Kicking off his 13-city tour behind his ninth solo LP in Minneapolis, the curiously but aptly named (for a nearly 50-year-old elder statesman of R&B who remains ageless) Babyface is still finding ways to stay hip with the kids while also gracefully segueing into an adult contemporary nostalgia act. It's almost better that his new album, Playlist, a collection of covers plus two originals, sticks to tracks so middle-of-the-road bland (Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight"?!) that he may rival recent karaoke master Rod Stewart for schmaltz; if the man continued to play tastemaker for another generation of R&B fans, we might have to start asking questions about possession by demons or some similar soul-bartering. Even Stevie fell off eventually. To hell with it—with a track record like 'Face's, tonight can be about unabashed wistfulness, where the beginnings of new jack swing rub elbows with Tender Lover and the LaFace legacy. With George Stanford. $45. 8 p.m. 107 Third Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.465.0440. — Jordan Selbo


Rotting Christ

7th St. Entry

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

You want testimonials? While campaigning for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination, Project for the New American Century contributor and pro-family careerist Gary Bauer called Rotting Christ a "homosexual music group" and accused them of promoting "anti-Catholic garbage." Five years later, born-again Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine refused to share a bed—er—concert lineup with the black-metal trailblazers. And those are just the mustard on the Satanburger's pickle. Since forming in 1987, the Athens, Greece-based legends have won lovers (mostly European) and haters (mostly American) by the truckload—sometimes even for music-related reasons. Theogonia seems destined to tip the scales in favor of the fans. Newly released worldwide by indie-metal behemoth Century Media, the band's 11th album is awash in trickery surprisingly bedazzling for hellhounds of their vintage. Not that Rotting Christ's bedrock values have changed much: The Gothic, doom, and folk elements co-founding sibs Sakis and Themis Tolis first introduced in the '90s still enrich the quartet's BM marrow, as do chanting, clean vocals, and heavy atmospherics. Theogonia simply offers the most inviting whole to date. Openers Immolation, Belphegore, Averse Sefira, and D.I.M. threaten to open exactly the kind of portal the headliners require. 18+. $17/$20 at the door. 7:30 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. — Rod Smith

Hip Hop for the Homeless Benefit

Triple Rock Social Club

After 30 years of paying lip service to the virtues of keeping it street, hip hop and some of its most selfless practitioners are posed and ready to put your money where their rhymes are in a show that honors those who have had the unkind street thrust upon them. Homelessness is the Gorgon of social ills, and its sweltering gaze has turned many a courageous hero to stone. But for every Gorgon, there is a Perseus, and tonight, the Argonauts of Minnesota hip hop are assembling for a most noble Clash of the Titans. Doomtree's Dessa, Heiruspecs, the Chosen Few, M.anifest—this is the kind of benefit show sonically stunning enough to make you forget you're performing a vital social service. It doesn't matter where you fall within the continuum of altruism, missing a chance to see this lineup at such a menial price would be enough to haunt even the hardest conscience. 18+. $8/$10 at the door. 9 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —David Hansen


A Place to Bury Strangers

Triple Rock Social Club

On their self-titled debut, A Place to Bury Strangers offer an especially unruly take on the proto-shoegaze of the Jesus and Mary Chain. Place doesn't stray far from the template, but it's loud and abrasive enough to convince you that if the Reid brothers didn't prefigure the rise of industrial, they at least assumed it to be a logical progression. With his phalanx of guitar pedals, Oliver Ackermann distorts his songs to the point of obliteration, leaving a haze of reverberating feedback and breathy vocals in their wake. Approachability, it seems, is not a chief concern, and yet melody does lurk somewhere beneath the ominous clamor—the elastic riffing on "Breathe" and the Cure-like baseline on "Ocean" providing the most direct evidence. Ultimately, these fleeting moments make Place far more palatable than other albums of its ilk. One can only hope that the band is in an equally compromising mood when playing live. With headliners Holy Fuck! $10. 9 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Jonathan Garrett


Bedouin Soundclash

Varsity Theater

Though time and again they are labeled "reggae" (a label less desirable than "puppy kicker" to many), Toronto natives Bedouin Soundclash actually draw from the genre in palatable portions, much as the Police and the Clash did. In this case, the final product is a slew of semi-dreamy, hook-laden pop songs about love, sin, peace, and the struggle to be a good person. The songs of Street Gospels are rooted in both the present and our bearded, singer/songwriter past of the 1970s, though because these boys have a much brighter outlook than guys like Terry Jacks and Jim Croce ever did, they seem much more fun to dance to. Ultimately, there are no huge revelations or out-of-left-field surprises—but blissed-out, feel-good pop music is rarely well served by such things. All ages. $12/$14 at the door. 6 p.m. 1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. — Pat O'Brien

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