The best concerts in the Twin Cities this week: 1/30-2/5

The Twin Cities is starting to thaw out as January comes to an end. Friday night is especially busy. Retribution Gospel Choir plays the Turf Club while Minneapolis pays tribute to Joe Strummer in the First Avenue Mainroom. Semisonic songwriter Dan Wilson and brother Matt Wilson play a set at Pantages and old favorites Soundgarden play the Orpheum the next day.  Lastly, Yo La Tengo returns to the First Avenue Mainroom Monday night. 

Wednesday 1.30.2013

Dark Star Orchestra
First Avenue 
Grateful Dead Tribute
18+, $25, 8 PM

JT and the Sloppy Seconds with Word on the Street
7th Street Entry Soulful Vocals
18+, $5, 8 PM

Peter Asher
Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
Musical Memoir of the 60s
AA, $40-$45, 7 PM

Thursday 1.31.2013

Painted Saints with Hollow Boys and Squares
Chunky Guitars
21+, FREE, 9 PM

Action Item 
Triple Rock Social Club
Produced Pop
AA, $14, 5 PM 

One More Time: A Daft Punk Tribute
Mill City Nights
Classic Electronic
18+. $15/$18, 9 PM 

18+, $12-$15, 9 PM

Friday 2.1.2013

Eric Burdon / Lamont Cranston Band

Media Entertainment Center
The Animals were one of the darkest, moodiest bands of the British Invasion. Frontman Eric Burdon growled out Animals hits like the traditional whorehouse lament "House of the Rising Sun" and defiant declarations like "We Gotta Get Out of This Place," which Springsteen said he'd essentially been rewriting for the last 40 years. Later in the '60s Burdon had more psychedelic-oriented hits like "Sky Pilot," then led the funk band War to the top of the charts with "Spill the Wine." Now 71, unbowed and in fine voice, Burdon is back with 'Til Your River Runs Dry, a very personal collection of mostly originals from a rock 'n' roll survivor reflecting deeply on religion, mortality, and war, concluding with a killer version of Bo Diddley's "Before You Accuse Me." Hiking the potency of this double-barreled show will be the presence of Lamont Cranston, a Twin Cities institution long led by harmonica ace and singer Pat Hayes. --Rick Mason
21+, $7.46-$51, 8:30 PM         

Hot Water Music

Mill City Nights 
Gainesville isn't a city known for its post-hardcore or punk scenes, so it would be a safe bet that native sons Hot Water Music had to work hard to get noticed during their mid-'90s formative years, but hard work is something the band seem unafraid of. They hadn't released an album of new material since 2004, and officially broke up "for good" in 2006. Three of the members started the Draft, while singer Chuck Ragan also folked it up with Rumbleseat. However, the band returned showing little rust last year with Exister, which found them a little older, a little wiser, but no worse for wear -- the bouncy post-hardcore energy still intact and the pop-punk leanings still as catchy as ever. Their time away from each other coupled with work on other projects seems to have given the group new life. With La Dispute and the Menzingers.  --Pat O'Brien
18+, $15-$25, 8 PM 

Retribution Gospel Choir

Turf Club
There's no sense in trying to slow down Alan Sparhawk. Not content to just let the artful majesty of a Jeff Tweedy-produced Low album be the focal point of early 2013, Sparkhawk and his other band, the Retribution Gospel Choir, have releashed their third full-length album. Titled 3, it comes on the heels of last year's The Revolution EP, and showcases Sparhawk, bassist Steve Garrington, and drummer/man-about-town Eric "Actual Wolf" Pollard turning the outfit into a wild wonderland of noise and experimentation. And speaking of Wilco collaborations, guitarist Nels Cline is in on the fun too. Described by Duluth's Chaperone Records as a "two-song, one-take, full band blitz," this is the live release that could literally pop a blood vessel in your forehead. With Pony Trash.  --Reed Fischer
21+, $12, 9 PM

Turning Rebellion into Money: A Tribute to Joe Strummer

First Avenue
In addition to crafting a slew of indelible socio-political anthems with the Clash and as a solo artist, Joe Strummer also left behind a legacy of defiant activism and bold self-awareness. A diverse selection of local bands will be on hand to breathe some new life into Strummer's spirited music, with all of the proceeds from the show set to be donated to Free Arts Minnesota in memory of Daniel Levy, son of the Honeydogs' Adam Levy. Levy himself will be on hand to play some of Strummer's songs, as will BNLX, Haley Bonar, Dylan Hicks, the Farewell Circuit, Jim Ruiz Set, and Rogue Valley, to name just a few, with all of them seeing to it that the musical fires Strummer lit still burn brightly today.  --Erik Thompson
18+, $5-$10, 7:30 PM

Lucinda Williams

Americana singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams has the wonderfully evocative drawl and Flannery O'Connor-esque Gothic inclinations of her Southern roots. But she's also got local ties up here, having married Minnesota native Tom Overby on stage at First Avenue in 2009, and in recent years settled into town for relatively extended residencies. This four-night stand at the Dakota begins less than a week after her 60th birthday, a couple of years after the release of Blessed. She reportedly has written about 40 new songs for her next album for a still-to-be-decided label, having split from Lost Highway. She also recently recorded a new version of "Joy," a tune from 1998's Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, for West of Memphis: Voices of Justice, a compilation inspired by the documentary film about three teenagers erroneously convicted of murder. --Rick Mason
AA, $50-$60, 7 PM 

Dan & Matt Wilson

Pantages theatre
Dan and Matt Wilson have occupied too many Twin Cities bands to count, but within their projects -- both shared and separate -- there's an ear for tunefulness and often a lyrical wink at the listener. With a cache of Semisonic, Trip Shakespeare, the Twilight Hours, and solo work including alt-rock delights and Dan's pop songwriting with Adele, there'll be hits a-plenty to pull from 'til "Closing Time."  --Reed Fischer
$38, 8 PM

Ben Kyle & Freedy Johnston

Some artists write their most important music later in their life. Originally from Kansas, the New York-based singer Freedy Johnston penned "Bad Repuation," a song pointing out all the reasons not to love him, with an underlying need to be loved, in his early thirties. Named "Songwriter of the Year" by Rolling Stone in 1994, Johnston has honed his craft over the years, writing about being a troubled loner, often finding redemption through downfalls and heartbreak. Freedy finds a lot of roots in Minnesota, working with Kevin Bowe among many and will be returning to the Icehouse on a chilly February 1st with Ben Kyle. -Youa Vang
21+, $12, 10 PM 

Caleb with A Lion Named Roar 
7th St. Entry
Ambient Pop
AA, $10/$12, 6 PM

Charlie Parr with Jack Klatt and the Cat Swingers Fri.; Murder of Crows Sat.,
The Cedar Cultural Center
Country Folk 
AA, $15, 7 PM

MNworks: With music by Toki Wright, Sean Anonymous, Mark Kreazy, Raising the Bar, Harry Waters Jr., more
Bedlam Community Design Center
Art + Hip Hop

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