Concert Highlights for the Week Of June 13-19

WEDNESDAY 6.13

Nelly Furtado
Xcel Energy Center
Despite Nelly Furtado's inherent MILFness, it was a stretch for die-hard fans to embrace her latest LP, Loose, as they did her previous efforts, Folklore and Whoa Nelly. She seemed to have succumbed to producer Timbaland's golden hip-pop touch, forsaking the more alternative vibe of her earlier work, which included the roller-rink megahit "I'm Like a Bird." Loose offers an astonishing range of sounds, which is why she released not one, but four separate singles in different corners of the globe: the reggaetón-influenced "No Hay Igual" (featuring Calle 13); "Promiscuous," a hip-hop monster that featured Timbaland and snagged the 2006 Billboard Music Award for Pop Single of the Year; the Latin torch song "Te Busqué" (featuring Juanes); and the straight pop single "Maneater." A fifth single has emerged in the form of the slickly produced "Say It Right." Next up: an album recorded exclusively in Spanish. Thanks to all this diversity—along with a vocal style that's equal parts sass and flash—Furtado has broken through to the wider bubblegum-electronica world at large, while still keeping her original fan base on board. Not a bad trick for a humble single mom from British Columbia. With Kenna and Saukrates. $32.50-$42.50. 7:30 p.m.175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651.726.8240. Eric W. Saeger

 

Fountains of Wayne
First Avenue
Though at one point they seemed destined to forever be known as that one band that sings "Stacy's Mom," Fountains of Wayne have shown that they have the chops to stand up against the horrors of one-hit-wonder exile. The album that spawned "Stacy's Mom" was actually their third full-length as a group, and they recently released a fourth, the delightfully poppy and lovelorn Traffic and Weather. With Fab Four harmonies, clinking keyboards, and charming narratives, Traffic and Weather is the band's best work yet, and it couldn't have come at a better time. If rock 'n' roll could ever get away with being adorable, Fountains of Wayne have mastered it. Riding the wave between retro throwbacks, cutesy jingly pop, and plain old, sing-along rock 'n' roll, Fountains of Wayne have been down to the depths of commercial pop success, clung tightly to their originality, and emerged unscathed. With the Broken West. 18+. $16/$18 at the door. 8:00 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. Andrea Myers

 

THURSDAY 6.14

Slick Rick
Foundation
There've always been stylish players'-club raconteurs in hip hop, but it's hard to picture exactly how they carried themselves before Slick Rick came around. Anyone who wants to know where Biggie, Snoop, Nas, Jay-Z, and [insert your other favorite rappers here] got some of their spark should start immediately with The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, easily one of the finest storytelling-centered albums in rap history. (Nudge an old-school fan with the opening line to "Children's Story"—"Once upon a time, not long ago"—and they'll probably finish the whole song from memory for you.) The London-born, Bronx-raised MC took a while to release a follow-up that matched Adventures' front-to-back genius—uneven efforts like 1991's The Ruler's Back and 1994's Behind Bars were rushed out in the face of a five-year prison sentence for attempted murder—but 1999's star-studded The Art of Storytelling more than made up for the wait. Sadly, the Ruler's spent more time being harassed with deportation threats by the INS than in the studio or the clubs this decade (though he did grace First Avenue's stage two years ago), so a chance to see him spin his tales live is something that shouldn't be missed for the world. $15/$20 at the door. 8:00 p.m.10 S. 5th St., Minneapolis; 612.332.3931. Nate Patrin

Trama (CD-release party)
7th St. Entry
The first track of Trama's new mix HCMC—which appropriates the medical center's logo to identify him as "Hennepin County Master of Ceremonies"—spends about seven minutes relaying a series of recorded testimonials from local hip-hop fixtures ranging from Brother Ali to Capaciti to Carnage, all flipping out about how sick the CD is. They're right, and it's good to hear so many people lend their support to one of Minneapolis's best street-style MCs—but you don't need to take their word for it. The next 15 tracks speak for themselves, with sharply spit and frequently hilarious verses about stealing girlfriends, bar-hopping, and general bad-motherfuckerness. And while he grew up in Queens, listening to his Twin Cities-centric revisions of the Roots' "You Got Me" or Jay-Z's "Where I'm From" prove he's right at home here. With Illuminous 3, Muja Messiah, Slim of Guardians of Balance, DJ Special Dark, and more. 18+. $7. 8:00 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Nate Patrin

 

FRIDAY 6.15

The Mood Swings (CD-release party)
The Hexagon Bar
Some groups just can't help but bleed pop hooks, even when those sugary-sweet melodies come wrapped in barbed-wire guitars. Starting with a '60s garage-rock sound and then filtering it through the fishnet stockings of everyone from Joan Jett to Elastica, the Mood Swings are getting set to unleash a six-song follow-up EP to last year's Come On Tell Me. No Limit has tracks that come at you with a snarl, then blow you a kiss, like the guitar-and-organ-driven "Want Need Love," but the title track shows off a talent for expanded atmosphere. Loon calls and rumbling thunder open the tune, and even when the distorted guitars drop in, it's a finer grind, sleeker and darker than you might expect from the Mood Swings. Expect them to blow down the back wall of the Hexagon (would that make it the Pentagon?) and to look good doing it. Free. 9:00 p.m. 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.722.3454. Steve McPherson

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