Music A-List

FRIDAY 11.23

Buck 65

7th St. Entry

Canadian lyricist Buck 65 started his career rapping in a nasal voice like a Hollywood caricature of an annoying secretary (see albums: Square, Vertex). On the mic years later, he turned himself into a 72-year-old hobo with a throat condition (see: Talkin' Honky Blues). And now, for the first time in his decade-plus career, Buck uses his natural voice on Situation—his most fulfilled album yet, released on the new label of a former foe, rapper Sage Francis. A master at intertwining colorful nouns in short phrases to hint at a bigger picture unfolding, a clearer, more upfront Buck cuts the fat on "1957": "Red is the new black, identity files/Rebels and grand dragons, obscenity trials/Lolita and Bobby Fisher country/No part is red/Just black and white /Humphrey Bogart is dead." Still, it wouldn't be a Buck album without a weird thematic point: Situation surrounds defining events of that particular year—1957. But in present day Minneapolis, Buck's performance tonight could very well be one of 2007's best shows. With Bernard Dolan and Cecil Otter. 18+. $10/$12 at the door. 8:00 p.m.701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. Jen Boyles

 

SATURDAY 11.24

VHS or Beta

7th St. Entry

Taking a trip back to 1985 is much easier than acquiring a Delorean and punching it to 88 mph. Both bands on this bill have a serious jones for the electro-dance music of the ever-more-distant '80s, albeit filtered through disparate influences. Louisville's VHS or Beta usually come across like the Faint—if they had been listening to Seven and the Ragged Tiger for much of their youth. But on their latest offering, Bring on the Comets, VHS or Beta have shied away from that a little and placed the dance-funk—which was merely a jumping-off point early on—front and center, and while that decision has had its detractors, it puts the band on steadier footing. Openers Moving Units give a big nod to British post-punk demigods Gang of Four with their angular riffs and galloping drumbeats, but there is an L.A. filthiness about them that almost—almost—eclipses the dour Britishness of their roots. Their new album, Hexes for Exes, finds them in much the same place as 2003's Dangerous Dreams. It's somewhat of a step forward, but they suffer from the same affliction as bands like Clinic and Stereolab do: They're so distinct, it could be impossible to take any huge risks—but they're fun as hell to listen to in the meantime. 18+. $13. 9:00 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Pat O'Brien

Motion City Soundtrack

Myth

Motion City is a place ephemeral, a municipality whose ever-shifting borders are guarded by punk energy, power-pop hooks, and thousands of teenagers singing along to every simple, clean melody. Tapes 'n Tapes might be the hipster's first answer when the category "Active Minneapolis Bands with International Fans" comes up, but survey says the most points go to the kid who shrugs and says, "Motion City Soundtrack." These five local dudes are touring behind their third Epitaph release, Even If It Kills Me, and selling out shows from Toronto to Tokyo in the process. They came from your hometown scene and made it onto MTV's TRL—don't you want to see what all the fuss is about? 18+. $20. 6:00 p.m. 3090 Southlawn Dr. St. Paul; 651.779.6984. Sarah Askari

 

SUNDAY 11.25

Over the Rhine

Cedar Cultural Center

Karin Bergquist and Linford Detweiler, the husband-and-wife duo at the core of Over the Rhine, were recently named among the 100 greatest living songwriters by Paste magazine. Besides clever turns of phrase and lyrics with casual literary depth, what's remarkable about the pair's songs is that they transcend time, seemingly coming out of a dream realm where Cole Porter, Thomas A. Dorsey, Louis Armstrong, Patsy Cline, Tom Waits, and Neil Young regularly jam together. All of those are cited on OTR's latest, The Trumpet Child (Great Speckled Dog), which was recorded in Nashville and evokes a ragtime orchestra, a late-night New Orleans jazz session, or an after-hours honky-tonk. Bergquist unleashes her sultry voice, playing the country thrush on tunes like "Entertaining Thoughts," eerily conjuring Billie Holiday with her broad brushstrokes on "Nothing Is Innocent," and elsewhere finding a languid, rootsy sensuality somewhere between Lucinda Williams and Maria Muldaur. OTR's holiday bonus is Snow Angels, the second Christmas album of their 17-year career, sporting plenty of warm originals, including a neat Detweiler piano tribute to Charles Schulz and Vince Guaraldi. $15/$18 at the door. 7:30 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason

 

TUESDAY 11.27

Bayside

Station 4

Don't be fooled by Bayside's pop-punk pedigree. Despite comparisons to My Chemical Romance and Panic! at the Disco, the Queens-based quartet boasts a sense of history that makes most bands twice their age seem every bit as limited as they are. This year's The Walking Wounded finds frontman and principal songwriter Anthony Raneri owing as much to Cole Albert Porter as to Billy Joe Armstrong. Plus, they skew surprisingly metal-ward on both the title track and "They're Not Horses, They're Unicorns." The Sleeping, A Day to Remember, and Driverside Impact—all proffering various strains of punk and post-hardcore—promise to get the crowd good and sweaty for their headlining Victory labelmates. All Ages. $15. 5:00 p.m. 201 E. Fourth St. St. Paul; 651.298.0173. Rod Smith

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