Sigur Rós and more

 

WEDNESDAY 9.24

High Places

Triple Rock Social Club

The hype machine has run amok in High Places' hometown of Brooklyn, New York. It seems like any band with that exotic dateline seems to get five stars affixed to their worn-out Casios and loads of press on a certain music site that rhymes with "itchfork" and its compadres. But for this organic pop duo, on tour under their much-awaited debut full-length, warm salutations are totally merited. Expect to hear sonic dallyings akin to the Brian Eno/David Byrne experiments of the 1980s but with a lighter, friendlier touch. Stitching together layers of guitar loops, tribal beats, sleigh bells, and anything that clangs with brilliance and affection, these three-minute daydreams, pleasantly topped with Mary Pearson's gauzy soprano, are sure to make even lifelong city dwellers yearn to float away above the bricks and bodegas. With Dead Science and Company Inc. 18+. $10. 9 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S. Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. Erin Roof

 

THURSDAY 9.25

Sigur Rós

Orpheum Theatre

This is not a trick question or a joke: How many bands does the average person know that sing primarily in a language other than their own? Icelandic indie "dream pop" act Sigur Rós increases that number by 100 percent for many an indie diehard. Sigur Rós doesn't even sing in Icelandic all the time, but rather in a semi-made-up language called Hopelandic. They might be talking about rubber duckies or how they beat up old ladies for fun, but who cares? The sound is gorgeous—soaring and layered and slightly reminiscent of Radiohead (with whom they've collaborated and toured) circa Kid A days. It's good music to work out to. It sort of makes you feel all "Chariots of Fire" and like you could run great distances. Still not sure? Their most recent album is in English. All ages. $37.50-$49.50. 8 p.m. 910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.373.5600. Jessica Chapman

 

FRIDAY 9.26

Kelly Rossum

Artists' Quarter

As distinctive for his Mohawk coif as for his intelligent, endlessly eclectic, thoroughly modern jazz, trumpeter Kelly Rossum is seemingly everywhere on the local jazz scene, playing with numerous ensembles in addition to heading up the jazz program at MacPhail Center. This weekend at the AQ, he'll celebrate the release of his new CD, Family (612 Sides), which features key contributions from pianist Bryan Nichols and a pair of Bateses, bassist Chris and drummer J.T. The presence of Miles Davis hovers throughout, in Rossum's tone and temperament, but only in measured bits that conspire with other shards—free jazz, bop, blues, swing, classical—to create Rossum's signature restless sound. His title track, initially reflective, gets bluesier measure by measure just as Nichols's wistful piano grows edgier. Another Rossum original, "Mr. Blueberry," is jaunty and almost cartoonish with playful mute work and funky rhythms, while a cover of genuinely whimsical fare (Willy Wonka's "Pure Imagination") flirts with dissonance. "Somebody Come Out and Play" from Sesame Street, on the other hand, swings with elegance and sophistication. As usual, Rossum and his band continually prod and stretch and tinker with expectations, coming up with stuff that's resolutely fresh and original. $10. 9 p.m. 408 St. Peter St., St. Paul; 651.292.1359. —Rick Mason

Baroness

Triple Rock Social Club

It's tired to say this, but I'm tired and I'm going to say it: Baroness's The Red Album (Relapse) is an old-school headphones album par excellence—if such things still exist. You need some undisturbed time to see how active-rock magazine Revolver's 2007 Album of the Year goes way beyond the sum of its parts and occasional missteps. There're a few too many times where riffs stand in for tunes, the band meanders when it could cut to the chase, and the raspy, bellowed vocals feel like an afterthought. But after a couple of listens, those pointy little quibbles get sanded down to nothing. It's hard to deny those sweeping, powerful, and nimble soundscapes peppered with bits of baroque freak-folk guitar fireworks, Southern rock harmonics, and a rhythm section that tails the kinetic, heavy arrangements like a hungry bloodhound downwind from a smokehouse. Bison and Building Better Bombs open. All ages. $10/$12 at the door. 5 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S, Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. Cecile Cloutier

 

 

SUNDAY 9.28

House of Mercy

Turf Club

Spend this Sunday with House of Mercy. Errant churchgoers: Some flimsy logic might even weasel you out of your regular Sunday-morning obligations. To the rest of you frothy, wild-eyed heathens—see you there. If you haven't seen House of Mercy, you need to know: They're awesome, a pseudo-religious gospel-country blend from real, live, honest-to-god church folk. And what better venue than the Turf Club, the place that birthed them—the band's music really softens the edges of the St. Paul club. Sometimes they sound like Willie Nelson, other times like Tom Waits, and then, of course, Johnny Cash. More than one rumor has them pegged as one of our best local live acts. So grab a Bloody Mary, belly up in the darkened bar, and get thee baptized into the House of Mercy congregation. Preceded by the comedy/music act Riot Act Reading Series. 21+. 9 p.m. 1601 University Ave., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Jessica Chapman

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