Thursday - Jan. 8

Bobby Bare Jr.

8:30 p.m. • Turf Club • $10

Bobby Bare Jr. has bounced from the 400 Bar to the Dakota over the past decade of local tour stops but seems tailor-made for the Turf Club, in part because of his rugged alt-country/twang-rock charm but also because of his clowning barroom character. The Nashville music heir — who put out a pair of criminally underrated rock albums from 1998-2000 with Virgin Records — has played more stripped-down, songwriterly sets in town of late, but he’s back to raising a little heck with his full band, the Young Criminals Starvation League, in support of his latest Bloodshot release, “Undefeated.” Eleganza! and Sam Cassidy open.Chris Riemenschneider


The Southside Aces

8 p.m. • Minneapolis Eagles Club • $5

Standard bearers for a younger generation of traditional jazz musicians in the Twin Cities, the Southside Aces release their fifth album with a party on the south side of Minneapolis — where else? “Second Thursday” features classic 1920s New Orleans fare plus the band’s takes on great old songs popularized by legendary ladies Sophie Tucker and Edith Piaf. There’s one seasonal selection and another hip oldie (“Blues My Sweetie Gives to Me”) that bluegrass and jug-band fans will recall from the Greenbriar Boys and/or Jim Kweskin. Toss in some fine original material, and “Second Thursday” sounds like a hot Saturday in the old French Quarter. Tom Surowicz


Friday - Jan. 9


10 p.m. • First Avenue Record Room • 18-plus • $7-$10

Having taken over numerous stages in different forms over the years, System returns to its Record Room birthplace to commemorate its fourth anniversary. Last year, the techno event series added a record label component with an inaugural EP from founder Mike Gervais. Tonight’s party features a music-video screening for System’s next release — Gervais’ “Assailant” EP due in March — and live visuals from Rachel Palmer, with Gervais and his beat-geek accomplice Aaron Litschke on the decks. Michael Rietmulder


Tribute to the Last Waltz

9:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat. • Cabooze • 18-plus • $10-$15

The 10th annual Tribute to the Last Waltz is such a resounding success that two different singers — Tim Mahoney and Terry Walsh — have been enlisted to sing Van Morrison numbers. The show, of course, is a song-by-song re-creation of “The Last Waltz,” the storied 1976 farewell concert by the Band that became a beloved movie directed by Martin Scorsese. Reprising their stellar roles are Pat Hayes as Paul Butterfield and Jared Rush as Dr. John. Other singers include Dan Israel, Chris Castino, Tristina Ward and Kent Militzer. The excellent Big Pink serves as house band. Jon Bream



8 p.m. • Triple Rock • 18-plus • $5

This (mostly) headbanger’s ball not hosted by Jamey Jasta celebrates the birthday of Jimmy Claypool, guitarist with In Defence and False — both of which have anticipated new albums in the works. Touting a new album of their own, melodic death-metal quartet Pestifere released its mournful and pulverizing “Liminal” in November. Also performing are earth-scorching grindcore duo Agitate, post-punk trio Principality featuring Claps frontman Patrick Donohoe and a special guest. M.R.



8:30 p.m. • 7th Street Entry • 18-plus • $8-$10

After taking a rare respite from touring and recording while co-leaders Ryan Smith and Kathie Hixon-Smith welcomed their first child, Twin Cities power-popsters the Melismatics used the down time to gather up a collection of outtakes and random recordings for a fun new album on Chicago’s Pravda Records, “The Future Is History.” Tracks range from Ryan’s teenage demos to a new single, “Celebrate Your Heartbeat,” which turned out to be one of their sweetest tunes to date. They’re celebrating the release with a big party in the little room featuring Two Harbors and Stereo Confession. Chris Riemenschneider


Saturday - Jan. 10

Girl Germs: A live Tribute to Women in Music

8 p.m. • Turf Club • $10

It’s not often we get to see Kate Bush, Erykah Badu and Marianne Faithfull in Minnesota, so the second installment of the Girl Germs Tribute to Women in Rock is extra welcome for helping fill the void. Local siren Aby Wolf is bold and gifted enough to take on Bush’s songs to headline the show, while feel-good-groove stalwart K. Raydio was a shoo-in choice to do Badu and electropunk band Yoni Yum should have some fun with Faithfull’s material. All the more intriguing are the unlikely choices of minimalist brat-punk trio Kitten Forever playing an all-Beyoncé set and experimental rockers Alpha Consumer interpreting Aretha Franklin. Sounds weird, but it’s a serious affair spotlighting how lackluster modern music would be without these women’s influence. Chris Riemenschneider


Sean Anonymous birthday show

9 p.m. • First Avenue • 18-plus • $8-$12

For eight years running, this dexterous Twin Cities rapper has celebrated his b-day with gigs that have grown from the defunct Dinkytowner to First Avenue’s Mainroom. Sean Anonymous made a name for himself rocking local and Warped Tour mics with nimble, quick-hit flows, although his relatively slim solo catalog belies his hustle. However, that could change when his full-length debut with producer Dimitry Killstorm drops this spring. With Doomtree’s Mike Mictlan, Hologram Kizzie (aka Psalm One), Commanders Handsome, DJ Name and hosts Phillip Morris and Mark Mallman. Michael Rietmulder


The Hussy

8:30 p.m. • Triple Rock • 18-plus • $8

Tracking these scuzzy garage rockers’ myriad releases is like picking smashed-guitar splinters out of a haystack. But amid a flurry of 7-inches and splits (including one with disbanded locals Sleeping in the Aviary), the Madison, Wis., duo has unleashed three scrappy garage-punk albums dipped in dirty blues riffs. Vocals-swapping members Heather and Bobby Hussy are still touring on 2013’s “Pagan Hiss” and a re-pressing of their debut, but a new record is expected this year. With Gay Witch Abortion, Teenage Moods and Big Girl (featuring Jordan Gatesmith and Frankie Teardrop). M.R.


Lizzo and Toki Wright

8:30 p.m. • Varsity Theater • 18-plus • $21.50-$51.50

Two of the Twin Cities’ most popular and provocative rappers, Lizzo and Toki Wright, are nobly taking up a cause that’s unfortunately not so popular in hip-hop circles. They’re heading up a benefit for To the Bridge Foundation, a local nonprofit organization started in memory of musician Tony Dolksi to assist young people with addiction and mental-health issues. Lizzo recently opened up about her own sobriety challenges and is coming off her other triumphs of 2014, including the international rerelease of her “Lizzobangers” album. Wright will hit the show with producer/partner Big Cats and their band, who together earned a high spot on our year-end Twin Cities Critics Tally with their spacey record “Pangaea.” C.R.


Rusted Root

7:30 p.m. • Fine Line • $25-$35

During its 25 years, Pittsburgh jam-band Rusted Root has opened for some big names (Dave Matthews Band, Santana, the Grateful Dead, Robert Plant/ Jimmy Page), released seven studio albums and played thousands of gigs. Frontman Michael Glabicki and singer/percussionist Liz Berlin formed the band after meeting in high school at a rally for students against racism and apartheid. Their songs have featured messages about social issues, religion and love while embracing a tapestry of sounds, including rock, soul, jazz and various kinds of world music. Their latest disc, 2012’s “The Movement,” is a percolating stew of positivity and organic grooves. Jon Bream


Cafe Accordion Orchestra

8 p.m. • Cedar Cultural Center • $22-$25

Movies and music go together like peanut butter and jelly, or ham and cheese, and Dan Newton’s Cafe Accordion Orchestra will prove it once again with “Cinema,” a special program featuring a century’s worth of sounds for celluloid, with the CAO’s take on soundtrack music from the Marx Brothers to James Bond to Quentin Tarantino. Expect film clips, cartoons and always welcome guest singer Diane Jarvi. (8 p.m. Sat., Cedar Cultural Center, $22-$25.) Tom Surowicz


Sunday - Jan. 11

The Duhks

7:30 p.m. • Cedar Cultural Center • $18-$20

Equipped with everything from a clawhammer banjo to a bouzouki (a Greek instrument similar to the mandolin), the Duhks have spent the past 12 years establishing themselves as one of the more accomplished and interesting alt-folk acts in recent memory. The Canadian fivesome came into prominence with their Grammy-nominated 2006 album, “Migrations,” which was produced by Bela Fleck. The band has endured a series of lineup changes since, but vocalists Leonard Podolak and Jessee Havey remain. “Beyond the Blue,” the Duhks’ fifth full-length, came out last year. Locals Winston Drei Tod open. Raghav Mehta


Dobet Gnahoré

7:30 p.m. • Ordway Center • $20-$45

A true sophisticate, Gnahoré sings in nine languages, blending traditional sounds from her Ivory Coast homeland and other African nations with modern Europop. The 32-year-old daughter of drummer Boni Gnahoré, she’s been around showbiz all her life, and shared in a “best urban/alternative” Grammy award with India.Arie for the song “Palea.” So it’s no surprise that the music on her fine new album, “Na Dre,” is sleek and slick, not folkloric. A splendid singer, Gnahoré also plays congas, thumb piano and guitar, and writes message-laden songs meant to help empower African women. Tom Surowicz


Monday - Jan. 12

Marshall Crenshaw

7 p.m. • Dakota Jazz Club • $25

He’s been an actor (the movie “La Bamba,” the musical “Beatlemania”), an author (“Hollywood Rock: A Guide to Rock ’n’ Roll in the Movies”) and a radio DJ. But Crenshaw is best known as a creator of indelible power-pop music, including the hit “Someday, Someway.” His songs have been covered by Bette Midler, the Gin Blossoms, Ronnie Spector and others. An incurable record collector with exquisite taste, he continues to release new music, by launching a subscription service in 2014 for new EPs featuring at least one new original, a cover and a reworking of a Crenshaw oldie. Opening is Kevin Bowe, the Minneapolis singer-songwriter who has collaborated with Etta James, Paul Westerberg and others. Jon Bream


Tuesday - Jan. 13

Luke Redfield

9 p.m. • Icehouse • $7

Duluth native Redfield made a strong impression among local singer-songwriters and spearheaded the great “Minnesota Remembers Vic Chesnutt” album in the early-’00s before returning to life as a free-roaming troubadour, including stays in Colorado and Austin, Texas. The Americana folkie is back in town to kick off a tour with a band behind his new album, “The Cartographer,” which — as the title suggests — chronicles some of his widespread travels but also includes many nods to home, with echoes of homeboys Dylan and Mason Jennings. Jeremy Ylvisaker was among the album’s players. North Shore tunesmith Sarah Krueger opens. Chris Riemenschneider


Wednesday - Jan. 14

Morgan James

7 & 9 p.m. • Dakota Jazz Club • $22-$30

She may have been classically trained at Julliard but James made a splash on Broadway, first in “The Addams Family” and then in “Motown: the Musical” (as Teena Marie). Now the Idaho native is trying to make it as a soul singer promoting her just-released second album, “Hunter.” After an impressive debut showcasing her live cabaret tribute to Nina Simone, James shows her sultry instincts, splendid control and deep emotionalism on “Hunter.” She co-wrote several of these modern-soul selections with her producer/guitarist Doug Wamble and jazz hero Robert Glasper — a newcomer worth checking out. Jon Bream