Local rock 'n' reel renegades Boiled in Lead have been lighting a firecracker under the haunches of traditional Celtic music for a quarter-century: firing up jigs with blasts of metallic crunch, or careening punkish intensity, subverting strathspeys with swirling tendrils of Middle Eastern rhythms or North African melodies, scuffing ballads with overlays of psychedelic haze drifting in from the Balkans. The now officially venerable BiL is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a revised lineup; a spanking new album, Silver (Omnium), that's due March 25; and a few area gigs, including this annual St. Patrick's Day headliner at First Avenue. Back on board the Leaden bus is original lead singer (and jack of many instruments) Todd Menton, who rejoins bassist Drew Miller, drummer Robin Adnan Anders, and fiddler David Stenshoel. Ace guitarist Dean Magraw, who has often sat in with the band, is also signed on as a full-fledged Boil. Silver, meanwhile, is a fine addition to the BiL catalog, with bristling takes on trad Celtic tales of mayhem, doom, and excessive drinking, and the odd dash of Algerian rai and Zeppelinesque thunder. There's even a pair of local angles: John Van Orman's harrowing tale of Death cruising Hennepin Avenue, and Menton's equally unsettling account of aquatic aggression in "Silver Carp."
Mon., March 17, 4 p.m., 2008