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The week's 18 best concerts: Dec. 21-27

The Bad Plus

The Bad Plus Provided

Rounding up the week's best concerts in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Not a ton going on before and after Christmas, y'all. 

  • BEN UTECHT & MICK STERLING IN CONCERT: AN ANDY AND BING CHRISTMAS Dec. 21, 7:30 p.m. at James J. Hill Center
  • PLAY FOR CHOICE: A BENEFIT FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD Dec. 21, 7:00 p.m. at Turf Club
  • HARDCORE CRAYONS Dec. 21, 8:00 p.m. at Triple Rock Social Club

Dumpstaphunk
The Hook and Ladder, Thursday 12.22
The wind chill is plummeting, holiday spirit is being sapped by treacly mall music, and Trump the Chump in Chief is lurking in the Dark Tower. A quick antidote for dire times might be some Dumpsta diving with one of New Orleans’ funkiest bands. That’s saying a lot, but Dumpstaphunk have ferociously funkified bloodlines: They’re led by Neville scion Ivan Neville, son of Aaron, nephew of Art, buddy of Keith Richards, and a pretty badass Hammond B3 organist to boot. Also phlinging the Dumpsta phunk is cousin Ian Neville, playing some of the wiriest guitar this side of Leo Nocentelli; the two-bass onslaught of Tony Hall and Nick Daniels; and skinsmeister Alvin Ford Jr. Given their NOLA origins, Dumpstaphunk build on the greasy glory of second-line funk, but also tap potent grooves from James Brown, P-Funk, Sly, and Booker T and the MGs. Dumpstaphunk’s last album, 2013’s Dirty Word, sported such guests as Trombone Shorty and the Rebirth Brass Band. Locals Mark Joseph & the American Soul open. $30. 8:30 p.m. 3010 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis; thehookmpls.com. —Rick Mason

The Bad Plus
Dakota Jazz Club, Thursday-Friday 12.22 & 23; Sunday-Monday 12.25 & 26
The Bad Plus initially established a rep as renegades who’d tackle deconstructed rock/pop tunes, resurrecting them as cutting-edge jazz. Covers of Nirvana, Black Sabbath, and Yes gradually gave way to equally audacious originals, along with a distinctive reading of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. But on this fall’s It’s Hard, the world-trotting, locally bred trio of drummer Dave King, bassist Reid Anderson, and pianist Ethan Iverson returned to their iconoclastic roots with 11 reinvented nuggets by artists ranging from Kraftwerk to TV on the Radio to Barry Manilow. So the band’s annual Christmas week residency at the Dakota should jingle plenty of familiar but wildly twisted bells. Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line,” for instance, sports a requisite striding bass via Anderson. The rhythms, however, hiccup, shuffle, slide, slow, and speed up, spewing tangential curiosities along the way. Kraftwerk’s “The Robots” acquires a jaunty spirit and organic core via Anderson and King’s muscular urgency. Prince’s “The Beautiful Ones” retains the lush emotionality of the original while negotiating spiky angularity. Meanwhile, BP’s version of Ornette Coleman’s “Broken Shadows” is strikingly nuanced and introspective. $45 at 7 p.m. $40 at 9 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612-332-5299. —Rick Mason

  • THE SOULSTICE Dec. 22, 8:00 p.m. at Aria
  • BENJAMIN CARTEL AND FRIENDS HOLIDAY SHOW Dec. 22, 9:30 p.m. at Icehouse
  • GIFT-RAPPED EPISODE THREE Dec. 22, 8:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry

Puff Puff Pass Tour 2 feat. Snoop Dogg
Myth, Friday 12.23
Last time we saw Snoop Dogg ’round these parts, he roared into Soundset 2013 as his Rastafied Snoop Lion persona (mercifully, he played a medley of classic Snoop jams). Since then, the silky-flowing G-funk legend has added predictably wacky extracurriculars to his stacked rap résumé, including induction into the WWE Hall of Fame and a brand-new cooking show with Martha Stewart, VH1’s Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party. Musically, the 45-year-old born Cordozar Broadus Jr. has issued two post-Lion albums: the Pharrell-produced Bush in 2015 and July’s Beyoncé-inspired Coolaid, his 14th full-length. Snoop’s current Puff Puff Pass Tour 2 is the smoky successor to his 2001 jaunt that later spawned a concert film. This time around, he’ll be joined by ’90s hip-hop hitmakers Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (“Tha Crossroads”) and Warren G (“Regulate”), plus former Death Row Records affiliates Tha Dogg Pound and DJ Quik. Expect the Doggfather to tout the merits of THC (he invests in a weed company) and possibly diss President-elect Donald Trump, whom he’s described as a “punk-ass.” 18+. 6 p.m. $64.50-$200. 3090 Southlawn Dr., Maplewood; 651-779-6984. —Jay Boller

Chance York and Big Cats!
Icehouse, Friday 12.23
Chance York (aka Slim Chance) first became familiar to Twin Citians as a member of Crunchy Kids. These days, as a solo artist, the honest and introspective Minneapolis rapper is closer than ever to fulfilling his potential. In April, a month before Crunchy Kids dropped their gorgeously produced, live instrumentation-enhanced Crop EP, Chance came through with his first solo effort, the brief but effective Fed and Famished EP. Co-produced by York and Crunchy Kids member Eric Mayson, it’s a showcase for Chance’s dense lyricism and nimble flows, with an ever-present element of psychedelia that recalls Flying Lotus’ hip-hop side project Captain Murphy. Chance’s newest effort is Highest Self, a collaborative album with prolific Minneapolis producer Big Cats!. Fans got a taste of it last week with the quick, hazy song “God Body,” and Friday’s release show at Icehouse will officially toast the project. Chance and Big Cats! will be supported by ZULUZULUU members Greg Grease and DJ Just Nine. 21+. 11 p.m. $8-$10. 2528 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-276-6523. —Michael Madden

Cam’ron
The Venue, Friday 12.23
Much of the recent material from Cam’ron, though strong, has flown under the radar, but that shouldn’t stop an eager crowd from catching the legendary Harlem MC in concert. Though 2002’s “Hey Ma” remains his most famous single by far, it was his pair of early-’00s albums with the Diplomats and his 2004 masterpiece, Purple Haze, that established Cam’s true identity as a rapper. The 40-year-old rapper’s trademarks include an arrogantly barking delivery, efficient lyricism (“I would serve on stoops / Now I swerve in coupes”), and impeccable taste in beats (many of which came from Kanye West, Just Blaze, and the Heatmakerz). Cam hasn’t released a proper solo album since 2009’s Crime Pays, but he’s continued to put out mixtapes and EPs. A few of his individual songs and features from the 2010s can be counted among his best ever: There’s the anthemic A-Trak collab “Dipshits” (featuring Diplomats member Juelz Santana), the Knocks’ absolutely gorgeous “New York City,” and, most recently, this year’s nostalgic “U Wasn’t There.” With DJ Ray Mills and Mac Irv. 21+. 10 p.m. $17-$35. 315 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-200-9987. —Michael Madden

  • THE TRASHY LITTLE X-MAS SHOW Dec. 23, 7:30 p.m. at Turf Club
  • THE HEIRUSPECS HOLIDAY CLASSIC Dec. 23, 10:00 p.m. at Amsterdam Bar and Hall
  • FESTIVUS FOR THE REST OF US Dec. 23, 8:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry

Jewbilee
7th St. Entry, Saturday 12.24
The Christmas Eve concert calendar is as meager as a low-rent Bethlehem manger. So thank the universal god for Jewbilee, the 14th annual all-inclusive party with an emphasis on Jewish performers that kicks off the first of Hanukkah’s eight crazy nights. This year’s headliner, newish rock ’n’ roll band Holy Moly, have an impressive Minnesota music pedigree. The father of members Adam, Joey, and Sam Rivkin is none another than Bobby Z, the legendary drummer in Prince’s Revolution crew. Veteran singer-songwriter Dan Israel, Planet Pooky, and the Lone Jew and the Party Crashers round out the night’s music bill. Also performing are comedians Robert Fones (Boy Kisses), Sidney Oxborough (former Acme Funniest Person runner-up), and Dan Mogol (former City Pages cover subject). 18+. 7 p.m. $3-$5. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. —Jay Boller

  • FUCK 2016 Dec. 27, 7:30 p.m. at Turf Club
  • REINA DEL CID Dec. 27, 9:00 p.m. at Icehouse
  • COLIN CAMPBELL & THE SHACKLETONS Dec. 27, 7:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry