SUNDAY 10.11

Rob Thomas

Xcel Energy Center

Let's be honest here: Ripping on Rob Thomas is all kinds of fun. The sudden fluctuations in weight. The reliably maudlin FM radio cheese. The cornball 1999 collabo with boomer icon Carlos Santana ("Smooth"). The tortured-puppy glower clouding modelesque features. The interchangeably anonymous, low-maintenance hairstyles. The fact that between his Matchbox Twenty winning streak and his solo career, the guy appears to be on a personal quest to catalog every dolorous emotion ever suffered, if his themes are anything to go by: "Bent," "Disease," "Unwell," "Lonely No More." Really, at this point, you maybe sort of wish Thomas—who is totally married to a Puerto Rican model, and is a dad—would cheer up and start penning tunes with names like "Ecstatic" and "Stoked" and "Sweet." Thing is, he's really good at capturing what it feels like to have your heart smashed and stomped by someone you love, in the same way that Trent Reznor is the undisputed king of pop-industrial spleen. Catch 22: If Thomas lightens up, he loses his entire reason for being. With OneRepublic and Carolina Liar. $42-$62. 7 p.m. 175 Kellogg Blvd. W., St. Paul; 651.726.8240. —Ray Cummings

Taylor Swift

Target Center

Consider this: Taylor Swift was last year's biggest-selling American artist. Her single "Love Story" became the first country single to top the Billboard Pop Top 40. She hit Nashville by age 11, started writing songs and playing the 12-string by 12, and at 14 was the youngest staff songwriter ever hired by Sony/ATV Tree Publishing. She has a clothing line at Walmart and dated a Jonas Brother. Every single she's released has hit the Country Top 10. Her 2009 tour sold out the Staples Center in two minutes, Madison Square Garden in one. Forbes ranked her as the 69th most powerful celebrity, with over $18 million in earnings this year. Taylor Swift is 19. If you were quick to the draw and purchased a ticket in under 30 minutes for her October 11 Target Center show (with Kellie Pickler and Gloriana) consider yourself lucky—all her U.S. dates this tour have sold out. $22-$51.50. 6 p.m. Target Center, 600 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.673.0900. Nikki Miller

MONDAY 10.12

Jolie Holland

Varsity Theater

Jolie Holland's whippoorwill mushmouth is one of the more dauntingly beautiful vocal things to emerge from '00s alternative roots music, so odd and engaging that it reveals itself anew with every fresh context—tackling straight-up blues, accompanying rapper Sage Francis, or working her own developing jazz-folk-pop amalgam, where most fans find her. But she's not one to make lyrics the star of her songs, however heartfelt, so her surest claims on eternity might lie outside the jazz she plies, amid the consciously mysterious porch singing of 2003's Catalpa, where she began, solo-wise, and the rock of "Mexico City," off last year's The Living and the Dead, in which she becomes a sad Elvis for a mysterious situation involving war and booze. Her music remains high on its timeless novelty, and with such a regular live presence here, most fans require no introduction. With Matt Bauer. 18+. $16. 8 p.m. 1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.604.0222. —Peter S. Scholtes

TUESDAY 10.13

School of Seven Bells

7th St. Entry

Animal nature and band iconography being what they are, some portion of School of Seven Bells' audience for this first headlining tour will wonder if former Secret Machines guitarist Benjamin Curtis and identical twin sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza (the singer-guitarist and singer-keyboardist from On!Air!Library!) wear clothing while living and making music together in their Brooklyn apartment—home base at least as of their 2008 debut, Alpinisms. But SVIIB are too big a deal to reduce to their chilly star power: Curtis's waves of electronically processed guitars—never audibly strummed, just volume-knobbed into overwhelming existence—were cited by the Edge as an influence on U2's No Line on the Horizon. The Dehezas are a new sound unto themselves with Curtis, never quite resembling the cosmos-pop-with-beats they're sometimes compared to (Medicine, Cocteau Twins, Air), but building a droning melodicism as sure and subtle as Yo La Tengo's. You might not even notice the dance-y bottom until you dream the songs back a year later. With the Depreciation Guild and Warpaint. 18+. $10/$12 at the door. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Peter S. Scholtes

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