The best Twin Cities concerts of the week: 4/21-4-27

Burnt Sugar -- See Saturday

Burnt Sugar -- See Saturday

Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

Monday, April 21

José James with Kris Bowers
Minneapolis native singer-songwriter José James has taken a long, unusual path to a little-trampled spot where jazz, R&B, hip-hop, soul, electronica, and, lately, rock come together. While still a teenager he associated with local experimental jazz icons like Douglas Ewart, went to New York's New School, picked up mentors like Junior Mance and Chico Hamilton, eventually went on to Europe, then back to New York and offered a completed album to Blue Note, which released No Beginning No End intact to general acclaim last year. James's sleek voice can range from baritone to near-falsetto, and he's adept at the nuances of multiple genres: sophisticated jazz standards, hints of Bobby Blue Bland blues, the sensuousness of intimate R&B, Al Green's soulful sweep. James covers Reverend Green on his forthcoming (June 10) album While You Were Sleeping, which also introduces a stronger rock component via guitarist Brad Allen Williams. Opening will be James's keyboardist, Kris Bowers, who has a similarly elastic approach to jazz and modern R&B. -Rick Mason
$20/$25, 7 PM

The Wanted
All ages, $36, 6 PM

Bleeding Rainbow with Strange Relations and Carpet
$8, 7 PM

Avenged Sevenfold with Hellyeah
$27-$51.50, 7:30 PM

Say Hi & Big Scary
18+, $12, 7 PM

Tuesday, April 22

$15, 7:30 PM

Lost in the Trees with All Tiny Creatures
18+, $10, 8 PM

Steve Tyrell (also Mon.)
$30-$45, 7 PM & 9 PM

The Solflower Collective
$5, 10 PM

The Changeups Earth Day Party
$5, 8 PM

Wednesday, April 23

Senses Working Overtime: An All Star Benefit Tribute to XTC
This second annual local tribute to the English art-pop band XTC will feature a rich, eclectic array of Twin Cities musicians. Money raised at the show will help pay the living expenses of women in need recovering from cancer through the Pay It Forward Cancer Funds at North Memorial Hospital and Essentia Health / St. Joseph's Foundation. Among several dozen local musicians scheduled to play are Adam Levy, Wendy Lewis, Phil Solem, Aby Wolf, John Eller, Nate Dungan, J.T. Bates, Amy Meyer, Chris Beaty, Ken Chastain, Kent Militzer, Noah Levy, Terry Eason and Tom Scott. There should be plenty of interesting collaborations and rummages through the XTC songbook on behalf of a worthy cause. -Rick Mason
$10/$12, 10 PM

White Fang with Skating Polly and Frankie Teardrop
18+, $8/$10, 8 PM

Cornbread Harris' 88th Birthday Party
Free, 7 PM

Unity the Band
$5, 7 PM

Indulge with Vampirates, Casual User, and Girl
Free, 9 PM

Thursday, April 24

Mid West Music Fest (also Fri-Sat)
various locations around downtown Winona
A club-hopping, genre-smearing swing into festival season, the Mid West Music Fest turns five this year. Down in the scenic river city of Winona this weekend, more than 100 bands -- spanning hip-hop, folk, jam, indie rock, blues, and experimental sounds -- will perform in 13 venues. Among this year's performers are Lizzo, Night Phoenix, Charlie Parr, Caroline Smith, the 4onthefloor, Mark Mallman, Dosh, John Mark Nelson, Enemy Planes, Carroll, Prissy Clerks, Sun Gods to Gamma Rays and the Cactus Blossoms. The weekend also includes musicians' workshops and a movie screening of Every Everything: The Music, Life & Times of Grant Hart featuring a Q&A with the ex-Hüsker Dü star. Check individual venues for ages; see all the bands and the schedule at -Reed Fischer
$20 per day; $60 for three-day pass

Temples with Drowners and Two Harbors
What's propelled English four-piece Temples past a million other psych rock bands and into the mainroom is the mastery they've shown in both the writing and the production aspects of the genre. Though only in their 20s, Temples' members are veterans of their native Kettering's psych and garage rock scene, and the years they've collectively put in is proof that it's not easy creating riffs as commanding as that of Sun Structures leadoff "Shelter Song." Still, it's the grandeur of the album -- all of these braiding vocals, moonbeam guitars, and ghoulish keyboards -- that puts Temples on a level with a group like Tame Impala. Plus, frontman James Bagshaw's got a future as an in-demand producer should he forget how to write a song. Given the consistency of Sun Structures, though, that might still be a thousand festival dates away. -Michael Madden
18+, $15, 9 PM

PeterMulvey with Kris Delmhorst
$15/$18, 7 PM

Evan Shinners
$20, 7 PM

Lydia Loveless with the Sudden Lovelys and Tanbark
18+, $10/$12, 7:30 PM

Friday, April 25

Big Lake (album release) with Joey Ryan & the Inks and Small Cities
Talented Twin Cities rockers Big Lake end a too lengthy absence from Twin Cities stages tonight to celebrate the release of their self-titled debut album. A collection of shadowy and sharp mid-tempo rock that neatly straddles alt-country and indie pop in a manner reminiscent of classic Whiskeytown, front man Patrick Mazurek boasts the sort of effortlessly soaring and lightly twangy tenor it's easy to envision dominating the local radio airwaves in the near future. -Rob van Alstyne
$7, 8 PM

S. Carey with White Hinterland
Inevitably linked with Bon Iver bandmate and musical mentor Justin Vernon in any press coverage of his music, Sean Carey's managed to build up his own formidable catalog of ethereal folk-pop when he's not busy touring the world as part of the famed Eau-Claire-based ensemble. The latest installment, Range of Light, serves up lyrically contemplative and musically lush mid-tempo folk-rock ("Glass/Film") alongside totally trippy densely layered ambient explorations ("Fleeting Light"). An array of atypical rock instrumentation is employed -- harps, woodwinds, kalimba! -- in service of its beautifully soothing soundscapes. -Rob van Alstyne
$15, 7 PM

Suzy Bogguss
$35-$40, 7 PM

Seven Lions
18+, $15/$20, 8 PM

TesseracT with Intronaut, Cloudkicker, The Revealing, By the Thousands, and Neuralizer
The Skyway Theatre (Studio B)
$15, 5 PM

Graveyard with Kadavar, Bombus, and Sons of Huns
18+, $15-$25, 8 PM

Waxahatchee with Carbonleak and Slowdeath
18+, $10, 8 PM

Saturday, April 26

Burnt Sugar
Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, as it's officially known, is an expansive big band that roams an avant-garde astral plane once defined by Sun Ra. Except Burnt Sugar's galaxy is even wider, embracing jazz, funk, R&B, soul and rock for starters, and played with muscular, indomitable spirit and casually confident virtuosity. At the Walker, 17 members of the Sugar collective will tackle, invert and recontextualize nuggets from the Steely Dan canon in the ambitiously titled Any World (That I'm Welcome To) Sex Race Hoodoo & the Steely Dan Conductions: A Carnivalesque in Post Soul Vernacular. Walter Becker and Donald Fagen's quirky cynicism and sophisticated jazz and Latin-inflected tunes carried the Dan to surprising chart success in the '70s. In a sense Burnt Sugar will expose Steely Dan's inherent subversiveness via bristling horns, be-funk rhythms, soulful vocals and artful "conduction" by guitarist Vernon Reid of Living Color fame. -Rick Mason
$22/$25, 8 PM

Spring Jam 2014 with Mac Miller, Earl Sweatshirt, and Mod Sun
$35-$45, 6:30 PM

Metal Alliance Tour with Behemoth, Goatwhore, 1349, Inquisition, and Black Crown Initiate
The Skyway Theatre (Studio B)
15+, $28.50, 5 PM

Justin Currie
$25, 7 PM

We Are Scientists
18+, $20, 7:30 PM

Indigenous with Samantha Fish and Sena Ehrhardt
18+, $10/$13, 8 PM


The Sol Bock Revival Party with Evergreen Grass Band, Roe Family Singers, Dead Pigeons, and No Man's String Band
Free, 1 PM-10 PM

Sunday, April 27

Black Lips with Natural Child
Atlanta's Black Lips built their punkish reputation on dirty garage rock streaked with southern fried psychedelia, blues and remnants of '60s pop, plus riotous live shows speckled with incorrigible antics. The boys are in their 30s now and things have only changed incrementally from the ragged onslaught of their dissolute youth. The Lips' recently released Under the Rainbow still recounts frenzied escapades and run-ins with the authorities, but the band's sound is a lot cleaner―for better  or worse―in part due to the production (mostly) of the Black Keys' Patrick Carney. And it might be more accessible, from the country-rock lope of "Justice After All" to the Monkees-like "Drive-By Buddy" to the Stonesesque, Deliverance-tinged mayhem of "Boys In the Woods." The Stones' country affectations seem to be a major influence on Nashville's Natural Child, whose "Country Hippie Blues" pretty much sets the tone for its latest, Dancin' With Wolves. -Rick Mason
$17/$20, 7:30 PM

Cuarteto Latinoamericano
$21-$25, 4 PM

Stephen "Ragga" Marley with Wayne Marshall and Jo Mersa
18+, $25, 8 PM

T.U.G.G. with Irie Sol
18+, $5, 9 PM

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