Critics Picks: Summit Backyard Bash, Metric, and more

Now, Now is a great band to listen to while drinking Summit
Shervin Lainez

Summit Backyard Bash

Summit Brewery, Saturday 9.8

The Summit Backyard Bash celebrates the 26th anniversary of the venerable St. Paul brewery with a day filled with music from a superb all-local lineup and great beer. The rambunctious hip-hop collective Doomtree will headline the Summit Backyard Bash, and will surely set the place off with their energetic beats and rhymes — along with plenty of material from P.O.S.'s highly anticipated fourth album, We Don't Even Live Here. Emerging local indie trio Now, Now are set to share tracks from their brilliant new record, Threads. Add the captivating art-pop quartet Halloween, Alaska, the rousing indie folk of Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps, and the pulsing, electro-clash rock of Heartbeats. Hotpants DJs will kick off the event, and will also provide between-set beats to keep the party going. Fifty percent of all ticket sales go directly to the Minnesota Music Coalition, a nonprofit service organization dedicated to supporting Minnesota's independent music community. 21+, $14-20,11 p.m. 910 Montreal Circle, St. Paul; 612.326.6343. —Erik Thompson


Mount Eerie

CO Exhibitions, Wednesday 9.5

In 2004, Phil Elvrum decided to start making music as Mount Eerie while retiring his old band moniker, the Microphones. And while there is sense of inscrutability inherent in both projects, Elvrum has definitely blossomed as the sole musical mastermind of Mount Eerie. His somewhat sporadic output has come in fitful creative bursts as of late. Elvrum has two albums this year on his own record label, P.W. Elverum and Sun, with the hypnotic, moody pulse of Clear Moon released in May, and Ocean Roar just now seeing the light of day. It's clearly a fruitful period for Elvrum, and he's graciously bringing Mount Eerie on the road for a few special shows. At this performance, the talented folks at LandLand and Burlesque will have the walls of CO Exhibitions covered with their screenprinted concert posters, featuring a brand new Mount Eerie poster created just for the occasion. With Les Ourses, Myrrh, and Jim & the French Vanilla. All ages, $10.50-$12, 7.30 p.m. 1101 Stinson Blvd., Minneapolis; 612.379.4151. —erik Thompson

Concrete and Grass Lowertown Music Festival

Mears Park, Thursday 9.6 + Friday 9.7 + Saturday 9.8

The sixth annual Concrete and Grass Lowertown Music Festival has planned three days of free music in lovely Mears Park. The festival marks the launch of the fall performance season for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Opera, the Ordway, and the Schubert Club, and presents a unique, tasteful blend of music for fans of all ages. Other than the sure-to-be-stirring performances by the aforementioned classical groups, the highlight of this year's Concrete and Grass Festival is the closing set from the Jayhawks' Gary Louris. In addition to the music, there will be food, wine, and beer provided from the exceptional restaurants in the Lowertown Entertainment District, as well as popular food trucks spread throughout the park. With Dosh, All Eyes, the Butanes with Willie Walker, Mississippi Peace, the Copper Street Brass Quintet, and Jack Brass Band. Free, 7 p.m. on Friday, 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 4 p.m. on Sunday. Mears Park, St. Paul; —Erik Thompson

Jerry Douglas

Dakota Jazz Club, Thursday 9.6

An avalanche of awards and accolades testify to Jerry Douglas's undisputed status as the world's greatest dobro player. Along with 13 Grammys, multiple country and Americana recognitions, and thousands of recording sessions with everyone from Ray Charles to Elvis Costello to the Chieftains, Douglas has been a key member of groundbreaking groups like the Country Gentlemen, J. D. Crowe & the New South, and, recently, Alison Krauss and Union Station. Traveler, his 14th solo album, shows off Douglas's wide eclecticism with a slew of heavyweight guests. Juggling sparkling dobro and equally evocative lap steel guitar, Douglas offers a languid, bluesy version of Chris Kenner's New Orleans classic "Something You Got" with Eric Clapton, Dr. John, and a bristling Crescent City horn section; sings lively blues harmonies with Del McCoury on Leadbelly's "On a Monday" while his slide guitar slithers; seamlessly fuses Paul Simon's "American Tune" and Chick Corea's "Spain" into a strikingly poignant instrumental; and tears off on "So Here We Are," an original jazzgrass southern rocker with bassist Viktor Krauss and drummer Omar Hakim. The latter accomplished pair will back Douglas here. $50 at 7 p.m. $40 at 9 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.5299. —Rick Mason


Cedar Cultural Center, Saturday 9.8

Arguably indie-rock's number one oddball, Yoni Wolf's been cranking out unclassifiable, genre-hopping tunes under the Why? moniker for more than a decade. Inappropriately lumped in with the backpack-rap crowd due to his association with the Anticon label, Wolf's not likely to be mistaken for your everyday MC anytime soon. His vocal delivery darts among rambling spoken-word pieces, the occasional rapid rhyme, and skewed tenor singing. A pair of albums recorded in Minneapolis with members of the Twin Cities own Fog, 2008's Alopecia and 2009's Eskimo Snow, were an artistic breakthrough. At last Wolf's warped lyricism found equally riveting musical backing courtesy of everything-but-the-kitchen-sink instrumentation pairing quirky percussive tricks with hooky guitar figures. A proper follow-up, Mumps, Etc., will drop in October. In the meantime the band has hit up fans with the Sod in the Seed EP, arguably its poppiest effort yet. New tracks like "For Someone" are lazy-eyed sunny-keyboard summer jams that show Wolf and his bandmates playing it straight musically even as he continues to cloak romantic longing in quirky wordplay ("I'm waiting on the beach like a slow sucking leach for someone/Is it you?"). With Doseone, Serengeti, and Jel (DJ set). All ages, $15, 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis, 612.338.2674. —Rob van Alstyne

Totally Gross National Party

Icehouse, Sunday 9.9

Not only do the fine creative folks behind Totally Gross National Product consistently put out stellar records from emerging Twin Cities bands (including the initial release of Poliça's Give You the Ghost), but they know how to throw one hell of a party as well. The third annual Totally Gross National Party will feature performances from a bunch of TGNP bands and DJs, as well as the fantastic food, drinks, and atmosphere featured at one of the best new nightclubs in Minneapolis. The party will also celebrate the release of the latest Marijuana Deathsquads mixtape, TAMPER, DISABLE, DESTROY. With Tha Clerb, Tender Meat, Plain Ole Bill, Slapping Purses, Leisure Birds, Votel, Heavy Deeds, Father You See Queen, Lewis + Burnett, Umami, and more. $10, 5 p.m. 2528 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612.276.6523. — Erik Thompson


First Avenue, Tuesday 9.11

With blazing horns, scintillating grooves, tart call-and-response vocals, and incendiary spirit, Antibalas are back after a five-year absence with their muscular Afrobeat. There's a new eponymous album on Daptone too, recorded at the label's Brooklyn studio with former Antibalas member and Daptone label founder Gabriel Roth at the controls. In the interim, many of Antibalas's members contributed to FELA!, the Broadway hit based on Fela Kuti, the late Nigerian instigator of Afrobeat, which in Antibalas's powerful hands packs a punch worthy of its originator. The 11-piece group factors in elements of jazz, funked-up brass bands, and R&B, with sinuous polyrhythms simmering conspiratorially until the horns ignite them into infernos of James-Brown-meets-Dirty-Dozen funk. Victor Axelrod's percolating organ riffs often ride loping rhythms that open into sizzling exchanges between Nigerian lead singer Abraham Amayo and a shimmering female chorus, as in "Dirty Money." "Ari Degbe" opens with a blast of declarative horns over raw New Orleans street rhythms, settles into pointillist juju guitar, then jaunty keyboards, before the horns swagger back in with a brash rumble. The finale, "Sáré Kon Kon," is a frenetic, soca-like romp overflowing with Antibalas's carnavalistic élan. 18+, $18-$20, 7:30 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8388. —Rick Mason

Ben Kyle CD-release show

Cedar Cultural Center, Tuesday 9.11

Five long years after the last full-length album by his elegant alt-country band Romantica hit shelves comes Ben Kyle's self-titled solo debut. The Minneapolis-by-way-of-Belfast singer-songwriter still possesses one of the finest voices on the local scene. There's a reason he's sang with the likes of Ryan Adams and Dan Wilson in the past, and that voice is front and center on the new album's sparse but spritely arrangements. Kyle's such an emotive and gifted singer that his songs manage to connect even when his lyrics occasionally veer toward the treacly, as on the too-cute-tune "Minneapolis" ("Oh Minneapolis/I saw you and Saint Paul kiss/Neath the moonlight in a Mississippi mist/Never saw a thing as beautiful as this"). Ben Kyle's gentle sounds won't rock your world, that's not really their intention, but they'll likely bring a smile to your face. All Ages, $15, 7 p.m., 416 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis, 612.338.2674. —Rob Van Alstyne


State Theater, Tuesday 9.11

Picking up the slick New Wave torch from forebears like Blondie, Metric have been a big deal in their native Canada since the early 2000s, but didn't hit huge stateside until 2009's Fantasies. Their fifth album and hotly anticipated follow-up, Synthetica, shows the quartet confidently embracing stardom on a set of epic and bold tunes clearly meant for big stages and blockbuster-movie soundtrack placement (apropos seeing as they were already prominently featured in Twilight Saga: Eclipse). The title is a bit of a misnomer, however, as there's plenty of barbed six-string action in addition to the expected array of '80s-indebted keyboards and Emily Haines's always on-point ice-queen vocals. With Half Moon Run. All Ages, $34, 7:30 p.m., 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612.339.7007. —Rob Van Alstyne

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