No matter what show you go see on Friday or Saturday night this week, you will be missing an equally amazing show somewhere else in the Twin Cities. That's a good thing, right?
Open Mike Eagle @ Turf Club
Open Mike Eagle is a classic polymath, a Rap Goldberg machine powered by pure idealism. Not only has Eagle been grinding for the past decade as one of independent hip-hop’s most unique talents, but he also hosts three podcasts and writes for the new Comedy Central show The New Negroes. This past October, while taking time off after his opus Brick Body Kids Still Daydream, he started his own record label, Auto Reverse, and dropped This Is What Happens When I Try to Relax,a frank EP that lays a shocking film of reality over the fantasy of Brick Body. Though self-effacing,(“It can all go away,” he chants ad infinitum on “Microfiche”), Eagle’s stone-faced resolve helps him avoid the most toxic trappings of the polymath’s dilemma. Somehow, he’s able to enjoy the unending work. With Video Dave, Sammus, and Medium Zach. 8 p.m. $14. 1601 University Ave., St. Paul. More info here.—Jerard Fagerberg
Hayes Carll @ Cedar Cultural Center
This wry, footloose Texan released his latest album, What It Is, earlier this year, and it's his sharpest collection since Trouble in Mind in 2008. "None'ya" is a doting attermpt to understand a quirky lover, "Times Like These" suggests that absurd political moments are best endured via rocking rather than sulking, and "Fragile Men" is an brilliantly ironic lament for the twilight of male privilege. With Ben Dickey. All Ages. 7 p.m. $22/$25. 416 Cedar Avenue S., Minneapolis. More info here.—Keith Harris
Jenny Lewis @ Palace Theatre
At 43, every indie-gal’s cool older sis has "had it with you trippers and drama queens” on her latest, On the Line, flitting through middle age with little use for petty concerns like personal growth, love, security, or whatever other mirage of permanence or progress you’re peddling. With Beck’s production lending most of the tracks a colorfully lackadaisical shuffle, the blithe hedonism of Lewis’ “a little bit of hookin’ up is good for the soul” and “life is a disco” channels a carefree L.A. ideal with none of the self-serving b.s. spiritualism or free-love ideology that turns off us skeptical landlocked heliophobes. Yet the lyrics are choked with death, with drugs both legal and illegal taken in both moderate and extreme doses; listen up and you’ll hear sadness and regret fraying the edges of Lewis’ tarnished voice. Miraculously, though, no bitterness—hell, the chorus to “Wasted Youth” goes ”doo-doo doo-doo doo,” and that’s the one that compares heroin and Candy Crush. Along the way, each flawed partner, from the “narcoleptic poet from Duluth,” to the gabby La Crosse romantic she hopes to disillusion with some tawdry texted nudes, emerges as a fully recognizable individual—a songwriting trick plenty of Lewis’ male counterparts could stand to learn. With Serengeti. 7 p.m $30-$50. 17 W. 7th Pl., St. Paul. More info here.—Keith Harris
Amos Lee @ State Theatre
Amos Lee is to soul music what Keb Mo is to the blues: an artist so feathery that the emotional essence can feel a little washed out. But there’s something to succor in the finesse of his songwriting, and his unapologetic lack of pretension can its own reward. This My New Moon Tour is named after his latest release, from 2018, but more than half the set list in recent performances was comprised of older material. 7:30 p.m. $63-$83. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson
Complete Friday music listings here.
Stella Donnelly @ Turf Club
This Welsh-Australian singer-songwriter’s airily sweet yet tart vocals are slightly reminiscent of early Lily Allen, with whom she shares an insistence that a chipper vibrato and a take-no-shit attitude are complementary attributes. But Allen was never as explicit about her feminism as Donnelly is on her recently released debut, Beware of the Dogs, which starts by issuing a #timesup warning to an “Old Man” (a whole patriarchy full of ’em, actually), tells off a rapist on "Boys Will Be Boys," and has some sharp words for several less egregiously misbehaving males as well With Faye Webster. 8 p.m. $12/$15. 1601 University Ave., St. Paul. More info here.—Keith Harris
Wadada Leo Smith @ Walker Art Center
Jazz trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, revered as a visionary composer, will present his expansive six-movement suite America’s National Parks with his Golden Quintet and guest drummer Andrew Cyrille. Smith explores parks both actual (Yellowstone) and conceptual (New Orleans as cultural fulcrum) in their sociopolitical contexts rather than indulging in sweeping romanticism. His spacious, sculptural pieces—deeply contemplative, sometimes stark or turbulent, etched with free jazz, classical composition, and blues splashes—are inspired avant-garde evocations of a nation’s treasures. 8 p.m. $24—$30. 725 Vineland Pl., Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason
Bob Mould @ Palace Theatre
Although Bob Mould will be showcasing a smart new album, the bigger deal is that this gig exactly marks Mould’s 40th anniversary on stage. Memories of 1979 and appreciation for Hüsker Dü should be thick as Mould’s current trio presents Sunshine Rock, an album of fast, fierce rock, potent melodies, and philosophical musings on life’s regrets ultimately eclipsed by sparkling optimism. The special bonus will be an opening set by Greg Norton’s current band, Porcupine. Also Sunday at Turf Club. Palace: 8.30 p.m. $30—$50. 17 W. 7th Pl., St. Paul. More info here. Turf: 21+. 7:30 p.m. $30. 1601 University Ave., St. Paul. More info here.—Rick Mason
Complete Saturday music listings here.
Twin Cities Winter Jazz Fest @ Crooners
The kid brother of the summer Twin Cities Jazz Fest has produced more than its share of memorable sets while bouncing around various venues over the years. This return to the adjoining spaces of Crooners Lounge and the Dunsmore Room may be the most simpatico format for the six acts on the bill, and with ace alto saxophonist Gary Bartz as the headliner with Francisco Mela on percussion, it should be a glorious day. A righteous former cohort of Miles and McCoy Tyner, Bartz excels at Afrocentric post-bop music with side orders of funk, fusion, and balladry. 2-7:30 p.m. $35. 6161 Highway 65 NE, Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson
Complete Sunday music listings here.