HEALTH, The Pet Shop Boys, and more

WEDNESDAY 9.16

Pet Shop Boys

State Theatre

Though their debut single, "West End Girls," hit number one on the charts in this country, Pet Shop Boys never seemed particularly concerned with dominating the American music scene. "Quite the opposite," laughs Chris Lowe, one half of the duo. "We called our first remix album Disco, knowing what a dirty word that [was] in America." Still, a string of top-10 songs followed. However, PSB were among the many '80s-era artists stampeded by grunge in the early '90s. A few years ago they had lunch with DJ Richard Blade, formerly of groundbreaking L.A. modern-rock station KROQ, who related an interesting anecdote about that time. "He told us that one day, the program director came in with a copy of [New Order's] Blue Monday and said, 'We are never playing this again!' And that was the end of that, really." Unlike many of their contemporaries who have settled for being nostalgia acts, Lowe and musical Partner Neil Tennant have soldiered on into the 21st century. This past spring they released their 10th studio album, Yes, to popular and critical acclaim. In a typical PSB twist, the duo find themselves enjoying doing live performances more and more, something that tends to wear on other artists. "It's really a euphoric show in four acts," Lowe explains. "It's a lot of fun to do, and [playing live] is something we've gotten really confident at." $40-$55. 8 p.m. 824 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.339.7007. —P.F. Wilson

Roger McGuinn

Pet Shop Boys promise "a euphoric show in four acts"
Pet Shop Boys promise "a euphoric show in four acts"

Cedar Cultural Center

Whenever you hear a ringing, jangly guitar sound emanating from bands crisscrossing genres from rock to folk and country, chances are the legacy leads directly back to Roger McGuinn and his 12-string Rickenbacker. The distinctive peel McGuinn coaxed from that guitar, an inspiration for generations of musicians, was also the clarion call of the Byrds, the McGuinn-led outfit that was a pioneer of folk rock (via muscular arrangements of traditional folk material as well as Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man") and later country rock (via the landmark album Sweetheart of the Rodeo). The Byrds last flew in the mid-'70s, but McGuinn (who, bizarrely, had changed his first name from Jim somewhere mid-flyte) maintained a long, solid but low-key solo career. For the past decade or so, McGuinn has been involved in what he dubbed the Folk Den Project: recording the traditional folk material ("Erie Canal" to "St. James Infirmary") that first inspired him and making it available on his website, an archive he continues adding to monthly. With Caroline Smith. $20/$22 at the door. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason

THURSDAY 9.17

HEALTH

7th St. Entry

Tonight, a pair of potent Lovepump United signees barnstorm the Twin Cities. L.A. foursome HEALTH, pimping their sophomore effort, Get Color, come correct with poppy, violet-red electro-noise your dad (and your dad's dad) could get down to. The group's sonics are as massive and expansive as their potential audience tent; no wonder Trent Reznor enlisted them to open for Nine Inch Nails on a tour last fall. Pictureplane, meanwhile, is the guise under which Denver's Travis Egedy turns out glammy, high-bpm synth-pop gems. His latest, Dark Rift, is as shamelessly addicting as it is squirm-inducing. Our advice to you? Drink a lot of water, or Gatorade, or Vitamin water, and bring comfortable shoes: You're gonna be dancing hard. With Juiceboxxx. 18+. $14. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Ray Cummings

The Proclaimers

Triple Rock Social Club

A pair of bespectacled Scottish twins, carrying acoustic guitars and singing in a thick brogue about how they'd walk many miles to win your love—sounds almost precious, right? While that may fit the Proclaimers at first glance, it's a fraction of the complete picture. The Reid brothers wear glasses and write pop songs, sure, but the catchy veneer of their tunes barely hides a radical political agenda, the rage of injustice bubbling just beneath the surface. While the band may be considered a one-hit wonder Stateside, across the pond they're a full-blown institution with a rabidly loyal fan base, one built on years of solid songwriting and a staunch aversion to selling out. But even when they're sounding a bit like the Gaelic Everly Brothers, the Proclaimers are firebrands at heart, raising both awareness and voices when they take the stage. 18+. $20. 8 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Ian Traas

FRIDAY 9.19

Lucinda Williams

First Avenue

The queen of Southern Gothic lyrics and roots that ramble from country to gospel, blues, and gritty rock, Lucinda Williams has become a cult icon, with her career now marking its 30th anniversary. To celebrate, she'll kick off a fall tour with this show at First Avenue that promises to cover material from every one of her nine studio albums, including last year's relatively upbeat Little Honey. And that'll just be a warm-up. In cities where she's playing multiple nights, including New York and Chicago, each night will focus on a different era of her career. It's that kind of ambitious vision that has added to her reputation as a perfectionist willing to bare her soul through her lyrics and put it all on the line as a performer. Backed by her band, Buick 6, the performances on this tour are likely to be the musical equivalent of passionate kisses. And speaking of passion, Williams will up the ante at her show in Minneapolis with a special addition: In between her regular set and her encore, Williams and fiancée Tom Overby (who is a Twin Cities native) will have their wedding ceremony right on the First Avenue stage. 21+. $30. 7 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Rick Mason

SATURDAY 9.19

B-Girl Be Block Party

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