Tag: artists quarter
Friday: “Works for Words” with Chris Koza & Rogue Valley (7:30 pm, AA, $22.50, Fitzgerald Theater)
Chris Koza returns to “Works for Words,” the Current’s series that challenges local musicians to create one-of-a-kind performances. He originally appeared last year as a musical guest; now, Chris Koza is heading up his own evening with guests Sims of Doomtree, Gabriel Douglas of the 4onthefloor, and Caroline Smith of Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps. He’ll explore the meanings of the lyrics and importance of words in pop, rock and folk songs, accompanied by a full choir and orchestra.
Friday: M.O.T.O w/ Nice Purse, Teddy & The Turks, and the Dementionals (9 pm, 21+, $TBA, Turf Club)
If you’re looking for a solid punk lineup this weekend in the Twin Cities, go no further than St. Paul’s good old Turf Club. Headlining is M.O.T.O., a seminal proto-garage outfit from New Orleans that’s been toiling in the underground punk scene since the early ’80s. The rest of the lineup is nicely filled out with a batch of locals: young’n up-and-comers Nice Purse, Teddy and the Turks (punk with a Turkish flavor, natch) and the Dementionals, which contains members of old-school punk band the Sinks.
Saturday: Eric Kamau Gravatt w/ Brandon Wozniak and Adam Linz (9 pm, $10, Artists’ Quarter)
Jazz drumming legend Eric Kamau Gravatt graces St. Paul with his presence for an intimate show at underground jazz club Artists’ Quarter. Known for his intensity behind the kit, Gravatt’s resume includes Weather Report, McCoy Tyner and dozens more. For this show, he’ll be joined by locals Adam Linz of Fat Kid Wednesdays on bass, and Atlantis Quartet’s Brandon Wozniak on sax.
Saturday: Man Forever w/ Moonstone Continuum + Weakwick + Seated Heat (9 pm, 21+, $TBA, Turf Club)
It’s a good weekend for drummers in St. Paul, it seems. The unique and exhilarating drum project Man Forever comes to the Turf, and its as unusual as it is enthralling. It comes from Onedia drummer John Colpitts, better known as Kid Millions. It reimagines Lou Reed’s obscure master work Metal Machine Music as a minimalist drum one-man orchestra. With rhythms layered on top of one another, playing off one another, it all builds into a beautiful cacophony of rhythm. Opening are prog rock-turned-R&B smooth operators Moonstone Continuum, experimental bands Weakwick and Seated Heat, and DJ Mark McGee (Votel, Father You See Queen).
Over the past year or so, St. Paul has quietly become a hotbed for the local literary scene. It boasts a healthy number of independent bookstores, such as Garrison Keillor (Prairie Home Companion)’s Common Good Books, Micawber’s Books, Midway Used and Rare Books, Sixth Chamber Used Books, and children’s book store the Red Balloon Bookshop; plus monthly literary clubs and readings at a number of other venues. The third Tuesday of every month, the Amsterdam Bar and Hall hosts the long-running Books and Bars (also held monthly in Minneapolis at the Aster Cafe), while the Artists’ Quarter has long been the home of the Soap Boxing poetry slam, every first Monday of the month. Additional events including the Black Dog Cafe’s Lowertown Reading Jam (held on various days throughout the month) and Readings by Writers at the University Club the third Tuesday of the month.
In honor of Mother’s Day, Keillor is joining with fellow authors Patricia Hampl, Shannon Olson and Julie Schumacher on Sunday for a Common Good-sponsored Mother’s Day reading “Honor Thy Mother” at Macaleseter College’s Weyerhaeuser Chapel, which promises “stories about her, secrets told, sins confessed, and a few songs in her favor.” Donations will be collected for the Jeremiah Program for single mothers. (3 pm Sunday, free, Macalester College, 38 S Snelling Avenue, St. Paul.)
St. Paul Literary Clubs
Readings by Writers
What: Hosted by Saint Paul Poet Laureate Caron Connolly, this month’s installment of the Readings by Writers series will feature readings by haron Chmielarz, Matt McConnell, Kim Ode, James Silas Rogers, Dara Sykrin, Francine Marie Tolf, Tracy Youngblom, and the Announcement of the 2012 Everyday Poems for City Sidewalk Contest Winners by Marcus Young.
When: 7 pm, third Thursdays; next meeting: May 15.
Where: The University Club, www.universityclubofstpaul.com
Lowertown Reading Jam
What: Presented by the Saint Paul Almanac, the acclaimed Lowertown Reading Jams celebrate the rich literary history of Minnesota’s capital city. May 23′s edition “Raising Consciousness and Healing Through Words” is curated by Sheronda Orridge and features performances by Akeeylah Watkins, Angel Myatt, Monique Crusoe, Karyssa Jackson, Kashimana, Dianne Moore, and Fanond Burnett.
When: 7 pm, May 23. Upcoming dates: June 11, July 9.
Where: Black Dog Cafe, 308 Prince Street, St. Paul, 651-228-9474, blackdogstpaul.com
Soap Boxing Poetry Slam
What: Presented by the award-winning poetry slam team Soap Boxing, the Poetry Slam competition is open to anyone (18-plus) and features three rounds of poetic battle. Sign up between 7-8 pm. ($5)
When: 8 pm, first Mondays; next bout: June 4.
Where: The Artists’ Quarter, 408 St Peter Street, St. Paul, 651-292-1359, www.artistsquarter.com
Books & Bars
What: An open public book club show. We provide a unique atmosphere for a lively discussion of interesting authors, fun people, good food and drinks. This month’s selection for the Books and Bars Book Club will be Joseph Heller’s classic, Catch-22.
When: 6 pm, third Tuesdays; next meeting: May 15.
Where: Amsterdam Bar & Hall, 6 W 6th Street, St. Paul, 612-285-3112, hwww.amsterdambarandhall.com
Check out this video in which Books & Bars host Jeff Kamin explains the “new” book club:
For more literary events and readings in the Twin Cities, check out Rain Taxi’s comprehensive online calendar.
St. Paul Independent Book Stores
Many of these book stores host regular readings from local authors.
Common Good Books
38 S Snelling Avenue, St. Paul
2238 Carter Avenue, St. Paul
The Red Balloon Bookshop
891 Grand Avenue
Sixth Chamber Used Books
1332 Grand Avenue
Midway Used & Rare Books
1579 University Avenue W
A slew of old faces to the music industry are proving they’re still kicking when a trio of seminal acts take the stages of St. Paul this weekend. (Two of which are sold out.)
Tonight, former Hüsker Dü co-frontman Grant Hart headlines a show at the Turf Club with fellow Twin Cities semi-legendary garage rock trio Rank Strangers. Hart is in the midst a musical comeback since his excellent 2009 album Hot Wax. He is in the thick of making a concept album based on John Milton’s epic poem “Paradise Lost.” The album’s producer also happens to be Rank Strangers leader Mike Wisti, Hart’s chief collaborator on the album. The show will double as a benefit for Hart, who recently suffered a house fire. With Fortified Five (ex-Knife World) and Slip City Widows. (9 p.m. Friday. $6. 21-plus. Turf Club, 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul. 651-647-0486.)
Then on Sunday, two national rock acts go head to head – The legendary Pixies at the Roy Wilkens Auditorium and former Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell at the Fitzgerald Theater. It’s been seven years since the night the Pixies kicked off their reunion tour in Minneapolis after a three-day practice session at the Fine Line Music Cafe. By now, the second incarnation of the band has lasted longer than the first, though the band (said to have influenced Nirvana and the grunge genre in general) haven’t released a new album together since 1991. (Here’s a twist for you: The Pixies have listed Hüsker Dü as a key influence to their sound.) (7:30 p.m. Sunday. Sold out. Roy Wilkens Auditorium, 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. 651-989-5151.)
Meanwhile, Chris Cornell could just as easily list The Pixies as an influence for his grunge band, Soundgarden, and his later hard-rock outfit with members of Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave. Though the Soundgarden album Seasons was recorded by Cornell as a solo piece, reviews for his last album, Scream, deemed it awful at best. He may fare better on this acoustic songbook tour. In any case, the guy has one of the few voices around that could match Robert Plant for metal-ness. (7 p.m. doors, 7:30 p.m. show. Sunday. Sold out. All ages. Fitzgerald Theater, 45 7th St., St. Paul, 651-290-1200.)
More shows this weekend in St. Paul:
Willie Murphy at Minnesota Music Cafe
The legendary West Bank folkie is still going 40 years later.
9 p.m. Free. 501 Payne Ave., St. Paul, 651-776-4699.
My Lady Four (CD release) at Station 4
Long awaited, highly anticipated show from the Minneapolis melodic rock five-piece. With the Teddy Holidays, This Is Breathing, Liz Akhavan.
5 p.m. $10. All ages. 201 E. 4th St., St. Paul. 651-224-6372.
Charmin & Shapira (CD release) at Artists’ Quarter
Charmin Michelle and guitarist Joel Shapira combine traditional and modern jazz styles to create Charmin & Shapira.
9 p.m. $10. 408 St. Peter St., St. Paul. 651-292-1359.
The Goondas, Skoal Kodiak, Torch the Game, Hot Rash at Turf Club
The Goondas have been bringing their gritty, old-school sound with a rockstar-pulse that vibes through the hipster-heavy Minneapolis scene since 2008. Skoal Kodiak, on the other hand, beckons the smooth groove of reggae-meets-the early ’90.
9 p.m. $6. 21-plus. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul. 651-647-0486.
Calamity & the Owl, Courtney Yasmineh, James Loney, the Psychedelic Friends Network at Wild Tymes
Folk and singer-songwriter sets.
9 p.m. Free. 18-plus. 33 W. 7th Pl., St. Paul. 651-224-8181.
This weekend, a jazz drummer returns to his hometown, a renowned guitarist takes up the Haiti cause, and a ’60s soul singer is still hot.
Friday & Saturday: Matt Slocum Trio
One of St. Paul’s prodigal sons has returned – as a big-time jazz composer and drummer from the Big Apple. Though he was born and raised here, Matt Slocum has never performed in the Twin Cities until now. After high school, he went out of state to study, subsequently doing session work on both coasts and eventually moving to New York. He’s on the road promoting his debut recording of originals, Portraits, released just last month. Expect lush instrumentation, soulful saxophone, and intellectual subtleties. (9 p.m. Fri. & Sat. $15. 18-plus. Artists’ Quarter, 408 St. Peter St., St. Paul. 651-292-1359. www.artistsquarter.com”.)
Friday & Saturday: Illo. Minn: Volume Two
The opening party was last Thursday, but there’s still time to check out the must-see show if you didn’t make it out. The ROBOTlove-sponsored show features 28 local illustrators and two pieces from each, including their individual takes on the beloved Munny doll. (Though the dolls were purported to have sold during Thursday’s silent auction.) Next Thursday, hear from illustrators including DC Ice, Adam Turman, Nancy Carlson, Andy Powell, and Eric Hanson during a panel discussion. (Noon-6 p.m. Fri. Noon-4 p.m. Sat. Discussion: 6-7:30 p.m. next Thu. Exhibition runs through Mar. 6. Free. College of Visual Arts, 344 Summit Ave., St. Paul. 651-224-3416. www.cva.edu.)
Friday & Saturday: Syl Johnson
Soul singer/guitarist Syl Johnson has been around since the late ‘60s, when he made a name for himself with socially-conscious lyrics and a smooth, Al Green-esque voice. His vintage soul has since resurfaced via samples in classic hip hop tracks from the likes of Public Enemy and Wu-Tang Clan. Either way, his voice is sure to stir some familiarity within you. (8 p.m. Fri. & Sat. $12-15. Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, 601 N. Western Ave., St. Paul. 651-228-9959.)
Saturday: Zoo Animal, Hildur Victoria, Ten Centuries, Telepathos
Runners-up in City Pages’ Picked to Click in 2009, minimalist grunge-pop trio Zoo Animal are one of the hottest local acts in town coming into 2010. The band will be joined by some other up-and-comers – folksters Hildur Victoria and nu-gazers Telepathos. The new two-piece from Bill Caperton of Ela, Askeleton and One for the Team fame, Ten Centuries, also performs. (9 p.m. $5. 21-plus. Turf Club, 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul. 651-647-0486. www.turfclub.net.)
Saturday: ‘Transylvania Television’ Meet-and-Greet
Meet the cast and producers of Transylvania Television, a “retro monster comedy that’s not really for kids.” The show, about a television station run by monsters in the Carpathian Mountains, was conceived of by a Minneapolis-based filmmaker Michael J. Jeagle and special effects guru Gordon Smuder. We’re hoping to spy some of the Henson-esque puppets. (4-8 p.m. Sat. Free. Source Comics and Games, 1601 W. Larpenteur Ave., Roseville. 651-645-0386. www.sourcecandg.com.)
Sunday: Urban Expedition: Hungary
If you’re looking for something a little more family-oriented, round up the kids and head to the Landmark Center for this event showcasing the best in Hungarian culture and customs. Everything from art and dance to food and music will be represented. (1 p.m. Sun. Free. Landmark Center, 75 W. 5th St., St. Paul. 651-292-3293. www.landmarkcenter.org.)
Sunday: Charity Salon Service Jam for Haiti
The ever-charitable folks at Details Style Lab are giving you the chance to get pretty – for a good cause.The salon and spa host a charity salon service jam for one day only, with all proceeds going to White Bear Lake’s Healing Haiti organization. Call now to make your appointment.(Sun. Noon-5 p.m. Details Style Lab, 346 St. Peter St., St. Paul. 651-251-8700. www.detailsmn.com.)
Sunday: Haiti Recovery Benefit Concert
Renowned acoustic guitarist Peter Lang is behind the latest Haiti concert in the Twin Cities. He’s joined by an impressive group of national and local blues and folk acts, including Pat Donohue, Peter Ostroushko, Nikki and the RueMates, Phil Heywood and others. The proceeds go to benefit the Friends of the Orphans organization, which provides pediatric medical care and run an orphanage in Haiti. (2-6 p.m. Sun. $50 suggested donation. Wellstone Center, 179 Robie St. E., St. Paul. 651-482-1703. www.friendsoftheorphans.org.)
Monday: “Under the Cherry Moon”
A little-known film directed by and starring Prince and Jerome from the Time, Under the Cherry Moon is receiving a rare screening thanks to underground film collaborative Trash Film Debauchery. The duo play gigolos who swindle rich women out of money; things get complicated when Prince falls in love. The romantic comedy-meets-drama-meets-musical film was best-known for its soundtrack, Parade, which featured the Prince hit “Kiss.” Unlike Purple Rain, the only performance by Prince in the film is for “Girls & Boys.” Prince is our hometown celeb, so it’s kind of required viewing. (10 p.m. Free. 21-plus. Turf Club, 1601 University Ave W., St. Paul. 651-647-0486.)
There’s so many great dance parties, rock shows, jazz revues, and riverboat cruises (yes, you heard me!) happening in St. Paul this weekend. Here’s the best – and the rest:
Grant Hart at Station 4
\Hot off a fall tour for his first album in a decade, ex-Hüsker Dü co-frontman Grant Hart plays a rare gig with a full band. Hot Wax is a return to form for the eccentric performer, which Pichfork called “1960s-infused garage pop clearly from the same soul who wrote all those era-defining Hüsker Dü classics.” Opening is the Phil Solem Band, led by the former frontman of the Rembrandts, and the Beautifics. (8 p.m. $10-12. 21-plus. 210 E. 4th St., St. Paul. 651-298-0173. www.station4.com)
New Year’s Eve Covers Night at Turf Club
Turf Club’s third annual New Year’s Eve covers night boasts five hot local bands playing all-covers from the band of their choice. Vampire Hands is joined by Nate Nelson of Private Dancer to transform themselves into a psychedelic version of Television; Leisure Birds and Zach Rose (formerly of Young Dudes) take on The Monks; Daughters of the Sun aptly cover shoegaze legends Jesus And Mary Chain; Marijuana Deathsquad join with Total Fucking Blood and Gina to become Brian Eno; and Secret Language masquerades as Fleetwood Mac. While you’re there, head down to the Clown Lounge for DJ sets from Winship, TRL and Secret Language. (9 p.m. $8. 21-plus. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul. 651-647-0486. www.turfclub.net)
SPStyle New Year’s Eve Party on the Centennial Showboat Theater
Partying on a riverboat going down the Mississippi has to be one of the most memorable ways to ring in the New Year, and the Twin Cities are pretty much the only place that offers such a treat in the U.S. This party is hosted by Local hip hop production company SPStyle, so the DJ and MC lineup is pretty hip hop-oriented and includes DJ D.Mil, Goulash Band, Rico Nevotion, DJ Doez It, DJ Francisco and many more. My bet is that they won’t be able to stop themselves from playing the T-Payne-satirizing “We’re On A Boat.” (9 p.m. 21+. $25-50. Harriet Island, 200 Dr. Justus Ohage Blvd., St. Paul. 651-266-6400.)
DEMO New Year’s Eve Bash at St. Paul Aerie for the Arts/Eagles Club
The Diverse Emerging Music Organization (DEMO) kicks off a weekend full of music at the Eagles Club with a New Year’s Eve show, featuring a lineup of local bluegrass acoustic acts. Whiskey Sournotes, Al Grande, Josh Von Mink, the Zingrays, Hunter Hero, and more fill out this packed bill. (7 p.m. $5. 18+. 287 Maria Ave., St. Paul. 651-774-7643.)
Carole Martin & the Irv Williams Quartet at Artists’ Quarter
Jazz haven the Artists’ Quarter isn’t too shabby on an average night, bringing in the Twin Cities’ hotbed of local jazz and blues talent throughout the week for the past 15 years. When it comes to a night like New Year’s, though, they’ve really pulling out the big guns. Carole Martin’s a seasoned standard singer whose resume goes back before the British Invasion, and tenor saxophonist Irv “Mr. Smooth” Williams has been playing a few decades prior to that. The Artists’ Quarter’s cozy surroundings should provide an intimate backdrop, and a complimentary food spread can’t hurt. (9 p.m. $35-45. 408 St. Peter St., St. Paul. 651-292-1359.)
More St. Paul NYE destinations:
St. Paul gay bar Camp hosts a Black & White Ball, kicking off with a live comedy and variety show before going into a soul dance party and prizes all night long. (8:30 p.m. Free before 10 p.m. or $5. 490 N. Robert St., St. Paul. 651-292-1844.) DJ Frayz headlines Lowertown GLBT club Rumours & Innuendo’s New Year’s Eve festivities. Also on tap: prizes, drink specials, midnight champagne toast, and a light show. (10 p.m. Free. 213 E. 4th St., St. Paul.) The Bulldog Lowertown is hosting a New Year’s Eve party complete with live music from the Blazing Saddles and a champagne toast at midnight. (8 p.m. Free. 237 E. 6th St., St. Paul. 651-221-0750.) Minnesota Music Cafe is hosting a New Year’s Eve party with local R&B/soul bands Soul Surreal and High & Mighty. (7 p.m. Free. All ages. 499 Payne Ave., St. Paul. 651-776-4699.)
On tap this weekend in St. Paul: a new residency from DJ Jonathan Ackerman, First Friday Happy Hour in Lowertown, a men’s fashion show, and Mark Mallman at the Turf Club.
THURSDAY: DJ Jonathan Ackerman at Barrio Lowertown
Prolific beatmaker Jonathan Ackerman hops over the river for his first weekly residency – at the newly-minted Barrio Lowertown, natch. The hip Mexican fusion bar and eatery should provide the perfect backdrop for Ackerman’s eclectic sound, alternately hard-rocking and gently-grooving. While you’re there, take advantage of the night’s drink specials: $3 Barrio margaritas and $4 Red Bull vodkas. (9 p.m.-1 a.m. Free. 235 6th St. E., St. Paul. 651-222-3250.)
FRIDAY: Lowertown First Friday Happy Hour
Every first Friday of the month, St. Paul’s independent art galleries and studios join forces for the First Friday open studio. Afterward, a bunch of Lowertown clubs and bars get into the mix with an evening happy hour. This month, the Artists’ Quarter will open early just for us Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. Enjoy live jazz music from McNally Smith College of Music students and free pizza compliments of Wild Tymes. The Artists’ Quarter is located in the basement of the Hamm Building. As usual, you can expect two-for-ones on select tap beers at The Blackdog Wine Bar & Cafe, The Bulldog Lowertown, Rumours/Innuendo, Senor Wong, Station 4, and Trattoria da Vinci. Just say “FIRST FRIDAY” to receive your discount. (6-9 p.m. Free. Various locations. Click HERE for more info.)
Also recommended: The 8hz label releases its first compilation with a lineup including many of the featured bands: Me and My Arrow, Fort Wilson Riot, Economy Team, Buildings, Phantom Tales, and Speed’s The Name. (9 p.m. $5. 21-plus. 1601 University Av. W., St. Paul. 651-647-0486.)
Hunting Opener Party at Flirt
To celebrate the men being out of town for hunting opening, lingerie boutique Flirt is hosting a cheekily-named Hunting Opener Party. Indulge in champagne, cupcakes and 20 percent off one item, and sample products from Sunrider skin care and cosmetics. (3-7 p.m. 177 Snelling Av. N., St. Paul.)
Men’s Fall Fashion Mingle
One of the very few all-men’s boutiques in the Twin Cities, Details Style Lab hosts a Men’s Fall Fashion Mingle. Male models will don the latest in fall and winter fashions, including looks from Ben Sherman, Skunk Funk, Cloth Logic, Bertigo, and the popular Bjorn Borg underwear line. (10-11:30 p.m. at Rumours & Innuendo, 213 4th St. E., St. Paul. 11:30 p.m.-1 a.m. at Camp Bar, 490 N. Robert St., St. Paul.)
Mark Mallman at Turf Club
Mark Mallman blows the lid off Turf Club with his madmen piano stylings. Boasting “the fastest piano in the Midwest,” Mallman should be up to his usual antics, which have included driving a motorbike onstage and playing from inside a refrigerator box for hours on end. He’s sure to dip mainly from his latest release, September’s The Invincible Criminal, as well as his catalog from over the past ten years. The Alpha Centauri and Total Babe open. (9 p.m. $6. 21-plus. 1601 University Av. W., St. Paul. 651-647-0486.)
It’s a stylish weekend in St. Paul with the opening of new men’s store BlackBlue, a fashion show from longtime local designer Hazel Matthys, the expansion of Heimie’s Haberdashery into womenswear, and a headlining show from British rockers The Horrors.
THURSDAY: BlackBlue Grand Opening, Hazel Matthys + “Angels and Divas”
The Twin Cities seems to be in dire need of shops that cater to the style-conscious man, so the arrival of well-edited menswear boutique BlackBlue in St. Paul comes as a welcome addition to the Selby & Dale intersection. Look for classic plaids by Pendleton and mod-style polos from Original Penguin and Fred Perry, as well as shoes and accessories. The grand opening will feature champagne, wine, cheese and music – and probably lots of hip, good-looking dudes. (7-10 p.m. 614 Selby Av., St. Paul.) Bonus: Read my interview with BlackBlue’s Steve Kang in l’etoile.
FRIDAY: Solid Gold at Turf Club
The Twin Cities’ favorite synth pop band, Solid Gold, play one of their more intimate venues in a while. Hot off big gigs such as the Walker Art Center’s Rock the Garden, The MN Zoo and First Ave’s Mainroom, the likelihood of this show selling out is extremely high, so show up early! See them before they can’t humanly play here again and enjoy the fuzzy electro deliciousness that is Solid Gold up close and personal. This last minute show will also feature Kum ‘n Go and Colder in Moscow. (Turf Club, 9 p.m., $10. 21+. 1601 University Avenue, St. Paul)
Also Friday: Freddy Fresh at Concrete & Grass Festival in Lowertown (through Sunday), A Tribute to Nat King Cole at the Artists’ Quarter, The Rose Ensemble free showcase concert at Central Presbyterian Church.
SATURDAY: The Good the Bad and the Funky at MN Music Cafe
If you’re in the mood for some funky nostalgia then the Minnesota Music Cafe ought to be your destination tonight. Popular local dance band, The Good the Band and the Funky once again take over the MMC with their horn-heavy 10 piece ensemble. Playing funk and soul classics with a rock ‘n roll edge is their forte, so expect hepped up renditions of tunes a la James Brown, Earth Wind and Fire, Tower of Power, Stevie Wonder and more. These shows tend to be packed so arrive early to secure your spot on the dance floor. (Minnesota Music Cafe, 9 p.m. 21+. 499 Payne Avenue, St. Paul)
Also Saturday: JLBattle of Metal at Station 4; Woods/Vamp Hands/Daughters of the Sun/Leisure Birds at Turf Club; Kid Dakota, Desdamona, Romantica and more at Concrete and Grass (Fest runs through Sunday)
SUNDAY: Japandroids w/ Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band at Turf Club
Vancouver power-punk duo Japandroids have perfected a simple equation, combining frantic guitar riffs and strong melodies for a sound that is unapologetic toward its love for Hüsker Dü and Sonic Youth. Their latest, Post-Nothing, is chock-full of distorted, buzzed-out guitar and pounding drums. Despite the apparently nihilistic name of their album and the veil of fuzz they wrap around their sound, the band can’t seem to hide its pop catchiness. Seattle’s Mt. St. Helens Vietnam band and local neu-gazers Gospel Gossip open. (9 p.m. $7. 21+. Turf Club, 1601 University Avenue, St. Paul)
This weekend and early next week, St. Paul’s got loads of options to keep your nightlife buzzing. Local psychedelic rockers Vampire Hands have their LP release at the Turf, while Tracy Chapman delivers her stripped-down, bluesy acoustic act at the O’Shaughnessy, Christians rock Harriet Island, and Blink-182 reunite at Xcel.
THURSDAY: 40 Oz. To Freedom at Station 4
Sublime tribute band 40 Oz. To Freedom, named for the band’s most only album, has developed a following in its own right. The San Diego four-piece have been on the road for years, giving the popular reggae punk-rock band’s catalog of much-loved tracks like “What I Got” a fresh twist. It doesn’t hurt that frontman Dane Scott shares a striking resemblance in both vocals and appearance to Bradley Nowell, who died of a drug overdose in 1996 shortly before the band released its debut album. (8 p.m. $12-15. 201 E. 4th St., St. Paul. 651-298-0173.)
Recommended Reading: Garrison Keillor’s ’77 Love Sonnets’
Released earlier this Summer, Keillor’s latest book, 77 Love Sonnets, includes “sonnets of praise, some erotic, some lamentations, some street sonnets and a 12-sonnet cycle of months.” Didn’t think Keillor a poet? Well, think again. The local legend has actually put out a few “good” books of poetry in his time. 77 Love Sonnets captures the signature wit and suave wordsmithery that you’ve come to know and appreciate from Keillor, with a romantic, and of course, comedic twist. A clever gift for your sweetheart, or for yourself, 77 Love Sonnets is a definite hometown collectable.
More of my fave bookstores in St. Paul: