Critics' Picks: Kanye West and more

WEDNESDAY 6.11

Kanye West's Glow in the Dark Tour

Target Center

Allow me to share with you a not-so-new vocabulary word that came to me expressly for this event: This is going to be a popstravaganza, dripping with flash and excess, and from what I can tell, featuring a starring role by the fog machine. It's no secret that the Target Center lacks in the sound quality department when it comes to live music, but sometimes there are shows that require you to set aside technical snobbery and just soak in the spectacle of it all. This "Glow in the Dark" lineup is busting at the seams. Kanye West has pulled it together gracefully and with trademark determination after the tragic death of his mother, which caused him to cancel his last scheduled appearance in Minneapolis. And equally anticipated is fine young fashion plate Rihanna, her status officially cemented in the pop landscape. Sure to round out the night are producer-slash-artists N.E.R.D and the slick beats and rhymes of Lupe Fiasco. $38-$128. 6 p.m. 600 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.673.0900. Jen Paulson

Iron & Wine

First Avenue

You may know Iron & Wine from the ubiquitous cover of "Such Great Heights," a dreamy pop tune originally recorded by the Postal Service. But rest assured, that gem is no fluke; Iron & Wine is soundtrack music only according to the volume dial (and the Garden State crowd). Their new album, The Shepherd's Dog, finds Samuel Beam's one-man show staying true to his folk-rock roots but expanding his cadre of influences. Instruments ranging from slide guitar to sitar nudge the songs into a fuller sound than previous efforts, while Beam's voice retains a soft bedroom quality. It will be especially interesting to see how his expanded repertoire translates to a live setting. Ultimately, his precise, simple craftsmanship coalesces into something more compelling than its individual parts. With Ugly Suit. 18+. $20/$22 at the door. 7:30 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. Desiree Weber

THURSDAY 6.12

Gogol Bordello/David Allen Coe

Cabooze

What could a multiethnic gypsy-punk band from New York and a redneck country singer from Akron possibly have in common? Not a whole lot, as it turns out. Gogol Bordello's stage shows are whirling and celebratory, with the flashing colors and jangling bangles of a full-fledged circus show. Frontman Eugene Hütz dances across the stage like a tangled-stringed puppet, dripping sweat and howling about losing his mind, accompanied enthusiastically by skittering fiddles, the oom-pa-pa of accordion, and tambourine-wielding dancing girls. It's a bizarre but beautiful blend of influences culminating into a constant, joyful mosh fest. David Allan Coe, on the other hand, forged his solid twang in the flames of 1970s outlaw country. He wholly embodies the two-headed masculinity of that movement, with genuinely tender renditions of "Will You Lay with Me (In a Field of Stone)" alongside such feminist standards as "Pussy Whipped Again." A peer of Cash and Kristofferson, the cranky sexagenarian won't be crowd-surfing, and any acrobatics onstage will be wholly attributable to his pickin' hand. But the two acts, divergent though they may be, are paragons of their respective genres. And, improbably, they'll both appear at the Cabooze tonight: Gogol Bordello outside with Dusty Rose and the River Band. All Ages. $22/$25 at the door. 6 p.m. David Allan Coe inside with Bob Wayne, and White Iron Band. 21+. $20/$22 at the door. 8 p.m. 917 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612.338.6425. —Ward Rubrecht

FRIDAY 6.13

Air Guitar Championships

Varsity Theater

At any given point, most of us have done it, whether in private, in moments of jovial intoxication, or even right out in front of a competition crowd. Ever since there was a good guitar riff, air guitar has been there for countless rockers musically coming of age. For example, that transcendent moment at the 1:59 mark of Van Halen's "Running with the Devil" is a perfect moment to go to town on your invisible ax. However, in terms of technicality for the Air Guitar elite, it's a little short of the regulated 60-second routine requirement. "Panama" would be a much better choice. It's the second year at the Varsity for this strange, cheesy, and satisfying event, featuring round upon round of relatively anonymous people setting their inhibitions aside (if they had them to begin with) to make hard-rocking fools out of themselves in the spirit of competition and air guitar glory. 21+. $14. 10 p.m. 1308 4th St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. —Jen Paulson

SATURDAY 6.14

Roma di Luna

Cedar Cultural Center

The third album from Roma di Luna, Casting the Bones, is still anchored by the husband-and-wife duo of Alexei and Channy Moon Casselle. But it's more of a full-band effort, with co-producer Ben Durrant chipping in twangily atmospheric electric guitar, plus bassist James Everest, drummer Ryan Lovan, banjoist Michael Rossetto and singer Jessi Prusha. The resulting sound cagily fleshes out the Casselles' fractured, brooding take on Appalachiana, sometimes flirting with old-timey country, sometimes chamber folk, enriching the vibe while maintaining a sparseness dripping in gothic melodrama. Channy's plaintive but resilient vocals remain a wonder, while she and Alexei generally sing with understatement nevertheless drenched in emotion. Opening will be Rossetto's Spaghetti Western String Co., with its cinematic acoustic stuff, and Tiriti Mundi Flamenco. All Ages. $12/$15 at the door. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason

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