Critics' Picks: The Breeders and more

THURSDAY 5.29

Presets

Triple Rock Social Club

Watch out, 'cause it's about to get sexy. The Presets are bringing a new layer of filth to the Triple Rock's bathroom stalls Thursday with their ultra-sleazy brand of synth-rock. We're talking songs about cunnilingus and lyrics like "You little cutie/Yeah you want to blow." But these Aussies are more than foul-mouthed scumbags. Their finely tuned electro breathes new life into a tired genre. Between yelping, bleating, and out-and-out bellowing, vocalist Julian Hamilton has a commanding presence. Add in the throbbing, cascading keyboards, and the Presets become a powerhouse. Sure, the music isn't going to make you any smarter, but you'll look good dancing to it. Wear something tight. With Walter Meego. 21+. $12. 9 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612.333.7499. Erin Roof

FRIDAY 5.30

Breeders

First Avenue

Not many people get the opportunity to be in two iconic bands. Then again, not many people are Ms. Kim Deal. The Breeders' comeback is especially timely, with the grunge era enjoying a retro chic resurgence. Plaid (oh God) is again the hip fashion statement and Mudhoney was even recently spotlighted on MySpace's homepage. The trend has been at times unfortunate (think a Layne Staley-less Alice in Chains), but the Breeders are anything but rehashed. Mountain Battles is the product of decades of talent. "Spark" is haunting and sparse. "Night of Joy" is almost cherubic. "German Studies" begs for a rewind on your Walkman. Just hope the tape doesn't get stuck. With the Montana Boys. 18+. $20/$22 at the door. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775 —Erin Roof

Royalty, Etc. Triple Release

Varsity Theater

Your Friday-night buck gets stretched out well tonight. Royalty, Etc. Records is throwing a big old party to promote the release of not one, but three albums from their tight-as-hell roster, traversing the expanse of every style this strange and wonderful city has to offer. The show features the cuckoo electro-pop fun of ZibraZibra, the summertime piano pop of Seymore Saves the World, and the delightfully noisy indie rock of Middlepicker. Add to the mix the kitschy Tron-rock of Solid Gold and up-and-coming local stars the Wars of 1812, and it's your one-stop shop for local music for the evening. In addition to the fantastic and genre-crossing live music, don't forget to bring your mp3 player or flash drive—admission not only gets you a free disc from the label's highly eclectic group of artists, but also a complimentary digital download of any of the three new releases of the night. 18+. $10. 7 p.m. 1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. Jen Paulson

SATURDAY 5.31

Malachi Constant

Turf Club

Our scene is a bedtime story, and Modern Radio, the label that has given us Vampire Hands, His Mischief, and many others, has spent nine years reading us our favorite parts. Though there's no shortage of stunning tributes (nyuk nyuk) during this nine-day birthday bash, tonight's Turf Club show traffics in a nostalgia most meaningful to anyone who remembers when the Clown Lounge was still the Clown Lounge. Cave Deaths bring melancholy odes to horn and guitar; Volante offer the staccato guitar harmonies they perfected when Interpol were still steam cleaning daddy's Versace; Malachi Constant mine their ethereal chords for elements previously unknown; and Grotto's farewell album, Let's Roll (which was a free download when Thom Yorke was figuring out how to plug in his cash counter), remains one of the most captivating rock releases in modern Twin Cities history. Miss this? U mad. With comedian Nils Lindahl. 21+. $8. 9 p.m. 1601 University Ave., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. David Hansen

Ramones Mania 2008

Lee's Liquor Lounge

Three-fourths of one of the best American punk bands of all time, the Ramones, are no longer with us. A drug and cancer sandwich, if you will—the initial death of Joey from lymphoma in 2001, the heroin overdose of Dee Dee in 2002, and the loss of Johnny from prostate cancer back in 2004. Originally started after Joey's death as a tribute show and a benefit for the American Cancer Society, Ramones Mania is shaping up to be a tradition at Lee's as the huge lineup of local acts continues to grow, including longtime scene stalwarts the Hypstrz, rockabilly staples Corpse Show Creeps, and multitudes of other local punk and rock outfits. Hosted by John Fenner of Strange Friends, Lee's will be packed with all sorts of fans, possibly a hundred different styles of dancing, and if I can get my hair into pigtails, the best Riff Randall impersonation my wardrobe will allow. Now, if only I can conjure the ghost of Dee Dee to play bass in my shower beforehand. 21+. $5-$10 donation. 8 p.m. 101 N. Glenwood, Minneapolis; 612.338.9491 —Jen Paulson

SUNDAY 6.1

Nels Cline Singers

Dakota Jazz Club

Most widely known as Wilco's lead guitarist, Nels Cline leads a double life as an avant-garde guitar monster who breeds ceaselessly inventive music that wanders among jazz, rock, and the experimental fringes, earning comparisons to both Coltrane and Hendrix while pursuing his own idiosyncratic muse. Constantly juggling dozens of projects, Cline has worked with a broad spectrum of musicians, from Julius Hemphill and Charlie Haden to Thurston Moore and Mike Watt. His ironically dubbed Singers is an all-instrumental trio with drummer Scott Amendola and contrabassist Devin Hoff. Their latest, last summer's Draw Breath (Cryptogramophone), is a wide-ranging mix of glorious sonic exploration, from folk-like acoustic ballads to Hendrixian rock escapades, 21st-century bop and blazing improvisational blitzes that flirt with metal and a sci-fi trajectory of spatial oddities, noisy black holes and swirling electronic novas. Cline, incidentally, also figures prominently on former Quartet Music bandmate and violinist Jeff Gauthier's forthcoming House of Return, contributing "Satellites and Sideburns," a brilliantly evocative tribute to late Weather Report co-founder Joe Zawinul. $28-$35. 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010 —Rick Mason

TUESDAY 6.3

Grand Archives

Varsity Theater

Maybe you missed Grand Archives' show-stealing set at the Entry in March. Forgivable. And maybe, while you dig Band of Horses plenty, you've never checked out the prior band from which it rose, Seattle's dour indie-darlings Carissa's Wierd. Fair enough. But you are in danger of utter failure if you, a fan of alt-country, dream-pop, and whatever other hyphenated genres have gotten their own Wikipedia entries this week, a lover of four-part harmonies and blissful sing-alongs, were to miss Grand Archives playing their first headlining show in the Twin Cities. Fronted by Mat Brooke, Grand Archives splits the difference between its singer's earlier projects. Their songs are full of lush instrumentation (pedal steel and horns are common), the aforementioned harmonies, intricate acoustic and electric guitar lines, and lyrics worth suspending your mid-show banter to pay attention. So this time, don't miss them. 18+. $12. 7 p.m. 1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. Desiree Weber

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