WEDNESDAY 6.6

2007 DMC Regionals
Foundation Nightclub
If you want a simple snapshot of how truly international hip hop was by the mid-'90s, look over a list of the winners of the Disco Mix Club's World DJ Championships: Won by Brit Chad Jackson in 1987—the competition's second year—the title has since gone to representatives from the U.K., Denmark, Japan, Germany, France, and Canada. But the U.S. still dominates the championship's history, thanks to the likes of DJ Cash Money, X-Ecutioners mainstay Roc Raida, I-EMERGE, and the three-year dominant streaks of DJ Craze and future Invisbl Skratch Piklz members Q-Bert and Mixmaster Mike. Which practically makes the DMC championships the Olympics of turntablism: With its mixture of old-school break-blending theatrics and a focus on finding the DJ with the newest, most unprecedented advancements of scratch technique, it brings hip hop's battle ethos to a gigantic scale. The regionals is where it all starts coming together, and there's a chance you'll catch the next turntable gladiator to represent the states—as well as a host of other competitors who, even if they lose, will still wreck shit in the process. $10/$15 at the door for 21+; $15/$20 at the door for 18+. 9:00 p.m. 10 S. Fifth St., Minneapolis; 612.332.3931. Nate Patrin

 

THURSDAY 6.7

Prince—A Purple Reign Reunion
The Cabooze
Prince fans who camped around the block last Friday morning to pay $250 for the "Ultimate Prince Xperience" (tickets to the shows on July 7 at Macy's and the Target Center, plus bottles of 3121 perfume) might consider tonight's special event a steal. This all-star concert celebrates Prince's birthday (whether or not he shows up) with a sort of family reunion of former musicians and old friends playing his music, including original members of Prince and the Revolution, Prince's New Power Generation, the Time, the Family, Madhouse, Mint Condition, the Steeles, the Legendary Combo, the Jesse Johnson Revue, and Greazy Meal. The poster also promises "surprise guests"—we can only hope. $10/$15 at the door/$25 VIP. 8:30 p.m. 917 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.6425. Peter S. Scholtes

Richie Hawtin
Foundation Nightclub
So much as whisper the name "Richie Hawtin" in techno circles and you'll get a full-fledged debate on the longtime techno soldier's relevance. It's like discussing whether George Bush is a good president at the dinner table and then watching grandpa fling mashed potatoes at the nearest liberal (or maybe that's just my house). You see, Ontario-born/Detroit-linked Hawtin gave techno kids something to truly get excited about for about 10 years—to the point that dudes (mostly) revered him as a sort of electronic music deity. In the mid-'90s, as Plastikman, he'd fill abandoned warehouses with geeked-out ravers craving mind-twisting acid, and in the early '00s, his mixes (Decks, EFX, and 909) took on a life of their own. Hawtin has since moved to the Grand Central Station of hipster culture (Berlin, duh) and these days his music sounds more progressive (bordering on ambient?) than anything else, leaving some of those once-salivating fans seeking bass elsewhere. However you feel about him (or even if you don't), check out his show tonight and watch the techno heads stroke their chins in amusement, wonder, confusion—or all three. 18+. $15/$20 at the door. 9:00 p.m. 10 S. 5th St., Minneapolis; 612.332.3931. Jen Boyles

FRIDAY 6.8

Happy Apple
Cedar Cultural Center
There's a real conversational quality to the often cacophonous music of Happy Apple. And yes, you hear all the time about how good jazz is like a conversation, but this isn't a reasoned progression of proposals and counterproposals. Happy Apple's music is more akin to the overlapping dialogue of a Robert Altman film. Altman said he let the characters speak over one another to get the audience to pay attention, to lean closer, and Happy Apple rewards the same close listening. Eric Fratzke might lay the groundwork with an oddly cycling riff, as on the title track from 2006's Youth Oriented, but when saxophonist Mike Lewis and drummer David King go at it, extensions and developments build up only to fall away so quickly you might miss them on record. Live, however, it's impossible not to catch the grins and knowing nods that pass back and forth between the members as the charge of shared ideas crackles like electricity through the music. $15. 8:00 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. Steve McPherson

Brother Ali
First Avenue/7th St. Entry
Brother Ali's performance on 89.3 the Current before a packed house at Buffalo Billiards at South by Southwest showcased more than just tracks from his recently released album, The Undisputed Truth. Radio listeners might have heard his compact and vicious flow and thought his stage persona to be like lightning: a series of flashes and burning strikes. In person, though, he moved about the tiny stage more like lava, burning everything in his path, his cascade of lines not flexible so much as inexorable. No gesticulations or empty exhortations here; Ali prowls, using his off-mic hand like a divining rod, turning it first one way then another, simultaneously testing the air and guiding himself along his own lines. He doesn't need tricks—if a mustard seed of faith can move mountains, certainly a grain of The Undisputed Truth can move a crowd. With Psalm One, BK One, Boom Bap Project, DJ Wicked, and Toki Wright. 18+ Friday in mainroom/all ages Saturday in Entry, both sold out. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Steve McPherson

SATURDAY 6.9

Northeast Block Party
Red Stag Supper Club
For a new take on an old Twin Cities summer tradition, how 'bout a "zero waste" block party? Northeast's newest identity-building event borrows its sensibility from the Bryant-Lake Block Party and Bastille Day Celebration–fitting, since the stage's location, at the future Red Stag Supper Club, is the home of Kim Bartman's newest restaurant. Featuring African-school-builders Low, '80s party-rap revivalists MC/VL, trippy R&B group Black Blondie, horn-blasting riff-junkies Chooglin, and songbook chanteuse Prudence Johnson. Free. 5:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 509 First Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612.822.6302. Sarah Askari

Finnegan's Summerfest
Cabooze
This gig has good reason to beg exception to the free-entertainment block party rule—proceeds from this daylong play list of Twin Cities indie music go to Heading Home Hennepin, an initiative that seeks to end homelessness in Hennepin County by 2016. Highlights of the event, which features 21 bands playing on three different stages, include Soul Asylee Dave Pirner's first local appearance with his new band, the Volunteers; a reunion of the Delilahs, 10 years in the making; piano-thrill-seeker Mark Mallman; Brit-influenced rockers the Alarmists and White Light Riot; bluegrass foot-stompers Pert Near Sandstone; and soulful crooner JoAnna James. $20/$25 at the door. 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. 917 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612.338.6425. —Sarah Askari

MONDAY 6.11

The Fray
Target Center
This Denver quartet performs straight-ahead pop, heavy on the sing-alongs, with plenty of sweeping guitar riffs and intense piano ballads. Its debut, How to Save a Life, went platinum and led to opening gigs for big names like Ben Folds and the Rolling Stones. The Fray has since graduated to headliner status. Lead singer Isaac Slade boasts a grainy voice and an endearing way of bantering with audience members while he fingers his piano. He also tends to get plenty of help from the crowd on hit singles such as "Over My Head" and "How to Save a Life." With OK Go and Mae. $20.50-$35.50. 6:30 p.m. 600 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.673.0900. Todd McFliker

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