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The week's best concerts: Dec. 28-Jan. 2

If Snowta made the Convention Center look this cool, imagine what they'll do at the Armory.

If Snowta made the Convention Center look this cool, imagine what they'll do at the Armory. Photo courtesy of Snowta

Friday 12.28

Soul Asylum @ First Avenue
Soul Asylum’s three-decade rollercoaster ride inevitably includes a hometown holiday gig. Since its early, punkish Loud Fast Rules incarnation, SA’s hooky grunge and emotionally charged lyrics, with periodic detours into country, pop, and R&B, has becomed a local institution. SA’s critical fates have been mixed since its early ’90s major label high, but the band has endured with sole original member Dave Pirner at the helm, turning in solid efforts like 2016’s Change of Fortune. This year Asylum faithful got remastered, expanded versions of ’84’s Say What You Will and ’86’s Made To Be Broken, plus 1992’s previously unreleased Live from Liberty Lunch, Austin, TX. With the 4onthefloor, Loki’s Folly and a DJ set from Lori Barbero.18+. $30. 7:30 p.m. 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason

Complete Friday music listings here.

Saturday 12.29

Pat Mallinger Quartet @ Vieux Carre
Almost every Saturday night (well, technically, Sunday morning) Pat Mallinger is onstage playing his saxophones and flute at the Green Mill in Chicago with Sabertooth, the midnight to 5 a.m. house band at the venue since 1992. But the St. Paul native is home for the holidays and this particular Saturday he’s hooking his quartet book of tunes up to stalwarts of the Twin Cities scene, including drummer Phil Hey, pianist Mary Louise Knutson, and the peripatetic bassist Chris Bates. 9 p.m. $12 for a bar seat, $15 for a table. 408 St. Peter Street, St. Paul. More info here.—Britt Robson

Complete Saturday music listings here.

Sunday 12.30

Snowta NYE @ Armory
Now in its third year, Snowta NYE, calling itself "the Midwest's largest experiential music festival," returns with another massive electronic- and rap-oriented lineup. This year, each night has a headliner in the form of a superstar DJ/producer—Marshmello on Sunday and Skrillex performing an NYE countdown set on Monday—plus special treats like Chicago rapper Chief Keef playing the entirety of his 2012 album Finally Rich, the defining full-length of "drill music." Also Monday. 18+. 6 p.m. $150-$364.55. 500 S. 6th St., Minneapolis. More info here.—Michael Madden

Guided by Voices @ First Avenue
Following a hiatus between 2004 and 2010, Robert Pollard and Guided by Voices have returned to the prolific ways of the band’s beer-soaked ‘80s and ‘90s, when Pollard (the band’s only constant member) was among that time’s essential outside-the-box rock songwriters, penning batch after batch of sneaky lo-fi gems. Though GBV has self-released multiple albums each year for most of this decade, March’s refreshingly focused Space Gun was GBV’s only full-length of 2018. But, hardly slowing down, they're expected to return in February with the 75-minute double album Zeppelin Over China. 18+. 7 p.m. $30. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis. More info here.—Michael Madden

Hoaxer @ Vieux Carre
Pretty good odds that at least one of these four still-very young musicians will become a fixture on the international jazz scene. The beauty of it is that every member appears capable of it. Catch them now so you can say you did. Charlie Lincoln on bass, Will Kjeer, piano, Peter Goggin on sax, and Edmund Catlin at the drums.7 p.m. $10. 408 St. Peter Street, St. Paul. More info here.—Britt Robson

Complete Sunday music listings here.

Monday 12.31

Black Dog Jazz All Stars @ Black Dog
Music stays at the forefront of the NYE celebration with a late-night “all star” quintet led by Steve Kenny on trumpet, a pair of Hoaxer members (bassist Charlie Lincoln and pianist Will Kjeer), drummer Pete James Johnson, and saxophonist Dave Brattain. Given Kenny’s extensive connections and the loose-limbed, welcoming vibe that always permeates the Black Dog, you can count on the “some special guests” teased on the website to be more than hype. 7 p.m. $20 reservations suggested. 308 E. Prince St., St. Paul. More info here.—Britt Robson

Complete Monday music listings here.

Tuesday 1.1

Complete Tuesday music listings here.

Wednesday 1.2

Nick Lowe @ Dakota
Tongue was firmly in cheek when Nick Lowe irreverently assumed the guise Jesus of Cool. Forty years later, he’s entirely earned the tag for a sterling career as pub rocker, producer, punk instigator, ace songwriter, and wickedly clever lyricist. Nowadays he’s an avuncular pop crooner—except when he isn’t, and teams up with surf rockers Los Straitjackets, famed for their blazing instrumentals and Mexican wrestling masks. After a couple of Christmas albums, Lowe and Los Straits issued a July EP with two originals, rockabilly romp “Tokyo Bay” and countrypolitan “Crying Inside,” plus covers of Dionne Warwick’s “Heartbreaker” and Cliff Richard’s “Travellin’[sic] Light.” Also Thursday. 7 p.m. $50-$75. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason

Complete Wednesday music listings here.

Thursday 1.3

Repeat Offender @ Khyber Pass

The Repeat Offender quartet describes itself as “Chastity Core/Unlistenable Jazz Standards/Spleen Rupturing Blast Beats.” A good way to self-select your audience. 9:30 p.m. $10 (“cash”). 1571 Grand Ave., St. Paul. More info here. —Britt Robson

Complete Thursday music listings here.