Tuesday, July 30
Moon & Pollution (opening for Heloise & the Savoir Faire)
7th St. Entry, Minneapolis
8 p.m., $10, 18+
It says a lot about the strength of Moon & Pollution that the only gig they’ve played to date was opening for Atmosphere and Trampled by Turtles at Bayfront Park in Duluth. The new duo, which features Molly Dean on vocals and Graham O’Brien (No Bird Sing) on production, just released their first single this week, and will play their first of a handful of shows in the Twin Cities on Tuesday. Get there early, Moon & Pollution go on first.
If Thousands & Tim Kaiser
Red Star Lounge, Duluth
10 p.m., free, 21+
Duluth only recently has gained a reputation of being a major hub of northern bluegrass. In the late ’90s, and throughout the first decade of the new millennium, Duluth was far more likely to play host to a night of experimental music than it would be to a band of bearded fellows playing traditional tunes. Two of the strongest voices for keeping Duluth weird will be playing together Tuesday night at Duluth’s Red Star Lounge. Christian McShane, long time organizer of the legendary experimental Tuesdays at the NorShor Theatre, and his musical partner, Aaron Molina, will reunite to play as If Thousands, and they’ll be joined by fellow Duluthian and musical outsider Tim Kaiser. Together the three will be providing the live soundtrack to Paul Leni’s 1928 film The Man Who Laughs.
Wednesday, July 31
Northrop Plaza, Minneapolis
12 p.m., free, all ages
As part of the University of Minnesota’s ongoing Northrop Summer Music Festival series, dream pop band Gloss (a newer group that is comprised of U of M students) will play a free lunchtime show. If you caught their set of imaginative ’90s covers on Radio K last night, you’ll know that they might have a few surprises up their sleeve for this gig.
Totally Gross National Product Night
9:30, $5, 21+
The team behind Totally Gross National Product will take over Icehouse once again for their monthly residency, this time with “electro-tribal-groove” band Tender Meat in tow. Wednesday night’s show will also feature a one-off collaboration between Andrew Broder of Cloak Ox, Mark McGee of Father You See Queen, JT Bates of Fat Kid Wednesdays/the Pines/Alpha Consumer/etc., and TGNP co-founder Drew Christopherson of Poliça. DJs will also spin samples of upcoming TGNP releases between sets.
Thursday, August 1
Rogue Valley and Sleep Study
Mears Park, St. Paul
6 p.m., free, all ages
As part of their 10th anniversary season, Music in Mears showcases two rock artists with folk and pop sensibilities. Ryan Paul Plewacki and his ’70s-channeling Sleep Study open the show, followed by Chris Koza and his harmonic, hook-laden songwriting vehicle Rogue Valley. At dusk, the park will screen a selection of Minnesota-made short films.
Friday, August 2
The Shouting Matches
First Avenue, Minneapolis
8 p.m., $20 adv/$22 door, 18+
Though they have been making music together sporadically for the past seven years, Friday marks the first Twin Cities appearance by the Shouting Matches, a collaboration between Brian Moen of Peter Wolf Crier on drums, Phil Cook of Megafaun on bass, and Cook’s old DeYarmond Edison buddy Justin Vernon on vocals and guitar. The trio just released a studio album, the swaggering Grownass Man, earlier this year, and they just announced that they will also be selling copies of their unreleased early-era EP exclusively at the Minneapolis show.
Mixed Blood Majority
10:30 p.m., $10, 21+
With even more new music up their sleeves, hip-hop trio Mixed Blood Majority (No Bird Sing’s Joe Horton, Kill the Vultures’ Crescent Moon, and Doomtree’s Lazerbeak) will return to Icehouse for a show that will hopefully feature a performance of this new track with Lizzo. Both Lizzo and her Chalice crewmate Sophia Eris will host the evening, and Bomba de Luz will open.
John Mark Nelson
Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis
6:30 p.m., free, all ages
Popular young folk-pop artist John Mark Nelson will help Vita.mn kick off their Music & Movies series at Lake Harriet. Nelson and his band will play an hour-long set, followed by a screening of the ’80s classic The Goonies.
Fire in the Northern Firs
Cause Spirits and Soundbar, Minneapolis
9 p.m., $5, 21+
Explore the darker side of experimental art-rock at this gig, which kicks off with a performance by new collaboration DKO (Jon Davis, John Keston, and Graham O’Brien) and will also feature sets by Grant Cutler, Sun Gods to Gamma Rays (formerly CAETANI), and headliners Fire in the Northern Firs.
Saturday, August 3
Bachelor Farmer, Minneapolis
5 p.m., $4, all ages
Scandanavian-chic restaurant Bachelor Farmer is getting in on the summer festival game with this free outdoor block party, which will feature the Cloak Ox’s first public performance in 18 months in anticipation of their new album, Shoot the Dog (out September 17). Also on the bill are Joey Ryan and the Inks, DJ Jonathan Ackerman, and “a very special guest.”
Red Stag Block Party
Red Stag Supper Club, Minneapolis
5 p.m., free, all ages
Another free outdoor event, this one will be situated just across the Mississippi River from Kraftskiva in Northeast Minneapolis. On the bill are musical acts Bad Bad Hats, Gramma’s Boyfriend, Actual Wolf, Greg Grease, All Tomorrow’s Petty, and Eleganza, plus entertainers Epitome No Question, Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theater, and North Star Roller Girls.
A Love Bizarre: A Tribute to Prince and the Minneapolis Sound
Turf Club, St. Paul
9 p.m., $8, 21+
Things are sure to get good and bizarre at this Prince tribute, which will feature performances by psych-minded bands Moonstone Continuum, Hastings 3000, Me and My Arrow, Up Rock, and Enema Town (which features members of Vampire Hands and Heavy Deeds), plus between-band spinning by DJs Wendy and Lisa and DJ Computer Blue.
Red House Records Barnfest
Hobgoblin Music Barn & Outdoor Amphitheater, Red Wing
1 p.m.-7:30 p.m., $25 adv/$30 gate, all ages
Now a tradition for the St. Paul roots label, the Red House Barnfest returns to Red Wing this year with performances by ohn Gorka, Tracy Grammer, Peter Ostroushko & Dean Magraw, Michael Johnson, Molly Maher, The Roe Family Singers, Chastity Brown, and more. To maximize the family-friendly vibe, kids 12 and under get in free.
Strange Names, Carroll, Hot Freaks
7th St. Entry, Minneapolis
8 p.m., $5, 18+
This show, booked by Radio K’s local show Off the Record, showcases three talented emerging bands with ears for hooks and pop melodies. Strange Names headline with support from opening acts Carroll and Hot Freaks.
Wiping Out Thousands
Kitty Cat Klub, Minneapolis
10 p.m., $5, 21+
Enchanting, wall-shaking electro tweakers Wiping Out Thousands return to the Kitty Cat for what’s sure to be a killer show, especially with the addition of Votel (featuring Maggie Morrison, Mark McGee, Drew Christopherson, and Ben Clark) on the bill alongside opener K. Serra.
Breanne Marie, Lion Or Gazelle, Steve Johnson
Sir Benedict’s, Duluth
9 p.m., free, all ages
A unique showcase of Twin Ports’ talent will fill the stage Saturday at Sir Benedicts Tavern on the Lake. Hard working country songstress Breanne Marie will be joined by the achingly beautiful duo of Brian Ring and Sophie Turk as they perform songs from the Lion Or Gazelle catalog. Also on this all-ages bill will be a rare performance from Steve Johnson, singer/songwriter who’s band Sight Like December was a fan favorite nearly a decade ago.
Wolf Blood, Mark Mallman, The Cold Starts
Pizza Luce, Duluth
10 p.m., $5, 21+
Based on the reactions from the Facebook world and the Twitterverse, this past year’s Homegrown Music Festival’s opening night helped catapult the careers of two of Duluth’s most buzzed-about new acts. The Cold Starts, an upstart punk group, played an early set to an energized and packed Teatro Zuccone while the end of Homegrown Day One concluded with a doom and psych rock performance from Wolf Blood that included songs about witches, marijuana, and Satan. Seemingly possessed for 90 minutes, the Wolf Blood audience moshed, performed stage dives, and did something with a wooden chair that I don’t know if I will ever see again at a pizza parlor. This Saturday will see the return of Wolf Blood to the Luce stage where it all started. The Cold Starts will open the show and Minneapolis marathon piano rocker, Mark Mallman, may have to summon all of his strength to keep up with a sure to be energetic crowd.
Duluth gig recommendations courtesy of Duluth Local Show host Walt Dizzo.