Music A-List

THURSDAY 1.10

The Bird & the Bee

Varsity Theater

How apt that one of this year's coolest buzz bands is the Bird and the Bee, which happily flit through some of the hippest pop confections of the past half-century as if they were George Jetson's favorite lounge act. The retro space-age vibe, matched by a lush dose of cocktail-hour bossa nova, is coaxed into the 21st century with sly dance rhythms, skittering electronica, and subversive lyrical twists dripping with irony. Singer Inara George, daughter of late, great Little Feat frontman Lowell George, sets the mood with a shimmery, breezy voice that quickly insinuates itself, along with revealing, brooding undercurrents—the-cute-as-shadowy-souled pop savant. The other half of the duo, Greg Kurstin (who famously studied jazz piano with Jaki Byard), weighs in on multiple instruments and production wizardry, creating a paisley tapestry where electronic bleeps and bloops bleed into Alpertesque horns or a hint of psychedelia. This fall, the pair followed up last January's eponymous debut with Please Clap Your Hands, an EP with a more insistent array of dance beats, another slew of influences from Sgt. Pepper to Devo, and a breathy cover of the Bee Gees' "How Deep Is Your Love." With Charlie Williams 18+. $12/$14 at door. 8:00 p.m. 1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. —Rick Mason

FRIDAY 1.11

Binary Star

Triple Rock Social Club

To astronomers, a binary star is a system of two stars revolving around their common center of mass. To the telescopic eye, the two stars appear as one. Such is the case when One.Be.Lo and Senim Silla, two of Michigan's finest underground producers/MCs, join forces to form the singular entity known to crate sifters, beat heads, and rhyme junkies worldwide as Binary Star. The tandem originally hooked up in the late '90s while incarcerated in a Michigan state correctional facility. Rather than glorifying the hard knock life like so many rappers with a rap sheet, both members focused on the social institutions at the root of their problems. In 2000 they released their classic Masters of the Universe LP on their own Subterraneous Records label and successfully pushed more than 20,000 units. But soon after, "creative differences" forced an extended hiatus that has only just recently subsided. All ages show at 5:00 p.m. 21+ show at 10:00 p.m. $11/$12 at door. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. Christopher Matthew Jensen

Big Ditch Road CD Release

Turf Club

The trouble with folk legends is that attempts to illuminate them often result in their destruction. Residents of New Jersey used to point to a mountaintop and snidely whisper about the secluded community who'd resided there since the Revolutionary War. Disparagingly called "the Jackson Whites," the recluses were believed to be the descendants of landowning blacks, Dutch settlers, and the odd native tribe member. But local alt-country stalwarts Big Ditch Road go looking for the truth behind the rumors on their latest six-song EP, The Jackson Whites. With a voice like a highway-flattened sheep, frontman Darin Wald moves from the snarling peppy fun of "Waiting to Destroy" to the spacey Built to Spill guitar wash on "All the Way to Idaho." On the chugging title track, Wald's nostalgia-tinged search for the lost tribe races forward on rails of rhythm. In real life, the mountain-dwellers turned out to be a branch of Lenape Indians, but in art, we can keep hoping a less prosaic discovery is right over the horizon. With the Glad Version, Ice Palace, Wapsipinicon. 9:00 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. Sarah Askari

SATURDAY 1.12

More Than Friends

Varsity Theater

Local labels Afternoon Records and Limerick Records, at first glance, seem to be coming at the music biz from two totally different angles. Limerick offers all its artists' music as free downloads on the internet. Afternoon, meanwhile, grows its artist roster at an exponential rate and subsequently puts out enough actual compact discs to merit its own shelf in my office. But both are run by boyish entrepreneurial types with clear individual visions for the future of the industry. Tonight, Ian Anderson and Ozzy Dahlstrom, the music mafia dons of these outfits, each contribute a few acts for a six-band bill that includes this year's Picked to Click winners Mouthful of Bees. With We All Have Hooks for Hands, Windmills, Sonicate, Capitol Jay, and One for the Team. 18+. $5. 6:30 p.m. 1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. —Sarah Askari

MONDAY 1.14

Building Better Bombs

Triple Rock Social Club

Sunday may belong to the Lord—but this Monday belongs to Building Better Bombs and the Talkers. Come to the Triple Rock and wash the wine and wafer out of your system with a few jumbo Czechvars. Sour renditions of Ave Maria ringing in your ears? This evening's lineup should do just the trick. Building Better Bombs, journeymen of the Minneapolis hardcore scene, always walk a dizzying tightrope—shrieking but never shrill, their driving guitar work and staggering screaming jags never scare away their hypnotic melodies. Meanwhile, the Talkers get more action out of a count-off and a single chord than most of their peers get from an entire song. With grimy guitars dripping over live-wire vocals, the Talkers strike an urgent, hair-raising pose. No cover charge, a slew of drink specials—it's the kind of night that should encourage all the misbehavior your squeaky clean soul desires. With Death to Our Enemies. 21+. Free. 9:00 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. David Hansen

TUESDAY 1.15

Necro

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