Critics' Picks: Kanye West and more

First Avenue

Sometimes the cream does rise to the top. Dethklok, the unsympathetic and hilarious protagonists of Cartoon Network's series Metalpocalypse, managed something that no flesh-and-blood death-metal group has yet: debuting at #23 on the Billboard charts. As funny as The Dethalbum (Williams Street) is lyrically and conceptually, its musicianship is no joke; "The Lost Vikings" and "Go into the Water" wouldn't be half as amusing without their precise recreation of death- and black-metal tropes. Writer Brendan Smalls and star session drummer Gene Hoagland deliver the band's repertoire on record—onstage there will be a full band. Also appearing are two veteran bands whose noisy mania no doubt inspired Dethklok's metalhead creators. There's Cincinnati's Chimaira, whose Resurrection (Ferret) features fleet, pounding, extreme metal laced with crisp touches of thrash, and Louisiana veterans Soilent Green, who tease with speedy prog bluegrass breaks and pastoral guitar bits on their latest, Inevitable Collapse in the Presence of Conviction (Metal Blade), but really serve a gravelly and gritty gravy of moshitundinous grooves. All Ages. $22/$25 at the door. 6 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Cecile Cloutier

Heroine Sheiks

Turf Club

Gogol Bordello, in between manic dance freakouts
Lauren Dukoff
Gogol Bordello, in between manic dance freakouts

When Cows called it quits after their 1996 release Whorn came out, frontman Shannon Selberg moved to New York and started up a new band, the Heroine Sheiks. Drawing heavily on the sound Cows laid out near the end of their career, the Heroine Sheiks are a little tamer musically, but a lot more daring lyrically. They've been determined from Day One to rattle the cages of everyone from the mice to the clergy to the national music press, and have done so, quite successfully. As of this past year, Selberg and the newest incarnation of the Heroine Sheiks are a Minneapolis band. They've got a new record to boot—the eight-song EP Journey to the End of the Knife (Reptilian Records). Is this a harbinger of the rebirth of the TC music scene? Nah—eventually, everybody comes back to the Twin Cities for a life of hot dish and Minnesota nice. Someday, we're going to have the coolest scene of rockin' geezers on the planet. With Skoal Kodiak. 21+. 9 p.m. 1601 University Ave., St Paul; 651.647.0486. —Holly Day


Peter Murphy

Fine Line Music Café

If Iggy Pop, the godfather of punk; James Brown, the godfather of soul; and Peter Murphy, the godfather of goth, went at it in some semi-supernatural brawl, Murphy would be the undeniable winner. He'd probably morph into a vampire bat and suck them (un)dead, leaving two fashionable pearls of blood on their necks. This is why Murphy in his Bauhaus heyday was cool: because he was fucking scary. But strip away the tight, black clothes and the ghostly pallor, and there was a pop fan hiding in the darkest crevices of his gullet. Murphy's solo music could turn the toughest Hot Topic mall rat into a pop-conscious pussycat. But no matter how ungoth the synths backing him through most of his solo career, his baritone still sends chills. 18+. $41.50. 7 p.m. 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8100. —Erin Roof

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