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Continued: The Big Gigs for week of March 22

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  • Last update: March 22, 2013 - 10:12 AM

Not only is Nanci Griffith’s 2012 album “Intersection” highly personal, it’s quite painful. “I’ve had a hard life,” she sings in the title track, “and I write it down.” She’s a survivor — of two bouts with cancer, the vagaries of the music biz and some broken romances. She writes with vivid detail and disarming emotion, and there’s an embracing warmth to her work, a reassuring truth, and a hard-won strength. “Intersection,” her 20th album, is another impressive effort from this Grammy-winning Nashville veteran, who still has one foot in folk and the other in country. Opening are the Kennedys, who have often collaborated with Griffith. (7 p.m. Tue.-Thu., Dakota Jazz Club, $50-$60.) Bream


Given the personally difficult hiatus of his old band Sonic Youth, singer/guitarist Thurston Moore might have been forgiven for trying a wild new approach in his new group, Chelsea Light Moving. There’s no need for clemency, though. The band’s self-titled debut for Matador Records offers all the burning, feedback-fried guitar work that Moore is known for, with a loose sense of adventure that filled early Sonic Youth albums. At last week’s SXSW fest, the quartet added even more power to some of the quirky tracks. Psychedelic Chicago ensemble Cave and local noise experimentalists Cyrus Vance open. (9 p.m. Wed., Triple Rock, $14-$16.) Riemenschneider


Of all the shocking stunts and pairs of pants pulled off by Har Mar Superstar, the most pleasant surprise might be the musical rebirth on his new album, “Bye Bye 17.” The collection boasts an impressive, hard-blasting retro funk and soul sound, like a long-lost Stevie Wonder album with Spoon’s Jim Eno as Phil Spector-ian co-producer. If you’re wondering whether the artist also known as Owatonna native Sean Tillmann is able to sing this sort of stuff, then you haven’t been listening. The record drops April 23 on Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas’ new label, Cult Records, but he’s already promoting it on tour with labelmates the Virgins, stylish dance-rockers from New York. Solid Gold offshoot band Year of the Horse opens. (9 p.m. Thu., Triple Rock, $17.) Riemenschneider


Ecid has Prof’s warped, raunchy sense of humor and Astronautalis’ style of gravelly voiced, smooth-flowing delivery, either of which could very well make him Minneapolis’ next rapper-on-the-verge. “All I need is sex, weed and yogurt,” the real-life Jason McKenzie tellingly claims in the opening track of his new EP, “Post Euphoria.” The five-song collection previews a bolder, better, electronically charged sound he has been molding for a full-length due later this year. It also features Sean Anonymous, who pops up in the wildly whirring track “2Pac Cobain” and will open the release show, which doubles as a worst-dressed contest. Bomba de Luz and Enemy Planes also perform. (10 p.m. Sat., Triple Rock, $8-$10.) Riemenschneider


An “American Idol” finalist in 2006, Mandisa has been making noise in contemporary Christian circles. Last year’s “What If We Were Real” — her third album to receive a Grammy nomination for contemporary gospel recording — sounds like contemporary pop-soul with a positive message; it coincides with her new image after losing 100 pounds. She’s touring with contemporary Christian star Brandon Heath, who twice has won the Dove Award for male vocalist of the year; Carrie Underwood invited him to sing the first-dance song (his “Love Never Fails”) at her wedding. (7 p.m. Sat., Maranatha Hall, Northwestern College, Roseville, $20-$30, 651-631-5151.) Bream


For her fifth album, “Desfado,” Portuguese fado star Ana Moura made some big changes: she recorded in Los Angeles, cut three songs in English (one supposedly written for her by Prince) and worked with female-friendly producer Larry Klein (Madeleine Peyroux, Shawn Colvin, Joni Mitchell), and keyboard superstar Herbie Hancock (who plays on one English number). Moura’s smoky, sultry voice works just fine in English, whether interpreting Mitchell (“A Case of You”) or Prince’s cocktail-jazz piece of yearning (“Dream of Fire”). And of course she’s potently passionate in Portuguese. (7 p.m. Sun.-Mon., Dakota, $40.) Bream


Three great harp players and one outstanding guitarist commune for a “Blues Harmonica Blowout.” Tireless organizer Mark Hummel arrives from the Bay Area, while Corky Siegel and the venerable Billy Boy Arnold blow in from Chicago. Arnold is a great singer, the original jukebox hitmaker of “I Wish You Would,” “I Ain’t Got You,” and “I’m a Man” (with Bo Diddley), and he also likes to strap on a guitar. Siegel’s versatility is remarkable, as he’s played rock, folk, even classical chamber music, and is an adept barrelhouse pianist. And it should be a heckuva backing band, judging by the presence of guitar all-pro Billy Flynn, the pride of Green Bay, last seen locally with the Cash Box Kings and known for his work with Muddy Waters. (7 p.m. Fri., Dakota Jazz Club, $25.) Tom Surowicz


Few bluesmen can say they worked with punk hero Richard Hell. That’s one of Popa Chubby’s more curious credits. The elaborately tattooed big guy from the Bronx laces his blues with lots of 1960s-style rock. And he certainly likes Jimi Hendrix, as evidenced by his three-CD-plus-DVD set humorously titled “Electric Chubbyland.” (9 p.m. Sat., Famous Dave’s Uptown, $6.) Surowicz


Sustaining a solo accordion record, even when also an accomplished blues singer, is not easy. But Dan Newton does a good job on “Daddy Squeeze Solo,” mixing traditional tunes with original numbers steeped in tradition, happily raiding the songbooks of everyone from David Bromberg to Spanky & Our Gang. The disc has a classic West Bank feel from the outset, with cool opener “Last Hot Day of the Summer” sounding like a rewrite of the Koerner, Ray & Glover favorite “Black Dog.” Newton celebrates the album’s release, ironically, with a show at a used record shop. (3 p.m. Sun., Hymie’s Vintage Records, 3820 E. Lake St., Mpls. Free.) Surowicz


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