The week's best concerts: Nov. 16-22

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Rounding up the week's best concerts in the Twin Cities. 

Kevin Gordon
The Warming House, Wednesday 11.16
Kevin Gordon is a poet and knows it; in fact, he’s a graduate of the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop. But he’s also a son of the conflicted modern South, a Nashville-based native of Monroe, Louisiana, a survivor of youth punk bands, a scrappy guitarist, and a fan of guys like John Lee Hooker and Carl Perkins. While in the Hawkeye state he got another education hooking up with ace guitarist Bo Ramsey. All has made Gordon a formidable songwriter whose vivid details, striking imagery, and deft turns of phrase combine with a swamp-soaked mix of blues, folk, rockabilly, and country. On his rich but sporadic albums, Gordon often tries to reconcile Southern heritage’s slippery grip on the 21st century, in doing so revealing a national vein of racism, fear, and paranoia. On Gloryland he wrote about a black marching band director’s close encounter with the KKK. On last year’s Long Gone Time, a guy in a gutbucket blues stomp is so disaffected he feels like “an immigrant... with the law on his heels.” Bonnie Whitmore opens. 8 p.m. $120-$15. 4001 Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-824-4906. -- Rick Mason

  • P PL (TAPE RELEASE SHOW) Nov. 16, 8:00 p.m. at Triple Rock Social Club
  • DAR WILLIAMS: RETURN TO MORTAL CITY 20TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR Nov. 16, 7:00 p.m. at The Cedar Cultural Center
  • KICK Nov. 16, 8:00 p.m. at Turf Club

Peter Wolf & the Midnight Travelers
Dakota Jazz Club, Thursday 11.17
Peter Wolf is the longtime frontman for the J. Geils Band, the rock/R&B outfit out of Boston that racked up hit singles (“Looking for a Love,” “Give It to Me,” “Centerfold”) through the ’70s and early ’80s. Even as that band and its fortunes have fluctuated, Wolf has maintained a 30-year solo career that’s dug deeper into his roots obsessions and produced stellar collaborations with the likes of Aretha Franklin and Mick Jagger. His latest, April’s A Cure for Loneliness, kicks off with the tough, soulful rock ballad “Rolling On,” in which the 70-year-old Wolf declares he’s “goin’ strong … straight from here to eternity.” And he musters plenty of spit and fire, revisiting 20-year-old “Wastin’ Time” with an organ-drenched live version, and rocking out on the boogying “How Do You Know” and the jivey “Mr. Mistake.” Wolf sidles through “Tragedy,” an old doo-wop hit for the Fleetwoods, and then indulges his country leanings with a cover of Moe Bandy’s “It Was Always So Easy (To Find an Unhappy Woman),” and most surprisingly, a bluegrass version of the old J. Geils hit “Love Stinks.” 7 p.m. $45-$65. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612-332-5299. -- Rick Mason

  • AARON LEWIS Nov. 17, 7:00 p.m. at First Avenue
  • LAYZIE BONE Nov. 17, 8:00 p.m. at Amsterdam Bar and Hall

21 Savage
Friday 11.18, Myth
Atlanta’s 21 Savage is arguably the fastest-rising rapper on the planet, though his sound is cold, minimal, and uncompromising — in other words, far from the melodic trap rap of ATL contemporaries like Future or Young Thug. 21 represents a new wave of gangster rap coming out of Atlanta, complete with an element of shock value that starts with his hard-to-miss forehead tattoo of a knife. Anyone who’s clicked play on his debut mixtape, last year’s The Slaughter Tape, can testify that 21’s villainous image seems refreshingly authentic. His most recent project is Savage Mode, a collab tape with Atlanta super-producer Metro Boomin featuring his breakout hit, the Future-assisted “X.” 21’s accomplishments and accolades — whether it’s his spot on the XXL Freshman cover or appearance on new Drake single “Sneakin’” — are becoming impossible to ignore. That makes this Myth gig one of the most eagerly anticipated Twin Cities shows of 2016’s closing months. Chicago phenom G Herbo, another 2016 XXL Freshman, is also set to perform. 6 p.m. $35-$60. 3090 Southlawn Dr., St. Paul; 651-779-6984. -- Michael Madden

Becky Shaheen
Friday 11.18, Icehouse
Back in August, Minneapolis singer-songwriter Becky Shaheen released an efficient and unpretentious record called Serial Dream, which turned out to be one of the most underrated Twin Cities albums of the year. Evoking singers from the ’70s (like Carole King), today (like Angel Olsen), and every era in between, Shaheen’s songs are evidence that traditional “singer-songwriter” music can still feel timeless. At the same time, it would be a disservice to Chris Koza and the other musicians and engineers not to mention the gorgeous sound of the album, whether it’s the crispness of the guitars, the vocal harmonies, or the elegant violin and cello of “The Chair” and album closer “Lighthouse.” With any luck, Serial Dream will get properly recognized for the pure craftsmanship that went into it. Come to think of it, it might sound best during a cold winter, anyway. Friday’s show is the official Serial Dream release party, and Koza is slated to perform a set of his own. 21+. 11 p.m. $10. 2528 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-276-6523. -- Michael Madden

  • POLICA AND STARGAZE: MUSIC FOR THE LONG EMERGENCY Nov. 18, 7:00 p.m. at Fitzgerald Theater
  • THE LAST REVEL AND THE LOWEST PAIR Nov. 18, 7:00 p.m. at The Cedar Cultural Center
  • FAREWELL MILWAUKEE (RECORD RELEASE SHOW) Nov. 18, 8:00 p.m. at Turf Club

Alan Jackson
Target Center, Saturday 11.19
We’re used to seeing “yahoos” at Target Center — talkin’ those historically terrible Timberwolves — but get ready for some “yeehaws.” That’s because country star Alan Jackson is on his way to the Minneapolis arena, and you can bet your finest sassy mudflaps he’s gonna keep things country when he arrives. After all, the mustachioed Georgian promised as much when he named his current tour the Keepin’ It Country Tour. And Alan Jackson couldn’t lie to us... could he? No, he couldn’t — it would destroy us. To what extent is Jackson willing to keep it country? Earlier this month, the 57-year-old honky-tonk hitmaker walked out of the CMA Awards during the Beyoncé-Dixie Chicks collab, one he presumably and uncooly deemed not country enough. Jackson’s 12th and latest album, Angels and Alcohol, dropped last year, and he was quick to show it off at the Minnesota State Fair grandstand. Lauren Alaina — the 21-year-old possessor of two first names who wowed some of the nation on American Idol — will open this show. 7:30 p.m. $49.50-$74.50. 600 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-673-0900. -- Jay Boller

  • FIDLAR Nov. 19, 6:00 p.m. at The Varsity Theater
  • GAELYNN LEA (CHRISTMAS CD RELEASE SHOW) Nov. 19, 7:00 p.m. at Amsterdam Bar and Hall
  • NOBOOL SESSIONS: AN AMERICANA SONGWRITER SHOWCASE Nov. 19, 8:00 p.m. at The Hook and Ladder Theater & Lounge

Young Thug
Sunday 11.20, Myth
When eccentric Atlanta trap rapper Young Thug first arrived on the scene back in 2011, he had a hard time shaking comparisons to Lil Wayne. Five years later, it doesn’t feel right to compare him to anyone at all. He’s become one of the most idiosyncratic and experimental vocalists (and dressers) in all of popular music. Though he raps about the same things over and over, his spontaneously bending flows are endlessly varied. The novelty of his style refused to wear off; he’s long since proven his durability. This year alone, he’s released the widely acclaimed mixtapes I’m Up, Slime Season 3, and Jeffery, with individual songs like “Pick Up the Phone” (with Travi$ Scott and Quavo), “With Them,” “Digits,” and “Wyclef Jean” keeping his name all over the charts. He’ll by joined at this show by Young M.A., the Brooklyn rapper behind the compulsively quotable hit “OOOUUU,” as well as the Bronx’s A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, the budding hitmaker rolling off the buzz of his singles “My Shit,” “Jungle,” and more. All ages. 5:30 p.m. $45-$95. 3090 Southlawn Dr., St. Paul; 651-779-6984. -- Michael Madden 

  • THE AVANT GARDE PRESENTS: THE NEW RENAISSANCE Nov. 20, 6:30 p.m. at Amsterdam Bar and Hall
  • SNOW THA PRODUCT Nov. 20, 7:00 p.m. at Fine Line Music Cafe
  • TRACE BUNDY AND SUNGHA JUNG Nov. 20, 7:00 p.m. at The Cedar Cultural Center
  • HOLY MOLY Nov. 21, 7:30 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • JONATHA BROOKE Nov. 21, 7:00 p.m. at Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
  • FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS Nov. 22, 8:00 p.m. at Historic State Theatre
  • BRIAN GALLAGHER QUARTET (CD RELEASE SHOW) Nov. 22, 9:30 p.m. at Icehouse
  • SONATA ARCTICA Nov. 22, 8:00 p.m. at Mill City Nights