Turf Club

For all their whacked-out screechiness and their creepy name, you wouldn't expect Teenage Strangler to be so upbeat. The local trio sound sort of like a happy Sonic Youth. Though not overtly buzzed on too much Wellbutrin, the head-bopping drum beats, accidentally charming mumbled/shouted vocals, and canoodling between ultra-fuzzed rhythms and bright and warbly lead guitars meld into a woozy bliss. The band members claim to have punk influences, but they seem more likely to be descendents of the heady deconstruction of grunge and "alternative" in the early '90s. Instead of opting for catchy hooks and clearly defined song structure, they drench everything in a wash of feedback-laden noise. With Awesome Snakes and Bombay Sweets. 21+. 9 p.m. $6. 1601 University Ave., St. Paul; 651.647.0486. —Erin Roof

SUNDAY 12.13


Station 4

Andrew Bird prepares to go to church
Cameron Wittig
Andrew Bird prepares to go to church

When you form a metal band for the specific purpose of being the single most heretical musical entity on the planet, you probably have your work cut out for you. It's been said that this was the goal behind Morgan Steinmeyer Håkansson's founding of Marduk, the Swedish death-metal/black-metal hybrid that first made its name with the infamous 1991 demo tape Fuck Me Jesus (banned in several countries!) and only got more brutal from there. As a band whose members decided early on that the sexual desecration of religious icons would make for a springboard to more universal blasphemies—other lyrical subjects would include World War II atrocities, the complete destruction of the world, and how badass Dracula is—Marduk refined themselves into a conceptually minded and studious force of evil, creating the memorable "Blood, War, and Death" album trilogy with 1998's Nightwing, 1999's Panzer Division Marduk, and 2001's La Grande Danse Macabre. Their sound's shifted and broadened over the past few years' worth of experiments and personnel changes, with this year's Wormwood one of their strongest and most adventurous albums; it provides a deft mixture of high-speed blast-beat fury and funeral-march ominousness, along with some of Daniel "Mortuus" Rosten's most memorably venomous and bile-choked vocals since he joined the band in 2004. With Nachtmystium, Mantic Ritual, and Horde of Hell. 16+. $14/$17 at the door. 6 p.m. 201 E. Fourth St., St. Paul; 651.298.0173. —Nate Patrin

MONDAY 12.14

Béla Fleck & the Flecktones

Guthrie Theater

If the proverbially hip notion of a cool Yule melts your icicles, you couldn't do better this holiday season than check out banjo iconoclast Béla Fleck jingling every which way at the Guthrie. Actually, the show will be based on Jingle All the Way, the Flecktones' Grammy-winning opus from a year ago, which skates through such a winter wonderland of mind-boggling genre twists that it's a good thing Rudolph's on hand to light the way. Bluegrass, bop, Bach, and Brown (as in a funky cover of Vince Guaraldi's tribute to Charlie's friends, "Linus and Lucy") all float around Fleck's intoxicating musical nog, impeccably realized by the merry picker himself and Flecktones Victor Wooten (bass), Future Man (percussion), and Jeff Coffin (saxes, flute). "Sleigh Ride" is a breakneck breakdown that sounds like a jazz fest at Jed Clampett's place. A euphoric "Twelve Days of Christmas" is gloriously festooned with at least twice that many shifts in texture, tone, rhythm, and style, including swing, chamber music, Klezmer, and Tuvan throat singing. The last is courtesy of Tuva's Alash Ensemble, whose guttural groove helps transform "Jingle Bells" into a surreal gallop across the Asian steppes. The group also will accompany the Tones at the Guthrie. Even more stunning is a Tuvan/Appalachian folk-rock fusion of "What Child Is This?" with the Tuvan ditty "Dyngyldai," Wooten's funky electric bass lines whipping in the gale while Coffin wails like Coltrane on sax. A great way to get your holly jollies. $48.50. 7:30 p.m. 818 S. Second St., Minneapolis; 612.377.2224. —Rick Mason

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