Folk-punk frontwoman Gretchen Seichrist is relentlessly innovative and restlessly creative, so to follow up 2010's exceptional Sugar Head Pie, she and her standout band will not only release two new CDs, I Steal Carrots and Blue Skin, but they're hosting a release party that's also the biggest incarnation yet of their Headquarters and Dimes internet variety show. Thus far Headquarters and Dimes has been staged in smaller, less conventional venues, namely a garage and the parking lot outside of the CK Food and Fuel at 47th and Nicollet, but the big production this weekend promises plenty of intriguing guests (including Scarlet Rivera, who played violin on Bob Dylan's Desire as well as on one of the new P&G albums) and what Seichrist describes as "avant-garde-without-sucking skits and plays." Theatricality is already a big part of Patches and Gretchen shows, with Seichrist sometimes costumed or smeared with white greasepaint, incorporating an array of props she keeps in a trunk by her mic stand. The petite, spritely Seichrist is an ethereal, singular presence with an edge of danger about her, like a forest nymph hiding rows of sharp teeth behind a beguiling smile. Her madcap lyrics, wonderfully odd phrasing, and powerful voice—on more straightforward punk tunes like "Crying States" it's reminiscent of Patti Smith—make Patches and Gretchen a Twin Cities treasure, and the show at the Loring looks to be one of their biggest outings yet.
Sat., Sept. 3, 7 p.m., 2011