The best Twin Cities concerts: 11/20-11/25

The best Twin Cities concerts: 11/20-11/25
Photo courtesy of the artist

Another fantastic week in Twin Cities music. Blues delight Gary Clark Jr. hits First Avenue to kick things off. Fitz & the Tantrums spend their Thursday night at the Myth while Ivan & Alyosha play the Triple Rock. Fuck Knights return from their European Tour with a show at the 331 and the Pines kick off their two nights at The Cedar. Saturday marks the First Avenue benefit for local icon Sue McLean and Fathom Lane's Release at Icehouse. Monday, Rokia Traoré plays the Cedar, and Hollerado plays the 7th Street Entry.

Wednesday 11.20.2013

Gary Clark Jr.
First Avenue

Fifteen years ago, the White Stripes emerged as the finest blues-based act in the land, only to face scrutiny that, as two pale white kids, they were somehow inauthentic. There are no such questions about singer/guitarist Gary Clark Jr.'s legitimacy. He's black, true, but he's also been playing the blues since he was a teen prodigy in Austin. Whereas his common reference point Jimi Hendrix was a pioneer of multiplicity, fusing genres together, Clark is happy to work in one form at a time. On last year's Blak and Blu, it was sweltering stadium-rock ("Bright Lights"), country blues ("Next Door Neighbor Blues"), misty-eyed soul ("Please Come Home"), and New Edition- style R&B ("The Life"). His fretboard gymnastics? Worth the price of admission alone. With the Wild Feathers and Max Frost. --Mike Madden
18+, $26.50, 7 PM

Paper Lions with Hot Freaks and Jordan Klassen
7th Street Entry
Sunny Melodies
18+, $8/$10, 7:30 PM

Less Than Jake
The Varsity Theater
18+, $20-$30, 7 PM

Thursday 11.21.2013

Amy Helm / Martha Scanlan
James J Hill Reference Library

Old friends and true angelic voices of Americana, Amy Helm and Martha Scanlan are reunited here via the Real- Phonic Radio Hour. A founder of the roots band Ollabelle, Amy Helm sings and plays mandolin and drums like her illustrious dad, the Band's Levon, whose Midnight Ramble (an inspiration for Real-Phonic) she's keeping alive in Woodstock, N.Y. With guitarist Byron Isaacs, she may be premiering material from a solo album due early next year. Isaacs and both Helmses played on Scanlan's well-received 2007 solo debut, The West Was Burning. A St. Paul native now living on a Montana ranch whose rural splendor inspired her latest EP (Tongue River Stories), Scanlan hones a spare, rustic spirit, her voice, like Iris DeMent's, evoking tenderness, truth, and inner strength. -Rick Mason
$20. 8 PM

Fitz & the Tantrums with Capital Cities
The Myth
Retro Smooth
AA, $25/$28, 7:30 PM

Real Numbers Cassette Release with Teenage Moods, Frankie Teardrop and Hot Rash
The Hexagon
Mod Pop
21+, FREE, 9:30 PM

Dave Boquist and Friends with Echomaker and Lou Batholome Trio
Turf Club
Eclectic Electric
21+, $5, 8 PM

August Burns Red with Blessthefall, Defeater and Beartooh
Mill City Nights
Emo Probably
15+, $23/$25, 8 PM

Shad with Wa Are The City and Rapper Hooks
7th Street Entry
Sharp Lyrics
18+, $10/$12, 8 PM

Selena Gomez with Emblem3
Target Center
Teen Scene
AA, $30-$50, 7 PM

Ivan & Alyosha
Triple Rock

Trafficking in the same brand of toe- tapping Americana-leaning sound as artists like M. Ward, Seattle's Ivan & Alyosha had already built buzz with two EPs before full-length All the Times We Had arrived in February. The album's 11 tracks mine plenty of magic from the pairing of frontman Tim Wilson's smooth, slightly twangy tenor with his band's sparkly and highly melodic brand of mid-tempo folk-rock. With Matrimony. --Rob Van Alstyne
18+, $13/$15, 7:30 PM

Friday 11.22.2013

Fuck Knights with Southside Desire
Groovy Dance Tunes
21+, FREE, 10 PM

Brendan Canning with Escondido and Dinosaur Bones
7th Street Entry
Broken Social Scene
18+, $15, 8 PM

Web of Sunsets with Prissy Clerks and Erros Magicos
Turf Club
Moss-Covered Melodies
21+, $6, 9 PM

Cults with Sacco and Mood Rings
First Avenue
Cold Knot Breakups
18+, $16/$18, 8 PM

The Pines with Dave Simonett
The Cedar Cultural Center
Folk Roots
AA, $18/$20, 7 PM

Carroll with Red Daughters, Fire in the Northern Firs and Ghost Towns of the West
The Cabooze
Sonic and Ambient
18+, $7, 8:30 PM

Elton John
Xcel Energy Center
Tiny Dancer
AA, $30-$149, 7 PM

Triple Rock

Busdriver manages to sound like a fresh voice no matter where the rest of rap has been over his 14-year career. The Los Angeles rapper recently contributed to indie label Hellfyre Club's latest collection, Dorner vs. Tookie, often stealing the show even among a similarly ear-grabbing roster of left-field talents. Live, his polysyllabic machine-gun flow decimates dance floors and finds a niche both heady and club- ready. Labelmates Open Mike Eagle and Milo provide support and prove the avant- garde West Coast sound that evolved from the infamous Project Blowed is alive and well. --Jack Spencer
18+, $10/$12, 8 PM


Saturday 11.23.2013

A Tribute to Sue McLean
First Avenue

The Twin Cities concert scene lost an icon when Sue McLean died earlier this year. Over her nearly 40-year career in the Twin Cities, she shaped the Basilica Block Party, Music in the Zoo, and countless other massive live undertakings. Over that time, musicians locally and beyond grew close to McLean, and several have joined together for this celebration of her life and legacy. Leading the lineup at her all-star tribute is folk- rocker Eric Hutchinson, a Zoo and Basilica vet who practically feels like a local. Soul Asylum and BoDeans represent two regional names in alternative rock who have gone on to national acclaim. Filling out the night are X-Boys -- featuring members of Suicide Commandos and the Suburbs -- as well as Molly Maher and Her Disbelievers, Haley Bonar, and Rogue Valley. Proceeds will benefit the Lilly McLean Fund. --Reed Fischer
18+, $50/$150 (VIP), 6 PM

Gloss EP Release with France Camp, Prissy Clerks and Holographic Sands
Triple Rock
Dream Pop
18+, $5, 9 PM

The Pines with Dave Moore
The Cedar Cultural Center
Folk Roots
AA, $18/$20, 7 PM

The Telescopes with Gospel Gossip, The Chambermaids and Wavepool
Kitty Cat Klub
Static Charge
21+, $5, 9 PM

Toad the Wet Sprocket with Lee DeWyze
Mill City Nights
Blast From the Past
18+, $30, 9 PM

Paramore with Metric and Hellogoodbye
Roy Wilkins
Powerhouse Vocals
AA, $40-$50, 7:30 PM

John Mayer with Phillip Phillips
Target Center
Blues Guitar
AA, $55-$75,7 PM

Fathom Lane CD Release with Batteryboy
Soul Soothing Songwriting
21+, $8 11 PM

The White Whales

If Coldplay's Chris Martin fronted Frightened Rabbit and grew up in Minnesota, the end result would approach that of local quintet the White Whales' excellent debut album, Lakestate. Frontman Matthew Schufman's voice swerves delightfully between immaculate crooning and pained howling throughout. The band is equally irresistible whether blasting barrel-chested rock found on the rousing "Babe the Blue Ox" or wading in placid sonic waters of album closer "Do Not Let Me Go." With Squares, the Persian Leaps, and Broken Bicycles. -
21+, $5, 9 PM

Sunday 11.24.2013

Savannah Smith

Charlie Christenson Trio EP Release with Bedside
Jazzy Vocals
21+, $5, 9:30 PM

Said the Whale with Hippo Campus and Van Stee
7th Street Entry
Dual Songwriters
18+, $8, 7 PM

Monday 11.25.2013

7th Street Entry

Hollerado are all about living in the moment, as evidenced by songs titled "Just Stop Thinking" and "Pure Emotion." Far more concerned with righteous riffage than intellectual heft, the Ottawa power-pop quartet writes songs that aren't brainy, but they are irresistible. After touring their debut album into the ground for three years straight, they returned in February 2013 with White Paint, a punch-drunk party album that finds the band's arrangements slightly tighter from all that road work, but their spirit as irreverently snot- nosed as ever. --Rob Van Alstyne
18+, $8/$10, 7:30 PM

Rokia Traoré
Cedar Cultural Center

Malian singer, songwriter, guitarist Rokia Traoré grew up on multiple continents, absorbing sounds eventually complementing the traditional Malian music at the heart of her entrancing, sophisticated brew. She can dip into jazz, edge toward avant-garde, her voice cool, sinuous but still piquant. But she also rocks out on her latest, Beautiful Africa. Singing in quavering Bambara, French, and English on the title track, Traoré laments Africa's afflictions over a funky groove punctuated by electric guitar. "Mélancolie" spreads anguish along a string of stinging guitar knots, like all her stuff, deeply rooted yet provocative in unexpected ways. --Rick Mason
$30/$35. 7:30 PM

Tuesday 11.26.2013

The Deer Tracks with Sun Gods to Gamma Rays
7th Street Entry
Northern Light Electronica
18+, $8/$10, 8 PM

Where I'm Going:

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For the best in local shows, check out our Concert Calendar

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