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The best Twin Cities concerts of the week: 6/23-6/29

Mac DeMarco -- See Monday
Mac DeMarco -- See Monday
Robert Redfield

Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

Monday, June 23


Mac DeMarco with Calvin Love and Meatbodies
British Columbia singer-songwriter Mac DeMarco, 24, is the class clown of indie-rock freshmen. Sometimes the dilemma is whether to listen to his records or watch his hilarious interviews on YouTube. Despite DeMarco's smirking boyishness, he's already released a ton of music, including three albums. His outgoing nature comes across in his gently swaying lounge pop (or "jizz jazz" as he's so memorably called it), and that nonchalance is the basis of gems like his 2012 cigarette song "Ode to Viceroy," an earworm that even our surgeon general would approve. DeMarco's latest album is April's Salad Days, and poised songs like "Brother" and "Let My Baby Stay" show another side of his songwriting, albeit one that's no less personable. Keep your fingers crossed in hope that he sticks a drumstick in his ass -- it's happened before, you know. -Michael Madden
18+, $16, 8 PM

Deafheaven with Pallbearer and Wreck and Reference
Possibly more than the San Francisco unit's music itself, Deafheaven's rise to prominence was one of metal's hot topics throughout 2013, when their eclectic second album, Sunbather, inspired discussion about what can and can't be "metal." The band's pounding 2011 debut, Roads to Judah, was plenty promising, but Sunbather was a thrilling leap forward starting with the nine-minute opener, "Dream House." The band employ heavy influences from black metal, and the metallic intensity carries through the lyrical content. Frontman George Clarke writes about the past mistakes that have made him the contentedly flawed human he is today. -Michael Madden
18+, $15, 8 PM

John Hiatt & the Combo with Robert Cray Band
The dynamic duo of John Hiatt and Robert Cray -- plus their bands -- should incite plenty of righteous howls at the zoo. Both are touting new albums featuring their customarily exceptional songwriting, but also with relatively surprising fresh twists from each. Bluesman Cray, whose contemporary touches have sometimes helped him climb the charts, digs into Memphis soul on In My Soul, stirring up a Stax/Hi vibe on band originals while also covering Isaac Hayes and Otis Redding. Hiatt, who's always messing around with some combination of rootsy rock, country, and blues, dives head first into gritty, acoustic blues on his forthcoming Terms of My Surrender. He even dusts off his harmonica and goes all Little Walter on a few cuts. As always, his clever lyrics tell vivid tales of love, redemption, and pain, laced with biting satire, poignancy, and scathing commentary, exemplified by the apocalyptic "Wind Don't Have to Hurry."
$54, 7:30 PM

Neon Trees with Smallpools and Nightmare & the Cat
All ages, $22, 5:30 PM

Lissie
$28.50, 8 PM

Tuesday, June 24

Rufus Wainwright
$39, 7:30 PM

Delhi 2 Dublin
$15, 7 PM

Dianne Schuur
$30-$40, 7 PM & 9 PM

Skinny Lister with Onward, Etc. and Marah in the Mainsail
18+, $10, 7 PM

Courtney Barnett
18+, $13/$15, 7:30 PM

Wednesday, June 25

Cut Copy with Classixx and Nile Delta
Through four studio albums, Australians Cut Copy have retained their penchant for throbbing alt-rock grooves and now specialize in near-tropical dance rock. Plenty of material from 2011's Zonoscope and last fall's as-utopian-as-the-title-suggests Free Your Mind are festival bangers, and a similar atmosphere can be expected at First Ave. Partly nurtured at producer Dave Fridmann's forest headquarters and featuring uninhibited bongo work, it has a fizzing energy led by poptimistic frontman Dan Whitford. It would be pure hypocrisy if the band had anything less than a great time while performing it. With Classixx and Nile Delta. -Michael Madden
18+, $25, 8 PM

Blueprint with Count Bass D, DJ Rare Groove, and RP Hooks
18+, $10/$12, 8 PM

Albert Lee & Cindy Cashdollar
$25-$35, 7 PM & 9 PM

New Century Sessions: Chastity Brown with BBGUN
$15-$22, 7:30 PM

Totally Gross National Product Night
$5, 10 PM
 
Thursday, June 26

Twin Cities Jazz Festival
Mears Park and other downtown St. Paul locations (also Fri.-Sat.)
The annual Twin Cities Jazz Fest is a great showcase for the rich and usually criminally neglected local jazz scene. With the old Artists' Quarter currently closed, the remaining St. Paul clubs are packed with artists ranging from traditional to swing to avant-garde and multiple stops in between. The four free stages around Mears Park and near the Union Depot will feature the heavy hitters, including such notable locals as Atlantis Quartet, Red Planet and Anthony Cox. This year's headliners include jazz chanteuse Dianne Reeves celebrating her first album in five years, Beautiful Life, a handful of originals and enthralling covers of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Nicks, Bob Marley and Ani Defranco. Also leading the bill is saxophonist Branford Marsalis, the most versatile of the famous New Orleans musical family, easily embracing bop and classical, but also flirting with rock, blues, funk and hip-hop. There's also young Chilean tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana, who just released Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio, an impressive, idea-rich, post-bop workout of mostly originals, some written by bandmates Francisco Mela and Pablo Menares. Other highlights are the grand-nephew of Gypsy jazz genius Django Reinhardt, guitarist Lulo Reinhardt, and Joe Krown, a longtime member of Gatemouth Brown's band who is a pianist in the grand New Orleans tradition. The full lineup is at www.hotsummerjazz.com. Free outdoor stages. Check individual clubs for admission fees and times.

Dark Star Orchestra
18+, $30, 5 PM

The Felice Brothers with Robert Ellis
18+, $15, 8 PM

Soho Ghetto with the Great Soco and Criminal Hygiene
18+, $6/$8, 7:30 PM

Edie Rae (record release) with James Loney, Courtney Yasmineh, the Receptionists, and Well Trained Monkey
All ages, free, 6:30 PM

Friday, June 27

Buffalo Killers with Corpse Reviver
Cincinnati's Buffalo Killers used to be a terrific power trio, thrashing it out like a contemporary James Gang or, dare we say, Cream. But with the addition of guitarist/lap steel player Sven Kahns, the Killers are now a terrific quartet that brews up a mix of blues-rock, writhing boogie, psilocybin-laced hard rock and funk, and swamp pop, sometimes teetering towards the Flying Burritos. Tempering all that heaviness, man, are persistent melodic hooks, Andy Gabbard's alternately fuzzy and stinging guitar forays and now Kahns, who helps fire up a dual guitar fusillade on the Skynyrd-like "Louder Than Your Lips" and punctuates the Burritosesque "January" with his steel. -Rick Mason
$10, 8 PM

Big Head Todd & the Monsters
$36, 7:30 PM

Dizzy Wright
18+, $15/$17, 8:30 PM

Joe Krown Trio
$20, 7 PM

Sean Anonymous & DJ Snuggles with K. Raydio, Illuminous 3, Manchita, DJ Name, Willie Shu, more
18+, $10, 9 PM

Saturday, June 28

Twin Cities Pride Festival/Pride in Concert
Loring Park (also Sun.)
The 42nd annual Twin Cities Pride Festival is brimming with live entertainment with more than 80 artists taking over Loring Park for a series of concerts on four stages. The centerpiece of the celebration is Saturday's Pride in Concert show, featuring Australian pop sensation Betty Who, who put on an electrifying show at 7th St Entry earlier this year. Joining Who are gay country star Steve Grand, disco great Thelma Houston, and former Snap! vocalist Thea Austin, aka the featured voice on "Rhythm is a Dancer." On the free stages is an eclectic mix of local talent including Toki Wright, Pennyroyal, the Lioness, Hollow Boys, and countless others blending two days of hip-hop, rock, folk, soul, and more. -Reed Fischer
$10-$75 for Pride in Concert, all other stages free; 10 AM each day for Pride Festival; 5 PM for Pride in Concert

Bobby Z & Friends' Benefit 2 Celebrate Life
Prince & the Revolution drummer Bobby Z's third annual Benefit 2 Celebrate Life! is marking this year's 30th anniversary of Purple Rain by bringing one of its stars back to Minneapolis. Apollonia Kotero, who played a character by the same name in the film and was subjected to the waters of Not Lake Minnetonka, is taking part in an all-star night featuring Atmosphere rapper Slug, Sounds of Blackness, and former American Idol contestant Paris Bennett. With keyboardist Dr. Fink, saxophone player Eric Leeds, and singer Paul Peterson joining a rotating cast of Bobby Z's friends in the backing band, tight musicianship will be one of the night's feature attractions. Z's charity My Purple Heart will reteam with the American Heart Association to host the event to raise heart health awareness, and portion of the proceeds will benefit these organizations. -Reed Fischer
18+, $50-$100, 6 PM

John Mark Nelson (album release)
As a teen, John Mark Nelson's impassioned acoustic pop gems showed far more maturity than what his driver's license suggested. The Minnetonka High School graduate's Kickstarter-funded Sings the Moon shows even more growth. The insightful chamber-folk studies of the joys, trials, and tribulations of modern life are all set to lush, swelling arrangements that feature strings, horns, mandolin, and piano, in addition to Nelson's sprightly guitar work. There are hints of the Beach Boys and the Beatles within Nelson's work, along with more modern influences like Andrew Bird, but he combines these styles in his own distinctive way. -Erik Thompson
$12/$15, 7 PM

Ray LaMontagne with Hamilton Leithauser and the Belle Brigade
For roughly a decade, Ray LaMontagne has wrapped his soulful, raspy voice around a reliably rootsy, folk-rock sound whose reflective lyrics lean heavily towards the world-weary and melancholic. But on this spring's Supernova, produced by the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, LaMontagne drops out and tunes in on dreamy psychedelia emanating from Laurel Canyon and other outposts on the acidic '60s soundscape. While LaMontagne explores his inner Van Morrison, the lavender sky is peppered with a surreal succession of references ranging from country-rock noir to Roy Orbison, sitar, Boston stomp, Farfisa and Earth, Wind & Fire. Opening will be erstwhile Walkmen singer Hamilton Leithauser, whose latest solo effort (Black Hours) shows him wandering from Sinatra to more familiar indie rock territory, and the Belle Brigade, pop-oriented siblings Barbara and Ethan Gruska who are also members of LaMontagne's band. -Rick Mason
$39.50-$69.50, 8 PM

Trampled by Turtles with Doomtree, Low, and Haley Bonar
$25/$30, 4:30 PM

Charlie Mars
$25, 7 PM & 9 PM

Sunday, June 29

Taj Mahal with Mavis Staples
Treasures of African-American roots music long before the term was coined, Taj Mahal and Mavis Staples together represent a splendid historical swath whose tendrils reach back more than a century. An early devotee of country blues, Mahal was in the middle of the '60s blues revival, popularizing blues nuggets and then following the African diaspora through the Caribbean and far beyond with a contagious curiosity. Staples' spectacular voice sang many of the leads for her family's band, the Staple Singers, a gospel group that contributed to the soundtrack of the Civil Rights Movement. The Staples later scored such indelible secular hits as "I'll Take You There" and "Respect Yourself." Mavis' career has had a significant revival in recent years, partly due to her collaborations with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy. -Rick Mason
$50-$62.50, 7:30 PM

Run Westy Run with Dosh and BNLX
All ages, $20, 5 PM

A Great Big World with Greg Holden
16+, $20/$25, 8 PM

Los Lonely Boys with Root City
18+, $25/$30, 8 PM

Chicha Libre
$15/$18, 7 PM

Lovecars with Manplanet and Post-Mortem Grinder
Free, 9 PM

Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis
$28, 7 PM

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