Big Gigs: Twin Cities concert highlights Aug. 16-22

  • Updated: August 15, 2013 - 3:26 PM
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Carly Rae Jepsen opens for Justin Bieber at Target Center in Minneapolis October 20, 2012.

Photo: Courtney Perry, Dml - Special To The Star Tribune

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POP/ROCK

Don’t dismiss Joan Osborne as a one-hit wonder (“One of Us”). She’s had an artistically rewarding career, touring with the surviving Dead and famed Motown session players the Funk Brothers. Last year at the Dakota, the Kentucky-bred, New York-based Osborne proved to be a wonderful vocalist, covering jazz, R&B, blues, rock and pop — originals and covers, many heard on her tasty 2012 blues/R&B collection “Bring It on Home.” Highly recommended. (8 p.m. Fri., Dakota Jazz Club, $35-$45.) Jon Bream

 

The closest Minneapolis gets to hosting a multi-venue festival like Austin’s South by Southwest, Saturday’s West Bank Music Festival boasts a main outdoor stage surrounded by showcases in neighboring venues. Headlining this year is sociopolitical rap hero Brother Ali in his first public local show since an emotionally racked Soundset performance (9 p.m. Sat.). He’s preceded by Doomtree’s “Hand Over Fist” heavy hitter Mike Mictlan (8 p.m.), new punk doo-wop darlings Southside Desire (7), rock’s marathon man Mark Mallman (6) and scorching garage-punks the F- Knights (5). Other stages include Van Morrison tribute kings the Belfast Cowboys (4-8 p.m., Whiskey Junction Courtyard), 2013’s breakout rapper Haphduzn (midnight, Red Sea), the Como Avenue Jug Band and Nightinghales (11 p.m.-1 a.m., Palmer’s Bar), Black Diet and Tramps Like Us (10:15-2 a.m., Acadia Cafe), nearly a dozen bands at the Triple Rock, including Dear Landlord and Arms Aloft (6:30 p.m.-2 a.m.), and more. ($5-$10, free passes on Metro Transit via WestBankMusicFestival.com) Chris Riemenschneider

 

Let’s hope Glenn Danzig likes Myth nightclub better than the Cabooze. The goth-punk/metal lord infamously, inexplicably canceled last-minute after he arrived at the latter club in 2011, one of several tour dates at which the howling Misfits singer and “Mother” hitmaker reportedly displayed primo prima-donna behavior. Back on the road to mark his namesake band Danzig’s 25th anniversary, the muscular leather-bound rocker seems to be playing nice. “Last Caress” and a few other Misfits tunes have been included in recent set lists. Scar the Martyr and Huntress open. (7:30 p.m. Sat., Myth, all ages, $25.) Riemenschneider

 

Here’s something new at the Minnesota Zoo: music for tweens and teens. Canadian pop star Carly Rae Jepsen delivered the best pop song of 2012 — the perky hook-up request “Call Me Maybe.” Maybe she’ll call Owatonna’s own Adam Young, a k a Owl City, to join her for their collaborative hit, “Good Time.” Joining her for sure will be opening act the Wanted, the U.K. boy band known for scoring the hit “Glad You Came” and being managed by Scooter Braun, who guided Justin Bieber to superstardom. (7:30 p.m. Sun., Minnesota Zoo, $60-$72.50.) Bream

Ke$ha is the musical equivalent of “Jersey Shore,” but with a higher IQ — though she tries to let us believe otherwise. Crafty as a Nashville songwriter (which her mother is), she has recorded nine Top 10 pop tunes (including three infectious No. 1’s), published a trashy autobiography and starred in an MTV reality series about her slackerish, sleazy, salacious and successful life. In concert, she uses silly props, dancers dressed up like giant stuffed animals and irresistible dance beats to convince you that she is one crazy party animal. Opening are Semi Precious Weapons, the New York rockers who opened Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball Tour, and Mike Posner of “Cooler Than Me” fame. (6:30 p.m. Mon., Myth, $55.) Bream

 

Now labelmates with Metric, Sleigh Bells and our own Poliça on Mom + Pop Music, Chicago trio the Smith Westerns are a lot less hipster-y and quite a bit more generic than those acts, especially on their latest album. “Soft Will” trades in the punkier sound of previous records for sleepy psychedelica and stylish power-pop, sort of a cross between Big Star’s hazier stuff and Love & Rockets. The lead single from the album is titled “Varsity,” so they picked the right venue. New-wavy local openers Strange Names have been getting Current airplay with “Potential Wife.” (9 p.m. Tue., Varsity Theater, $15-$20.) Riemenschneider

 

Last year at the Dakota, Leon Russell, a Buddha-like figure with a statue-like demeanor, talked more than he has in his many Twin Cities gigs combined. He told a joke about Prince and stories about visiting the Mall of America and Starkey Hearing, and working with Bob Dylan. Russell also played some of his own songs (“Delta Lady,” “A Song for You”) and covers of acts he’s played with (Dylan, the Stones, the Beatles). But he didn’t showcase any of his session work with the likes of the Beach Boys, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, the Byrds and Joe Cocker, which landed him in the Rock Hall of Fame as a sideman. (7 p.m. Tue.-Wed., Dakota, $45-$70.) Bream

 

Even though he has performed 952 shows in various Twin Cities venues since 1987, Lyle Lovett has not heretofore brought His Large Band to the Minnesota Zoo. After testing the waters at the zoo last summer with His Acoustic Group, Lovett arrives with the bigger ensemble for an evening in which folk, blues, country, gospel, jazz, R&B, storytelling and humor meld into a captivatingly original Texas-flavored concoction. (7:30 p.m. Wed., Minnesota Zoo, $68.50-$80.50.) Bream

 

Two Texans known for different kinds of high-revving entertainment, the Rev. Horton Heat and Wayne “The Train” Hancock meet at the rugged intersection of modern punkabilly and old-school country. The Reverend (Jim Heath) has been a leader of the former genre since his 1990 debut, produced by the Butthole Surfers’ Gibby Haynes. He has a new deal with Victory Records that should accentuate his punky side. Hancock — Hank Williams’ rightful music heir, according to Hank III — added a bluesy twist on “Ride,” his latest record for Chicago’s Bloodshot label. Vintage surfabilly guitar wiz Deke Dickerson makes it a triple as the opener. (8:30 p.m. Thu., First Avenue, $20-$22.) Riemenschneider

 

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