Critics Picks: Super Furry Animals and more


Linkin Park

Xcel Energy Center

In the '90s, disaffected youth could turn to Nine Inch Nails for comfort, pasting their anxious, angry scowls into Trent Reznor's pop-industrial f-you hymns. Linkin Park are the present age's equivalent, trafficking in produced-to-the-hilt rap-rock listeners can pretend was slammed out and Pro-Tool polished to a soaring, aggro shine just for them. Rarely has modern popular music seemed quite so purposefully anonymous and, consequently, been so empowering. Hate all you like on the boy-band looks of clunky rapper/producer Mike Shinoda, syllable-stretching singer Chester Bennington, and the rest; mock their manga obsession; scorn their stylistic self-cannibalization and their private lives that tabloids can't be bothered to pay attention to. But if you can't begin to relate to the smothering pathos of "Numb" or commiserate with the oh-shit, omnipresent-in-advertising angst of "What I've Done," you might not be alive. There's a reason 2007's Minutes to Midnight moved upward of three million units, and it's not because the music industry's thriving these days. With Coheed and Cambria, and Chiodos. $39.50-$56. 7 p.m.175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651.726.8240. —Ray Cummings

All the Pretty Horses Fetish Bash

Chi-boogie babies the Redwalls
Chi-boogie babies the Redwalls

First Avenue

There's simply no sense in acting as though you didn't find Pinhead's entreaty to sample the pleasures of hell more than a little enticing. If you've simply been waiting for a more plausible invitation to get in touch with your inner leather submissive, you're in luck. After a lengthy sabbatical, All the Pretty Horses return like Arthur from Avalon to prove that, despite what a thousand Hallmark hacks would have us believe, nothing says true love like bondage gear and ball gags. Expect a gaggle of goths in gimp getups, united in gleeful fellowship by a shared contempt for our most saccharine of holidays, to provide more ass shaking than a donkey show. With a crew of designers adding the flair of haute couture and searing performances by the Melismatics and Sirens of Titan, this is one VD's eve bash that is sure to melt your face in lieu of your heart. 18+. $6/$8 at the door. 7 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —David Hansen


How F@#&ing Romantic: Nine bands perform Magnetic Fields's 69LoveSongs

Turf Club

Valentine's Day, the fatted calf of the confectioner, remains a bittersweet day for even the most cerebral primates among us. Stephen Merritt, the particularly evolved brain behind Magnetic Fields, is a primate of the highest order, and even he saw fit to spend a career reporting on the romantic sap and scorn that finds an arbitrary locus every February 14. The familiar faces filling the Turf tonight should satisfy the Lloyd Dobler in all of us as they launch an attempt at 69 Love Songs, Merritt's magnum opus of love and love lost. Expect Faux Jean to bring much pomp and circumstance to the maudlin masterpiece while the Como Avenue Jug Band retrofits jingling chamber pop to the washboard and gutbucket. Be ye singular or plural, the Turf Club provides the perfect venue for your forced march down lover's lane and any pithy remarks you care to make along the way. $5/$7 at the door. 8 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —David Hansen


Triple Rock Social Club

Since emerging from the Chicago suburbs with a serious addiction to Brit pop, the Redwalls have had a particularly rocky voyage on the seas of rock 'n' roll fortune. After an indie debut, the quartet signed with Capitol, was forced to change its name (from the Pages), issued its major label breakout (De Nova), landed an array of high profile gigs (Lollapalooza; opening for Oasis in the U.K. at the request of Noel Gallagher) but finally was dropped by Capitol during label-merger mania. No matter. The Redwalls returned unscathed last fall with an eponymous slab (on Mad Dragon) boasting yet more audacious dimensions (vigorous streaks of R&B and Motown; blatant psychedelia) and a new raw energy courtesy of Swedish producer Tore Johansson. The new disc sports some raging rockers with appropriately slashing guitars, touches of glam rock, blazing swirls of big-ass riffs and shimmering hooks, and epic ballads with lush vocal harmonies. If you had to pick a single classic model for the Redwalls, it would have to be the Faces, with their rough-hewn pop/R&B/rock mix—although lead singer Logan Baren is far more Jagger than Rod Stewart. With Catfish Haven. $10/$12 at the door. 9 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Rick Mason


Super Furry Animals

Varsity Theater

In retrospect, 2000 turned out to be a pivotal year for the Super Furry Animals. First, the band put out Mwng, a collection of songs recorded entirely in their native Welsh. Then, less than a year later, they released Rings Around the World, which transformed SFA from a prodigiously gifted rock band that occasionally flirted with electronic elements to an acid-fried, genre-defying collective. RATW was unmistakably the work of SFA, but a bolder version, unafraid to apply their considerable talents to more adventurous pursuits, from the soulful, Marvin Gaye-esque first single, "Juxtapozed with U," to the Aphex Twin-like meltdown "No Sympathy." The band's most recent record, Hey Venus, features late-'60s pop as its unifying theme—horns and vocal harmonies abound. The band also dabbles a bit in Middle and Far Eastern instrumentation. Fortunately, SFA's increased focus hasn't dulled their unique wit: Who else would title a song "Baby Ate My Eightball?" With Times New Viking, who will also be playing their own free show at 7 p.m. at Treehouse Records on Thursday, February 14. 18+. $15. 8 p.m. 1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. —Jonathan Garrett


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