This week's 26 best concerts: Feb. 1-7

Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Ladysmith Black Mambazo Shane Doyle

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

Talib Kweli
The Cabooze, Wednesday 2.1
Few rappers have ever began their careers better than Talib Kweli. The Brooklyn MC’s first three proper full-lengths — 1998’s Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star, 2000’s Hi-Tek collab Train of Thought, and the 2002 solo album Quality — are all bona fide underground-rap classics; songs like his hit Quality single “Get By” encapsulated his gifts for pure, unforced melody and thoughtful, observant lyricism. Really, Kweli has always been admirably uncompromising, and over the years, he’s become something of a cult hero and respected elder statesman. Whereas his longtime collaborator and Black Star partner Mos Def, aka Yasiin Bey, is rarely heard from these days, the 41-year-old Kweli remains prolific. Among his best projects of this decade: 2011’s Gutter Rainbows and 2015’s entirely 9th Wonder-produced Indie 500, the latter of which is the latest example of Kweli’s penchant for working with one super-producer for an entire project. Ever politically conscious, Kweli always has plenty to say about President Donald Trump, calling him a “violent racist,” among other things. With Styles P and K’Valentine. 18+. 9 p.m. $22-$25. 917 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612-338-6425. — Michael Madden

  • AND AND END Feb. 1, 9:00 p.m. at Icehouse
  • FUNK DIMENSIONS Feb. 1, 8:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • NELLIE MCKAY: A GIRL NAMED BILL Feb. 1, 7:00 p.m. at Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
  • PHOX Feb. 2, 7:00 p.m. at The Cedar Cultural Center
  • THE CONFUSED BROTHERS BAND (CD RELEASE SHOW) Feb. 2, 7:30 p.m. at Turf Club
  • RAINBOW KITTEN SURPRISE Feb. 2, 8:00 p.m. at 7th St. Entry

State Theatre, Friday 2.3
For almost a decade now, Los Angeles four-piece Dawes have been among America’s most reliable purveyors of folk rock. Led by frontman Taylor Goldsmith, they initially arrived with a sound that brought about countless comparisons to classic acts like the Band and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Nothing revolutionary, just showcase after showcase of good old-fashioned songwriting chops. Following their fourth album, 2015’s All Your Favorite Bands, the group returned quickly with We’re All Gonna Die last year. Though Dawes didn’t make any radical adjustments to their sound, the LP still represents a step in a different direction. Songs like the chugging, fuzzy opener “One of Us” and “Roll with the Punches” emerge as hard-rocking highlights comparable to gems by Alabama Shakes, whose frontwoman, Brittany Howard, sings backing vocals on Die’s lead single, “When the Tequila Runs Out.” Overall, “Tequila Runs Out” is the runaway hit, though its repetitious play on 89.3 the Current has proved divisive around these parts. 7 p.m. $36. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-339-7007. — Michael Madden

  • 2017 CEDAR COMMISSIONS NIGHT ONE Feb. 3, 8:00 p.m. at The Cedar Cultural Center
  • RICH MATTSON AND THE NORTHSTARS Feb. 3, 8:00 p.m. at Turf Club
  • THE NICOLLETTES (ALBUM RELEASE SHOW) Feb. 3, 11:00 p.m. at Icehouse

Fitzgerald Theater, Saturday 10.4
We haven’t heard from Romantica in a while. The local Americana band’s last album, Control Alt Country Delete, dates all the way back to 2009. But this Saturday, the many-membered group will release Shadowlands, a dreamy, 14-track album recorded over two weeks in a barn in southern Minnesota. Irish expat, frontman, and songwriter Ben Kyle breathes new life into Romantica with contemplative lyrics and velvety vocals while Tony Zaccardi (bass), Danger Dave Strahan (guitar), Ryan Lovan (drums), Aaron Fabbrini (pedal steel, dobro), Jayanthi Kyle (backing vocals), and Peter Schimke-McCabe (piano) create lush sonic layers. “That’s what I wanted to remind myself [of]: to listen to my heart and not be so easily swayed by culture,” Kyle tells City Pages of the songwriting approach on Shadowlands. “It’s particularly relevant with our current political climate.” The band promises “special guests” for Saturday’s release party at the Fitz. 8 p.m. $22-$45. 10 E. Exchange St., St. Paul; 651-290-1200. — Erica Rivera

Ladysmith Black Mambazo
State Theatre, Saturday 2.4
Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s first new studio album in five years, Walking in the Footsteps of Our Fathers, marks a generational shift, both in the veteran a cappella band and their native South Africa. As the title indicates, the group are moving ahead while honoring the elders who paved the way: In the song “Vulani Amasango,” they honor those who sang with LBM over the last half-century, specifically founder Joseph Shabalala; in “Long Walk to Freedom,” they celebrate the people who struggled for apartheid-free S.A., specifically Nelson Mandela. Shabalala still records with the group, though his sons Msizi, Thulani, Sibongiseni, and Thamsanqa carry on his legacy live. Joseph derived LBM’s exquisite vocal harmonies from isicathamiya, traditional music by black miners. Already well-known in S.A., the group’s music spread around the world when Paul Simon asked them to sing on 1986’s Graceland. New versions of two of those songs — “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” and “Homeless” — appear on Walking, which recently received the group’s 17th Grammy nomination; LBM has won four. As uplifting as the harmonies, other themes discuss freedom, equality, love, and optimism. 8 p.m. $25-$49.50. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-339-7007. — Rick Mason

Jack DeJohnette, Ravi Coltrane, Matthew Garrison
Hopkins Center for the Arts, Saturday 2.4
The stellar trio of drummer Jack DeJohnette, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, and bassist Matthew Garrison has only existed for a short time. But they’ve already put out a spectacular album — last spring’s In Movement — and share a long, entwined history. In the 1960s, jazz icon DeJohnette mentored and played with his bandmates’ illustrious fathers, saxophonist John Coltrane and bassist Jimmy Garrison. In Movement is suffused with jazz heritage but with an eye on the future, creating an elixir hovering between earthy and ethereal. It opens with the hymn-like “Alabama,” which John Coltrane wrote after the ’63 KKK bombing of a Birmingham church that killed four African-American girls. With DeJohnette’s restless percussion and Ravi Coltrane’s haunting tenor, it’s a mournful, deeply affecting elegy. DeJohnette switches to piano and Coltrane to sopranino for a spare, impressionistic rendition of the Miles Davis-Bill Evans tune “Blue in Green” (John Coltrane played on the original). The breathtaking, Grammy-nominated title track rides a lithe core of Garrison electronics, DeJohnette’s drums building a rustling intensity while Coltrane soars far and wide on sopranino. 8 p.m. $49. 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins; 952-979-1111. — Rick Mason 

  • MERIDIAN INCIDENT (RECORD RELEASE SHOW) Feb. 4, 7:00 p.m. at Pepito's Parkway Theater
  • SUZIE (RECORD RELEASE SHOW) Feb. 4, 9:00 p.m. at Icehouse
  • 2017 CEDAR COMMISSIONS NIGHT TWO Feb. 4, 8:00 p.m. at The Cedar Cultural Center
  • RIFF RAFF Feb. 5, 7:00 p.m. at Lumber Exchange Event Center
  • GSHARP & THE BIZNESS Feb. 5, 7:00 p.m. at Lee's Liquor Lounge
  • CONSORTIUM CARISSIMI: MUSIC OF MARTIN LUTHER'S WORLD Feb. 5, 4:00 p.m. at Mount Olive Lutheran Church
  • ARE YOU LOCAL? 2017 FINALISTS SHOWCASE Feb. 6, 7:00 p.m. at Turf Club
  • EXPIRE Feb. 6, 5:00 p.m. at Triple Rock Social Club
  • HOUSE OF DOSH Feb. 6, 9:00 p.m. at Icehouse
  • SUSTO Feb. 7, 7:30 p.m. at 7th St. Entry
  • US THE DUO Feb. 7, 7:00 p.m. at Skyway Theatre
  • STEVE'N'SEAGULLS Feb. 7, 7:00 p.m. at Turf Club