Big Gigs for July 25-31: Counting Crows, Ten Thousand Sounds, Marty Stuart, Camera Obscura

  • Updated: July 25, 2014 - 11:25 AM
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Marty Stuart, second from left, and his Fabulous Superlatives.

Photo: Tina Fineberg • Associated Press,

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COUNTRY

Nashville Renaissance man Marty Stuart, foreground, is a five-time Grammy winner, Grand Ole Opry member, first-call picker, musical archivist (he has a remarkable collection of instruments and outfits), Southern culture historian, TV show host and a darn good bandleader of the aptly named Fabulous Superlatives. Maybe he’ll preview his September album, “Saturday Night & Sunday Morning,” featuring one disc of honky-tonk tunes and another of gospel material, with the Staple Singers featured on one selection. Opening are the Cactus Blossoms, Minnesota’s brotherly duo who create the kind of old-timey twang music Stuart would appreciate. (7 p.m. Mon., Dakota, $35-$42.) Bream

POP/ROCK

The quality of a Counting Crows show invariably depends on frontman Adam Duritz’s mood. He can be indulgent or involving — or both on the same song. Take the group’s forthcoming album “Somewhere Under Wonderland,” due in September. The opening track “Palisades Park,” which has been released as a single, is one of those trippy, mystical, long-winded Duritz story songs with ebullient, Springsteen-like choruses. Then there’s “Elvis Went to Hollywood,” a hard-charging rocker on which you might think Duritz is off his rocker. Opening is Toad the Wet Sprocket, which, like the Counting Crows, was kinda big in the ’90s. (7 p.m. Fri., Myth, $45-$234.50 for meet-and-greet passes.) Jon Bream

Since Sammy Llanas left the fold in 2011, the BoDeans may have performed more shows in the Twin Cities than in their hometown of Milwaukee. Nowadays, Kurt Neumann, the remaining BoDeans co-founder, actually lives in Austin, Texas. The cool thing about Neumann (no, it’s not his collection of headbands) is that he manages to rework songs every time he comes to town — and he plays some serious guitar in concert that he never seems to unleash at length on recordings. Opening are American Scarecrows, who are heartland rockers but not a John Mellencamp tribute band. (7:30 p.m. Fri., Minnesota Zoo, $37-$49.50.) Bream

It’s been more than a decade since Atlantic Records picked up dance hall heavy hitter Elephant Man in the wake of Sean Paul’s early-’00s fame yielding a couple of minor hits, the bouncy “Pon De River, Pon De Bank” and the Twista-featuring “Jook Gal.” Like other dance hall stars, the Jamaican riddim ruler has always been a phone call away for American pop artists with a track in need of Caribbean flavor, while maintaining a strong following among the genre’s faithful. His VP Records mate, reggae/R&B crooner Wayne Wonder, and Khago also perform. (9 p.m. Fri., Cabooze, $35-$50.) Michael Rietmulder

City Pages’ Ten Thousand Sounds mini-fest had to find a new location for its second year, but both the site and the 89.3 the Current-branded music lineup are close to the inaugural installment: Hometown whir-rock darlings Poliça return to town between tour legs to headline and will be paired with another atmospheric electronic band with a siren-voiced singer, Sylvan Esso, from Durham, N.C. The all-local opening lineup features wiry rapper Allan Kingdom, moody melody makers Carroll, poppy garage-rocker Frankie Teardrop and noise-punk trio Tree Blood. (4-10 p.m. Sat., Hennepin Av. & 10th St., Mpls., $25-$30.) Chris Riemenschneider

Former Blasters mates but quarrelsome brothers Phil and Dave Alvin agree on one thing: their love of country bluesman Big Bill Broonzy. So on their first studio collaboration since the mid-1980s, the Alvins offer the conciliatory and commendable “Common Ground: Dave & Phil Alvin Play and Sing the Songs of Big Bill Broonzy.” On 12 tunes, including the classic “Key to the Highway,” Phil is the one with the big passionate voice and Dave delivers the hot guitar licks. The brothers reconnected two years ago after Phil almost died of a respiratory illness in Spain. He was certainly in good voice in May at a Blasters gig at Lee’s Liquor Lounge, and this Alvins tour has received raves for its brotherly love spread over Broonzy and Blasters songs. (8 p.m. Sat., Dakota Jazz Club, sold out.) Bream

Moonrise Nation could be the Midwest’s answer to Haim — only they’re better. Haim is too slavishly retro (the three L.A. sisters’ influences are so obvious) and the band couldn’t stop pinching themselves when they played at First Avenue because they loved “Purple Rain” and OMG! Don’t expect any such gushing when Moonrise Nation sisters Arden and Eva Bee, and sidekick Emma McCall come from Chicago for their Minneapolis debut. They already have a Purple connection — Prince & the Revolution drummer Bobby Z signed them to his Zinc Records, and his brother, David Z, produced Moonrise Nation’s self-titled EP of alt-pop with occasional jazzy instincts. (10:30 p.m. Sat., Icehouse, $8-$10.) Bream

Scottish indie-pop greats Camera Obscura have a good excuse for taking more than a year to come to town behind “Desire Lines,” its fifth album for 4AD Records: Frontwoman Traceyanne Campbell and bassist Gavin Dunbar each became first-time parents. The new record proves the band already did a fine job raising its bouncing, bittersweet, Smiths-weaned jangle-pop into full-grown beauty. Tennessee torch-twang singer Laura Cantrell makes the show a nice twofer as opener. (9 p.m. Sat., First Avenue, $15.) Riemenschneider

Former teen heartthrob Jesse McCartney, known for the ’00 hits “Leavin’ ” and “Beautiful Soul,” has a new look. Gone is the bleached mop top. With slicked-back brown hair, he now looks a bit like a young Leonardo DiCaprio. His sound, too, has changed on “InTechnicolor,” released this week. “Superbad,” the first single, sounds like a Michael Jackson dance floor workout with a liquid bass line and a sexy Prince-like vocal break. Elsewhere, the album shows a love for 1980s pop-soul. Guinevere opens. (6 p.m. Sun., Varsity, sold out.) Bream

Last year, Ted Nugent rocked Target Center with Styx and REO Speedwagon, two Midwestern bands of the same era as Nugent but hardly in the same spirit. Now the Detroit-launched TV host (“Spirit of the Wild”), who is equally comfortable with guns as with guitars, headlines in a smaller venue where he can serve up the classic “Cat Scratch Fever” as well as rockers from this month’s “Shut Up & Jam,” his first new studio effort in seven years. The rollickingly punkish, humor-spiked title track shows Nugent in a new light. Check out the surprisingly uncontroversial, apolitical lyrics: “Right, left, good, bad, it all gets boring and old. The only hope for America is good old rock ’n’ roll.” (8 p.m. Sun., Medina, $38-$43.) Bream

After Black Flag came to town with a three-quarters-new lineup, it’s nice to have most of the real 7 Seconds lineup in tow for the band’s first full-blown tour in eight years, with frontman Kevin Seconds, his bass-playing brother Steve Youth and drummer Troy Mowat. The early-’80s Nevada punks weren’t as influential as Black Flag, but their do-gooder anthems such as “Walk Together, Rock Together” played a positive force in the lives of many outcast kids — including Craig Finn, who gave them a shout-out in the Hold Steady’s “Stay Positive.” The Copyrights and Arms Aloft open. (8 p.m. Mon., Triple Rock, $17.) Riemenschneider

Shimmery singer Kate Tucker and her Nashville-based band the Sons of Sweden would be noteworthy enough with their Cardigans-meets-Beach House ethereal pop. But there’s extra interest in their local tour date: It happens to be the first concert at the Mall of America’s new 400 Bar complex, an offshoot of the Minneapolis West Bank music mainstay that shut down last year. The bar isn’t open yet, so this gig will happen in the 400’s Midwest Music Museum space, and the cover charge includes admission to the Beatles exhibit there. (9 p.m. Mon., 400 Bar, Mall of America’s fourth floor, $7.) Riemenschneider

They’ve all played the Twin Cities, sure, but the stacked triple bill with Jason Isbell, St. Paul and the Broken Bones and Communist Daughter is not only a rare treat for Mankato area residents — it’s also a great excuse for Twin Cities music lovers to check out Minnesota’s nicest amphitheater. An Alabama country-rocker formerly with the Drive-by Truckers, Isbell set himself up as a singer/songwriter for the ages with last year’s sobering but soaring album “Southeastern.” He’s touring with the Broken Bones (more on them below), and he’s pals with the local pop-harmony specialists opening the show. (6:30 p.m. Wed., Vetter Stone Amphitheater, near downtown Mankato, $32.50.) Riemenschneider

The first time around, Hollie Fullbrook was the lonesome indie-folkie behind New Zealand’s Tiny Ruins. The hushed-voice singer/songwriter still steers the ship, but before her sophomore album, she found a rhythm section in bassist Cass Basil and drummer Alexander Freer. “Brightly Painted One,” which dropped this spring, still burns like a flickering candle. However, Fullbrook’s new mates and the occasional background of horns, keys or strings put just enough meat on her songs’ acoustic bones. Count David Lynch as a fan of the quiet-time Kiwis. Anonymous Choir and Holly Hansen open. (9 p.m. Wed., 7th Street Entry, $10-$12.) Rietmulder

Forget about Fitz & the Tantrums and Mayer Hawthorne. St. Paul and the Broken Bones are the best young blue-eyed retro soul act out there. St. Paul, who is from Birmingham, Ala., has gone to school on Otis Redding and James Brown, and added a bit of Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes. In a performance last month that was as exciting as Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, St. Paul slayed Minneapolis at the Varsity Theater. Now comes their St. Paul debut (9 p.m. Thu., Amsterdam Bar & Hall, sold out.) Bream

JAZZ

  • related content

  • Camera Obscura takes the First Avenue stage Saturday.

  • Poliça is in the lineup for Saturday’s Ten Thousand Sounds festival.

  • McCartney

  • Duritz

  • Kate Tucker & the Sons of Sweden play the Mall of America Monday.

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