WEDNESDAY 5.13

Gene Ween

7th St. Entry

While he's been playing with Scott Metzger, Dave Dreiwitz, and Joe Russo recently as the Gene Ween Band, Gene Ween will be performing a rare pair of solo shows on back-to-back nights in the Twin Cities. The band has granted Gene a different approach to his music, a relationship similar to that between Primus and singer/bassist Les Claypool's many side projects, one that has allowed him to approach the unusual—if not bizarre—songs he's been playing for years in a new way. The band's stripped-down versions of Ween songs, Gene's mainstay since the mid-'80s, are a contrast to the songs' often wildly diverse originals. His solo shows, however, have historically gone a different direction altogether, with Gene playing sit-down acoustic renditions of Ween songs. It might not sound like much, but give credit where credit's due: Anyone who can lend the feeling of a campfire sing-along to swirling, twisted tunes like "Mutilated Lips" rightly deserves a bit of respect. 21+. $20. 9 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. Also Thursday at the Turf Club, 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. Chris DeLine

FRIDAY 5.15

Mike Watt & the Missingmen

7th St. Entry

Chances are good that even if you can't name a song by Mike Watt, you know of him. Chances are good that you've seen MTV's Jackass; its opening theme is a song called "Corona" that was originally released in 1984 by a band Watt played in by the name of the Minutemen. Chances are good that you've heard of the magazine Rolling Stone; "Corona" is one of the 45 songs on Double Nickels on the Dime, which Rolling Stone included on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (#411, just behind Wire's Pink Flag and ahead of Massive Attack's Mezzanine). Chances are good that you've heard of McNally Smith College of Music here in St. Paul; in 2005 the school developed the Mike Watt Bass Guitar Scholarship in honor of the legendary musician. Taking this short list of achievements into consideration, even if you haven't heard Watt or are unable to pick him out of a crowd, chances are good that you'd walk away from seeing Mike Watt and the Missingmen without a single regret. 18+. $10/$12 at the door. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Chris DeLine

Small White

Memory Lanes

Small White get an A for their class project on the history of rock 'n' roll. The local duo sound like they speed-read The Rock Snob's Dictionary and threw it on the funeral pyre with macho gusto the way they blow through genres, mixing breeds to see what kind of labradoodle mishap will flop out of their basement test tubes. "I Suck at Music" takes a stab at grunge and adds an infusion of frat-boy pop punk. "Internet Love Song" rips a shtick from mid-'90s pop with catchy fuzz and sing-along choruses. "I Was Sent Here 2 Fuk U" is deconstructed dance rock with Vocoder vocals, heavy synths, and bass snapped together to make something equally dark and weird. But Small White are none of these genres. They only wish to douse all these posturings and write a scathingly humorous commentary on all that is good and egregious with modern music's state of affairs. With Dudedawg and Eye of the Great Protector. 21+. Free. 10 p.m. 2520 26th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.721.6211. Erin Roof

SATURDAY 5.16

King Khan and the Shrines

Triple Rock Social Club

Notorious for their wild, occasionally nude live shows, King Khan and the Shrines have succeeded in building a sinister reputation in the States despite having a limited release history here. The Shrines are essentially a hodgepodge of characters that have joined over the years; the band's members range from French to German, from a cheerleader to acclaimed percussionist Ron Streeter (who has played with everyone from Bo Diddley to Curtis Mayfield to Stevie Wonder). King Khan himself is a Canadian-born spaz-soul singer who wails and thrashes about the stage looking like a sweaty, Indian Little Richard. Khan was in his first band at the age of 12, and set the foundation for the Shrines while playing in both the punk-inspired Maury Povitch Three and the Spaceshits. The latter group also included one half of the freak-out doo-wop duo King Khan & the BBQ Show, Mark Sultan. Sultan will also be playing tonight's show, along with local act France Has the Bomb. 18+. $15. 9 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Chris DeLine

Aaron and the Sea

7th St. Entry

The hook to Aaron and the Sea's delectable track "Singles Club" sounds a bit like what might result were Maroon 5 to have Franz Ferdinand's love child. To wit, it's jumpy, funky, and slick with soul. Happily, the track is representative of the other material found on the band's debut, Seconds and Shapes. Here, a lock-step rhythm section leads danceable '80s synth grooves, over which lead vocalist Aaron Rice and bassist/vocalist Mayda flow like so much melted butter. The band's prowess shocks at first; that is, until one digs into its members' impressive solo offerings and former bands (Heiruspecs, Kid Dakota). Formed in mid-2008, Aaron and the Sea wasted no time forging their first record, which shows no sign that haste made waste. Rather, the sound is solid, mature, and radio ready—whatever that means nowadays. With Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles, Military Special, and I Am the Break; He Is the Beat. 18+. $6. 9 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Will McClain

Lady Sovereign

Fine Line Music Café

Ah, grime. Remember grime? (Or garage? Whatever.) The U.K.-based hip-hop subgenre was gonna change everything the same way U.K.-based electronica—hallelujah hollaback, Prodigy!—was going to steamroll rock-rap back in 1997. Didn't happen, but at least we got Lady Sovereign out of the deal: a pint-sized she-MC with a razor-tongued flow and the questionable fashion sense of a teenager—which made sense, because she was a teenager. She had absolutely nothing to say, but on '06 debut Public Warning, she said it in a way that was exhilarating to behold. Sov's sugared-up, filthy rhymes didn't exactly bum-rush the charts, so it's not surprising that sequel Jigzaw finds her more or less taming that Tasmanian Devil whiplash, communicating in a style that's by and large conversational and a bit—wha?—flirtatious. In short, she wants to be a pop star now. Why not? With Chester French and Hollywood Holt. All ages. $16/$18 at the door. 5 p.m. 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8100. Ray Cummings

SUNDAY 5.17

Fall Out Boy

Roy Wilkins Auditorium

Fall Out Boy have a problem the Phoenixes and Mastodons of the world would love to have, and that folks like Kanye West can relate to all too well: They won. No emo-punk-pop group has managed to garner greater cultural cachet. Jay-Z endorsed 'em. Lyricist/bassist/gadfly Pete Wentz married and had a son with pop star Ashlee Simpson. They're on a massive world tour that will feature 50 Cent on some stops—a formerly titanic rapper who's in need of their luck and influence to get back on the road to relevance. So Fall Out Boy are simply too big to fail, now, and while their obscenely catchy (and increasingly creative) musings on fame, love, and self-regard continue to impress, you've gotta wonder: Where do they go from here? Political posturing? The dreaded side-project restlessness? Sifting through film scripts? Think of it this way: Fall Out Boy find themselves where Linkin Park were, post-Meteora. And that's not necessarily a fun place to be. All ages. $35. 7 p.m. 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651.989.5151. —Ray Cummings

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