Former Grateful Dead co-vocalist and rhythm guitarist Bob Weir is back on tour with his backup band, Rat Dog, featuring drummer Jay Lane, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, lead guitarist Mark Karan, reeds man Kenny Brooks and bassist Robin Sylvester.
Weir penned some of the Dead's most memorable tunes, including the beloved Dead classics "Truckin," "Mexicali Blues" and "Sugar Magnolia."
On his own, this father of two has become an incredibly eclectic and distinctive songwriter, melding American and European music, including disco, R&B and folk. He has released 10 albums apart from his work with the Dead, including collaborations with Neil Young, Kingfish and Bobby & the Midnites.
Weir has also dedicated a significant part of his life to various social causes, including being a board member of Seva (which fights blindness in Asia and South America), Greenpeace, the Rainforest Action Network and in the Grateful Dead's own Rex Foundation. He turned his love for vegetarian cookery into a fund-raiser for various nonprofits, selling various cooking sauces (go to www.dead.net for more info) on their behalf, and dedicated last year's Rat Dog tour to the voter registration effort Head Count.
- M March 28, 7:30 p.m.
Historic Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Ave. S.
$48. 339-7007. www.hennepintheatredistrict.com.
Scout Niblett has been called the U.K.'s answer to Cat Power, but she is so much more than that. She's smart and funny and can (lyrically) be truly brutal.
She's so punchy on stage that I recommend all women planning on dumping their boyfriends attend this show. Bring a notepad along to copy down some of Scout's on-stage banter and lyrics to use in your own dialoging sessions later. For an extra good time, bring along the boyfriend you're planning on dumping and see if he recalls any of these songs during the upcoming conversations.
- W March 30, 8 p.m.
First Avenue, 701 1st Ave. N.
$12. 332-1775, www.first-avenue.com.
The 2005 lineup of the SFJAZZ Collective is going to feature an amazing cast - as it always does. Trombonist Isaac Smith's on board; he's played with the likes of Chick Corea, Patti LaBelle, Ray Charles and Mingus Big Band.
Sax phenomenon Josh Redman is going to be part of the show, too, as will bassist Matt Penman, percussionist Eric Harland, legendary vibraphone and marimba player Bobby Hutcherson and a big pile of accompanying talent.
This series is rapidly becoming one of the hottest traveling jazz shows in the world. Here's your chance to catch it in your own backyard.
- Sa April 2, 7:30 p.m. & 10 p.m.
Dakota Bar & Grill, 1010 Nicollet Mall
$30-$50. 332-1010, www.dakotacooks.com.
Holly Day can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.