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The week's 27 best concerts: June 21-27

Christian Sands will be at the Dakota on Wednesday, June 21.

Christian Sands will be at the Dakota on Wednesday, June 21.

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

Christian Sands Trio
Dakota, Wednesday 6.21
Pianist Christian Sands, still flying a bit under the radar at age 27, appears poised to grab the spotlight with his fine new album, Reach. A protégée of Dr. Billy Taylor, Sands has had notable stints with Los Hombres Calientes, Bobby Sanabria’s Afro-Cuban band, and bassist Christian McBride, who co-produced Reach. Sands leads his core trio (bassist Yasushi Nakamura, drummer Marcus Baylor—replaced on tour by Jerome Jennings) through an eclectic set of striking originals and two curious covers. Bill Withers’ “Use Me” gets a melting-blues treatment, featuring a dazzling guitar sprint from guest Gilad Hekselman and a Sands gospel-bop reverie, and the trio reimagines the Linda Ronstadt-James Ingram duet “Somewhere Out There” as a melodically rich but restless jazz ballad. Sands’ tributes to Chick Corea and Bud Powell sport intricate twists, and though the funk/hip-hop groove of “Gangstalude” is rather generic, its floating piano-guitar revelations are pure bliss, as is the sizzling Afro-Cuban workout “¡Óyeme!” $20. 7 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612-332-5299.—Rick Mason

  • NIGHT MOVES June 21, 7:00 p.m. at Turf Club
  • PRIZM June 21, 7:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • SLEEPING JESUS June 21, 9:30 p.m. at Icehouse

Big Business
Triple Rock Social Club, Thursday 6.22
Though their music is often burly and on the slower side of things, the mighty Los Angeles-via-Seattle band Big Business are reluctant to concede that they make “sludge” or “stoner” metal. Founded by singer/bassist Jared Warren and drummer Coady Willis, who have also been members of the Melvins since 2006, they feel their musicianship is more varied than it’s given credit for. It’s easy to see where they’re coming from: Over the past decade and change, they’ve been equally apt to deliver their sound in three-minute blasts and stretch out for true epics that clock in at seven-plus minutes. And with help from producers Phil Ek and Dave Curran, they’ve also quickened their tempos, indulged their proggy impulses, and let vocal harmonies fly. Similar bands like Baroness may be more popular, but Big Business has cultivated reputation as a consistently thrilling force in underground metal, reliably issuing a great-to-excellent new LP every two or three years. With Gay Witch Abortion and Buildings. 18+. 8 p.m. $13-$15. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-333-7399. —Michael Madden

  • THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART June 22, 7:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • LIONEL RICHIE June 22, 8:00 p.m. at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel
  • COLETTE June 22, 10:00 p.m. at REV Ultra Lounge

Freddie Gibbs
Fine Line Music Cafe, Friday 6.23
As lyrical as he is gangster, Gary, Indiana’s Freddie Gibbs is one of the most beloved contemporary rappers without a Hot 100 hit, his sizable fan base admiring him for his street storytelling and technical abilities as an MC. Gibbs first made his name with a run of mixtapes in the mid- and late 2000s before finally releasing his debut album, ESGN, in 2013. The following year he and eccentric producer Madlib put out the psychedelic and funky Piñata, one of the decade’s best underground rap LPs. Gibbs followed it up with 2015’s varied Shadow of a Doubt, and earlier this year issued You Only Live 2wice, his first project since he was acquitted of sexual assault charges and released after four months in prison in Europe. As a result of his artistic resurrection, You Only Live 2wice is filled with some of Gibbs’ most inspired and detailed writing ever, particularly on lead single “Crushed Glass,” where he describes his overseas incarceration as an almost traumatizing experience. With Jon Connor and Mac Irv. 18+. 9 p.m. $20-$35. 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8100. —Michael Madden

  • ROONEY June 23, 7:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • B.O.B. June 23, 7:00 p.m. at Lumber Exchange Event Center
  • BODY/HEAD June 23, 9:00 p.m. at James Ballentine VFW Post 246
  • MASON JENNINGS June 24, 7:00 p.m. at Minnesota Zoo Weesner Amphitheater
  • ELECTRIC SIX June 24, 8:00 p.m. at Turf Club
  • LADY MIDNIGHT June 24, 8:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry

Asleep at the Wheel
Minnesota Zoo, Sunday 6.25
Ray Benson has been at the helm of Asleep at the Wheel (and mostly alert) for nigh on a half-century, spreading the Western swing gospel of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. Since the 1970s, when the band often regaled the faithful from the stage of Austin’s Armadillo World Headquarters, Benson and a frequently evolving lineup (now having run through upward of 80 musicians) have kept alive the Western swing tradition—a dancehall fusion of jazz, jump blues, country, and folk—with a mix of humor, superb musicianship, and outstanding showmanship. 2015’s Still the King, AATW’s third specific tribute to Wills, is a characteristically rollicking jaunt through WS nuggets, its multi-generational guest list ranging from original Playboy Leon Rausch to the Avett Brothers. Hardcore country traditionalist Dale Watson opens, and he and Benson are sure to run through tunes from their January collaboration Dale & Ray, a thoroughly engaging Texas charmer with tributes to Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. $40. 7:30 p.m. 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley; 952-431-9200.—Rick Mason

  • A TRIBUTE TO GILLIAN WELCH June 25, 6:30 p.m. at Turf Club
  • TEEN DAZE June 25, 7:30 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • FURY THINGS June 25, 8:00 p.m. at Kitty Cat Klub

King Crimson
State Theatre, Monday 6.26
The venerable prog-rock band King Crimson has been pronounced dead numerous times over the past five decades, only to stagger back into action, typically in prime form, after a Frankensteinian jolt from founder Robert Fripp. Fripp’s guitar work pushes classical technique to the fringes of experimental rock, and as KC’s presiding monarch since its groundbreaking 1969 debut, In the Court of the Crimson King, he’s seen waves of musicians pass through the band. The current lineup, which he calls a double quartet, features three drummers plus additional personnel drawn from various KC incarnations: bassist Tony Levin, saxophonist Mel Collins, vocalist Jakko Jakszyk, and multi-instrumentalist Bill Reiflin. Crimson has issued a series of live sets in recent years, including 2016’s massive Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind, and this month the band released Heroes—Live In Europe, 2016, an EP featuring the David Bowie classic, which Fripp played guitar on in 1977, proving court is definitely back in session. $39.50-$129.50. 7:30 p.m. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-339-7007.—Rick Mason

  • STRFKR June 26, 7:30 p.m. at Fine Line Music Cafe
  • ADULT MOM June 26, 7:30 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • LEA DELARIA June 26, 7:00 p.m. at Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

(Sandy) Alex G
7th St. Entry, Tuesday 6.27
(Sandy) Alex G, the Philly singer-songwriter formerly known as just Alex G, is a unique product of the 2010s. He first developed a cultish YouTube and Bandcamp following, then grew that fan base with acoustic songs reminiscent of Elliott Smith, though with a weirder, more experimental side to him that signing with the famed indie label Domino in 2015 hasn’t diminished. Last year, he found a new audience after adding guitar and arrangements to two songs on Frank Ocean’s Blonde, “Self Control” and “White Ferrari.” And this spring he returned with Rocket, a kitchen-sink affair that ranges from lo-fi hardcore punk to banjo-picking alt-country, though his Smith influence can still be heard on a straightforward earworm like “Proud.” If it’s not exactly the most cohesive album, that’s kind of the point — while he’s proven he can write a concise indie-pop gem, Alex’s defining quality may be his boundless imagination. With Japanese Breakfast and Cende. 18+. 7 p.m. $14-$17. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. —Michael Madden

  • JOSEPH ARTHUR June 27, 7:00 p.m. at Turf Club
  • THE MOODY BLUES June 27, 7:30 p.m. at Orpheum Theatre
  • RICK CARLSON June 27, 6:00 p.m. at Vieux Carre