Big gigs for Jan. 17-23: Jason Aldean, Pert Near Sandstone, Califone and more

  • Updated: January 21, 2014 - 2:45 PM

This week's concert spotlights, also including Ukranian stars DakhaBrakha, Darkside and Panic! at the Disco.

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Press photo of DakhaBrakha, by Vadym Kulikov

Jason Aldean’s latest album, “Night Train,” hasn’t made as much noise as 2010’s “My Kinda Party,” one of the bestselling country albums of this century. But he still knows how to put the hip-hop and rock into his country as evidenced on the recent Joe Diffie-loving hit single, “1994.” And he certainly knows how to throw a party, which is why he invited red-hot Florida Georgia Line to “Cruise” into St. Paul with him. Up first, though, is Tyler Farr, the voice behind “Redneck Crazy.” Read an interview with Aldean at startribune.com/music. (7:30 p.m. Fri., Xcel Energy Center, $29.75-$59.75.) Bream

POP/ROCK

Always a good tryout for clog-dancing in Sorels or Moon Boots, local bluegrass/folk stalwarts Pert Near Sandstone host another two-night Winter String Gathering at the warmest listening room in town, with different set lists and openers each night. On Friday, resophonic guitar ace Steve Kaul and his Brass Kings join the fray. Saturday will feature the return of Fargo-area pickers the Johnson Family. (8 p.m. Fri. & Sat., Cedar Cultural Center, all ages, $17-$20 or $30 for both nights.) Chris Riemenschneider

Coming off best-new-acts-of-2013 nods by Rolling Stone and Pitchfork, Brooklyn psychedelic electronic duo Darkside earned attention for its (unsolicited) remix of Daft Punk’s entire “Random Access Memories.” Brown University schoolmates Nico Jarr and Dave Harrington issued their own album on Matador Records, “Psychic,” a freaky affair full of ambient chillwave loops, rock drone and actual traces of Pink Floyd pomposity — more “Ummagumma” than “Dark Side of the Moon.” The duo’s first headlining tour includes an innovative, mirror-enhanced stage production. Fellow NYC experimentalist Will Epstein opens as High Water. (9 p.m. Sat., First Avenue, $16-$18.) Riemenschneider 

Jill Mikelson headlines the seventh annual birthday salute to the late Janis Joplin. Mikelson portrayed the hard-drinking, hard-singing Hall of Famer in the Ordway’s production of “Love, Janis.” The powerhouse Minneapolis singer will share vocal duties with Debra G, Katy Hays and Jacy Pelstring. Their backup band for “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Piece of My Heart” and the rest of the ball-and-chain repertoire will include members of God Johnson, Absolute Gruv, Fancy Bastard, Basement Sun and Soap. Alex Rossi and Root City Band open. (9 p.m. Sat., Cabooze, $12.) Jon Bream

The ongoing singer-songwriter series at Patrick’s Cabaret has a strong and rootsy lineup this weekend: amiable folk legend Spider John Koerner, now proudly old enough to keep his shoes on in a TSA screening line; Steve Kaul, bluesy leader of the Brass Kings; Jack Klatt, who’s recorded both solo and with his occasional band, the Cat Swingers, and up-’n’-comer Wendy C. Freund, a U of M classical guitar student who plays folky pop originals. (8 p.m. Sat., 3010 Minnehaha Av. S., Mpls. $10.) Tom Surowicz

Dinkytown’s Kitty Cat Klub got its name from the Kit Kat Club, the fictional nightclub from the musical “Cabaret,” so it’s appropriate that the shabby-chic space is kicking off a new party fittingly dubbed “Black Kat.” Hosted by the Black Hearts Burlesque troupe and DJ AJent Orange, a popular GLBT club DJ and Minnesota native now based out of L.A., the tri-yearly event features go-go dancers, burlesque performances and a sexy soundtrack. This month’s lineup includes Elektra Cute, Mistress Victoria DeVille and Jean Bardot. (9 p.m. Sat., Kitty Cat Klub, $10.) Jahna Peloquin

Born out of an avant-garde Kiev theater, experimental folk troupe DakhaBrakha (which means “give/take”) has remained under the radar in its native Ukraine. But outside of pierogi country the “ethno-chaos” quartet has steadily earned recognition on the world-music circuit with percussion-heady songs laced with cello effects and Middle Eastern sounds. Their latest album, 2010’s “Light,” is rife with four-part harmonies, eerily brooding moments and even the occasional hip-hop and R&B brushes. (7 p.m. Sun., Cedar Cultural Center, $18-$20.) Michael Rietmulder

British whir-rock band Yuck lost its lead singer, Daniel Blumberg, but not its guitar-driven mojo. Guitarist Max Bloom took over after Blumberg quit to helm the London group’s second album, “Glow & Behold,” released stateside on Fat Possum in October and laden with more waves of reverberating, My Bloody Valentine-style guitar noise. The record is mellower than its predecessor — even Cocteau Twins-like at times — but it’s much better than the sophomore-slump-invoking reviews of it suggest. The Twin Cities’ best two fuzz-rock bands of the moment, Prissy Clerks and Fury Things, open. (8 p.m. Mon., Triple Rock, $13-$15.) Riemenschneider

News flash: The exclamation point is once again officially part of the Panic! at the Disco moniker — seemingly an admittance that the fun is back, too (if not the arena-size audiences they once enjoyed). The Las Vegas pop-rockers’ new album was produced-with-a-! by rock-radio polisher Butch Walker. With the “Fear and Loathing”-inspired title “Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die,” it’s a record loaded with hugely Auto-Tuned choruses and hip-hop-spiked dance beats slick and giddy enough to make Maroon 5 sound like the MC5. Brendon Urie’s crew is a week into its winter tour with Orange County band the Colourist and Brooklyn’s X-Ambassadors. (7 p.m. Tue., Skyway Theatre, sold out.) Riemenschneider

Virginia-raised acoustic guitar ace Keller Williams has been mellowing vibes since the early ’90s with the aid of one-man-band tactics such as looping. But on his current “What the Funk” tour he has help from the group More Than a Little, with whom he recorded last year’s album “Funk.” (9 p.m. Wed., Cabooze, 18-plus, $20-$23.) Jay Boller

A band that frequented the 400 Bar in the ’00s, Califone is a great fit at the Cedar, too, with its mellow, slow-building grooves and sit-down brand of psychedelic, slide-guitar-laden experimental folk-rock. The Chicago quartet features former members of the underrated ’90s Sub Pop band Red Red Meat, some of whom have also collaborated on recent Iron & Wine and Fruit Bats albums. Their latest record, “Stitches,” came four years after the last one but doesn’t miss a beat. Nashville opener William Tyler has played in Lambchop and the Silver Jews. (7:30 p.m. Wed., Cedar Cultural Center, all ages, $15-$18.) Riemenschneider

BLUES

Not the kind of newly discovered buzz act who is going to get in a tour van for months on end, Leo “Bud” Welch is making the most of a trip to Minnesota this week in order to make it worth his while. The 81-year-old Mississippi bluesman — whose debut record came out last week — has nine different gigs booked while he’s in town. “Sabougla Voices” has the raw boogie of Junior Kimbrough and other Mississippi Hill Country blues greats but also a fiery religious undercurrent that’s about as far from grace as you can get while still under the church tent. (9 p.m. Fri., Palmer’s Bar, Mpls.; 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sat. & Sun., Hell’s Kitchen, Mpls.; 7 p.m. Sat., Harriet Brewing, Mpls.; 3 p.m. Sun., 331 Club; more at startribune.com/artcetera.) Riemenschneider

WORLD

A veteran of 60-plus albums, and an occasional feature film star, Oliver Mtukudzi brings the music of Zimbabwe to the world. Known simply as “Tuku,” he’s a revered singer, a distinctive acoustic guitarist and longtime leader of the folksy groove band the Black Spirits. Although he always includes messages in his songs, the lyrics generally address social welfare topics without getting into overt politicking — unlike his famous bandmate of decades past, Thomas Mapfumo, who’s now in exile. Here’s a legend of Afro-pop, in an intimate setting. (7 & 9 p.m. Tue., Dakota Jazz Club, $20-$30.) Surowicz

JAZZ

With the Artists’ Quarter closed, downtown St. Paul gets a much-needed “Winter Jazz Blast,” thanks to McNally Smith College of Music. The second annual daylong festival is loaded with high school bands in the afternoon, followed by an early-evening concert headlined by Charles Lazarus, a Minnesota Orchestra trumpeter with a well-known penchant for jazz. It also features the potent JazzMN Orchestra, the McNally Smith X-Tet, under the direction of Pete Whitman, and the McNally Smith Fusion Ensemble, assembled by Hornheads trumpeter Dave Jensen. (5:30 p.m. Sat., 19 E. Exchange St., St. Paul, 1-800-594-9500. $15 adults, $5 students.) Surowicz

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