The Best Twin Cities Concerts of the Week: 12/22-28

The Bad Plus -- see Thursday through Sunday!

The Bad Plus -- see Thursday through Sunday!

Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar.

Monday, December 22

Dr. Mambo's Combo
1987 was a notable year for Minnesota: the Twins won the World Series, Prince released one of his best albums in Sign 'O' the Times, and St. Louis Park's own Coen Brothers released their first great comedy Raising Arizona. 1987 was also the year that Dr. Mambo's Combo was formed, and it just so happens that their crowd-pleasing funk/R&B sound has endured well enough to land them a regular Sunday/Monday night residency at Bunker's. You might wander in with a "nothing else to do tonight" attitude, only stagger out having your head blown clean off by their top-notch soul sounds, the end product of decades' worth of hard work and refinement., $7. 9:30 p.m. -- Nate Patrin
Bunker's Music Bar & Grill

JT's Jazz Implosion
Featuring Anthony Cox, Michael Lewis, and JT Bates
9:30 p.m., $8

Karrin Allyson
6 p.m. and 8 p.m., $25-$40.
Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

Louis & Clark (CD Release Show)
7:30 p.m., Free (But donations are suggested).
Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar

The Roe Family Singers
9 p.m., Free.
331 Club

Tuesday, December 23

Gift-Rapped: Killstreak, the Rotation, Christopher Michael Jensen
Gift-Rapped touts a strong bill of local hip-hop up-and-comers,. Emotive, dystopian, and unflinching, Killstreak combines Tony the Scribe's intricately crafted rapping with Icetep's blistering EDM-influenced production for a sound that takes heart-on-the-sleeve hip-hop in progressive directions. The Rotation combines solo artists Devon Reason, Dwynell Roland, Finding Novyon, and Travis Gorman for a powerful outburst of collective performance energy and individual expressiveness. Alongside Christopher Michael Jensen, Alex Frecon, Catalyst, and DJ The Kritick, this intimate Entry show the perfect place to get a sense of local rap's newest voices., 7:30 p.m., $5. -- Jack Spencer
7th St. Entry

The Lowland Lakers
10 p.m., Free.
331 Club

With Greyscale and Upstanding Hoodrat.
21+., 8 p.m., $5.
Triple Rock Social Club

Michael Johnson
7 p.m., $30.
Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

Mindless Behavior
With Sckool Boyz, DJ Enferno, and DJ Kam Bennett
6 p.m., $32.50-$45.50.
Fine Line Music Cafe

Simon Balto
10 p.m. $5.
Aster Cafe

Trashy Little Xmas 2014
8 p.m., $20.
Lee's Liquor Lounge

Wednesday, December 24

Jewbilee 2014
Featuring Meinsong's Jungle, Planet Plookey, The Rivkins, and Kids Like Us
7 p.m., $3.
First Avenue

Thursday, December 25

The Bad Plus
Iconoclastic trio the Bad Plus return to the old home turf for their annual year-end extended stay at the Dakota. It's been an especially productive year for the Plus, releasing two albums: in March their version of Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring; then in late summer a new collection of originals, Inevitable Western. Both exhibit the BP's unique fusion of intellectual challenge and visceral power. Pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson and drummer Dave King exalt in the prickly dissonance, jagged time signatures and cubist perspectives that made Stravinsky's masterpiece so controversial. A century later the BP play it about as straight as a jazz trio with rock 'n' roll knowledge could and it still sounds gloriously revolutionary. IW's interstellar probes into a multi-genre labyrinth are equally profound. Iverson's ambling title track is a theme from an imaginary western in which Gershwin tickles the ivories in a surrealistic saloon., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., $40. -- Rick Mason (Also Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.)
Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

Friday, December 26

Black Friday: Muja Messiah, Metasota, and Sarah White
Muja Messiah had a triumphant 2014 with the release of the excellent God Kissed It, The Devil Missed It, and is ending the year strong by headlining a show called Black Friday at 7th Street Entry with an impressive roster of local artists. Openers Metasota and Freez have proven themselves to be among the top tier in terms of rap performances, and have been in peak form lately as they each gear up to release new projects next year. Sarah White's hybridized soul singing helps round out the rap bill with a genre-blending electronic funk sensibility, and DJ Ander Other's handle on hip-hop from across the spectrum make this a well-rounded bill., 8 p.m., $7. -- Jack Spencer
7th St. Entry

Black Sam Malone
With the Holy Rocka Rollaz
10 p.m., Free.
Memory Lanes

The Gypsy Lumberjacks Holiday Spectacular
With the May North
7 p.m., $5.
Harriet Brewing

10:30 p.m., $8.

Run Westy Run
With BNLX and LikeHell.
7:30 p.m., $20.
First Avenue

SP Style Anniversary Blowout
Featuring Chris Lawrence Band, SP Style All Stars, Margeaux Davis, and DJ Francisco
9 p.m., $10.
Turf Club

Walker Fields
With Old Desert Road and Big Lake
10 p.m., Free.
331 Club

9 p.m., $8.
Aster Cafe

Saturday, December 27

Aaron Hedenstrom Quintet (CD Release Show)
7 p.m., $10.
Studio Z

American Head Charge
8 p.m., $20.
Turf Club

9 p.m., $20/$25.
The Loft

Bomba de Luz
With Mina Moore + Special Guests
10:30 p.m., $8.

Gear Daddies
7:30 p.m., $22-$27.
Medina Entertainment Center

Hippo Campus
All ages. 4:30 p.m., $15.
Triple Rock Social Club

7 p.m., $20-$24.
The Varsity Theater

With Later Babes, Landmarks, and Vacation Dad
8 p.m., $7.
7th St. Entry

The Main Event: Audiyo Element, Crunchy Kids, and Up Rock
Funk, soul, and R&B are deeply rooted in Twin Cities music history, and this Saturday's Main Event showcase highlights the many incarnations of that time-honored sound as it has progressed. The stacked list of groups on the bill take on everything from hip-hop to jazz to EDM to rock to gospel, each cultivating a cohesive sound that can stand alongside the classics. Audiyo Element are joined by live hip-hop bands Crunchy Kids, Up Rock, and Danami & the Blue, jazz ensemble New Sound Underground, spiritual soul singer Chirch, and Toki Wright under his DJ moniker Mamadu. The show is a great place to catch where the soul scene is currently, representing some of the best local acts the modern era has to offer., 7:30 p.m., $10-$12. -- Jack Spencer
First Avenue

Sunday, December 28

The Cedar's MN Express
Featuring Aby Wolf, Nick Gaudette, Kyle Sobczak, Sara Pajunen, and Nathan Hanson
7 p.m., $10
The Cedar Cultural Center

Connie Evingson: Holiday On Golden Pond
4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., $25.
Jungle Theater

Denim Matriarch
With Brüder, Trita, and Chiefs of The North
7:30 p.m., $7.
Triple Rock Social Club

Pamela Machala
With Northern Darling and Elena.
18+., 6:30 p.m., $5.
7th St. Entry

Kilo Flag
With Good Colonels and Graveyard Club
9 p.m., Free
KItty Cat Klub


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