ADVERTISEMENT

Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty

Tom Wallace, Star Tribune

Big Gigs: Matchbox Twenty, Vaccines, Casey James and more

  • Star Tribune
  • February 7, 2013 - 2:55 PM

POP/ROCK

On the rebound after a second hiatus, Matchbox Twenty sounded pretty good in a Super Bowl pre-game performance. Rob Thomas still has that slightly raspy made-for-radio voice. But the tunes on last year’s “North” — MB20’s first album of new material in five years — sounded familiar but unmemorable. Let’s hope the set is heavy on “Push,” “3 A.M.” and older numbers. Opening is “American Idol” champ Phillip Phillips, who impressed right away with the smart hit single “Home.” (8 p.m. Fri., Mystic Lake Casino, sold out.) Jon Bream

 

The Vaccines washed ashore already a tad washed-up in 2010 after generating a boatload of hype back home in England for their debut and the fun, Joy-Division-meets-Blur single “Post-Breakup Sex.” They’re back with less cynicism and a second, slightly better album, aptly named “Come of Age” and produced by Ethan Johns. This time around there’s more buzz for Australian tour partners San Cisco, whose boppy boy/girl single “Awkward” is in steady rotation at the Current and sounds tailor-made for a Target commercial. Local opener France Camp toured with the Vaccines when he was part of Howler. (9 p.m. Sat., Triple Rock, sold out.) Chris Riemenschneider

 

Like former mentor Brian Eno, Ben Frost makes a refusal to repeat himself part of his ever-evolving style. Not that the Australian composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist spurns constants — few artists can match his genius for balancing beauty and terror — it’s just that his massive musical vocabulary lends itself to constant experimentation. The involvement of kindred spirit/labelmate Paul Corley and master drummer Greg Fox (Liturgy, Dan Deacon) suggests that Saturday’s performance will skew visceral as hell. (8 p.m. Sat., Amsterdam Bar & Hall, $10, standing room only.) Rod Smith

 

Coheed and Cambria frontman Claudio Sanchez has one of the biggest voices and heads of hair in hard rock, and his band is in the midst of its most ambitious recording project to date. The New York area quartet just dropped the second half of a two-album series, “The Afterman: Descension,” featuring darker and stormier fare than its predecessor (“Ascension”). They’re halfway through a tour that ends next month at Radio City Music Hall. North Carolina’s Between the Buried and Me, recently signed to Metal Blade, open with Russian Circles (6 p.m. Sat., First Avenue, $30, all ages.) Riemenschneider

 

By now, most BoDeans fans know it’s just Kurt Neumann since Sammy Llanas left the band in the summer of 2011. Reports are that the brand, er, band, still delivers, with a bit more aggressiveness and no Llanas tunes. And devotees know that Neumann was always the dominant force in this Wisconsin institution. (7:30 p.m. Mon., Guthrie, $36-$39.) Bream

 

While his nearest thing to a love song might be “Take the Skinheads Bowling,” alt-rock pioneer David Lowery will spend Valentine’s Day in Minnesota once again celebrating the ties that bind his two bands of lore: ’80s psychedelic gypsy-pop cult fave Camper Van Beethoven and ’90s rock-radio staple Cracker. While Cracker had the hits, including “Low” and“Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now),” CVB has the strong new album to promote. “La Costa Perdida” shows off how much the band has grown as musicians even as the frontman’s wonderfully oblique writing style remains intact. (7:30 p.m. Thu., Burnsville Performing Arts Center, $35.) Riemenschneider

 

Lasting longer than a lot of marriages, local folk-rock sweethearts Lucy Michelle & the Velvet Lapelles and instrumental doppelgangers Big Trouble are five years into their run as the Cedar’s keepers of the Valentine’s Day flame. The two ensembles meet up again with E.L.nO.’s big head and Current DJ Dave Campbell for another playful run through classic love songs, which this year should include a few selections from the “Minnesota Covers 69 Love Songs” tribute album, whose ringleader Matt Latterell is a Velvet Lapelle. Brian Just and DeVon Gray share in the love. (7:30 p.m. Thu., Cedar Cultural Center, $14-$16, all ages.) Riemenschneider

HIP-HOP

Four of our scene’s best-known turntablists take center stage once again for the Get Cryphy fifth anniversary party, an offshoot of the dance parties held monthly upstairs in First Ave’s Record Room. The event’s co-founders, Plain Ole Bill and Jimmy 2 Times, will be joined by partners Fundo and Last Word, who have performed behind half of the well-known rappers in town (including P.O.S., Prof, Brother Ali, Desdamona and M.anifest). They’ll be joined by MaLLy and St. Paul Slim here, but mostly the show will be about what happens off-mic. (10 p.m. Fri., First Avenue, $8-$10.) Riemenschneider

R&B/FUNK

When Buckwheat Zydeco canceled his winter tour for early-stage cancer treatment — he reportedly expects a full recovery — the Ordway pulled off the zydeco equivalent of replacing the Stones with the Who. C.J. Chenier, who took over the Red Hot Louisiana Band when his father Clifton died in 1987, steps in here as well. Clifton was the first star of the bayouland genre, but C.J. long ago came out from under his dad’s shadow and eats up the spotlight nowadays. Delta-rooted local blues/R&B greats Willie Walker and the Butanes open. (7:30 p.m. Fri., Ordway Center, $20-$38.) Riemenschneider

 

Unofficially identified as the Twin Cities Funk & Soul All-Stars as their identity continues to grow, the scene vets who stole the show at the Current’s eighth birthday party last month are back for a longer and probably even livelier set. The group’s core members include stylish Temptations-style harmonizers the Valdons, Maurice Jacox (Willie & the Bees), Willie Walker (coming from his Ordway set with the Butanes), Sonny Knight, Anthony Scott (Band of Thieves) and more. They first got together last fall to celebrate the Secret Stash Records compilation, “Twin Cities Funk & Soul: Lost Grooves From Minneapolis/St. Paul 1964-1979,” which made the top 10 in our Twin Cities Critics Tally 2012 despite being made up of 40-year-old recordings. Opening is Dérobé Dance Band, a 12-member Afrobeat/funk group also affiliated with Secret Stash. (10 p.m. Fri., Icehouse Minneapolis, $10.) Riemenschneider

 

The Twin Cities’ own entrant in the great parade of New Orleans-style second-line ensembles, the Jack Brass Band isn’t letting the Minnesota winter prevent them from blowing off some steam on Fat Tuesday. The nine-man team is hosting a Mardi Gras-style bash complete with a crawfish boil and excellent suds from Louisiana’s resilient Abita Brewery. (9 p.m. Tue., Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Free.) Riemenschneider

 

Sue Ann Carwell, who landed a Warner Bros. contract in the 1980s with the help of Prince’s first manager, recorded for MCA in the ’90s and then became an A-list L.A. backup singer, recording with Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Britney Spears, Toni Braxton, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Patti LaBelle, Rod Stewart, Lionel Richie and others. Two years ago, Carwell released a blues album, “Blues in My Sunshine,” produced by guitar monster Jesse Johnson of the Time. In her comeback hometown show in 2011, Carwell commanded the stage as she did a little funk, some blues, blues-rock, a version of Neil Young’s “Down By the River,” a cover of Betty Wright’s “Clean Up Woman” and her new single “Hold Me Tonight.” (7 & 10 p.m. Thu., Fine Line, $25.) Bream

COUNTRY

A finalist on “American Idol” in 2010, goldilocks guitarist/singer Casey James can sure play his ax. But his self-titled 2012 album was a meticulously polished and overthought modern-day country record with no clearly defined personality. Still, given his Texas background, James knows his way around barrooms, so this show should be a good fit. (9 p.m. Thu., Cabooze, $12-$15.) Bream

FOLK

The annual Battle of the Jug Bands won’t be quite the same without charter participant Al Haug, longtime talent booker at the New Riverside Cafe and mainstay of the Fat Chance Jug Band, who passed away this past Sunday after a long battle with cancer. But we can raise a beer in his honor at either the Nomad World Pub on Saturday or the Cabooze on Sunday, where there will be the usual cornucopia of fun bands — some adept, others inept, all high-spirited. Come early if you want to see last year’s champions. Good Samaritans won the Pancake League, and will kick off the Nomad show at 3 p.m. Roe Family Singers were Waffle League champs, and they start the Cabooze festivities at 1 p.m., followed by the always-excellent Boo Bradley, a terrific veteran duo from Madison, Wis., at 1:20 p.m. Best new entrant, judging by name alone? Metallica and the Copyright Infringers. (3-6:40 p.m. Sat., Nomad, $5. 1-7:40 p.m. Sun., Cabooze, $5.) Tom Surowicz

GOSPEL/R&B

Versatile Memphis sax man Kirk Whalum plays a free community concert titled “The Gospel According to Jazz,” joined by keyboardist John Stoddart. An ordained minister and a Grammy winner for best gospel song in 2011, Whalum is known for his work with Bob James, Quincy Jones, Take 6, Barbra Streisand and especially the late Whitney Houston. It’s Whalum’s signature sax solo on her smash hit, “I Will Always Love You,” and he helped score Houston’s 17-million-selling soundtrack to “The Bodyguard.” (7:30 p.m. Fri., Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, 511 Groveland Av., Mpls. Free.) Surowicz

JAZZ

Three of the bright lights of Twin Cities jazz commune in the latest Bryan Nichols Trio, as the compelling young pianist is joined by brothers Chris Bates (bass) and J.T. Bates (drums). Nichols has been a McKnight fellow and an American Composers Forum grant winner, he’s played festivals in France and Finland, and he’s been heard on CDs by Gordy Johnson, Kelly Rossum, and Todd Clouser, plus a forthcoming album by Gang Font with jazz and rock switch-hitters Dave King, Greg Norton, and Erik Fratzke. (9 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Artists’ Quarter, $10.) Surowicz

 

It’s been 35 years since Tuck and Patti began performing together and six years since they released an album. But the husband-wife duo promises a new disc in 2013. Their last effort, “I Remember You,” finds singer Patti Cathcart and guitarist Tuck Andress essaying the Great American Songbook in their warm, embracing way. Highlights include the unusually up-tempo “The Very Thought of You” and her scatting and his intricate fingerwork on “A Foggy Day.” (7 p.m. Sun., Dakota Jazz Club, $35.) Bream

 

Singer Stacey Kent seems like a cool Valentine, but she’s already taken by Jim Tomlinson, her sax-playing husband. The fun couple of international jazz make their annual visit with an eight-album catalog full of appropriate songs — “Comes Love,” “You Go to My Head,” “I’ve Got a Crush on You,” et al. (7 & 9 p.m. Wed.-Thu., Dakota, $25-$40.) Surowicz

BLUES

The groovemeister of modern urban blues, the king of the shuffle, Magic Slim brings his latest edition of the Teardrops to play old favorites and songs from their 2012 release “Bad Boy.” A few fun facts: Eddie Vedder personally picked Slim’s band to open for Pearl Jam. And in Japan there’s a popular diet pill called Magic Slim, which the 75-year-old bluesman has obviously never used. (9 p.m. Fri., Famous Dave’s Uptown, $7.) Surowicz

CLASSICAL

James Valenti makes his Schubert Club debut — the first tenor recital in its International Artist Series since 1972. A local favorite, he most recently sung the title role of Massenet’s “Werther” with Minnesota Opera last season. The program blends opera arias with art songs, the first half in French, the second in Italian. Arias from “Manon,” “Carmen,” Meyerbeer’s “L’africaine” and Verdi’s “Luisa Miller” are interspersed with songs by Reynaldo Hahn, Henri Duparc, Bellini and Puccini. Pianist Danielle Orlando, who frequently collaborated with Luciano Pavarotti, accompanies. (7:30 p.m. Sat., McKnight Theatre, 345 Washington St., St. Paul, $15-$60, 651-292-3268, www.schubert.org) William Randall Beard






 

© 2014 Star Tribune