Matt & Kim, Regina Spektor, and more

WEDNESDAY 9.9

Crooked Still

Cedar Cultural Center

When maverick cellist Rushad Eggleston left Crooked Still in 2007, the remaining trio added cellist Tristan Clarridge and fiddler Brittany Haas, preserving the low, haunting moan that takes CS's essential bluegrass/string-band sound to another dimension. Haas, meanwhile, provided a sprightly, conspiratorial partner to flirt with Gregory Liszt's eloquent banjo. Along with double-bassist Corey DiMario, CS pushes beyond its core roots sound like something that flickers among chamber folk, jazz-inflected Appalachiana, old-time country, gospel, and blues. Aoife O'Donovan's sultry voice, sometimes a dead-ringer for Alison Krauss's, can be remarkably delicate, but also quite adept at conjuring a chilling edge to characterize the sorrowful laments and murderous tales that dominate the quintet's latest, Still Wicked. She's pretty hot crying the blues, too, as she proves on a remarkable, driving cover of Mississippi John Hurt's "Baby, What's Wrong with You?"—O'Donovan howling while Haas, Clarridge, and Liszt play off one another like Duane Allman and Dickey Betts. With Jake Armerding. $18/$20 at the door. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason

THURSDAY 9.10

The Minus 5, the Baseball Project, and the Steve Wynn IV

Belly up to the bar with Peter Buck, Steve Wynn, Linda Pittman, and Scott McCaughey
Vivian Johnson
Belly up to the bar with Peter Buck, Steve Wynn, Linda Pittman, and Scott McCaughey

Turf Club

Three bands, four musicians. The same four musicians, in fact, incestuously switching gears and playing together in three different formats. Actually, it shouldn't be surprising, because this quartet has more varied projects going than could be sorted out in a family tree, which fits since Steve Wynn and Linda Pitmon are married, and besides an appearance on Letterman, the only previous time the quartet played together in public was their wedding. Anyway, the lineup is: Peter Buck, R.E.M. guitarist; Scott McCaughey of the Young Fresh Fellows and unofficial R.E.M. member; Wynn, founder of the Dream Syndicate; and drummer Pitmon, who used to play around these parts with Zuzu's Petals and Golden Smog. The newest release from any of the trio (of bands) is the 5's Killingsworth, a strong country-folk-pop collection with a decided twang and members of the Decemberists joining core members McCaughey and Buck. Last year Wynn put out Crossing Dragon Bridge, a collection of unusually introspective songs written and recorded during an extended stay in Slovenia. Also released last year was the first volume of The Baseball Project, a great collection of tunes reflecting McCaughey's and Wynn's deep obsession and love for the national pastime, complete with astute references to the likes of Harvey Haddix, Satchel Paige, Minnie Minoso, and, most memorably, "Ted Fucking Williams." 21+. $12. 8 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul;651.647.0486. —Rick Mason

Matt and Kim

Triple Rock Social Club

Recent statistics show that nearly 10 percent of the adult population in the U.S. is affected by some sort of depressive disorder. And not to detract from the seriousness of the issue, but the vast majority of those afflicted could offer themselves some temporary reprieve simply by attending a performance by Matt and Kim. There's something peculiar about seeing the Brooklyn-based duo in a live setting; they have a positive energy and exuberance that is hard to express through words. There is rarely a moment during their shows when there isn't an illuminating positivity emanating from the stage as Kim Schifino pounds away at her drum kit and Matt Johnson bangs away at his keyboard, both grinning like Cheshire cats the entire time. It would be a challenge to walk away from a Matt and Kim show not feeling upbeat and carefree. With Amanda Blank. 18+. $12/$15 at the door. 8 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. Chris DeLine

FRIDAY 9.11

Regina Spektor

State Theatre

Jeff Lynne, one of four producers on Regina Spektor's latest album, has described the music of the singer, pianist, and songwriter as "high-class, bizarre, and beautiful," which as capsule reviews go is right on the money. A classically trained pianist, Spektor adds a touch of elegance to her piano-torqued pop with her keyboard perambulations, as if some Carnegie Hall denizen wandered into the Brill Building. Indeed, there's a Carole King-like quality to Spektor, although her hooks are more subtle and she's far quirkier, meriting the "bizarre" tag. Spektor is even a bit of a surrealist, kicking off far with "Calculation," which includes time as a condiment, a computer made of macaroni, and determined lovers who cut out their own stone-like hearts and strike them together to spark romance. A Russian native who moved to the Bronx with her parents when she was nine, Spektor made her commercial breakthrough with 2006's Begin to Hope, spinning off "Fidelity" and a handful of other songs that got widespread exposure. Long before, however, she started to make a name for herself around New York with her closely observant, generously detailed songs with peculiar perspectives. Which certainly continues with far's first single, "Laughing With," an alternately smug and absurdist take on religion. Opening will be Little Joy, a collaboration among Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti, Brazilian singer-songwriter Rodrigo Amarante, and L.A. singer-songwriter Binki Shapiro, who play sunny, bossa-tinged pop. $30.50. 6:30 p.m. 824 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.339.7007. —Rick Mason

Benefit for Rose

Hexagon Bar

Anyone who has set foot in the Hexagon Bar on a Friday or Saturday night has likely met Rose, the blunt, strong-willed matron who keeps the strong drinks flowing and the bands in check at the blue-collar dive-turned-hipster haven. Over the past few years, as the Hexagon has welcomed an entirely new clientele into the music side of the bar, Rose has helped to bridge the gap between the regulars who seek out the Hex to swill after-work beers and the young bucks who swarm the stage in search of punk-rock paradise. In a sad turn of events, we have learned that Rose is suffering from some serious health problems and won't be holding down shifts at the bar much longer, causing us to wonder what will become of the place when it loses its stubborn, beating heart. To honor Rose and help raise money for her medical expenses, a trio of local bands have stepped up and organized tonight's benefit, including country lovers the Bill Patton Trio, Rich Mattson's latest bar-rock group the Tisdales, and swaggering cowpunks the Gleam. Head down to the Hex to pay tribute to one of the great mother figures of local rock 'n' roll. 21+. Free. 9 p.m. 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.722.3454. Andrea Swensson

Street Sounds Swirlin' Through My Mind

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