Mark Mallman, Eyedea & Abilities, and more

Improvisational oddballs the Bad Plus
Mike Dvorak

FRIDAY 12.26

The Bad Plus

Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

The Bad Plus will be breezing through town for their annual to-do at the Dakota, fresh off a jaunt around Europe and South America. Over four nights, the eclectic trio will perform eight shows, maybe including songs from their recent Europe-only release, For All I Care. Oh-so Continental! Don't worry, you don't have to be one of those types who closes your eyes and makes the occasional esoteric comment about the music. Though you might get a glare for talking during one of their sets, there will also be plenty of people there just because they heard the band does covers—or standards or interpretations or whatever—of Tears for Fears, Nirvana, and others. You might well call the Bad Plus "Jazz for the Masses." It's definitely a compliment. $40 at 7 p.m.; $28 at 9:30 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010. Through Monday —Jessica Chapman

Alpha Consumer

Triple Rock Social Club

The day after Christmas is traditionally the worst day of the year. Cable-knit sweaters from grandma lay in lifeless heaps next to a few renegade pine needles that just won't come out of the carpet. Your stomach is sick from too many cookies. And your dog pissed on the tree. Again. Oh, the misery. Don't expect any leftover holiday cheer from Alpha Consumer, but their fierce melodies are a cathartic antidote to the winter doldrums. In what could be the saddest ode to the summer months, they meekly cry, "Yellow sun/Lay your cancer on me." Hey, at least another three months of frigid hibernation isn't going to kill us. With the band's lurid public affair with fuzz pedals and noisy celebration of mid-'90s shoegaze, they might even bring back some good memories—like that time you totally beat that neighbor kid in Mortal Kombat. With Wishbook and Mondo Mega. 18+. $8. 9 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612.333.7499. —Erin Roof



Hip-Hop Night at the Roxy

The Dinkytowner Café

Actually, it's at the Dinkytowner: The title is a tribute to the legendary Manhattan club that closed last year and was immortalized in the 1984 movie Beat Street. The occasion is the birthday of local hip-hop old-schooler Kel C, a.k.a. Kelly Crockett, who sounds as good as ever on the latest album by Set the Smith. The performers are Set, Toki Wright of the C.O.R.E., Carnage, and Lyrics Devine, with Smoke D on the turntables and other surprises promised. A solid local rap lineup for anyone home for the holidays. 18+. $6/$10 at the door. 9 p.m. 412 1/2 14th Ave. SE, Minneapolis; 612.362.0437. —Peter S. Scholtes

Har Mar Superstar

Triple Rock Social Club

You kind of have to be in the right mood to see Har Mar Superstar. That being said, if you're feeling up for ass-exposing chaps, the musical accompaniment of a boombox, and the distinct possibility of grinding with a short, sweaty, balding man in Underoos, then you are most definitely in business. Seriously. Not sure this is your bag? Re-watch the dance-off scene in Starsky and Hutch, when Dancin' Rick, a.k.a. Har Mar, essentially plays himself—best part of the movie. Still uneasy? Take your visiting friend, don't tell her anything, and laugh your ass off as she watches the night unfold. Don't fool yourself: It's no Sigur Rós. The shows are kind of a spectacle. The man named himself after a Roseville strip mall, after all. If you can shed your sour winter face for just one night, let it be this one. With Nonplus and Red Pens. $12. 21+. 9 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612.333.7499. —Jessica Chapman


MONDAY 12.29


First Avenue

Kurt Neumann and Sam Llanas, sons of Waukesha, Wisconsin, have an ongoing partnership that has lasted nearly a quarter-century, based on solid songcraft, stirring vocal harmonies, and ringing guitars. It's the stuff at the heart of rock 'n' roll that's cognizant of its roots, which pretty much defines their band, the BoDeans, and explains the loyal following it has inspired over the decades. Those fans have helped sustain the BoDeans through relatively slack years when label support was minimal or nonexistent, and through the frequently revolving drum and bass chairs around Neumann and Llanas. What has endured has been the BoDeans' penchant for squally, hook-laden anthems as well as more measured pieces that tell compelling tales. So has the band's relationship with roots-savvy producer T-Bone Burnett, who was responsible for the BoDeans' debut album, Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams, last spring's Still (He & He), as well as several in between. As the BoDeans arrive in town for their annual Boxing Day and Christmas week residency, they're also preparing themselves for being boxed Rhino-style. In a neat bit of synchronicity, a Rhino set due out in March will include a DVD of the band filmed at First Avenue in 1985. With Joe Pug. 18+. $35. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Rick Mason



Vinyl Venus' Space Lounge

331 Club

All the Pretty Horses singer Venus De Mars has spent much of her career advocating for the notion of gender as a flexible construct—so it shouldn't be a surprise that her DJ sets tend to do the same for genre as well. Her long-running DJ night has proven to be a popular postscript for the 331 Club's "Blingo" nights, largely for its unpredictability: Sure, there's no shortage of the goth and punk that's informed De Mars's band, with groups like My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Lene Lovich, and (of course) the Cure in her crate, and glam progenitors like T. Rex and Bowie are a natural fit, too. But don't be surprised to hear "20th Century Boy" segue into Diana Ross or Marianne Faithfull—or Johnny Cash, for that matter. 21+. Free. 9 p.m. 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612.331.1746. —Nate Patrin



Eyedea & Abilities

7th St. Entry

The "special guests" slated to accompany local happening hip-hop duo Eyedea & Abilities on New Year's Eve can really only mean a few things: Will it be Slug? No, he's, like, on tour in Tasmania or something. Brother Ali, too. Seems like a slam-dunk it'll be some other members of the Rhymesayers crew, but who knows? It's New Year's Eve. A Doomtree appearance? Hell, it could even be De La Soul or the Roots, couldn't it? Okay, maybe not, but it's going to be terrif at any rate. The Entry is as fine a choice as any for this NYE. No worrying about party-hopping, a limitless supply of those big bottles of beer, and E&A's part Eminem, part Ozomatli beats. Rhyme in 2009 with them, and several to many hundreds of others at the likely sold-out show, too. You'll probably know some of them. $15. 18+. 9 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Jessica Chapman

Mark Mallman

Varsity Theater

What better time to watch a madman crawl across his piano keys on all fours and fellate his microphone than on New Year's Eve, half-drunk on champagne? Mark Mallman, who has made a name for himself by being an equally talented and outrageous piano player and performer, will be playing the Varsity Theater for the third consecutive year, and it only seems to get crazier and more packed with each consecutive party. Last year, reported that Mallman drove a motor scooter up on stage and across his keyboard, shouting, "That's never been done! No one has ever played piano with a motor scooter!" Lord only knows what glorious ideas he'll have for ringing in the new year this time around, with 'fro-masters E.L.nO. and Gypsy-punk-folkies Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles at his side. 18+. $12. 8 p.m. 1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. —Andrea Swensson

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