The week's 29 best concerts: Nov. 1-7

Tegan and Sara perform at the State Theatre on Friday, November 3.

Tegan and Sara perform at the State Theatre on Friday, November 3. Photo by Pamela Littky

Rounding up the best shows this week in the Twin Cities.

Cedar Cultural Center, Wednesday 11.1
If the Velvet Underground had ever performed in zero gravity, they’d have sounded a little like Luna. Formed in 1991 by guitarist Dean Wareham after his previous band, Galaxie 500, called it quits, Luna was no less dreamy than those ‘80s college rock faves but far wryer, with Wareham’s bitchy purr an ideal complement to sleek, mock-heroic guitar lines that traced out unprepossessing anthems as gorgeous as any in the Clinton era. In time, the band’s sound grew increasingly seductive – I don’t even want to think about how many rock critics' children were conceived to Luna's glorious 1995 album Penthouse – without losing propulsion or bite. The group disbanded in 2005, but they started playing a few shows in 2015, and now they’re touring behind a pair of modest yet decent new releases: the typically smart collection of covers A Sentimental Education and an instrumental disc, A Place of Greater Safety. 7 p.m. $25. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-338-2674. —Keith Harris

Take Me to the River
Dakota, Wednesday 11.1
Featuring collaborations between genuine icons and younger artists, this old-style revue highlights both the potent history of Memphis music and the vitality of the city’s contemporary scene. The tour was inspired by the 2014 award-winning film Take Me to the River, which documented a series of extraordinary studio sessions, and its lineup includes three certified legends. William Bell, a stalwart of Stax Records’ heyday, hit it big with “You Don’t Miss Your Water” and “Everybody Loves a Winner,” and he wrote the blues standard “Born Under a Bad Sign.” Chitlin’ circuit barnburner Bobby Rush has been playing a raucous mix of blues, funk, and soul for half a century. And harmonica ace Charlie Musselwhite has worked with virtually every major blues artist, as well as put out a string of notable solo albums. The hip-hop contingent includes Memphis rappers Frayser Boy and Al Kapone. Backing everyone will be the Boo Mitchell-directed Hi Rhythm Section, the house band at Royal Studios, home of the classic Hi soul label, both founded by Mitchell’s late father, Willie. 7 p.m. $60-$92. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612-332-5299. —Rick Mason

  • MODERN ENGLISH Nov. 1, 7:00 p.m. at Turf Club
  • EX NUNS Nov. 1, 8:00 p.m. at Triple Rock Social Club
  • ERIK KOSKINEN Nov. 1, 9:30 p.m. at Icehouse

First Avenue, Thursday 11.2
The Canadian quartet Alvvays received unexpected acclaim for their jangly, noise-popping eponymous debut album and hooky plea “Archie, Marry Me.” Three years after that bunker-breacher, alimony looms on the band’s second, Antisocialites, whose songs have been characterized by lead singer-songwriter Molly Rankin as a “fantasy breakup arc.” Bleak assessments of sundering relationships do plague the lyrics, goaded by Rankin’s wit and dark metaphors. But the music, while laced with melancholy and moody resignation, floats on a sea of catchy melodies and buoyant arrangements. The guitars flit through the mix with enticing riffs and teasers, while Rankin’s voice ranges from declarative to vulnerable, as on the irresistible “Plimsoll Punk.” Pop predecessors echo in her voice too: “Not My Baby” could be the antithesis of the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby,” although Alvvays’ wall-of-sound is subtler than Phil Spector’s. Expansive dream popster Jay Som, aka Melina Duterte, opens. 18+. 7 p.m. $16-$18. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. —Rick Mason

David Crosby & Friends
Ames Center, Thursday 11.2
At 76 years old, David Crosby is enjoying a late-season renaissance. He’s released three impressive solo albums in the last four years, including this summer’s Sky Trails, which matches sometimes enigmatic, elliptical lyrics with intricate, sophisticated blends of folk, jazz, and pop. The pop is at least partially thanks to his talented friends, including son/producer/keyboard ace James Raymond and guitar wiz Jeff Pevar. Also key is Crosby’s amazingly unravaged, still sweet and supple voice. He croons engagingly on the piano ballad “Before Tomorrow Falls on Love,” and harmonizes gorgeously with singer Becca Stevens on the title track. Its swirling, complex patterns and sly jazz elements infuse much of the album, evoking late-’70s Joni Mitchell, whose “Amelia” is the only cover. Elsewhere, the funky jazz-pop of “She’s Got to Be Somewhere” sounds like vintage Steely Dan, while “Capitol” is a classic Crosby anti-corruption protest song, which should fit nicely with the nuggets he’ll dust off live. 7:30 p.m. $50.50-&70.50. 12600 Nicollet Ave., Burnsville; 952-895-4685. —Rick Mason

  • MACKLEMORE Nov. 2, 6:00 p.m. at Palace Theatre
  • MICHAEL MCDONALD Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m. at Historic State Theatre
  • SARAH LOU RICHARDS (RECORD RELEASE SHOW) Nov. 2, 7:00 p.m. at Turf Club

Tegan and Sara
State Theatre, Friday 11.3
Much has been made of the musical transformation that this twin-sister duo has undergone in recent years. Tegan and Sara dramatically shifted from their variations on strummy indie folk to full-on ’80s-influenced pop on their past two albums, 2013’s Heartthrob and ’16’s Love You to Death. But while some claim the Quin twins sold out with those overt pop leaps, the new songs haven’t devolved into the overly conventional or cliché; for all their hooky hugeness, they’re lyrically intricate and personal, especially LYTD’s “Boyfriend” and “Dying to Know.” This fall the sisters are winding back the clock and revisiting many fans’ favorite Tegan and Sara album, 2007’s cathartic The Con, for its 10th anniversary. Last month, they released a compilation, The Con X: Covers, with artists such as Ryan Adams and Paramore’s Hayley Williams covering The Con’s songs. On tour, Tegan and Sara are playing the original album front to back, and reviews of the shows so far say the duo fills out the gigs with plenty of illuminating banter describing the making of the songs. 8:30 p.m. $29.50-$59.50. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-455-9500. —Michael Madden

Lukas Nelson/Nikki Lane
Fine Line, Friday 11.3
This Stagecoach Spotlight tour features two contemporary singer-songwriters with deep affinities for classic country and more extensive roots as well. Lukas Nelson’s Promise of the Real band has been around for the better part of a decade, backing the likes of Neil Young, John Fogerty, and dad Willie Nelson. On the band’s new, eponymous album, Lukas’ reedy warble sounds uncannily like Willie’s, but his music stretches beyond outlaw country to rock, pop, and soul, and his electric guitar work shows Young’s influence. “Set Me Down on a Cloud” is a country-rocker with electrifying gospel harmonies, “Just Outside of Austin” is a Glen Campbell-like amble, and “Find Yourself” is a funky R&B duet with Lady Gaga. Nikki Lane combines twang, tough independence, and the no-nonsense sassiness of Loretta Lynn on her third album, Highway Queen, while her wiry band stirs up a honky-tonkin’ mix of Chuck Berry and the Stones. 18+. 8:30 p.m. $20—$35. 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8100. —Rick Mason

  • LOW CUT CONNIE Nov. 3, 8:00 p.m. at Turf Club
  • DEPLOI (ALBUM RELEASE SHOW) Nov. 3, 10:30 p.m. at Icehouse
  • BREAKING BENJAMIN: UNPLUGGED Nov. 3, 7:00 p.m. at Palace Theatre

Fine Line Music Cafe, Saturday 11.4
Led by singer-guitarist and Rosemount native Alicia Bognanno, Nashville-based rockers Bully released a self-titled EP in 2014 before signing with Columbia Records for their debut album, 2015’s Feels Like. Their sound was encapsulated in the explosive, grungy perfection of “Trying” and its indelible, caterwauling chorus, and if they’ve never deviated much from that core style, that’s just fine. Few, if any, of Bully’s contemporaries execute the sound so well. Last month, the band released their sophomore album, Losing, on indie mainstay Sub Pop, a more fitting home for the band than major label Columbia; after all, Sub Pop is the label that released early records by Nirvana and Mudhoney, two bands that audibly influenced Bully. Though the record is rife with killer riffs, the howling Bognanno makes an even bigger impression as a vocalist. She’s grown into a veritable dynamo, with her defiant, honest words partly inspired by her breakup with ex-Bully drummer Stewart Copeland (not to be confused with the drummer for the Police). With Big Ups. 18+. 9 p.m. $18-$35. 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8100. —Michael Madden

  • BEACH SLANG Nov. 4, 7:00 p.m. at Turf Club
  • KIRK FRANKLIN Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m. at Historic State Theatre
  • COLIN HAY Nov. 4, 8:00 p.m. at Pantages Theatre
  • LIZZ WRIGHT Nov. 5, 7:00 p.m. at Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
  • KELELA Nov. 5, 7:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • MARC BROUSSARD Nov. 5, 7:00 p.m. at Turf Club
  • GUANTANAMO BAYWATCH Nov. 6, 7:30 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • THE ROE FAMILY SINGERS Nov. 6, 8:00 p.m. at 331 Club
  • LADY J & HER ROOT DOCTORS Nov. 6, 8:00 p.m. at Minnesota Music Cafe

The Cabooze, Tuesday 11.7
As leader of the Los Angeles-based band the Internet, Sydney Bennett, the former Odd Future DJ known simply as Syd, purveys vibes more than distinct songwriting; the group’s aqueous, swirling neo-soul is nice to bask in but not particularly memorable from track to track. But with the arrival of the 25-year-old’s first solo album, February’s Fin, Syd made a compelling case that she’s a fully formed artist. She nails all key facets of the album—the post-Aaliyah melodies, the hip-hop swagger, and the icy production, including contributions from super-producer Hit-Boy and Minneapolis native Rahki—resulting in one of the year’s most complete R&B records. In its own modest way, Fin is also a game-changer thanks to the queer perspective of steamy songs like “On Her Own” and “Drown in It.” In September, Syd followed up the album with a three-song EP, Always Never Home, a quickie that builds off the solo breakthrough she officially set in motion with Fin. With Kodie Shane and DJ Oreo. 18+. 8 p.m. $25. 917 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612-338-6425. —Michael Madden

  • GWAR Nov. 7, 5:00 p.m. at First Avenue
  • PHOEBE RYAN Nov. 7, 9:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • DEAN MAGRAW & DAVU SERU Nov. 7, 7:00 p.m. at Black Dog Cafe