KRS-One, Shonen Knife, and more

WEDNESDAY 10.21

Shonen Knife

7th St. Entry

The members of Shonen Knife are deeply in love with the Ramones. The Japanese trio's sound is a mirror image of the short three-chord assaults that their miscreant forebears perfected decades ago, but unlike the hordes of American imitators, they've done away with the leather jackets and druggy angst, crushing the underlying menace of punk with happy juggernauts about how awesome candy and friends are. Shonen Knife's cutesy, non-threatening image might not mesh with songs about beatings or blitzkriegs, but there seems to be enough "Rock 'n' Roll High School" to go around. Besides, there's something slyly subversive, almost prankish, about Japanese women removing the anger from American rock and replacing it with effervescent glee. At this point, the band has spent almost 28 years(!) dismissing their native country's popular music trends while staying faithful to a simple, vibrant sound that suits them—and really, is there anything more punk rock than that? With Red Pens. 18+. $15. 8 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. Ian Traas

THURSDAY 10.22

Say Anything

Station 4

You could say that Say Anything's Max Bemis, like Lloyd Dobler, is a bit of an underachiever. Having just completed Anything's third major-label album, Bemis appears no closer to making commercial headway with his band's unique brand of emo—which directs just as much adolescent rage outward as it does inward; with titles like "Died a Jew" and "Shiksa (Girlfriend)," it's really no surprise that few have openly embraced the notoriously confrontational band. It's also probably safe to say that the band's last album, In Defense of the Genre, an experimental two-disc concept record, didn't widen their appeal. The first single from their newest, trimmer effort, "Hate Everyone," makes no obvious concessions with its sing-along chorus of—you guessed it—"I hate everyone." But the truth is, even at his most acerbic and misanthropic, Bemis still sounds like the kind of guy you'd root for to get the girl. With Eisley, Moneen, and Moving Mountains. All ages. $16/$19 at the door. 5 p.m. 201 E. Fourth St., St. Paul; 651.298.0173. Jonathan Garrett

FRIDAY 10.23

Split Lip Rayfield

400 Bar

Calling Split Lip Rayfield a bluegrass band may give the wrong impression. True, they bring the standard guitar, mandolin, bass, and banjo to the stage. But you'd probably imagine guys dressed in identical suits, rehashing a mix of gospel tunes and tame American classics. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mosh pits are common at Split Lip shows, as the frenzied plucking of Jeff Eaton on his gas-can bass drives the bands' fingers faster and faster. From the many cars destroyed in a misspent youth to the many drug-and-alcohol excesses of a misspent adulthood, the group's music covers topics too harsh for most traditional bluegrass ensembles. Split Lip hail from Wichita, and you can hear a strong country influence in their more laid-back tracks, like "Used to Call Me Baby," which employs the classic country play on words ("Used to call me baby, now she don't call me at all"). But with a hard edge and rock-influenced tunes, their audience these days is solidly urban, grungy, and punk. With the White Iron Band. 18+. $12. 8 p.m. 400 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.332.2903. —Ward Rubrecht

The Pines (CD-release)

The Cedar

There's something inherently mysterious about the Pines' dusky, timeless folk music—the way it sinks into the listener's bones like a deep winter chill, the way it only improves with time and age like a bottle of wine forgotten in the cellar for 50 years and then unearthed and uncorked. Even more mysterious is the process of watching the music emanate from the players' mouths and hands live, as Benson Ramsey and David Huckfelt make for a rather unnassuming pair—a couple of Iowa farmboys who just so happen to have a knack for creating expansive, emotive, and brooding Americana. The duo have been part of the Minneapolis music scene for years now, and the fact that they don't seem to fit neatly into any of the similar-sounding local scenes—the traditional West Bank folkies, the hipsters-turned-old-timey revivalists, the bleeding-heart singer-songwriters—speaks to their ability to transcend trends and labels and press themselves into something unique and incomparable. Their latest CD, Tremolo, finds Ramsey experimenting with vocal vibrato and falling in and out of time with the rest of the music, adding another dreamlike nuance to this band's already dense and foggy mystique. With Spaghetti Western String Co. All ages. $12/$15 at the door. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. Andrea Swensson

SATURDAY 10.24

P.O.S.

First Avenue

Autobiography aside (the Lil Wayne-sampling "Out of Category"), P.O.S.'s wall of lyrics is best taken in from afar, where you can see, amid densely woven metaphors and hilariously stretched pop references, the outlines of a long love letter to his community—not just hip hop or punk, but whatever left wing still summons itself off the couch. Where Cage's punk rap has the shelf-life of a novelty, P.O.S.'s challenging third album, Never Better, endures because it starts with love, and seems to imagine actual people singing or screaming along—dancing, too, before the music goes hardcore-sideways. Production-wise, his Minneapolis crew, Doomtree, has outdone itself, mixing the full spectrum of breakbeat-based pop to create at least eight compulsive playables, with Lazerbeak's "Goodbye" the soulful centerpiece. Yet the best song might be "The Basics (Alright)," which P.O.S. produced himself, pushing apart several clattering stop-start elements—an ancient blues moan, an African-sounding percussion break, a gothic boom-bap beat—before slamming them together again in his warm singing voice. The album title is truth in advertising, and that's saying something. With Plain Ole Bill, Slapping Purses, Prof & St. Paul Slim, and Moonstone. All ages. $10/$12 at the door. 6 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. Peter S. Scholtes

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