Critics' Picks: Solid Gold, John Lennon tribute, Ryan Adams, and more

Solid Gold take over the Turf for a two-night stand
John Carlucci

Avey Tare/Eric Copeland

Triple Rock Social Club on Wednesday 12.7

This bill finds two these two old pals—they teamed up for a trio of hairily experimental efforts as Terrestrial Tones in the mid-aughts—showcasing very different abilities. As a member of Animal Collective, Dave "Avey Tare" Portner has perfected a virulent, recombinant strain of pop twee; alone, his muse wanders darker, danker alleyways. Expect tonight's DJ set to celebrate his myriad, disparate musical influences. Eric Copeland, on the other hand, has a jones for melodic pop turned upside down and inside out: elementary-school anthems fed Quaaludes. It's a far cry from the uncategorizable anti-music Copeland makes with Black Dice, and three times as awesome. Bring along an extra face or three, in case your original melts off and gets all over your oversized Paw Tracks hoodie. 18+. $12. 8 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Ray Cummings

The Good Lovelies Christmas Show

Cedar Cultural Center on Thursday 12.8

Buoyed by effervescent, close harmonies reminiscent of the Andrews Sisters, the Toronto trio of Caroline Brooks, Kerri Ough, and Sue Passmore live up to their Good Lovelies moniker with breezy, upbeat music whose cheery spirit is contagious. Vintage swing is a key part of the Lovelies' sound, but so are roots inclinations including bluegrass, folk, and pop (sometimes spinning the swing westward and elsewhere), plus a streak of the Roches' quirkiness. On their new album, Let the Rain Fall, the Lovelies' sunny optimism is thoroughly endearing, any saccharine pitfalls deftly avoided by the trio's nimble charms. Only a twinge or two of homesickness brings the clouds, and even then, they insist, "soak us to the bone, nothing will sink our smiles." They'll be grinning Under the Mistletoe for this holiday show, the title taken from their appropriately lovely 2009 Christmas disc, where the harmonies stretched from "Silent Night" to "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." A few originals also decked the halls. Here Ben Whiteley will be along on upright bass to complement the Lovelies' own picking. All ages. $15/$18 at the door. 7:30 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason

The 32nd Annual John Lennon Tribute & Minnesota Beatle Project Release Show

First Avenue on Thursday 12.8

Pick one Beatles song that you love. Just one. That's the problem that local artists ran into when choosing their piece to contribute to this year's MN Beatles project, Volume 3. The album, assembled and distributed by Vega Productions, features songs redone by the 4onthefloor, the Honeydogs, Cloud Cult and more—plus a decidedly clever cover designed by Brock Davis—and will be released digitally, on CD, and on limited-edition red vinyl. Curtiss A will be presenting his 32nd annual Lennon tribute in conjunction with the album release show at First Ave, which will host White Light Riot, Dark Dark Dark, and Me and My Arrow performing the songs they devoted to the album. Special guest speakers will be on hand, and hosting duties will be shared by David Campbell and Jill Riley from 89.3 the Current. 18+. $15. 6 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8388. —Youa Vang

Solid Gold

Turf Club on Friday 12.9 and Saturday 12.10

All has been relatively quiet on the Solid Gold front this year as the band took a break from steady gigging to focus their efforts on a full-length follow-up to 2008's Bodies of Water. Their next record is still in the works, but they've been steadily adding fresher material to their live sets; these two back-to-back shows at the Turf Club will be a good chance to soak in their darker, more expansive new jams. They've chosen a pair of openers sure to help their draw, too—Friday night's performance will feature buzz band Poliça (led by former Roma di Luna frontwoman Channy Casselle) in what could be their last local show prior to battening down the hatches to prep for their Valentine's Day CD-release show in the First Ave Mainroom, while Saturday night's openers will be Milwaukee instrumental wizards (and frequent Justin Vernon collaborators) Collections of Colonies of Bees. 21+. $10. 9 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Andrea Swensson

Katie McMahon's Celtic Christmas

O'Shaughnessy Auditorium on Friday 12.9

By now a staple of the local holidays, former Riverdance lead singer Katie McMahon's annual Celtic Christmas show actually spans international borders as well as the centuries to capture the warm glow and joyous essence of the season. McMahon's celestial, classically trained voice and harp transport audiences to Celtic realms, across Europe and back to America in pursuit of carols, dances, and lullabies old, new, familiar, and rare. A new program this year will likely draw tunes from McMahon's pair of splendid yuletide albums, Celtic Christmas and 2010's Christmas Angels, but she also promises to explore "forgotten songs of yore" in a search for Christmas roots. An array of musicians and singers will accompany McMahon, and the Corda Mor Irish Dance Troupe will kick up its heels. All ages. $27. 7:30 p.m. 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul; 651.690.6700. —Rick Mason

Halloween, Alaska

Cedar Cultural Center on Saturday 12.10

The revered Minneapolis quartet Halloween, Alaska intentionally changed up their sound a bit on their stellar fourth album, All Night Long the Calls Came In, toning down their hypnotic electronic elements in favor of a more urgent, refined tone. The band didn't sacrifice their penchant for crafting indelible melodies in the process, though, they just brought an impeccable clarity to this new batch of songs, and it pulses throughout the entire record. That being said, their always-innovative live show could transform all of their material into something else entirely, a reflection of how imaginative, intuitive, and comfortable all four talented members are with each other. Poliça's Channy Casselle will open the evening with some new tracks from her solo project (assisted by James Everest and Ben Durrant), while Andrew Broder will provide the before- and between-set beats during what should be a truly special night at the Cedar. All ages. $10. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Erik Thompson

Ryan Adams

State Theatre on Tuesday 12.13

Ryan Adams sure has a tumultuous live history with Minneapolis. It seems that for every memorable, mesmerizing performance he has put on here (the Orpheum in 2002, the State in '04, and the Cedar in '07), he counters with an equally forgettable, disastrous show (First Ave in '03, the State in '07—his last headlining gig in town). Hopefully, Ryan has dealt with all of the demons that have plagued him in the past, and is in the right frame of mind to deliver another indelible performance for his dedicated fans who have stuck with him through his rocky past and sold this show out quickly. Adams is touring behind his best album in years, the striking, mostly acoustic-based Ashes & Fire, and has left the Cardinals behind in favor of a solo tour, which consistently captivated European audiences earlier this year (featuring some classic Whiskeytown numbers sprinkled into his sets). If all goes well, Ryan's stirring, plaintive songs will be the sole focus of this show, and everyone can once again be reminded why his music won us over in the first place. With Jessica Lea Mayfield. All ages. $25-$35. 6:30 p.m. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.339.7007. —Erik Thompson

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Related Locations

Triple Rock Social Club

629 Cedar Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55454


The Cedar Cultural Center

416 Cedar Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55454


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