Big Gigs for week of Sept. 28

  • Article by: STAR TRIBUNE STAFF , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 1, 2012 - 9:52 AM

Grizzly Bear, Esperanza Spalding and more.

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Grizzly Bear plays First Avenue on Monday.

POP/ROCK

British singer Michael Kiwanuka's debut "Home Again" is filled with soft, kind of summery old-school sounds. Think Bill Withers, Ted Hawkins or Otis Redding's "Dock of the Bay." Kiwanuka delivers mellow, soulful stuff with a honeyed voice that makes the pain a little bittersweet. The newcomer has hipster cred: He recorded a single featuring Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, and "Home Again" has been nominated for England's prestigious Mercury Prize. Kiwanuka already won the BBC's Sound of 2012 poll, an honor that went to Ellie Goulding, Florence + the Machine and Jessie J in previous years. (8:30 p.m. Fri., Fine Line, $15.) Jon Bream

One of rock's all-time best instrumental bands, with one of its wickedest violinists, Australian trio the Dirty Three is probably better known now for its members' work outside the band than for their acclaimed albums of the '90s and early '00s: The maniacally bowing Warren Ellis plays with Nick Cave in the Bad Seeds and Grinderman, while drummer Jim White and guitarist Mick Turner have backed Cat Power and PJ Harvey. They've issued their first D3 album in eight years, "Toward the Low Sun," with orchestral noise-rock that can turn from beautiful to bloody in split, hair-raising seconds. (8 p.m. Fri., Cedar Cultural Center. All ages. $18-$20.) Chris Riemenschneider

After vocal problems postponed her Varsity show in April, Canadian folk-rocker and part-time Wisconsinite Kathleen Edwards nearly didn't make it back to the makeup date: She had a near-fatal allergic reaction to a wasp sting just three weeks ago. All the more reason to be thankful we finally get to hear live adaptations of her Justin Vernon-produced album "Voyageur." Fellow songstress from the north Jenn Grant opens. (8 p.m. Fri., Varsity Theater. $18-$20.) Riemenschneider

San Francisco guitarist Steve Kimock has long been in and around the Grateful Dead scene, having played in Kingfish, the Other Ones, the Rhythm Devils and Phil Lesh & Friends, among other groups. Beloved by Jerry Garcia, Kimock has been known to take off on mesmerizing jazz-rock excursions, as he does with his latest ensemble with keyboardist Bernie Worrell (Parliament-Funkadelic, Talking Heads), bassist Andy Hess (Gov't Mule, Black Crowes) and drummer Wally Ingram (Sheryl Crow, David Lindley). (8 p.m. Sat., Cedar Cultural Center, $25-$30.) Bream

Former Stereolab singer Laetitia Sadier is making a welcome return to the road, two albums into a solo career and three years since her old band went on indefinite hiatus. The French indie crooner's newest record, "Silencio," is an all-out protest record based on Europe's crumbling state of affairs, with her familiar, Nico-like voice and layers of loungey cafe-pop and ethereal synth arrangements belying the sharp edge of the lyrics. Portland's surf-punky Orca Team opens. (7:30 p.m. Sun., 400 Bar. $10.) Riemenschneider

Dispatch was an under-the-radar phenomenon, a trio from Vermont's Middlebury College who advocated file sharing, built a following on the jam-band circuit, disbanded and then surprisingly sold out three concerts at New York's Madison Square Garden. This year, the on-again, off-again group released its first album of new material in 12 years. With their banjo, bluegrassy bent and sweet harmonies, Dispatch fits perfectly in the contemporary world of Mumford & Sons/Avett Brothers pop-folk. (8 p.m. Mon., Orpheum Theatre, $41.) Bream

Like Radiohead and TV on the Radio (but unlike Animal Collective and many others), Grizzly Bear is one experimental indie band that can tear down conventional song structures and stir them up with plush layers of harmonies and frayed guitars, then somehow build it all back up into something sensible and powerful on stage. The Brooklyn quartet will have its work cut out this time around. The new album, "Shields" -- recorded between the mystical pull of Marfa, Texas, and the hoity-toity confines of Cape Cod -- is ambitious and aurally challenging, but reviews and clips from the tour sound promising. Atmospheric Baltimore band Lower Dens opens. (8:30 p.m. Mon., First Avenue. $35.) Riemenschneider

Like Burt Bacharach, Jimmy Webb is the rare songwriter who became famous in the 1960s. He penned "Up Up and Away" for the Fifth Dimension, "MacArthur Park" for Richard Harris and "Wichita Lineman" and other hits for Glen Campbell. Webb is just as masterful at storytelling. He'll tell back stories, drop names and sing his tunes, but he'll never 'fess up to the meaning behind "someone left the cake out in the rain" in "MacArthur Park." (7 p.m. Tue., Dakota Jazz Club, $35.) Bream

Mike Hadreas is sort of the indie-rock answer to Owl City's Adam Young: The dramatic piano balladeer records under a pseudonym, Perfume Genius, and made his debut album all by his lonesome at his mom's house in a small town in Washington. He caught the attention of MySpace listeners and soon got a record deal. His second effort for Matador Records, "Put Your Back N 2 It," is a bleak one with songs about abuse, addiction and suicide. (9 p.m. Tue., Fine Line. $15.) Riemenschneider

If you saw Junior Brown at the State Fair last year, you witnessed a musical marvel, who is a hoot to boot. This Texas guitar master plays everything from honky-tonk and Hawaiian to blues and bluegrass. And he's clever with both his music and his lyrics. These titles say it all: "My Wife Thinks You're Dead," "Venom Wearin' Denim" and "I Get Up Every Morning to Say Goodnight to You." Moreover, he sings with the deep-voiced passion of Ernest Tubb. A guitar inventor -- he created the double-necked "guit-steel" -- he's toured with Bob Dylan, recorded with the Beach Boys and acted on "X-Files." A guaranteed good time. (7 p.m. Wed.-Thu., Dakota, $35-$40.) Bream

Amanda Palmer of the goth-pop carnival duo Dresden Dolls is getting beat up by the music blogs and producer Steve Albini for asking string and horn musicians in each city on her Grand Theft Orchestra Tour to perform for free. That's after she raised $1.2 million on Kickstarter for her theatrical new album, "Theatre Is Evil," and married the undoubtedly rich sci-fi author Neil Gaiman. Her adoring fans undoubtedly won't feel shortchanged no matter who she brings on stage. Jherek Bischoff and Ronald Reagan open. (8:30 p.m. Wed., First Avenue. $25.) Riemenschneider

Last year, the Go-Go's waited out the rain and performed at the Minnesota Zoo. This year, the best-selling all-female new-wave band of the 1980s is having to tour without bassist Kathy Valentine, who broke her wrist this summer. Don't fret. Abby Travis is pinch-hitting, and Belinda Carlisle and company are delivering "Our Lips Are Sealed," "We Got the Beat" and "Vacation" with spirited aplomb. (9 p.m. Wed., Mill City Nights, $39.50-$42.) Bream

Owl City is the most commercially successful Minnesota music act of the past decade, so why shouldn't he/it play Minnesota's most revered club? Owatonna's Adam Young, who made it out of his parents' basement with his sugar-coated synth-pop hit "Fireflies" in 2009, made it back into the top 10 of Billboard's Hot 100 this summer with his Carly Rae Jepsen duet, "Good Time," from third album "The Midsummer Station." It always feels like summer with his string-laden live band. Matthew Koma opens. Read an interview with Young in next Tuesday's Variety section. (7:30 p.m. Thu., First Avenue. All ages. $25.) Riemenschneider

After singing with Mick Jagger and Dave Stewart in the short-lived 2011 supergroup Super Heavy, British R&B siren Joss Stone has returned to what made her famous -- interpreting classic soul music. On the just-released "Soul Sessions Vol. 2," the 25-year-old sends up songs by the Chi-Lites and the Dells and even takes on a modern tune, Broken Bells' "The High Road," which she makes sound like an oldie. (8 p.m. Thu., the O'Shaughnessy, $52-$55.) Bream

COUNTRY

Back on Warner Bros. after an 11-year absence, country maverick Dwight Yoakam sounds both traditional and arty on this month's "3 Pears." He enlisted rock auteur Beck to produce two tracks and Kid Rock to co-write a song. Musically, Yoakam travels the spectrum from honky tonks to Beatles and Motown but manages to sound retro and fresh at the same time. It's one of his best albums in years. (7 p.m. Sat., Grand Casino Hinckley, $25-$35.) Bream

JAZZ

After her ambitious "Chamber Music Society," Grammy-winning jazz bassist/singer Esperanza Spalding gets even bolder on "Radio Music Society." Not exactly for jazz purists, her fourth album tries to find a connection between jazz and soul, pop and hip-hop. She uses a mix of jazz players (Joe Lovano, Jack DeJohnette), hip-hoppers (Q Tip produced two tracks) and soul singers (Lalah Hathaway, Algebra Blessett). It's a diverse, challenging and ultimately rewarding project. (7:30 p.m. Sun., State, $33-$73.) Bream

HIP-HOP

San Francisco rapper Lil B first made a splash as a teenager with his rap group the Pack's 2006 hyphy hit "Vans," and he has been hyper-producing singles and mixtapes ever since with weirder and wilder consequences. One mixtape featured 855 songs. Another was issued under an alter ego of sorts, the Based God. And then there was last year's album "I'm Gay," whose title earned the straight but non-homophobic rapper all kinds of grief, adding to a booming online presence that includes 500,000 followers on Twitter. The Wak Lyf DJs will spin an opening set. (7 p.m. Fri., Cabooze. All ages. $21-$25.) Riemenschneider

First Cat Stevens, then Prince (temporarily) and now Mos Def. One of hip-hop's most conscientious voices -- and one of Hollywood's most reputable rappers-turned-actors -- is now performing under his legal name, Yasiin Bey (which is not his birth name). Hopefully, there won't be any confusion when one of hip-hop's mightiest live performers takes the stage. He's still making solid records around "Dexter" and other roles in his Emmy-nominated acting career, including an upcoming Black Star reunion album with old pal Talib Kweli. Local torchbearer Toki Wright opens with his new live band. (7:30 p.m.Mon., Wurtele Thrust Stage, Guthrie Theater. $42-$46.) Riemenschneider

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