Stereolab and more

 

WEDNESDAY 10.8

Silver Jews

Triple Rock Social Club

Watching lead Silver Jew David Berman cycle through phases over the past 10-plus years—from who-cares, post-grad, smart-ass nonchalance to drug-addled walking-wounded to reflective, recovering-addict husband—has been fascinating. That his curdled alt-country has improved with his health and humor is a nice bonus, as is the fact that the Jews—Berman, wife/guitarist/co-vocalist Cassie, and whichever Nashville hands are around to hit the studio—have been touring regularly for the last few years. Dynamite-if-brusque new album Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea arrives swaddled in referential hypertext and poetic rumination; "Strange Victory, Strange Defeat," for example, manages to be about Teddy Roosevelt, a young generation thrown to the wolves, and the deathless overvaluing of rock bands with pretty-boy frontmen. Onstage, Berman's a bit stiff—owing to lingering discomfort from long-ago surgeries and injuries—but the rest of the band keeps the music flowing like gravy. With the Mattoid. 18+. $14. 9 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S, Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. Ray Cummings

Jamming with Broken Social Scene
Norman Wong
Jamming with Broken Social Scene

 

THURSDAY 10.9

Tina Turner

Target Center

Tina Turner never, ever takes anything nice and easy. Including retirement. Apparently off the road for good at the turn of the century, she popped up on the Grammys last February, performing "Proud Mary" in a feverish duet with Beyoncé. Now she arrives in town as part of an ambitious tour that will extend into 2009 with a slew of European dates. And she promises to be in prime, incomparable Tina form, which means an abundance of frenetic energy and vocals electrified with soulful power. Which may be a lot to ask of the average 68-year-old. But not Tina, who said in a press release that she and "her girls" have been hoofing it eight to ten hours (!) daily in preparation for the tour. In addition to a "spectacular" new stage show, expect a full slate of hits ranging from her Ike and Tina Turner Revue days through recent solo nuggets. Many can be found on the new compilation Tina! (Capitol), including several live versions of tunes (like Al Green's "Let's Stay Together") and a pair of new, appropriately sweaty, mid-tempo rock ballads ("It Would Be a Crime," "I'm Ready"). Word is the Queen will be back in all her acidic glory. $59.50-$152. 6:30 p.m. 600 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.673.0900. —Rick Mason

The Tisdales

Turf Club

Rich Mattson has a reputation. After playing in bands for more than 20 years, including most notably the Glenrustles and Ol' Yeller, he's known for his blue-collar approach to his music. If anything, he's earned the right to say, "Fuck it, I can play whatever the hell I want." Beholden to no genre or scene, the Iron Range rocker is back with the Tisdales. The band has more in common with '70s pop rock than with the alt-country that Mattson's old bands were known for. But Mattson's songwriting chops are second to none, and his simple but majestic guitar solos are the stuff of Neil Young-garage-rock fantasies. His songs come with a layer of dirt already crusted in the space between notes—the way a bar band should sound. Joining Mattson in the Tisdales are former members of the Duluth psych-rock band the Hotel Coral Essex. With Patches and Gretchen, for whom the evening is a CD-release party, and Starfolk. 21+. 9 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. Robert Longmore

 

SATURDAY 10.11

Fleet Foxes

Cedar Cultural Center

In case you've been too busy catching up on old episodes of The Nanny or protesting the timber industry by living in one of those big trees again, you need to know that while you were away, Fleet Foxes stormed the music world like gangbusters. They have ascended from being merely popular on MySpace to being scooped up by Sub Pop Records, releasing an EP and LP in quick succession—to breathless reviews—and launching an international tour, all in under a year. They're, like, touring with Wilco now. Pitchfork awarded their self-titled debut a 9.0 out of 10. Robin Pecknold, the self-effacing 22-year-old lead vocalist who looks like he was plucked straight from a cabin in the middle of the North Woods—disheveled hair, rumpled flannel and all—sounds at times like Neil Young and My Morning Jacket. The echoey beauty of the music and deeply earthy lyrics allow them to pass as different genres. It's music you could share just as easily with your high school age brother or sister as with your dad. With Frank Fairfield, a California street busker. All ages. $15. 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave., S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. Jessica Chapman

 

SUNDAY 10.12

Stereolab

First Avenue

A tremendous live band with a songbook to match, London's Stereolab draw crowds even as their albums feel less like the cultural events they once were—though am I wrong to hear their airy influence in Estelle's Top-40 candy "American Boy"? Still, anyone tuning out after 1997's Dots and Loops has missed at least a couple of enduring surprises per disc amid endless modulations in ornate retro-groovy easy-listening, while 2004's Margerine Eclipse is playable from front to disco back. The thoroughly Stereolab-y new Chemical Chords (Duophonic/4AD) isn't quite a return to groundbreaking form, but contains some of their best songs yet for the melancholic radical, including the typically sad-sounding revolutionary anthem "Fractal Dream of a Thing": "As long as man will exploit man.... There will be no normality and no peace." With Monade and Le Loup. 18+. $15. 7:30 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. Peter S. Scholtes

The Blind Boys of Alabama and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band

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