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Big Gigs: Twin Cities concert highlights for Sept. 6-12

  • September 6, 2013 - 3:12 PM

Long before Justin Timberlake discovered a suit and tie, Michael Bublé was wearing them as part of his Vegas-y crooner act — except his outfit was from the thrift shop. Now that he’s headlining arenas and scoring with such original tunes as “Haven’t Met You Yet” and “Home,” Bublé can afford designer threads to go with his slick-and-suave big-stage presentations of songs associated with Frank Sinatra, Van Morrison and the Bee Gees. (8 p.m. Wed., Xcel Energy Center, $56.50-$112.) Jon Bream

FESTIVALS

One of the few local acts to graduate from sold-out, multi-night stands at First Ave to one big gig outside the Cabooze, wise-acre indie-rap star Prof wasn’t kidding around when it came time to assemble a festival-like lineup for his to-do. He’s bringing in unlikely but successful partners Killer Mike and El-P, who will perform as a duo behind their wigged-out new album “Run the Jewels,” along with playful California wordsmith Fashawn, who was Prof’s traveling companion on the Road to Paid Dues tour. From the local scene, look for the Get Cryphy DJs and a bunch of Prof’s fellow South Siders, including MaLLy, Tony Bones, Big Wiz and Mike the Martyr, plus some not-so-surprising surprise guests. You can bet Prof will be at his boldest and bawdiest, too, having healed up from knee surgery after years of playing a madman on stage. (4 p.m. Sat., Cabooze Plaza, all ages, $20.) Chris Riemenschneider

One of the best annual events at one of the best outdoor venues in town, St. Paul’s Concrete & Grass Festival boasts another diverse lineup of local talent. On Friday, Velvet Lapelles bandleader Lucy Michelle will play from her classic-pop solo album with help from New Standards bandmates John Munson and Chan Poling, who co-produced the record, and opening support from worldly dance band Marimba Africa and one act TBA. Electronic whir-rock favorites Halloween, Alaska headline Saturday with members of the Minnesota Opera, McNally Smith College of Music’s Sphericals and the Copper Street Brass Quintet. (5-10 p.m. Fri., 4-10 p.m. Sat., Mears Park, 221 E. 5th St., downtown St. Paul, free.) Riemenschneider

Attendees of this year’s Summit Backyard Bash had better pace themselves, as the 2013 lineup merits spending the entire day at the brewery. On tap to top out the event is the Secret Stash Soul Revue, featuring some of the R&B/soul vets from last year’s “Twin Cities Funk & Soul” compilation, preceded by Haley Bonar and her electrifying new band; jazz-pop cover-song maestros the New Standards; the Chalice’s soulful rapper Lizzo backed by Doomtree’s Lazerbeak; Domino Records’ own psychedelic Minneapolitan gang Night Moves, and acoustic roots hero Charlie Parr with friends. Proceeds benefit the Minnesota Music Coalition, promoting local musicians around the state. (Noon-8 p.m. Sat., Summit Brewery, 910 Montreal Circle, St. Paul, 21 & older, $18-$20, SummitBrewing.com.) Riemenschneider

 

POP/ROCK

The Afro-European-soul exotica of Les Nubians is on full display on “Nu Revolution,” the French-Cameroonian sister duo’s ambitious 2011 album. Helene and Celia Faussart offer ballads, trip-hop, spoken word, hip-hop/soul, dance music, Afropop, jazz, traditional African music, Prince-influenced funk and Euro-soul. (7 & 9 p.m. Fri., Dakota Jazz Club, $35-$40.) Jon Bream

We can accept Journey with a new singer because Steve Perry essentially retired. But if you want to know what Foreigner is, it’s founding guitarist Mick Jones’ band without lead singer Lou Gramm, who performs “Jukebox Hero” and “Hot Blooded” under his own name on the road. Meanwhile, Jones continues to tour with Foreigner and lead vocalist Kelly Hansen, a member since 2005. Jones’ group will be joined by 25 members of the Shakopee High School choir on “I Want to Know What Love Is.” (8 p.m. Fri., Mystic Lake Casino, $49-$59.) Bream

The Twin Cities’ most successful metal band of all time, American Head Charge is back after a two-year hiatus and one very tumultuous decade before that. In that time, the industrialized thrashers recorded their sophomore album, “The War of Art,” with mega-producer Rick Rubin but then succumbed to personal demons and music-industry woes. Founding bassist Chad Hanks and vocalist Cameron Heacock re-formed the band last year with longtime guitarist Karma Cheema and drummer Chris Emery in tow. They have a new EP, “Shoot,” which includes the Alice in Chains-like single “Sugars of Someday,” alongside a raw cover of Patti Smith’s “Rock ’n’ Roll N****r.” Their summer tour finale is stacked with four boisterous local openers, including Blue Felix and Throw the Fight. (9 p.m. Fri., First Avenue, $20-$25.) Riemenschneider

The Indigo Girls, the folk-rock duo with many righteous causes, will headline an Honor the Earth benefit in St. Paul. Amy Ray and Emily Saliers will do an acoustic set, activist Winona LaDuke will speak and Lyz Jaakola and Neeconis Women Singers also will perform. (8 p.m. Sat., the O’Shaughnessy, St. Catherine University, $30-$35.) Bream 

Almost as much as another Leeds-reared Englishman, DJ Mark Wheat, Alt-J has been all over 89.3 the Current’s airwaves this past year and already played two smaller sold-out shows in town supporting its one and only album. Now comes what could either be the jittery, nasal-voiced art-rock quartet’s big climax or the final fizzle over two nights at First Ave. The baby-faced members seemed a tad disinterested and tired in April at the Varsity Theater, having already spent a year touring behind their Mercury Prize-winning album, “An Awesome Wave.” Maybe it was just that British aloofness, or maybe the lads are due a second wind. There’s extra value this time around with elegant L.A. folk-rocker Lord Huron opening. (9 p.m. Sat. & 8 p.m. Sun., First Avenue, sold out.) Riemenschneider 

Texas fiddler Amanda Shires got her start in a late incarnation of the Texas Playboys, Bob Wills’ legendary Western swing band. On her third solo effort, “Down Fell the Doves,” her style is dark Americana with a disarming prettiness. She’s at her best on “Box Cutters,” which sounds like a Lana Del Ray suicide song. But Shires has a happy personal life — she married acclaimed singer-songwriter Jason Isbell in February. Local bluegrass-bent twanger Barbara Jean opens. (10:30 p.m. Sat., Icehouse, $10.) Bream

In the TV series “Nashville,” J.D. Souther plays a legendary Music City singer-songwriter/producer. In real life, he was a behind-the-scenes singer-songwriter who had more success writing for the Eagles and Linda Ronstadt than for himself. Oh, he did have one hit, “You’re Only Lonely,” in 1979. He moved to Nashville a decade ago but lately has been making jazzier music. (7 p.m. Sun.-Mon., Dakota, $35.) Bream

Since his short burst of post-punk fame with the Soft Boys ended in 1980, psychedelic British folk-rock hero Robyn Hitchcock has released a staggering 19 solo albums, and he shows no signs of slowing down or waning artistically on his latest one, “Love From London.” The new songs point to all-too-real modern-day woes (environment, economy, etc.) with the fantastical, oblique lyrical style that defined Hitchcock’s alternative radio classics such as “Balloon Man” and “Madonna of the Wasps.” He’s touring with comic Eugene Mirman. (8 p.m. Sun., Varsity Theater, $22-$25.) Riemenschneider

On tour previewing one of this year’s most anticipated indie debuts, Chvrches (“churches”) is a Scottish electro-pop band with ample British buzz, including a No. 5 showing in BBC’s Sound of 2013 Poll and tour dates opening with Depeche Mode. The trio has a sweet, willowy voiced frontwoman in Lauren Mayberry, who sings over similarly sugary but mesmerizing MGMT/New Order-style synths and electronic beats. Their full-length album, “The Bones of What You Believe,” lands Sept. 24. Opener XXYYXX is a 16-year-old electronic producer from Orlando. (8 p.m. Mon., First Avenue, $18-$20.) Riemenschneider

Icona Pop isn’t waiting for the release of its U.S. debut, “This Is … Icona Pop,” to hit the stores on Sept. 24. By then the Swedish electro-pop duo will have made 16 of its 17 U.S. appearances. The duo’s bouncy, carefree, catchy “I Love It” received lots of exposure in the States as the theme song to TV’s “Snooki & JWoww,” and in episodes of “Girls,” “The Vampire Diaries” and “Glee.” (6:30 p.m. Tue., Varsity Theater, $22-$35.) Bream

Tuesday is survival-of-the-rock-fittest night at your downtown danceteria. In First Avenue’s main room, Richard Butler and the Psychedelic Furs still deliver their ’80s hits with loads of drive and brio. (8 p.m. Tue., $23-$25). Meanwhile in the 7th Street Entry, Memphis cult legend Tav Falco offers up his timeless and twisted unique take on Americana. (8 p.m. Tue., $10-$12). Tom Surowicz 

Animal Collective has had a rough year. The Baltimore-reared band/collective postponed at First Ave and several other venues in March due to primary singer Avey Tare’s throat problems, and then put off more dates in July due to an unspecified illness. These guys were already kind of rough as a live act, too. Still, last year’s album “Centipede Hz” offered another heady, genre-blowing batch of psychedelic alien-pop, and its 2009 predecessor “Merriweather Post Pavilion” is a modern indie-nerd classic. Brooklyn’s White Magic opens with local experimental sonic wizard Matthew St-Germain. (8 p.m. Wed., First Avenue, sold out.) Riemenschneider

Doug Aitken’s Station to Station has been described as a nomadic art project traveling this month from East to West by train, making occasional stops for performances and presentations. Some cities will get Beck, Cat Power or Dan Deacon; we get the esteemed poet/singer/songwriter/author Patti Smith and her son, guitarist Jackson Smith, doing an acoustic set. Each “happening” also will feature five Nomadic Sculptures created by Kenneth Anger, Urs Fisher, Liz Glynn, Carsten Höller and Ernesto Neto as well as the Aitken-designed train, which has become something of a kinetic sculpture. (6 to 11 p.m. Thu., Union Depot, St. Paul, $25, www.stationtostation.com/tickets.) Bream 

Two-time Tony winner Patti LuPone, who starred as Eva Peron in “Evita” on Broadway, will make a rare Twin Cities club appearance with her “Far Away Places” show — her “reaction to wanderlust in the theater.” The cabaret show includes tunes by Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim and the Bee Gees as well as numbers associated with Edith Piaf and Brecht-Weill. (7 & 9 p.m. Thu.-next Fri., Dakota, $35-$70.) Bream 

Sub Pop Records’ most buzzed-about synth-pop act since Beach House, Washed Out is the pseudonym of Georgia-based musician Ernest Green. His second album for the famed Seattle label, “Paracosm,” landed last month with widespread critical raves over its sleepy, dreamscape-like whirring melodies and soft beats. (8:30 p.m. Thu., First Avenue, $16-$18.) Riemenschneider

COUNTRY

On NBC’s “The Voice,” coach and country star Blake Shelton has charmed America with his quick wit, easy smile and good looks. The TV exposure has certainly elevated his profile, enabling him to headline three Twin Cities concerts in the past 15 months. During that stretch, he also dropped a new album, “Based on a True Story,” and scored more country hits, including “Sure Be Cool If You Did” and “Boys ’Round Here.” Opening are Easton Corbin, who made a splash a few years ago with “A Little More Country Than That,” and Jana Kramer, the former “One Tree Hill” star known for the country hit “Why Ya Wanna.” (7:30 p.m. Thu., Xcel Energy Center, $29.75-$54.75. ) Bream

JAZZ

The Graydon Peterson Quartet collects four young jazz talents with Wisconsin roots: bassist Peterson, trumpeter Adam Meckler, guitarist Vinnie Rose and drummer Adrian Suarez. This weekend the group, formed in 2011, celebrates the release of its impressive self-titled debut album. The opening track, “Crocodile Truck Driver,” goes from spare, lazy chamber jazz to bracing “Bitches Brew”-style fusion. Another cool cut, “Kid on a Bike,” mixes African beats with post-bop heat. Peterson has already established himself as a versatile, sensitive band anchor and able soloist. This disc shows him to be a crafty composer, as well. (9 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Artists’ Quarter, $10.) Surowicz 

Four fiery horn men get together in the United Trumpet Summit. Randy Brecker has the biggest name recognition, but Dr. Eddie Henderson, who made some brilliant Miles-style albums in the 1970s, is the nicest surprise. A practicing psychiatrist offstage, his cross-country tours are rare. At 37 and with 10 albums as a leader under his belt, Jeremy Pelt is ready for prime time. And Leon Jordan Jr., a Philly phenom still in his early 20s, represents the next generation of class brass. (7 & 9 p.m. Wed., Dakota Jazz Club, $25 -$40.) Surowicz

FOLK

Still vital after 44 years, Scottish folk greats the Battlefield Band are in top form on their new album, “Room Enough for All,” which kicks off with a great setting of Louis MacNeice’s cranky and comic nonsense poem “Bagpipe Music.” The quartet’s traditional instrumental medleys are filled with as much soulfulness and zest as ever. (8 p.m. Fri., Cedar Cultural Center, $18-$20.) Surowicz

Don’t do a double-take — Tom Rush isn’t back already from New England. His gig last month on the West Bank was postponed at the last minute, reportedly due to airline connections. This time we hope he’s taking a train — perhaps the “Panama Limited” that served Rush so well in the 1960s. (8 p.m. Sat., Cedar Cultural Center, $30.) Surowicz


 

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