Lyle Lovett, Future of the Left, and more

WEDNESDAY 7.22

Foreign Born

7th St. Entry

L.A.'s Foreign Born are tough to pin down, stylistically. On new album Person to Person, the foursome takes gooey globs from various genres—world-music polyrhythmics; shoegaze glint; a touch of beetle-browed, post-Radiohead gloom; some ace Strokes-ian dynamics—and squishes them into a sound that feels as earnestly urgent and alive as anything else that's happening in rock right now. I do wish that vocalist Matt Popieluch didn't remind me so damned much of Bono—part of this is probably down to whatever vocal effect was employed to make the guy sound like he's wearing a halo and tooling around with huge white wings on his back—but the constant presence of kitchen-sink percussion tactics and bright, rippling guitar leads more than makes up for this. Seriously: If groupies aren't breaking guitarist Lewis Pesacov and drummer Garrett Ray off some at after-parties, there's no justice in this world. With the Veils and Faces on Film. 18+. $10. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. Ray Cummings

Future of the Left

Turf Club

The band formed from the ashes of McLusky may have ditched the awesomely hilarious album titles (McLusky Do Dallas, The Difference Between Me & You Is That I'm Not on Fire), but fortunately, it hasn't shed much else. Future of the Left retains McLusky's fist-pumping, post-hardcore, bizarre lyrics, as well as its reputation as a top-shelf live act. The band's latest, Travels with Myself and Another, improves on the careening debut, Curses, while adding more overtly melodic touches. The bouncy guitar hook that propels "The Hope That House Built" is strongly reminiscent of the Broadway-esque salvos on Against Me!'s New Wave—not all that surprising considering they toured with the band in 2008. Just don't expect the concessions to accessibility on Travels to be audible from the stage, where blunt force always—and rightly—wins out. 21+. $10/$12 at the door. 8 p.m. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. Jonathan Garrett

THURSDAY 7.23

Lyle Lovett

State Theatre

Lyle Lovett, the quirky Texan with the arid wit and virulent cult following, dubbed his last album It's Not Big It's Large. Presumably referring to his extraordinarily versatile and finely honed band, the title also suggests the vast sweep of Lovett's sound, which only begins in the corral with country and slivers of Western swing. Despite any insistence to the contrary, his Large outfit has all the attributes of a classic big band, tackling jazz and jump blues with aplomb, as well as moseying into such stuff as cowboy chamber folk and gospel, the latter especially thriving thanks to the phenomenal vocals of Francine Reed, Sweet Pea Atkinson, Harry Bowens, and Willie Greene. Lovett's dusty voice, meanwhile, oozes sly irony, as do many of his lyrics. There haven't been a lot of new ones lately, however. Big/Large, released in 2007, was only Lovett's second release of new songs in a decade, although he's reportedly been working on a new album that's due in the fall—so there may be a sneak preview of material that's maybe not new it's fresh. $46.50-$49.50. 8 p.m. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.339.7007. —Rick Mason

Steve Earle

Pantages Theatre

Even if you didn't know Townes Van Zandt was such a friend and mentor to Steve Earle that Earle named his son Justin Townes Earle, you could instinctively sense it in Earle's music. As much a poet as anyone who ever wrote a song, Van Zandt had a knack for zeroing in on essences of human nature—bittersweet, haunting, sad, sometimes funny, or expressing joy at such simple pleasures as the sweetness of springtime. As much as he's an iconoclast, Earle also appreciates all those folk, bluegrass, and country roots, and is enough of a poet and pursuer of truth himself to know a master when he hears one. Thus, Townes, Earle's remarkable tribute to Van Zandt, is even more than that. He doesn't really claim Van Zandt's songs as his own as much as inhabits them; Pancho, Lefty, Townes, and Steve seem to be riding the trail together. Townes comes with two discs, one featuring Earle's vocals and solo guitar, as he will appear here. The other has additional instrumentation, making the tracks bloom with bluegrass ("White Freightliner Blues"), Delta blues ("Brand New Companion"), or grungy rock ("Lungs"), thanks to the varying presences of the likes of Tim O'Brien and Tom Morello. Outside Townes returning over the River Styx, you couldn't ask for a better interpreter than Earle. $28.50-$33.50. 7 p.m. 710 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.339.7007. —Rick Mason

SATURDAY 7.25

999

Triple Rock Social Club

While there are many bands who helped shape the face of punk, lots of them are rarely recognized for their work. Including bands such as Wire or Sham 69, the list of groups who helped steer the direction of the genre is a lengthy one. Another band of such caliber is 999—and unlike those previously mentioned, the opportunity to see them live still exists. Once given the stamp of approval by the legendary English DJ John Peel, 999 would see many ebbs and flows throughout their lengthy career, disbanding multiple times only to re-assemble shortly after the breakups. As their last studio album, Death in Soho, was released in 2007, 999 have had a lengthy career that places them alongside bands like the Dickies in terms of consistency throughout the years. Even more impressive is the size of their back catalog: Though they never received the same level of commercial success as their contemporaries, 999's lengthy list of releases puts most bands to shame. With Duane Peters Gunfight, Everybody Out!, Stigma, and Jakked Rabbits. 18+. $15/$18 at the door. 8 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. Chris DeLine

SUNDAY 7.26

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