Andrew Bird, Lookbook, No Bird Sing, and more



The Rock

The joke's on you, Norway. American metalheads don't have to burn down churches to prove they're tough—you don't have to manufacture violence when there's already plenty to go around. Likewise, Connecticut hardcore outfit Hatebreed doesn't resort to singing (or screaming, rather) about dragons or trolls, because the horrors of the modern world make far scarier bogeymen than anything Tolkien ever dreamed up. So, if you're looking for grandiose, operatic gestures in your metal, you're in the wrong place; this band's punk-influenced thrash is relentless, stopping only to introduce weighty, crushing breakdowns that will have fans falling over one another in a heaving mass of heavily tattooed bodies. Hatebreed have spent years climbing the ranks of the metal scene, growing from a promising young band into a flagship act accustomed to sharing a stage with the genre's legends, so there won't be any shortage of fodder for the mosh pit. Fans of pure sonic brutality should take note: There's no makeup here, just sheer ferocity. With Cannibal Corpse, Unearth, Born of Osiris, and Hate Eternal. All ages. $22/$25 at the door. 7 p.m. 2029 Woodlynn Ave., Maplewood; 651.770.7822. —Ian Traas


Andrew Bird

Andrew Bird prepares to go to church
Cameron Wittig
Andrew Bird prepares to go to church

St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral

Classically trained violinist, virulently eccentric and eclectic singer-songwriter Andrew Bird ranks high among the most intriguing and unpredictable artists on the planet. His impressive body of work runs the gamut of influences from pop to chamber music via jazz and Appalachia. And now for something completely different: solo, all-instrumental violin performances of original material in a "sacred" setting, which locally translates into St. Mark's Cathedral alongside Loring Park. These shows have been dubbed "Gezelligheid Concerts," which may suggest a response to a demonstrative head cold, but is actually a Dutch term approximating "cozy." Bird has said the idea for the Gezelligheids, which are being presented only in Chicago and Minneapolis, came from his childhood seasonal performances of Handel's "Messiah." He's aiming for a similarly "uplifting and comforting" atmosphere to usher in the cold, dark winter. However sketchy that description may be, avid ornithologists quickly snapped up tickets to the first two concerts, and a third has been added. Something interesting is virtually guaranteed, because as Minneapolitans have long known, the Bird is the word. $29-$34. 8 p.m. 519 Oak Grove St., Minneapolis; 612.870.7800. Also Friday and Saturday —Rick Mason

FRIDAY 12.11

No Bird Sing

Turf Club

For listeners taking in the menacing groove and Eric Blair's liquid flow, it's easy to overlook an important component of No Bird Sing's music: They play hip hop without a bassist or DJ. For this local trio, defying convention has made them one of the area's most prominent up-and-coming acts. Case in point: MC Blair eschews typical hip-hop self-aggrandizement in favor of an honest, plain-spoken rapping style that owes more to contemporary literature and a healthy regimen of NPR than it does to the posturing of his musical forebears. Guitarist Robert Mulrennan and drummer Graham O'Brien (of Hyder Ali and Abzorbr) lock together with distorted, jazzy melodies and broken rhythms to create a dense, organic sound that rewards repeated listens. Breaking free of the genre's most insistent clichés, No Bird Sing's unique brand of roots-based hip hop will be complemented by avant-garde vocalist Aby Wolf, folk duo Peter Wolf Crier, and singer-songwriter Bethany Larson, who will be releasing her debut album at tonight's show. 21+. $5. 9 p.m. 1601 University Ave., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Jeff Gage



7th St. Entry

Their lush synth swells and syncopated rhythms may fit the template of new-wave nostalgia currently en vogue, but Lookbook's slyly sexy electro pop is more than your average Regan-era revivalism. The band's minimalist sweep allows Maggie Morrison's seductive vocals to bloom and reverberate, commanding the sort of presence she's become accustomed to while fronting a full band with Digitata. Multi-instrumentalist Grant Cutler, formerly of Passions, translates his punk chops into looping atmospheric textures and mechanical drum breaks, adding his own high-pitched harmonies to Morrison's brooding Karen O croon. The duo's rapidly growing local following extended beyond the Twin Cities with recent single "True to Form" from their debut, Wild at Heart, which received a favorable review with indie tastemakers Pitchfork. As the band release an EP featuring remixes of their glitchy new hit, Lookbook's strobe light pyrotechnics and irresistibly danceable beats are sure to make the Entry get footloose and party like it's, well, 2009. With Nyteowl and We Become Actors. 18+. $6. 9 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Jeff Gage

David Grisman & John Sebastian

The Cedar

Back in the hazy recesses of the early '60s, David Grisman and John Sebastian encountered one another at the jam sessions that regularly broke out in Greenwich Village's Washington Square. Soon after, they became part of the Even Dozen Jug Band, whose other notables included Stefan Grossman and Geoff and Maria Muldaur. Sebastian—a singer, guitarist, and harmonica ace—went on to fame and fortune with the Lovin' Spoonful and a subsequent solo career whose commercial highlight was the theme song for the now-ancient TV show Welcome Back, Kotter. Grisman, a spectacular mandolin picker, created dawg music, a hot hybrid of bluegrass, jazz, and folk. After going their separate ways for some 40 years, a chance meeting led to a 2007 duo recording, Satisfied, and subsequent joint appearances (and, incidentally, major contributions to Maria Muldaur's new jug-band album Garden of Joy). This performance will likely have a similar vibe to Satisfied. That is, a day-dreamin', tasty, back-porch picking session by old friends, juggling originals (in Sebastian's case reaching back to the Spoonful), traditional folk tunes, old blues (including John Hurt's "Coffee Blues," whose lyric provided the Spoonful's name), and the odd vintage pop tune (the Everlys' "Walk Right Back"). $40-$55. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason

Teenage Strangler

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