Thursday, May 8
The Mischke Road Show: American Music Revue
O’Gara’s, St. Paul
7 p.m., $10, 21+
With the launch of his new podcast just around the corner (The Mischke Road Show launches this Monday, May 12), longtime radio host, artist, musician and writer T.D. Mischke is throwing a big party and will perform some of his original music and other tunes with Mike Gunther. “Call it a little fundraiser for my moderately expensive new venture,” he writes. “Call it a party to celebrate the rebirth of creativity in the mind, call it a primal howl welcoming the grass, leaves and flowers, or call it an homage to the sound and soul of American music.”
Gabe Barnett & the Big House Rounders Album-Release Show
331 Club, Minneapolis
For their second in a month-long residency of album-release shows at the 331, Gabe Barnett & the Big House Rounders will perform songs off their latest, Old As the Stars, sandwiched between sets by Sabyre Rae and Nightinghales.
Friday, May 9
Theo Brown Album-Release Show
Amsterdam Bar and Hall, St. Paul
9 p.m., $7, 21+
R&B singer, piano player, and songwriter Theo Brown (who we interviewed back in 2012) will release his latest album, The Void, at the Amsterdam this Friday night backed by a full band and with support from openers the Not Guilty Band.
Cocktails at the Castle
American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis
7 p.m., $15, 21+
One of the most unique outdoor parties in the Cities returns to the elegant courtyard of the American Swedish Institute just in time for Europe Day, an annual celebration of peace and unity. In addition to all the usual festivities—food from the ASI’s restaurant, FIKA, local beer and cocktails, ping-pong, photobooths, and plenty of art on display—this Cocktails at the Castle party will culminate in a live performance by synth-pop band Still Pacific and DJing by Transmission’s Jake Rudh.
The Modern Era Album-Release Show
Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis
7:30 p.m., $7 adv/$10 doors, 18+
Pop-punk and Britpop-loving quartet the Modern Era celebrate the release of their new EP, Holiday, which KT Lindemann describes as, “rock and roll with a charming smirk, reminiscent of the Arctic Monkeys or the Fratellis.” Also on the bill is Kick, Skittish, Evasive Maneuver, and The Devil Blues Band.
Steve Sola, FEMA Camp Counselors
Prøve Collective, Duluth
7 p.m., free, all ages
A pair of musical acts will accompany the Exquisite Corpse art opening at Duluth’s Prøve gallery space this Friday. Artists David Moreira, Ryan Lemahieu, and Brian Ring have dissected images of the human condition and created visual reconstructions in various mediums including printmaking, collage, and video. These images will be on display with musical accompaniment by the solo guitar of Steve Sola and the electronic experimentation of FEMA Camp Counselors.
Ill Chemistry, Mr. Gene Pool, Jaze
Red Star, Duluth
9 p.m., free, 21+
The dynamic duo of Carnage and Desdamona are on the road performing sets as Ill Chemistry, and they’re bringing their collaboration to NE Minnesota. Joined by original Headshots crew member Mr. Gene Pool, Ill Chemistry will travel to Duluth for a set at Red Star Lounge on Friday, then head further north for a gig Saturday at the 218 Bar in Virginia. Opening the show in Duluth will be Kritical Kontact alum and Duluth hip-hop legend Jaze.
Venus DeMars & All the Pretty Horses
R.T. Quinlan’s, Duluth
10 p.m., $5, 21+
Former Duluth resident Venus DeMars makes a return home for a show with her full band, All the Pretty Horses, this Friday at R.T. Quinlan’s. Joining the punk/glam outfit’s industrial stage show will be the blues-rock sound of the newly expanded Tico Three, as well as the dulcet tones of synthesizer fetishist T. Dack.
Saturday, May 10
Tina and the B-Sides
First Avenue, Minneapolis
8 p.m., $20, 18+
The dream of the ’90s will be alive at First Avenue this Saturday when once-ubiquitous local band Tina and the B-Sides returns to the stage to promote their first album in over a decade, Barricade. Opening the show is Patrik Tanner & the Faraway Men.
Scott Laurent Album-Release Shows
11 p.m., $10, 21+
Scene veteran Scott Laurent returns home from Nashville to release a new country-leaning album, Love Don’t Let Me Down. He’ll play a pair of back-to-back shows at Icehouse while he’s in town; Saturday night with Pennyroyal, and Sunday night with support from Taj Raj.
Gramma’s Boyfriend, The Crunchy Bunch
Prøve Collective, Duluth
9 p.m., $7, all ages
There’s nothing like an all-ages Saturday night dance party to get one in the mood for spring (or summer, if it ever decides to arrive). Haley Bonar brings her frantic, punk-infused dance band Gramma’s Boyfriend back to town for a one-night stand with a promise to heat up the downtown Duluth gallery. Joining the party will be Duluth DJ collective the Crunchy Bunch, who spin a diverse assortment of body-shaking selections.
Sunday, May 11
Mother’s Day Brunch with Chris Koza
11 a.m., free, all ages
Want to knock it out of the park this Mother’s Day? Your odds can’t get much higher than this free brunch show with Chris Koza. The Rogue Valley frontman will perform starting at 11 a.m., and brunch shows at Icehouse typically stretch out until the early afternoon.
Northern Minnesota concert recommendations courtesy of Duluth Local Show host Walt Dizzo.