The best Twin Cities concerts: 7/24-7/30
Another rockin' week in the Twin Cities! Thursday, The Triple Rock will be hosting Rock the Link in order to raise awareness of homeless youth. Friday is Target Field's Skyline Music Festival and Saturday, the MN Zoo welcome's Beach Boy legend, Brian Wilson. Strange Names open for Yeasayer at First Avenue and Halloween, Alaska makes a return to the stage at Icehouse.
The Minnesota Twins' gorgeous downtown park will finally host a large-scale concert not featuring Kenny Chesney. The Skyline Music Festival brings hometown heroes Soul Asylum back as part of the LP Tour. As part of it, each band will play its most cherished album in its entirety. Soul Asylum might bring a few punk covers from their brand-new EP, No Fun Intended, but alt-rock fans can expect to hear Grave Dancers Union from "Somebody to Shove" to "The Sun Maid." Filling out the classic bill are Matthew Sweet performing his essential album Girlfriend and Big Head Todd and the Monsters performing Sister Sweetly. Plus, another local treasure, the Gear Daddies, will also be along. This comes not long after Target Field opened its doors to an extensive list of local acts for its Midwest Music Showcase series, and it finally feels like a place where music fans can settle in. --Reed Fischer
$25-$45, 4 PM
Minnesota Zoo Amphitheatre
Plans for a full-blown Beach Boys reunion tour remain up in the air, but Wilson this summer has actually been more active than the ex-San Francisco Giants righty of the same name. Following his band's exuberant early hits and 1965's immortal Pet Sounds, Wilson lost that happy glow during the drug-abetted sessions of the infamously tabled Smile LP -- never to be the same again. Still, the Inglewood native was the guiding force behind such later successes as 1977's Love You, and his not-always-so-pure pop genius was recently reasserted with 2011's expanded edition of those Smile sessions. All the big ones will be here -- "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "Good Vibrations, "I Get Around," etc. -- but a recent blog post on Wilson's website also promises this tour will include "songs that have rarely, if ever, been performed live." Get psyched, completists. With Beach Boys founding members Al Jardine and David Marks. --Mike Madden
$65, 7:30 PM
Dakota Jazz Club Sunday + Monday
Irrepressible trumpeter and singer Kermit Ruffins -- one of New Orleans's most distinctive characters in a city full of them -- is the embodiment of the joyful, bubbling spirit that inspired NOLA's Big Easy nickname. Often decked out in a snappy fedora and snazzy suit, Ruffins commands the stage with panache and élan, carrying it over to his recurring character (himself) on HBO's Tremé, set on his home turf. Ruffins got his start as a teenage co-founder of the Rebirth Brass Band. By the time he went solo, Ruffins had immersed himself in traditional New Orleans jazz and emulated the character of one of his idols, Louis Armstrong. With his raspy voice, bright trumpet sound, and charismatic personality, Kermit could be Louis reincarnated, and, leading a crackling band of Crescent City vets, he includes a sparkling version of the Satchmo signature tune "When It's Sleepy Time Down South" on his new We Partyin' Traditional Style! And it is a uniquely New Orleans party, dating from the first half of the 20th century. Ruffins puts his ebullient spin on vintage jazz and pop standards like "Jeepers Creepers" and "All of Me," each one alive with infectious vitality. There's one Kermit original, "Tremé Second Line," while things wrap up with a rousing take on "When the Saints Go Marching In." What would make this perfect would be for the Dakota to figure out a way for Kermit to fire up a barbecue outside between sets, as he does in New Orleans, the inspiration for his band's name. --Rick Mason
AA, $35 at 7 PM $25 at 9 PM
After a memorable mid-'80s stint with the Waterboys, Welshman Karl Wallinger formed World Party as essentially a personal vehicle for his increasingly impressive songwriting. Over five World Paarty albums, Wallinger established himself as a superb song craftsman, combining smart lyrics that were equally catchy and thoughtful (whether addressing love or environmental assaults) with alluring melodies and intriguing arrangements strongly influenced by the Beatles. In 2001, Wallinger was stricken with a brain aneurysm that required a lengthy recovery. Only recently has he re-emerged on a consistent basis, last year issuing Arkeology, a massive five-CD compendium of previously unreleased songs, demos, covers, and live performances from throughout WP's history. The material is remarkably strong and often fascinating. Highlights include a stunning rock epic and instant WP classic, "Lost in Infinity"; live versions of WP nuggets "Ship of Fools" and "Put the Message in the Box"; and striking covers of the Beatles' "Cry Baby Cry" and Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone." Wallinger's playing only four U.S. dates (plus four Canadian festivals) through September, leading a lean WP featuring Irish fiddler/mandolin player David Duffy and English guitarist John Turnbull, reportedly lending a country touch to some of the tunes. --Rick Mason
AA, $35, 7 PM and 9 PM
Still not getting your fill of Minneapolis music this week? Check out more shows going on around town with our Concert Calendar
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