Andrew Bird, Lookbook, No Bird Sing, and more

Andrew Bird prepares to go to church

Andrew Bird prepares to go to church



The Rock

The joke's on you, Norway. American metalheads don't have to burn down churches to prove they're tough—you don't have to manufacture violence when there's already plenty to go around. Likewise, Connecticut hardcore outfit Hatebreed doesn't resort to singing (or screaming, rather) about dragons or trolls, because the horrors of the modern world make far scarier bogeymen than anything Tolkien ever dreamed up. So, if you're looking for grandiose, operatic gestures in your metal, you're in the wrong place; this band's punk-influenced thrash is relentless, stopping only to introduce weighty, crushing breakdowns that will have fans falling over one another in a heaving mass of heavily tattooed bodies. Hatebreed have spent years climbing the ranks of the metal scene, growing from a promising young band into a flagship act accustomed to sharing a stage with the genre's legends, so there won't be any shortage of fodder for the mosh pit. Fans of pure sonic brutality should take note: There's no makeup here, just sheer ferocity. With Cannibal Corpse, Unearth, Born of Osiris, and Hate Eternal. All ages. $22/$25 at the door. 7 p.m. 2029 Woodlynn Ave., Maplewood; 651.770.7822. —Ian Traas


Andrew Bird

St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral

Classically trained violinist, virulently eccentric and eclectic singer-songwriter Andrew Bird ranks high among the most intriguing and unpredictable artists on the planet. His impressive body of work runs the gamut of influences from pop to chamber music via jazz and Appalachia. And now for something completely different: solo, all-instrumental violin performances of original material in a "sacred" setting, which locally translates into St. Mark's Cathedral alongside Loring Park. These shows have been dubbed "Gezelligheid Concerts," which may suggest a response to a demonstrative head cold, but is actually a Dutch term approximating "cozy." Bird has said the idea for the Gezelligheids, which are being presented only in Chicago and Minneapolis, came from his childhood seasonal performances of Handel's "Messiah." He's aiming for a similarly "uplifting and comforting" atmosphere to usher in the cold, dark winter. However sketchy that description may be, avid ornithologists quickly snapped up tickets to the first two concerts, and a third has been added. Something interesting is virtually guaranteed, because as Minneapolitans have long known, the Bird is the word. $29-$34. 8 p.m. 519 Oak Grove St., Minneapolis; 612.870.7800. Also Friday and Saturday —Rick Mason

FRIDAY 12.11

No Bird Sing

Turf Club

For listeners taking in the menacing groove and Eric Blair's liquid flow, it's easy to overlook an important component of No Bird Sing's music: They play hip hop without a bassist or DJ. For this local trio, defying convention has made them one of the area's most prominent up-and-coming acts. Case in point: MC Blair eschews typical hip-hop self-aggrandizement in favor of an honest, plain-spoken rapping style that owes more to contemporary literature and a healthy regimen of NPR than it does to the posturing of his musical forebears. Guitarist Robert Mulrennan and drummer Graham O'Brien (of Hyder Ali and Abzorbr) lock together with distorted, jazzy melodies and broken rhythms to create a dense, organic sound that rewards repeated listens. Breaking free of the genre's most insistent clichés, No Bird Sing's unique brand of roots-based hip hop will be complemented by avant-garde vocalist Aby Wolf, folk duo Peter Wolf Crier, and singer-songwriter Bethany Larson, who will be releasing her debut album at tonight's show. 21+. $5. 9 p.m. 1601 University Ave., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Jeff Gage



7th St. Entry

Their lush synth swells and syncopated rhythms may fit the template of new-wave nostalgia currently en vogue, but Lookbook's slyly sexy electro pop is more than your average Regan-era revivalism. The band's minimalist sweep allows Maggie Morrison's seductive vocals to bloom and reverberate, commanding the sort of presence she's become accustomed to while fronting a full band with Digitata. Multi-instrumentalist Grant Cutler, formerly of Passions, translates his punk chops into looping atmospheric textures and mechanical drum breaks, adding his own high-pitched harmonies to Morrison's brooding Karen O croon. The duo's rapidly growing local following extended beyond the Twin Cities with recent single "True to Form" from their debut, Wild at Heart, which received a favorable review with indie tastemakers Pitchfork. As the band release an EP featuring remixes of their glitchy new hit, Lookbook's strobe light pyrotechnics and irresistibly danceable beats are sure to make the Entry get footloose and party like it's, well, 2009. With Nyteowl and We Become Actors. 18+. $6. 9 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Jeff Gage

David Grisman & John Sebastian

The Cedar

Back in the hazy recesses of the early '60s, David Grisman and John Sebastian encountered one another at the jam sessions that regularly broke out in Greenwich Village's Washington Square. Soon after, they became part of the Even Dozen Jug Band, whose other notables included Stefan Grossman and Geoff and Maria Muldaur. Sebastian—a singer, guitarist, and harmonica ace—went on to fame and fortune with the Lovin' Spoonful and a subsequent solo career whose commercial highlight was the theme song for the now-ancient TV show Welcome Back, Kotter. Grisman, a spectacular mandolin picker, created dawg music, a hot hybrid of bluegrass, jazz, and folk. After going their separate ways for some 40 years, a chance meeting led to a 2007 duo recording, Satisfied, and subsequent joint appearances (and, incidentally, major contributions to Maria Muldaur's new jug-band album Garden of Joy). This performance will likely have a similar vibe to Satisfied. That is, a day-dreamin', tasty, back-porch picking session by old friends, juggling originals (in Sebastian's case reaching back to the Spoonful), traditional folk tunes, old blues (including John Hurt's "Coffee Blues," whose lyric provided the Spoonful's name), and the odd vintage pop tune (the Everlys' "Walk Right Back"). $40-$55. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason

Teenage Strangler

Turf Club

For all their whacked-out screechiness and their creepy name, you wouldn't expect Teenage Strangler to be so upbeat. The local trio sound sort of like a happy Sonic Youth. Though not overtly buzzed on too much Wellbutrin, the head-bopping drum beats, accidentally charming mumbled/shouted vocals, and canoodling between ultra-fuzzed rhythms and bright and warbly lead guitars meld into a woozy bliss. The band members claim to have punk influences, but they seem more likely to be descendents of the heady deconstruction of grunge and "alternative" in the early '90s. Instead of opting for catchy hooks and clearly defined song structure, they drench everything in a wash of feedback-laden noise. With Awesome Snakes and Bombay Sweets. 21+. 9 p.m. $6. 1601 University Ave., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Erin Roof

SUNDAY 12.13


Station 4

When you form a metal band for the specific purpose of being the single most heretical musical entity on the planet, you probably have your work cut out for you. It's been said that this was the goal behind Morgan Steinmeyer Håkansson's founding of Marduk, the Swedish death-metal/black-metal hybrid that first made its name with the infamous 1991 demo tape Fuck Me Jesus (banned in several countries!) and only got more brutal from there. As a band whose members decided early on that the sexual desecration of religious icons would make for a springboard to more universal blasphemies—other lyrical subjects would include World War II atrocities, the complete destruction of the world, and how badass Dracula is—Marduk refined themselves into a conceptually minded and studious force of evil, creating the memorable "Blood, War, and Death" album trilogy with 1998's Nightwing, 1999's Panzer Division Marduk, and 2001's La Grande Danse Macabre. Their sound's shifted and broadened over the past few years' worth of experiments and personnel changes, with this year's Wormwood one of their strongest and most adventurous albums; it provides a deft mixture of high-speed blast-beat fury and funeral-march ominousness, along with some of Daniel "Mortuus" Rosten's most memorably venomous and bile-choked vocals since he joined the band in 2004. With Nachtmystium, Mantic Ritual, and Horde of Hell. 16+. $14/$17 at the door. 6 p.m. 201 E. Fourth St., St. Paul; 651.298.0173. —Nate Patrin

MONDAY 12.14

Béla Fleck & the Flecktones

Guthrie Theater

If the proverbially hip notion of a cool Yule melts your icicles, you couldn't do better this holiday season than check out banjo iconoclast Béla Fleck jingling every which way at the Guthrie. Actually, the show will be based on Jingle All the Way, the Flecktones' Grammy-winning opus from a year ago, which skates through such a winter wonderland of mind-boggling genre twists that it's a good thing Rudolph's on hand to light the way. Bluegrass, bop, Bach, and Brown (as in a funky cover of Vince Guaraldi's tribute to Charlie's friends, "Linus and Lucy") all float around Fleck's intoxicating musical nog, impeccably realized by the merry picker himself and Flecktones Victor Wooten (bass), Future Man (percussion), and Jeff Coffin (saxes, flute). "Sleigh Ride" is a breakneck breakdown that sounds like a jazz fest at Jed Clampett's place. A euphoric "Twelve Days of Christmas" is gloriously festooned with at least twice that many shifts in texture, tone, rhythm, and style, including swing, chamber music, Klezmer, and Tuvan throat singing. The last is courtesy of Tuva's Alash Ensemble, whose guttural groove helps transform "Jingle Bells" into a surreal gallop across the Asian steppes. The group also will accompany the Tones at the Guthrie. Even more stunning is a Tuvan/Appalachian folk-rock fusion of "What Child Is This?" with the Tuvan ditty "Dyngyldai," Wooten's funky electric bass lines whipping in the gale while Coffin wails like Coltrane on sax. A great way to get your holly jollies. $48.50. 7:30 p.m. 818 S. Second St., Minneapolis; 612.377.2224. —Rick Mason