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Continued: The Big Gigs for week of 2/17

  • Article by: STAR TRIBUNE STAFF , Star Tribune
  • Last update: February 20, 2012 - 10:51 AM

POP/ROCK

If you haven't yet been bitten by Dr. Dog, the soulful Philadelphia rockers' fifth album for Anti- Records, "Be the Void," comes closest to capturing the loose, warm, high spirit of their live shows, which is the main reason the band has developed a cultish following over the past decade. The Current is giving deserved spins to the boisterous, funky single "That Old Black Hole," and there are even livelier gems on the disc. Fellow Philly band Purling Hiss opens. (9 p.m. Fri., First Avenue. $21.) Chris Riemenschneider

Hometown fans of the Jayhawks were spoiled for a while, getting to see the reunited alt-twang pioneers twice at the Basilica Block Party and thrice at First Avenue before most of the rest of the world heard them again. However, co-leaders Gary Louris and Mark Olson and their mid-'90s lineup held off until now on a public local show following the release of their 2011 reunion album, "Mockingbird Time." This will also be their first public theater show here since the comeback, a setting that suits many of their best songs, new and old. Perhaps most important: With touring for the album winding down, who knows when we'll get to see them again? Openers Kaiser Cartel are a sweet, harmonious, Brooklyn-based coed duo with local ties. (7:30 p.m. Sat., State Theatre. $35.) Riemenschneider

It's both an anniversary party and a CD-release party. Minneapolis husband-wife duo Neal & Leandra will celebrate 25 years of making folk music and their forward-looking new album "A Hundred Years From Now," their 14th duo recording. It's a collection of Neal Hagberg originals -- earnest, medium-tempo or dirge-like examinations of life's little truths. The bonus track is a sprightly highlight: a cover of "I've Been Everywhere," with words in Spanish, Japanese, Swedish and Minnesotan. (8 p.m. Sat., Hopkins Center for the Arts. $24.) Jon Bream

The Revolution will perform with or without Prince. To celebrate his recovery from a near-fatal heart attack a year ago, drummer Bobby Z has organized a reunion of the "Purple Rain"-era Revolution -- Wendy & Lisa, Dr. Fink, Brownmark and himself. Guests include guitarist Dez Dickerson and saxophonist Eric Leeds. With Prince fans coming from all over the globe, events also have been scheduled at Seven nightclub, including a screening of "Purple Rain" Friday and a party Saturday. The Revolution show is a fundraiser for the American Heart Association (8 p.m. Sun., First Avenue, $40-$150), followed by a DJ set from the Roots' Questlove (10:30 p.m. Sun., $10). Read an interview with Z and Wendy & Lisa in Sunday's Variety. Bream

Considering all the guests name-dropped on her new album -- members of the National, Walkmen and Beirut -- Sharon Van Etten was a shoo-in to receive ample NPR/Current airplay and loads of music blogger love this winter. The down-and-out New Jersey bellower was a buzz act from the get-go with her dramatic 2009 debut, "Because I Was in Love," and is already on her third record. Aaron Dessner of the National produced this one and helped flesh out an urban-desolation vibe. Things get a little too mopey at times, but the single "Serpents" and several other tracks should add to the power of her live show. Okkervil River offshoot Shearwater opens in support of its new Sub Pop release. (8 p.m. Sat., Cedar Cultural Center. Sold out.) Riemenschneider

Texas country-rocker Joe Ely has come a long way since the wild shows he and his band used to play at the Cabooze and venues of that ilk back in the late-'70s, around the time they were picked by the Clash to open the U.K. "London Calling" tour. Thirty-some years later, he's coming back for a first-ever acoustic set at the Dakota, which will be a good chance to showcase the masterful songwriting on his new album, "Satisfied at Last," including a new classic or two by his Flatlanders bandmate Butch Hancock. (7 p.m. Sun., Dakota Jazz Club. $30.) Riemenschneider

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe has long been one of the nation's funkiest, sweatiest, most exhilarating club acts. Denson may have made his mark initially as a Lenny Kravitz sideman, then a hard-jazz saxophonist, but with Tiny Universe he knows how to "blow the roof off the sucka" in a manner that would make James Brown and George Clinton and Fela all proud. New Orleans blues-rock guitarist and singer Anders Osborne joins the band for this visit to tackle the Rolling Stones masterpiece "Sticky Fingers" in its entirety. Wild horses couldn't keep us away. (8 p.m. Sun., Fine Line, $22-$25.) Tom Surowicz

Young the Giant was relatively unknown when it performed its chucka-chucka-ing rock anthem "My Body" on the MTV Video Music Awards last August, but things have fallen into place since then for the truly young quintet of high school buds from Irvine, Calif. They got Joe Chiccarelli (My Morning Jacket, the Shins) to produce their debut album, and the softer and moodier single "Cough Syrup" is gaining momentum. They're already lined up for main-stage slots at Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits and had to upsize their show here from the Varsity Theater. Walk the Moon opens. (8 p.m. Mon., First Avenue. $15.) Riemenschneider

Besides giving us one of the truest and most touching rock documentaries of all time, 2008's "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" -- the film is about Anvil, if you didn't get that from the title -- also served a good purpose by highlighting the Canadian metal band's underrated discography. Co-founders Steve "Lips" Kudlow and Robb Reiner are back on the road to promote reissues of three albums, including 1987's "Strength of Steel." Powerful Twin Cities instrumentalists Zebulon Pike open, along with Flight of the Conchords-style novelty duo the Terrordactyls. (8 p.m. Wed., Station 4. $10-$15.) Riemenschneider

HIP-HOP

Fresh from playing the first-ever winter concert at Colorado's Red Rocks Amphitheater, and soon headed to its first South African gig, Atmosphere is covering plenty of rarely trod ground in its home state, too. The indie-rap titans' second annual Welcome to Minnesota Tour kicks off Monday at Mankato's Verizon Center Ballroom and then heads to Bemidji (Tuesday), Duluth (Thursday), Rochester (Feb. 25) and St. Cloud (Feb. 26). They added a hometown gig in the middle of the trek -- their first First Ave show since November 2010 -- reportedly to discourage Twin Citians from gobbling up tickets to the outstate dates. Those tickets predictably vanished right away, though, so road trips still might be in order, especially to see how locally beloved openers Kill the Vultures, Big Quarters and MaLLy fare beyond the Cities. BK-One will also DJ. (8 p.m. Wed., First Avenue. Sold out.) Riemenschneider

JAZZ

Like Robert Frost, jazz/rock guitarist Todd Clouser is taking the road less traveled. Splitting his time between Mexico's Baja and the Twin Cities and working with top-flight musicians from Minnesota, the nation and the world, the guitar man celebrates another surprise-filled CD by his group A Love Electric. "20th Century Folk Selections" is probably the only jazz album you'll ever hear with covers of folk-blues activist Malvina Reynolds, the Velvet Underground, Buddy Holly and the Beastie Boys. Clouser is a good electric guitarist, schooled in six-string heroes from Hendrix to Bill Frisell. But he's most interesting as a provocative musical thinker, putting together excellent bands and delivering complicated fun. (9 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Artists' Quarter, $10.) Surowicz

Check vocalist extraordinaire Kurt Elling's itinerary and he's performing in different contexts nearly every gig. Some concerts he's presenting what he calls "poemjazz," sometimes he's working with orchestras, occasionally he's offering a Sinatra swing program. In Minneapolis, he's doing a one-off collaboration with gloriously soulful, deep-voiced vocalist Lizz Wright. A Grammy winner who graduated from Gustavus Adolphus, Elling is touring behind last year's golden "The Gate," featuring inventive interpretations of tunes by Stevie Wonder, the Beatles and Earth, Wind & Fire. He and Wright will do separate sets before sharing the stage. (8 p.m. Sat., Orchestra Hall, $25-$65.) Bream

Longtime jazz fans remember Hannibal Marvin Peterson as a fiery trumpeter from Texas, working with the likes of Gil Evans, Elvin Jones and McCoy Tyner. Now known as Hannibal Lokumbe, he's focusing more on composition and education these days. This weekend he'll premiere his work "In the Spirit of Being" with the VocalEssence Chorus, a children's choir, the Macalester College Percussion Ensemble, singer/actress Tonia Hughes and a jazz quartet featuring his own trumpet. See Saturday's Variety for an interview. (4 p.m. Sun., Ordway Center, $10-$40.) Surowicz

Doc Severinsen tunes up for his first national big-band tour in five years by squeezing his troops onto the Dakota Jazz Club stage for a couple nights. Rest assured these are the only bar dates on the former "Tonight Show" star's itinerary -- otherwise, it's all concert halls for the frisky, colorfully clad 84-year-old hipster, who's calling this his "Once More With Feeling" tour. (7 & 9 p.m. Wed.-Thu., Dakota, $40-$60.) Surowicz

WORLD

Irish-American favorite Solas arrives with a new lead singer: Niamh Varian-Barry (from Cork), who's also a much-acclaimed viola and violin player, well versed in symphonic music. And the group will bring songs and stories from a forthcoming CD/DVD project, "Shamrock City," about Irish immigrant miners in Butte, Mont. (7:30 p.m. Sun., Cedar Cultural Center, $18-$20.) Surowicz

CLASSICAL

Drama is always a significant element of a Rose Ensemble concert, but never more so than in "Voices From the Great Cathedrals of Europe." Produced in conjunction with the "Gothic Grandeur" manuscript exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the concert features vocal music from 1200 to 1600, performed by candlelight. The program of chant and polyphony also features a new work by Rose Ensemble member Linda Kachelmeier. (8 p.m. Fri., St. Bartholomew Catholic Church, 630 E. Wayzata Blvd., Wayzata; 8 p.m. Sat., Basilica of St. Mary, 88 N. 17th St., Mpls.; 5 p.m. Sun., St. Mary's Chapel of St. Paul Seminary, 2260 Summit Av., St. Paul. $37-$15, 651-225-4340, www.roseensemble.org) William Randall Beard

Winter has seemed almost benign this year, but the fledgling new-music group Ensemble 61 is taking no chances. It's propitiating the relevant deities with "Below Zero," a well-chilled program that includes winter-themed music by Frenchman Tristan Murail ("Winter Fragments," with electronics and video) and Ensemble 61 co-director Kirsten Broberg (the premiere of "Collecting Winter"). Dress warmly. (8 p.m. Fri., Studio Z, 275 E. 4th St., Suite 200, St. Paul. $10-$15. 651-357-0297 or www.ensemble61.com) Larry Fuchsberg

If you missed recent performances (by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Accordo) of Arnold Schoenberg's ultraromantic "Transfigured Night," you have one more opportunity to encounter this suddenly ubiquitous antidote to Schoenberg-phobia, courtesy of the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota and guest violinist Pamela Frank. Also on the menu: Mozart (the Clarinet Quintet, with the marvelous Burt Hara) and Copland (the unpublished Elegies for Violin and Viola, written in response to the suicide of poet Hart Crane). (4 p.m. Sun., Sundin Music Hall, Hamline University, St. Paul. $15-$25. 651-450-0527 or www.chambermusicsocietymn.com) Fuchsberg

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