The Big Gigs for March 29-April 4

  • Updated: March 29, 2013 - 11:25 AM

Concert spotlights on Alt-J, Sigur Ros, Madeleine Peyroux, Anthrax, Wavves, Ellis and more.

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Alt-J plays a sold-out show Monday at the Varsity Theater.

POP/ROCK

“The Voice” has probably done more for the careers of the judges than for the aspiring singers. Beverly McClellan, who finished third the first season, has found an audience beyond the clubs of Florida where she toiled for 20 years. Although she never landed a major record deal, she did tour with Steve Vai last year and duetted with Cyndi Lauper on “The Voice.” On her post-TV “Fear Nothing” indie album and in local appearances, McClellan has impressed with her conviction, confidence and control of that Southern-tinged, raspy, rangy soulful voice. Opening is Mary Cutrufello, Minneapolis’ own underappreciated soul-rock singer. (8 p.m. Fri., Dakota, $30.) Jon Bream

It’s cool that Wavves will be here just three days after dropping its first major-label album, “Afraid of Heights,” an occasionally more polished update of Nathan Williams’ usual slacker/surf brat-punk. However, the real reason to catch Williams’ outfit is the two opening acts, who made big impressions at South by Southwest: Fidlar, a rowdy and reckless Los Angeles punk quartet whose sibling co-founders are sons of a T.S.O.L. band member; and Cheatahs, an artier London band with a rich guitar-whir but its own speedball rhythms. (8 p.m. Fri., 7th Street Entry, sold out.) Chris Riemenschneider

Talk about a comeback: Twin Cities folk mainstay Ellis took time off to spend with her daughter Ruby, and on her return she faced a few million listeners at a well-received “A Prairie Home Companion” appearance in February. That made a nice set-up for her new live collection, “Wherever You Are,” featuring 18 songs on two CDs recorded over two sets in one night at White Bear Lake Unitarian Universalist Church, plus a third disc of the same show minus the stage banter. The Texas-reared balladeer’s divine voice shines in the holy setting, and the approach provides a greatest-hits overview of her growing canon of passionate, personal songs. (8 p.m. Fri., Cedar Cultural Center, all ages, $15.) Riemenschneider 

Gretchen Seichrist is one of those incurably creative types who have too many ideas and not enough forums. So the Minneapolis multi-hyphenate has found an art gallery to display her paintings and host a CD release party for her band, Patches and Gretchen, and their fifth album, “Even Breaks.” Backed by multi-instrumentalist Danny Viper, Seichrist delivers her stream of consciousness rock ’n’ roll poetry with the nonchalant cool of Lou Reed and the experimental urges of a humorous Laurie Anderson. Their long-winded stuff is curious but not for everybody. (7 p.m. Sat., Even Break Gallery, 2311 W. 50th St., Mpls.) Bream

What’s in a name? Delhi 2 Dublin sounds like a folk band fusing ragas and jigs, tablas and bodhrans. Well, they do have tablas, and a fiddle player, and a guitarist who’s also a sitarist. But the Canadian band’s sound is rock, funk and dance pop that isn’t far removed from a hook-laden MTV act in those bygone days when MTV played music. (7 p.m. Sun., Cedar Cultural Center, $15.) Tom Surowicz

One of many indie buzz bands coming to town fresh from South by Southwest, Little Green Cars proved compelling if indeed a bit green at the Texas music conference. Live, the coed quintet from Dublin came off like a cross between Band of Horses and Of Monsters and Men, with their Current-spun, slow-marching single “The John Wayne” providing a thrilling climax. Their debut, “Absolute Zero,” was produced by Markus Dravs, the Mumford & Sons and Arcade Fire cohort. John Mark Nelson opens. 8:30 p.m. Mon., 7th Street Entry, $10-$12.) Riemenschneider

Twin Cities fans are seeing a lot of Alt-J. After a sold-out little gig at the Triple Rock last fall, the Mercury Prize-winning British quartet returns for a medium-sized sellout, then it takes on the big room at First Ave Sept. 7-8 (the second show is already sold out). What’s all the fuss about? Ask the British press and the folks at 89.3 the Current, which has spun the Radiohead-gone-to-Morocco single “Fitzpleasure” often enough that describing singer Joe Newman’s voice has became a local music-nerd sport, i.e., “Muppet with nasal congestion,” “cat who’s got its own tongue,” etc. Once you get past the singing, there are some interestingly fragmented grooves on the band’s debut record, “An Awesome Wave.” (9 p.m. Mon., Varsity Theater, sold out.) Riemenschneider

Madeleine Peyroux’s concept for “The Blue Room,” her seventh album, was to reimagine Ray Charles’ 1962 classic “Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music.” Indeed, with her country-blues instincts, she does justice to the Charles-associated tunes, but she also gets inside more modern tunes, including Warren Zevon’s “Desperadoes Under the Eaves” and Randy Newman’s “Guilty.” Charles may have built the country-blues-jazz mansion, but Peyroux’s “The Blue Room” is a splendid addition. She is traveling with her quintet and a string section. (7 & 9 p.m. Tue.-Wed., Dakota, $50-$60.). Bream 

On last year’s “The Origin of Love,” British electro-popster Mika has one foot in electronic dance music and the other in pure pop. The results are not as frothy fun as 2009’s “The Boy Who Knew Too Much.” “Celebrate,” featuring Pharrell Williams, might keep the dance floor crowded but Mika’s straightforward piano pop workouts are preferable, especially the Queen-lite “Love You When I’m Drunk.” (8 p.m. Tue., Varsity, sold out.) Bream

Fresh off their Madison Square Garden debut, Sigur Rós will perform to about 10,000 fewer faces at the Roy. But they’ll be equally eager, as this marks the beloved post-rockers’ first world tour since 2008. Now a trio following the departure of keyboardist Kjartan Sveinsson, the ambient Icelanders are busy promoting their upcoming seventh album, “Kveikur,” coming in June. Early rumblings suggest it takes the band in a darker, more aggressive direction. (7:30 p.m. Wed., Roy Wilkins Auditorium, $36-$51.) Jay Boller

The Mavericks were one of the most exciting things to come out of Nashville in the 1990s. Mixing Tex-Mex, old time rock, Latin sounds, country, lounge jazz and vintage pop, Raul Malo and pals never scored the big hit but they were a hit with live audiences. After a couple of breakups, they reassembled last year to play a few dates (people loved them at the Minnesota State Fair) and record “In Time,” which will rival David Bowie’s “The Next Day” for best comeback album of 2013. Read an interview with Malo in Sunday’s Variety. (7:30 p.m. Wed. Pantages, $42.50-$52.50.) Bream

Anthrax got back heyday-era singer Joe Belladonna in time for the 2011 comeback album “Worship Music,” but now longtime lead guitarist Rob Caggiano has quit to join Volbeat (which, coincidentally, plays Mill City Nights on Wednesday). The band has recruited Jon Donais of Shadows Fall as a replacement and dropped a new covers EP, “Anthem,” featuring classic AC/DC, Cheap Trick and Rush tunes. The tour boasts another veteran act from the ’80s thrash scene, Exodus, plus sludge-metal revivalists High on Fire and newcomers Municipal Waste and Holy Grail. (8 p.m. Thu., First Avenue, $30.) Riemenschneider

 

COUNTRY

He’s won “American Idol,” scored a couple modest hits, released a Christmas album and started classes at North Carolina State. What’s next for Scotty McCreery? A Web series, of course. “ScotTV” is a behind-the-scenes look at his first headline tour (Thursdays through Saturdays only; he’s in college) and his upcoming second album. Sarah Darling opens. (8 p.m. Fri., Mystic Lake Casino, $24-$34.) Bream

In a family newspaper, it’s unnecessary to explain what the military term “KMAG YOYO” stands for. It’s also the title of one of the best albums of 2011. On his fourth full-length, Texas alt-country hero Hayes Carll delivers honky-tonking rockers and wistful ballads with a boozy voice that sounds two shots short of detox. In concert, he comes across as a barroom poet and a honky-tonk humorist, part Townes Van Zandt and part Kris Kristofferson, leavened with John Prine’s wit and infused with Jerry Jeff Walker’s good-time energy. The Warren Hood Band, from Austin, Texas, opens. (8 p.m. Sat., Cedar, sold out.) Bream

 

HIP-HOP

Back when P.O.S. still had pimples and Atmosphere's career was just pimple-sized, the Micranots put out the first great album of Twin Cities hip-hop, 2000’s “Obelisk Movements.” Issued via New York label Subversive, the record was reissued Tuesday on Rhymesayers, including a first-ever digital release. To celebrate, its creators I Self Devine and Kool Akiem will muster the intensity and spark of their twenty-something selves — which they never really lost — to perform it front to back at their first official reunion show in 10 years. As for other performers, “surprise guests” is all that’s listed. (10 p.m. Sat., 7th Street Entry, $10.) Riemenschneider

 

JAZZ

You’d think a band called Dave King’s Trucking Company would be road warriors, barnstorming the nation’s nightclubs. But while part-time member Chris Speed is based in New York City, they mostly play in the Twin Cities. There will be no Speed, but plenty of propulsive motion, when the quartet version — Brandon Wozniak (tenor sax), Erik Fratzke (guitar) Adam Linz (bass) and King (drums, compositions) — pulls into St. Paul. King’s songwriting is often very fine, his drumming justly renowned, and his wacky storytelling between songs? Well, that’s improv of another sort, no less unique and sometimes as giddy. (9 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Artists’ Quarter, $15.) Surowicz

They are virtuosos on their instruments, giants in their respective fields, adored figures who fill concert halls. Now Chick Corea and Bela Fleck are teaming up for a rare evening of improvisation. Both have played the tiny Dakota before. I’ve seen Fleck, the banjo master who works in many styles, cross-pollinate with the Marcus Roberts Trio (at the Dakota) and with bassist Edgar Meyer (at the old Guthrie) and produce remarkable evenings of new and unexpected music. With piano master Corea, it will be more magic — with no smoke or mirrors. Minneapolis is the eighth of nine cities on their duo tour. (7 & 9 p.m. Mon., Dakota $50-$100.) Bream

 

BLUES

A protégé of Bernard Allison, Belgrade-bred Ana Popovic is one of Europe’s hottest blues stars. Now based in the Netherlands, she’s visited the top of the U.S. blues charts, toured with Solomon Burke, shared stages with B.B. King and Buddy Guy, and will introduce her new nine-piece funk machine, Mo’ Better Love, at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Her 2011 album, “Unconditional,” asserted that Popovic, 36, has become a true triple threat, equally convincing as a guitarist, singer and songwriter. (9 p.m. Fri., Famous Dave’s, $7.) Bream

 

R&B

The TV show “Kids Incorporated” proved to be a breeding ground for future stars, including Fergie, Martika, Jennifer Love Hewitt, busy actor Eric Balfour and R&B singer/songwriter Rahsaan Patterson. A neo-soul critics’ favorite, Patterson has scored only modest chart success but makes the kind of ambitious albums that cults are built upon, while collaborating with some interesting folks (Jody Watley, Van Hunt, gospel great Andrae Crouch). It’s a good sign that his more recent recordings (“Bluephoria” and “Wines & Spirits”) are obviously his best, and Patterson is known for spirited live shows. (7 p.m. Thu., Dakota Jazz Club, $40.) Surowicz

  • related content

  • Madeleine Peyroux is at the Dakota on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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  • FIDLAR performs at SXSW on March 15, 2013. Photo by Leslie Plesser.

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