The week's best concerts: Nov. 18-24

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If El Vy find their way outta the woods, expect them at First Avenue

Iris DeMent

CEDAR CULTURAL CENTER, WEDNESDAY 11.18

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 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. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-338-2674. — RICK MASON

  • Jeff Daniels $40-$35 7 p.m. Wed. Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant 

  • Bottle Rockets $15-$18 7 p.m. Wed. Turf Club 

  • Baladino $20-$22 7 p.m. Wed. The Cedar Cultural Center
Tanya Tagaq with Nanook of the North

WALKER ART CENTER, THURSDAY & FRIDAY 11.19-20

Emitting an intense array of primal sounds that run the gamut from growling to ethereal, Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq taps into her cultural roots while flirting with contemporary avant-garde. Inuit throat singing is less consistently guttural than its Asian counterpart and is meant to be performed by a duo. But Tagaq, from Nunavut in the Canadian Arctic, goes it alone, pulsing, vibrating, scratching, scurrying, and soaring through textural contours thriving with drama. Tagaq has collaborated with the likes of Björk and the Kronos Quartet, while winning numerous Canadian awards for her 2014 album, Animism, which fused her vocals with bracing bits of electronica, industrial noise, opera, metal, folk, and ambient sounds. Her performance at the Walker will accompany the groundbreaking, controversial 1922 silent film Nanook of the North, which depicts and sometimes ridicules Inuit people in one of the first documentary films. Tagaq’s performance is a means of reclaiming the film’s positive aspects. $22-$25. 8 p.m. 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-375-7600. – RICK MASON

  • Sara Tavares and Carminho $55-$45 7 p.m. Thu. Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

  • Lera Lynn $16-$18 7 p.m. Thu. The Cedar Cultural Center

  • Communion: Twin Cities $8-$13 7:30 p.m. Thu. Turf Club 

  • Glen Hansard $40 7 p.m. Fri. Historic State Theatre

  • Future Fossils (EP Release Show) $15 9 p.m. Fri. First Avenue

  • Red House Live at the Landmark: The Cactus Blossoms $20-$25 7 p.m. Fri. Landmark Center
El Vy

FIRST AVENUE, SATURDAY 11.21

If the emotionally crushing subject matter of the National has ever killed your vibe, there’s a solution: frontman Matt Berninger’s newish side project El Vy. Teaming with Menomena’s Brent Knopf, our indie-rock hero finds himself sliding that gorgeous baritone around peppy drums, sparkly keys, riff-y guitars, and bouncy rhythms. Last month’s EV debut, Return to the Moon, was met with mostly warm critical reactions. The record is loose, personal, occasionally horny, not at all humorless, and reference-laden (Minutemen, Hüsker Dü, other indie Easter eggs a la Craig Finn). Return to the Moon is not a total metamorphosis, instead providing slight yet intriguing sonic tweaks to the Berninger experience. It’s still our guy Matty B, though, so you’re still gonna get hopeless stuff like, “I’ve never been so alone / Until I was today.” Who’s ready to dance?! Danish singer-songwriter Søren Juul starts the party. 18+. $25. 8 p.m. 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. – JAY BOLLER

  • Dead & Company $50-$99 7 p.m. Sat. Target Center

  • The Dandy Warhols $25-$40 8 p.m. Sat. Fine Line Music Cafe 

  • Greycoats (Album Release Show) $15 7 p.m. Sat. Paikka
Karrin Allyson

DAKOTA JAZZ CLUB, SUNDAY & MONDAY 11.22-23

Jazz singer Karrin Allyson has taken her wonderfully supple voice and fine interpretative skills from French chanson to Brazilian samba via bop, holiday chestnuts, and pop standards. Her latest — once again essential — project, Many a New Day, is a superb reexamination of classics by the iconic team of Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein. Accompanied by jazz aces Kenny Barron (piano) and John Patitucci (bass), Allyson breaths vibrant new life into tunes from Oklahoma!, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music. It’s not easy juggling reverence and fresh perspective when tackling achingly familiar songs like “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” and “Edelweiss,” but Allyson does it with flair, slipping a slinky New Orleans groove into the former and accompanying herself on piano for a bittersweet version of the latter. She also infuses poignant blues into “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught,” the still wrenchingly relevant dissection of hate and prejudice. $25-$40. 7 & 9 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612-332-5299. — RICK MASON

  • Alvin and the Chipmunks $22-$50 1 p.m. Sun. Target Center

  • Curtis & Loretta (CD Release Show) $12-$15 7:30 p.m. Sun. The Cedar Cultural Center

  • The Local Music Scene Presents: Ally Mattson & Friend $8-$10 6:30 p.m. Sun. Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater
Odesza

FIRST AVENUE, MONDAY & TUESDAY 11.23-24

Electronica duo of Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight — aka Odesza — hit it big with its 2014 sophomore album, In Return. The Seattle twosome has since amassed slews of awards, topping charts and getting airplay worldwide, regularly turning up on the festival circuit, and consistently selling out shows, including these. The attraction is a hazy, late summer vibe that matches wafting electronics with enticing pop hooks and dance beats that shimmer like dappled sunlight. In that context, Odesza keeps things interesting, manipulating the layered elements in constantly morphing patterns. In Return tricks up the rhythms, hinting at Asian and Caribbean flavors, and caresses the melodies with alluring vocals from such guests as Zyra, Py, and Briana Marella. Opening are Australian soulful electronica singer-songwriter Hayden James and the lush electronic tapestries of L.A.’s Big Wild. 18+. Sold out. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. – RICK MASON

  • Strange Names $12-$15 7:30 p.m. Mon. Triple Rock Social Club
  • The Lonely Wild $10-$12 7 p.m. Mon. 7th St. Entry
  • The Roe Family Singers FREE 9 p.m. Mon. 331 Club
  • Sti-Lo Reel (Record Release Party) $10-$12 8 p.m. Tue. 7th St. Entry
  • The Paper Kites $15 7 p.m. Tue. Triple Rock Social Club 
  • Squeeze $30 7 p.m. Tue. The Cedar Cultural Center


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