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Here’s a quick roundup of some late-winter and spring concerts announced over the past couple days:
*St. Vincent will tackle her biggest local venue yet, the State Theatre, on April 3. Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. for $25-$29.50 through Ticketmaster and the State box office. The experimental Dallas art-rocker's new self-titled album is set to arrive February 25. The first single from it, “Birth in Reverse,” is posted below.
*Ex-Minneapolitan Bob Mould will return March 4 to the Woman’s Club Theatre of Minneapolis on a short acoustic tour tied to the 25th anniversary reissue of “Workbook,” his first solo album and last recording as a Minnesotan. Tickets go on sale Friday at noon via First Ave outlets for $25. He’s expected to play "selections from the record" (not the whole thing) and other songs that fit the "Workbook," um, mold, with only bassist Jason Narducy for accompaniment.
*Christian rocker TobyMac is bringing his “Hits Deep” tour to Xcel Energy Center for Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, with guests Brandon Heath, Mandisa, Matthew West and Matt Maher. Tickets are $22-$42 and go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster and the X box office.
*We can’t seem to get their regular band to play anywhere close to town, but Phish bassist Mike Gordon will follow his bandmate Trey Anastasio’s lead and play a solo date here March 11 at the Varsity Theater. Tickets ($25) go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. via Ticketfly.com. Gordon's new album, "Overstep," is due Feb. 25 via ATO Records. Anastasio is already set to play First Ave on Feb. 4.
*Loungey jazz-pop favorites Pink Martini return to play the Fitzgerald Theater on March 5, with $40-$65 seats on sale Friday at noon via Ticketmaster or the Fitz box office.
*Underrated fuzz-pop darlings the Dum Dum Girls will play an April Fool’s gig on April 1 at the Triple Rock, on sale via First Ave outlets Friday at noon for $15. Their latest Sub Pop album, “too True,” arrives Jan. 28.
*Landing on quite a few year-end lists with their sophomore album “Hummingbird,” Los Angeles indie-rockers Local Natives will return to First Ave on April 6. Tickets ($22) go on sale Friday at noon.
The lineup is still coming together, and performers themselves will not be announced until April. Tickets will be sold at that time as both two-day and single-day passes. Prices have not yet been determined (last year’s were $49). As always, members of the Walker and Minnesota Public Radio will get first dibs. All 10,000 tickets have sold out in recent years faster than you can imitate Mark Wheat pronouncing “Messersmith.”
A membership drive first and foremost, RTG also brings in money to its co-producing nonprofit organizations. The 2012 party with the Hold Steady for headliners, for instance, profited about $32,000 after $690,000 in expenses. Since part of the annual costs is setting up the stage in front of the Walker’s grassy knoll and prepping the grounds – one-time expenses that are the same whether it’s a one-day or two-day event – the 2014 installment should thus be all the more profitable with a second day to make money.
Still, there are risks with this doubling-down bet. The first day of RTG 2014 will go up against the long-awaited return of 89.3 the Current favorite Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds at the State Theatre. First Avenue is also still considering the launch of its inaugural outdoor festival at Parade Athletic Fields in July, which could steal some of RTG’s thunder.
Working to RTG’s advantage this year, however: It will not go up against Bonnaroo in Tennessee this year like it did last year, which cut out 100-plus prospective acts for them to bring to the garden party. Bonnaroo is scheduled the weekend before, June 12-15.
The Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra have added a performance to their concert at Northrop Auditorium next May. Osmo Vanska previously had agreed to conduct the orchestra in a program marking the reopening of the auditorium, which was once the home of the Minneapolis Symphony.
That concert, on Friday, May 2, sold out within 48 hours so the musicians have added the second performance, on Sunday, May 4, at 2 p.m. Featuring Dvorak's New World Symphony, the 1812 Overture and Liszt's Concerto No. 1 for Piano, the program replicates the first Northrop concert of the old Symphony.
Tickets go on sale at noon, Dec. 16.
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.