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

Joanna Newsom, and possibly the parrot, will be at the Fitz.

Joanna Newsom, and possibly the parrot, will be at the Fitz.

  • Bell Witch $8-$10 7:30 p.m. Wed. 7th St. Entry

  • A Very Murray Christmas $6 7 p.m. Wed. Turf Club

  • Transmission FREE 10 p.m. Wdd. Clubhouse Jager
Joanna Newsom

Fitzgerald Theater, Thursday 12.17

Few things are worth leaving your December ice cave for, save for a glimpse of a deity, and that’s exactly the opportunity the Fitz is offering by inviting harpist/seraph player Joanna Newsom to perform. Newsom broke into the public eye with her role narrating in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice and marriage to Lonely Island funny boy Andy Samberg. But she’s been the jewel of the indie scene since her debut in 2004. Over a decade removed from the pastoral mood of The Milk-Eyed Mender, the Californian avant-garde folk singer has slickened up her sound, packaging her pert songwriting into incredible, urbanite sweeps on her blithe, heart-transforming fourth album, Divers. The album itself is a balm for frostbite, but the chance to see Newsom’s rousing beatitudes live will be enough warmth to sustain you ’til March. Portland folk independents Alela Diane and Ryan Francesconi join forces to open the night. $35-$50. 8 p.m. 10 E. Exchange St., St. Paul; 651-290-1200. – Jerard Fagerberg

The Yawpers

Lee's Liquor Lounge, Thursday 12.17

Denver trio the Yawpers adapted their name from a line in Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass: “I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.” That’s yawp, as in squawk, a raucous noise, which is what the band makes on American Man, its impressive debut for Bloodshot Records. Like Whitman, Nate Cook writes about the American experience, but in a more caustic way, reminiscent of Springsteen, Steve Earle, and the Drive—By Truckers. Appropriately, Yawpers’ music is a rowdy, raw, and gritty Americana blend of primal rock ’n’ roll, hard country, blues, punky boogie, and primitive folk. Cook howls with apocalyptic fury about contemporary existential angst, his beleaguered characters wrestling with promises of the past and stark uncertainties of a crumbling future. “This is my home but I’m a stranger here,” Cook moans in the title cut, then in the defiant anthem “3 a.m.,” spits unsavory choices in a dire time: “Maybe I’ll turn to Jesus / Maybe I’ll cash it all in / I can feel the darkness coming.” Red Daughters and Out of Controllers open. 21+. $7. 9:30 p.m. 101 Glenwood Ave., Minneapolis; 612-338-9491. – Rick Mason

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

  • Blvck Spvce $7-$10 8 p.m. Thu. 7th St. Entry

  • American Scarecrows $12-$15 7 p.m. Thu. The Cedar Cultural Center
Dillinger Four

Triple Rock Social Club, Friday 12.18

In what amounts to basically a house show for the venue-owning punk band, Dillinger Four will helm a pre-Christmas bash at the T-Rock. It’s been seven long-ass years since the faithful Minneapolitans put out a new album, but recent reports suggest D4 are ramping up for a new release next year. According to singer/bassist Paddy Costello, that release could just be an EP, but the local favorites have about six new songs to mix into their set. In November, major music blog Noisey called D4 “quite possibly the most beloved, most influential punk band of their generation” in a fascinating, wide-ranging feature profile. Right now, they’re focused on celebrating 21 years in the game with a predictable amount of debauchery in their hometown. Before the hard-drinkin’ foursome hit the road next year, they’re putting on local spitfires France Camp, Näive Sense, Color TV, and Hive at Friday’s punk-rock house party. 18+. $10-$12. 8 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S. Minneapolis; 612-333-7399. – Jerard Fagerberg

  • Wild Belle (Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota) $25 7:30 p.m. Fri. Fine Line Music Cafe

  • Red House Live at the Landmark: Davina and the Vagabonds $20-$25 7 p.m. Fri. Landmark Center

  • The Heiruspecs Holiday Classic $12-$15 9 p.m. Fri. Turf Club
Rock4Love: POC Battle of the Bands

Cedar Cultural Center, Saturday 12.19

It’s no secret that people of color are despairingly underrepresented in music, and Faded Productions has made it their mission to act as allies for non-white, non-straight, and non-cis musicians in the local scene. To that end, they’ve assembled six musicians/bands of color to vie for a $1,000 prize at the Cedar this Saturday. Local spoken-word artist Joe Davis leads the pack with his R&B band, the Poetic Diaspora, competing alongside the industrial boom bap of Juan Cholo & the New Millennium, the coastal tenderness of Palms Psalm, the freeform lucidity of PosNoSys, and the wistful soul of Sankophoenix. The contest — which also features Strange Fruit and the Jimmies — is hosted by Ashley DuBose, a former finalist on NBC’s The Voice, and Sonic Rain. All ages. $5-$15. 5 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S. Minneapolis; 612-338-2674. – Jerard Fagerberg

All Them Witches

Turf Club, Saturday 12.19

Dying Surfer Meets His Maker is the enigmatic title of the latest slab from All Them Witches. The Nashville quartet’s own enigma is shrouded by Zeppelinesque misty mountains, Appalachian apparitions, and wraiths of blues, psychedelia, and pre—metallic hard rock. In fact, Witches recorded Surfer in a Smoky Mountains cabin, tapping the secluded setting and slew of vintage influences to craft what’s essentially highly nuanced music of fluctuating intensity, with electrifying atmospherics and a sometimes epic scale. That fervor sometimes simmers, chafing under restraints like the spacey vocals and lyrical acoustic and slide guitars that kick off opener “Call Me Star.” But drummer Robby Staebler’s potent, John Bonham—like pulse presages the tolling electric chords that eventually unfold with bristling authority, flowing directly into the explosive instrumental “El Centro,” a thunderous maelstrom of improv power chords and dark psychedelia. Urgent and ominous, “Dirt Preachers” owes a debt to early Black Sabbath, while “This Is Where It Falls Apart” is slow, smoldering blues. New Madrid opens. $10-$12. 9 p.m. 1601 University Ave., St. Paul; 651-647-0486. – Rick Mason

  • Lola & the Red Family Band Holiday Show$15 8:30 p.m. Sat. Cabooze

  • Manplanet $12-$15 8 p.m. Sat. Triple Rock Social Club

  • Vaski Holiday Blowout $15-$20 9 p.m. Sat. First Avenue

  • The Minnesota Boychoir Annual Winter Concert FREE 4 p.m. Sun. Ted Mann Concert Hall

  • The Local Music Scene Presents: Braver $8-$10 6:30 p.m. Sun. Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater

  • Solomon's Sessions $5 7 p.m. Sun. Bedlam Theatre Lowertown

  • Ernie Halter $12-$15 7:30 p.m. Mon. Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater

  • Bob & Lee's Country Showdown Singing Contest FREE 7 p.m. Mon. Lee's Liquor Lounge

  • Phil Cook with Mike Lewis and JT Bates $10 9:30 p.m. Mon. Icehouse

  • Kat Perkins $30 7:30 p.m. Tue. Plymouth Playhouse

  • Erik Koskinen $8-$10 7 p.m. Tue. Turf Club 

  • Gift-Rapped Part Deux $7 8 p.m. Tue. 7th St. Entry