Thursday, April 17
331 Club, Minneapolis
9:30 p.m., free, 21+
Charlie Parr fans would do well to check out Winona songwriter Mike Munson, who relies on fairly simple elements—his booming, soulful voice is only accompanied by a little emotive slide guitar playing—to create an old-school blues sound. He’ll be joined at the 331 by the Brass Kings’ Mikkel Beckmen.
Friday, April 18
Kill Kancer Benefit
Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis
7 p.m., $25, all ages
Organized by Mary Beth Mueller, the wife of late Soul Asylum bassist Karl Mueller, this year’s Kill Kancer benefit is shaping up to be even bigger than last year’s bash at the Cedar. Run Westy Run have just been added to the lineup in addition to Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner, longtime West Bank staple Willie Murphy, alt-folk crooners Taj Raj and Communist Daughter, and Gabe Douglas’s bar rock band Silverback Colony. Last year’s gig offered up a rare reunion set by the O’Jeez (an old side project of Pirner’s that features Jessy Greene and Kraig Johnson), and it’s anyone’s guess who else might show up at this year’s event.
Little Man Album-Release Show
Amsterdam Bar and Hall, St. Paul
9 p.m., $10, 21+
With one of the finest albums in his lengthy career, Original Face, out this week, guitar ace and ’70s rock enthusiast Little Man will bring a sprawling nine-piece band to the Amsterdam. For more on the new record and the latest in frontman Chris Perricelli’s world, check out my recent interview—and be sure to get there early on Friday to check out opening acts Fury Things and Pink Mink.
Buildings and Porcupine Dual EP-Release Show
9 p.m., $6, 21+
Minneapolis post-punk trio Buildings and La Crosse, Wisconsin’s powerhouse rock band Porcupine join forces for a dual-release show, with both bands issuing new EPs on California’s Riot House Records. Stream the new Buildings EP, It Doesn’t Matter, in its entirety over at Reviler, and check out our weekly album-release spotlight for more on this pair of new releases.
The Duluth Homegrown Music Festival: Twin Cities Invasion
Turf Club, St. Paul
9 p.m., $7, 21+
The 16th annual Duluth Homegrown Music Festival doesn’t start until April 27th, but the organizers are starting the party early by bringing four of this year’s acts to St. Paul for a pre-Homegrown party at St. Paul’s Turf Club. The show kicks off with a performance from Pete Biasi’s Low Forms, followed by the atmospheric sound of Portage and the return of Alan Sparhawk’s (Low, Retribution Gospel Choir) bursting-with-energy-blues-revival act the Black-eyed Snakes. The night ends with a performance from the acclaimed hip hop and gospel-influenced quartet Southwire.
MaLLy Album-Release Show
7th St. Entry, Minneapolis
9 p.m., $7 adv/$10 door, 18+
Rapper MaLLy and producer Last Word celebrate the release of the evocative new Colors of Black, which KT Lindemann recently described as showcasing “dark, intergalactic production and eloquent lyrical finesse.” They will be joined at the show by opener Haphduzn and DJs Jimmy2Times and Fundo.
Toki Wright and Big Cats
Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis
9 p.m., $10, 18+
It’s already been a busy spring for the soul-meets-hip hop duo Toki Wright and Big Cats, who joined Atmosphere’s Welcome to Minnesota tour back in February and have been touring regionally ever since. They will bring their collaboration back home for a gig at the Triple Rock on Friday night with support from additional boundary-pushing soul acts Shiro Dame and K.Raydio.
Legacy Glassworks Spring Blowout
Legacy Glassworks, Duluth
11 a.m.–11 p.m., free, 18+
A 12-hour celebration with a nod toward underground hip hop takes over the Legacy Glassworks on Friday. In the past, the shop has held this event on April 20, but this year they’ve moved it ahead a few days to leave you the option of celebrating Sunday in your own way. Stop by the shop for free musical performances from locals Jaze and Bliss, Low Hi Funk and the Farsights, as well as out of town guests Mike Shank of Sector7G, Felix of Heiruspecs, and Kanser.
One Week Live Vol. 12 CD-Release Party
Beaner’s Central, Duluth
6 p.m., $6, all ages
In 1999, celebrating the grand opening of Beaner’s, Jason Wussow hosted a week-long party to give his newly built stage a proper welcome. These parties have continued annually and each one of these shows gets meticulously recorded and later released. This weekend is the first in a series of parties celebrating the release of the brand new compilation, One Week Live Vol. 12. Friday’s entertainment will include 14-year-old star Maddy Siiter as well as Wussow’s own act Fuzzy Ellis, and Saturday’s lineup features the Fontanelles, Jeffrey James O’Loughlin, Fearless Moral Inventory, and the Branditos.
Good Friday Gone Bad
Bedrock Bar, Duluth
8 p.m., free, 21+
Metalheads unite! This annual celebration, hosted by the finest Twin Ports purveyors of doom, returns to West Duluth’s Bedrock Bar. Before you hide the Easter eggs, find some ear protection and take in sets by Ire Wolves, Vitamin Death, This Is Now, Jaundice, and Carnonos (formerly Skard, Inc.). There is no dress code, but you’ll probably feel at home if you wear black.
Cars & Trucks
Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium (UMD), Duluth
12 a.m., $5, all ages
Having recently tackled the challenge of performing Nirvana’s In Utero as well as a set of songs from the Creedence Clearwater Revival catalog, Cars & Trucks decided the next best challenge was to provide a soundtrack for space travel. Tony Bennett is no stranger to performing out of this world extended guitar solos with Cars & Trucks, but this performance will be unique as the trio will perform an entirely improvised instrumental set while the audience experiences the vastness of the cosmos. Space is indeed the place.
Saturday, April 19
4th Annual Record Store Day Block Party
Hymie’s Vintage Records, Minneapolis
11 a.m.-9 p.m., free, all ages
Now an annual affair, a whopping 14 bands will play on two stages at Hymie’s Vintage Records this Record Store Day, including Vita.mn Are You Local? champs Black Diet (who have a new album, Find Your Tambourine, out this week), the Cactus Blossoms, Chastity Brown, Ben Weaver, the Ericksons, Martin Devaney, and more.
Farewell Milwaukee, Fathom Lane, And the Professors, the Ericksons
First Avenue, Minneapolis
8 p.m., $10 adv/$12 door, 18+
Although each band has managed to gain a sizable following on their own, this will easily be the largest hometown gig for all four of Saturday’s bands playing the Mainroom, including alt-country headliners Farewell Milwaukee. The band will be playing songs off their brand-new EP, The Doubtfire Sessions, which they released just in time for Record Store Day. Also on the bill are folk-pop group Fathom Lane, who have gotten increasingly experimental and eclectic since the release of their latest self-titled album; mesmerizing sister duo the Ericksons; and Adam Levy’s expansive new orchestral rock project And the Professors.
TYTE JEFF EP-Release Show
Turf Club, St. Paul
The Plastic Constellations’ Jeff Allen has re-emerged with a fun new project, TYTE JEFF (check out the first single from the new album here), and he’s assembled a killer band to help him bring the EP to life at this release show. TYTE JEFF will be joined by fellow early 2000s indie rock scene vets Valet and Ronnie Buxtons, the new project from Lifter Puller’s Steve Barone.
The Person and the People
Cause Spirits and Soundbar, Minneapolis
9 p.m., $5, 21+
St. Paul alt-rock band the Person and the People—a.k.a. the band behind that catchy-as-hell single “I Was Wrong” that’s been on the Current recently—play Cause this Saturday night alongside Dan Mariska and the Boys Choir and openers Bitterroot Fires and Lott.
Dad’s Acid (Tape Release), The Sex Rays, The People Say Fox
Pizza Luce, Duluth
10 p.m., $5, 21+
Consisting of members of Duluth favorites the Keep Aways, Wolf Blood, and the Social Disaster, Dad’s Acid has crafted your perfect summer soundtrack. They’ll unleash a set of sludgy surf rock played at high volumes this Saturday, and, if you like what you hear, you can pick up their very first EP released as a limited-edition cassette. Also on the bill will be Minneapolis retro-rockers the Sex Rays and Duluth’s very own atmospheric pop act, the People Say Fox.
Northern Minnesota concert recommendations courtesy of Duluth Local Show host Walt Dizzo.