Local Current Blog

Local Gig List: November 27-December 1

Stillwater rock band Ruben have a new EP out this week (Publicity photo by Mark Kartarik)

Wednesday, November 27

The Cloak Ox
7th St. Entry, Minneapolis
8 p.m., $8 adv/$10 door, 18+
The Cloak Ox didn’t want to have a CD-release party for their stellar new full-length, Run the Dog, but maybe we can all quietly celebrate it at this show without telling them? It’s an accomplishment that certainly deserves to be honored in all its grandiose, dynamic art-rock glory; expansive songs like “Yesterday’s Me” translate especially well live. Greg Grease and Wiping Out Thousands open, with DJing from members of Brute Heart.

Ike Reilly Assassination
First Avenue, Minneapolis
Honorary Minneapolis musician, Ike Reilly—who is based in Chicago yet has one of his largest fan bases here in the Cities—returns to the Mainroom Wednesday for his annual Thanksgiving Eve throwdown. For those who haven’t gone, a warning: it’s so fun it’ll soon become your yearly tradition, too. And this year’s show is stacked with some excellent local openers, with Clash tribute band RuDeGiRl kicking off the night followed by Communist Daughter and the Honeydogs.

Mark Mallman
Turf Club, St. Paul
8 p.m., $10, 21+
A true showman through and through, glam rocker Mark Mallman is sure to keep fans on their toes at this “Concert of Magic and Beauty.” Mallman will be joined by openers Botzy and Bomba de Luz.

Retribution Gospel Choir
Amsterdam Bar and Hall, St. Paul
8 p.m., $10, 21+
Power trio Retribution Gospel Choir—which features Low’s Alan Sparhawk and Steve Garrington, plus Actual Wolf’s Eric Pollard on drums—returns to the Twin Cities for their first show of the winter, with support from openers Prissy Clerks and Greycoats.

Drinksgiving with E.L.nO. and Mötel California
Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis
9 p.m., $10, 21+
Can we all just take a moment to appreciate that there is an Eagles cover band in town, and that they call themselves Mötel California? Ok, carry on.

Transmission: Mix Tape
Varsity Theater, Minneapolis
9 p.m., $7 adv or with canned good/$9 door, 21+
DJ Jake Rudh moves his weekly dance night from Clubhouse Jager to the Varsity for one of his biggest bashes of the year. This time around, the theme is “mix tape”—a blend ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s pop and alternative classics.

The Little Black Books, Germaine Gemberling, Peter Pain
Teatro Zuccone, Duluth
7:30 p.m., $7, all ages
The Chaperone Records residency at Teatro Zuccone closes with performances from three of the label’s stars, highlighted by the release of a new record from the Little Black Books. Mark Lindquist will be back in town for a solo performance (the Little Black Books are sometimes a full band and sometimes the solo home recordings of Lindquist) and he’ll be joined by Germaine Gemberling and Rich Mattson, plus Chaperone C.E.O. Bob Monahan performing his unique brand of drum machine-backed poetry as Peter Pain.

Strange (as The Dames), Fake Funeral, Falcon Arrow
Cause Spirits and Soundbar, Minneapolis
10 p.m., free, 21+
Wrapping up a month long residency at Cause, Minneapolis noise-rock duo Strange will honor one of Duluth’s greatest rock acts, The Dames, by covering the band’s first record in its entirety. The drums and guitar duo will add a bassist for the show that takes on the challenge of covering this 2001 classic from a still much loved Duluth band. Strange will be joined by fellow heavy acts Fake Funeral and Falcon Arrow.

Thursday, November 28

Davina and the Vagabonds
Dakota Jazz Club, Minneapolis
7 p.m., $15, all ages
Come down off your Thanksgiving feast to the sweet sounds of singer and pianist Davina Sowers and her rollicking New Orleans-influenced jazz band—and be sure to get there early, as Davina has earned a rabid following with her regular shows at the Dakota.

The Blind Shake
7th St. Entry, Minneapolis
If you’re looking for something louder on Thanksgiving night, it doesn’t get much heavier and heartier than precision-punk trio the Blind Shake. They’ll be joined by Eleganza! (a new group that comprises former members of Chooglin’) and WILD!!Wing, a new instrumental thrash band fronted by Knife World’s Josh Journey-Heinz.

Big Wu Thanksgiving Extravaganza
Cabooze, Minneapolis
8:30 p.m., $10-$12, 18+
This annual Thanksgiving Day show—still one of the Big Wu’s largest hometown gigs each year—comes complete with a free turkey dinner, while supplies last.

Friday, November 29

Poliça
Mill City Nights, Minneapolis
8 p.m., $25 adv/$28 door, 18+
After racking up praise on the East Coast for their live show and new album, Shulamith (including a glowing review in the New York Times), Poliça return home for what is sure to be a triumphant two-night stand at Mill City Nights. Avant-noise troupe Marijuana Deathsquads—which features Deathsquads drummers Ben Ivascu and Drew Christopherson, producer Ryan Olson, vocalists Isaac Gale and Stef Alexander, and whoever else might wander on stage—will open both shows.

A Tribute to the Replacements
First Avenue, Minneapolis
7 p.m., $10, 18+
With the Songs for Slim compilation out now and Jim Walsh’s second Replacements book, Waxed Up Hair and Painted Shoes, hitting shelves this month, fans will have plenty to shout about at the sixth annual celebration of all things ‘Mats. This year’s tribute will culminate in a front-to-back performance of Hootenanny by members of the Melismatics and guest vocalists like Christy Hunt, Arzu Gokcen, Curtiss A, and Josh Grier, and will also feature performances by Ol’ Yeller, Fury Things, Van Stee, Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders, Stereo Confession, and a special Mad Ripple Hootenanny held in honor of Slim Dunlap. All proceeds go toward the Slim Dunlap Fund and the Twin Cities Music Community Trust.

Strange Names, SCRNS, Red Mountain
Turf Club, St. Paul
8 p.m., $7, 21+
Not only is this a great chance to see Strange Names play their last show of the year, but it’s also a good opportunity to scope out to up-and-coming buzz bands: Minneapolis duo SCRNS, which is comprised of Max Petrek of Howler and vocalist Erin Ross, will make their live debut, and Duluth psych-folk band Red Mountain will be in town for a performance.

Saint Anyway Album-Release Show
Beaner’s Central, Duluth
7 p.m., free, all ages
Stomp-grass trio Saint Anyway will be releasing their very first live album and their doing so with a “big, fat, turkey-triple-slam” of shows over the Thanksgiving weekend. The band gets things started on Wednesday at the Third Base Bar in Carlton, MN and brings the party home to Duluth for a Friday evening show at Beaner’s Central, where the album Live in Duluth was recorded. The group will then head south to take part in the Brewgrass Bash at Harriet Brewing on Saturday.

Prince Paul and the Conscious Party
Players Sports Bar, Duluth
9 p.m., free, 21+(also Saturday)
Much like Big Wave Dave & the Ripples did the week before, Prince Paul will bring his sprawling band to West Duluth for back-to-back shows at Players. Duluth reggae acts may be limited in number, but that just makes these shows with Prince Paul and his band that much more special.

Glitteratti, Kind Country
Tycoons Alehouse, Duluth
10 p.m., free, 21+
The trio of Marc, Dave, and Timmy (Gartman, Carroll, and Saxhaug) recently added drummer Kyle Keegan to the mix for a Halloween show and adopted the name Glitteratti in the process. This quartet of all-stars perform a wide variety of country, pop, and traditional covers with “Banjo Dave” getting to show off his skill on guitar. They’ll be joined by the six-piece Kind Country as they perform their own brand of cosmic Americana.

Saturday, November 30

Poliça
Mill City Nights, Minneapolis
8 p.m., $25 adv/$28 door, 18+
After racking up praise on the East Coast for their live show and new album, Shulamith (including a glowing review in the New York Times), Poliça return home for what is sure to be a triumphant two-night stand at Mill City Nights. Avant-noise troupe Marijuana Deathsquads—which features Deathsquads drummers Ben Ivascu and Drew Christopherson, producer Ryan Olson, vocalists Isaac Gale and Stef Alexander, and whoever else might wander on stage—will open both shows.

Ruben CD-Release Show
Amsterdam Bar and Hall, St. Paul
9 p.m., $6, 21+
Joyous Stillwater bar band Ruben—think the vibe of the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter,” amplified—will celebrate the release of their new EP, The Orchard, with support from openers Lydia Hoglund (Bomba de Luz) and American Youth.

Korda Records Showcase
Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis
7 p.m., $12 adv/$15 door, all ages
Cooperative label Korda Records offer another showcase of their pop acts—including a rare show by the Owls—and celebrate the release of their new compilation album, Korda Komp 2 (read our preview here). With the Ocean Blue, the Starfolk,  and the Jim Ruiz Set.

Very Small Animal Album-Release Show
Icehouse, Minneapolis
11 p.m., $6, 21+
Bouncy folk-rock group Very Small Animal release their new LP, Port of Call (read our preview and stream a track here), with support from Red Daughters and DJing from Tickle Torture.

Northern Minnesota concert recommendations courtesy of Duluth Local Show host Walt Dizzo.