It's Friday the 13th, and you know what that means.
It doesn't mean anything. What kind of superstitious nutjob do you take me for?
Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets @ First Avenue
From pub rocker to pop crooner, and with a dozen smart steps in between, Nick Lowe’s long career has been anchored by spectacular songwriting, shrewd melodies, wily commentary, lacerating wit, and cunning irony. Recently, he’s juggled a foxy grandpa schtick and expansive escapades with surf-rockin’ masked marvels Los Straitjackets. Their new second EP includes three fresh Lowe originals about love gone wrong: “Love Starvation” (twangy pub pop perfection), “Blue on Blue” (an achy ballad), and “Trombone” (Roy Orbison meets Tijuana Brass). “Raincoat in the River” is a catchy cover of an early Phil Spector production job for obscure singer Sammy Turner. Esther Rose opens. 18+. 7 p.m. $25.701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason
Vince Gill @ Orpheum Theatre
Over his 40-year career, Vince Gill has achieved a rare degree of cross-genre respect. Renowned as a superb guitarist, singer, and songwriter, Gill has juggled bluegrass, country-rock, trad roots, and mainstream country, earning a truckload of Grammys and other awards. Lately he’s been on the road with the Eagles, replacing the late Glenn Frey. Reflective, often poignant, his new album, Okie, bravely addresses explosive issues (sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy, racial/political divides) with acute sensitivity, with tributes to Guy Clark and Merle Haggard rounding out this low-key gem. Jason Hughs opens. $39.50—$89.50. 7:30 p.m. 910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason
Jeremy Denk @ Ordway
The opening weekend of the SPCO’s 2019-20 season features Artistic Partner Jeremy Denk tackling the “Piano Concerto in A Minor” by the 19th century Romantic composer Robert Schumann, a piece effusive and dynamic enough to be worthy of the occasion. That centerpiece will be bracketed by a conductor-less SPCO rendering of Rossini’s six-minute overture to “The Silken Ladder” and Franz Schubert’s “Symphony No. 2.” 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Also Sunday at 2 p.m. 345 Washington St., St. Paul. More infohere.—Britt Robson
Complete Friday music listings here.
Kristin Hersh Electric Trio @ Cedar
Whether solo or with Throwing Muses, Kristin Hersh writes bent, ardent songs with sharp edges that click together in musically surprising, but strangely emotionally familiar ways, especially when a few edges remain spiky. On last year’s Possible Dust Clouds, the guitar noise is relatively rowdy, and her delivery uncharacteristically direct. With Fred Abong. 8 p.m. $20/$22. 416 Cedar Ave. S. More info here.—Lucas Fagen
Hot Chip @ First Avenue
Hot Chip’s recent A Bath Full of Ecstasy sounds like its title: fizzy, electric, bouncy, blissed out, slightly queasy. The English synth-disco band have made their career writing dopey, lovely utopian anthems like “Positive” and “Melody of Love,” performed with the tender humanity of kids who sometimes get lost on the dancefloor and sometimes watch shyly from the sidelines. With Holy Fuck. 18+. 8 p.m. $32. 701 First Ave. N. More info here.—Lucas Fagen
Frankie Beverly and Maze @ Orpheum Theatre
When a Maze record dropped during the late 70’s and early 80’s, their dappled blend of silken Philly soul and buffered SoCal funk-pop provided unique emotional nourishment. Their mellow, uplifting, yet always sturdy songs were perennially more popular with black audiences, and vocalist-leader Frankie Beverly has always delivered chestnuts like “Joy and Pain,” “Happy Feeling,” and “Workin’ Together” in a sincere manner that feels like gospel restraint. 8 p.m. $59-$149. 910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson
Complete Saturday music listings here.
Toko Telo @ Dakota
The Dakota’s determined march away from a predominantly jazz menu is more easily forgiven when the venue offers up programming like this: A Malagasy “supergroup” comprised of the exacting folk guitar of D’Gary, the clarion, Beko-styled vocals of Monika Njava and the bump of modern improvisation from electric guitarist Joel Rabesolo. The Malagasy hail from the island of Madagascar off the eastern coast of Mozambique in southern Africa. The roots music of this trio is beautiful, accessible to western ears, and better suited to the more intimate confines of the Dakota than the Cedar. 7 p.m. $30-$42. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson
Complete Sunday music listings here.