Best Bets: Charlie Parr, Dessa and more

By Christa Lawler, Duluth News Tribune

Parr plays pre-‘Dog’ show

Charlie Parr, who plays today at Sacred Heart Music Center, described depression as a “hazy fog of rancid jello” in a news release from his label Red House Records. ”And then there’s this really, really horrible third thing, this impulsive thing, that doesn’t feel like it’s me or my depression. It feels like it’s coming from outside somewhere. And it’s the thing that comes on you all of a sudden, and it’s the voice of suicide, it’s the voice of ‘quit.’ ”

Charlie Parr plays with Dave Simonett today at Sacred Heart Music Center. Photo courtesy of Red House Records.

His latest album “Dog,” which drops Friday, comes from his recent struggles with mental health — and the ensuing reflection and acceptance. NPR calls it a “heartfelt wander-through-an-alley” album. Parr will be joined by Dave Simonett (Trampled By Turtles, Dead Man Winter).

Charlie Parr plays at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 7 at Sacred Heart Music Center, 201 W. Fourth St. Tickets: $10 in advance at eventbrite.com, $15 at the door. $10 for students.

Dessa plays Pizza Luce

Meanwhile, when we last saw Dessa, she was chronicling a trip to New Orleans for the New York Times magazine. It’s not a stretch. The Doomtree, or solo, rapper, who is also a published poet, is at work on her first book of essays, and has written for Minnesota Monthly. The TC-based musician who regularly makes stops in Duluth, and who is also featured on the “Hamilton Mixtape,” plays a show Wednesday at Pizza Luce.

Also on the bill: MONAKR, a Chicago-based moody electro-pop band that is inspired by Peter Gabriel; Aby Wolf & Eric Mayson, the former who regularly performs alongside Dessa and the latter, a multi-instrumentalist with a style that ranges from pop to R&B and progressive soul.

Dessa plays a show that starts at 8 p.m. Sept. 13 at Pizza Luce, 11 E. Superior St. Tickets: $15.

Prine returns to Symphony Hall

A Chicago-groomed folk musician who has drawn colorful commentary from Bob Dylan — “Pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mind-trips to the nth degree,” according to Rolling Stone magazine — returns to Duluth for a show Saturday at Symphony Hall.

John Prine’s concert, also featuring Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, is part of KUMD-FM’s 60th Birthday Tour.

Campbell and Williams will release their latest album, “Contraband Love,” on Sept. 15.

John Prine plays at 8 p.m. Sept. 9 at Symphony Hall at the DECC. Tickets: Start at $61.50, available at Ticketmaster outlets including ticketmaster.com and the DECC box office.

Say OK to the Okee Dokee Brothers

Grammy Award-winning, kid-friendly, festival-favorite performers the Okee Dokee Brothers return to Duluth for a show Sunday at Sacred Heart Music Center.

The group includes Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing, childhood friends and outdoorsy-sorts, who encourage respect for nature via catchy tunes.

Okee Dokee Brothers play at 11 a.m. Sept. 10 at Sacred Heart Music Center, 201 W. Fourth St. Tickets: $15 adults, $12 kids 3 and older available at Electric Fetus, Globe News or eventbrite.com.

Artist gives pop-view to reservation

Wendy Red Star is a Portland, Ore.-based artist whose latest work, “Reservation Pop,” considers Native American ideologies and colonialist structures. She has taken documentary-style images cars and HUD houses on the Apsaalooke reservation in Montana, where she was raised, for a show that a reviewer for MNArtists likened to Warhol’s pop art. The exhibition was last at Bethel University’s Olson Gallery in St. Paul.

Red Star is featured in artist Sharon Louden’s new book “The Artist as Cultural Producer,” and the two artists will present on harmful stereotypes about artists and how they contribute to communities.

Wendy Red Star’s reception is 5-7 p.m. Sept. 8 at the Duluth Art Institute, 506 W. Michigan St. Free, open to the public.

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