Friday, March 21
Johnny Questionmark Album-Release Show
Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis
8 p.m., $7 adv/$10 door, 18+
Johnny Questionmark combines hip-hop with a hard rock sensibility on his new album, Falling in Like. He’ll be joined at this release show by PLC, Out of Bounds, MC Rentz, Professor Fresh, and Imperious Rex.
Apollo Quad Album-Release Show
Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis
7:30 p.m., $7 adv/$10 door, 18+
In her album-release roundup this week, writer KT Lindemann describes this under-the-radar group as a “unique breed of hip-hop” that “layers funk bass and grand piano under cleverly delivered rhymes that trade the spotlight with Steve Alwine’s epic metal-influenced guitar solos.” Apollo Quad will release their new album, The War on Mediocrity, at the Fine Line with support from No Bird Sing, Lake Avenue, and Earth Insight.
Jake Ilika and the Heavy Set EP-Release Show
331 Club, Minneapolis
Winona singer-songwriter Jake Ilika will be in town to release his new EP with his band the Heavy Set, with additional performances by Mike Munson, Silverback Colony, and Jillian Rae.
First Avenue’s Mainroom, Record Room, and 7th St. Entry, Minneapolis
6 p.m., $20 adv/$25 door, 18+
Dozens of DJs will descend on First Avenue’s three rooms (plus a few special lounges created just for the event) to get crowds moving and turn the bass up high enough to peel the paint off the club’s black walls. With TWRK, Mad Decent, Shannon Blowtorch, Mr Rogers, and many more.
10:30 p.m., $6, 21+
Wild!!Wing is an entirely instrumental metal band that comprises guitarists Josh Journey-Heinz (formerly of Knife World) and Chris Smalley on guitar, Aby Wolf on synth and keytar, and Matthew Kazama (also of Birthday Suits) on drums. They’ll be joined at Icehouse by openers Hardcore Crayons.
Ides of March Night 3
Pizza Luce, Duluth
10 p.m., $5, 21+
Duluth’s “Ides of March” show was, traditionally, a one-night celebration of musical exploration conceived by Heiko Edwardson where local acts were given the opportunity to transform themselves into another group for a one-off show. As years passed and excitement grew, more of Duluth’s players wanted to get involved, so much so that this year’s event has spread to two weekends culminating in this weekend’s final shows at Pizza Luce. Friday night’s set will consist of A Winter Downpour and special guests covering Tears For Fears, Jesse Hoheisel and a collection of all-stars performing Talking Heads covers, and Cars & Trucks joined by additional guitarist Tony Derrick covering Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Papa Charlie’s, Lutsen Mountains
9 p.m., $10, 21+
Some of Duluth’s most talented acts have made the journey north to Lutsen to take part in the 6-day celebration dubbed ‘Dulutsen’ taking place at Papa Charlie’s. The party started this past Wednesday with a performance from Charlie Parr and stretches until Monday when Southwire takes the stage. If you’ve got the weekend free, check out Friday’s lineup of Clearwater Hot Club followed by Big Wave Dave and the Ripples and Saturday’s blowout featuring Brothers Burn Mountain, Black River Revue, The Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank and The Black-Eyed Snakes.
Hannah McDaniel, 41 Headlights, Preston Gunderson
Beaner’s Central, Duluth
7 p.m., $5, all ages
Some of the Twin Ports’ brightest stars represent the “well under 30″ crowd and their collective talents will be on display Friday at Beaner’s Central. Hannah McDaniel and Jake Vainio (41 Headlights) are graduates of Duluth’s Music Resource Center, and Preston Gunderson has been steadily gaining fans as he continues to branch out beyond his hometown of Virginia. This early show is all ages, so feel free to bring along your little brothers and sisters, so they too can get inspired.
Saturday, March 22
Barely Brothers Records Launch Party
Barely Brothers Records, St. Paul
12 p.m., free, all ages
St. Paul just got a brand-new record store, and the shop is celebrating its beginnings with a grand opening party that will include in-store performances by Nikki & the Rue Mates, Eleganza, Matt Arthur & the Bratlanders, Jon Rodine & Friends, and more. The store is also offering 10% off all vinyl; read more about Barely Brothers Records here.
The Sudden Lovelys Album-Release Show
10:30 p.m., $12 adv/$15 door, 21+
Husband-and-wife duo Daniel and Paige Ferraro are back with yet another album in their robust discography (they have already released seven albums since forming three years ago). Brave and Alive digs deeper and delves into more personal territory, and as KT Lindemann noted this week, “Daniel’s low, gravelly, country-rock moan complement’s Paige’s pure, poppy harmony.” See them at Icehouse Saturday along with “plenty of surprises.”
Ides of March Night 4
Pizza Luce, Duluth
10 p.m., $5, 21+
Duluth’s “Ides of March” show was, traditionally, a one-night celebration of musical exploration conceived by Heiko Edwardson where local acts were given the opportunity to transform themselves into another group for a one-off show. As years passed and excitement grew, more of Duluth’s players wanted to get involved, so much so that this year’s event has spread to two weekends culminating in this weekend’s final shows at Pizza Luce. Saturday’s lineup includes the brothers LeBlanc and friends doing a live instrument performance of Justice songs, a Duluth musical collective led by Emily Ostos covering Neutral Milk Hotel, and Cars & Trucks returning for a second night this time joined by Jesse Hoheisel performing Nirvana’s In Utero in its entirety.
Sunday, March 23
Turf Club, St. Paul
7 p.m., $8, all ages
Through his work as a home-studio engineer and his role fronting the band Hollow Boys, Ali Jafaar has earned a reputation for helping some of the more experimental lo-fi rock bands in town find their voices and be heard. Sunday night’s Ecstattic Fest—named after his studio and the fact that Jafaar records bands in his attic—will showcase 10 bands who have recorded at Ecstattic and celebrate the release of a new compilation album. With Fire in the Northern Firs (who also have a new EP, See You in Hell, out this week), Hollow Boys, Fury Things, Up the Mountain Down the Mountain, the Okerlunds, Bouncer Fighter, Strange, Acres, Naptaker, and Hack.
The Crash Bandits
7th Street Entry
High-energy rock band the Crash Bandits celebrate the release of their new album, Closer, with support from Dan Mariska and the Boys Choir, Glow Mechanics, and the Person and the People.