Tom Morello, Uh Huh Her, and more

WEDNESDAY 11.05

Boz Scaggs

Dakota Jazz Club

With roots in rock, R&B, blues, and soul, Boz Scaggs's turn to standards might be a bit surprising, even as a previous generation's hits have become something of a refuge for certain aging rockers. But the sly, understated approach Scaggs used to such great effect going back to his Silk Degrees days also works well in giving a charming insouciance to the songs of Rodgers and Hart, Ellington, Mercer, Hoagy Carmichael, Arlen, and Jobim on his new Speak Low (Decca). Scaggs's silky, subtly textured voice enables him to approach these nuggets as a sophisticated pop singer without attempting the deep nuances of a true jazz singer. Nonetheless, they achieve a distinctive spin thanks to his casually smart phrasing, Gil Goldstein's agile arrangements, and the sparkling instrumental work of Goldstein's Septet. On the title track, for instance, Scaggs's voice sidles in over a clarinet percolating in the lower register, catches a waft from a breezy vibes solo, and finally eddies among the bittersweet lyrics. And Ellington's often jaunty "Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me" is given a deliciously languid treatment that underscores the lyrics' message. Speak Low is Scaggs's second collection of standards, a comfortable niche for which he seems to have a natural affinity. $65 at 7 pm; $50 at 9:30 pm. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010. Also Thursday —Rick Mason

Uh Huh Her

Uh Huh Her...and her, too
Uh Huh Her...and her, too

Fine Line Music Café

Uh Huh Her consists of Camila Grey and Leisha Hailey, the latter being most familiar for her role as Alice on Showtime's wildly popular drama The L Word. Grey, who originally played bass for Los Angeles lo-fi rockers Mellodrone, has a dreamy voice edged in somewhere between the sensibilities of Kate Bush and Tori Amos. Hailey's career in music started with her duo the Murmurs—and frankly, Uh Huh Her is (pleasantly) a long way from Lilith Fair. Together, they have created an exquisite mix of lush, electronica-charged dance music. Their inspired knack for darkly romantic melancholy with Grey's gorgeous lead vocal and Hailey's pretty-as-a-picture harmonies meld perfectly with new-wave guitars and a plethora of digital flourishes—and is just the stuff that made their summer release, Common Reaction (Nettwerk), flow dreamily from start to finish. Opening the night is the Fashion, an electro-pop/rock combo straight out of Denmark. 18+. $16.50-$18.50. 8 p.m. 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8100. —Jen Paulson

THURSDAY 11.06

The Gourds

Turf Club

It's pretty openly clichéd to say Austin, Texas, hatches great music, what with class acts like Spoon, Explosions in the Sky, Okkervil River (by way of Minnesota), Wayne "The Train" Hancock, and Dale Watson et al. rocking the city's confines on a regular basis, not to mention the festival-slash-popular public television show Austin City Limits and the annual South by Southwest showcase of musical up-and-comers. So let's just add insult to injury here and say: Austin faves the Gourds make great music. Oh, and you should go see them tomorrow. The rootsy, countrified rockers—boosted by accordion, mandolin, banjo, and other bluegrass staples—capture an Austin sensibility unlike the others. Case in point: The quintet's cover of frat-boy fave "Gin and Juice" beats Snoop's original. The quintet's quick-stepping tunes and quirky lyrics will hopscotch their way into your heart. $12. 9 p.m. 1601 University Ave., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Jessica Chapman

FRIDAY 11.07

Laurie Lindeen

400 Bar

Last year the former Zuzu's Petals vocalist/guitarist made a bigger splash than expected with Petal Pusher, a look at that seedy underbelly of life as a touring band. Lindeen recounts night after night spent in dank bars and clubs across the United States and Europe. The stories are, at times, truly the stuff of horror, but just as often are sweet and funny. It's clear that she loved it for as long as she could until the weight of outside forces (being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in particular) finally made her rethink what, exactly, there was to look forward to besides another sub-par meal eaten from the back seat of a tour van and one more night spent playing in a filthy dump somewhere in Europe to a not-quite-large-enough crowd. The look at this side of the music business from a female perspective is more than a little eye-opening, and proved popular enough to be released in paperback, which Lindeen will be celebrating tonight with a reading and music from cover band Retrofit, who will be playing songs from each decade of Lindeen's life ('60s-'90s) that Petal Pusher walks us through. 18+. $8. 8 p.m. 400 Cedar Ave. S, Minneapolis; 612.332.2903. —Pat O'Brien

SATURDAY 11.08

Blitzen Trapper

Turf Club

With Brooklyn and Portland serving as amniotic rocket launchers for today's top indie bands, Minneapolis is perched pleasantly in the middle, humbly watching as groups pass through riding larger and larger waves of success. Blitzen Trapper is one such Horatio Alger story. They've been here, back, and here again, somehow managing to record a new, folksy album along the way. On self-released Wild Mountain Nation, these hippy-dippy Oregonians showed their hard edge. Now with their Sub Pop debut, Furr, their Neil Young grooves have worn deep to that comfortable ridge that lovingly crackles and pops and still sounds so good. With Horse Feathers. 21+. $10/$12 at the door. 9 p.m. 1601 University Ave. St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Erin Roof

Clapperclaw

Sound Gallery

The second annual Clapperclaw Music & Arts Festival will cover two floors of Minneapolis's Sound Gallery. Co-organizers Dom Davis and Matt Perkins both described the event as something creatively distinct from last year's, with Davis adding, "Our focus this year was expanding within a single location, shaping the intensity of last year's two days into a sharpened and more interactive one-day extravaganza." Whereas last year's event scheduled some 20 musical performances, this year's hosts only nine, mixing DJs with a list of live acts that includes the XYZ Affair, Big Quarters, and Doomtree's Cecil Otter. In addition to musical performances, Perkins described a new addition to the festival: "Like last year, we set out to highlight some other art elements like fashion, theatrics, and local artists represented in an unconventional gallery space. This year we are doing the same thing except we replaced the theatrical component that was created by Lamb Lays with Lion with local films." Also new to the festival this year is a $5 "happy hour," which buys you admission and, thanks to some of this year's sponsors, free drinks. 4 p.m. $5/$12 after 7 p.m. 414 Third Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.8918. —Chris DeLine

SUNDAY 11.09

Wintersleep

Varsity Theater

Wintersleep may hail from Halifax, Nova Scotia, but the group's sound is distinctly and quintessentially American: brusque yet romantic, contemplative yet adventurous. Singer Paul Murphy has a captivating, empathic voice—a cross between Eddie Vedder and Michael Stipe—that winds through the quartet's expansive, gradual songs like a dirt road bisecting an autumn countryside. He takes pleasure in holding on to lyrics a mite too long, unearthing unexplainable emotions therein. The music—a patient strain of folky post-rock that often catches the ear unawares with its sudden mood swings—sometimes seems to exist as a refuge for Murphy, a reflective, melancholy shawl of sound that doubles as a coat of arms. Don't sleep on this show. With Portugal. The Man, Earl Greyhound. All ages. $12/$14 at the door. 4:30 p.m. 1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. —Ray Cummings

MONDAY 11.10

Amos Lee

O'Shaughnessy Auditorium

Philly native Amos Lee is the kind of soul-folk singer and thoughtful songwriter whose delivery and songs alternately suggest the likes of John Prine, Bill Withers, James Taylor, and Al Green. His often yearning, raspy yowl etches tales of fractured love, hardscrabble pain and woe, and bittersweet survival. Lee's latest, Last Days at the Lodge (Blue Note), adds a dose of the blues and some hints of rock amid soul more oriented to Memphis than Pennsylvania. Fellow Quaker Stater Priscilla Ahn's breathy voice is pretty in the best sense of the word, a whispery, tone-pure instrument that matches the lilting folk-pop dominating her debut album, A Good Day (Blue Note). She can sound a little coy, especially when her lyrics flirt with girlish reveries. But interesting angles reveal themselves as the songs seep in, such as the hints of carnivalesque dissonance in "Astronaut" and her swirling multi-tracked vocals on "Red Cape." $22-$25. 7:30 p.m. 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul; 651.690.6700. —Rick Mason

TUESDAY 11.11

Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman

Fine Line Music Cafe

For a Harvard chap, Tom Morello certainly offers plenty of plebian dissent. The Ivy Leaguer's accolades are nearly too numerous to mention, and he's certainly one of the few rock guitarists to carry as much political notoriety as musical fame. Rage Against the Machine shouldn't waste too much precious ink or paper—their impact upon an impressionable youth, both musically and culturally, is as extensively documented as Sarah Palin's campaign spending. What merits the most pertinent attention is Morello's acoustic turn as the Nightwatchman. Gone is the emulated turntablism that Morello eked out of his six-string in Rage, forgotten are the thudding power chords that padded his treasury in Audioslave. What remains is something much more naked and intellectually invasive. For all of Rage's romping and stomping, it's Morello on a beat-up Epiphone that makes his diatribes all the more percussive and real. With Boots Riley of the Coup. 18+. $25. 7 p.m. 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8100. —David Hansen

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