Music A-List

The Orpheum Theater

The pluckiest way to dispatch the waning year may be with a potent dose of northern grass in its many varietal splendors—blue, new, maybe even askew. This party of Minnesotans with a Southern exposure is headed up by Trampled By Turtles (recently upgraded to a quintet with the addition of fiddler Ryan Young), who give Bill Monroe's baby a punkish dose of adrenalin that threatens to rocket Dave Carroll's banjo into orbit. The Turtles' latest CD, Trouble (Banjodad), plays havoc with tradition, straying into new-grass fusion at times, fashioning weepy country laments about excessive carrying-on, and constantly flirting with indie-rock fragments that finally break out on the positively grungy "Who's Calling?" The Turtles' partners in roots-twisting innovation, Pert Near Sandstone, are a string band with grassy inclinations that stretch to country at either end of the new/old timey scale, pop, and even intimations of urbanity—they even question the resident repulsive Republican regime on "Aught Three Waltz," a song from their own far finer incumbent, Up and Down the River. For pure weirdness, the album also sports a sizzling Transylvanian klezmer breakdown innocuously dubbed "Gypsy Reel." Between the grassy knolls will be the White Iron Band, whose finest contribution to the evening's theme may be a little Tex-Mex ditty called "Sweet Mary Jane" from last year's live and definitely kickin' At the Cabooze disc. A rowdy, countrypolitan bar band par excellence who rock out hard, this is one Iron that's always hot. $25. 8:00 p.m. 910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.339.7007. — Rick Mason

Brother Ali/BK One/Toki Wright

7th St. Entry

I heard Mason Jennings once drowned a guy for not fully appreciating the beauty of a loon call
courtesy of Red Light Management
I heard Mason Jennings once drowned a guy for not fully appreciating the beauty of a loon call

The New Year's Eve party, as an established form of therapy, gives us a few magical hours to teeter on the edge between another disappointing year spent wasting time, money, and brain cells, and the promise of a better one to come; a chance to celebrate (or, if you're like me, mourn), and hope wildly, if for only a moment. Whatever your M.O. any other time, tonight's the night everyone from diamond-encrusted high rollers to hoodied-up hooligans all want the same thing—chiefly, to shake the dirt of the old calendar off their shoulders while strutting drunkenly into a fresh groove. What's the perfect soundtrack for such a metamorphosis? How about three titans of the local rap scene? While Toki Wright has been providing soup-for-the-soul edutainment to those big and small (most notably with his annual Twin Cities Celebration of Hip Hop), Ali and DJ BK One have been regular collaborators since 2000. With music trump tight up to and well past midnight, grab that special someone and shake your shit. 21+. 9:00 p.m. $18/$20 at the door. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Jordan Selbo

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