WEDNESDAY 7.29

In Defence

Eclipse Records

In Defence's backstory is one for the history books. As the legend goes, the Twin Cities hardcore group was set to play its CD-release show at Nate's Dungeon in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Cops infiltrated the crowd at the house show and began shutting it down a few songs into the performance. A member of the crowd then came to the band's aid, announcing that In Defence could play at his place of work: a local Taco John's restaurant. Though better known for its Potato Oles and its commercials featuring Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey, on that night Taco John's became a makeshift punk venue. The band's spontaneous nature was on display again when In Defence played a shortened set at Eclipse Records earlier this year while wearing Friday the 13th-style hockey masks (before being attacked by zombies who stormed the stage). Who knows what will happen this time around, but it wouldn't be a stretch to expect something memorable from this self-proclaimed "taco punk" band. With Suburban Smash, Sinks, Bring That Shit, and Amort. All ages. $6. 6 p.m.1922 University Ave., St. Paul; 651.645.7724. Chris DeLine

THURSDAY 7.30

Awesome Snakes

7th St. Entry

It's been three years since the Soviettes went on hiatus and Annie Awesome and Danny Snake started up their deliriously catchy side project, Awesome Snakes—and against all odds, the duo are still regularly proclaiming their love for all things awesome and snake-like at venues across town. If you aren't sure what's so great about snakes, Annie will give you plenty of reasons why they are "A-W-E-S-O-M-E, awesome!" while simultaneously threatening the jerks who doubt her love for all things serpentine ("You Don't Like Snakes, I Don't Like You"). Danny holds it together on the drums and shouts along while Annie plucks her bass and shrieks, and they play with a seriousness that sharply contrasts the silly nature of their music. At this rate, even if the Soviettes never resurface, we'll be happy hearing Annie and Danny come up with even more ways to expound on this already, ahem, awesome theme. With Coconut Coolouts and Personal and the Pizzas. 18+. $6. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. Andrea Swensson

FRIDAY 7.31

Solid Gold

Minnesota Zoo Weesner Amphitheater

While every year another set of musicians get labeled the next big thing to break out of the Twin Cities, this past year has seen one rise above all others: Solid Gold. Within the span of a little over a year the group of electronic-rockers have made the transition from headlining shows at the Uptown Bar to First Avenue's main stage. They took their show on the road, and around the world. The band's full-length debut, Bodies of Water, saw its initial international run of the release (on the prestigious Rough Trade label, nonetheless) sell out overseas, and the band was boosted by press from such outlets as NME. Now Solid Gold is returning home from a summer full of festival dates throughout Sweden and the U.K. Not to go overboard with the hyperbole, but this might be one of the few remaining dates the band plays in the Twin Cities before Solid Gold proves those "next big thing" statements to be true. With the Pines and Jeremy Messersmith. All ages. $18. 7:30 p.m. 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley; 952.431.9200. —Chris DeLine

Paul Cebar

Lee's Liquor Lounge

It's always a pleasure to hear Paul Cebar, but especially so in summer, when his vast array of scintillating grooves—mostly from places that are hot in temperature or temperament—seem all the more sunny and fraught with steamy intrigue. A typical Cebar set definitely takes in New Orleans, various points in the Caribbean from Havana to Trinidad, Memphis and Muscle Shoals, maybe Sierra Leone and Mali in Africa, and, generally, vintage soul, R&B, and gospel from virtually anywhere. A tireless wanderer in the endless groove groves of great, underappreciated music, Cebar has an uncanny knack for turning up lost nuggets and making them sparkle even more with joyful interpretations. And his originals slip right into the mix. Cebar doesn't find his way into the studio all that often, so last year's Tomorrow Sound Now for Yes Music People will likely have to sustain fans for a while between performances. But not this week. It may take a while to get your head around that title, anyway. 21+. 9 p.m. $10. 101 Glenwood Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.9491. —Rick Mason

SATURDAY 8.1

Mos Def

First Avenue

Ten years after Mos Def's legendary pairing with Talib Kweli as Black Star, and his solo debut, Black on Both Sides, conscious-minded rap fans might've looked at his subsequent uneven catalog and started to wonder if their fondest memories of Mos Def in the '00s would consist mostly of his Chappelle's Show cameos. But after the divisive, rock-heavy experimentation of 2004's The New Danger and 2006's rushed-sounding, half-stepping True Magic, the rapper-turned-actor-who-still-raps wound up staging a comeback that's resulted in one of the year's most engagingly adventurous hip-hop records. The internationally minded The Ecstatic highlights Mos's mercury flow, fusing it to a heavy-hitting collection of psychedelic funk beats (via the always-on-point likes of Madlib, Oh No, and J Dilla) and reinforcing the still-vibrant career of an MC people almost forgot was great. With Jay Electronica. 18+. $33.50/$35 at the door. 6 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. Nate Patrin

Gear Daddies

Minnesota Zoo Weesner Amphitheater

They've "officially" been broken up since 1992, but the Gear Daddies find a way to get back together for a trip down Nostalgia Lane every couple of years or so. The Gears are the musical equivalent of Minnesota comfort food in a way: It always tastes generally the same, but you're different than the last time you had it, so there's something slightly new to be heard every time. The songs are all built around a few universal themes: girls and the joy and trouble they bring, drinking, a less than stellar childhood, and lastly—most importantly—their desire to live a bigger life than their small town (Austin, Minnesota) could offer them. The songs aren't difficult and contain few metaphors; lead singer Martin Zellar wears his heart on his sleeve, sometimes begging you to smash it in. The straightforward nature of his stories will pain you almost as much as they pained him, but when he's having fun you'll regret that you weren't there creating the stories with him. With the Janie Miller Band. All ages. $48. 7:30 p.m. 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley; 952.431.9200. Pat O'Brien

SUNDAY 8.2

Warped Tour

Canterbury Park

Now in its 15th year, the Vans Warped Tour is returning to the Twin Cities with an impressive lineup of nearly 70 bands. As with years gone by, the tour is largely constructed from a solid foundation of punk bands; this year the lineup includes such Warped Tour veterans as Anti-Flag, Less Than Jake, Bouncing Souls, and Bad Religion. But this year's tour also includes a few acts that land clear outside of the punk genre. Waylon Jennings's son Shooter is part of the tour, alongside two other notable outsiders. London, Ontario's Shad is an MC whose album The Old Prince was nominated for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize in 2008 (the album would eventually win a Juno award for Rap Recording of the Year). And the second familiar face for fans of the Twin Cities music scene is P.O.S. One of the few names on the tour signed on for every single Warped Tour stop (46 dates in total), P.O.S. should find the hometown crowd a refreshing boost, making his set one of the must-see performances at the festival. All ages. $34.80. 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. 1100 Canterbury Rd., Shakopee; 800.745.3000. —Chris DeLine

MONDAY 8.3

Hot Tuna

Guthrie Theater

Like many survivors of the 1960s' proverbial long, strange trip, guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady have maintained the journey, switching the itinerary and the means of transportation along with the intensity, certainly, but nevertheless still on the road. The pair played together as teenagers in the D.C. area, then reunited in San Francisco, where they became integral parts of one of the iconic psychedelic-era bands, the Jefferson Airplane. They started Hot Tuna as a side project where they could indulge their love for country blues and folk infiltrated with gospel, jazz, and bluegrass. That's still the core of their sound lo these many eons later. Hot Tuna's existence has ebbed and flowed, along with acoustic and electric emphases, and a succession of band members. Also along the way, Kaukonen's 2002 solo album Blue Country Heart was nominated for a Grammy. His latest, River of Time, recorded at Levon Helm's studio and released last winter on St. Paul's Red House Records, continues in a similar vein with fine covers of blues and country classics as well as a handful of deeply ruminative originals, all tricked out with exemplary picking. Expect a Tuna casserole of wide-ranging material, with bluegrass mandolinist Barry Mitterhoff joining Kaukonen and Casady. $30. 7:30 p.m. 818 S. Second St., Minneapolis; 612.377.2224. —Rick Mason

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