Chromeo, Glamorama, Psalm One, and more: Critics' Picks

WEDNESDAY 8.4

Balkan Beat Box

The Cedar

Although the band is based in New York, with a commensurate cutting-edge/punkish attitude attendant to the downtown scene, Balkan Beat Box's heart and soul reside somewhere in the vicinity of the Mediterranean as that region's culture oozes up toward Eastern Europe, and vice versa. BBB's core is saxophonist Ori Kaplan, drummer/programmer Tamir Muskat, and vocalist/MC Tomer Yosef, all Israeli-born New Yorkers and as eclectic a crew as you could find anywhere. Blithely mashing together traditional music from all points around the Mediterranean, the Balkans, and ancient shtetls with electronica, jazz, and smatterings of rock and hip hop, BBB's provocative melting pot is as much about dissolving political borders as finding new avenues of musical expression. Their new Blue Eyed Black Boy was recorded in Belgrade, Serbia, with local brass players and singers and the Gypsy band Kal, while ethnic-inspired riots filled the streets. If BBB's philosophy and grooves could prevail, those riots would turn into party time. With the Brass Messengers. All ages. $25/$28 at the door. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason

FRIDAY 8.6

Glamorama 2010

Location Info

Map

The Cedar Cultural Center

416 Cedar Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55454

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Minneapolis (Downtown)

Orpheum Theatre

Once again Glamorama returns to Minneapolis to fuse local talent with national star power, all for a good cause. This year's look is fantasy-themed, so expect some wood nymphs, butterflies, and whimsical nature elements, all with a little sparkle. The event opens with a theatrical performance and runway show created by

Project Runway designer Chris March and So You Think You Can Dance's Brian Friedman. A fashion segment choreographed by local luminary Myron Johnson will feature threads by Jean Paul Gaultier, Issey Miyake, Marc Jacobs, Sonia Rykiel, Tommy Hilfiger, and others. Musicians Macy Gray and Mike Hutchinson will create the live soundtrack for the evening. The post-party celebration on the eighth floor of Macy's includes glow-in-the-dark dancers, a bar built around a tree trunk, and Xbox 360 games on a huge LED video wall. Proceeds benefit the Children's Cancer Research Fund. $60-$750. 910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 952.893.9355. —Jessica Armbruster

SATURDAY 8.7

Red House Barnfest

Hobgoblin Music Outdoor Amphitheater

Red House, the St. Paul indie folk label, knows how to put on a summer jam. Among the highlights of Red House's early days was its annual Summerfolk, a label-wide showcase festival in an apple orchard along the St. Croix River. Reincarnated last year as Barnfest in an outdoor amphitheatre just north of Red Wing, the current summer get-together is a little less ambitious (necessarily so, with a greatly expanded label roster), but nonetheless represents a fine cross section of Red House artists. Many of those are of the singer-songwriter ilk, but incidentally stretch that "folk" tag every which way into a broadpalette of roots-conscious music. On the bill this year will be Pieta Brown, daughter of label co-founder Greg Brown, onetime resident of the actual red house that inspired the name and a fine artist herself; Spider John Koerner, the folk and blues icon who as a member of the renowned trio Koerner, Ray and Glover strongly influenced a generation of musicians; Cliff Eberhardt, who's as eloquent on his guitar as he is with words; Ruth Moody, still one of the Wailin' Jennys who also released a solo album on Red House earlier this year; Storyhill, the folk-pop duo of Chris Cunningham and John Hermanson, whose close harmonies and strong songwriting have spawned comparisons to the Everly Brothers; plus two from down in Austin who tap into the Texas songwriter tradition, Danny Schmidt and Carrie Elkin. The festival will also shine a light on Minnesota songwriters Erik Koskinen and Brianna Lane, who will open the festivities. All ages. $25/$30 at the gate. 1 p.m.

920 State Highway 19, Red Wing; 651.388.8400. —Rick Mason

Psalm One

7th St. Entry

Chemist enough to explain in a funny aside that ester solvents are what make glow sticks glow, Englewood, Chicago's Psalm One must have known one or another element was missing from her gorgeously voiced flow and loner-on-the-L-turned-battler persona: "A lot of lines that I tend to rhyme get lost," she raps on "Better Than My Last (Dirty)," from her free 2010 online album Woman@work, a track that also addresses her absence from the recording scene since releasing her fourth album and Rhymesayers debut, 2006's The Death of the Frequent Flyer, which featured a collaboration with Brother Ali. If the sophisticated, soft-focuse knowingness of "Open for Business" is any sign (the song is dirty in the best way), her follow-up-in-progress for Rhymesayers should be something very good. With Open Mike Eagle and Big Quarters. 18+. $8. 9 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Peter S. Scholtes

Chromeo/Holy Ghost!

First Avenue 

First Avenue's the perfect place for these indie-kid funk-pop bands—they both channel the Time's hilarious funkiness in different ways. (And yes, Prince. Of course.)  Montreal's Chromeo—Dave 1 on vox/guitars, and P-Thugg on talkbox /keyboards—replicate 1980s Top 40 tropes so perfectly it's like they're on a vision quest to find their inner Shalamar. Their craft is serious, but their lyrics serve up pitch-perfect character comedy—the hapless Oedipus/Elektra romance in "Momma's Boy," the world-weary hipster who offers "bonafied [sic] lovin'/The kind that makes me feel old." (See p. 46 for more on Chromeo.) And Holy Ghost!, from Brooklyn, have a more groove-based, less polished feel than the other band on the bill—like a seasoned '80s Brit-funk group with roots in jazz. U-Term's chunky remix of their "Say My Name" honest-to-God would have been a hit at college club night in 1985. Or so we've heard. 18+. $20. 7 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Cecile Cloutier

Jimmy Cliff

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