Critics' Picks: Tokyo Police Club and more


Bouncing Souls

Triple Rock Social Club

What do you think of when you think "pop-punk"? Do you think Goldfinger? Blink-182? Rancid? Anything touted as "edgy" on MTV during the mid- to late '90s? Bouncing Souls could have been in that group, but they somehow got overlooked. Plenty of people managed to find them, and they built a following but ultimately missed the feeding frenzy, which may have worked in their favor. They toiled away for years (having formed in '87) and put out several albums full of goofy lyrics, tributes to a wasted youth, and sugary, buzzy hooks on several different labels before finding a home on Epitaph. The buzz morphed into a roar in 2003 with Anchors Aweigh, as the band buckled down, wrote more intricate songs, and started tackling serious, more personal issues like suicide and becoming an adult—and not in the typical "I guess this is growing up" manner. With 2006's Gold Record, Bouncing Souls birthed their classic—still relevant, still boisterous but far from goofy, carefree fun. They have hardly become morose shoegazers, but are well aware that there is a world outside of the alcohol-soaked tour bus, and that world is hardly sugary at all. With Tim Barry and the Gaslight Anthem. $18/$20 at the door. 6 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612.333.7499. —Pat O'Brien

Alicia Keys

Tokyo Police Club: Billy clubs not pictured
Jimmy Fontaine
Tokyo Police Club: Billy clubs not pictured

Target Center

In many ways Alicia Keys is the quintessential 21st-century anti-diva. Which is kind of strange for someone who has achieved iconic status at the age of 26, has a warehouse full of awards from Grammys on down, has a thriving film career, regularly appears in fashion shoots, and has a television production company, along with a zillion other mostly high-profile activities. But she isn't a superficial personality whose celebrity relies on smoke and mirrors. And her personal life isn't a train wreck splayed out in the tabloids. She's an abundantly talented vocalist and accomplished musician who writes her own material (often with collaborators) and anchors it in classic soul, R&B, pop, and rock. For her latest chartbuster, last fall's As I Am (J Records), Keys declared that she aimed at no less than combining the spirits of Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin, an essentially unattainable goal. But As I Am is a substantial album, with genuine roots stretching back to Motown, Memphis, gospel, and even the Beatles, adeptly and subtly bulked up with contemporary rhythm production. One telling detail: When she invokes Smokey Robinson's classic "tracks of my tears" line on "Where Do We Go from Here," the moisture doesn't seem applied with makeup. Joining Keys on tour will be Jordin Sparks of American Idol fame and singer-songwriter Ne-Lo. $39.50-$100. 6:30 p.m. 600 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.673.0900. —Rick Mason


All the Way Rider

Triple Rock Social Club

Spending a good deal of 2007 recording The Eagle's Revenge, an expansive and melodic full-length that takes wing tonight at the Triple Rock, and paring their lineup from a quartet to a trio in March 2008, local rock solids All the Way Rider have had a big year. Composed of track after track of pounding and organic rock, tonight's release breathes like an iron lung. Singer and guitarist Jeremy Jessen punctuates the songs with a plaintive top register wail that reaches without overreaching, and the band's songwriting is equally comfortable with melody and anti-melody, exhibited by Eagle's penchant for grinding into jagged edges at a moment's notice. They never stay in the pungi pit too long to endanger their pop listenability, but All the Way Rider's sense of adventure gives their new songs the dimension they need to cast a good shadow. With Sunday Flood, Redoverlunar, and Torch the Spires. 21+. $6. 9 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612.333.7499. —David Hansen

Greg Brown

Fitzgerald Theater

Seen in many ways as a legend, Iowa's Greg Brown is no stranger to neighboring Minnesota. The folk hero and co-founder of Red House Records (along with the late Bob Feldman) is widely known in the Midwest and abroad for his signature deep-as-the-Mississippi voice and subject matter that runs through a multitude of emotions, personal and political. Brown's clean, affecting guitar style can be at times warmly stark or awash with fiddle, mandolin, or harmonica as he melds country and blues into his own distinct sound. This night of music is well suited to the Fitzgerald's intimate theater setting—not to mention its ties to A Prairie Home Companion, where Brown was a recurring performer back in the early '80s. With local atmospheric folk-rock duo the Pines. $31-$37. 8 p.m. 10 E. Exchange St., St. Paul; 651.290.1221. —Jen Paulson

Indian Jewelry

Turf Club

Is it considered indie-rock sacrilege to think of Houston's Indian Jewelry as a more coherent version of defunct Brooklyn freak-folkers Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice? Both groups consisted of a handful of core members with a rotating cast of auxiliary ones; both groups eked out fuzzy, headfuck underground rock. But WW/VV's over-prolific nature—issuing every last stoned rehearsal or performance in one form or another—suggested that quality control wasn't high on their priority list. Relatively speaking, Indian Jewelry are perfectionists, baking up distorted psychedelic brownies and only putting them out for public consumption once they're fully cooked. On Free Gold!, their latest noise-soaked, lysergic volley, singer/guitarist Erika Thrasher, drummer Ronnie Rodriguez, and guitarist Brandon Davidson prove handily that if you don't have the songs together before you fire up the amps, all the bitchin' effects pedals in the western hemisphere can't disguise a lack of preparedness. Live, they'll leave you raving and reeling. With Seawhores and the Danforths. 21+. 9 p.m. 1601 University Ave., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Ray Cummings


Daughters of the Sun

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