Eric Clapton, the Offspring, and more

THURSDAY 6.18

Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood

Xcel Energy Center

In 1969, Eric Clapton was already well established as a guitar god—if not the prime deity himself—while Steve Winwood had been cranking up his soulful voice, along with notable keyboard and guitar work, directing Traffic. Clapton's Cream had soured and Traffic was at a momentary standstill. So they went on Blind Faith, recruiting bassist Rick Grech from Family and drummer Ginger Baker, who had been in Cream with Clapton. Among the first supergroups, Blind Faith nevertheless fractured in less than a year after a single album and tour. Forty years later, Clapton and Winwood are sharing stages again, performing four of the six songs in the sparse Blind Faith catalog, along with nuggets from Traffic, their solo careers, and scattered covers of Jimi Hendrix and blues standards. Backed by bassist Willie Weeks, keyboardist Chris Stainton, and drummer Ian Thomas, Clapton and Winwood sound damn fine performing this now-classic repertoire on the double CD Live from Madison Square Garden, recorded a year ago when they returned to keeping the Faith in New York City. Expect the same here: consummate professionalism and a classically burnished sound, and if the sparks and highlights are somewhat predictable, they'll be thoroughly welcome all the same. $75-$150. 8 p.m. 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651.726.8240. —Rick Mason

FRIDAY 6.19

The Offspring/Dropkick Murphys

Roy Wilkins Auditorium

After a four-year touring hiatus, the Offspring are hitting the road in support of last year's album, Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace. They're headlining the 40-date Shit Is Fucked Up Tour (yes, that's seriously what it's called), on which they'll be taking a host of high-profile bands as supporting acts, ranging from Sum 41 to Pennywise to the Dropkick Murphys. Since catapulting to success with 1994's Smash, the best-selling independent album of all time, the Offspring have become one of the most successful mainstream bands to cheekily brandish punk on their commercial endeavors. Singles such as "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)," "Why Don't You Get a Job?" and "Original Prankster" helped keep the band in the mainstream consciousness as the Offspring continued to manufacture songs with unabashed irreverence—a trait that their music maintains to this day. Opening will be L.A.'s Time Again. $39.50-$42.50. 6:30 p.m. 175 W Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651.989.5151. Chris DeLine

SATURDAY 6.20

The Trashmen and the Castaways

Minnesota State Fairgrounds

As far as the entertainment goes, the Minnesota Street Rod Association's Back to the '50s Bash has a faulty timing belt. The Trashmen and the Castaways are not the breeders of rock 'n' roll, but rather the younger brothers who, a decade later, tied a bottle rocket to a good idea and blasted it up the charts. The two bands performing at the auto show are the stuff of legends—rag-tag local boys who made it big thanks to a little bit of luck, a lung-full of the heathen spirit, and some damn good songs. The Trashmen's "Surfin' Bird" pa-pa-mow-ed itself to the feet of generations, who danced to the original and then to famous covers by the Ramones, the Cramps, and others. Likewise, the Castaways, whose song "Liar Liar" sold a million copies, have been featured in the soundtracks for Good Morning, Vietnam and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and continue to impress music lovers young and old. $10. 6:30 p.m. 1265 Snelling Avenue N., St. Paul; 651.288.4400. Erin Roof

SUNDAY 6.21

Hiromi

Dakota Jazz Club

Japanese pianist Hiromi Uehara can knock you out with her phenomenal technique, lightning-fast velocity, rhythmic sense, free-flowing compositions that seem to rifle through jazz history and rocket into the stratosphere, and even her renegade interpretive prowess. That last quality surfaced quite dramatically on her most recent album, 2008's Beyond Standard, on which she and her formidable band, Sonicbloom, tackled an eclectic array of standards ranging from Ellington's "Caravan" and Debussy's "Clair de Lune" to Jeff Beck's "Led Boots" and the Japanese song known stateside as "Sukiyaki," thoroughly revising each with maverick blends of bop, avant-garde pop, and raging jazz-rock fusion. Much of the drama comes from the interaction of Hiromi's keyboard and David Fiuczynski's guitar pyrotechnics, although they can also match one another lyrically. Spiky rhythms and abrupt time changes also fascinate Hiromi; both are adroitly handled by drummer Martin Valihora and bassist Tony Grey. The result is exciting, visceral jazz without boundaries. Hiromi will perform with Sonicbloom at the Dakota, shortly before the release of two new performance DVDs: Hiromi Live in Concert, a trio set recorded in Tokyo in 2005, and Hiromi's Sonicbloom Live in Concert, from a 2007 Tokyo show that also included Fiuczynski. $25 at 7 p.m.; $20 at 9:30 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010. —Rick Mason

MONDAY 6.22

The Germs

Triple Rock Social Club

Can one claim that a band blazed fiercely but briefly if said group reforms without a key member? MIA: The Complete Anthology—the Germs' entire discography, almost, spanning 1977 to 1980—is one of those first-wave punk-era documents that feels so definitive in its lopsided, fuck-you velocity that the very idea of attempting to reignite its seminal spark feels sacrilegious. The band broke up before original vocalist Darby Crash ended his life in 1980 at age 22, but reunited a few years ago with actor Shane West—who portrayed Crash in the Germs biopic What We Do Is Secret—attempting to replicate Crash's chewing-on-broken glass yell. Understandably, punk purists and assorted keepers-of-the-DIY-flame have balked at the idea of the dude who wound up with Neela on ER and who Mandy Moore tamed in teeny-bop embarrassment A Walk to Remember fronting the L.A. foursome, but, you know, guitarist Pat Smear did time with Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, and just think of the potential "The Germs" now possess as a Six Degrees of Separation game subject. The mind boggles. With Krum Bums and Virgin Whores. 18+. $15. 8 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. Ray Cummings

TUESDAY 6.23

X

Cabooze

Los Angeles punk romantics X have been reuniting to tour with their original lineup for longer than they were initially together—and why not? Having taught rock 'n' roll a thing or two about male-female harmony, desperate loving, and metallic rockabilly, they now teach the preserving power of sexy energy, never mind that co-vocalist Exene Cervenka finally left Los Angeles (for Missouri) or that all four members continue with quieter projects, separate or overlapping. Recent years have seen the release of 1986's classic documentary X: The Unheard Music on DVD, along with a fresh live album and video that compare amazingly well. There are even new X songs in progress, the first since 1993. But not all is good news: On June 2, Cervenka announced that she is suffering from multiple sclerosis. "[M]any people remain strong and continue to live their lives as productively as they had before an MS diagnosis," reads her statement at xtheband.com, "and I plan to be one of those people." Visit the site for more, and vote for your five favorite X songs while you're there: In a bit of anti-ageist, fair-use cheek, X are dubbing this their "Total Request Live!" tour, allowing fans to determine set lists in each city. With Steve Soto & the Twisted Hearts. 21+. $20/$22 at the door. 8 p.m. 917 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.6425. Peter S. Scholtes

Phoenix

Varsity Theater

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix aims for an appeal as populist as Phoenix's garage-pop will allow. With their third album, the French quartet simply polish their sound, but do so to brilliant effect on lithe, radiant singles "1901" and "Listozmania." Comparisons to the Strokes are perhaps inevitable and certainly not unwarranted, but where the sterling sheen of the Strokes' third album, courtesy of Dave Kahne, was applied in service of nonexistent melodies, Amadeus's production only underscores Phoenix's hook-laden songwriting. The breezy simplicity on display throughout arguably belies the band's efforts—creating something this buoyant yet memorable is no easy task. But in this case, ignorance truly is bliss. And those who have been lured to attend by the recent radio singles are in for a pleasant surprise: Phoenix's back catalog isn't too shabby, either. With Amazing Baby. 18+. $15. 8 p.m. 1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. Jonathan Garrett

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