Critics' Picks: Weezer, Blondie, Patches & Gretchen, and more

Patches and Gretchen: Headquarters and Dimes

Loring Theater on Saturday 9.3

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. $12/$15 at the door. 8 p.m. 1407 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.353.6781. —Bryan Miller

Madi Diaz, Gabby Young & Other Animals, Keegan DeWitt

Patches & Gretchen take over the Loring for a 
dual CD-release show
Tony Nelson
Patches & Gretchen take over the Loring for a dual CD-release show

Location Info


Music Box Theatre

1407 Nicollet Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Category: Music Venues

Region: Minneapolis (Downtown)

7th St. Entry on Thursday 9.1

The grand revelation in this Entry threesome may be Gabby Young, a charismatic, flamboyantly garbed English singer-songwriter with flaming-red hair, a classically trained voice, and clever songs that take on the world with a whimsical sense of bemused horror. Her band, Other Animals, comes on like some raucous cabaret act that escaped from a surreal Eastern European circus, conjuring a heady mix of Hot Club jazz, swinging London via the Balkans horns, eccentric folk, and theatrical pop, plus hints of vaudeville, New Orleans, blues, Cab Calloway, and enough unexpected twists to defy any roadmap. It's all delightfully captured on We're All in This Together, their first album with any distribution deal. Only two Animals will be along here (guitarist Paul Whalley and drummer Adam Lucas), with other Other horns recruited locally. Pennsylvania native, Nashville-based Madi Diaz and her musical partner, guitarist Kyle Ryan, play folk-underpinned pop tending toward Buckingham-Nicks-era Fleetwood Mac. Keegan DeWitt also falls in with the indie-pop-folk crowd, but with some rock and country elements. He's also scored such indie films as Dance Party USA and Quiet City. 18+. $8/$10 at the door. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Rick Mason

Dr. John and the Lower 911

Minnesota State Fair's Leinie Lodge Bandshell on Friday 9.2 and Saturday 9.3

It's a given every year that the Minnesota State Fair's most interesting music isn't at the Grandstand but scattered around its smaller stages, particularly the bandshell. That'll be the right place at the right time again to catch the crown jewel of this year's free acts: newly minted Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, multiple Grammy winner, swamp bon vivant, gris-gris totin', piano pokin', Fess-invokin', New Orleans icon Mac Rebennack, a.k.a. Dr. John Creaux, the Night Tripper. Great on the 88s, an encyclopedia of NOLA music, a crusader against the numerous indignities foisted on his hometown, and a rolling embodiment of everything that is quirkily wonderful about the Crescent City and its music, Mac has been at it since his baby face appeared on Ivory Soap boxes in the '40s. He played hundreds of sessions in New Orleans and L.A. before his Dr. John character emerged in the late '60s. Now he has an entire festival named in his honor (sorta): Tennessee's Bonnaroo fest is named after Mac's 1974 album Desitively Bonnaroo, NOLA Ninth Ward slang for something really good. A stroll on Mac's gilded splinters will beat the fun house any day. All ages. Free (with admission to the fair). 8:30 p.m. 1265 Snelling Ave., St. Paul, 651.288.4400. —Rick Mason


Minnesota State Fair Grandstand on Saturday 9.3

That there was a time when California power-pop trio Weezer had a discernible "sound" matters less, it seems, than the fact that the band's post-2000 mystique is built on gimmicks, quirks, and stunts: the Lil Wayne cameo, the Hurley from Lost album cover, the geek-pandering video clips, et al. Indeed, the group built an early rep on excessive sincerity and impeccable songwriting, turning out a pair of solid, shameless discs of Beach Boys/hair metal lineage—until it became obvious that the masses preferred schmaltz, at which they turned, improbably, into a perennially buzzed-about singles unit piloting a Snapple truck full of scare quotes. Lost along the way were irresistibility and forthrightness, but frontman Rivers Cuomo remains good for a deliriously linear lark or two: "Pork and Beans," "Perfect Situation," "Keep Fishin'." Hate them now, but their best-of album's gonna be tight. All ages. $35. 7:30 p.m. 1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul; 651.642.2262. —Ray Cummings


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Stinkrocket, your claims that Seichrist is original and unique and somehow conveys truth are the "dumbest things anybody has ever typed". Unfortunately, I've seen her act - her "singing" voice is atrocious and grates on the nerves and sensibilities and her stage act is a chaotic shamble without any artistic merit.I hope you'll take your grinding axe to her next show and do the audience a big favor by cutting the cables to the soundboard and lighting system.


I have to disagree with "paulette" pretty strongly. Having witnessed my share of Patches and Gretchen shows, I have found just the opposite to be true. Sure, Gretchen is unconventional in her delivery, but for me that's a big part of the appeal--it's original and unique to her alone. She makes me believe her as a listener because it's obvious that she's a believer in what she's saying. Gretchen's songs speak to me the way somebody like Neil Young speaks to me. It's not about a Mariah Carey delivery, full of vocal gymnastics for seemingly no reason. It's about conveying truth through words and an emotional delivery of them. Her bands are always good, too, and every show is a spectacle that stands on its own as an event. And, by the way, suggesting that people "save money" by going to the state fair is one of the dumbest things anybody has ever typed. Go grind your axe somewhere else, please.


There is some great weekend entertainment just a few days away, not sure why Patches & Gretchen is among this crowd of professional performers? Is this the best the Twin Cities can offer??? But it’s the critics pick and not a pick for the popular. I caught this band at a local bar and it was beyond horrible, the musicians were pretty good, but the vocalist was tough to listen to – and she didn’t sound any better after my third drink! Art for the odd may be her forte and certainly not everyone’s cup of whiskey, but watching her spastic behavior is like watching a train wreck and that appeals to some, especially if Scarlet Rivera is tied to the rails. I’d recommend saving your money and head to the State Fair for some Dr. John or Weezer.


The twin cities has lots of great things to offer and Patches and Gretchen are one of them. Pretty unique situation, those people have going for themselves. 'Beyond horrible'??? I don't think so. I saw some of the webcam shows and they were a riot! The live shows are unpredictable-which is fun, too. Plus, I think Gretchen is HOT!!! In the past, I saw Blondie, Dr.John, Weezer...ect; they're great standard acts. I want excitement. Patches and Gretchen at the Loring with Scarlet Rivera??? I'm sooooo there!!!

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