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The week's 25 best concerts: Dec. 20-26

Nelly will perform at Myth on Thursday, Dec. 21.

Nelly will perform at Myth on Thursday, Dec. 21. Photo by Joshua Sobel

Rounding up the week's best concerts in the Twin Cities.

The Bad Plus
Dakota, Wednesday 12.20 through Saturday 12.23
The music of the Bad Plus, the Coen Brothers of jazz, has always been a Dali-esque calculus of melting equations, surrealistic geometry, trigonometric absurdity, and algebraic conundrums, and their latest earthshaking news is a matter of basic mathematics. Following a year-ending, week-long run at NYC’s Village Vanguard, the BP will subtract pianist Ethan Iverson and add Orrin Evans, making the trio’s annual holiday run at the Dakota the original lineup’s penultimate residency and their final gigs in the heart of their Twin Cities/western Wisconsin roots. Iverson’s plans aren’t specific, but lately he’s played with a Monk-oriented trio, continues to be a busy critical voice online, and will launch a new, NYC jazz-oriented site. Evans, a brilliant Philly-based pianist with equally far-reaching, eclectic influences, has been in the studio this fall with drummer Dave King and bassist Reid Anderson working on new BP material. They pledge to continue playing the band’s extensive songbook live, including the radically deconstructed pop, rock, and country tunes that have made the Plus iconic iconoclasts. Meanwhile, Iverson’s local swan song should be a honking treat. $45 at 7 p.m.; $40 at 9 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612-332-5299. —Rick Mason

Nelly and T.I.
Myth, Thursday 12.21
A Nelly/T.I. joint show would’ve been a much bigger deal a decade ago, but it’s still a hot ticket. The uniquely melodic sound of Nelly’s debut, Country Grammar, put St. Louis on the rap map in 2000, beginning a half-decade run on the charts that few if any rappers since have topped. Nelly’s past 10 years have been more hit-or-miss, though he’s had his successes with the 2010 single “Just a Dream” and the better experiments of 2013’s stylistically varied M.O., which incorporated country, funk, and EDM. T.I. has had one of the more pronounced evolutions in rap history: He originated trap-rap in Atlanta in the early ’00s, rocketed to superstar status later in the decade with hits like the synth-rap classic “What You Know,” and eventually transformed into the conscious rapper he is today. Last year’s sharply race-aware Us or Else: Letter to the System proved the latter period suits him well. 8 p.m. $60-$100. 3090 Southlawn Dr., Maplewood; 651-779-6984. —Michael Madden

  • DISSONANCE PRESENTS: UNHAPPY HOLIDAYS 2017 Dec. 20, 6:30 p.m. at A-Mill Artist Loft Building
  • GOOD DOOM Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • WHY NOT (ALBUM RELEASE SHOW) Dec. 20, 6:00 p.m. at Cabooze
  • SOLACE'S 40TH BIRTHDAY BASH FEATURING ALL TOMORROW'S PETTY Dec. 21, 7:00 p.m. at Turf Club
  • KATY VERNON Dec. 21, 8:00 p.m. at Aster Cafe
  • TWISTA Dec. 21, 10:00 p.m. at Cabooze
  • TRAILER TRASH PRESENTS: THE TRASHY LITTLE X-MAS SHOW Dec. 22-23, 7:30 p.m. at Turf Club
  • THE TWILIGHT HOURS Dec. 22, 8:00 p.m. at The Hook and Ladder Theater & Lounge
  • DJ EARL AND NICK HOOK Dec. 22, 8:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry

The Klituation
First Avenue, Saturday 12.23
The Klituation played a large part in veteran Minneapolis DJ Keezy being named City Pages’ Best Club DJ 2017, and she’s kept her cleverly named dance party going strong throughout this year. This latest installment, featuring an all-female lineup as always, brings back Klituation veterans including DJ Sophia Eris, Maria Isa, and Lady Midnight (City Pages’ No. 3 Picked to Click finisher this fall). But there are notable first-timers too, including St. Paul rapper/singer Lexii Alijai, the 19-year-old granddaughter of Zapp leader Roger Troutman who has serious star potential in her own right, and introspective St. Paul MC and neo-soul singer Destiny Roberts. The list of the various other women set to be featured on Saturday is too long to fit in this space, but be assured: This will be a night’s worth of proof of how vital women (and especially women of color) are to the Twin Cities music and arts community. 18+. 9:30 p.m. $15. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. —Michael Madden

  • SOUNDS OF BLACKNESS: THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS - A MUSICAL FANTASY Dec. 23, 7:00 p.m. at Fitzgerald Theater
  • JON MCLAUGHLIN Dec. 23, 8:00 p.m. at The Cedar Cultural Center
  • BENJAMIN CARTEL AND FRIENDS HOLIDAY SHOW Dec. 23, 10:30 p.m. at Icehouse
  • JEWBILEE 2017 Dec. 24, 7:00 p.m. at First Avenue
  • ZACC HARRIS TRIO Dec. 24, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. at Riverview Cafe & Wine Bar
  • FRANKIE LEE DECEMBER RESIDENCY Dec. 24, 7:00 p.m. at Clown Lounge At The Turf Club

Run Westy Run
First Avenue, Monday 12.25
Intentionally or not, Run Westy Run have quietly built up a mythos for themselves in recent years; the Minneapolis rockers, whose classic lineup featured brothers Kirk, Kyle, and Kraig Johnson, are more of a cult concern than ever, partly because their music is hard to find even on the internet. Coming up in the post-Replacements and -Hüsker Dü late ’80s and early ’90s, the Westies’ three-album run culminated with 1990’s excellent Green Cat Island, a rollicking document of styles including country-rock, garage-punk, and proto-grunge. The band recorded a still-unreleased album in the mid-’90s and, after Kraig joined the Jayhawks, went on what would turn out to be a 15-year hiatus starting in 1998. Finally, the Westies began performing again in 2013 and have been playing shows semi-regularly ever since (though, sadly, Kyle passed away in 2014). With the Shiny Lights. 18+. 7 p.m. $20/$25. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. —Michael Madden

  • CHRISTMAS EVENING WITH ROBERT ROBINSON Dec. 25, 7:00 p.m. at Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
  • JT'S JAZZ IMPLOSION Dec. 25, 9:00 p.m. at Icehouse
  • NGUYEN NGOC NGAN 25 NAM Dec. 25, 8:00 p.m. at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel
  • CURTISS A: TRIBUTE TO HANK WILLIAMS Dec. 26, 10:00 p.m. at Icehouse
  • THE NIGHTMARE AFTER CHRISTMAS Dec. 26, 8:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • BEN UTECHT AND MICK STERLING: AN ANDY WILLIAMS BING CROSBY CHRISTMAS Dec. 26, 8:15 p.m. at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres