Gnarls Barkley and more


Eight Is Enough

Turf Club

The right gets Sammy Hagar. The left gets Low, Dosh, POS, and a streamlined Tapes 'n Tapes. Call it an early landslide. And in the Turf Club, of all places, our very own hidey-hole, in which the disenfranchised can congregate in all their conspiratorial, beer-soaked glory. Partisan politics mix with music like cheap vodka and limeade—which is to say there's a bitter smack, but it'll do in a pinch. But this is the very best kind of benefit show—one that comes with a lineup so potent that it will make even the noblest political pretense seem like a pleasant afterthought. That the proceeds go to fund Obama's bid for the presidency is a magnificent bonus. But by the time Skoal Kodiak illuminates the stage well into the predawn hours, politics will be the last thing on anyone's mind. At the zero hour of the RNC, a little late-night forgetfulness can't hurt. With Kill the Vultures, STNNNG. 21+. $20. 9 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —David Hansen

Gnarls Barkley

Anti-Flag (pictured), Michael Franti, Matisyahu, I Self Devine, and more rally at Ripple Effect
Anti-Flag (pictured), Michael Franti, Matisyahu, I Self Devine, and more rally at Ripple Effect

Minnesota State Fair Amphitheater

Sure, "Crazy" was one of those rare ubiquitous hits that never lost its luster after its hundredth spin, but after a couple go-throughs of 2006's uneven St. Elsewhere this critic really started to miss the Goodie Mob incarnation of Cee-Lo—or at least the one who crooned raspy but rich Al Greenisms over Pharrell beats on his last solo record. Then Gnarls Barkley dropped their second album earlier this year, and it actually clicked: There's no feel-good summer jam here, but the craft put into this record supersedes any gimmick-supergroup accusations their debut might have spurred. The Odd Couple is melancholy soul-rock done right, with Danger Mouse's '60s fixations dialed back from pop-art whimsy to nostalgia-immune modernism and Cee-Lo's neuroses delivered artfully by a singer who knows how to make them relatable. It's what rock 'n' roll would've sounded like if it had leapfrogged all its metal/punk/grunge/indie mutations and landed directly in the middle of the hip-hop generation. All ages. $31. 7:30 p.m. 1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul; 651.642.2262. —Nate Patrin


The Floorbirds

Turf Club

It goes without saying that a good Thursday night bill at the Turf Club is the best way to start a weekend early. Put together by locally based music blog, tonight's roster is filled to the brim with quite the combination of harmonies and characters. The gorgeous rootsy folk of the Floorbirds is enough to whisk a person to the backcountry '40s in a shiny futuristic time machine, as their sound still resonates with a modern freshness. Joining in the festivities are the bluesy, foot-stompin' rowdies of A Night in the Box, the mischievously quirky pop-folk of Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles, and the jangly and jaunty guitars and peppy pop keys of Skirt. 21+. 9 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W, St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Jen Paulson


The Root of All Evil Memorial Metal Massacre

First Avenue

Benefit names don't get any better than this. Earl Root was the gold standard of individuality, and his memory deserves a hundred nights of music like this. It was an overwhelmingly sad day for the large music community of Minneapolis when the host of KFAI's long-running Root of All Evil show and all around metal-scene godfather, Earl Root, passed away after a lengthy battle with Hodgkin's in May. So, in Root's honor, First Avenue is to be completely overtaken by hordes of metal fans and metal bands from early afternoon to bar close, just like it should be—filling the 7th St. Entry and Mainroom with bands such as Impaler and Roots' own former band Aesma Daeva. The lineup promises a night abounding in devil horns, remembrances, and, most of all, the battle cry for all those who love the genre like Root himself did: "METAAAAAAAAAL!!!" No matter how somber such a fondly remembered man's passing can be, chances are this show will be anything but. With Missing Man Formation, Cold Colours, Demonicon, many more. All ages (18+ after 9:30 p.m.). 4:30 p.m. $10/$12 at the door. 701 First Ave. N, Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Jen Paulson


Black Keys

Minnesota State Fair Amphitheater

Always a spine-throttling live act, Akron power duo the Black Keys are touring behind the album of their careers: a multi-hued blues-rock-based song set produced by Gnarls Barkley maestro Danger Mouse, who'd originally asked the Keys to write songs for an album by Ike Turner and collaborated from there. After Turner's death, the unused R&B workouts and ballads became unwitting vehicles for the heretofore under-tested soul inflections of Keys vocalist Dan Auerbach, whose distinctly everyhuman quaver is closer in spirit and effect to the pained cry of fellow Ohioans Heartless Bastards than to the opaque, attitudinal mouth-noise-making of Jack White. Fans of both of the above should not miss this. Opening for the Black Crowes. All Ages. $37. 7:30 p.m. 1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul; 651.642.2262. —Peter S. Scholtes

Private Dancer

Turf Club

Somewhere, deep in John Nash's most private journals, lies an arcane equation. It's lost on the layman, but it reduces all the variable thrills of attending a show to the pints of sweat that must be mopped from the stage afterward. In the deepest cloisters of the mathematical community, this is known as the Private Dancer Formula. Named for the Minneapolis rock five-piece, the equation is finding applications outside the world of advanced trigonometry—it comments effectively on the lopsided ratio of hands in pockets to hands in air, increased beer sales during their performances, and the undeniable catchiness that propels the band and their spectators into a dance-y free-for-all that would make even the most bespectacled chaos mathematician shut his notebook. Even if you flunked freshman algebra, Private Dancer's debut EP, dropping tonight at the Turf, rings with a sincere pop jingle that is too grand to be contained in a lowly integer. 21+. 9 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —David Hansen


Ripple Effect

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