Critics' Picks: Stnnng, MEN, the Constellations, and more



Loring Theater on Thursday 3.17

The recently rebranded Loring Theater is hosting yet another one-of-a-kind event this Thursday night, spearheaded by balls-out purveyors of prickling punk rock STNNNG. In addition to serving as a tour kick-off show (the band is launching a tour of the Midwest that will keep them on the road until the end of April), the event will also be filmed for a forthcoming episode of MN Original. To commemorate the occasion, STNNNG is turning the show into a blowout of sorts: In addition to a performance by openers Take Acre and DJing by Tom Loftus (co-founder of STNNNG's record label, Modern Radio), the night will be hosted by Nils Lindahl, will showcase a video montage by Emily Kaplan, and will feature a meat raffle with goods provided by Kramarczuk's. Raw rock and raw meat, all under one roof. All ages. $13. 7 p.m. 1407 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.871.1414. —Andrea Swensson


Triple Rock Social Club on Wednesday 3.16

The Brooklyn-based trio MEN already have quite the indie pedigree, with Le Tigre's JD Samson fronting the performance art collective, and Ladybug Transistor's Michael O'Neill and Ginger Brooks Takahashi fleshing out the group's vibrant live sound. Their high-energy shows are stylish, enlightened productions meant to get the audience to confront serious societal issues while they dance their asses off. Samson preaches LGBT acceptance and women's rights, all atop processed guitars and bouncy keyboard riffs intended to hook you with the rhythm while you comprehend their compelling message. It should be a dynamic show filled with distinct sights and sounds that you (sadly) won't find elsewhere in the music industry. 18+. $12. 8 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Erik Thompson

Marc Ribot

Cedar Cultural Center on Saturday 3.19

A genuine guitar icon by any measure, Marc Ribot has long been a stalwart of the New York avant-garde downtown scene. But really, he's been all over the map, ranging from the atonal brink to jazz, rock, classical, even Cuban and Haitian music, while collaborating with everyone from Allen Toussaint and McCoy Tyner to Shemekia Copeland and John Zorn. And now for something completely different—even for Ribot. After being commissioned to write a score to accompany Charlie Chaplin's classic silent film The Kid, Ribot wrote additional pieces for films, recorded them solo, and released them last fall as Silent Movies (Pi). As a whole, they are deeply contemplative, relatively quiet, and hauntingly melodic. At the Cedar, Ribot will follow a solo guitar set with a performance of his Chaplin score while the film plays. All ages. $18/$20 at the door. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason

Farewell Milwaukee

Turf Club on Saturday 3.19

If you wanted to keep your St. Patrick's Day party rolling straight through Saturday, the Turf Club would be the perfect place to carry on with your festivities, as a great triple bill of Twin Cities acts is bound to keep all of the revelers thoroughly entertained. Impassioned folk-rockers Farewell Milwaukee headline what should prove to be a wonderful night in St. Paul, along with the earnest Americana of Joey Ryan and the Inks and the boisterously catchy rock of the Debut. It should prove to be an enjoyable evening filled with stirring, spirited songs played by a bunch of like-minded musicians who clearly care deeply about what they do. 21+. $6. 9 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Erik Thompson

The Constellations

7th St. Entry on Sunday 3.20

The sordid, psychedelic rock 'n' roll of the Atlanta septet the Constellations has been garnering quite a growing buzz ever since they dropped their rollicking debut, Southern Gothic, last summer. Now they are set to bring their bold, high-octane live show to the intimate confines of the Entry for a frenetic performance. Their dynamic, soulful sound is hard to classify, as hints of electronica blend fluidly with beat-driven hip hop and Southern rock. But the dark, late-night corners of their beloved Atlanta home color every aspect of their enterprising debut, and their blistering live show is bound to get everyone in the tiny club moving. 18+. $10/$12 at the door. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Erik Thompson

Rachelle Ferrell

Dakota Jazz Club on Sunday 3.20

Although her recordings are few and far between (the last was 2002's Live at Montreux), multi-talented Rachelle Ferrell is a spectacular, show-stopping vocalist who scampers around more than six octaves, shooting sparks all the way. A violinist, pianist, and composer in addition to her singing, Ferrell shifts between jazz and contemporary R&B/pop, so much so that she was once signed to a rare dual-label (Blue Note/Capitol) contract. Still, the influence of one inevitably bleeds into the other, while gospel is the bedrock of both. With her idiosyncratic phrasing, inventive array of vocalizations, and free improvisations, Ferrell can almost literally take her voice anywhere, knocking out jazz standards like "Autumn Leaves" as well as stuff in the pop realm, her duet with Will Downing on "Nothing Has Ever Felt Like This" being among her highest-profile moments. $45 at 7 p.m.; $35 at 9 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010. —Rick Mason

Ron Sexsmith

Cedar Cultural Center on Monday 3.21

Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith returns to Minneapolis in support of his new record, Long Player Late Bloomer, the 12th full-length of his celebrated, 20-year career. It's another batch of soulful, sincere songs that highlights Sexsmith's melodic vocals, skillful lyrical ability, and his gift of crafting effortlessly elegant melodies. There are elements of artists as disparate as Elvis Costello, Elliott Smith, and the Kinks within his ardent numbers, but his true, lilting voice always manages to shine through. This show at the Cedar kicks off Sexsmith's current U.S. tour, and should provide the perfect intimate venue for his heartfelt numbers to take flight, as his nimble folk stylings are bound to captivate yet another local audience. All ages. $15/$18 at the door. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Erik Thompson

Sam Amidon

Cedar Cultural Center on Tuesday 3.22

Dramatically revising a wide range of vintage folk material, New York-based Sam Amidon seriously blurs the lines between traditional and contemporary. Amidon, who grew up singing and playing fiddle and banjo in his parents' Vermont folkie community, essentially splinters Appalachian ballads, old hymns, children's songs from the Georgia Sea Islands, and at least one R. Kelly tune, reassembling them with fresh angularities and skewed melodies. On last year's I See the Light, Amidon's dry, almost monochromatic voice, sometimes harmonizing with the likes of Beth Orton, threads through arrangements fused from streaks of multiple Americana roots, chamber music, and indie rock, creating quietly striking pastiches that feel more avant-garde than trad. Holly Newsom of the local band Zoo Animal will open with a solo set. All ages. $12/$15 at the door. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason