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SUNDAY 9.21

Joan Griffith & Laura Caviani

Artists' Quarter

Although cool autumn breezes may already be about on this last day of summer, Minnesota jazz musicians and educators Joan Griffith and Laura Caviani will keep things tropical with this concert to mark the release of their sparkling new CD, Sambanova (Pleasing Dog). It features seven lovely Griffith compositions plus a handful of covers, all soaked in the essence of Brazil. Guitarist/mandolinist Griffith and pianist Caviani, occasionally joined by Brazilian master percussionist Cyro Baptista, perform these intriguing tunes with a striking lyrical sense and a kind of elegant intimacy that suggests deep reflection, even on the livelier songs. Griffith and Caviani interact with great empathy, whether on moody baiãos, refined choros, dancing through fiery Carnaval frevos and jaunty sambas, or evoking the arid expanse of the northeastern interior with Griffith's haunting "Sertão." Joining Griffith and Caviani at the Artists' Quarter will be percussionist Gary Gauger, recorder player Clea Balhano, and wonderful singer Lucia Newell, another Midwesterner with a Brazilian soul. 7 p.m. $10. 408 St. Peter St., St. Paul; 651.292.1359. —Rick Mason

Lagwagon

Station 4

Hard to believe that Lagwagon's California brand of cookie-cutter skate-punk turns 18 this year, huh? Frontguy Joey Cape—he of the over-exaggerated enunciation and lame-o stage banter (check Live in a Dive if you don't believe me)—has stridently howled his way through punk-purist putdowns, odes to substance abuse (legal and otherwise), and tour-exhaustion bromides, and there's no indication that Lagwagon intends to hang up its Vans anytime soon: there's a new EP—the oh-so-knowingly titled I Think My Older Brother Used to Listen to Lagwagon—coming out in August. They've been pegged as imitation NOFX, but that's neither fair nor accurate. Both bands extol the virtues of partying and offer political opinions (punk scene-wise and in terms of Washington, D.C.), true, but Lagwagon are simultaneously less snotty and less, well, ska—their tunes are less jittery and jump-y, better suited for skate parks and skate video games than the crew who brought us Punk in Drublic. With MXPX, Only Crime, and TAT. All ages. $18/$20 at the door. 5 p.m. 201 E. Fourth St., St. Paul; 651.298.0173. Ray Cummings

 

MONDAY 9.22

Sian Alice Group

Triple Rock Social Club

59.59, the debut from England's Sian Alice Group, is a bit of a trap. When frontwoman Sian Ahern's lilting, beguiling voice is paired with the band's orchestrally captivating ebb and flow, it's easy to inadvertently turn off the part of your brain that actively engages with sound, to lose yourself. No sooner does this happen, though, than Ahern and multi-instrumentalists Ben Crook and Rupert Clervaux opt to charge into a Throwing Muses-inspired guitar-grinder or a tribal, rhythmic beat down—before veering, moments later, back to the down-feather-soft stuff. Skip this show and you'll kick yourself for years; remember, the rising cost of fuel equals less touring, especially for underground-level bands who have to cross oceans to rock our bars and stadiums. So: Support your interconnected indie international scene and prepare to be stunned. With A Place to Bury Strangers and First Communion Afterparty. 21+. $10/$12 at the door. 9 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S, Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Ray Cummings

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