10 concerts to see in the Twin Cities this week
Thursday, Jan. 19
1. Miguel Zenon: Born in Puerto Rico and educated at Berklee College of Music (his classmates included Anat and Avishai Cohen), the celebrated alto saxophonist has recorded with many jazz stars, including Charlie Haden and Danilo Perez, and released 15 albums as a bandleader. He also finds time to fulfill permanent faculty positions at both the New England Conservatory of Music and Manhattan School of Music. Promoting his vibrant 2022 album “Musica De Las Americas,” Zenon brings his quartet, featuring pianist Luis Perdomo, drummer Henry Cole and bassist Hans Glawischnig. (7 p.m. the Dakota, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., $20-$30, dakotacooks.com)
Also: Indie rockers Yellow Ostrich‘s January residency continues with Trash Date and Lupin, the latter a solo project of Hippo Campus singer Jake Luppen (8 p.m. Icehouse, $12); up-and-coming pop singer Julia Wheaton performs her Whitney Houston tribute (7 p.m. KJ’s Hideaway, $10).
Friday, Jan. 20
2. Turn Turn Turn: After emerging from the pandemic as one of the Twin Cities’ best-loved new bands, the harmonious folk-rock trio of singer/songwriters Barb Brynstad, Savannah Smith and the Honeydogs’ Adam Levy put all their live gigging of the past year and a half to good use on their rockier and more ambitious second album, “New Rays from an Old Sun.” There’s still a warm ’70s Los Angeles breeziness in their three-part, Fleetwood Mac-ian vocal parts, but it’s updated here with more of a psychedelic paisley-pop sheen — also very L.A.! — plus edgier and more emotionally wrecked songs, such as the searing “Hymn of the Hater” and the LP-opening searcher anthem “Stranger in a Strange Land.” Truly an album to celebrate. (7 p.m. the Dakota, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., $20-$30, dakotacooks.com)
3. Suki Waterhouse: After touring with Father John Misty last year and nabbing in-demand Eau Claire native Brad Cook to produce her music, this British model-turned-alt-pop singer is turning her viral TikTok fame and tabloid press from dating Robert Pattinson into a legit buzz as an indie music maker. Her Cook-produced EP for Sub Pop Records, “Milk Teeth,” boasts dramatic and atmospheric balladry a la Lana Del Rey and FJM, and it includes updates of her prior viral hits such as “Good Looking.” (9 p.m. Fine Line, 318 1st Av. N., Mpls., $18-$35, axs.com)
4. Drone Not Drones: The one concert of the year where pillows are welcome accessories, this nonstop 28-hour marathon of free-form/experimental/improv music is back after a two-year hiatus. Originated in 2014 partially based off Low’s notorious, droning Rock the Garden performance, the antiwar fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders has picked up its own unique devotees and a wide range of adventurous musicians over the years. This year’s roster includes Paul Metzger, Gaelynn Lea, Charlie Parr’s Portal III, sax innovator Cole Pulice, Dosh, Makr, Davu Seru, Florina, Paris 1919 and a dozen more. (7 p.m. Fri.-11 p.m. Sat., Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Av. S., Mpls., $30-$35 donation, thecedar.org)
5. First Ave’s Best New Bands of 2022: There’s no clear breakout act like last year’s show-topper Durry, which means all seven of the up-and-coming acts graduating to the Mainroom for this annual newbies showcase have every reason to play their butts off. This year’s cast includes indie-pop singer Rafaella, sister-led fuzz-rock quartet Creeping Charlie, manic thrash-rap band Killusonline, bluegrass pickers Brotherhood of Birds, rapper/singer Obi Original, electro-whir strummer Mike Kota and folk-rock group Harlow. (7 p.m., First Avenue, 701 1st Av. N., Mpls., $12-$15, axs.com)
Also: Twin Cities funk/R&B music innovators Cameron Kinghorn and Joe Paris return home from Los Angeles with their cosmic-soul act King Pari, which just dropped a moving new single, “Love Me or Leave Me,” a cover originated by local ’60s groovers Prophets of Peace (9 p.m. Turf Club, $18); with Jenny Russ as Frida and Katy Vernon as Agnetha, ABBA-Solutely Fab salutes Sweden’s biggest pop group (8 p.m. Crooners, sold out); veteran Twin Cities jazz thrush Charmin Michelle teams up with former Sounds of Blackness singer Geoff Jones for a program they’re calling Velvet & Satin (6:30 p.m. Crooners, $20-$30); the Winter Warming Fest features an eclectic lineup with Wain McFarlane’s Dreadlock Cowboy, the Lost Marbles, Mary Cutrufello, Jef Cierniak and Street Hassle (7:30 p.m. Hook & Ladder Theater, $10-$15); veteran sound engineer Scott Allen steps out to celebrate his own album, “My Own Grown Eyes,” with his producer Patrik Tanner (8 p.m. Icehouse, $12-$15); and local music lovers would love to know the Twin Cities Record Show is back (noon-4 p.m., Minneapolis Cider Co.).
Saturday, Jan. 21
6. Jamecia Bennett: After lighting up the Ordway last weekend with the Sounds of Blackness’ meaningful “Music for Martin” concert, the sparkling singer returns to the clubs to present her jazz and R&B revue. She’ll put her touch on blues and jazz standards, maybe offer a little Eurythmics and some originals. A veteran of stage musicals at the Guthrie, Ordway and Park Square theaters, Bennett is one of the Twin Cities’ most electrifying live performers — a wondrous, showy force with a big voice, big personality and lots of bling. (7:30 p.m. the Dakota, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., $25-$35, dakotacooks.com)
7. Maud Hixson: The Twin Cities songbird has put in the research and designed a show she calls “She Said, She Said.” She will explore the work of women songwriters, from vaudevillian Eva Tanguay and Broadway pioneer Kay Swift to singer/songwriters Peggy Lee, Blossom Dearie and Lorraine Feather. Delving into more than a century of songs, Hixson will be accompanied by pianist Rick Carlson. (5 p.m. Crooners, 6161 Hwy 65, Fridley, $20-$30, croonersmn.com)
Also: Nicollet & Alcohol, an Oasis tribute band, plays the brothers Gallagher’s debut, “Definitely Maybe,” in its entirety (8 p.m. Brit’s Pub, free); after a two-year hiatus, Twin Cities vocal powerhouse Jill Mikelson returns with her 16th annual show “Happy Birthday Janis Joplin,” with fellow belters Katy Hays and Jacy Smith and newcomers Mae Young and Monique Smaz (8 p.m. First Avenue, $20); the touring Beatles tribute band 1964 returns (8 p.m. Ames Center, $30-$50); twin siblings Adam and David Moss are in town with their elegant, harmonious New York folk duo the Brother Brothers (8 p.m. Parkway Theater, $18-$24).
Sunday, Jan. 22
8. The Bakken Ensemble: Over four decades, this Twin Cities chamber music group has been a quartet and a trio, and now features a rotating cast of collaborators, spearheaded by Minnesota Orchestra members of the present (cellist Pitnarry Shin) and past (violinist Stephanie Arado). They’ll celebrate the Chinese New Year with pipa virtuoso Gao Hong soloing on Zhao Lin and Zhao Jiping’s “Red Lantern,” as well as John Corigliano’s “Red Violin Caprices” and Billy Childs’ “Unrequited” String Quartet. (4 p.m. Antonello Hall, MacPhail Center for Music, 501 Second St. S., Mpls., free-$25, bakkenensemble.org)
Also: Armand Hammer, the hip-hop duo featuring veteran New York solo MCs Billy Woods and Euclid, dropped three albums in four years (7 p.m. the Dakota, $30-$35); rootsy Minneapolis twanger Jack Klatt hosts his monthly with Molly Dean and “friends” (7 p.m. Palmer’s Bar, $10), following Cornbread Harris‘ weekly set there (5-7 p.m., free).
Monday, Jan. 23
St. Paul piano man Dan Chouinard and versatile Minneapolis vocalist Prudence Johnson team up to interpret The World According to Randy Newman, the often humorous, often social commentator, with help from cellist Michelle Kinney and pedal steel guitarist Joe Savage (7 p.m. the Dakota, $20-$30).
Tuesday, Jan. 24
9. Dylan Hicks & Small Screens: Not just another Twin Cities pop/rocker taking on the Dakota for its listening-room qualities, the sophisticated pop craftsman of “City Lights” local fame incorporated many jazz elements into his excellent and eclectic new album, “Airport Sparrows,” recorded and performed with a lushly layered new backing band that includes cellist Michelle Kinney, guitarist Zacc Harris and sax/clarinet stalwart Chris Thomson. This one should glow. The Neighborhood Quartet with the New Standards’ Steve Roehm opens. (7 p.m. the Dakota, $15-$20, dakotacooks.com)
Wednesday, Jan. 25
10. Ani DiFranco: She is the ultimate DIYer, becoming an emancipated minor at 15, starting her own record label at 19 and carving out a truly indie career that has been the envy of many artists including Prince, with whom she recorded. Moreover, the Buffalo-reared, New Orleans-based singer-songwriter has been a social activist, lending her voice to the abortion rights and antiwar movements, among others. In 2020, she produced the Prison Music Project’s “Long Time Gone” featuring the works of prison inmates. A year later, she released her own “Revolutionary Love,” a compelling plea for compassion in troubled times, with a modern-day Gil Scott-Heron pop/jazz/soul vibe. A force of nature in concert, she will exercise her creativity in another arena this winter, by authoring her first children’s book, “The Knowing,” in March. Opening are Milwaukee’s Peter Mulvey with Brandi Carlile backers SistaStrings. (7:30 p.m. Wed. First Avenue, 701 1st Av. N., Mpls., $45, axs.com)
Also: Queercore punk band Surly Grrly heads up a rowdy bill with Rigby and Riotgrrrldarko (9 p.m. Hook & Ladder Mission Room, $10-$15); local Who tribute band Who Are They? with singer Willie Wisely and Suburbs/Phones guitar man Steve Brantseg rock the Dakota (7 p.m., $15); country-rock tunesmith Becky Kapell and her masterful twang band play every fourth Wednesday of the month at Palmer’s Bar, this time with Doug Otto (6:30 pm., $10).
Classical critic Rob Hubbard contributed to this column.