The week's 27 best concerts: March 8-15

Ballake Sissoko and Vincent Segal

Ballake Sissoko and Vincent Segal

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

  • RUN WESTY RUN March 8, 7:00 p.m. at Turf Club
  • HAR MAR SUPERSTAR March 8, 8:00 p.m. at The Hook and Ladder Theater & Lounge
  • DUSTY HEART AND BBGUN MARCH RESIDENCY March 8, 9:00 p.m. at Icehouse

Jens Lekman
Fine Line Music Cafe, Wednesday 3.8
Not long ago, Jens Lekman found himself in an intense songwriting slump. The witty Gothenburg indie-pop maestro submitted a near-finished album to his label in 2014 and was surprised to learn that no one there was much impressed. Lekman recovered by putting himself through a sort of songwriting boot camp in 2015: He resolved to release one song every week for the entire year and ultimately completed his mission. It’s good to have him back. An inventive songwriter, Lekman has always used varied instrumentation to create a bubbly, vibrant sound, and now he’s also grown more stylistically adventurous. His latest album, Life Will See You Now, has elements of everything from disco to calypso, and the sharp storytelling and specificity of the lyrics make it an improvement over his relatively anonymous 2012 album, I Know What Love Isn’t. In fact, it’s Lekman’s best record since his 2007 breakthrough, Night Falls Over Kortedala. Lisa/Liza, aka Maine songwriter Liza Victoria, opens. 18+. 8 p.m. $20-$35. 318 First. Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8100. —Michael Madden

Patti Smith and Her Band
Northrop Auditorium, Wednesday 3.8
For her first Twin Cities performance since 2013, the endlessly influential Patti Smith, who turned 70 in December, will perform her 1975 debut, Horses, in full. From its legendary first line, “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine,” on forward, that album established Smith as not just an exceptional rock lyricist but perhaps popular music’s finest poet since Dylan. Following that wild and fearless LP, Smith’s writing became more direct, most notably with the 1978 Springsteen co-write “Because the Night.” Smith has remained vital and relevant in recent years with her latest studio album, 2012’s Banga, and her National Book Award-winning memoir, Just Kids. But Horses is still her most stunning achievement, the first full-length indication that she possessed the artistic vision to revolutionize rock music in the ’70s and beyond. 6:30 p.m. $40-$55. 84 Church St. SE, Minneapolis; 612-624-2345. —Michael Madden

  • TRAPT March 9, 7:00 p.m. at Amsterdam Bar and Hall
  • DEF KITH March 9, 7:30 p.m. at 7th St. Entry

Ballake Sissoko and Vincent Segal
Cedar Cultural Center, Thursday 3.9
Renowned kora master Ballake Sissoko is the guy non-African artists like Taj Mahal or Sting turn to when they want to integrate that harp-like Malian instrument into their music. Sissoko first teamed up with Vincent Segal, a French cellist with a trip-hop background, in 2009, and their first recording, Chamber Music, was so well-received that a sequel seemed inevitable. Musique de Nuit, released in 2015, is an even wider-ranging collection. Unlike Chamber Music, which used guest musicians, the newer album is strictly a collection of duets between Sissoko and Segal, and its strength lies in the way each artist moves toward the other’s tradition — Sissoko’s work has a stately delicacy that wouldn’t be out of place in a European concert hall, while Segal can rough up his instrument to approximate a Malian fiddle. All ages. 7 p.m. $25/$30. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-338-2674. —Keith Harris

  • GRANT HART'S BIRTHDAY BASH March 10, 8:00 p.m. at The Hook and Ladder Theater & Lounge
  • MAC SABBATH AND METALACHI March 10, 8:00 p.m. at First Avenue
  • THE BIG BANG March 10, 8:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry

Palace Theatre, Friday 3.10
Is any active Minnesota music act more fit to play the first show at the freshly renovated Palace Theatre than Atmosphere? The indie-rap duo of MC Slug and producer Ant made their full-length debut in 1997 with Overcast! and eventually broke through with 2002’s more widely acclaimed God Loves Ugly, which highlighted the influence of Charles Bukowski on Slug’s lyrics. Atmosphere albums would vary in quality over the next decade, but last year’s Fishing Blues was their best LP since When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold in 2008. “Besos,” “The Shit That We’ve Been Through,” and “When the Lights Go Out” (featuring DOOM and Kool Keith) rank among their best songs of the decade, and on “Pure Evil,” which addresses police brutality, Slug offers some of his most vivid and meaningful lyrics ever, rapping from an officer’s perspective. With Sims, deM atliS, Lady Midnight, and DJ Shannon Blowtorch. 18+. 8 p.m. $25. 17 7th Pl. W., St. Paul; 651-266-8989. —Michael Madden

  • SAVE FERRIS March 11, 8:00 p.m. at Fine Line Music Cafe
  • A.M. STRYKER (EP RELEASE SHOW) March 11, 11:00 p.m. at Icehouse

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
7th St. Entry, Saturday 3.11
Hype can cut both ways. These Brooklyn/Philadelphia indie rockers became the most celebrated newcomers of 2005 after their self-titled debut drew a gushy rave from the tastemakers at Pitchfork. A showcase for the yelpy charm with which frontman Alec Ounsworth rode atop melodic undulations of synth and guitar, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah also felt significant from an industry standpoint — it was independently released with no record label support. Yet just two years later, the band’s solid follow-up, Some Loud Thunder, was met with the kind of reserved praise that’s so akin to indifference it can hurt a reputation more than the most vicious pan. CYHSY abandoned plans for a third album a couple years later and went on hiatus, but they reformed in 2011 and they’ve chugged along sporadically since. On the band’s latest album, The Tourist, their swelling grooves and excitable vocals sound mellowed but unchastened. With Steady Holiday. 18+. 8 p.m. $20. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. —Keith Harris

The Jayhawks
Palace Theatre, Saturday 3.11
After Atmosphere rechristen St. Paul’s newly renovated Palace Theatre on Friday night, they’ll hand the stage over to another group of beloved Minneapolis veterans for the reborn venue’s second show. Singer/guitarists Mark Olson and Gary Louris briefly reconciled a few years back but have since fallen out once more, and the band’s ninth album, Paging Mr. Proust, released last year, was recorded by founding members Louris and bassist Marc Perlman along with keyboardist Karen Grotberg and drummer Tim O’Reagan — the lineup that first recorded together on Tomorrow the Green Grass in 1995. Co-produced by R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, Paging Mr. Proust features some of the band’s strongest melodies and harmonies yet, starting with an opener that recalls the Byrds and peaking with the standout track “Quiet Corners & Empty Spaces.” The Cactus Blossoms and the Cloak Ox open. 18+. 7 p.m. $30-$50. 17 Seventh Pl. W., St. Paul; 651-266-8989. —Michael Madden

  • THE GRISWOLDS March 12, 6:00 p.m. at Triple Rock Social Club
  • PANIC! AT THE DISCO March 12, 7:00 p.m. at Xcel Energy Center
  • EISLEY March 12, 7:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • NOAM PIKELNY March 13, 7:00 p.m. at The Cedar Cultural Center
  • SHOT MEMORY March 13, 8:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • THE ROE FAMILY SINGERS March 13, 8:00 p.m. at 331 Club
  • JUDY COLLINS: SONDHEIM & HITS March 14, 7:00 p.m. at Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
  • NIKKI LANE March 14, 7:00 p.m. at Turf Club
  • JESCA HOOP March 14, 7:00 p.m. at The Cedar Cultural Center