Chromeo, Glamorama, Psalm One, and more: Critics' Picks


Balkan Beat Box

The Cedar

Although the band is based in New York, with a commensurate cutting-edge/punkish attitude attendant to the downtown scene, Balkan Beat Box's heart and soul reside somewhere in the vicinity of the Mediterranean as that region's culture oozes up toward Eastern Europe, and vice versa. BBB's core is saxophonist Ori Kaplan, drummer/programmer Tamir Muskat, and vocalist/MC Tomer Yosef, all Israeli-born New Yorkers and as eclectic a crew as you could find anywhere. Blithely mashing together traditional music from all points around the Mediterranean, the Balkans, and ancient shtetls with electronica, jazz, and smatterings of rock and hip hop, BBB's provocative melting pot is as much about dissolving political borders as finding new avenues of musical expression. Their new Blue Eyed Black Boy was recorded in Belgrade, Serbia, with local brass players and singers and the Gypsy band Kal, while ethnic-inspired riots filled the streets. If BBB's philosophy and grooves could prevail, those riots would turn into party time. With the Brass Messengers. All ages. $25/$28 at the door. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason


Glamorama 2010

Orpheum Theatre

Once again Glamorama returns to Minneapolis to fuse local talent with national star power, all for a good cause. This year's look is fantasy-themed, so expect some wood nymphs, butterflies, and whimsical nature elements, all with a little sparkle. The event opens with a theatrical performance and runway show created by

Project Runway designer Chris March and So You Think You Can Dance's Brian Friedman. A fashion segment choreographed by local luminary Myron Johnson will feature threads by Jean Paul Gaultier, Issey Miyake, Marc Jacobs, Sonia Rykiel, Tommy Hilfiger, and others. Musicians Macy Gray and Mike Hutchinson will create the live soundtrack for the evening. The post-party celebration on the eighth floor of Macy's includes glow-in-the-dark dancers, a bar built around a tree trunk, and Xbox 360 games on a huge LED video wall. Proceeds benefit the Children's Cancer Research Fund. $60-$750. 910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 952.893.9355. —Jessica Armbruster


Red House Barnfest

Hobgoblin Music Outdoor Amphitheater

Red House, the St. Paul indie folk label, knows how to put on a summer jam. Among the highlights of Red House's early days was its annual Summerfolk, a label-wide showcase festival in an apple orchard along the St. Croix River. Reincarnated last year as Barnfest in an outdoor amphitheatre just north of Red Wing, the current summer get-together is a little less ambitious (necessarily so, with a greatly expanded label roster), but nonetheless represents a fine cross section of Red House artists. Many of those are of the singer-songwriter ilk, but incidentally stretch that "folk" tag every which way into a broadpalette of roots-conscious music. On the bill this year will be Pieta Brown, daughter of label co-founder Greg Brown, onetime resident of the actual red house that inspired the name and a fine artist herself; Spider John Koerner, the folk and blues icon who as a member of the renowned trio Koerner, Ray and Glover strongly influenced a generation of musicians; Cliff Eberhardt, who's as eloquent on his guitar as he is with words; Ruth Moody, still one of the Wailin' Jennys who also released a solo album on Red House earlier this year; Storyhill, the folk-pop duo of Chris Cunningham and John Hermanson, whose close harmonies and strong songwriting have spawned comparisons to the Everly Brothers; plus two from down in Austin who tap into the Texas songwriter tradition, Danny Schmidt and Carrie Elkin. The festival will also shine a light on Minnesota songwriters Erik Koskinen and Brianna Lane, who will open the festivities. All ages. $25/$30 at the gate. 1 p.m.

920 State Highway 19, Red Wing; 651.388.8400. —Rick Mason

Psalm One

7th St. Entry

Chemist enough to explain in a funny aside that ester solvents are what make glow sticks glow, Englewood, Chicago's Psalm One must have known one or another element was missing from her gorgeously voiced flow and loner-on-the-L-turned-battler persona: "A lot of lines that I tend to rhyme get lost," she raps on "Better Than My Last (Dirty)," from her free 2010 online album [email protected], a track that also addresses her absence from the recording scene since releasing her fourth album and Rhymesayers debut, 2006's The Death of the Frequent Flyer, which featured a collaboration with Brother Ali. If the sophisticated, soft-focuse knowingness of "Open for Business" is any sign (the song is dirty in the best way), her follow-up-in-progress for Rhymesayers should be something very good. With Open Mike Eagle and Big Quarters. 18+. $8. 9 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Peter S. Scholtes

Chromeo/Holy Ghost!

First Avenue 

First Avenue's the perfect place for these indie-kid funk-pop bands—they both channel the Time's hilarious funkiness in different ways. (And yes, Prince. Of course.)  Montreal's Chromeo—Dave 1 on vox/guitars, and P-Thugg on talkbox /keyboards—replicate 1980s Top 40 tropes so perfectly it's like they're on a vision quest to find their inner Shalamar. Their craft is serious, but their lyrics serve up pitch-perfect character comedy—the hapless Oedipus/Elektra romance in "Momma's Boy," the world-weary hipster who offers "bonafied [sic] lovin'/The kind that makes me feel old." (See p. 46 for more on Chromeo.) And Holy Ghost!, from Brooklyn, have a more groove-based, less polished feel than the other band on the bill—like a seasoned '80s Brit-funk group with roots in jazz. U-Term's chunky remix of their "Say My Name" honest-to-God would have been a hit at college club night in 1985. Or so we've heard. 18+. $20. 7 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Cecile Cloutier

Jimmy Cliff


Minnesota Zoo Weesner Amphitheater

After being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March, reggae pioneer Jimmy Cliff has launched his most ambitious North American onslaught in some time. His current tour is billed as his most extensive in two decades, and, fronting what has been described as a young band, he's inspired accolades for performances at Bonnaroo and elsewhere. His first album in six years,

Existence, reportedly has been almost finished for a while, but no specific release date has been announced. And he's working on a new screenplay. The Jamaican singer and actor is probably best known for starring in and providing much of the soundtrack for The Harder They Come, the landmark 1972 reggae film that paralleled some of his own experiences, especially arriving in Kingston fresh from the countryside and scoring his first hit within months. Cliff is responsible for a handful of genuine nuggets, including "You Can Get It If You Really Want," "Sitting in Limbo," and "Many Rivers to Cross." He'll reportedly play a mix of classics and newer tunes, including some from the forthcoming album, which is supposed to address current topical issues. He's also reworked his classic antiwar "Vietnam" in terms of theongoing conflict in Afghanistan. $50. 7:30 p.m. 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley; 952.431.9200. —Rick Mason


Bettye LaVette

Dakota Jazz Club

When R&B diva Bettye LaVette finishes off her aching, soul-drenched version of Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed" on her latest album, it's listeners who are left amazed. And we're talking slack-jawed astonishment here, just a notch below the full-fledged stupefaction doubtless experienced by anyone newly discovering LaVette, the 65-year-old wonder who exploded from 40 years of obscurity and in the virtual blink of eye was ranked alongside Aretha as soul royalty. LaVette similarly seizes as her own the remainder of Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook, a collection of songs universally hot-wired into the brains of '60s and '70s rock fans courtesy of formidable bands like the Beatles, Stones, Who, and Led Zeppelin. Undaunted, LaVette dramatically reinvents every one, bleeding her own raw emotions into familiar lyrics that suddenly take on entirely new echelons of meaning: Ringo's "It Don't Come Easy" as simmering swamp-blues lacerated with pain; a tight, blistering, horn-driven R&B romp through Derek and the Dominos' "Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?"; the Beatles' "The Word" as a scorching funk workout; a chilling, heart-wrenching reading of Traffic's "No Time to Live"; a growling, slinky, wicked run through the Animals' "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood." Amazing. $36-$45. 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010. —Rick Mason


Four Nights in Loring: Marijuana Deathsquads

Loring Park

Marijuana Deathsquads began as a collaboration between P.O.S and his Building Better Bombs bandmates and has since evolved into one of the most progressive and sprawling noise bands in the Twin Cities. Their Wednesday-night house gigs at Nick and Eddie are notorious for featuring a revolving crew of musical luminaries from around the Twin Cities and for showcasing bombastic and unpredictable sets of improvised mania. Which is no surprise; spearheaded by emerging producer Ryan Olson, Marijuana Deathsquads' band members and collaborators weave a tangled web of overlapping side projects that span from Minneapolis to Eau Claire and beyond. The band's set in the park will feature a live collaboration with P.O.S and members of Olson's internationally renowned recording project Gayngs. Olson will be composing a song just for the occasion, and a wide range of special guests is guaranteed. Expect utter chaos. Following the performance will be a screening of the Coen brothers' classic Fargo. All ages. Free. 7 p.m. 1382 Willow St., Minneapolis; visit for more information. —Andrea Swensson

Four Nights in Loring Afterparty feat. City on the Make

Nick and Eddie

As with each of the "Four Nights in Loring: Local Bands, Local Films" events being presented this August by City Pages and Lunds, tonight's performance by Marijuana Deathsquads and screening of Fargo will be followed by an afterparty at Nick and Eddie. This week's afterparty performers are City on the Make, an increasingly tight and punchy bar band whose bluesy riffs accompany fierce, gravelly lyrics that are closer to a punk-rock poetry slam than anything predictably melodic. Which isn't to say that lead singer Mike Massey can't sing—the band has been experimenting with a few softer songs that allow him to do just that—but Massey's best when he's growling and red in the face, hopping around the stage and spitting into his microphone while the band tears through one song after another right behind him. What better way to wind down from a viewing of Fargo than with City on the Make's noir tales of the industrial apocalypse? 18+. Free. Music at 11:30 p.m. 1612 Harmon Place, Minneapolis; 612.486.5800. —Andrea Swensson

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The Cedar Cultural Center

416 Cedar Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55454


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