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The Best Twin Cities Concerts of the Week: 12/29-1/4

Peter Wolf Crier -- see Friday!

Peter Wolf Crier -- see Friday!

Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar.

Monday, December 29

Ari Herstand
Wisconsin native Ari Herstand spent the better part of a decade in the Twin Cities, launching a music career and a local reputation as the guy who accompanied himself in performances via multiple looped layers of piano, trumpet, percussion and programming. In 2010 he abandoned Minnesota's tundra for sunny L.A., where he's landed acting gigs and made a name for himself as a music biz blogger. But Herstand retains strong local ties as he returns for his first full-band performance since fleeing to the coast. His latest album, Brave Enough, recorded here and released last March, features a snowy Stone Arch Bridge on the cover, a namecheck of Al's Breakfast, songs co-written with Chris Koza and local musicians. Herstand has a fine pop touch that's often melodic and sometimes, but definitely not always, hushed. He reflects on his breakup with his former hometown on "Minnie and Me" and (naturally) discusses the weather in a kind of reverie on "Muggy Minnesota." Local singer-songwriters Jourdan Myers and Josh Clutter will open. 18+. $12/$15. 7 p.m. -- Rick Mason
7th St. Entry

JT's Jazz Implosion
With Brandon Wozniak, Bryan Nichols, and JT Bates
9:30 p.m., $8
Icehouse

Tuesday, December 30

Brandi Carlile
Americana singer-songwriter and particular local favorite Brandi Carlile will close out the year in Minneapolis with a pair of shows: one already sold out on the 30th, plus a big New Year's Eve party. Carlile has been touring for two years on the fumes of 2012's Bear Creek, an album laced with rustic bits of country, bluegrass and blues. This fall, she and the Twins - longtime bandmates Tim and Phil Hanseroth - set out on the Pin Drop Tour, an all-acoustic venture that eschewed electronics of any kind, including mikes, amps and monitors. All the better to allow Carlile's fine, hearty voice to shine in its full range from brittle folk to Patsy Cline-like country to Bonnie Raitt-like blues to ferocious rockers like "Raise Hell." Reports from the road indicate Carlile is trying out new material leaning more in a pop/alt-country direction. She just announced a new album, The Firewatcher's Daughter, will be out in March. 21+,12.30 show: Sold Out, 8:30 p.m. 12.31 show: $100/$200. 9:30 p.m. -- Rick Mason
The Varsity Theater (Also Wednesday.)

Kid Dakota
With Alpha Consumer and International Karate
7 p.m., $10-$12.
Turf Club

PRSMS
With Eyt Trio
9 p.m., Free.
Kitty Cat Klub

The Good Life
With Big Harp and Tiny Deaths
8 p.m., $10-$12.
Triple Rock Social Club

The New Standards
7 p.m. and 9 p.m., $30-$40.
Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

Trans-Siberian Orchestra
3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., $32.50-$71.50.
Xcel Energy Center

Wednesday, December 31

Crystal Ball New Year's Eve 2015
Featuring Dessa and DJ Strangelove.
8 p.m., $40-$80.
International Market Square

Datsik
Canadian producer and DJ Troy Beetles entered the EDM scene when large-scale festivals were thriving, and hip-hop was beginning to seep more deeply into electronic music. His moniker, Datsik, is derived from the 26-year-old's Xbox Live gamertag. After enjoying early success on Beatport, Datsik released collaborations with artists like Diplo and Wu-Tang Clan, who he cites as a major inspiration. He calls his sound "dark and robotic," with a "funky and gangster" vibe. The dark collision of bass music and hip-hop provides a sexy and somewhat sinister soundtrack for the dance floor. Festival and touring life didn't keep Datsik from founding Firepower Records and releasing a number of his own works as well as a collection of bass musicians and dubstep producers. His love of hardcore rap and dubstep, which he calls the "punk rock of electronic music," shows through in the label's catalog. This New Year's Eve, Datsik hits the decks at Skyway alongside a roster of local and visiting EDM artists on four separate stages. With Terravita, Mayhem, Fox Stevenson and Bear Grillz. 18+, $35 and up, 7 p.m. -- Sarah Stanley-Ayre
The Skyway Theatre

Davina & the Vagabonds
6 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., $82-$102.
Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

Dred I Dread New Year's Eve Bash
8 p.m., $12.
Harriet Brewing

First Avenue's New Year's Eve Danceteria
Featuring Get Cryphy, Roy Freedom, and DJ Smitty
18+., 7:30 p.m., $5/$20.
First Avenue

Four Fists
With Mike Mictlan and Tender Meat
When P.O.S. and Astronautalis first announced they were joining forces as the duo Four Fists, it made a lot of sense, especially considering the strength of their collaborative efforts on one another's records. Lead single "MMMMMHMMMMM" was the hint to the anthemic, melodic, and lyrically dense direction the pair would head, and the handful of live shows they've done together perfectly capture their collaborative energy. Their 7-inch release party at Triple Rock last year was a highlight for indie rap fans, and they're set to go even bigger this New Year's Eve with opening assists from Doomtree's Mike Mictlan and gritty electronic duo Tender Meat. 18+, $30, 8 p.m. -- Jack Spencer
Triple Rock Social Club

Hipshaker NYE Party
Dinkytown's Kitty Cat Klub might be a little closer to campus than you'd feel totally comfortable with on New Year's, but if you're willing to brave the sea of amateurs, you'll be rewarded with one of the most well-curated parties in the Twin Cities. Hipshaker is the DJ trio of Greg Waletski, George Rodriguez and Brian Engel, who lay claim to a seriously deep knowledge of vintage soul, funk, R&B and latin grooves. They lace in fan faves with cuts so obscure that they're unGoogleable. While the DJs may be retro minded, their parties are never stuffy, as Hipshaker's crowd tends to be as youthful and exuberant as any in town. Teaming up with their frequent cohorts in the like-minded Hot Pants DJ crew as well as KFAI's Kinda Cloudy host Dan McAllister, Hipshaker promises special surprises, and, as always, a big countdown finale. 21+, $15, 9 p.m. -- Zach McCormick
Kitty Cat Klub

Icehouse NYE With Rogue Valley
10:30 p.m., $15.
Icehouse

Naughty NYE: Tickle Torture
With Tawst featuring DJ Shannon Blowtorch and Sophia Eris
Over the past year, Elliot Kozel's Tickle Torture has become a formidable force of music and sexuality on the stage. His release of Spectrophilia, an album named after a sexual fixation with ghosts, was followed by a sold-out raunchy album release show at the Entry. Then at Zombie Pub Crawl, a crowned and bejeweled Kozel crowdsurfed atop a sea of undead raving madly to his hip-shaking, soulful catalog. New Year's will be a perfect night for Kozel to celebrate this past year of chaos that saw him at the top of his game. All the glitter and gold arrives at the Entry, along with a Tickle Torture vinyl. Friend and musical cohort Lizzo will host, and in celebration of sex and the eroticism that fuels the Tickle, local specialty shop Smitten Kitten will provide a stripper pole and dancers along with sex toy giveaways. TAWST, the DJ-duo comprised of GRRRL PRTY's Shannon Blowtorch and Sophia Eris, will keep the party dancing. 18+, $20, 9 p.m. -- Sarah Stanley-Ayre
7th St. Entry

New Year's Eve Blues Bash
With Reverend Raven & the Chain Smokin' Altar Boys, the Jimmys, and Lamont Cranston with Bruce McCabe
8 p.m., $25-$30.
Doubletree by Hilton Bloomington

NYE Dinner Set With Tim Sparks
6:30 p.m., Free.
Icehouse

Poliça
With Marijuana Deathsquads and Allan Kingdom
Poliça's post-apocalyptic sound and coldly transgressive imagery have solidified their spot as Minnesota's definitive bummer synth-pop band. Channy Leaneagh has been doing this for long enough to be a magnetic presence, and Drew Christopherson and Ben Ivascu's dual percussion add some visceral bombast to the mix without sacrificing the interior bleakness of Poliça's recordings. It has been a weird year, and it seems appropriate to end it with some self-reflection to go along with the celebration. No one in town mixes introspection and fireworks better than Poliça. With the help of frighteningly listenable noisemakers Marijuana Deathsquads and the meditative enthusiasm of ascendent local hip-hop royalty Allan Kingdom, their NYE show should have plenty of both. 21+, SOLD OUT, 8 p.m. -- Ben Tuthill
Turf Club

Riff Raff
Hip-hop has its fair share of cartoon characters that occupy spaces so radically different from the human realm that they are impossible to look away from, and the supremely swagged out, logo-tattooed prince of witty baller bragging is perhaps our generation's most profoundly bizarre. The line between imagery and reality is so thin that it hardly matters anymore, and RiFF RaFF has defiantly become the icon of garish style and clever bravado he touts himself as. Truly a spectacle of rap merriment and gaudiness, his treasure trove of thoroughly enjoyable party anthems and irrepressible cult of personality will truly make this a New Year's to remember. Don't forget to bring the rice out. 18+, $35/$250, 9 p.m. -- Jack Spencer
Fine Line Music Cafe

The Drug Budget
10 p.m., Free.
331 Club

The Suburbs
With Suicide Commandos
21+., 7:30 p.m., $32-$37.
Medina Entertainment Center

Throwdown 2 Motown NYE
With Useful Jenkins, Circle of Heat, and DJ Elsewhere
8 p.m., $20/$25.
Nomad World Pub

Wookiefoot New Year's Eve
With Jon Wayne and the Pain and the Limns
8 p.m., $20-$25.
Cabooze

Thursday, January 1

Zach Lozier Three
9:30 p.m., Free.
331 Club

Friday, January 2

Chief O'Brien
With Maple & Beech
8:30 p.m., $7.
Amsterdam

Little Man
10 p.m., Free.
331 Club

Peter Wolf Crier
With BBGUN and Actual Wolf
There are plenty of ways to cure a hangover, but the fast-changing math-folk of Peter Wolf Crier probably isn't one of them. Luckily they're playing a full day after New Year's, which should give you plenty of time to sleep off the last of 2014's bad decisions. Peter Pisano and Brian Moen have been quiet for the past few years. Other than a one-off cover of INXS's "Never Tear Us Apart" the world hasn't heard much from them since Moen got married earlier this year. That they're timing their re-emergence for the fresh-start date of January 2 could mean something in the way of an announcement. Or it could just be an opportunity to rock out to deconstructed '80s hair metal covers and four-year-old favorites. Either way it should be a good time, and a great way to re-stimulate your noggin after the previous nights of brain-melting idiocy. With BBGun and Actual Wolf. 21+, $8/$10, 8 p.m. -- Ben Tuthill
Turf Club

Worst Bands of 2014 Showcase
9 p.m., $5.
Nomad World Pub (Also Saturday)

Saturday, January 3

Hey, Have A Good One!
Featuring Terry Mullan: With DJ ESP Woody McBride, Hotdish, DJ Fresko, and Casey Borchert
9 p.m., $10.
First Avenue

J.E. Sunde
With the Multiple Cat and Holly Hansen
18+., 8 p.m., $8 adv/$10 door.
7th St. Entry

Our Life Story
With Griswold, Triple Crossed, and Internet Dating
18+., 8 p.m., $7.
Triple Rock Social Club

The Annual Blowout: Hammerhead
With the Blind Shake and Waveless
9 p.m., $10.
Turf Club

Sunday, January 4

C.Kostra
With Cruel Love and Aaron and the Sea
10 p.m., $5.
Icehouse

Frankie Lee and Friends
7:30 p.m., $5-$7.
Clown Lounge at the Turf Club

Pippi Ardennia
7 p.m., $25.
Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

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