The week's best concerts: Sept. 21-27

Haley Bonar

Haley Bonar Graham Tolbert

Rounding up the best concerts this week in the Twin Cities. 

  • PEACHES Sep 21st 7:30 pm at First Avenue
  • BLITZEN TRAPPER Sep 21st 7:00 pm at Turf Club
  • GLOBAL ROOTS FESTIVAL: SK KAKRABA AND PALENKE SOULTRIBE Sep 21st 7:00 pm at The Cedar Cultural Center
  • CITY OF SOUND (FAREWELL SHOW) Sep 22nd 8:00 pm at Triple Rock Social Club
  • SO LONG MARIANNE: THE SONGS OF LEONARD COHEN Sep 22nd 7:00 pm at Clown Lounge At The Turf Club
  • CMND+CTRL Sep 22nd 10:00 pm at Icehouse

Montana of 300
Cabooze, Friday 9.23
More and more rap fans are beginning to believe Chicago’s notorious “drill music” is dead. But then there’s Montana of 300. The Windy City MC has emerged as a street rapper who’s built to last, with an impressive craftsmanship that distances him from the narcotized mumbles of Chief Keef and the blunt barks of Fredo Santana. In 2014, Montana rocketed to internet fame with his instantly legendary version of Nicki Minaj and G Herbo’s “Chi-Raq,” his voice escalating in intensity while his lines connected in memorable ways: “Put the 9 to ’em with the long clip, DeAndre Jordan.” (Look that one up on Rap Genius if you have to.) The 27-year-old’s original material, too, is best when he’s in attack mode and/or conveying the pain and struggle that’s associated with his native Chicago these days. He’s also potent when working with Auto-Tune and Fetty Wap-esque hooks, giving his records an array of different sounds. After one solo tape and a joint project with fellow Chicagoan Talley of 300, Montana dropped his debut album in May, the nearly 80-minute Fire in the Church, featuring Baton Rouge superstar Kevin Gates on “Goonies.” 15+. 5:30 p.m. $20-$50. 917 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612-338-6425. —Michael Madden

  • THRICE Sep 23rd 7:00 pm at First Avenue
  • TACOCAT Sep 23rd 8:00 pm at 7th St. Entry
  • AMSTERDAM'S 5TH ANNIVERSARY: FEATURING NIGHT MOVES Sep 23rd 7:00 pm at Amsterdam Bar and Hall

Drive-by Truckers and Lydia Loveless
First Avenue, Saturday 9.24
The Drive-By Truckers are mad as hell and they’re not gonna finesse it anymore. DBT’s Southern gothic rock never did shy away from lacerating commentary, particularly about Southern culture on the skids. But on American Band, due out September 30, songwriters Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley essentially have dispensed with symbolism and innuendo. Instead, they’re dishing out stark takes on the contentious issues that have turned this election year into a perpetual state of fear and loathing. Or as Cooley has said, “I wanted to piss off the assholes.” “Surrender Under Protest,” one of two already released tracks, is about morally bankrupt traditions, specifically the Confederate flag controversy following the Charleston church murders. “What It Means” concerns tattered race relations in the wake of Trayvon Martin, Ferguson, and similar incendiary incidents. It’s all delivered via spirited, Southern-fried rock ’n’ roll. Opener Lydia Loveless has an impressive new album too. Real is similarly rife with brutally direct observations, although Loveless’ are about the personal politics of shredded relationships. Her anguished, world-weary vocals retain a country twang even as her tough country-punk musical core adds new rock and pop dimensions. 18+. $25. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. —Rick Mason

KT Tunstall
Fine Line Music Café, Saturday 9.24
After the dust settled from her elegant but emotionally draining 2013 album Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon (reflecting her divorce and father’s death), KT Tunstall was so burnt out she considered entirely chucking her music career. The Scottish singer-songwriter moved from the U.K. to Southern California and remained quiet until canyon drives with classic rock blasting from the speakers reignited her rock ’n’ roll desire. The result is Tunstall’s just-released KIN, an exuberant splash of neon-bright rockers infused with significant doses of power-pop, Laurel Canyon psychedelia, and day-glo optimism. Songs like “It Took Me So Long to Get Here, But Here I Am” and “Maybe It’s a Good Thing” retain a clinical recovery tinge, while “Hard Girls” and “Evil Eye” resurrect the bristly, electrifying attitude of her best early work. Opening is Detroit native Mayaeni, a guitarist with a big, gritty voice who mixes up rock, R&B, soul, and blues on her new Elocution EP on Jay Z’s Roc Nation label. 18+. $30-$45. 9 p.m. 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8100. —Rick Mason

  • SURLYFEST 2016 Sep 24th 11:00 am at Surly Brewing Company
  • AMSTERDAM'S 5TH ANNIVERSARY: FEATURING PAVIELLE Sep 24th 7:00 pm at Amsterdam Bar and Hall

Haley Bonar
Sociable Cider Werks, Sunday 9.25
The weekend’s best free party is at Sociable Cider Werks. That’s where Haley Bonar will perform as part of the Minneapolis hard-cider destination’s newish outdoor concert series. A Twin Cities fave for a decade-plus, Bonar dropped her latest, Impossible Dream, last month. The 31-minute sonic blitz finds the Minnesota transplant’s thoughtful, aching songwriting accented by the slashing electric guitars and feistier tempos found on 2014’s Last War, but there are plenty of callbacks to the scorched-earth melancholia of her earlier work. Lyrically, you get the sense that Bonar, 33, is working through some shit. The new LP has received warm praise from Pitchfork, American Songwriter, and the Washington Post, among others. New York City’s Cults will open this Impossible Dream release party with their stylish indie-pop and Fleetwood Mac-ian dynamic. But how do you, intrigued reader, get into the show? First, go to and reserve your ticket. Then, print your confirmation email. Finally, count the hours until 3 p.m. September 25, 2016. But be warned: Sociable sticks you with a cash-only drinking wristband fee. All ages. Free; $5 at the gate. 3 p.m. 1500 Fillmore St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-758-0105. —Jay Boller

Danny Brown
First Avenue, Sunday 9.25
Detroit oddball Danny Brown won’t drop his new album, Atrocity Exhibition, until five days after his gig at First Ave, but early indications are that the follow-up to 2013’s Old is the rapper’s magnum opus. Drawing inspiration from Joy Division, Raekwon, Björk, Talking Heads, and, cacophonously enough, System of a Down, the album is sure to be an interesting turn at the very least. Most important is that the eccentric and lit-as-fuck Brown is still a supernova in the live context. Longtime fans will remember his infamous — and alleged! — oral-sex incident at the Triple Rock back in 2013, but that debauchery is really a poor representation of what makes Danny Brown shows spectacular. The dude rhymes like a buzzsaw through particle board, pogo dancing onstage for hours without any fatigue. He’s an impresario, and if Atrocity Exhibition has managed to bottle any of that in its wayward composition, then this tour will be the one that erases the legacy of that blurry night at the T-Rock back in ’13. With Maxo Kream and ZelooperZ. 18+. 7:30 p.m. $25.50-$28. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. —Jerard Fagerberg

  • TOKYO POLICE CLUB Sep 25th 7:00 pm at Fine Line Music Cafe
  • SUMMER'S OVER FEATURING TOKI WRIGHT Sep 25th 7:30 pm at 7th St. Entry
  • JAH WOBBLE AND THE INVADERS OF THE HEART Sep 25th 7:00 pm at Turf Club
  • FOGHORN STRINGBAND Sep 26th 7:00 pm at The Cedar Cultural Center
  • DADDY DINERO Sep 26th 8:00 pm at 7th St. Entry
  • PANOPTICON Sep 26th 8:00 pm at Triple Rock Social Club

Turf Club, Tuesday 9.27
Hip-hop has changed in countless ways over the past decade, but with the influential Sacramento duo Blackalicious back at it after a long hiatus, it’s unsurprising their return has been a triumphant success so far. After all, the music of rapper Gift of Gab and DJ/producer Chief Xcel always existed outside typical notions of what rap is. They debuted with the 1994 EP Melodica, released on the defunct but legendary indie label Mo’ Wax, and eventually dropped their first full-length in 1999’s Nia. That LP, along with 2002’s Blazing Arrow and 2005’s The Craft, established Blackalicious as forerunners of “conscious rap” with an Afrocentric sensibility to boot, and Gab consistently proved himself to be a master of highly technical rapping. After Gab and Xcel went their separate ways in the mid-2000s, they returned last year with the warm, soulful boom bap of Imani Vol. 1, the first volume in an expected trilogy. In an era when conscious rap is often considered uncool, their sheer skillset and prevailing optimism sound positively timeless. With Lushlife. 7 p.m. $20. 1601 University Ave., St. Paul; 651-647-0486. —Michael Madden

  • JT BATES' GRAIN TRIO Sep 27th 8:00 pm at Vieux Carre
  • YOUNG THE GIANT Sep 27th 7:00 pm at First Avenue
  • THE SAINT JOHNS Sep 27th 7:00 pm at 7th St. Entry