Critics' Picks: Herbie Hancock, LIGHTS, & more

LIGHTS

Triple Rock Social Club on Friday 10.28

If you're a fan of Minnesota native Adam Young's Owl City, you're likely a fan of Toronto's LIGHTS. The two artists have been good friends for several years now. Over the summer she appeared in his video for the song "Deer in the Headlights," which portrayed the sometimes reclusive Young in a different vein. "He's even come more out of his shell than ever. He's amazing. We actually did the shoot in L.A.," says the ever-bubbly LIGHTS. "He invited me out for the day. It was so fun, and he's always supported me so much. I'd drop anything to go out and help him." To be in the shoot, LIGHTS took a break from recording her latest album, Siberia, which has since been released. Fans of her brilliant debut, 2009's The Listening, will find this album a little different. "Creating this record was really exciting," she says. "After spending some time shedding those expectations of a first record and not wanting to make the same thing over again, I really wanted to try something new and push the music and really make the music I enjoy listening to." The result is a grittier palette of electronic pop. The rougher sound is courtesy of collaboration with fellow Canadians Holy Fuck. LIGHTS, though, is a songwriter first. Indeed, if you look her up on Spotify, the top five tracks displayed are from her acoustic EP from last year. "I actually spent some time away this year just on my own making sure all the [new] songs could translate acoustically and performed them acoustically, because if you can't play something like that just on its own, what's holding the song together? Nothing." All ages. $12/$14 at the door. 7 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. P.F. Wilson

Shelby Lynne

Dakota Jazz Club on Thursday 10.27

Although she now lives and records in the California desert, Shelby Lynne's soul and her extraordinary, soulful music are inextricably tied to the Deep South of her childhood and the music—classic country, blues, gospel, but above all Memphis R&B—she absorbed there. Freed from the Nashville commercial aspirations that entwined her early career, Lynne issued a string of albums remarkable for the raw intimacy of her lyrics and a gorgeous voice that can drip with sultry insouciance or draw taut with sinewy anguish. The latter surfaces with howling angst on "Woebegone," a gospel-rock stomper (that alone should warrant an invitation from Garrison Keillor) at the center of her new album, Revelation Road. Lynne calls the new record her most personal and private. It's about her family, whose history is steeped in tragedy, and the songs attempt to purge her residual devastation. So it's little wonder she did it all herself, producing and playing every instrument. Stylistically she ranges from the bluegrass-tinged title track to Dusty-in-Memphis pop-soul laments like "I Don't Need a Reason to Cry." Like the album, her performance will be a solo tour de force. $35-$45. 7 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010. —Rick Mason

Herbie Hancock

Orchestra Hall on Friday 10.28

Keyboardist and composer Herbie Hancock is among the most influential cross-genre artists of his generation, easily stretching from serious acoustic jazz to a variety of fusion projects switching among jazz, funk, and rock, electronic experimentation, and film scores, as well as forays into dance, pop, and world music. Along the way Hancock wrote an assortment of now-standards, including "Cantaloupe Island" and "Watermelon Man." He was a member of Miles Davis's groundbreaking 1960s quintet, and continued his pioneering ways in the '70s with his landmark Head Hunters album. Last year's double-Grammy-winning The Imagine Project was Hancock at his most eclectic, collaborating with a global array of artists ranging from Pink and John Legend to guitarist Jeff Beck, Brazilian singer Céu, Malian kora master Toumani Diabate, Irish band the Chieftains, and saxophonist Wayne Shorter, covering the likes of John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Baden Powell, and Sam Cooke. This tour bringing Hancock to Orchestra Hall will be his first playing solo. He promises both acoustic and electric material spanning his expansive career. $25-$100. 8 p.m. 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.371.5656. —Rick Mason

Atlantis Quartet (CD-release show)

Artists' Quarter on Friday 10.28

For the fourth Halloween in a row, the Atlantis Quartet, increasingly distinguishing itself locally and nationally as a premier 21st-century jazz band, will take on in its entirety an iconic album by an iconic artist. This year it'll be tenor saxophone great Sonny Rollins's 1962 album The Bridge, recorded after Rollins emerged from a two-year hiatus during which he famously honed his sound by practicing on the Williamsburg Bridge. This follows up the Atlantis' full-album treatments of Coltrane's A Love Supreme, Herbie Hancock's Head Hunters, and Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy. Significantly, the '62 Rollins band instrumentation (with guitarist Jim Hall) matches the Atlantis lineup of saxophonist Brandon Wozniak, guitarist Zacc Harris, bassist Chris Bates, and drummer Pete Hennig. These gigs will also be special for marking the release of Atlantis' third album, Lines in the Sand, recorded live at the AQ last May. Lines captures the essential fire of Atlantis' sprawling, ever-shifting, multi-textured sound, which stretches from lyrical ballads to squalling free jazz infused with funk, with virtually every stop in between. The all-originals repertoire reprises some tunes from the band's first two albums, but also includes three new ones: Harris's title track, a moody, restless, ruminative piece laced with blues; his more effervescent, boppish "Isle of the Flightless Birds"; and Bates's elegiac, gospel-etched "The Hidden Place." 21+. $10. 9 p.m. 408 St. Peter St., St. Paul; 651.292.1359. Also Saturday —Rick Mason

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