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

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

Intermedia Arts

After a year's hiatus, the B-Girl Be: A Celebration of Women in Hip-Hop summit has returned to Intermedia Arts with an ongoing art exhibit, dance workshops, and this weekend's day-long block party. In addition to dance, film, art, and a live mural painting (which will once again transform the exterior walls of the gallery), the block party will showcase a selection of female musicians. Spoken-word poet Tish Jones will kick off the day's performances, followed by a trifecta of hip-hop powerhouses teaming up for a performance called "Partners in Rhyme" that includes freestyle trio Bloody Black Eyes (Indigo, Miss Cellanious, and SpikaBoxxx), beatbox duo Ill Chemistry (Desdamona and Carnage), and Puerto Rican R&B/rap diva Maria Isa. The night caps off with a set by the mysteriously billed Twin Cities All-Stars—and we can only guess what surprises will be in store for attendees by the time these special headliners take the stage. With Katana, Akira Johnson, Black Pearl, Eternia (featuring Chesney Snow), and DJ Chela. All ages. $10-$20. Noon. 2822 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.871.4444. Andrea Swensson

SUNDAY 9.20

Sondre Lerche

Fine Line Music Cafe

When Norwegian singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche dropped onto the scene in 2002, he was something of a wunderkind, releasing an accomplished album of nuanced indie pop as he was just barely out of his teens. From that auspicious starting point, subsequent records leapt across a spectrum of styles, ranging from jazz-influenced sets that made him seem like the male Nellie McKay to grungier electric fare that turned some listeners' heads while turning off some of his early fans. But ability-wise, Lerche juggles all of these genres with aplomb, frustrating critics who are anxious to pin down what he should be doing with his prodigious talents. Attending this show could be a little like taking a pop-music snapshot, catching Lerche at a fleeting moment in his ever-changing career before he heads off on another path and we're left to catch up with him all over again. With JBM. 18+. $15/$17 at the door. 8 p.m. 318 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.338.8100. —Ian Traas

MONDAY 9.21

Alice in Chains

First Avenue

Of all the bands clustered under the too-wide umbrella of grunge music in the early '90s, Alice in Chains have aged better than most, probably in large part because they all but stopped producing new music in the middle of that decade. (Did you hear that, Scott Weiland and Pearl Jam?) Jerry Cantrell and Layne Staley's band was an odd fit for the grunge category anyway, eschewing punk-inspired rebellion in favor of a melodic twist on heavy metal. From 1992 to 1995 the band released three stellar records, Dirt, Jar of Flies, and an eponymous disc, before collapsing due to Staley's heroin addiction, which claimed his life in 2002. After a lengthy hiatus dotted with benefit shows and a few club dates featuring special guest singers, the band is back together in earnest, with William DuVall of Comes the Fall stepping in to provide lead vocals. The sold-out First Avenue show will take place just days before the release of their first all-new record in almost 15 years, Black Gives Way to Blue. That album's debut single, "Check My Brain," is a bit more of a straightforward rocker than the ominous, acoustic-tinged tunes of the Staley era. The metal influence is predominant, but that old sound is still there. 18+. $25. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. Bryan Miller

TUESDAY 9.22

Marcus Roberts Trio

Dakota Jazz Club

After making a name for himself in his early 20s as a member of Wynton Marsalis's band, jazz pianist Marcus Roberts issued a succession of albums as a leader while gaining a reputation for his versatility, playing solo, in small combos, in big bands, and with symphonies, as well as making a mark as a composer. His perspective—and his distinctive piano style—consistently incorporated elements of jazz history, reaching back to stride and ragtime as well as bop, but always looking forward at the same time. Roberts kept a low profile throughout most of the last decade, returning to his alma mater, Florida State, to teach and becoming an assistant professor. This spring he released his first album in eight years, the remarkable New Orleans Meets Harlem, Volume I, a 21st-century perspective on the evolution of jazz as early, visceral styles combined with more sophisticated, uptown virtuosity. He subsequently turned in a sparkling solo performance at the Dakota. Now he returns with the other members of his longtime trio, bassist Roland Guerin and drummer Jason Marsalis—both major leaguers in their own right—whose own lithe versatility helped make the new album so memorable. $35 at 7 p.m.; $25 at 9:30 p.m.1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010. Also Wednesday —Rick Mason

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