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Usually the best hometown Replacements show of the year — although it will really have to be exceptional to keep that streak going this year — First Avenue’s tribute to the ’Mats will return again the Friday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 28.
The centerpiece for the 7th annual covers marathon (announced today by the club) will be a 25th anniversary live rendering of the band’s most polished album, “Don’t Tell a Soul.” The Melismatics will again serve as the house band for that portion of the gig, with the song-by-song singers to be announced later.
Produced by Matt Wallace at the height of the band’s tenure on Sire Records, “Don’t Tell a Soul” favorites such as “I’ll Be You,” “They’re Blind” and “Achin’ to Be” have been staples at past tributes. However, the album’s heavy/challenging production value and perceived uncoolness has kept bands away from many of its other songs such as “We’ll Inherit the Earth” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Ghost”– although we do remember a killer version of “Darling One” by the Honeydogs at the 2010 installment. The ‘Mats themselves unleashed a wild version of “I Won’t” near the end of last month’s Midway Stadium concert.
As always, the whole-album montage will be preceded by mish-mash tribute sets from a wide variety of acts in both the main room and the Entry. On tap this year are Two Harbors, BNLX, Black Diet, Frankie Teardrop, the Blackberry Brandy Boys and Stereo Confession, the latter of whom weren’t even born when “Don’t Tell a Soul” came out (they also played a killer set last year).
Replacements biographer Jim Walsh will also host another Mad Ripple Hoot for Slim, featuring all-star renderings of songs by sidelined ex-‘Mats guitarist Slim Dunlap. Proceeds from the show will benefit the Slim Dunlap Fund and First Ave’s Twin Cities Music Community Trust, which is being transformed into an official nonprofit organization. Tickets are on sale now ($10).
A scrappy but fun live band that can cater to the punky Memory Lanes Block Party crowd as capably as the buttoned-up jazz-pop fans who saw them open for Lake Street Dive at First Avenue in August, co-ed soul-rock sextet Southside Desire lives up to its onstage reputation on record for the first time with its self-titled sophomore full-length album, which it’s promoting tonight at 7th Street Entry.
This one’s a charmer from the get-go, as the opening track “Four Broken Souls” (posted below) comes on weary yet headstrong like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” set to a ‘70s disco beat. The poppier, doo-wop-flavored “Double Dutch” and more dramatic, soul tune “Recognize” follow, as strong as any trifecta of tunes I’ve heard kick off any other local album this year. Other highlights include the anthemic “Make or Break” and the grimier groover “The Ledge,” for which the band made a quirky little video.
Throughout, lead singer and principle songwriter Marvel Devitt shows a broad range as a girl-group-style harmony leader and a stand-out soul belter but also plays it cool, never sounding like she’s overreaching or showing off. Her husband, bassist Trevor Engelbrektson, is more of a showboat along with drummer Damien Tank – in a good way, as they throwing in some fun time-changes and keep the rhythms sounding anything but mechanical. You can stream the whole album here.
“Southside Desire” arrives via the band’s in-house label, Piñata Records, which has also issued albums by Black Diet and Narco States. Tonight’s Entry show will feature Red Daughters and Southside D’s fellow Palmer’s regulars Mary Allen & the Percolators (9 p.m., $5-$7).
Twin Cities actor and playwright Sun Mee Chomet, who has performed at the Guthrie Theatre, Penumbra, Ten Thousand Things and Mu Performing Arts, is taking a bow at Lincoln Center in New York.
Chomet plays the stepmother in the New York premiere of Kimber Lee’s “Brownsville Song (b-side for tray).”
The 90-minute one-act orbits the life and dreams of an 18-year-old killed before his gifts can be realized. It stars Sheldon Best and Lizan Mitchell and is directed by Patricia McGregor.
The New York Times called the show “moving” and praised the playwright’s “vivid and rhythmic” language. The Times also noted Chomet’s "nuanced" performance.
“Brownsville Song,” which opened Mon., has a limited, six-week engagement.
“If there’s a reason to come to New York for a show, this is it,” Chomet said Wednesday. “It’s rare to have such a complex Asian-American woman to play. She’s a one-time addict who left the family. Now, she’s dried out and has returned. It’s a rich role for an actor to dig into.”
The play, which deals with the aftermath of violence, lands at a time when many young black men are being shot across the country. The title character’s father also was murdered.
“The show is about Tray, this bright, promising light, but it also is about the impact of his death on his little sister, who considered him a role model," Chomet said. "It’s a really important work at this moment in history.”
In the Twin Cities, Chomet performed in "Othello," "Macbeth" and "The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide" at the Guthrie, "For Colored Girls" at Penumbra and "Cowboys vs. Samurais" at Mu Performing Arts. She also is known for her compelling one-woman show, "How to Be a Korean Woman."
Ruthie Foster, the remarkable soul/gospel/blues/rock singer, is from Texas but she always feels right at home at the Dakota in Minneapolis. And it’s not because two of her three backup musicians live here.
It’s because she feels comfortable here, so comfortable, in fact, that on Tuesday night, she not only threatened to move here but took a full house at the Dakota to her world – her front porch, back porch, church, grandmother’s house and even on the ocean-bound blues cruise. It was a homey, friendly evening of rootsy music
However, it wasn’t Foster’s best show in the Twin Cities. She was overly chatty, her repertoire lacked up-tempo material and the pacing of the 95-minute set was awkward. Moreover, Foster didn’t get lost in her material – that’s when she’s at her best – until the last portion of the show.
It took a cameo appearance from her blues-cruise buddy Willie Walker, the underappreciated Twin Cities old-school R&B vocalist, to perk things up. He was featured on Sam Cooke’s “Bring It on Home To Me,” with Foster on backup vocals. When they started trading “yeahs,” it made you want to jump up and shout “Yeah! “
Clearly in a good mood, Foster, 50, gave plenty of props to the homeboys in her band – bassist Larry Fulcher, who gave shout-outs to various friends and family, and opening act Scottie Miller, whose B-3 organ and mandolin fueled and framed Foster’s music.
After Walker’s appearance, Foster shifted gears for the up-tempo groove-tune “This Time” and the sweet soul stroll “My Kinda Lover,” one of the four selections from her fine new album, “Promise of a Brand New Day,” that she performed.
Then came the Foster who lived up to title of her 2007 album “The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster.”
She completely reimagined the Johnny Cash classic “Ring of Fire” as a reliving of the seduction into a relationship, set to a slow Southern drawl that made this overly familiar tune both completely unfamiliar and totally brilliant.
Foster showed off her range on “The Ghetto,” a late 1960s tune associated with the Staple Singers. It seemed as if she interpreted gospel from an R&B perspective whereas most R&B singers have their roots in the church. She let her remarkable voice rise up church style but she remained in control, ending with some churchy humming.
Then Foster turned to Miller, who played an instrumental version of Leon Russell’s “A Song for You” on the piano but it was really an introduction to her knockout number, “Phenomenal Woman.” With her voice soaring, she delivered this anthem of empowerment and self-love, ending with lots of “baby, baby, babies.”
“Is there a phenomenal woman in the house?” she asked after the last note. “Celebrate yourself. Ain’t nothing wrong with it.”
Dr. Michael Adams, son of photographer Ansel Adams
Ansel Adams' son, Dr. Michael Adams, will discuss his Dad's photography and life at Winona State University at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24. The talk is presented in conjunction with "Classic Images: Ansel Adams Photography," an exhibit at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum (MMAM) in Winona. The talk is free but is expected to be so popular that its location has been shifted from a small hall to the main stage of WSU's Performing Arts Center. Parking should be available in the Gold Lot at the conrner of Mark and Main Streets.
Dr. Adams will recount his father's life and career starting with his childhood, obsessions with piano and photography, his climbing and camping in Yosemite, and the background of "Moonrise, Hernandez," one of his most famous photos.
Michael Adams is a retired physician and retired major general in the U.S. Air Force.
The talk is co-sponsored by the Marine Art Museum where more than 70 famous Adams images are on view through Jan. 11. All of the photos were printed by Adams himself and include such familiar and iconic images as "Mount McKinley and Wonder Lake," and the Half Dome series.
Ansel Adams, "Mount McKinley and Wonder Lake, Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska," 1947
The Minnesota Marine Art Museum is located on banks of the Mississippi River at 800 Riverview Drive, Winona, 507-474-6626 or www.mmam.org.
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