Critics' Picks: Weezer, Blondie, Patches & Gretchen, and more

Patches & Gretchen take over the Loring for a dual CD-release show

Patches & Gretchen take over the Loring for a dual CD-release show

Patches and Gretchen: Headquarters and Dimes

Loring Theater on Saturday 9.3

Folk-punk frontwoman Gretchen Seichrist is relentlessly innovative and restlessly creative, so to follow up 2010's exceptional Sugar Head Pie, she and her standout band will not only release two new CDs, I Steal Carrots and Blue Skin, but they're hosting a release party that's also the biggest incarnation yet of their Headquarters and Dimes internet variety show. Thus far Headquarters and Dimes has been staged in smaller, less conventional venues, namely a garage and the parking lot outside of the CK Food and Fuel at 47th and Nicollet, but the big production this weekend promises plenty of intriguing guests (including Scarlet Rivera, who played violin on Bob Dylan's Desire as well as on one of the new P&G albums) and what Seichrist describes as "avant-garde-without-sucking skits and plays." Theatricality is already a big part of Patches and Gretchen shows, with Seichrist sometimes costumed or smeared with white greasepaint, incorporating an array of props she keeps in a trunk by her mic stand. The petite, spritely Seichrist is an ethereal, singular presence with an edge of danger about her, like a forest nymph hiding rows of sharp teeth behind a beguiling smile. Her madcap lyrics, wonderfully odd phrasing, and powerful voice—on more straightforward punk tunes like "Crying States" it's reminiscent of Patti Smith—make Patches and Gretchen a Twin Cities treasure, and the show at the Loring looks to be one of their biggest outings yet. $12/$15 at the door. 8 p.m. 1407 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.353.6781. —Bryan Miller

Madi Diaz, Gabby Young & Other Animals, Keegan DeWitt

7th St. Entry on Thursday 9.1

The grand revelation in this Entry threesome may be Gabby Young, a charismatic, flamboyantly garbed English singer-songwriter with flaming-red hair, a classically trained voice, and clever songs that take on the world with a whimsical sense of bemused horror. Her band, Other Animals, comes on like some raucous cabaret act that escaped from a surreal Eastern European circus, conjuring a heady mix of Hot Club jazz, swinging London via the Balkans horns, eccentric folk, and theatrical pop, plus hints of vaudeville, New Orleans, blues, Cab Calloway, and enough unexpected twists to defy any roadmap. It's all delightfully captured on We're All in This Together, their first album with any distribution deal. Only two Animals will be along here (guitarist Paul Whalley and drummer Adam Lucas), with other Other horns recruited locally. Pennsylvania native, Nashville-based Madi Diaz and her musical partner, guitarist Kyle Ryan, play folk-underpinned pop tending toward Buckingham-Nicks-era Fleetwood Mac. Keegan DeWitt also falls in with the indie-pop-folk crowd, but with some rock and country elements. He's also scored such indie films as Dance Party USA and Quiet City. 18+. $8/$10 at the door. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Rick Mason

Dr. John and the Lower 911

Minnesota State Fair's Leinie Lodge Bandshell on Friday 9.2 and Saturday 9.3

It's a given every year that the Minnesota State Fair's most interesting music isn't at the Grandstand but scattered around its smaller stages, particularly the bandshell. That'll be the right place at the right time again to catch the crown jewel of this year's free acts: newly minted Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, multiple Grammy winner, swamp bon vivant, gris-gris totin', piano pokin', Fess-invokin', New Orleans icon Mac Rebennack, a.k.a. Dr. John Creaux, the Night Tripper. Great on the 88s, an encyclopedia of NOLA music, a crusader against the numerous indignities foisted on his hometown, and a rolling embodiment of everything that is quirkily wonderful about the Crescent City and its music, Mac has been at it since his baby face appeared on Ivory Soap boxes in the '40s. He played hundreds of sessions in New Orleans and L.A. before his Dr. John character emerged in the late '60s. Now he has an entire festival named in his honor (sorta): Tennessee's Bonnaroo fest is named after Mac's 1974 album Desitively Bonnaroo, NOLA Ninth Ward slang for something really good. A stroll on Mac's gilded splinters will beat the fun house any day. All ages. Free (with admission to the fair). 8:30 p.m. 1265 Snelling Ave., St. Paul, 651.288.4400. —Rick Mason


Minnesota State Fair Grandstand on Saturday 9.3

That there was a time when California power-pop trio Weezer had a discernible "sound" matters less, it seems, than the fact that the band's post-2000 mystique is built on gimmicks, quirks, and stunts: the Lil Wayne cameo, the Hurley from Lost album cover, the geek-pandering video clips, et al. Indeed, the group built an early rep on excessive sincerity and impeccable songwriting, turning out a pair of solid, shameless discs of Beach Boys/hair metal lineage—until it became obvious that the masses preferred schmaltz, at which they turned, improbably, into a perennially buzzed-about singles unit piloting a Snapple truck full of scare quotes. Lost along the way were irresistibility and forthrightness, but frontman Rivers Cuomo remains good for a deliriously linear lark or two: "Pork and Beans," "Perfect Situation," "Keep Fishin'." Hate them now, but their best-of album's gonna be tight. All ages. $35. 7:30 p.m. 1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul; 651.642.2262. —Ray Cummings


Mystic Lake Casino on Sunday 9.4

At this point, nobody really expects Blondie to upset any new paradigms. In the group's late '70s/early '80s heyday, the Debbie Harry-led outfit set a high standard for an omnivorous New Wave chic, lent the NYC underground an irresistible backbeat, and helped, um, legitimize rap/rock hybrids back when future members of Korn and Limp Bizkit were still in short pants. (Also, Harry was so alluring in Videodrome. Did you see that? Watch it late at night.) This sort of revolutionary achievement—or the fact that most people know "Heart of Glass," whichever—earns Blondie a pass when it comes to things like "returns to form" and "envelope pushing" and "cutting a new track with Feist." Fuck all that. Like pretty much everybody, Blondie need liquid cash, like, now, and since touring keeps the coffers full, that's what they're doing. Go ahead, laugh now; when you're shelling out dough to catch Kings of Leon or Coldplay live in 2030 when neither group's had a hit in 15 years, get back to me. All ages. $19-$29. 7 p.m. 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake; 800.262.7799. —Ray Cummings

Ivan Lins

Dakota Jazz Club on Monday 9.5

As a composer often mentioned in the same breath as Antonio Carlos Jobim, Ivan Lins has been an icon of MPB (Música Popular Brasileira) since the early 1970s, when Elis Regina had a major hit with his "Madalena." He's also been hugely influential internationally as a wide array of artists have been captivated by his alluring melodies and sophisticated harmonies. He's reportedly the most recorded Brazilian composer after Jobim, including by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Quincy Jones. Lins has recorded dozens of his own albums, and most recently won a Latin Grammy for 2008's Regência: Vince Mendoza, a live recording with the Metropole Orchestra. Live, Lins is known for the warmth and emotional depth of his singing as well as his keyboard work. In this rare local appearance, Lins will be accompanied by brilliant Uruguayan guitarist Leonard Amuedo, and bassist Enrique Toussaint and drummer Fernando Toussaint of the internationally known, Minnesota-connected Mexican jazz band Sacbe. $35 at 7 p.m.; $25 at 9 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010. —Rick Mason