Critics' Picks: Shearwater and more

WEDNESDAY 6.25

How Birds Work

Artists' Quarter

In the rock world, it's not uncommon for bands to become associated with certain venues: the Ramones with CBGB's, Prince with First Avenue, the 'Mats with the Longhorn. But in the jazz world, residencies by artists at venues can become iconic: Coltrane at the Village Vanguard, Miles at the Plugged Nickel, Monk at the Five Spot. Instead of crossing the country, transplanting themselves into all manner of bars, jazz groups like How Birds Work (Dean Granros on guitar, Peter Schimke on keys/vocals, Chris Bates on bass, and Kenny Horst on drums) often prefer to invite you into their space at a venue like the Artists' Quarter. They recorded a live CD there, featuring their unique, guitar-driven takes on classics from Coltrane's "Equinox" to Wayne Shorter's "Footprints." They sound comfortable enough in their second home to push and stretch a bit; it's what they've been trained to do, after all, but music this simultaneously assured and expansive deserves a good home—and How Birds Work has found it. $5. 9 p.m. 408 St. Peter St., St. Paul; 651.292.1359. Steve McPherson

Shearwater

7th St. Entry

After a successful run backing Clinic on tour earlier this year, Shearwater are headlining their own tour and just happen to be passing through the same venue they played with the Liverpool-based troupe of masked men. Jonathan Meiburg, formerly a member of Okkervil River with Shearwater alum Will Sheff, has a sweet, haunting voice that gets into your bones with a musical sensibility that is atmospheric and seemingly dark, complete with melodic strings and vibraphones. Drummer Thor Harris definitely stands out with his mid-'80s Iron Maiden Bruce Dickinson haircut, and is a great talent as he pounds away behind his kit. Shearwater are guaranteed to play plenty of cuts from their large catalog, centered on tracks from their most recent effort, Rook, a beautiful, moody outing filled with emotion and showcasing Meiburg's effecting falsetto. Opening is the noisy bombast of local lady rockers the Haves Have It. 18+. $8. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. Jen Paulson

THURSDAY 6.26

Sharp Teeth

Uptown Bar and Cafe

Whether your chompers are coffee-stained, over-bleached, or just nasty and yellow, here's a band that will make you grind 'em to nubs in wildly cathartic fits. The Minneapolis trio may have candy-coated molars, but they've got fangs like a fierce, human-eating sea monster possibly from hell. Sharp Teeth know how to do grunge. They've got the thrills, the chills, and the anti-frills. They've got three chords down pat and two-minute songs clipped to perfection. And Erica Krumm sings like she just blew the dust off her Beauty and the Beat cassette, but she doesn't want you to know it. Best yet, they're not going to come after you with one of those freaky drills. Maybe. With the Teeth, Fuck Knights, and Ghettos Burning. 21+. Free. 9 p.m. 3018 Hennepin Ave. S. Minneapolis; 612.823.4719 Erin Roof

FRIDAY 6.27

Dosh

First Avenue

It's not enough to just describe Martin Dosh as an electronic artist. To be sure, if you were to describe him as something else it would be misleading, but there is more to his music than the word "electronic" can aptly describe. Though Dosh's music is created by machines, its spare, almost organic nature makes you forget that fact, even though he is dwarfed by the stacks of equipment at his disposal onstage. However, his goal isn't to make you respond with "Wow, that's so cool" or "Ooh, that's so spacey"; he's gone to great lengths, it seems, to inject actual feeling into the music and not simply push buttons and toy with the BPMs until it's good enough for dancing. A bit like M83, his new album, Wolves and Wishes, is one that you can approach as a chill-out record, but don't be surprised when long-dormant thoughts and decisions made long ago get knocked loose and you start reconsidering the impact and implications that those thoughts and decisions have had on your life—or, even more unsettling, what they may have in store for you a little further down the road. With P.O.S. and Kill the Vultures. 18+. $10/$12 at the door. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. Pat O'Brien

Hayden

Cedar Cultural Center

Halfway through Hayden's new album, In Field and in Town, he bemoans the fact that he's no longer sad. But after more than a decade of producing clever, intimate, and, yes, sad lo-fi bedroom pop, something tells me that Hayden is not quite through with examining the sullen side of his psyche. The Toronto singer fills In Field and in Town with moody organs, insistent rhythms, and wandering bass lines, but the instrument that brings weight and poignancy to the music is his beautiful, lonesome, and, at times, quivering falsetto. His voice has that claustrophobic winter angst polished to a shine with the optimistic yearning for an early spring—the cathartic exercise of the sun-deprived. Touring with Hayden this summer is Haley Bonar, a local girl who's written a couple of sad songs herself. $12/$15 at the door. 8 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S, Minneapolis; 612.338.2674.

SATURDAY 6.28

Asphalt Showdown

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