The best Twin Cities concerts: 1/15-1/21

The best Twin Cities concerts: 1/15-1/21

This week brings quite a few live acts to the Minneapolis/ St. Paul area. Wednesday, Walk Off the Earth plays a sold out show at the Varsity and Nipsey Hussle (above) hits Mill City Nights. On Friday, Jake Bugg travels to First Avenue. Pert Near Sandstone will be at the Cedar for two nights this weekend while Fathom Lane plays the Turf Club. Lastly, Yuck will make an appearance at the Triple Rock, Monday featuring local acts Prissy Clerks and Fury Things.

Wednesday 1.15.2014

Nipsey Hussle
Mill City Nights
Nipsey Hussle's pride in his own realness can be a little much. In a recent interview with Complex, the Cali rapper argued that you can't fully understand him unless you also came from nothing. But with the success of his recent Crenshaw -- over 1,000 fans bought the mixtape for $100 as part of the "Proud 2 Pay" campaign, and it notched a six-digit DatPiff download count -- his grit and raspy snarl served him better than ever. In its vaguely Spectorian plushness, Crenshaw functions like The Chronic and other Golden State milestones. At any rate, the 28-year-old Nipsey's physical resemblance to Snoop -- the braids, the goatee, etc. -- isn't the only thing putting him in the conversation with the West Coast's most faithful MCs. With Erk Tha Jerk. --Mike Madden  
18+, $20, 9 PM

Walk Off the Earth with Parachute and Camera2
Varsity Theater
Top 40 Pop
All Ages, SOLD OUT, 5 PM

Cosmonot, Air Taiwan and Jeromy Darling
7th Street Entry
90s Rock Reinvented
18+, $5, 8 PM

The Rural Alberta Advantage with Midnight Reruns
The Cedar
Hometowns and Heartbreak
All Ages, $20, 7 PM

Thursday 1.16.2014

Wangs with Mystery Raffle, Ceat Detectives, Lady of the Moon, Checho and Vacation Dad
Kitty Cat Klub
Booty Shake
21+, FREE, 9 PM

Marijuana Deathsquads with Tyte Jeff and Plain Ole Bill
Triple Rock
Dance Beats
21+, $8, 9 PM

The Jelly Project and The Strange Heroes, My Name is Ellipsis and Void in REality
7th Street Entry
Biker Cred
18+, $5, 8 PM

Friday 1.17.2014

Jake Bugg
First Avenue
Nottingham teenager Jake Bugg created a stir with his self-titled debut, combining a major dose of early-'60s Washington Square folk with touches of Mersey pop and English working-class angst. Bugg's strummed acoustic guitar and sometimes rapid cascade of lyrics encouraged comparisons to early Bob Dylan. Accolades followed, along with producer Rick Rubin, whose Malibu studio shared its name with the sophomore album Bugg recorded there, Shangri La. Rubin electrifies Bugg's sound on some songs, pushing them toward alt-rock territory, although Bugg's lyrics lose a bit of their erstwhile guileless charm. Opening are Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr., and the Skins, a talented young Brooklyn band who play soulful, blues-based, Zeppelinesque rock. --Rick Mason
18+, $25, 8 PM 

Pert Near Sandstone's Winter String Band with Steve Kaul & The Brass Kings
Cedar Cultural Center
Strings and Roots
All Ages, $17/$20, 8 PM

Space Cats CD Release with Nice Branches, Moving Parts and Danger Ronnie
7th Street Entry
Psychedelic Space Vibes
18+, $5, 8 PM

Fathom Lane with The Farewell Circut and Disaster Bird
Turf Club
Sugar Sweet Harmonies
21+, $5, 8 PM

Jason Aldean 
Xcel Energy Center
Country Rock
All Ages, $29.75-$59.75, 6:30 PM
Saturday 1.18.2014

Betty Who
7th St. Entry
Armed with a booming voice and earworm-ready hooks, 22-year-old Australian Jessica Anne Newham -- a.k.a. Betty Who -- might just have what it takes to end Robyn's seemingly endless indie-pop reign. The Movement, her self-released debut EP recorded with fellow Berklee College of Music pal/producer Pete Thomas, proved such a web sensation upon its April 2013 release that RCA swiftly signed her to a recording contract. With Sombear and Step Rockets. --Rob Van Alstyne
18+, $10/$12, 8 PM

Vonnie Kyle, Natue Shows, This is Daybreak and War Poets
Heartbreak Songs
21+, $5, 9 PM

Pert Near Sandstone's Winter String Band with Steve Kaul & The Johnson Family Band
Cedar Cultural Center
Strings and Roots
All Ages, $17/$20, 8 PM

First Avenue
Nicolas Jaar was a 21-year-old studying comparative literature at Brown University when he released his first album, 2011's Space Is Only Noise. Alongside Brooklyn guitarist Dave Harrington, the New York-via-Chile electronic producer is exceeding our projections for him as one half of Darkside. After last year's self-titled EP, Jaar and Harrington cooked up a warp of Daft Punk's state-of-the-art Random Access Memories. Then came October's stargazing LP Psychic, which, beginning with the 11-minute opener "Golden Arrow" and continuing through the lunar synth work and Harrington's prickly palm-muting, spun its own realm entirely. --Mike Madden
18+, $16-$18, 8 PM

Mutual Benefit
Turf Club
Mutual Benefit's spacey folk-rock sound finds an intriguing middle ground between the hazy home-recorded heroics of cult bands like the Microphones and the more refined orchestral opulence of big-time indie icons like Sufjan Stevens. In other words, this collective hatched by itinerant 20-something Jordan Lee with support from friends is serious blogger catnip. The band's official full-length debut, Love's Crushing Diamond, already has the official Pitchfork "best new music" seal of approval. With Vacation Dad and Vats. --Rob van Alstyne
21+, $8/$10, 8 PM

Sunday 1.19.2014

Cedar Cultural Center
The Ukrainian quartet DakhaBrakha, which translates as "give/take," refers to its music as "ethnic chaos." Turmoil certainly has been prevalent in Ukraine lately, fueled by conflict over orientation toward either Europe or Russia. For the band, chaos originates in a punkish aesthetic that gives a scorching energy to their intriguing scrum of myriad Ukrainian folk styles plus additional world music shards from the Balkans to the Middle East and Africa. The band was formed at an avant-garde theater, and reportedly retains strong visual aspects. Drone elements, bubbling accordion, smatterings of industrial noise, hints of pop melodicism, unpredictable rhythms, keening vocals, and at least one falsetto escapade (suggesting the Bee Gees) all contribute to an often mesmerizing sound that transcends its sources. --Rick Mason
$18/$20, 7:30 PM

Chris Koza 
Tender Lyrics
All Ages, FREE, 11 AM

Lipstick Effect with American Revival and Edger
7th Street Entry
Rock Duo
18+, $5, 7 PM

Monday 1.20.2014

Triple Rock
London-based Yuck got off to a fine start with their 2011 eponymous debut, a melodically informed slab of noise pop that attracted enthusiastic comparisons to the likes of My Bloody Valentine, Pavement, Dinosaur Jr., and Sonic Youth. Yuck's sophomore effort, Glow & Behold, released in October, is a less prickly, far more sedate pop exercise, suggesting the band is still regrouping following departures of Daniel Blumberg and his sister, Ilana. The remaining trio of guitarist Max Bloom (now handling lead vocals), drummer Jonny Rogoff, and bassist Mariko Doi is more polite than precocious, despite showing off occasional sparks via the grungy guitar-driven "Middle Sea." Between ringing guitars and arch ballads, however, there's still hope Yuck can rediscover their now-elusive critical balance. Alvvays and Prissy Clerks open. --Rick Mason
18+, $13/$15, 7 PM

Complexes, Valasha and Orange Tour
7th Street Entry
Indie Pop Duo
18+, $5, 8 PM

Tuesday 1.21.2014

Bailiff with Fury Things
7th Street Entry
Deep Dark
18+, $8, 8 PM

The Toasters with The Prizefighters and Drones
Triple Rock
Classic Ska 
18+, $14, 8 PM

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