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The week's 28 best concerts: Feb. 8-14

Tiny Deaths

Tiny Deaths Zoe Prinds-Flash Photography

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

  • CORNBREAD HARRIS Feb. 8, 7:00 p.m. at The Hook and Ladder Theater & Lounge
  • WHITE LIES Feb. 8, 7:00 p.m. at The Cedar Cultural Center
  • J. BOOG Feb. 8, 7:00 p.m. at Turf Club

The Lioness unplugged
Icehouse, Thursday 2.9
Minneapolis rapper the Lioness may be the city’s premier North Side lyrist, as demonstrated on her truly special album from last year, Growing Pains. The LP followed a run of mixtapes from the rapper and McNally Smith grad — The Most Anticipated, Lost Tapes, and Queen — that began in 2011. At this point, she’s one of local rap’s best-kept secrets. Growing Pains is a powerful, introspective album that examines, among other things, race in America, making it a rich document for the Black Lives Matter era. At the same time, the MC born Shaiwna Adams is a deeply purposeful storyteller of various personal struggles (e.g., overthinking and over-drinking). Last year, she told City Pages she aspires to be “a voice and an advocate for women — women of hip-hop and women of color especially.” Tonight’s Icehouse gig is a special “unplugged” performance with guests including Myke Shevy, aka MMYYKK of ZULUZULUU. 21+. 10 p.m. $8-$15. 2528 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-276-6523. —Michael Madden

  • THE LOWERTOWN LINE: THE ROE FAMILY SINGERS Feb. 9, 7:00 p.m. at Twin Cities Public Television
  • MEAT WAVE Feb. 9, 7:30 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • WAYNE "THE TRAIN" HANCOCK Feb. 9, 8:00 p.m. at James Ballentine VFW Post 246

Dead Man Winter
First Avenue, Friday 2.10
Furnace, the new sophomore album from Dead Man Winter, might be named after the rumbling basement behemoth in a metaphoric attempt to ward off its chilling subject: the disintegration of frontman Dave Simonett’s marriage. “This house is on fire and I can’t escape it,” he sings bleakly as the album opens, a lone acoustic guitar quickly joined by a somber but rich array of rootsy instruments and vocal harmonies à la the Band. Duluth’s Simonett, who also leads bluegrass band Trampled by Turtles, spends the rest of Furnace sorting through the charred debris of what he calls “madness and confusion.” The lyrics are poignant, intimate, raw, bitter, and self-lacerating, but surprisingly not morosely so. “I’m full of charm and I’m full of whiskey and I’m full of shit most of the time,” Simonett confesses in “Red Wing Blue Wing,” a gorgeous, epic rock ballad fueled by jangly guitar and Bryan Nichols’ vivid, billowy organ. Ultimately, Simonett finds catharsis both in revelatory venting and immersing himself in rejuvenating arrangements. The Pines and DMW guitarist Eric Koskinen open. 18+. 7 p.m. $20. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. —Rick Mason

Tiny Deaths
Icehouse, Friday 2.10
Minneapolis/Brooklyn band Tiny Deaths — the dream-pop project of singer Claire de Lune and producer Grant Cutler — are finally ready for their full-length debut. The duo first began climbing toward indie stardom with a self-titled EP in 2014, following that up with last year’s minimal yet deep Night Flowers EP. Their debut album, last month’s Elegies, is a consistently strong eight-song effort; any track could serve as a single. A ghostly Beach House vibe pulses throughout, with songs like “Backwards” (previously released on Night Flowers) evoking Purity Ring, another singer-producer twosome. De Lune and Cutler’s sound may appear ready-made for such fashionable comparisons, but with Elegies, they’ve arrived at a formula that’s truly their own. Fledgling bands might soon be compared to Tiny Deaths. With Lott and DJ sets by Dosh, Al Church, and Jeremy Ylvisaker. 21+. 11 p.m. $8-$10. 2528 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-276-6523. —Michael Madden

  • LEON Feb. 10, 8:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • ROBERT ELLIS Feb. 10, 8:00 p.m. at Turf Club
  • SIERRA LEONE'S REFUGEE ALL-STARS Feb. 10, 8:30 p.m. at Amsterdam Bar and Hall

Cloud Nothings
Fine Line Music Cafe, Saturday 2.11
Cloud Nothings often find themselves in conversations about rock’s relevance circa 2017. Ultimately, the Cleveland indie-rockers are proof the genre can still pack a powerful punch. Frontman Dylan Baldi began Cloud Nothings as a solo project in 2009, and his lo-fi pop-punk songs quickly captured the attention of the Los Angeles-based Bridgetown Records. He soon joined the roster of the bigger, more celebrated Carpark Records, and over the next few years, Cloud Nothings justified Nirvana and Weezer comparisons with four bulldozing, hook-heavy records, including last month’s Life Without Sound. On Sound, which was produced by longtime Sleater-Kinney collaborator John Goodmanson, Baldi’s vocals are at their all-time cleanest, bringing Ben Gibbard comparisons for the first time. Still, the LP has a few chaotic moments for lovers of the band’s heavier past, including “Strange Year” and “Realize My Fate.” With Moon Bros., Fury Things, and Citric Dummies. 18+. 9 p.m. $16-$30. 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8100. —Michael Madden

  • PRIESTS Feb. 11, 8:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • POLICA Feb. 11, 8:00 p.m. at First Avenue
  • RHETT MILLER Feb. 11, 8:00 p.m. at Turf Club

Leopold and His Fiction
Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Sunday 2.12
No, this isn’t the late Belgian king adopting Trump’s core philosophy. This Leo’s not lyin’. Rather, it’s an Austin, Texas, quartet with affection for vintage rock and R&B seasoned in the garage with crunchy guitar and peppered with bits of blues, Motown, and doo-wop. Frontman Daniel James hails from Detroit, where he absorbed its hard rock and soul inclinations. He’s a charismatic singer, with a slight rasp and touch of histrionics reminiscent of Robert Plant. On Fiction’s new Darling Destroyer album, James evokes Zeppelin on “Cowboy,” but also Plant’s latter-day roots stuff on the acoustic blues “Who Am I.” James can wail too, suggesting Iggy Pop on “Saturday,” seemingly an unholy alliance between the Stooges and the Knack. In fact, DD is littered with easy references: Bon Jovi (and Zep) on “Cowboy,” Paul Revere & the Raiders on “It’s How I Feel (Free),” and Jackie Wilson on “I’m Caving In” — all worthy inspirations that help Leo roar. Driftwood Pyre, Busey, and locals Ahem open. 18+. 7 p.m. $12-$15. 6 W. Sixth St., St. Paul; 612-285-3112. —Rick Mason

  • NONAME Feb. 12, 7:30 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • KELLEY HUNT Feb. 12, 6:00 p.m. at Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
  • SWEEPING THROUGH THE CITY: A CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL MUSIC Feb. 12, 3:00 p.m. at Capri Theater
  • LORDI Feb. 13, 5:00 p.m. at Cabooze
  • SONREAL Feb. 13, 7:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • GO SHOW WITH K. FLAY Feb. 13, 7:00 p.m. at Fine Line Music Cafe

Run the Jewels
Myth, Tuesday 2.14
It’s easy to tie Run the Jewels’ blistering music to the bleak apocalypticism of Trump’s America. In reality, the veteran rap duo comprising Atlanta’s Killer Mike and Brooklyn’s El-P have always taken a brazen, defiant approach to dark forces. Both rappers deal with the ugly truths of U.S. politics and culture with the cool, brash swagger required to survive, thrive, and resist, having fun making casual threats and dick jokes along the way. Their latest free album, last December’s RTJ3, continues their streak of consistent, emotive, and ruggedly futurist underground rap, dealing unflinchingly with modern unease while maintaining the joyous vibe that forms the core of their collaboration. Live, RTJ exemplify that impeccable chemistry with the tag-team intensity, skill, and energy necessary to live up to El-P’s massive and crushing production. With Gas Lamp Killer, Spark Master Tape, and Cuz. All ages. 7 p.m. $30. 3090 Southlawn Dr., Maplewood; 651-779-6984. —Jack Spencer

Japandroids
First Avenue, Tuesday 2.14
The angst-fueled ’00s indie-rock scene dissolved just when the world needed it most. And now Japandroids, freshly returned from a nearly five-year hiatus, are back to once again lead us all in yelling like hell to the heavens. The Vancouver garage-rock duo dropped their third LP, Near to the Wild Heart of Life, last month. The album’s raucous lead single/title track taps into our collective anxiety, providing a cathartic escape from pervading senses of dread and hopelessness (sound necessary, America?). The band is set to hit First Avenue for the very first time in support of Wild Heart; during combustible past visits, they laid waste to smaller Twin Cities venues Turf Club, 7th St. Entry, and Triple Rock. Japandroids’ untamed anthems should resonate with disaffected music fans who are ready to burn the whole thing down — the timing’s perfect. Craig Finn opens with his band the Uptown Controllers, whose name was inspired by a Craigslist prank from local comic Justin Colucci. 18+. 8 p.m. $20. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. — Erik Thompson

 

  • HAYES CARLL Feb. 14, 9:30 p.m. at Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
  • TRIBAL SEEDS Feb. 14, 7:00 p.m. at Turf Club
  • VALENTINE'S DAY WITH BILLY MCLAUGHLIN Feb. 14, 8:00 p.m. at Aster Cafe