ADVERTISEMENT

Grouplove plays First Avenue on Saturday.

Aaron Farley,

Big Boi of OutKast fame

Def Jam Records, Star Tribune

The Big Gigs for week of Nov. 9

  • Article by: Star Tribune staff
  • Star Tribune
  • November 9, 2012 - 9:12 AM
POP/ROCK

Grouplove owes much of its success to such millennial-seeking marketing avenues as an iPod commercial and video-game placement, but the gleeful Los Angeles pop/rock band also goes over well on that oldest of outlets -- the stage. Hippie-hunk frontman Christian Zucconi, cutie-pie keyboardist Hannah Hooper and the rest of their smiley crew are wrapping up their tour behind last year's debut, "Never Trust a Happy Song," which convinced a lot of fans to not hate them just 'cause they're happy and beautiful. (7:30 p.m. Sat., First Avenue. All ages. $20.) Chris Riemenschneider

Two mainstays of the Austin, Texas, music scene, the Gourds and James McMurtry come from different corners of the Americana/country-rock realm. The rowdier, Cajun-ized Gourds are touring behind their spirited 10th album, "Old Mad Joy," produced by former Dylan and Levon Helm guitar ace Larry Campbell. McMurtry has his novelist father Larry's knack for wry and vivid storytelling and he's grown into one mean guitar player. Now if only the Cedar could stock up on Shiner Bock for the show. (8 p.m. Sat., Cedar Cultural Center. $20.) Riemenschneider

Months after the breakup of his experimental duo the Books, Nick Zammuto returned with an arty album of his own. Despite a few cheekily bitter song titles, "Zammuto" doesn't feel like a perfunctory rebound record. The tantalizing prog-pop effort finds an electronic/organic equilibrium, with skittering synth sounds and vocal effects brushing up against guitars and au natural percussion. Ambient-classical act Eluvium opens. (8 p.m. Sat., Walker Art Center, $20.) Michael Rietmulder

An influential figure in dubstep's development, U.K. DJ/composer Caspa has continued on a grittier, less mainstream course while former partner Rusko has broken out commercially. In other words, don't expect a Britney Spears collaboration from "the dopest ghost in town." (9 p.m. Sat., Studio B at Skyway Theatre, 711 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. $15-$20. 18-plus.) Rietmulder

As of midsummer, Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe was stuck in a Prague prison on charges he caused the death of a fan pushed off a stage, but lo and behold his Virginia-bred death-metal band is back for its second Twin Cities area concert in three months. The strong lineup includes In Flames, Hatebreed and British newcomers Sylosis. (7 p.m. Sun., Myth. All ages. $32.) Riemenschneider

A regular visitor to the Dakota since 2004, rebounding R&B star Bettye LaVette is riding high thanks to her raw and riveting new memoir, "A Woman Like Me," and an impressive new album, "Thankful N' Thoughtful," with songs by Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Sly Stone plus a penetrating reading of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy." See an interview with LaVette in Sunday's Variety section. (7 p.m. Mon.-Tue. Dakota, $45.) Jon Bream

Since their legendary 1999 collection "69 Love Songs," the Magnetic Fields have made quick, quirky and clever odes to amore their signature trademark. Songwriter Stephin Merritt delivered some delightfully odd ones on the band's latest, "Love at the Bottom of the Sea," a lighter and poppier collection that landed something of a surprise hit in "Andrew in Drag." Opener Gal Musette is a ukulele-plucking 14-year-old California girl who's penning 70 love songs in response to Magnetic Fields. Oh, fer cute! (8 p.m. Tue., First Avenue. $30.) Riemenschneider

Given its Brooklyn soul pedigree, it would be easy to file the Menahan Street Band in the heard-it-before bin. But this mishmash of members from the Dap-Kings, Antibalas and Budos Band is clearly its own beast. More contemporary than the Dap-Kings and sultrier than the other roots projects, this instrumental soul-funk quintet is suited for a velvet-draped after-hours lounge. (10:30 p.m. Tue., 7th Street Entry, $15. 18-plus.) Rietmulder

A lot of Hold Steady fans would prefer to see him back in the band, but Franz Nicolay is all in as a solo artist. The curly-mustached keyboardist -- who has also played in World/Inferno Friendship Society and toured with Against Me! -- just released his third album, "Do the Struggle," loaded with passionate, Celtic-flavored, wall-punching punk anthems. (9 p.m. Wed., Triple Rock. $10.) Riemenschneider

Breezy California folk-pop singer Tristan Prettyman has stepped out from under ex-beau Jason Mraz's fedora shadow, a breakup chronicled on her new album, "Cedar + Gold." Local station Cities 97 has rewarded her with a slot on its "Sampler, Vol. 24" collection and on the CD release party along with Your American Idol 2012, Phillip Phillips, and Nashville's Erin McCarley. The charity CDs, also featuring tracks by Brandi Carlile, the Lumineers and Ed Sheeran, go on sale Thursday morning at area Target stores. (7 p.m. Wed., First Avenue. Tickets given out on air at 97.1 FM.) Riemenschneider

Hey, hey, they're the Monkees. At least, that's how the trio of Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith, who's finally back on tour, are billing themselves. But can you be a believer if the PreFab Four performs without the eternally cute Davy Jones? He died in February of a heart attack, after this tour was planned. (7:30 p.m. Thu., State, $59-$79.) Bream

Two guys that Twin Cities music fans know well, Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament and singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur have teamed up for a seemingly random new band called (fittingly enough) RNDM. Anchored by former Fastbacks drummer Richard Stuverud -- a pal of Ament's from the old Mother Love Bone days -- the trio met up at Ament's place in Montana to jam back in April and wound up with a full album that dropped last week, "Acts." They're only doing a 16-city tour; let's hope Ament immediately goes home to tell his other band to get its lazy butt back here. Madcap drummer Gull opens. (9 p.m. Thu., First Avenue. $15.) Riemenschneider

COUNTRY

Jason Mraz, Trombone Shorty and Amos Lee may have contributed to Zac Brown Band's new "Uncaged" album, but there's no question who is Brown's chief influence: James Taylor. There are sweet vocals and a gentle and gentlemanly Southernness, complete with harmonies that evoke the group Alabama. However, get Brown and the boys onstage and they're likely to transform into a human jukebox that bursts into songs by Bob Marley, Aerosmith, Nirvana, Van Morrison or John Mayer along with their own hits, including the Jimmy Buffett-soaked "Toes," the Alan Jackson-assisted "As She's Walking Away" and the ever-tasty "Chicken Fried." (7 p.m. Sat., Target Center, $31.50-$69.50.) Bream

Before he hits the arena circuit next year with Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley is rocking a few smaller venues. That means his bluegrassy/folkie stuff from 2010's "Up on the Ridge" and this year's chart-topping ballad "Home" (co-written with Minneapolis' own Dan Wilson) will sound swell, as will party songs such as "Free and Easy." (8 p.m. Sat., Treasure Island Casino, Red Wing, Minn. Sold out.) Bream

HIP-HOP

One of the best Instagram users around, Big Boi also remains one of the top voices of Southern rap. The grittier half of beloved Atlanta duo OutKast -- "Rosa Parks," "Ms. Jackson" and "The Way You Move" were among his signature tunes -- the real-life Antwan Patton was supposed to drop his second solo album next week, but it has been delayed until Dec. 11. Titled "Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors," the record features an infectious debut single with Kelly Rowland ("Mama Told Me") plus such unlikely guests as the rock group Little Dragon and Phantogram singer Sarah Barthel. Already treated to his memorable set at Soundset last year, Twin Cities fans will get a little album preview this time out. The local spinmasters of Get Cryphy will open. (10 p.m. Fri., Epic. $30.) Riemenschneider

JAZZ

On Anat Cohen's new CD, "Claroscuro," she gets to play clarinet alongside one of her heroes, Cuban reed master Paquito d'Rivera, and trombonist Wycliffe Gordon gets to sing Edith Piaf's immortal "La Vie en Rose," another nice surprise (who knew he crooned?). Israeli-born Cohen is the new queen of the clarinet, and she also plays tenor and soprano sax, runs a bustling record label and performs in the 3 Cohens with brothers Yuval (sax) and Avishai (trumpet). This weekend she'll lead a quartet anchored by drummer Daniel Freedman, whose own 2012 CD, "Bamako by Bus," is an all-star Afro-jazz gem. (7 p.m. Sat., Dakota Jazz Club, $25.) Tom Surowicz

Sax great Dave Karr never makes a fuss about his elder statesman status. The 82-year-old pillar of the Twin Cities bop community is too busy trying to learn new licks and tricks. "I have found the fountain of youth in the challenge of jazz improvisation," Karr says. He'll share some water from that fountain Saturday at a 5 p.m. free-admission master class and then get down to the business of swinging hard with trombonist Dave Graf, bassist Adam Linz and drummer Phil Hey. (7 p.m. Sat., Studio Z, 275 E. 4th St., St. Paul. $10.) Surowicz

There are Minnesota big bands with a higher profile than the Nova Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, but when it comes to ambition and achievement, Nova ranks second to none. No local band is blessed with so many fine in-house composers, with trumpeter John Ahern and saxophonists Kari Musil and Bob Byers leading the pack. Nova has eight CDs of almost entirely Minnesota-generated compositions, plus a recent CD focusing on unrecorded works of fabled Stan Kenton Band composer/arranger Bill Mathieu. The group, led by baritone sax man Mike Krikav, celebrates its 20th anniversary with a no-cover gig -- but since Nova is a tax-exempt nonprofit, you can offer congratulations with a donation. (7 p.m. Sun., Artists' Quarter.) Surowicz

BLUES/ROOTS

Now in his 47th year of rockin' the blues, British guitar hero Kim Simmonds still brings enviable energy to every Savoy Brown show. He proved a capable singer in a touring trio version of the band, and on his own satisfying acoustic CD, "Out of the Blue." Yet since 2009, Savoy Brown has once again employed a lead singer: Joe Whiting, who was with the band briefly in the early '90s, and also plays savvy saxophone. (9 p.m. Sat., Famous Dave's Uptown, $10.) Surowicz

Louisiana slide guitar master Sonny Landreth is touring in support of his first all-instrumental CD. "Elemental Journey" features unexpected guests -- fellow guitar stars Joe Satriani and Eric Johnson, dazzling steel drummer Robert Greenidge and, most surprisingly, the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra String Quartet. Obviously Landreth likes to challenge himself. There will be no steel drums or viola at this gig, but there will be an opening set from Duluth blues and folk favorite Charlie Parr. (7:30 p.m. Wed., Cedar Cultural Center, $28-$30.) Surowicz

CHORAL

Lovers of choral music have a rare opportunity when VocalEssence presents "An Evening in Havana" with Cuba's foremost chorus, Schola Cantorum Coralina, conducted by Alina Orraca. They've toured Canada, South America and Europe, but this is their first U.S. visit. They bring an intense Cuban emotion and a movement-based performance style to music from the Renaissance to the present day, focusing on folk and sacred music of Cuba and Latin America, as well as famous choral masterpieces. (8 p.m. Sat., 4 p.m. Sun., House of Hope Presbyterian Church, 797 Summit Av., St. Paul, $20-$40, 612-371-5656 or www.vocalessence.org) William Randall Beard

© 2014 Star Tribune