Big Gigs: The Twin Cities' best concerts, Dec. 27-Jan. 2

  • Updated: December 26, 2013 - 4:09 PM

NEW YEAR’S EVE

Following the classic soul sound of his latest record, “Bye Bye 17,” Har Mar Superstar is taking a classier approach to New Year’s Eve this year vs. the usual club gig, leaving open the question of how long it takes to strip out of a tux. He’s headlining the 10th annual Crystal Ball, an elaborate bash spread out over five floors of International Market Square and featuring comedians, dancers, DJs and even a laser-light show. (8 p.m.-2 a.m., 275 Market St., Mpls., $50-$100, NYEminneapolis.com.) Chris Riemenschneider

 

For those who want to send out 2013 with a head thrashing and a raised middle finger, the Triple Rock has a real doozy of a noise fest for its NYE celebration. Metallic sludge-punk duo Bloodnstuff heads up a lineup of loud and heavy local bands, also featuring Red Daughters, Buildings and Speed’s the Name. (9 p.m., Triple Rock, 18 & older, $10.) Riemenschneider

 

Since David Bowie himself didn’t tour this year despite finally issuing a killer new record, there’s extra cause to celebrate him at the Turf Club’s NYE Cover Band Show, wherein members of the bands who regularly play there pay tribute to bands that will never play there. Members of the Seawhores and STNNNG will perform the music of Bowie along with another set of Blue Öyster Cult tunes (yep, with cowbell), and there will also be a Doors montage with the dudes of Vampire Hands and Robust Worlds. (10 p.m., Turf Club, $10, 21 & older.) Riemenschneider

 

The first chance to catch the full Solid Gold lineup in a couple months is also a good opportunity to celebrate the first full year of business by the most popular new music room in Minneapolis, which happens to also be a pretty fine restaurant. Tickets are thus being sold with or without dining options. Rounded out by omnipresent brothers Jeremy and Jacob Hanson, Solid Gold’s live shows remain psychedelic forays but with synth-rock grooves festive enough for the occasion. Offshoot band Year of the Horse opens. (10 p.m., Icehouse, $20-$100.) Riemenschneider

 

Weddings, corporate gigs, nightclubs and, of course, New Year’s Eve. The R Factor is the go-to Twin Cities band for all occasions because they have a versatile repertoire and an array of top-notch lead singers, including Emil Campbell II, Margaret Cox, Mark Lickteig and Kimberly Michaels. Formerly known as the Rupert’s Orchestra, this ensemble will return to the venue where they were born in 1993 to deliver a party soundtrack for revelers of multiple generations. Proceeds are earmarked for Pillsbury United Communities, which serves more than 50,000 people annually with educational initiatives, youth and family services, employment and training opportunities, health and nutritional support, and emergency resources. (7 p.m. the Metropolitan, 5418 Wayzata Blvd., Golden Valley, $30-$40.) Jon Bream

 

One of the Twin Cities’ most easygoing and reliably great New Year’s Eve parties will be bittersweet this year, and hoary “Auld Lang Syne” will have more reflective meaning than ever. Why? Because the last dog will be hung at the Artists’ Quarter, St. Paul’s venerable venue for jazz. Carole Martin once again headlines a stellar cast assembled by AQ owner/drummer (and her son-in-law) Kenny Horst. Be advised that this event is totally sold out. (9 p.m., Artists’ Quarter.) Tom Surowicz

 

Four reasons to hit up the Sexy Hexy NYE Bash: One: The lineup features the proto-punk copping Frozen Teens and gloom-pop band Hollow Boys. Two: Nato Coles and the Blue Diamond Band will host live karaoke. Three: There’s a B-52s cover band. Four: It’s free. (9:30 p.m. Tue., Hexagon Bar.) Jahna Peloquin

HIP-HOP

What’s advertised simply as a release party has turned into a year-end celebration for Lizzo. After a breakout 2012 with her spirited all-female trio the Chalice, the Houston-bred, Minneapolis-based rapper/singer went even farther on her own in 2013 with “Lizzobangers,” a playful but heavy-hitting solo debut that cast a spotlight on her sharp-tongued wordsmith talent. Named album of the year by local music scribes in our year-end Twin Cities Critics Tally, the record arrived in October when she was on a transatlantic tour opening and singing backup for Har Mar Superstar, and this is her first proper hometown gig since then. She’s teaming with the record’s producer, Lazerbeak of Doomtree, who will open with a set of his own “Lavabangers” jams. (9 p.m. Sat., Triple Rock, $12-$15.) Riemenschneider

POP/ROCK

Like the Channel 4 News Team to Ron Burgundy’s conch blow, old Twin Cities punks are assembling for the holidays. The abrasive yet hooky guitar-storming alt-rock trio Arcwelder toured with ’90s noise-rock favorites such as the Jesus Lizard and Shellac, and managed to release four well-received albums on big-time indie Touch and Go Records (Butthole Surfers, Big Black, Ted Leo). Fun fact: At first, the group went by Tilt-a-Whirl, until the carnival ride manufacturer’s powerful legal team slammed the brakes. These days, Arcwelder only plays a few gigs per year. Self-Evident and Delta Lyrae open. (9 p.m. Fri., Turf Club, $8.) Jay Boller

 

In the year since he took third place on NBC’s top-rated music competition “The Voice,” Nicholas David has been all over the map, literally and figuratively. The hairy and hearty soul-rocker played his own pair of First Ave gigs in May, joined Bobby Z’s all-star jam and the Secret Stash Soul Revue there, dropped his iTunes-charting EP “Say Goodbye” and worked on a full-length record in 2013. Ever the do-gooder, he recently returned from a charity trip to rural Mexico with the Smile Network and has every reason to smile himself going into this year-end celebration. Fellow St. Paul singer Ashley DuBose opens, fresh from her own go-round on “The Voice.” (8:30 p.m. Sat., First Avenue, $20-$25.) Chris Riemenschneider

 

Because one night of bass bombs just won’t cut it, the Skyway again hosts the annual two-night Infrasound blowout. Brooklyn-based hip-hop/electro producer Eliot Lipp headlines night one, with support from dubstep/DnB lurker the Widdler — whose Owsla-issued “Spacetime” EP dropped in December — Desert Dwellers and more. The Dec. 31 lineup features Katy Perry-remixing trap, er, “twonk” artist Brillz, West Coast-rooted beat monster and Ableton sensei ill.Gates, hometown hero Vaski, Megalodon, Midnight Tyrannosaurus and more. (7 p.m. Mon.-Tue., Skyway Theatre, $15-$35, 18-plus.) Michael Rietmulder

 

The Twin Cities’ love affair with Dawes — and vice versa — continues with the Los Angeles band’s second annual end-of-the-year stand at the Varsity. While Dawes didn’t seem quite as rollicking in July at First Avenue showcasing tunes from this year’s “Stories Don’t End,” they still remain one of America’s most vital young bands and Taylor Goldsmith one of the most compelling frontmen to emerge in the ’10s. Wisconsin’s Field Report opens both nights. (8:30 p.m. Mon.; sold out. 9:30 p.m. Tue., $75-$125, Varsity Theater, 18-plus.) Bream

 

New Year’s Day — when throbbing heads turn to resolutions of betterment — might be the slowest 24-hour period on the concert calendar. But Twin Cities scene vet Curtiss A has resolved to rock. Fresh off a tribute to the Replacements, his annual tip-o’-the-hat to John Lennon and the first CC Club concert in 38 years, tonight he’ll pay tribute to country legend Hank Williams. The celebration is sadly appropriate, as one of Williams’ last remaining honky-tonkin’ peers, Ray Price, died Dec. 16 at 87. “I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive,” indeed. Expect Curtiss to honor Hank with the gusto and pride he does all his musical heroes, with help from Frankie Lee, ex-Son Volt stalwarts Dave and Jim Boquist, and others. (7 p.m. Wed., Dakota Jazz Club, $10.) Boller

R&B

Twin Cities bar heroes the Butanes Soul Revue used to be omnipresent but now they only get their big gang together — including super-singers Maurice Jacox, Aisha Baker and Deb Brown, plus blow-the-roof-off-the-sucka Wisconsin sax powerhouse Sue Orfield — on very special occasions. And Curt Obeda and the boys have just such an occasion this week, their 26th anniversary gig. For the record, the band is now as old as Snooki, Ke$ha, Hilary Duff, Kevin Jonas and rapper/actor Bow Wow. Come out and help them celebrate. (9 p.m. Fri., Minnesota Music Cafe, $12.) Surowicz

JAZZ

There’s a new twist to the Bad Plus’ annual late-December residency at the Dakota. Besides playing old favorites, disarming rock covers and songs from the recent electrified “Made Possible” CD, the jazz power trio will tackle and transform Stravinsky’s classic “Rite of Spring” at their final night’s shows. Gotta love the audacity. (7 & 9 p.m. Fri.-Sun., Dakota Jazz Club, $40.) Surowicz

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