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The week's 27 best concerts: March 1-7

Mbongwana Star

Mbongwana Star

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

  • SALIF KEITA March 1, 7:30 p.m. at The Cedar Cultural Center
  • CHAD VALLEY March 1, 7:30 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • CURTISS A & THE DARK CLICK March 1, 7:30 p.m. at Schooner Tavern

Los Campesinos!
Triple Rock Social Club, Wednesday 3.1
In the realm of indie pop, few bands are as idiosyncratic as Los Campesinos!, the Welsh seven-piece noted for their musical ambition and hyper-literate lyrics. They released one EP and two albums between 2007 and 2008, with their signature song “You! Me! Dancing!” encapsulating their penchant for wit, exuberance, and just plain sounding like a group of people having a great time playing music together. While they haven’t remained quite that prolific, they’ve built a solid discography that includes not one less-than-great record. On songs like 2013’s “Avocado, Baby,” they’ve shown they can still access the bursting energy that first endeared them to so many. For their latest album, Sick Scenes, Los Campesinos! reconnected with go-to producer John Goodmanson, best known for his work with Sleater-Kinney and Death Cab for Cutie. The singles that preceded the full-length — “I Broke Up in Amarante,” “5 Flucloxacillin,” and “The Fall of Home” — suggested the band’s batting average would remain high, and the album’s release last week only confirmed that. New York rockers Crying open. 18+. 8:30 p.m. $15-$18. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-333-7399. —Michael Madden

  • PROF March 2, 8:00 p.m. at First Avenue
  • BUFFALO FUZZ March 2, 7:30 p.m. at Turf Club
  • GRANGER SMITH March 2, 8:00 p.m. at Skyway Theatre

Sting
Myth, Thursday 3.2
Sting has spent most of this century flitting among diverse projects: lute playing, Christmas tunes, symphonic collaborations, Broadway, a seemingly grudging reunion tour with his old Police mates. But with the release last fall of 57th & 9th, the Police man is back on the rock beat. The new album, named for the Manhattan intersection Sting crossed daily on the way to his studio, has a workmanlike feel to match its title, with experimentation dialed back in favor of solid, straightforward tunes. The Police-like “I Can’t Stop Thinking About You” and snarly “Petrol Head” are the key rockers. “50,000” and “Heading South on the Great North Road” are essentially bookend reflections on his long career. “Inshallah,” with sighing electronics, puts the refugee crisis in human perspective. And “The Empty Chair” is a quiet, wrenching ballad about ISIL-murdered journalist James Foley. 7 p.m. $87. 3090 Southlawn Dr., Maplewood; 651-779-6984. —Rick Mason

  • GRAVEYARD CLUB March 3, 7:00 p.m. at Turf Club
  • DEATH BY UNGA BUNGA March 3, 8:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • THE RADIO DEPT. March 3, 8:00 p.m. at Triple Rock Social Club

Mbongwana Star
Cedar Cultural Center, Friday 3.3
In the Lingala language, mbongwana means change, and Mbongwana Star, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has embraced that concept with gusto. Coco Ngambali and Theo Nzonza founded the band in 2013 after a management dispute prompted them to leave Staff Benda Bilili, a scrappy Kinshasa rumba band consisting mostly of shantytown paraplegics who got around on tricked out tricycles. Looking for a new direction, the pair hooked up with Parisian producer, bassist, and percussionist Liam Farrell, aka Doctor L. The 2015 album they created, From Kinshasa, is surrealist, space-age Afropop, crossbreeding Congolese rumba, soukous, and shards of reggae with a bristling stew of twisted grooves, conspiratorial electronic tangents, industrial clangs, buzzing distortions, and dozens of other sonic shenanigans. This is deep tradition rocketed into another dimension — or as one tune is called, “From Kinshasa to the Moon.” 8 p.m. $28. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-338-2674. —Rick Mason

  • BAD BAD HATS March 4, 5:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • TABAH AND J.E. SUNDE (CO-ALBUM RELEASE SHOW) March 4, 8:00 p.m. at Turf Club
  • DVBBS March 4, 8:00 p.m. at Skyway Theatre

The Menzingers
Cabooze, Saturday 3.4
You might not expect punks to age gracefully, but maturity has been good for the music of the Menzingers. Led by singers/guitarists Greg Barnett and Tom May, the Philadelphia-based four-piece emerged a decade ago, specializing in hard, fast punk that eventually earned them a deal with Epitaph Records and led to the band’s breakthrough album, 2012’s On the Impossible Past. Their sound still scans as “punk” but has taken on a classic heartland-rock sensibility with a prominent Springsteen influence. It’s a progression heard all over the band’s fifth and latest album, After the Party, whose much-quoted first chorus is as follows: “Where are we gonna go now that our 20s are over?” The Menzingers share the same sense of maturity and urgency that’s powering some of our most vital rock bands, like Japandroids and Beach Slang, and it’s making for some of their best material yet. (See: stomping After the Party cuts “Tellin’ Lies” and “Lookers.”) Jeff Rosenstock and Rozwell Kid open. 18+. 8 p.m. $16.50-$20. 917 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612-338-6425. —Michael Madden

  • DEVENDRA BANHART March 5, 7:00 p.m. at Fine Line Music Cafe
  • MIC Q.A. March 5, 7:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • TCHAMI March 5, 7:30 p.m. at First Avenue
  • TEEN JUDGE March 6, 7:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • TOM PAXTON March 6, 7:30 p.m. at The Cedar Cultural Center
  • TWIN TALK AND REVERSE OF SAM AND DAVE March 6, 9:00 p.m. at Icehouse

Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears
First Avenue, Monday 3.6
The Honeybears are back. Well, they never really went away — Black Joe Lewis kept recording with the same Austin, Texas band, but he stopped crediting them under that name on his albums. That caused so much confusion, though, that the band’s just-released fifth album, Backlash, again sports the Honeybears’ name. Backlash features the rip-roaring, rough-and-tumble fusion of vintage R&B and soul, gritty blues, furious funk, and punky rock ’n’ roll Lewis and his mates are known for, seasoned as ever with a dose of psychedelics. Lewis’ grainy howls and James Brown-like shouts are buoyed by blazing horns and his own searing electric guitar antics. Backlash may be slightly less ragged than previous albums, still raucous and prone to brain-melting distortion, but allowing a little room for Lewis’ topical rants about race relations, sexual politics, and the fate of the planet. Dams of the West open. 18+. 7 p.m. $17-$20. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. —Rick Mason

  • JOJO March 7, 7:00 p.m. at Fine Line Music Cafe
  • DEAD MEADOW March 7, 8:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • LISSIE March 7, 6:00 p.m. at Icehouse

Tennis
Triple Rock Social Club, Tuesday 3.7
Husband Patrick Riley and wife Alaina Moore make up the Denver duo Tennis, a beloved mainstay in indie pop. Around the time of their 2011 debut album, Cape Dory, Riley and Moore’s biography (not just their marriage, but the eight months they spent sailing the Eastern Atlantic Seaboard after graduating college) almost seemed more interesting their music, which was an uncomplicated blend of Moore’s sugary ’50s pop vocals, mellow surf-rock instrumentation, and modern lo-fi production. This charming aesthetic seemed like it’d have a limited lifespan, yet six years, two albums, and one EP later, Riley and Moore are still going strong. The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney and Spoon’s Jim Eno contributed production to 2012’s Young & Old and 2014’s Ritual in Repeat, adding detail and depth to Riley and Moore’s sound while their songwriting naturally advanced. Their fourth album, Yours Conditionally, due out later this month, follows another sailing expedition Riley and Moore took last year, blogged about on Urban Outfitters’ website. New York duo Overcoats open. 18+. 8 p.m. $15. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-333-7399. —Michael Madden