Critics' Picks

7th St. Entry

Relocating from Sweden to start your band seems somehow counterproductive, but Love in October could be bucking the system here in Minneapolis. They have a fairly straightforward, power-pop sound reminiscent of many of the millennium years' emo heavyweights, and also seem to have stumbled across '90s MTV buzz band Fretblanket (who I'm convinced that, aside from this quartet and this writer, exactly one person even remembers existed). So what does all of it mean? It means that taking cues from familiar-sounding but ultimately pretty obscure sources sets you apart from your peers when it comes time to be pigeonholed or "genre-fied." It means that using a Moog keyboard is always—always—underrated. It also means that Minneapolis may be slowly becoming a destination for bands to relocate to as they try to move up in the world. None of the above can be bad for this city's music scene. Who knows, maybe having slightly more sunlight during the winter months than one experienced in Sweden causes that gray winter head fog to evaporate, allowing catchy riffs to be written easily. 18+. $5. 8:00 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. Pat O'Brien

moe.

First Avenue

If you missed moe.'s residency aboard Norwegian Sun Cruises in March of 2004, you missed one hell of a seafood buffet. But never fear: A trip to First Avenue tonight is a fiscally sensible but decidedly less luxurious way to make up for lost time. It's been a long march from the cultural hotbed of upstate New York's industrial hubs to the azure waters of the Jamaican isles, but a can-do attitude has ensured moe.'s place in the pantheon of hippy-dippy jam bands. They're not just a typographical headache, people—they're also the improv musicians who everyone from Sony Records suits to international pleasure-cruise companies can enjoy. With not a shrimp cocktail in sight, tonight may not quite capture the thrill of being trapped on an ocean-going vessel for a week with Phish as the house band. But it'll come damn close. 18+. $20/$25 at the door. 8:00 p.m.701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —David Hansen

SUNDAY 1.27

Trail of Tears

Station 4

Despite metal's chronic shortage of women, Ronny Thorsen has never had a problem finding one...uh...to sing. One of Gothic metal's grand old idiosyncratics, Trail of Tears's founder, leader, and sole original member has steered the Kristiansand, Norway-based sextet through triumph (five albums, all noteworthy) and tragedy (a financially disastrous tour of Mexico that led four band members to quit), with Ahabian single-mindedness, since 1994. While nobody who performed on last year's slightly blackened Existentia is currently in the band, Thorsen has a new/old vocal foil in the rejoined Catherine Paulsen, whose lambent soprano complements his death growls like sleep in the midst of light electrical torture. 18+. $10/$15 at the door. 6:00 p.m. 201 E. Fourth St. St. Paul; 651.298.0173. Rod Smith

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