Mark Mallman, Wookiefoot, and more

WEDNESDAY 12.30

Kristoff Krane

Turf Club

As far as underground improvisational hip hop goes, tonight's lineup at the Turf features some of the best in the scene. In addition to headlining the evening, solo emcee Kristoff Krane will join Eyedea for Face Candy, a freestyle side project that finds the two rappers experimenting with language and expression in immediate, sometimes astounding ways. Tonight's bill also features relative newcomers No Bird Sing, who invited Krane to the stage at their last Turf Club show for a grand finale free-form jam that sounded surprisingly rehearsed and intense, and another of Eyedea's and Krane's side projects, Puppy Dogs and Ice Cream, which features Impulse of Sector 7G. With so many overlapping members, tonight's four sets are almost guaranteed to bleed into one another to create more than a few unrehearsed magical moments. 21+. $6. 9 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. Andrea Swensson

THURSDAY 12.31

Mark Mallman's Annual New Year's Eve Show

Varsity Theater

No matter how dark his lyrics (see "Death Wish"), it's difficult to believe Mark Mallman is a serious sad sack. (Picture a sweaty full-grown man in skintight clothes frolicking on top of a keyboard for your first clue.) You can't listen to Mallman without donning a chapped-lip smile and wielding a tightly clenched fist in the air. A behemoth of the local music scene and a storied cult figure, Mallman works in a brand of over-the-top melodramatic synth pop, matched with a cartoonish impression of '70s arena-rock flamboyancy, that's become known to guarantee a good show. His New Year's Eve blowout is a must-see, but be prepared to expel as many liquids as you take in. And with the hypnotic trance of openers First Communion Afterparty, and White Light Riot's catchy guitar lines, the show is likely to be unforgettable. 18+. $12. 8 p.m. 1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. Erin Roof

Lookbook, Mystery Palace, Estate, and Beatrix*JAR

Sauce Spirits & Soundbar

If you prefer your dance jams dialed down a notch and infused with throwback hooks and funk, look no further than tonight's stellar bill of local electro-pop. Retro '80s lovers Lookbook are finishing out the year on the top of many critics' best-of lists, riding high on the success of their first full-length album, Wild at Heart. Playful experimentalists Beatrix*JAR have earned a reputation for being one of the most danceable circuit-bending groups in town, finding melodies in the twisted wires of old Speak & Spells and dissected keyboards. Synth-heavy pop band Estate combine chilled-out dance grooves with an ever-evolving visual presentation that incorporates everything from old commercials to vintage softcore porn clips. And Mystery Palace are veterans of the local down-tempo electro-pop scene, with multitalented instrumentalist and producer Ryan Olcott at the helm. Add in some between-set spinning by remix artist Gigamesh and a complimentary glass of bubbly at midnight, and you're in for one hell of a New Year's Eve bash. 21+. $10. 9 p.m. 3001 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.822.6000. —Andrea Swensson

Wookiefoot's 6th Annual New Year's Eve Ball

Cabooze

There's a certain class of band whose music is forcibly married at gunpoint to a vast set of social habits, bands whose fans unite as much along philosophical and pharmaceutical lines as along musical tastes, bands who, to put it bluntly, strive to put the cult in culture. Grateful Dead is one. Insane Clown Posse is another. And so is Wookiefoot, that well-traveled, sometimes satirized local entry in the world of one-with-nature fusion, in which initiates and outsiders regard one another with total bewilderment, as if separated from one another by a toxic moat. With Wookiefoot, the trimmings make the meal, and tickets are sold more by the acid trip you'll share with a few hundred of your best friends than by the songs you'll hear. Their music? It's a Baker's Square hamburger. You'll eat it and enjoy it, but you know that's not the reason you came. With Roster McCabe and the Limns. 18+. $15. 8:30 p.m. 917 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.6425. David Hansen

FRIDAY 1.1

DEMO New Year's Day Showcase

St. Paul Aerie for the Arts

Former First Ave manager Steve McClellan has been a longtime champion of up-and-coming local music, and when he parted ways with the club in 2005 he re-organized his community-building efforts into DEMO, the Diverse Emerging Music Organization. Over the past few years, DEMO has established itself as a crucial facet of the scene by offering music-industry panels and educational opportunities, reissuing remnants of First Ave's history in the form of the "Hey Day" documentary and the 35th Anniversary Bootlegs CD, and hosting multi-genre lineups of underexposed musicians in showcases like tonight's, which is taking place at the Eagle's Club Aerie 33 in the Dayton's Bluff neighborhood of St. Paul. With Self-Sufficient Flying Machine, Dragich & the Polemics, Skinny Longfeet, Dandelion Wine, Liz Rognes & Dan Zamzow, and more. 18+. $5. 7 p.m. 287 Maria Ave., St. Paul; 651.774.7643. —Andrea Swensson

SATURDAY 1.2

Spirits of the Red City

Bryant-Lake Bowl

Criminally underrated folk group Spirits of the Red City will return to the close-quarters cabaret theater in the Bryant-Lake Bowl for another intimate performance tonight. It's been almost exactly a year since the band last played in town, and it seems appropriate that they schedule their hometown shows during the coldest and quietest times of the year; Spirits of the Red City's reverent folk music is best enjoyed while sitting in stillness and reflection, giving singer Will Garrison's words the space to flourish over the delicate strains of guitar, horns, strings, and harmonies provided by his eight-piece backing band. Though the band can work themselves up to a mighty crescendo, it's their softest moments that are the most riveting, so quiet you can practically hear them sighing in unison behind Garrison's mesmerizing lines of poetry. If you plan on going, be sure to purchase your tickets in advance—the small 150-seat theater is sure to sell out. With the Silent Bell. All ages. $10. 9:30 p.m. 810 W. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612.825.8949. —Andrea Swensson

TUESDAY 1.5

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