The Big Pink, Experience Hendrix and more

Divisive indie-rockers Vampire Weekend
Tim Soter


Experience Hendrix

Orpheum Theatre

Since he's been dead 40 years and was such a uniquely talented guitarist that no one can come close to duplicating him, it's impossible to truly experience Jimi Hendrix at this late date. Still, his legacy looms huge over a couple of generations of guitarists—rockers of all stripes and even those in genres as disparate as jazz, blues, and gospel. So we can still appreciate Hendrix's genius via his dwindling contemporaries and most ardent followers. Thus this fourth installment of Experience Hendrix, featuring a sprawling cast of dozens promising to play the Hendrix canon as well as other material he inspired. Especially notable among the impressive crowd are bassist Billy Cox, who played with Hendrix in both Band of Gypsies and the Experience; blues icon Hubert Sumlin, who spent years as Howlin' Wolf's guitarist; Living Colour, whose black rock is a direct descendent of Hendrix's music; Sacred Steel's Robert Randolph, who practically channels Hendrix on occasion; Ernie Isley, the second generation of a band (the Isley Brothers) that once employed Hendrix as a sideman; plus David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas of the incomparable Los Lobos. The rest of the crew ain't no slouches either: Joe Satriani, Jonny Lang, Eric Johnson, Susan Tedeschi, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Aerosmith's Brad Whitford, Double Trouble drummer Chris Layton. The fire marshal will probably frown on anyone actually setting a guitar on fire, however. $38.50-$78.50. 7:30 p.m. 910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.339.7007. —Rick Mason


The Big Pink

First Avenue

The word "subtlety" doesn't really factor into any description of the Big Pink. To begin with, the London duo produces an oversized, forceful sound between the two of them, shamelessly following in the footsteps of multitudes of their Britpop predecessors. There's the My Bloody Valentine wall of guitar, the Stone Roses' percussive swagger, and the white-noise drone of the Jesus and Mary Chain. Then there's the subject matter of the songs, highlighted by the insensitive narrator in the band's biggest hit, "Dominoes," who brags, "As soon as I love her, it's been too long." And, of course, there's the audacity of giving their debut album a title like A Brief History of Love. So it's only appropriate that the Big Pink return to Minneapolis only four months after their first visit to the Entry, this time blasting through the much larger environs of the Mainroom. With A Place to Bury Strangers. 18+. 6:30 p.m. $14. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8388. —Jeff Gage

Dada Trash Collage

Sauce Spirits and Soundbar

There may be no bif-bang-pows at Dada Trash Collage shows, but expect plenty of magic, slowly unfolding, for the patient and the curious. It hides in the buttons and knobs, released by the fingertips of the duo, who hold their places bobbing above mystery wires sure to be snaking up local charts with their upcoming full-length. What William Freed and Richard Bell create is intricate, delicate, and otherworldly pop. Pulling notes out of the firmament takes brushstrokes, not punches. It can't be, in its essence, throw yer head back/let 'er rip kind of music, thus they must hunch and hover over their tables of gadgets. But to experience their genius unfolding into blooming atmospherics is something for tucking into lockets. There will be sweat on other nights. Leave this night to the avant-garde. With Ultrachorus and History Books. 21+. $5. 9:30 p.m. 3001 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.822.6000. —Erin Roof


Mike Doughty

Dakota Jazz Club

Minneapolis might as well be a second hometown for Mike Doughty: To most of the country, Soul Coughing were a quirky, pigeonhole-proof bunch of beatniks with modest appeal, but here, they were superstars. You could pin that on the support of local radio champions like Rev 105 and Radio K—and now the Current, which has tracks from Doughty's latest solo album, Sad Man Happy Man, in regular rotation. But you could also credit a mutual intersection between Doughty's accessibly strange, genre-hopping songwriting and Minnesota's offbeat, whatever-works pop sensibility. Doughty's acoustic tours have found enthusiastic, quick-sellout receptions when they hit the Twin Cities, and the four "Question Jar" shows he'll be staging this Friday and Saturday attest to the rapport he has with his fan base. At these part music revue, part Q&A sessions, Doughty draws fascinating stories from audience-submitted inquiries, revealing the clockwork that propels his idiosyncratic songs.$25. 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010. Also Saturday —Nate Patrin


Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Orchestra Hall

A world-renowned bastion of traditional New Orleans jazz for nearly a half-century, Preservation Hall has weathered two cosmic impacts in recent years. One was Hurricane Katrina, which threatened its economic viability. The other has been Ben Jaffe, whose father Allan founded the place in 1961. The younger Jaffe (who, like his dad, plays tuba with the band), for better or worse, has led the PHJB into a more contemporary realm, expanding the traditional repertoire to include material far outside the canon, introducing younger players with diverse musical backgrounds (leader/trumpeter Mark Braud is in his 30s; singer Clint Maedgan has an experimental/punk background), and matching the venerable outfit with a vast range of nontraditional artists. The PHJB's new album, Preservation, pairs up the band with a mind-boggling cast stretching from Pete Seeger, Del McCoury, Tom Waits, and Merle Haggard to Andrew Bird, Jason Isbell, and Ani DiFranco. While the results are undeniably musically invigorating, the risk is that the traditional core will eventually get lost. Not much danger of that here, where the PHJB will team up with the Minnesota Orchestra on such New Orleans standards as "Bourbon Street Parade" and "The Saints." $22-$55. 8 p.m. 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.371.5656. —Rick Mason


Cowboy Junkies

Dakota Jazz Club

The quietly harrowing atmosphere conjured up by the Cowboy Junkies is so dense, even fleeting contact could seriously bruise your psyche. Shadowy menace lurks in the exquisite dance between Michael Timmins's usually understated but barbed guitar and sister Margo Timmins's languid, darkly haunting vocals. The band first emerged in the late '80s with a striking version of the Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane," from The Trinity Session, recorded with a single mic in a Toronto church. Nearly 20 years later, the Junkies returned to the church, along with guests Ryan Adams, Natalie Merchant, and Vic Chesnutt for Trinity Session Revisited, proving their hypnotic powers are still intact. Now the band's latest tour arrives on the cusp of an ambitious project that promises four albums in the next 18 months, inspired by the paintings of their friend Enrique Martinez Celaya. Dubbed the Nomad Series, its first volume, Remnin Park, is additionally based on Michael's recent three-month residency in China, the tracks built around found sounds he recorded there. Expect the band to mix old and new material in concert. $35-$45. 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010. —Rick Mason


Vampire Weekend

First Avenue

Ever since their debut album broke two years ago, Brooklyn's Vampire Weekend have proved to be both one of indie music's most popular acts and easily its most divisive. At the forefront are the openly collegiate pretensions of singer Ezra Koenig, who doesn't shy away from dropping literary references and peopling his songs with Benetton-wearing Ivy Leaguers, and the former Columbia students' airy brand of punk rock liberally mixes West African pop and Caribbean influences. Undeterred by accusations of appropriation and elitism and seemingly endless comparisons to Graceland, the quartet, if anything, only did more to annoy their critics with this year's follow-up, the chart-topping Contra, by ramping up the very same characteristics. Yet putting aside the Auto-Tune, the Very Best cameo, and the silly tennis video (and yes, even the Kid Cudi remix), at heart Vampire Weekend's tunes are often clever, intelligent love songs you can dance to—all in all, a breath of fresh air. With Abe Vigoda. 18+. $27.50. 7 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8388. —Jeff Gage

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Orpheum Theatre

910 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403


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