WEDNESDAY 11.26

Ike Reilly

First Avenue

There are few things in the Twin Cities that kick off the holiday season more emphatically than Ike Reilly's annual Thanksgiving show. Drunk dude-bros, drunk indie kids, and drunk gray-hairs alike pack sardine-like into First Ave, hollering along to every song with an unmatched sense of camaraderie. In previous years, the show's just been one hell of a party, with the exhausted band finally leaving the stage a few minutes before bar close after playing most of their extensive library. This year promises to be no less wild, but the Assassination has added a genuine holiday hook. The full proceeds from the show will be donated to local cancer victim Takashi Yoshino, whose story seems a little reminiscent of an Ike tune: A recovered heroin addict, Yoshino has been working for nearly 20 years as a counselor helping others recover from addiction and get off the street. At the risk of sounding corny, maybe shouting the lyrics to "Put a Little Love in It" through a rum-and-coke haze will have a little more meaning this year. With Little Man and the Alarmists. 18+. $12/$15 at the door. 7:30 p.m. 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Ward Rubrecht

 

FRIDAY 11.28

Ed Ackerson

Varsity Theater

This Friday night the Varsity Theater will host a CD-release party for Ed Ackerson's new record, Ackerson2 (Susstones). The album is the multitalented musician's third release within the past year and was written, recorded, and produced exclusively by Ackerson at his Flowers Studio. Marc Perlman of the Jayhawks, Janey Winterbauer of Astronaut Wife, and Farewell Continental are all set to make guest appearances throughout the evening, performing in addition to the night's opening acts, Colonial Vipers Attack and StrangeLights. Ackerson himself is set to take the stage with three bands throughout the night, playing with the Mood Swings and the Ed Ackerson Group in addition to his mainstay, Polara. If the extensive list of scheduled performers is any indication, the night could very well see a few more special guests from among any number of friends Ackerson has made throughout his acclaimed 20-year career. 18+. $8. 8 p.m. 1308 4th Street SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. Chris DeLine

Drinking With Ian

First Avenue

This local cable-access show has gained a cult following here in Minneapolis, and the program lives up to its name. A mix of sketch comedy, variety, and talk show, DWI also has a resident bartender, Ollie Stench, who alternately abuses the audience and plies it with potent shots during each episode (usually three are filmed in one night). The result is a boisterous crowd always eager to hoot and holler at whatever host Ian Rans has up his sleeve. There is a super-secret musical guest for each episode, and past interviewees have included everyone from the North Star Roller Girls to a 911 operator who wrote a book about her experiences. Everything is executed with tongue firmly in cheek and shot glass firmly in hand. The end product has the look and feel of a late-night TV show that erupted out of a house party in your parents' basement, and that certainly seems to be the intention. There are no bells and whistles (the guest couch is a bench seat from a Dodge caravan), and the jokes and sketches have to prop up the show instead of vice versa, which is so common with late-night shows these days. A good time is guaranteed—but make sure to bring cab fare. 21+. $6. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. Pat O'Brien

Kimya Dawson

Cedar Cultural Center

An amazing, unexpected fate befell Kimya Dawson earlier this year: The squeak-lunged, anti-folkin' woman-child hit the big time. A fresh-faced crop of admirers may've gotten hip to Dawson's affectingly unvarnished warble recently by way of the Juno soundtrack—and body-slammed her with more MySpace friend requests than she could handle—but she's been on the indie grind all decade. Dawson and fellow absurdist Adam Green performed together as the Moldy Peaches before putting the group on "hiatus" and going their separate, solo ways in 2004. Since tracking her earliest, post-millennium recordings, Dawson's bounced her rudimentary songwriting Super Ball between ragged, devastating displays of over-empathy; snotty eff-Bush, eff-bullshit activist polemics; precocious/profound familial asides; gushing paeans to friends; and the kind of nursery-rhyme-ish kindergarten anthems adults can relate to. How—and whether—this proud mom and notoriously shy and generous performer capitalizes on her present visibility is an open question. The just-released Alphabutt (K Records) is more kiddo-friendly detour than anything else, but let's hope Dawson eventually delivers an album-length statement that fully crystallizes her so-open-hearted-she's-bleeding appeal. All ages. $12/$15 at the door. 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S, Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. Ray Cummings

 

SATURDAY 11.29

Shelby Lynne

O'Shaughnessy Auditorium

There would seem to be a natural affinity between Shelby Lynne and Dusty Springfield. But it took a suggestion from an unlikely source—schmaltz king Barry Manilow—for Lynne to finally recruit producer Phil Ramone and put together what has to be considered the definitive tribute to the late blue-eyed soul diva. On Just a Little Lovin' (Lost Highway), released earlier this year, Lynne easily asserts her own personality and style while finding the essence of Springfield in songs running the gamut from her mid-'60s British pop hits to her later, landmark foray in Memphis. Both singular singers with deep currents of soul, both somewhat misunderstood and eclectic enough to bristle at constraints, Springfield and Lynne each gain added dimension on Lovin'. Glossy pop nuggets like "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" and "I Only Want to Be with You" become intimate emotional exercises in the adept hands of Lynne and her spare band. On some of Dusty's Memphis material, like Tony Joe White's "Willie and Laura Mae Jones," Lynne lets out her sultry, swampy side while guitarist Dean Parks paints the blues, one classic inspiring another. With David McMillion. $30. 8 p.m. 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul; 651.690.6700. —Rick Mason

 

SUNDAY 11.30

Jeremy Enigk

Varsity Theater

Though emo existed before Enigk's old band, Sunny Day Real Estate, released their 1994 landmark, Diary, it seems that the much-maligned genre didn't have a name until just then. Emo has since become a watered-down commodity with very few constant elements, aside from the now-target audience of tween girls with silly wardrobes and ill-advised haircuts, but at the time nobody knew what to do with it, and it existed almost in a vacuum. Enigk sang like Yes's Jon Anderson, and instead of burying his feelings in super-hip metaphors like many of his Seattle contemporaries were doing, he wrote lyrics that were more straightforward and made the listener want to cry at nearly every turn. SDRE was an unstable union, however (possibly due to Enigk's abrupt rebirth as a devout Christian and the release of his first solo album, Return of the Frog Queen), and after a couple of short-lived reunions (and an equally short-lived band, the Fire Theft, with some of his SDRE mates) Enigk is firmly on his own, his third album in roughly three years on the way. He is one of those rare artists who holds fans' attention, keeping them equally curious about what's next as well as what he's doing in the present. With Wishbook. 18+. $15. 7 p.m.1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. —Pat O'Brien

 

TUESDAY 12.02

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

Pantages Theatre

A human dynamo who at age 50 has more electrifying energy than entire—hell, multiple—bands a fraction her age, Sharon Jones may not have Tina Turner's legs, as she says, but she's sure got the voice, the spirit, and the moves. Only in the last few years has Jones, after hooking up with the rudiments of what would become her muscular band, the Dap-Kings, emerged into the spotlight as a no-holds-barred soul and R&B diva in the classic sense of Motown and Memphis. She honed her big, glorious voice singing gospel growing up in Augusta, Georgia, then spent decades as an unheralded backup singer until even those jobs dried up and she wound up guarding prisoners at New York's notorious Riker's Island and shipments for Wells Fargo. To see her and her horn-blasting Dap-Kings now is like revisiting a sweaty soul revue at the Apollo three or four decades back: frenetic stepping out by Jones, swaggering horns, tumultuous rhythms, searing guitar, and fresh soul, funk, and R&B nuggets that easily slip alongside vintage material. Their latest, 100 Days, 100 Nights (Daptone), has even generated radio play for the title track and the wrenching "Something's Changed." All ages. $27.50. 7:30 p.m. 710 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.339.7007. —Rick Mason

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