Music A-List

WEDNESDAY 11.14

Band of Horses

First Avenue

Band of Horses may have relocated to South Carolina, but in the studio, they can't seem to leave the West Coast behind. Their sophomore effort, Cease to Begin, mostly picks up where its predecessor left off (its U2-sized opener aside). And their hazy, Pacific Northwest indie pop proves just as alluring the second time through. As on the excellent Everything All the Time, Band of Horses excel at creating soft-focus pop songs—coating big hooks in thick sheets of reverb. Not even the vocals are left untreated, giving Ben Bridwell's honeyed tenor an oddly enchanting quality. If their singular approach sometimes makes the songs tough to differentiate, the band makes up for it with an effortless grace that easily distracts. How Band of Horses replicate this studio-indebted sound in a live setting remains a mystery to me, but I've no doubt they'll pull it off. This is a band with a knack for making the difficult look easy. With the Drones & Tyler Ramsey. $16/$18 at the door. 18+. 8:00 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. Jonathan Garrett

Clockcleaner

Triple Rock Social Club

Tour often enough with bands on the noise-centric Load Records roster, it seems, and Load will issue one of your albums in due time (we're holding our breath for this distro-positive fate to befall the radioactively aggro No Doctors). Weirdly, Clockcleaner—a Philadelphia trio touting Babylon Rules, its Load-sponsored latest—play it a bit too straight and too HC punk to merit an automatic No Fun Fest invite. Raucous, rowdy rock moves party down with frontman/guitarist John A. Sharkey III's demented Calvin Johnson impressions and gratuitous pedal-effects splatterhouse. In other words, Sharkey, bassist Karen Horner, and drummer Richie Charles are a helluva lotta full-tilt fun, the sort of group that acts as a welcome sonic turpentine on live bills packed wall to wall with acts endeavoring to drown you in an Olympic-sized pool of aural Sherwin-Williams. With the Shortcuts and Dollyrots. $5/$7 at the door. 21+. 9:00 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. Ray Cummings


THURSDAY 11.15

Obie Trice

Foundation

Detroit is a proud city and an even prouder hip-hop city. As a general rule of thumb, the greater the plight of a people and their environs, the more amazing their art will be; one need look no further than our ugly neighbor to the east to see some hard-ass times. While kings have been recently disqualified either by retirement/lackluster cameos (Eminem), or by untimely death (RIP Proof and Dilla), you could do a lot worse than to elect Obie Trice as supreme representer of the D. As an artist who saw the spotlight with the help of the angriest white boy in rap, Trice has enjoyed an amazing level of creative consistency among his Shady peers, releasing two quality LPs after numerous indie releases made him a local favorite. And how much realer can you get: Dude's been shot and uses his government name on the mic. Bottom's Up, indeed. 18+. $15/$20 at the door. 10:00 p.m. 10 S. Fifth St., Minneapolis; 612.332.3931. —Jordan Selbo


FRIDAY 11.16

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

First Avenue

An old-school funk revival outfit fronted by a fiftysomething former correctional officer born in—where else—Augusta, Georgia, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings play like they were hermetically sealed during the Johnson administration, before funk went on to incorporate things like Moogs and vocoders. While their 2002 debut Dap Dippin' with...Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings established what they could do, it was 2005's Naturally—with its sinuous cover of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land," the comedic romance of the Lee Fields duet "Stranded in Your Love," and the slick, hip-shakingly conflicted "How Do You Let a Good Man Down?"—that put them on the bigger public radar. Next thing you know, you're hearing "Pick It Up, Lay It in the Cut" in Kraft commercials, and the Dap-Kings are doing side gigs blasting out horn charts for Mark Ronson and touring with Amy Winehouse. But with Amy in and out of rehab and Sharon done filming a singing role in the upcoming Denzel Washington film The Great Debaters, the band's back together to tour behind their latest, 100 Days, 100 Nights—which, like their other records, sounds like one of the best albums of the year. (It's up to you as to whether that year's 2007 or 1968.) 18+. $12/$14 at the door. 8:00 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. Nate Patrin


SATURDAY 11.17

STNNNG Lunch Show 5

7th St. Entry

The Lunch Show is not just a name. It's the fifth "so foolish it's genius" installment of the annual (very) early show conceived by the STNNNG, who will be celebrating the release of a new split 7" single with Signal to Trust. STNNNG's surly, churning, occasionally caustic songs, with razor-sharp lyrics that sometimes cut painfully to the bone, don't seem like your typical midday listen (think more along the lines of 2:00 a.m. after five scotches and a belt of tequila), but lunch will indeed be served (along with a free copy of said 7") to any and all comers. The afternoon's festivities will also function as the CD-release party for openers FT (the Shadow Government). It's early, but you can sleep in a little—you don't need breakfast, though it's recommended you eat something at the show. It's little known, but nevertheless a fact, that tater-tot hot dish goes well with vitriol and angst. All ages. Noon. $7, price includes lunch. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Pat O'Brien


TUESDAY 11.20

M.I.A.

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

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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