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Stokley Williams of Mint Condition, which performs Saturday at Rondo Days.

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Savages

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Merle Haggard performs at the State Theatre on Friday.

MARLIN LEVISON •Star Tribune,

Chris Isaak plays at the Minnesota Zoo on Monday.

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Dr. John

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The Big Gigs for July 19-25: Savages, Merle Haggard, Dr. John and much, much more

  • July 19, 2013 - 2:08 PM

Call it the Alt-J formula:  Take massive amounts of British music media hype, add a heavy sprinkling of 89.3 the Current airplay, underbook the band at the Triple Rock, and before you can ask, “Are they really any good?” announce a big follow-up show at First Avenue for a few months later. Savages have gone that same route, but hopefully the black-clad, Joy Division-channeling all-female quartet will put on a livelier live show than their fellow college-age Brits did. It seems likely, given the visceral intensity of the London rockers’ debut album, “Silence Yourself” — issued stateside in May via Matador Records with some gnawingly pretentious tunes but also more fun echoes of Sleater-Kinney and Siouxsie & the Banshees. They’ll be back in town Sept. 17. Opener Johnny Hostile also collaborates with Savages singer Jehnny Beth as the duo John & Jehn. (9 p.m. Sun., Triple Rock, sold out.) Riemenschneider

POP/ROCK

Dr. John has been on a roll: He was inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in 2011, made a remarkable Grammy-winning album, “Locked Down,” in 2012 and received an honorary doctorate from Tulane University this spring (the school prez called him “Dr. Dr. John”). Produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, “Locked Down” is a return to mystical voodoo form for the good doctor from New Orleans. He’ll be joined by Louisiana slide guitar star Sonny Landreth, whose 2012 disc, “Elemental Journey,” is not only his first all-instrumental album but probably his most stylistically diverse, covering everything from reggae to jazz, with appearances by Joe Satriani and Eric Johnson. (7:30 p.m. Fri., Minnesota Zoo, $42-$54.50.) Jon Bream

One of the best-loved costume-wearing bands this side of GWAR and maybe the third best band with an album called “Let It Be,” Green Jelly was supposed to play the temporarily shuttered Station 4 but thankfully found a new venue. The Hollywood-based freak metalists have been in reunion mode since 2008 and are playing here again with our own slime-coated bad boys Impaler. (8 p.m. Fri., Triple Rock, $10-$13.) Chris Riemenschneider

It’s been a few days since Bret Michaels last played in Minnesota, so of course the Poison frontman is booked to headline Prior Lake’s Lakefront Music Fest. He’s playing the first night with two of his fellow power-ballad-singing, lipstick-wearing acts from the ’80s, Firehouse and Warrant, the latter performing without original singer Jani Lane, who died in 2011. Another act that knows our Minnesota highways well, country duo Montgomery Gentry headlines Saturday. (6 p.m. Fri., 4:30 p.m. Sat., Lakefront Park, 1500 Kop Pkwy., Prior Lake, $20/day.) Riemenschneider

After a well-received Amphetamine/Reptile label anniversary in 2010, Grumpy’s Downtown is bringing back more rarely seen bands of the ’80s-’90s pre-grunge punk/indie-rock era for another party in the parking lot, this one dubbed Bash 13. Best-known is the third-best band of Seattle’s Sub Pop scene, Mudhoney, playing its first Twin Cities gig in a decade in support of its first new album in five years. The headliner, though, is Milwaukee’s arty noise-punks Die Kreuzen, cult favorites from the Touch & Go label who haven’t played here in two decades. Even rarer, Detroit hardcore heroes Negative Approach are scheduled to deliver their first-ever Minneapolis gig. And then there are Seattle freak champs the Melvins, who seem to play their pal Tom Hazelmyer’s bar any chance they can get. Also performing are Austin punks Honky, led by ex-Butthole Surfers bassist Jeff Pinkus, plus Gay Witch Abortion and a new band of ex-Cows called Hepa/Titus. (2 p.m. Sat., Grumpy’s Downtown, 1111 Washington Av. S., $35 via EventBrite.com.) Riemenschneider

Two years ago New Kids on the Block proved they still have the steps and the vocal chops when they teamed up with fellow reunited boy band Backstreet Boys for a brilliantly conceived, smoothly executed show in which the two acts seamlessly traded off after a few songs each. It remains to be seen how Boston’s finest will interact with Boyz II Men, those romantic 1990s harmonizers who made women swoon at the State Fair in 2011, and 98 Degrees, best remembered for the post-boy band life of the Lachey brothers on “Dancin’ With the Stars” and “Nick and Jessica.” (7:30 p.m. Sat., Target Center, $29.50-$91.50.) Bream

Known as Holly Hafermann when she sang as a teenager in Madison, Wis., she moved to Los Angeles and transformed into Skylar Grey, a hit songwriter (“Love the Way You Lie”) and hook singer (“Where’d You Go,” “I Need a Doctor,” “Coming Home”). This month, Grey released her first album under her new moniker. “Don’t Look Down” shows off her strengths — strong voice, good melodies, appealing hooks — but also her weaknesses: lack of emotion, an overproduced voice and wince-worthy lyrics (“I feel like old blue jeans ’cause you wear me out”). (11 p.m. Sat., Icehouse, $15-$20.) Bream

Here’s an inspired pairing: jazzy New Orleans party man Trombone Shorty and gospelly Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Mavis Staples. The celebrated lead voice of the Staple Singers (“Respect Yourself,” “I’ll Take You There”) just released another splendid album produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, the stripped down and deeply spiritual “One True Vine.” Leader of his own high-energy jazz-rock-funk band, Orleans Avenue, Trombone Shorty is also an in-demand trombonist and trumpeter who played on recent albums by Rod Stewart, Cee-Lo Green and Zac Brown. (7:30 p.m. Sun., Minnesota Zoo, $56-$68.50.) Bream

In 2011, Peter Frampton came alive in concert, re-creating his blockbuster 1976 live album. Now, he’s bringing his “Guitar Circus” on tour. That means special guest Steve Lukather of Toto fame and opening act Kenny Wayne Shepherd, a guitar star himself. Freed from the confines of his live disc, Frampton can go back to just being a guitar hero who’s been enlisted by David Bowie (for his Glass Spiders Tour), Ringo Starr and George Harrison. Frampton won’t promise a 14-minute version of “Do You Feel the Way We Do,” but he will have Minneapolitan Rob Arthur in his band. (7:30 p.m. Sun. State, $53.50 & $68.50.) Bream

If the ever-charming Chris Isaak doesn’t demonstrate his usual humor this time around, it might be because longtime drummer and straight man Kenney Dale Johnson had to sit out this tour to undergo cancer treatment. Don’t be surprised if the rockabilly-loving Isaak devotes a chunk of the evening to material from 2011’s “Beyond the Sun,” his interpretations of vintage tunes associated with Sun Records. (7:30 p.m. Mon., Minnesota Zoo, $54 & $66.50.) Bream

Friends from dinner parties, Steve Martin is a Los Angeles bluegrass banjo picker and Edie Brickell is an introspective New York singer/songwriter. Get them to collaborate on songwriting and you end up with “Love Will Come for You,” a winning collection of sweet, graceful folk music, with banjo (but not bluegrass) accents. Exercising their Texas roots, they explore a baby thrown off a train and other intriguing tales that deliver vivid details and recurring rewards. In concert, the duo will be backed by Martin’s touring ensemble, the Steep Canyon Rangers. Read an interview with the duo in Sunday’s Variety. (7:30 p.m. Mon., State Theatre, $43.50-$83.50.) Bream

One Republic frontman Ryan Tedder is a true bizzer — a guy who will make his way in the music business either as a songwriter, producer or recording artist. OneRepublic is hot again with “Feel Again,” after falling off the map following 2007’s smash “Apologize.” Between OneRepublic hits, Tedder wrote or produced successes for others, including Beyoncé’s “Halo,” Adele’s “Rumour Has It” and Jordin Sparks’ “Battlefield,” among others. Nice résumé. Opening is retro soul man Mayer Hawthorne, whose third album, “Where Does This Door Go,” goes for more of a G-funk and hip-hop vibe, with help from Pharrell and Kendrick Lamar. (7 p.m. Mon., Myth, $43.). Bream

The phrase “multi-talented” certainly applies to Brazil’s Badi Assad. Best known as a dazzling fingerstyle guitarist, Assad is also an outstanding bilingual vocalist, songwriter and percussionist who uses her mouth, clucking tongue and guitar body to add infectious rhythms. While she’s worked with some of the world’s premier modern jazz axmen (Larry Coryell, John Abercrombie, Pat Metheny) and ably plays classical and traditional Brazilian sounds, Assad mostly makes sophisticated pop — check out her new CD, “Between Love and Luck,” the whole of which can be streamed for free online, for the delectable evidence. (7 p.m. Tue., Dakota Jazz Club, $40.) Tom Surowicz

R&B

Just as Motown had its male/female duos, Minneapolis’ own Flyte Tyme Productions put together Twin Cities soul man Alexander O’Neal with Cherrelle, the Detroit singer who made three albums with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. O’Neal and Cherrelle soared with the hit singles “Saturday Love” and “Never Knew Love Like This.” They make a rare joint appearance in Minneapolis for a little Friday love. (9 p.m. Fri., First Avenue, $20.) Bream

Another act that owes much of its early success to Jam and Lewis, Mint Condition has been enjoying a second career wave in recent years with the charting success of its albums “7…” and last year’s “Music at the Speed of Life.” The modern-edged, classic-toned R&B vets — who first came together as St. Paul Central High students — are performing about as close to home as they can get for the 30th annual Rondo Days Celebration. They’re scheduled to play at 5:30 p.m. following performances by Timotha Lanae, A&R, D-Black and more. (11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Sat., Rondo Education Center Field, 560 Concordia Av., St. Paul, free, $50 VIP seats, RondoAvenueInc.org.) Riemenschneider

HIP-HOP

El-P and Killer Mike make a great if unlikely pair. After the former produced the latter’s breakthrough album, “R.A.P. Music,” and then issued his own epic collection, “Cancer 4 Cure,” they hit the road together last summer and had so much fun they’re doing it again. This time, the Brooklyn indie-rap guru and budding Atlanta star have an album they made together, “Run the Jewels,”issued as a free download via FoolsGoldRecs.com and seemingly tailor-made for the summer party vibe. Adding greatly to the festivities are El-P’s fellow Def Jux mate Despot and Das Racist’s Kool AD for openers. (8:30 p.m. Fri., Varsity Theater, $16-$25.) Riemenschneider

COUNTRY

In 2008, Merle Haggard had part of a lung removed because of cancer. But he hasn’t slowed down. Since then, he has released two commendable albums and continued to tour regularly. His three most recent shows in the Twin Cities — including ones with Kris Kristofferson in 2012 and ’11 — have been memorable evenings of terrific songwriting, excellent musicianship, impassioned singing and larger-than-life personality. With all due respect to Hank Williams and Willie Nelson, ol’ Merle may have penned the most extraordinary catalog of songs in the history of country music. (8 p.m. Fri., State Theatre, $53.50 & $63.50.) Bream

Like fellow Austin vet Dale Watson, Wayne “The Train” Hancock likes to escape the Texas heat this season and knows there’s a cool crowd of Twin Cities honky-tonk purists to welcome him. Hancock is a Hank Williams sound-alike by nature (or at least by nasal design), and he keeps it old-school by performing with slapping bass instead of drums. He takes a bluesier direction on his new album, “Ride,” but there’s no mistaking the twang. Local country upstarts the Union Suits open. (9 p.m. Sat., 7th Street Entry, $15.) Riemenschneider

Junior Brown is the total C&W package. A guitar hero who dazzles and delights with his patented “guit-steel” — playing both rip-roaring honky-tonk and boogie leads and tear-in-your-beer steel-guitar licks — he also writes humorous and great songs, and his burly baritone voice is a glorious throwback to the golden era of Nashville, sounding like a modern-day Ernest Tubb. Yet he’s as likely to quote Hendrix as he is Merle Travis. Brown’s latest CD, “Volume Ten,” is one of his best, and his wife, Tanya Rae, is back in the touring band, playing stellar rhythm guitar — this is one fun couple. (8 p.m. Sat., Dakota Jazz Club, $40.) Surowicz

JAZZ

The local jazz cognoscenti will likely turn out in force for next week’s Jeremy Walker Benefit Bash. Over the past decade Walker has worn lots of hats: saxophonist, pianist, composer, bandleader, club owner and booker, founder of the nonprofit Jazz Is NOW! — all that and more while battling debilitating Lyme disease. The lineup for this fund­raiser is impressive, too: Grammy-nominated saxophonist Ted Nash; New York City-based pianist and composer extraordinaire David Berkman; bass master Anthony Cox and his band, Happy Spirits; singers from the Minnesota Opera; Walker’s band Boot Camp, and writer/comedian Joseph Scrimshaw. Walker has big bills and no health insurance, but thankfully no shortage of friends. (7 p.m. Thu., Dakota Jazz Club, $50.) Surowicz











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