The Big Gigs for week of 1/4

  • Article by: STAR TRIBUNE STAFF , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 3, 2013 - 5:53 PM

Tribute to "The Last Waltz," Nellie McKay

Nellie McKay plays the Dakota Monday and Tuesday.

POP/ROCK

While the Band only had one "Last Waltz" concert (and corresponding film), the Cabooze is staging its seventh annual "Big Pink -- Tribute to 'The Last Waltz'" show, and it's a two-night stand. The cadre of Twin Cities all-stars includes: Dan Israel as Bob Dylan; Terry Walsh, slipping into familiar Irish soul shoes as Van Morrison; Big George Jackson, nicely cast as Muddy Waters; Pat "Lamont" Hayes, blowing harp a la Paul Butterfield; former Magnolias and Stingray Green guitarist Kent Militzer as Neil Young; and Ashleigh Still, channeling Joni Mitchell. And in a big role for a big talent, Dave Russ is your plus-size Levon Helm, one of roots-rock's most endearing artists, whom we lost in 2012. (9:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Cabooze, $12.) Tom Surowicz

Part of the Oakland, Calif., area and Lookout! Records punk scene that also gave us Green Day and the Donnas, the Queers are one band that seems to have hung around for 25-plus years simply for frontman Joe Queer's love of it, and perhaps because its Ramones-ian brand of surf-punk never goes out of style. The New Hampshire-reared band just issued a new vinyl edition of its 1995 album "Move Back Home" and apparently aren't too fond of home, as they started their tour just after Christmas. Queers bassist Dangerous Dave's own band the Manges open along with Lookout!-inspired Indiana punks Flamingo Nosebleed and local ska ensemble Rocksteady Breakfast. (9 p.m. Fri., Triple Rock. $12.) Chris Riemenschneider

The motto of the band Scary Numan is "Destroying your fond memories of the '80s since 2009," and they do it with flair, as demonstrated on the "Spring 2012 EP." Cheerful masters of the real-time mash-up, Scary Numan simultaneously deliver hits by Wall of Voodoo and the Vapors, and the result is "Turning Japanese Mexican Radio." Even better is when Romeo Void's epic new wave hit "Never Say Never" gets laced with a bit of Judas Priest riffage for "You Gotta Nvr Say Nvr." And the combo doesn't always confine its shameless musical shenanigans to the 1980s, as a mash-up of Led Zep's 1960s classic "Whole Lotta Love" and the Bee Gees' '70s disco smash "Stayin' Alive" comically proves. This weekend, the band is at a venue that's an amusing mash-up itself a bowling alley that slaps an ad-hoc stage over several lanes and nightly becomes a rock club. (10 p.m. Sat., Memory Lanes, no cover.) Surowicz

Since her hyper-ambitious double-disc debut in 2004, Nellie McKay has released four more studio albums (including a Doris Day tribute), performed Brecht on Broadway, appeared on "A Prairie Home Companion," sung Woody Allen movie songs at the Hollywood Bowl, portrayed Hilary Swank's sister in the film "P.S. I Love You," vocalized on David Byrne and Fatboy Slim's concept album about Imelda Marcos and created and staged a musical show based the life of murderess Barbara Graham. In concert, the lovably eccentric and thoroughly entertaining New York singer/pianist/ukulele player might take on standards, Beatles classics, Doris Day ditties, Ella Fitzgerald numbers or her own comedic originals seasoned with reggae, Latin and other flavors. And McKay, 30, is nuttier than a fruitcake but infinitely more satisfying. (7 p.m. Mon.-Tue. Dakota, $35.) Jon Bream

She was a heyday Motown star, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and even a Detroit City Council member (2005-09). And Martha Reeves is still the leader of Martha & the Vandellas. Actually, the Vandellas are her sisters, Lois (on board since 1968 or '69) and Delphine (since 1980). As they did last January at the Dakota, Reeves and her sisters will have people partying to "Heat Wave," "Nowhere to Run" and "Dancing in the Streets." (7 & 9 p.m. Wed.-Thu. Dakota, $40-$65.) Bream

One of the many Twin Cities singer/songwriters who got their start at the newly shuttered 400 Bar, Caroline Smith -- think: Feist meets Rickie Lee Jones -- has moved a few doors down to the Cedar with her scrappily elegant folk-rock band the Good Night Sleeps to make their headlining debut there. They'll arrive fresh from the studio, and they're bringing a special opener with them: Mankwe Ndosi, the onetime Atmosphere backup singer, cultural curator and educator whose soulful debut album, "Science & Spirit," made the top 20 in our Twin Cities Critics Tally a few weeks ago. Should be as warm as shows get around here in January. (7:30 p.m. Thu., Cedar Cultural Center, all ages, $12-$15.) Riemenschneider

 JAZZ

Spiral Visions sounds like a very cool new band, a quintet dedicated to exploring and giving more exposure to the excellent yet seldom-programmed music of vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, saxman Harold Land and drummer/composer Joe Chambers. The band zeroes in on the late-1960s sounds heard on their outstanding Blue Note albums "Spiral" and "Medina," issued under Hutcherson's name, yet clearly collaborative efforts. The quintet is anchored by drummer Phil Hey, who played two noteworthy bar engagements with the late Mr. Land back in the last millennium Tony Bennett even showed up for one of those gigs. Spiral Visions co-stars Dave Milne (sax) and Dave Hagedorn (vibes), who together painstakingly transcribed the music from the Blue Note releases. Phil Aaron (piano) and Tom Lewis (acoustic bass) round out a surefire unit. (9 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Artists' Quarter, $12.) Surowicz

Talented trumpeter and composer Kelly Rossum is back from New York City to play a late-night gig downtown. Modern jazz lovers will remember Rossum for his stellar CDs, his membership in Electropolis and the Out to Lunch quintet, and his eye-popping Mohawk hairdo of years gone by. In addition to playing gigs in the Big Apple, Rossum is currently the jazz program director at Christopher Newport University in Virginia, and before that he was the jazz director and visiting trumpet professor at Jacksonville State University in Alabama Rossum is always a man on-the-go. He will lead a quartet that co-stars two other Minnesotans who are veterans of the jazz mecca of New York, pianist Jeremy Walker and bassist Michael O'Brien. (11:30 p.m. Sat., Dakota Jazz Club, $5.) Surowicz

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