Lee "Scratch" Perry and more

 

WEDNESDAY 7.09

Ice Rod

7th St. Entry

There is an ongoing war between truth and fiction, and in an age that drinks so greedily from the wellspring of irony, the fighting is especially fierce. Is Ice Rod rap's daring revisionist or its straight-faced satirist? Is Ice Rod James Joyce with a mic or Borat in spandex? If these questions concern you at any point, even in passing, you likely don't have the temperament to survive tonight's show at the Entry. Ice Rod is hip hop's Dadaist savant, its impulsive eccentric, and his imagination can often run to the unnerving absurd. He is a tangle of paradoxes—at once the rake and the innocent, the fool and the sage, the stooge and the pundit—and he is a welcome spill of neon-green puff paint in a genre too often spoiled by monochromatic clichés. Advisable gear for the show? A tube top, a guide to modern art, and dance shoes. With Face Candy, Xtasy Sqodd!, and Pet.s. 18+. $6. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N, Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. David Hansen

 

FRIDAY 7.11

Lee "Scratch" Perry

First Avenue

At the age of 76, Lee Perry's grip on reality seems to have finally and completely relinquished. But who needs reality anyway? It's a cumbersome thing for so intrepid and visionary an auteur to burden himself with. Deep within the reggae mastermind's septuagenarian lunacy lies the warped vision that shaped dub and inspired everyone from Bob Marley to Primal Scream. His latest LP, Repentance (his 54th studio release), is a pastiche of unions so unlikely they could only have been dreamed up by someone who is only half paying attention. Co-produced by Andrew W.K., the dancy and deeply digital club-dub offering features appearances by Moby, Lightning Bolt's Brian Chippendale, and porn star Sasha Grey. Why the schizophrenic recruitment policies? A listen doesn't make the answer immediately clear, but the Upsetter's music has never been about being immediate or clear. Perry may be crazy, but it's not Charles Manson. It's Brian Wilson. 18+. $17/$20 at the door. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N, Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —David Hansen

Crosby, Stills & Nash

Orpheum Theatre

The appeal of those Crosby, Stills & Nash harmonies is undeniable. The question is, does this same magic hold up after almost 40 years of this band's existence? Reports indicate yes—with their highly influential rock and a grouping directly related to their historic departures or oustings from their pre-CSN groups: David Crosby with the Byrds, Stephen Stills with Buffalo Springfield, and Graham Nash with the Hollies. Yes, it's true that the added magic of a Young onto that comma-laden combo has produced some great results as well, but love of that chilled-out sound that charmed its way through the late '60s and well into the '70s is enough to get people clamoring into the Xcel. And you can bet they'll be playing some of the classics off of the legendary Déjà Vu album without Neil Young. I'll be waiting for the strains of "Almost Cut My Hair" and will definitely be letting my freak flag fly. $64-$104.50. 8 p.m. 910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.339.7007. Jen Paulson

Travis and Jonny

400 Bar

The words "folky" and "catchy" aren't often spoken in the same sentence (ones I use, at least), but it's true of Travis and Jonny—and it's not the only potentially confusing thing about them. Though there is a Travis and a Jonny, they are actually a five-piece and, while it's a folk band, their lyrics are (gasp!) about modern-day issues and not whiskey stills, tambourine men, and the like. It's folk music that does some soul-searching and exploration and doesn't just tell story after story of people who are hopelessly down on their luck or overcoming adversity with a perseverance of the spirit. It plays like folk music should in 2008: It's smart, addresses problems that have been around since the dawn of time with a keen, modern eye, and looks back in history for inspiration without giving anyone the sense that the band would rather be hopping a train with Arlo Guthrie somewhere in the Midwest with only their wits and a guitar. With Tuesdays Robot, Switzerlind, and Seymore Saves the World. 18+. $5. 9 p.m. 400 Cedar Ave. S, Minneapolis; 612.332.2903. Pat O'Brien

 

SATURDAY 7.12

St. John's Block Party

Church of St. John the Evangelist

St. John's Block Party is going to be just like last month's Rock the Garden: only with a Norteño band, and a funk band, and classic rock and world music. There will even be some black and brown people there. And kids! Zoinks! What Rock the Garden lacked in diversity, St. John's will make up for in spades. You go, Rochester. For the fifth year in a row the city's Catholics are bringing people together. The daylong, kid-friendly event features entirely local and regional acts. Headlined by Soul Asylum and the BoDeans, the lineup includes some of the usual suspects (Cloud Cult, Haley Bonar, the Alarmists) but also some of the less than usual, like Eden Prairie's Mision Norteña, African roots band SUNplug'd, Rochester funk artists KnuFunK, and Led Penny, which includes former Minnesota Congressman Tim Penny. Fancy that! Proceeds go to charity. All ages. $25. Noon. 11 Fourth Ave. SW, Rochester; 507.288.7372. Jessica Chapman

First Communion Afterparty

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