The Big Gigs for April 12-18

  • Updated: April 11, 2013 - 3:23 PM
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Rufus Wainwright

POP/ROCK

Rufus Wainwright has been corralled into a perfect doubleheader by 89.3 the Current. Friday, the always witty, often brilliant singer/songwriter will be part of the “Wits” series — sort of “A Prairie Home Companion” for hipsters — with comic Kristen Schaal, best known as the stalker-fan on “Flight of the Conchords.” Then on Saturday, Wainwright will present two hours of solo piano tunes as part of the Current Sessions; the program will include a Q&A with Current DJ Mary Lucia, who might ask him about his stint as a waiter at the now-defunct New French Cafe in Minneapolis. If Wainwright is half as charming as he was last summer at the Minnesota Zoo, these will be unforgettable shows. (“Wits” at 8 p.m. Fri., sold out. Concert at 8 p.m. Sat., Fitzgerald, $39-$49.) Jon Bream

 

After nearly a decade operating under the indie nom de moan Phosphorescent, Georgia-bred psychedelic twang-rock maestro Matthew Houk is poised to break out of the Pitchfork underground with his sixth and best album, “Muchacho.” Issued last month on the niche label Dead Oceans, the soul-baring, wigged-out dust-rock collection free-flows from the ambiently bopping “Song for Zula” — the “Ring of Fire”-referencing single in steady rotation at the Current — to the sun-baked, harmonious “A Charm / A Blade” to the gorgeous mope of “Muchacho’s Tune.” (9 p.m. Fri., Turf Club, sold out.) Chris Riemenschneider

 

They’ve toured with Elton John, appeared on “Glee” and recorded with Steve Vai, Lang Lang and producer Bob Ezrin (Alice Cooper, Kiss, Pink Floyd). 2Cellos are twenty-something Croatians Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hauser, who interpret rock hits on their cellos. Their YouTube video of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” got more than 8 million views and led to a recording deal with Sony Masterworks. Their second album, “In2ition,” features treatments of Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well” (with Sir Elton), Cher’s “Bang Bang” and Rihanna’s “We Found Love.” A little goes a long way. (8 p.m. Fri., Dakota Jazz Club, $40.) Bream

 

It was only a matter of time before the Men’s inner PBR-pounding Neil Young would secrete through their post-hardcore pores. These Brooklyn scuzz-blasters offer more twang than tantrum on their fourth LP, “New Moon,” as the noisy squalls of old have been whittled into a shapelier post-punked Petty visage. Gun Outfit and local fuzz rockers Fury Things open. (9 p.m. Fri., 7th Street Entry, 18-plus, $12.) Michael Rietmulder

 

 

With a singalong acoustic single in steady rotation at multiple radio stations, Family of the Year is in a bubbling position akin to the Lumineers’ spot this time last year. “Hero” is a melancholy ballad that fits right in between Mumford and Of Monsters and Men. Unlike the Lumineers, though, this coed Los Angeles quartet plugs in and rocks out for half its album — usually with much less compelling results than the softly strummed stuff. (9 p.m. Sat., Triple Rock, sold out.) Riemenschneider

 

Since debuting in 2005, campfire-psychedelic folkies Akron/Family have become indie faves. Equal parts Portland scarf rock and NYC art house, Akron/Family deal in accessible avant-garde, tempering daydreamy druthers with graceful harmonies and inescapable rock riffs. (9 p.m. Sat., 7th Street Entry, $12.) Rietmulder

 

On her new album, “Give Me All You Got,” Texas twang-folk tunesmith Carrie Rodriguez found a collaborative spirit right here in Minneapolis, with a song called “Lake Harriet” and Romantica members Ben Kyle and Luke Jacobs pitching in. The former made a sweet country duets EP with her last year, and the latter has become her full-time guitarist. So clearly, she owes us. Harmonious brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum of the Cactus Blossoms open. (7:30 p.m. Sun., Cedar Cultural Center, all ages, $12-$15.) Riemenschneider

 

Hard-touring Widespread Panic took 2012 off. Why? So the guys could gig with other players and then be fully charged to celebrate Panic’s 25th anniversary this year. The band has released almost as many live albums (eight) as studios discs (11). This spring trek is a warm-up for a summer outdoors in which they will play Denver’s revered Red Rocks Amphitheater four more times, climaxing with their 42nd sellout show there. (7:30 p.m. Sun., Orpheum, $38.50. ) Bream

 

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