First Avenue

Following a triumphant performance at last September's All Tomorrow's Parties festival in New York, a message was posted on Mogwai's website clarifying that the band had been forced to cancel the remaining dates of its North American tour due to health concerns. The news was unfortunate for the Twin Cities, as one of those dates was a gig at First Avenue. Fortunately for fans, however, the band later rescheduled, and the complications surrounding drummer Martin Bulloch's pacemaker seem to have been resolved. Not to make light of a life-threatening illness, but this whole situation does say something about the Scottish band of instrumental post-rockers: They are willing to play until their hearts give out—literally. Joining Mogwai will be Women, a Canadian band that was just in town last month for a show at the Triple Rock. 18+. $16/$18 at the door. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Chris DeLine

Loney, Dear

Cedar Cultural Center

Loney, Dear, the nom de plume of Swedish singer-songwriter Emil Svanngen, has come an incredibly long way in six short years. Writing and recording his debut album in his parents' basement in 2003, Svanngen would later be signed by Seattle's legendary Sub Pop records in 2006 and go on to tour with the likes of Of Montreal, the Sea and the Cake, and Andrew Bird. In acknowledging the formula that elevated him to his newfound success, Svanngen has since remained consistent in retaining both the warm sound of his music and his bedroom-production aesthetic by recording in his studio apartment in Stockholm. Drafting a complete five-piece band for his live show, Svanngen's layered sound is developed into a fully realized replication of the multi-instrumentalist's robust production. Accompanying Loney, Dear will be Champaign, Illinois, trio Headlights. All ages. $10/$12 at the door. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Chris DeLine

MONDAY 5.11

The Kills/the Horrors

First Avenue

The sparse, wiry tension at the heart of the Kills' sound may have been honed via cross-Atlantic exchanges between Englishman Jamie Hince and Floridian Alison Mosshart, growing out of their respective garage-punk obsessions. But fundamentally the duo whacks away at the raw, gritty pulse of the blues in all its stark, primal glory, amid seminal concerns about life, death, mayhem, and lust. Knowingly or not, the pair's early material, including their just-re-released debut, Keep on Your Mean Side, was rooted at least as much in the Mississippi Delta as in South London. By the time Midnight Boom was released last year, their minimalist intensity had been tempered with infiltrations of sneaky pop elements, a broader sound palette, and less harrowing emotions. The gothic punk of the U.K.'s the Horrors is caught up in sweeping waves of off-kilter synth and organ bombast on their second album, Primary Colours, coming across best when lacerated by guitars. While singer Faris Badwan channels the haughty grandeur of Boris Karloff, campy storms of billowy instrumentation suggest the Cramps produced by Vincent Price. Openers the Nashville-based Magic Wands are another duo—cryptically identified as Dexy and Chris—who play a sly, shimmery brand of pop-rock that's flooded with atmospheric effervescence. 18+. $12/$14 at the door. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Rick Mason

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

Xcel Energy Center

If Springsteen's last two studio albums with the E Street Band, The Rising and Magic, were responses to a pair of unmitigated disasters (the WTC terrorist attack and Dubya's White House), then Working on a Dream is a note of cautious optimism in a world still full of uncertainty but at least headed in the right direction. On the title cut, his voice soaring like Roy Orbison's, Springsteen sings about the dream's elusiveness and "trouble...feel(ing) like it's here to stay," but eventually breaks into a sunny whistle, buoyed by soulful horns and a '60s-styled vocal chorus. Still, a certain diffidence overshadows many of the positive feelings. The taut rocker "What Love Can Do" asserts the power of love amid snarling guitars. But "Queen of the Supermarket" hints at desperation. The restless "Life Itself," full of ringing guitars and rhythms scrambling over themselves, asks "Why do the things that we treasure most slip away in time?" The folky shuffle "Tomorrow Never Knows" feels adrift. And a measure of sadness creeps into Springsteen's full-bodied vocals even on straightforward declarations of love like "This Life" and "Kingdom of Days." Only a handful of the new songs are making their way into sets on the current tour, which if anything seems to ride a theme of tough resiliency, kicking off with "Badlands" and concluding with some combination of "Hard Times," "American Land," and "Land of Hope and Dreams." In between have been wide-ranging forays to every corner of the Springsteen catalogue, plus requests segments yielding covers of tunes by the Ramones, ZZ Top, Social Distortion, and John Fogerty. Another anomaly has been 18-year-old Jay Weinberg subbing for his father, Max, on drums on a handful of tunes each night. Later in the tour, Jay will take over full-time while Max helps Conan O'Brien debut his Tonight Show run in L.A. $67-$97. 7:30 p.m. 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651.726.8240. —Rick Mason

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