The week's 19 best concerts: Dec. 4-10


Sims Photo by Colin Michael Simmons

Round up the week's best shows in the Twin Cities. 

Andrew Broder & People
Turf Club, Wednesday 1.4
The 2016 return of Fog, the beloved project of the prolific and ever-experimental Minneapolis musician Andrew Broder, ended a nearly decade-long span without a new Fog album. April’s For Good was immediately well received, a genre-less showcase of Broder’s emotive singing voice and knack for inventive electronic texturing. The rest of his catalog, which includes four other Fog full-lengths and records with rock outfits Lateduster and the Cloak Ox, has long since made him a seminal figure in Minnesota music. Along the way, he’s made more than a few friends, making possible his weekly residency this month at the Turf Club, dubbed “Andrew Broder & People: A Residency for Music and Action.” For this first show, he’ll be joined by rapper Crescent Moon (aka Alexei Moon Casselle, with whom Broder released a six-song EP last year) and experimental hip-hop outfit Kill the Vultures (Crescent Moon and producer Anatomy), plus Poliça’s Channy Leaneagh, who will spin a DJ set. Proceeds will be donated to the Confederation for Somali Community in Minnesota. Low’s Alan Sparkhawk and St. Paul R&B wunderkind Dizzy Fae are among the guests set to perform at future shows. 21+. 8 p.m. $6. 1601 University Ave., St. Paul; 651-647-0486. — Michael Madden

  • BLACKBEAR Jan. 4, 7:00 p.m. at Cabooze
  • REMO DRIVE Jan. 4, 7:30 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • ERIK KOSKINEN Jan. 4, 9:30 p.m. at Icehouse

Melissa Ethridge 
Ordway Theater, Thursday 1.5 
Blues, soul, and gritty rock ’n’ roll have always been key components of singer-songwriter-guitarist Melissa Etheridge’s music. So maybe it’s surprising it took this long, but her latest album, MEmphis Rock and Soul, is a heartfelt homage to the golden age of Stax, Hi, Otis Redding, and Booker T. Backed by a who’s who of Memphis studio vets, Etheridge musters impressive passion for the material, its cultural legacy, and resolute spirit. Given the indelible originals, what she can’t do, despite capitalizing her initials in the title, is make any claim on these tunes, and she doesn’t try. She does update a few lyrics of the Staple Singers’ “Respect Yourself” to spur contemporary activism, her voice gliding a little of south of Mavis Staples’ but flexing gospel muscles while reveling in the horns. Sam and Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Coming” is a fiery tour de force; Rufus Thomas’ “Memphis Train” is an absolute delight of greasy funk, swaggering horns, scintillating harmonica, and grainy vocal majesty. And on “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” she does the near-impossible by evoking a measure of Redding’s soulful glory. $22-$99. 7:30 p.m. 345 Washington St., St. Paul; 651-282-3000. — Rick Mason

  • AYVAH Jan. 5, 7:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry

First Avenue, Friday 1.6
Minneapolis rapper and Doomtree member Sims is rarely perceived as the local hip-hop collective’s best-known member — that’s usually P.O.S or Dessa — but lately, he’s been hard to ignore. His latest album and first in five years, the fiery More Than Ever, was released last November, ensuring his time in the spotlight even in the midst of other notable 2016 happenings within Doomtree (like P.O.S’ strong new singles and Dessa’s appearance on the Billboard 200-topping Hamilton Mixtape). The 13-track album is Sims’ best work yet, easy: His rapping has never sounded more inspired, while the dense and frenetic production from Lazerbeak, Paper Tiger, and ICETEP is comparable to El-P’s world-class beatmaking for Run the Jewels. Friday’s show in First Avenue’s Mainroom will mark Sims’ first time headlining the venue on his own (he co-headlined with fellow local Astronautalis in both 2013 and ’14), and he’ll be joined by young Milwaukee rapper WebsterX, Chicago’s Air Credits (rapper ShowYouSuck and production duo the Hood Internet), and promising Minneapolis duo Nazeem & Spencer Joles. 18+. 8 p.m. $15. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. — Michael Madden

Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker
Fine Line, Friday 1.6
Along with mistletoe poisoning, stale fruitcake, and icicle impalings, post-holiday traditions include (for the past decade at least) a turn-of-the-year tour by the combined forces of Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker. The denominator common to both bands is David Lowery, singer, guitarist, songwriter, and chief surrealist. Instigated some 30 years ago, CVB’s groundbreaking, iconoclastic eclecticism has careened from punk to country to Middle Eastern to avant-garde, hitting most niches in between. Cracker, co-founded with guitarist Johnny Hickman during a CVB hiatus, was initially a Southern-fried alternative, but has also ventured wildly among genres. Neither band has put out anything new recently, but when they did, both were probing California’s yin-yang divide: northern vs. southern, psychedelic/punk vs. country/twang, or as one wit suggested, a Flamin’ Groovies-Merle Haggard death match. Cracker’s dichotomous installment was Berkeley to Bakersfield, which despite dating from 2014 sports two tunes newly relevant to the Trump the Chump error: “March of the Billionaires” and “You Got Yourself Into This.” 18+. 8:30 p.m. $20-$35. 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8100. — Rick Mason 

  • FOLK LANDSCAPES: PRESENTED BY LAKES AREA MUSIC FESTIVAL Jan. 6, 7:00 p.m. at The Woman's Club of Minneapolis
  • LAKE EFFECT MUSIC FESTIVAL Jan. 6, 9:30 p.m. at Lutsen Mountains
  • CLOUDY KID (EP RELEASE SHOW) Jan. 6, 10:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • THE ANNUAL BLOWOUT Jan. 7, 8:00 p.m. at Turf Club
  • THE AWFUL TRUTH (RECORD RELEASE SHOW) Jan. 7, 8:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • BENEFIT FOR KFAI'S ROOT OF ALL EVIL FEATURING FALSE Jan. 7, 8:00 p.m. at Triple Rock Social Club
  • MINNESOTA BOYCHOIR ANNUAL WINTER CONCERT Jan. 8, 1:00 p.m. at Landmark Center
  • RICH GARVEY Jan. 8, 7:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • PETER ASHER: A MUSICAL MEMOIR OF THE 1960'S AND BEYOND Jan. 9, 7:00 p.m. at Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

Pledge Empire Records’ “Welcome Back from Australia Show”
7th St. Entry, Tuesday 1.10
Minneapolis’ Rhymesayers Entertainment and Doomtree Records are two of the most important indie rap labels ever, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for the Twin Cities to have others. There’s also the rising Pledge Empire Records, whose roster includes the deep-voiced realist Ced Linus, the versatile Sti-Lo Reel, new addition Niko Slim, and U.K. artist Mastermind. They call themselves “the fastest-growing independent hip-hop label in the Twin Cities,” and their professionalism — not to mention the consistent quality of the music they put out — is helping to establish them as reliable class acts. The most recent releases in the ever-expanding Pledge Empire catalog include Linus’s new EP, Autumn Sessions (Session 1), and Sti-Lo’s equally solid album from last year, Martial Law. Tuesday’s “Welcome Back from Australia Show” celebrates their recent international touring, and it will feature various friends of the label, like Tek, Lyric Marid, and Reefa Rei. 18+. 8 p.m. $10-$12. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. — Michael Madden