Music A-List



First Avenue

The Department of Homeland Security must be asleep at the wheel. How else to explain the infiltration of our nation's borders by the polyglot raps and globetrotting electro-flotsam beats of Miss Maya Arulpragasam? The artist known as M.I.A., a caramel-skinned woman who adorns her adolescent frame with outfits home-sewn from original garish graffiti prints, reigned over the indie scene in 2005. That was the year she released her debut album, Arular—the year the press fawned over the mad inventiveness of the Brit-by-way-of-Sri Lanka, gossiped about her relationship with Diplo, and fidgeted over one lyric that seemed to celebrate the tenacity of the PLO(!). Then came a year of nomadism, as M.I.A. skipped from island to shantytown in search of the cross-cultural pollination and underdog energy she needed to create her follow-up. Kala may not be as danceable as its predecessor, but the tour in celebration of it can't be anything less than a multiculti genre-mashing pan-galactic throwdown. With the Cool Kids. 18+. $20. 8:00 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Sarah Askari

Small Sins

7th St. Entry
M.I.A. in her "I lost a bet with Peaches" outfit
courtesy of the Artist
M.I.A. in her "I lost a bet with Peaches" outfit

Formerly the Ladies and Gentlemen, Small Sins is the brainchild of one Thomas D'Arcy. Something of a paler, Canadian version of Prince (minus the dance moves and falsetto), D'Arcy writes, plays, and produces nearly every song on his records, including the one he's presently touring behind, Small Sins' sophomore effort, Mood Swings. As for the music, it falls somewhere between the melancholy pop of Grandaddy and the verbose IDM of the Postal Service. D'Arcy hasn't yet managed a full-length that approaches the epic sweep of either of those bands' crowning achievements (The Sophtware Slump and Give Up, respectively), but with song titles like "Drunk E-mails" and "Morning Face," big statements don't seem to be a part of his agenda. His symphonic suites are decidedly more intimate—full of hushed conversations and bottled emotions. "You can stay if you want to, but you can't sleep in my bed," he whispers on "Stay." You might know it's a tease, but good luck resisting. With the Alpha Centauri. 21+. $6. 8:00 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Jonathan Garrett

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