The week's best concerts: June 8-14

A$AP Ferg

A$AP Ferg

Tony the Scribe

Honey, Thursday 6.9

There’s no evidence suggesting the Twin Cities’ long line of abstract rappers will be coming to an end anytime soon. Consider, for example, young Tony the Scribe, the rapping half of rapper-producer pair KILLSTREAK (alongside fellow Minneapolis native Icetep). Tony’s also a solo artist whose writing voice qualifies as one of the more cerebral in the local scene. Thursday’s show will celebrate Mixed Blood, his brand-new debut EP and first rap release since KILLSTREAK’s Janus album back in 2013. Though only four songs and 14 minutes in length, it’s dense with craftsmanship. Compared to Janus’ punk edge, it’s sonically quieter, directing the listener’s focus to Tony’s deeply pondered lyricism. With the combination of spacey beats and think-y verses, Mixed Blood is easily digestible yet it rewards close attention. Tony is a rapper who thrives outside of stereotypical expectations for hip-hop, expertly bringing you into his own world. With Big Cats, Eric Mayson, Chance York, Cauzndefx, Blaise B., and Simon Sed. 21+. $7. 8 p.m. 205 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-746-0306. — Michael Madden

Plants and Animals

7th St. Entry, Thursday 6.9

Montreal indie trio Plants and Animals spent four years putting together their new album, Waltzed in from the Rumbling, an ambitious mosaic splashed across a broad canvas. Its meticulous construction is evident in every intricate arrangement. The songs’ melodic cores are complicated by intriguing bits of baroque strings, chamber pop, prog rock, bristling horns, found sounds, quirky instrumentation, off-kilter rhythms, shifting moods, and moments of dissonance. It’s enough to earn the band comparisons to the likes of Radiohead, the Flaming Lips, and Arcade Fire. Guitarist/lead vocalist Warren Spicer has described PAA’s recording studio as “a mess, pieces of songs all over the place.” Yet drummer Matthew Woodley, bassist/keyboardist Nic Basque, and many scattered associates manage to transform flora and fauna fragments into fascinating pastiches embedded with reflective lyrics. “Off the Water” dances on funky effervescence. “So Many Nights” is a soulful ballad bolstered by echoes of Muscle Shoals. “All the Time” is ominous, melodramatic, wiry rock. Royal Canoe opens. 18+. $12. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. — Rick Mason

  • MN Music Coalition Showcase Featuring Reina del Cid: With Jonthan Rundman, the Lowland Lakers, Sarah Morris, and Andy Cook. Proceeds benefit MMC's musician programs., 5:30 p.m. Thu., $12-$15. The Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-338-2674,

  • More Funk '16: Old School 80's and the MPLSound: Featuring Roy Freedom, DJ Cowboy, DJ Rock-It-T, Dean Vaccaro, VJ Spot, and VJ Smitty, hosted by Alan Freed and Scotty P., 8 p.m. Thu., $8-$10. First Avenue, 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612-338-8388,

  • Music In Mears: Alex Rossi: With Dusty Heart., 6 p.m. Thu., free. Mears Park, 221 E. 5th St., St. Paul, 651-632-5111,

  • Rebel, Rebel: Rock for Pussy XII A Tribute to David Bowie: Featuring an all-star band led by John Eller, DJ Jake Rudh, and hosts Mary Lucia and David Campbell, benefiting Feline Rescue., 8 p.m. Fri., $15. First Avenue, 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612-338-8388,

  • Cage the Elephant: With Portugal. the Man, and Twin Peaks., 6 p.m. Fri., $29.50-$45. Target Center, 600 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612-673-0900,

  • Cantus: Covers: Featuring run through of the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds in its entirety, and a variety of pop covers., 7:30 p.m. Fri., $25-$35. The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts, 528 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612-206-3636,

Minnesota Zoo, Saturday, 6.11

Debbie Harry, 70, still sports the platinum ’do that inspired the name of the iconic new-wave band she’s fronted for more than 40 years, minus the odd hiatus. Guitarist and co-founder Chris Stein and drummer Clem Burke also remain at the core of the band. In its late-’70s / early-’80s heyday, Blondie was a powerhouse on the new wave/punk onslaught, freely experimenting with an eclectic mix of rock, disco, and reggae. That formula launched a succession of hits, including “Heart of Glass,” “One Way or Another,” and “Rapture.” Blondie thrived on the musical resourcefulness of Stein, Burke, and former keyboardist Jimmy Destri, as well as Harry’s voice and her burgeoning sultry/icy celebrity. These days, Blondie demonstratively bangs out all the old hits with notable fervor while remaining in the game with new material, including the latest, 2014’s Ghosts of Download. $67-$79.50. 7:30 p.m. 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley; 952-431-9200. — Rick Mason


Triple Rock Social Club, Saturday 6.11

Philadelphia’s heavily tattooed Nothing are doing their own thing in the current shoegaze era. On a surface level, they’re known for their slot in the stable at Relapse Records, the mostly metal label that’s home to heavy bands like Pig Destroyer and Torche. More than the Relapse connection, Nothing frontman Dominic Palermo & Co. are notable for the wide range of dynamics that defines their music. They made their full-length debut in 2014 with Guilty of Everything, the charred, gloomier precursor to this year’s Tired of Tomorrow. On the new album, Palermo’s lyrical perspective (his life includes a two-year prison sentence) emerges along with his increasingly intelligible vocals. With revered producer Will Yip manning the boards, the album has a multi-leveled sound, with stomping guitar progressions, pounding drums, and even beautifully tumbling piano. It’s a modern shoegaze album that deserves as much attention this year as DIIV’s Is the Is Are. With Wrong and Culture Abuse. 18+. $15. 8 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612-333-7399. — Michael Madden

  • Drake Nite 6: Featuring DJ Bach, DJ Greenery, and Cloud., 8 p.m. Sat., $10-$15. First Avenue, 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612-338-8388,

  • 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,

  • Winstock Country Music Festival: Featuring Lee Brice, Brad Paisley, Thomas Rhett, Tyler Farr, Big & Rich with Cowboy Troy, and A Thousand Horses. Full lineup and info at, 9:30-12 a.m. Sat., $100-$165. Winstock Festival Grounds, 3233 230th St., Winsted, 888-946-7865,

  • Black Pussy: 8 p.m. Sun., $8-$10. Triple Rock Social Club, 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-333-7399,

  • Home Free: With the Exchange., 7 p.m. Sun., $38-$48. Minnesota Zoo Weesner Amphitheater, 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley, 952-431-9200,

  • Local H: 7 p.m. Sun., $15-$20. Fine Line Music Cafe, 318 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612-338-8100,
A$AP Ferg and Tory Lanez

First Avenue, Monday 6.13

Both a half decade into their careers, co-headliners A$AP Ferg and Tory Lanez are very much on the rise. Behind A$AP Rocky, Ferg is often seen as the A$AP Mob’s Scottie Pippen, but that doesn’t give him quite enough credit. His animated rapping and energy are absolutely crucial to the Harlem collective and its aesthetic. First emerging on Rocky’s “Kissin’ Pink” and as an integral part of A$AP’s crew mixtape, Lord$ Never Worry, Ferg’s forward-thinking sound has always been post-regional. His new Always Strive and Prosper album is heavy on major guest appearances, but it also features Ferg’s increasingly focused lyricism, which frequently touches on his family. Meanwhile, Toronto’s Tory Lanez has come into his own as one of his city’s finest musical exports. Lanez turned down a spot on this year’s coveted XXL Freshman cover, presumably because he doesn’t see himself as a freshman. After all, he’s been connected with established superstars like Justin Bieber going as far back as 2010. He’s known for his singles “Say It” and “LA Confidential,” as well as guesting on songs like Meek Mill’s thunderous “Lord Knows.” With MadeinTyo and Rocky Diamonds. $30. 6 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. —Michael Madden

  • Atomic Lights (EP Release Show): With the Right Here, Murrieta, and Redshift., 7 p.m. Mon., $5. 7th St. Entry, 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612-338-8388,

  • Haley Reinhart: With Dan Rodriguez. All ages., 6 p.m. Mon., $20-$25. The Varsity Theater, 1308 4th St. SE, Minneapolis, 612-604-0222,

  • Ziggy Marley: 7 p.m. Mon., $45. Minnesota Zoo Weesner Amphitheater, 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley, 952-431-9200,
Modern Baseball

Mill City Nights, Tuesday 6.14

Modern Baseball were once pigeonholed by terms like “pop punk” and “emo” for their similarities to bands like Minneapolis’ departing Motion City Soundtrack. But the Philly quartet has quickly become an exciting young rock band, period. One of the immediately striking things about the band is singers Jake Ewald and Brendan Lukens and the nasal, even nerdy vocals they use to deliver mouthfuls about girl trouble and social anxiety, as well as modern concerns like social media account activity and monthly data plans. Like the Hold Steady, Modern Baseball opt for shouted choruses and forceful riffs. Just as soon as they risk losing your attention, they turn the quirky verbiage into hard-charging hooks. This year’s Holy Ghost is the latest in their run of concise, half-hour albums, sectioned off by Ewald and Lukens writing the first and second halves, respectively. Together, they lead a band with a unique balance that’s built to last, wherever critical circles place them. With Joyce Manor and Thin Lips. 15+. $19-$23. 8 p.m. 111 Fifth St. N., Minneapolis; 612-333-3422. — Michael Madden

Paul Simon

Orpheum Theatre, Tuesday 6.14 & Wednesday 6.15

Half a century after “The Sound of Silence” arrived with considerable clatter, Paul Simon is still rhymin’, chimin’, and diversifyin’. The latter quality refers to the broad swath of influences he’s tapped into throughout his career, perhaps reaching a new peak on his engaging new album, Stranger to Stranger. Not only do Simon’s new songs resonate with echoes of African, Latin, and folk elements, but there are manipulated samples from various sources including 1930s-era gospel, bizarre instruments invented by microtonal composer Harry Partch, and streaks of his distinctive pop savvy. Three tunes also boast crackling electronic pulses via Italian producer Clap! Clap! (aka Digi G’Alessio). Simon’s lyrics throughout are sharp and clever, laced with wit and deeper meaning, his wordplay as lithe and dexterous as his still-boyish voice. In short, Simon is in prime form at age 74, still experimenting, still thought-provoking, still sounding great, still a little crazy after all these years. $64.50-$144.50. 8 p.m. 910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-339-707. —Rick Mason

  • The Pack A.D.: With Kitten Forever., 7:30 p.m. Tue., $12. Turf Club, 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul, 651-647-0486,
  • Yung Lean: All ages. Rescheduled from March 27., 6 p.m. Tue., $21. First Avenue, 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612-338-8388,
  • Kevin Morby: With Jaye Bartell., 8 p.m. Tue., $12. 7th St. Entry, 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612-338-8388,