WEDNESDAY 5.6

Richard Lloyd & the Sufimonkey Trio

Uptown Bar & Café

While many of their punk peers were challenging the very idea of lead guitar, Television's Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd turned into one of the great dueling-guitar bands, playing tricky interlocking figures, astral improvs, and upper-neck fusillades of rare beauty. Lloyd's also a notable session guy; his butcher's-knife chords and tortuous leads helped drive Matthew Sweet's string of '90s hits. As a leader, he's not the world's most pitch-perfect singer or its sharpest lyricist, but he croons or yells 'em like he means 'em, and his handful of solo albums hit more than they miss. His 1979 debut, Alchemy, is boyish power-pop with lots of period synths and pretty melodies, "Blue and Grey" being the mix-tape winner, and the title track of 1985's Field of Fire has a sheets-of-sound solo that might have you glimpsing the marquee moon. Recent blues-rock temper tantrums like "Monkey" from 2007's The Radiant Monkey find his powers undiminished. Expect much salivating from the guitar geeks up front, and expect it to be justified. With Speed's the Name and Faux Jean. $10. 9 p.m. 3018 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.823.4719. Dylan Hicks

THURSDAY 5.7

Beach Boys

Grand Casino Mille Lacs

Yes, you read the headline correctly. The Beach Boys are still together (well, a few of them anyway) and playing the casino circuit. Hot off last year's private appearance at the Republican National Convention, remaining Beach Boys Mike Love and Bruce Johnston continue to tour the country in the name of California girls everywhere, this time to promote yet another best-of compilation, Summer Love Songs. While bandmate Brian Wilson has long since moved on, Love and Johnston continue to milk the cash cow that is the Beach Boys legacy, giving baby boomers nationwide the chance to see the band live again—sort of. Who knows? Maybe John Stamos will jump in on drums, like he used to back in his Full House days. With the band's rotating cast of stand-in musicians, anything could happen. $35-$42. 8 p.m. 777 Grand Ave., Onamia; 800.626.5825. Andrea Swensson

FRIDAY 5.8

Cursive

First Avenue

With each successive release, Cursive seem to further cement themselves as an increasingly important band while quietly moving away from the emo label they'd been saddled with early on in their careers—a label that's often as meaningless as it is damaging. On Mama, I'm Swollen, their sixth album, Tim Kasher and company explore family and the inherent guilt that comes from simply growing up in one. It's not as inspired as it thinks it is, but that hardly means it's a bad album. Cursive's releases are so aesthetically disparate from one to the next it's often difficult to make heads or tails of much of their work right out of the gate. The songs often must be listened to as a collection, with the album consumed in its entirety several times for any sort of cohesion to begin to take place. In this era of iPods, that's a bit to their detriment, but kudos to them for not bending to the irritating trend of "a la carte" listening habits and creating works that are more Big Picture rather than two singles and a bunch of filler. With the Berg Sans Nipple. 18+. $12/$14 at the door. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. Pat O'Brien

Killswitch Engage

Target Center

Whether you call it melodic hardcore, metalcore, or simply metal, Killswitch Engage has been one of the few bands this past decade to successfully make the step into the mainstream while still retaining widespread critical acclaim. The band's forthcoming album, its second self-titled release, is the first that they've worked on with producer Brendan O'Brien (AC/DC, Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine) and is one of the most anticipated releases in the genre this year. Killswitch Engage will be featured alongside the likes of Lacuna Coil and Chimaira as Disturbed's "Music Is a Weapon Tour" takes off across the nation, offering fans a multifaceted concertgoing experience. Billed as a music, tattoo, and lifestyle festival, the tour also offers up a freestyle motorcross/BMX/skate team showcase, a gaming zone, and, last but not least, a selection of the nation's finest tattoo artists, on call and ready to serve. Forget souvenir T-shirts and oversized foam fingers, real fans get a tattoo to mark the occasion. $39.75. 7 p.m. 600 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.673.0900. Chris DeLine

SATURDAY 5.9

Jeremy Messersmith and KaiserCartel

Cedar Cultural Center

Jeremy Messersmith has that certain je ne sais quoi. His sad lyrics/happy melody coupling isn't brand-new, but it's done in a way that conjures images of a still-upright Elliott Smith performing songs intended for Brian Wilson or A.C. Newman—not a bad spot to be in, all told. Last year's sophomore effort, The Silver City, a charming love letter to Minneapolis that never got mushy or contrived, made it onto many local critics' best-of lists for good reason. Messersmith's lyrics are ultra-smart and literate like Colin Meloy's, without being off-putting the way the latter's so often are; the melodies are simple without ever being cheesy or too precious for their own good. In short, it's intelligent music that can be enjoyed without a dictionary close at hand. It's easy to enjoy on its own merits, and that's commendable. With folk duo KaiserCartel. $8/$10 at the door. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Pat O'Brien

SUNDAY 5.10

Mogwai

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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