Music A-List


Bat for Lashes
Varsity Theater

Bat for Lashes' Natasha Khan is the latest in a lineage of female musicians that includes Kate Bush, Tori Amos, and Björk. They all evince a kind of willful eccentricity that turns their songs from a straightforward conglomeration of words and chords into a kind of personal mythology. Onstage, Khan favors exotic headbands and flouncy dresses that make her look a bit like a refugee from The Neverending Story, but Bat for Lashes' debut album, Fur and Gold, has a dusty, intimate vibe that's built around harpsichord and piano. Khan's voice is equally at home on tender ballads like "Sad Eyes" as it is on standouts like "Prescilla," which begins with stomps and handclaps before ascending into a ghostly and driving chorus. "What's a Girl to Do" doesn't initially impress, but the video, which evokes David Lynch, Donnie Darko, and the video for Radiohead's "Karma Police," is, frankly, incredible, and more than enough to compel you to check the band out live.18+. $10/$12 at door. 7:00 p.m. 1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. —Steve McPherson

Hot Hot Heat
Fine Line Music Cafe

The epic, soaring sonics on Happiness Ltd., Hot Hot Heat's latest effort, owe a debt to some tricked-out production that results in a number of satisfying swells. The strongest candidates for airplay are front-loaded for instant gratification, while the rest of the album needs time to ferment. Comparisons to the Cure notwithstanding, Steve Bays's gangly, nervous voice on "5 Times Out of a Hundred" has more to do with the Libertines than with Robert Smith, and the pleading first single "Let Me In" rips a page out of the Verve's songbook with its full orchestra and chiming keyboards. With inventive lyric-building and instrumentation displayed like baubles, Hot Hot Heat deliver a plump sound that could fill an arena—and might well burst out of the Mainroom. 18+. $15/$17 at door. 8:00p.m. 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8100. —Rick Skidmore


Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Fine Line Music Cafe
More More Gore Gore: 
The Gore Gore Girls
Vickie Nelson
More More Gore Gore: The Gore Gore Girls

Fiercely indie Clap Your Hands Say Yeah managed to become the buzz band of 2005 without label support of any kind—and maybe even partially because of going it alone. Not believing the hype, or at least not feeding into it, CYHSY managed to avert the dreaded sophomore slump with an even more eccentric disc the second time out. Some Loud Thunder, released last winter, has enough dissonant thunderheads, noisy tangents, and cheerful indulgences to scare off the dilettantes, but also lots of fresh charmers from Alec Ounsworth, whose idiosyncratic squawk remains on the intriguing end of the art-rock annoyance scale. There are melodies to be had among the blips, gongs, and accordion weirdness, from the T. Heads-like electroglide workout "Satan Said Dance" to "Mama, Won't You Keep Them Castles in the Air and Burning?," which sounds like a twisted version of Phil Spector's Wall of Sound. Opening will be Elvis (real name) Perkins In Dearland, a quartet led by the son of quirkily brilliant actor Anthony Perkins (of Psycho fame, who died of AIDS in 1992) and photographer/actress Berry Berenson (who died in one of the hijacked planes that hit the World Trade Center almost exactly nine years later). Perkins's extraordinary solo debut, Ash Wednesday (XL), shaped and informed by his parents' tragic deaths, is appropriately somber and world-weary, but far from morose. It's also a gorgeous, classic-sounding folk-pop album, full of eloquent observations, haunting melodies, and a riveting vocal style mixing Rufus Wainwright and John Lennon.18+. $15/$17 at door. 8:00 p.m. 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8100.—Rick Mason

FRIDAY 10.05

Girl Talk/Dan Deacon
First Avenue

Both Greg Gillis and Dan Deacon like to rub elbows (and headbands) with their sweaty, springing, gyrating fans, surrounding themselves with the writhing hordes until your sweat becomes their second skin. But what of opening act Tay Zonday? The reclusive academic, who drenched the internet in "Chocolate Rain" this summer, has basically never performed in front of an audience (outside of Balls Cabaret). Will his hometown crowd embrace him despite his utter oddity? Will the outsider artist become a hipster insider? The one thing I'd put safe money on is that Gillis, a.k.a. DJ Girl Talk, will incorporate a clip from Zonday's "Do the Can't Dance" into his where-are-the-seams-on-this-thing patchwork of 20-second-long samples from every song you've ever heard of. 18+. $14/$16 at door. 10:30 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Sarah Askari


Fujiya & Miyagi
7th St. Entry

To put this to rest once and for all: Fujiya & Miyagi are neither Japanese nor a duo. They are a trio of Brighton-bred Brits who follow in the complicated, very large footsteps of Kraut-rockers like Neu! and Can, and New Wave bands such as the Talking Heads. They dovetail nicely with contemporaries Hot Chip and Aphex Twin. This may sound a bit scattered and unfocused, but the inventive details they smear on the edges (playful synth flourishes here and there; bouncy, galloping bass lines; lyrics delivered in a harsh whisper) and the sheer will they have to make the crowd dance along (even though this isn't necessarily dance music) erase any doubts about their abilities (and even raise the bar a bit, to be honest). The stretched syllables, trilled "Rs," and spidery, sometimes haunting guitar riffs throughout their newest album, Transparent Things, add to the overall aesthetic, and make F&M one of the most promising bands of late. $12. 8:00 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. — Pat O'Brien

SUNDAY 10.07

Gore Gore Girls (opening for Electric Six)
First Avenue
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