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The week's best concerts: April 20-26

Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett

Bernstein, Goldings, Stewart Organ Trio

Dakota Jazz Club, Wednesday 4.20

The classically configured all-star organ trio of guitarist Steven Bernstein, Hammond B3 ace Larry Goldings, and drummer Bill Stewart has been an ongoing project for a quarter century. They’re all impressively versatile bandleaders in their own rights, and their collective experiences run from Lou Donaldson and Jimmy Cobb to John Scofield, Diana Krall, Maceo Parker, and Elton John. By now the three play together with such natural affinity that the instruments seem to share the same blood vessels, each pumping savory life into the scintillating grooves. Despite sometimes being dubbed the Larry Goldings Trio, the group has an entirely collaborative approach. The result is an exquisitely tasty sound whether heading into swing, bop, or funk. The repertoire is originals mixed with standards, which on their latest recording, 2014’s Ramshackle Serenade, included “Sweet and Lovely,” Jobim’s “Luiza,” and Horace Silver’s serene ballad “Peace.” $20-$35. 7 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612-332-5299. —Rick Mason

  • 420 Celebration: Dead vs. Dread: Live performances of the greatest hits of the Grateful Dead and Bob Marley, featuring Jacuzzi Puma, and International Reggae All-Stars., 9 p.m. Wed., $5. Cabooze, 917 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-338-6425, cabooze.com.

  • Big Wild: With Profresher., 8 p.m. Wed., $10. 7th St. Entry, 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612-338-8388, first-avenue.com.

  • Mod Sun: With Bobby Raps, and Rocky Diamonds. All ages., 6 p.m. Wed., $22. First Avenue, 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612-338-8388, first-avenue.com.
Bob Mould

Turf Club, Thursday 4.21 & First Avenue, Friday-Saturday 4.22-23

Bob Mould is no fossil, even more than 30 years into a life as Twin Cities rock royalty that began in the ’80s when Hüsker Dü reimagined hardcore punk. While his time in the Hüskers and ’90s group Sugar continues to influence rockers like Dave Grohl, Mould has worked parallel to his younger followers in recent years, cranking out solo album after solo album. After a period of creative experimentation throughout the 2000s, during which Mould delved into DJing, produced electronic music, and even wrote for World Championship Wrestling, the current San Francisco resident is now in the midst of a hot streak. His last three solo albums form an unofficial trilogy of taut, riff-driven power pop that sometimes revives the thrash of Mould’s earlier sounds. Last month’s Patch the Sky was written over a period of six months in isolation, but even though it’s emotionally heavy, it’s not without a prevailing energy that seems to lift Mould out of the darkness. Suicide Commandos and Fury Things open the First Avenue shows. You must win tickets to attend the Turf date. 21+, 4 p.m., Turf Club, 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul, 651-647-0486 & 18+, $25, 8 p.m., First Avenue, 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612-338-8388. —Michael Madden

Davina and the Vagabonds

Dakota Jazz Club, Thursday, Friday & Sunday, 4.21-22, & 4.24

Live performance is where Davina Sowers and her Vagabonds really shake their moneymakers. So it’s entirely fitting that Davina and the band strut their vintage finery on their new live album, Nicollet & Tenth, recorded at the Dakota, which is also where the release will be celebrated with six shows. The album could have easily been situated on Beale or Basin, though, since Davina’s sound is inspired by music that seeped out of saloons and brothels a century ago in Memphis and New Orleans. But that’s just a starting point, as even her covers stray across decades and genres, ranging from the flapper nugget “Has Anybody Seen My Gal?” to Fats Domino’s “Ain’t That a Shame” and beyond. Davina’s originals slip right in the mix, including the Moocher-like noir tale “Black Cloud” and the rollicking “Lipstick and Chrome.” At their most raucous, the Vagabond horns squawk and yowl, the acoustic rhythm section thumps with slippery abandon, and Davina tickles the ivories like a hopped-up Emma Barrett while her voice spouts barroom shouts, blues growls, cartoonish yips, and girl-group hiccups. $15. 7 p.m. & 9 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612-332-5299. —Rick Mason

  • Buckethead: 8:30 p.m. Thu., $15-$18. Cabooze, 917 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-338-6425, cabooze.com.

  • Third Thursday: Local Current Showcase: Featuring performances by Ana Tuiran, Tabah, Dives, and Dizzy Fae, with music related exhibits, show posters, and photobooth., 6-9 p.m. Thu., free. Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-870-3131, artsmia.org.

  • Minnepsych Fest: Featuring Flavor Crystals, the Cult of Lip, Dead Gurus, Panther Ray, Oaks, American Cream, and Magnetic Ghost., 7 p.m. Thu., $6. Turf Club, 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul, 651-647-0486, turfclub.net.
Iris DeMent

Cedar Cultural Center, Friday 4.22

When Iowa singer-songwriter Iris DeMent happened upon the poetry of Russian Anna Akhmatova, she immediately felt compelled to set the poems to music on last August’s The Trackless Woods. Her aim? To better understand the work and provide a cultural connection for her adopted Russian daughter. Akhmatova had a grim life, enduring wars, Stalinist persecution, and the banning of her poetry. But her poems are defiant in their ability to transcend it all, so “marvelous sorrows might endure forever,” as she wrote in “Like a White Stone.” DeMent’s melodies and arrangements have a spare but emotionally rich beauty, her reedy voice quavering but resolute as she ranges among old-time country, gospel, and folk. Her piano and voice dominate a close, parlor-like ambience. In fact, DeMent recorded in her living room with family and friends, including Twin Cities guitar icon Leo Kottke. Things sometimes get more rambunctious, such as “From an Airplane,” a rustic honky-tonker, and “Listening to Singing,” an Appalachian stomp. Pieta Brown, DeMent’s stepdaughter, opens. All ages. $33-$37. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-338-2674. —Rick Mason

  • Get Cryphy: 10 p.m. Fri., $8-$12. 7th St. Entry, 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612-338-8388, first-avenue.com.

  • Holidae (Album Release Show): Hosted by Manchita and Sophia Eris., 11 p.m. Fri., $10-$12. Icehouse, 2528 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis, 612-276-6523, icehousempls.com.

  • XTC: An All-Star Tribute: Featuring Adam Levy, Aby Wolf, Leah Ottman, John Muson, and more., 8 p.m. Fri., $20. Turf Club, 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul, 651-647-0486, turfclub.net.

  • Pickin' For Autism: Benefit for Lionsgate Academy featuring Tin Can Gin, Katey Bellville, and Lucy Michelle., 6:30 p.m. Sat., $12-$15, amsterdambarandhall.com/events/pickin-for-autism-w-tin-can-gin-katey-bellville-lucy-michelle. Amsterdam, 6 W. 6th St., St. Paul, 612-285-3112, amsterdambarandhall.com.

  • Soap (Album Release Show): With Kind Country, and Neon Giant., 8:30 p.m. Sat., $10-$12. Cabooze, 917 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-338-6425, cabooze.com.

  • Genrebeast: An Anti-Genre Residency: Gus Watkins presents five different bands (Ghost Army, Deathdance, Patch, Qaanaaq, and ACTN), with record releases from each group, coinciding with exhibition finales at the gallery., 7-10 p.m. Sat., $10-$15. Gamut Gallery, 717 S. 10th St., Minneapolis, 612-367-4327, gamutgallerympls.com.
Savage Imperial Death March Tour

First Avenue, Sunday 4.24

It’s hard to overstate the impact the bands populating the Savage Imperial Death March Tour have on extreme, heavy, and otherwise innovative metal and punk music. Together, they manage to represent a dizzying spectrum of rock’s experimental underbelly. U.K. band Napalm Death arguably invented grindcore with their 1987 debut, Scum, and their punishingly fast blend of punk and metal has proven monumentally influential. The same could be said for Melvins, the ever-evolving Washington state outfit whose style is nearly impossible to pin down, as they’ve pioneered everything from doom metal to sludge, stoner rock to drone. Tokyo’s Melt-Banana similarly spans the intersections of noise, pop-punk, speed-metal, and electronica, distilling a range of sonic blasts into tightly destructive bursts of energy. A mind-bending display of loud, boundary-pushing music from three legendary groups, this is a night no discerning rock fan should miss. 18+. $25. 7 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Jack Spencer

  • Polkadot Mayhem Sweet! '16 Series: With Ally Mattson, Hydrah, Deathdance, and Botzy., 7 p.m. Sun., $5. 7th St. Entry, 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612-338-8388, first-avenue.com.

  • Kvelertak: With Torche., 7:30 p.m. Sun., $15-$18. Mill City Nights, 111 N. 5th St., Minneapolis, 612-333-3422, millcitynights.com.

  • Mark Mallman and Dick Valentine: 2Become1: 7 p.m. Sun., $10. Bryant Lake Regional Park, 6800 Rowland Road, Eden Prairie, 763-694-7764, threeriversparks.org.
Frankie Cosmos

7th St. Entry, Monday 4.25

Barely 22 years old, New York indie-pop songwriter Frankie Cosmos (born Greta Kline) has already released dozens of records via her personal Bandcamp page and various record labels. Through a combination of raw songwriting ability and sheer prolificacy, her recordings, which were lo-fi micro-songs when she first started turning heads, are now sounding more and more like the fine-tuned work of an expert. Her more polished recent material, like 2014’s Zentropy, 2015’s electronic-based Fit Me In EP, and this month’s Next Thing album, retains that initial homespun charm while adding the lively instrumentation of a band that includes Porches’ Aaron Maine. Next Thing is the most impressive Cosmos record yet, a 15-song, 28-minute contemplation of young adult life that consistently conjures more meaning than its average song length would seem to allow. When Kline’s distinct writing voice is paired with the album’s catchiest melodies (“Fool,” “On the Lips,” “Sinister”), her songwriting is revealed to be more exacting and evocative than her hushed nonchalance lets on. With Eskimeaux and Yowler. 18+. $10-$12. 7:30 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. —Michael Madden

  • Beach Slang: With Potty Mouth, and Dyke Drama., 6 p.m. Mon., $13-$15. Triple Rock Social Club, 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-333-7399, triplerocksocialclub.com.

  • Manhattan Transfer: 7 p.m. Mon., $30-$60. Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, 612-332-1010, dakotacooks.com.

  • Nancy Harms (CD Release Show): 7 p.m. Mon., $15-$20. Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, 6161 Hwy 65 NE, Minneapolis, 763-571-9020, croonersloungemn.com.
Courtney Barnett

First Avenue, Tuesday-Wednesday 4.26-7

Indie rock's favorite Aussie, Courtney Barnett, should have won the 2016 Grammy for Best New Artist, but she lost to the one-hit wonder who just won't go away — Meghan Trainor. Thankfully, Barnett is making up for her loss by taking over radio waves, selling out mid-sized venues for multiple nights, and winning over thousands with just one official full-length album to her name. Besides having a fantastically prolonged name, 2015's Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit delves into territory seldom explored in rock music: humorous but not obnoxious, carefree but multi-dimensional. Barnett has a knack for storytelling, too, from feeling sneezy on long Australian highway drives ("Dead Fox") to trying to impress a cutie at the gym ("Aqua Profonda!"). She's a treat to witness live, invoking images of Paul McCartney — wide, sunken eyes, steady strumming and bouncing, shaggy brown hair. 18+. Sold out. 7:30 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. – Grace Birnstengel

  • Fanfare Ciocarlia: 7 p.m. Tue., $20-$25. The Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-338-2674, thecedar.org.
  • Saul Williams and Mivos Quartet: 6:30 p.m. Tue., $15. James J. Hill Library, 80 W. 4th St., St. Paul, 651-265-5500.
  • Woods: With Ultimate Painting., 7:30 p.m. Tue., $12-$15, turfclub.net/show/2016-04-woods. Turf Club, 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul, 651-647-0486, turfclub.net.