WEDNESDAY 11.4

White Denim

400 Bar

Fits, indeed. Austin, Texas, power trio White Denim's second album is veritably defined by fits and starts. Not only do individual songs engage in sometimes frantic shifts in rhythm and texture, nearly every track juggles a fresh batch of multiple influences, ranging from vintage Texas psychedelia to punk, with country-rock, pop balladry, and funk thrown in for good measure. The lead track alone ricochets through a freakout-worthy barrage of heavy reverb, funk-rock, blues-rock, off-kilter punk rhythms, and distorted pop vocals. The initial burst of incendiary firepower eases off on the noirish "Sex Prayer," and still further on "Regina Holding Hands," an acoustic-guitar-driven ballad featuring vocal harmonies one step removed from America. WD's furious doses of adrenal rock arrive with kit bags so full of ancient nuggets whizzing by that it'll give you fits trying to pick out Zappa, ZZ Top, the James Gang, Roky Erickson, or Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac. It's great fun, but whether White Denim wear as well as their influences remains to be seen. Another Austin band, opener Brazos, are far more subtle than the Denims on their full-length debut, Phosphorescent Blues. Persistent, simmering contexts ebb and flow while hypnotic melodies flit about, flirting with jazz, folk, and quirky, ruminative rock while lead singer-songwriter Crane waxes impressionistically about love and parking garages. 18+. $10. 8 p.m. 400 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.332.2903. —Rick Mason

THURSDAY 11.5

Snoop Dogg

Epic

If you need an argument against the idea that smoking marijuana will rob you of your ambition, you only need look as far as Snoop Dogg. The continually blunted West Coast rap superstar is less a business-savvy artist than a gigantic marketing steamroller, appearing in movies and reality shows, designing clothes, and lending his likeness to everything from candy (hemp-flavored, naturally) to video games. It may seem odd that someone initially synonymous with gang life has morphed into one of rap's biggest crossover successes—now even Midwestern housewives know his name—but it's partially due to Snoop's laid-back (read: baked) charisma, a quality that turned silky flows full of thuggish opulence into hugely popular singles. Is this tour an excuse to get away from the minivan and kids? Maybe, but even if it is part of a pimp's midlife crisis, Snoop is easily enough of a crowd-engaging showman to turn Epic into a smoky sea of swaying hands. The Minneapolis show is a stop on the Wonderland High Tour with Method Man, Redman, and Devin the Dude. 18+. $41-$61. 8 p.m. 110 N. Fifth St., Minneapolis; 612.332.3742. Ian Traas

The Sounds

First Avenue

Rising out of a Swedish scene that was rife with such garage-rock revivalists as the Hives, the (International) Noise Conspiracy, and Mando Diao, the Sounds were driven by a radically different sound in 2002 with their debut album, Living in America. To the casual music fan, the band might be most recognizable from their song "Hurt You," which was featured in one of the Geico Caveman commercials last year. That song comes from the 2006 breakout Dying to Say This to You, which found the Sounds stepping up their polished, electronic-infused glamour-punk as they began to expand their music to a global audience. Having played more than 500 shows around the world since the album's release, the relentless performers returned this past summer with Crossing the Rubicon, the Sounds' third album, which peaked at #64 on the Billboard 200. Now directly in the middle of an insanely rigorous 75-date fall tour, the Sounds will be joined by Cincinnati's Foxy Shazam as the band returns to Minneapolis for the second time this year. With Semi Precious Weapons. 18+. $18/$20 at the door. 6 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. Chris DeLine

FRIDAY 11.6

Future of the Left

7th St. Entry

When noisy Welsh rockers Future of the Left visited the Twin Cities this past July, attendees were treated to a grinding, squelching rendition of their song "You Need Satan More Than He Needs You," a showstopper that jolted the crowd with a current of filthy intensity. The red-faced screaming and precision guitar work coming from frontman Andy Falkous were impressive for anyone, let alone a man stricken ill with the flu, but Falkous powered through it until his sickness was only barely noticeable. It was a sign of dedication, a sacrifice of comfort (maybe even safety) for the sake of a hugely captivating performance. The band members excel at translating that same energy to their recorded material, which has made their most recent album, Travels with Myself and Another, a serious contender for best-of-the-year accolades. If you missed the last show, catch the (hopefully healthy) trio now, so you can say that you saw them before they shredded their vocal cords beyond repair. 18+. $10. 9 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Ian Traas

Sun in the Satellite

501 Club

Sun in the Satellite dirtied their boots among local rock and psych acts the Screens, the Idle Hands, and Colfax Abbey. But their current endeavor is a different creature, eschewing the urge to be radio-friendly by clutching weirdo atmospherics in a firm handshake. Though Sun in the Satellite opt for six-minute psychedelic excursions instead of three-minute whiz-bangers, for them, it's the correct choice. Each song is a delicately crafted study in the ebb and flow of emotion, with its pleasure/pain squalls building up to slowly cascading relief. The local three-piece sets upon its path like a wandering mystic, seemingly chanting whatever notes it stumbles upon until a new revelation knocks into it, revealing the next card in the rhythmic-drone Rolodex. With a bit of behind-the-scenes wizardry, the layers coalesce to create a complex and alluring desert mirage you'd rather take as reality. With Gospel Gossip, Red Pens, and Telepathos. 21+. Free. 9 p.m. 501 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.3848. Erin Roof

SATURDAY 11.7

Old Crow Medicine Show

State Theater

The old-time string band rolls back into town for a show at the State just weeks after their last appearance in the Twin Cities, playing for fan Garrison Keillor, who books them frequently on A Prairie Home Companion. Like that legendary radio show, the music of Old Crow Medicine Show sounds like entertainment out of time. They're sometimes dubbed bluegrass fusion or alt-country, which is not inaccurate. Their songs are influenced by folk and blues: They've recorded a cover of a Rolling Stones tune, "Down Home Girl," and perhaps their most notable number, "Wagon Wheel," is a reimagining of an unfinished Bob Dylan song. But despite these more modern influences, their sound remains pure and defiantly regionalist, and it's distinguished by their incredible vocal harmonies. Old Crow Medicine Show have undergone a major chance since the release of 2008's Tennessee Pusher: Chris "Critter" Fuqua, who co-founded the band with fiddle player Ketch Secor, his musical partner since the seventh grade, has ceased touring with the group. In his place is slide guitar and banjo player Gill Landry of the Kitchen Syncopators. $27.50. 8 p.m. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.339.7007. Bryan Miller

The Mountain Goats

The Cedar

The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle is a serious literary type whose songs, stretching back almost two decades, detail human failings, foibles, fears, feints, and fables, sometimes stripping emotion down to its wiring, exposing tragedies inherent in the mundane. For many years he recorded on a boombox, essentially shouting his lyrics over a strumming guitar like some housebound busker, but of late, including October's The Life of the World to Come, Darnielle's cultivated a more refined chamber-folk sound with a piano and the assistance of guitarist Peter Hughes and drummer Jon Wurster. Stark, powerful yet deceptively straightforward language renders riveting dramas, which on the new album take their titles from Bible verses and deal with spirituality while remaining skeptical of religion. Messianic power, death, resurrection, sacrifice for love, wandering in the wilderness, martyrdom, netherworlds, kidnapping, and impending apocalypse are all present with chilling effect, not so much as gospel as stuff likely to turn up in the tabloids. Opener Final Fantasy is in effect Canadian violinist-composer Owen Pallett, who has done string arrangements for the Goats' latest as well as for Arcade Fire, Grizzly Bear, and Beirut. Pallett's own stuff is sweeping, kaleidoscopic chamber pop that sounds like Brian Wilson playing with the Kronos Quartet in the Land of Oz. $18/$20 at the door. 8 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason

SUNDAY 11.8

Steely Dan

Northrop Auditorium

Donald Fagen and Walter Becker are the latest to jump on the recent trend of recreating live entire classic albums, all songs in their proper sequence. The resurrected artifact for this performance will be Steely Dan's 1977 album Aja, a then-relatively innovative blend of rock, jazz, pop, and R&B, featuring guest shots from the likes of jazz-oriented saxophonist Wayne Shorter, keyboardist Joe Sample, and guitarist Larry Carlton. Aja has held up well over the years: sleek, cool, hipsterishly obscure lyrics, its melodicism delightfully subverted with sly, tricky arrangements, subtle textures, and impressive instrumental work. Reports from the road suggest Fagen and Becker, plus an 11-piece band, aren't slavishly reproducing every note from the original, but are coming close enough to please hardcore fans. This so-called Rent Party tour is billed as Aja plus, the addition invariably consisting of songs from the Dan's '70s heyday. $53-$125. 7:30 p.m. 84 Church St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.625.6600. —Rick Mason

MONDAY 11.9

Art Brut

Triple Rock Social Club

Because they sound a little like The Daily Show's John Oliver fronting the Pixies in the spoken-punk-rap style of Flipper or Talking Heads' "Once in a Lifetime," Art Brut are inevitably judged as comedy rather than music—more Beatles press conference than Beatles album. But like fellow literary ranters the Hold Steady, these Londoners are far more original and compelling as rock 'n' roll than their familiar elements and delivery might initially suggest—especially once their lyrics gel as narrative. "Demons Out!," off this year's Art Brut vs. Satan, immortally declares, "The record-buying public shouldn't be voting," in the appalled tone of ignored artists everywhere—a joke as rich as anything off the latest Flight of the Conchords CD. But the next tune demands sincerity and mistakes in rock, and the one after that admits, by way of its chorus, "I can't believe I've only just discovered the Replacements," making the self-deprecation and autobiography plain. The Art Brut idea, going back to their 2004 breakthrough, "We Formed a Band," seems to be a running self-portrait on five-year delay, which means that soon they'll be singing "We Just Wrote a Song Called 'We Formed a Band.'" I wish their scrappy musicality went beyond indie-rock, but their gestalt is new, their spoken hooks ("I fought the floor and the floor won") as sure as any good rap, and they claim the Pixies' own Black Francis as producer on this third album's harmonies/guitars/bass/drums, achieving maximum pop thwack. With West Palm Beach's Surfer Blood. 18+. $12/$15 at the door. 8 p.m. 629 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.333.7399. Peter S. Scholtes

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