George Clinton’s two free concerts were among the highlights of last year’s State Fair. Hope you get a chance to see him this week.
The Pretenders @ State Theatre
Four decades after they kicked off the ’80s by finding an irresistibly cool nexus between punk and new wave on their self-titled debut, Chrissie Hynde’s Pretenders have again picked up steam in recent years. Hynde finally released her first solo LP, Stockholm, in 2014, and the Pretenders’ ’60s-tinged latest, 2016’s Alone, is almost a solo effort too, with Black Keys member and producer Dan Auerbach, plus other guests, providing more support than the other band members. With the Rails. 8 p.m. $49.50-$89.50. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis. More info here.—Michael Madden
Anoushka Shankar @ The Dakota
The daughter of iconic sitarist Ravi Shankar has made her tenth disc her most topical. Land of Gold highlights the plight of millions of refugees forced to seek sanctuary in different parts of the globe, and part of the proceeds from this tour will go toward the nonprofit organization Help Refugees. Anoushka’s compositions are sinuous and riveting, her sitar wending through “Boat To Nowhere” and, on “Secret Heart,” cantering alongside the percussive Swiss “hang” played by Bjork sideman Manu Delago, who will be among the quartet at the Dakota. Also Tuesday. 7 p.m. $55-$75. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson
Complete Monday music listings here.
George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic @ Varsity Theater
If ever our nation needed to unite under a groove, it’s now. So the return of the Mothership with funk maestro George Clinton at the helm, toting the first new Parliament album since 1980, Medicaid Fraud Dogg, is more than fortuitous. Clinton, mastermind behind the profoundly influential Parliament-Funkadelic universe, presides over a malleable crew of old pals (horn aces Fred Wesley and Pee Wee Ellis), fresh faces, and guests (rapper Scarface) concocting a raucous ride among slithery synths, wicked beats, otherworldly vocals and absurdist rants. The loose theme is one nation under sedation thanks to Big Pharma. 18+. 7 p.m. $47.50. 1308 4th St. SE. More info here.—Rick Mason
Cantus @ Westminster Presbyterian Church
The eight-man vocal ensemble Cantus have always been adept conceptualists when putting together performances. This three-day chamber series, with each concert at a different locale, deals with folk songs and staples of the Euro-classical canon to comprise “Songs My Mother Taught Me.” If you haven’t caught them live, the four tenors, two baritones and two basses generate a deep resonance that is inescapably spiritual. 11 a.m. $20 ($10 for students). 1200 S. Marquette Ave., Minneapolis. More info here. Wednesday at American Swedish Institute. 7 p.m. $20 ($10 for students). 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis. More info here. Thursday at the Museum of Russian Art. 7 p.m. $20 ($10 for students). 5500 Stevens Ave., Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson
Regina Marie Williams @ The Dunsmore Room at Crooners
Regina Marie Williams took the local theater world by storm in 2016-17 playing Nina Simone in the production of Four Women at the Park Square Theatre. She’ll sustain that momentum with “The Music of Nina Simone,” abetted by pianist and arranger Sanford Moore. 7:30 p.m. $25-$30. 6161 Highway 65 NE, Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson
Complete Tuesday music listings here.
The Handsome Family @ Cedar Cultural Center
Led by the baritone-voiced Brett Sparks, who sings wife Rennie’s literary and sometimes macabre lyrics, the Handsome Family broke through to a wider audience when their 2003 song “Far from Any Road” became the theme for HBO’s True Detective. But the duo had by then built a strong cult following with a home-recorded sound blending both alternative and traditional country styles. They released their 11th album, the quietly masterful Unseen, in 2016. With Chris Crofton. 7:30 p.m. $18/$20. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis. More info here.— Michael Madden
Tony Peachka @ 7th St Entry
Sadly, Minneapolis’ Tony Peachka, who were City Pages’ No. 2 Picked to Click finishers in 2016, will end as a one-and-done band, calling it quits ahead of leader Melissa Jones’ upcoming move out of town. Their only record, 2016’s Dirty Knees, is a punchy collection of self-deprecating pop-punk that local rock fans should be spinning for years to come. Other band members will continue to play in local acts like Bruise Violet and Scrunchies. With City Counselor and the Florists. 18+. 7:30 p.m. $10. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis. More info here.—Michael Madden
Complete Wednesday music listings here.
Jason Moran and the Bandwagon @ Walker Art Center
Rare are the occasions when you get to watch three sets by one of the top five small ensembles in jazz today free of charge. But that’s the case with the Walker’s Sound Horizon program, which cannily roped Moran into curating this summer’s edition in tandem with his first solo art installation at the museum. Drummer Nasheet Waits and bassist Taurus Mateen take turns wobbling the high wire the adventurous pianist always seeks to construct. Modern art never sounded so vital. 6, 7 & 8 p.m. Free. All ages. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson
Howlin Rain @ 7th St. Entry
Oakland’s Howlin Rain is among several psychedelic-leaning bands associated with guitarist/singer/songwriter Ethan Miller, who calls Rain’s latest album’s music “Neal Cassady rock,” as in the Jack Kerouac pal and Merry Prankster bus driver. In fact, The Alligator Bride is a time warping study on shifting perceptions and dreams in a taut, 1970ish context of stinging, whip-like electric guitars and pedal steel coiled around acid-doused lyrics. Crazy Horse and the James Gang are among bands referenced, but Miller so deftly taps wiry intensity and ragged spirit that it defies nostalgia. Mountain Movers open. 18+. 8 p.m. $10-$12. 701 1st Ave. N. More info here.—Rick Mason
Complete Thursday music listings here.