Sunny Day Real Estate, D12, and Dan Wilson


Sunny Day Real Estate

First Avenue

For good or ill, Sunny Day Real Estate pretty much invented the genre known as emo. When Sub Pop released Diary in 1994, the album seemed a logical evolution from Nirvana, albeit introducing an ethereal, pretty quality to the vocals, which dove into despair rather than anger. Yet in a case of creative interruptus that would become a leitmotif for the band, Sunny Day self-immolated after singer Jeremy Enigk converted to militant Christianity. The band phoned in an album of previously released material, but couldn't be bothered even to pick album art (hence LP2, a.k.a. "the pink album"). All looked lost until September 1998, when Sunny Day reunited to release its magnum opus, How It Feels to Be Something On. They held together long enough to put out one more solid effort that couldn't possibly hope to live up to its predecessor, then called it quits. For 10 years, Sunny Day has lived in legend while lesser bands named for days of the week (Thursday, Taking Back Sunday) reaped the financial rewards. Now Enigk has gotten the band back together for a tour coming to First Ave. Miss it at your peril—you may not get another chance. All ages. $20. 6 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Kevin Hoffman


Did you really expect a serious photo from a band named fun.?
courtesy of the artists
Did you really expect a serious photo from a band named fun.?

The Rock Nightclub

Despite indications to the contrary, the Detroit-based rap collective D12 remains a going concern. Since breaking the platinum certification barrier—twice—with 2001's Devil's Night, the crew has weathered various career highs and lows: Eminem's rise to massive international stardom, spiral into drug addiction, and long, hard road to recovery; Kon Artis's blossoming as a producer; Proof's 2006 shooting death; Swifty's incarceration the same year. Yet they've soldiered on together, even as non-Eminem solo releases fail to catch chart fire and critics revile D12's generally puerile, horrorcore subject matter (Bizarre, for example, more than lives up or down to his handle). But for every couple of twisted mindfucks (i.e. "Purple Pills"), D12 slip in something unexpectedly poignant (see "How Come," from 2004's D12 World) that suggests that there's more to this spawn of one of America's most beleaguered cities than vividly foul-mouthed gross outs. $12/$15 at the door. 7 p.m. 2029 Woodlynn Ave., Maplewood; 651.770.7822. —Ray Cummings


Dan Wilson

Acadia Café

Tonight's cozy gig at the Acadia is one of several smaller-scale shows this week by Dan Wilson, who is advertising his mini-tour of the Twin Cities as a "Staycation." Wilson will present his slick, catchy folk-pop in a variety of settings. On Wednesday, Wilson will venture to Excelsior to play the 318 Café; Thursdays's ballads will be presented in the coffee-shop confines of the relocated Acadia Café on the West Bank; and on Friday and Saturday night Wilson will take over the upscale Dakota Jazz Club (joined by Ben Kyle of Americana band Romantica). Regardless of the venue, this week's shows are sure to be intimate, personal affairs—Wilson seems to perform best when he is given plenty of room for meandering, and he enjoys bookending his songs with storytelling and casual candor. Expect lots of solo material, returns to favorite Semisonic songs, and a fair share of surprises. All ages. $20. 7 p.m. 329 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.874.8702. Also Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday —Andrea Swensson



Triple Rock Social Club

Fun. hail from NYC, are a trio, and make swollen, pompous pop-rock their self-amused métier. Just what everybody needs now, right? It just may be, after all: Seriously, you shrug off their gleeful roadhouse pianos and Queen-y stadium gestures and genial AM manners and crowd-pleasing string overtures at your peril. I say this because, if all things are equal, fun.—and yep, that name wreaks havoc on word-processing system capitalization and grammar settings even as it doubles as a too-easy characterization of what these boys so ably pull off—possess the tunes, moxie, and utter likeability to barnstorm the limitless-platform media apparatus if given a quarter of a chance. Plus, they're obviously huge Ben Folds fans. All ages. $10/$12 at the door. 5 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Ray Cummings


Os Mutantes

The Cedar

Somehow "Bat Macumba," from Os Mutantes' self-titled 1968 debut, remains as funny and surprising as ever: It sounds like Latin psychedelic kids' music gone haywire—an exuberantly Muppetational response to Brazil's military dictatorship. The first Os Mutantes album in three decades, Haih or Amortecedor, is amazingly of a piece with that funky loopiness of old, especially given the mostly new lineup: Founding guitarist Sérgio Dias Baptista crafted the striking new music in collaboration with early-'70s Mutantes drummer Ronaldo "Dinho" Leme and an otherwise freshly recruited band, co-writing many songs with tropicália legend Tom Zé. The results span bossa nova to acid rock without sounding much like anything besides the Mutantes, with the common thread of giddy harmonies and a streak of political satire even non-Portuguese-speakers can dig ("Baghdad Blues," "Samba Do Fidel"). With Minyeshu. $18/$20 at the door. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Peter S. Scholtes

The Weakerthans

Triple Rock Social Club

Given the tender folk-rock leanings of the Weakerthans, it's a little hard to imagine that founder and lead singer John K. Samson spent years as a part of Canadian thrash-core outfit Propagandhi, buttressing the punk riffs and leftist politics with a pronounced sense of melody. But, even though Samson has now abandoned a rough sound for one more polished and intricate, his lyrical talent has remained sharp, breathing life into vivid, heartbreaking character sketches. Over the course of four albums, the Weakerthans have shifted from fragile acoustic numbers to more expansive, muscular rock, but Samson's bookish leanings remain the cornerstone on which the band is built. But, for both potential and long-time fans, the window in which to see them live is rather small (they don't tour often, and when they do, the schedule is limited), so to miss this opportunity would be a mistake. With Rock Plaza Central. 18+. $17/$19 at the door. 8 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Ian Traas


A Tribute to Lester Young

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