Sweet, sweet soul
Labeled alternately as the new Chaka Khan or new Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige has helped breathe new life into soul music. With her blonde hair, self-preserving slouch and combat boots, Blige is street-tough and beautiful all at once -- a hero to thousands of girls growing up in the same kinds of rough places she came from.
Blige's handful of ghetto-fabulous and emotionally charged albums exude a classic soul style that seems far more mature than her 33 years.
Sunday, May 2, 6:30 p.m. Historic State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Ave. S. $55.75-$65.75. (651) 989-5151.
Over the past three decades, former English pub-rocker singer-songwriter Graham Parker has managed to alienate practically every major record label. With his refusal to rush into the studio to churn out one album after the next, not to mention his failure to sabotage his razor-witted music in order to "make it big," Parker's trail included the likes of Capitol, Atlantic, Elektra and RCA before making the leap to independent labels in the '90s.
Sunday, May 2, 9 p.m. Fine Line Music Cafe, 318 1st Ave. N. $19. 335-8181.