Critics' Picks: M83, Roseanne Cash, Red Daughters, and more

Rosanne Cash makes her symphonic debut
courtesy of the artist

Rosanne Cash with the Minnesota Orchestra

Orchestra Hall / Friday 11.18

While remaining every bit Johnny Cash's daughter, Rosanne Cash has spent her career defining a distinct legacy of her own, often straying from strict definitions of country and sometimes exploring issues with deep psychological implications. Although never really estranged, their legacies emphatically reconvened on Rosanne's 2009 album The List, whose songs were drawn from 100 classic country songs Johnny advised Rosanne to learn when she was a teenager. Rosanne has been touring behind it in different formats since its release, preparing a follow-up and issuing a memoir. This show will be something new again. It's billed as her first performance ever with a symphony. Given Cash's adventurous spirit and the orchestra's versatility under Sarah Hicks, this should be special. Her repertoire will be drawn from The List as well as nuggets of her own, like "Seven Year Ache." $22-$60. 8 p.m. 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.371.5656 —Rick Mason

The Gourds/ Eagle Eye Williamson

Turf Club / Wednesday 11.16

Together 17 years, with nine albums to their credit and a rabid cult following, the Gourds are an institution in their hometown of Austin, Texas, and are now working on the rest of the country with the September release of their Vanguard debut, Old Man Joy. Early on, the Gourds created a brief sensation with an acoustic, rootsy version of Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice," giving notice of the band's quirky nature. Lyrics can be starkly surreal (check out bassist Jimmy Smith's "Locomotive halitosis all that eyelid I been smokin'"). But the prevailing vibe is earthy Americana, with a scope that embraces rock, country, folk, gospel, and beyond, suggesting a strong affinity with the likes of NRBQ and the Band. In fact, Joy was recorded at Levon Helm's studio with Helm and Dylan associate Larry Campbell producing. It's a rich tapestry of fathomless delights, providing plenty of new fodder for the Gourds' fabled live shows. Opening will be Eagle Eye Williamson, a Texas one-man band who plays grainy electric blues. $15. 8 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Rick Mason


First Avenue / Wednesday 11.16

Anthony Gonzalez (the lone musician behind M83) is cursed with being both meticulous and ambitious. While his sound is huge in both sentiment and structure, it's produced at the micro level as Gonzalez dials in every synth squiggle until it fits just so. Every song feels like he's building high-tech skyscrapers using only a pair of tweezers, so it's all the more impressive that he's managed to deliver a double album (the new Hurry Up, We're Dreaming) that's cohesive—as if he's composed an entire city full of bright lights and twinkling crystal. While Gonzalez can occasionally quiet down as a frontman, M83 as a project seems to continually seek new extremes. With Active Child. 18+. $14/$15 at the door. 7:30 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8388. —Ian Traas

Tech N9ne

Epic / Thursday 11.17

There aren't many acts that can bridge the gap between Rock the Bells and the Gathering of the Juggalos, but Tech N9ne is not your average rapper. He looks like an extra from Mortal Kombat, his flow is so fast it seems like his tongue has been bionically enhanced, and when it comes to beats, he's more interested in crunchy nu-metal guitars than glossy synthesizers. By being entirely himself, he's been accepted by a wider cross-section of fans and artists than most rappers could hope for, even though he's been flying under the mainstream's radar for years. But Tech doesn't need the approval—his cult following is large enough to fill just about any venue you'd care to name. With Krizz Kaliko, Kutt Calhoun, Jay Rock, and Flawless. All ages. $26.50/$32 at the door. 6 p.m. 110 N. Fifth St., Minnepolis; 612.332.3742. —Ian Traas

North Mississippi Allstars / Buffalo Killers

First Avenue / Thursday 11.17

On the back of the Allstars' new Keys to the Kingdom it says "Produced for Jim Dickinson." The famed Memphis musician and producer, and father of Allstars Luther and Cody Dickinson, died in 2009. But his passing and the soon-after birth of Luther's first child inspired the Allstars' most intimate but hardly subdued album. The trio's raw and often raucous mix of rock 'n' roll and Hill Country blues is especially apropos for addressing questions of life and death, and the younger Dickinsons (plus bassist Chris Chew and a few key guests) achieve an acute balance of mournful respect and resilient spirit. The dirge-like "Ain't No Grave" (sporting evocative guitar work from Ry Cooder) yields to the jaunty, string-band tune "Ol' Cannonball" (with Alvin Youngblood Hart on vocals and harmonica) and then the comic zombie misadventures of "New Orleans Walkin' Dead." Spooner Oldham, another old Jim Dickinson running partner, has the last word, wrapping up the angelic cakewalk "Jellyrollin' All Over Heaven" with an otherworldly piano coda. Opening will be the Buffalo Killers, a first-rate Cincy trio whose influences run from Southern swamps to Topanga Canyon, applying a vintage psychedelic haze to a fine blues-rock mesh, suggesting the James Gang and another bison outfit, Buffalo Springfield. 18+. $15. 6 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8388 —Rick Mason

Mates of State

Fine Line / Friday 11.18

Mountaintops, the latest album from indie-pop marrieds Mates of State, is bright, grabby, and big-sounding, enough so that its pull-out-all-the-stops opener, "Palomino," is now being used to sell Whoppers. (The burger, that is, not the candy, though the group is closer in spirit to the latter, and to Thompson Twins and '80s Fleetwood Mac.) Drummer Jason Hammel and keyboardist Kori Gardner play with talent-show intensity, and if their lyrics are hit and miss, their mostly aerobic songs are otherwise very cleverly constructed, full of flowing but truly distinct verses, choruses, bridges, and codas—again and again a new section transforms more than merely changes the song. The mood is usually summery but not Pollyannaish, sometimes introspective but never defeated; it's perfect music for kitchen dancing after a bad day, but it's worth leaving the house for, too. 18+. $18/$20 at the door. 8 p.m. 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8100 —Dylan Hicks

C.J. Chenier

Dakota Jazz Club / Friday 11.18

C.J. Chenier inherited the Louisiana Red Hot Band from the King of Zydeco, his father, Clifton Chenier, along with the high expectations that often burden the offspring of legends. But C.J. established his own identity by tapping his eclectic background in funk, rock, pop, and jazz after learning the gritty, swamp essentials of zydeco from the master. Plus, C.J. is arguably zydeco's best singer, with an especially deep, richly resonant voice that ignites the songs' emotional content alongside the fiery rhythms and rampaging accordion. Can't Sit Down (World Village), Chenier's first album in five years, returns to the party spirit after the post-Katrina blues of The Desperate Kingdom of Love. He covers some sizzling zydeco classics (Clifton's title track and "Hot Tamale Baby," as well as Boozoo Chavis's "Paper in My Shoe"), ventures into the blues via John Lee Hooker and Joe Williams, conjures a sleek, contemporary sound on his own "Zydeco Boogie," and evokes Los Lobos on a cover of Tom Waits's "Clap Hands," pumping the old squeezebox with unbridled passion the whole time. $25. 8 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010 —Rick Mason

Red Daughters (EP-release show)

7th St. Entry / Saturday 11.19

If there's any one thing the Twin Cities music scene is short on, it's sweaty, honest-to-goodness rock 'n' roll bands. Have no fear, though: Red Daughters are one group more than capable of stepping in to fill that void. The quintet's rough-and-ready mix of classic-rock riffs and psychedelic jams is bursting with old-school bravado. But it's not the red-hot guitar work or jackhammer drumming that really makes Red Daughters' formula work, or even their impressive facial hair. (Though that assuredly doesn't hurt.) No, it's the barrelhouse keys and the array of outstanding singers on their roster. Mark Hanson, in particular, has a throaty howl that harkens back to the booze-soaked drawl of another drummer, Levon Helm, whose band no doubt resonates with these guys' tastes. Tonight, they're releasing their new EP, Turquoise Tomb. With Me and My Arrow and Sex Rays. 18+. $5. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8388. — Jeff Gage

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Orchestra Hall

1111 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55403


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