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The week's 27 best concerts: Aug. 16-22

Kendrick Lamar will perform at the Xcel Energy Center on Saturday, Aug. 19. (Photo courtesy of the artist.)

Kendrick Lamar will perform at the Xcel Energy Center on Saturday, Aug. 19. (Photo courtesy of the artist.)

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

  • AARON COHEN Aug. 16, 7:30 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • LOGIC Aug. 16, 7:30 p.m. at Roy Wilkins Auditorium
  • COREY PALMER & LOVETRADE Aug. 16, 9:30 p.m. at Icehouse
  • RICKIE LEE JONES Aug. 17, 8:00 p.m. at The Cedar Cultural Center
  • SOUND FOR SILENTS: FILM + MUSIC Aug. 17, 8:30 p.m. at Walker Art Center
  • THOMAS ABBAN (RECORD RELEASE SHOW) Aug. 17, 10:00 p.m. at Icehouse

Michael Franti & Spearhead
Cabooze, Friday 8.18
Oakland native Michael Franti and his rotating group of instrumentalists Spearhead have trafficked in inventive fusions for two and a half decades. In the ’90s, the project emerged as a West Coast underground hip-hop act, with Franti’s ever-present political streak front-and-center over funk- and reggae-influenced beats on the underrated conscious-rap LPs Home (from ’94) and Chocolate Supa Highway (’97). That core sonic identity lasted through 2001’s smart and conceptual Stay Human, which incorporated a fictional tale of a controversial death penalty case. Soon, though, Franti would be singing far more often than he rapped, and his pop evolution eventually resulted in the contagiously joyful 2008 hit “Say Hey (I Love You).” While Franti & Spearhead have never topped that single’s ubiquity, they’re still plenty tuneful. Their most recent LP, last year’s SOULROCKER, is consistently hooky, incorporating EDM to mixed results. 18+. 6:30 p.m. $40. 917 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612-338-6425. —Michael Madden

  • JOHN BUTLER TRIO Aug. 18, 6:30 p.m. at Minnesota Zoo Weesner Amphitheater
  • KINGDOM OF GIANTS Aug. 18, 5:00 p.m. at Amsterdam Bar and Hall
  • JOHN MCEUEN AND FRIENDS: WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN Aug. 18, 7:00 p.m. at Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

George Porter Jr. Trio/Jon Cleary Trio/Frogleg/Jaden Carlson Band
Como Dockside, Saturday 8.19
George Porter Jr., a founding member of the great NOLA funk band the Meters, is author of the juiciest, funkiest bass work in the galaxy. English-born pianist Jon Cleary’s deft playing and longtime absorption of Crescent City quirks has ensured his inclusion in the New Orleans keyboard pantheon. Each will lead his respective trio. Porter’s is rather freeform and capable of diving into virtually any NOLA staple; Cleary’s piquant professorial piano perambulations and grits-and-gravy voice will likely juggle standards and originals, as he did on his latest solo album, Live at Chickie Wah Wah. Plus, local jam band Frogleg will debut their new album, Busy Checking In, an engaging collection built for rambling on, with a few swampy bits among its global eclecticism. And Colorado teenage guitar prodigy Jaden Carlson and her band will offer sizzling electrofunk. $25. 4 p.m. $50. 1360 Lexington Pkwy. N., St. Paul; 651-666-9491. —Rick Mason

Carrie Rodriguez
The Cedar Cultural Center, Saturday 8.19
A strong history of American and Mexican folk music runs through the blood of Austin singer and multi-instrumentalist Carrie Rodriguez. Her great aunt is 1940s ranchera star Eva Garza, her father is singer-songwriter David Rodriguez, and Carrie began building her own musical chops early, taking violin lessons starting at age five. Since emerging in 2002, the old soul has recorded three duet albums with country elder statesman Chip Taylor. Her solo records, meanwhile, highlight her pure grace and elegance as a singer, with some songs co-written by the likes of Minnesota natives Dan Wilson and Gary Louris. An innate musicality flows through Rodriguez’s latest album, last year’s bilingual Lola, which features subtle, ranchera-inspired arrangements from her band, the Sacred Hearts. Rodriguez may be most accessible when she and the band go for rollicking immediacy (“Z”), but she’s at her best on quieter songs like “The West Side,” an affecting number about the racial divide in her native Austin. Pat Donohue opens. 8 p.m. $18-$20. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-338-2674. —Michael Madden

Father John Misty
Surly Brewing Festival Field, Saturday 8.19
There’s no other artist today quite like singer-songwriter Josh Tillman, the former Fleet Foxes drummer who reinvented himself after leaving that Seattle indie-folk band in 2012 to become Father John Misty. His first album under that name, 2012’s Fear Fun, is accessible in traditional ways, offering the psych-folker “Nancy from Now On,” the rock-oriented “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings,” and the twangy “I’m Writing a Novel.” But though he had songwriting credits on some recent pop blockbusters (Beyoncé’s Lemonade and Lady Gaga’s Joanne), his solo output has gotten increasingly outré, culminating with this April’s Pure Comedy. The charmingly indulgent 74-minute record practically eschews straightforward melodies in favor of open-ended song structures, the British arranger/composer Gavin Bryars’ gorgeous orchestrations, and conversational musings on religion and 21st-century pop culture. Tennis opens. 18+. 5 p.m. $45. 520 Malcolm Ave. SE, Minneapolis; 763-999-4040. —Michael Madden

Kendrick Lamar
Xcel Energy Center, Saturday, 8.19
No contemporary rapper combines ambition and skill as consistently as Kendrick Lamar. He was a preternaturally learned lyricist and technician right out of the gate, offering glimpses of his potential on early underground releases, most notably Overly Dedicated and Section.80. With his subsequent major-label leap he entered “best rapper alive” conversations. 2012’s good kid, m.A.A.d city is a truly cinematic album that evoked his Compton beginnings in incredible visual detail while creating banger after banger, while his 2015 opus To Pimp a Butterfly challenged listeners with increasingly political lyricism and contributions from virtuoso jazz musicians Kamasi Washington and Robert Glasper. Following last year’s demo collection untitled unmastered., Kendrick released his proper follow-up to TPAB, this April’s DAMN., a comprehensive showcase of his abilities as an MC, from the glorious shit talk of the No. 1 single “HUMBLE.” to the intricate storytelling of “DUCKWORTH.” YG and D.R.A.M. open. 7:30 p.m. $39.50-$99.50 199 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651-265-4800. —Michael Madden

  • KHALID Aug. 19, 6:00 p.m. at Myth
  • LADY MIDNIGHT Aug. 19, 7:30 p.m. at Grand Oak Opry
  • GUIDED BY VOICES AND SOUL ASYLUM Aug. 19, 5:00 p.m. at Hilde Performance Center
  • DOOM Aug. 20, 7:00 p.m. at Triple Rock Social Club
  • TITO PUENTE JR. Aug. 20, 7:00 p.m. at The Cedar Cultural Center
  • CHARANGA TROPICAL: DANZON MATINEE Aug. 20, 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at Icehouse
  • SUMMER SLAUGHTER TOUR 2017 Aug. 21, 2:00 p.m. at Cabooze
  • SENECA Aug. 21, 7:30 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • LADY GAGA Aug. 21, 7:30 p.m. at Xcel Energy Center

Luther Dickinson & the Cooperators
Dakota, Tuesday 8.22
Blues & Ballads: A Folksinger’s Songbook, the inspiration for this excursion by Mississippian Luther Dickinson and friends (including Shardé Thomas and Amy LaVere), is every bit as raw, intimate, and teeming with life force as anything folk archivist Alan Lomax ever collected. The material was culled from years of Dickinson’s notebook jottings, best known for his roots/punk rock ’n’ roll band North Mississippi Allstars, and reflects his Deep South influences: the Mississippi Hill Country drum-and-fife blues tradition, country and Delta blues, gospel, splinters of Beale and Bourbon streets, and, of course, the work of his father, the Memphis session musician and producer Jim Dickinson. “Hurry Up Sunrise,” credited to late Hill Country icon Otha Turner, sets the tone. The Allstars recorded it as a scorching rocker; here it’s a shuffling country blues duet between Dickinson and Thomas (Turner’s granddaughter) primed by Dickinson’s wicked slide. Another highlight: “Ain’t No Grave,” a stark but luminous duet with Mavis Staples accompanied only by Dickinson’s sculptural electric guitar. 7 p.m. $32-$40. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612-332-5299. —Rick Mason

  • SIMPLE PLAN Aug. 22, 6:00 p.m. at First Avenue
  • TYLER CHILDERS Aug. 22, 7:30 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • GREGORY ALAN ISAKOV AND BLIND PILOT Aug. 22, 7:00 p.m. at Minnesota Zoo Weesner Amphitheater