Mina Moore has gone on dates on Valentine's Day. But in her 35 years, the Minneapolis R&B singer has never experienced an unforgettable Valentine's evening.
She hopes to finally make that memory this year when she performs "Songs for Lovers" at the Dakota.
"Our show will be R&B and neo-soul love songs," Moore promises. "Some contemporary, some old school stuff. We'll steer away from the explicit, as much as I enjoy rap and hip-hop."
Think "Feel Like Makin' Love" — the D'Angelo arrangement, not the Roberta Flack original. Probably some Maxwell, Alicia Keys, Michael Jackson, Erykah Badu and Aretha Franklin, too. Maybe even Amy Winehouse, if Moore can find "some happy Amy song."
Moore has never performed a Valentine's show but she's drawing her set list from a one-off wedding gig she did recently for a musician-turned-restaurateur. That means songs that are happy and celebratory. No place for heartache on Feb. 14.
Moore does have some other no-nos for her show. No R. Kelly songs because she's protesting his alleged abuse of women. Nothing by Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston because Moore just can't match their stratospheric vocal ranges. Who can?
One other thing: "Don't feel like you have to have a date," Moore says. "Love is always a fun theme. And we have a lot of R&B lovers here in the Twin Cities."
Moore and her band are actually playing the late show Thursday (9:30 p.m., $20-$25). The Dakota's 6 p.m. dinner show — $115 for a four-course meal — will feature Kevin Kirkendahl's tribute to Johnny Mathis, the king of make-out music. For details, go to dakotacooks.com.
Here are 10 more musical ways to celebrate Valentine's Day weekend.
The R Factor: If you should be dancing, this is the ticket. This versatile variety band with four top-notch singers can cover everything from standards and Motown to classic rock and current hits. No wonder this group is arguably the best wedding band in the Twin Cities. (8 p.m. Thu., Minnesota Music Cafe, St. Paul, $10, minnesotamusiccafe.com)
Heart Bones: This is the latest incarnation of Minneapolis showman Sean Tillmann, aka Har Mar Superstar. He's teaming with Texas singer Sabrina Ellis (of A Giant Dog and Sweet Spirit) to do tunes from the movie "Dirty Dancing" plus a handful of new electro-pop originals. You know you'll have the time of your life because, well, it's Har Mar and a kindred spirit. (8 p.m. Thu., First Avenue, Mpls., $25, first-avenue.com)
Andrew Walesch Trio: For the fourth consecutive Valentine's Day, the Twin Cities singer/pianist will visit the romantic chapters of the Great American Songbook — both familiar and forgotten — with saxophonist Dave Karr and bassist Graydon Peterson. (7 p.m. Thu.-Sat., Bar Lurcat, Mpls., $90 for dinner, lurcatminneapolis.com)
Kevin Kling & Friends: Billed as "The Love Show," this evening with the beloved Twin Cities storyteller will feature the versatile sounds of Claudia Schmidt, Prudence Johnson, Simone Perrin, Dane Stauffer and others. (7 p.m. Thu. the O'Shaughnessy, St. Paul, $5-$27, oshag.stkate.edu)
Annie Mack: She may be known as a blues-rocker but the Rochester-reared singer will be doing sultry standards during a four-course dinner show at the swank new Hotel Landing in Wayzata. (6 p.m. Thu., $65 for dinner. ninetwentyfive.com)
Tribute to Steve and Eydie: Jason Richards and Maud Hixson are staging "Who Wouldn't Love You," a nod to the popular 1960s husband-and-wife vocal duo Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme — an ideal fit for a supper club. (6 p.m. Thu., Dunsmore Room at Crooners, Fridley, $15, croonersloungemn.com)
Tribute to Otis Redding: Veteran Twin Cities singer Mark Licktieg surveys the songbook of the late, great soul man, with a Valentine's suggestion to "Try a Little Tenderness." (7:30 p.m. Thu., Crooners, Fridley, $30, croonersloungemn.com)
Songs for Lovers and Fools: Versatile Twin Cities singers Cookie Coleman and Pat Frederick, best known for his work with Daisy Dillman, take you through a post-Valentine's program of romance. (6 p.m. Feb. 15, Dunsmore Room at Crooners, Fridley, $15, croonersloungemn.com)
Music by Lovers: Blues-rocker Lisa Wenger hosts a program featuring couples who make music together, including Jennifer Grimm and Joe Cruz; Laura MacKenzie and Gary Rue; Mary Louise Knutson and Michael B. Nelson, and Camille Gross and Chris Olson. (7:30 p.m. Feb. 15, Crooners, Fridley, $20, croonersloungemn.com)
Lush Country: These purveyors of classic country — an all-star Twin Cities lineup featuring Prudence Johnson, Gary Rue and Dan Chouinard — promise love songs from what they call the hi-fi era of Nashville. In other words, Patsy Cline, Eddy Arnold, Tammy Wynette and the pre-Willie-and-Waylon days. (6 p.m. Feb. 16, Crooners, Fridley, $20, croonersloungemn.com)