Music on trial

For many, the stress of midterms has subsided, and with finals in the distant – or rather, the soon-approaching – future, November is the perfect month in which to attend many live music events.

This Saturday, for example, I will be attending a Dan Deacon concert at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis. For those of you who might not be familiar with electronic composer Dan Deacon, you should check out his latest release, America, or his recent cover of Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe” – titled “Call Me Maybe Acapella 147 Times Exponentially Layered.” It is exactly as the name describes it: the summertime hit layered on top of itself creating a very dissonant and industrial sound out of its origin. Dan Deacon has become known for creating a communal experience at his concerts, often asking for audience participation in his own performance. Rumor has it he once inspired his entire crowd to play London Bridge at a show in Austin, Texas.

Other concerts this weekend include: Laurie Anderson at the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis, Nov. 2, 3, and 4 good luck finding tickets for this one!, as well as Madonna at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on both Saturday and Sunday. Tickets for her performances are very pricey, but if you are a fan, it may be well worth hearing her on tour in promotion of her latest release, MDNA. However, you should be aware: the 54-year-old pop singer stirred up controversy during her recent New Orleans appearance by telling her audience, “I don’t care who you vote for as long as it’s Obama.” Her remark was met with many boos and a few cheers. Should you attend either of her performances this coming weekend, be prepared for potential headline-inspiring actions from the artist.

If you cannot make it to Madonna’s concerts and are still hoping to hear a performer of yesteryear within the next week, I recommend attending Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler’s show at the Xcel Energy Center next Wednesday, Nov. 7. I was lucky enough to hear the legend himself play in Milwaukee a few years ago, and although most of his classic tunes “Hey Mr. Tambourine Man,” “Like a Rolling Stone,” “All Along the Watchtower,” etc. have been transformed by his now-limited vocal range, it was still quite an experience.

On Friday, Nov. 9, as many of you may know, St. Olaf will play host to Trampled by Turtles, hailing from Duluth, Minn. This bluegrass group gained much acclaim for its 2011 album Palamino and are continuing to do so with its most recent release, Stars and Satellites. The band has appeared at many national festivals, including Coachella, Lollapalooza and the Newport Folk Festival. It may be difficult to snag tickets for this show, but if you can, have a wonderful time hearing this somewhat local band live.

Last, I’d like to draw attention to an event at The Cedar on Nov. 13. Alternative/pop ensemble and one of my favorite bands, The Magnetic Fields, will be performing there in promotion of their spring 2012 album release, Love at the Bottom of the Sea. Their music is a combination of very funny and strange lyrics mostly about love, the moon and dancing, catchy pop melodies and whimsical instrumentations.

Although I have hardly covered the spectrum of concerts taking place in the area this month, I hope I have, at the very least, inspired you to keep your eyes peeled for events that might be of interest to you. Happy November!

raben@stolaf.edu

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