The best Twin Cities concerts: 2/12-2/18

It's that time to dread/anticipate Valentine's Day plans. Sisyphus featuring Sufjan Stevens will make a special appearance at the Walker, Lucy Michelle will be hosting a country version of her Valentine Mixtape show at the Cedar, Eleni Mandell will be at the Turf Club and the Arctic Monkeys play to a sold-out audience. Various cover bands will be playing Cause and the Cabooze. Also in the coming days? Piñata Records will be hosting a showcase at 331 Club Saturday, Gregory Porter is at the Dakota Sunday and Atmosphere will play a sold out show at First Avenue.

Wednesday 2.12.2014

Foghorn Stringband with The Cactus Blossoms
Cedar Cultural Center
Strings n' Harmonies
All Ages, $12/$15, 7 PM

Cheap Time with France Camp and Holographic Sands 
7th Street Entry
Tennessee Punk Warlords
18+, $8/$10, 7:30 PM

Me and My Arrow with Beasthead and C. Kostra
Turf Club
Tidal Wave of Sound
21+, $5, 8 PM

Thursday 2.13.2014

The Cabooze
Reggae icon Gyptian is back, bringing his Sex, Love & Reggae Tour to the Cabooze just in time for Valentine's weekend. Though past hits like "Hold You" caught people's attention -- such as Nicki Minaj, who later hopped on a remix -- the sensual set promises new material said to be the Jamaican singer's best. Gyptian works among a range of styles, swinging from upbeat island pop to traditional roots reggae to dancehall, all with a signature sultry tone and vibrant energy. Internationally known reggae artist Mister Kali serves as the opener, because he just happens to be in town. --Jack Spencer
18+, $25/$30, 9 PM

Atmosphere with Toki Wright, Big Cats, No Bird Sing, dEm atlaS and Jimmy 2 Times
Clyde Iron Works
Local Hip Hop
18+, SOLD OUT, 7 PM

inc. with SCRNS and Aaron & the Sea
7th Street Entry
Deep Lows
18+, $10, 8 PM

Mayer Hawthorne with Quadron 
First Avenue
Soul Inspired
18+, $25, 7:30 PM

Friday 2.14.2014

Walker After Hours: Sisyphus
Walker Art Center
Sufjan Stevens's music of late has expanded pop's borders with idiosyncratic modern sounds that care little for trends or conventions. Sisyphus, formerly known as S/S/S, is a side project he formed with Chicago rapper Serengeti and Brooklyn producer/composer Son Lux. The trio's inventive new self-titled collection is partly inspired by the work of artist Jim Hodges, who designed their album art. The project was co-commissioned by the Walker Art Center and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Sisyphus will make an exclusive cameo appearance at the Walker After Hours opening party on Friday evening for the new exhibit "Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take." The Walker will also host an opening-day dialogue with Hodges and Sisyphus on Saturday. --Erik Thompson
All ages, $30 ($20 for Walker members), 9 PM

Delorean with Until the Ribbon Breaks
7th Street Entry
Synth Pop
18+, $12/$14, 8 PM 

God Johnson's Annual Valentine's Day Party 
Feat Music of the Talking Heads
18+, $10, 8:30 PM

Valentine's Day romantic Showcase with The Ericksons and Rachel Ries
21+, $10 Music Only, $45 Dinner and Show, 11 PM

Lucy Michelle's Valentine Mixtape 
Cedar Cultural Center
Country Western Edition
All Ages, $14/$16, 7 PM

Arctic Monkeys
First Avenue
Despite arriving in 2006 with Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, England's Arctic Monkeys are still a young band. Increasingly pomaded frontman Alex Turner is just 28. But over the past three albums, the Monkeys have bounded up the evolutionary ladder. Their current phase begins with 2009's Josh Homme-produced Humbug. Ever since, the Monkeys have been under a Queens of the Stone Age influence. Their latest is the sinister AM, which is centered on heavy rhythm guitar and weed-induced paranoia. You've heard the wildfire "Do I Wanna Know?" in a Bacardi commercial. Rest assured, much of the album keeps pace with that song's convivial pulse. --Michael Madden
18+, $35, 7:30 PM

Private Oates: "She's Hall Up On My Oates" Valentine's Day special with Trompe Le Monde (Pixies Tribute) and Kinda Kinky (Kinks Tribute) 
Cover Band Night
21+, $5, 9 PM

TobyMac with Brandon Heath, Mandisa, Matthew West and Matt Maher
Xcel Energy Center
Hits Deep Tour
All Ages, $22-$42, 7 PM

Eleni Mandell
Turf Club
Across a career stretching back to the late '90s, L.A. singer-songwriter Eleni Mandell has acquired comparisons to Tom Waits, X, and Patsy Cline, among many others. But the inspiration for her latest album, Let's Fly a Kite, is her experiences as the single mother of three-year-old twins. Deftly sidestepping potential sentimentality, the album finds Mandell's cleverness and a measure of her noirish cynicism intact, although now largely transformed into insouciant charm thanks to Nick Lowe. Teamed with Lowe's band and favorite producer (Neil Brockbank), Mandell addresses motherhood and babysitters, but also romance and dreams with wry twists set into a musical context that's infectious and timeless. Swing, waltzes, touches of country, slices of pop from virtually any decade going back to the '40s, flourishes of mariachi horns, and trad jazz clarinet all send Mandell soaring into the blue. Vikesh Kapoor opens. --Rick Mason
21+, $12, 8 PM

Saturday 2.15.2014

LA Madness with Mouthz of Dirt and Midwest MonsterZ, Garvin and Apollo Quad
Fine Line Music Café
Grind Blues
18+, $8/$12, 8 PM

A Piano in Every Home with Monica LaPlante
Aster Café
Laid Back, Low Key
$6, 9 PM

The Best Love is Free 5 feat. Astronautalis, K.Flay, Vayns, Allan Kingdom, Psalm One, Symmetry and False Teeth
First Avenue & 7th Street Entry
Local Showcase
18+, $15/$20, 8 PM

Piñata Records Hit Parade with Southside Desire, Narco States, Black Diet and Mystery Date
331 Club
Local Label
21+, FREE, 10 PM

Sunday 2.16.2014

Gregory Porter
With a warm, supple baritone voice and agile songwriting that's both poetic and emotionally direct, Gregory Porter is hailed as a significant new jazz artist who at age 42 is just hitting his stride. After two previous Grammy nominations, Porter took home this year's best jazz vocal album award for Liquid Spirit, his third release and first for Blue Note. While Porter is definitely a jazz singer -- his powerful pipes resplendent with breathtaking tonal colors and nuanced phrasing -- gospel, soul, R&B, and transcendent pop from the likes of Nat King Cole and Bill Withers permeate his music. Liquid Spirit features savvy covers of Ramsey Lewis's "The In Crowd," Abbey Lincoln/Max Roach's "Lonesome Lover," and the standard "I Fall in Love Too Easily." But the true revelations are Porter's philosophical original takes on love, loss, renewal, and artistic integrity, many sounding like instant classics. --Rick Mason
$35-$42, 7 PM

Zappa Plays Zappa 
First Avenue 
Dweezil Covers Frank
18+, $30, 7 PM

Com Truise with Phantoms
7th Street Entry
mid-fi synth-wave
18+, $12/$14, 7 PM

Monday 2.17.2014

Atmosphere with Toki Wright, Big Cats, No Bird Sing, dEm atlaS and Jimmy 2 Times
First Avenue
Local Hip Hop
18+, SOLD OUT, 7 PM

Sti-Lo Reel's Album Release with Ced Linus, Big Wiz, BDOTCROC, Lyric Marid adn $ota-Kold
7th Street Entry
Hip Hop Heavyweight
18+, $5/$10, 7 PM

Tuesday 2.18.2014

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks
Cedar Cultural Center
Pavement veteran frontman Stephen Malkmus makes aging oddly appreciable. "I've been tripping my face off since breakfast," he sings on January's Wig Out at Jagbags, his sixth album with the Jicks. Recorded in Berlin, it's unsurprisingly lighthearted and breezy. These four bandmates retain a chemistry and seem to genuinely like each other. Though Malkmus did a solid Dylan impersonation at the other end of Cate Blanchett's lip-syncing in I'm Not There, he works best when he's entirely himself -- witty, hiccup-voiced, quietly heroic on guitar -- and Jagbags is as definitive as it gets. With Detroit fuzz merchants Tyvek. --Michael Madden
$20, 7:30 PM

Bollywood with Makr and Sun Gods to Gamma Rays
7th Street Entry
Scuzzy Gutter-electro 
18+, $5, 7 PM

Wild Feathers with Saints of Valory and Jamestown Revival
Turf Club
Booming Harmonies
21+, $13/$15, 7 PM

Communion MN feat. Brave Baby, Johnnyswim, Actual Wolf and Sombear 
The Varsity Theater
Monthly Music Series