Big Gigs for Aug. 1-7: Tori Amos, Denny Laine, HazelFest, more

  • Updated: August 1, 2014 - 1:26 PM
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Tori Amos brings her solo tour to the O’Shaughnessy Sunday.

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POP/ROCK

An adventurous melding of hip-hop and electronic music, the New Space showcase is timed to a new compilation from Minneapolis’ Sound Verite label/blog, “Moon Rock, Vol. 1,” featuring all the participating artists. Headliner Greg Grease is carving out a bold, new, spacey and spiritual brand of urban hip-hop, with hints of African flavor akin to fellow rap innovator Allan Kingdom. Even fresher out of the chute and already generating a buzz are Shiro Dame, a neo-soul electro-rap hybrid with Sarah White (Traditional Methods, Black Blondie), and Tiny Deaths, the ambient new project by the Chalice’s singer Claire de Lune and Lookbook’s Grant Cutler. Manny Phesto, Ander Other, DJ Just Nine and Voice of Culture & Dance also perform. (8 p.m. Fri., First Avenue, $7- $10.) Chris Riemenschneider

When the show was announced, there was kind of a cool buzz. Denny Laine, known for his work in the Moody Blues and Wings, would be playing the first big show at the new 400 Bar in Mall of America less than 24 hours before his ex-Wings man, Paul McCartney, would rock Target Field. Well, the 400 Bar isn’t ready to open so Laine, the voice of the Moodies’ “Go Now” and guitarist for “Band on the Run,” will perform in the “400 Gallery,” a space in the mall’s new Midwest Music Museum. He’ll play surrounded by photos of the Beatles at Met Stadium in 1965. (10 p.m. Fri., fourth floor, Mall of America, $30.) Jon Bream

Like the scenic venue, there’s something for nearly everyone to like at Duluth’s inaugural Howling Moon Festival, a two-day blend of current, classic and rootsy rock. “American Woman” veterans the Guess Who — down to just the rhythm section for original members— headline Friday with Minnesota faves the Big Wu, the 4onthefloor and Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank. Saturday boasts Seattle’s golden-voiced folk-rock stalwart Brandi Carlile with the BoDeans, “The Voice” soul man Nicholas David, Jeremy Messersmith and more. (1 p.m. Fri. & 11 a.m. Sat., Bayfront Festival Park, downtown Duluth, $25-$35 per day or $45 for both, HowlingMoon Fest.com.) Riemenschneider

The third annual, one-of-a-kind HazelFest — celebrating alcohol and drug addiction recovery on the grounds of Minnesota’s most renowned treatment center — is the first chance for home-turf fans to catch the return of the ’97-’00 lineup of the Jayhawks, whose frontman Gary Louris completed a sobriety program in 2012. They’re touring behind new reissues of their rockier “Sound of Lies,” “Smile” and “Rainy Day Music” albums. Also on the bill are Milwaukee Americana rockers Trapper Schoepp & the Shades, poppy indie faves Communist Daughter and New Orleans-styled boogie band Davina & the Vagabonds. (Noon-8 p.m. Sat., Hazelden, 15251 Pleasant Valley Rd., Center City, Minn. $20-$30.) Riemenschneider

Even though this year she released a critically lauded piano pop album, “Unrepentant Geraldines,” ever-passionate Tori Amos has been an unapologetic nostalgia act on her solo tour. Set lists have been heavy on oldies, especially from 1994’s “Under the Pink” album. While she has typically played only two selections from the new album, the 50-year-old artist has done a “lounge lizard” set, covering everyone from Elton John and the Police to Rihanna and Björk. She’s even encored with “Purple Rain.” (7 p.m. Sun., the O’Shaugh­nessy, $37-$57.) Bream

Another weekend, another chance to catch funk ’n’ soul revivalists Sonny Knight & the Lakers at a cool outdoor bash. No complaints there, but this year’s Red Stag Block Party manages to stand out from the rest of the neighborly 2014 parties in other ways, including a rare-of-late appearance by Americana favorites Romantica, in-betweener street performances by Epitome No Question dance collective and the inaugural In Cahoots! brewing, wherein eight local breweries paired up to make four collaborative beers. Frankie Lee, Shiro Dame, E.L.nO. and Alpha Consumer round out the music lineup. (2-8 p.m. Sun., 509 1st Av. NE., Mpls., all ages, free.) Riemenschneider

Although he was viewed as a country act when he emerged, Lyle Lovett plays his distinct brand of American music from a Texas perspective. The only things that make Lovett resemble a country artist are his cowboy boots, the three Grammys he’s won in country categories and his tendency to tour whether he’s promoting a new album or not. His latest recording is 2012’s “Release Me.” After playing a generous and rewarding 2½ hours last year at the Minnesota Zoo, Lovett returns there for the third consecutive summer, this time with His Large Band. (7:30 p.m. Sun., Minnesota Zoo, $68 & $80.50.) Bream

Jenny Lewis looked and sounded sunnier than ever when we caught her two weekends ago at the Forecastle Fest in Kentucky, sporting rainbow-lined stage attire and a large band that includes her ace harmony partners the Watson Twins. The former Rilo Kiley rocker’s new Ryan Adams-produced album, “The Voyager,” has a bittersweet, semi-spiritual, heartfelt songwriterly bent to it that feels like a triumphant turn in her hit-and-miss career. Nashville’s pretty pop-rock buzz band the Apache Relay opens. (8:30 p.m. Sun., First Avenue, $22-$25.) Riemenschneider

Five months after opening their tour with a theatrical First Ave performance, Broken Bells are back to play a theater. The side project of Shins frontman James Mercer and mega-producer Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton became more of a real band with their second album, “After the Ghost,” a fun if only half-baked mish-mash of Beatles psychedelica and Bee Gees disco-pop. Their show in March spotlessly spotlighted the best of their two records while effectively using nifty visual effects to make up for the musicians’ lack of stage luster. California trio Cayucas opens. (7:30 p.m. Sun., State Theatre, $37.50.) Riemenschneider

A folky coed sextet rooted in Baraboo, Wis., Phox was a bit of a flowery mess in the past but blossomed in time for its just-released eponymous album. Willowy voiced frontwoman Monica Martin’s pretty vocal stylings are matched with whimsical, playful jangle-pop and Afro-poppy arrangements on the record, made at Justin Vernon’s April Base Studio and already in heavy rotation at 89.3 the Current with the single “Slow Motion.” Probably due to fill the main room by year’s end, they’re starting out small with J.E. Sunde of the Daredevil Christopher Wright and local violinist Leah Ottman’s new act LOTT. (9 p.m. Mon., 7th Street Entry, sold out.) Riemenschneider

One of the Twin Cities’ best live bands will warm up for one of Hollywood’s best westerns when the Cloak Ox and “High Noon” kick off Walker Art Center’s Summer Music & Movies series. This year’s theme is “Playing With Time,” inspired by Christian Marclay’s 24-hour-long film project “The Clock.” Art-rock experimentalist Andrew Broder and his group’s maniacally crescendoing guitar songs will nicely match the tense pace of Gary Cooper’s on-screen showdown. (7 p.m. Mon., Loring Park, Mpls., free.) Riemenschneider

Two days after hitting Lollapalooza in Chicago and two years after overplaying their success at Target Center, Los Angeles pop-rockers Foster the People return to a smaller venue for the first local date behind their sophomore album, “Supermodel.” The new record follows the sugary blueprint of the trio’s hook-laden debut “Torches” — which was pumped up greatly by the mega-hit “Pumped Up Kicks” — but it’s not as playful and has failed to produce a follow-up hit. At least Swedish openers NONONO should be fun. (8 p.m. Mon., Myth, all ages, $35.) Riemenschneider

Different folks have had different introductions to redoubtable Irish tunesmith Glen Hansard: the movie “The Commitments”; the cool band the Frames; the movie-turned-Broadway musical “Once”; the duo known as the Swell Season, or his own solo work. Hansard can be chattier than Billy Bragg or get carried away saluting his heroes with covers (Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen), but he’s a mesmerizing storyteller who once busked for charity with Bono on a Dublin street on Christmas Eve and delivers enthrallingly passionate, poetic folk-pop. (8 p.m. Tue., First Avenue, $32.) Bream 

Fresh from playing the Sturgis Buffalo Chip festival — probably not even the smelliest gig of its three-decade career — British goth-metal hitmakers the Cult played their “Electric” album in its entirety last year, and Morrison-esque frontman Ian Astbury and snaky guitar hero Billy Duffy are still favoring those songs in their set lists this year. Two local psychedelic bands, Sun Gods to Gamma Rays and Hollow Boys, make for an odd but adventurous choice of openers. (9 p.m. Tue., Mill City Nights, $37.50-$40.) Riemenschneider

On last year’s “Say That to Say This,” Trombone Shorty found the good New Orleans grooves, thanks to producer Raphael Saadiq and the Meters backing him on one tune (their first time together in the studio since 1978). These selections will hit harder live with Trombone Shorty’s unstoppably funky band Orleans Avenue — especially the closing “Shortyville,” essentially an instrumental duet that Shorty plays with himself. Chicago funk band the Main Squeeze opens. (7:30 p.m. Wed., Minnesota Zoo, $43 & $55.50.) Bream

JAZZ

One could make a good case that trumpeter/composer Dennis Gonzalez is the most important avant garde jazzman to come out of Texas since Ornette Coleman and Dewey Redman rewrote the improvisers’ rule book. Certainly no Texas jazz artist is more dedicated or versatile. Gonzalez has been all over the world playing his often lyrical, melodically rich brand of very modern jazz for decades, while also making hay as a visual artist, poet, educator, record label founder and public radio broadcaster. Along the way, he has played with such greats as Andrew Cyrille, Cecil Taylor and Max Roach, plus mainstream Texas trumpeter Roy Hargrove. He makes a rare Twin Cities appearance to present his “Hymn Project” with hometown heavyweights Nathan Hanson, Brandon Wozniak, Chris Bates and Pete Hennig. (8 p.m. Sat., Studio Z, 275 E. 4th St., St. Paul. $10. 651-755-1600.) Tom Surowicz

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