The week's best concerts: Oct. 21-27

Run the Jewels

Run the Jewels

Kurt Vile and Waxahatchee


Philadelphia low-fi hero Kurt Vile is in the Twin Cities celebrating the release of his latest batch of languid, faux-vintage psychedelics, B’lieve I’m Goin Down, which dropped last month on Matador Records. Vile’s been an active tourer since releasing the acclaimed Wakin on a Pretty Daze LP in 2013, but the multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter’s stage drive never wanes. The 2014 Rock the Garden standout is known for his big, flourishing guitar tangents and his brooding, bluesy asides, so it’s always a dynamic evening when the Violators and their bandleader nab the headlining spot. Vile will also be towing Birmingham, Alabama, indie sensation Waxahatchee, who are still riding the momentum of April’s Ivy Tripp, so it’ll be an all-around Pitchfork-approved jamboree at Mill City Nights. 18+. $25. 8 p.m. 111 N. Fifth St., Minneapolis; 612-333-3422. — JERARD FAGERBERG

  • Lucero — Oct. 21, First Avenue, $22

  • David Cook — Oct. 21, Cedar Cultural Center, $28-$30

  • Transmission — Oct. 21, Clubhouse Jager, free
Grace Potter


Grace Potter already had a pretty momentous summer before issuing her first solo album, Midnight, and setting off on a headlining tour. She was invited to open for a couple of artists deeply influential on her longtime band, the Nocturnals: Neil Young and the Rolling Stones, including trading licks in Minneapolis with Mick Jagger on “Gimme Shelter.” But Midnight significantly veers away from the Nocturnals’ roots-rock foundation. Although rock muscle often flexes below the surface and Potter musters remarkably vigorous howls, shimmery synths lead a drift toward pop, funk, and sleek R&B, including the disco-ish lead single, “Alive Tonight.” Working with producer Eric Valentine, Potter dives into a blustery pop-rock realm with grander ambitions. “Forgive me if I’m not myself tonight,” she moans on “Hot to the Touch,” the kaleidoscopic opening track. Elsewhere, “Your Girl” suggests Prince-like pop-funk and “What We’ve Become” sounds like Thriller-era Michael Jackson. The evolution of Potter, still apparently searching for that heart of gold with or without the Nocturnals, remains in flux. $30-$45. 8 p.m. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-339-7007. — RICK MASON



Chicago progressive house DJ Kaskade has been active longer than most of his fans have been alive. The 41-year-old banger-maker is best known for his 2011 single "Eyes" and his deadmau5 collab "Move For Me," and now the DJ also known as Ryan Gary Raddon gets the club — namely, suburban fuckhouse Myth — goin' up on a Thursday in Minnesota. All ticket purchases come with a download code for Kaskade's September 25 release Automatic, the ninth album in the remix specialist's 26-year career. Automatic — which currently sits at 25 on the Billboard charts — follows 2013's Grammy-nominated effort Atmosphere and retains the record's languid mystique and arena-sized buildups. By all indications, the EDM legend is just entering his prime.18+. $43.50. 9 p.m. 3090 Southlawn Dr., St. Paul; 651-779-6984. – JERARD FAGERBERG

  • STS9 — Oct. 22, First Avenue, $27.50-$30

  • Nikki Hill (Album Release Show) — Oct. 22, Dakota Jazz Club, $20

  • JP & The Bad Ideas (CD Release Show) — Oct. 22, Amsterdam Bar & Hall, $7
Run the Jewels


Run the Jewels is the answer if the question is "what's poppin'?" Everybody knows that. And now the incendiary duo of Killer Mike and El-P are returning to remind the Twin Cities who the hardest sons of bitches in hip-hop are. After bustin' up the Fine Line last November, Atlanta grime rhymer Killer Mike and his Def Jux rapper/producer extraordinaire sidekick return to Minneapolis, this time pimping their new, emoji-rated cat album Meow the Jewels. The duo’s 2014 album, Run the Jewels 2, dominated year-end lists, with Pitchfork naming it the album of the year and Rolling Stone giving it top rap album honors. Cuz Lightyear, BOOTS, and Fashawn open, and Trackstar the DJ captains the post-jewel runnin' after party. 18+. Sold out. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-332-1775. –- JERARD FAGERBERG

  • Nero — Oct. 23, Skyway Theatre, $35-$40

  • Boots — First Avenue, $25

  • Luke Redfield (EP Release Show) — Icehouse, $10-$12
Craig Finn



Craig Finn has entered the reflective phase of his career. After twenty-plus years in the indie-rock racket, the 44-year-old Edina native reunited with his killer ‘90s rock outfit Lifter Puller this summer at D-4th of July; recent interviews, most notably in Spin, see the Hold Steady frontman analyzing his own career as if it’s in the rearview. The lyrical wizard is still viable enough, though, as evidenced by his second solo offering, last month’s Faith in the Future. On it, the wild-eyed narrator behind the wasted youth of Hold Steady songs is gone, as are the fist-pumping guitars. Instead, we find a talented mid-career songwriter navigating adulthood and re-discovering himself, dreaming up subtler characters over hushed arrangements. The turn-of-phrase knockout punches and poetic swagger aren’t as present, but there’s a sneaky underlying desperation on Faith that keeps things interesting. Esmé Patterson opens. All-ages Sat.; 21+ Sun. $25. 7 p.m. both nights. 410 Oak Grove St. Minneapolis; 1601 University Ave. W. St. Paul; 612-813-5300 and 651-647-0486. – JAY BOLLER

  • Matisyahu — Oct. 24, Pagtages, $32.50-$42.50

  • Pert Near Sandstone — Oct. 24, First Avenue, $15-$18

  • Meg Myers — Oct. 24, Fine Line, $15
Arlo Guthrie


Just about a month short of the 50th anniversary of a notorious holiday crime spree that inspired one of the quirkiest and oddly enduring hits in pop history, convicted litterer and iconic singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie will once again dust off his epic, 18-plus minute “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree.” Invited by friends to Thanksgiving dinner in 1965, Guthrie and a buddy were asked to haul a load of garbage to the town dump, which they found locked. So the resourceful duo deposited the trash down a ravine, only to be subsequently apprehended. Guthrie’s wry, rambling account of the incident, cleverly twisted to make an anti-war point, become a Thanksgiving Day radio staple. Live, Guthrie only performs the tune at 10-year intervals. In addition to “Alice,” Guthrie will dig into his folk-oriented catalogue, including covers of his illustrious father Woody, and his other major hit, a definitive cover of Steve Goodman’s “City of New Orleans.” Guthrie will lead a full band, including son Abe on keyboards. Daughter Sarah Lee Guthrie opens. $35-$75. 7:30 p.m. 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul; 651-690-6700. –- RICK MASON

Benny Green


Benny Green, considered one of the inheritors and masters of the hard-bop piano tradition, is a joyful performer whose virtuosity and infectious élan flows in equal doses on his latest album, Live in Santa Cruz! Green, in a smart trio format with bassist David Wong and drummer Kenny Washington, recorded the album at Kuumbwa Jazz Center to mark his 50th birthday and the 20th anniversary of a recording he made there with one of his mentors, bassist Ray Brown. The trio dives right in with the lively, mightily swinging “Certainly,” before easing into “Cactus Flower,” a sublime beauty juxtaposing delicate piano expression and sprightly rhythms. But the real fireworks are reserved for the hyperkinetic “Sonny Clark,” a fluid, high-speed tribute to the late bop icon, and “Bish Bash, whose blistering runs are incredibly taut and explosively eloquent. The hot-footed stroll that wraps things up, “Anna’s Blues,” is a crowd-pleasing romp that deliciously marries populism and art. $20-$30. 6 p.m. & 8 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612-332-5299. – RICK MASON

  • Motion City Soundtrack — Oct. 25, First Avenue, $25
  • Kansas — Oct. 25, Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, $29-$39
  • Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà — Dakota Jazz Club, $45-$65
  • Old 97s — Oct. 26, Turf Club, $30
  • Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness — Oct. 26, First Avenue, $30
  • The Griswolds — Oct. 26, First Avenue, $30
  • Title Fight — Oct. 27, Triple Rock Social Club, $15-$17
  • MisterWives — Oct. 27, First Avenue, $20
  • Little May — Oct. 27, 7th Street Entry, $12-$14