Ghostland Observatory, the Dodos, and more


Kurt Vile & the Violators

7th St. Entry

Not shockingly new, just blazingly beautiful, Kurt Vile's take on post-Velvets/Stooges pop sounds like Robert Pollard dreaming the Clean: His four-dozen-odd tracks released over the past couple of years seesaw between reverb-spanked folk finger-picking and reverb-ravaged psychedelia, as striking in crackerjack lo-fi seclusion as with his backing band, the Violators. (Vile also plays guitar in Philadelphia's the War on Drugs.) Listen to "Freeway," from his 2008 debut, Constant Hitmaker, or "My Sympathy," from this year's mini-LP God Is Saying This to You..., to get a sense of why Matador was so excited to release his new album, Childish Prodigy. He's more musician than songwriter still—you know you're reaching when your best tune is a cover of Richard Hell's "Monkey"—but few in the genre know how to use a tape recorder more expressively, or have so much talent to "ruin." With Velvet Davenport and Haunted House. 18+. $8/$10 at the door. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Peter S. Scholtes


Captured! By Robots

Smoldering soul singer Ruthie Foster
Smoldering soul singer Ruthie Foster

Triple Rock Social Club

JBOT, the humanoid formerly known as Jay Vance, has had a tough run of it lately. Two years ago, the last time he was scheduled to play the Twin Cities, a snowstorm closed a highway for two days and left him icebound near the Montana border. Last year he was hit by a car and had to cancel his spring tour while he rehabbed a broken arm. Also, he has been taken prisoner by a group of smack-talking robots, who force him to work as their technician/musical director. JBOT is the only meatbag among Captured! By Robots' group of spiteful, metal-loving mechs; he's the thrash-rock equivalent of our own beloved Joel Hodgson of MST3K fame. The robots in his band aren't Chuck E. Cheese animatronic puppets or glorified jukeboxes, but rather they play their own instruments—pressing frets, strumming strings, and blowing into horns—thanks to a little electricity, some compressed air, and a lot of robot malice. Last seen touting their Star Trek: The Next Generation-themed metal opera, this time around the Captured! By Robots crew will present a motivational show featuring wild, loud covers of American classics. JBOT says he's stoked to bring his high-tech pick-me-up performance to the Triple Rock, but he notes that his cybernetic captors remain surly as always. "Most of the bots are de-motivational," he says. "They talk a lot of shit." 18+. $10. 9 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. —Bryan Miller

FRIDAY 10.16

Ruthie Foster

O'Shaughnessy Auditorium

Graced with sensational, classic soul pipes and a smoldering intensity, this Texas native more than lived up to the title of her 2007 breakthrough, The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster. This year she's back with no less than The Truth According to Ruthie Foster, which hits nary a false note in working a classic Memphis groove riddled with potent strains of gospel, blues, R&B, and soul about as pure as it gets. Recorded at Memphis's Ardent Studios with a slew of wily vets helping out (including guitarist Robben Ford, late keyboards wizard Jim Dickinson, and trumpeter Wayne Jackson of the Memphis Horns), Truth is a potent collection of fine Foster originals and keen covers from the likes of Patty Griffin and Eric Bibb, sometimes complicating that Memphis thang with touches of reggae, country blues, and folk. Foster sings the beejeezus out of all of it, negotiating the delirious undulations of Southern roots like a genuine daughter of Aretha, Ann Peebles, and Mavis Staples. And that's the truth. She'll be in a trio format here, with drummer Samantha Banks and bassist Tanya Richardson. $32. 7:30 p.m. 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul; 651.690.6700. —Rick Mason

Rain Machine

7th St. Entry

Though not the only singer or guitarist in TV on the Radio, robustly bearded Kyp Malone is the Brooklyn band's most iconic member, and his strengths—eerie falsetto, flair for noise texture, adventurous funkiness—overlap his fellows'. He wrote and played nearly every instrument on his new solo album, Rain Machine, released under that name on Anti-, where he strums acoustic, noodles acid-electric, and harmonizes with himself (and backing vocalists) in a Bowie-esque croak that recalls a tragic musical staged on Mars. Atmosphere somewhat obscures lyrics about burning crosses, castration, homophobia, and genitalia, but the pleasure of this show will be seeing a new, no doubt very good, live band pull together this piece of studio whimsy on stage. With indie-folk-pop singer Sharon Van Etton, also from New York. 18+. $15. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. ­—Peter S. Scholtes


Amy Millan

Turf Club

As a part of modern supergroup Broken Social Scene and the female lead in pop heartbreakers Stars, Amy Millan has plenty to do, so it's all the more remarkable that she finds time to record tender, fragile alt-country albums like 2006's Honey from the Tombs and this year's Masters of the Burial. Approaching all the material in much the same manner, Millan deviates little in her delivery, but this fails to be a problem due mostly to the stunning quality of her voice. A hushed, feather-light thing, simultaneously full of youthful wonder and weathered sadness, that voice is as effective at carrying her rootsy solo work as it is bolstering the rock-oriented offerings of her other bands. Live, Millan hardly needs to resort to affected twang to make her country and bluegrass songs come across—she does it with the sheer melancholy couched in her dreamy vocals. With Bahamas. 21+. $12. 8 pm. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Ian Traas

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