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Garrison Keillor/ Star Tribune photo by Tom Wallace
Garrison Keillor will bring his “A Prairie Home Companion” to his home base, the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, for seven shows in January, February and March.
Guests will include Rhonda Vincent, Paula Poundstone, Hilary Thavis and Mike Compton & Joe Newberry.
After being on tour in Texas, Tennessee and elsewhere, PHC will be broadcast live from the Fitzgerald on Jan. 17 and 25, Feb. 1 and March 8, 15, 22 and 29.
Tickets, priced from $32 to $48, will go on sale at noon Wednesday through Ticketmaster outlets (including 1-800-745-3000) and at the Fitzgerald box office.
In what we’re guessing will be his first-ever appearance in the Twin Cities, Texas’ back-from-the-brink cosmic rock legend Roky Erickson of 13th Floor Elevators notoriety is finally set to perform at First Avenue on Feb. 3 with fellow Austin rockers the Black Angels as his backing band. Tickets ($20) are already on sale at First Ave outlets.
As the earth-rumbling howler and otherworldly lyricist in the Elevators and later the Aliens, Erickson pioneered psychedelic rock in the mid-‘60s and went on to influence the likes of R.E.M. to Jack White with such songs as “You’re Gonna Miss Me,” “I Walked With a Zombie” and “Reverberation.”
As was well chronicled in the documentary “You’re Gonna Miss Me,” though, Erickson was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1968 and suffered years of mistreatment during a decade-long prison stay after being busted with a single joint. He became a recluse through the ‘80s and ‘90s as his mental-health issues persisted, in which time he was the subject of a rather stellar tribute/benefit album, “Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye,” featuring R.E.M., ZZ Top, the Jesus & Mary Chain, Doug Sahm and the Butthole Surfers.
By 2005, though, Erickson’s mental state took something of a miraculous turnaround, and he began performing again with such hometown backers as the Meat Puppets and Okkervil River, the latter of whom recorded a 2010 album with him, “True Love Casts Out All Evil.” He and the Black Angels have also recorded a new record, “Indigo Meadow.”
As someone who has seen Erickson perform in recent years and in the years he was very bad off – including a few well-intentioned Austin gigs where he stood on stage with his arms crossed and wouldn’t sing – I can verify this is a true comeback story. Don’t miss this one. Here's a video for proof.
Sales of her latest album aren’t exactly golden and her “Saturday Night Live” performance was widely panned, but Lady Gaga is still expected to do monstrous ticket sales for her May 20 date at Xcel Energy Center and the 24 other dates of her newly announced ARTPOP Ball Tour. Tickets go on sale Monday, Dec. 16, at 10 a.m. for $37, $51.50, $87 and $202 via Ticketmaster or the arena box office. Pre-sale access to tickets will be offered via her fanclub site Littlemonsters.com from Dec. 10-12 and via Citiprivatepass.com (for Citi credit card users) starting Dec. 11 at 10 a.m.
The tour kicks off two weeks prior to St. Paul in Fort Lauderdale on May 4. It also includes a May 22 date at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg – with a day off in between, which leaves an open date for a second Xcel Center gig to be added if ticket sales prove strong.
If album sales are an indicator, though, Gaga may have a hard time selling out a two-night at the X like she did in 2010 on her Monster Ball Tour. Gaga’s latest album, “ARTPOP,” debuted at No. 1 in Billboard two weeks ago with around 258,000 U.S. copies sold the first week, but that was down significantly from the 1.1 million first week sales of her 2011 album, “Fame Monster.” The album has already slipped to No. 2 while Eminem’s record regained No. 1.
Of course, artists tour to promote records, and few tour the way Gaga does. The Monster Ball shows were a true spectacle with a flaming piano, giant diamond ice princess dress and all sorts of glam décor and ambisexual dancers who would make even Madonna smile. The production scheme of her new tour has not yet been revealed.
Don’t know but logically guessing: The Ike Reilly Assassination is rolling into town a night early for its 11th annual night-before-Thanksgiving gig at First Avenue and needed a place to drink; we all know there aren’t many better Minneapolis than Grumpy’s Northeast; and the Grumpy’s crew knows that the boys in the band aren’t exactly light chardonnay sippers, so they’re wisely making them work for their bar tab.
Do know for sure: Reilly sent word (a text) on the road from Libertyville, Ill., that he and the band will play a free, impromptu gig tonight (Tuesday) at Grumpy’s Northeast. They plan to roll into town about 8 pm and unpack their gear by 9 or so. “Gonna be loose,” he warned, obviously not wanting anyone to think Tuesday’s gig will in any way out-rock Wednesday’s affair with the Honeydogs, Communist Daughter and Clash bashers Rude Girl. Reilly is particularly excited for fans to hear songs from their just-finished new album at the First Ave show. "It's [expletive] great," he bragged/threatened.
Haim are headed to First Avenue/Associated Press photo by Chris Pizzello
Expect some hair-raising concerts next year.
For starters, R&B powerhouse Patti LaBelle, who ditched the outrageous hairdos but still has the glass-shattering voice, is set for Jan. 25 at Mystic Lake Casino. Tickets, priced at $54 and $62, will go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday at www.mysticlake.com.
The reunited Mavericks, the retro-leaning Americana group that embraces everything from Tex-Mex to vintage pop, put on one of the top concerts of 2013 at the Pantages. The Raul Malo-fronted band, which also released one of the year’s best albums, “In Time,” will return to the Pantages on March 9. Tickets, priced at $56.50 and $46.50, will go on sale at 11 a.m. Friday at the State Theatre box office and Ticketmaster outlets.
Haim, the much-talked- about, long-haired sisters act with the retro pop sound, will make their Twin Cities debut May 19 at First Avenue. Haim, whose album “Days Are Gone” has earned auspicious reviews, will appear on “Saturday Night Live” this weekend.