Elio, Ashnikko, Girl in Red, Tegan and Sara, and more,” according to organizers. A dollar from every ticket sold goes to local organizations that support and empower the LGBTQ+ community.—Em Cassel
  • Los Lobos @ First AvenueThese Mexican-American roots-rockers blasted out of East L.A. in the ’80s with a soulful Chicano-rock sound that made lots of the heartland rockers then in vogue sound kinda wimpy and strained. Rather than resign themselves to being “that ‘La Bamba’ band” after a fluke Richie Valens cover landed them on the pop charts, they swerved into more experimental ventures in the ’90s with producer Tchad Blake. (Think of them as progenitors of Wilco in that way.) It wasn’t quite like old times when they returned to straight-up rocking in the ’00s, so it was heartening that their 2021 album, Native Sons, which collected covers of Los Angeles bands from the ’60s and ’70s such as Buffalo Springfield and War, had a bit of the old spark. But albums hardly tell the full story of Los Lobos. This tour marks 50 years that the four original members have been playing together, and they’ve barely lost a step live.

Chiddy Bang and Friends. JDynamic, DJ Dmil, Mr Peter Parker @ Granada

Creeping Charlie, Lighter Co, Diet Light, Soulflower @ Green Room

VocalEssence: Welcome Christmas @ Northrop

Handel's Messiah @ Orchestra Hall

GRRRL SCOUT: Don the Gay Apparel @ Hook and Ladder

Potential New Boyfriend @ Icehouse

Ted Godbout Trio @ Jazz Central

Jessie Street Jazz Band @ KJ's Hideaway

Blue Ox Jazz Orchestra @ KJ's Hideaway

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

Thompson Springs, Jack Klatt, and Hemma @ Palmer's

Prairie Clamor @ Pilllar

Jack Knife & the Sharps @ Schooner Tavern

Smells Like Nirvana Tribute with Dead Original @ 7th St Entry

Adventure Club @ Skyway Theatre

Meiday @ Terminal Bar

Voltage Controller @ 331 Club

Curve, The Great Went, and Do Not Crush @ 331 Club

Church of Cash @ Turf Club

Delilah Daybreaks and Friends @ Underground Music Cafe

Andrew McMahon @ Uptown Theater

Malanmaya @ Uptown VFW

Loadie, Beulah Rue, Short Timer @ White Rock Lounge

Rat Castle Jazz Ensemble with Lifestyle Shakes, Erratix @ White Squirrel

Crash Cuddle, Little Lizard, Celica @ White Squirrel

Sunday, December 10

The Skeleton Crew with SoF(Sunsets Over Flowers) and Red Lovely @ Amsterdam

Swing Brunch with Patty & the Buttons @ Aster Cafe

Sweet Rhubarb + Barrel Flash @ Aster Cafe

Dr. Mambo’s Combo @ Bunkers

Capri Big Band Presents: Music of the Season @ Capri Theater

Stephen Kellogg with Lee Totter @ Cedar Cultural Center

Singin' in the Kitchen: Presented by Lori Dokken @ Crooners

Gypsy Mania Quartet: Hot Club Holiday Show @ Crooners

Spiked! Put Some Punch In Your Holidays @ Crooners

Patterson Hood @ Dakota

Phine Friends, Shotgun Ragtime @ Driftwood

Twin Cities Country Dancers @ Eagles 34

Karaoke with Reina Starr @ Eagles 34

Blue Canyon @ Eagles 34

Rogue Tango @ Eagles 34

Josh Thomas @ Fillmore

Music of Taylor Swift + More for Kids with Bri & The Antiheroes @ First Avenue

Bloodline, Rosie, Nina Luna, Tarias & The Sound @ Green Room

The Red Hot Django Peppers @ Icehouse

Holly Jolly Christmas Show @ Icehouse

Ben Cook-Feltz’s Holiday Shindig @ KJ's Hideaway

Merry & Light with Charles Lazarus @ Orchestra Hall

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

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

Robert Jon & The Wreck with Ty Pow and The Holy North @ 7th St Entry

Emmy Woods & The Red Pine Ramblers @ 331 Club

As Seen on TV feat. Al Church and the Congregation @ Turf Club

Nico Play with Molly Brandt @ Underground Music Venue

Jeff Ray with PK Mayo @ White Squirrel

St. Paul Songwriter Rounds @ White Squirrel

Monday, December 11

Choro Borealis Presents Samba Claus: A Brazilian Holiday @ Crooners

The ACME Jazz Company @ Crooners

Holiday Swingin’! A Kat Edmonson Christmas @ Dakota

Tango Desperados Practilonga @ Eagles 34

Twin Cities Queer Contra Dancers @ Eagles 34

Richard Moody’s 32nd Annual Holiday Party to Benefit the Senneh Foundation @ Granada

December Mondays with Zacc Harris @ Icehouse

Auto-Tune Karaoke @ Mortimer’s

Open Mic @ Terminal Bar

Billy Raffoul with Peter Raffoul and The Indiana Drones @ Turf Club

Pop Wagner Trio @ 331 Club

Poppa John & the Poppettes @ 331 Club

Matt Arthur Contraption @ 331 Club

From Ashes to New @ Varsity Theater

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

Chef Sounds (DJ Night) @ White Squirrel

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