THURSDAY 7.26

Ghostface Killah
Varsity Theater
Though the Wu-Tang is coming to town as a unit for the Rock the Bells tour next month, the Scion Live Metro series has given Shaolin disciples plenty of hot live-band-backed solo bills from various Clan members in the past year or so, including memorable shows from Raekwon and the GZA. Now it's time for the most buzzed-about member to hit the Varsity: Ghostface is still running strong on the tank that his Fishscale/More Fish-boosted 2006 filled to overflowing, and tacking those two albums onto one of hip hop's best back catalogs from 1996 onward (Ironman, Supreme Clientele, Bulletproof Wallets, and The Pretty Toney Album make for a hell of a sustained run) guarantees a wall-to-wall wild-out set from East Coast rap's most unpredictable and intricate persona. And with L.A.'s versatile funk instrumentalists, the Rhythm Roots All-Stars, providing the beats, expect even more of an old-school soul revival than Ghost cultivates on wax. With DJ Ayres. Free. 9:30 p.m. For tickets, RSVP at www.scion.com/livemetro. 1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. Nate Patrin

 

FRIDAY 7.27

Erasure
First Avenue
Synth-pop pioneers Vince Clarke and Andy Bell don't go for a spot of revisionism throughout Light at the End of the World, the newest proper studio album from the flamboyant duo Erasure. Twenty-some odd years have neither tarnished nor diminished Clarke's unabashed love of distended electro trills and thrills, without concern for bleeding-edge frills. Erasure exist outside the current of competition, happy to watch younger groups fret about keeping up with the Joneses. Every few years, Bell—despite his double hip-replacement surgery, past battles with substance abuse, and coping with being HIV-positive—clicks his heels together three times and, indeed, there is no place like home. Erasure return to the buoyant blue-eyed soul and exaggerated affectations that have been the group's tropes since 1986, love it or leave it. Lyrically, Erasure have become increasingly disclosing, as exhibited by Bell addressing his mother's alcoholism on "Storm in a Teacup." Light at the End of the World is another Technicolor-sequined feather in what is to Erasure old hat. With Young Love. $32.50. 8:00 p.m., 701 First Ave. N, Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Tony Ware

Jenny Dalton
Bryant Lake Bowl Theater
On her 2006 release, Fleur de Lily, local chanteuse Jenny Dalton used her powers to work a little Tori-Amos-type magic on the ivories, picking out lonely, lovely lines that provided the perfect pop-lilt foil for her melancholy soprano whispers. Though she sang of dark and uncertain times—"Iraqi Sky/Iraqi Sky/You saw me me/And I stopped playing/In your dream"—her piano rang out with bell-pure tones that promised hope might find its reward in Dalton's world, if not the real one. This intimate show brings Dalton together with a six-piece band, and provides a forum for screening four music videos (including one by "Seeing Double at the Triple Rock" producer Justin Staggs) from her upcoming album, Carbon Lily Remixes. Visual artist Frank Verdeja will join the players on stage. $8/$10 at the door. 7:00 p.m. 810 W. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612.825.8949. Sarah Askari

SATURDAY 7.28

Bat for Lashes
7th St. Entry
Bat for Lashes' debut album, Fur and Gold, is fresh on the just-announced list of nominees for this year's Mercury Prize, competing against the likes of Amy Winehouse, the Klaxons, and other sizzling Brit creations. The stage name for the stunning Natasha Khan, a multi-instrumentalist who seems to embody the persona of a magical and modern-day gypsy, Bat for Lashes has accumulated quite a fan base, including the approval of Björk, since opening for CoCoRosie in 2005. Khan's seductive and whispery voice is reminiscent of Cat Power and Dido, as she sings between ghostly harpsichords, native beats, and fairytale piano melodies. Khan plays the keys, while three of her lady friends accompany her with silky harmonies. Her album inspires thoughts of unicorns and galaxies, and one can only hope her live performance offers a bit of that escapist quality. 18+. $10. 8:00 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Amber Schadewald

The Pharcyde
Foundation
The Pharcyde entered the rap landscape in 1992 as a fully formed entity, not only a dope-ass group, but damn near a philosophical, musical, and aesthetic movement. Flying under the radar of the left coast gangsta craze (along with fellow creative oddballs such as Del and Souls of Mischief), their debut LP Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde was nothing short of a revelation—a funny, biting, and unabashedly funky antidote to Dre and his minions. Unfortunately, after a series of increasingly unremarkable releases, it remains the group's crowning achievement; even sadder, two of the group's four original members have since flown the coop, including the always-interesting Fatlip. In the end, that only adds to Bizarre's legendary status as one of the most creative albums in rap history, as well as necessarily signaling a change in the group's direction. So go to the show both hoping to hear some classics, and curious as to what such genius is up to 15 years on. 18+. $15/$20 at door. 5:00 p.m. 10 S. Fifth St., Minneapolis; 612.332.3931. —Jordan Selbo

SUNDAY 7.29

Van's Warped Tour
Metrodome Parking Lot
The beauty of the one-day festival is the opportunity to see a huge variety of bands without the threat of ending up passed out facedown in the muck after staying up all night, roaming drum circles and gobblin' shrooms by the handful. Considering the unforgiving turf of the Metrodome parking lot, that's no way to spend a Sunday afternoon. In addition to punk-rock stalwarts like Bad Religion, New Found Glory, and the Circle Jerks, Warped Tour is a chance to catch current emo-core frontrunners Hawthorne Heights, Yellowcard, and Coheed and Cambria, as well as a barrage of starry-eyed up-and-comers eager to make waves. Where P.O.S. fits into all of this is anybody's guess. Backed by a powerful cavalcade of corporate sponsors, swag booths and activity areas abound, including a skate ramp, video game huts, and an exhibition of lucha libre wrestling. For more info, visit www.warpedtour.com. All ages. $28/$30 at the door. 11:00 a.m. 900 Fifth St. S., (at 11th Avenue), Minneapolis. Christopher Matthew Jensen

TUESDAY 7.31

Paid Dues Independent Hip Hop Festival
First Avenue
Yeah, it makes sense for indie rap to have a sizeable touring festival just like any other under-the-radar genre, but it's surprising just how star-studded this iteration of the Paid Dues Tour is—it's like a one-stop shop for self-deprecating battle rhymes and intriguingly distended flows. Rhode Island's Sage Francis and Detroit's Cage represent the introspective don't-call-it-emo camp of mildly sociopathic stress-rappers, Blueprint satisfies the throwback classicists, Mr. Lif is the resident political agitator, Living Legends are the ultra-colossus super-crew, and Brother Ali is the triumphant local hero. And even if you actually take Slug for granted, there's no excuse to miss him performing with L.A. heavyweight Murs as Felt, the crew that makes for the best smart-mouth sex raps in all of alt-rap. 18+. $35. 4:00 pm. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Nate Patrin

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