Critics' Picks: Atmosphere, Get Cryphy, Souljazz Orchestra, and more

Souljazz Orchestra: From Canada, honest
courtesy of the artists

The Souljazz Orchestra

Triple Rock Social Club, Saturday 2.25

Deftly combining such diverse influences as Afrobeat, Afro-Cuban jazz, salsa, funk, samba—plus its namesakes jazz and soul—Ottawa's terrific Souljazz Orchestra stirs up a wonderfully infectious brew that sizzles and pops, gets seriously spiritual, and bristles with exuberance. The ferocious spirits of Fela, James Brown, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, and the Fania All Stars haunt Souljazz's music, but don't strictly define it. The sextet finds its own groove, with a three-piece horn section whose supple strength is reminiscent of Tower of Power, Pierre Chrétien's piano, and a maelstrom of cross-cultural polyrhythms from Philippe Lafrenière and Marielle Rivard. Souljazz's latest album, Rising Sun, rolls out with the shimmery "Awakening," but really opens eyes with the blistering Afrobeat of "Agbara," especially Ray Murray's gloriously rowdy baritone sax workout over Chrétien's percolating marimba. "Negus Negast," fueled by raucous funk, explores Mulatu Astatke's Ethiopian jazz. "Mamaya" crisscrosses the South Atlantic juggling Brazilian and African elements. The slyly effervescent "Serenity" is anchored by Murray's sweet bass clarinet. The album concludes with a cover of Pharaoh Sanders's "Rejoice," a final radiant touch from a masterful band only now on its first major U.S. tour. A pair of Minneapolis bands will open. The Brass Messengers' horn attack and Peregrine Perspective's psychedelic jazz both share similarly expansive philosophies and some influences with Souljazz. 18+, $10, 8 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612.333.7399. —Rick Mason


First Avenue Mainroom, Wednesday 2.22

If you doubt that the power of Atmosphere remains strong after all these years, take note that this First Avenue appearance sold out within a single day. Sandwiched between dates throughout the state as part of the second "Welcome to Minnesota Tour," this performance will likely find rapper Slug and his backing band high on local pride. Using their power to bring attention to other pockets of the local scene, Atmosphere recruited certified hometown legends Kill the Vultures and Big Quarters, as well as promising rookie MaLLy, for this tour. As with last year's Prof, Los Nativos, and Mr. Gene Poole collaboration, the four groups have joined forces for a promo track called "Somebody, MN" (available free from the Rhymesayers website), which is sure to make for a big moment when played live. With Kill the Vultures, Big Quarters, MaLLy, and BK-One. 18+, SOLD OUT, 7 p.m. , 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Jack Spencer

Get Cryphy 4th Anniversary

First Avenue Mainroom, Friday 2.24

It's pretty much an undisputed fact at this point that Get Cryphy remains the most balls-out, buck-wild DJ night in the Twin Cities. This anniversary show stands to crank that even further. The four-headed hydra (comprised of Plain Ol' Bill, DJ Fundo, Last Word, and Jimmy Two Times) has steadily destroyed the Record Room for four years straight with unrelenting club bangers that span the landscape of contemporary rap, and the unequaled crowd energy will only be more amplified in the Mainroom. The crew know their shit (check out the free 4 Year Anniversary mix on the Get Cryphy website if you need proof) and have honed their award-winning arsenal of dirty beats to perfection. Special guests like Brother Ali, St. Paul Slim, Truth Be Told, and MaLLy will be there to ensure maximum cryphy-ness is gotten. 18+, $5-$10, 9 p.m., 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Jack Spencer

Slack Key Generations: George Kahumoku Jr. & Keoki Kahumoku

Cedar Cultural Center, Friday 2.24

The Cedar's annual February showcase of slack key emissaries from Hawaii this year features the father-and-son duo of George Kahumoku Jr. and Keoki Kahumoku, both of whom have been key activists in the preservation of slack key traditions as musicians, teachers, and impresarios. Both are masters of the definitive Hawaiian instruments, ukulele and slack key guitar. Slack key refers to unusual guitar tunings derived from Spanish and Mexican cowboys who took their guitars to the islands. The lilting sounds, sometimes reflecting traditional Hawaiian singing, uniquely evoke Hawaii's spectacular natural beauty. The Kahumokus are fourth- and fifth-generation musicians. Multiple Grammy winner George Jr. favors the rich sound of 12-string guitar, and is renowned as a renaissance man who paints, sculpts, and farms along with songwriting and storytelling. The younger Keoki sometimes laces his own music with elements of blues and contemporary influences. Together, the Kahumokus' aloha spirit is a lush as the islands' landscape and as intoxicating as a tropical breeze. $22, 8 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason

Dropkick Murphys

First Avenue Mainroom, Saturday 2.25

The Dropkick Murphys tread a fine line between celebratory, boozy anthems and inflammable punk songs. No matter which side of the fence their fans find themselves on, the live shows are always a raucous good time. The seven-piece from Boston seamlessly blends the unifying sounds of pub sing-alongs in Ireland with rousing, spirited rock 'n' roll, which whips both band and audience into a complete frenzy. The group was formed 16 years ago by a bunch of friends looking to have a good time playing music together, and that easy camaraderie and youthful spirit is still going strong, a feeling of merriment that the band easily shares with dedicated fans who have been showing up in droves for every local Murphys performance over the years. Stellar opening act Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls are not to be missed. All Ages. $31.50. 5 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Erik Thompson

Bombay Bicycle Club

7th St. Entry, Sunday 2.26

Bombay Bicycle Club was formed by four friends who were still in school in London when the band won a competition to play the prestigious V Festival in 2006. They have not only built on that hype, but they have outpaced it with three diverse but no less affecting albums that blend influences of pop, folk, and smooth electronic elements. Their bold new record, A Different Kind of Fix, is an adventurous, composed collection that again finds the band taking unexpected turns with their sound. Their rapturous fans continue to follow right along, growing even more passionate about the group with each successive release, as evidenced by this intimate Entry show selling out a while ago. Bombay Bicycle Club are still a young band finding their way through the pinnacles and pratfalls of the music industry, but they knew what to do when all eyes were on them, and have kept everyone's attention ever since. With the Darcys and Lucy Rose. 18+. SOLD OUT 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Erik Thompson


First Avenue Mainroom, Tuesday 2.28

San Diego's Crocodiles have a gritty, feedback-laden sound that contains blissful elements of their sunny hometown layered within their melodies. You just have to make your way through a wall of guitar fuzz in order to find it. The group was formed by Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell, but the live incarnation of the band has swelled to a quartet—and a quintet during recent local performances—including a thrilling opening set for Dum Dum Girls (who are fronted by Welchez's wife, Dee Dee) at the Turf Club in October. There are clear punk elements in the Crocodiles' incendiary songs, but that fury is tempered nicely by a bright, '60s surf-rock swing that's injected into their soaring melodies—all of which forms a potent combination in a live setting that will certainly get your head nodding as your ears are left ringing. With Bleeding Rainbow. 18+. $12. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Erik Thompson

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Related Locations

Triple Rock Social Club

629 Cedar Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55454


First Avenue

701 1st Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55403


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