Neko Case and more

 

THURSDAY 9.18

Neko Case

First Avenue

Neko Case's voice hits you like a strong river—cool, cleansing, and fresh. It courses right through you, buoys you, and after having its way with you, leaves you somehow—temporarily—purer, and surer. When you're in the same room, it's like a spotlight is individually connecting her to every other person there. If she weren't so damn cool it might actually be kind of creepy. It's readily evident that the alt-country goddess and sometimes-New Pornographer takes her work very seriously. She's also one funny lady, which makes for a terrific live show. Case, who sometimes sounds a tiny bit like the Cowboy Junkies, is also fairly prolific, and if she's not popping up at shows here and there with the Canadian supergroup New Pornographers, she's striking out on her own; more often than not she's on her own these days. With Giant Sand. 18+. $25. 6 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. Jessica Chapman

dan le sac vs. Scroobius Pip

Triple Rock Social Club

You should not like Scroobius Pip. In his video for "Thou Shalt Always Kill," he clasps close to his heart a vinyl edition of London Calling by the Clash and declares, "The Clash—just a band," before haphazardly chucking the LP onto a battered English sidewalk. Just a band? For those of us who think a check-cashing office/record store seems like the best mating since, well, Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, Scroobius Pip's act is unforgivable. But here's why you will end liking him anyway: In promoting the inherent unimportance of musical cult status, he sets himself apart from the hip-hop all-stars oozing with ego and gaudy pretensions. He tosses gold chains and an oil-slicked six-pack for a Brillo-like beard and slim suits. His snarky English accent is crisp and decipherable and his rapping pleasantly lacks the touting of guns, bitches, and bling. And when paired with dan le sac's Radiohead-sampling and exotic cultural references, the duo proves all those tinted-windowed SUVs ought to pull over and make way. With B. Dolan and Gospel Gossip. 21+. $12. 9 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612.333.7499. Erin Roof

 

FRIDAY 9.19

Ozomatli

Harriet Island

Ozomatli is one of those bands you just have to see live. If you haven't seen them before, do not miss them this time around, especially because they've reunited—at least temporarily—with rapper Chali 2na, whose rich vocals play so well off of the band's Latin beats. Even white people will dance, for sure. The L.A.-based, Grammy-winning ensemble act is here this weekend as part of St. Paul's River Rocks Music Festival, and though you wouldn't know it from the lineup arrangement, they're pretty easily the best act that's going to be there (along with the Roots). They're animated, lively, and have a clear camaraderie that's just nice to be around. And while you could have a Wikipedia field day looking up all the African and Latin instruments they use, you should really just come see for yourself. All ages. $25-45. 6:15 p.m. 75 W. Water St., St. Paul; 651.209.6799. —Jessica Chapman

 

SATURDAY 9.20

Impaler 25-Year Anniversary Show

Station 4

Hard to imagine now, but when fake-blood-spurting Impaler debuted in full makeup at Goofy's Upper Deck in 1983, punk-metal crossover was still novel and controversial: Slayer released their first album only that year, with Black Flag's My War still on the way, and Gwar not yet formed. Yet by the time Impaler released the Bob Mould-produced If We Had Brains... We'd Be Dangerous on New York's Combat Records in 1986, they'd begun to sound like the speedy consensus—with denunciations from the PMRC merely sealing the deal. Today they're the horror-rock band everyone in Minneapolis-St. Paul can agree on, no less poignant at Earl Root's recent memorial concert for eating their own entrails—Root would have had it no other way. This gig marks a mighty return to the legendary Ryan's several club-names later, i.e. Station 4, with a half-dozen former Impaler members joining the band onstage for tunes that haven't been dusted off since the '80s—a truly undead celebration. With Cold Colours. 8 p.m. 201 E. Fourth St., St. Paul; 651.298.0173. Peter S. Scholtes

Cataldo

400 Bar

Cataldo frontman Eric Anderson is a Pacific Northwest native who recently graduated from Macalester and has already left us for Seattle. However, touring Signal Fire through the Midwest and beyond brings him back to his collegiate home of the Twin Cities this weekend—and even though tonight's show is considered a CD release, the album itself has been out since late July and has already gotten a fair amount of press. The sometimes sleepy, often sparse musical nature of Signal Fire is one of thoughtfully placed eloquence, combined with his sweet, sweet tenor. Eau Claire's the Daredevil Christopher Wright—who, at press time, had yet to jump the Grand Canyon on a motorbike—has a dreamily quiet/loud folk-pop sensibility attached to his epic vocals. Possibly more recognizable to the fine music fans of our neighbors to the east, Wright plays Minneapolis frequently, and is a multifaceted performer—it's a necessity that you experience him live. Also placed strategically in the mix are the fabulous harmonies of local up-tempo indie-pop darlings the Glad Version. On this particular evening, expect a gorgeous barrage of inspired-dude singer-songwriter high jinx. 18+. 8 p.m. $7. 400 Cedar Ave. S, Minneapolis; 612.332.2903. Jen Paulson

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