The best Twin Cities concerts: 12/4-12/10

Photo courtesy of the artist

As we make our way into December, the Twin Cities welcomes several holiday shows. Ronnie Spector will make a two night appearance at the Dakota to perform some of her biggest holiday hits. Martina McBride makes an appearance at the State Theater just a day before the New Standards' weekend, annual holiday show. KDWB hosts the Jingle Ball on Tuesday at the Xcel Center. Other acts this week include Mason Jennings at First Avenue, Crimes at the Triple Rock, Pokey LaFarge at the Cedar and Drake at the Target Center. 

Wednesday 12.4.2013

Ronnie Spector's 
Best Christmas Ever
Ronnie Spector's Ronettes were one of four artists on probably the best Christmas album of all time, A Christmas Gift to You, more commonly known as Phil Spector's Christmas album. Issued in 1963 when the producer's innovative Wall of Sound stood tall and he still wasn't quite terminally weird, it was a glorious barrage of pop tinsel, with Ronnie's sultry tones spicing up Yuletide nuggets like "Sleigh Ride" and "Frosty the Snowman." Ronnie long ago left her ex-husband to stranger pursuits, but her episodic career is still tied to Ronettes gems like "Be My Baby" and "Walking in the Rain." Her joyously intact voice will likely tackle those along with the seasonal fare, including stuff from her nicely done 2010 Best Christmas Ever EP. -- Rick Mason
$45-$65, 7 PM

Turf Club
Holiday Event + Hymie's Record Roadshow
All Ages 6 PM, 21+ after 8 PM

Word on the Street with deM atlaS, Proper T & the Solflower Collective and Black Diet
7th Street Entry
Music Collective
18+, $5, 8 PM

Thursday 12.5.2013

Dan Mariska & the Boys Choir (album release)
7th St. Entry
On Dan Mariska's sophomore outing, Bummer Songs, the promising 22-year-old makes the leap to fully realized talent. With backing band the Boys Choir and veteran producer Knol Tate (ex-Askeleton), the album sounds triumphant even if Mariska's lyrical sentiments are anything but. "I should probably stay inside for the rest of my life/That seems to work all right," he sings. Still adept at channeling the sardonic spirit and skewed guitars of '90s college-rock, Mariska impresses most when he steps out into unfamiliar terrain, as on the heartfelt mid-tempo acoustic number "Company." With Faith Boblett, the Crash Bandits, and Blue Green. --Rob Van Alstyne
18+, $7, 8 PM

The Cactus Blossoms live album release show
Turf Club
Haunting Harmonies
21+, $7, 8 PM

Crimes with Hollow Boys and Myotis
Triple Rock
Dark Garage
18+, $5, 8 PM

Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires
First Avenue

In a rags-to-riches story for the ages, classic soul and R&B singer Charles Bradley spent decades doing music on the side (including as a James Brown impersonator) while working as a cook and doing odd jobs until being discovered by Daptone Records' Gabriel Roth. Two highly praised albums and a string of incendiary, acclaimed performances later, Bradley is riding high, the toast of the retro-soul brigade. Bradley's initial release, No Time for Dreaming, had a greasy, Southern soul vibe, his marvelous, gritty voice etching heartache and woe. This year's Victim of Love has a more optimistic tint, along with an infusion of horns closer to Motown than Memphis, plus a psychedelic-funk thang that somehow makes Bradley's fiery pipes burn even brighter. --Rick Mason
18+, $20, 7:30 PM

Friday 12.6.2013

Martina McBride: The Joy of Christmas
State Theatre
Holiday Show
All Ages, $54.50-$64.50, 7:30 PM

Exiles with Catbath, With a Gun for a Face and Punk Poet Paul D
Dark and Heavy
21+, $5, 9 PM

Mason Jennings with Pieta Brown
First Avenue FRIDAY 12.6 + SATURDAY 12.7
Heartfelt Lyrics
18+, $20, 6 PM

Midlake with Sarah Jaffe
Turf Club
Sea Shanties
21+, $15, 8 PM

Rap for Life with Kill the Vultures, Bomba de Luz, Dem Atlas and more
Triple Rock
Benefit for Domestic Abuse Awareness
18+, $10, 8 PM

Aaron and the Sea with Gullfoss and On and On (DJ set)
Electro Duo
21+, $6, 11 PM

Malamanya with Alma Andina
Cedar Cultural Center
All Ages, $10/$12, 7 PM

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