Music A-List

WEDNESDAY 10.03

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

THURSDAY 10.04

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Fine Line Music Cafe

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

SATURDAY 10.06

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

Not to be confused with any wayward offspring of the 2000 presidential election's legitimate winner, Detroit's Gore Gore Girls hearken back to an even murkier era, when Hullabaloo ruled the airwaves with ringing guitars and frenetically grooving, bouffant-topped, go-go-booted girls. Armed with Gretsch guitars and a well-honed appreciation for garage rock that goes for the musical jugular, this Motown quartet sounds something like a high-flying union of the Ronettes and Ramones. Girl group "Oh, oh, oh"s and teasing harmonies are matched with raging guitars and deliciously raw, nitro-driven rock 'n' roll drive. Amy Gore (a.k.a. Surdu), who's been leading the band for a decade, plays the rock vixen to the hilt, cranking her guitar and lacing her honey-and-bile voice into originals like "Fox in a Box" ("She's got a fabulous crotch") and "Pleasure Unit" ("Breaking hearts is what I do/Getting through to creeps like you"). Both are on the Gores' fab Get the Gore (Bloodshot), packed to the gills with killer hooks and toxic mascara. $10/$12 at door. 8:00 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Rick Mason

MONDAY 10.08

John Vanderslice
7th St. Entry

Emerald City, the latest disc from San Francisco singer-songwriter John Vanderslice, was born from troublesome circumstances, mostly having to do with his French girlfriend being denied a visa. Apparently, Vanderslice's psyche was affected by the legal limbo, as its tumultuous aftermath reverberates in the album's skittish melodies and sense of disconnect. Given his knack for quirky discourse and obtuse imagery, the guy has never been the most accessible artist, but his lilting tunefulness and self-effacing charm have proved increasingly endearing over the course of half a dozen outings. Lately, though, you'll notice that despite an occasional glimpse of optimism, a darker demeanor prevails. With Bishop Allen. $10. 8:00 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Lee Zimmerman

TUESDAY 10.09

Tokyo Police Club
7th St. Entry

Sometimes it seems as if the rise of the mp3 and the tastemaking music blog is accelerating the cycle from underground to buzzing to blowing up to busted at a dangerous clip. When we look back at the past two or three years, three or four years from now, will we remember bands like Tokyo Police Club? Their 2006 debut EP, A Lesson in Crime, is certainly rife with adrenaline, its seven tracks clocking in under 16 minutes. The Canadian quartet never lets an idea go stale, out-stroking the Strokes with their jagged, raucous guitar rock, and nearly every track feels like a single. "Shoulders & Arms" stands head and shoulders above the others, though, sounding like the best Bloc Party song Bloc Party never made, and rushing at you headlong with knives out. And that's the beauty of pop: All it takes is that momentary sensation overload to make a great song—and maybe that's enough. It doesn't have to last. With the Virgins. $8. 8:00 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Steve McPherson

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