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The week's best concerts: Dec. 2-8

The teen punks of Bruise Violet will rock Girl Germs this Saturday

The teen punks of Bruise Violet will rock Girl Germs this Saturday

Richard Thompson

FIRST AVENUE, WEDNESDAY 12.2

Deep into his extraordinary, four-decade career, Richard Thompson finally gets around to the notion of “Guitar Heroes,” which happens to be the final track on his latest album, Still. Addressing his guitar obsession, Thompson offers uncanny samples of styles that inspired him, from the likes of Django Reinhardt, Les Paul, and Chuck Berry, all guitarists who used their prowess to enhance songs instead of wallowing in self-indulgence. As such, Thompson is sort of a guitar anti-hero — not flawed, but determined to let his guitar speak as eloquently and pointedly as his lyrics. Rife with examples is Still, another brilliant Thompson collection of twisted character studies, tales of shadowy intrigue, and acerbic wit, produced with admirable restraint by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy. Thompson’s guitar forays are mostly short, taut, unpredictable, and spectacular. The opening “She Never Could Resist A Winding Road” is laced with majestic, ringing, Celtic electric figures. Hard blues lines snake through the fiercely rocking “Patty Don’t You Put Me Down,” while “Pony in the Stable” is a ferocious, razor-sharp tour de force that hearkens back to Thompson’s folk-rock pioneer days with Fairport Convention. 18+. $25. 7 p.m. 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. — RICK MASON

  • G Herbo $15 8 p.m. Wed. Triple Rock Social Club

  • Moonshine Bandits $13-$18 7 p.m. Wed. Fine Line Music Cafe

  • Transmission FREE 10 p.m. Wed. Clubhouse Jager
OOIOO

WALKER ART CENTER, THURSDAY 12.3

Yoshimi, leader of the adventurous Japanese quartet OOIOO (pronounced oh-oh-eye-oh-oh), is the namesake for the Flaming Lips’ eccentric and epic 20002 album, Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots. She was also a percussionist with the Japanese avant-noise outfit Boredoms, and has collaborated with the likes of Kim Gordon and Sean Lennon. OOIOO, making its local debut Thursday, at its core is four Japanese women who explore the outer limits where pop and experimental music converge. Over nearly two decades and a half-dozen or so albums, the group has dabbled in minimalism, psychedelia, no wave, quirky hooks, peculiar effects, odd instrumentation, and shards of jazz and prog rock. That cocktail of sounds has yielded textural soundscapes that at their best are surreal, playful, and weirdly wonderful. The group took a different tack on its latest album, 2014’s Gamel, fusing its many eclectic elements with traditional Javanese gamelan percussion. Morphing through multiple dimensions prompted by everything from electric guitars to ritual-style chanting, it celebrates the juxtaposition of chaos and precision, ancient and modern. Sumunar Gamelan Ensemble opens. $16-$20. 8 p.m. 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-375-7600. – RICK MASON

IshDARR

7TH STREET ENTRY, THURSDAY 12.3

“My image is rough: black, gap-toothed, with a blunt / The same image that’s gon' give my folks whatever they want,” declares upcoming Milwaukee rapper IshDARR on his gleaming, saxophone-streaked song “Overdue." It’s that determination, combined with his well-rounded skillset, that’s propelling the 414 representative beyond mere Internet renown and into concert venues worldwide. Last year’s The Better Life EP and March’s Old Soul, Young Spirit both hit rap sites with a precocious professionalism, marked by Ish’s balance of confidence and self-awareness, effectively nonchalant melodies, and gorgeously produced beats. That combination puts him in a class with other Midwestern prodigies like Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, and Saba, who appears on Old Soul, Young Spirit highlight “Hol’UP.” “I wonder do I think too much / I never thought I sing too much / I just probably wanna be too much,” Ish sing-raps on Old Soul, Young Spirit's “Remember.” There are worse problems to have. $10-$12. 6 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-332-8388. — MICHAEL MADDEN

Snow Show

NORTHROP, THURSDAY & FRIDAY 12.3-4

Go 96.3 FM, the newish radio station that also broadcasts Twins games, is bringing us another new event: Snow Show. The two-night Northrop concert runs afoul of the station's relentless #GoModern cries, lifting two acts from the 2013 edition of competitor 89.3 the Current's Rock the Garden — Silversun Pickups and Metric. (In fairness, both bands dropped new albums this year.) Will this spur a super-polite, passive-aggressive Twin Cities airwaves beef? Stay tuned. Literally. Anyway, Night 1 of Snow Show, presumably named for rock 'n' rollers' affinity for cocaine, offers up the Pickups, those synth-y, Pumpkins-evoking alt-rockers, and Metric, those Canadian purveyors of increasingly dance-y indie rock. U.K. rockers the Wombats and The Voice alum Melanie Martinez will also perform. Mainstream emo heavyweights Death Cab for Cutie headline Night 2, with support from Cali indie-rock faves Best Coast and Panic is Perfect. In its first year as Go 96.3, the Pohlad-owned station formerly dubbed KTWIN entered the live-entertainment fray with August's Go Fest at Target Field. $19.63-$47.50 per night. 7 p.m. 84 Church St. SE., Minneapolis; 612-625-6003 – JAY BOLLER

  • Punch Brothers $35 8 p.m. Thu. Historic State Theatre

  • I Am MPLS! $15 7 p.m. Thu. First Avenue

  • Cole Swindell $29.50-$32 8 p.m. Thu. Mill City Nights
Dr. Ralph Stanley

CEDAR CULTURAL CENTER, FRIDAY 12.4

To borrow a phrase from the Coen brothers’ 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou, Ralph Stanley is bona fide; a genuine, 24-carat gold music legend and bluegrass icon who helped define the fledgling genre and is still going strong at 88. Stanley’s riveting, hair-raising rendition of the trad-folk standard “O, Death” was a highlight of that memorable film and earned him a Grammy. But the Virginia has been a remarkable force of nature since he and his late brother, Carter, founded the Clinch Mountain Boys in the 1940s and fashioned bluegrass’ classic high, lonesome vocal style. Despite suggesting imminent retirement in recent years, Stanley still is on the road passing the legacy on with his grandson, Nathan, and latest incarnation of the Boys. The current tour follows the well-received January release of Man of Constant Sorrow, a collection of all-star collaborations with the likes of Ricky Skaggs, Elvis Costello, Robert Plant, and Lee Ann Womack. $50. 8 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-338-2674. — RICK MASON

  • Rhymesayers 20: Anniversary Concert $20 5 p.m. Fri. Target Center

  • The New Standards $25-$100 8 p.m. Fri. Historic State Theatre

  • Steel Panther $29 7 p.m. Fri. Myth
Girl Germs

TURF CLUB, SATURDAY 12.5

Girl Germs launched in 2014 as a way for Minneapolis locals to pay tribute to the female paragons of the music industry. But in 2015, it’s morphed into one of the most anticipated musical masquerades in the city. Curated and organized by Sally Hedberg and Dana Raidt, Girl Germs already made a bang at the Turf Club this past January, with Aby Wolf going full Kate Bush and Kitten Forever doing their rhythm-only rendition of Beyoncé. Somehow, Saturday’s follow-up surpasses that high-water mark, featuring Picked to Click top finishers Bad Bad Hats and Bruise Violet, who will transform into Sheryl Crow and Lunachicks, respectively. Elsewhere on the bill, Nona Marie tries on Patti Smith’s leather, Suzie throws back to Cyndi Lauper, and Mina Moore channels Janet Jackson. With such a brimming talent pool, Girl Germs 3.0 should be the pinnacle — especially given that 89.3 the Current’s Andrea Swensson, one of the city’s most visible feminists, will be hosting. 21+. $10-$12. 8 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651-647-0486. – JERARD FAGERBERG

  • Mason Jennings $20 7 p.m. Sat. First Avenue
  • Charlie Parr $15-$18 7:30 p.m. Sat. Pepito's Parkway Theater
  • Anuhea $15-$20 7:30 p.m. Sat. Amsterdam 
  • Alice Cooper $53.50-$63.50 7 p.m. Sun. Historic State Theatre
  • Uranium Club $6 8 p.m. Sun. Clown Lounge At The Turf Club
  • Nicholas David $40-$25.50 6:30 p.m. Sun. Fitzgerald Theater
  • Jingle Ball 2015 $36-$151 7:30 p.m. Mon. Xcel Energy Center
  • JT's Jazz Implosion $8 9:30 p.m. Mon. Icehouse
  • The Roe Family Singers FREE 9 p.m. Mon. 331 Club
  • Motley Crue $20-$125 7 p.m. Tue. Target Center
  • The 36th Annual John Lennon Tribute $16-$18 7 p.m. Tue. First Avenue
  • Johnnyswim $25-$30 6:30 p.m. Tue. The Varsity Theater