As demands for increased worker productivity accelerate, we oppressed proles should all strive to follow the slack example of Kim and Kelley Deal of the Breeders, who'll be at First Ave this Sunday. They just put out their fifth album in 28 years and act like we're lucky they ever got around to it.
Chris Smither @ Cedar Cultural Center
Chris Smither is a talented songwriter (covered by the likes of Bonnie Raitt and Emmylou Harris), inspired song interpreter (usually in a blues-folk context), fine fingerstyle guitarist and affecting singer, his raspy voice full of character. The latest album of his half-century career is Call Me Lucky, and no one he sings about here deserves the name. Instead, Smither’s originals sketch the sorrow and loss of skewed lives with a quiet intensity sometimes recalling Townes Van Zandt. Cool covers include a country-blues version of Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene” and dark reading of the Beatles’ “She Said She Said.” Zak Trojano opens. 8 p.m. $22-$25. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason
Nathan Hanson’s Five Times Golden @ Jazz Central
Saxophonist Nathan Hanson goes back to the heyday of the Clown Lounge, playing the exalted basement venue with the Fantastic Merlins. A couple decades and a stint in New York later, he’s a key member of Davu Seru’s No Territory Band and is heading up this intriguing quartet, which contains the scuffed keyboard electronics of DeVon Gray (dVRG), Nepali drummer Kismat Shrestha, and his longtime cohort Doan Roessler on bass. Catch him before he heads to Europe for summer gigs and residencies. 8 p.m. $10. 407 Central Ave. SE, Minneapolis. More info here. —Britt Robson
Complete Friday music listings here.
Justin Townes Earle @ Turf Club
On his 2017 album Kids in the Street, Justin Townes Earle contemplated change from the broad perspective of his growing maturity, which includes sobriety, marriage, and a child on the way. On the title track, he reminisces about the now-gentrified working-class Nashville neighborhood of his youth, while “15-25,” a look back on that rowdy decade of his life, is also a musical tribute to Professor Longhair. George Jones would appreciate the country weeper “What’s She Crying For,” and bluesman Skip James gets a nod in “If I Was the Devil.” Earle also dabbles in Texas swing, soul, and folk blues, and he wrote modern lyrics for the murderous blues standard “Stagolee.” With Blake Brown. 21+. 7 p.m. $25. 1601 University Ave., St. Paul. More info here.—Rick Mason
Olamide @ Skyway
While stars like Drake profitably inflect their hits with rhythms derived from the West African mix of hip-hop and other electronic dance styles known as Afrobeats, Nigeria’s biggest artists are themselves striving to win over U.S. audiences. Olamide has been huge back home since 2011, though he’s yet to make much of a dent in the American consciousness. To catch up, start with his 2017 summer anthem “Wo!!,” produced by regular collaborator, Young John, and maybe follow it up with “Kana,” his new collaboration with Wizkid, whose voice you’ve heard on Drake’s “One Dance.” 18+. 8 p.m. $40/$60. 711 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis. More info here.—Keith Harris
Complete Saturday music listings here.
The Breeders @ First Avenue
Kim and Kelley Deal were the champions of not giving a fuck back when DGAF was still just a chord progression. Twenty-five years ago, the Deals made slackers like Pavement look like studious MBAs with the rumpled alt-pop of their only-in-the-90s breakthrough Last Splash, and especially the fabulously induplicable “Cannonball,” which sounds like it was written while each band member was failing to learn how to play a different song than the others. All Nerve, their fifth album in 28 years, reunites the Deals with the rhythm section of Last Splash, and it combines that classic’s rippling inventiveness with the low-end plod of their debut, Pod. 18+. 7 p.m. $25/$28. 7011st Ave. N., Minneapolis. More info here.—Keith Harris
Complete Sunday music listings here.