Concert Highlights for the Week of Sep. 5 - Sept. 11


Roma di Luna(CD-release show)
Cedar Cultural Center

It's a mystery to me how a great musical venue like the Cedar can be seasonal. For whatever reason, the eclectic Cedar Cultural Center has routinely taken summers off, leaving Twin Cities roots- and international-music enthusiasts eagerly awaiting the autumnal toll of sweet September. This year, as a thank-you to their supportive community, the Cedar opens its doors with a stellar kickoff event featuring a free night of music from some of the area's finest emerging artists. Roma Di Luna, the husband-and-wife duo of Alexei (a.k.a. Crescent Moon, from hip-hop projects Oddjobs and Kill the Vultures) and Channy Moon Caselle, play stark acoustic folk originals with a tranquil American gothic beauty. Celebrating the release of their first full-length CD, Find Your Way Home, the Caselles promise to bring more to the show than two voices, a violin, and an old wooden six-string usually add up to. With the MMA's reigning "Female Vocalist of the Year," JoAnna James. All ages. Free. 7:00 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Christopher Matthew Jensen


Jon Langford
7th St. Entry

With a hand—or guitar—in multiple projects, John Langford is a musical father figure for folk-rockers. Welsh-born and now Chicago-based, Langford has a rich history in the music biz, audible in his thick voice, dark guitar strums, and tell-tale lyrics. A co-founder of first-wave British punk-rock band the Mekons in 1977, he's played in groups such as the Three Johns, Waco Brothers, and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts (who released a collection of murder ballads in 2002 to benefit the Illinois Death Penalty Moratorium Project). On his own, Langford has released three solo albums, including last year's Gold Brick. He has also toured with a multimedia stage version of his Cosmonauts' "The Executioner's Last Songs." When he's not singing his rock-infused bluegrass, Langford paints portraits of country music icons, illustrates a comic strip, and occasionally contributes to NPR's This American Life. $10. 8:00 p.m. 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Amber Schadewald

THURSDAY 9.06 Through SATURDAY 9.08

Concrete and GrassFestival
Mears Park

With a lineup designed to get everyone out of their respective ruts, this festival will draw you in with a known act and leave you walking away a fan of someone else's favorite band as well. Plus, it's starting to get dark earlier and earlier the past few weeks—do something outside before the summer's over (you'll have all winter to slowly rot on your couch). With a gradual build from Thursday evening, culminating in what is sure to be a high-energy set by honorary Minneapolitan Ike Reilly on Saturday night, you'll be treated to music from "on the verge" artists including the emotional, affecting folk of the Cates; lacerating, funky, acoustic pop from Mayda Miller Band; the decidedly hip-hoppy Maria Isa Band; garage-y country by the near-legendary Front Porch Swingin' Liquor Pigs, the self-described "shit-kicker, trailer trash rock" of Stook! & the Jukes; razor-sharp pop rock from Martin Devaney; last-big-things the Alarmists; and the absolutely can't-miss, mostly folky, semi-jokey Como Avenue Jug Band—plus some classical, and a bit of theater thrown in to further round things out. Sound like a lot to take in? Maybe, but you could hardly call yourself a local music fan and not show up for at least one night. The best part: It's entirely free. Sixth and Sibley Streets, downtown St. Paul. For more information, go to —Pat O'Brien



As much as Nashville-centered rapper Haystak seemingly exploits his whiteness (with albums including Car Fulla White Boys and Portrait of a White Boy), anyone with even a cursory understanding of his music over the last decade knows that playing the race card is more a marketing strategy than a central theme. The real issues Haystak deals with are class-based, as he devotes plenty of material to dealing with growing up poor and Southern (making the simplified label "white-trash music" both unfair and surprisingly accurate). And in today's hyper-consumerist/hypersexual rap game, it's always refreshing to hear honest accounts of being broke and uncool. Fitting in nicely somewhere between Bubba Sparxxx and Project Pat, Haystak proves why the South is largely ruling things in 2007—if you've got something to say, all are welcome at the table, regardless of race, weight, or the measurement of your rims. 18+ $20. 10:00 p.m. 10 S. Fifth St., Minneapolis; 612.332.3931. —Jordan Selbo

A Tribute to Bob Feldman
Fitzgerald Theater

When someone dies way too prematurely, as Bob Feldman did in January 2006, the tendency is to heap praise on the deceased regardless of the true measure of his character. But it doesn't require any stretch to declare that human beings don't get much better than Bob Feldman, a guy universally loved and respected, with an enduring legacy through the artists he signed, encouraged, and promoted on the indie he founded, St. Paul's little label that could, Red House Records. Bob's boundless enthusiasm for good music—as a funky label exec, resourceful promoter, record producer, radio host, frequent guest on MPR's morning show, and just plain fan—translated into a worldwide impact and substantial careers for a slew of artists who are integral to contemporary folk music's backbone. Many of those will be on hand at the Fitz to shed a few late tears and salute a life well lived, including Greg Brown, Eliza Gilkyson, John Gorka, Peter Ostroushko, Robin & Linda Williams, Dave Moore, Claudia Schmidt, Spider John Koerner, Tony Glover, Dean Magraw, Ruth MacKenzie, Jeff Willkomm, and Eric Peltoniemi. The all-star house band will feature keyboardist Rich Dworsky, bassist Joel Sayles, percussionist Marc Anderson, and drummer JT Bates. Proceeds will go to the Bob Feldman Redwood Forest Fund to protect the trees he loved. $35-$50. 7:00 p.m.10 E. Exchange St., St. Paul; 651.290.1221. —Rick Mason

Flaming Lips
Myth Nightclub

It's unlikely that any song has equalled the measured inanity of the Power Puff Girls television show quite as much as the Flaming Lips' "Yoshimi Vs. the Pink Robots Part I" (with the exception, perhaps, of that show's theme song). "Vs. Part I" transports the listener to a world where "evil-natured robots programmed to destroy us" are defeated at the hands of Yoshimi, a woman who's "gotta be strong to fight them, so she's taking lots of vitamins." It's fair to say the band doesn't have the strongest grip on realism. But rather than lapsing into Warholian incomprehensibility, the Lips craft nonsense poems in the tradition of Lewis Carroll—despite the silliness with which they're presented, vivid images leap to (and stick in one's) mind. Live, they are a tripped-out phenomenon, with bizarre props, confusing light configurations, and occasional crowd surfing in a giant plastic bubble. All Ages. $35. 6:30 p.m. 3090 Southlawn Dr., Maplewood; 651.779.6984 —Ward Rubrecht


Animal Collective
First Avenue

When last spotted in the wild, the Animal Collective were back to being a trio. And rather then play songs from their forthcoming album, Strawberry Jam, they instead treated audiences to a new batch of songs. There were no guitars in sight, as the band instead delved deep into their love of dub, techno, and buddies Black Dice, with a bass-heavy and heavily-manipulated set that was truly mesmeric. A pity that the new album didn't sound more like this, but as with any good wild creature, they remain a few steps ahead of their audience. $13. 6:00 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Andy Beta