The best Twin Cities concerts this weekend: 8/22-8/24
Katy Perry - see Fri.
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Friday, August 22
Katy Perry with Kacey Musgraves Target Center Katy Perry rose to top of the pops status on the strength of a few standbys--spectacle, hooks, sexual innuendo--plus an eccentric, party girl public persona that can shine as bright as her piercing blue eyes. The combustible combination hit gold on 2010's Teenage Dream, spawning five number one hits and dream queen esteem. But then princess of outrage Miley Cyrus challenged her throne, as has art-pop's Lady Gaga. And on last fall's Prism, Perry spends considerable time addressing spiritual and relationship issues, which end up about as fascinating and irrelevant as Killing Brain Cells With the Kardashians. Perry does manage to have some fun on Prism, chiefly the fiery power pop of "Roar," the sillily salacious, disco-ish "Birthday," and the sleek Europop of "Walking On Air." Unapologetically calculated, yet remarkably free of cynicism, Perry's best pop conceits and choreographed shtick can worm into your skull, even charming those who just wanna have fun.
Phantom Tails (album release) with Umami and Bollywood Triple Rock Social Club Phantom Tails' enthrallingly catchy sound is self-described as "deep space doom funk." The effect is achieved with distorted analog synthesizers, fuzz bass, and angular guitar paired with electronic drum beats sampled from vintage 808 machines. New album Rides Battalion is the band's fifth release since 2009. In a live setting, their musicianship is vibrant, the sound rich and laden with movement, and leads a night of like-minded artistry. Joining them is another electronically inclined outfit in UMAMI. Their blend of dance music and psychedelic rock resides on the Totally Gross National Product label, and Angelo Pennacchio's high-pitched vocals blend with layers of synth and percussion accompanied by a funk-driven bass. Bollywood's danceable mélange is influenced by early dub like Lee "Scratch" Perry and King Tubby, plus distorted guitars on top. -Sarah Stanley-Ayre 18+, $5, 9 PM
Aretha Franklin with the Four Tops Minnesota State Fair Grandstand The incredible Aretha Franklin, 72, has bounced back from an apparently dire health crisis a few years ago. She's reportedly slimmed down, recording fresh material (covers of Gladys Knight, Donna Summer, Alicia Keys, and Adele) with Babyface and Andre 3000, and in top vocal form, her soaring, gospel-soaked voice streaked with jazzy phrasing. Lady Soul could pack her set with R&B nuggets, including "Chain of Fools, "Think," "Spirit In the Dark," and, of course, "Respect." Also responsible for a slew of dazzling classic hits (starting with 1964's "Baby I Need Your Loving") Motown icons the Four Tops carry on despite the presence of only one surviving original member, Duke Fakir. Other current members are Theo Peoples singing lead in place of the late Levi Stubbs, Ronnie McNeir and Roq Payton, son of original Lawrence Payton. -Rick Mason $45, 7:30 PM
Atmosphere with Prof, deM atlaS, and DJ Fundo First Avenue All ages, $25, 6 PM
The Original Wailers The Cedar Cultural Center $20/$25, 7 PM
Saturday, August 23 Totally Gross National Party 2014 With Allan Kingdom, Marijuana Deathsquads, Leisure Birds, Fog, Alpha Consumer, more Icehouse $12, 2 PM-2 AM
Hipshaker 12th Anniversary Soul Dance Party Kitty Cat Klub (also Fri.) $5, 9 PM
Alejandro Escovedo & Joe Ely Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant $45-$50, 7 PM
Astronautalis & Sims with Mike MIctlan, Metasota, and Zero First Avenue 18+, $15, 8 PM
Treading North (album release) with Chalk, Moving Parts, and Naomi Wachira 7th St. Entry 18+, $8/$10, 8 PM
Nomia (LP release) with Hardcore Crayons, Morality Crisis, and More.Is.More Triple Rock Social Club 18+, $5, 8 PM
Koncept & J57 with RoQ'y TyRaiD, Homeless & Big Cats, and Crunchy Kids Nomad World Pub $7, 9 PM
Sunday, August 24 Jeff Bridges & the Abiders Pantages Theatre Jeff Bridges' film career far overshadows his musical exploits. Bridges' singing surfaced and reaching a peak with his role as an outlaw country musician in Crazy Heart, and a subsequent eponymous album produced by T Bone Burnett. No dilettante, Bridges is a convincing songwriter, singer and guitarist who fits neatly into Burnett's country-leaning Americana realm. He covers Iowans Greg Brown and Bo Ramsey, Texas songsmith Stephen Bruton, and on his originals crafts a dusty, bittersweet Last Picture Show quality. Bridges bided his musical time for a decade after releasing a 2000 album, Be Here Soon, shortly after playing the Dude in the Coen Brothers' cult fave The Big Lebowski. Soon's pop, rock, reggae and soul-infused material could filter into his performance because, of course, the Dude abides. $54.50/$64.50, 7 PM
Passenger First Avenue All ages, $25, 5 PM
DigiFest Minnesota with Fifth Harmony, Cimorelli, and more Minnesota State Fair Grandstand $20-$30, 6:30 PM
Blu with Haphduzn and DJ Bianca G 7th St. Entry 18+, $15, 9:30 PM
Trace Bundy Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant $20-$25, 7 PM
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