Street Sounds, Battle of the Jug Bands, and more

You're in Big Trouble, missy
Nick Vlcek


Mike Dreams

7th St. Entry

Michael Hannah is a rarity, an artist with a positive message and the conviction to follow through on it. An MC with a smooth flow, Hannah has long since eliminated all curse words from his rhymes, which lay out a credo of peace and social activism informed by, though not limited to, his religious beliefs. If his message of hope seems grandiose, then equally important for Hannah, who recently switched from the moniker Young Son to the more appropriate Mike Dreams, is a deep-seated faith in himself and a determination to make it big. Nowhere is this more apparent than on "We're Goin' Worldwide," one of the singles from Dreamer's Poetry, the record he's releasing tonight. Dreams name-checks Chris Brown and OutKast before asserting his own inevitable successes: "I'm still dreaming/But I know it's gonna happen/Success on deck like a patio." A little ambition never hurts, even for the humblest of visionaries. With Max Haben, Ashley Dubose, Mally, DJ Advance, and Cameron Mann. Hosted by Toki Wright. 18+. $5. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Jeff Gage



Triple Rock Social Club

Taylor Goldsmith's contemplations of eternity may be a bit precocious for someone in his early 20s, but then he and his similarly youthful bandmates in Dawes suggest they have old souls on their debut album, North Hills. Or at least souls whose vintage musical tastes place them specifically in the hills and canyons around L.A. in the late '60s. The quartet evolved from the alt-pop teenage band Simon Dawes, with Goldsmith joined by his drummer brother Griffin (the sons of former Tower of Power singer Lenny Goldsmith), S.D. bassist Wylie Gelber, and current pianist Alex Casnoff. Much of North Hills has that hazy, ambling, Laurel Canyon groove associated with folks like Jackson Browne and Crosby, Stills & Nash, Goldsmith essentially cloaking himself in that sun-dappled vibe as he tries to make sense of the world with lines like "anyone that's making anything new only breaks something else." You can pick out influences all over Hills: vocal harmonies that suggest CS&N there, Workingman's Dead there; guitar figures reminiscent of Stephen Stills and Neil Young; Creedence, the Band, Gram Parsons. While evoking a certain time and place, Dawes doesn't feel derivative, instead grafting something new onto old roots. Opening will be a pair of bands with their own takes on Americana roots. With family ties to Minnesota's Iron Range, Appleton, Wisconsin-based Cory Chisel juggles folkie introspection and edgy rock with his Wandering Sons on last fall's Death Won't Send a Letter. There's a stronger country-rock thread on Hustler's Son, the solo debut of Jason Boesel, stepping up as a singer and guitarist after years behind the drum kit for the likes of Rilo Kiley and Bright Eyes. 18+. $10. 9 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Rick Mason


The Cedar

Although Solas straddles the Atlantic in terms of personnel and sometimes temperament, its roots are unquestionably Celtic. In fact, Solas often is cited as one of the world's leading Irish bands, despite being based on American soil. The quintet's seemingly casual virtuosity and fervid spirit flourish both on traditional material and the contemporary fare that regularly enters its repertoire these days, albeit with such exquisite doses of the auld stuff that lineages are unmistakable. There are only two traditional tunes on Solas's The Turning Tide (Compass), out this week, but the band members' originals and the four magnificent covers all sparkle with ancient tendrils coaxed from Winifred Horan's fiddle or Seamus Egan's whistles or Mick McAuley's accordion. A swirling air or reel easily drifts in a contemporary direction with jazzy phrasing or the introduction of a drum kit to add kick. Ultimately the album's underlying theme of troubled times comes from the covers, which settle naturally among the stirring instrumentals: Richard Thompson's "The Ditching Boy," Josh Ritter's "A Girl in the War," Bruce Springsteen's "The Ghost of Tom Joad," and Scottish songwriter Karine Polwart's "Sorry." Amidst the bristling instruments, it's relative newcomer Mairead Phelan's haunting voice that adds the telling flourishes—poignancy, desperation, outrage. All ages. $18/$20 at the door. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason

Street Sounds hosted by Attitude City

First Avenue VIP Room

In a town almost overrun with DJs, it's worth noting that Attitude City (veteran vinyl hounds Karl Frankowski and Jeff Dubois) have kept slinging wax long after droves of their younger competitors hung up their headphones. Maybe it's because they don't seem to be in it for any kind of king-of-the-hill recognition; they do it because they get to play the records they love. But what sets these two apart from your average music enthusiast is their penchant for juxtaposition combined with their talent for mixing—you'll hear little bits of classics from various genres blending seamlessly with forward-thinking floor fillers, plus old favorites that sneak up on you before they tap you on the shoulder and give you a great big kiss. The duo bounces between popular cuts and surprising underground fare with a surety that only experience can afford. They may be old enough to hold down nine-to-five jobs, but creating dance-floor joy is their real business. With Mike 2600 and Wes Winship. 18+. $5. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 10 p.m. 612.332.1775. —Ian Traas


Lucy Michelle is in Big Trouble

The Cedar

No matter what your thoughts are about Valentine's Day, it's pretty hard to argue that affairs of the heart have spawned some great songs over the years, many of which have been featured in romantic comedies. If you've ever yearned for an entire performance filled with these songs (but without the cringe-worthy dialogue of the movies themselves), boy does the Cedar have the perfect evening in store for you. Local groups Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles and Big Trouble have paired up (along with vocalists David Campbell of E.L.nO., Brian Just, and Matt Latterell and Aaron Schmidt of the Ashtray Hearts) for a night filled with cover versions of emotionally wrought songs from "Like, 100 Years of Romantic Comedies." It promises to be a fun-filled, spontaneous show filled with unapologetically sentimental music that will either make you forget about how lonely you are or make you happy to have someone by your side. Whatever the state of your heart, music will always be there for you. All ages. $12/$15 at the door. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Erik Thompson


28th Annual Battle of the Jug Bands


Need a place to hang your hat on Valentine's Day? Well boy howdy, round up the sweetie or find yourself a babysitter and head down for the most romantic jug-band battle you ever did see, with 20—count 'em, 20—bands playing their darnedest to out-pluck their neighbors and kinfolk, all done up in Sunday best. This is the oldest, grandest such event in the Union and even sprung an offshoot yonder Chicago way. It's a good old throw-down hoedown, ladies and gents. And while it's free of charge, don't forget to bring along a hot dish, because it takes spit and sweat and gumption to play that upside-down washtub upright bass and blow that crazy old kazoo. These folks will stomp and clomp and bebomp to high heaven vying for that priceless Holliwood waffle iron. (The iron's of the traveling variety, you hear, and gets passed to the winner each year.) If you miss this, you'll be a laughing stock from here to Cass County. All ages. Free; donations accepted. 12:30 p.m. 917 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612.338.6425. —Jeff Gage



Dakota Jazz Club

Minnesota is slowly turning more Louisianan all the time, although you couldn't tell by the weather or the food or the drinks or the wildlife or the flora or the language or the Mardi Gras celebrations. Football teams, either. Hell, Minnesota isn't anything like Louisiana except for a few Katrina refugees and the great bands that have crept upriver at an increasing pace in recent years. Such as BeauSoleil—that capital "s" in the middle is still annoying—returning to town just over a month since its last visit, this time at the Dakota. Yeah, so what of it? BeauSoleil is the best contemporary Cajun band, period—and one of the greatest bands of our time, a band impossible to get enough of. Want proof? Listen to Michael Doucet and company doing just two songs: Dewey Balfa's "Parlez-Nous Á Boire" and Michael's Cajunized version of "Louie, Louie." If you're not carousing around the room after two bars of either, check the obits to see if you're listed. BeauSoleil's Alligator Purse was up for a Grammy, but was aced out by Buckwheat Zydeco's Lay Your Burden Down. A close call; the actual award was apparently presented in somebody's closet. Either band on stage would have significantly enlivened one of the lamest Grammy shows since the days of Christopher Cross and Milli Vanilli. See what all those Grammy viewers missed out on. $20-$30. 7 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010. —Rick Mason

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7th St. Entry

701 1st Ave. N.
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