Amadou & Mariam, Acoustic Century, and more

Global pop partners Amadou & Mariam
Benoit Peverelli

Amadou & Mariam

Cedar Cultural Center, Tuesday 8.7

This is the local debut of the acclaimed Malian husband-and-wife duo Amadou & Mariam (here backed by a band), who have become renowned for their remarkable synthesis of Malian music — especially its distinctive version of the blues — and a wide array of vintage and contemporary Western pop. The couple met at a Bamako school for the blind some 30 years ago and were already well known in West Africa and France when their 2005 U.S. release, Dimanche á Bamako, led to opening for the likes of Coldplay and collaborating with Gorillaz. The pair's thoroughly adventurous and engaging new album, Folila, sports contributions from members of TV on the Radio and Antibalas, plus Malian giants Toumani Diabaté and Bassekou Kouyaté. "Dougou Badia" features an electric-guitar joust between Amadou and the Yeah Yeah Yeah's Nick Zinner plus a dual-language swap of lyrics between Mariam and Santigold that has Ronettes overtones. Incisive, cutting-edge music can indeed spring from root sources with astounding freshness and spontaneity. With DJ Paper Sleeves. Sold out. 7:30 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason

Joey DeFrancesco, Larry Coryell, Jimmy Cobb: A Tribute to Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery

Dakota Jazz club, Wednesday 8.1 + Thursday 8.2

B-3 organ kingpin Jimmy Smith and guitarist Wes Montgomery were key jazz innovators in the 1950s and '60s and are still both huge influences on today's musicians. Smith's bubbling organ escapades pioneered soul jazz, mixing up R&B, gospel, blues, and bop while working wicked grooves. Montgomery's trademark fluid style was an astute extension of Charlie Christian. Together, they were the Dynamic Duo, as one mid-'60s album was called. Meanwhile, the tribute threesome is pretty far along on the road to legendary status themselves, with a tasty new album out too: Wonderful! Wonderful!, named for the old Johnny Mathis hit. Joey DeFrancesco is a contemporary B-3 master. Jazz fusion pioneer Larry Coryell is an accomplished guitarist in numerous styles. And drummer Jimmy Cobb remains one of jazz's greatest timekeepers, who played on one of jazz's most celebrated albums, Miles Davis's Kind of Blue. $40 at 7 p.m., $25 at 9 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.5299. —Rick Mason

Acoustic Century: Gabriel Douglas and Danny O'Brien

New Century Theatre, Thursday 8.2

If you've ever wanted a personal look into a musician's process and job, New Century Theatre's new Acoustic Century series is offering that opportunity. The series launches with Gabe Douglas of 4onthefloor and Danny O'Brien of the Farewell Circuit, and audience members will have the chance to ask questions and listen in on the grimy, dirty details of life on the road and as a part of the Twin Cities music scene. Douglas and O'Brien have each performed both as solo artists and as part of a group, and they'll be speaking on the differences between those musical ventures as well as the songwriting and creative process. All ages, $10, 8 p.m. 615 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.455.9501. —Natalie Gallagher

Dosh 7-inch release party

7th St. Entry, Friday 8.3

Minneapolis musical maestro Martin Dosh typically has a lot of projects going at once. But after focusing his prodigious talents as part of Andrew Bird's band on their extensive recent tour, Martin returns home for his first official Dosh show in seven months to celebrate the release of his new 7-inch, "From the House of Caesar"/"Walt Whitman Barnt." The record is set to be released on the small Savannah, Georgia, label Graveface Records, and is part of a charity subscription release that the label is doing throughout 2012. Dosh's record is set to benefit St. Paul nonprofit Building Dignity. Aby Wolf and Grant Cutler's ethereal electronic project Wolflords will open. With Ghostband and Mike 2600. 18+, $8, 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Erik Thompson

Animal Kingdom

Triple Rock Social Club, Saturday 8.4

Once a fount of inspiration for American bands, major-label British rock today consists primarily of amiable but lifeless Coldplay imitators too busy being pleasant to make much in the way of a lasting impression. Animal Kingdom's sophomore album, The Looking Away, offers a much-needed reminder that British pop done right is posh, not stuffy. While the super-smooth tenor of frontman Richard Sauberlich could appeal to the Keane and Snow Patrol crowd, the band stands out by deftly employing danceable disco-derived rhythms, and dressing up its ballads with lovingly layered electronic bells and whistles. Plenty atmospheric without sacrificing anything in the way of melodic immediacy, Animal Kingdom have arrived just in time to redeem Brit-rock from complacent placidity. With Eight and a Half and Royal Teeth. 18+, $12, 8 p.m., 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Rob Van Alstyne

Die Antwoord

First Avenue, Saturday 8.4

South African counter-culture rap/rave crew Die Antwoord have been setting stages ablaze in their homeland for quite a while now, and their coarse lyrics and flagrantly flamboyant live shows are finally starting to catch on here in the States. The outlandish group is led by Yo-Landi Vi$$ser and Ninja, who both bring a lot of energy and attitude. Die Antwoord are touring in support of their most recent record, Tension, which seems to have divided their fans and critics alike. But the group doesn't pay that type of scrutiny any mind — instead operating on the "zef" principle, a crass personal philosophy based on calculated foolishness and outrageous vulgarity. 18+, $25, 11 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Erik Thompson

Sharon Van Etten


First Avenue, Saturday 8.4

Sharon Van Etten's success has been slowly building over the years, and the promise suggested by her raw early work has finally been realized on her triumphant new record, Tramp. The new collection finds Van Etten once again exploring the heartbreaking highs and lows of relationships, but her voice and songwriting contain a well-earned wisdom and mature poise that authentically informs these stirring songs. Even with contributions from such indie heavyweights as Aaron Dessner (the National), Zach Condon (Beirut), and Matt Barrick (the Walkmen), Van Etten's indomitable spirit consistently shines through on one of the definite standout albums of 2012. And while she frequently injects humor into her concerts to deflect from the raw intensity of her material, Van Etten's still blossoming live show is full of stunning, deeply affecting songs that prove hard to shake. With Tennis. 18+, $17-$19, 6:30 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Erik Thompson

Crosby, Stills & Nash

Orpheum Theatre, Monday 8.6

To a certain degree, any performance by Crosby, Stills and Nash is like Déjá Vu all over again. That's because that 1970 landmark album — with Neil Young also aboard — along with the first CS&N album from the year before essentially provided the soundtrack for a particularly turbulent time of war and an ideologically divided country. The group's close vocal harmonies (stunning when on, but notorious for drifting off-key live), haunting folk-rock melodies, occasional guitar lacerations from Stephen Stills (and Young), and lyrical grapplings with the socio-political upheavals of the era made the band essential listening. The members have carried on through a sometimes fractious relationship, and have a new live album just out, perhaps fueled by David Crosby's prescient "Long Time Gone" lyrics: It's still imperative to speak out against the madness because it remains a long time before the dawn. $62.50-$77.50. 7:30 p.m. 910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.339.7007. —Rick Mason

Oliver Mtukudzi

Loring Park, Monday 8.6

At once a sandpapery singer of danceable pop and a socially conscious minder of Southern African folk traditions, Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi burst onto the world scene in the early '90s. With his band the Black Spirits, he has toured Europe and appeared in the Zimbabwean rock movie Jit, from which Bonnie Raitt lifted one of Tuku's tunes. But he'd been recording since '76, blending Shona mbira pop, soul, reggae, rumba, and South African township jive, later collaborating with South Africa's Steve Dyer on a spate of early-'00s recordings filled with dynamic female back-up singing — check out 2003's Putumayo best-of The Oliver Mtukudzi Collection: The Tuku Years. He performs for free in Loring Park followed by a DJ set from the Current's Jim McGuinn and a screening of the best picture Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis ever made together, 1955's Artists and Models. Free, 7 p.m. Loring Park, Minneapolis; 612.375.7600. —Peter S. Scholtes

The Tallest Man on Earth

First Avenue, Monday 8.6

The Tallest Man on Earth, a.k.a. Swedish singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson, arrived more or less fully formed in 2006 with his self-titled debut EP. Those five songs of evocative guitar-and-pipes trad-folk could have been written at any point in the past century. Since then, Matsson has dropped another EP (2010's Sometimes the Blues Is Just a Passing Bird) and three full-lengths, including this year's great There's No Leaving Now, which takes the 29-year-old's fingerpicked guitar and familiar croaky voice and adds ever-so-gentle drums and electric guitars for extra color. There are reasons to be skeptical of one man's ability to hold an audience's attention, but this Man has long since figured out how to pack some serious punch with his minimal setup. With Strand of Oaks. 18+, $20, 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8388. —Mike Madden

Chiddy Bang

Mill City Nights, Tuesday 8.7

After generating quite a buzz based on a series of mix-tapes and EPs over the last couple of years, Philadelphia hip-hop duo Chiddy Bang have finally released their first proper full-length, Breakfast. It serves up a diverse, playful pop collection that fuses rap with recognizable indie-rock melodies. After opening a string of dates on Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller's Under the Influence of Music tour over the past month, Chiddy Bang start a small headline tour of their own in Minneapolis, and should be road tested and ready by the time they get here. 18+, $22-$25 8 p.m. 111 Fifth St. N., Minneapolis; 612.333.3422. —Erik Thompson

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