THURSDAY 3.12

Grant Hart

7th St. Entry

The word "stalwart" applies to few people as well as it does to Grant Hart. Since co-founding Hüsker Dü in 1979, Hart has been almost constantly active in one musical project or another. Hart has suffered a bit, much of his later work being judged simply as "not Hüsker Dü," which is unfortunate given the free reign former bandmate Bob Mould has been allowed and the degree to which he has been lauded. Some of Hart's work has been better received than others, but it has all been indicative of one thing: growth as an artist. Sure, the buzz-saw guitar rears its beautiful, eardrum-splitting head now and then, but Hart's work ventures into acoustic territory with dissonant, weirdo soundscapes here and there, too. You never know what might happen at a Grant Hart show, but it's always interesting (and not just interesting in that condescending Minnesota Nice way, either). Expect a show full of surprises and quick, jarring left turns. With Baby Guts. 18+. $6. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Pat O'Brien

FRIDAY 3.13

Raphael Saadiq

Lounging around with psych rockers Black Lips
Zach Wolfe
Lounging around with psych rockers Black Lips

Fine Line Music Cafe

Raphael Saadiq's flights of musical fancy are so fluid and light of touch that fans didn't necessarily know what to expect from last year's The Way I See It, his first entry in the retro-soul sweepstakes—Saadiq applied to an Amy Winehouse canvas? What they got was a fully and lovingly re-imagined take on the Holland-Dozier-Holland-era Motown sound, with punching drums, cleaner guitar, and enough maneuvering room for '70s Marvin Gaye funk, Spanish doo-wop, and even some dirty talk (the irresistible "Let's Take a Walk"). Only the bouncy Katrina eulogy "Big Easy" feels like a form/content mismatch: Everything else is his best since the peaks of Tony! Toni! Toné! and Lucy Pearl, with a place in heaven for the Stevie Wonder harmonica solo. Live, he brings a band, and not just the one-man version he uses in the studio. 18+. $22/$25 at the door. 8 p.m. 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8100. —Peter S. Scholtes

John Swardson and Get Gone

Uptown Bar & Cafe

The guy and his guitar (and sometimes his backing band) has been done to death, but every so often something new comes along and demands that people take notice. John Swardson and Get Gone are the latest band in this vein to rear their bearded, denim-jacketed selves, and have quietly started garnering accolades. Swardson and company have played only a handful of live shows in the past couple of years due to multiple lineup changes, but this stellar dream of a triple bill should finally start the ball rolling the right direction. The sharp lyrics and occasionally quirky arrangements should quickly lay to rest any "Oh, it's just another guy strumming his guitar and wailing about life"-type reservations you may have, and by the end of the set you'll find yourself wanting more. It's easily accessible while not having been constructed out of easily identifiable, recycled material. Sure, the usual influences are there, but they're referred to on the sly, instead of being used as a shopping excursion. With the Rockford Mules and the Evening Rig. 21+. $5. 9 p.m. 3018 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.823.4719. —Pat O'Brien

SATURDAY 3.14

Tricky

Fine Line Music Cafe

Forget trip-hop, hip-hop, alternative, dance, whatever—Tricky is his own damn genre. This elusive British artist has a made a career out of blending dark, mesmerizing, layered beats with even darker, paranoid lyrics, delivered with disconcerting juxtaposition by sweet-voiced female guest vocalists, or occasionally in his own guttural sing-speak. From his early days in Massive Attack to the breakout success of his 1995 solo debut, Maxinquaye, (which featured the jaw-dropping cover/reinvention of the Public Enemy tune "Black Steel") and onward to a wildly unpredictable millennial trio of albums, Tricky has continually mocked convention while defying categorization. His fierce, taut new album, Knowle West Boy, has been hailed as a return to form, but with Tricky, "form" is a temporary situation. A true musical original with few antecedents and even fewer successors, Tricky simply can't be boxed in. Don't miss the chance to see him push the boundaries of the genre he has created. With the Floacist. 18+. $26.50/$31.50 at the door. 8 p.m. 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8100. —Catherine Clements

Awesome Snakes

Hexagon Bar

One might wonder just how many songs about snakes two dopes can write. The answer is quite surprising. From "I Want a Snake" to "The Future of the Snake Industry," Awesome Snakes might as well be herpetologists. Herpetologists, for the unschooled, are professionals who study snakes. But I know what you're thinking. And it's true: Awesome Snakes are like herpes—and they will ravage your groin like punk-rock sexual predators. Ouch. I mean, "Oooh." Annie Awesome and Danny Snakes, both formerly of the Soviettes, attack venom-style with fuzzed-out, stripped-down poison fluid, showing their fangs while ripping through nasally vocals and cheerleading choruses. Can I get an "S?" Can I get an "N?" Oh, whatever. Just go to their show. But don't forget your protective snake gear—because if one of those fuckers doesn't bite you, someone else will. With Red Pens, Strut and Shock, and Box Thieves. 21+. Free. 9 p.m. 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.722.3454. —Erin Roof

SUNDAY 3.15

Madeleine Peyroux

Pantages Theatre

For better or worse (and the jury is definitely on the side of the former), Billie Holiday is intrinsically linked to Madeleine Peyroux. A pair of wondrous voices sharing timbres, phrasing, and a sly melancholy, both work in painterly washes of muted colors characterized by mysterious shades of blues and jazz. Peyroux absorbed the work of Holiday and other vintage jazz and blues artists while busking in Paris in her youth, and continues to evoke their spirits while forging her own path, which is unfolding to find her an interpreter of original material rather than covers. Peyroux had a hand in writing all the songs on her new Bare Bones, collaborating with the likes of producer Larry Klein, Joe Henry, and Steely Dan's Walter Becker. What emerges over the 11 tracks is a sort of existential life philosophy, cautiously optimistic even while dealing with the residuals of various losses: loves, lives, dreams, possessions. As with Holiday, much of Bare Bones has a sophisticated after-hours vibe. One exception is "You Can't Do Me," which rides a jaunty, Steely Dan-like groove. All ages. $34-$41. 7:30 p.m. 710 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.339.7007. —Rick Mason

MONDAY 3.16

Black Lips

Turf Club

Black Lips have been known to puke onstage, using their bluesy psych rock less like a shtick and more like a lifestyle. The Atlanta band used to play as if their amps came prepackaged with reverb knobs turned up to 10. But their new release, 200 Million Thousand, shows they want to grow up, get a good producer, and perhaps not cover the front row in their last eight lagers and digestive fluids. Though they are still unconcerned with the vocals being on key, the group does seem more together, with riffs actually audible through the fuzz. Does this mean the boys will start wearing ties and saving up for Volvos? Probably not, considering they were chased out of India in January after stripping naked during a gig and making out with each other. The music may be toned down, but claiming to have a more professional ethic can't mask insanity. And Black Lips are ready to spew their craziness all over St. Paul—probably on your faces. With Gentleman Jesse & His Man and Vampire Hands. 21+. $13. 9 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Erin Roof

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