The Big Gigs: Live music options for May 18-24

  • Article by: STAR TRIBUNE STAFF , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 17, 2012 - 2:46 PM
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Mayer Hawthorne

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POP/ROCK

Don't be fooled by the Buddy Holly glasses and dorky suits. Detroit-bred Mayer Hawthorne oozes 1960s and '70s Motown, Memphis and Philly soul. Opening here for Bruno Mars and Chromeo, he has proven his bona fides as a smart, soulful showman with a mix of old-school and modern touches. And he's a talented songwriter, as evidenced by "The Walk," "Hooked," "Finally Falling" and other top-notch originals from his sophomore album, "How Do You Do." In concert, Hawthorne throws in musical shoutouts to everyone from Snoop Dogg to the Doobie Brothers. Tickets from the Fine Line, where this gig was originally scheduled, will be honored. The Step Kids open. (9 p.m. Fri. First Avenue. Sold out.). Jon Bream

One of Marilyn Manson's best Twin Cities concerts was in 2008 at Myth nightclub, where the shock-rock vet returns after his latest tour was not so shockingly deemed too big for the Brick. A visually attuned rocker, he needs to be seen, but not from the confines of a seat, which makes Myth's tiered sightlines perfect. The "Beautiful People" hitmaker is on a short trek to select cities following the release of his eighth album, "Born Villain," which offers more of the same moan-to-roar metal and only made it to No. 10 in Billboard with its first-week sales. Mainstream audiences may be bored with Manson. No shock there. The Pretty Reckless open. (9 p.m. Fri., Myth. 16 & older. $49.50.) Chris Riemenschneider

The more rock-centric Indigo Girl, Amy Ray has been releasing her noisier, feistier solo records on the side for a decade now and continues to earn accolades. Her latest, "Lung of Love," blends in a little more twang and Americana and features guest appearances by Jim James and Brandi Carlile. She is once again touring with members of the Butchies as her backing band, and fellow Georgians the Shadowboxers as openers. (9 p.m. Fri., Turf Club. $15.) Riemenschneider

In the grand tradition of the Animals' Eric Burdon, Mark Lanegan has one of rock's most distinctive and dark voices. He has applied it to many different musical incarnations since his days fronting Seattle's mighty Screaming Trees, including stints with Queens of the Stone Age, the Gutter Twins and the collaboration with Isobel Campbell that last brought him to town. He is fronting his own band again in support of his first solo album in seven years, "Blues Funeral," which experiments with electronics and poppier melodies but still sounds heavy and bleak. Opening duo Sean Wheeler and Zander Schloss are L.A. punk vets who play old-timey music. (8 p.m. Fri., Cedar Cultural Center. All ages. $15.) Riemenschneider

Funny timing for Redd Kross to play here after all these years: Drummer Roy McDonald was just here last week with the Muffs, and bassist Steve McDonald (no relation) also plays in OFF!, which put out its debut two weeks ago. Even weirder, the colorful Los Angeles area pop/punk band -- formed in 1978 by Steve and singer/guitarist Jeff McDonald (yes, those two are brothers) -- is touring ahead of its first album in 15 years, "Researching the Blues," coming in August on Merge Records. These guys always approached things peculiarly. Chicago's Mannequin Men open. (10 p.m. Fri., Triple Rock. $13-$15.) Riemenschneider

Semisonic, those "Closing Time" hitmakers, are reuniting for another hometown charity gig -- the sixth annual OLL Blast, a fundraiser for Our Lady of the Lake Catholic School in Mound. Semisonic frontman/guitarist Dan Wilson has been getting attention for his songwriting, including Adele's "Someone Like You" and Dierks Bentley's "Home." Semisonic bassist John Munson also will bring another of his groups, the Twilight Hours, featuring Dan's brother Matt Wilson. The Days Between fills out the bill. (6:30 p.m. Sat., Our Lady of the Lake parking lot, 2411 Commerce Blvd., Mound, $25-$35, www.ollblast.com) Bream

In their heyday, the Suburbs were the Twin Cities' most exciting live band this side of Prince. Ahead of their time musically, the 'Burbs practiced quirky dance-rock before MTV was even on the air. Still an invigorating party band, the group has been bolstered by guitarist Steve Brantseg (replacing the late Bruce Allen) and bassist Steve Price (sitting in for Michael Halliday), but the magic of the performance always hinges on Beej Chaney, the enigmatic singer/guitarist who migrates from Malibu, Calif., for gigs. Sleeping in the Aviary opens. (7 p.m. Sat. First Avenue, $20.) Bream

Minneapolis' first big free block party of the year, the fourth annual Lyn-Lake Street Festival boasts two of 89.3 the Current's most-played local bands, Halloween, Alaska and Communist Daughter, along with two of the scene's most buzzing new acts of 2012, Bloodnstuff and Night Moves. The fest also offers a welcome return by Kid Dakota and eclectic sounds by Omaur Bliss, Mayda, Kill Me Kare Bare and the usual family-friendly party starter, Koo Koo Kanga Roo. Proceeds from all the great food and beverage stands benefit the Blaisdell YMCA. (Noon-7 p.m. Sun., Lyndale Av. between Lake & 28th Sts. All ages. Free.) Riemenschneider

Two years ago, Huey Lewis and the News recorded "Soulsville," a tribute to Stax Records. But fans will want "I Want a New Drug," "The Power of Love" and the other hits that made Lewis headline news in the 1980s. (7 p.m. Sun., Mystic Lake Casino, $39-$54.) Bream

With local gigs opening for J. Mascis and Thurston Moore last year, Philadelphia haze-rocker Kurt Vile and his sturdy band the Violators made their name with druggy, garage-baked psychedelic rock of the Velvet Underground sort, but with a lot of gorgeous guitar work and melodies and none of the trite retro-rehash undertones. Last year's sophomore album, "Smoke Ring for My Halo," was acclaimed enough for Matador Records to release an expanded edition. Black Bananas and True Widow open. (9 p.m. Tue., 400 Bar. $15.) Riemenschneider

With a pianistic approach to the guitar, using lots of two-handed hammer-on techniques, Trace Bundy will remind listeners of Michael Hedges and Stanley Jordan. An acoustic marvel, he writes catchy themes that don't need his maverick technique to sell them. For evidence, listen to his fine new CD, "Elephant King," which comes with a welcome live DVD. Bundy provides his own percussion, slapping the guitar's wood frame, and he's in a class by himself when it comes to deploying capos, using as many as five at once. Soft-spoken and ordinary-looking, Bundy is nevertheless a superhero to guitar fans who've dubbed him "The Acoustic Ninja." (8 p.m. Tue., Dakota Jazz Club, $20.) Tom Surowicz

Delivering whimsy with his hot licks, guitarist extraordinaire David Lindley played with at least half the mainstream rockers on the West Coast (Jackson Browne, Warren Zevon, Crosby & Nash, Linda Ronstadt) before embarking on his own idiosyncratic path via El Rayo-X. Offbeat hippie reggae was the band's stock in trade, with plenty of Lindley's trademark slide guitar. A consummate showman, Lindley returns for a solo set, though some collaborating might be expected since the opening act is his old El Rayo-X pal Bernie Larsen. (7:30 p.m. Tue., Cedar Cultural Center, $20-$25.) Surowicz

Nickelback promises its biggest production ever -- floating stages, multisectional video screens and three opening bands (Bush, Seether and My Darkest Days). That means the Canadian superstars have trimmed their set to about 90 minutes. Tour reports indicate that set lists have been heavy on radio favorites with about only three numbers from last year's "Here and Now" album. Read an interview in Monday's Star Tribune. (6 p.m. Wed., Target Center, $50-$92.50.) Bream

Anders Osborne, the Swede who calls Louisiana home, projects two disparate personae: blues-rock guitarist and singer/songwriter. On this month's "Black Eye Galaxy," he showcases all his artistic impulses. His most ambitious recording, this eighth studio album rocks, roars, gets primal and soothes as Osborne discusses everything from addiction and the lure of traveling to life's possibilities and sweet love. The title track is a trippy 11-minute adventure with some pretty guitar and heavy musicianship; it's quite a contrast to "Dancing in the Wind," a sweet Jackson Browne-ian love ditty. (8 p.m. Wed., Varsity Theater, $18-$20.) Bream

M. Ward told us in a 2009 interview that the Beatles' "White Album" was his No. 1 influence, and you can hear a similar, grab-bag sonic variety and madcap flair on his latest record, "A Wasteland Companion." The disc features a wide variety of collaborators, including She & Him partner Zooey Deschanel and Monsters of Folk bandmate Mike Mogis, but Ward is at his best when he's the one out front and center. Nashville-reared opener Chris Scruggs is the grandson of Earl Scruggs and son of country singer Gail Davies; he played pedal-steel on Ward's most classic album, "To Go Home." (7 p.m. Thu., First Avenue. $22.) Riemenschneider

HIP-HOP

Maybe he really is made of Teflon. Rick Ross -- aka Ricky Rozay, aka the Boss, aka the Teflon Don -- has proven to be untouchable in this climate of sagging hip-hop sales. Even when his prison-guard past was revealed, Ross simply said "What of it?" and continued to produce even grander, more ludicrous crime-boss narratives. As a prelude to his next LP, "God Forgives, I Don't," the Miami rapper released an acclaimed mixtape, "Rich Forever." With big-budget production and guest stars galore, including Diddy and Nas, it sounded like his best album yet. And it wasn't even a proper album. Whatever fantasies Ross has in store, they're almost guaranteed to be completely ridiculous and entirely compelling. (10 p.m. Fri., Epic, 18 and older, $40.) Tom Horgen

BLUES

It's easy to be torn about going to see the great B.B. King these days. He's 86, so each time could be the last, but at recent concerts he has been more court jester than King of the Blues. He yaks and tells jokes and doesn't let Lucille, his famous guitar, do enough of the talking. Still, he usually rises to the occasion a few times to counter the notion of his biggest hit, "The Thrill Is Gone." Opening is Duluth blues-folk wonder Charlie Parr. (8 p.m. Fri., State Theatre, $51.50-$66.50.) Bream

REGGAE

The little big man of reggae, Lee "Scratch" Perry has worked with, and often feuded with, a who's who of Jamaican heroes, including Bob Marley, Mad Professor, the Heptones and Max Romeo. A master producer and pioneer of dub music, and a decidedly odd fellow, 76-year-old Perry has also collaborated over the years with famous fans the Clash, Keith Richards, the Beastie Boys and George Clinton, as well as with opening act Subatomic Sound System. Also appearing: DJ Verb X. (7:30 p.m. Wed., Cedar Cultural Center, $22-$25.) Surowicz

JAZZ

Outstanding hard bop trumpeter Zach Lozier has performed several times at the Artists' Quarter as a guest of his uncle, fine New York City-based pianist Rick Germanson. Now he brings his own quartet for a well-deserved headlining gig. The always-busy Lozier is known for playing New Orleans traditional and brass band music (with Mama Digdown's, the Southside Aces and Jack Brass Band), and for getting down with blues, R&B and swing outfits (Davina & the Vagabonds, Vic Volare, Mick Sterling). But his own combo sticks to straight-ahead modern jazz. (9 p.m. Sat., Artists' Quarter, $10.) Surowicz

After a couple of splendid visits with his acoustic trio, piano hitmaker Ramsey Lewis returns with a new electric quintet featuring Chicago guitarist Henry Johnson. The band will likely feature material from Lewis' 2011 release "Taking Another Look," which includes fresh versions of Stevie Wonder's "Living for the City," the Stylistics' landmark soul ballad, "Betcha by Golly Wow" and Lewis' own 1974 smash "Sun Goddess." (7 & 9 p.m. Sun.-Mon., Dakota Jazz Club, $40-$65.) Surowicz

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